PopWatch Confessional: What's your dirty little romance novel secret?

Confession: I’ve read a couple of NASCAR-branded romance novels in my time — for work. But I never bought a romance novel until last week when I was scanning the shelves at Target looking for some vacation reads with my sister and stumbled onto a Western romance section. At first, I showed my sister the cover of Linda Lael Miller’s A Creed in Stone Creek as a joke. (It is, after all, called A Creed in Stone Creek.) But then, we realized it was part of a trilogy (Creed’s Honor and The Creed Legacy), and before I knew it, my sister had tossed all three books into my basket. We both have a thing for cowboys (she got an onstage lapdance from one named Maverick at her bachelorette party in Vegas in 2001), if I squint, the man on the cover of A Creed in the Creek reminds me of Timothy Olyphant’s Raylan Givens, and this author is a best-seller, so I didn’t protest.

I haven’t decided if I’ll be purchasing more romance novels, but if I do, I’m pretty sure modern-day Western will be my genre.* (As a small town girl who’s lived in the big city for 14 years, the ranches are as much of a fantasy to me as the men.) The fact that I now have a preferred genre made me think back to the day years ago when I found out my best friend from high school, who has a PhD in Bronze Age archeology, read romance novels — but only historical ones, so she didn’t feel like she was using them as a real-life surrogate. I can’t recall her exact weakness, but she had it narrowed down to a certain country in a particular century. Anyone else have a preferred romance novel genre? You’re among friends. Spill it.

*I will be. Hello, Montana Creeds!

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  • lisa

    I’m not much of a romance novel fan (more of a sci fi nerd, really) but I’ve really enjoyed Anna Small books lately. I think she’s new coz I can only find two books, but they’re really good.

    • mary q

      I’ve been trudging my way through the Southern Vampire Mysteries (which are romance novels, I don’t care what you say) books because my sister wouldn’t stop pleading for me to read them. They’re awful and uneven, but the sex scenes are nice.

  • Sara

    I love trashy romance novels – they’re such a great time waster. I like Harlequin romance’s “wrong bed” series (I don’t know if they still have them, its been a while since I sought out new books) or just mistaken ID plots in general.

  • kate

    I am an unabashed romance novel lover. They are an escape from the often boring academic books I have to read for grad school. Historicals are my favorite.

  • katie

    i also love romance novels! i like the historical ones, usually set in England.

  • Ashley

    I absolutely love romance novels and have since 6th grade, when I read my mom’s Danielle Steel.

    • Samantha

      I am so with you! I started reading Danielle Steele’s Zoya in 6th grade and have been hooked on romance novels ever since.

  • Brittany

    If it’s in the red Harlequin book jacket, I enjoy reading it. There’s nothing quite like a fast, predictable read with a sexy guy who is terrific in bed as the male lead.

  • Jackie

    I’m not a fan of romance novels at all, but a friend of mine who knows I like Stephen King and TV shows like ‘Supernatural’ recommended Nora Roberts’s ‘Blood Brothers’ trilogy. I read all three books in under a week… ::shame-faced::

  • me

    My friend got me hooked on romance novels when I was in high school. My favorites are historical romance, usually set in England or Scotland. Judith McNaught and Julie Garwood are my ultimate favorites. Jewels of the Sun (and the other 2 in that trilogy) by Nora Roberts are also awesome!

    • Louise

      I wish Julie Garwood still wrote historical novels. I can’t stand her modern ones.

    • Ashley

      I’m also a huge Judith McNaught and Julie Garwood fan. In fact, I’m currently re-reading Whitney, My Love. Oh, I also enjoy most of Nora Roberts’ trilogies – except for the Circle trilogies… those were RIDICULOUS! Another really good author is Karen Marie Moning.

      • Kelly

        Her Fever books were awesome!

    • jen

      you should try Jude Deveraux books. She writes historical romance set in both England & Scotland. She’s pretty good. Her Velvet series is probably the most well known, but most of her books still have the same time frame even if not part of a series.

  • Natalie

    Quite proud to own up to the fact that I love historical romance novels set in the British Isles. Particularly, medieval Scotland. Yum, men in kilts.

    • Brady

      Yes. Scotland. Kilts.

      Jamie Fraser in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander Series . . . mmm.

      • MelindaB

        I got burned out reading Gabaldon’s Outlander series. I got to page 500-something in the fifth book, and realized that I just couldn’t take any more. I had been reading them in succession, and I think the dark elements just made me hit a wall. I like romance novels, but I like them with other elements added, like mystery or humor or paranormal situations, and I don’t care much for explicit love scenes. I like both contemporary and historical, although I give the edge to historical romances, particularly those with cowboys. I’ve been enjoying Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove series, and I also like L.L. Miller, Nora Roberts, Jayne Ann Krentz/Amanda Quick, and Heather Graham, although Graham’s most recent novel was awful.

      • Jessica @ work

        LOVE Jamie!!! *sigh*

  • Bella

    Nora Roberts is my favorite and I’ll read anything of hers. But for genres, I’m a fan of the modern-day ranch romances, too.

  • Seth

    When I was 13, i checked out a romance novel from the library because it took place in WWII Germany and the cover suggested an action-packed war story like Saving Private Ryan with a girl thrown in. Needless to say, it wasn’t as I’d expected.

  • Jen

    I’ve wandered through historical, paranormal, western, suspense and contemporary genres– Why do women feel the need to be ashamed of reading for entertainment? Argh.

  • Jenna

    Mandi we’re trashy romance novel twins! Linda Lael Miller is my favorite romance author, I buy all her books including this latest series. You’ll like the Montana Creeds as well. I think romance novels are great, I read them after a particularly dense or dramatic book because they’re light, you don’t really have to think while reading, and they always give you what you want. My favorite is modern western but I also like historical westerns as well. Try her McKettrick series which starts in the late 1800s and then goes on to the present day!

  • Jenn

    Yep, I read historical romance usually in the regency period (think Jane Austen only dirtier). Thank god for the Kindle – I can now read them in public too without shame.

    • Jessica

      I was just thinking this exact thing as I was reading a Julia Quinn novel on a bus today – at least with my Kindle, there is no outside covering revealing the contents of my book!

  • Jessica

    If you are into supernatural kind of books, read any books by Larissa Ione, especially in the Demonica series… They are all romance novels, but are still sci-fi!

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