What’s not to love about reading a series right? Especially when you fall in love with those first books and you get to wonderful world that an author creates for the reader, and with each book you get more in depth with it. But there are drawbacks to reading a series at times. Many times I have had a love/hate relationship with reading a series. I am one of those readers that 90% of the time, I will continue a series even if I am starting to not like certain books. I tend to guilt trip myself, that I just need to finish a series but there are times when its perfectly alright to give up a series if you can’t continue it. Sometimes authors lose a jive, or listen to what their “publishers” want them to write instead of writing what they want or need to. And it can change the flow of a book or a series, where in the beginning you were madly in love with it, then you start hating it because the author is changing the way they write or bringing in certain elements you can’t seem to like enough to continue. And that is so hard for a reader. Let me tell ya!! Now in my mind there are three various styles of series you normally find. Now I am sure there are tons of different kinds….so I am really generalizing on what I have read when it comes to romance. I also have listed some of my personal favorites but not all of them.
Epic Love-This is the style of seeing the same main characters throughout a whole set of books. This isn’t as common as you would think, but I do love seeing it when it happens. But what you risk when reading these type of series are cliffhangers. Now if the whole series is already available to read, then I will pick it up especially if its the style of story I would enjoy. Many who have read Outlander , can relate with this one for sure. Now I haven’t read that series for a certain reason but I do know that many have loved it which is GREAT, but I know its not a easy series to read. Here are some of my favorite picks for this theme. First is Jake and Miranda from Rosanne Bittner’s Outlaw Hearts series. Now this series is still on going, and I have no idea how far Bittner is planning on taking it. It only has three books so far…the third to be released later this year. Its not a very long series, however I have it as one of my top picks to read because the ending of each book has been superb and goes out with a happy note! Which is a must for me. I have loved seeing this pair go through challenges, building their family and the love they have with each other. Then we have Jeaniene Frost. She has two couples that I have loved reading. First we have Cat and Bones—these two rock the PNR world. So many fun bantering these two have, and its been an adventure seeing them grow together and work as a team to defeat certain enemies and problems that come up. The second couple I love just as much is Vlad and Leila. They have four books, the last and final book will be released later this year I think. And man these two—they have gone through the ringer emotionally. These books have been amazing!! Frost has done a great job with their relationship but what I love is the happy note each book ends with while giving a teaser to get you excited for the next book. Then we have C.L. Wilson’s well known Tairen Soul series. I adore Rain and Ellie. These two are amazing together. This is a fantasy romance series, and one of the best ever written!! Wilson is pure talent, these two are destined to be together. Their relationship is pretty strong in the beginning, but they face certain obstacles including war and battles that only make them stronger. I love the conflicts they are forced to face and the growth of their personalities that only make them even more endearing. Then my final pick is Lara and Keir with the Chronicles of the Warlands series. These two have three books and love these two together!! They end up being together out of convenience, to bring peace between their people. I love the way these two fight to be together, in each book you read, you fall in love with them even more!!
Connected Family Members or Friends or Even Colleagues.
