I would not be me without those books
“Caroline, what are your favourite books?” “Do you have any recommendations?”
I’m an avid reader, so of course I do! Then again, it always depends on the genres you like, as there are some that I do not read, like everyone. For instance, you won’t often see me talk about non fiction, unless it is a tennis biography (you’re a tennis writer or you’re not, I suppose).
So for those curious to know about my favourite authors and series, I have some answers below. Because I really dislike trying to put favourites in order, the authors are listed alphabetically.
My Go-to authors
This is a list of the writers I will always come back to. Of course, this may be updated depending on which incredible author I discover.
I’ve been reading Jude’s books since I’m 12. Back then, I did not speak, nor read, a word of English, but my mum had those books that she was borrowing from a friend and neighbour, and this included the French version of A Knight In Shining Armor. This was my introduction to Jude, but also to romance, a genre I still read quite a lot to this day.
However, don’t be fooled, for Jude Deveraux is also a terrific mystery writer, despite having entered the genre only a couple of years ago (although some of her romance books do include mystery, like Scarlet Nights, to name only one of them).
The only thing I ask is that you do not ask me if I am more Montgomery or Taggert. I don’t know. I love both type of men, be they the handsome, brooding Montgomerys or the brawny, cuddly, and generous Taggerts.
Sometimes, it takes only a book to create a favourite. In Daryda’s case, it was a series: Charley Davidson. Hers is a quite unique style and her stories are compelling, to the point that once I start one of her books, be it read or reread, it is nigh impossible for me to put it down!
She is one of the most recent of my go-to authors, as I was late to the party, again.
I started reading Karen Robards a couple of years ago via a post by Jude Deveraux on her official page, as both authors are good friends.
If she was, first and foremost, known for her historical romances (none of which, I admit, I have read), what she is now most famous for are her romantic thrillers, be they standalone books or series. Fact: I have read them all, except for one because it was too expensive (and still is).
Does Dr Gabaldon need more introduction? If so, think Outlander. Although the Lord John mysteries are not to be neglected, either.
A pet peeve: that people put Outlander among the romance novels. Those books are so much more than that! Or course, there is an element of romance in them, but there is also history, mystery, and a lot of day-to-day parts. In other words, this is a series of… fiction. Quite simple, really.
What do I like best about Gabaldon’s books? Their research and how detailed they are. Although I admit that I will sometimes cringe (understatement!) at the medical scenes, because the descriptions are so vivid that I can see, hear, smell, and feel everything (and I mean everything) in my head. That’s how good they are. And the historical parts are correct, unless a historical character has been used in a fictional way.
Michelle M. Pillow
Michelle M. Pillow is a recent addition to Caro’s reading world. It is not to say that she is a new writer, because she has been publishing for years, as shown by her quite extensive list of books.
Michelle’s books cover a vast variety of genres, from historical romance to urban fantasy to paranormal to science fiction to cozy mystery. One constant: the happy endings.
Mandy M. Roth
I don’t mind being late to the party when I discover a new author, if the author is as good as Mandy M. Roth, another author whom I have only recently discovered despite her having been in the business for many years now, with an imposing published novels list already under her belt.
Same as her friend Michelle M. Pillow, Mandy’s books range from urban fantasy (of which she is definitely one of the best) to paranormal (many shifters!!) to cozy mystery. And each book as gripping as the next!
My Favourite series
Here is a non exhaustive listing of my favourite series, in random order. No, I cannot pick a favourite!
Michelle M. Pillow
Mischief, magick, men in kilts, laughs, romance, steam, and Uncle Raibeart! Nothing in this series can keep me from reading any of the books until the end. I recommend, either in the written word or in audio book (and the narrator of those books is, simply, excellent!).
Does this series need more introduction? An absolutely timeless time travelling fiction, which follows the story of Claire Beauchamp Randall and Jamie Fraser, from 1945 to the 1740s to the 1960s to… you know the gist! And if you find the bulk of the books to be a little too much, I also highly recommend the audio books, masterfully narrated by Davina Porter.
Mandy M. Roth
I have a thing for shifters, especially if they come in full paranormal regalia, with vampires and other supernaturals. Loup Garou is definitely one of those series, which follows Lindsay and Exavier’s story, then Gina and Jay’s. Only two books, but oh, how good they are!
Vampyres, demons, angels, fairies. God and Satan. Mother Nature (who pole dances!). This series has it all and is completely and totally hilarious! Robyn Peterman is a master of dosing comedy, action, drama, and turning everything into an epic moment of absolute bliss. And I love Satan. There I said it!
WARNING: Never read one of those books in a public place, because you’ll look absolutely weird, laughing long and loud.
Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Let it be known that Caro does not read translations if it’s a language that she speaks (French, English, Spanish). However, I know that this series, which started with La Sombra del Viento (Shadow of the Wind) is extremely well translated. You will fall into the story of this dark and darker still Barcelona!
This series was my first step into the paranormal word, with Dr Charlotte Stone, a psychiatrist who can see the ghosts of the violently dead, investigations into serial killers with the FBI, and her love story with the sexy Michael Garland. Gosh, those books are incredible! So much so that I reread them at least once a year.
What better than a good paranormal story featuring the Grim Reaper herself? That is Charley Davidson, of course, a private instigator of her work, but also… the reaper. And there is her BFF, Cookie, her Uncle Bob (Ubie), Rocket the ghost, a band of bikers… and Reyes, one of the book boyfriends we all want! A series in which you’ll laugh, cry, laugh some more, cry some more, and be completely engrossed in the action, to the point where you’ll only want one thing: to read the next one. And let’s not forget the brilliant chapter headers!
Michelle M. Pillow
This is the series that started my love story with Michelle’s books. The first book, The Savage King, or the story of King Kirill, was on promotion, so I got it, and started reading. Next thing I knew, a month had passed and I had read all five books (one per brother’s story). And decided that I wanted to live on Qurilixen and be mated with a cat-shifter.
A dark paranormal series, featuring a bad-ass heroine, ghost whisperer Piper Lancaster, her friends, a love interest, demons, ghosts, and tons of action and emotion. Looking much forward to the last book of the series, to see how this amazing story ends!
There is the Montgomery family, the Taggert family, but also the Kingsely family (related to the Montgomerys). Each of the books follows a specific “bride”, but you will also see a lot of beloved characters from previous novels! Plus, all of them include paranormal elements, and even some time travelling!
My Favourite standalone books
Here is a non exhaustive listing of some of my favourite standalone books, in random order. No, just like for the series, I cannot pick a favourite!
Side note: It is possible that the book is part of a series, in which case I will mention it. However, if it is, it will be a book that can be read independently of the series of which it is part.
This is the book that started it all: my love for romance novels and my profound admiration for Jude Deveraux and her incredible storytelling. A timeless love story between a fifth grade American teacher stranded in England thanks to a spiteful boyfriend and an Elizabethan knight.
One of the many Montgomery/Taggert books.
This is the first book of Eve Langlais’s I have read. And to say that I loved it is an understatement. I never thought I would fall for a purple alien, but I really, really did, with the story of Tren, a space pirate who accidentally takes a human woman, Megan, when on Earth to gather specimens.
First book of the Alien Abduction series.
Do not be fooled by the fact that this novel enters in the “romance” category! This is first and foremost a mystery, which follows the story of Sara Shaw who, after her fiancé Greg leaves after a mysterious phone call, is forced to move next door to her friend’s apartment where, one night, her friend’s mysterious brother enters through a trap on the floor. But Mike Newland is a detective on an undercover mission, whose assignment led him to investigate Sara’s fiancé’s mother.
Part of the Edilean series, but can be read independently of the other books.
Yes, another Jude romance! What can I say; I love them. And this one, Nellie’s and Jace’s story, is all sorts of fantastic with a touch of paranormal, thanks to Bernie, a recently departed woman of the modern times who is asked to help a 19th Century young woman.
The fun part is that we meet some friends that we have discovered in past Jude books, namely those from Twin of Fire and Twin of Ice, as this story happens a few years after those two books. But reading them prior to Wishes is not mandatory; it is merely a bonus.
There are several standalone books by Karen Robards that I particularly like. Sleepwalker is one of them, which follows the story of Micayla “Mick” Lange who, while house-sitting on New Year’s Eve, falls upon a robbery, and ends up racing for her life with one of the thieves, a devilishly good looking man with many secrets of his own.
This book is probably the one with my favourite of Jude Deveraux’s heroes. Set in 1892, it follows the story of Claire Willoughby, a rich heiress who has to marry someone whom her profligate parents approve of. Having agreed to marry the Duke of MacArran, Claire goes to Scotland with her family, where she meets a clan full of secrets, including the mysterious Trevelyan.
A Montgomery/Taggert book
This romantic thriller made me laugh so hard! Because of the dog.
On a business trip to New Orleans, Maddie Fitzgerald, owner of an advertising agency, barely escapes when a man enters her hotel room, one night, and tries to kill her. After a narrow escape, she is put under the protection of Sam McCabe, an FBI agent who has been after her almost killer for weeks. After a second attempt to murder her, McCabe convinces her to be used as bait in order to catch this serial killer.