Chatty Check In Post: Who Are Your Favorite R-Rated Romance Authors?

I am feeling a bit thrown by the Bridgerton series success, since I read the books years ago, in private, and didn’t ever think they would be something out there in the world. But, why not? What’s wrong with enjoying well-written female focused r-rated romances?

I don’t know why I feel guilty about this, but I don’t read as much straight romance as I should. I prefer murder mysteries and children’s books and comic books a lot of the time. Somehow, this makes me feel like a bad feminist. But I have read SOME romance, enough that I already knew about Julia Quinn and that I know about some other similar authors I can pass along if you want them.

Julia Quinn: her Bridgerton series is good, but I actually prefer her Smythe-Smith series and Ten Things I Love About You may be my favorite of all.

Ten Things I Love About You (Bevelstoke, #3) by Julia Quinn

Courtney Milan: A bit of an outlier, she does Victorian themed romances instead of Regency. And she also hits the ethical and social level HARD. If you find a hero who works on labor reform laws super SUPER sexy, this is the author for you.

Early Review - Unclaimed (Turner #2) by Courtney Milan - For the Love of  Words

Eloisa James: She does some Regency, but also some 1700s stuff, which is fun. Big wigs and high heels on men and stuff like that. She also hits the social issues note, not as hard as Courtney Milan but it is there. They are authors that actually remember the point of the London season was supposed to be men working on stuff in the House of Lords. Oh, and she is a Shakespeare professor in “real life”, and she has a fun series that uses Shakespeare plays as kind of starting points for the love stories of 4 sisters.

Eloisa James – Caz's Reading Room
I haven’t read this particular book, BUT LOOK AT THE TITLE!!! I do love a good pun.

Grace Burrowes: Light light light! Such easy reads, probably the easiest ones on this list. And sooooooooooo many of them. She also mixes Regency and Victorian, and like the Bridgerton series she follows one enormous family for a long series of books.

The Heir | Grace Burrowes | I believe in love.

Katie McAlister: She started with historical romances and then moved into more sort of magical romances, but I love love LOVE her original historical series, because they are so FUNNY. Like, laugh out loud funny at the cross talk dialogue and farce.

Noble Intentions (Noble series Book 1) - Kindle edition by MacAlister,  Katie. Romance Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

Janet Evanovich: She is famous and super successful now for the Stephanie Plum mystery series. That is fun, but what is really fun are the romance novels she wrote decades ago which have now been reissued. My favorite is “Rocky Road to Romance” with a hero who falls in love with both the heroine and a dog at first sight.

The Rocky Road to Romance: Evanovich, Janet: 9780060598891: Amazon.com:  Books

Sally McKenzie: If you can handle an embarrassing title, her books are fun and soothingly predictable. They are all called “The Naked —-” (Duke, Baron, etc.). And the plot involves this poor man at some point being caught naked with a woman that he is forced to marry.

HR: The Naked Gentleman (Collector`s Edition) Book by Sally MacKenzie -  Gramedia Digital

Jennifer Crusie: She imperceptibly moved from lightweight cheap romances to serious bestseller romances with, like, themes and stuff. For something fun and light and easy, check out “Getting Rid of Bradley” or “Anyone But You”. For something with a little more substance, start with “Bet Me”.

Anyone But You (Hqn Romance): Crusie, Jennifer: 9780373771387: Amazon.com:  Books

Georgette Heyer: The Grand Old Lady of romance. She wrote in the 1920s, which blows my mind because that means the Regency era she is writing about was just 100 years earlier. It’s like us writing about the 1920s now. Anyway, one of the things I love about her is she realized early on she could just let her work speak for itself. She didn’t do interviews, she didn’t mentor young authors, she just wrote. Very careful historical research of the era, fabulous dialogue, and great romantic tension. My favorites are “The Masqueraders”, “The Talisman Ring”, and “The Devil’s Cub”. Anyway, her books which such phenomenal hits, that she invented the whole “regency romance” subcategory and then modern authors added explicit sex scenes and stuff.

The Talisman Ring by Georgette Heyer - FictionDB
This is the copy I have. Classy, right?

Anyway, those are all the authors/books I like. Let me know if you know one of them too, share your favorites, tell me what book you would make into a Netflix series/Hindi movie, tell me why I shouldn’t feel guilty for not reading enough romance, whatever you want! It’s a Chatty post!!!

(you can also ask “how the heck are so many naked men climbing around that you can make a whole series about it?” but I’m not sure I will have an answer)

27 thoughts on “Chatty Check In Post: Who Are Your Favorite R-Rated Romance Authors?

    • They don’t have to be historical at all! And I love the idea of recommending an author just because you like the person even if you haven’t read the books.

      On Tue, Jan 19, 2021 at 12:45 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  1. Oh what a fun post! I have not read all of the authors above, but of those you have listed, I really enjoy Katie McAlister, Jennifer Cruise, Janet Evonovich. I think the common theme in all these authors is humor. They are fun, frothy, sexy, but also just hilarious. I haven’t read Georgette Hayer in a long time but what I remember liking about her was her meticulous research but the novels itself didn’t make me want to read more. Maybe I will try reading her books again.

    Adult authors I have enjoyed recently include Alisha Rai. She is definitely R or X-rated but captures intersectionality really well! Others have been Jasmine Gilroy. She is more in line with McAlister and Cruise (somewhere between PG-13 to R) and her novels are really fun and light but she also brings in a lot of wonderful diversity in interesting ways into her characters. Finally, this was my first gay romance series, so I am by no means an expert, but I really enjoyed River Jaymes’s Boyfriend Chronicles.

