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WhiskeyintheJar Romance

Romance book talk, reviews, recipes, and dog pictures

Blogger Site: WhiskeyintheJar Romance

Guest Reviewer at:  Reading Between the Wines book club

Currently reading

Her Other Secret: A Novel
HelenKay Dimon
Magician's Hoard (Mysterious Charm Book 3)
Celia Lake
Progress: 50%
Rogue Most Wanted
Janna MacGregor
American Dreamer: A Multicultural Romance (Dreamers Book 1)
Adriana Herrera Garibay

Kyraryker’s quotes

"She thought it over, but couldn’t see any immediate loopholes other than the threat of her inner slut emerging, and she could darned well control that little bitch."— Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Top Ten Recommended

Divided up into Contemporary, Historical, and I have no idea (Fantasy usually) here are the lists of some of my friends' top ten favorite books. I tried to query friends that were younger and older than me, who's favorites were the same and different sub-genres than me, and have been reading romance for years and just started. I'm really pleased with the variety of recs that came out of this. 


Apologies for how long this took me, whew, it was way more work to get the information organized and formatted in a way that was readable. I also wanted to make it printable for people that didn't want to have to keep returning to my post. 


Thanks to everyone again for the time and effort they took to send me their top reads, whether it was 20 books because they just couldn't cut it down to ten or simply author names because they enjoy their whole backlist. Can't wait to dive into this list :)


Contributors to the list (click on names to go to their Goodreads page or BookLikes:








Fani loves angst


Grace Cieleen




Ivy Deluca


Julie Whiteley


Jilly Mac


Linda Hilton


Meme Reads Love




Nadene(Totally Addicted to Reading)






Sonya Heaney











Comments after rec are from contributor.



Not able to Categorize

(Without reading the books, I couldn't decide if they were leaning more Hist or Contemp, usually fantasy or sci-fi in this category.)




Anastasi, Jess - Damage Control (Syfy romance)


Bardugo, Leigh - Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom


Cashore, Kristin - Graceling


Clare, Cassandra - City of Bones series


Clarke, Cassandra Rose - The Assassin's Curse series of 2 books (Fantasy, YA)


Coe, Cara - The Hidden Princess


Coe, Cara - The White Forest


Cook, Nickolas - Alice in Zombieland (romance is secondary in this book but I love Ali and Cole)


Derr, Megan - Tournament of Losers


Devan, Grace - Radiance 


Feehan, Christine - Burning Wild (Jake is everything)


Harrison, Thea - Dragon Bound


Harrison, Thea - Kinked


Lane, Jex - Captive


Mafi, Tahereh - Shatter Me


McBride, Belinda - The Tenth Muse


McFarland, Caitlyn - Dragonsworn series of 3 books (NA, syfy/fantasy)


Meade, Rachael - Vampire Academy (plus the series as a whole)


Meyer, Marisa - Cinder (plus the series as a whole)


O'Neill, Morgan - The Thornless Rose (Favorite time travel)


Owens, Robin D. - Heart Quest


Pacat, C.S, - Captive Prince


Peters, Elizabeth - The Vicky Bliss series (Borrower of the Night, Street of the Five Moons, Silhouette in Scarlet, Trojan Gold, Night Train to Memphis, The Laughter of Dead Kings. I enjoy the Amelia Peabody books, but I liked Vicky's adventures better.)


Roberson, Jennifer - Sword Dancer (and sequels) (Scifi/fantasy with an unusual dose of romance and two utterly unforgettable characters.)


Rowling, J.K. - Harry Potter (all)


Saenz, Benjamin Alire - Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (these guys stole my heart)


Shannon, Samantha - The Bone Season (plus the series as a whole)


Singh, Nalini - Angel's Blood (whole series)


Singh, Nalini - Psy Changeling series (there's too many books from the series that I like but each book is always close to 5 stars)


Smith, R. Lee - Land of the Beautiful Dead  (Urban Fantasy/Dystopian? Hard to categorize but a story that stayed with me long after I finished it)


Sparks, Kerrelyn -  Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon


Spencer, Wen - A Brother's Price 


Untamed, JanJan - The Doomsday Papers


Wright, Suzanne - Feral Sins (only this one of the series, the others eh)





(I typically consider this any story taking place from 1950ish to present times.)




