Steamy Goodness Books to Read Instead of/In Addition To “Grey”

J:  Did you know there’s a new 50 Shades book called Grey? I just discovered that this morning.Grey Cover

M:  I’ve been seeing the ads on Amazon and Goodreads for weeks

Every day. Many times a day.

Now this makes me realize I’m spending waaaay too much time online and looking at books on Amazon

J:  I probably had an inkling it was coming but pushed it aside. Then I opened Goodreads to find my feed clogged with reviews. I guess it came out last week.

So, if anyone was wondering if I’d pre-ordered it, the answer’s no.

I did take a few minutes to go through some of my friends’ reviews, though

enlightening

M:  and…?

J:  well, the ones that didn’t like seemed to dislike for the same reasons I’d avoid it

There’s no inner goddess doing the meringue in this one, but apparently his dick gets its own POV

M:  omg

Just what we need. More dick POV

J:  Well, you know how I feel about the whole thing anyway. But let’s get real: about all books past, present and future. Is it necessary to tell the exact same story from another character’s POV? Ever?

M:  no

J:  If it covers new ground, maybe. If it starts before or after the first story… I don’t know. Mostly, no.

And I say this as someone who’d defo read Midnight Sun if it was released

and then probably hate myself afterward

M:  And I say as someone who, for fun, wrote a dual POV story once upon a time.

I like additional scenes, maybe

A lot of the time, what makes the hero so swoony is not knowing what he thinks but building from the author’s creation with clues they give you and adding your own take

I’d rather have hints given to me from the heroine’s POV than a straight POV change because it can be disappointing. Not living up to what I’d imagined in my head.

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J:  Like, part of me would love to read Ivan’s POV from Del Dryden’s The Theory of Attraction

just because I want to know how much he liked the heroine before they entered the agreement. Did he have a crush on her already or just take advantage of a willing participant?

I wanna know.

If he’d hinted at it at all in the book, I’d be happy enough, but he didn’t.

He never let slip how he’d felt before.

We can kind of hope… maybe see stirrings of it, but no confirmation

Heh. I’d just be happy enough with a tweet from Del saying “yes. he was crazy about her”

wouldn’t need a whole book about it.

M:  The wanting to know really pulls you in, though, and keeps you thinking about the story and characters. I mean, here we are, what, a year or more after you read the book and you’re still thinking about it? Cool.

I’d rather have hints given to me from the heroine’s POV or what the hero says and does rather than a straight blow-by-blow retelling.

J:  From how I felt after the original 50 Shades, there’s a high potential for ridiculous with Grey.

M:  well, yeah. I personally couldn’t get into the other books. The heroine annoyed me too much (among the usual technical headbangers that have been discussed ad nauseam)

and if his dick has an inner voice… Just noffyw grey

That’s one mystique that should always and forever remain so

end of conversation

I can’t even write about it without breaking into gagging giggles

A talking dick. eeeeeeeeee

J:  It’s obviously not the subject matter that sucks some folks object to

M:  no, like 50 Shades series or not, the plot and characters strike a chord

a deep one

and there are so many good alternatives or additions, depending on how you feel

J:  In all honestly, I probably wouldn’t have discovered some of these books without the 50 Shades hype

but now that I have, I don’t have much use for Grey. Just being honest. That’s probably mean.

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I think that’s maybe when I read Lila Dubois’s Undone Lovers series the first time. Did I send you that one, or did you rec them to me?

M:  I think I got the first one, Undone Rebel, on sale, maybe.

Ohh yeah, read her geekish dom and thought you’d appreciate. I liked the series. She’s republishing them with new covers this summer/fall, her website says.

J:  Definitely a fun read. All three from the Undone Lovers series were fun.

And now she’s doing the BDSM Checklist series, A is For.., B is For…, etc.

which I’ll buy fairly immediately

Oh, I did read the Science of Temptation books first. I remember that.

