Romance Revs Up | Genre Spotlight: Romance

ljx151002webromance

No matter your personal preferences, it’s hard to argue with the romance numbers: according to BookStats, estimated annual total sales value of romance in 2013 was $1.08 billion. That’s billions, folks. For many libraries, romance comprises the bread and butter of the genre fiction collections. The trends we see within the romance sphere represent an embarrassment of riches, and the upcoming fall and winter lineup suggests there is no slowing down.

The images that conjure “romance novel” are no longer exclusively the long-haired, bare-chested Fabio-type hovering over a distraught damsel in distress. We still love our heros and heroines, but today’s protagonists can be bikers, rock stars, dragon-shifters, mixed martial arts fighters, construction workers, millionaires, soldiers, and Vikings, to name a few. The tried-and-true happily ever after (HEA) remains a staple, but getting there can happen in a single volume or take several installments. Either way, the ride has never been more exciting, thrilling, tantalizing, and just plain entertaining.

Motorcycle clubs hit the road big time

The television series Sons of Anarchy has come to a close, but in romance titles, bikers and motorcycle clubs are riding high and going strong. “Readers cannot get enough of these rough-and-tumble guys with hearts of gold,” maintains Amy Pierpont, editor in chief of Hachette Book Group’s Forever and Forever Yours imprints. “Motorcycle club [MC] books can also skew to the dark side—the seductive allure of the forbidden, the dangerously dark yet deeply romantic story lines—these are the themes that are catapulting dark MC books onto best sellers lists.”

Readers will have plenty to choose from in the way of MCs, as Pierpont acknowledges, with fans “dying to find out how Chloe and Kill’s story continues” in Pepper Winters’s second “Pure Corruption MC” series title, Sin & Suffer (Forever: Grand Central, Jan. 2016). Reaper’s Fall by Joanna Wylde (Berkley, Nov.) brings readers back to Wylde’s uber-alpha rough world of MCs as one woman’s future is rocked by the man whose hard-core past could destroy her. Katie Ashley plunges into a world of danger and desire in her latest in the “Vicious Cycle MC” series, Redemption Road (Signet: NAL, Oct.).

Cindy Hwang, VP and editorial director of romance at Penguin Random House’s Berkley Publishing Group, believes what is most appealing about MCs is that they have a “gritty, edgy, and very sexy quality to them.”

According to Amanda Bergeron, editor at Avon Books and William Morrow, both divisions of HarperCollins, “Readers continue to love dark, edgy alpha heroes.” Some of these types appear in Laura Kaye’s Ride Hard (Avon, Mar. 2016), in which a woman on the run seeks shelter with an outlaw motorcycle club and falls under the watchful eye of the club’s mysterious and intense leader who is intent on discovering all of her secrets.

There is a dissenting note, however, as to the staying power of MCs. “There’s something really fun and sexy about MCs, and readers will never get tired of super–alpha heroes in a gritty, drama-rich environment,” offers Mary Altman, an editor at romance line Sourcebooks Casablanca. “I don’t think the trend is necessarily going to die out, [but] I do think it’ll hit critical mass before too long.”

Angela James, editorial director at Harlequin’s e-publishing Carina Press, seems to agree: “While we still see a steady diet of MC releases in digital, it’s much like new adult, with fewer books breaking out, with the exception of those that have strong stories or strong voices. But, like new adult, there will continue to be a selection of avid readers who will clamor for this type of editorial.”

E-originals with the sexy appeal of MC bikers include Maisey Yates’s Strip You Bare (Loveswept: Random, Jan. 2016), in which a society belle and a biker with a troubled past get down and dirty in the Big Easy.

If readers tire of MCs, perhaps Sidney Bristol’s Drive (­Zebra: Kensington, Mar. 2016), in which the cars are fast and the romance is furious, will be the beginning of a new wave of vehicle-centered ­romance.

