Beyond Bestsellers: Nora Roberts

 

by Marina M.

Welcome to August, fair readers. The one month of the year that even Washington feels the steamy, sultry summer weather. And, on that note, what’s more perfect for our Beyond Bestsellers theme for August than romance?

Even if you don’t read romance, you’re likely to know the name Nora Roberts. She has over 220 romance titles to her name. Just that name. And, writing as J. D. Robb, there are over 40 more (and counting). But, where do you go once you’ve read all of her books? Or are waiting for the next one to be published? This is where we can help!

Before we go any further, there’s one digital title that will be available on unlimited status for the month. The first book in Samantha Chase’s Shaughnessy Brothers series, Made for Us. It’s a contemporary romance reminiscent of Roberts’ Chesapeake Bay and Concannon Sisters series featuring a strong sense of place and enduring family bonds resulting from the loss of a loved one.

Now, then, let’s get to the options. Since Nora Roberts has written three different sub-genres of romance–contemporary, paranormal, and suspense – that’s how the split is going. There should be a little something for everyone.

Contemporary

Tight-knit communities. A solid sense of place. A desire for peace and love after uncertainties and, sometimes, hardships. These are some of the core aspects of Nora Roberts’ contemporary romance novels. Nothing magical, nothing too suspenseful. Don’t worry, we’ll get to those soon. If contemporary is your Nora Roberts jam then let me offer a couple of suggestions for where to go once you’ve exhausted all of her options.

Susan Mallery‘s Fool’s Gold series has the small-town vibe you might be looking for. Set in fictional Fool’s Gold, California, this series topped out at 20 installments. In a town where the population is heavily in the balance of women, the topic of attracting and keeping men in town is a high priority. The women featured in these stories show independence, creativity, determination, and strength all while obtaining their happily ever after.

Susan Elizabeth Phillips is a personal favorite of mine. Her colorful cast of characters always seem to be finding their way into (and ultimately out of) some hairy (and, let’s be honest, also usually very funny) situations. But the ride is worth it. There’s humor, romance, an odd (as in behavior, not quantity) relative or friend thrown into the mix, and, always, a happily ever after. And, in the case of her Chicago Stars and Wynette, Texas series, also a little bit of football or Hollywood royalty.

 

Paranormal

The sub-genre of paranormal romance includes all aspects of speculative fiction – science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Nora Roberts has covered two of those three. Many of her paranormal titles have fallen strictly into the fantasy realm with anything from a touch of magical realism to full-on fantasy. Her foray into the science fiction side of paranormal was fairly recent with Year One, the first book in the Chronicles of the One series. While her stories don’t really verge into outright horror, there are probably some you could refer to as “creepy.”

Year One

*A special shout-out to our good friend KP for the help with this paranormal list! Thanks!

Suspense

I mean … the obvious choice is to suggest J. D. Robb. But that’s not how this game is played. Romantic suspense is, as you can expect from the name, a bit of suspense rolled into the romance part of it. Whether it’s fending off stalkers, working as bounty hunters, detectives, or cops, or any other situation that would cause a sense of unease in your daily life, the women in these books are always right on the edge of falling into some sort of danger. While it’s 100-percent fact that these women can find their own way out of danger they usually, if sometimes begrudgingly, accept the help of their potential romantic counterpart.

As a recent entry into the romantic suspense game, Katie Ruggle already has two completed series available and a third one just getting started. Not one to only talk the talk, Ruggle also walks the walk as a graduate of the Police Academy, living off-the-grid in Colorado, and completing her ice-rescue certification. You can explore her suspenseful stories with the Search and Rescue series, the Rocky Mountain K9 Unit series, and the newest series, Rocky Mountain Bounty Hunters.

Black Hills

Share with us what you’re reading Beyond Nora Roberts. List-making is encouraged! After all, at some point, you will get through all of her 250+ books and need something else to read.

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Comments

2 responses to “Beyond Bestsellers: Nora Roberts”

  1. Marta M says:

    Piper Drake and Carla Neggers for Romantic Suspense. Carla’s earlier novels are full of quirky funny characters.

    • Marina M. says:

      Thanks for the additional suspense author recommendations, Marta. I’ve read other K9 suspense novels but haven’t yet ventured into Piper Drake. And I’m all for quirky characters so I’ll make sure to check out some titles by Carla Neggers.

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