Aaron, Celia - Blackwood


Alers, Rochelle


Anders, Natasha - The Unwanted Wife


Ashley, Kristen - Rock Chick (only this one of the Rock Chicks I couldn't get through the rest of her series too repetitive)


Ashley, Kristen - Sweet Dreams (one of her best IMO)


Ashton, Avril - (Watch Me) Break You


Ayala, Rachelle - Playing for the Save


Barry, Emma, & Turner, Genevieve - A Midnight Clear


Black, Incy - Hard to Forget (R. suspense)


Bette, Kimberly A. - Held


Bowen, Sarina - The Year We Fell Down (NA, sports)


Bowen, Sarina, & Kennedy, Elle - 2 recs for Him and Us (LGBT, M/M, NA, sports) (read this twice in four months and am not against another reread)


Brockmann, Suzanne - Get Lucky


Brockmann, Suzanne - Gone Too Far


Carr, K. - Home


Carr, M.C. - Birdie


Carter, Chance - Royal Engagement


Chauhan, Anuja - Those Pricey Thakur Girls


Christine, Lee - In Safe Arms (R. suspense)


Clayton, Alice - Wallbanger (great romantic comedy)


Cole, Alyssa - Let It Shine


Cole, Kresley - 2 recs for A Hunger Like No Other


Cole, Kresley - Dark Needs at Night's Edge


Cole, Kresly - Demon From the Dark


Craig, Christie - Shut Up and Kiss Me


Crusie, Jennifer - (pretty much anything, her brand of romance ensnares me)


Crusie, Jennifer - 2 recs for Bet Me (longtime perennial re-read)


Cullinan, Heidi - Carry the Ocean


Fitzpatrick, Huntley - My Life Next Door


Foster, Melissa - Tru Blue


Frost, Jeaniene - 2 recs for Halfway to the Grave (I wish this series had never ended, whole series)


Frost, Sosie - Beauty and the Blitz


Gerard, Cindy - Into the Dark (R. suspense)


Gerard, Cindy - To the Brink


Gibson, Rachel - Truly, Madly, Yours


Green, John - Fault in Our Stars


Grey, Autumn - Breaking Gravity (naughty but tortured teacher romance, NA)


Griffin, Laura - Beyond Limits (R. suspense)


Haddon, Mark - The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time


Han, Jennifer - To All the Boys I've Loved Before


Harkins, M.K. - Intentional


Harmon, Amy - 2 recs for  Making Faces (when I need a good cry)


Harvey-Berrick, Jane - The Education of Sebastian and The Education of Caroline


Hazard, Alessandra - Just a Bit Ruthless


Henry, Lisa - The Island


Higgins, Kristan - Catch of the Day


Hoover, Colleen - Hopeless


Hoover, Colleen - It Ends With Us


Hoover, Colleen - Ugly Love


Howard, Linda - 2 recs for Mr. Perfect (favorite romantic suspense) (although I'm very pissed off at LH at the moment, I couldn't leave this one off the list)


Hype, Jenn - Simply Crazy


Jackson, Brenda - Westmorelands


James, Julie - Just the Sexiest Man Alive


James, Julie - Something About You


Janzen, Tara - Crazy Hot


Jenkins, Beverly


Jones, Darynda - First Grave on the Right - (I love this whole series, it mostly revolves around the same couple)


Kelly, Brynn - Edge of Truth


Kennedy, Elle - Fragment


Keplinger, Kody - The DUFF:  Designated Ugly Fat Friend


Kinsella, Sophie - Confessions of a Shopaholic (even if in new installments Rebecca has gotten on my nerves with her refusal to learn from her past I still over the first in the series)


Kinsella, Sophie - Finding Aubrey


Kleypas, LIsa - Smooth Talking Stranger


Lanyon, Josh - Death of a Pirate King


Laurenston, Shelly - The Beast in Him (PNR/Shifter, just funny and one of her best)


Layne, Lauren - Walk of Shame


Llosa, Mario Vargas - The Bad Girl


Loch, Kathryn - Haunted Heart


Lyga, Barry - I Hunt Killers series


Malone, Lily - So Far Into You (chick-lit)


Manning, Sarra - You Don't Have to Say You Love Me


March, Meghan - Beneath this Mask and Beneath these Scars


McAvoy, J.J. - That Thing Between Eli & Gwen


McDonald, Jeanne - Compass


McKenna, Cara - Willing Victim


McKinley, Brooke - Shades of Grey


McLean, Jay - More Than This


McNaught, Judith - Perfect


Nelson, Latrivia S. - Dmitry's Closet (both series)


Nelson, Latrivia S. - Ivy's Twisted Vine


Pace, Pepper - Stranded!


