guestblog

by Shelley Munro, guest blogger

Thanks so much for having me to visit today. My name is Shelley Munro, and I write both contemporary and paranormal romance for Ellora’s Cave and Samhain Publishing.

I come wearing my contemporary author hat today. Like many other readers and authors, some of the earliest romances I read were Harlequin Mills & Boon. They were contemporary stories set in exotic locations, both in the country and in cities. The stories I read actually fueled my desire to travel. I wanted to see the Greek Islands, the Italian cities and French vineyards. I wanted to see London. Yes, I definitely started my love of contemporary romance at an early age.

So why do I like contemporary romances so much?

  1. The stories are set in this world in recognizable settings.
  2. The heroine is often someone who is just like me. It’s easy to step into her shoes and experience the ride.
  3. The problems the hero and heroine face during the story are ones the reader can empathize with because often they have experience with the same problems or know of someone who has. This can make the story more meaningful.
  4. The reader can armchair travel to exotic locations.
  5. The stories are often more light-hearted and less dark than in other genres.
  6. The stories are often set in small, close-knit communities.
  7. The stories have happy endings.

Luckily for me, after a bit of a drought in the contemporary genre, there are some great ones around this year. Some of my favorites include Lorelei James with her hot cowboy series, Robyn Carr with her Virgin River series and Victoria Dahl. All three authors have set their stories in small country towns. Everyone knows their neighbors and often their neighbors’ business, which can add to the story conflict. Some of the stories have a slight suspense element to them, but mostly the stories are character driven.

Authors Natalie Anderson and Sarah Mayberry are both Down Under authors. Natalie writes for Presents and Sarah writes for Blaze and Superromance. Both write wonderful contemporaries, often with quirky characters and a little humor. I snap up their books as soon as they come out.

Erin McCarthy is personally responsible for me losing sleep because I couldn’t stop reading her Flat-Out Sexy, a contemporary set in the race car world. Maya Banks and Beth Kery write hot, hot, hot stories that leave the reader needing a cold shower or better yet, their favorite man.

My recent contemporary release Soldier of Fortune is set in both Iraq and New Zealand. My hero Louie Lithgow and heroine Joanna “Mac” McGregor are both soldiers who face danger every day while working for a private security company. Both have taken the job to earn big money. Louie intends this tour to be his last one while Mac needs to sign up again to support her father. I did lots of research while writing this story and hopefully I’ve managed to blend the danger and romance in a way that readers enjoy.

soldieroffortuneHere’s the blurb:

Joanna “Mac” McGregor loves her father, and she’ll do anything to keep him safe after Alzheimer’s starts to steal his mind. That takes money, and Mac uses her only skills—those of soldiering—when she takes up a security contract in Iraq. She doesn’t have time for men, her last vacation fling in Fiji relegated as one perfect moment to hold close during the grim reality of war.

Soldier Louie Lithgow is tired of fighting, the constant danger, and has decided this is his last contract. He wants to retire, sink his savings into a place on the beach, and find the sexy Joanna, his holiday lover.

Mac’s arrival in Iraq causes consternation. They’ve both been economical with the truth, but the attraction sizzling between them flares hot and bright. They embark on a clandestine affair—professional and confident during their high-danger day, passionate with the release of emotional stress during their torrid nights. One thing is clear—they have different goals and the future is both murky and dangerous. If they survive their contracts.

Buy link: http://www.jasminejade.com/pm-7810-127-soldier-of-fortune.aspx
Website: http://www.shelleymunro.com
Blog: http://www.shelleymunro.com/blog

Do you enjoy reading contemporary romances? Why or why not? Do you have any favorite contemporary romances you’ve read this year that you’d like to recommend?

Leave a Comment

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Annemarie Hartnett November 27, 2009 at 4:20 AM

-Do you enjoy reading contemporary romances?

You betcha. It’s my favourite genre.

-Why or why not?

I like the idea of the ordinary becoming something extraordinary. -two people meet and fall in love, simple as that yet better than the biggest epic romance on the market in my opinion.

-Do you have any favorite contemporary romances you’ve read this year that you’d like to recommend?

I’m a huge fan of Meg Cabot. This year I read “Every Boy’s Got One” and I thought it was wonderfully sweet and funny. “Foul Play” by Janet Evanovich is also in my top ten. Also, kudos to Cat Johnson’s “Friends with Benefits” (Linden Bay) & Catherine Berlin’s “Craving Jess” (Red Sage) were sweet, sexy stories I’d recommend.

