Pick a Romance for Our Host

You know those sets of soaps that people give as hostess gifts? I need a host gift – specifically, a web host gift. Seems the fine folks at Esosoft who work in the tech support department and answer all my crazy email have never read a romance. They helped us out big time like damn and mon dieu back in January, and for some of the folks who were working with me, this site was their first exposure to the romance genre. So I figure, it’s time for them to experience the best of the genre.

Robert, who works tech support with other awesome folks, says that he, and many of his coworkers, are fans of mystery/detective and some sci-fi. So, what romance novel would you recommend? What’s new and rocking your socks? (Note: house rule – you are welcome to pimp your own books, but please also suggest at least one other book that is not written by yourself or any of your known aliases. Thanks!)

Back when I sent Paul Tolme a romance novel, the most frequently mentioned book was Northern Lights by whats-her-name. Nora Roberts. That’s right. Anyway. What would you recommend for tech support at our hosting service? I aim to send them an awesome romance.

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  1. 1
    Isacat says:

    If they like misterys, perhaps Mariah Stewart, Allison Brennan, Suzanne Brockmann… something like that.

  2. 2

    Driven by Eve Kenin—-a little bit romance, a little bit Road Warrior.

  3. 3
    Rox says:

    I always like me some Jenny Crusie.  Maybe Agnes and the Hitman is mysterious enough for them.

  4. 4
    Angela James says:

    The first two that came to mind were Allison Brennan and Driven by Eve Kenin, both of which I see have already been mentioned.

    Naked in Death would be another choice, since it combines romance and mystery with some touches of the future.

  5. 5
    Sara Thacker says:

    Lisa Gardner would be a good choice. My book, Coiled Revenge, is very James Patterson’ish with a twist of romance.

  6. 6
    KTG says:

    Can’t go wrong with Diana Gabaldon.

  7. 7
    Leeann Burke says:

    Well if they like sci-fi they might like Rowena Cherry. I’d suggest they start with FORCED MATE and INSUFFICIENT MATING MATERIAL. There is also THE JAGUAR LEGACY by Maureen Fisher for the suspenseful/mystery readers. I really enjoyed that paranormal romantic suspense.

    However my favorites are HIGHLAND WARRIOR by Hannah Howell (who can resist a heroine who carries 11 knives on her for protection) and IF ONLY IN MY DREAMS by Wendy Markham.

  8. 8
    Kelly says:

    I would recommend Cruisie’s Welcome to Temptation.  A really good intro book to the field.  It is funny, sexy, has a great mystery.  Two other good choices would be Robb’s Naked in Death and Brigg’s Moon Called.  In fact, these three together would be a good newbie kit.

  9. 9
    Kerry says:

    Techies might also like the Victorian era white boy ninja component of The Shadow And The Star. Put a post-it on it describing it like that.

  10. 10
    Trix says:

    I second Naked in Death.

    Also, Bujold – Curse of Chalion and Paladin of Souls.

    I think techies will like SF/Fantasy elements, just to stereotype a bit (I’m a techie, so there you go).

  11. 11
    Joanne says:

    For people who are looking into a series for the first time it would be Robb/Robert’s LOYALTY IN DEATH, lots of action.. and romance of course.

    Linda Howard’s MR. PERFECT, which is funny, sexy and makes fun of—- and has fun with—- looking for the perfect man… and has a murder mystery.

    For Sci-fi fans it would be any of the Guardian series by Meljean Brook, because they have lots of everything—- history, wars, evil villains—- romance, of couse——and you can start any where in the series.

    submit word: short56…. that is such a puzzle.

  12. 12
    Rinda says:

    Gotta agree on Naked In Death.  Excellent romance, sci-fi and crime.

    You could always send the traditional hostess soaps along with.  Creepy baby hand soap.  (wg)

    http://vitamindesignshop.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=30_31&products_id=242

    My image word is deep69.  heh

  13. 13
    Leslie says:

    I’d recommend Linnea Sinclair’s Down Home Zombie Blues to a Sci/Fi fan. Also the Patricia Briggs books.
    If they do the ebook thing (and are a little adventuresome—wink, wink) I think Morgan Hawke’s books on LooseId are great.
    I agree with everyone, can’t go wrong with Crusie. When friends say, “come on, what about historicals?” I recommend Julia Quinn, Loretta Chase, or Lisa Kleypas, depending on the person.

  14. 14
    lys says:

    I’d go with Revenge Gifts by Cindy Cruciger. Why? It’s a great read, it’s a romance, and the JavaScript at the beginning of each chapter is correct.

    Also, some of the methods of revenge may appeal to your tech staff’s sense of absurd.

  15. 15
    lys says:

    Now that I think about it…

    You may also want to consider:
    Clockwork Heart by Dru Pagliassotti
    Agnes and the Hitman: Jennifer Cruise & Bob Mayer
    Linnea Sinclair (Any of her stuff)
    Lilith Saintclair’s Dante Valentine series.

  16. 16
    Jaci Burton says:

    I’d recommend

    Naked in Death by JD Robb

    or Allison Brennan – start with the No Evil trilogy.

