Listicle, Motorcycle Monday

Saturday Smutty Six: Motorcycle Club Romance

If you’ve been following us, you might recall that Erin has been reading Motorcycle Club (MC) romance. It started with a sort of gleeful horror over Under Locke and someone else’s tweet about MC romance being a bad thing (to paraphrase). So she got curious about this corner of the world of romance and got to reading. 

BUT we haven’t actually reviewed that much MC smut on the blog, so as we get ready to launch Erin’s series on MC smut, we’ve decided to prepare a biker-related Saturday Smutty Six so that we can refer back to some MC romance heavy hitters. 

Please note that this list isn’t really a recommendation list as such, because there is probably too much problematic content in MC romance for Erin to do an outright recommended read tag on any MC smut book. 

Without further ado, Biker smut in the order that Erin read it:

Incandescent by River Savage 

If we’re going to ease in, this isn’t a bad place to start. The Knights Rebels MC used to do illegal stuff, but now they’re clean, and they’ve taken steps to ensure that their city stays clean as well. Ergo, this book is primarily about Nix Knight’s boots, jeans, and tats being too much yum for Kadence, his son’s teacher, to resist. And since bikers are almost always in the camp of, “I see it. I want it. It’s mine.” with their heroines, well, Kadence won’t resist Nix for long.

Reaper’s Property by Joanna Wylde

This book is often recommended as the place to start for MC romance and, um, I don’t think that’s good advice. I believe my text to Ingrid and Holly read something like: “This MC book is pretty effed up. I both hate it and am enthralled. She’s going to be his sex slave, but it’s okay because she agreed (under duress), and he wants to be a family man. I’m dying.” Don’t get me wrong, I read most of the series, but yowza, there is some seriously yikes content in this book. 

Undeniable by Madeline Sheehan

All things considered, I think this book takes the biggest, most-tiered cake for WTF content. I both understand and do not at all understand how so many people are in alt about it. I understand because it is extremely dramatic and emotional. I do not understand because it includes underage sexual activity, abuse, and on-page rape and murder. Like. WUT. My head was not in a great place after this book. 

Motorcycle Man by Kristen Ashley

While the two books immediately preceding this might be more prominent among the dark MC romance reading crowd, this book has broader appeal. Motorcycle Man is the fourth Dream Man book, so it’s wrapping up a series instead of starting one, but when Tack finally gets his story, it is something else. Tack is the president of the MC, he’s bossy, he works on hot cars, he wears his boots and jeans and biker goatee with DGAF attitude, and Tyra thinks she’s found her dream man, only to realize that she was horribly wrong when he slam bam thank-you-ma’ams her. But when she still shows up for her new job and starts arguing with her new boss – Tack, of course – he realizes she’s got the special sauce he wants, and he doesn’t stop until he gets it. 

Own the Wind by Kristen Ashley

I didn’t necessarily want to include two books from the same author/about the same club in this list, but in Biker romance lists Own the Wind and Motorcycle Man often rank close together, and they’re technically different series. Tabby is the daughter of Chaos’s president, and Shy has known her since he joined the club, often getting her out of scrapes in her teens. They have a terrible falling out, and Tabby leaves the club for years, eventually getting engaged to a citizen. Then her fiance suddenly and unexpectedly dies, and Shy is there, apologizing for his past mistake and befriending her when she needs a little bit of normal. Also, if I’m recalling correctly, this is the only book in this list that does not include a kidnapped heroine.

Hell’s Knights by Bella Jewel

If you thought we were going to end on a light note, I am sorry to disappoint you. Hell’s Knights is the first in a series and features some more depressing and WTF content. To wit: Addison has found her father, whom she knows to belong to an MC, because she watched her mother die of an overdose after living under the abuse of her junkie mother’s pimp since she was a young child. Practically the minute she walks into the club, the VP, Cade, decides she’s going to be his old lady. But of course Addison’s past catches up with her, so there’s plenty of vigilante action on the part of this outlaw MC.

Perhaps you can understand why this isn’t a recommended reading list. That said, Erin did rather enjoy exploring what all these books are made up of and possible reasons why the content exists. We hope you enjoy her series for Motorcycle Mondays, as she explores various aspects of MC romance. 

Have you read any MC romance? Did you enjoy it? Let us know your thoughts or tell us about books you’ve read in the comments!


Saturday Smutty Six: Black Historical Romances on Holly’s TBR

In my romance journey – that is, since Erin, Ingrid and I started The Smut Report and reading romance took over my brain – I’ve gone from all historicals, to no historicals, back to thinking historicals are pretty awesome. The caveat: I am bored with lords, and want historicals about working class people, or queer people, or people of color. 

To that end, here are some of the Black Historical Romances that I look forward to reading in the near future. All feature at least one Black protagonist and were written by Black authors. 

Titles link to the book’s Amazon page.

Destiny’s Captive by Beverly Jenkins

LADY PIRATE! Need I say more? 

Note: Jenkins’ book Captured, about a black pirate who steals slaves, was a close second, but a big part of my goal in putting this list together was to highlight some of the other amazing authors besides Jenkins who are writing Black historical romance. 

