Classic Romance - Which One First? Nora Roberts Edition

A stack of books with an ereader on top that reads Back in 2006, I fielded a question for Lovely Salome, better known as Carrie Lofty, asking which Nora Roberts novel she should read first. A sort of precursor to the “Which One First?” feature, done six years ago.

Now that Nora Roberts has written approximately 14,576,469,354.7 books since then, I think it's time to update that list. Another reader is asking for help. Meet Jordan:

I've really loved all the the “What Should I Read Next” of old school romance posts you have done! As a recent convert to the romance genre (Hi, my name is Jordan and I've been a Romance reader for 5 years now. *Hi Jordan*), those have been really helpful since digging through authors who've been publishing for a while is pretty intimidating.

I would love to see more of those, and personally I'd love one for Nora Roberts. I'm a hardcore J.D. Robb fangirl, probably because I slowly migrated from scifi/fantasy and mystery over to romance, but Roberts' more mainstream stuff (contemporary and historical) is just so plentiful – I don't know where to start!

That thread from 2006 still contains some of my favorite Nora Roberts' novels, but there are so many more (SO MANY MORE).

So, which is your favorite? I'm going to make this really hard. REALLY.

You can only name two at the most. TWO. That's it.

Which are your two favorite Nora Roberts novels that you'd recommend to Jordan?

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Meaghan B says:

    The Quinn series (in order):
    Rising Tides
    Inner Harbour

  2. 2

    My first Nora Roberts, the one that made me an instant convert, was BLUE DAHLIA. I devoured that whole trilogy within a few days and became a massive fan from that moment onward!

  3. 3
    Victoria says:

    I don’t care what anyone says, it’s MONTANA SKY.

    Also, the whole Quinn series. Cheating. I does it.

  4. 4
    laj says:

    Born in Fire and Sea Swept.  Rogan Sweeny and Cam Quinn best NR heroes ever.

  5. 5
    Lisa J says:

    The first book I read by Nora Roberts is Irish Thoroughbred, so I would always start there.  Also, I LOVED The Right Path.  See just two.

    Oh wait, don’t miss out on the MacGregor’s or Cordina series.  And, then there’s the….(this is where my head is exploding like in Scanners).

  6. 6
    Ann says:

    Born in Series…

  7. 7
    Rachelbug24 says:

    I like her older novels better, and “Reflections & Dreams” is one of my favorites.

  8. 8
    Kati B says:

    So many to choose from: Born in Shame is a favorite. I also love True Betrayals.

  9. 9

    Three Fates – it’s got all the usual trilogy elements in one novel :)

    Blue Dahlia is my #2… :D

  10. 10
    GhengisMom says:

    I really enjoyed the “Irish Jewels” trilogy. I love the sibling relationships and I love the wee bit of magical realism.

  11. 11
    Allison says:

    I am so obsessed with her In Death series that it is not even funny (even though she uses a pseudonym, it counts)!

    Also, even though for the most part I love her older stuff, I also really love the newer Bride Quartet. Awesome stuff.

    (That is technically two recommendations even though it equals over 40 books…)

  12. 12

    Easy peasy.  Three Fates and The Witness.

  13. 13
    Kim (Mom on the Run) says:

    I have a stack of Nora in my closet and my favorite is the Irish Jewels trilogy, too. The second is Tears of the Moon is my favorite of the three.

  14. 14
    Bethy1017 says:

    Irish Jewels trilogy!!  Also, I work in publishing and have read an advanced copy of her new standalone, WHISKEY BEACH.  It’s phenomenal, so when that comes out, I’d add that one to the list.

  15. 15
    Shannon says:

    “Birthright” and “Heaven and Earth.”

  16. 16
    Andromaha82 says:

    I actually remember that my 1st Nora was Honest Illusions when I was about 15. It hooked me on Nora forever. I also like Three Fates…if I MUST stick to just 2… so unfair! :(  :)

  17. 17
    Laura says:

    I love all the ones that featured ballet. I still have a time-worn copy of Reflections and Dreams somewhere. 

  18. 18
    Lana Adele says:

    Quinn series or Montana Sky!

  19. 19
    Peggy OKane says:

    When an author writes such lavishly intertwined trilogies how can you pick two books? For someone migrating to romance from Sf/Fantasy the Three sisters Trilogy, ancient magic and witchcraft; lovely modern setting, and the kinds of heroines and heroes that Nora does so well.

  20. 20
    Vandy Jones says:

    Ugh, just two!?  How to pick…I’m going to choose the Three Sisters island books, and the Dream trilogy.  Kind of cheating but with all the trilogies choosing just two is very difficult.

  21. 21
    LibrarianLizy says:

    I just turned off the wifi on my phone so I could answer this question. La Nora is worth posting about on my phone since my work thinks this site is too full of “adult content” to be accessible anywhere in the hospital.

    Montana Sky and Three Fates. It’s like 6 stories in 2 books and a perfect intro into NR’s head hopping.


  22. 22

    I’m having a mini Monday meltdown trying to pick just two favorites. A visual scan of my bookshelf shows that my most frayed Nora paperbacks are Honest Illusions and Holding the Dream…so those would definitely be amongst my top picks.

  23. 23
    Hck5017 says:

    Nora Robert’s books were my first introduction to Romance (when I was 13) and I have read them all since then. I love Born in Fire and Dance Upon the Air they are so fantastic.

  24. 24
    katherinelynn_04 says:

    How can one pick JUST TWO Nora books? I shall limit it to two series: Irish Jewels (which I am currently reading) and the Born In series. The close third is the Stanislanskis, but as they are so short (they were originally Harlequin books if that gives you an idea) that you don’t get the character growth you do in her newer series.

  25. 25
    Carrie Gwaltney says:

    AAAAHHHHHH! Goodreads is down!!! How can I look at my ratings if Goodreads is down???!!!! I have no brain, so I rely on external memory to survive.

    Okay, I’ll try, but if Goodreads comes back online and I see I’ve forgotten one, I get to post more!! (so there :-P Ptthhh!)

    On audio:
    Carnal Innocence (Tom Stecheshulte as Tucker Longstreet curls my toes! le sigh)
    The Witness (Great narrator (Whelan?) gets the main character just right.)

    In print:
    The Witness
    Northern Lights…wait! No, High Noon! …wait, maybe I mean The Search! Yeah, that’s it!…or….Honest Illusions!…well damn! Too many good ones.

    I will say that I rarely read Roberts’ contemporary romances, but I thoroughly enjoy most of her romantic suspense.

  26. 26
    Faellie says:

    Northern Lights.  It’s not as obviously romance-formula as some, because it follows a male protagonist (a cop with the requisite ansty background) and has a less than usual setting (rural Alaska, done with a real sense of presence).  Then add in a strong heroine (bush pilot) and a decent mystery in the plot.  It is and always will be my favourite Nora Roberts.

  27. 27
    LauraN says:

    The Quinn series, hands down.  Tortured souls healed by The Power of Luuuurve=swoon.  I also enjoy her romantic suspense titles, but the rules for this game preclude me from listing them :-(

  28. 28
    Tsuki says:

    My conversion started with “The Witness” but I have a real soft spot for “Carnal Innocence”.

  29. 29

    Thanks for all the recommendations everyone!  I can’t wait to see what will be compiled!

  30. 30
    Barb in Maryland says:

    Another one here for “Carnal Innocence” and I love “Carolina Moon”—but in all honesty I re-read so many of hers that I could post ten times and name two different books in each post.
    I love her trilogies and quartets, but her stand alone romantic suspense title are my favorites.

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