Help A Bitch Out

HaBO: Air Force MP Needs Romance to Read

This request will make someone swoon. I already did, I freely admit it. Stephanie writes:

Help!  I have a friend who is an Air Force MP.  Big burly Alpha guy.  (pause for visual image to form) 

Anyway he is currently deployed overseas and asked me to send him some books.  I thought I was going to have to buy out the Tom Clancy section at the bookstore but then he admitted to me that he used to enjoy Jackie Collins’ books but now needs something else (along the same lines) to read.  He’s an undercover romance reader!  (I found him, get your paws off!)

I was never a huge fan of Ms. Collins’ so I need your and/or the bitchery’s help.  For someone who liked that style what would you recommend in current authors?

How awesome is that? I love requests like this. I asked for clarification as to what it was that he liked about the Jackie Collins books- the Hollywood, the smarm, the sex or the intricate wtf plot? Stephanie surmises that “it was the sex (#1) the intricate wtf plot (#2) and then the smarm.  Hollywood was probably incidental.”

I’d suggest Maggie Marr’s Hollywood Girl’s Club novels, as they are much better written and casted than Collins’ novels, and feature strong women. But for fun and intelligent super sexy contemporary-set romances, Julie James’ Something About You might also appeal – minus the obvious Hollywood glitz, unless US attorneys in Chicago are extreme glitz and I don’t know it.

What do you recommend?


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  1. 1
    Steph says:

    My dad likes Elizabeth Lowell, Nora Roberts, and Linda Howard :)

  2. 2
    KellyMaher says:

    Sparkles by Louise Bagshawe:

    Crossing decades and continents, SPARKLES is the totally compelling story of the Massot family. Fabulously wealthy, internationally adored, the Massots own one of the last great aristocratic jewellery firms in Paris.

    But where is its owner Pierre, missing presumed dead for 15 years? And what will happen to his beautiful young widow Sophie? The answers lie rooted in the past and form part of the future – in a way no-one could ever have guessed…

  3. 3
    Moriah Jovan says:

    Heh. The soap opera in book form is alive and well!

    The Proviso (book 1) by moi


    Stay (book 2) by moi

    If he reads electronically, I’ll send him a free e-copy of each. Email me! moriah at moriahjovan dot com.

  4. 4

    Send him Linda Howard’s Kill and Tell.  That book converted my super macho husband into a romance reader.

  5. 5
    closetcrafter says:

    I also made my husband read Kill and Tell as well as Mr. Perfect. I think the other one I made him read was Cry No More (?). Almost talked him into Outlander.

    I think if your dude can get past the female POV, any guy could like and respect the integrity of the character of Jamie and the fact thait is a series chock full o’ history.

  6. 6
    JoanneL says:

    I immediately thought of Susan Elizabeth Phillips and especially her CHICAGO STARS BOOKS.
    You got your sexxin’, your (fairly) intricate plots and your well done smarmin’.

    He can also say that the books are about ball players— in case someone is stupid enough to make fun of a man with a club and a gun.

  7. 7

    Linda Howard, hands down.
    Kill and Tell as some have already recommended and All the Queens Men (the sequel). My Prefect, Dream Man, you name it.

  8. 8

    That would be *Mr. Perfect in my previous post… Should read before submitting.

  9. 9
    Becky says:

    In case he hasn’t heard, Jackie Collins has a new book out, Poor Little Bitch Girl.

  10. 10
    Kate Jones says:

    How about the Lisa Kleypas contemporaries?  I got my boyfriend to read Sugar Daddy and he actually enjoyed it.  Again, though, he’ll have to get past the female POV…

  11. 11
    Caroline says:

    Jilly Cooper, if you can find her books in print. He may also like Janet Dailey. Have you thought about Danielle Steele’s older stuff, like Jewels, Toxic Bachelors, Kaleidescope, Message from Nam, Daddy, Fine Things… I could go on…

    There is also Tilly Bagshawe, and my personal favorite, Kim Gruenenfelder. he might also like some of the Harlequin Intrigue category, since they are short, fun whodunit reads with lots of rumpusy-hot shenanigans and heroic deeds-o’-epicness.

    I ? used book stores for some of the older titles, and out of print awesomeness that would be less expensive for you to stock up (read: books in BULK for your friend! And you!)

  12. 12
    Lisa says:

    Elizabeth Lowell and Iris Johannsen have some romantic suspense in this vein. Of Lowell’s jewel series (Amber Beach/Jade Island/Pearl Cove/Midnight on Ruby Bayou) I thought Pearl Cove was best and it can be read out of order.