The (romantic) suspense is killing me

Romantic suspense is exploding this season. Straddling the line between typically sexy romance and nail-biting suspense, it has found a broad readership.

“[Romantic suspense] is still a category that readers are interested in, as evidenced by the continued success of New York Times best-selling authors such as Lisa Jackson and Kat Martin,” states Kensington Publishing’s editor in chief John Scognamiglio. “Novels of dark suspense featuring anti­heroines have reinvigorated the genre and fueled the appetites of readers…. As a result, they’re looking in other sections of their bookstores/libraries and discovering romantic suspense authors who have been right under their noses all this time.”

Jackson’s After She’s Gone (Kensington, Dec.) will have lots of crossover appeal as it delves into the deep bond between two sisters and their shared dream that becomes a harrowing nightmare of madness, hatred, and jealousy.

Veteran Martin is back with a new series, leading with Into the Fury (Zebra: Kensington, Feb. 2016) and featuring Ethan Brodie of Brodie Operations Security Services Inc., who is searching for a faceless menace that is threatening ­lingerie models on a cross-country tour.

Erika Tsang, editorial director of HarperCollins’s Avon Books, says, “We’ve definitely added more romantic suspense to our list, including a new series from Cynthia Eden.” The gritty New Orleans underworld sets the scene for Shattered (Avon, Oct.), featuring a Last Option Search Team (LOST) agent who is forced to face her past as she uncovers secrets about the man who may be the key to her future.

“We’re now seeing a lot of romantic suspense that is more romantic action and adventure, rather than straight-up suspense,” says Berkley’s Hwang. Both Maya Banks’s Darkest Before Dawn (Berkley, Oct.) and Elle Kennedy’s Midnight Revenge (Signet: NAL, Feb. 2016) are installments in popular series with a paramilitary element.

ljx151002webromance2a

In Katy Evans’s Legend (Gallery, Feb. 2016), the sixth entry in her fast-paced underground fighting circuit series that began with Real, a young girl in a love triangle is caught between her desire for a dangerous, monstrous man and a nice guy who makes her happy for the first time in her life.

A sure bet for page-turning suspense coupled with titillating love scenes is author Mary Burton. In I’ll Never Let You Go (Zebra: Kensington, Oct.), a woman is found dead with the same number of stab wounds that veterinarian Leah Carson’s ex-husband gave her, leaving Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agent Alex Morgan to suspect that Leah’s stalker ex is still alive and may have her in his sights again. Heather Graham’s Flawless (Mira: Harlequin, Apr. 2016) features the police, the FBI, gangs of diamond thieves, and the Finnegans.

Barbara Freethy, a number No. 1 New York Times and Amazon best-selling author, goes rogue in her new self-published series “Lightning Strikes.” Starting with Beautiful Storm (Hyde Street: Fog City, Oct.), readers will encounter a lightning strike that leads to love, danger, and the unraveling of a family mystery that will change not only the past but also the future.

Among the usual suspense suspects are Jayne Ann Krentz (Secret Sisters, Berkley, Dec.) and Karen Rose (Alone in the Dark, Signet: NAL, Feb. 2016), back with a vengeance.

Fifty shades of still going strong

This author was an early adopter of BDSM titles and enjoyed the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise and those riding the erotica wave in its wake. It provided something fresh that hiked up demand in a way libraries had never seen before, and authors saw erotica and erotic romance as opportunities to expand their output. As with all franchises before it, at some point we can expect the hype to wear off and erotica to wane, but that point isn’t here yet.

Penguin Random House has several big erotic titles coming out, including Jasinda Wilder’s first traditionally published book, Madame X (Berkley, Oct.), “which is different from anything else on the shelf—it’s fresh, edgy, completely original, and compelling,” contends Hwang.

