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What appeals to a reader determines the choice he or she makes in reading matter. A reader might choose what to read next based on their mood and the “feel” to a novel. Often the book just read can be used to determine the next because the reader is in the mood to read a similar book, with the same appeal element(s); to enjoy it as they did the first.

Appeal factors include pacing, characterization, storyline, and frame

(including atmosphere and tone) (Saricks, 2005, p.40).  Last Thursday I mentioned Dreaming of You, an example of a  story-driven romance. What do you like? Is it a fast-moving Romantic Suspense? A page turner? Well developed characters? Focus on people or events? Descriptive of a particular period in time?

I like my romances tied in with a time travel element. Yesterday’s Historical/Gothic romance, Mariana by Susanna Kearsley, features this. The Outlander saga by Diana Gabaldon, discussed last month, is a good suggestion for a read-alike. Both have heroines transported into a past that could eclipse their present. A detailed storyline, this Historical Romance even delves into the herbal remedies of that time in Scotland. Be sure to check out all of the series’ books; like one, you’ll like them all.

Other Read-alikes (Because of the Time-Travel Element) to Answer “What Do I Read Next?”

A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Devereaux
Highlander series by Karen Marie Moning.
The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Time and Again by Jack Finney
Government-Sanctioned Time Travel with some romance thrown in.

Devereaux, J. (1989). A Knight in Shining Armor. New York: Pocket Books.
Finney, J. (1970).Time and Again. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Gabaldon, D. (1991). Outlander. New York: Bantam Dell.
Kearsley, M. (1994) Mariana. London: Corgi Books.
Kleypas, L. (1994) Dreaming of You. New York: Avon Books.
Moning, K.M. (1991 et. al.). Highlander series. New York: Dell Publishing.
Niffenegger, A. (2003). The Time Traveller’s Wife. San Francisco: MacAdam/Cage.
Saricks, J.G. (2005). Readers’ Advisory Service in the Public Library, 3rd Ed.. Chicago: American Library Association.

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