Read a Book or Ten...
The other day, someone in my book club on Facebook had posted that she was reading a book that I had read years ago when it released. I was floored she hadn't read it. This wasn't the first time something like this has happened; people just getting around to books that I always assume everyone has read.
Below are books that I read and loved when I was just getting back into reading and finding indie authors. These are books that I think should be read by all book lovers. I know not everyone is going to love every book on this list. We all have different tastes. However, the first books in the series below introduced me to some great books and then more great books after that.
If you want, comment some books that you think everyone should read that helped give you that reading bug, like these did for me.
Avoiding Commitment by K.A. Linde
Jack and Lexi never had a typical relationship. After 2 years without speaking, she receives a phone call that changes everything. He unexpectedly asks her to convince the new girl, Bekah, that he's ready to commit. Jack is calling now after everything they had been through because there is another woman. She can't believe it.
Follow Lexi in this heart wrenching drama as she relives her past relationship, or lack thereof, with Jack, and not just in her own mind, but to his fiance-to-be. Throw in Bekah's hot brother who always seems to be in the right place at the right time, a past with more secrets to unravel than you can even imagine, and you get a recipe for disaster.
Find out what happens to Lexi as she travels to Atlanta to get the closure she so desperately desires from Jack, and how the bumps of life seem to keep getting in the way.
By A Thread by R.L. Griffin
Stella's future was set, and it was a bright one. She was engaged to a man she adored, and was headed to law school in the fall. Tragically, her perfectly planned future ends just as it was beginning.
With no ties to family or friends, Stella finds herself alone in a new city, spiraling out of control. Her typical day comes to a close with her passed out on the floor, sometimes clothed.
Luckily, her new roommate, essentially a stranger, is dead set on getting Stella past her grief and back to functioning within society. Putting one foot in front of the other, she climbs up from the bottom of a bottle. Even with all her progress, Stella walks through life unfeeling, numb. Defiant, she sends out warning signals for the world to keep away. But, is that what she really wants?
With the steadfast help of a few tight knit friends, she gradually begins to feel again. She starts to savor the flavor of food again; lets herself notice how the handsome bartender glances at her. Still, after allowing herself a fling, she wonders if she will ever be able to let go of her shattered past, fully enjoy the present, or get over what she thought would be her perfect future with the man who destroyed her heart.
**Due to adult themes and language this book is intended for mature audiences.
Beauty From Pain by Georgia Cates
They agreed on three months...but their love knew no boundaries.
Jack McLachlan is a winemaking magnate and easily one of Australia’s most eligible bachelors. His success and wealth makes him no stranger to the complications of romantic relationships and that’s why he goes to extreme measures to avoid the hassle. He prefers simplicity in the form of a beautiful female companion with no strings attached. He arranges relationships like business deals and they’re always the same. No long term relationships. No real names.
It’s his game and his rules. He’s content to play as usual, but when Laurelyn Prescott enters his life, his strategy must change because this player is like none he's ever encountered. His world is turned on its head after he begins a three month affair with the beautiful American musician. Nothing goes according to plan and as he breaks more and more of his own rules for her, she’s exceptionally close to becoming something he never thought possible. His ultimate game changer.
Beauty From Pain is an adult contemporary novel and is not intended for younger readers due to mature content.
Reason to Breathe by Rebecca Donovan
"No one tried to get involved with me, and I kept to myself. This was the place where everything was supposed to be safe and easy. How could Evan Mathews unravel my constant universe in just one day?"
In the affluent town of Weslyn, Connecticut, where most people worry about what to be seen in and who to be seen with, Emma Thomas would rather not be seen at all. She’s more concerned with feigning perfection—pulling down her sleeves to conceal the bruises, not wanting anyone to know how far from perfect her life truly is. Without expecting it, she finds love. It challenges her to recognize her own worth―at the risk of revealing the terrible secret she’s desperate to hide.
One girl’s story of life-changing love, unspeakable cruelty, and her precarious grasp of hope: Reason to Breathe is the first installment of the acclaimed Breathing Series.
Beautiful Broken Rules by Kimberly Lauren
The most valuable lesson Emerson Moore ever learned was from her parents: Never get too attached to someone else. That’s why this hard-partying college student plays by her own code of bedroom conduct, refusing to stay with the same guy for too long. She gets all the pleasure of having a good time without the messiness of a relationship.. So what if frat house–hopping has earned her a certain reputation around campus? At least no one gets hurt this way—especially her.