An Unconditional Freedom by Alyssa Cole

The third in the Loyal League trilogy, about Black Union spies. I read the first two and thought they were excellent (especially book 1) – both examine issues of race, allyship, and resistance during the Civil War. No Confederate Apologist Nonsense here! Plus, Alyssa Cole writes consistently swoony love stories. I honestly can’t believe I haven’t already read this one.

The Bittersweet Bride by Vanessa Riley

Second chance romance, you say? In Regency England, you say? First book in a series about people advertising for spouses, you say? With a gorgeous cover, you say? I am so there. 

Heart and Hand by Rebel Carter 

Here we have a Western mail order bride throuple. Either you are me, and immediately one-click it, or you are…not me, and decide this is definitely not for you. 

Love’s Serenade by Cheryl Lister

This book, about musicians during the Harlem Renaissance having a second chance at love, is part of a larger series of African-American historical romances – one book set in each decade of the 20th century. So while I want to read Lister’s book first (because Harlem Renaissance), I am also interested in other titles in this series. Like, what does a historical romance about the 1980s even look like? Can’t wait to find out!

Moonrise by Roberta Gayle

Fun fact! People have been writing Black historical romance for a while, so I had to include an old school read on this list. Moonrise is about artists in 19th century Paris, which sounds friggin’ awesome. The only challenge will be getting my hands on a copy…because it’s currently selling on Amazon for $900. I love smut, but not that much. 

Other recommendations for historical romances featuring Black characters finding love? Let me know in the comments!


Saturday Smutty Six: Trans Romance on Erin’s TBR

Ahoy! This week in our Saturday Smutty Six, we’ve once again extracted one letter out of LGBTQIA+ to bring you stories of trans people finding their HEAs (or, in the case of the YA story, a HFN, because while we’d love to think a teenager is all set for the HEA, it’s a bit bananas to consider in reality) (nevermind that Erin did marry her high school sweetheart).

Compared to our ace romance from last week, this week it was much easier to 1) find trans romance at all and 2) find Own Voices romance in this category. In this case, we’re talking trans women writing about trans women and trans men writing about trans men. Some of these authors are on Erin’s TBR more than once, too!

Titles link to the book’s Amazon page. 

The Craft of Love by E.E. Ottoman

E.E. Ottoman often appears in recommendation lists when people are talking about trans romance. While several of his books are on my TBR, one of the most popular and most recommended is The Craft of Love, a historical novella about a silversmith and a seamstress in New York. Bonus points: E.E. Ottoman is a trans man, so this is an Own Voices story.

Kinship and Kindness by Kara Jorgensen

This book isn’t even out yet, but it involves dirigibles in Louisiana, and you know I’ve got a soft spot for paranormal romance and M/M romance, so I’m pretty confident this book is right up my alley. Power and secrets and drama, OH MY! Bonus points: Jorgensen is a queer, non-binary author of paranormal romance. I’ve actually got a few of their books on my TBR.

Peter Darling by Austin Chant

Peter Darling is a reimagining of Peter Pan (obviously), in which Wendy Darling is Peter Pan. In this story, Peter embraces his true identity once he’s grown, and there’s some romance going on with Captain Hook, including maybe some anti-hero stuff? I am very intrigued. Bonus points: Austin Chant is a trans man, so this is an Own Voices story.

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

In If I Was Your Girl, Amanda is starting at a new school and befriends Grant, and feelings blossom. But Amanda’s keeping the secret that she’s trans, and she’s afraid of telling Grant the truth because she’s afraid of losing the new life she’s built at her new school. It’s not adult romance, it’s YA, but it sounds like it’ll get me right in the feels. Bonus points: Russo is a trans woman, so this is an Own Voices story.

Starting from Scratch by Jay Northcote

Ben is moving into a new house with new roommates after chest surgery and hormone treatment. Based on this intro sentence alone, we can imagine that the story will involve a sort of journey of self-discovery, including Ben getting comfortable with dating and with the idea that he will be loved for himself. I bet it’s gonna be an angsty one! Bonus points: Northcote is a trans man, so this is an Own Voices story.

Roller Girl by Vanessa North

I found this story when I read a piece by Sarah MacLean in a WaPo romance recommendations article, and it sounds sweet and kind of low key. Tina is a trans woman figuring out her life after a divorce, and, thanks to Joe, she finds an outlet in roller derby. She also finds Joe, and “we can’t tell anyone about this” sex is really fun, let’s be honest.

Other books with a trans protagonist that we’ve already highlighted in a Saturday Smutty Six this month include Hold Me by Courtney Milan and The Rat-Catcher’s Daughter by K.J. Charles

Have you read any great romance featuring trans protagonists lately? Please let us know what you recommend in the comments!


Saturday Smutty Six: Ace Romance on Erin’s TBR

It’s easy to find romance including women loving women, and it’s super easy to find romance including men loving men. It’s even pretty easy to find throuple romance that’s not exclusively about tittilating sex. But it’s not always so easy to find romance, especially Own Voices romance, featuring stories about all those other letters we see in our Pride hashtags. 

