I’m a huge fan of category books. There are several lines that I enjoy reading, with stories that range from sweet to spicy to blazing hot. Today, let’s talk about Harlequin’s SuperRomance line. Written by some of the most talented authors around, these often family oriented books are shorter than single-titles, coming in at around 250 pages, which make them quick reads and easy to tuck in my purse. (I always carry a book with me.) But, while short in length, when I pick up a SuperRomance I never feel like I’m being short-changed. These heartwarming and emotional stories give readers the full romance experience. As they say at eharlequin.com, Super Romance is “More than a romantic relationship, it's mainstream romance with the promise of happy ever after!”
There are many SuperRomance authors whose books I enjoy reading but today I’m going to spotlight three authors: Kay Stockham (a long-time favorite), Beth Andrews (a new, rising star) and Sarah Mayberry (a new-to-me author).
I was introduced to Kay Stockham’s books three years ago when a blog I visited recommended A Christmas to Remember (Nov 2007). I read the entire book in one sitting and, as soon as I finished wiping away the tears, I drafted an e-mail to the author, then immediately set about finding her backlist of books. Kay has a gift for drawing me into a story, to the extent that I become “friends” with her characters, have a vested interest in their lives and care deeply about their happiness. She isn’t afraid to tackle difficult topics, writing with a depth of emotion that never fails to touch my heart, and taking both her characters and me (the reader) on emotional roller coaster rides that leave us stronger, better people in the end.
Many of Kay's books are on my keeper shelves and, like old, dear friends, are visited time and again. One of my favorites, Man With A Past, was a much-deserved 2007 RITA finalist.
Kay’s current release, She’s the One (Mar 2010), is the final book in her heartwarming Tulanes of Tennessee series and brings us the story of Alexandra Tulane, the only daughter of the Tulane family. In She's the One, Stockham takes us to a remote lodge in Alaska where she brings together a man and his son hiding from the world and a woman who thinks she has life figured out but discovers that she's been running from it instead. Once again, this talented author has written a story that will have you thinking about these characters long after you turn the final page.
You can find more information about Kay at her website.
As a regular visitor to the Romance Bandits blog, I had heard about Beth Andrews long before her debut book, Not Without Her Family, was published by Harlequin SuperRomance in June 2008. All it took was reading that first book for me to know that Beth was on her way to being a star in the world of category romance – a fact that was confirmed this year when her second book, A Not-So-Perfect Past, was named as a RITA finalist for Best Contemporary Series Romance.
In this story, the author gives us a hero who served prison time for killing his abusive step-father and pairs him with a mother of two who is trying to heal from an abusive marriage. It’s to the author’s credit that there were no easy answers in this relationship. Both the hero and heroine had to grow and learn to open themselves to love but, more importantly, they had to learn to love, and forgive, themselves. With her flawless writing, Andrews not only made me believe in this unlikely pair but had me cheering for them the entire way.
Beth Andrews’ next release, Do You Take This Cop?” will be released May 11th. You can find more information about Beth at her website.
Moving the family from Sydney to Melbourne to be near his mother, Joe hopes a new house in a quiet neighborhood will help them begin to heal but the motorcycle-riding mechanic next door throws a monkey wrench into his plans. Hannah has sworn off men since her fiancé ran off with her younger sister and wants nothing to do with the man and children who have moved in next door but life, and children, have a habit of interfering with our best laid plans. Home for the Holidays is another emotion-packed story with realistic characters and situations to which I could easily relate. Mayberry has created not just a hero and heroine, but also children, who must learn to overcome pain and grief and open themselves to love and new beginnings. Keep the tissues handy for this one! Mayberry's beautifully flowing writing is a joy to read and her heartwarming story captured my heart.
Mayberry's most recent SuperRomance, Her Best Friend, was released April 13th. You can find more information about Sarah at her website.
You can also check out these, and other, SuperRomance authors, and their books, at eharlequin.com.
Do you read Harlequin SuperRomances? Who are your favorite SuperRomance authors? Favorite books? What SuperRomance authors have I missed that I need to try?
I do occasionally read the SuperRomances. I couldn't give you an author off the top of my head though. I read the cover blurb and decide on the book that way.ReplyDelete
It is funny, though, because all the books you mentioned (except those 2 just out or about to be released) were ones I picked up to read. Liked the story line of them all.
I do have Harlequin authors that I follow, but they write in the Intrigue line.
