Get Booked

Get Booked Episode #6: Ready for Romance (at Book Riot Live!)

Amanda Nelson

Staff Writer

Amanda Nelson is an Executive Director of Book Riot. She lives in Richmond, VA.

Welcome to Episode 6, recorded LIVE at Book Riot Live! This episode is all about romance, and my guest is New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Sarah MacLean. MacLean is the author of historical romances and a monthly romance review column at The Washington Post celebrating the best of the romance genre. She is the recipient of back-to-back RITA Awards for Best Historical Romance of the Year from the Romance Writers of America. 

sarah maclean

This episode is sponsored by Bats of the Republic by Zachary Thomas Dodson.



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Need a book recommendation? Fill out the form at the bottom of the post, or email and we’ll help!



I am trying to read more diverse romances, and I am looking for recommendations. I primarily read historical romances, but I will also read contemporary (my favorite romance authors include Courtney Milan, Tessa Dare, Sarah MacLean, Rose Lerner, Meredith Duran, and Laura Florand). I love Jeannie Lin’s Tang Dynasty romances and would love to find more like them, but have not any success finding any. I have read Beverly Jenkins’ books (excellent, of course). So I am looking for romances with characters of color, characters who are not Christian, characters with disabilities, etc. Thank you.



I’m somewhat new to romance. I’m finding it a bit hard to find many POC romance authors, I only know of Beverly Jenkins and Sonali Dev? Are there any POC authors in the regency romance sub-genre?

I love your work by the way, and can barely wait for the next release!

Thank you,



Dear Get Booked,

I want to read some romance/erotica and I read Tampa and loved it. However, I would like to read something from a male POV. You wrote about Priest on the site and that is on my TBR but almost all the other male POV stuff I can find is M/M romance. While I have no issue reading M/M romance I would love a some male POV M/F romance. Thanks!


Hi Amanda!

I recently started reading romance and have had a great time trying new authors and different sub-genres. While I find that I have no problem finding great historical romance that is in my wheelhouse (strong female lead, great side characters, steamy and not cheesy sexy times), I haven’t had the same luck with contemporary romance. From what I’ve read so far I have discovered that I tend to like my contemporary romance with a good dose of humor. Suzanne Elizabeth Phillips has been the only author that has consistently written contemporary romance that I really enjoy. So if you could help me find a few titles or authors that write great funny contemporary romance I would be forever grateful!




Dear Amanda & Co.

Help! A few years ago, I found The Siren by Tiffany Reisz and I have been steadily consuming her beautifully written and heart-wrenching BDSM erotica series Original Series (both the Red and White years). But now they’re done and I need more! More super-hot romance with characters that are all tortured and broody, but in ways that don’t read as cliche, with writing that rivals some of the literary fiction out there. Bonus points if there are non-heteronormative or CIS characters/storylines, and no, BDSM isn’t necessarily a must. Please no 50 Shades (need I say why?) but any other help you can give me would be so, so, so greatly appreciated! Thanks,



What can I read instead of 50 Shades? I’m interested, but the excerpts I’ve read are so awful, writing- and character-development-wise. I guess I could just power through, but I feel certain there’s better written books if I want to try some harder (is that even the right word?) romance/erotica.


Dear Get Booked (romance edition),

I asked this over Twitter and you gave me a few authors to check out, but if you have time in your podcast, I’d love it if you could talk more about your recommendations for romance novels with fantasy (and/or sci-fi) elements. But not vampires. I’m just not that into vampires.

In general, I’m not a big fan of the alpha-male broody possessive hero type that causes the girl to lose her identity (and sometimes all her brain cells). I’m also not a big fan of insta-love and this “claiming” thing that some of the love interests tend to do in some of the fantasy romance novels I’ve read. I guess you could say I like my romance with a little more feminist flavor.

Ideally, it would be awesome to find an author who has an on-going series of books that I can dive into. Also, high heat level is fine with me.

I have found so many books I’ve loved via Book Riot posts / lists. So, I trust your judgement here and am looking forward to hearing your recommendations.





Books Discussed on the Show!

The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley 

Bollywood Bride by Sonali Dev

A Bed of Spices by Barbara Samuel

Balogh’s Survivors Club Series, Kinsale’s Flowers From the Storm, Morsi’s Simple Jess

Historical: Think of England by KJ Charles 

Contemporary: Kate Meader’s Hot in Chicago Series

Not Quite a Husband by Sherry Thomas

For Love and Liberty anthology — Alyssa Cole, Lena Hart, Kate McMurray, Stacey Agdern

Courtney Milan – Brothers Sinister series (Suffragette Scandal)

Zoraida Cordova “On the Verge” series – Luck on the Line

Surviving Raine by Shay Savage

Sierra Simone’s Priest

Emma Chase’s Sustained

Wallbanger by Alice Clayton

Alisha Rai (Karimi Siblings is a good starting point)

Contemporary authors: Kristan Higgins, Victoria Dahl, Julie James

Asking for It by Lilah Pace

A Strong Hand by Catt Ford 

Charlotte Stein’s Intrusion

Jane O’Reilly –  The Pleasure Principle

Marjorie Liu (Dirk & Steele– Tiger Eye)

Grimspace by Ann Aguirre

Kristen Callihan – Steampunk

Pamela Palmer – Feral Warriors (Desire Untamed)



Questions we didn’t have time to get to, with answers!


Cross-genre romance? Especially mystery/romance and sci-fi/romance! -Jennifer

Angel’s Blood by Nalini Singh (fantasy/romance, Guild Hunter series)

Amaryllis by Jayne Castle

Linda Howard’s Mr. Perfect

Alyssa Cole’s  Mixed Signals (third in Off the Grid series)



Hey Amanda and Sarah!

Sarah, I have loved all your books and can’t wait for your new one this fall! I am just finishing up with Eloisa James’s fairy tale series and I need a new author/series to start. Any suggestions? Who are your favorite authors and what are your favorite series? Thanks!

With Love,

Sara without an “H” 🙂

Tessa Dare’s Castles Ever After series

Lorraine Heath – Scoundrels of St. James, London’s Greatest Lovers

Lisa Kleypas – Start with “The Gamblers,” then Wallflowers, then Hathaways

Monica McCarty – Highland Guard


Hey y’all,

Thought I’d submit a request for your upcoming romance episode (YAY), since I’ve been looking for some solid holiday romance books and haven’t had much success. I’ll take recs for all upcoming holidays, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years–this whole upcoming glorious period.

Thanks in advance, and keep doing what you’re doing.

Much love,



An Affair Before Christmas by Eloisa James

Pocket Old School Christmas Anthologies

Contemporary Romance dominates here (HQN Categories). Lily Everett – Home for Christmas

Sarah Wendell Hannukah short – Lighting the Flames