I enjoy series because they often have exponentially greater depth than a single stand-alone novel. I like revisiting beloved characters and universes and getting to read as the universe is expanded.
My reading preferences often have me reading romance and fantasy novels, so I recommend romance series here, and I also recommend fantasy series. When I have time or read more series, I’ll add more books to the series recommendations here.
Follow the links for my personally recommended romance and fantasy series.
Here are some favorites that are currently available at bargain prices. These books will sell out quickly, but for the time being most are actually cheaper than the freshly released mass market paperback versions of the same book. This is a great opportunity to get hardcover books into your home library and on your shelves. I’m a sucker for hardback books.
Unless listed otherwise, these are all bargain price hardcover copies from Amazon.com.
Jayne Castle has released several cute book trailers (video ads) for her books in the Ghost Hunters series. I like them because they feature the dust bunnies, which just happen to look exactly as I pictured them! My favorite is the Dark Light trailer because of how it incorporates the teaser for the story itself. The dust bunnies are cute, but it’s the book’s story that appeals to me most.
This book trailer is for Jayne Castle’s Silver Master. It features Araminta the dustbunny.
This book trailer is for Jayne Castle’s Dark Light, and features Elvis the dust bunny.
Silver Master (Cadence City – Davis Oakes, Celinda Ingram) :: There’s a neat video trailer for Silver Master
Dark Light (Crystal City Guild – John Fontana, Sierra McIntyre) :: Watch the cute book trailer for Dark Light
Johanna Lindsey has been a perennial favorite author for me since the early 1990s. Many of her books are in my all-time favorite book lists and they’re up there are the very top of the list.
But there’s a definite but here. Sometimes she writes wonderful stuff. And sometimes she doesn’t. Her bad books tend to be very bad and a while back I finally gave up on the hardcover editions in favor of waiting for the paperbacks to arrive in the bookstores.
(Here’s a trick for you. If you wait until right after the last hardcover release is out in paperback for the first time and the new hardcover release is just out, you can often get the hardcover copy of the next older book at a bargain price on Amazon. I’ve gotten several hardcovers of Amanda Quick this way for less money than the newly released paperback version. See this page for a list of current hardcover bargains of some favorites.)
I’ve read more of Stephanie James’s books than I can actually remember, and I blame that on the fact that I was heavily into Silhouette Desire romance novels back when I was a teenager. At that time in my life, I rarely paid attention to who I was reading, since all my books were by way of the local library and a few book-loving relatives. I read what I had on hand.
That said, there are several titles that stand out and that I actually remember from the list below.
Elizabeth Boyle, author of English historical romance novels, is a more recent addition to my favorites. It’s always nice to find an author who writes great books and also has a backlist large enough to keep me happy for a while. That’s been the case with her.
I read One Night of Passion a few weeks ago and decided I had to read more, especially once I found out many of her books are connected by family and repeat characters. If you’ve spent any time on this site at all, you’ve already figured out that I love series.
So far, Elizabeth Boyle writes only historical, and frankly I hope that’s where she stays. Her writing is fresh and fun and I so enjoy her characters!
Of course, there’s the first book by Elizabeth Boyle that I read, One Night of Passion. How can it not be a favorite since it introduced me to both the author and the Danvers family? I loved Georgie and Colin, and everyone else who played a part in the story.
Another favorite is Something About Emmaline, with a hero who has invented a fake wife for himself to keep marriage-minded females away. I love the way he’s introduced to his suddenly real fake-wife-Emmaline. Emmaline was a lovely character and Sedgwick was totally entertaining.
There are also quite a few of Elizabeth Boyle’s books available for the Kindle.
Elizabeth Boyle also has one of the best author websites I’ve seen. There you can find family trees, book connections and lots of behind the scenes details about her wonderful books. www.elizabethboyle.com
It seems to me that this book marked a turning point in the types of stories Johanna Lindsey began writing. The books before, I can take or leave, the books after, I have almost always enjoyed tremendously–many of which I still reread every so often.
Gentle Rogue introduced me to the Malory clan–I went back later and read Tender Rebel, which I liked, and Love Only Once, which I didn’t care for much. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that this book is the single most important book in the Malory Family series. Without Georgina and her brothers, three of the following books would be missing their heroes.
I haven’t read tons of pirate romances, but I’ve always enjoyed this one. There are a few others that come to mind, but when I think pirates, I think James Malory–who would remind me to call him a Gentleman Pirate.
Gentle Rogue overflows with humor. There’s a magical quality to this book that brings me back time and again to James’ and George’s romance. If you never read another Malory book, you shouldn’t miss this one.
