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?
- The stories are set in this world in recognizable settings.
- The heroine is often someone who is just like me. It’s easy to step into her shoes and experience the ride.
- 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.
- The reader can armchair travel to exotic locations.
- The stories are often more light-hearted and less dark than in other genres.
- The stories are often set in small, close-knit communities.
- 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.
Here’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.
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?