We are SO in love with taking our time with book love, aren’t we? It’s the #1 thing so many of us love in romance novels, and come on… we know that the main couple will inevitably fall in love (no surprise there). But what makes a romance book go from “good” to being one of my absolute favorites is ALWAYS the slow burn (*if* it has one, that is). It’s simply what I (and many of us) prefer.
Ashley: I need help! I need a slow burn book. I just read Kulti, and I forgot how much I love the building of a relationship. I can’t do the insta connection now. Any recommendations?”
Lapis: What do you think about making a list of slow burn romances? I just read Kulti and I’m in crazy need of more books like that one.
Maryse: Of course I feel like telling her “Thoughtless” AND “Beautiful Disaster” AND “On The Island” AND “Love Unscripted” were all slow burns, but I have a feeling she already read ‘em. ;) So… any new (or old!!) recommendations? Must have rocked your socks off and must be slow burns… We want tummy aches and butterflies! I’m ALL ears. Or eyes.
Ashley: Maryse how did you know Those were are all on my have read list . I feel like the blog could totally use a slow burn list!! I’ve read all the above mentioned…
Lori: …yes, we need a list!!
Maryse: Great idea!!
Michelle: I LOVE the slow burn!
Louise: LOVE slow burns!
Kathleen: Love a slow burn, it’s nice all of you are creating a good to be read pile for me
bev: I want to see slow burn, swoon, hea/hfn, & maybe a good grovel… I just love a slow burn and stories that really take the time to build the relationship.
Maryse: EXACTLY, bev. YES!!! And I love a good grovel, too. LOL!!! *snort*
The slow burn is the quality in a love story that makes it, so that I become fully invested. Where I feel how she feels, even to the point of forgetting that I am not the heroine. I ache with her, I giggle with her, I break with her. I find my all-encompassing love and happiness with her. And it brings me back to my own big crushes, love and heartache.
Now don’t get me wrong… I’ve enjoyed plenty of insta-crush, or even insta-love books (I’ve read many like that… where mates and/or souls just know each other and it’s an instant romantic connection). I believe that truly happens in real life, too. Seeing someone from across the room, or meeting the “friend of a friend” and it just clicks… HARD. Your heart stutters, stops and speeds up… and that’s it. You’re in a “love fog”. LOVE THAT. I believe that wholeheartedly.
However… when it comes to reading a book, I need more. Much more. Since I’m not the character, and I need to be, to become fully invested in her story, I have to feel her “living” before they become “one”. See through her eyes, and feel with her emotions. And since I’m reading a love story, I need to ache, pine, and exhilarate with her… slowly. Because even if “insta-love” is real, there is always that lengthy, insecure time when everything is up in the air, and I need to live that with her.
So all that to say, when I read a potential love story, I want her (or him!) to:
- pine for him, and live in lengthy emotional agony when he doesn’t even really notice her (like in Sweet Dreams, when not only was she not his type, he made it known, or like in Mystery Man, when she suspected she was possibly… one of many. Or like in Motorcycle Man, when she realized all he wanted her for was one night, after months of crushing on him…) *gasp* and grrrrrrr to all of these books, and OMG can KRISTEN ASHLEY do pining, being alone in love… and slow burn right, or what?
- Or the feelings might be mutual and yet she’s still not allowed to be him for whatever reason. Like in Thoughtless… slow burn and emotional agony all the way through, or Love, In English.
- Or I want that painful yet obligatory resistance (and I mean truly resist, for really good reasons), by either member of the potential couple. As in “Slammed“. Sure it was a quick and mutual crush, but circumstances kept them apart BIG time, and OMG THAT was a slow delightfully painful burn.
- Or I want to immensely dislike him, ’cause he’s a total jacka$$ (like in Beautiful Disaster). He’s such an obvious cocky player, and arrogant to boot. So sure of himself, and of being able to attract her, and despite her seeing the obvious hotness in him, her own self-respect and self-preservation kept her at arms length. She didn’t want to be his next victim! Oh GAHHHHH the slow burn in this one incinerated me right up and I loved every single second of it!!!! MORE LIKE THIS!!!! LOL!
