My favorite books.
My favorite books are romantic, sexy stories with a laugh-out-loud sense of humor and a happy ending. I have, unfortunately, met some people who look down on me for enjoying such stories. Hopefully, you’re not one of them. I like to fall in love while laughing with a side of hot sex, and I’m not afraid to admit it.
I’m done being ridiculed for my taste in books. The crap some people believe about romance readers is just that… crap. I like this [albeit old] article.
Some would say these books are a bit formulaic but I think that’s by design. Still, they are so different. I just started reading a book last night that began with the guy getting out of prison, buying a used car from a woman who got drunk the night before and passed out in the back seat of said car [nicknamed Metallicar]. He didn’t know she was there until she woke and popped her head up from the back seat, scaring the hell out of him, half way from San Francisco to Los Angeles [at which point she proceeded to vomit out the window]. I cannot say I’ve read anything quite like it. Will there be romance and sex and laughs and a happy ending? Damn right. But it’s the journey.
Some [maybe many? maybe most? maybe all? I don’t even know] of these books are self-published. I didn’t know this when I stumbled upon them, but when I realized it, I was glad to know I’m supporting authors who did it on their own. I’ve looked into this for my own writing, and it’s a ton of work. [And after reading so much, I realize I am not even close to good enough to put my work out there, but that’s another story. No pun intended.]
‘Authors self-publish because they couldn’t get a book deal with a traditional publisher.‘ That may still be what people think. I know because I admit that’s what I used to think before I knew better. And the truth is, we have no idea if the author ever wanted a traditional publisher in the first place.
And some of these authors are all over the NY Times Bestseller List.
Of the 200+ books on my goodreads ‘read‘ list since around the time of the initial quarantine in March 2020, I’d only not recommend about fifteen, tops.
The ones I’m mentioning here are probably not all true ‘favorites‘, but I can’t go back and refresh my memory of 200 books. [I tried but after about 20, I was, like, no way can I do this.] So some of these books are just the best I’ve read recently. But some are all-time favorites.
By the way, don’t judge a book by its cheesy or ‘cringey‘ title. But go ahead and judge by its cover. These authors clearly have great taste in cover models.
Here goes. Don’t judge me.
[Aside: These books are definitely not for kids. When I say ‘hot’ sex, well, I could probably say ‘graphic’. I, obviously, have no issue with this. But if you do, you might not want to read any of these books. Except for the last one before the p.s.]
[Aside #2: All links go to goodreads.]
I loved all six of these. They are connected, sometimes in funny ways like a random YouTube viewing in one book of a character from another. Or by a recurring pet goat [true story]. And look at those covers! Damn.
After reading these six books, I discovered that the authors accept book submissions inspired by the original six. Over 150 books are out there by a bunch of different authors—and more on the way. [I have not read all 150+, but it is a goal of mine. I even made a spreadsheet. You may laugh.] This going-on-forever series is how I found many other authors to read—they all have other books unrelated to this series—so all hell broke loose.
I joined email lists and got free books, giveaways, and tons of recommendations. And I’m easy… if it has romance, humor, and naughty bits, I’m probably going to like it. I currently have 316 books in my ‘want to read‘ list on goodreads. I’ll probably never catch up since I add faster than I can read.
Okay. Now more [potentially embarrassing for me] books [with potentially embarrassing titles].
Man Candy by Melanie Harlow. Yes, cringey title. Moving on… I had to list this book if not for this exchange alone:
She shrank back, wrinkling her nose. “What the hell is that? Your Flynn Ryder smolder?”
“Who’s Flynn Ryder?”
She rolled her eyes. “He’s from Tangled, the Rapunzel movie?”
“Sorry. I missed it. So does he get in her pants?”
“Not before she hits him over the head with a frying pan.”
“Ouch.” I leaned right and left, checking her hands. “Since I don’t see any cookware in your grasp, is it safe to come in?”
Dirty Letters by Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward. The love interest is a musician, and the authors found someone to record the song he sings near the end of the book. It’s very John-Mayer-ish.
Hate Notes by Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward. Yes, I totally love these two authors. I could recommend others by one or both of them. I love too many of them to list. I might make a whole separate post about these two writers. Hm… my favorite duo? Anyway, I love love love this book.
Junk Mail by Kendall Ryan. Yes, junk means what you think it does.
Dirty Like Me by Jaine Diamond. And the rest of the six-book [plus two-novella] series. These are hot. Rockstar hot. [What else would one expect with a band called ‘Dirty’?]
Mr. Right Now by Lila Monroe. This book is part of a series. I like them all, but because of my thing for musicians, this is the one I’m mentioning.
Something New by Amanda Abram. Every once in a while I want to read a sweet YA book. I’m serious. After every other book I’ve mentioned, maybe that’s a surprise, but I loved this story. It reminds me of something I might have written when I was younger. But mine wouldn’t have been as good.
I need to stop myself now. This post is getting way too long.
p.s. — My least favorite books are the ones I’m ‘supposed to’ like. The ones the ‘book snobs’ say are essential reading. The ones they say must be among your favorites. The ones they refer to as ‘great literature’ [they do not use the word ‘literature’ when referring to the books I read]. Maybe I’m not as sophisticated as they are because I rarely enjoy ‘literature’. Boring. Maybe I’m not reading the right ones, but I have little interest in doing so—the ‘book snobs’ have soured me on ‘literature’ [you have to say it with a snooty rich lady accent with your nose in the air]. I want to read what I like—what I think is good—not what I’m ‘supposed to’ think is good. Oh, and I hate history so no historical novels for me. And, well, nothing without romance. This is why Tangled was amazing and Frozen sucked.
p.p.s. — I have edited this post at least 50 times. I’m still not sure this should be my final version, but I can’t stay stuck on B for much longer… I need to move on!
p.p.p.s. — Damn… I just thought of another book I should have mentioned. No. I can’t do it. I need to stop.
p.p.p.p.s. — Nope… I have to do it. I started this post a couple of days ago… and yesterday, I finished the book I wrote about above [the one with the prison guy and Metallicar]. I loved it! This Much Is True by Tia Louise.