Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Tuesday Talk-Time - From Category to Single Title

Pink Heart Society editor, Ali Williams, is talking about the move from category romance to single title romance...

I'm a massive geek for category romance.

I'm an editor here at the Pink Heart Society, which is all about love of category; I've written papers on the presentation of social issues in category romance; and I'm currently curating an online project that's creating a masterpost which allows readers to search for books by the issues that they address.

But I'm still a sucker for Single Titles every now and then, and especially when the author's got a category romance background.

So here are just a few of my favourites:

Something Borrowed - Louisa George

Something old. Something new…? 

When Chloe Cassidy is jilted at the altar it’s all her nightmares rolled into one. Her mother is convinced she’s the victim of the family curse. Her sister believes she just hasn’t found The One yet. But Chloe’s not listening; she’s too busy taking her humiliation out on the infuriating best man, Vaughn Brooks. 

Three months later, Something Borrowed—her wedding planning business— is failing. In a last ditch attempt to save it, Chloe is forced to swallow her pride, and work with the enemy: too-hot for his own good, award-winning chef Vaughn. She soon realizes the sparks flying between them are nothing to do with their dubious past, but from something else altogether… 

This fun perfect summer read features one sizzling chef, a meddling family and a wedding planner who's given up on love.

Sunset in Central Park - Sarah Morgan
(From Manhattan with Love, Book 2)

In the chaos of New York, true love can be hard to find, even when it's been right under your nose all along… 

Love has never been a priority for garden designer Frankie Cole. After witnessing the fallout of her parents' divorce, she's seen the devastation an overload of emotion can cause. The only man she feels comfortable with is her friend Matt—but that's strictly platonic. If only she found it easier to ignore the way he makes her heart race… 

Matt Walker has loved Frankie for years but, sensing how fragile she is beneath her feisty exterior, has always played it cool. But then he uncovers new depths to the girl he's known forever and doesn't want to wait a moment longer. 

He knows Frankie has secrets and has buried them deep, but can Matt persuade her to trust him with her heart and kiss him under the Manhattan sunset?

After Hours - Rochelle Alers

A world of desire, seduction and scandal… 

Adina's beauty and wiles have enabled her to adopt the fast-paced lifestyle of the rich and fabulous…until she learns there's a contract out on her life. She flees Brooklyn to start over in an upscale suburb, living among the pampered and polished women she's always envied. But beyond the mansions and manicured lawns lies a world she never would have thought possible…. 

Sybil's exclusive catering business disguises her lucrative sideline venture: she's Delectable, a dominatrix who entertains at bachelor parties. Karla lives on a multimillion-dollar estate, and she and her husband enjoy an open marriage…but her need for male attention is starting to get dangerously out of control. 

And as Adina is drawn into the sizzling reality beyond her friends' perfect facades, she's also dealing with a new man, who's blissfully unaware of her not-so-innocent past. Now, each woman is about to discover that every passion has a price…and that some secrets are simply impossible to keep hidden.

Bliss - Fiona Zedde (aka Lindsay Evans)

From the outside, Bliss Sinclair's life seems very glamorous--a high-profile job with a publishing house, a fashionable boyfriend who looks good on her arm, and ultra-chic parties where the come-ons are as hot and thrilling at night as they are empty as an air-kiss greeting the next day. It's a world Bliss wanders through with blinders on, all the while craving more. And she finds it in the most unlikely of places.

Embarking on a series of carnal adventures with a notorious bad girl as her guide, Bliss opens herself to every new experience and every taboo. In abandoned warehouses, private fetish clubs, even her own office, Bliss is skating on the thin ice of desire--until her world comes crashing in.

Now, broken and wanting, Bliss decides to spend a summer in her birthplace, Jamaica, where she hopes to reconcile with her estranged father and rediscover herself. There, in a land of lush ripeness, of heat, warm breezes, easy smiles, and the family she left behind, Bliss will discover what she didn't know was missing. It's a journey that will awaken every one of her senses and take her to the edge of known pleasure and far beyond it, to a love that is as sexy as it gets, as real as can be, and more surprising than she can imagine--a place of total bliss.

