GS vs. STA: Filling Up the Kindle

I received a request from Stephanie, who is looking for a reading list, so I’m breaking out the Good Shit vs. Shit To Avoid category to help her build a full and happy Kindle:

I’m a female soldier about to deploy and need to fill up the old
Kindle…..any suggestions? I’m looking for series with lots of books, in
particular, as opposed to just individual books. My favorites would be more
along the lines of stories about pioneers/Old West, but anything that
doesn’t have to do with the military or soldiers would work…I’m looking
for escapism here from my daily life……those smoking hot soldiers with
abs of steel that most of my civilian friends envision I spend my days with
are usually just kids I have to take care of and keep out of trouble (and
probably are just as annoying to me as that guy on the other side of their
cubicle wall). Thanks!

Stephanie’s favorite pioneer/old west romance is Harper’s Bride by Alexis Harrington, but she also loves YA, “unless it involves the heroine getting married or thinking about marriage before she’s out of high school.”

Do you have any ideas for Stephanie’s reading list? Let’s make her Kindle rock and rock hard. And stay safe Stephanie!


Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Gabrielle says:

    Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa – three in the series with a fourth coming out at the end of the year. They are the most amazing teen books I have ever read!

  2. 2
    Miranda says:

    Not a romance, but Steve Hockensmith’s “Holmes on the Range” mystery series about 2 cowboy brothers, one of whom wants to be a Sherlock Holmes-style detective, is both hilarious and occasionally poignant.  books=4 or 5

    Romance: Lauren Willig’s Pink Carnation series (not Western, but certainly not military)

    Lots of people don’t like Janet Evanovich anymore, but I do, and there are 17 Stephanie Plum books.

    Thank you for your service, Stephanie. Good luck.

  3. 3
    Nadia says:

    Do you like PNR at all?  Most of the long series I can think of come from there.  Marjorie Liu, Meljean Brook, Christine Feehan, J.R. Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, MaryJanice Davidson.

    J.D. Robb’s “In Death” series is very long, if you like mystery/suspense set in the near future.

    I second the “Pink Carnation” series.  Also, Deanna Raybourn’s “Lady Julia Grey” mysteries are first-person mysteries set in Victorian England (and India for the latest).  There are only four, but they are enjoyable.

    Sorry I can’t help with the Western, the last I read in that subgenre was Elizabeth Lowell’s “Only” historical romance series, and that was a loooong time ago.  And my kiddos are still in the middle zone with Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, LOL. 

    Be safe, good luck, and thank you.

  4. 4
    Debbie says:

    Unfortunately, don’t have any Western ideas, but I would love to be able to send a kindle book (now that that’s a feature) to you Stephanie, or to other service women in your same position. Any books you would like? Any idea how to make this happen for other service women?

    Oh, and another idea came to me. Not Western, but the Viking time travel series by Sandra Hill usually makes me pee my pants with laughter.

  5. 5
    Chelsea says:

    In teen reads I recommend Rachel Vincent’s Soul Screamers serie.

    Also for historical novel of the pioneer variety try Susan Donati’s Wilderness Series. I can’t say enough good things about the first book in particular, Into the Wilderness.

  6. 6
    Sadiana says:

    Sadly, I’m not up on any western romance. Sorry. If she’s up for some dark fantasy, I recommend The Black Jewels Trilogy (“Daughter of the Blood,” “Heir to the Shadows,” and “Queen of the Darkness”) by Anne Bishop. Great escapism there. It can be painful, dark, deep, and heartbreaking, but it’s also funny, caring, wonderful, and loving. Frankly, it is one of the best series I have ever read. The characters get to you and stick with you, and it is amazing. Anne Bishop has vastly expanded the world past these three original novels, but the others are not essential to understanding the trilogy. (Of the others: One book is set long before the series; one anthology has bits set before, during, and after the series; 3 books are set after the series, and another anthology just came out. The other books in the series may vary in lead characters, but the world is so fascinating, I just want to know more.)

  7. 7
    Sabrina D. says:

    For a western series try Sarah McCarty’s Promises series. And Beth Williamson’s Devils on Horseback is great too.

    I second the J.D. Robb series as well!

  8. 8
    ev says:

    Well, that leaves out the Virgin River stuff by Robyn Carr.

    I second the Plum stuff.

    For YA, Tamora Pierce has a whole series of books, in 3’s and 4’s, that are all hooked together in some form. Even tho my daughter is no longer a teen, I still read them. And you don’t have to worry about the heroines wanting to do nothing but get married.

    Throw a little sci-fi in there and you can do Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden stuff- modern day cowboy, complete with Hat, and Wizard’s Staff. And gun.

    Good luck, stay safe, keep your head down, your eyes open, your weapon clean, and your flack jacket and helmet on, come home. Please.

  9. 9

    I have to say I truly enjoy Ruth Ann Nordin’s historical romances from pioneer era. I love her Nebraska Historical Romance series. She also has some good contemporary books. I’d suggest anything by Hannah Howell, her Murray and new series rock. However if she’s looking for pioneer time books The Wild Rose Press has the Cactus Line . She might find quite a few good books there.

  10. 10

    Hi Stephanie!

    I loved loved loved Ruthless Heart by Emma Lang.  It is set out West, and the sequel, Restless Heart features the sister of the heroine in Ruthless.  This author also has a set of historical romances (about 7 ?) written as Beth Williamson, that revolves around heroes after a war that is very popular, called the Devils on Horseback, then another series that revolves around a family called the Mallory Family series.  I’ve not read those but own many of them (sitting in the TBR).  I think if you checked out Beth Williamson/Emma Langs website you would find a lot to load on your Kindle.

    I’ve also enjoyed Sarah McCarty’s Promises series (if you can get beyond the AWFUL covers).

    I know you said you prefer Old West/Pioneers, but I HIGHLY recommend Lorelei James Rough Riders series, surrounding a family of cowboys.  LOVE this series!  It is fabulous and would urge you to give them a try…but be warned these books are Hot, Hot, Hot as well as emotional…and fabulous (it bears repeating)

    I would also recommend maybe checking out the website made up of several historical romance authors with books set in the wild west…and Wendy the SuperLibrarian had a feature last year or so called The Great Western Drive where a few bloggers discussed their favorite romances in the setting you preferred.  The post here kind of summarizes all of the recommendations so might be easier to start here:

    I hope you find what you are looking for.  Be safe, and thank you for serving our country!

  11. 11
    Lyssa says:

    I realize now how many of the series I love either A. Don’t have a HEA in sight, B. have some military component (either actual or futuristic) so this takes a little thought. Brenda Joyce’s victorian Deadly series (Not a cowboy series but 9 book long series with a long time coming HEA mystery/romance), J.D. Robb’s In Death Series (30 books and counting), and JAK ghost hunter series (the initial books each have stand alone HEA, futuristic space romance)

  12. 12
    sandy l says:

    Maggie Osborne has some great westerns and some of them are available for the Kindle. Doesen’t Jo Goodman also have some westerns in her backlist? Also, Lorraine Heath has some westerns in her backlist. I think people were crying when she stopped writing her westerns.

    I second J.D. Robb’s In Death Series. But for a paranormal series, I recommend either Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs or the Ilona Andrews books.

  13. 13

    I’ll second the recommendation of Jo Goodman and Maggie Osborne’s westerns.  I wish I could recommend my own Kindle editions, some of which are set on the Florida frontier, but almost all of them have a wartime or military component.

    I also want to say thank you to Stephanie for serving.  You’re putting yourself in harm’s way on our behalf, and we don’t say thank-you to our service members often enough.

  14. 14
    Pan's Daughter says:

    Oldies but goodies would be the series by Elizabeth Lowell that starts with “Only His” and ends with “Autumn Lover”. All solid western romances. Stay safe out there soldier.

  15. 15
    helen says:

    Jodi Thomas is the western go to woman I think. Her series are listed here-
    Leigh Greenwood wrote many great western romances here is a list, I think almost all of them are westerns.

    Another website you might find helpful is this one-
    They do reviews, excerpts, and notifications for western romances.

