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.

Wrap Up

December Wrap Up: Our Favorite Smut This Month

Our Favorite Reads…

Ingrid’s Choice: A Graduate Education by Phoebe Thorpe

This is a sexy sexy hot for teacher book. Ingrid had a great time reading it. (Note: It ends on a cliffhanger.)

Erin’s Choice: Proper Scoundrels by Allie Therin

Grumpy cynic meets tortured cinnamon roll. Erin was delighted.

Holly’s Choice: Act Like It by Lucy Parker

Grumpy-sunshine fake relationship! Holly immediately binged the entire series.

More From the Blog…

Notes from Romancelandia…

Want to vote for your favorite romance novels of 2021? The nomination round of The Swoonies is open until January 7th!

Coming Soon…

Are you anxiously waiting for the top picks fo 2021 from your favorite Smut Reporter?

Second Annual Smut Report Superlatives coming tomorrow!

Wrap Up

November Wrap Up: All Our Favorite Smut This Month

Our Favorite Reads

Holly’s Choice: Duke, Actually by Jenny Holiday

This book is utterly charming AND it gets academia right.

Erin’s Choice: House on Fire by Jenn Burke

Once she was sucked in, Erin couldn’t put it down. (This is Book 2 in the series; start with All Fired Up for the full reading experience.)

Ingrid’s Choice: Mistletoe Christmas: An Anthology

She laughed, she cried, she cried some more, and then she told us how delightful it was.

More From the Blog…

Notes From Romancelandia…

Have thoughts about the best romance books of 2021? Nominate your favorites for the Swoonies!

Interested in some free sexy winter romances? Here’s a limited-time deal for a wide selection of books (ends Dec 3rd).

Feeling the holiday spirit already? Romancelandia Holiday Fairies is back—go here to submit a wishlist or to give a gift to a fellow romance reader.

Coming Soon…

In December, we’ll be reviewing our usual mix of new releases and backlist reads. There may be a few more holiday romances coming your way. And we have a week of grumpy-sunshine romances in the works.

Wrap Up

October Wrap Up: Our Favorite Smut this Month, Monster Edition!

Well everyone, we hope you enjoyed all our ridiculous buddy-reads because that much epic group reviewing is not going to happen again any time soon. We had a blast, but now it’s time for us to retreat to our preferred niches (that means contemporary alpha heroes for Erin, bonkers historical romance for Holly, and gentle indie romances for Ingrid)—and time for us to catch up on talking about the new releases we’re excited about!

But first…

Our Favorite Monsters

Holly’s Choice: Strange Love by Ann Aguirre

This might be the weirdest book Holly’s ever read, but the emotional beats are top notch. How can you not love a hero who, with all the love in his heart, calls the heroine “Terrible One”? Bonus points for Snaps the talking dog.

Erin’s Choice: Morning Glory Milking Farm by C.M. Nascosta

This book is about jacking off minotaurs, but somehow it features the most relatable heroine Erin has ever read. Bonus points for testicles the size of large oranges and 24 oz of cum.

Ingrid’s Choice: Bitterburn by Ann Aguirre

Ingrid loved the gothic dread and the slow burn and the delicacy of the romance in this book. Bonus points for one of the best settings we’ve ever read.

More from the blog…

All our epic monster buddy reads, in one place:

Holly went off the deep end on the monster smut, and put together a list of six more monster romances she read.

And Erin ranted a little bit about marriage and paperwork. You know how she gets feisty about paperwork.

Notes from Romancelandia…

We were not the only people who jumped right in to the monster craze this month.

If you’re looking for more monster content, check out the Fated Mates podcast episode on monsters, a discussion of a smoke monster romance on Bonkers Romance, or this enormous list of recently-released and forthcoming monster romances that Ally at HEA or Bust put together.

Plus Erin published a yeti romance.

Not feeling the monsters? Check out the Romance for Roe anthology.

Coming Soon…

November Preview
The Donut Trap by Julie Tieu
Unexpected Goals by Kelly Farmer
Duke Actually by Jenny Holiday
The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary
House on Fire by Jenn Burke
Donut Fall in Love by Jackie Lau
Then, Now, Always by Mona Schroff
The Matzah Ball by Jean Meltzer
Roller Girl by Vanessa North
The Life Revamp by Kris Ripper
Santa Claus is Going to Town on Me by M.L. Eliza

We’ll be kicking off November with a whole week of Donut Romances! Later in the month, we’ll be talking Secret Baby romances; after all, Thanksgiving seems like a great time to dig into family drama. Plus, expect to see some reviews of holiday romances.

Wrap Up

September Wrap Up: All Our Favorite Smut

Holly’s Choice: A Heart of Blood and Ashes by Milla Vane

Holly hates being a joiner, but you should believe the hype (from 2020). This book is friggin’ awesome.

Erin’s Choice: Sailor Proof by Annabeth Albert

Erin reports that this book feels like a warm hug to read.

Ingrid’s Choice: Wolf’s Instinct by Elva Birch

Clumsy, shapeshifting toddlers and just an overall chill read. What’s not to like?

More from the blog…

Notes from Romancelandia…

Did you know that there’s a thriving ecosystem of romance podcasts? And if you did, did you know that there’s a new one devoted to the absolutely bonkers in romance that just released its first episode? Check out Bonkers Romance here.

Coming Soon…

We have something very very exciting planned for October. We’ll tell you all about it tomorrow!