August is Read-A-Romance Month, let’s talk about my favorite romance authors!
We all know that I am an avid reader and as a result, I am read just about every genre. From self-help to religion to even an occasional paranormal; if the book is good and I can either learn something from it or escape for a few hours, I will read it. But as much as I may love a good memoir or mystery, nothing that excites me quite like a great romance novel.
Yes, I know how the story will end every time. I know that the couple will live happily ever after but that doesn’t stop me from reading them. I love, love, and as a result, I like to read about the journey. While I have read countless romance novels from a number of different authors, today we are focusing on my favorite romance authors.
The first book I read by Brenda Jackson was Eternally Yours. Coincidentally, this was possibly the book that really turned me into an avid reader. Eternally Yours was published in 1997 but I didn’t read it until the early 2000’s. Honestly even at that time, I had no business reading that! In any case, that’s now water under the bridge! One of the things that I really appreciate about Jackson is that even as she gets older, her work doesn’t seem dated. I tend to find with some romance authors that have been doing this for a while that as they get older, their work doesn’t really change with the times. As a result, they don’t really gain new audiences or even worse they don’t evolve as their reader grows. To this day, younger people are still being introduced to Brenda Jackson. She is still keeping up with the trends while sticking to her signature style.
Jackson was the first African-American author to have a novel published as a part of the Silhouette Desire line by Harlequin and her books have consistently made the New York Times and USA Today Bestseller lists. She is also the first African American to publish more than 100 novels, passing that milestone in 2013.
Recommended Reading: The Midnight Hour
In romance, I love a good series. I am always excited when I stumble across a large family where I know I will get a sneak peek into each family member’s life as they fall in love. There is perhaps none I love more than The Hideaway Series by Rochelle Alers. The Hideaway Series follows the Cole family, presumably one of the wealthiest African-American families in the United States. While their billions mean their bank accounts are large, it is their hearts that are even bigger as they show us what love and loyalty really mean. By far, this is my favorite romance series and I can’t wait to see who we’ll be welcoming into the Cole family next!
According to her bio, Alers has “been awarded the Gold Pen Award, the Emma Award, the Vivian Stephens Award for Excellence in Romance Writing, the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award, and the Zora Neale Hurston Literary Award.”
Recommended Reading: Fall in love with the Cole family by reading Hideaway.
I absolutely love the Ramsey series by Altonya Washington! If it wasn’t for The Hideaway Series, the Ramseys would be at the top of my list. She may not be particularly well known by as many of my peers as I would like but she is definitely on a roll with this series that follows Seattle’s most “provocative” family. It has the perfect mix of love, lust, intrigue, betrayal and downright outrageous secrecy. These couples seem to be my age and a lot of what they are struggling with in terms of their relationship (not the other stuff that clan has going on) is very relatable to how this generation tends to approach relationships. I have read other books by her and admittedly some have been hit and miss for me, however, the Ramsey series is what keeps me coming back.
Recommended Reading: The Ramsey series, duh!! I would start at the beginning with A Lover’s Dream.
Like I said, while I read all genres, romance is where I got my start and where I always return.
Let me know some of your favorite romance authors in the comments below!