  16. 16

    It’s not Old West, but I think that Lois McMaster Bujold’s Sharing Knife series (four books) is awesome. Exciting, romantic, very good world building. It’s one of my reliable re-reads when I need something solid and satisfying.

  17. 17
    Jeannie says:

    I’m throwing my recs in the pot for the Lorelei James Rough Riders books. Awesome, hot, and like crack they’re so addictive. Unlike some series, they seem to get better as you go along.

    Another one I liked personally is Sarah McCarty’s Hell’s Eight books.
    And the Elizabeth Lowell’s I’ve seen talked about here are good too.

    Thanks for all you do, Stephanie, and be safe!

  18. 18
    Jayne says:

    Hi Stephanie! Yay Kindle!

    I haven’t read any of his stuff myself, but the go-to recommendation for Western romance is usually Leigh Greenwood, who, fun fact, is actually a dude. A dude with a sweet mustache, according to Zoe Archer. The Seven Brides series is really popular.

    MY favorite series is a paranormal, the Immortals After Dark series by Kresley Cole. Even people who don’t like paranormal romance like it. It’s totally cracky.

    And as for YA, I think you can’t go wrong with Robin McKinley. Either of her Beauty and the Beast adaptations, Spindle’s End, The Blue Sword, etc.

    I recently tried Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series, and, well, the best thing I can say about it is that there are a LOT of books.

    Happy reading!

  19. 19
    Stephanie says:

    Well, like the others, I want to thank you for your service (and for keeping those boys in line!) We’ll be thinking of you and wishing you the best while you’re over there.

    As for books, they’re not Westerns, but if you haven’t read Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series, those are 8 solid books and the most freakishly heartwarming family ever. Sherry Thomas and Courtney Milan are good too. For contemporaries, Victoria Dahl does some good stuff (I love her dialogue) and so does Jill Shalvis. I think Lisa Kleypas did a contemporary western (it’s been forever since I’ve read it so I’m not entirely sure if that’s what it was) called Smooth Talking Stranger.

    If you’re looking for something the polar opposite of a soldier, it might amuse you to check out Vikki Lewis Thompson’s Nerd series. Again, none of them westerns, but they might make you chuckle.

    I’m surprising myself that I can’t think of any recommendations for a western. I’m coming up completely blank. :-

    As far as YA goes, you might have read most of Meg Cabot’s stuff, but if you haven’t, she wrote a good 1-800-WERE-R-U series under an assumed name (Though I think they re-released them under her name). The last one came sort of out of left field, but overall, it’s a good series.

    I wish I could give suggestions more relevant to what you said you liked, but if you give any of those a try, I don’t think you would regret it. And I’d like to second the commenter above who wanted to know if there was any way we could get any of them to you. Best of luck!

  20. 20
    Donna says:

    well, the best thing I can say about it is that there are a LOT of books.

    Oh, Jayne, thank you for saying it so I didn’t have to.
    I second IAD, the latest of which is sitting at the GBPL drive up window waiting for me to scoop it up.
    Also second the Harry Dresden books.
    Can’t help with the westerns, not really my thing.

    And, Stephanie I’ll tell the same thing I told my bffs nephews (I DIAPERED those butts!!) as we sent them off: Keep your head down and your ass covered. And then I gave them a big MWAHHHH! So, that too.

  21. 21
    tibleti says:

    There is also the “No Other…” trilogy from Shannon Drake. They are frontier in two of them, but I believe they have some military bearing. The middle one was set in Scotland, but they are all interconnected.

    Thank you for your service.

  22. 22
    Marcia in OK says:

    Stephanie – THANK YOU for your service.  Stay safe.

    I’ll throw in another recommendation for the JD Robb’s Eve books, and the Plum series.  It is wonderful to watch Eve and all her relationships grow and change throughout the series.  Plum is just light and funny stuff.

    I also enjoyed the older Elizableth Lowell Only series.  And the Sarah McCarty books I’ve read were fun, but I’ve not read all of them yet.

    I’ll also throw in a yes for the Julia Quinn books and the Amanda Quick books.  They are totally in a different time and place.  I’m not a big historical fan, but loved these books.

    Again, stay safe and as you are reading in those far away places, please remember that other book lovers over here are wishing you and your comrades good wishes.