  17. 17
    Deb Kinnard says:

    Though it might be OOP by now (I doubt it), KATHERINE by Anya Seton’s my first choice. Good romance, great male lead (mwahh). And Bujold is a good choice.  If there’s a single female techie, anything by Catherine Anderson.

  18. 18
    Joanne says:

    Well ick. Rinda that takes creepy to a whole new level… but I have a few people in mind that may be getting just that exact gift… thanks.

    http://vitamindesignshop.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=30_31&products_id=242

    submit word: arms95…. okay, I can roll with that.

  19. 19
    Robinjn says:

    Since I’m just finishing up Shallow Grave, (as in, I picked it up from B&N;Wednesday, read an hour Weds night, and finished it last night in a frenzy) how about Blood Ties? Not a traditional romance but strong romantic elements along with a great storyline. And Martinez? (pant, pant) Armstrong does a great job of making a hero sexy without having super-explicit sex scenes.

    Another series that has good romantic elements but is more of a mystery is the Dana Stabenow Liam Campbell or Kate Sugak books.

    For more traditional romance mixed with mystery I second the nomination of Linda Howard’s Mr. Perfect or the first In Death book by Robb/Roberts.

    Finally, for more hard-core Sci-Fi with romantic elements, Karen Traviss’ City of Pearl.

    My submit word? still67. Quit adding 20 years!

  20. 20
    Tae says:

    As a science fiction/fantasy reader and a friend to many tech geeks I’d recommend the Mercy series by Patricia Briggs.  however, this is not a traditional romance in that the heroine and hero end up together in the first book.  I like that it’s a slow romance. 

    Also possibly Catherine Asaro.  She’s a sci/fi romance author who is also a physicist.  The first book in the Skolian Empire series is Primary Inversion which is a very good book.

  21. 21
    sevendeadlyfun says:

    For mystery fans, I definitely 23rd the In Death series. It’s got romance, but enough of a mystery plot that the romance isn’t the only thing holding the book together.

  22. 22

    If they are into mystery stuff and SF, I’d say the IN DEATH books.  If they like urban fantasy, maybe the DARKYN books by Lynn Viehl.

  23. 23
    Rinda says:

    Oh yeah, Primary Inversion by Catherine Asaro blew me away!  Hard sci-fi and romance—gotta love it. 

    Joanne, I share the creepy soaps every chance I get.  They crack me up.

  24. 24
    Rachel says:

    Ooh, Deb! Katherine is SUCH a great book! And it’s not OOP! It and lots of other Seton books can still be found in B&N;, all with shiny new covers.

    As for reccs, I have to go with a lot of other people and suggest Naked in Death. Or maybe The Reef, also by La Nora. That’s one of my faves, and I never think it gets enough love!

  25. 25
    lys says:

    How about Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels series? My husband loved those and he is a Network Engineer and uber-geek.

    really. trust me.

    I am just a lowly programmer and I will never achieve his geek-ness!

    Come to think of it, some of his D&D;buddies liked the series as well.

  26. 26

    The Asaro recommendations are good—solid sf with strong romance.  I’d also second the Linnea Sinclair recommendations.  For a techie blast from the past, consider “Hot Shots” by Susan Elizabeth Phillips.  Sure it reads like a historical now, but this wonderful story of the birth of the PC movement has laughs, romance and tech heroes.

    Another nerd hero/tech/mystery combo is Jayne Ann Krentz’s Trust Me.  Sam Stark understands fractals, but not women.  As another of his wedding days goes south, he meets Desdemona Wainwright and her theatrical family and suddenly chaos theory takes on a whole new meaning.  There are laughs too, and I especially adored the babysitter, Macbeth.

    Finally, if you’re talking SF romance, Lois McMaster Bujold should be on the short list. Shards of Honor is solid SF with a strong romance at the core.  Bujold and Asaro are both Hugo and Nebula award winners, so that boosts their cred with the non-romance SF readers.

  27. 27
    Corrine says:

    For a mix of fun, mystery, and romance, you should send What the Lady Wants by Jennifer Crusie or Hidden Star by Nora Roberts. Both are great detective stories with a sizzling couple and the best characteristics of each writer’s abilities.

  28. 28
    RStewie says:

    Anything by Jennifer Cruise.  She’s a wonderful example.

  29. 29
    Becky says:

    I can’t believe that no one has mentioned our DA BWAHA winner- The Rest Falls Away by Colleen Gleason.  Techies- at least the ones I know- love Buffy, and TRFA has been described as Buffy does Regency.

  30. 30
    Melissa says:

    I’d recommend Shanna Swendson’s “Enchanted Inc.”  series.  It doesn’t have much of a romance, but it does have a lot of magic and a good storyline, which should appeal to D&D;fans.  I also still like the idea of a character whose superpower is that she doesn’t have any magic at all.

    Coincidentally, her fourth book in the series called “Don’t Hex with Texas” comes out on Tuesday.  If they guys like the first books they won’t have to wait a year for the next one.  :)

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