Authors I've Never Read

Beware, this is a rambling post. Over the years, I’ve collected books from authors I’ve…never read. I’d like to read them. Someday. There are authors who I will never “get” so I won’t even bother with those. For example, I bought a bunch of Liz Carlyle books but I learned too late that she just doesn’t work for me. So, here’s my list of romance authors who I’ve heard good word of mouth about. Should I even bother?

Authors who I would like to read and just haven’t yet:

Johanna Lindsey
. I’ve collected her books for years. Never read her. Where should I start?
Catherine Coulter. I’ve heard so many good things about this author. Is it all hype?
Eloisa James I’ve collected a few of her historical romances.
Christina Dodd I know readers who _love_ her. I wonder if I will.
Rosemary Rogers
Candace Camp (might have read her under a pen name)

I know this comment will generate a lot of eye rolls but JR Ward is one author I don’t get. I found the first book unreadable. I’ve heard of other readers getting a foothold into the series with other books. I would rather not try again. Nora Roberts. I can’t quite explain it but I quit reading her a long time ago. I find her narrative voice just doesn’t work for me like it used to.

Other authors I’ve ditched: Janet Evanovich. Her Stephanie Plum series is a recycle of the same plot with different character names. Laurell K. Hamilton. Character assassinations all around. Karen Robards. I’ve finally accepted that she cannot give me another book like “One Summer” or “Maggie’s Child.” Anne Stuart. Her heroines are weak and kind of stupid. Jennifer Crusie. She writes with other people now.

On borrowed time: Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Usually have to be in the mood to read her so she’s still safe for now. Lisa Kleypas. I’ve enjoyed her books but not all of them. Mystery-Chelsea Cain. I could probably forgo reading anymore Archie/Gretchen books. That last book of hers was sorta blah for me.

Authors I Miss: Katherine Sutcliffe, Judith Ivory, Penelope Williamson

My new auto-buy list has just two names on it for now: Jo Nesbo and Karin Slaughter.

What authors are you wanting to read but haven’t yet? Are there authors you’ve finally just thrown in the towel with? Are there any new authors you’ve found this year?

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23 Responses to Authors I've Never Read

  1. Maili says:

    Johanna Lindsey – I was really into her books, but stopped years ago. I haven’t re-read any since. No idea if they could pass the test of time. I seriously doubt they could. She did come up with outlandish-yet-interesting plots and some witty dialogue.

    I think I was into her books because most of her books featured strong heroines who could hold their own against usually jerk heroes. (I’m into rom mostly for awesome heroines, which should explain why I tolerated those moronic heroes at the time. I don’t think, comparing with heroines of roms today, those JL heroines can be seen as ‘strong’ today, though.)

    I think the one I liked a lot was ‘Love Only Once’, the first in the Mallory brothers series. I think it lagged half-way – because of those frustrating misunderstandings (I *hate* misunderstandings that could be cleared up with a conversation or two) – through, but misunderstandings were pretty much part of the package for most romances. But yeah, I did enjoy her books (I was a teen) but I doubt I would today. That was then, this is now.

    Catherine Coulter — um… I read almost every pre-2002 CC book and hated almost every one of them. I was in “I just can’t quit you” camp where she was concerned. Probably because her books were among only ones available in our mobile library (a van with books came through our isolated village once per week).

    Eloisa James – never read any after trying her debut. No special reason.

    Christina Dodd – I couldn’t finish any. I don’t remember why.

    Rosemary Rogers – I. Could. Not. Get. Into. Any.
    All I could remember is how much my teeth ached from grinding. I stopped altogether after trying her contemporary rom, ‘The Insiders’ or ‘Love Play’.

    Candace Camp — the book I really liked was The Rainbow Season, written under her pen name: Lisa Gregory. I think, to be honest, I haven’t read (or don’t remember reading) her CC books, though. I re-read The Rainbow Season not long ago and it’s still good.

    I agree with you on Anne Stuart, Karen Robards and Jennifer Crusie. I’d list SEP along with them as well. Lisa Kleypas – I think I read only three or four of her works.

    Authors I haven’t tried… I’ll need to ponder on this.

  2. farmwifetwo says:

    Catherine Coulter’s historical’s are recycled stories. I read 3 of them before giving up. I like the FBI one’s except she’s “slapping them together” as I call it. The romance is gone and the paranormal is up. I don’t dislike them, but I have to be in the mood to read them.

