Okay, ladies, and some of you gents, the time has come for me to answer your incessant question, “What should I read now that I’m done with Fifty Shades of Grey?” Since I started blogging about my man Fifty, about eight or nine months ago (and no, there will not be a Fifty baby in this house), I’ve been asked this question everywhere I go.
During the school year, this came up a lot at drop-off and pick-up. Just as I was about to leave, I’d see another Mom waving her arms frantically for me to stop and roll down my window. And, a breathless stream of, “Oh my G-d. I just finished the books. What else should I read? Something to keep me going? You have anything similar for me?”
Now, I know a lot of you think I only care about the hot sex in these novels, but that’s simply not true. Well, it’s a little true. But, I really do care first and foremost about a compelling story that sucks me in right away, one that I can’t put down, and, ultimately, ending with me wanting more. And, of course, I’m always attracted to a fresh and innovative storyline.
So, as promised, following your proverbial Fifty Shades of Grey “cigarette,” here are My Top 10 Sexy Summer Reads for 2012.
1. Thoughtless by S.C. Stephens
Read this. Simple. Read it. It is one of my most favorite books. And, it’s not just because you’re going to instantly fall in love with resident hot rocker musician Kellan Kyle. No. It’s because unlike many books in the contemporary romance genre, this is a beautifully paced love story, where the characters are so well-developed you feel like you know them and can see them sitting in front of you.
Kiera is with her boyfriend Denny for two years before they decide to relocate to Seattle together. They move in with Denny’s high-school friend, Kellan. Maybe, not the smartest thing for Denny to have done. Because, the more time he’s apart from Kiera, the more time she spends with Kellan and, well…you can imagine the rest. It’s a big love triangle of heart-wrenching decisions, painful good-byes, and soul-shattering love.
I could not put this book down.
2. Effortless by S.C. Stephens
After you finish Thoughtless, you are going to be “jonesing” for more Kellan and Kiera. So, I strongly suggest that you read Effortless right after. The character development is astounding to me in these two novels. And, you just can’t help but fall deeper in love with them in the second book.
This is where Kellan and Kiera are settled in their relationship. Or, are they? Kellan’s career starts to take off, and he begins touring with his band, only to leave Kiera back in Seattle, as she finishes school. Can their love survive? Will they be faithful to one another? If their relationship started in that adulterous clandestine way, can they truly trust one another? Read Effortless, and find out.
3. Knight by Kristen Ashley
This is very possibly one of the hottest books I’ve ever read. No. Joke. I have never read anything like this novel. I’ve never rooted for such a flawed and seemingly unlikeable male hero before Kristen Ashley’s Knight. This book is definitely not for everyone. But, if you have an open mind, and want to experience something different, read this!
Never before has a true bad boy looked so good. Knight will have your moral compass in a tailspin. And, it becomes very hard to blame Anya for her unrelenting love and acceptance, once you get to know Knight.
Please know that anyone I’ve ever recommended this book to has gone crazy for it. Trust me.
*This is the only book, besides Fifty Shades of Grey, that I’ve ever read twice back-to-back. That should tell you something!
4. Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
What can I say about Beautiful Disaster? It’s beautiful. I love this story, the characters, the dynamic between Abby and Travis, and the overall pace of the story. Beautiful Disaster had me at Chapter 1 “Red Flag” and still hasn’t let go of me. Abby and Travis’s story will keep you enthralled. Do you hear me? Enthralled.
The twists, the turns, the ups and downs, the fighting and the love, offers one amazing ride. You will be rooting for Abby and Travis throughout this book.
And, if you didn’t love a man with ink before, you’ll definitely love a tattooed man now.
5. The Boy Who Sneaks In My Bedroom Window by Kirsty Mosley
Amber and her brother Jake were repeatedly and systematically abused by their Father, until Jake and his best friend, Liam, were old enough to fight back. Now, things have calmed down. Jake and Liam are seniors and Amber is sixteen. Liam has finally decided to profess his true feelings for Amber, and just as his love once saved her, her love will do the same for him now.
