A note from the editor: This is the final entry in #SeptemberRomance, our month-long celebration of romance novels. For more—way more!—great romance coverage, click here.
Twenty years ago or so, my friend Debbie Mazoyer and I decided to team up and try our hand at writing romances. We chose the nom de plume Deborah Shelley, since Mosley Mazoyer didn’t sound quite right. We went to a lot of writing workshops and eagerly solicited advice from veteran authors. We took their messages to heart, starting with “Write what you know.” That was easy—I’m a librarian, and Deborah is a major bibliophile. So our first romantic comedy, Talk about Love, features a big-city librarian who moves to a small town in Kansas.
You might be surprised by how many librarians are romance writers: Sandra Kitt, Pamela Morsi, the late, great Cathie Linz, Jayne Ann Krentz, Susan Johnson, Patricia Knoll, Annette Mahon, Mindy Klasky, and Evelyn Richardson, just to name a few. Some of these authors even wrote multiple books with librarian heroines. Cathie Linz wrote six: Wildfire, Between the Covers, Good Girls Do, Luck Be a Lady, Mad, Bad, and Blonde, and Tempted Again. Jayne Ann Krentz cast librarian heroines in Perfect Partners, Running Hot, and Smoke in Mirrors. Mindy Klasky wrote a series featuring a librarian witch—yes, you read that right! The Jane Madison series includes The Girl’s Guide To Witchcraft, Sorcery and the Single Girl, Magic and the Modern Girl, The Single Witch’s Survival Guide, and Joy of Witchcraft.
To follow is a compendium of books starring librarians in love, linked to their Booklist reviews when possible. These cover all the romance sub-genres: contemporary, historical, inspirational, paranormal, and romantic suspense, so there’s something for everyone: Reference librarians. Vampire librarians. Mail-order bride librarians. Detective librarians. Witch librarians. Spunky librarians. Shy librarians. Map librarians. Children’s librarians. Demure librarians. Formidable librarians. Barhopping librarians. Notorious librarians. College librarians. Even demi-goddess-rescuing librarians. Happy reading!
204 Rosewood Lane, by Debbie Macomber (Series: Cedar Cove)
Librarian Grace Sherman was married to her husband thirty-five years. Then he went missing. Six months after his disappearance, Grace still doesn’t know what happened. Even though she loves her husband, she knows she has to get on with her life. Cliff Harding wants to be more than a friend, but Grace isn’t sure she’s ready for another relationship.
The Awakening of Miss Prim, by Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera
Prudencia Prim begins a new job as librarian in San Ireneo de Arnois, a French village in the middle of nowhere. The people in the village are kind but quirky, and trying to preserve their way of life. Prudencia’s handsome, bibliophile boss certainly adds to the charm—and promise—of the little town.
Beyond All Dreams, by Elizabeth Camden
Anna O’Brien is a map librarian at the Library of Congress. Although her life isn’t very exciting, simply having a job like hers is quite a feat for a woman in the 1800s. Her mundane existence takes a dramatic turn when she discovers the unsolved mystery of a ship that disappeared at sea. Since no one seems to want to answer her questions, Anna asks Congressman Luke Callahan for help, and together, they find dangerous secrets about this ship that no one wants them to uncover.
Busted, by Shiloh Walker (Barnes Brothers)
Successful, reclusive novelist Trey Barnes has been raising his son alone since his wife died in childbirth six years earlier. Then he meets librarian Ressa Bliss.
Chance of a Lifetime, by Jodi Thomas (Harmony)
A secret from librarian Emily Tomlinson’s past just might destroy her future. Tannon Parker is part of that secret, and they’ve gone their separate ways—but now he needs her to revive her relationship with his mother.
Emma and the Outlaw, by Linda Lael Miller (Orphan Train)
To hide the fact that she was raised in a brothel, librarian Emma Chalmers maintains the image of the most upright person in town. Her reputation is everything—that is, until she meets outlaw Steven Fairfax.
Good Girls Do, by Cathie Linz (Good Girls Do or Don’t)
Per his father’s will, former town bad boy Luke Maguire returns to Serenity Falls for six months to help with the family bar. Spunky librarian Julia Wright makes him think he might need more time there.
Key of Knowledge, by Nora Roberts (Key Trilogy)
Librarian Dana Steele has the boss from hell, which makes it easy for her to leave the library and go to the Warrior’s Peak estate, where she meets Zoe McCourt and Malory Price. While there, they learn they need to find three keys to open a box containing the souls of three demigoddesses. The riddle of the keys is related to their pasts. Dana needs a successful search—with the million-dollar reward, she can open her own bookstore—but she only has four weeks to find the key. Writer Jordan Hawke might be able to help her, in more ways than one.
A Knights Bridge Christmas, by Carla Neggers (Swift River Valley)
Widowed librarian Clare Morgan and her young son move to Knights Bridge, Massachusetts. Meanwhile, Dr. Logan Farrell is moving his grandmother to an assisted living facility, but she wants him to decorate her house one last time for Christmas. Who better to help him than Clare?.
Lakeshore Christmas, by Susan Wiggs (Lakeshore Chronicles)
New York librarian Maureen “Mo” Davenport gets to be in charge of the annual Avalon holiday pageant for the first time, so she wants to make the event the best ever. Unfortunately, a judge has ordered Eddie Haven, a former child star, to co-chair the pageant. Eddie hates Christmas, and he and Mo argue from the get-go. However, the more they work together, the more they get to know each other, and love seems to be inevitable.
