Funny Romance Recommendations

Bitchery reader Maya sent me a very smart idea: we need recommendations for the funny-funny romance novels.

She wrote:

As an aspiring writer myself, I’m interested to study what works in comedic writing (I’m plenty capable of finding what doesn’t work in comedic writing myself).  Has the bitchery every compiled such a list ?  If not – dare I hope the question might be thrown out there ?

If someone asked me, for example, I’d lead off with

Mr. Impossible – Loretta Chase – (historical -Egypt)
Crocodile on the Sandbank – Elizabeth Peters – (historical – Egypt)
Fame Fatale – Wendy Holden – (contemporary – Britain)
Pastures Nouveaux – Wendy Holden – (contemporary – Britain)
Alice, I Think, Miss Smithers, Alice McLeod, Realist at Last –  Susan Juby – (young adult contemporary trilogy, Canada) 

So bring on the hilarity – what funny romance novels, historical OR contemporary, do you recommend?

Comments are Closed

  1. Trollop says:

    Lady Be Good by SEP

  2. Sarah Frantz says:

    Dare I mention Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice?

  3. bungluna says:

    There’s a lot of contemporary comedy/romances out there, but for me most of them miss the mark.  Here’s a list of the authors I find amusing. (Warning:  I don’t have a typical sense of humor; I thought Pulp Fiction was hillarious.)

    1. Lynday Sands has some funny vampire romances. 
    2. Anything by Jennifer Crusie is good.
    3. Linda Howard’s “Mr. Perfect” was very funny.
    4. MaryJanice Davidson’s books are a scream, if you like her brand of humor, (which I do!)
    5. Shelley Laurenston has very funny paranormals.
    6.  Loretta Chase has some very funny historicals.

  4. Jenn says:

    The Phallus from Dallas


  5. Teddy Pig says:

    All I got is Werewolf romance funny…

    Pack Challenge and Go Fetch!

    by Shelly Laurenston

  6. As You Desire by Connie Brockway, my favorite book EVAH! Funny as hell with a seemingly unheroic hero who will melt your cold, cold heart. Yes, I’m a fangirl.

  7. meardaba says:

    Guess what?  I was born and raised in Smithers. 

    Everything she says is true.

  8. Betsy D. says:

    Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie (or anything by Jennifer Crusie)

  9. BevQB says:

    With no reservations whatsoever, I’m telling you that Katie MacAlister’s “The Corset Diaries” has THE funniest, scream-out-loud-with-laughter scene I have ever read in ANY book EVER! And when you can finally catch your breath and start reading again, she delivers a one-line response to “the corset incident” that will send you right back into screaming again. No exaggerating- my family came rushing into the room to find out what the hell I was laughing so hard about. When I told them it was a book, they gave me blank stares, shook their heads, and walked away. Cretins!

    And her Aisling Grey series is a hoot! You’ll love Jim.

  10. Emily says:

    If we’re allowed to break out the Austen, my votes goes for Northanger Abbey.

    And, um…The Scarlet Pimpernel series. *blush* I just like ‘em, ‘kay?
    Baddies snorts black PEPPER. That’s just funny.

  11. Emily says:

    I also second the Katie MacAlister in general.

  12. rebyj says:

    “the very virile viking” sandra hill..
    always cracks me up..big eared vikings gotta be funny!

  13. FeyRhi says:

    One of my absolute favourite books is is “Charmed” by Beth Ciotta. It’s a contemporary romance featuring a whimsical childrens entertainer named Lulu and an ex-marine, now professional bodyguard named Murphy. He carries a gun, she wares glass slippers and a tiara. I laughed through the whole thing.

  14. BevQB says:

    Oh yeah, how could I forget MJD’s Betsy books?! In fact, they’d be a good way to study different types of humor… from biting sarcasm, to dry understated wit, to slapstick and everything in between.

  15. In historicals, The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer, The Devil’s Delilah by Loretta Chase, and Pirate’s Price by Darlene Marshall.

    In contemps, almost anything by Susan Elizabeth Phillips or Jennifer Crusie.

  16. Bev(BB) says:

    Best Laid Schemes by Emma Jensen. All I have to do is mention the beagle and the monkey to my kids and they start chuckling. Best use of getting drunk for character development I’ve ever seen outside of the movies. And, no, it wasn’t until after the hero saw the monkey ride the beagle down the staircase that he decided to get drunk. I think. I may need to reread that one again. Hehehe.

  17. Estelle says:

    I’m a bit particular in that I like my ‘funny’ romance books to have depth and some angst. If it’s all fluff it doesn’t quite satisfy me.