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    • Yes! Women who treat romance as a comedy, not a drama. I know there is a place for romance novels that are all deathly pledges and terrible danger and stuff, but there is also a place for just funny. Along those lines, if you try Heyer again I suggest The Talisman Ring. Once you get used to her way of writing, you will see it is total comedy too. There is a pair of dumb young lovers, and a sharp tongued old spinster, and a dry witted nobleman who falls for the spinster.

      On Tue, Jan 19, 2021 at 12:52 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I remember the comedy in Hayer’s novels. But something about her romances didn’t capture me. I will have to read The Tailsmen Ring and get back to you.

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        • I mean, don’t make it homework! Just if you feel like trying Heyer again, that is the one I would suggest.

          On Tue, Jan 19, 2021 at 12:58 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • Oh, there are a few! Bath Tangle is the big one, difficult hero and heroine. Faro’s Daughter has a more difficult hero than heroine but they’re both a bit weird. They’re both the bickering sort of heroine though. There are a few managing strong-minded ones but I wouldn’t call those difficult.

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  2. I go through phases of reading a ton of romance and then almost none, but I often read Heyer. She’s also the only author I like basically all books of, most authors I only like a few books of or only one. So I only look for the books, not the authors.

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    • Really? I was about to say the total opposite with Heyer. I only like maybe a 5th of her stuff. The rest of it I have tried once and then just lost interest.

      On Tue, Jan 19, 2021 at 1:17 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. I actually haven’t read anything from any of these authors. The steamier stuff I’ve come across has always been in the more genre busting door stoppers, like the Outlander series or Jean M. Auel’s Ayla. I guess a straight romance has just never been enough to capture my attention. I’ve recently tried again with lesbian romances. But while they have their perks, I guess my genre preferences are too settled by now. One was even set during the regency, „The Lady‘s Guide to Celestial Mechanics”. That’s more concerned with the position of women in the arts and sciences, though, so it feels pretty far removed from Bridgerton.

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    • Tipping the Velvet and Fingersmith are supposed to be AMAZING. And I think both of them might have miniserieses now? Very sexy well-written Lesbian romances in Victorian/Edwardian England. Not romance novels so much as novel-novels, but with Lesbian protagonists.

      On Tue, Jan 19, 2021 at 2:29 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • True, those are great. Especially Fingersmith is worth reading even if you’re not into the ladies at all. So I guess my answer to the question in the title is: Sarah Waters.

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        • This is just making me curious to try them again! I love the idea of books which are sooooooooooooo good that “Lesbian” isn’t even the headline, it’s more “society of Victorian times and social issues and stuff like that and also Lesbians”. And I also love that her titles are very very subtle sexual puns, I do enjoy puns.

          On Tue, Jan 19, 2021 at 2:53 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Tipping the Velvet is very much an exploration of what it could mean to be a lesbian in those times. But Fingersmith is about a game of deception that happens to need lesbians for the way it plays out. If I can enjoy books with straight heroes, that one is definitely well-written enough that I’ll recommend it to anyone.

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  4. Yes, to the romance! Was super into them during college when I couldn’t read anything serious or heavy when not in school because I was certain my brain would combust. They’ve dropped off my radar in recent years, but for this year I’m trying to have one romance going at the same time as I read one classic/mystery/children’s or YA lit.

    Just completed my first two Georgette Heyers last year with The Grand Sophy and These Old Shades. Liked them and def going to try more although not sure I’ll find those ‘classy’ covers you have! Now they’re properly classy and usually portraits of some 18th or 19th century aristocrats.

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  5. I was never into romance as a genre. But your description of Courtney Milan made me check her website. From the website – “Before she started writing romance, Courtney got a graduate degree in theoretical physical chemistry from UC Berkeley. After that, just to shake things up, she went to law school at the University of Michigan and graduated summa cum laude. Then she did a handful of clerkships. She was a law professor for a while. She now writes full-time.” Now, I am intrigued enough to read at least one book written by her.

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    • One thing I discovered from reading romance novels, most of the authors are highly successful and intelligent women. Off the top of my head from the ones listed here, Eloisa James has a PhD was is a professor of Literature, Grace Burrowes is a retired Attorney, and I think Julia Quinn may have been in law school when she started writing.

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      • The intrigue was not so much that she is highly intelligent or anything. Just the curiosity about how she made three big career changes one no way related to the others.

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  6. Georgette Heyer is my all-time favorite. Love her! I was told that if I liked Heyer, I would like Julia Quinn too. I tried one of her books, but it was dire. I don’t think I have the courage to try another one.

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    • Oh no, I wouldn’t say that at all. Julia Quinn is a descendent of Heyer, but like 6 generations further along. I would recommend Dorothy Sayers before Julia Quinn. Of the ones I listed here, MAYBE Kate McKenzie, but none of the others.

      On Wed, Jan 20, 2021 at 2:34 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  7. Thank you for this post. I checked and my library has Georgette Heyer and Eloisa James. I will try them as soon as I return the silly book about Duke I’m reading now.

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  8. My favorite romance writer is ME!

    Witch’s Moon, historical Barbary Coast setting, pirates, sexy sea captain, resourceful mixed-race heroine. And Back in Belmont, set in Bronx’s Little Italy, pizza restaurant, sexy wildlife photographer, resourceful Italian-American heroine. Purchase or download free on Amazon.

    (Margaret said it was okay to blow my own horn.)

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