I always check out "best of" lists when they pop up on social media. But when it comes to romance, I see a lot of the same names over and over again. That's not always a bad thing. A lot of those authors that always hit the lists are amazing. I've read romance a long time, though, and I've come across lots of incredible authors who don't pop up all the time on these lists, which I just find inexplicable! Do others not know how great these authors are??? So, with that in mind, here are just a few of the incredible romance authors I want to see on more best of lists going forward:
For rip-your-guts-out romance, you don't really need to look any further than Emma Scott. Why she's not on every single "best of" list, I'll never understand. I even did a whole "why you should be reading Emma Scott" post a while back.
Where to start: If you're new to Emma Scott, I suggest you start with Rush, then work your way through her backlist from there. Rush will make you cry, but it won't reduce you to a quivering puddle of sobs and snot on your bathroom floor. If you make it through this one, come back to me and I'll tell you where to go next. You're in for one hell of a journey, though. :)
Now, this author has been on her fair share of lists (including the bestsellers kind). But why she isn't always first in an Amazon search for romantic suspense and at the top of everyone's favorites lists is a mystery to me. Her romantic suspense is what I judge all romantic suspense by--sexy, action packed, and overflowing with strong, smart heroines and alpha heroes who aren't a-holes. This woman is an auto-buy for me. I don't even read the blurbs, I just smash that 1-click button as fast as I can. I suggest you do the same.
Where to start: You can't go wrong with any of her series, but I started with theI-Team series, so it will always hold a special place in my heart. If you're new to Pamela Clare, I say start there.
I love an author I can follow from one category of romance to the next and know what I'm in for, and Isabel Jordan never fails to deliver on that front. Whether I pick up her paranormal romance or her romantic comedy, I know I'm going to get witty banter for days, snarky characters that I'll love forever, and smokin'-hot sexy times. Two very enthusiastic thumbs up!
Where to start: If you're looking for light, hilarious romantic comedy that includes plenty of sexy times, pick up the You Complicate Me series. If you're looking for paranormal romance with tons of action, snark, and laughs, pick up the Harper Hall Investigations series.
I only just discovered this author at the end of last year, and I was immediately pissed off that I hadn't found her sooner. Why had no one recommended this author to me??!!??? I felt so betrayed. After I got over my feelings of betrayal, I dove into the author's backlist and was thrilled to realize all her books are full of emotional moments and sexiness that are balanced by laughs and plenty of fun. Her heroes are good, solid, wonderful men, too--not an alphahole in sight. Her books are basically everything you could ever want from contemporary romance. If you haven't read her stuff, you're missing out. Don't say I didn't warn you!
Where to start: Start where I did, with A Good Man. Then save yourself some time and just download the whole series. Trust me. You'll want them all.
If you're in the market for paranormal romance that is deep, dark, emotional, scorching hot, but still manages to make you laugh every now and then, you NEED to check out this author. And also, she's the queen of plots that you'll never guess ahead of time. I would say if you like Rebecca Zanetti, the Black Dagger Brotherhood, and Kresley Cole, you'll love L.E. Wilson as much as I do.
Where to start: Start from the very beginning with A Vampire Bewitched.
Roxie Noir books are sexy, hilarious, and full of relatable, loveable characters and witty banter. And still, this was another author I found totally on my own. Why is she not on ever best of list???
Where to start: I'm going to recommend something unorthodox here. I loved the entire Loveless Brothers series, but Break the Rules, book 3, holds a special place in my heart. Levi is one of my all-time favorite book boyfriends EVER, so go ahead and start with book 3 if you're new to Roxie Noir. Don't worry: all the books can be read as standalones.
Here's another author who can rip your heart out, then put it back together again during the course of one of her books. They're never easy reads. Everything is too complicated and real for that. But I can never wait to read about the messy, complicated, angsty side of love as told through Brittainy Cherry's eyes. She's another auto-buy for me.
Where to start: You can start anywhere, but my all-time favorite is Disgrace, so I recommend you start there.
I'm not saying that Ilona Andrews, Jeaniene Frost, and Patricia Briggs haven't earned their spots on all the "best of" lists. They totally have. I adore their work. But why isn't Dianne Duvall's name right up there with the rest of them on every list? She's phenomenal! She never fails to create the perfect blend of action, romance, and supernatural lore in her books. Her characters can be pretty hilarious at times, too. (Looking at you, Sheldon.) So, if you haven't read her work, I suggest you remedy that. You can thank me later.
Where to start: Start with the Immortal Guardians series, book 1: Darkness Dawns.
Sometimes you just a book that'll make you snort laugh, you know? Kayley Loring ALWAYS delivers on that front. The banter is top-notch, the characters are ridiculously likeable, and the sexy times are SUPER hot. Can't recommend her books highly enough. And, again, why did I have to find her on my own? Why did no one tell me how fabulous she is???
Where to start: I started with Come Back to Bed and that was enough to make me read everything else she ever wrote, so I suggest you start there.
This is another author with an incredibly diverse backlist. She's got rock stars, tattoo artists, military romantic suspense, emotional contemporary...it's all there. A little something for everyone. So why is SHE not on every single "best of" list ever? Seriously, I've lost faith in these lists, y'all--because to read Scarlett Cole is to love her. And that's all I have to say about that.
Where to start: Start with The Strongest Steel. You'll never be sorry you did.
But that's just MY list. What about you? What authors do YOU think are being shut out of the "best of" lists for no good reason? Let's discuss!