But, let’s talk about our main boy, Liam. I am smitten with him in the biggest way. Perfection. That is Liam. He loves Amber in the deepest and most unwavering ways imaginable. There is literally nothing he wouldn’t do for her.
This book holds a special place in my heart. I ache for every abused child and only hope that they have someone in their life to fight for them.
6. Gabriel’s Inferno by Sylvain Reynard
You want a little more cerebral activity in your hot summer read? Well, look no further, because Gabriel Emerson, one amazingly sizzling professor of Dante, is at your service. After reading this novel, I felt like I had just taken the most delicious literature course in graduate school. The art references in this book alone made me want to go on a museum walking tour, as soon as possible.
I didn’t just finish Gabriel’s Inferno and go on my merry way. I had to sit and let it marinate. This book made me think. Gabriel and Julia’s relationship set against the backdrop of Dante’s writing, is awe-inspiring. Truly unique in this genre.
I would definitely call Gabriel’s Inferno the thinking woman’s contemporary romance novel. Now, that’s sexy.
7. I Only Have Eyes For You by Bella Andre
This is, hands down, my all-time favorite Bella Andre novel, within her Sullivan Brothers Series. I am a HUGE Bella Andre fan. I mean HUGE. I believe I’ve read everything that she’s written. So, I feel totally confident recommending I Only Have Eyes For You as one of my top sexy summer reads.
I love Sophie and Jake’s story. It’s real, romantic, a little forbidden, and a lot of hot. I also love that this is the first in the Sullivan Brothers Series to focus on one of the two Sullivan sisters.
Sophie Sullivan, the librarian, who is “Nice,” happens to know how to go after what she wants. And, she wants her brother’s best friend, Jake.
Did I also happen to mention that Jake sports some sexy tattoos? I always love it when the good girl gets her bad boy. So good.
8. Bared to You by Sylvia Day
Oh, Gideon Cross. I do love you. You MUST read Bared to You. Eva Tremell literally bumps into Gideon Cross in his office building, where she works. She is stunned by her attraction to him, and then dubs him, “Dark and Dangerous.” Very appropriate.
What I love about Bared to You is that both Gideon and Eva are damaged. Their emotional wounds stem from a similar place, which I find fascinating as a relationship denominator. It’s not about one saving the other. They save and support each other. They literally both need one another.
And, the sex is hot.
9. Faceoff by Kelly Jamieson
I love my hockey players. Love them. I love their height, six-pack washboard abs, square jawlines, and talented enormous…ahem…hands.
This happens to be one hot erotic hockey player read. Tag Heller is a famous NHL Hockey player, who just moved back to his home town of Winnipeg. He’s joining his parents and three other hockey playing brothers on a family vacation with close family friends, the McIntosh’s.
Enter Kyla. Kyla McIntosh used to follow her brother and the Heller boys all around while growing up. Now she’s a gorgeous brilliant attorney, who may still harbor her childhood crush on the oldest Heller boy, Tag. Will they “Faceoff” on this vacation? Read it and find out. Oh, and just in case you were wondering, Kelly Jamieson writes some of the most insanely amazing sex scenes I’ve ever read. Just sayin’.
10.Easy by Tammara Webber
This book is so “easy” to love. Nothing gives the phrase “looks can be deceiving” more merit than this novel. Jacqueline thought she could trust her longtime boyfriend but is callously dumped by him, then repeatedly attacked by one of his fraternity brothers, and dangerously close to failing her econ class.
Her knight in shining armor, is Lucas, a boy who sits in the back of said econ class, usually staring at Jacqueline and sketching in his art book. Lucas is dark, brooding and edgy. The antithesis of her preppy ex. But, Lucas gives everything he is, and everything he has to Jaqueline, easily.
This book will touch you and will stay with you. I love my tattooed bad boys, who have hearts of gold and big…ahem…brains.
Enjoy this one!
Happy 4th of July everyone!!! And, happy reading!!! Stay tuned for my 5 Scorching Summer Bonus Reads….
I’d love to know what you’re reading right now! Tell me…