The Delphine Dryden geek dom series

M:  I liked those as well. Kind of Dom-lite, definitely good and engaging

J:  you know me and my geek heroes, too

M:  doing a good believable geek dom is pretty difficult, but both those authors/series pulled it off well

J:  ugh. the first dom in the Dubois series was my favorite.

I guess I like a bit of humanity in there somewhere

M:  you like a bit of geekiness in there somewhere. heh

J:  that, too

M:  like you said, one thing I do think is inarguably good about the 50 Shades popularity is that it brought erotica more into the light

J:  exactly

M:  Well-written, engaging erotica of all heat levels and types

classics like Emma Holly, Joey W. Hill, Robin Schone, Ann Rice’s nom de plume A. N. Roquelaure

Also opened the door for some great new more-on-the-sexy-side stories, authors, and series

Kit Rocha, Tiffany Reisz, CD Reiss, some of Kristen Ashley‘s, like her Unfinished Heroes series

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I like Kit Rocha’s Beyond series (the fist one, Beyond Shame, is free!). Some more than others, but all are solid. Sexy. Well written158308431604967716049679

And I liked CD Reiss’s Songs of Submission series (first one, Beg, also free, but heads up, it’s not a standalone) right up until the last one which made me all kinds of argh, but I’d still definitely rec

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of course, Sylvia Day’s Crossfire series, but I only read the first two before I lost interest

J:  I read Kit Rocha’s first couple

They didn’t stick with me quite as much, but I’m pretty sure it was my craving for a little more geek

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I did love Charlotte Stein’s Control and Power Play

the heroes in those were so vulnerable

M:  I don’t think I’ve read those particular titles, but I do like everything else I’ve read by her

they shall go to the top of my TBR list

J:  we’ve talked about Charlotte Stein’s deep POV before

how it takes a bit to get into it, but then you’re INTO it

like, right in the heroine’s head

M:  yeah, her style kind of threw me at first, but then I was all in

J:  I’d read any of these again before reading Grey. Maybe even tonight.

brb

 

We’d love more suggestions, recs, and/or comments about books and authors you’ve enjoyed – share, share!

 

photo credit: Crotch.BlueJeans.Dupont.WDC.20may06 via photopin (license) (We added the speech bubble, so blame us)

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J to tha M: What We’re Reading

2013: What We’ve Read and Liked. A lot.

medium_4186292315J:  Our favorite reads of the year. First, I should thank you for getting me to read again

it’s been a fun year

and I’ve been amazed at how much time I actually have to read when I make myself do it

M:  when you look forward to it

I still maintain you can’t write if you don’t read

for a whole myriad of reasons

plus, just the whole experience and worlds reading opens

I love

J:  for me, I didn’t think I could write if I did read. because I wanted all my free time to go toward writing

of course, I still only read just before bed

so more often than not, I pass out before I even open the kindle app

but I’m getting there

M:  I’ve read so many book this year, I’d be scared to keep count

but a few stick in my mind as favorites

J:  I’m guessing a few of those favorites will match mine

M:  Kate SeRine’s Transplanted Tales series, of course

Red, The Better To See You, Along Came a Spider

J:  yep

if I named a number one, that would be it

M:  Yes. Downloading Red was one of the best things I did this past year

and still my best example of how offering free days for your ebook works big time

I love everything about that series and her writing

jeebus, her imagination

J:  the connections she makes

and the leaps that don’t end up being leaps at all

Nate is still my number one hero for the year, but he’s closely followed by Ivan from Delphine Dryden’s first in the Science of Temptation series, The Theory of Attraction

because geek

M:  Kate does great heroes. All three so far are great.