- Or I want a humongous *almost love* and then a nice lengthy (within reason ) breakup that I can feel and hurt along with the heroine. But I don’t want to just jump to it (either the breakup, or the get back together). Ohhhh like in Karina Halle’s Experiment in Terror Series or the Downside Ghosts Series. I wanna live it ALL. Or!!
- I love a book where they are just friends… truly just friends and we have fun, and we enjoy it, and we see them dating others and all of the angst and pain that goes with it, and the *boom*!!!! It sneaks up on us and we didn’t even realize it… we’re in love with the best friend!
Ahhhhhhh all of those scenarios are perfect “slow burn” romance reads, for me. I love “working” for it…
Okay so this list is a “work in progress” as I know there are TONS of awesome slow-burn romance books that are missing from this list (even probably many of my own favorites that I have to backtrack on, to add here), so send me your recommendations and I’ll add them!
Fearless: The Complete Novel (Dartmoor Book 1) by Lauren Gilley <—Paula says: “Sort of a slow burn it covers what happened 5 years ago and also in the present – love and MC drama – so really good! Yep, the hero is Cajun and the MC go to man for getting the truth from people….it doesn’t feel like a long book as really enjoying the story and the other characters are great too…” (Agreed! My review)
After Hours by Cara McKenna <— MichelleS recommends this one for the slow burn! “Of course the cover of After Hours is amazing – but so is the slow burn in the book. So hot. Loved it. You’re gonna love it, I just know it!!!” (Agreed! My review)
Kulti by Mariana Zapata <— jen felt the burn with this one! “…what took me so long to read this??? I am swooing big time for The German. Sigh…I ca’t stop thinking about this book. a slow burn for sure,but so worth it.” and I agreed! “I AM LOVING KULTI!!! Almost halfway through the book, and I’m crushing big time and yet still… NOTHING. !!!! SLOW BURN is right… but it’s done SO right. Nothing is boring me here… ’cause the interactions are funny, infuriating, and so obviously NOT “obvious”… you know? No cliches or rushing in this one and I. AM. IN!!!!!!” Cheryl agrees too: “I loved Kulti!!! I love when I start reading a book and it gives you the “feel” of where you just enjoy reading it and can’t wait to see where it goes. It is definitely a slow burn.” (Agreed! My review)
The Friend Zone (Game On Book 2) by Kristen Callihan <— Cheryl suggests this one. “Just finished The Friend Zone and I liked it more than The Hook Up. There was more angst and more of a slow burn with their friends to lovers relationship.”
Bad Romeo (The Starcrossed Series) by Leisa Rayven <— Amy was feeling the burn in this one! “Guys, I am about halfway through Bad Romeo and simply LOVING it! It’s going back and forth between the past and present (which I don’t mind when it’s done well like this is), and the anticipatory buildup to what happened before has me all anxious and bouncing my leg. And even the flashbacks for me have that slow burn We’ll see what happens with the last half, but if it continues this way then I *might* just have found me a 5 star! ”
Little Town Series by J.D. Nixon <— IsDonIsGood says: “Just finished the awesome 4th book in JD Nixon’s Blood Tears series. Really good; slow burn, to the point of ‘will they or won’t they’ being a sincere question through out.”
Emi Lost & Found Series by Lori Otto <— bev mentioned this one… “Ok, one that messed me up? Emi lost & found series. I probably read it at the very worst time. I was still in the early stages of grieving. And I pick up this book and has friends to lovers and slow burn♥. I knew it was a first book so when almost done I grabbed the other two so I could stay in this world. I started the second, hopefully, and pretty soon I’m sobbing so so hard. Can’t see the book cause of the tears hard…” (Agreed! My review – although this is just of book #1… I enjoyed #2 and #3 even more)
Radiance (Wraith Kings Book 1) by Grace Draven <— MichelleS has one!! “Bev – you said, ” I just love a slow burn and stories that really take the time to build the relationship”… well, have I got a book for you! And Michelle. And maybe Fabi, if she’s in the right mood for it. I was searching for my next good fantasy find… and this is it. Loving it so much. It’s called Radiance, Wraith Kings Book 1. Just released. Fantastic writing. She’s a human, royalty. He’s not human, and royalty. Arranged marriage. Sounds corny, I know, but somehow this author has a fresh, original, wonderful point of view and writing style. She thinks he’s hideous. He thinks she’s hideous. Funny and sweet and unbelievably good. I laughed out loud at the wedding feast! Can’t stop thinking about this book. Yay me!”
