GS vs STA: Must-Read Loveswepts

Good Shit vs Shit to AvoidBack in February we talked a bit in the comments of the “Lovesweeping the Titles” discussion about Loveswept romances that are totally worth finding (or hopefully re-releasing!), the ones that rocked your Loveswepty world. So many authors first appeared within the Loveswept line, such as Iris Johansen and Janet Evanovich, and I thought it would be a good idea to have one long recommendation thread of which Loveswepts are worth finding. 

Random House is bringing back older Loveswepts and publishing new books (such as Ruthie Knox's Ride With Me, which I really enjoyed) [ ] . That line is digital only, but some decent used bookstore may have copies of older Loveswept titles in paperback form, so for those of you who love paper book reading, there's plenty of options. There's sites like Alibris that have many older Loveswepts for sale in paperback form. Amazon also has Loveswepts, both digital and used paper, like my personal favorite title, Strong Hot Winds by Iris Johansen.

Man Shy - except she's half on his lap! Then again, I might have to give my Favorite Loveswept Title crown to Man Shy by Catherine Mulvany, because she doesn't look shy in that picture. And gosh, scrunchies on book covers, where have you gone?


What Loveswepts do you recommend romance readers go find and read? What older Loveswepts do you still have on your shelf, and wish would be re-released digitally? And which books would you not recommend? 

Comments are Closed

  1. 1

    The *original* “Men of Mysteries Past” series by Kay Hooper. She rewrote and released them a few years ago, but I prefer the original incarnations.

  2. 2
    MarieC says:

    I loved all of the Clanad (or Sedikan)series by Iris Johansen. Contemporaries with a mystical or paranormal twist.

    Some have been re-released, but others can be easily bought used.

  3. 3
    joyabella says:

    I…can’t pick a favorite child. Or I will end up posting every Loveswept I ever read here in this thread.

    But. If there’s one book (to rule them all) it’s “And the Desert Blooms” by Iris Johansen, with the original light green cover and trademark LS wave. It’s the only one that I have duplicate copies here in NY and at home in NC and as of 2 seconds ago, on my phone & Kindle.

    Oh. And Sandra Brown’s Thursday’s Child, which I read in 7th grade – my first adult romance I read, and where I said aloud, “Oh, THAT’S what happens?!!??” and then got called down for dinner, blushing.

    And Cathy Mulvany would get a giggle over the scrunchie, I’m sure.

  4. 4
    library addict says:

    I have all of the older titles my Marcia Evanick, Barbara Boswell, Gail Douglas, and Marcia Evanick.

    Also, I have Tami Hoag’s Rumor Has It, Man of Her Dreams, and Tempestuous.

    And all of Sandra Brown’s (because I spent years tracking down her backlist via UBS and snail mail in the pre-internet days).

  5. 5
    Ruthie Knox says:

    I did a post a while back about Loveswept editor Carolyn Nichols for, and I got some good suggestions in the comments.

    Apparently anything by Sharon and Tom Curtis is awesome. One of theirs is among the digital re-releases; I have it on my TBR.

  6. 6
    Barb in Maryland says:

    Oh—Lightning That Lingers by Tom and Sharon Curtis, of course.  And I devoured all the early Kay Hooper titles.  I kinda gave up on Loveswept after a while but the early titles were fabulous.

  7. 7
    kkw says:

