I seldom read romance, but when I do, romance is usually secondary to the main story. But I do think we, as readers, need relationships to add gravity to a plotline. Doesn't necessarily mean a romantic spin, though. And these days, if it doesn't have a paranormal aspect, I don't read it!
I've read a little Jim Butcher/Harry Dresden product, just re-read Poppy Z. Brite's "Lost Souls", tried Patricia Brigg's Mercy series (found it dull, I'm afraid), but mostly I've been reading Supernatural fanfiction because, dang, if I haven't found some seriously good writers in the fandom! And the stories are FREE! Many, novel-length. The pro-fic tie-in novels have been miserable, truly. Makes me lose so much faith in traditional presses,
I've been watching the Rise of the Machine in the digital publishing field closely. Self-publishing is a reader's boon. Sure, you have to sift through a crap-ton of chaf to get to the wheat but once you find authors you love, get their personal recommendations and before you know it, you're in hog heaven.
I was one of those paperback hold-outs: "But you can't take a Kindle in the bathtub!" Until I saw my friend's Kindle. And held it. And loved the digital ink and instant downloads. Reading on the computer gives me eye-strain. Now, I my Kindle.
Thanks for the rec offer but right now, I've got more SPN fanfic to read than I can shake a stick at! It's a voracious fandom chock full of talent. (Let me know if you'd like to give it a whirl, though!) I'm kinda glad to see you read fanfic too. Fangirls, unite!
I was actually an early ebook adaptor (I got my first on a floppy in '99), and I would dearly love a Kindle, but I cannot afford one right now, and probably won't for the near future. I can always read on my Macbook, at least... it doesn't really give me a headache, the way reading on my Toshiba used to. It's pretty comfortable.
I'm too unfamiliar with the Supernatural universe... I've never seen the show, I wouldn't get it. I'll stick to my SW space opera and the GoT epic fantasy (with lots of sex). Oh boy!
I'm really into corset rippers. (as in a lot of... scenes....) Historical romances are usually boring in plot and scenes. mostly plot though. I've found a few authors that I love Kresley Cole and Gena Showalter because their books are actually interesting and keep you on your toes. Their mostly fantasy. oh! there's another awesome author I forgot her name but she wrote How to lose and alien in 10 days and moonstruck.
I am actually the worst person ever with remembering book names, the only reason I remembered the others was because they were in front of me. I've only read a few good "corset rippers" that takes place 1300 - 1890's and I can't remember the name to any of them. XP But a few that are my favorite in general are Undead and Unwed by maryjanice davidson (these were written way before twilight so they're the actually good vampire books) Luxe by Anna Godberson (I think that's how you spell it) The Sweet Far Thing by Liba Bray is epic I absolutely love this trilogy.
I definitely want to check out the Luxe series-- yet I always have trouble finding the first book in the library-- and I loooove Libba Bray's work. She's a very cool, funny lady! I've had the pleasure of meeting her too.
oh that sucks oh! another really good book is Poison Study and I forgot who it's by but for a while I was emailing the author back and forth and it was really awesome (lol at this rate I may as well make a list)
Ifind sometimes with scifi and fantasy and to a degree with the historical ones, the fact that it's 'special' sometimes gets in the way of the romance, like the author gets distracted by the surroundings.
The thing that works for me about things like Pride and Prejudice was it was written at the time it's set in, so there's no faff of describing how the social structure works or how pretty the dresses are, it is just the romance. I've read a couple of historical ones where it seems like the author is more interested in what the character is wearing and what colour her teacup is that the romance is as cold as a rock. I'm not saying these things can't work, they just have a tendancy to be more difficult to find good ones.
Isn't it Sturgeon's law that says that 90% of anything is crap? I remember I used to hate contemporaries because they seemed even more inauthentic than the historicals-- the heroines were all these prematurely aged twenty-six year olds who never listened to rock, pop, rap or electronica and who always pranced around in Chanel and Christian Louboutin heels, and the men were the same overbearing entitled alphas you'd find in a Regency historical. It's gotten a bit better now though-- I've seen more contemps where the main chars actually act like modern day people.
Anyway, what are some of your favorite romances? I don't mean Austen-- I mean anything new (or new-ish) that you really like. I'm always looking for recommendations.
some stuff by Robin Hobb - The Farseer Trilogy, and "Nothing to Envy" a book written by a journalist about North Korea, from the perspectives of 6 people who have got out and are now living in South Korea.