When ridiculously gorgeous Jaxon Riley moves in next door, Emerson’s not sure how long her vow against emotional intimacy can last. Jaxon’s tattoo, muscles, and sexy voice make him tempting, but he also seems to really understand her…until his jealous ex-girlfriend and Emerson’s life-changing discovery about her parents get thrown into the mix. After everything she’s been through, can Emerson handle a real relationship? Or will breaking her rules just lead to a broken heart?
Seduction & Snacks by Tara Sivec
Warning #1: This book is not to be taken seriously. Do not read this if you don't have the sense of humor of a 15 year old boy. Do not read this if you ARE a fifteen year old boy. This book is totally crude and inappropriate and uses the word "vagina" a lot. No, I mean A LOT. If you don't think people who are drunk are hilarious, you shouldn't read this book. You probably shouldn't read this book if you aren't drunk yourself. You should probably just put this book down and get drunk. You may think that no one in the world talks like the people in this book, but they do. They are called "people who are funny and inappropriate". This book is completely unrealistic; the author is aware of that fact and did it on purpose.
2012 Goodreads Choice Award Nominee - Best Romance
Claire is a twenty-something, single mom that grudgingly helps her best friend sell sex toys while she attempts to make enough money to start her own business to give her foul-mouthed, but extremely loveable (when he’s asleep) toddler a better life.
When Carter, the one-night-stand from her past that changed her life forever, shows up in her hometown bar without any recollection of her besides her unique chocolate scent, Claire will make it a point that he remembers her this time.
With Carter’s undisguised shock at suddenly finding out he has a four-year-old son and Claire’s panic that her stretch marks and slim to none bedroom experience will send the man of her dreams heading for the hills, the pair will do whatever they can to get their happily ever after.
Warning #2: contains explicit sex, profanity and enough sarcasm to choke a horse.
Consequences by Aleatha Romig
Every action has consequences.
Waking in an unfamiliar bedroom in a luxurious mansion, Claire Nichols is terrified to discover that a chance encounter led her into the cruel hands of her abductor, Anthony Rawlings. Claire has no understanding of why she’s there, but it’s been made abundantly clear—she is now his acquisition and every action has consequences.
Learn the rules to survive.
Facing incomprehensible circumstances, Claire must learn to survive her new reality—every aspect of her livelihood depends upon the tall, dark-eyed tycoon who is a true master of deception. Driven by unknown demons, he has no tolerance for imperfection, in any aspect of his life, including his recent acquisition. Anthony may appear to the world as a handsome, benevolent businessman, but in reality Claire knows firsthand that he’s a menacing, controlling captor with very strict rules: do as you’re told, public failure is not an option, and appearances are of the utmost importance.
Captivate the captor.
To fit together the pieces of the puzzle, Claire must follow his rules. Will her plan work, or will Anthony become enthralled by Claire’s beauty, resilience, and determination, changing the game forever? If that happens, will either of them survive the consequences?
Nobody ever did or ever will escape the consequences of his choices.—Alfred A. Montapert
Crash by Nicole Williams
A steamy summer encounter with bad boy Jude means trouble for Lucy. Her sights are set on becoming a ballerina, and she won't let anything get in her way . . . except Jude.
He's got a rap sheet, dangerous mood swings, and a name that's been sighed, shouted, and cursed by who knows how many girls.
Jude's a cancer, the kind of guy who's fated to ruin the lives of girls like Lucy—and he tells her so.
But as rumors run rampant and reputations are destroyed, Lucy's not listening to Jude's warning. Is tragedy waiting in the wings? This racy romance is hot, hot, hot!
Bared to You by Sylvia Day
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...
Love Unscripted by Tina Reber
An A-List Movie Star. . .
Ryan Christensen just wanted to be an actor. Never in his wildest dreams did he imagine a life where fans would chase him, paparazzi would stalk him, and Hollywood studios would want to own him. While filming in Seaport, Rhode Island, Ryan ducks into a neighborhood bar for a quick escape from legions of screaming fans . . . and finds much more than he expected.
A Small-Town Girl. . .
Nursing a recent heartbreak, Taryn Mitchell believes men are best kept at a safe distance. But when Ryan Christensen unexpectedly bursts through the front door of her pub, she can’t help but be drawn in by his humor, charm, and undeniable good looks. At six foot two, with dirty blond hair, blue eyes, and an incredible body, Ryan has every girl in Seaport swooning. But Taryn isn’t every other girl.
A Relationship That Doesn’t Follow the Script. . .
Despite her better judgment, Taryn soon finds herself falling hard for Ryan. But is their bond strong enough to survive the tabloid headlines, the relentless paparazzi, and the jealous fans who seem determined to tear them apart?
Tears of Tess by Pepper Winters
"My life was complete. Happy, content, everything neat and perfect.
Then it all changed.
I was sold."