    Somehow I never got into Iris Johansen, and while I really liked those Janet Evanovich books back in the day, I got tricked into rereading them by the new covers, and found they didn’t hold up.  I like Kay Hooper and Sandra Brown, but I couldn’t say which were my favorites, or who published them, I’ve just been reading them for too long and my memory is too blurry.  Sandra Brown’s I tend to like more, except for the ones I reallyreally can’t abide, but alas I can’t recall pertinent details.
    I’ve never paid much attention to publishing lines, honestly, I pick things if I know the author, if they’re recommended to me, if I like the cover and/or the back blurb, if they are within arm’s length…a host of reasons, but I’ve never really paid attention to the publisher.
    I did just finish Ride with Me, so I can recommend that while it’s fresh in my memory. I expected to despise it, but it was super fun.  It was absolutely nothing like my own cross country trip, I mean really in no way at all did it ever seem even a little like anything I’d ever experienced, so that was a relief.  I couldn’t begin to imagine how someone could make long distance biking romantic, never mind sexy, but voila.  The unceasing power of romance novels to defy reality is both a comfort and an inspiration to me.
    OK, full disclosure in case there are other romance lovers traumatized by excessive camping.  The only time this book made me think of my own trip was when the hero and heroine can’t have sex by the side of the road in Kansas.  My boyfriend and I were long past any attraction to one another by the time we hit Kansas, but I certainly recall the difficulty in finding somewhere to go to the bathroom when you can see at least 80 miles of razed corn fields in every direction.  This doesn’t faze our heroes, of course, because fortunately people in romance novels only need bathrooms so they can have sex in a different venue.  Otherwise, no triggering whatsoever.

  8. 8
    Nadia says:

    I have nearly all of the Iris Johansen’s in the original covers, picked up at the USB and Amazon marketplace in a fit of glomming that would not be denied.  They can be dated at times (some serious Angry Boner Men!), but you can see the development of her style over the years.  I have to say my favorite is probably “The Golden Valkyrie” (first of the Sedikhan books) just because she uses quite a bit of humor in that one, and usually she is so angsty serious. 


  9. 9
    Taylor Reynolds says:

    There was a Suzanne Brockmann Loveswept title that I loved (and still do!) – Stand-In Groom. I just had to search her backlist and get a sample sent to my Kindle to verify it was the right book :)

    I’m thinking I really liked a Kay Hooper story, but I don’t remember much of it: set in San Francisco, dude was a thief, chickie worked at the museum and she had a cat. Is that one of the “Men of Mysteries Past” series?

    I started reading Evanovich when LS pubbed her, but I’m pretty sure that if I went back to read them again now, I wouldn’t adore them quite as much.

  10. 10
    restingCB says:

    Kay Hooper was a favorite because of the supernatural elements they contained.  But my other favorite was Billie Greene.  I just loved her characters, and the stories were fun and heartwarming.

  11. 11

    I’m still pretty much a newbie when it comes to the romance novel game. Before Jan. 2011, I hadn’t read one since 1987. So I have to ask, what is the LoveSwept line?

  12. 12
    Linkmeister says:

    The Kay Hooper books are what she calls “the Quinn books.” Quinn is a cat burglar, but there’s more to him and to the story than that. There are just two, although she’s made noises about writing more; she likes him. They’re called “Once a Thief” and “Always a Thief.”

  13. 13
    Ruthie Knox says:

    Oh, and I just started reading LIGHTNING THAT LINGERS today—the re-released Tom and Sharon Curtis Loveswept. Four words: patrician biologist stripper hero.

    But if you need two more words, here they are: baby owls.

  14. 14
    ReneeK says:

    Holy Crap…Is that Joey Tribbiani on the cover of Man Shy?  ;)

  15. 15
    Danny says:

    I just started reading “Ever Since Adam” by Terry Lawrence, a recent thrift store find that I couldn’t resist. It takes place on a space station.

  16. 16
    Heather says:

    I saw that one! The cover made me do a double-take. “Oh, they’re getting busy…waitaminute—they’re in SPACE!”

  17. 17
    Julie M says:

    I understood the original “Men of Mysteries” Series to be “A Touch of Max”, “Hunting the Wolfe”, “The Trouble w/ Jared” and “All for Quinn”. Four brothers, four different mothers. Quinn was the youngest. I really enjoyed this series. I hadn’t heard about “Once a Thief” and “Always a Thief” – there’s more Quinn? I’ll have to look into that.

  18. 18
    Heather says:

    I have a couple of shelves of the LS paperbacks (all picked up secondhand at used bookstores and the library bookstore), but I haven’t decided which ones to read just yet. If something is STA, I don’t want to waste my time on it—but I really want to read the best of this old series line. The first one I picked up a couple of years ago out of a 10 cent series romance bin was “Light Another Candle” by Judy Gill (LS #307)—I was drawn to the rather racy cover art.

