Billie Bloebaum, romance book buyer for Powell’s in the Portland Airport, is exercising the power of her handselling abilities online, and fields requests for books to read. Thanks, Billie!
Today’s request is from Cara: I’m looking for some help finding romances with a particular kind of pairing.
I would like books with heroines who are smart, rational, and happy, and generally unconcerned with “proper” social behavior, and heroes who are equally smart and rational as well as kind. Basically your anti -angry boner man. Books where these two pair up because they both problem-solve in adult and unconventional ways, and where the sexy bits are clearly driven by genuine respect and admiration between the protagonists.
Any setting works, and any time period, with the exception that I would prefer no cowboys, no vampires and no werewolves. Additionally, lesbian romances are totally welcome, so long as the two protagonists adhere to the same character requirements
For context, my favorite examples of this have been in Amanda Quick’s post 1993 books and Candace Camp’s “Suddenly”.
It seems like these would be very standard sorts of romances, but every time I walk into a bookstore lately, I’m inundated with dark, scary looking books, with a few rapey-sounding historicals scattered about for variety.
Billie says: “Off the top of my head:
Lauren Willig (Or should that be “Jauren”?)
[Fortunately] I haven’t come across a lot of rape-y historicals recently.Yeah, there are nine bazillion paranormals out there and plenty of historicals with flibbertigibbet heroines and/or super-Alpha heroes, but the rape-y types seem to be thin on the ground. (Not that this is a bad thing.)”
What are your grownups-in-love go-to romance recommendations, where the conflict is character driven, not role driven or paranormal wtfery driven?