    I’ll second Connie Brockway’s As You Desire, and I’ll add:

    *Amanda Quick’s Mischief
    *Patricia Veryan’s The Tyrant
    *Loretta Chase’s The Devil’s Delilah
    *Laura Kinsale’s Seize the Fire—although it does verge into extreme angst territory toward the end.

    All these are historicals.

  18. Liz says:

    I second Bet Me and anything else by Crusie as well. 

    The second Undead book by Mary Janice Davidson also had me laughing quite frequently.

  19. Jeri says:

    Stupid and Contagious by Candice Crane.  Fall-off-the-couch funny.  If you’re a music fan, even better.  It was my favorite book of last year.

  20. Raina_Dayz says:

    I just read SEP’s Aint She Sweet and it really killed me in parts.  I find Katie McAlister and Lynsay Sands books to be quite unreadable though. Just wanted to throw that out there as the other side of the coin. Though judging from the sale of them I did on Ebay after I couldn’t read them, alot of people disagree with me.

  21. KRK says:

    Early Jennifer Crusie books are favorite funnies for me. Georgette Heyer’s Sprig Muslin is another book I laugh at (with?) every time I read it.

  22. --E says:

    Bujold’s Cordelia’s Honor works as a romance novel (though it’s two books in one, and space opera). Although there’s plenty of angst and such, it nonetheless holds the “single moment that made me laugh the hardest, ever” title—twice.

    (Why twice? because when Cordelia says, “I’ve been shopping,” it was the winning moment. But then half a line later, Aral says, “But of course—all Vor ladies go to the capital to shop” and that was even funnier. I suppose I should note that these lines are preceeded by a rather gruesome moment.)

  23. I lurve SEP too. I just started reading her last year and I was so excited to have discovered her. The books are not perfect for me, but they are just SUCH A RELIEF with the non-PC humor, kinky sex, and characters who DON’T love dogs. Thank God for SEP.

    Just read Natural Born Charmer and laughed my ass off. And what a gorgeous cover.

  24. Jami Alden says:

    SEP is the best, even when the humor goes into the the realm of cringe-worthy (Portia’s blue mask, anyone?).  I also love Rachel Gibson – she has a very dry sense of humor and great “guy” lines that always make me chuckle, and Susan Donovan’s books are pretty funny.  Jennifer Crusie is pretty obvious, but I have to admit, sometimes I find the constant exchange of clever one liners a little exhausting.

  25. Candy says:

    I’ll add to the general chorus “OMG Jennifer Crusie SQUEEEEEEE,” but in particular, I’d like to recommend Anyone But You, Strange Bedpersons, Manhunting and Bet Me.

    Midsummer Moon by Laura Kinsale is one of the greatest under-rated romantic comedies, ever.

    Loretta Chase is funny in a rather dry, witty sense. Her funniest are probably Lord of Scoundrels, Viscount Vagabond, Devil’s Delilah and Mr. Impossible.

    Angel Rogue by Mary Jo Putney has many laugh-out-loud moments, though it gets annoyingly New Agey by the end, and she seems to have lifted some of the jokes from Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome.

    The Gambler by Lois Greiman is pretty obscure but really, really amusing in a rather slapsticky way.

  26. Sandy D. says:

    “You Suck: A Love Story”, by Christopher Moore. Even funnier than “Bloodsucking Fiends” (which it is a sequel to).

    I blogged about it here, (with an excerpt), if you’re not familiar with the weirdness that is Christopher Moore.

  27. Piper says:

    Read my first MJD recently:  Sleeping With the Fishes.  ‘Bout peed my pants during the intro.  The rest of the book was pretty funny, too, but it lacked resolution for the main character and was obviously a series starter.

  28. Ziggy says:

    Oooh, I love Wendy Holden. Glad to see her namechecked already. My absolute favourite Holden is The Wives of Bath… absolutely hilarious.
    “i suppose,” he said, “that it’s all meant to be a bit ironic.”
    [… but] nobody, even the most committed post-modernist, had ironic erections.

    Lazy Ways to Make a Living by Abigail Bosanko is funny and genuinely beautifully written, but the love story itself didn’t really push my buttons. I enjoyed the relationships between the heroine and her sisters, though.

    Hunting Unicorns by Bella Pollen: moving and funny.

    I found the heroine and the plot of India Knight’s Don’t You Want Me? both irritating, but it still managed to be pretty damn funny.

    Another vote for Bet Me by Jenny Crusie.