Tess Snow has everything she ever wanted: one more semester before a career in property development, a loving boyfriend, and a future dazzling bright with possibility.
For their two year anniversary, Brax surprises Tess with a romantic trip to Mexico. Sandy beaches, delicious cocktails, and soul-connecting sex set the mood for a wonderful holiday. With a full heart, and looking forward to a passion filled week, Tess is on top of the world.
But lusty paradise is shattered.
Kidnapped. Drugged. Stolen. Tess is forced into a world full of darkness and terror.
Captive and alone with no savior, no lover, no faith, no future, Tess evolves from terrified girl to fierce fighter. But no matter her strength, it can't save her from the horror of being sold.
Can Brax find Tess before she's broken and ruined, or will Tess's new owner change her life forever?
A New Adult Dark Contemporary Romance, not suitable for people sensitive to grief, slavery, and hard to read subjects. A story about finding love in the strangest of places, a will of iron that grows from necessity, and forgiveness that may not be enough.
The Proposition by Katie Ashley
With her thirtieth birthday looming, Emma Harrison finds her biological clock clanging and the elusive knight in shining armor yet to appear. She’s running out of options, especially after her gay best friend backs out from being her sperm donor. Of course, there’s always a sperm bank, but Emma fears a donor mix-up might impregnate her with the spawn of Satan.
Resident company womanizer, Aidan Fitzgerald, is used to always getting what he wants, especially in the bedroom. When Emma spurns his advances at the company Christmas party, he's determined to have her no matter what it takes. After Aidan learns of Emma's predicament, he is quick to offer a proposition that will benefit them both. He will father Emma's child, but she must conceive it with him naturally. Not one for hook-ups or casual sex, Emma is reluctant to take him up on his offer, but his charm, coupled with her intense desire for motherhood, wins out.
Soon their baby-making sessions become more than just physical. Aidan can't seem to walk away from her while Emma begins to wonder if Aidan could be the one. But can Aidan leave his past behind to become the man Emma needs him to be?
Slammed by Colleen Hoover
Colleen Hoover’s romantic, emotion-packed debut novel unforgettably captures all the magic and confusion of first love, as two young people forge an unlikely bond before discovering that fate has other plans for them.
Following the unexpected death of her father, eighteen-year-old Layken becomes the rock for both her mother and younger brother. She appears resilient and tenacious, but inside, she's losing hope. Then she meets her new neighbor Will, a handsome twenty-one-year-old whose mere presence leaves her flustered and whose passion for poetry slams thrills her.
Not long after a heart-stopping first date during which each recognizes something profound and familiar in the other, they are slammed to the core when a shocking discovery brings their new relationship to a sudden halt. Daily interactions become impossibly painful as they struggle to find a balance between the feelings that pull them together and the forces that tear them apart. Only through the poetry they share are they able to speak the truth that is in their hearts and imagine a future where love is cause for celebration, not regret.
Thoughtless by S.C. Stephens
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author S.C. Stephens comes a powerful and emotional contemporary romance featuring a young woman in a new city who finds herself torn between her handsome, reliable boyfriend and a sexy local rock star.
For almost two years now, Kiera’s boyfriend, Denny, has been everything she’s ever wanted: loving, tender, and endlessly devoted to her. When they head off to a new city to start their lives together—Denny at his dream job and Kiera at a top-notch university—everything seems perfect. Then an unforeseen obligation forces the happy couple apart. Feeling lonely, confused, and in need of comfort, Kiera turns to an unexpected source—a local rock star named Kellan Kyle. At first, he’s purely a friend she can lean on, but as her loneliness grows, so does their relationship. And then one night everything changes…and none of them will ever be the same.
Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker
Just breathe, Kacey. Ten tiny breaths. Seize them. Feel them. Love them.
Four years ago Kacey Cleary’s life imploded when her car was hit by a drunk driver, killing her parents, boyfriend, and best friend. Still haunted by memories of being trapped inside, holding her boyfriend’s lifeless hand and listening to her mother take her last breath, Kacey wants to leave her past behind. Armed with two bus tickets, twenty-year-old Kacey and her fifteen-year-old sister, Livie, escape Grand Rapids, Michigan, to start over in Miami. Struggling to make ends meet, Kacey needs to figure out how to get by. But Kacey’s not worried. She can handle anything—anything but her mysterious neighbor in apartment 1D.
Trent Emerson has smoldering blue eyes, deep dimples, and he perfectly skates that irresistible line between nice guy and bad boy. Hardened by her tragic past, Kacey is determined to keep everyone at a distance, but their mutual attraction is undeniable and Trent is determined to find a way into Kacey’s guarded heart—even if it means that an explosive secret could shatter both their worlds.