    Same as J/E.

    I seem to be on a paranormal read at the moment. I’m dragging myself through Lora Leigh’s… I am going to finish the series via the library, but I’m going to take my time about it b/c they are out of my comfort zone.

  3. BevBB says:

    I love this post. I don’t even want to comtemplate the number of authors fall into the actually “haven’t touched” category for me. Scary. O.O

    Lindsey & Phillips, definitely. Will. Not. Read. Ever. Again.

    Also can’t read Balogh, which generally drives other people nuts. šŸ˜‰ But there’s something about her voice for me that’s like nails on a chalkboard. Not comfort food, that’s for sure.

    But you know, someone else that’s surprised me recently I think I’ve turned off on? Nalini Singh. I read the first two of her Psy series, thought I liked them and then it was like something just shut off in my brain. Every time I read a new book description from her it’s like, ugh, not interested.

  4. Tee says:

    Hi, Keishon. Good article. It’s always fun to see the authors who appeal to others. I have a few more auto pickups than you have. They are: Chelsea Cain (yes, for the meantime I’m still sticking with her), Robyn Carr, Linda Castillo, Lisa Gardner, Jilliane Hoffman, Jayne Krentz (in jeopardy with her Arcane series, though), Karen Rose and Karin Slaughter.

    I’ve dropped so many authors within the past years and I’m not sure why exactly. Except I guess I wasn’t enjoying their stuff as much anymore and let it go at that.

    Actually, the fewer on the must list makes life a lot easier. I no longer live from book to book. It’s a good feeling to know that there are other things that are very interesting in life, too; and books are just one of them.

  5. Bev Stephans says:

    I’m a history buff and any author who doesn’t get the history right will be dropped like a hot potato. I hate sloppy research!

    I still like Nora Roberts writing, but I’m a little more discerning toward her books. Some recent ones have been clunkers.

    I’m glad to hear that I’m not the only one who doesn’t like J.R. Ward. I couln’t even finish the first book.

    As far as auto-buys in romance, Robyn Carr & Linda Lael Miller are comfort reads for me.

    Auto-buys in mystery: Margaret Maron, Martha Grimes (Richard Jury), Julia Spencer-Fleming, Louise Penny, Joanne Dobson, P.D. James and Elizabeth George.

    In the thriller category, I love Daniel Silva’s books.

    I’ve dropped an awful lot of authors in the past year because they just didn’t give me satisfactory reading. Life is too short to read bad books

  6. Avid Reader says:

    @Bev Stephans: I’ve always wanted to read Linda Lael Miller, too. I think she writes westerns, no? I have a couple of hers to try. And YES, The Rainbow Season by Lisa Gregory was the awesome. I loved that book. Glad to hear it holds up well. It has a tortured hero in it. Plenty of angst.

    @Tee: I like Karen Rose and need to try Linda Castillo. Thanks.

    @BevBB: OMG you can’t read Balogh? Did you read the right ones? Like Heartless or Indiscreet?

    @farmwifetwo: I read one Lora Leigh and that was…enough. How do you all do it? I am so turned off with paranormal these days. I’m sure there are some good stories I’m missing too.

    @Maili: Yay, I have “Love Only Once” and some other title, with “Angel” in it. My mother has them in boxes. I found most of them at resale shops. The book club editions.

    Thanks for the feedback everybody!

  7. seton says:

    Johanna LindĀ­sey – if u have Gentle Rogue, I would try that. It seems to be universally everyone’s favorite. Even *I* liked it and I always thought she was overrated even at the height of her popularity.

    CatherĀ­ine CoulĀ­ter. – to me, she is a pioneer in the more sensual HR category but others have long passed her by so people might not “get” her now. Try NIGHT FIRE or MIDNIGHT STAR. I know that loads love her SHERBROOKE BRIDE but that was the bk when I started bailing.

    Eloisa James – her style has changed from her first trilogy. I really liked her HER WICKED WAYS because the hero was such a clod that his wife and mistress made fun of how he only lasted 5 minutes in bed and EJ still made it work for me.

    Christina Dodd – I used to like her HRs ok but have refused to read her since that yr she published 7 romances in one yr.

    RoseĀ­mary Rogers – if you like bodicerippers,
    SWEET SAVAGE LOVE is famous for a reason.

    CanĀ­dace Camp – I read RAINBOW SEASON about 3 yrs ago and it lived to the hype. I find her work as Candace Camp not quite as interesting but I like her as B-List while waiting for new releases from my favorites.

