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Consistently GREAT authors
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Laela



Joined: 18 Jan 2008
Posts: 90

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:14 am    Post subject: Consistently GREAT authors Reply with quote

I just read my 6th Sarah Mayberry book, and I don't know why I was once again surprised that she wrote another wonderful book - at this point, I should expect it! I started thinking about the few authors on my auto-buy who are just consistently spot on with their work: drawing me in, making me emotionally invested, always leaving me happy that I read the book. Surprisingly, there are only 4. Here's my list of top authors in the romance world - would love to hear about your top!

Sarah Mayberry - the only contemporary romance writer on my list, I usually do not like contemporary

Lisa Kleypas - but only her historicals, they are always wonderful. Her last contemporary series was very disappointing.

Courtney Milan - I love how she writes her heroines. And her heroes. And their decisions!

Kresly Cole - everything. Historicals, Paranormals, YA. Just EVERYTHING.


These authors just make me so excited when I find out they have another book coming out! Some authors who almost made the list include:

Tessa Dare - her current Spindle Cove series is great, I have enjoyed all the stories that are out, including the novellas

Anne Stuart - her historicals are usually always wonderful. Her contemporaries are generally good. I like her dark heroes.

Meljean Brook - really into her Iron Duke Series

Sarah Addison Allen - a little more chick-lit, but there are wonderful romantic elements. As far as I know she only has 4 books out now and I've read 3, all which are good, 2 which are AMAZING.


And authors that I used to LOVE but their recent books have let me disappointed and I don't buy their books any more:

Loretta Chase

Julia Quinn

Rachel Gibson
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Natalie



Joined: 25 Mar 2007
Posts: 1693

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have many either. Keeping in mind that sometimes a book is good but might not click with you the way some others have before.

Courtney Milan - Most of what I read was solid to great. I'm tired of the same old historicals and she definitely breaks the mold.

Lisa Kleypas - about the only author from the 90s who's still consistently great (like Laela, I'm not counting her latest contemps)

Tammara Webber - a newly discovered YA author. Her standalone "Easy" is one of my favorite YAs and her series was good, too. I'm usually not a fan of the spoilt celebrities theme but she made it work.

Mary Balogh - another prolific author who's still on top of her game more often than not. Her last one didn't impress me as much as I'd hoped but I look forward to the sequels.

A bit of a hit or miss:

Sherry Thomas - "Private Arrangements" was my favorite debut novel in 2008. While none of her subsequent books have had the same effect, they've been consistently entertaining.

Meredith Duran - I can't say I rate her books equally, but I liked everything I read and "At Your Pleasure" is my number one historical romance from 2012.

Nalini Singh. I liked her Psy/Changeling series at first but grew tired of certain repetitiveness. Right now I only read a book if the plot seems interesting to me. The Guild Hunters held more attention better.

Authors I'll be watching for:

Sarah Mayberry - I've only read 3 books to date, so I can't pronounce judgment yet, but she's definitely talented.

Cecilia Grant - She's published only two books so far but they've been impressively fresh (if not yet on a DIK level for me).

Stephanie Perkins - Absolutely adored "Anna and the French Kiss". "lola and the Boy Next Door" was nice, but definitely not as great. Let's see if the third book will manage to replicate some of the charm.

Carrie Lofty - Another author with underused settings. I liked "Flawless" and have "His Very Own Girl" in my TBR pile.

M.L. Buchman - A man writing romance is already deserving to be noticed.


Last edited by Natalie on Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Yulie



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1150
Location: Elsewhere

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is no such thing, IMO. I can't think of any author with more than a handful of backlist titles who is consistently great. Maybe consistently good, or generally great.

