Science Fiction Romance (Space Opera)
- Lois McMaster Bujold – she creates characters who are unforgettable. There has never been and never will be a better character than Miles Vorkosigan… anywhere… ever!
- Recommended books: the entire Vorkosigan Saga, starting with Cordelia’s Honor
- Favorite character: Definitely Miles… but I really love his cousin Ivan too!
- Sharon Lee & Steve Miller – together they’ve invented the Liaden Universe which as an almost cult-like following. Their characters are quite fun to read, but it’s the honor code by which they live that makes these characters truly unique and endearing.
- Recommended books: Anything that is part of the Liaden Universe series. It helps to read the books in order, but it’s not necessary. I started with Agent of Change which according to Amazon is book 9 of 19 at the moment. Most of these books were written out of chronological order, so you may see varying lists as to which one is the ‘first’.
- Favorite character: Val Con yos’Phelium.
- Favorite books: Agent of Change, Carpe Diem, Local Custom, Conflict of Honors, Scout’s Progress. These probably provide the most insight into the core characters that you will read about over time if you continue reading the series.
Science Fiction Romance (middle of the road)
- Linnea Sinclair – her romance is subtle, but I love it
- Catherine Spangler – well crafted plot and characters that draw. Clean romance.
- Recommend: the entire Shielder Series
- Susan Grant – Recommended books: Star King
Science Fiction Romance (light plot, but fun/easy reads – the aliens are human/very close to human)
- Kiersten Fay – loved her characters.
- M.K. Eidem – fun, easy-going reads.
- Elin Wyn – fun, easy-going reads with characters that stand out.
- Anna Hacket – fun, easy-going reads with characters that carry through a series.
- Recommended books: the Galactic Gladiator series
- Zoey Draven – fun, unique plot elements and characters.
- Recommended books: the entire Warriors of Luxiria series
- Grace Goodwin – sexy, fun easy to read writing.
- Ruby Lionsdrake
- Cara Bristol
- Recommended books: Alien Mate
- G.A. Aiken – lovely writer, with a lot of details and characters you’ll love.
- Recommended books: the Dragon Kin series…. probably my first shifters series ever.
- Shana Abé – loved everything about the books
- Jacquelyn Frank – Vampire! – great writing and characters all around. recommended books: Jacob, Damien, Gideon, Noah, Elijah
- Amanda Milo – some of her books have dark aspects, but she has such a gift for making characters come alive and making a reader want to soak up every word. These are not fast reads, and you may find yourself re-reading sections to figure out what she’s talking about because the descriptions are often from the POV of an alien who’s never seen humans or human trappings such as chocolate and coffee. Have a leap of faith and read her work… you won’t be sorry. These are not ‘plot-rich’ books, but are about the relationships between humans and aliens (Aliens here are not merely humans from another planet… they are individuals with a wide array of features, culture and abilities).
- Recommended books: all…. start with Stolen by an Alien though, as these books do tie together in terms of characters and plot.
- Ruby Dixon – Her characters are rich and easy to fall in love with. The characters that you start off thinking are idiots turn into your favorites as you keep reading. She has several series, with wonderful world building. Each hero/heroine set gets its own book, but the books all overlap, so when possible, start at the beginning.
- Susan Trombley – she knows how to make a human pairing with an alien (really out of this world aliens that make you think of ‘animal’ more than humanoid) work although her work does not come across as beastiality in the least.
- Claire Kent – dark and vivid, but there’s a story there. Recommended books: Hold
- Allison Aimes– dark and vivid. Recommended books: Trapped (part of the Condemned Series).
- Emmy Chandler – dark, vivid, great characters. Recommended series: Prison Planet.
- Susan Stoker – excellent job depicting the military aspect (Delta force and SEALS). Some aspects can be slightly dark/scary because they come across as all too realistic.
- Recommended books: Rescuing Rayne
Reverse Harem Romance
- Rebecca Royce – she has a talent for making each of her characters unique, even in a harem with six husbands! Her books are hard to put down and the plot is well conceived.
- Recommended books: the entire Wings of Artemis series. I read them out of order (books #3,4,5,6,7,8,1,2) and had no trouble figuring out what was happening, though reading them in order would have been ideal. I have to catch up as & 9 is already out! Be forewarned, if you’re searching on Amazon, the books in the series aren’t well linked, so look for Kidnapped by Her Husbands to start. She writes in pairs, meaning each heroine gets two books. My favorite heroines in the group are Paoloma (books 5 & 6), Diana (books 3 & 4), Melissa (Books 1 & 2) , Waverly (books 7 & 8).
- Ava Mason – Her books aren’t heavy on plot, but they’re sexy. The characters don’t have a lot of depth. I’m not quite sure what I really liked about these books, but they were hard to put down.
- Recommended books: the Elizabeth and the Clan of Dragons series (warning: some dark moments)
Nitty Gritty Romance
- Kit Rocha – Recommended book: Beyond Shame
- Red Phoenix – writing style is very easy and sensuous. Recommended book: Brie’s Submission
- Robin D. Owens
- Jennifer Roberson – Her style is packed with rich world building and complex characters who are easy to love, including her bad-ass/reserved heroine (Del) who doesn’t let her guard down easily.
- Lisa Shearin – rich world building. Love her heroine’s wit and snarky attitude.
Paranormal / Magic / Time Travel Highlander Romance
- Maya Banks – it’s been a while since I’ve read much in the way of Highlander books, but this is the name that stands out for anyone interested in starting in the genre. Recommended books: The McCabe Trilogy, starting with In Bed with a Highlander
- Melissa Mayhue – loved The Daughters of the Glen series, starting with Thirty Nights with a Highland Husband
- Lynn Kurland – I didn’t read the entire series, but I love the women she sends back in time.
- Hazel Hunter – recommended books: the Immortal Highlander series
- Donna Grant – recommended books: the Dark Sword series, starting with Dangerous Highlander
- Jennifer Ashley
- Recommended: The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie
- Steven Brust – Who would think a reader could learn to love an assassin? Vlad has sarcasm, wit, and a friendship with his jhereg (‘pet’ dragon) that will draw you in.
- Recommended books: the Entire Vlad Taltos / “Jhereg” series… Jhereg, Yendi, Teckla, Orca, Athyra, Jhegaala, Vallista (this list is out of order)
- Barbara Hambly – admittedly, I haven’t read her more recent works. I read many of her book when I was in college and they kept me up into the early hours reading.