Reply

2 Shelley Munro November 27, 2009 at 1:29 PM

Hi Annemarie – I really excited at the increased number of contemporary stories around. We seemed to go through a period where there weren’t many longer titles. I haven’t read a Meg Cabot book. Should I admit that? I’ve seen the movies. :-)

Reply

3 Joder November 27, 2009 at 2:16 PM

I love contemporaries. I enjoy the realism and humor in them. I also enjoy that there are characters that are reflective of me.

And an author I’ve been enjoying is Julie James. Characters that sizzle as well as snappy dialogue.

Reply

4 Anna Shah Hoque November 27, 2009 at 2:27 PM

I love contemporary romances…especially it they’re erotic ones to boot. :P They’re easy to fall in love with because they are in settings that are around us. It’s the weaving of a story that’s taking place in the here and now.

Some of my faves from this year would have to be Rocky Mountain Heat by Vivian Arend, Erotic Research by Mari Carr, Secrets We Keep by Caitlyn Willows, The Sweetest Tattoo by Cameron Dane, Closer to You: Lee by Marie Rochelle, The Cowboy Way by Tory Richards, & Cocked & Loaded by Desiree Holt.

Happy Reading
Anna Shah Hoque
s7anna@yahoo.ca

Reply

5 Anna Shah Hoque November 27, 2009 at 2:30 PM

My apologies, I don’t know if this site is through WordPress b/c if that’s the case…it’ll ban my first entry…so I’m entering it again to be on the safe side :)

I love contemporary romances…especially it they’re erotic ones to boot. They’re easy to fall in love with because they are in settings that are around us. It’s the weaving of a story that’s taking place in the here and now.

Some of my faves from this year would have to be Rocky Mountain Heat by Vivian Arend, Erotic Research by Mari Carr, Secrets We Keep by Caitlyn Willows, The Sweetest Tattoo by Cameron Dane, Closer to You: Lee by Marie Rochelle, The Cowboy Way by Tory Richards, & Cocked & Loaded by Desiree Holt.

Reply

6 Jennifer Leeland November 27, 2009 at 4:19 PM

I do enjoy a good contemporary. Kate Pearce’s Cowboy series at EC is awesome. I love BDSM contemps like Joey W. Hill’s books.

Reply

7 Shelley Munro November 27, 2009 at 5:31 PM

Joder – I have a Julie James book on my to-read pile. I’m hoping to get time to read it over the holidays. Have you read Erin McCarthy’s contemporaries? She writes with a little humor.

Anna – I like the hot ones, too, although I haven’t read any of the ones you mentioned. I’m reading Sweet Surrender by Maya Banks at the moment. I’ve just started it, but it’s very good so far.

Reply

8 Shelley Munro November 27, 2009 at 5:32 PM

Hi Jennifer – I’ve read most of Joey Hill’s contemporaries, and I have to agree that they’re good reads. She has such a wonderfully sensual way of writing.

Reply

9 Sherry S. November 27, 2009 at 10:46 PM

I love to read any kind of romance books. I like to read books where there is humor and people that you can relate to.Some of my favorites are Linda Howard, Jayne Ann Krentz and Lori Foster these ladies are great I don’t think I’ve ever been disappointed in their books. I can get lost in a whole in world with them and I soon as their books come out I just have to run out and buy them.

Reply

10 Fedora November 27, 2009 at 11:37 PM

Hi, Shelley! I started out as a contemporaries only kind of romance reader–I’ve branched out quite a bit in the last few years, but I still love a good contemporary! There’s something about a good modern-day romance that hooks me and maybe it’s because it’s so real, it’s more of a “it could happen to me” than historicals or paranormals (although those have their own appeals). A couple I’ve really enjoyed this year are Nora Roberts’ Irish Born trilogy, a couple by Sarah Mayberry, some of Suzanne Brockmann’s Sunrise Key stories, and Jasmine Haynes’s Somebody’s Lover. I know there are more, but I’ve been pretty bad about keeping track this year!

Congrats on Soldier of Fortune, and actually, don’t enter me please–I have Summer in the City of Sails on the ol’ keeper shelf :)

Reply

11 Joder November 28, 2009 at 11:42 AM

Hello again Shelley,

Yes I’ve read Erin’s books and do enjoy them. I’m also a sucker for Jennifer Crusie’s early books since they’re definite comfort reads for me. Also, Bella Andre has one or two stories that have plus size heroines that are great reads.

Reply

12 Keira December 6, 2009 at 12:37 PM

Previous post:

Next post: