Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I’ve Read the Most

Posted August 11, 2015 by meezcarrie in Colleen Coble, Dee Henderson, Deeanne Gist, Denise Hunter, Irene Hannon, Janette Oke, Mary Connealy, Patricia Davids, Shelley Shepard Gray, Tamera Alexander, Top Ten Tuesday / 92 Comments


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly link-up hosted by the girls at The Broke and The Bookish. Today’s topic is all about the authors I’ve read the most books from.  (That sentence structure drives me crazy but it is what it is lol.)  As I perused my Goodreads “Read” shelf to gather data, I stumbled on a few surprises with this one.

Colleen Coble (20)

Tidewater inn

I first gobbled up her Mercy Falls series, then devoured the Lonestar series, then the two Under Texas Stars books, and then I moved on to Rock Harbor and Hope Beach and Smitten. And there are STILL more series that I haven’t read! Colleen‘s books are a blend of suspense, romance, faith, and friendship, and her historicals are just as riveting as her contemporary novels. If you like historicals, start with Mercy Falls.  If you have a fondness for marriage-of-convenience tropes, read the Lonestar series – a rare contemporary take on it! And if like me, you adore romantic suspense, read any of her novels.  Can’t go wrong.

Mary Connealy (18)

9261 SweptAway_mck.indd

When I first re-entered the reading world after a 6 year medical absence, I was also armed with a smart phone and discovered a delightful little thing called a Kindle app 🙂 THEN I discovered that there were copious amounts of free books that could be found for Kindle apps and I stumbled upon a western called “Swept Away” by Mary Connealy.  An appropriate title, that, because I was swept away by the story, the humor, the characters, the romance.  Clearly, I didn’t stop with that one free book lol.  My favorites are her Sophie’s Daughters series and the Trouble In Texas series.

Janette Oke (17)

roses for mama

Janette Oke‘s books are a blast from my reading past, specifically my tween and early teen years. She’s found new fame recently with the Hallmark channel bringing both her Love Comes Softly and When Calls the Heart series to life on TV.  Yet, her books endure even without the television revival because her characters feel like family and her plots tug at your heart.  Besides the series that launched the Hallmark shows, I highly recommend the book Roses For Mama. It’s been a lasting favorite of mine – I still own my original copy and read it from time to time 25 years later. And I still cry and still swoon and still smile at all the same places.

Shelley Shepard Gray (14)


Shelley Gray takes a typical genre – Amish literature – and gives it new life and a warm heart. Her characters are real and honest, never cardboard, and her plots immediately invest you in their outcomes.  My absolute favorite series is the first one I read – The Secrets of Crittenden County.  Set in Kentucky (whoohoo!), it follows the same murder mystery across all 3 books and has several unique elements that set it apart from other Amish novels as well as other mysteries. If you’re looking for a place to start reading her books, you cannot go wrong with this series!

Tamera Alexander (12)

beauty so rare

Now we come to one author I knew for sure would be on this list.  The others so far were a surprise to me lol (simply because I didn’t realize how many of their books I’ve read). Tamera Alexander‘s historical fiction immerses you into the heart and soul of the setting & the characters. And she just keeps improving! Each new book I read is better than the one before it, and I continue to get “new favorites” with every book released.  I honestly don’t even know which series to recommend for you to start first – they are all so good!  Ack! Okay. If you want to settle in for a longer read, begin with her Belle Meade Plantation series.  On the other hand, if you would rather curl up with a slightly shorter book, try the Timber Ridge Reflections series. Or the Fountain Creek Chronicles.  Or her stand alone book, The Inheritance. But then make sure you go back and pick up the Belmont Mansion series for some longer reads again. SEE? I. Can. Not. Decide. Just read them all. 🙂

Deeanne Gist (12)

Tiffany Girl cover

I figured Deeanne Gist would make this top ten list as well.  I just adore her spunky heroines and dashing heroes, her sense of humor and her sense of romance. With much grace, she writes flawed characters who find each other and manages to teach me history at the same time! Her fiction is so well researched but never feels like a textbook – on the contrary, a Deeanne Gist read is always full of heart and sass and laughter and kisses! The very first book of hers that I read was Maid to Match, and it remains my favorite to this day. Her newest release Tiffany Girl is also wonderful.  As is everything in between 🙂

Irene Hannon (12)


While she writes both contemporary romance and romantic suspense, it is her romantic suspense that completely have my heart. It is by far my favorite genre, and she is one of my top 5 favorite romantic suspense authors across both mainstream and inspirational.  I love that her characters mingle with each other between series – mainly because I loathe saying goodbye & this allows me to keep in touch with them in a manner of speaking. (Yes, I know they’re not real people. Don’t write me letters.)  Her plots keep you on the edge of your seat, biting your nails, quickly turning the pages – and forget sleeping until the case is solved! And the romance… ahhhhh let’s all pause for a *dreamy sigh*, shall we?  Her Guardians of Justice series and her Private Justice series are at the top of my list – of favorites overall and favorites in the romantic suspense category.  Irene Hannon just won her third RITA award from the Romance Writers of America and was inducted into the RWA Hall of Fame.  Well-deserved!

Denise Hunter (12)

dancing with fireflies

Oh my goodness! If you like contemporary romances, you NEED to be reading Denise Hunter‘s books! Swoon-worthy, full of heart, swoon-worthy, delicious heroes, swoon-worthy, “real” heroines… did I mention swoon-worthy yet?  I swear I need protective padding … and a fan… and an alternative oxygen source when I read her books.  Denise is proof-positive that you don’t need to sacrifice sparks to keep it clean.  Just like with Tamera Alexander, I can’t begin to tell you my favorite series to start with – they’re ALL my favorites.  Pick any of them – Big Sky Romance, Nantucket, Chapel Springs – you won’t be disappointed.  There are even, sadly, some I haven’t read yet (a travesty!) but I can guarantee that you would enjoy those too.