Some authors who have been consistently good and occasionally great as far as I'm concerned:
Miranda Neville - consistently in the B-B+ range for me, and I managed to glom them without getting bored; there's something fresh about her writing, stories and characters.
Pamela Clare - with the exception of Surrender, which I really didn't care for, I generally enjoy her books - with a strong preference for the I-Team ones.
Sherry Thomas - I didn't much like Delicious. Otherwise, I've enjoyed everything she's published so far, and even when the story isn't great, her beautiful prose elevates it at least a half grade.
Jill Sorenson - it's pretty impressive, because she writes both category and single title. I love the diversity of the characters she writes and the strong secondary romances in her single title books.
Tammara Webber - it's only four books, but all of them were at least a B and Easy and Good For You were two of my favorite novels in 2012.
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sanalayla



Joined: 21 Jan 2008
Posts: 284

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Consistently GREAT authors Reply with quote

Laela wrote:
Kresly Cole - everything. Historicals, Paranormals, YA. Just EVERYTHING.


You'd recommend the historicals? I usually only hear bad things about those, so I never tried to read them. A huge fan of her IAD series, though.

Quote:
Meljean Brook - really into her Iron Duke Series


I think I'm the only person on the planet that can't stand her writing or this series. I fell asleep in the middle of Iron Duke. (Maybe I just don't like steampunk?)
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Natalie



Joined: 25 Mar 2007
Posts: 1693

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 6:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Consistently GREAT authors Reply with quote

[quote="sanalayla"]
Laela wrote:


Quote:
Meljean Brook - really into her Iron Duke Series


I think I'm the only person on the planet that can't stand her writing or this series. I fell asleep in the middle of Iron Duke. (Maybe I just don't like steampunk?)


I couldn't finish any of her books I tried. I'll give Riveted one last chance - simply because I visited Iceland recently and I think it'll be a great setting for a romance book.
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Mark



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1369

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I record humor scores, not overall grades, but this is a descending sort of authors I find consistently good for humor. None of them have more than one book I've read without seeing any humor, most have none. For this topic, I cut out several authors with multiple books with lots of humor who also had too many without much humor. There are still books by several that I haven't read (too many books, too little time).
Author TBR 0* 1* 2* 3* 4* 5*
holbrook, cindy 0 1 0 1 3 4 6
evanovich, janet 2 0 0 0 1 3 6
quinn, julia 0 0 0 4 10 12 3
macalister, katie 1 0 0 9 12 12 2
lansdowne, judith a. 0 0 0 3 8 6 2
nelson, judith 0 0 0 1 2 4 2
laurenston, shelly 0 0 0 0 5 9 1
davidson, maryjanice 5 1 0 9 14 8 1
crusie, jennifer 0 0 0 2 5 8 1
quick, amanda 0 0 0 4 19 5 1
smythe, sheridon 4 0 0 2 3 4 1
garwood, julie 5 0 3 7 12 3 1
thompson, vicki lewis 66 0 1 8 12 3 1
phillips, susan elizabeth 4 0 3 4 6 3 1
jensen, trish 0 0 0 0 1 3 1
joy, dara 2 0 0 1 3 2 1
martin, michelle 0 0 1 1 5 1 1
davis, maggie 9 0 0 0 1 0 1
lynson, jane 0 0 0 0 1 0 1
craig, emma 6 0 0 0 0 0 1
reece, jean 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
metzger, barbara 0 0 1 8 14 19 0
heyer, georgette 9 0 0 5 10 16 0
kendall, karen 12 0 0 0 3 7 0
darcy, clare 0 0 0 1 8 5 0
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Jessi



Joined: 20 Jul 2009
Posts: 74

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My opinion:

Consistently great:
Laura Kinsale
Judy Cuevas/ Judith Ivory

Consistently very good:
Meredith Duran
Sarah Mayberry
Carla Kelly
Barbara Samuels
Joanna Bourne

Consistently very good (but with a few WTF?s thrown in from time to time)
Patricia Gaffney
Mary Balogh
Linnea Sinclair
Carrie Lofty
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Blackjack1



Joined: 21 Feb 2011
Posts: 721
Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a number of "auto-buy" romance authors:

