Romance Contemporaries

Contemporaries (May 12, 2015 @ 10:30 am)

The benchmark book is Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie, and another contemporary romance title of your choosing. Contemporary romance, as defined by Novelist is:

“Any romance taking place after World War II, no matter what the setting, falls into the Contemporary category. This type of romance tends to portray the protagonists dealing with realistic problems, such as single parenting or career difficulties, as their relationship develops.”

Please comment on this post with your second title choice to avoid duplication.

Some resources for finding a second title:

Contemporary Romances from Novelist (list of 20 titles — searching on Novelist for genre “Contemporary romances” has 10,753 results!)

BookPage Reviews Contemporary Romance

Be in the Now: Top 10 Contemporary Romance Novels You Should Read

Author SARAH MACLEAN’s list of top Contemporaries

Notes from our meeting:

Contemporary Romance
Set after WWII with romance between characters the most important aspect of the book.

Appeal Factors:
Evocative, smart women, language is important, misunderstanding between easily identified characters. Some readers are embarrassed to be known as a romance reader. Escapism- you need to suspend belief. Emotional tug- allows readers to participate in lives of characters.

Benchmark: Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie
Offended some readers by how shallow it was and the unpleasant world the author built. Quick read but slow paced. Happily ever after felt too predictable for some.

Can be read as “mind candy” and some readers like the predictability and knowledge that it will end happily. She is known for her humor, banter and more well drawn secondary characters than in some others in the genre. Snappy dialog is enjoyable.

What we read (around the table):

Almost Like Being in Love by Steve Kluger
Two men  who meet in high school and end up together in the end. Some plot twists with some fast forwarded periods. Fast read, quirky secondary characters, sweet. Mildly sensuous.

The Great Escape by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Main character is daughter of President and book starts with her ditching on the wedding day and meets up with a biker who turns out to be the right one.

Vision in White by Nora Roberts
Four childhood friends who now run a wedding planning business but still have unresolved personal lives. Set in wealthy CT. Steamy.

Inn at Rose Harbor and Rose Harbor in Bloom by Debbie Macomber
Protagonist is a recent widow who buys a B&B west of Seattle that she conceives as a place of healing. Story focuses on two of the guests in each book and their story is resolved but protagonist’s story is not resolved within the book. Stilted writing. Chaste.

Suddenly by Barbara Delinsky
Set in a pediatric office in Vermont and one of the partner’s commits suicide and another partner needs to take over fostering of a child. Several plot lines. More depth of storyline and character than in some.

Promise Canyon by Robyn Carr
Native American couple gets together by rescuing a horse. Set in Northern CA. Small plot and not very light. Linked stories of related characters that didn’t seem integral to the main story.

Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas
Author writes in contemporary and historical romances. Main character born on the wrong sides of the track and lives in a trailer park in Texas. She has a much younger sister and her mother is killed in a car accident. She goes to the city to go to cosmetology school and she ends up taking care of grooming needs of wealthy man who ends up having her and her sister move into his mansion. Her personal struggles are drawn more in depth.

Simply Irresistible by Jill Shalvis
Main character is young and has a  learning disability and she runs out on her wedding day and she ends up having a child and later reconnects with the birth father.

Loving Her by ?
Complex storyline and characters. Language of desire versus language of sex. Two women fall in love although they take time to figure out their situations independently.

16 Lighthouse Road by Debbie Macomber
Follows three romances including one who becomes unhinged. Very suitable for older audience.

Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella
29 workaholic lawyer in London who has to leave her job and ends up in the countryside and she falls into a housekeeping job. Lots of funny moments of her trying to figure things out and fool her employer. Love interest is the gardener who she ends up with. Quick read.

Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella
One sister does everything she can to prevent other sister from having sex with the wrong guy. Very funny. Chaste.

I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella
Protagonist is set to marry into family that she doesn’t fit into. After misplacing her heirloom engagement ring and having her phone stolen she ends up using the phone of a former assistant of a no-nonsense businessman. Many funny moments with inept but lovable main character.

Where We Belong by Emily Giffin
Mostly about relationship between main character and the 18 year old daughter she gave up for adoption. They go on a trip to find the birth father who didn’t know. Not a romance because it wasn’t happily ever after. Interesting in depth story of adoptive family.

Next time: Historical Romance (including Regency Romance) Written before an author’s time (before 1945). Frame is more important in these.

Benchmark: Frederica by Georgette Heyer (wrote in the 1940-60s).


9 Responses to Romance Contemporaries

  1. Ben says:

    I will be reading Vision in White by Nora Roberts.

  2. bridget says:

    Loving Her by Ann Allen Shockley

  3. Molly says:

    I am reading Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas and Simply Irresistible by Rachel Gibson.

  4. jill says:

    i am reading Almost Like Being in Love by Steve Kluger and Love Letters by Katie Fforde.

  5. Paula says:

    I’m going to read Suddenly by Barbara Delinsky.

  6. Lisa says:

    I’m going to read I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

  7. Susan says:

    I am reading a couple of Debbie Macomber titles in her Rose Harbor series. I started #2 because it was highly recommended someplace, but then I backed up and read #1.

  8. Jason says:

    I’m reading “The Great Escape” by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

  9. Faith says:

    I’m reading Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella.

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