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Contemporary Romance Novel Recommendations for the Beginner Reader

Contemporary romance is a subgenre set after World War II. There are many types of romance categories within Contemporary romance, such as romantic suspense, love in the workplace, romantic comedy and medical romance, just to name a few. If you’re looking for good quality Contemporary romance, I have five classic Contemporary romance novels by four authors- all must reads for any romance fan.


1. Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding


Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding, published in 1996 by Penguin Books, became an instant classic. Bridget Jones’s Diary started a major trend in the Chick-Lit category, especially with a female protagonist who just can’t seem to do anything right. Bridget Jones is hopelessly optimistic about life in general, even if things don’t go according to her plan. Watching Bridget stumble through various situations, specifically her interactions with Mark Darcy, a stuffy barrister she doesn’t have a high opinion of at first, is full of adorable hilarity. Mark Darcy is loosely based on Mr. Darcy, the hero of one of the best romances ever written- Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen.


2. Cry No More by Linda Howard


Linda Howard’s Cry No More, published in 2004 by Pitakus, is a gut wrenching emotional read, featuring Milla Edge, a mother obsessed with finding her newborn son who was snatched from her arms twenty years prior. Milla won’t stop until she finds her child, even if she has to team up with James Diaz, a prime example of an anti-hero who joins forces with Milla as her partner, and then as her lover. The epilogue is quite the tearjerker that has many readers crying happy tears.


3. Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella


Can You Keep a Secret by Sophie Kinsella, published in 2005 by Dell, is a little gem of a romance that is also known as Chick-Lit. The heroine, Emma Corrigan thinks she has too many faults to count. After a hilarious situation on a plane, where she thinks the plane is going to crash, she admits her deep secrets to her seatmate, Jack Harper, who coincidentally is the CEO of her company. Can You Keep a Secret is a lovable comedy of errors as Emma tries to fix her faux pas with Jack. Because of Emma’s adorable and loopy personality, readers will find themselves clutching their sides in laughter, as well as sighing in happiness as Emma and Jack fall for one another.


4. Sugar Daddy and Blue-Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas


Lisa Kleypas started her publishing career writing historical romance, but in 2007 she moved to writing contemporary romance and published two of the best contemporary romances of the early 21st century. Sugar Daddy (2007) and Blue-Eyed Devil (2008) are the first two books in the Travis Family series, both published by St. Martin’s Press. Lisa has always excelled with writing very dimensional and endearing characters in her historical romance. The same applies to Sugar Daddy and Blue-Eyed Devil, both of which brings to light very important topics, such as poverty, power struggles and marital abuse, both physical and emotional. Liberty Jones, the heroine of Sugar Daddy has an incredible courage and insight when she becomes the guardian to her much younger sister after their mother dies. Readers are taken on a journey with Liberty as we see her rise above poverty, and then falling in love with a rich and powerful man who sees her generous and beautiful nature.

Blue-Eyed Devil is one of the best contemporary romances ever published. The heroine, Haven Travis suffers incredibly because of the horrific abuse from the hands of her ex-husband. Haven is the type of character readers will root for as she finds her inner strength, while learning to trust and love again with a man who appears to be all wrong for her, but proves he’s the balm for her damaged heart and soul.

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