Top Ten New-to-Me Authors of 2016

December 6, 2016 Top Ten Tuesday 24


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature/meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Top Ten Things I Love/Hate About Romance in Books.


I was surprised when I looked back through this year’s reads to realize how few new-to-me authors I had tried. There were really only about 10 or 11, and a few of them were just OK, so I didn’t put them on this list. I did a lot better with new-to-me authors a few years ago, but I guess that resulted even more authors that I’m trying to keep up with, and less time to try new ones! Still, I now have several fun new authors and three very good ones to follow.


The Best

Julie Ann Long, Beverly Jenkins, and Mary Robinette Kowal each draw you in with complex characters, pitch-perfect dialogue, compelling stories, settings so beautifully realized that you feel you’ve experienced them, and distinctive, well-written prose. Long skilfully veers from deliciously witty humor to the heights and depths of emotion and back. Jenkins blends solid historical research, achingly tense-and-tender character-driven romance, and a sensitive portrayal of African-American life. And Kowal writes Jane Austenesque fantasy in prose that exhibits all the keen observation, “sensibility” and dry wit of Austen herself.


The Rest

I read and really liked the new series debuts from Amanda Flower, Jennifer David Hesse, and Connie di Marco. (Full disclosure; I have kind of read di Marco before, because she also writes as Connie Archer — the Soup Lover’s mysteries. But I figure that a new series under a new pen name with a different style counts as a new author.) Genevieve Cogman’s The Invisible Library has a great premise and storyline, though the actual writing is middling. And Jill Shalvis is another contemporary romance writer I like for her blend of humor, sizzling antagonists-to-lovers romance, and a great supporting cast.


24 Responses to “Top Ten New-to-Me Authors of 2016”

  1. Kimberly @ Turning the Pages

    I read a Beverly Jenkins YA historical romance back in the day but haven’t tried her adult stuff. She’s on my list to try next year, and Shades of Milk and Honey has such a gorgeous cover I’m actually going to have to look into it and see if my library has it. I also see some mysteries that might just help me out on Yvonne @ Socrates’ Book Review’s challenges.
    Kimberly @ Turning the Pages recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday #91My Profile

  2. Lindsay

    Genevieve Cogman made my list this week too! I agree that the writing is just so-so, but the premise is really fun! I do have to say, though, that halfway into book 2 I’m not loving it quite as much as the first one and I’ve felt a bit confused from time to time. Still, I’m sure I’ll continue with book 3.

    I’ve really got to read “Shades of Milk and Honey.” It’s been on my to-read list since 2014 when I participated in LetterMo, which Mary Robinette Kowal started.
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    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      I remember when you did LetterMo; I thought it was a great idea. I really like Shades of Milk and Honey; I put it aside for review books and then got caught up in other reads, but I need to get back to it because it was very good.

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      I’ve only read one Jenkins book so far (and loved it!), but I have the ARC for this spring’s Breathless and can’t wait to read it. Forbidden was really good. I’ll definitely be tracking down some of her backlist.

  3. Rita @ View From My Books

    I read about Beverley Jenkins on some bookish site and you’ve reminded me that I need to branch out and try her books. Also I’m kind of surprised that you enjoyed Julie Ann Long so much because I get the impression that this is a rather steamy book and I assumed you don’t favor those (I could be wrong on either or both counts)! I’ve also read about Kowal before and was hemming and hawing about her too. Thanks for sharing some authors I haven’t picked up before. I laughed when you said about 10 new authors– I listed 51 and that was for 8 months, lol.
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    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      It’s true that I’m not a fan of steamy scenes that are thrown in just for the sake of being steamy. Long’s scenes are pretty explicit, but they’re not gratuitous; they seem to flow naturally from who the characters are and what’s going on in their relationship. Still, it’s her writing outside those scenes that really hooked me. I’ve read two of her books now, and they’ve both been terrific from the point of view of character, setting, humor, feels, and darn good writing.

      I did much better with reading new authors a year or two ago, when I really made an effort to do so. This year, between personal and work stresses, I found myself craving the familiar — reading familiar authors and also rereading books I’d read and loved before. This year may be similar, though hopefully not because of stress, but because I’m trying to read more books that have been on my TBR list for a while. That will include some new authors, but also a lot of series I want to finish or catch up on.

  4. Lark

    The only one of these authors I’ve read is Genevieve Cogman; I just finished reading The Invisible Library a few weeks ago. But all the others are authors I can look forward to trying someday soon. 🙂
    Lark recently posted…Murder and Mystery…My Profile

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      Well, we do share a lot of the same interests! So I’m headed off to see what’s on your list that I haven’t read yet. 😉

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      I would like to read some of Jenkins’ older books. She writes two types of books, I understand: historical romances and a Christian historical-to-contemporary series about a town that is largely African-American. I have one of her older romances on my Kindle (Indigo, I think), but I haven’t tried the other series.

  5. Melissa (My words and pages)

    Oh nice. I like this meme and this weeks topic. Thanks for sharing your new to me reads. 🙂