The Fever Series 6-Book Bundle: Darkfever, Bloodfever, Faefever, Dreamfever, Shadowfever, Iced by Karen Marie Moning <— bev says: “…the romance is definitely a slow burn in the fever series.” and yep!! This one burnt me up nice!!! I told Linda to keep reading (when book #1 didn’t produce *ahem* sexy times). LOL I said: “Each book gets better and better, and book #1 was not my favorite. In fact, my least favorite. And there’s that delicious slow burn that will burn you alive in the most delicious way. Plus.. Maybe even a triangle. And some shock value to blow your mind!!!! ” And Amy agrees: “…the Fever series has that crazy-slow burn and buildup that gets me all book-sexually frustrated…or would it be sexually-book frustrated? *pfft* I’m too mad at Barrons right now to care about linguistics. I also like how nothing is being solved and wrapped up quickly so I’ll get to stay in their world that much longer. I’m reading the third book (Faefever), and I just want to tie Barrons’ sac up in a pretty little bow and hang it above the doorway so I can smack his nuts everytime I walk by!! Ooooooh!!!! He’s a-p!ssing me off!!! But I still love him. *giggle*” <— Tee hee! OMG YOU SLAY ME, Amy!
The Mason List by SD Hendrickson <— Speaking of Amy, here’s one that she loved! “I didn’t mind the slow build-up (love that kind of “slow burn” as Maryse calls it) but once I got to about the 50% mark, holy sh!t it was a crazy intense ride for me! As if that’s not obvious from my comments on the other page, right? I absolutely loved this one.” (Agreed! My review)
Written In Red: A Novel of the Others by Anne Bishop <— bev: “The romance in WIR is a very slow burn type.”
Tall, Tatted, and Tempting (The Reed Brothers Series Book 1) by Tammy Falkner <— bev enjoyed this one! “…can not say enough how much I love the slow burn. And as Michelle S pointed out when an author takes the time to show us.”
The Unwanted Wife (The Unwanted Series) by Natasha Anders <— Jeannie suggests this one! “The Unwanted Wife is one of my favorites!”
SLOW BURN by Nicole Christie <— Leah recommends this one! “slow burn, nicole christie — The name says it all.”
No Turning Back (The Kathleen Turner Series Book 1) by Tiffany Snow <— Theresa suggest this one: “Reading Tiffany Snow currently. On 5th book and still no HEA. So this is my current Slow Burn.”
Never Me by Kate Stewart <— This is Yamara’s pick!
Bright Side by Kim Holden <— Sara recommends: “Bright Side and right now I’m reading the sequel “Gus” by Kim Holden”… (and Christine agrees: “I am with Sara – Bright Side and I am currently reading the sequel Gus, by Kim Holden.”)
The Year We Fell Down: A Hockey Romance (The Ivy Years Book 1) by Sarina Bowen <— another Sara recommendation! and!! “…anything by Penny Reid”
Jacked (Trent Brothers Book 1) by Tina Reber <— Andrea says: “Tina Rebers recent release Jacked is slow burn and good too.”
Matched by Angela Graham and S.E. Hall <— Linda recommends it! “Matched by S. E. Hall. Such a neat spin on a romance novel. Definite slow burn!”
Darker Water (Once and Forever Book 1) by Lauren Stewart <— Rachel says: “Ooo, Darker Water was sort of slow and achy.”