I did just think of one author whose Atlanta Heroes SuperRomances have been favorites - Anna DeStefano. If you haven't tried her, do. Her newest one in the series is THE FIREFIGHTER'S SECRET BABY.
Hi librarypat! Sounds like we have similar taste in SuperRomances. I like Anna DeStefano's Atlanta Heroes series too. I've read the first three books in the series but need to find the time to catch up with the others.ReplyDelete
Another SuperRomance author that I like a lot is Holly Jacobs. She never fails to leave me with a happy sigh in my heart.
I have to agree with you on all 3 authors I too really enjoy the Super Romance stories I have read a couple of Kay's and have some more on the TBR pile I have all of Beths and loved them and have ordered the new one and am eagerly awaiting its arrival and I love Sarah's as well I have Home For The Holidays on the TBR pile I really need to find more time to read LOL.
Here in Australia the Super Romances usually are released with 2 stories in each so I get to try lots of new authors to me this way.
Sarah's Home For The Holidays has another story by Anna Adams A Conflict Of Interest and Kay's Her Best Friends Brother has Cindi Myer's Child's Play with that one so I get 2 for the price of 1 and get to try new authors now as I said before I just need to retire so I can catch up with them all LOL.
I am a big Sarah Mayberry fan so whatever line she is published under I read it. I think I picked up my first SuperRomance because of her. I read the Blaze line mostly when it comes to catagories. I am currently reading HER BEST FRIEND!ReplyDelete
Helen, Harlequin used to publish those 2-in-1 books here. They called them "Duets." I always enjoyed discovering new authors that way.ReplyDelete
I know what you mean about catching up on the tbr. I'm not sure I ever will! lol!
Scorpio, I loved Her Best Friend! Talk about awkward situations. I wasn't sure how Mayberry was going to bring everything to a happy conclusion but she did just that...and left me a very satisfied reader in the process.ReplyDelete
I am not real big into contemporaries, but that seems to be slowly changing!ReplyDelete
I just won and rec'd Sarah Mayberry's "Her Best Friend" So this will be my 'toe in the water' moment for SuperRomances!
Thanks for all the info PJ! Already hooked on Blaze, Looks like Super Romances will be next!
*sigh* more books...
Oh, Harlequin has free shipping on ANY order until Mother's Day! Good change to order those books!
that is supposed to be 'good CHANCE' to order those books. Not Change.ReplyDelete
Of all the HQ books, I love the SuperRomances the best. Especially, Beth Andrews. Her books are fantastic!!ReplyDelete
Drew, hope you enjoy Her Best Friend!ReplyDelete
Thanks for the heads up on the free Mother's Day shipping at eharlequin.com!
Hi Christie! I think the SuperRomances are the categories most like mainstream single title romance books.ReplyDelete
I'm with you on Beth's books. I've loved everything she's written so far and am eagerly counting down the days until I can get my hands on Do You Take This Cop?.
PJ, I have heard quite a few people rave about Sarah Mayberry's books. One of these days I hope to see (or read *g*) what all the buzz is about! Thanks!ReplyDelete
I get the SuperRomances delivered right to my door each month.. Ever since I read my first Kay Stockham book... I did not want to miss her Tulane's of Tenn., books.. I also got into another author in this book series is Helen Brenna..and her An Island To Remember Saga... these books just grabbed me and I can't wait until the next one gets to me this month..ReplyDelete
I have have Sarah's book in my tbr pile and have read a few of her other books.. I also have Beth Andrews Do You take this Cop?, on my shelf too..
Another good author in the SR line is Kathleen O'Brien...her Home on the Rance series..
I also get Special Editon books. as well as HGN books.. I just love to read, read, read......
Hi Kathleen! I'm also a big fan of Helen Brenna. I love her Mirabelle Island/An Island to Remember series. Like you, I'm looking forward to the next book in the series, Along Came a Husband (don't you just love that title?) which will be released on June 8th.ReplyDelete
Most of the categories I read are SuperRomances. I like the longer stories, and I like the broader canvas with context having an important role in the story. I started reading with the first ones in the 1980s. I remember when Emilie Richards and Vicki Lewis Thompson were among my favorite HSR authors. I've read and enjoyed most of those that have already been named. Others whose books I never miss include Jean Brashear, Janice Kay Johnson, and Lynette Kent.ReplyDelete
An all-time favorite HSR is A Man Like Mac by the late Fay Robinson. And for anyone who hasn't yet read it, I highly recommend Karina Bliss's recent HSR, What the Librarian Did. I loved it. One scene literally left me laughing so hard I cried.