Maya Banks launches a new trilogy with Mastered (Berkley, Dec.), which features BDSM elements combined with a sensational love story. Lisa Renee Jones opens her “Careless Whispers” series with Denial (Gallery, Nov.), a sultry tale of ecstasy, wild fantasies, and dangerous secrets. Readers can also look forward to some heat from Coming Back (Forever: Grand Central, Dec.) by Lauren Dane, a master of deeply nuanced characters; Tara Sue Me’s The Exhibitionist (NAL, Nov.), which tests how far a true submissive romance can go; and Calista Fox’s Burned Deep (Griffin: St. Martin’s, Oct.), featuring a brooding, powerful, and dominant hero.

New adult has found its mate

For now, new adult (NA) has been able to stand on it’s own, although perhaps shakily, and isn’t really quite a subset of YA or contemporary romance. Sarah Franz Lyons, editorial director at Riptide Publishing, a press that is exclusively LGBTQ-themed, believes that not only is NA very important to queer romance, but it is also “a strong genre with its own genre conventions, typical themes, and strong reader base.”

But new adult isn’t so new anymore, and there have been reports that it has leveled off to a degree. Says Harlequin senior editor Margo Lipschultz, “We’ve seen a plateau in new adult. I would attribute it partially to market saturation, as there have been so many offerings from authors both traditionally published and self-published.”

Forever’s Pierpont considers one reason NA has tapered off in popularity is that it has already reached its primary readership. “It’s found its core fan base—readers who want deeply emotional reads that give them all the feels.”

Still, authors like Sharon M. Johnston keep the genre from getting stale by taking a creative bent and exploring overlapping elements. In Divided (City Owl, Nov.), Mishca Richardson receives a heart transplant that gives her supernatural abilities, and she becomes divided between two men, torn between love and ­obsession.

While there is not a lot coming on the NA debut front, which may also indicate a plateau, its fan base will see additions to favorite series to keep them entertained this season.

The prolific and ever popular Abbi Glines has a new title in her “Rosemary Beach” series, The Best Goodbye (Atria, Dec.), featuring well-known playboy Captain.

The runaway smash series by Anna Todd that originated as One Direction fan fiction brings more of Hardin in Before (Gallery, Dec.). It explores the hero’s life before he met Tessa, reveals what happens after After, offers insights into their turbulent romance, and revels in the awesome power of true love.

In Christina Lauren’s Beautiful Boss (Pocket Star, Mar. 2016), an e-original novella in her “Beautiful Bastard” series, Hanna and Will take their relationship to the next level. Plus, a stalwart author who started her writing career in new adult returns with an unforgettable love story between a writer and his unexpected muse in Colleen Hoover’s November 9 (Atria, Nov.).

While the jury is still out on whether new adult is here to stay as a distinct romance subgenre or will eventually be absorbed into contemporary romance, for now readers can expect new content from their favorite NA writers.

Dragons vs. bears?

Vampire and werewolf romance had its heyday, though it still has its devoted readers; dinosaur romance never took off; and there isn’t much romance publishing activity around mermaids. Paranormal romance has experienced ups and downs, to say the least. Several of our romance experts commented on a decline in paranormal romance, both in print and digital formats, unless it is part of a legacy series.

“Paranormal as a whole has been on a bit of a down cycle for some time—the established authors continue to sell well, but I haven’t necessarily seen a new voice break out recently,” says Harlequin senior editor Lipschultz.

Readers can anticipate new titles from those long-standing series, with Christine Feehan’s Wild Cat (Jove, Nov.), the eighth title in her “Leopard” series, in which “passions explode like wildfire when a young woman’s feral instincts are ignited by a man who’s too dangerous not to desire.” Another favorite comes from Thea Harrison, who continues her “Elder Races” books with Shadow’s End (Berkley, Dec.), an enchanting and sizzling new tale about debts that cannot be repaid and hunger that cannot be ­satisfied.