And I did like Ivan, too

but the Transplanted Tales series just has it all, in my opinion. Solid writing, amazing world-building, great characters, hunky heroes, intriguing plots

can’t go wrong

and, I’ve rec’d to a ton of people and haven’t heard that even one didn’t enjoy

my mom actually went and ordered the print copies from her local bookseller to have and hold, she enjoyed so much

J:  well, plus Kate’s super nice

M:  oh, yes. that’s just a bonus

Great series and an author who is so, so nice and genuine

she deserves all the good

J:  I agree

what’s next?

M:  Ben Monopoli, of course

Homo Action Love Story: A Tall Tale was just a huge, rollicking romp

J:  oh, I finally read it!

M:  and?

J:  oh, I loved

silly question

I don’t know why I forgot to mention

I read it a couple months ago while we were kind of on hiatus

M:  I think Boots McHenry gets the award for best character name ever

J:  I have to agree with you there

but if I were to choose my favorite of his three, you know I’d go with The Cranberry Hush

M:  all his books make the list

so many feels, and such amazing diversity in his writing while still maintaining that level of response

J:  I’ve not cried so hard reading a book in ages

M:  to me, that’s the sign of a good writer

J:  also, nice guy

M:  also very nice guy, yes

J:  but seriously. Sobbed.

M:  amazing story

J:  who’s next?

M:  well, I know you didn’t read, and I have some things to say about this one

J:  off you go

M:  Lover At Last by JR Ward

J:  oh yeah

M:  I loved and hated this one – I have such complicated and conflicting feels

I love Qhuinn. Love him. One of my all-time favorite fictional characters

But JR Ward. Argh. The Black Dagger Brotherhood has become so frustrating

I loved this one because Qhuinn finally got his HEA

but, the completely outrageous lack of research and expectation of suspension of disbelief – the plane scene, for example. So outrageously wrong in so many ways.

And…his and Blay’s story had so much potential to be amazing. Super amazing, with all the feels, because he’s such a complicated character that feels so much himself (and did I mention amazing? ‘Cause he is)

I can’t help feeling it missed the mark in living up to all that

J:  sometimes it’s hard to live up to the potential, especially if there’s just SO MUCH potential

M:  well, I know there was a lot of expectation for this particular book

but this series started out with great emotion and feels, but has kind of gone away from that as it continues

I mean, as I’m reading, I could actually note the scenes where the opportunity for something amazing was there, but just wasn’t developed

not just an overall sense of overhyped expectation not met, if that makes sense

J:  it does

I’m sad it didn’t quite hit the mark

but sounds like it still left an impression

I have the first one in the series, Dark Lover, packed in my laptop bag for tomorrow, btw

M:  worth the read

the series and characters are so great and so frustrating at the same time

my mom and I call it the “Yay! Factor”

you know it’s wrong and stupid, but…”Yay!” You’re so caught up, you don’t care.

J:  well, I’ll finally know what all the fuss is about

M:  we could do months worth of chats on both the awesome and the wtf-ery of that series

J:  heh

let me get caught up

I’ll let you know after I read the first

anything else on your list for the year?

M:  I’m really enjoying Kit Rocha’s Beyond series, as far as erotica

Beyond Shame, Beyond Control, Beyond Pain so far

I know you weren’t as enamored, but I’m hooked

And CD Reiss’s Song of Submission series was a good alternative to Fifty, right up until the last part of the serial/series – book 7

I disliked so much, it ruined the whole experience. Big bummer.

J:  oh, I started that one

but didn’t go past the first

M:  no? Didn’t like?

J:  I think maybe the hype for BDSM?

I dunno

because I loved Del Dryden’s stuff

but it wasn’t the same old thing, either

M:  what were your faves?

J:  well, definitely Kate and Ben

and then my little geek love kick brought me to Delphine Dryden’s The Science of Temptation series

which I just adored

but that’s because I do love the betas

M:  I really liked the first one of the series

I haven’t read the rest, but I will

J:  and then I loved Charlotte Stein’s Control and Power Play

again, beta heroes

M:  I don’t think I’ve read those yet

J:  I enjoy her a lot

very deep pov

takes a bit to get used to it

feeling EVERYTHING the heroine feels

but then you’re so deep you can’t get out

M:  I read another of Charlotte Stein’s that was like that

did take a little getting used to, but I enjoyed

the one with them on a boat – Curve Ball

J:  oh, shit. Elizabeth Hunter

how could I forget?