So Now You're Back - Heidi Rice

Halle Best, TV's Domestic Diva, is proud of everything she's achieved.

Halle took her passion for baking and built her media empire alone after her ex Luke walked out on her sixteen years ago, leaving her a single mum to their two-year-old daughter Lizzie in a dingy flat in Hackney.

Now a bona fide celebrity success, she only speaks to Luke via her lawyer. But as he is threatening to write a tell-all book exposing some of Halle's deepest secrets, keeping him at arm's length won't be so easy anymore.

When Luke suggests a getaway to work through their past, Halle thinks he's crazy; if they can survive two weeks together it will be a miracle.

Yet reconnecting with her past, could be the only way to start her future.

Everything At Last - Kimberly Lang
(Magnolia Beach, Book 2)

At first sight, Molly Richards knew Magnolia Beach, Alabama, was the perfect place to escape her unhappy life. And though she's proud of the small coffee shop she’s opened, something is missing. But she won’t let herself be burned by love—again.

Veterinarian Tate Harris finds the local dating scene awkward, since he's known most of the eligible ladies his whole life. But he's finding it hard to resist the unassuming charm of the sweet-faced owner of Latte Dah. And when a late-night pet emergency finds Tate at Molly's house, that fascination turns into a potent mutual attraction.

But just as their relationship begins to take off, Molly's haunted past returns. Fortunately, Tate is determined to help Molly fight for the life she's been wishing for...

Any Time You Need Me - Farrah Rochon
(Moments in Maplesville, Book 7)

It’s been a decade since Aubrey Laurent left Maplesville shrouded in scandal. Intent on taking the music industry by storm, she moved to Los Angeles to chase her dreams of becoming a pop star. But life has thrown nothing but sour notes her way. 

Now Aubrey has no choice but to return to her hometown and face the people who scorned her. And the ex-boyfriend whose heart she broke. 

After spending the last two years taking care of his dying father, Sam Stewart is ready to start living for himself. But just when he prepares to take the first step forward—and possibly away from Maplesville—his past comes tumbling back to upend his plans. 

The last thing Sam wants is to reconnect with the woman who crushed his heart, but as he and Aubrey work together on a community project, they discover that the heat that once burned between them is still there. And it’s hotter than ever. 

Time's Echo - Pamela Hartshorne (Jessica Hart)

Grace Trewe comes to York intending to spend as little time as possible sorting out her dead godmother’s affairs before moving on, the way she has always done before. Grace prides herself on her independence. She is a practical, sensible, self-reliant person, impatient with spirituality or mysticism and what she thinks of as wallowing in emotion. Having survived the Boxing Day tsunami, Grace knows how lucky she is to be alive. She looks forward, not back.

But in York Grace discovers that the past cannot always be ignored. Her godmother, Lucy, has been dabbling in the occult, and it seems that she has raised an unquiet spirit, Hawise, who lived, loved and died in York over 400 years earlier. Hawise died believing that she has failed her daughter, and the more Grace is drawn into her life in the Elizabethan city, the more parallels she finds with her own life. For Grace, too, has failed a child.

Is Grace possessed? Or is she suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder? Either way, she learns that she cannot move on until she has come to terms with the past.

The Friendship Pact - Tara Taylor Quinn

Bailey Watters and Koralynn Mitchell consider themselves "sisters of the soul." Their circumstances growing up couldn't have been more different; Kora came from a wealthy, privileged family, while Bailey's home life was hard. They'd do anything for each other. "I'd give you a kidney," they always say. There are no secrets between them--until there's one secret Bailey can't share.

Danny Brown is the only man Kora's ever wanted, ever loved, and her marriage seems as flawless as everything else in her life. Bailey, however, doesn't want a husband. She does want a baby--but only by IVF. And the perfect donor, the perfect biological father, would be a man like...Danny.

What happens when love and friendship collide?  Kora might be willing to give Bailey a kidney. But what about a baby?

