She Gave Up Romances for Lent

Book Cover Lent, the period of time between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday, is marked by many with acts of penance, fasting, and prayer. Sometimes, the fasting is of a particularly type of food. I know a few people who give up chocolate or wine or alcohol altogether for Lent.

Emily did something different:

Hello ladies of the Bitchery! I need your help. I am desperate for some book
recommendations. I gave up romance novels for lent, can you believe it?!? I
am fast approaching the end of the 40 day period and I need to know what’s
new and what people are reading. I generally like historicals (anytime
period) and I love Julia Quinn, Elosia James, Sabrina Jefferies, and Stephanie

I wanted some advice on what should be my first book back in
to my favorite genre and thought to ask you and your readers!

I can’t wait to hear from you and what everyone thinks! Thanks in advance!

WOW. My observance of Passover and my deep yearning for leavened bread is NOTHING compared to giving up romance novels for 40 days. What titles do you recommend for Emily, who is days away from the resurrection of her reading habits?

Personally, I recommend Kate Noble and Courtney Milan, Emily, and I hope you have a very Happy Easter.


Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    bookstorecat says:

    My favorite book I’ve read this year so far is Winter of Our Disconnect by Susan Maushart. Not a Romance, but an amusing memoir about how the author’s family-life changes when she has the brilliant idea that she and her three teenagers should live without any digital devices. No TV, no cell phones, no ipods, no laptops. LOL funny.

  2. 2
    Hannah says:

    I really admire Emily’s fortitude. That would be harder for me than giving up chocolate.
    Here are some of the most enjoyable reads of the last few months—most are light and funny:

    Soulless by Gail Carriger
    666 Park Avenue by Gabriella Pierce
    The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig—or any of the sequels
    The Blades of the Rose series by Zoe Archer
    Matched by Ally Condie
    Any of Sarah MacLean’s historical romances

    Wishing everyone who celebrates a happy Easter!

  3. 3
    Reneesance says:

    Wow I don’t think I could give up romances for Lent I would be a very grumpy person.  I just read Eloise James’ newest “How Beauty Tamed the Beast” and it was funny, heartwarming, and all around a great read.

  4. 4
    Angela James says:

    I don’t read a lot of historicals, but I’ve read a few good ones in the past few months.

    I loved Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart by Sarah MacLean, which releases this Tuesday (if you don’t want to wait, her first book, Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake was also really good)

    I also enjoyed What I Did for a Duke by Julie Anne Long

    And just in case, I always recommend Julie Garwood’s old historicals.

  5. 5
    JoanneF says:

    I’d recommend something by Lisa Kleypas.  If she wants her newest, I’d say her “Hathaways” series;  but I much preferred her “Wallflowers” series.

  6. 6
    Carin says:

    I recommend these:
    Unveiled by Courtney Milan
    Sarah MacLean books, starting with Nine Ways…
    A Little Bit Wild by Victoria Dahl

  7. 7
    bookstorecat says:

    I am way spaced-out today. I forgot to say I haven’t read a GOOD romance for at least 40 days (probably not since the last Megan Hart book I read, sometime last year). Perhaps this sad drought can also be ended by people’s recs here.

  8. 8
    Kim says:

    Barely a Lady by Eileen Dreyer

    This is Dreyer’s first historical romance, usually she writes contemporary, and I just finished it.  It won the RT award for best historical romance and I loved it.

  9. 9
    Chelsea says:

    Anything by Courtney Milan or Lisa Kleypas…And Elizabeth Hoyt Is fast becoming another personal favorite—the The Raven Prince, I think that’s the first in her soldiers series.

  10. 10
    kkw says:

    I’ve read so many great romances recently.  I don’t know if they’ve been published in the last 40 days, but I’d endorse Courtney Milan, Joanna Bourne, and Tessa Dare.  Since all of Emily’s favorite’s are also frequent recommendations of mine, I’m hoping they’re a good match.  I am pretty sure I also liked Kate Noble, Sarah Maclean, Nicola Cornick, and Sherry Thomas, but (my memory is terrible) they weren’t quite as memorable.

  11. 11
    Rose says:

    I vote for something by Loretta Chase, Sherry Thomas, or Courtney Milan.

    I’m curious: am I the only one who didn’t like The Summer of You? And I don’t mean C-range; I thought it was really awful.

  12. 12
    Zoe Archer says:

    Seconding Julie Anne Long.  She’s one of my favorites.  Also:

    Tessa Dare
    Courtney Milan
    Meredith Duran
    Sherry Thomas

    All are autobuys for me.

  13. 13
    MarieC says:

    Totally agreeing with the previous recs, but wanted to throw in Anna Campbell, Delilah Marvelle, Jennifer Haymore, and Christine Wells.

    If you like historicals, you might enjoy some steampunk…Meljean Brooks’ “Iron Duke” is wonderful.

  14. 14
    Chelsea says:

    I’m curiousam I the only one who didn’t like The Summer of You? And I don’t mean C-rangeI thought it was really awful

    If it makes you feel better, I gave it a C- while the friend who lent it to me gave it a solid A. I really didn’t care for the heroine and her brother. But tastes differ.