Love Overdue, by Pamela Morsi
After an unexpected and steamy spring-break affair, Dorothy Jarrod embraces the persona of a stereotypical librarian and takes a job in a remote, rural Kansas library. Much to her surprise, town pharmacist Scott Sanderson is none other than the very person who made her spring break so unforgettable.
A Match Made in Alaska, by Belle Calhoun
Love, Alaska’s “Operation Love” seems like the perfect opportunity for introverted librarian Annie Murray to find a husband. But before she reaches her destination, her plane crashes in the brutal Alaskan wilderness. Annie’s only hope for survival is her pilot, Declan O’Rourke. Alaska Grooms. Book 2.
Miss Emmaline and the Archangel, by Rachel Lee
Gabe and librarian Emmaline Conard both have secret pasts—only Gabe can’t remember his.
Montana Creeds: Dylan, by Linda Lael Miller (Montana Creeds)
When the mother of his toddler-aged daughter abandons her, Dylan Creed—rodeo star, gambler, and all-around bad boy—turns to his childhood sweetheart, librarian Kristy Madison, for help.
Morning Comes Softly, by Debbie Macomber
Timid librarian Mary Warner, worried that she faces a future alone, answers a “wife wanted” ad from Travis Thompson, a Montana rancher. She leaves the only life she’s ever known to marry this stranger. Travis, the guardian of three orphans, needs a wife so he can keep the kids, and this southern lady might be the answer to his prayers.
Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs, by Molly Harper (Jane Jameson)
When children’s librarian Jane Jameson is fired by her dreadful boss, she gets more drunk than she’s ever been. Unfortunately, as she walks to her house, someone thinks she’s a deer, shoots her, and leaves her for dead. The good news is, a mysterious stranger comes to her rescue. The bad news is, now she’s a vampire.
Open Season, by Linda Howard
Daisy Minor, tired of being a stereotypically dull librarian, morphs into a sexy, nightclub-hopping, life of the party. Then she witnesses a crime, and now the killer is after her. Police Chief Jack Russo is so annoyed by Daisy’s dangerous new persona, he’s not sure whether to kiss her or kill her—and the feeling is mutual.
Perfect Partners, by Jayne Ann Krentz
When Letitia Thornquist inherits her uncle’s successful sporting goods store, CEO Joel Blackstone only sees failure in ots future. But Leticia knows something he doesn’t: Librarians can do anything.
Running Hot, by Jayne Ann Krentz (Arcane Society)
Reluctant partners in a murder investigation, ex-cop Luther Malone and aura-reading librarian Grace Renquist are forced to pose as a married couple.
Silver Bells, by Luanne Rice
New York corporate librarian Catherine Tierney’s husband died on Christmas Eve three years ago. One year ago, Nova Scotia Christmas tree farmer’s Christopher Byrne 16-year-old son, Danny, ran away during their annual trip to Manhattan to sell trees. What Christopher doesn’t know is that Catherine, who saw the blow-up that alienated son from father, has been helping Danny all year.
Smoke In Mirrors, by Jayne Ann Krentz
College librarian Lenora Hutton is haunted by the ghost of her half-sister, con artist Meredith Spooner. Who would have thought Lenora would fall for Thomas Walker, one of Meredith’s victims, especially when he thinks she might be an accomplice?
Summer Nights, by Susan Mallery (Fool’s Gold)
Feisty, sexy, petite librarian Annabelle Weiss doesn’t fit horse-whisperer Shane Stryker’s image of a rancher’s wife.
Taking the Heat, by Victoria Dahl (Girl’s Night Out)
Struggling writer Veronica Chandler returns to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where her advice column is noticed by hunky librarian Gabe MacKenzie.
That Night on Thistle Lane, by Carla Neggers (Swift River Valley)
Librarian Phoebe O’Dunn meets Noah Kendrick at a Boston masquerade ball, and the night becomes one of enchantment and romance. Of course, when they meet again, this time in Knights Bridge, they don’t recognize each other.
To Wed a Texan, by Georgina Gentry
Gambler and fight promoter Cash McCalley meets his match in librarian Bonnie O’Neal Schwartz Purdy, president of the Lone Star Ladies for Decency and Decorum.
The Tycoon’s Kiss, by Jane Porter (Taming of the Sheenans)
Montana librarian Taylor Harris likes romance—if it’s in a book. When she’s forced to go to the Valentine Ball with ridiculously wealthy Troy Sheenan, she’s about as happy as he is about it, which is not at all.
Whispers in the Reading Room, by Shelley Gray (Chicago World’s Fair Mystery)
It’s 1893, and Chicagoans are almost as fascinated with wealthy Sebastian Marks as they are with the recent World’s Fair. Librarian Lydia Bancroft is no exception. She knows Sebastian as a fellow book-lover but, much to her dismay, she finds out he owns a gambling club and a saloon. Even worse, when Lydia visits the club, there’s a murder, and she’s a suspect.
Wonderland Creek, by Lynn Austin
When librarian Alice Grace Ripley loses her boyfriend because of her bookworm ways, and loses her job because of budget cuts because of the Great Depression, she decides to hand-deliver the books she’s collected for Acorn, Kentucky, a small, impoverished, coal-mining village, where Alice plans to stay for only two weeks. Then town librarian Leslie McDougal is shot, and Alice has to take his place while pretending he’s dead until the shooter can be found.