Chachic's Book Nook

Amour et Florand: My Gateway to Contemporary Romance

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Brandy of Random Musings of a Bibliophile is one of my trusted bloggers because we share similar tastes in young adult fantasy and contemporary (as evidenced by past guest posts that she’s done for EWein Special Ops and Marchetta Madness). I also think of her as an expert on middle grade fiction. I love what she has to say about Laura Florand’s books.

Here’s Brandy for Amour et Florand!

Random Musings of a Bibliophile2

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My Gateway to Contemporary Romance by Brandy

I began reading romance novels when I was in high school. They were an easy quick distraction from the heavier (often duller) required school reading. I was actually sort of known for it because they were the books I chose to bring to school with me every day for whenever I had a free moment to read-they were easy to slip in and out of-and it was quickly noticed that I had a different one every day. I read fast. I read A LOT of romances over those years. Most of them I don’t even remember, but they were all historical. For some reason I have always had a mental block when it comes to reading contemporary books. As a teacher I read plenty of them aimed for the elementary school set, but I never ventured into that genre in any other area. Melina Marchetta changed that in regards to YA literature. Laura Florand unlocked the world of adult contemporary romance for me.

What mainly attracted me to Florand’s books was Chachic talking about them constantly on Twitter. I know I can trust her. We have VERY similar taste in books. That in itself wouldn’t have been enough though. These books are about Paris. These books are about CHOCOLATE. And I love romance, but actually hadn’t tried a new author in quite some time. All those things worked together to make me want to read The Chocolate Thief. And then I really wanted to kick myself because what had I been missing out on? If THIS is what the world of contemporary romance was like, then I had been lacking some seriously good entertainment for years. It had been so long since found a new-to-me author I liked enough to want to binge read everything they had ever written, and boy did it feel good. At the time that was a total of three books, but I had found a new author to love and pre-order all the things she would write in the future. (Or buy as soon as she lets us know that’s possible.)

What is it about Florand’s books that captured me so fully? It is the way she combines all of my favorite elements into each and every one. Her characters are complex people. The have flaws and hard edges, weaknesses that are completely realistic. I love how she shows how difficult it can be to fit two strong people with all their baggage and life expectations together into a partnership that works for both of them. And she does it with it humor. There is excellent dialogue in her books. The banter is top-notch, and I truly adore it when the heroes of the previous novels are around to mock the newest one. (Sylvain is particularly good at this.) I love how she writes about married couples too, and shows how difficult marriage can be, but also how rewarding. Then there are the fairy tales she slips into the stories like special little presents you just give someone because you love it. All of that together is impossible for me to resist. And yes, they are sexy. Exactly the kind of sexy I like.

Thanks to Laura’s books I was willing to explore a whole new genre. And most of the exploring I’ve done has come at her recommendation. She is an excellent book pusher. She caused my book bingeing one other author too, and I can’t stress again how long it had been since I had wanted to binge books. It’s been a great feeling. It had also been quite some time since I had found books that I wanted to reread so much. Books that when I had a stressful day, were the perfect solution. I can’t tell you how many times in the past year I’ve reread all of these. For that, for all the new authors she’s introduced me to, and for giving me an excellent gateway into this genre, Laura Florand’s books will always have a special place in my heart. As I have explored this genre more too, I can also say she is my favorite author of contemporary romance and I don’t see that changing.

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Merci, Brandy! I also get romance recommendations from Laura. 🙂 Melina Marchetta was also my gateway to YA contemporary.

Amour et Florand

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Author: Chachic

Welcome to Chachic's Book Nook! I'm a Filipino book blogger currently based in Singapore. My blog features all sorts of books that I read from various genres (fantasy, contemporary romance, young adult fiction). Click on About Me to learn more and check out my Favorite Books page for a list of books that I love. Thanks for dropping by! Chachic /ˈtʃɑːtʃɪk/ is pronounced with hard “ch” sounds. The first syllable is pronounced like the dance cha-cha while the second syllable is like chick (baby chicken).

11 thoughts on “Amour et Florand: My Gateway to Contemporary Romance

  1. I haven’t had quite the same gateway experience, but I’m definitely a lot more open to trying contemporary romance than I used to be.

  2. Nice post. I feel the same way.

    I also love imagining you as a high schooler carrying a new historical romance every day. 🙂

    I’m curious, which other romance author(s) have you discovered from Laura?

    • The main one I’ve discovered and fallen in love with is Virginia Kantra. Devoured her Carolina series and am making my way through her MacNeill series now.

  3. Thank you so much, Brandy! I am thrilled to have introduced you to a favorite author of mine, too. 🙂 Can I say who it is? I went out to dinner with her last night but STILL could not wrest that Carolina Blues arc from her hands! She is a tough one, that Virginia Kantra!

    I have other recs, but I think that’s the author you particularly liked, right?

    Thank you SO much again, to you and to Chachic and to all of you. This is so incredibly kind of all of you.

    • Yes! And tough luck with the Carolina Blues ARC. I’m highly anticipating that one, particularly as she mentioned once there’s more Josh and Thalia in there and I might be just a little too interested them. 😉

  4. Brandy, How interesting that you were always reading romances, just not contemporary! When I actually have time to read again, I guess I ought to try Virginia Kantra.

    • You should! I like how her books are about family too and she writes kids really well. I’ve found kids in romance novels (or any adult novel really) often sound too old, too young, or some bizarre mix of the two, but she gets them right.

      And yes, I had this thing about not reading contemporary. Don’t know why or where it came from.

  5. I love this post! And I feel similarly. I definitely don’t read a lot of contemporary romances, but I do make an exception for her (even though the others are still just on queue for me). Seriously can’t wait to binge read the rest of her titles!

  6. Pingback: Amour et Florand: A Strong Sense of Place | Chachic's Book Nook

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