Park, Jessica - Flat Out Love


Phillips, Susan Elizabeth - Dream a Little Dream


Phillips, Susan Elizabeth - 2 recs for Kiss An Angel


Phillips, Susan Elizabeth - Match Me If You Can


Powell, Liz - Hunted


Rai, Alisha - Hate to Want You


Ray, Francis


Reed, Jamie - Burning Emerald


Reed, Jamie - Fading Amber


Reed, Jamie - Living Violet


Reid, Penny - 2 recs for Beard Science


Reid, Penny - Neanderthal Seeks Human (when I need that touch of awkward/funny)


Rinyu, Beth - Thursday Afternoon


Robbs, J.D. - 2 recs for In Death series (because- Roarke! futuristic)


Romig, Aleatha - Consequences (whole series)


Roux, Abigail - Divide & Conquer


Schlosser, Jamie - Outcast (The Good Guys)


Scott, Kylie - Play (Rocker, for those times I just want to laugh)


Shalvis, Jill - Lucky in Love


Shalvis, Jill - Rainy Day Friends (new favorite)


Shalvis, Jill - Simply Irresistible


Sheehan, Madeline - Unbeautifully


Sheehan, Madeline - Undeniable


Sheridan, Mia - Stinger


Singh, Nalini - Rock Hard


Sjoberg, Lori - Grave Vengeance (paranormal)


Smith, Maureen - The Swede


St. Pierre, Raven - The Complete Free Falling series


Swain, Shea - The Awakening of the Halo


Swain, Shea - The Binding of the Halo


Swain, Shea - Chained to the Devil's Son


Thompson, Nancy S. - Stirred


Thorne, Sally - 4 recs for The Hating Game (new favorite)


Turner, Twyla - Chasing Day series


Untamed, JanJan - The View From the Bottom


Ward, J.R. - 2 recs for Dark Lover (favorite PNR)


Ward, J.R. - Lover Awakened


Webber, Tammara - Easy and Breakable


Young, Samantha - On Dublin Street (again I adore the series however the couples change each book and Joss and Braedon are my favorite)


Zabo, Anna - Just Business


Zapata, Mariana - Kulti (it took a long time for me to fall in love with this one but once I did there was no stopping it)


Zapata, Mariana - The Wall of Winnipeg and Me (when I need that slow burn)





(I typically consider this any story taking place from dawn of humans to 1940ish)





Anderson, Catherine - Summer Breeze


Ashley, Jennifer - The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie (just love it so much)


Austen, Jane - Persuasion


Austen, Jane - Pride and Prejudice (I know, I know--but--Mr. Darcy!--Classic)


Brockway, Connie - Bridal Favors


Brockway, Connie - The Other Guy's Bride


Bronte, Charlotte - Jane Eyre


Canham, Marsha - Through a Dark Mist and In a Shadow of Midnight


Cleeton, Chanel - Next Year in Havana (women's fiction)


Dare, Tessa - Any Duchess Will Do 


Dare, Tessa - Romancing the Duke


de Blasis, Celeste - The Tiger's Woman (MY FIRST HISTORICAL ROMANCE! I will NEVER forget it. It's bodice rippery, but back in the day I devoured this book-several times.)


Donaldson, Julianne


Donati, Sara - Into the Wilderness


Duran, Meredith - The Duke of Shadows


Enoch, Suzanne - England's Perfect Hero


Garwood, Julie - The Bride


Garwood, Julie - For the Roses


Garwood, Julie - The Gift (funny and sentimental choice.)


