A friend of mine who was gently skeptical about romance novels expressed an interest in trying out one that I thought was especially good. Based on what I knew about her (she wanted something fairly lighthearted and escapist, and she can’t abide stupid heroines), I gave her a copy of Lord of Scoundrels.
She just wrote to me—she liked it! Stayed up reading way too late for two nights, even. BOO YAH and happy dancing all around.
I’m now plotting a strategic gift package of other smart romance novels that aren’t too horribly angsty and that feature strong, capable heroines. (Though I’m now afraid I might’ve spoiled her—Jessica Trent and Sebastian Dain are a difficult act to follow.) Here’s a short list:
1. Midsummer Moon by Laura Kinsale.
2. To Love and the Cherish by Patricia Gaffney
3. Miss Wonderful by Loretta Chase
4. Mr. Impossible by Loretta Chase
5. Anyone but You by Jennifer Crusie (if she likes Crusie’s style, oh man is she going to be inundated with suggestions)
6. Wild at Heart by Patricia Gaffney
I’m also contemplating giving her one of Sharon Shinn’s Samaria novels.
I’m really happy she gave Lord of Scoundrels a chance, because she picked up my copy of Decadent by Shayla Black (which I need to review after finals) and she was stunned at how terrible it was.
All About Romance has had discussions in the past about conversion kits—books you’d give to a skeptic to show them that underneath all that man-titty and heaving bosomage is a genre worth reading and exploring. What’s in YOUR kit?