JUDITH IVORY - alas, no longer seems to be writing Sad
JULIE ANNE LONG
JOANNA BOURNE
LORETTA CHASE
MEREDITH DURAN
SHERRY THOMAS
ANNE MALLORY
JO GOODMAN
CONNIE BROCKWAY

Below are my other favorite authors, though I tend to wait for reviews before reading their new books:

LISA KLEYPAS
SUSAN ELIZABETH PHILLIPS
COURTNEY MILAN
CECILIA GRANT
ELIZABETH ESSEX
MARY BALOGH
LAURA KINSALE
MADELINE HUNTER
ANNE STUART
LAURA LEE GUHRKE
SUZANNE ENOCH
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Rosie



Joined: 01 Apr 2007
Posts: 291

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kate Noble -- She's the only author I can say I've liked every single thing she's published so far.

Marsha Canham -- I've liked every book of hers that I've read (though that's currently only about half of her backlist -- so far).
Maggie Osborne -- ditto what I said about Marsha Canham

Sarah Mayberry -- I sometimes forget just how good she is until I'm sucked into another one of her stories. I've read about 19 books of hers, and there's really only 1 that I can say I didn't care for.
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Eliza



Joined: 21 Aug 2011
Posts: 1124

PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The authors who have been consistently "there" for my taste for some time now are...
Lisa Kleypas -- historicals
Loretta Chase
Mary Balogh
Karen Ranney
Eloisa James
Laura Lee Gurhke
Diana Gabaldon
Lauren Willig
Judith Ivory -- I miss her so
Candice Hern -- I miss not getting new, full-length novels
Note: Suzanne Enoch had been a long time favorite until her Adventurers' Club series which really put me off--but I loved her latest series, so...back on track.

Relatively newer-to-me-authors who now are not only auto-buys, but who get read toute suite are...
Julie Anne Long
Anne Gracie
Miranda Neville
Elizabeth Hoyt

On my "hot" watch list are...
Kate Noble
Caroline Linden
Cecilia Grant
Juliana Gray

Since my list is all historicals, for contemps I could add Julie James and Susan Andersen.

A "greats" list should probably also have Laura Kinsale, Mary Jo Putney and Maggie Osborne, and while I've loved what I've read, I still have a lot of catching up to do, I confess.

I've discontinued reading Quinn and Gibson who seem to be fading, SEP who I once enjoyed but recycles too many things for my taste, Crusie who took a direction I wasn't interested in, and Linda Howard who I think is still a terrific author but the darker, thriller aspects of recent books are not for me so much.
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msaggie



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 688

PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 6:03 am    Post subject: Consistently GREAT authors Reply with quote

It is very difficult to have a consistently great author, where you are always looking forward to their next release, and any book they write is a straight re-read, but mine are:
Juliet Marillier - these are fantasy mythology, with romance and learning tales within them. I have all her books, and her best and most-beloved are the Sevenwaters books, the first three are DIKs at AAR. I also love the Saga of the Light Isles (Viking heroes) and the Bridei chronicles (more historical). Her YA books, Wildwood Dancing, Cybele's Secret, Heart's Blood and latest Shadowfell books are also very good.

Ilona Andrews - I have read all their books multiple times. Action and romance, magic and derring-do, smart-mouthing, wit, philosophy....Wink

Lois McMaster Bujold - Vorkosigan series and The Sharing Knife books are my favorites

I just realized that none of the aforementioned are traditional romance genre books. Authors of more typical romance fare which I would consider very very good and haven't disappointed me yet are:

Sherry Thomas I actually do have all her books too and enjoyed all of them very much

Joanna Bourne writes wonderfully descriptive and atmospheric romances

Cecilia Grant - she defies romance comvention with very unusual story lines which makes one think - why an't more romance authors writing like this?

Barbara Samuel/Ruth Wind - all her romances have such a strong emotional core
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Leigh



Joined: 29 May 2007
Posts: 2689

PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You guys are very much into historical authors.

I am the opposite of many of you with my love for contemporary and women's fiction.