There is reason to keep hope alive for paranormal. Carina Press’s James says, “I personally think there’s still a great market of readers for paranormal, especially paranormal with shifters, where there’s fantastic worldbuilding, a brotherhood of warriors, or clan politics.” James also confesses that she is eager to work with authors who want to publish in this genre.

Additionally, bear shape-shifters seem to be gaining some traction in paranormal, as evidenced by Kate Baxter’s ­e-original Stripped Bear, recently published by St. Martin’s. Coming soon is Vonnie Davis’s new bear-shifting Highlander novel, Bearing It All (Loveswept: Random, Oct.). In the pine-dense mountains of the Scottish Highlands, shape-shifter Ronan Matheson is running free when “a desperate woman parachutes out of the sky, directly onto his furry, powerful chest.” A Scottish hunter and a French secret agent head into danger—and irresistible desire. Fans of Jennifer Ashley and Shelly Laurenston will find that this one bears watching.

More paranormal out soon includes a dragon-shifters duo by Katie ­MacAlister: Dragon Storm (Nov.) and Dragon Soul (Mar. 2016, both Forever: Grand Central); G.A. Aiken’s Feel the Burn (Zebra: Kensington, Dec.); Jacquelyn Frank’s Bound in Darkness (Ballantine, Nov.); Shiloh Walker’s Grimm’s End (Samhain, Oct.); Asa Maria Bradley’s Viking Warrior Rising (Sourcebooks Casablanca, Nov.); and a spin-off of J.R. Ward’s “Black Dagger Brotherhood” series is Blood Kiss (Signet: NAL, Dec.).

In fact, series are where it’s at for City Owl’s chief marketing officer Yelena Casale. “Publishers are always looking for the next big thing in romance. At City Owl, we seek stories that mesh romance with other genre specifics: suspense, sf, fantasy, mystery, paranormal, contemporary, etc. Regardless of the genre, or cross-genre components, we believe series are the key,” Casale says. “Supporting authors over multiple books allows us to develop and market their work appropriately and effectively. Readers want to follow a hero and heroine, or a group of characters, through their individual stories, unique challenges, and blossoming romances. Settings [such as those in] J.R. Ward’s ‘Black Dagger Brotherhood,’ or Christine Feehan’s ‘Dark’ series, demonstrate how a specific fictional world can have longevity and keep readers coming back for more. While single titles have their place, we’re all about ­series!”

City Owl is releasing All I Ever Wanted (Jan. 2016), the opening gambit in an as-yet-untitled contemporary romance series by Katrina Mills.

Q&A KRISTEN ASHLEY

ljx151002webromanceCover1LJ chats with “hybrid” author Kristen Ashley, who has readers revved up for the continuation of her motorcycle club series and gives us another “Chaos” book with Walk Through Fire (Forever: Grand Central, Oct.), in which Millie Cross’s chance run-in with her old flame, a wild Chaos biker, sparks a desire she just can’t ignore. This time, she won’t let him ride off.

Motorcycle clubs are a red-hot topic in romance right now. What research did you do?
Because of how I write and the messages I try to include in my books, I actually stayed away from research about motorcycle clubs except in the broadest sense of how they are organized and run. I’m a maverick with my writing and voice. However, I did have inspiration to create my MC. I went to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally [in South Dakota] and that inspired the creation of…Kane “Tack” Allen (as well as his club, Chaos). As I enjoyed myself drinking and dancing, I never felt so safe in all my life. Bikers are gentlemen…protective and funny and thoughtful….

What inspired you to begin your romance writing career?
My mother was an avid reader, and… romance was one of her favorite genres. She introduced me to Harlequin Presents. I was maybe 12 or 13 years old, and I was hooked [from] the start. I ljx151002webromanceAuthorwould eventually try to locate the not-so-easily stolen gems she had that weren’t as tame as those Harlequins. I remember [likely Janet Dailey’s] The Rogue, which I kept hidden under my bed. I was so intent on reading it, even after our cat marked it, I still read it under my covers in the dead of night, enduring the smell….

