I have a soft spot for historical romances set in Regency England. Maybe I'm a sucker for a true gentleman. I do love the pageantry and formality. Shhh...don't tell anyone. I don't want the cool kids to poke fun of my guilty pleasure reading.
I'm reading The Lady Chosen by Stephanie Laurens right now and am kind of totally loving it.
I stumbled across a box of my mom's romance novels getting ready for Christmas and was happy to find that the one I'm reading is a part of a series. Books are like those little individually wrapped Dove chocolates - one is good, seven are better. Like chocolate, I like to have a little stockpile, a stack of unwrapped books waiting for me on my shelf. And let's face it, everyone loves a good series she can sink her teeth into.
There are roughly two frameworks in which I categorize series: the first is one continuous story stretched over several books, individual climaxes and challenges ramping up to the final climax. And then there are those like the one I'm reading, in which each new book focuses on a different character or set of characters, the others from the universe making cameos. Both have their merits, but I prefer the second kind. I like staying "in-universe" so to speak, but moving on to a new problem.
There are exceptions, though, because I'm obsessed with the Song of Ice and Fire series and it's a continual narrative. But in Martin's work, the character development is believable and engaging, and the books, despite being 1500 pages a piece, don't feel artificially stretched. That happens, sometimes - the stretching - and you start to realize that there was no real reason for the story to go on for this many books.
I'm trying to find some middle ground with my series - focusing on a new couple while keeping threads from the other couples a part of the story. They have cameos, but they're big cameos.
However a writer does it, there's no doubt a series is very attractive to readers. If you love something, you want more of it.