As you know I really love a small town romance. There’s something about the quirky cast of characters, the charming local businesses and the uniqueness that comes with it that I crave. And sure it may (or may not) have inspired my own small town series, Mustang Prairie.
But I am squarely on the small town romance train and today I’m going to convince you why you should to. It isn’t just the homegrown hotties who protect the town as Sheriff or fight fires and gets beloved pets from very high spots, or the sassy small town girls who love them. Okay maybe it’s some of that. It’s also the opportunity it provides the author and the reader, to get lost in a fictional town and all the goings on of the people who live there.
If you haven’t read a small town romance or you haven’t found the town to capture your imagination and steal your heart, by the time this post is finished you will.
1 Fools Gold ~ Susan Mallery
This was the very first small town romance series that sucked me right in. I found one of the stories for free a few years ago and I systematically read all the ones that had already been published until I was all caught up. It was great and it was terrible, waiting for the next one to be released.
The best thing about Fools Gold in my opinion is Eddy and Gladys, two old timers who love to look at the hot guys in town. And good lord are there plenty of them! But the second best thing is the whole story behind the Maa-zib tribe that founded the town. They were a matriarchal tribe and badass to boot, from the sound of things.
If you’re still not convince let me tell you what you have to look forward to: triplets, a bodyguard school, a sexy butt model, a pet elephant and festivals galore!
2 Lucky Harbor ~ Jill Shalvis
Sometimes a good small town romance is all about location. And Lucky Harbor is positioned perfectly so we get your basic romance staples like hot first responders, hot doctors and ex-military hotness. But we also get sexy forest rangers, search and rescue guys…oh and did I mention sexy guys on boats? This series has it all, including a few inappropriate old ladies always ready for plenty of laughs.
And the ladies of Lucky Harbor are smart. They all have reasons for coming to town—some were born here and others came for a fresh start—but once they get to town they are happy to make it their own.
The first book I read in this series was actually the eighth book in the series, Always On My Mind, and it features one of my favorite tropes, best friends turned lovers…with a twist. A sexy firefighter and a sassy chef made for a fun, laugh out loud read.
It’s hard to pick favorites but Forever And A Day has to be right at the top of that list, along with Chloe the wild child sister and Sawyer the steady, sexy Sheriff in Head Over Heels. And we can’t forget He’s So Fine which offers up a steamy romance with a secret!
3 Sapphire Falls – Erin Nicholas
Whenever I think of Sapphire Falls just two words come to mind: Bennett brothers. Of course there are tons of books and they don’t all star one of the fabulous Bennett men but goodness gracious are these guys hot! They have tons of swagger, good looks, big bodies and charming smiles. Oh and did I mention they are completely irresistible?
Farmers, mayors and cops, oh my! This small town has a lot of homegrown characters who have known each other forever which gives the books an added depth with lifelong friendships, family rivalries and strings so entangled it’d be easier to cut them and start over. The layers of involvement means readers get to really know these people by the time you’ve read through the full series. Bits and pieces are revealed from one book to the next so that by the time you get to a character’s story, you think you hate them and then…beautiful understanding. At least that’s what happened to me with Hailey.
One of the great things about Sapphire Falls is that there are plenty of novellas to whet your appetite if you don’t have a lot of time to get to the full length stories.
4 Holland Springs ~ Marquita Valentine
If you’re in search of a sassy southern small town with lots of character, look no further than Marquita Valentine’s Holland Springs series. The women are exactly what you expect southern women to be, well maybe except for the whole ‘proper lady’ thing. There are maybe-maybe not witches, bakers and even a politician’s daughter in the mix! Let’s not forget actors, royalty, hot racecar drivers and hometown heroes.
There are times the characters venture out of Holland Springs but they bring the character of the town with them. This is the series that made me fall in love with Marquita and her writing style and there are a few of these I have read and re-read.
Don’t know where to start? Why, at the beginning of course! Drive Me Crazy is a friends to lovers romance. Twice Tempted features a Hollywood bad boy and a small town girl. Or if you’re in the mood for a hot billionaire Earl, check out Just Desserts.
5 The Shaughnessy Brothers ~ Samantha Chase
I was only introduced to the Shaughnessy family in late 2016 but I immediately fell in love after reading Aidan and Zoe’s story. The beginning of each story talks about a pivotal moment in the family’s life, the death of the family matriarch. Each of the brother’s felt her death in a different way and learned a different lesson which sets the stage for the romance ahead.
Each story is funny and emotional and steamy as hell. These guys love hard, play hard and work hard. I loved that the scars they carry don’t make for a super angsty read that just drags you down. Their issues are ever-present but in ways that make sense and don’t leave them as completely emotionally stunted.
I’ve read all the books in this series except for the one due out October 2017, which is their kid sister, Darcy’s, story. My favorite brothers, by far are Aidan (Made for Us) and Owen (A Sky Full of Stars) but they’re all pretty great.