Wednesday, May 1

Something About a Series

Kristina Knight, reading, contemporary romance, Camille Pissarro
The painting to the left has always been one of my favorites. It's by Camille Pissarro, one of my favorite artists, and I think what draws me in is that it could be me - in a different outfit and with different hair, of course. But that could be me, curled up on a sofa, reading a book.

Lately, I've been obsessed by series, maybe because I've been writing one. But there is something about reading a familiar-but-different book that is just...very satisfying to me.

Series have always been a favorite, starting with the 'Sweet Valley' books of my teen years, but this new obsession has me reading all kind of different series and wishing for more and more and more.

It all started with Jayne Ann Krentz and her Arcane Society books. The characters are always different, but the world is so familiar that as soon as I start page one, I know where I am, who I'm up against (because I could soooo be one of those psychically connected heroines, I could!). I love it. Then, one of my Crimson Romance sisters, Peggy Bird got to me. The first book in her 'Again' series, and the same thing - each book is so different but the world she has created (and it's a contemporary, Earth-bound world) is so familiar and reading is like sinking into a familiar place with familiar people. And our own D'Ann Lindun has a new series, about The Cowboys of Black Mountain and is just...oh-so-sweet. And sexy. And cowboylicious that I can't stop reading. Even though I've already finished both the books.

One series that doesn't have me (well, any longer)? The Stephanie Plum series. I love Janet Evanovich. I loved the first few Stephanie books. And I love series, so this should be a home run, shouldn't it? And yet...I think it's that this series is one person's story. It's too familiar. The books are enjoyable but they don't grab me by the throat and demand I finish at 2AM. I can put a Stephanie book down because I know she'll still be torn between Morelli and Ranger, Lulu will still be Lulu and the bonds agency will still be run by slimeball Vinnie.

So, I suppose its a fine line between familiar and too-familiar. Different but not too-different. Tell me, are you a series fan? And, if so, what's the best series you've read recently? I need to know - because I've finished Peggy's and D'Ann's series and I need more!


  1. I LIKE series, but I also get tired of them. I think sometimes they go on too long. One of my favorites of all time was Nora Roberts' MacGregors, but I finally quit reading them. I do, though, love a trilogy or even four. And, yes, I absolutely love The Cowboys of Black Mountain!

  2. Funny you should mention Stephanie, Kristi. I just watched Run For The Money on Netflix last night. LOL Loved it for sure, but I agree with you that one person's stories pale compared to new characters in a familiar setting. I read another similar series a few years back (can't remember the title or author off hand, but when I do, I'll let you know) and LOVED the humorous suspense, but one woman torn between two men gets boring after two or three books. On the other hand, Nora Roberts 'Key Trilogy' is an awesome series. Three women, three men, same setting. Three women meet and open a boutique and have keys to find. It's a bit fantasy-real world and I still have them (somewhere). Check 'em out.

  3. I think you're right, Liz. Most of the series that 'get' me are 3-4 books.

    Calisa, I think Nora is the Queen of the trilogy - she sucks me in every flippin' time. Loved the Key trilogy...and the Blood Brothers...#happy sigh

  4. I haven't read a series lately, but have to agree with Liz....I like the series where the characters change but the setting remains the same and old character "visit". Right now I'm into reading single title contemporary and can't get

  5. Oh, the draw of contemporaries! Can't get enought...thanks for visiting, Christine!

  6. Great post, Kristina!! I love reading series as long as they aren't too long. I read RS and love to revisit my favorite heroes :)

  7. I just read Shannon Stacey's Kowalski series--which featured the brothers and cousins of a New England family and really enjoyed. When I was younger, I loved Jude Devereaux's trios.

    As for Stephanie Plum, I loved the first ten books or so. But my main complaint is that Stephanie never matures. I'd be fine reading her if she actually changed during the course of 20 books. I think if you binge-read them, you don't notice as much. But seeing as I started reading them early on--like around when the third or fourth book came out--I do notice and it bugs me too much to keep reading.

  8. I gave up on Stephanie a long time ago--same old story over and over. THANKS for the shout out!

  9. I love series, too (yep, big ole JAK fan myself). I think part of it is the feeling of a 'world' coming alive and of being able to re-visit a fictional place you loved with a fresh new story.

    Of course, I am LOVING your Texas Girl series. Right now I am also in the middle of the Beauty and the Beast series by my good friend Jax Garren (3rd book out this month and I. Can't. Wait!

  10. That's too funny because I don't normally like reading series. I get bored with them by the middle of the second book. But one series I love is the Stephanie Plum series. For me it's good entertainment that doesn't make me think too hard.

    I hated the movie though.

  11. LOL, Sharon. The movie wasn't *terrible*...but then, it wasn't the Stephanie/Ranger/Morelli I knew, it's not on my keeper-movie shelf!

    Thanks for the compliment, Irene! So glad you like the Texas books...and I'll go check out that Jax series. Sounds interesting!

    Margie, that is is *exactly*. I kept waiting for Stephanie to remember to put bullets in her gun...and she never did. *sigh*

    Thanks for coming by, Jennifer and D'Ann!