Romance readers love series books. Favorite characters featured in one story will play supporting characters in the other tales. So, like life, the initial love affair continues on.
Summer is a good time for reading romance series. You can read them all in a row – a most satisfying venture!- or you can begin a series and pace them over a designated period without losing hold of the thread of the ongoing relationships. Many romance series are written as trilogies and published in quick sequence, but others continue on, year after year, like a healthy rose bush producing beautiful blossoms season after season.
Whether historical (like the regency genre set from 1790 – 1820 when the Prince Regent of England, George IV, ruled as proxy to his father during the “madness” of George III), or contemporary, romances ever-satisfy by providing that necessary happy ending.
Historical and Regency Romances:
Stephanie Laurens’s Cynster novels: The devilishly handsome sons and other relations of Sebastian Cynster, the Duke of St. Ives and their fair ladies are chronicled over fifteen steamy Regency novels. Check out the latest, Temptation and Surrender, for a treasure hunt and an unexpected love affair in a rundown tavern.
Eloisa James’s Desperate Duchesses sextet: it’s four stories down, and two to go! When the Duke Returns, Duchess By Night, An Affair Before Christmas, Desperate Duchesses, This Duchess of Mine (release date May 26, 2009), and A Duke of Her Own (series conclusion, release date July 28, 2009) are rich in the historical detail and quaint societal mores of the Georgian period. Whether finding love or rekindling an old passion, playing chess or dueling for honor, these Dukes and Duchesses portray English aristocracy and its excesses with droll humor and breathless seduction.
Mary Balogh’s Huxtable series: These Regency period stories chronicle the romances of three sisters, a brother and second cousin Constantine -who may or may not be a despicable rake and a cad. The sisters’ stories, all 2009 paperback publications are: At Last Comes Love (Margaret’s story), First Comes Marriage (Vanessa’s story), Then Comes Seduction (Katherine’s story), and Seducing an Angel (Stephen’s story).
These will be followed next year with an as-yet-untitled tale of enigmatic cousin Constantine. Balogh has said she writes connected books because “…often three books are not enough. Four are better, but why not get greedy and go for five?”
Jayne Ann Krentz/Amanda Quick’s Arcane Society novels: Bridging the gap between the present and the past, Krentz writes contemporary romances and her alter ego Quick provides historical love stories, both with a paranormal twist. 21st Century and late Victorian era detectives from the Jones and Jones Psychic Investigation Agency use a wide variety of unique psychic gifts to solve intriguing mysteries often related to the quest of members of the centuries-old Arcane Society to uncover the secret paranormal research of the society founder alchemist Sylvester Jones in the 1600s. The series begins with Second Sight, followed by White Lies, Sizzle and Burn, The Third Circle, Running Hot, and The Perfect Poison.
Lisa Kleypas’s “Travis” trilogy: Kleypas, a great Regency writer, has recently published a contemporary series. Wealthy Texas mogul Churchill Travis’s children, Gage, Haven and Jack are each featured in complex, bigger than life sagas: Sugar Daddy, Blue-Eyed Devil, and Smooth Talking Stranger.
Susan Wiggs’s Lakeshore Chronicle: Following several generations of the Bellamy family and friends in the rural New York resort town Avalon, these intriguing tales focus on the good and bad decisions people make and how those choices can impact the next generation. Start with the first story and follow this series in order: Summer at Willow Lake, Dockside, The Winter Lodge, Snowfall at Willow Lake, and the recently published Fireside.
Robyn Carr’s satisfying Virgin River Series is set in the redwood forests of northern California. A group of buddies from the U. S. Marines who have served in the Middle East have settled there to start their civilian lives and seek contentment in love and family. Each story stands strongly alone but, read together, they paint a portrait of a community of friends. Titles include: Virgin River, Shelter Mountain, Whispering Rock, A Virgin River Christmas, Second Chance Pass, Temptation Ridge, and Paradise Valley.
Linda Lael Miller’s Mojo Series: Can former biker bar waitress Mojo Sheepshanks parlay her special talents for winning at Vegas and seeing dead people into a successful new career as a private investigator in Cave Creek, Arizona? Miller’s other series have focused on settling the west and contemporary ranch life, but this quirky contemporary series with a paranormal element is sure to amuse readers and frustrate hunky homicide cop Tucker Darrogh. Check out Deadly Gamble and Deadly Deceptions.
These should be more than enough to get you started, but the list of quality series romances, both historical and contemporary, goes on and on. For more suggestions, ask a librarian!