    Alternately, for more 80s goodness – Judith McNaught’s Perfect? Lots of action and lots of sex.

    Somebody who’s read more Suzanne Brockmann than I have might be able to make a better recommendation from her backlist, too.

  13. 13

    How about the Victoria Dahl contemporaries?

  14. 14
    Juliana says:

    Lori Foster has series about the MMA fighters, Back in Black, Hard to Handle and Havoc – all from both male and female POV and lots of sex and a litte bit of mystery.  My dad liked the Victoria Dahl contemporaries.

  15. 15
    DONNA says:

    Hands down first choice: the Crazy series by Tara Janzen. Smokin hot sex, muscle cars and shoot outs, what’s not for a guy to like? Then, definitely Shannon McKenna.

  16. 16

    Has he tried any historicals? If not, they may be just the thing to sweep him out of today’s stress. My husband really enjoyed Joanna Bourne’s Spymaster books.

  17. 17
    GoShawdy says:

    Isn’t Judith Krantz along the same line?

    I do love thrift shopping because there are always Jackie Collins novels to be found, btw. :)

  18. 18
    Kathy says:

    Makes me want to go out and buy a bunch of books for him and send a care package myself.  How cute.

  19. 19
    Carin says:

    How about J.D. Robb’s In Death books?  I’m going through them now.  Of course they are more 1.) intricate plot/mystery 2.)sex.  Very addictive.

  20. 20
    Nadia says:

    Some good recommendations already.  How about Sandra Brown?  Some of her recent focus as much on the male lead as the female, if not more, and plenty melodramatic.  Karen Robards’ contemporaries.

  21. 21

    I was sure someone would have suggested Jennifer Crusie before I got all the way to the bottom of the comments!  Almost any of her recent books would be highly recommended.  In historicals, it’s hard to go wrong with Loretta Chase and Lord of Scoundrels, again.

  22. 22

    If he likes the glammy-trashy factor of Jackie Collins (I know I do), send him a copy of Valley of the Dolls. I know it gets the cold shoulder from a lot of romance readers, but I frigging love that book. Classic.

  23. 23
    Lil' Deviant says:

    Hands down first choice: the Crazy series by Tara Janzen. Smokin hot sex, muscle cars and shoot outs, what’s not for a guy to like?

    I second!  They all take place in a 24 hour period.  Real fast passed.

  24. 24
    TeeBee says:

    This is a little out there but if he likes the sex and the plot you might send him some of the paranormal series. The Black Dagger BrotherHood and Midnight Breed come to mind. Also if you are feeling particularly generous load them all up on a Kindle and send it over. That way the other military guys won’t know what he’s reading.

  25. 25
    Estara says:

    I second Moriah Jovan’s recommendation of her books ^^. I think they’re better written than Jackie Collins, though. But the guy has to like or tolerate Libertarian political views and discussions about Ayn Rand and Laura Ingalls Wilder ^^. And Mormon cultural upbringing.

    Being German and not having had any contact with any of this, it was a bit strange (but no more than fantasy or scifi is). The characters and stories are really strong.

  26. 26
    SandyH says:

    What about Susan Brockmann. If you want to get a variety what about the first book in J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series or maybe Bitten by Kelly Armstrong (POV may be a problem here).  I belong to Paperbackswap and would be glad to sent a few books if available to him.

  27. 27
    Moriah Jovan says:

    Estara, the check is in the mail. ;)

  28. 28
    Lexie says:

    My dad loves Jackie Collins and thus I had her entire oeuvre (thru the 70s/80s) growing up. I have no problem. I love both Lucky and Chances, if your friend is down w/ that sort of thing. Also, as Steph at the beginning mentioned, Elizabeth Lowell. I got sucked into her writing w/ Midnight in Ruby Bayou. The rest in that series are equally hot and spicy, not to mention well written. Might also look into Lori Foster’s Say No to Joe (my alltime fave from her). I love supporting men in their closet romance enjoyment.

  29. 29
    Cathy says:

    Lora Leigh….to raise the tempeture.  Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series is hysterical and steamy…

  30. 30
    Chez says:

    I second the Jilly Cooper books, starting with Riders, Rivals, Polo, etc. These are big arsed books chock full of complicated casts of characters. The people aren’t so perfectly behaved, the plots are completely wtf and they are sooooooo satisfying to read. Most recent book was Wicked about two schools in rural England, one a public and one a comprehensive, the kids, their teachers, the parents … all running amok and behaving inappropriately. Loved it. These books are set in England and from what I’ve heard are a tad hard to find in the US, but the Book Depository will probably have them and they ship anywhere free.

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