  29. Ziggy says:

    Oh whoops, forgot to mention: all the books that I mentioned are contemporaries. Lazy Ways is set in Scotland, if I remember correctly. Bet Me in the States. The others are set in England.

  30. Lindsey says:

    Jessica Benson’s The Accidental Duchess is hilarious, and her other titles are very funny as well.

  31. Bron says:

    Anne Gracie’s The Perfect Rake. It’s not a comedy throughout – there’s some fairly serious themes as part of the story – but Gideon is one of the most gorgeous, playful, witty heros I’ve read in a long time.

    (Okay, so I don’t get to read as much as some of the Bitchery… I’m trying to catch up, as much as small-town Down-under bookshops and small budgets allow!)

  32. Chris says:

    No one mentioned “Bridget Jones Diary”. I like the Shopaholic series too.

  33. DS says:

    Ah, Three Men in a Boat.  Although it is sf I love Connie Willis’ To Say Nothing of the Dog:  How We Found the Bishop’s Birdstump at Last had some very funny moments.  Heyer, just about anything, I love a comedy of manners.  Bits of Eileen Dreyer’s thrillers, particularly Nothing Personal, If Looks Could Kill, and her Maggie O’Brien books.  Love her dark humor.  And I’ve been racking my brain to no avail to try to come up with a genre romance that I thought was hilarious.  The ones I can think of have already been mentioned.  Just thought of a 1960’s historical novel that I thought hilarious—The Revolt of Sarah Perkins.

    Ah, my word must have put a jinx on me:  cannot27

  34. Kass says:

    Is Georgette Heyer’s book The Masqueraders out of print? I’d swear I’m the only person on the Internet who’s ever read it, and IMO it’s her best book ever. It’s hilarious and has one of the only effective male to female/female to male duo gender switches I’ve ever seen in romance.

    Miss Wonderful by Loretta Chase is the best for me, though Lord Perfect has more quotable lines in it. “Did your wife often throw things at you?”

    And a general recommendation for readers who like YA books of Gordon Korman’s McDonald Hall books and Don’t Care High. They aren’t romances, but they are absolutely hysterically funny.

  35. I second the MaryJanice Davidson and Jennifer Crusie recommendations, and would add Alesia Holliday – especially American Idle, there is a scene on the plane that made me laugh so hard tears rolled down my face.
    Julie Kenner’s Carpe Demon and the sequal (can’t remember the name offhand) were also very amusing.
    I love Christopher Moore, and there are romatic plots in all of his novels.
    Also, for other humor done (IMO) right, Terry Pratchett is a god!
    That’s all I have right now, since I’m at work and can’t scan my bookcases 🙁

  36. Estelle Chauvelin says:

    Vicki Lewis Thompson’s Nerd series.  My Nerdy Valentine is probably my favorite over all (nerdy hero and heroine, nobody gets de-nerded in the end, and other things), but they all work for me in terms of the humor.

  37. Renee S., thank you for mentioning Terry Pratchett!  How could I forget Sam and Lady Ramkin, Carrot and Angua?  Guards! Guards! has one of the most romantic lines I’ve ever read:  “She couldn’t do worse, but then, he couldn’t do better.  So maybe it all balanced out.”

    Great humor, pathos and love in one package.  Now, if only we could find someone for the Patrician!

  38. dl says:

    A series that comes to mind…the early Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich. I don’t like them enough to purhcase, a library author for me…but very funny in places.

  39. Nicole says:

    Hmmm…..for paranormals I love Shelly Laurenston.  And I still admit to read MJD, though I get the hardcovers from the library.  She still always makes me laugh even when her heroines all start to run together.

    Susan Donovan is a favorite.

    Kate Davies from Samhain Pub has some funny stories. 

    Beth Ciotta –  loved Jinxed, but haven’t read Charmed yet, though I bought it and Seduced and Lasso the Moon because of Jinxed.  Need to read them all.

    I love funny stories and can’t wait to see how this list ends up.

  40. Lynda the Guppy says:

    Most of my favorite funny romance books and authors have already been mentioned, so I won’t rehash. But I really liked the duo of Dara Joy’s “High Energy” and its sequel “High Intensity.” Funny AND sexy. Although the curtain thing creeped me out. All I could think about was all the dust. Blech. LOL.

    And if we’re venturing into non-romance, then I have to speak of Jasper Fforde. He’s not only funny, he’s smart and very clever. His books remind me a bit of Pratchett’s, in that they are completely whacked, but some of the humor is stuff that you only pick up if you’re paying attention. Absolutely fabulous and amazingly creative.

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