Even though I loved The Magic of You and have read it several times, I can’t deny that I have issues with it. Amy is young–seventeen–and she’s bound and determined to have Warren Anderson as her husband. The thing is, she wants to change him back into the man she supposes he was before he became embittered by a love gone wrong.
It’s funny to watch Warren try to deal with Amy, because she wants him and she isn’t afraid to tell him. He, on the other hand, has to deal with the fact that she’s a beloved niece of the Malory men and nearly 18 years younger than him. No matter what happens, if he gives in to his desire, he’s going to look like the seducer of an innocent.
My problems weren’t with the age, or the theme. Amy’s character just seemed to be walking that fine line between impetuous, determined debutante out to get her man, and stalker. In the end, she gets away with it because I loved Warren enough to overlook a few faults with Amy.
A Loving Scoundrel brought to an end Jeremy’s scoundrel ways. He needs a thief to pull off a burglary and he gets Danny. When she loses her position with her band of orphans because the leader thinks she’s too pretty for a boy, she goes to Jeremy for a job as a maid. Jeremy agrees, with the absolute intentions of seducing her into his bed.
Danny’s accent/dialect was great and I enjoyed reading Jeremy’s story. The ending was a little rushed, and honestly, there’s a place near the end that didn’t make much sense–it should have taken pages, but it was glossed over in a few paragraphs. However, the rest of the book made up for it on the whole, and I will imagine I’ll be rereading this one sometime.
Gabrielle has been sent to London to find herself a husband. When Drew accidentally-on-purpose ruins her chances of making a good match by sullying her reputation, she decides on a little revenge by proving what a pirate she is.
The best parts of this book definitely begin once Gabrielle has set out on her revenge. Unlike many of Lindsey’s past novels, this hero and heroine rarely have any ill befall them and the book loses a lot of steam just from lack of follow-through on what could have been great captor-captive stuff. There are many missed opportunities for Gabrielle to have a little extra revenge, but she seems a bit faint hearted when it comes to carrying it out. So, in the end, there’s not a lot for her and Drew to overcome other than his generic resistance to marriage.
I would have loved to have spent more time seeing the story from Drew’s perspective, although Gabby was a great character and interesting enough that I didn’t ever get bored with her, only occasionally disappointed in her inability to squeeze some remorse out of Drew for what he’d done so thoughtlessly to her reputation.
I got a kick out of several scenes in the book, proving this as one of Lindsey’s more successful humorous novels of late. One scene in particular, where Gabby ends up on her rear, shocked a laugh out of me and I loved that.
Captive of My Desires was a nice addition to the Malory series, but certainly not up to par with Gentle Rogue or Tender Rebel.
I can’t even begin to describe how much I adore this book. I was a teen when I bought it at my local grocery store. The cover alone was enough to entice me. (See the image on this page. Isn’t it cute?)
The premise is simple. Tedra comes to a planet looking for barbarians who can fight other barbarians who have taken over her homeworld. She finds them. But they’re barbarians, of the sort that that don’t like the clothes she wears or her forward ways. Challen, barbarian extraordinaire, immediately orders her to remove her warrior’s clothes, even if that means she’s got to stand around naked. Tedra refuses. She challenges him to a fight, loses (partly her own doing because she doesn’t actually want to hurt him), and ends up as Challen’s bedroom slave for a month.
The book is too cute to describe accurately. There’s no great science here, and reality is on a planet far far away from Challen’s homeworld, but I have never cared. The characters are so compelling and the storyline so charming that I wouldn’t change a thing.
Tedra’s and Challen’s daughter Shanelle is all grown up and she isn’t that keen to take on life as a warrior’s woman. Although she has plans to escape life with a warrior (if escape becomes necessary), Challen has other ideas for his daughter after it becomes clear that she’s gotten a little too friendly with a visiting warrior.
Although this story in no way compares to Warrior’s Woman for quality and excitement and just plain fun, Keeper of the Heart is a really good book. There’s some spacefaring excitement in this one, and also some fun scenes when Shanelle gets caught in the middle of a gender war.
It’s hard to say how much of a disappointment this particular book was. I expected great things of Dalden’s story–I didn’t expect to find myself reading about Earth and a woman who is so resistant to the idea that life exists out in the universe that she imagines she’s trapped in some kind of habitat with a delusional hero. There was so much potential for this book, and I honestly feel that almost all of it was squandered. Too much description of past events, too little tension between Brittany and Dalden.
However, I am thinking about rereading the book, which I’ve never done, so maybe there was something there that I missed the first time. I’m ever hopeful.