After a while, I encountered such great talents as Penny Jordan, Johanna Lindsey, Julie Garwood, Jude Devereux, and the inimitable Judith McNaught. Enthralled by their work, I hoped one day to do just what they did. I started writing in my 20s…following what I had set up in my head as “the romance rules.” You know, no cursing, self-made billionaire hero (with perfect body and brooding nature), perfect-in-every-way (specifically physically) heroine, subdued sex and not that much of it. One day, and I remember it like it was yesterday, I made the conscious decision to toss those “rules” that were hindering my enjoyment of writing…. I was set free. I began to submit and submit (and submit), after which I was rejected, rejected (and rejected). I then self-published. And, now, here I am!

Tell us a little bit about self-publishing and working with an established publishing house.
Both are oddly the same, in a way. However, self-publishing is almost like a quick hit. Usually, when I independently publish a book, it’s only months after the book is finished, [while] it is very fresh in my mind, and I’m still very much “in the story.” It’s like getting someone a present for Christmas in July and deciding to give it to them early because you just can’t wait… I get to give my independent novels early, and my traditionally published novels take months to put out there. But with the latter, I get the sweet, slow burn where I’m reintroduced to the goodness through my readers getting it at a later date. But the process for both is the same. Write. Edit. Create cover. Market. Release. Doing all this working with fabulous folks who have my back and want my books to do the best they can do. Both are very satisfying.

What do you see as trending in romance?

As an unconventional writer, I’m not a trend type of girl, so I don’t tend to pay attention to this kind of thing. In fact, I purposefully stay away from it and chatter about it. I pick up books to read at random. My ideas for stories come to me at random. I like my genres, but they’re broad. I tend to search out authors whom I enjoy and will stick with rather than types of books/stories. I prefer to hope that, instead of trends, we’ll be treated to a lot of new and exciting things as romance writers take chances with their stories, characters, and messages…. [M]aking it their own in their unique way….

What will we see from you in the future?
Right now, I’m finishing up my “Unfinished Heroes” series with…Sebring. I also have an idea that I hope will be epic. It would take a great deal of time, but I think I may just chuck all I have scheduled to write (for a spell) in order to sink my teeth into it. Could be risky. Could go crazy-awry. But life is all about jumping right in and hoping the waters are warm. I’ve done it before, and it very much worked for me. We shall see if I take that plunge!—Kara Kohn

Diversity rising

This was a landmark year for LGBTQ people, with the June Supreme Court ruling that same-sex marriage is a national right. With the popularity of television shows such as Orange Is the New Black bringing diversity even more into the public eye, could this lead to an upswing in diverse romance publishing?

Many publishers are looking for quality content that will appeal to their readership in general or have always eagerly embraced nonmainstream works. Others share that they specifically target multicultural romance submissions and have received manuscripts with potential. According to Avon’s Tsang, “We’re constantly looking to add more diversity to the Avon list.”

As for Interlude Press, diversity is its calling card, says publisher Candysse Miller, and it remains committed to introducing new voices and fresh perspectives to LGBTQ romance. This can be seen in the press’s upcoming lineup, which includes Alysia Constantine’s Sweet (Interlude, Feb. 2016), a love story about the unconventional courtship between a grieving pastry chef and an accountant who may have found the thing that’s been missing from his life.

Although libraries and readers are vocal about wanting more diversity in romance publishing, Vida Engstrand, associate director of communications at Kensington, shares her frustration with the slowing of sales for the company’s Dafina imprint, which is one of the only remaining African American imprints. She also notes that even diverse books that are favorably reviewed “are not selling on a sustainable level.”