Intoxicated - Ally Fleming (aka AlTonya Washington)

Motivated by desperation, Etienne Shaw and her three friends make a decision one night that will shape their destinies and haunt their futures. For Etienne, it was the night she believes she became a monster. Whether the monster was simply conjured in a moment of terror or had been brewing inside her for years, was a question with the power to incapacitate her. Then, she meets Mercuri Nikolaides, a man with the power… to intoxicate her. 

For Mercuri and his friends, the desperate act of four women sets the stage they will use to disentangle themselves from a sinister group they’ve bled and killed for longer than they can stomach remembering. Meeting Etienne was a potent surprise and Mercuri doesn’t know what to make of the waif-like beauty or her ability to lay waste to the fortress he’s constructed around his emotions. 

Now, Etienne’s and Mercuri’s worlds passionately collide as their enemies return. Vengeance however, is not the endgame. More is sought and; in the midst of its pursuit, the innocent and the guilty alike will be crushed. 

Holding Out for a Hero - Amy Andrews

When sensible schoolteacher Ella Lucas rides into her home town on a Harley and seduces the resident football hero, Jake Prince, she figures she can be forgiven and move on. After all, she's just buried her mother.

Two years later, back in the city, their paths cross again but this time Jake is in the process of destroying her favourite dive bar. With her home facing a wrecker's ball, her school being closed down and her 15-year-old brother hell bent on self-destruction, it's the last straw. Throw in a dominatrix best friend who is dating a blue ribbon guy so straight he still lives at home with his mother, it's no wonder the sanest person in Ella's life is a dog.

With all this to contend with, the last thing Ella needs is Jake back in her life. But, as fate would have it, Jake is the only chance she has to save her school.

As the school football season heats up, old secrets threaten to surface and Ella takes on greedy developers, school boards and national tabloids. But can she save not just her home, her school and her brother, but also the reputation of the man she's never been able to forget? And, more importantly, does she want to?

Sacrifice - Gwendolyn Beynon (aka Nikki Logan)
(Y Ddraig:  The Dragons of Brython, Book 1)

528 A.D. Cymru (Wales) Melangell is a ‘Lifebringer’, a dragon-maiden learning to protect one of the land’s most ancient mysteries, y Ddraig. She expects to pass her years as have a score of teachers before her—hidden away, safeguarding an egg that barely moves from year to year, never using the deadly and secret skills she has been taught. 

But the King’s relentless pursuit of this most holy relic throws her into the middle of war and though she is not yet adept Melangell must enter captivity with the egg to defend the sleeping dragonling within. Her abductor is Cai ap Cynyr—fierce warrior, loyal brother and sword-arm to the high Chieftain, Artwr. He has been scouring the land for the relics Artwr demands to ensure triumph against the Angles invading from the east. 

Cai uses the Lifebringer’s mystique to master his armsmen, but when he spirits Melangell and the dragon egg further into seclusion, she grows intrigued by her captor. But she is a Lifebringer—sworn only to y Ddraig—and Cai must deliver the dragonling to Artwr to at last drag himself out of his legendary brother’s deep shadow.

What are your favourite single title books that have been written by category romance authors?  Join the debate in the comments!

Ali Williams grew up in Croydon and spent her teenage years in a convent girls’ school. She then fled to university where she discovered champagne cocktails, a capella singing and erotica.

These days she blogs about perceptions of romance as well as curating The CatRom Project, which looks at the way that social issues are addressed and engaged with in category romance.

Editor for the Pink Heart Society, guest blogger for Mills & Boon and Harper Impulse, and occasional columnist for For Books' Sake, she defies you to slam romance novels within her hearing!


  1. Thanks for the shout out, Ali... Love the sound of your catrom project btw.

    1. Any time - loved #SoNowYoureBack!

      And thanks, the research is lots of fun! And you've got your own tag: https://thecatromproject.wordpress.com/tag/heidi-rice/

  2. Thanks so much for the mention! Would love to read your catarom project!