  8. Angie says:

    I had to laugh at your “character assassinations all around” assessment of the Hamilton series. I read the first couple and then gave up after hearing what happens further on.

    I feel the same way about the Stephanie Plums. Loved them early on. Now it’s just getting ridiculous. End it already. Move on.

    I’ve been wanting to give Meljean Brook and Georgette Heyer a try for awhile now. Just haven’t gotten around to it.

  9. senetra says:

    Joanna Lindsey – I haven’t read a book that I liked since the mid-90s. I would suggest anything pre-1995.

    JR Ward – Once I heard the descriptions, I couldn’t take it seriously. Once Mrs Giggles described it as the Dhivine Federlines of the Yo-Yo Brotherhood, I was done. But I LOVE her Jessica Bird books.

    I’ve got a bunch of Georgette Heyers that I got a the library sale, but I just don’t like her. I will admit to skimming and liking The Foundling, but I don’t think I could have read it page by page. I’m giving her one (maybe two) more chances.

    I’m so picky and contrary, there are books I won’t read because everyone seems to love them.

    Offhand, I can’t think of any author that’s still writing who I have glommed without reading. I’ve been burned enough that I have to read at least one book before buying anymore.

  10. BevBB says:

    @Avid Reader: OMG you canā€™t read Balogh? Did you read the right ones? Like HeartĀ­less or Indiscreet?

    Snort! You do realize how many times I’ve had this discussion over the years and how many different titles people have recommended? Like I said, it drives people nuts when I admit it, which, of course, at this point only amuses me more. What’s really odd is that I haven’t noticed that reaction in regards to any other author.

    I say this with total respect, but it’s like she’s some sacred romance cow or something and I’ve never quite figured out why out of all the authors we’re talking about.

  11. Avid Reader says:

    @BevBB: I do realize that yes. My apologies. Balogh is not a sacred anything to me. I liked a few of her earlier books but the stuff she writes today is not so great. I quit reading her a long time. But I _had_ to ask, sorry, BevBB.

  12. Sybil says:

    ohhhhhh I have one of these lists from forever ago… should find it.

    hee LOT longer than yours IIRC

    Johanna LindĀ­sey. Iā€™ve colĀ­lected her books for years. Never read her. Where should I start?
    no clue I know I have read her I have her ‘angel series’ because it is a western (TBR) and I think that is the only books by her I still own… so I am guessing she isn’t a keeper. OH wait I just rec’ed an ARC of something I think it was her. I mix her up with someone else…. and am blanking on the name

    CatherĀ­ine CoulĀ­ter. Iā€™ve heard so many good things about this author. Is it all hype?

    le sigh, I had read a TON of her decided she was no damn good for me – got rid of them all. THEN started buying her again at library sales. Because I am one odd duck. I tend to like ‘old romance’ BUT I am thinking she isn’t one you would care for.

    Eloisa James Iā€™ve colĀ­lected a few of her hisĀ­torĀ­iĀ­cal romances.

    Don’t care for her writing at all, think I the only one at TGTBTU who doesn’t like her stuff.

    Christina Dodd I know readĀ­ers who _love_ her. I wonĀ­der if I will.
    See above but I have met the author and she was interesting which means jackshit about her books. I have only read one or two of her older books and do plan to read her newest release.

    RoseĀ­mary Rogers
    No clue couldn’t tell you

    CanĀ­dace Camp (might have read her under a pen name)
    I WANT The RainĀ­bow SeaĀ­son…. oh so much! And her newest one looks good. grand cover as well… lol I am blanking on if I have READ any of her books but I am sure I have

  13. Sybil says:


    BevBB:

    @Avid Reader: OMG you canā€™t read Balogh? Did you read the right ones? Like HeartĀ­less or IndisĀ­creet?
    Snort! You do realĀ­ize how many times Iā€™ve had this disĀ­cusĀ­sion over the years and how many difĀ­ferĀ­ent titles peoĀ­ple have recĀ­omĀ­mended? Like I said, it driĀ­ves peoĀ­ple nuts when I admit it, which, of course, at this point only amuses me more. Whatā€™s really odd is that I havenā€™t noticed that reacĀ­tion in regards to any other author.
    I say this with total respect, but itā€™s like sheā€™s some sacred romance cow or someĀ­thing and Iā€™ve never quite figĀ­ured out why out of all the authors weā€™re talkĀ­ing about.
    Reply

    OMG BEV! You didn’t like Heartless?

    heee

    Con’s book is about to come out (in HC… just thought you would like to know)

    ::runs::

  14. BevBB says:

    @Avid Reader: Oh, don’t apologize. Never that. Truly, I really do find it strange that Balogh is the one that’s brought out some of the, how shall I say this, oddest reactions over the years.