According to Leah Hultenschmidt, editorial director of Grand Central’s Forever and Forever Yours imprints, “Ensuring diversity in our list and in our workplace is now part of Hachette Book Group’s mission statement,” as exemplified by releases from Kimberla Lawson Roby and Rochelle Alers, as well as newcomers like Elle Wright (His All Night, Forever, Nov.) and Kennedy Ryan (Until I’m Yours, Forever, Feb. 2016). Published earlier this year, Something True, a lesbian love story by Karelia Stetz-Waters, was “a bit of a sleeper hit.”

There are some publishers, such as Riptide and Dream­spinner, that publish only LGBTQ+/queer romance and will remain dedicated to nonmainstream titles. Riptide editorial director Franz Lyons argues, “We are admittedly thrilled that so many libraries are so actively expanding their catalog to include romance incorporating gender and sexual minorities, but we would publish it regardless.”

Among Riptide’s forthcoming titles are debut author Lauren Sattersby’s Rock N Soul (Jan. 2016), about a bellboy who receives a ghostly visit from the rock star who died when he brought him room service, and Christine D’Abo’s Rebound Remedy (Nov.), an M/M romance just in time for the holidays.

It is possible that we will see interest grow once erstwhile mainstream romance readers discover that themes in ­LGBTQ titles transcend sexual orientation and focus, like most romance, on the protagonists finding their HEA? “While sometimes a character’s queerness creates conflict, queerness is almost never the conflict in the romance, the tension keeping the lovers apart,” says Ruth Sternglantz, editorial and marketing consultant for Bold Strokes Books, which publishes exclusively LGBTQ ­literature. Among its new titles are Yolanda Wallace’s Break Point (Oct.), a lesbian historical set during World War II, and Karis Walsh’s Love on Tap (Feb. 2016), in which an injured archaeologist finds nothing redeeming in her frustrating sabbatical…except her sexy ­landlord.

More essentials

Historical is as popular as ever; here are some of the big titles libraries can bank on this season: Madeline Hunter’s Tall, Dark, and Wicked (Jove, Oct.), featuring a barrister who is used to getting what he wants from women, but his new love interest isn’t most women; a clean and wholesome read in Nancy Campbell Allen’s My Fair Gentleman (Shadow Mountain, Jan. 2016); Nicole Jordan’s The Art of Taming a Rake (Ballantine, Jan. 2016); Candace Camp’s Regency-set Enraptured (Pocket, Jan. 2016); Lisa Kleypas’s Cold-Hearted Rake (Avon, Nov.; see review, LJ 10/15/15), the entrée into her new Victorian series about the Ravenel family; and Jane Ashford’s Heir to the Duke (Sourcebooks Casablanca, Jan. 2016), in which an arranged wedding has Violet determined to show Nathaniel how to enjoy marriage, both in and out of the bedroom.

Then there’s Eloisa James’s My American Duchess (Avon, Feb. 2016), in which a duke desires a woman who has already jilted more men than any woman he has ever met; Stephanie Laurens’s The Lady’s Command (Mira: Harlequin, Dec.), a Regency-era high-seas adventure; and Amanda Quick’s ’Til Death Do Us Part (Berkley, Apr. 2016), Bk. 3 in her “Ladies of Lantern Street” series. Of course, romance addicts will know that Quick is a pseudonym of romance author and librarian Jayne Ann Krentz.

Finally, this time of year would not be the same if there weren’t the anticipated holiday romances to get readers into the spirit of things. This season’s gifts include Sasha Summers’s A Cowboy’s Christmas Reunion (Harlequin, Oct.); Lori Wilde’s I’ll Be Home for Christmas (Avon, Oct.); Heidi Cullinan’s Winter Wonderland (Samhain, Nov.); and Cindy Kirk’s Christmas in Good Hope (Montlake Romance, Dec.).

Self-pub, digital, & all that jazz

Following another year of libraries and publishers navigating the digital environment, there is reason to suggest that the future of e-publishing and independent publishing is bright, although opinions on the matter differ.

Forever’s Pierpont affirms that Hachette’s mission is “to publish great books well, and we continue to do that by looking for the best and brightest voices in the genre. Whether an author is self-published or a debut doesn’t matter to us.”