I don't know that I can say that these authors books are always a B for me but they are on my auto buy list

Sarah Addison Allen
Jill Mansell
Eloisa James
Loretta Chase
Virginia Kantra
Emilie Richards
Robyn Carr
Roisin Meaney
Lucy Dillon
Sarah Dessen
Sophie Kinsella
Susanna Kearsley

and I am sure that are more. I thought SEP last book was mediocre but I still plan on reading her next book.
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SusanS



Joined: 27 Mar 2008
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:30 am    Post subject: Re: Consistently GREAT authors Reply with quote

msaggie wrote:
It is very difficult to have a consistently great author, where you are always looking forward to their next release, and any book they write is a straight re-read, but mine are:
Juliet Marillier - these are fantasy mythology, with romance and learning tales within them. I have all her books, and her best and most-beloved are the Sevenwaters books, the first three are DIKs at AAR. I also love the Saga of the Light Isles (Viking heroes) and the Bridei chronicles (more historical). Her YA books, Wildwood Dancing, Cybele's Secret, Heart's Blood and latest Shadowfell books are also very good.

Ilona Andrews - I have read all their books multiple times. Action and romance, magic and derring-do, smart-mouthing, wit, philosophy....Wink

Lois McMaster Bujold - Vorkosigan series and The Sharing Knife books are my favorites

I just realized that none of the aforementioned are traditional romance genre books. Authors of more typical romance fare which I would consider very very good and haven't disappointed me yet are:



msaggie - I love all 3 of those authors - sounds like we have similar taste in sci fi/fantasy/romance. Who else would you recommend? I'm also a fan of Sharon Shinn (although her latest series is not working for me).
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Leigh



Joined: 29 May 2007
Posts: 2689

PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Consistently GREAT authors Reply with quote

SusanS wrote:
msaggie wrote:
It is very difficult to have a consistently great author, where you are always looking forward to their next release, and any book they write is a straight re-read, but mine are:
Juliet Marillier - these are fantasy mythology, with romance and learning tales within them. I have all her books, and her best and most-beloved are the Sevenwaters books, the first three are DIKs at AAR. I also love the Saga of the Light Isles (Viking heroes) and the Bridei chronicles (more historical). Her YA books, Wildwood Dancing, Cybele's Secret, Heart's Blood and latest Shadowfell books are also very good.

Ilona Andrews - I have read all their books multiple times. Action and romance, magic and derring-do, smart-mouthing, wit, philosophy....Wink

Lois McMaster Bujold - Vorkosigan series and The Sharing Knife books are my favorites

I just realized that none of the aforementioned are traditional romance genre books. Authors of more typical romance fare which I would consider very very good and haven't disappointed me yet are:



msaggie - I love all 3 of those authors - sounds like we have similar taste in sci fi/fantasy/romance. Who else would you recommend? I'm also a fan of Sharon Shinn (although her latest series is not working for me).


I know - agree with you about this latest series by Shinn. The first book was horrible in terms of a healthy romance. The second was better in the romance department but sad.

I like Lois McMaster Bujold but I don't do series well about one character. and I wouldn't say the Sharing Knife is my favorite series. Curse of Chalion blew me away.
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Natalie



Joined: 25 Mar 2007
Posts: 1693

PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I, too, love books that bridge my two favorite genres: sf/fantasy and romance.

In addition to those mentioned above, I've liked:

Anne Bishop's Dark Jewels series (there's some dark and disturbing stuff in it and it's not exactly traditional HEA)
Maria Snyder - Poison Study (didn't read any of the sequels)
Laini Taylor - Daughter of Smoke & Bone
Veronica Roth - Insurgent
Brandon Sanderson - Mistborn (female protagonist, romance is less prominent but still sweet)
Julie Kagawa - The Iron King
Patricia McKillip - The Forgotten Beasts of Eld

The scifi/paranormal romances:
Nalini Singh
Justine Davis - Lord of the Storm
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