Today I’ve decided to make a confession; one, which I’m sure, has the power to divide fellow bloggers and bookworms.
I LOVE my Kindle.
Now don’t get me wrong, I still love paper books; the way they smell and the way they feel; the thickness of the paper; embossed text on the cover; the softness of some dust jackets and the comforting weight of a paperback in your handbag. Don’t even get me started about how I fantastic my hardback collection looks on my shelves. I agree whole heartily with the saying “A room without books is like a body without a soul”. But ebooks are fast becoming my favorite reading format.
My relationship with my kindle got off to a shaky start. As an infrequent traveller I didn’t see why I would need one of these new-fangled eReaders. My husband, fed up with our multiplying bookshelves, bought me a kindle in the vague hope that if he couldn’t cure me of my book addiction he could at least physically contain it. Mission accomplished, in the eighteen months since my kindle and I were introduced I haven’t need to buy a new bookcase (I ask you to kindly overlook the fact I have started to double stack my books).
The move of traditional publishers to start issuing eArcs to reviewers and my discovery of Netgalley certainly improved my relationship with my kindle.
Gradually, without really realising it, that friendship developed in to a full-grown love affair. It started with my first experience of the kindle sale. Before long I found myself becoming a savvier shopper, selecting the kindle version when I found it to be cheaper than paper copies.
I found myself rebuying ebook versions of larger (600+ pages) books I already owned as I found them less intimidating and thus more likely to read in ebook form.
I have succumbed, more than once, to the instant gratification (not to mention sleep restricted nights) that only my kindle can provide. It is pure pleasure on reaching the end of one book and to be able to instantly download its sequel.
However where my kindle has comes in to its own, what is fast becoming my favorite feature of my beloved, is the access it grants me to the world of Indy and self-published authors.
Like the rest of the book loving world I have been swept off my feet by the mature YA / “New Adult” books that fantastic, Self published authors like Abbi Glines and Tammara Webber (Click here to read my Easy review) have championed.
These books are so popular among their readers, that traditional publishers are sitting up and taking notice, and more and more of these independent authors are having their work scooped up and placed on bookshop shelves by traditional publishers.
What follows is a selection of my favourite Self and Indy published, contemporary romances. If you are offended by tattooed, motorcycle riding, bad boy musicians with a secret romantic soul, look away now!
All of the books features fall in to the New Adult/Adult category and as such all contain adult content (i.e. bad language, sexual content, drug/alcohol use).
For more information about the featured authors simple click on their name to be taken to their blog or authors page. Fallen Too Far by Abbi Glines To want what you’re not supposed to have…
She is only nineteen.
She is his new stepfather’s daughter.
She is still naïve and innocent due to spending the last three years taking care of her sick mother.
But for twenty-four year old Rush Finlay, she is the only thing that has ever been off limits. His famous father’s guilt money, his mother’s desperation to win his love, and his charm are the three reasons he has never been told no.
Blaire Wynn left her small farmhouse in Alabama, after her mother passed away, to move in with her father and his new wife in their sprawling beach house along the Florida gulf coast. She isn’t prepared for the lifestyle change and she knows she’ll never fit into this world. Then there is her sexy stepbrother who her father leaves her with for the summer while he runs off to Paris with his wife. Rush is as spoiled as he is gorgeous. He is also getting under her skin. She knows he is anything but good for her and that he’ll never be faithful to anyone. He is jaded and has secrets Blaire knows she may never uncover but even knowing all of that…
Blaire just may have fallen too far
2012 was an awesome year for Abbi, her Vincent Boys/Brothers books (originally self-published in Oct 2011 and June 2012) took the YA book blogging world by storm. The Vincent Boys series along with Abbi’s equally steamy and no less awesome, Sea Breeze series have been picked up by traditional publishers; Hot Key Books and Simon and Schuster respectively, given glamorous cover makeovers and will be heading in all their papery glory to a book shop near you very soon.
Whether writing for the YA (Breath, Existence, Predestined) or a more mature market, for her contemporary series’ (Vincent Boys , Sea Breeze , Fallen Too Far) or in the paranormal genre (Existence series), Abbi’s work is filled with compelling, interesting characters whose chemistry fizzes off of the page.