  23. 23
    Melissa says:

    I love western historical romances but the problem is most are only available in paper. I do have a list of good ones available on Kindle:

    Western Historicals on Kindle:
    Catherine Anderson – Comanche Moon, Comanche Heart, Idigo Blue, Comanche Magic
    Elizabeth Lowell – Only series, Autumn Lover, Winter Fire
    Madeline Baker – First Love Wild Love, Lakota Love Song
    Kaki Warner – Pieces of Sky, Open Country, Chasing the Sun
    Emma Wildes – Lawless
    Gem Sivad – Breed True
    Maggie Osborne – Wives of Bowie Stone
    Pamela Clare – Surrender (frontier)

    YA romances:
    Simone Elkeles – Perfect Chemistry, Rules of Attraction

    Long good series:
    Nalini Singh – Psy/Changling series, Guild Hunter series
    J.R. Ward – Black Dagger Brotherhood series
    Kresley Cole – Immortals After Dark series
    Patricia Briggs – Mercy Thompson series
    Ilona Andrews – Kate Daniels series
    Jeaniene Frost – Night Huntres series
    Pamela Clare – I-team series
    Lorelei James – Rough Riders series (contemporary hot westerns)
    Lisa Kleypas – Wallflowers, Hathaway, contemporary series
    Larissa Ione – Demonica series
    Karen Marie Moning – Highlander series, Fever series
    Shelly Laurenston – Pride series, Pack series (really funny!)
    Erin McCarthy – Fast Track series (NASCAR driver heroes)

    Hope this helps you Stephanie, thanks for your service!

  24. 24
    senetra says:

    The Texas Trilogy by Lorraine Heath, and any of her books that aren’t set in England.

  25. 25
    Nadia says:

    Hey, I never said Kenyon was great literature, just that it was a long series, LOL!  And once you start, you can’t stop until you get to Acheron and that is one big-ass book that will keep you busy for a while.;) 

    I can’t believe I didn’t mention Cole and Singh, they are teh awesome.  Also, in that same genre of paranormal the-apocalypse-is-night epicness, Gina Showalter has Alien Huntress and Lords of the Underworld series, and Rhyannon Byrd has the Primal Instinct series.

    One of my favorite moved-from-romance-to-mainstream authors is Lisa Gardner.  She writes firmly in suspense now, but nearly all her books have a romantic element about them.  She can be pretty intense, and the last few have verged on disturbing, but I just gobble up her books.  Some can be stand-alone, but there are lots of recurring characters and interwoven stories, so start at the beginning.  Not light reading, but will definitely get you out of your own head!

  26. 26
    M&M says:

    Hello Stephanie, I have listed some suggestions below. Hope you find them helpful.
    Best wishes from the UK!

    The Texan’s Wager by Jodi Thomas(Book 1 in The Wife Lottery series, have only read this one.)Historical Western Romance. Very sweet and endearing main characters.

    Simpply Love by Catherine Anderson. Historical romance set in Colarado mining town.  Overall, I enjoyed it.

    The spellcrackers series by Suzanne McLeod. Three books so far: The Sweet scent of blood, The Cold kiss of Death, The Bitter seed of Magic. This is an urban fantasy series set in London. There is a mystery to solve in each book. I think this series is great, have read all three.

    The Guild hunter series by Nalini Singh. Three books so far. Paranormal Romance set in New York (mainly, but other locales are included). Archangel’s Blood, Archangel’s Kiss, Archangel’s Consort. I thought the first book was great and it hooked me in. Second book was ok, had some interesting elements. Third book wasn’t as good, the pacing was a little slow, I didn’t feel it added all that much to the guild hunter world. Having said that, I’m still going to read the next book (due at the end of the year?) which will focus on a different character who has featured in all three books.

    How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire (Love at Stake, Book 1) by Kerrelyn Sparks.Funny paranormal romance. Very fun, good brain candy!  I think there are 8 or 9 books so far, but have only read the first one so cannot comment on the series as a whole.

