Dreaming in Character

G.L. Jackson

Recommend me a book?


Gentle readers,

I’m looking for book recommendations in the contemporary romance genre. I’ve read a few gems and more than a few clunkers. Specifically, I’m looking for books with a strong female lead who doesn’t turn stupid in the face of an attractive love interest. Here’s exactly how I described what I’m hoping to find to a friend earlier:

I’m looking for something contemporary that’s actually good and fairly realistic. I’m sick of the Cinderella trope and sick of the Evil Rich Famous Dude trope and really don’t want anything with a weak heart-fluttery-but-no-guts female lead. That shouldn’t be too hard to find, but it is! My favorite stories are ones where the paired characters are equally developed, equally strong, and equally flawed. Their circumstances don’t have to be equal, but their emotional capacity should be, and their dialog and personalities have to be believable.

It probably goes without saying that I prefer books that appear to have been professionally edited. Nothing makes me crankier than buying a book filled with grammatical and continuity errors.

So you know, my favorite romance novel I’ve read over the past few years is The Lotus Palace by Jeannie Lin. Despite not being contemporary, it had just enough intrigue to keep my interest and the world-building was wonderful. The protagonist was an entirely kick-ass courtesan’s assistant and the male lead wasn’t just three dimensional, he had a ton of layers. Jackpot!

Any recommendations? I’d appreciate them, and if you do recommend me something, please tell me why you liked it enough to spread the word. Thank you!


Author: G.L. Jackson

Writer of steamy contemporary romance, reader, photographer. Mostly, I just like pretending to be a different person each day of the week.

4 thoughts on “Recommend me a book?

  1. I have been reading Caryl McDoo’s stories. She writes romance that is both contemporary and set in Texas in the 1800’s. She writes religious stories as well. Anyhow, 🙂 , you should give “Lady Luck’s a Loser” a try. It is a fun read with a main female character who sticks to her guns! These are clean novels, no sex scenes, just FYI. Good luck on your search!


  2. The only thing like this that I’ve read recently is The Boss series by Abigail Barnett. She wrote the series after reading 50 Shades of Grey and pointing out everything wrong with it. She basically just wanted to accurately portray a BSDM relationship with 3D characters and a not completely outrageous plot. The first book is free, so it won’t cost you anything to check it out, and I think there are currently four books total in the series.


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