Romances to Read on a Roadtrip?

Badass Romance is On the Road until September

Most reliable bloggers no doubt announce any hiatus in their bloggery well in advance of taking time off.  But here it’s been weeks since my last post  – ack!  I didn’t plan to take a vacation from blogging so much in advance of my actual vacation. I suppose posting this now is pretty much a case of Closing the Barn Door After the Horse Has …. etc.   It’s been an incredibly hectic summer and Badass Romance has really already Gone Fishing.


But today I realized I haven’t decided which books to take with me. Hoping you will forgive this brief post to tell you a bit about my trip and solicit suggestions for what should go in the duffel bag and/or on the iPad.

I am heading out to drive about 3,000 miles with daughters in tow — from our home in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts we will journey through the states of Connecticut, NY, NJ, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia (only a corner), Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, and West Virginia (and then home again after visiting friends in Washington, DC).  I’m a homebody who loves to visit new (to me) old places.  I’m also a sucker for the romance of the open road itself.

And lucky for me, my kids like roadtrips too, and they’re good at this kind of travel. Or good enough, anyway.  We’re going to see a lot of mountains and caves and gorges and battlefields, plus the Mississippi and probably more than a few historic sites and cemeteries (including the grave of our Revolutionary War ancestor, in Blacksburg, VA). Also we will visit some cousins, we hope to see some bears in the Smokies, and I will suck it up and take them to at least one place that has roller coasters, water slides, arcade games and junk food (Hershey Park). We’re celebrating some big birthdays this month (theirs and mine) and we decided to do things up with a big roadtrip where everyone gets to pick some of the places we’ll visit.

(Truthfully, it’s also a lot about distracting myself from the Turning Fifty screaming meemies…but I digress.)

This is definitely not a hammock/beach chair vacation, with plenty of time for loads of reading.  Nevertheless, we will pace ourselves and I’ll be reading at night in my usual way. When I travel, I like to read something that connects to the places I’m visiting.  I thought about finding books set in Appalachia or the South. I am totally delighted to find that Heroes and Heartbreakers has a brilliant bit of bloggery going on — Perfect Unions, which is reviews of romances set in each of the 50 states.  Hilarious fun for crossover romance and geography geeks like me.  The most recent review is a YA romance set in West Virginia!  Though it doesn’t sound like something I’m going to want to read.

So how about road romances more broadly?  This is one of my favorite tropes, whether it involves stopping at the coaching inn to change horses, a steampunky airship expedition, the Orient Express, or Route 66.  I’m looking for suggestions… what’s your favorite road romance?

9 thoughts on “Romances to Read on a Roadtrip?

  1. Liz Mc2 says:

    I’m guessing you’ve already read Ruthie Knox’s RIDE WITH ME, but one of the many things I loved about it was its evocation of the American landscape, which strikes me as right for your quintessentially American roadtrip vacation. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it.

    I don’t always concentrate well on vacation so I like fast and plotty. I read a couple of HelenKay Dimon’s Harlequin Intrigues and a classic Helen MacInnes spy story on my vacation. But also Cecilia Grant’s latest which totally engaged me even though it isn’t fast and plotty at all. No roadtrips for me, but I did like the places and times I travelled to in those stories.

    • pamela1740 says:

      I haven’t read it, but with not one but TWO of my go-to bloggers making this recommendation, I am certainly going to put it on my packing list! Many thanks for the great suggestion.

  2. Miss Bates says:

    Oh, I’ll second RIDE WITH ME. I loved it. And for a historical one, I quite liked Pink Carnation #8, THE ORCHID AFFAIR. Have a wonderful trip, sounds great!

    Miss Bates took on the Big-Five-Oh this year ( it didn’t involve hunky cops in Hawaii, rats): it is a little humbling, but really not that bad … intimations of mortality (sorry Wordsworth) do set in, but so does a lovely gratitude with which to greet each day!

    • pamela1740 says:

      Yes, that is a wonderful way to put it: humbling, but with increased awareness (gratitude). Hope yours has been a wonderful year — on Miss Bates, it certainly appears 50 is a good age to start blogging!

      • Miss Bates says:

        Blogging-wise, a little late to game as with most things for Miss Bates, though making these cyber-acquaintances has been the best part. It has been a good, solid year; every day brings something with it. And you have the joy of your girls too; how wonderful. Hope your road is smooth, weather temperate, and every day an adventure!

  3. Natalie L. says:

    Fine, skip over Delaware. SEE IF I CARE.

    One of Tessa Dare’s Spindle Cove books is a road trip book, as is one of Loretta Chase’s Carsington books–I like to reread when I’m on vacation because that way I don’t have to think too hard!

    • pamela1740 says:

      Dude. No offense to Delaware! We are going to Hershey, so we aren’t in Delaware on the outbound journey. And the return route is not totally set yet. Now I’m off to check if H&H has a Delaware-set romance on Perfect Unions yet….

      Also, I absolutely LOVE that Carsington road romance — I think you mean Mr. Impossible? I like the re-reading idea.

  4. Emma says:

    I came here to recommend Mr. Impossible and A Week to be Wicked, and am put out that this has already happened. ; )

    Well, then, what about Meredith Duran’s Written on Your Skin? I love Duran’s voice and complicated plots. Or Meljean Brook’s The Iron Duke and Heart of Steel for steampunk and for domestic/contemporary, Kristan Higgins’ My One and Only, which features a road trip book Montana to New York (though I liked but didn’t that book). Happy travels!

  5. Stacey B. says:

    How about a romance novel with a flight to Santomar for a passionate night on the beach? Or a dangerous flight to the war torn Pacific Islands in a last ditch effort to make some big money? It’s not quite a road trip but the book “Come Fly With Me” by author Judith Whitmore ( is a must read road trip novel. It is action packed and full of suspense! The book follows the unlikely couple Rick and Kate. Rick is a loner pilot who has given up on love and enjoys his fast pace life of flying celebrities and multimillionaires all over the world. Kate on the other hand is in a loveless marriage with a over-achieving workaholic. She has money and time but she’s obviously not happy. She has pursued flying as a way to escape the mundane. Rick becomes Kate’s teacher and the two instantly bond over their love of flying. Adultery, passion, death, adventure; the book has it all! I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a unique romance novel 🙂


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