giftbooks All About Romance has discussed conversion kits for non-romance readers for quite some time now. The list of resources has helped me tremendously and for the first time, I now have offline friends who read romance! However, many good books have come out since these lists were written up, so I thought it would be fun to try to assemble updated conversion kits.

Some of my friends have been leery of reading anything that even looks like romance, either because they fear ridicule or because they’ve bought into the idea that romances are all badly written garbage. The fact that many romances are packaged to look like badly written garbage doesn’t help here, but that’s a subject for another blog piece. When trying to show my friends that there really is good romance out there, I’ve found that romantic suspense are paranormal romance are both good gateway genres. I also try to pull out some books that have crossover appeal. And obviously, when trying to convince people that romance is worth reading, I pull out the books that are written well!

My friends’ interests fall into four main groups, so here are my latest conversion kits:

For my fantasy-reading friends
– The Gardella Vampires series by Colleen Gleason
– The Signs of the Zodiac series by Vicki Pettersson (These are more urban fantasy than romance, but there are some definite romantic elements to the stories.)
The Fever series by Karen Marie Moning

For Mystery/Thriller Lovers
– pretty much anything by Karen Rose
Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart (an oldie but a goodie)
Black Ice by Anne Stuart
Cover of Night, maybe Death Angel or any of a number of other books by Linda Howard

For Jane Austen fans – and I know lots of them
What Happens in London by Julia Quinn
If the Quinn book is well-received, I often follow up with the Bridgerton series.
– Georgette Heyer and lots of it
– The Pink Carnation series by Lauren Willig
– The Company of Rogues series by Jo Beverley – Christmas Angel is a favorite of mine.
One Good Turn, Beau Crusoe or any of the many good Carla Kelly novels

For History Buffs
Okay -since anyone who’s read even a few of my reviews and blogs knows that I have a very special place in my heart for the non-Regency historical, you can imagine that putting together this kit is extra-special to me. Here goes:
Roselynde and Alinor by Roberta Gellis
Lily of the Nile by Stephanie Dray
– pretty much anything by Cheryl Sawyer but I especially like Siren and The Winter Prince
Libertine’s Kiss by Judith James

So, there are a few books to get you started. If you were trying to “convert” someone to romance reading, what books would you send their way?

– Lynn Spencer