I have to admit i rarely pick them up mostly because they're not the genre i read. I prefer historical romances to modern day ones. It might change though on sunday when i go to the book sale again for "stuff all the books in a bag for $5". They had a ton of them there today, but i didn't want to pay 50 cents for a tiny book.
I highly recommend Karina Bliss's recent HSR, What the Librarian Did. I loved it. One scene literally left me laughing so hard I cried.ReplyDelete
Janga, a lot of people have been raving about that book. I need to pick up a copy.
Melissa, I hope you decide to give them a try. They really are wonderful stories.ReplyDelete
PJ, I have to laugh. We really ARE sisters under the skin. I'm just about to write a blog about my favorite Supers. I've had a bit of a binge on them lately - and two of the authors you mention are also going to feature, Sarah and Beth, both of whom I think are phenomenal. I haven't read Kay yet. I must check her out! Another Super writer (pun intended) I've just discovered is Karina Bliss from New Zealand. I just read her WHAT THE LIBRARIAN DID and loved it. So much so that there's a Second Helping review coming up! I 100% agree with you about Beth's A NOT SO PERFECT PAST being fantastic - kept me up most of the night a few weeks ago. I've got DO YOU TAKE THIS COP waiting for me now. Bet it's fantastic too.ReplyDelete
Hey, Janga, just reading the comments - isn't WHAT THE LIBRARIAN DID great? I love the way it made me both laugh and cry - and the characters were so vivid!ReplyDelete
Andrea, Sarah's books are a real treat. I've read nearly all her Blazes (I batted my eyelashes pathetically at her about a week ago and she sent me one I hadn't!) and they're brilliant. I've only read one of her Supers so far - the wonderful A Natural Father. I've got the next two on the top of the TBR pile but the problem with a SM is that once I pick it up, I can't put it down and I'm trying to get some work done on the new book right now. I'm treating the SMs as my reward!ReplyDelete
Actually another great writer who occasionally does a Super is Kathleen O'Reilly. I've only read one Super of hers (hers Blazes are great) and it was gorgeous.ReplyDelete
I have Kay's "She's the One" in my TBR pile. I may have to move it straight to the top!!ReplyDelete
This blog was so much fun to read.. I have been on the look out for some new "to me" great authors, and I can't wait to give these ones a read. I am not sure what book I will pick first.ReplyDelete
Hey, Dishes! PJ, thank you so much for including me in your post! I'm honored to be among Kay and Sarah - both fabulous authors *g*ReplyDelete
I know I'm biased but I do think Superromance is an awesome line with wonderful authors!
The thing I like most about Supers is the variety. We have everything from classic romance hooks to suspense elements to humorous to deeply emotional. We really do have it all :-)
As you can tell, I'm very proud to be a Supers author - LOL!
Anna, that's so funny! I always wanted a sister. *g*ReplyDelete
I'll be looking forward to your Super blog!
Actually another great writer who occasionally does a Super is Kathleen O'Reilly.ReplyDelete
Anna, you've mentioned Kathleen O'Reilly before. Another one to add to my tbb list. I really do need to find more reading time. ;-)
I do read all of Beth Andrew's SuperRomances. They are fabulously written with depth and humor. I'm so excited about her RITA nom, it's very very deserved!!ReplyDelete
I'm also looking forward to picking up Sarah Mayberry's latest. I love her Blazes and can't wait to read her in Supers
I have Kay's "She's the One" in my TBR pile. I may have to move it straight to the top!!ReplyDelete
Runner10, I hope you enjoy it. It's a wonderful story!
Glad you enjoyed the blog, Laura! I always think I'm very lucky to have so many books to choose among and then I stop and realize...Holy Cow! I have to choose! lol!ReplyDelete
Hi Beth! Thanks for stopping by.ReplyDelete
I'm honored to be among Kay and Sarah - both fabulous authors *g*
You - another fabulous author - belong there. Congratulations again on your RITA nomination!
