Recommending Romance Reads to Your Father

The Very Busy SpiderMy dad and I have always had a close relationship despite the miles we live apart. We don’t call each other every weekend or even every month to be quite honest. But when we do talk we spend hours on the phone going over the latest happenings in our life and it’s not uncommon for us to spend a good portion of that time talking about the things we’ve ready lately.  Books have always been important to us and my dad instilled in us very early on how luck we were to have access to a ready source of them. You see, he wasn’t born in America. He moved here as a youngster, telling me frequent stories of what they never had access to until they’d arrived here from the Netherlands.

My Dad brought me to my first book sale sponsored by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), held in the basketball court of the local community center. Acres of books all arranged on tables, sorted by subject, and available for purchase for bargain prices that even my childhood allowance could afford. Some years we spent so much time there that I would crawl under the one of the tables, surrounded by the comfortable smell of old books and take a nap while he explored. When I woke, I’d go searching for him and he’d tell me of his latest find. Frankly, it didn’t matter what the topic was, he always made it sound fascinating even to a small child.

I recently confessed to him of my secret love of foodie autobiographies in the wake of having finally finished Laura Schenone’s The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken and Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love during a business trip. And in the spirit of sharing, he confessed to me that he had begun reading romance novels because, well, he wanted to know what all the fuss was about given that I’d started writing for a romance blog. Now admittedly he’s still in the new reader stages of his romance experience and his only author so far has been Catherine Coulter, but…


What’s worse, he wants me to help him find more romance to read!

So now I’m sitting here thinking “Egods, what do I recommend to him? I blog about this stuff, for pity’s sake!”  What  I like to read may not be what he likes. The tropes I find nearly irresistible (hello, secret baby!) will be nothing like what he’d love. I’m terrified! How the hell can I make any recommendations to this man who has guided me through my reading career for most of my life? I mean, this is the man that introduced me to Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, and the Boxcar Children. This is the man who handed me my first cookbook, a copy of Eet Smakelijk (a collection of recipes by the Junior Welfare League of Holland, Michigan) when I confessed I wanted to learn to cook the Dutch dishes of my childhood. And this is the same man who handed me an absolutely stunning photography book when it came time to have *that talk* as a teenager and said “This has good pictures. Let me know if you have any questions.”

There’s this responsibility I have now. I have to find him something he’d love. I need to find him great stories that capture his fancy. And it’s downright embarrassing for me to admit that I have no idea what I should offer up by way of suggestion to him. Help, me readers! What do I offer him?


14 thoughts on “Recommending Romance Reads to Your Father

  1. I’m not sure if this qualifies as a ‘romance’ but I like C.S. Harris’ Sebastian St. Cyr series. It starts with What Angels Fear. Julia Quinn is always good too.

    • Actually I haven’t read the Sebastian St. Cyr series. Thank you for the recommendation. I’ll check that out. As for Julia Quinn, I can see why you’d recommend her but gosh which of those series would I start him on? Maybe the Dukes of Wyndham? Decisions, decisions. Thanks again!

      • No question, if he is to read JQ, he must start with her Bridgerton series! Lady Whistledown, the Mallet of Death, Hyacinth. What more could you ask for! 🙂

  2. Julia Quinn is a great suggestion, especially since I think she writes really good male characters! I’d say go for the Bridgertons. Also, he might like Georgette Heyer. I haven’t read many of her books yet but my favorite so far is “The Talisman Ring”; the plot and characters are amazing. There are good male characters in Nora Roberts’ Chesapeake Bay Series too.

    • Well, I think having a third rec now for Julia Quinn locks her in as a given, so thank you for that. I hadn’t even considered Georgette Heyer because quite frankly I’ve not read her yet. Shameful, I know. My blog sisters here at Teatime are constantly scandalized when I remain unread in her world of romance. I was also considering Ms. Roberts, but I wonder if her “In Death” series as JD Robb might not be an idea too. Maybe?

  3. I agree with Laurie that Nora’s Chesapeake Bay series is a great place to start, and her In Death series would be good too. I’d like to add Homeport, Honest Illusions, Carolina Moon, and Montana Sky to that list.

    If your dad likes suspense, I’d vote for Carey Baldwin’s First Do No Evil. And naturally, my fangirl inclinations say he must read Julie James’s US Attorney/FBI series, and Tessa Dare’s Spindle Cove series, though her Stud Club series may be better suited to your dad. Courtney Milan’s Turner and Brothers Sinister series is fantastic too. Jayne Ann Krentz might be a possibility as well.

    • I liked the Spindle Cove series a lot but I don’t know if it would be his thing. I’ll check out the others you suggested, though. Hmmm. FBI series. It makes me wonder if I shouldn’t float Lora Leigh’s spy ops series past him, though it is a bit smexy.

  4. Pingback: Recommending Romance Reads to Your Father | Jennelle Holland

    • You know, that’s actually not a half bad idea. My dad LOVED reading me Jules Verne when I was a kid. I really bet he’d like a great deal of what’s in the steampunk genre. Thanks for the suggestion, Emma.

  5. This is where I always fall back on Mary Stewart – mostly because she’s awesome and was my grandfather’s favorite author!

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