by Nicole Helm
However, I can say unequivocally that in my top spot is Nora Roberts. For a lot of reasons, Nora has always been my favorite. She was the first romance I ever read—and I remember being so totally enthralled with that book (Rivers End) that I expressly ignored everyone around me for the time it took to finish it. (I was staying the weekend at a friend’s house. It was incredibly rude. I have zero regrets). I have shelves upon three-book-deep shelves filled with Noras, and Birthright, and Born in Ice forever remain in my top favorite books of all time lists no matter how many times I reread. I’ve read the MacGregors and Gallaghers so many times they feel like real families to me. I get completely lost every time I step into one of her books, and every reread is like coming home. In fact, if all social engagements could include talking about Nora Roberts’ books, I’d be the biggest extrovert in all the land.
And then it gets tricky, do I talk about my mad love for the passion and intensity of a Lorraine Heath historical, the dirty, alpha goodness of a full out Jackie Ashenden alpha hero, or maybe the swoony realism of a Sarah Mayberry category romance?
If we’re talking sheer volume, next on my list is Julie Anne Long. She probably holds the record for author I’ve read the most books of in the shortest period of time. When a friend of mine gifted me a copy of What I Did For a Duke, I went on a PennyRoyal Green binge like no other—the entire series (barring the last two which weren’t out at the time) in one month. And then I wailed and moaned and wept over waiting for Lyon and Olivia’s story, The Legend of Lyon Redmond, which—when I finally got to read it—was everything I’d ever needed.
Now who? A gritty, sexy Molly O’Keefe contemporary, a comedic, heartfelt tumble into a Tamara Morgan novel? Maybe the sexy, longing prose of a Caitlin Crews Presents.
But again, if we go back to volume, the author who’s books I’ve read the closest number of to Nora, is Maisey Yates. Now, if you follow me on any social media you’re probably aware that Maisey and I are friends, as are a few other people on my list, but a smart writer befriends awesome writers—if only so she can read things a little in advance ;). I put Maisey here not just because of the sheer amount of books of hers that I’ve read, but also because I love authors who can make you laugh and cry in the same book. I think the crying is the easy part--sad things tend to be universal, but funny things—it’s not always easy to find a sense of humor that makes you laugh until you cry, but Maisey’s genuine and quirky humor always works for me—from her cowboys of Silver Creek and Copper Ridge, to her brooding Presents alpha heroes, to her scurrying heroines who love all of the above (Lark from Untouched remains one of my favorite heroines ever), I know I’ll laugh, and I know I’ll feel that emotional punch of falling in love in a Maisey Yates book.
And there you have it, my top three favorite authors. (Yes, I cheated a little. What can I say? I’ve never been any good at math).
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Nicole's Newest Release: Rebel Cowboy
For hotshot NHL star Dan Sharpe, hockey isn’t just his job—it’s his everything. But when claims of cheating get him bounced from the ice, he finds himself feeling lost. Everyone thinks he’s crazy for taking on his grandfather’s ramshackle Montana ranch, but hey, he’s Dan Sharpe: how hard can it be?
As it turns out? Plenty hard.
Mel Shaw has been fighting tooth and nail to keep her family from falling apart. The last thing she needs is a distraction, but taking a job as some city slicker’s consultant may be her only chance to save the land she loves. But she never expected someone like Dan to come roaring into her life, and it doesn’t take long for Mel to realize this hockey-star-turned-cowboy has the power to upend her carefully ordered world—and heart—for good.
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