This is the fourth in my top ten favourite authors feature. I don’t like the term ‘chick lit’ in relation to women’s romantic fiction, it is derogatory both to the author and the reader. ‘Bonkbuster’ is another term I don’t like, so I have used the words romantic fiction for this list of my favourite authors.
As with my previous top tens, this is my personal list, of authors I have read and liked. I am sure many of you will have different opinions and I hope that you will share those with me.
I first came across Carole Matthews when looking for a Christmas book to read. I chose Wrapped Up in You and fell in love with characters, especially with the Kenyan Maasai Warrior `Dominic; I know, a Maasai Warrior in a Christmas book, I didn’t see that coming. From that year on I have bought one her festive reads every year, except last year when she didn’t release one. My favourite books by Carole Matthews are ‘The Chocolate Lovers’ series of four books, which follows the lives of four friends who meet regularly in a cafe called Chocolate Heaven. The characters are full of warmth, but all have their problems and by the end they feel like life long friends; and yes there is even A Chocolate Lovers Christmas.
I have read fair few of Jenny Colgan’s novels and my first were the sweet sounding ‘Welcome to Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop of Dreams’ and ‘Meet Me At The Cupcake Cafe’. With titles like this you know you are in for a great read. I love the characters in Jenny Colgan books, they are people you can identify with, and their problems are ones we all face through our lives. One of my favourites is The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris, which affirms how precious life is and about the decisions we make coming back to haunt us; and of course Paris and chocolate, a wonderful combination. Jenny’s books will leave you warm, fuzzy and feeling good, which we all need in our lives.
Louise Bagshaw / Mensch
Louise has written under her maiden name Bagshaw and married name Mensch. Her books always have a great story line, a touch of glamour, fascinating characters and are pure escapism. My mum introduced me to Louise Mensch when she gave me Sparkles about a family in the diamond industry. I loved the characters and got lost in the cut throat world of selling diamonds. I have also read Glitz about three heiress nieces who stand to loose their inheritance when their uncle remarries, and more recently Beauty about a woman, who has made it in the beauty business only to find someone from her past is trying to take it all away. These are easy reads, that you can get lost in; perfect holiday reads.
Lindsey Kelk is the author of the I Heart..series of books which follow the story of Angela Clarke, who finds out her long term boyfriend is having an affair, whilst at her best friends wedding. Angela flees to New York with just her Louboutin shoes and a change of clothes and begins a whole new journey. These books are so much fun, and you really get behind Angela, wanting her to do well. There is lots of humour as Angela and her side kick Jenny get into many scrapes, and also romance. Lindsey has just released the seven in the series I Heart Forever which is a Christmas themed book and is sitting on my shelf waiting to be read in December. The series in order are; I Heart New York, I Heart Hollywood, I Heart Paris, I Heart Vegas, I Heart London, I Heart Christmas and I Heart Forever.
Mariane Keyes has to one of the top authors in this genre. I admit that about ten years ago I was a bit of a book snob and wouldn’t read anything that came under the “chick-lit” banner. But when I had to give up work due to my spondylosis I read even more than usual, and on my kindle I had Anybody Out There and I loved it and from that moment on I was no longer a book snob. I have since read many of Marian’s books, all of which I have thoroughly enjoyed. I love her characters, and her plots than can make you laugh and cry within a matter of moments, I am so glad I read that first book.
After falling in love with Marian Keyes I decided to try one of Celia Ahern’s novels Thanks for the Memories. This was a wonderful heart warming read about a woman, who after a terrible accident has episodes of Deja vu that she shouldn’t be having as they are of things and places she has never done or been. Again, her books are full of humour and emotion that really engage and captivate you. Since then I have read, The Book of Tomorrow and probably her most famous novel, the wonderful P S I Love you, that has since been made into a film.
Tasmina Perry started writing what I would term as the ‘Bonkbuster’ style of book. Her books Gold Diggers, Daddy’s Girls, Guilty Pleasures, etc, are all full of rich glamorous women, charming and handsome men, set in glamorous locations and are sassy, sexy and a scintillating read. I have read and loved every one, they are pure escapism. More recently Tasmina has written more in the romance genre, and her latest The Pool House due for release in 2018, moves into the psychological thriller genre; she is a lady of many talents. Most recently I have read The Last Kiss Goodbye and The Proposal which have the dual plot line of past and present that ultimately come together by the end of the book. They are full of secrets, lies, mystery, still glamorous locations and of course romance. Whatever sort of romantic novel you like, Tasmina Perry has a lot to offer.
Similar to Tasmania Perry, Victoria Fox has made the move from ‘bonkbuster’ to more mainstream romantic fiction, successfully. The first book I read of Victoria’s was Power Games about seven celebrities who are offered a flight on a private plane to paradise, but the plane crashes on an island and the celebrities, all of whom have secrets, have to survive. It is a fabulous read, full of sex, scandal and secrets, and I have gone on to read the aptly titled Hollywood Sinners and Glittering Fortunes. Most recently I have read The Santiago Sisters, which is a move away from her previous novels but just as good. Victoria still has great characters. in this book two sisters who get separated, one raised with no money, the other adopted by an actress and given everything money could buy. The glamorous locations are there, Argentina, Hollywood, Los Angeles, as are the glamorous characters. Most recently Victoria Fox has written The Silent Fountain set in Hollywood and Tuscany.
Rebecca’s books are simply fabulous, wonderful characters, fascinating plots and are sexy, sassy and sinfully enjoyable. My favourite book is Mile High, about a young pop star who has a stalker, and is trapped on the debut flight of the Pure Air LuxeLiner with a feuding crew and handsome pilot flirting with a stewardess. This book has everything for me; glitz, scandal, secrets, intrigue, brilliant characters and a plot to grip you from page one. Most recently I read and reviewed Rebecca’s latest novel Killer Affair, that has tongue in cheek look at the world of reality television stars, and just how far they will to to stay top of their game. A cast of memorable characters, intrigue, glamour and humour it is a brilliant, escapist read.
There is no doubt for me that the queen of the Bonkbuster is Jilly Cooper. I remember my mum giving me Riders to read when I was about fifteen, and from that moment I think I have always been a bit in love with the sexy, Rupert Campbell-Black, who features in many of her novels grouped under the ‘Rutshire Chronicles’ recently reissued to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of Riders. In subsequent years I have read all the books in the Rutshire Chronicles and have loved everyone of them. Her books are full of memorable characters, both human and animal (which feature heavily on her books), many whom appear in more than one of her books. Jilly is a skilful, witty and astute writer whose books will delight, amuse and engage you; you will find your self engulfed in the story and find them hard to put down. I read and reviewed her latest book Mount earlier in the year, set in the world of flat racing and the stud market of horses. Rupert Campbell-Black, now older but no less sexy makes a triumphant return and I can’t wait for her next novel set in the world of Premier League Football.
Thank you for looking, I hope I ma have given some of you some new authors to read and caused a bit of a debate where you will tell me some of your favourite authors that I may like.
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