In my ongoing quest to read everything, I made myself some special shelves on my Goodreads list to help me focus. This week, let’s talk about ace (that’s asexual, but if you’re looking at the spectrum more broadly, we can also encompass gray, demisexual and aromantic) romance I’m excited about (which is in no way comprehensive, but it’s the Saturday Smutty Six, not the Saturday Smutty Everything-on-my-list). 

Titles link to the book’s Amazon page. 

Havesskadi by Ava Kelly

There be dragons in this fantasy romance. One protagonist has his dragon magic stolen (gasp!), and he must roam the earth as a mortal, seeking to recover it. And he’s mind-linked to the other protagonist, but they don’t know when they find each other!!! Sounds epic. Bonus points: The author is non-binary and asexual, so this is an own voices story.

The Rat-Catcher’s Daughter by K.J. Charles

I think K.J. Charles might be a genius. At the very least, her writing is incredibly tight. This short story is a Lilywhite Boys prequel, so you’ll be able to engage with these characters a bit more if you continue the series. I like to see trans and ace representation in historical romance, so I’m going to keep track of any I find and add it to my TBR. 

Fireland: Jimmy Loves Rob by Sam Burke

Historical romance in an unusual period: the 1970s. It sounds super angsty, since one protagonist is married with children and can’t figure out why he doesn’t like sex, and the other is gay in 1970s America, and it occurs over the course of a decade. I’m super intrigued. 

Human Enough by E.S. Yu

Please find enclosed a M/M pairing with a vampire and a vampire hunter in a non-linear timeline. The vampire hunter is autistic,  and the vampire is asexual, and together they find love and solve some shady mystery shenanigans. Bonus points: This fantasy story includes Asian protagonists and is written by an Asian author.

Rising from Ash by Jax Meyer

I was probably drawn to this book initially because my children are currently obsessed with a book about an Antarctic research station, but, I mean, it’s a forced proximity, enemies to lovers slow burn set at the South Pole, so… Aren’t you also interested? Plus, I do love an awkward scientist. Bonus points: This author is lesbian and neurodivergent. We’re on a roll with own voices stories in this list, amiright?

Upside Down by N.R. Walker

In an unexpected twist, Upside Down features not one, but two ace protagonists! And one of them is a librarian! While one protagonist is exploring his new understanding of his asexual label, the other is helping him to do it. Sounds utterly charming, doesn’t it? I bet it’ll get me right in the feels.

Please let me know if there are any ace romances you’re excited about, as I’m constantly updating my TBR, and I’ve already blown through my 2020 reading goal, so I need all the books. 


Saturday Smutty Six: LGBTQ Romances on Holly’s TBR

There are so many awesome books out there, and we can’t talk about all of them (or even read them), so I figured I’d take a second to talk about some of the books I haven’t read yet, but definitely want to get to. This list is not comprehensive, but is rather a sample of books that I have saved either in my Kindle app or my Libby app. 

Putting together the list brought some of my preferences into sharp relief: I prefer F/F or queer M/F stories to M/M stories, and I love LGBTQ historicals. So if you can’t get enough of M/M contemporaries, you should probably ask Erin for recommendations.

Titles link to the book’s Amazon page. 

Ruthless by Kara Lowndes

Kara Lowndes is an indie author whose blog I started following last year because she had the snarkiest Game of Thrones recaps. Since she writes sharp cultural criticism I figured – why not pick up one of her books? Ruthless features a lesbian with mysterious powers, so I bet it’s gonna be gooooood. 

The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows by Olivia Waite

A Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics was one of the best books I’ve read in the past year – it was sexy, political, and historically grounded. Plus, it included a bunch of conversations about the philosophies of science and art! Agatha Griffin had a small role – she’s the grumpy engraver whose press puts out the titular Lady’s Guide – and I’m super excited to see what Waite does with her story. The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows releases in July, and I’m stoked that I was able to get an ARC. 

Ascension by Jacqueline Koyanagi

A woman facing chronic health problems and poverty stows onto a ship and falls in love with the captain. IN SPACE. (Have I ever mentioned that I have a soft spot in my heart for science fiction? Because I do.) 

A Duke in Disguise by Cat Sebastian

I added A Duke in Disguise after reading a really insightful analysis of the opening passage over at Close Reading Romance (a blog you should definitely check out if you’re interested in in-depth textual analysis because damn). Maybe reading it will rekindle my zest for The Duke Project?

Slippery Creatures by K.J. Charles

1920s M/M romance, in the spirit of Golden Age pulp fiction? Count. Me. In. Relevant: Wanted, A Gentleman, also by K.J. Charles, is one of the best romances I’ve ever read, and I generally have little patience for M/M romance. 

Hold Me by Courtney Milan

I read Trade Me when it came out a million years ago, and meant to grab the sequel, but just never did. I think it’s time I rectified that oversight. 

Have you read any of these? Is there one I should bump to the top of my list? Let me know in the comments!