However, there is still some hesitation about acquiring self-published authors whole hog. Deb Werksman, editorial director at Sourcebooks Casablanca Fiction, contends, “I am extremely selective about self-published authors in this environment. I will only acquire an author I’m excited to work with and whom I think has the potential to be a team player.”

St. Martin’s has taken advantage of the opportunities that exist within the digital format and is taking risks that it wouldn’t have otherwise. “Ebooks have certainly opened the door for genre-bending and experimentation with wild, risky new story lines…. [I]n digital first, we can try things that bend the genre more,” says executive editor Monique Patterson.

More important, it seems as if publishers are finally taking note of the value that libraries provide in creating and fostering reading and that includes within the digital landscape. “Romance titles have the most checkouts of all of the digital titles bought by libraries versus other genres,” adds Patterson. “Patrons are definitely seeking out our titles and authors, which is terrific news.”

Never out of fashion

One of Kensington’s most exciting new projects is the July 2016 publication of Swedish author Simona Ahrnstedt’s All In. According to Alicia Condon, editorial director at Kensington Publishing, it’s the first-ever foreign-language romance novel acquired by an American publisher in translation. “Until now, romance has been entirely an American and English-language export. All In, an un-put-downable novel of revenge, power, and forbidden love, will put Swedish romance on the map along with Swedish mystery.”

Pick your poison. With multiple subgenres, types of heros and heroines, and plots to choose from, romance has you covered no matter what you fancy. In fact, an exciting development comes from website EverAfter Romance, which will be launching a new community site that is publisher-neutral and will offer exclusive content such as book reviews, guest posts, author interviews, excerpts, cover reveals, and author-created playlists. Furthermore, it’s not just books. It also covers romantic TV, film, and popular culture.

There is new publishing activity in romance every day. To quote Bob Dylan, “Romance never goes out of fashion.” This is an exciting time for libraries to be promoting their romance collections and experiencing their own circulation happily ever afters.

A word from an avid romance reader…

Library patron and romance reader Bev Antonides shares with us what draws her, like many of your patrons, to romance. “I love the idea of happily ever after. In this troubled world of ours, it just seems fitting, to read about happiness [and] love…escape for just a little while.” Antonides will read just about anything, but character development and romantic tension are key. “I enjoy reading about strong men and women alike, but when Cupid strikes, all bets are off.” And how exactly does she find new authors? “I discover new authors from my book club, friends, or the back of a book recommending similar authors. Unless they are one of my absolute favorite authors, which I will purchase for future reading. Mostly, I like to go to my local library. The librarians there got me started on romance and have been extremely resourceful.”

