This is a most popular genre. There are dozens of new Romance titles that arrive on our library shelves each month. Many more can be purchased by readers as ebooks from Amazon and other sources. Romance novels come in a variety of types: Contemporary, Historical (usually pre WWII), Suspense/Mystery, Religious/Spiritual, Erotic, Paranormal, and Young Adult.

Location, time period, and subject may vary, but the unifying element is the central love story. Levels of sexual tension of course can vary from sweet as in most Amish novels to erotic – think Fifty Shades of Grey.

Some may try to dismiss Romance as light or frivolous reading, but most are well written page turners with well-defined and memorable characters and intricate story lines such as in Diana Gabaldon’s celebrated Outlander series.

Pittsburgh can boast three prolific published writers of romance. They are Gwyn Cready, Madeline Hunter, and Victoria Roberts. Many of their books are available in the Library. I recommend all three.

February is noteworthy because of Valentine’s Day when our thoughts turn to romance. What better time of the year to curl up with a great love story? Here are a few suggestions.


A classic suspense tale of love and deception. The innocent, much younger narrator meets a handsome and brooding widower. They marry quickly and move back to his imposing estate, full of secrets (or lies?) and friends (or adversaries?).

Once a Soldier

The war with France is over, Napoleon has abdicated, and Major Lord Will Masterson is ready to relinquish his military responsibilities and return home to England. But one last entreaty beckons him back into battle and harm’s way. There he confronts Athena Markham, the strong, independent heroine who greets him at gunpoint. This well-crafted romance tackles the issues of illegitimacy and social class and the redeeming power of love.

Gambling on a Scoundrel

Local author Sheridan Jeane sets her well-crafted novels in Victorian England where her plucky heroines are clever, courageous, and ready to fight for what they believe in. Temperance Bliss finds herself at the pinnacle of her young life: happily engaged and, as a budding young journalist, employed by none other than Charles Dickens to investigate the gambling industry in London. But after she’s scorned by her fiance and banned from the casino, can she unravel the secrets necessary to win back her heart?