Wrap Up

Now Presenting…The Second Annual Smut Report Superlatives (2021)

It’s a new year, which means it’s time to look back on the past year. There was a lot of really really good, but there was also a lot of bad and weird and good in a sexy way and good in a funny way. So instead of a best-of list, we bring you without further ado: The Second Annual Smut Report Superlatives.

Note: These are books we read this year. We might have reviewed them or not, and they may be published in 2021 or not. We just like books.


Book that gave me the biggest belly-laughs:

Erin: A Wolf After My Own Heart by MaryJanice Davidson

He’s sunshine, she’s grumpy, their dynamic is hilarious, and this whole story is one outrageous shenanigan after another.

Holly: The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels by India Holton

This book won’t be for everyone: it’s manic and twee and over-the-top, but it’s also very very fun.

Ingrid: Midlife Magic Series by KF Breene

This series gave me life. It’s the rebirth of a woman after her child flies the coop to college and her husband divorces her, plus a magic house. She gets gargoyle powers, has to learn how to magic fly, and can’t talk clearly with her giant gargoyle teeth.


Book that made me think:

Erin: Perfect Temptation by K.B. Alan

So many kinky books include either a (surprise) kink awakening or people who already know their kinks, not a protagonist who is experimenting to figure out what works (and having feelings about kinks that don’t work). 

Holly: Strange Love by Ann Aguirre

I never thought I would get swoony about a cockroach alien, but this book really made me think about the boundaries of what a love story can contain.

Ingrid: Spellbound by Ophelia Silk

This was a really amazing metaphor in a book that I couldn’t stop thinking about–and in fact, it has popped into my head frequently over the course of the past year.


Book with the swooniest character:

Erin: Spellbound by Allie Therin

Arthur Kenzie has all the stern brunch daddy energy. Competence porn, anyone?

Holly: Duke of Sin by Elizabeth Hoyt

I might be in love with Valentine Napier, even though he is, objectively, The Worst.

Ingrid: It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey

Brendan the cranky sea captain is both competence porn and “I bet he’s got nice calluses and that does something for me” all at once.


Book most likely to make me ugly cry:

Erin: Unwritten Rules by K.D. Casey

Zach’s emotional journey absolutely wrecked me several times and on different fronts.

Holly: Love at First by Kate Clayborn

I wrote a whole special post about books punching me in the face with emotion after I read this one.

Ingrid: Mistletoe Christmas by Eloisa James, Christi Caldwell, Janna MacGregor and Erica Ridley

I really don’t know why this one hit me so hard, but it really did. It was so tenderhearted without being syrupy and woe-is-me. Each little vignette featured someone who needed to be seen and accepted and the authors totally nailed it. 


Book most likely to make me text the other smut-reporters because “what did I just read?!?!?!”: 

Erin: The Professional by Kresley Cole

I mean, within the first three chapters, he breaks into her house and finds her masturbating (to thoughts of him) and then kidnaps her to Russia, on which flight they have their first of many (so many!) absolutely filthy sexcapades. 

Holly: A Heart of Blood and Ashes by Milla Vane

This is an enemies-to-lovers marriage-of-convenience-for-revenge-purposes high fantasy road trip adventure story that also has a zombie brontosaurus. It’s amazeballs.

Ingrid: Krish / Before Krish by N.J. Bhogayta

I still don’t know what happened with this duo–like, enemies-to-lovers, controlling, manipulative billionaire, sexual tension to the max, BAGGAGE, I don’t even know. Up is down and down is up. 


Book that inspired the ranty-est rant:

Erin: A Billion Times No by Kenzie Reed

It’s possible that my review was more ranting than cogent for this one, but I WAS SO ANGRY.

Holly: Hunting the Hunter by Shiloh Walker

A centuries-old bad-ass vampire heroine is a surprise virgin?!??! Cue the RAGE SCREAM.

Ingrid: Then, Now, Always by Mona Shroff

This one just solidified why I can’t stand surprise baby books. I couldn’t get behind the heroine of this one at all once I learned what she’d done, and I stand by that.


Book most likely to make me fan myself: 

Erin: Stalked by the Kraken by Lillian Lark

It’s possible that I’m just jaded by the 200+ sexy books without tentacles I read this year, but Ooeee, the imagery of those tentacles was Something Else.

Holly: Pink Slip by Katrina Jackson

This book is 50% spy stuff, 50% being horny.

Ingrid: Morning Glory Milking Farm by C.M. Nascosta. 

I just…there was so much…moisture…


Author I loved to binge:

Erin: Annabeth Albert

Even when the protagonists are being angsty or really struggling, these books read like wearing a favorite cozy sweater feels.

Holly: Meredith Duran

The emotional pitch of her books is perfect. 

Ingrid: Mary Lancaster

I heavily binged multiple of her series and she’s a first-rate world builder.


Book that gave me the biggest heart eyes:

Erin: Heated Rivalry by Rachel Reid

I probably listened to this book 10 times this year (not an exaggeration) and got flutters every time. It is so. good. 

Holly: Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale

This might be the best romance novel I’ve ever read. Ever. I kind of wanted to submit it for every single category.

Ingrid: You, Me, and the Sea by Elizabeth Haynes

It’s been my mental happy place all year. This author can spin a simultaneously gripping and cozy yarn.

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