Summer 2016 - Top 5 Must Read Romance/Erotica Novels ***NO SPOILERS***
1. "Filthy Beautiful Lies" By Kendall Ryan
I picked up the novel because of the premise. I found it interesting and a little scandalous because the main character is selling her virginity to the highest bidder.
It's similar to another novel I read another month, "Alpha" By Jasinda Wilder, because the main character is purchased in both novels by the male love interest. But there is no mystery in this novel over the identity of the person who has purchased her. Instead, there's a mystery about the love interest's past and how he got where he is today. All this mixed with a ton of sexual tension between the two main characters.
This story is a quick, easy read, but just a warning...if you read it, you're going to want to immediately purchase the next story in the series because it ends on a cliffhanger. I look forward to reading the next book. I loved this one!
I have no idea why she auctioned off her virginity for a cool mill. Regardless, I'm now the proud new owner of a perfectly intact hymen. A lot of good that will do me. I have certain tastes, certain sexual proclivities. My cock is a bit more discriminatory than most. And training a virgin takes finesse and patience - both of which I lack.
Sophie Evans has been backed into a corner. With her sister's life hanging in the balance, the only choice is to claw her way out, even if that means selling her virginity to the highest bidder at an exclusive erotic club. When Colton Drake takes her home, she quickly learns nothing is as it seems with this beautifully troubled man. Being with him poses challenges she never expected, and pushes her to want things she never anticipated.
A sinfully seductive erotic romance where everything has a price and the cost of love is the highest of all from New York Times & USA Today bestselling author, Kendall Ryan.
*This is book 1 in a series and ends in a cliffhanger. Book 2, FILTHY BEAUTIFUL LOVE is available now.
2. "Slave To Sensation" By Nalini Singh
I love a paranormal romance author who can do a good job world building at the same time as they are developing an intricate romance story. The fantasy setting was as essential to the plot as the romance. You couldn't have removed it and had the same story. I feel like this is important with paranormal romances.
I loved the two main characters and was completely caught up in wanting them to get together and yet fearing for the main character's life. I honestly had no idea how the story was going to end because a true happily ever after seemed impossible. This kept me at the edge of my seat.
The main character is fleshed out well. She's very real to me and her struggle with the emotions she's not supposed to have are compelling. She's caught between two worlds. She's too cold and mechanical to fit in with the shifters and humans, yet too emotion to be fully accepted by the Psy.
And the murder mystery that the love interest is dealing with helps flesh out his character as well and increase the tension. It's interesting to learn more about both the world of the shifters and the world of the Psy.
In a world that denies emotions, where the ruling Psy punish any sign of desire, Sascha Duncan must conceal the feelings that brand her as flawed. To reveal them would be to sentence herself to the horror of “rehabilitation”—the complete psychic erasure of everything she ever was…Both human and animal, Lucas Hunter is a Changeling hungry for the very sensations the Psy disdain. After centuries of uneasy coexistence, these two races are now on the verge of war over the brutal murders of several Changeling women. Lucas is determined to find the Psy killer who butchered his packmate, and Sascha is his ticket into their closely guarded society. But he soon discovers that this ice-cold Psy is very capable of passion—and that the animal in him is fascinated by her. Caught between their conflicting worlds, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities—or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation…
3. "Bared To You" By Sylvia Day
I can see the similarities between this novel and FSOG (people compare the two a lot), but the writing for this novel is much better. If you like guys like Christian Grey, men who are in control, dominant, and rich, you will enjoy this romance novel.
The descriptions of things are nice and vivid. The dialogue is often very hot as well. The character development is slow, which I like. It's similar to real life, where you get to know people over time, rather than have their backstories spelled out for you in their entirety right away. There's absolutely no telling anywhere in this novel. Everything is shown and developed over time, which makes you more and more immersed in the story and in the main character's life as you read it.
The passion between the main character and her love interest is also really strong and interesting. The chemistry between them is very steamy and well-written.
She has a well-rounded life. A lot of things going for her and all those things effecting her at the same time as she's dealing with the romance between her and her love interest. (Unlike FSOG where Anastasia Steele had nothing going on in her life, except her romance with Christian Grey.) The tension between them, the problems the two of them have with each other, makes sense considering everything the main character was dealing with in her life and had dealt with in the past.
I know I'm going to wind up reading all the books in the series, which makes it way better than FSOG. I barely made it through the first Fifty Shades of Grey book and am unlikely to read anymore.
I'm only mentioning it because I know FSOG fans will like this novel. But even if you hated FSOG, it's okay, you'll probably still like this novel anyway and have an extra appreciation for the skill that the author has with the written word.