This is the style of series that is the most common and the most loved by most readers—at least for me, I love reading these. It can be so fun to read a series with a family or even a group of friends!! We see the close relationships through the whole series, and as you read each characters book, you become more hooked on the world this author has created. What is a guarantee or an almost guarantee especially if you are reading a romance theme–is happy ending or a happy for now ending which is a plus. You never have to worry about cliffhangers or a big teaser. If there are teasers, its a light one that makes you excited for the next book. I have read so many fun connected series like this, and I want to share what makes this set up for a series so great. First off lets talk about family themes. I love a heartwarming family, especially since I personally value family as pretty important. Whether its a family your born into or one you create and I adore it when a author takes this theme. I do like seeing the developement that builds. Here are some personal favorites. The Malory Family is one of my favorites. Its written by Johanna Lindsey. Who is a personal favorite but this family is amazing!! The beginning of the series focuses on the five siblings, and then grows as certain characters get married. We even get some of the children of these main siblings have their own books. It has eleven books so far, and the latest one came out last year, so who knows what Lindsey plans to do with it in the future. Now what I have loved most about this family, is the fun bantering they have with each other. You get some independent feisty females, and entertainning alpha males. Now especially my two favorites that we see a lot of are: James and Anthony Malory. These two go at it and act like children even when they reach their forties hehe I guess teasing between siblings never dies. Then my next favorite family that goes from historical to modern times is the McKettricks by Linda Lael Miller. I love this family, although my favorite characters are the four brothers in the beginning. They definitely are competitive with each other but I love the way Miller has built this series up. Then another favorite is the Mackenzie family by Jennifer Ashley. This has been a fabulous series that Ashley has written. All the characters are flawed in some way but are portrayed in a way that you can’t help but fall in love with them. At first we started out with the main siblings of the Mackenzies: Ian, Mac, Hart and Cam which was set in the 1800’s. But has now progressed into their ancestral family in the 1700’s. Then my final pick would be the Travis Family by Lisa Kleypas!! I have so much love for this family, especially the bond between the siblings. I love that they stick together no matter what!! These are some of my favorite books by this author, and she did great with the contemporary setting for these. Blue Eyed Devil is my favorite, because this is where we see the close bond of the four siblings: Haven, Joe, Gage and Jack. I have really enjoyed reading each book in the series though. Kleypas did a great job with the family bond that was developed between the siblings and we see it in each installment. Now to go onto friends: This can be a blast to read. I love seeing friendships form and seeing a group of individuals find their happy ending and all the while seeing the growth of friendships build at the same time. My first pick would be the Wallflower series by Lisa Kleypas. These four women met at a ballroom, all wallflowers and became fast friends and try to help each other find husbands. This has created some fun disasters and twists and man have I loved seeing these four women grow in their friendship and become like sisters with each other. Of course my favorite is Devil in Winter….however what I have loved about how Kleypas handled this series was the way that each book was unique to the individual. It matches each of their own personalities and fit just right for them. My next series is the Carpathian Series by Christine Feehan. Even though some of the more recent releases haven’t been my favorites—the earlier books, the first 10 or so are still my favorite to read and re read!! Yes the series is pretty huge at 30 books and counting. I have no idea how big Feehan wants to take this series though. But what has been great about it is the world building and seeing the bond between friends grow. If you like PNR, its definitely a series you can fall in love with one book at a time. Then we have the Highland Lairds by Julie Garwood!! Such a great group of great books to read. Garwood did an amazing job of mixing historical context and romance elements with some friendships tossed in the mix!! Finally my last pick would be a romantic suspense series, I can’t get enough of, and that’s by Suzanne Brockmann with the Troubleshooters. Now this whole series is a blast to read!!! I love me some SEAL’s, with some FBI agents thrown in the mix. Each book is pretty unique with a suspenseful plot and highly engaging. Both printed and audio formats are fabulous.
Now this set up is a bit different and isn’t as common as the others at least not for me. Its usually where the main characters from the series have little interaction with each other, but you see some commonality between them in events or circumstances or setting. This might be my least favorite way of doing a series. I like seeing more interaction between characters that play roles in each installment of the series. These can still be fun to read, but they are less The first one that I love with this is a small town series by Emma Cane, Valentine Valley. There is a small connection between books but not much. They all know each other, since its a small town setting, however they aren’t “best friends” or anything. I really loved what Emma Cane did with this series and each book is charming and poignant. Up next we have a sci fi fiction romance series by Catherine Spangler, The Shielder series is pretty fantastic, and I love the world building in this one. Pretty much its a group of people that are fighting for freedom against those that kill innocents all over the galaxy. What we see in this series is the characters from each book “know” of each other, and have some interaction but its slightly more distant. But each book is full of passion and adventure and I really liked the way Spangler developed these connected books.
Questions For My Readers:
So what do you love or hate about series? Do you prefer to read a series? Or avoid them?
What are some of your favorites?