The genre of romance has never gone out of style in the contemporary scene. More and more authors emerge in this field and have thus contributed to the expansion and subgenres of contemporary romance literature. Due to the wide readership and following of contemporary love stories and romance literature, the mere basis of bestsellers can no longer measure the true ability and skill of a good romance writer. I may be no fan of a particular literary genre, but I am not a picky reader either and thus I have read a considerable number of romance books and novels. Here are the five contemporary writers of romance that stood out in terms of skill and passion for this genre.
Judith McNaught wrote her very first novel, Whitney My Love in 1985 and won the Romantic Times Award which, over the years, has drawn millions of readers. Her writing success in the romance genre was followed by Until You (1994), Remember When (1996) and Night Whispers (1998) and other newer novels became successful in the romantic genre category too as they became number 1 on the New York Times Bestsellers list.
Nora Roberts also known as J.D.Robb, Jill March or Sarah Hardesty, is one of the world’s bestselling authors and has been well-regarded for reshaping the genre of romantic fiction. She is well remembered for her novel Irish Thoroughbred (1981), Sweet revenge (1988) and Spellbound (2005). She has written more than 213 romance novels, she is the first author to be inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame and is also its founding member. She was awarded RWA Lifetime Achievement Award and has been numerously awarded the RWA’s RITA Awards – the highest honor awarded in the romance genre.
Famously remembered as a historical romance writer, Jude Deveraux rose to popularity with more than 40 of her novels being included in the New York Times Bestseller List as of 2016. Her love-stories revolve around humour, history, adventure and strong, capable heroines. Readers and critics alike consider A Knight and Shining Armour (2002) to be her best work thus far.
For those who have read The Time Traveler’s Wife, you would be familiar with the name Audrey Niffenegger. A woman of multifaceted skills, she is a writer, academic, visual artist and a graphic novelist. Her romantic novel sets itself apart from other contemporary romance literature because of its mix of science fiction, especially touching up on the topic of time travel and time paradoxes in her 2003 breakout novel The Time Traveler’s Wife which sold over seven million copies and has been translated in over forty languages. The novel was adapted into a film of the same name, which also became successful in the box office.
Young romance readers out there would likely agree that Nicholas Sparks is one of the world’s most loved romantic storytellers. Aside from being a writer credited with seventeen novels in the romance genre, he is also a producer and screenwriter. Several of his novels have had film adaptations including The Notebook (1996), A Walk to Remember (1999), Dear John (2006) and Safe Haven (2010) to name a few.
The list of the top contemporary romance writers could go on exhaustively if I just focused on reading romance novels all the time. The good thing with choosing a few from the list is that we can allow for other authors to be also placed in the top spot if we are to expand the category or lengthen the list. Of course, different readers have different preferences and different opinions on which author they think should be in the top spots of their lists. For romance readers out there, I encourage you to make your own list and broaden you reading horizons in this genre. Enjoy!