The dialogue, descriptions, and character develop are all amazing. I feel like I'm learning a lot about story-telling as I read this novel.
THE NEW YORK TIMES AND #1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER
Gideon Cross came into my life like lightning in the darkness...
He was beautiful and brilliant, jagged and white-hot. I was drawn to him as I'd never been to anything or anyone in my life. I craved his touch like a drug, even knowing it would weaken me. I was flawed and damaged, and he opened those cracks in me so easily...
Gideon knew. He had demons of his own. And we would become the mirrors that reflected each other's most private worlds...and desires.
The bonds of his love transformed me, even as I prayed that the torment of our pasts didn't tear us apart...
4. "The Billionaire's Obsession" By J.S.Scott
This novel is probably most women's dreams. A lot of us are tired from fighting to pay for bills, dealing with constant stress and work, and sometimes dealing with illness. Basically, the main character is dealing with all three of these things. On top of which, she was just kicked out of her apartment (and she was robbed!), but luckily, a handsome, billionaire swoops in (he's been watching her for awhile and just waiting for the opportunity to speak to her) and provides her with everything she needs. Including sex because it's been a long time since the main character has had sex.
Together they deal with their emotions and pain from the past as they fall in love.
If you've read J.S. Scott's other novels, then you know that they are steamy. This is just as steamy as the rest.
Once a serial trilogy, The Billionaire's Obsession is now complete with a bonus story in this complete collection about Simon and Kara.
This complete collection of The Billionaire's Obsession includes:
Mine For Tonight
Mine For Now
Down on her luck, nursing student and full-time waitress Kara Foster gets a massive blow to her already desperate financial situation that will surely find her living on the streets. Needing nothing less than a miracle to save her, Kara gets rescue from an unknown, unlikely and overwhelming source. Billionaire Simon Hudson makes her an offer that is impossible to refuse, but terrifying to accept from a man that she's never met. Will the handsome, alpha billionaire really be a solution to her problems, or will he end up being a major complication and a danger to her emotional sanity?
Reclusive billionaire Simon Hudson would rather be behind a computer creating computer games than rubbing elbows with the elite and he knows exactly what he wants...until he meets Kara Foster. Something about Kara touches Simon in ways he's never experienced and definitely doesn't like. For over a year, Simon watches over Kara, but stubbornly refuses to admit his desire to possess her, not even to himself. But when she ends up in a situation that could very well be her destruction, Simon steps up to help her, not realizing that in saving Kara, he might very well be salvaging his own soul.
"Dark Prince" By Christine Feehan
This story is a very dark romance. Not only are there murders, but there's a love interest who is struggling not to lose his humanity.
That's where our main character comes in. The Carpathians (Carpathians are basically vampires in this novel) race is in danger of going extinct. Not only extinct, but of losing their humanity entirely. There are hardly any females in their race anymore and without females to keep them loving (and human) and to help reproduce, a lot of vampires are giving into their darker side. Because there is nothing good for them left in the world, they can't feel anything without their humanity or see colors. It seems like an extreme form of depression and like giving completely in to their vampire side is almost a way of suicide, since they lose their entire self and just become this evil, animalistic creature.
But it turns out that there are psychic humans, like the main character in this novel, who are able to help the dying Carpathian race. The main character helps her love interest feel more human again and he in turn helps her deal with the pain she's felt because of her gift.
I don't want to ruin anything (all I've told you so far is pretty much just the premise), but basically the world-building is great and you get more involved in the dark romance between the two characters as you read. I also greatly appreciate the amount of research the author has given to this series, since the Carpathian mountains are real and people believe that vampires live there in real life, which is so cool. Now, I want to visit them if I ever get the opportunity.
There are steamy scenes and dark scenes. Pretty much everything people who are either obsessed with the paranormal or obsessed with romance are looking for.
I plan to read more of her novels and review them in the future.
An incomparable gift for Christine Feehan fans, Dark Prince returns in a new, author’s cut special edition. #1 New York Times bestseller Feehan revisits her classic tale of paranormal romance—the breathtaking story of a beautiful hunter with extraordinary telepathic abilities captivated by the powerful allure of a tormented prince of the mysterious Carpathians—expanding the beloved story by 100 never before seen pages! Here is your golden opportunity to experience the first book in Christine Feehan’s remarkable Dark saga as you never have before, whether it’s a glorious re-entrance into this writer’s mystical, unforgettable world…or your very first visit!
Here's a video I found on Sylvia Day's youtube channel of an interview she did in January 2014.