Heat Factor: Well hello, on page sex, I did not expect to see you here
Character Chemistry: Uh, grumpy cynic is soft for tortured cinnamon roll. YES PLEASE
Plot: The relics are BACK! With an aura-sucking vampire paranormal, a rude English Viscount who finds himself in the middle of a situation he knows nothing about, and a Puerto Rican nullification magic paranormal who has an overdeveloped sense of responsibility and a tragic past
Overall: I am so delighted I might go back and read Magic in Manhattan all over again so I can get some more vibes
Heat Factor: There’s some intense can’t-stop-won’t-stop sex and then oops the feels crawl in after
Character Chemistry: In the end, I got the point of Kristina’s pulling away, but as I went through the chapters I really felt like, as his best friend, she should have been the one to understand that Noah was really not okay and romantically treating him like a normal guy was a weird choice
Plot: Noah is not okay. He can’t accept his new feelings for Kristina, and she can’t accept him holding her at a distance anymore.
Overall: If you like angsty military heroes who won’t allow themselves to have what they want because the LI deserves better, I have a book (and probably a series) for you.
I read way more books this year than I’ll review, and some of them were a ride. Good ride, wild ride, whatever. So as we wrap up 2021, I figured I’d do an “Erin Read” Saturday Smutty Six roundup. Share the wealth and all that.
Folks, I’m pretty sure that Holly found this series for me when I was on a dragon binge last winter and it is wild. There are plenty of questionable goings on in these books; HOWEVER, they are about dragon shifters falling in love with their nannies and they are all set in the 80s. Are they paternalistic as hell? Yes! But they are also absolutely bonkers! Blue eyeshadow! Perms! Crimping irons! Scrunchies! Denim jackets! Ridiculously OTT climactic moments! I can’t exactly recommend them, but I totally kept reading them because what even is this?
My reading totally took a turn for the weird this year because sci-fi smut is often just endlessly entertaining, which is how I happened on the Monsters Love Curvy Girls series. I don’t recommend it as a fat positive book, and once again we are contending with a lot of paternalistic themes (hi, sci-fi romance!), BUT this alien looks like Darth Maul had a baby with satan. The heroine faints the first time she sees him. So naturally when they start living together and she starts taking care of his children who can literally breathe fire, she begins to find Daddly alien hella hot. Why would she go back to earth when Daddy has a forked tongue and a prehensile tail?
This whole series is all about: come for the taboo sexytimes (which is most of the text), stay for the emotional depth. Katee Robert is really good at using sex to communicate what’s going on emotionally. Strictly speaking the heroine of this story is 25, so this is probably not suited to readers who are looking for straight-up taboo guardian smut, but there is a significant age gap. So, if you’re not looking specifically for guardian/ward taboo, then may I show you this very sexy book featuring two people who have been pining for each other for years who then reenact their one meeting per year as it might have been if they’d caved to their desires?
This one is also very much about the sexytimes, on account of: roommates who have been secretly in love with each other agree to make a sex tape – as friends, of course – for a local adult film contest. She can get her directing mojo back and he can get over his ex. Except that they’re really using the experience to get closer to each other. Not suited to readers who need well-edited books; this book would benefit from some editing. But it’s a really interesting premise with characters who are really afraid to take a leap. And the way he holds his hand out to her has lived rent free in my brain since I finished reading.
So there is a plot in this story (and it’s like “Yay! Get it, Nina!”), but all I cared about was that it created a forced proximity situation so that these characters could resist all their feelings by having really hot sex without even touching each other. And then with touching each other, sure, but bottom line: the buildup of the sexual tension in this story is lit. And of course it’s written by Talia Hibbert, who always uses words so well. A delightful novella.
I know it looks like it, but I didn’t only read sexy books this year! This book does have sex in it, but not a lot. There’s too much going on for danger bangs here! First of all, this story is kinda bonkers – he shoots a missile at a vehicle from a helicopter AND they are both like, “why yes, marriage” after about a minute – but it also features a middle-aged couple, exciting intrigue (International theft! Forgery! Murder!), and Detroit. I absolutely loved that Jasmine was perfectly happy to have the life she wanted – which was exactly the life she had, no partner required – so her relationship with Torr was solely rooted in the happiness it brought them to be together.