Patricia Davids (11)

Katie Redemption

Patricia Davids writes the kind of books that my husband calls my “snacks” – short, sweet, easy to gobble up in one sitting. But don’t let the diminutive size of the books fool you – there’s a lot of great story in that small package!  She publishes under Harlequin’s Love Inspired label and while I’ve only read her Amish Brides series she has written several other books that are on my towering TBR list.  I love the realness and warmth of her characters, her humor, and the breathlessness of her romance.  The first book in the Amish Brides series is a great place to begin – Katie’s Redemption.

Dee Henderson (11)

new Danger in the Shadows

You’ve seen Dee Henderson around the blog – she’s even got her own category! (As do a couple other authors in this top ten list for that matter.) My first introduction to her immense romantic suspense talent was Danger In the Shadows which I featured on my very first Favorites Friday.  That book kicked off the O’Malley Family series which has been long seen as one of the standards in romantic suspense.  She took some time off of writing for a while (around the same time as my reading hiatus actually… so I thankfully didn’t miss much lol) but came back on the scene with new books that continue to support her strong reputation in the genre. But seriously – start with Danger in the Shadows and then the O’Malley Family and fall in love with them like I did. Then you can branch out into her other novels.  But you must meet the O’Malleys if you love romantic suspense.  They kinda go with the territory 🙂

So that’s my top 10! Who’s on your list? 


92 responses to “Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I’ve Read the Most

  1. Colleen Coble is one of my always favorites; her books are such “easy,” sweet reads. I read a TON of Janette Oke as a kid too… and of course, Dee Henderson’s O’Malley series is one of my most favorites. 🙂

  2. readerbuzz

    So…maybe you are the person who has been filling my Little Library with Patricia Davids books! Somebody in my town apparently loves her, too. Maybe I should try one myself. 🙂

  3. Literary Feline

    I am not familiar with a lot of the authors you mention, but it looks like I should be. I haven’t read any of them. Tamera Alexander’s and Colleen Coble’s books caught my attention immediately. And Irene Hannon. Denise Hunter too. Oh, let’s just say all of them!

  4. I haven’t read anything by Janette Oke in years! And then I was so disappointed with the When Calls the Heart movie last year that I didn’t even watch the series. I had loved that book, and that story wasn’t even the main plot; it made me sad.

  5. We don’t actually have any authors in common — but I see a few that people have been recommending, so I’ll consider your list a good source for inspiration!

  6. I think that Roses for Mama was my very first Oke book that then opened to door to many more! Thanks for stopping by my TTT! Happy reading!

  7. I was first introduced to Janette Oke through the Love Comes Softly movies, but like Sarah, “Roses for Mama” was my first Janette Oke book (my local library didn’t have the LCS books, so I read what they had while I waited for inter-library loans). 😉 –While I’m not as huge of a fan of her writing as I was in high school, that book still holds a special place in my heart. I love Deeanne Gist and Mary Connealy’s books also, but apparently I’ve read more books from other authors …

  8. allbookishhere

    I haven’t read from any of these authors so thanks for introducing me to them! I’ll definitely be checking them out in the future! Awesome post!

  9. Great list! I’ve never read any of these authors but I’m definitely going to check a couple of them out now. Thanks for stopping by my post earlier 🙂

  10. I’ve never read anything by these authors but you’ve made them sound so great, I’ll definitely have to look out for their names next time i’m in the bookshop!

  11. Oh wow, I haven’t read books by any of these authors but you’re so enthusiastic about them that I feel like I should give them a try. I love reading swoon-worthy romances too so I’ll be adding some of these titles to my wishlist.

  12. I love Janette Oke’s books and have every book she has written. I also love Dale Cramer. I have all of his, except for the last one. I highly recommend his books!!!

  13. Julie Green

    Colleen Coble is my number one! Denise Hunter and Dee Henderson would be on right there behind her. Love love love Colleen’s books!

  14. I can’t say that I’ve read any of these (I tend to be a fantasy/scifi and nonfiction girl), but I know some people with similar taste who might like some more recommendations. (I work at a bookstore, so I collect mental folders of categories I don’t read, so I can still suggest authors/books!)
    And your opening paragraph made me laugh, because I griped about the wording/sentence structure too. So. Awkward.
    Side note: have you ever read Georgette Heyer? She wrote smart, witty, fun regency romances that seem like something you might like.

    My TTT, if you’re interested:

  15. Cheryl Patton

    ALL my favs too but add Lori Wick, Kim Vogle Sawyer and the Hakes. Absolutely love all these authors!

  16. I haven’t read anything by most of these authors, except for one book by Janette Oke (can’t remember which one). Great list!

  17. *shifty eyes* The only author on here I’ve read anything by is Dee Henderson. I’ve read a couple of her books but they’re not really my type. I’ve been looking at some of Deeanne Gist but have been too sure where I want to start. Most of them sound really good and I’m just not sure which one I’d like more. I’ve never even heard of Tamera Alexander before, but I’m headed right over to check her books out because they sound like my kind of books.

  18. thereviewdiaries

    I haven’t actually tried any of these authors yet, but there are a couple that have caught my eye and look really good. Definitely going to give them a whirl! Great list!

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