Hi Tawny! I haven't read Sarah's Blazes yet but I'm looking forward to them. I hope you enjoy her latest.ReplyDelete
Oh, what a great post, PJ! You've mentioned a couple of my favourite authors here--Beth's writing is flawless, isn't it? Not a word is wasted and everything builds up to that lovely ahhh at the end. Sarah Mayberry is fantastic, too, fully of spark and energy. And they're both lovely, lovely ladies, too! I haven't read Kay's books but I'll be sure to look out for them now!ReplyDelete
I read some Intrigue, some Supers, and the occasional Harlequin Historical or Blaze. In general, I go for longer books, but I love Beth's stories. A Not So Perfect Past is a fabulous book, and I just picked up Do You Take This Cop, which I'm looking forward to reading.ReplyDelete
Fabulous blog PJ!!! I love HQ and all their lines. They have something for everyone! I have read a few SuperRomances, but generally I stick to the Blaze books. However, with all these recommendations I'll definitely need to be correcting that!! ;-)ReplyDelete
Believe it or not, PJ, even with reading Harlequins and Silhouettes, I've never read a SuperRomance. Thanks for doing an awesome review and blog!ReplyDelete
PJ, I little birdy (Beth) told me you were talking Supers here today, so I just had to stop in. Like Beth, the variety of the stories appeals to me as both a reader and writer. I noticed someone said there were no easy answers in one of the books and that is so true of most, if not all, Superromances. That's what makes them such compelling reads (though I admit I'm biased).ReplyDelete
I read Roz Denny Fox before I ever started writing Superromances. Her SWEET TIBBY MACK is a classic. The ladies you mentioned are extremely talented authors, too!
This is so cool! Naturally, I love SuperRomances, and Kay, Beth and Sarah are fantastic authors to represent us! It's funny, but we all probably write Supers because we love Supers, so we're the biggest fans of all! :)ReplyDelete
Thanks, Kathleen O, for mentioning my Texas books. And thanks to everyone else for being such awesome readers! We're really lucky ladies--especially so when we can be in the company of great writers like Kay, Beth and Sarah!
Thanks for popping in, Christine! Yes, Beth writes beautifully and I'm looking forward to cheering her on at RWA National this year. She's a very deserving finalist!ReplyDelete
Hi Nancy! I haven't gotten Do You Take this Cop? yet. I think I'll be taking a trip to the store tomorrow. *g*ReplyDelete
Thanks, Buffie! Blazes are good, aren't they? :)ReplyDelete
Deb, I hope you'll give the SuperRomance line a try. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.ReplyDelete
Hi Carrie! Thanks so much for stopping by. I admit, I had a difficult time writing this blog. I read so many wonderful Supers by talented authors (like you) that I could have written pages instead of having to narrow it down to just three.ReplyDelete
I see that you have a new Super coming out in September. I'll be looking forward to that!
Hi Kathleen! I see you have a new Super out this month too: Texas Trouble. Is it okay for readers to start with this book or should we read the others in the Home on the Ranch series first?ReplyDelete
PJ, the Texas books are connected, but we always try to be sure the stories stand alone. It's just too tough sometimes to get hold of the old ones if you missed them the first time around. Thanks for the interest! I hope you like it!ReplyDelete
I totally understand, PJ! I'm honored to hang out with such a talented bunch. And they're darn nice, to boot!ReplyDelete
I do occasionally read categories--many of the authors you mentioned, PJ. I'm really looking forward to reading some of Sarah Mayberry's. The buzz is fantastic.ReplyDelete
Thanks to everyone who stopped by today to share in the SuperRomance love. I hope you had fun. I did! And I added some new titles to my to-be-bought list too!ReplyDelete
Hi PJ! I know I'm late in commenting, but still wanted to add my 2 cents - Super is a great line with amazing authors. Kay, Beth and Sarah are perfect authors to pick up if you've never before read the line.ReplyDelete
Thanks Kathleen O and PJ for mentioning my Mirabelle Island series and ALONG CAME A HUSBAND, coming out in June. The Island to Remember series is fun. Can't believe I'm already working on the 5th book!
SuperRomance is my FAVORITE line! Some of my fave authors: Kay Stockham, Jeannie Watt, Deb Salonen, Helen Brenna, Beth Andrews, Ellen Hartman, Kimberly Van Meter, Holly Jacobs, Carrie Weaver, CJ Carmichael, Karina Bliss, Amy Knupp.....that's not all of them! I do have Sarah's recent in my TBR - I haven't read her before. I am looking forward to Liz Talley's debut.ReplyDelete
Thanks for popping in, Helen! I was so excited when I learned that there would be more Mirabelle Island books. It's a wonderful series and I can't wait to get my hands on Along Came a Husband!ReplyDelete
Hi Marcie! After reading your list of authors, I know you understand how hard it was for me to limit my blog to just three. :)ReplyDelete
I'm not familiar with Liz Talley. Off to see what I can find on her debut. Thanks!