  19. 19
    Julie M says:

    I can second the recommendation for “Stand-in Groom” by Brockmann. I also liked “Kiss and Tell” and “Kissing Game” also by S. Brockmann. I read most of Iris Johansen’s loveswepts, stilll have a few in my tbr. I liked “A Tough Man to Tame.” Though I think it works better if you’ve read the whole series which starts, I think, with “Last Bridge Home.” I read these awhile back mid-90’s so I’m not sure how they’d stack up now. Definity dated I’m thinking. I liked Eve Gaddy’s “Too Close for Comfort” and noticed it showed up free for Kindle sometime in the last couple of months. I also liked the Kay Hooper “Hagen Again” series. They’re still on my “keeper” shelf – though I’ve debated turning them in. They were a fun quick read when my boys were little. I’d read while I was nursing. My sons would fall asleep (am I squicking you guys out – sorry) and I’d just continue to hold them and read. It’s actually a pretty sweet memory. Warm sleeping boy in one arm – cute little book in the other.

  20. 20
    Lizwadsworth65 says:

    I just downloaded Lightning that Lingers, too.  The writing is lovely and lyrical—reminds me a little of Laura Kinsale—but I find I could happily read about nothing but Philip and his owls for 300 pages and skip over Jennifer altogether.  Really, the “beautiful, impossibly naive, bordering-on-mentally-deficient virgin in her middle twenties” in contemporary romance is a character that feels dated even for the 1980’s and needs to go away.  Forever.

  21. 21
    Heather says:

    I downloaded it, too. I figured “What the heck? It’s $2.99.”

  22. 22
    SusannaG says:

    Kay Hooper’s “Hagen Strikes Again” series was a favorite.

  23. 23
    Ruthie Knox says:

    I’m with you, Liz. Also, I don’t think we’re allowed to write plots that revolve around heroines who are Just Too Damn Pure To Survive anymore. Which is a good thing. But yeah, I’d happily watch Phillip feed meat to his baby owls and ogle his jean-clad thighs.

  24. 24
    randee says:

    I checked the keeper shelf and found quite a few, mainly series. The Dameron Mark series by Fayrene Preston, and Mac’s Angels by Sandra Chastain. I loved them enough to keep through a couple moves and the major downsizing my “library” took a few years ago when I dedicated myself to ebooks. I’d love if they were released digitally—I don’t have all the Dameron Mark series, and there’s a few that have lingered on my amazon wish list for years.

  25. 25
    Barb in Maryland says:

    Loveswept was Bantam Books answer to Harlequin and Silhouette—contemporary category romances, several titles a month.  They were published from 1983 to 1997. A number of big name authors wrote for the line—Sandra Brown, Kay Hooper, Suzanne Brockman and so on.
    Random House (parent company of Bantam) has recently revived the Loveswept line as monthly digital originals along with re-issuing some of the older titles as e-books.

  26. 26
    Guest says:

    Wait for Me and Ms Miller and the Midas Man – Mary Kay McComas – very cute and corny but I like it like that!!!!

  27. 27

    I used to buy them new at the bookstore or grocery store and had a subscription for a while.  Even after the used bookstores would no longer do trades on older harlequins, they would still take trades on Loveswepts and they had twice the cost/trade in, about 50 cents instead of 25 cents.  I had a spreadsheet with the numbers and would mark off the ones I got as I purchased them to avoid duplicates.  The quality was so high, you could buy just about any author regardless if they were someone you had read before and it would be a good book.  Another favorite author in the line – Mary Kay McCommas.  Excellent series!  I have a few hundred of these books in store along with a lot of my other books after a move…

  28. 28
    Breena31 says:

    Outlaw Carson by Glenna McReynolds is one of my absolute favorites.  I remember reading it and just wishing that it was longer because I didn’t want it to end.  Such great characters, which is typical of this author.

  29. 29
    Thalia Helicon says:

    Glenna McReynolds is also Tara Janzen [the Steele Street series].  Her LoveSwept line is uneven, you can see her learning her voice & pacing—but much better than average category romance

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