Her vampire series, Elemental Mysteries, was excellent. A Hidden Fire, This Same Earth, The Force of Wind, A Fall of Water

but her new book and series The Irin Chronicles, is just wow

The Scribe

I loved

cannot wait for the next one

M:  I enjoy her stories, too

J:  I liked them enough to buy them for my mom

I don’t usually do that

the only other author I’ve sent her way is you

M:  there is a meandering-ish quality to her stuff that keeps her just on the edge of making my fave of the year list, I have to admit

I can’t quite put my finger on it

J:  have you read The Scribe yet?

it had a slow start, but all those things that made me pause in the vampire series were smoothed out in this one

M:  I did, and I liked

maybe too much time spent in the character’s heads? I’m not sure

J:  perhaps

but then we really know the character, too

M:  definitely a new fave author

J:  something she seems to like to do is make the good guy appear to be the bad guy in the beginning

I think that might be the extent of my faves this year

M:  I do like the good guy/bad guy juxtaposition

a couple new-to-me authors I’m looking forward to reading more of next year

Karen Rose – I read her You Belong to Me, romantic suspense

really liked it

and Rebecca Zanetti.  I had a ton of love for the first in her Sins Brothers series, Forgotten Sins, up until one certain scene that seemed just way over the top for me, and then the story and heroine took a completely different turn. So weird. The first 2/3 I loved a lot. Last 1/3, not so much

but I’m definitely looking forward to reading the next in the series, Sweet Revenge, to see if it is as awesome as the beginning of the first book

J:  I choose stuff based on what’s in front of me at that moment

so I don’t even know what I’m looking forward to

I know there’s more from Kate SeRine coming

and Ben has a novella out that I need to get

M:  the next two in the Transplanted Tales will be out in 2014

J:  I’ll be all over those

M:  Grimm Consequences – more about Nate and Red

and Gideon’s book, Ever After

J:  guh. Gideon.

M:  Wait. Whaaaaat? Ben has a novella out?

the hell? and how did I not know?

J:  erm

I forgot to tell you?

Stag: A Story

M:  well, if that isn’t the perfect brb ending, I don’t know what is.

gonna go order.

brb

Happy Holidays, everyone!!

photo credit: shawncalhoun via photopin cc

J to tha M: What We’re Reading

We’re Baaaaaaack!

poltergeist_theyre_back1-300x178J:  Yay, M got a new house! I’m so excited for you, I won’t even grumble about how much I missed you

(I missed you)

M:  I missed me, too. Sheesh.

hubs and I have had probably the most stressful weeks ever

and we’ve been through a lot

J:  I dunno… Things were pretty nutty here, too

funny how it all happened at once for both of us

My job loss, your lying sack of crap mortgage guy…

M:  but, we took everything they threw at us and made it work. We were not defeated!

and the new place is amazing, so…

J:  Exactly. We both came out on top. Your awesome house, my awesome list of clients that allow me to be self-employed once more… I have no more complaints. for now.

M:  now, no more excuses not to write

J:  ha!

M:  except for, you know, all the remodeling, the other job, life in general…

J:  life would be amazing

on the upside, we can now carve out some time for writing, reading, and FFYW

I know you didn’t go without books during your absence

I’ve got a list a mile long, so yours is probably twice that

M:  I read a bunch

not as much as usual, maybe

that tells you how stressed out I was – I couldn’t even read there for a couple weeks

J:  I picked up more novellas through my craziness

shorter=finished

M:  I did read a couple good ones. I just finished one I think you’d like – Betting on You by Jessie Evans

J:  that sounds familiar. I wonder if I looked at it already?

