I've just discovered Linda Howard. As in, her books, not her murdered body in my library, LOL. "Kiss me while I sleep" is a perfect example of what a romance book should be, in my not so humble opinion.
It has all the elements:
- thriller-like pace
- high stakes that mean something to every individual
- no-nonsense romance
- erotic sex
- no graphic violence
- no sickly sweet "ahhhh" moments (you will not find anything remotely like "she put her head on his bronze chest, and they spoke about her feelings till dawn").
Ok, it might not win The Booker. But I'd read Linda Howard rather than J.m. Coetzee any day.