Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Guest Blogger: Emily McKay talks about Category Romance Books

An unpublished friend of mine recently asked me if there were any benefits to writing category. Apparently she’d been told she should stop targeting the Harlequin/Silhouette line she’d been aiming for and try writing single title. The implication being that her writing was “too good” to be wasted on a category book.

Hang around writers long enough and it’s a sentiment you’re bound to hear. That kind of attitude never fails to get my hackles up. Not because I write category, but because I’m a long time fan.

So, I decided to come up with a list of five really excellent category books. To make it challenging, I decided to make them all from different authors and different lines. (‘Cause let’s face it, if you can’t come up with five great Stephanie Bond or Suz Brockmann books, you just aren’t trying.)

5. Playing by the Baby Rules – Michelle Celmer – Silhouette Desire
Sweet and charming, this book highlights what category romance does best: it visits familiar territory—about two friends who discover love while trying to get pregnant--in a way that’s fresh and heartwarming.

4. Indecent Suggestion – Elizabeth Beverly – Harlequin Blaze
In this scourchingly sexy story, two friends visit a hypnotherapist to quit smoking, but end up having their sexual inhibitions banished instead. The book manages to be both funny and romantic. All with a hero who will make you laugh and melt.

3. About Last Night – Stephanie Bond – Harlequin Temptation
On the eve of her wedding, a woman ends up in a hotel room with her fiancé’s best man. And the CDC quarantines the hotel, trapping everyone in their rooms for forty-eight hours. The results are hilarious.

2. Miranda’s Viking – Maggie Shayne – Silhouette Intimate Moments
If you can suspend disbelief long enough, you’ll love this story about an archeologist with the find of the century—a perfectly preserved frozen Viking. That she accidentally defrosts, then falls in love with.

1. Time Enough for Love – Suz Brockmann -- Loveswept
Only Suz Brockmann could pull off a time travel romance with this level of suspense in a book so short. I dare you not to love this book ... if you can find a copy.

Bonus Book -- Dear John – Virginia Ellis – Harlequin Temptation
Strangers fall in love via letters in this heart-wrenching Gulf War set story with an Affair to Remember like twist.
This book was simply too good not to include—but I didn’t want to break my own rules about the lines ... so it’s a bonus.

Hopefully, you’ll find a gem you love too from this list. Happy reading!

Emily McKay

P.S. I’m running a contest on my website. Be sure to stop by for a chance to win a one of two $50 gift cards from

Visit Emily's website at and be sure to pick up her latest Silhouette Desire BABY ON THE BILLIONAIRE'S DOORSTEP.
Emily will also be chatting in the chat room at on April 8th beginning at 9pm est. Hope to see you there!


limecello said...

Hi Emily,
Thanks for visiting and making that list. How interesting - I do read categories - and have a *lot* of them (imo)- but I don't think I've read any of the ones you mentioned! I'm going to have to go find them...

Emily said...

I think that's one of the great things about category. There are so many of them out there, every one can have their own favorites. There's just tons of variety!

flchen1 said...

Hi, Emily, I read tons of category and I've read a couple of the titles on your list :) There are so many excellent writers who started in category and excellent ones who thankfully still write category!

One Blaze author I love is Sarah Mayberry--Can't Get Enough and Anything for You are two of my favorites.

Thanks for sharing your list!

Martin said...

Very nice Job!