    American Vampire by Jennifer Armintrout. Stand alone. I really enjoyed this book, not sure how to categorize it; it definitely has a strong, paranormal romance element. it also has a dark comedy element to it. Loved the Vampire Anti-hero . It doesn’t come out on kindle until May 1st though.

    The Duke and I, the Viscount who loved me and Romancing Mr Bridgerton by Julian Quinn (books 1, 2 and 4 of the Bridgerton series.There are 8 in total but these are the ones I have read and can recommend). Regency set Romance, very funny, very likable heroes and heroines. My favourite is the Duke and I.

    As you Desire by Connie Brockway (stand alone). Historical romance set in Egypt. I highly recommend this one, witty, funny, and extremely likable hero and heroine.

    To love a thief by Julie Anne Long (stand alone historical romance). Great characters, funny and sweet.

    What I did for a Duke by Julie Anne Long (This is part of a series, but I read it without having read the previous 3 or 4 books. In my opinion, is does very well as a stand alone). Brilliant, one of my fave books of 2011 so far. Loved the hero, loved the witty dialog. I really was laughing out loud during some parts.

    A recommendation list would not be complete without mentioning Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase and Flowers from the storm by Laura Kinsale.

  27. 27
    Randall says:

    Thank you so much for your service!

    Many of Joan Johnston’s historical novels are set in the old west, and usually tied in together.

    Susan Johnson and Brenda Joyce also have a few books that are tied in together that are set in the old west.

    For number of books, Sherrilyn Kenyon’s series has a large number – which has been mentioned.

    Also, Stephanie Laurens Cynster series has a numerous amount of books as well, just not old west.  It’s regency England.

  28. 28
    Amber Shah says:

    “The Texan’s Wager” by Jodi Thomas (first in the series)
    “Texas Destiny” by Lorraine Heath (first in the series)
    “His Secondhand Wife” by Cheryl St. John (not exactly a series, but she has lots if books and some of the characters overlap)

    Wives of Bowie Stone was just ok, and does make some soldier references that you might not care for (the H was a solider who disobeyed orders and was dishonorably discharged)

  29. 29
    LizW65 says:

    I don’t read Westerns, but I second the Pink Carnation and Harry Dresden series—lots of humor and action.  I also recommend PN Elrod’s Vampire Files, a paranormal mystery series about a vampire in depression-era Chicago with a dash of romance.  Another couple of ongoing mystery series with romantic subplots are Lindsay Davis’ Marcus Didius Falco books and Alan Gordon’s Fools Guild series (basically a spinoff of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.)

    spamword:  needed67.  If you needed 67 suggestions for your Kindle, you now have them!

  30. 30
    TaraL says:

    It looks like you’ve got a lot of great recommendations here for series and westerns, but how about some bargains to help fill up that Kindle? Nothing like a little more bang for you’re buck when trying to find a year’s worth of reading material. (And stretch a military paycheck, believe me, I know.)

    Here’s a few I’ve found lately:

    You’ve probably already found them, but Alexis Harrington has most of her backlist available for $2.99 each.

    Anne Stuart’s Out of Print Gems – 5 of her older books for $6.64. A bunch of her backlist is available for very reasonable prices, but not very escapist really….

    Footloose Bundle by Leanne Banks – 3 fun books, featuring great shoes, for $9.32.

    Robin Kaye Bundle – Romeo, Romeo; Too Hot To Handle; Breakfast In Bed – 3 books, funny, hot guys who can cook and clean, what’s not to like? $9.99.

    Julie Ortolon has some of her backlist, most notably her Perfect trilogy and Pearl Island Trilogy available in the $0.99-3.99 range. I’ve always found her stuff fun and escapist.

    I’ll second, or third, the Jo Goodman rec. She has a bunch of her backlist available in the $4-5 range.

    My absolute favorite books I’ve found recently (and they’re a great deal!) are some of Barbara Samuel’s early historicals. I absolutely love her books, but again, not very escapist. She gives her characters real problems to keep them apart and they really have to work to be together. They were great at full price, and now as e-reissues at $0.99 each, they’re unbeatable. Bed of Spices and Heart fo a Knight are two of my favorites.

    That’s all I can think of at the moment…

Comments are closed.

↑ Back to Top