The Little Black Book of Romance Novels

by Susanna Carr, guest blogger and author of “Hot for the Holidays,” her novella, in Wicked Wonderland.

You’re having a great day and you want to celebrate. You’re having a bad day and need to curl up on the couch and shut out the world. You’re bored and looking for some fun. Would you pick the same book for these moods? Probably not. In that case, have a few standbys on your shelf. Just like a little black book, keep a few names (or books) at the ready when you’re in that kind of mood.

The comfort read. This book is for those crazy days when the world’s fast pace leaves you spinning. A comfort book allows you to relax and unwind and follow a slower rhythm. If this book was a guy in your little black book, he would offer an old-fashioned courtship and you’d wear your coziest sweater when you were around him. What kinds of books offer that kind of comfort? Try Betty Neels or an Amish romance. Maybe a little Georgette Heyer?

The flirty read. This is the book that is lighthearted and fun. It might be amusing, snarky or slapstick. You want this book available when you need a pick-me-up or when you want something that will continue to brighten your day. If this book was a guy in your little black book, you’d wear a miniskirt when he was around. This book is the one that will always make you smile and feel good. What kind of books can do that? Try a romantic comedy or chick lit. Some authors with a vibrant and fun writing style are Jennifer Crusie, Mary Janice Davidson and Meg Cabot.

The roller-coaster read. Some days you’re bored and you need something to get your pulse pounding. You want to read something dramatic or adventurous. That’s when you need a book that offers thrills and suspense. If this book was a guy in your little black book, you’d wear running shoes on a date with him. Maybe even a helmet and a life-jacket. What kind of romance offers the same adrenaline? A romantic suspense, a medical romance, or a dark paranormal.

The sophisticated read. Remember the “Calgon, take me away” commercial? There are times when you want to escape from the chores, the bills and the daily grind. That’s where the sophisticated read comes in, complete with billionaires, unlimited credit, and private jets. If this book was a guy in your little black book, you’d wear your little black dress for him. What kind of book can offer an escape to a sophisticated world? Try a Harlequin Presents or Silhouette Desire. Maybe a book by Barbara Taylor Bradford or a historical fiction set in the royal court.

The red-hot read. These are for the days when you want something passionate and provocative. A book that is all about pleasure. Maybe even a little taboo. If this book was a guy in your little black book, you’d wear your fire-engine red stiletto heels when he was around. This kind of book celebrates sexual fantasies and maybe encourages a few new ones. What romance offers a sensual escapade? Try a Harlequin Blaze or an Ellora’s Cave book. A few authors known for their erotic romances are Bertrice Small, Thea Devine and Emma Holly.

These types of books offer different reading experiences for five basic moods. What kind of read or reading mood do you think is missing from this list?

Bio: Susanna Carr is a best-selling author of sexy contemporary romance. Her first novella inspired Brava’s “Wicked” Women series and her work has been recognized in over 20 industry awards. Susanna’s stories frequently center on the heroine’s sensual journey and her next release is “Hot for the Holidays”, a novella in the November 2010 Wicked Wonderland anthology. Visit her website at

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1 Comment

  1. I definitely took notes! Thank you!

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