Garwood, Julie - Ransom


Goodman, Jo - Sweet Fire


Graham, Winston - Poldark series (The 1970s BBC production of Poldark, with Robin Ellies, Angharad Rees, Ralph Bates, Jill Townsend, Clive Francis, Kevin McNally

Making Poldark, by Robin Ellis

Poldark's Cornwall, by Winston Graham

I can't rave about these enough. I watched half of the first episode of the recent BBC remake with Aidan Turner and was completely turned off. Graham served as an advisor to the 1970s version, and it was much more faithful to the books. And I'm sorry, but Aidan Turner is NOT Robin Ellis!!!!!!!)


Gracie, Anne - The Perfect Stranger


Grasso, Patricia - Desert Eden


Gregory, Lisa - The Rainbow Season (Both of these books featured ordinary people living ordinary lives, rather than dukes and kings and pirates) 


Guhrke, Laura Lee - Conor's Way


Heath, Lorraine - Always to Remember (favorite western historical)


Heyer, Georgette - Cotillon 


Hoyt, Elizabeth - Duke of Sin


Hoyt, Elizabeth - To Seduce a Sinner


Hunter, Madeline - The Charmer


Ibbtoson, Eva A Countess Below Stairs


James, Eloisa - This Duchess of Mine


Jenkins, Beverly


Johnson, Susan - Sinful


Kelly, Carla - Marrying the Captain


Kennedy, Kris - Claiming Her


Kinsale, Laura - The Shadow and the Star


Kleypas, Lisa - 3 recs for Devil in Winter


Kleypas, Lisa - 2 recs for Love in the Afternoon


Kleypas, Lisa - Marrying Winterborne


Kleypas, Lisa - Mine Till Midnight


Kleypas, Lisa - Secrets of a Summer Night


Kleypas, Lisa - 2 recs for Tempt Me at Twilight (basically the whole Hathway series is my favorite!)


Koen, Karleen - Through a Glass Darkly


Krahn, Betina - The Book of True Desires


Krahn, Betina - The Last Bachelor


Ladd, Sarah E. 


Laurens, Stephanie - The Promise in a Kiss


Leigh, Susannah - Wine of the Dreamers (I'm not much into time travel/reincarnation,but one was slightly different. Similar, in a way, to Anya Seton's The Green Darkness. I haven't read it in a long time, maybe 20 years, so it's due to be taken off the shelf again.)


Lindsey, Johanna - Gentle Rogue


London, Julia - The Perils of Pursuing a Prince


Long, Julie Anne - The Secret to Seduction


Mathewson, R.L. - Truce


Matthews, Mimi - The Lost Letter


Marai, Sandor - Embers


Marillier, Juliet - Daughter of the Forest


Mastretta, Angeles - Lovesick


McNaught, Judith - Once and Always


Mederios, Teresa - Thief of Hearts


Morsi, Pamela - Courting Miss Hattie


O'Connell, Ellen - Eyes of Silver, Eyes of Gold


Osborne, Maggie - The Promise of Jenny Jones


Proctor, Candice - Beyond Sunrise


Putney, Mary Jo - Dearly Beloved (This one is controversial. A lot of readers hate it because of how it starts, but I loved it)


Quick, Amanda - Dangerous


Quinn, Paula - Laird of the Mist


Quinn, Julia - The Duke and I


Quinn, Julia - 2 recs for Romancing Mr. Bridgerton


Rasheed, Lelia - Cinders & Sapphires


Raybourn, Deanna - A Spear of Summer Grass


Shupe, Joanna - Magnate


Simmons, Paullina - The Bronze Horseman series


Smith-Saxe, Coral - Enchantment (absolutely delightful, one of my all-time favorites AND it has one of the most gorgeous covers EVER)


Spencer, LaVyrle - Hummingbird (Though I had some issues with Hummingbird, I loved the laugh out loud humor. Both of these books featured ordinary people living ordinary lives rather than dukes and kings and pirates)


Stewart, Mary - The Ivy Tree (favorite vintage)


Tavares, Miguel Sousa - Equator


Thomas, Sherry - Ravishing the Heiress


Turano, Jen 


Untamed, JanJan - The Magnificent Miss Broadway


Wallace, Bill - Buffalo Gal


Westcott, Jan - The Hepburn


White, Leslie Turner - Lord Johnnie


Woodwiss, Kathleen - Ashes in the Wind


Yerby, Frank - The Saracen Blade