I wanted to know if anyone had any suggestions on good romance books that actually have a good plot? I like books where the characters carry the story, not just a bunch of bad language and x-rated sex scenes
There have been a lot of threads like this recently! I guess we're all getting tired of what is considered "popular" entertainment these days.
It really depends on your taste. I like historical romance, so I like writers like Georgette Heyer, Elizabeth Mansfield and Joan Smith. There's also Madeleine Brent, who wrote great historical romantic suspense novels like "Moonraker's Bride" and "Golden Urchin." Mary Stewart is also a romantic suspense novelist whose books were re-published recently.
Lastly, I will put in a plug for my book. My second novel, MR. MALCOLM'S LIST, was just published this month. If you do like historical romance, it has no sex scenes or bad language and I think it has a good plot. :)
I hope some of these suggestions were helpful.
Suzanne Allain Author of INCOGNITO and MR. MALCOLM'S LIST
The best books I have ever read are the Diana Gabaldon "Outlander" series books about Jamie Frasier and Claire Beauchamp Randall. The best romance ever. Seven books now and one more to go. Each about 700 pages. Nothing better!
My favorite romance book is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, although it is much more than just a romance novel. It is a mystery novel that reads like it was set in today's political/economic climate, even though it was written more than 50 years ago. Here are a few things Miss Rand wrote about the importance and purpose of a plot:
"`Conflict' here means conflict with other men or conflict within a man, but not conflict against nature or coincidence." Ayn Rand
"Since plot is essentially conflict, you must look for a good conflict." Ayn Rand
"A proper plot situation involves a conflict of values." Ayn Rand
"Plot conflict is not conflict merely in a character's mind or soul, while he sits at home. A plot conflict has to be expressed in action. Ayn Rand
"The more conflicts involved in the same action situation, and the more serious the values for the participants, the better the dramatic situation and the tighter the plot you can construct from it." Ayn Rand
"I have to show the hero in a difficult struggle-and the worse I can make it, the better dramatically. I have to devise the hardest obstacles possible, and those of greatest significance to the hero." Ayn Rand
"The more struggle a story involves, the better the plot." Ayn Rand
"The essence of plot structure is: struggle-therefore, conflict-therefore, climax. A struggle implies two opposing forces in conflict, and it implies a climax. The climax is the central point of the story, where the conflict is resolved." Ayn Rand
"In a fully volitional conflict, both adversaries must have free will; two choices, two sets of values, must be involved." Ayn Rand
"The values involved in a story should be important enough to interest the characters, the author, and the reader, a conflict over a choice of dessert obviously will not do." Ayn Rand
"He has a spiritual conflict, a conflict of values within himself-and the story is lifted from detective fiction into drama." Ayn Rand
"In this sense, I believe with Victor Hugo that the more melodramatic the action in which one can express the drama, the better the story. (By `melodramatic' I here mean physical danger or action). If you can unite the two-if you can give a relevant and logical physical expression to the spiritual conflict you present-then you have high-class drama." Ayn Rand
"A drama involves primarily a conflict of values within a man (as expressed in action); a melodrama involves only conflicts of a man with other men." Ayn Rand
"The usual pattern of drama is a conflict within the hero himself and a conflict against other men. This creates the best, most complex plot structures." Ayn Rand
I enjoy the intrigue books by BJ Daniels. Her books have a good story with a little romance, I liked the ones that involved White Horse Montanna and the sewing circle. Secret of Deadman's coulee is just one of them, but there are a series. I got hooked on the first book I got for my kindle and it was free until yesterday and that was Crime Scene at Cardwell Ranch, this one is not part of the White Horse series, but it was good and I enjoyed the story. I hope you will look into these.
Some of my very favorite authors with great story lines from mystery to romantic comedy, to military thrillers, are:
Colleen Coble (trains and uses search dogs in mysteries), Hannah Alexander (Er medical), Jeanette Windle (set in South America), Joel Rosenberg (fiction, up to date world happening), Oliver North (fiction, military suspense), Don Brown (military), Ed Stewart, Diann Hunt, Terri Blackstock, Davis Bunn, and many others.
Want a great clean romance series with action, adventure, humor, exotica, and a great story? Look no further than Colleen Houck's Tiger series (Tiger's Curse and Tiger's Quest). Wonderful, romantic, and fun!
You have to watch out with her books, some are old (and bad) romance novels reprinted due to the author's popularity, but "Temptation" is by far my favorite, and she is the only romance writer whose books are on my bookshelf.
"Darkfever" by Karen Marie Moning
Not a romance novel per se, but plenty of sexual tension, and some sex does occur later in the series. If you like fantasy/science fiction as well, you'll love this series!
"A Kiss of Shadows" by Laurell K. Hamilton
Again, not a romance novel per se, but an excellent series about a detective fairy princess who must get pregnant in order to secure the crown. So fantasy, romance and detective all mixed together. Like Hamilton's other series (Anita Blake), the series suffers from some bad writing later on, but I'm still holding out hope for it.
Try author Lynn Knurland. Her books are "closed door romances", so no sex scenes. My favorites are the "Nine Kingdoms" series because I like the fantasy style, but her historical romances are good too.
The Hero's Best Friend by Elise Dee Beraru is a really nice book. I loved te way the story flowed and while there was gratuitous sex, most of it was really integral to the flow of the story and the character development was amazing. Its a book set in the old west style. :)