Self-published, under her own name, Fallen Too Far is the latest offering from this prolific author and in my opinion the steamiest and the most un-put-down-able of her work so far. I gobbled it up in a single day and I have already managed to re-read this raunchy little number, once more in a single sitting!
Abbi’s writing is absolutely addictive. Like a chain smoker, a soon as I reach the conclusion of one of her books, I find myself compelled to download and read another. Alas, I now have to endure the torturous wait until March for the second installment of Blaire and Rush’s story and because of my gluttonous behavior I don’t even have any of Abbi’s other titles in my TBR to help me pass the time. Wallbanger by Alice Clayton Caroline Reynolds has a fantastic new apartment in San Francisco, a KitchenAid mixer, and no O (and we’re not talking Oprah here, folks). She has a flourishing design career, an office overlooking the bay, a killer zucchini bread recipe, and no O. She has Clive (the best cat ever), great friends, a great rack, and no O.
Adding insult to O-less, since her move, she has an oversexed neighbor with the loudest late-night wallbanging she’s ever heard. Each moan, spank, and–was that a meow?–punctuates the fact that not only is she losing sleep, she still has, yep, you guessed it, no O.
Enter Simon Parker. (No, really, Simon, please enter.) When the wallbanging threatens to literally bounce her out of bed, Caroline, clad in sexual frustration and a pink baby-doll nightie, confronts her heard-but-never-seen neighbor. Their late-night hallway encounter has, well, mixed results. Ahem. With walls this thin, the tension’s gonna be thick…
Thank you to Amazon recommendation feature for highlighting this little Indy published beauty from title=”Omnific Publishing”>Omnific Publishing
Wow, just wow!
Not nearly as raunchy as the cover and title would lead you to believe, Wallbanger is a lesson in creating and maintaining sexual tension. Underneath the rather provocative cover is a laugh out loud funny, beautifully paced, sweet romance, and when the couple finally get their act together the wait is O so worth it!
While overall all I guiltily enjoyed E L James 50 Shades series, I found the characters references to her “inner goddess” irritating and at times utterly ridiculous, causing me to skip those portions of the book. In Wallbanger, Clayton totally nails it. Funny, insightful and absolutely true to the character, Caroline’s’ internal dialog was one of my favorite features of the book. Bad Rep by A. Meredith Walters “Who gives a damn about their reputation? Oh, that would be me! Especially since mine had gone straight to hell in the span of thirty minutes”.
Maysie Ardin is soaking up the summer before her junior year of college, shopping, hanging by the pool and shopping some more. But when her black belt in spending lands her in trouble with her parents, she is forced to take a second job at a local bar to dig herself out of a deep financial pit.
She thought she’d be miserable. But then Maysie didn’t count on Jordan Levitt, the hot, pierced and tattooed, drum playing bartender who also happens to be very interested in her. And the feelings are totally mutual.
It had the makings of the perfect romantic set up. Boy meets girl. Boy likes girl. Boy has girlfriend? Okay, maybe not.
But attraction is a hard thing to ignore and soon Jordan and Maysie find themselves in the middle of a gossip induced firestorm. Maysie has to learn whether she can set aside her fear of public disapproval in order to be with the one she wants. Or will she let the opinions of others dictate her life and her heart?
Maysie has met her perfect man. This intelligent, thoughtful, gorgeously talented musician with abs of steel and ink to swoon over has it all, including an equally perfect long-term girlfriend.
There is no denying that these two belong together, their chemistry is off the charts and they have so much in common, including the habit of making frustrating choices.
There were points in this book one or other of the main characters irritated me so much with their stupidity, I wanted to grab them by the scruff of the neck and shake some sense in to them. Then, like a little girl with her Barbie dolls, lay them next to each other and smush their faces together, so that they would have their happy ever after already!
But rather than dislike this book, I found it a compulsive and enjoyable read. It was their questionable choices, completely in keeping with their characters, that created the tension, the will they/won’t they, gut twisting element of the story and what ultimately made the final pay off all the sweeter.