  15. 15
    Diva says:

    Wings of the Falcon by Barbara Michaels (historical, romantic, lots of adventure, set in northern Italy there’s a masked freedom fighter, some mysterious Etruscan ruins, and of course the heroine is a long-lost heiress…can’t beat it!)

  16. 16

    “When Beauty Tamed the Beast” by Eloisa James—so good!  For oldies but goodies, “Mr. Impossible” by Loretta Chase or “The Accidental Duchess” by Jessica Benson.

  17. 17
    Erin says:

    I’ll second the Sherry Thomas recommendation, but with a caveat: go for NOT QUITE A HUSBAND.  It’s out of this world stellar, but when I moved on to a different book of hers (PRIVATE ARRANGEMENTS) it was equally good but really depressing and kind of made me sad.

    Also will add a checkmark to the running tallies for Meredith Duran, Anna Campbell, and Loretta Chase.

  18. 18
    EbonyMcKenna says:

    The Bitchery got me hooked on Sherry Thomas and Kate Noble, so I think it’s only fair to keep spreading the love.

    I can’t wait to get my hands on the new Anna Campbell out as well – Midnight’s Wild Passion.

    Re shorter contemporaries, Kate Hardy and Kelly Hunter always deliver the goods.

  19. 19
    Cakes says:

    I second or third Sarah Maclean. I’m so excited for April 26th when Eleven shows up like Magic on my Nook!!!!

    I am autobuy with Kristan Higgins, but the new was less than thrilling for me. I found their relationship issues way too frustrating and threw my book at the wall 3 different times.

  20. 20
    Laylapalooza says:

    I second the recommendation of “Unveiled,” by Courtney Milan. It’s awesome. I also enjoyed Eloisa James’s “When Beauty Tamed the Beast” pretty recently, if you haven’t already read it.

    But “Unveiled” is smart and awesome and interesting. Read it!

  21. 21
    Kathleen says:

    I was going to say Meredith Duran but two people beat me to it! The Duke of Shadows is probably my favorite.

  22. 22
    Tin CC-Ong says:

    Kim recommended Dreyer’s Barely a Bride.  I’d like to recommend the second book in the series, Never a Gentleman.  Just finished it and, in one word?, Wow.

  23. 23
    Mary says:

    Ditto Zoe Archer’s list and add Sarah MacLean’s historical series; Elizabeth Hoyt. At the momet I’m loving The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

  24. 24
    Kelly C. says:

    A co-worker’s Aunt gives up reading entirely for Lent.  :::thud:::

    spam-a-lot word: consider85

    if I were 85 (years old) I might consider giving up reading for Lent too. ;-)

  25. 25
    debbie says:

    Wow! Lucky you if you haven’t read any of these books!

    1. Almost Heaven – Judith McNaught (one of the most romantic books ever!)

    2. Lisa Kleypas – Wallflower Series (Devil in WInter is the best)

    3. Jennifer Ashley – The madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie

    4. The Bride, The Secret, Ransom by Julie Garwood

    5. Almost anything written by Mary Balogh

    Sit back and enjoy!

  26. 26
    Eli Brown says:

    I’m not a fan of historical romance but I just finished Nora Robert’s Chasing Fire (not historical) and enjoyed it very much, particularly after the disappointment of Happily Ever After from The Brides series.

  27. 27
    Nadia says:

    I recently read MacLean’s “Nine” and “Ten” and am all over the release of “Eleven” next week.  If you like Quinn, you will love this series.

    Also agree with Dare, have enjoyed every one of her books.

    The book I finished in one sitting today (no joke, quiet Easter just sitting on my ass) is a contemporary, but damn, she rocks so I must recommend.  Julie James “A Lot Like Love,” another winner from this author.

  28. 28
    Jessica E says:

    My parents gave me a $25 B&N gift card for Easter today so I may have to add some of these books y’all recommended to my Nook.

    spamword: age82,  I hope that I live to be 82!  What’s with the spam generator thingy spewing out age related images?

  29. 29
    Barbara says:

    I second, third and fourth Angela James’ recommendations for Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Dukes’ Heart by Sarah MacLean and What I Did for a Duke by Julie Ann Long.  When Harper Collins let me read Eleven Scandals early I took back every crabby thing I ever said about their pricing (for a while) because I loved it so much.  I bought Nine and Ten at Borders right afterwards but haven’t had time to read them yet and will buy Eleven in paperback when it comes out – I’m devoting precious shelf space to them, so you know I’m crushing on MacLean.

    Tessa Dare has a set of Regencies that are very good too – I think the whole set is pretty good, so I can’t really pick out one.

  30. 30
    Daniela C. says:

    Wow! I bow to you, Emily! I wasn’t able to go to your extent. I meerly gave up buying NEW books.
    My wallet was happy. It gave me an opportunity to hunt up tried and true rereads that I loved at the library. (I actually tried to limit myself from library access but that lasted about a week). I would not be able to give up romance genre at all. I enjoy reading sci-fi and mystery but it needs romantic overtones for me to enjoy. That is a hard genre to give up.
    During Lent I went back to all my favorites: Julia Quinn, Lindsay Kinsale, Johanna Linsday. I also found a new author Madeline Hunter. “Provocative in Pearls” Good read, immersed in regency details and wordy but very smart and sensual.
    Enjoy Easter Monday!

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