    And, honestly, Sybil, the last one I remember attempting to read and giving up on was The Secret Pearl. So, no, I wouldn’t even recognize new titles.

    Although there was one that I can’t remember the title of that involved a secret identity plot which wasn’t bad. I honestly can’t get into her style though.

  15. Tee says:

    @Avid Reader who said: …and need to try Linda Castillo.

    A good place to begin with Castillo, Keishon, is with her new series. The first book is titled “Sworn to Silence” and it’s been out for quite a while. The second book in the series is coming out in June, I believe. It’s called “Pray for Silence.” I would definitely recommend the first book as a prelude to the second one, which I’m hoping is written as well as its predecessor. Strong heroine, without being over the top. Good hero, so far, even with his vulnerabilities. That’s for when you have nothing left to read—and the time to read it. LOL

  16. Avid Reader says:

    @Tee: I will read it for sure. Thanks Tee.

  17. Avid Reader says:

    @Sybil: Sybil, I thought I sent you a copy of The Rainbow Season and oh crap, I forgot. I have the Diana Palmer to send you too. Must get those out to you soon.

  18. Sybil says:

    @Avid Reader:
    OMG you have The Rainbow Season for me?

    Seriously? Have I told you lately how much I heart you? Want the ARC for ā€œPray for Silenceā€? I am pretty sure I don’t have the first book… and of course it is in print šŸ™‚

    hee since the sony pockets are down to $145 I think I am going to give in and go get one tomorrow.

  19. Avid Reader says:

    @Sybil: Of course I want Pray for Silence (super excited) and yes, I have an extra copy of The Rainbow Season. I’ll send you some of my Diana Palmers too, her earlier stuff. Will make sure to email you for the details.

    Edited to also say: Yes! Go get the Sony Reader. Welcome to the ebook world! You’ll love it, I guarantee it.

  20. Sybil says:

    @Avid Reader:
    sqquuuuuuuueeeeeeeeee

    yay for me! and YAY palmers! *G* I am happy to take them off your hands. WOOT! Is one of them Eye of the Tiger by any chance? I have been looking for that one. LOL then again I need tons.

    YAY! I am sending out some books tomorrow so will send yours as well.

  21. SarahT says:

    I have tons of old Johanna Lindsey books at my mother’s house in Dublin. There are also several by Catherine Coulter, Julie Garwood and Amanda Quick. I’m afraid to re-read them!

    Eloisa James is a bit hit-or-miss for me, but I enjoyed her last book, ‘A Duke of her Own’.

  22. Avid Reader says:

    @Sybil: I don’t think I have Eye of the Tiger Sybil but will double check.

  23. Gail D. says:

    I’ve met Christina Dodd several times, and read most of her books.. I’ve reached the point where I don’t care much for her historicals, but I liked her contemporaries–except for the ones that got a little slap-stick-y. I don’t like the historicals because the love scenes tend to be a little too “forced seduction” type. I don’t like those.

    I read a number of Camp’s early Western romances and liked those quite a bit, but haven’t read much by her lately. I’d be willing to give it a try.

    I gave up on Lindsey years ago. Some of her early medieval romances are readable.

    Coulter is not a good match for me. More because of her writing than the stories (tho I’mm not wild about some of those). It’s maybe silly, but I just find a lot of her phrasing annoying.

    J.R. Ward has become a “wait till it comes out in paperback.” author for me. But I have to confess, I still read L.K. Hamilton. I know it’s bad for me, but I don’t care.

    Eloisa James–she’s gotten a lot better since her first two books, IMO. I There are a couple that have been just so-so, but overall, I enjoy them. Ditto with Liz Carlyle. (James’s first 2 books seems a little “everything but the kitchen sink, and maybe that too” plot-wise to me.) You might try Lydia Joyce or Elizabeth Hoyt. I’ve enjoyed their recent releases a lot.

    I’m not a real big reader of romantic suspense. I like cozy mysteries, but not scary ones. I’m a big chicken.

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