Melissa wrote to me about a specific type of romance relationship – the parental one:
I'm recently on a kick reading and writing books in which the hero and heroine have healthy, functional relationships with their living parents, but that sort of book is so hard to find in romance! Carrie Ann Ryan recommended Lauren Dane's Chase Brothers series to me, but I haven't gotten any other recommendations from my Facebook or Twitter queries. Perhaps a good topic for GS vs. STA or one of your fabulous editorials? Thanks for considering!
Yes, indeed! Parental relationships are so often the foundation of character drama, and there's no shortage of bad parenting in romance character land. Yet I love books where the relationships that the characters have with their parents or their parental figures shows their emotional maturity, and gives me more characters to like. I also really, really enjoy that the diversity of what makes up a family when it comes to raising children is portrayed more often now. Aunts, grandparents, cousins, unrelated adults, and foster parents have made appearances in romances.
Two romances that I loved for their portayal of the family dynamic (and the variety therein) were Shannon Stacey's Yours to Keep (A | BN | K S ), and Exclusively Yours (A | BN | K S ) (I did not enjoy the middle book in that series). The family camping scenes in Exclusively Yours and the scenes with the aunt in Yours to Keep are emotionally deft and also hilarious. I also loved the adoptive family in Judith McNaught's Perfect. (A | BN)
So what books did you love for the romance, and for the relationships the characters had with their parents or caregivers? Which do you recommend – or not recommend?