Anyone who knows me might think that Science Fiction would be the answer to this question. But it isn’t that simple. Tastes change over the years, and where once I might have said Mystery/Detective fiction, I’m now incredibly selective in that genre as it is no longer a favorite.
The genres/sub-genres that I can definitively say are favorites are:
But what I want to talk about is the resurgence of an old favorite that I had stopped reading years ago. Christian Romance, now sometimes called Inspirational Romance. But this time around, I’ve noticed that it is not just any Christian Romance. It has to be historical fiction, preferably set in the American West (Texas seems to predominate recently published books in this category). To get even more specific, in order to catch my interest including a mail-order bride is a definite plus, outlaws and/or mistaken identity help and having a good blend of faith, conflict, romance and humor is a must.
I haven’t set down to analyze why this is the case, I’m too busy reading and looking for new authors. The first two authors that led to this resurgence are relatively new, Melissa Jagears and Karen Witemeyer. Their books are auto-buys for me, as I will read whatever they publish. I am also on the lookout for more authors, and have started exploring a few possibilities:
As an auto-read author, Susan Page Davis is a definite contender. I absolutely loved the two books I previously reviewed, The Outlaw Takes a Bride and Captive Trail. But three books is my minimum for considering an author a favorite.
Margaret Brownley is, so far, a little hit and miss. While I greatly enjoyed A Lady Like Sarah, the rest of her “A Rocky Creek Romance” series were progressively less interesting. And while I enjoyed Undercover Bride (NetGalley copy review to come soon), I think she is an author to be aware of, but not an auto-read (though Melissa Jagears, with 2 novels and a novella might be considered an exception).
Mary Connealy had a good blend of faith, conflict, romance and humor in Tried and True and I am looking forward to the next two books in the “Wild at Heart” series, but I haven’t found her short fiction to be quite as good and need to try more of her writing.
With all that said, now I’m having an even harder time not pre-ordering Melissa Jagears’ A Bride at Last, Karen Witemeyer’s A Worthy Pursuit, and maybe Mary Connealy’s Now and Forever.
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