M:  hero left and hurt heroine, now he’s back to own up to his mistake and try to make it up to her

I think it’s still free

pretty good. I liked both characters. A little too much of “made him feel” and “making her feel,” but that’s pretty minor

other than that, writing was good, too

it’s a series, and I’ll definitely get the second

J:  oh, I have looked at that one

I’m glad you liked it

M:  I’d rec

and I won a copy of Skye Jordan’s Reckless on Michelle’s blog (MsRomanticReads). I’d had it on my to-read list after seeing the blurb

I really liked. The conflict had me wanting to shake the heroine a little bit, but the story was great and really sexy, and she made it all work.

I very much recommend. I may have to do a review of it for the blog

J:  as you mention, I’m going to goodreads to mark them

I’ve been on an Entangled Brazen kick, I think

I read a cute little series by Katee Robert

Two Wrongs, One Right

Chasing Mrs. Right

and Wrong Bed, Right Guy

all cute

and some stuff by Christine Bell

M:  I enjoyed the ones you rec’d – the two Delphine Dryden ones – How to Tell a Lie and Art of the Lie. I love her heroes. And Friday I’m in Love by Mari Carr

I’ve read a couple by Carr, and they’re good, light, fun reads

J:  I want to read the rest of that series by Carr

but I need to be rich

the Kindle versions are over $5

M:  ugh. I hate that.

oh, Riptide Publishing is having a birthday sale. If anyone is reading Anne Tenino’s m/m series, they’re on sale

I loved the first book – Frat Boy and Toppy, but the rest were pretty pricey

but I may have to sneak in a couple since they’re on sale

J:  Oh, you’ve mentioned those

I’m still not in an m/m mood

M:  those are fun, cute, and sexy when you are

oh, and the last in the CD Reiss series came out on Monday – the Songs of Submission series – called Sing

I was really looking forward, and…it was okay. not what I expected

went down the drama llama route, and I was hoping for the same intensity as the rest of them

so the characters and writing was still as good as the others, but the plot arc, eh

I’ll read more of hers. she’s starting a new series about the hero’s sisters, and the first one sounds good

J:  I did start the first one

M:  I liked. and I’m not usually a fan of the serial thing. I did start reading when 6 of the 7 were complete and only had a couple weeks to wait for the last

but I really did enjoy the characters and story

J:  it’s on my list to read tonight

I fell asleep just after starting.

not a comment on the book. it was 2:30 am

I should have been asleep anyway

M:  I read The Satyr’s Curse by Alexandrea Weis, and it was okay

J:  Okay, you read a lot more than I did

M:  I really wanted it to be really good – the plot was intriguing and the writing wasn’t bad, but…I probably won’t buy the rest in the series unless they’re free or on sale.

J:  Ooh, know what I’m excited about?

Elizabeth Hunter has a new one coming out soon called The Scribe: Irin Chronicles Book One

Not from the Elemental Mysteries

but it still looks pretty damn good

I think October 15

M:  I saw that a while back. I will definitely check it out

J:  impatiently waiting

Let’s see… Christine Bell, Down for the Count

read that one last night

liked it a lot. the heroine was a bit neurotic, but it actually made her cute

and jeebus, Galen

I’m a fan

I want more Galen books

she’s the author of Dirty Trick — sexy nickname for Patrick

M:  good hero?

J:  yeah. he managed to be sweet, hot, understanding, patient. you know. perfect.

it was a left-at-the-altar trope

M:  I do love a good hero

J:  oh, and he’s a boxer

ugh. he gets her a necklace with a boxing glove charm and asks her if she knows why. she says, “because you’re a fighter.” and he says, “No, because you are.”

M:  ooooh, good one

I like

what I don’t like is that it’s raining again. Weird for Seattle, I know.

good for staying in and writing, though. Gonna curl up in my corner and try to finish Rory.

brb