Feeding the Romance Hunger

AUTHOR TITLE PUBLISHER RELEASE
Aiken, G.A. Feel the Burn Zebra: Kensington Dec.
Allen, Nancy Campbell My Fair Gentleman Shadow Mountain Jan. 2016
Ashford, Jane Heir to the Duke Sourcebooks Casablanca Jan. 2016
Ashley, Katie Redemption Road Signet: NAL Oct.
Ashley, Kristen Walk Through Fire Forever: Grand Central Oct.
Banks, Maya Darkest Before Dawn Berkley Oct.
Banks, Maya Mastered Berkley Dec.
Bradley, Asa Maria Viking Warrior Rising Sourcebooks Casablanca Nov.
Bristol, Sidney Drive Zebra: Kensington Mar. 2016
Burton, Mary I’ll Never Let You Go Zebra: Kensington Oct.
Camp, Candace Enraptured Pocket Jan. 2016
Constantine, Alysia Sweet Interlude Feb. 2016
Cullinan, Heidi Winter Wonderland Samhain Nov.
D’Abo, Christine Rebound Remedy Riptide Nov.
Dane, Lauren Coming Back Forever: Grand Central Dec.
Davis, Vonnie Bearing It All Loveswept: Random Oct.
Eden, Cynthia Shattered Avon Oct.
Evans, Katy Legend Gallery Feb. 2016
Feehan, Christine Wild Cat Jove Nov.
Fox, Calista Burned Deep Griffin: St. Martin’s Oct.
Frank, Jacquelyn Bound in Darkness Ballantine Nov.
Freethy, Barbara Beautiful Storm Hyde Street: Fog City Oct.
Glines, Abbi The Best Goodbye Atria Dec.
Graham, Heather Flawless Mira: Harlequin Apr. 2016
Harrison, Thea Shadow’s End Berkley Dec.
Hoover, Colleen 9-Nov Atria Nov.
Hunter, Madeline Tall, Dark, and Wicked Jove Oct.
Jackson, Lisa After She’s Gone Kensington Dec.
James, Eloisa My American Duchess Avon Feb. 2016
Johnston, Sharon M. Divided City Owl Nov.
Jones, Lisa Renee Denial Gallery Nov.
Jordan, Nicole The Art of Taming a Rake Ballantine Jan. 2016
Kaye, Laura Ride Hard Avon Mar. 2016
Kennedy, Elle Midnight Revenge Signet: NAL Feb. 2016
Kirk, Cindy Christmas in Good Hope Montlake Romance Dec.
Kleypas, Lisa Cold-Hearted Rake Avon Nov.
Krentz, Jayne Ann Secret Sisters Berkley Dec.
Lauren, Christina Beautiful Boss Pocket Star Mar. 2016
Laurens, Stephanie The Lady’s Command Mira: Harlequin Dec.
MacAlister, Katie Dragon Storm Forever: Grand Central Nov.
MacAlister, Katie Dragon Soul Forever: Grand Central Mar. 2016
Martin, Kat Into the Fury Zebra: Kensington Feb. 2016
Me, Tara Sue The Exhibitionist NAL Nov.
Mills, Katrina All I Ever Wanted City Owl Jan. 2016
Quick, Amanda ’Til Death Do Us Part Berkley Apr. 2016
Redford, Kim A Cowboy Firefighter for Christmas Sourcebooks Casablanca Oct.
Rose, Karen Alone in the Dark Signet: NAL Feb. 2016
Ryan, Kennedy Until I’m Yours Forever: Grand Central Feb. 2016
Sattersby, Lauren Rock N Soul Riptide Jan. 2016
Summers, Sasha A Cowboy’s Christmas Reunion Harlequin Oct.
Todd, Anna Before Gallery Dec.
Walker, Shiloh Grimm’s End Samhain Oct.
Wallace, Yolanda Break Point Bold Strokes Oct.
Walsh, Karis Love on Tap Bold Strokes Feb. 2016
Ward, J.R. Blood Kiss Signet: NAL Dec.
Wilde, Lori I’ll Be Home for Christmas Avon Oct.
Wilder, Jasinda Madame X Berkley Oct.
Winters, Pepper Sin & Suffer Forever: Grand Central Jan. 2016
Wright, Elle His All Night Forever: Grand Central Nov.
Wylde, Joanna Reaper’s Fall Berkley Nov.
Yates, Maisey Strip You Bare Loveswept: Random Jan. 2016

Kara Kohn is Reference & Reader Services Librarian, Plainfield Public Library District, IL. She has worked with adults for nine years, with a special focus on readers’ services and digital books, and has been reviewing e-original romances posted as Xpress Reviews for LJ since 2011.

This article was published in Library Journal. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

CONNECTING INDIE AUTHORS, LIBRARIES AND READERS
SELF-eLearn More
SELF-e is an innovative collaboration between Library Journal and BiblioBoard® that enables authors and libraries to work together and expose notable self-published ebooks to voracious readers looking to discover something new. Finally, a simple and effective way to catalog and provide access to ebooks by local authors and build a community around indie writing!
Share