I sat and read Bed Rep in one sitting, as there was absolutely no way I could have gone to sleep not knowing if these two could get their act together. The Secret of Ella and Micha by Jessica Sorensen Ella and Micha have been best friends since they were kids. But one tragic night shatters their friendship and their lives forever.
Ella used to be a rule-breaker with fiery attitude who wore her heart on her sleeve. But she left everything behind when she went to college and transformed into someone that follows the rules, keeps everything together, and hides all her problems. But now its summer break and she has nowhere else to go but home.
Ella fears everything she worked so hard to bury might resurface, especially with Micha living right next door. If Micha tries to tempt the old her back, she knows that it will be hard to resist.
Micha is sexy, smart, confident, and can get under Ella’s skin like no one else can. He knows everything about her, including her darkest secrets. And he’s determined to bring his best friend, and the girl he loves back, no matter what it takes.
In need of a little steamy contemporary romance to help dampen the withdraw symptoms following my re-read of Easy and having devoured Abbi Glines entire back catalogue, I came across The Secret of Ella and Micha. Priced at just 77p, I couldn’t resist and I immediately set about feeding my addiction.
After eight months, a make-over and a semester of university, Ella know that it is time to head home and face the music for her unexplained departure from her old life. But the preppy good girl façade she has created quickly crumbles in the face of Micha, the boy she tried to leave behind along with her emo eyeliner.
Micha is absolutely swoon worthy. Not only is he gorgeous, clever and talented but also he maintains absolute faith in Ella, even when she had none. Loving the girl he has known his whole life and the woman she has become. I adored Micha’s, honest account of his love, frustration and determination and this book was all the better for allowing us to get to know both characters intimately, through the dual first person narrative.
I loved this book so much that I immediately downloaded, The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden, in the hope that it would help to sustain me until the publication of The Forever of Ella and Micha. Devoured by Emily Snow Sienna Jensen had no plans to return home when she graduated college last spring—after all, her dreams lie in California. But when she discovers her grandmother’s Nashville home has been foreclosed, and the new owner has started the eviction process, Sienna has no other choice but go back to Music City. And she comes face to face with the flawed, gorgeous man she never thought she’d see again. The man who now holds the deed to her grandma’s estate.
When millionaire rock star Lucas Wolfe finds the outspoken redhead glaring at him from across a courtroom, he’s both infuriated and intrigued. He still can’t get the night Sienna almost spent with him out of his mind, and the chemistry between them is as undeniable as it was two years ago. He craves Sienna more than ever. And just like everything Lucas hungers for, he’s determined to have her.
Now, Lucas will do whatever it takes to lure Sienna into his bed, even if that means making a deal with her: ten days with him, playing by his rules, and he’ll hand over the deed to her grandmother’s home. Though she agrees to the arrangement, Sienna is conflicted. Because of her duty to her family. Because of promises she’s made to herself and a past that still haunts her. And as Lucas’s game of seduction continues, and Sienna is introduced to his dark, erotic world and even darker background, she realizes that at any moment, she could be devoured.
I have to confess that what first drew me to this book was the cover, which happens to use the same cover models as my favorite contemporary read of 2012, Easyby Tammara Webber.
I know, I know I’m soooo shallow. It was the synopsis however, that held my attention and had me clicking “buy it”.
Devoured was an amazingly quick read, I found myself racing through the pages to discover just how successful Sienna was at resisting Lucas’ “Dark needs” and how far Lucas would go to prevent Sienna slip through his fingers a second time.
Coming to the end, I found myself desperate to learn more about Lucus and Sienna’s relationship. I immediately downloaded and read the prequel novella All Over You, a dual, first person point of view of that first fateful meeting.
I can’t wait to devour the conclusion of Lucas and Sienna’s story when Consumed it is released on the 15th of January. Other self/Indy-published contemporary romances I have enjoyed include:
Chasing McCree by J. C. Isabella,
Cross My Heart by Katie Klein ,
Hearts in Darkness by Laura Kaye.( an Adult novella)
The Wild Ones by M. Leighton
Happy reading! Post by Caroline