As we say farewell to 2020 and look forward with cautious optimism to 2021, we’re looking back on our year of reading smut. 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 Inaugural Smut Report Superlatives.
Click on the book title to read our full reviews.
Book that gave me the biggest belly-laughs:
Erin: Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall
Just describing scenes from this book five months after reading it, I was still able to make myself laugh so hard I cried and couldn’t speak real words.
Holly: The Gift by Julie Garwood
This book is utterly ridiculous. She destroys his big scary pirate ship with her parasol collection. By accident. It is also a tropetastic bodice ripper that doesn’t take itself seriously. I had a blast reading it.
Ingrid: Sin and Chocolate by K.F. Breene
My post is forthcoming, but I have to say it–It’s The Demigods of San Francisco Series by K.F. Breene. I laughed, I cried, I delayed my move by at least three days because I couldn’t put it down.
Book most likely to make me ugly cry:
Erin: If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane
Overcoming grief, letting go of the past, and growing with a partner who really cares is totally killer.
Holly: Paradise Cove by Jenny Holiday
These characters have massive grief to deal with, but the way Holiday slowly unpacks it just had me sobbing the whole time (except when I was laughing) – and it builds to a black moment that is a doozy.
Ingrid: Finding Joy by Adriana Herrera
The heroes in this book were so memorable and so tender and pure that my poor heart couldn’t handle it in the absolute best way.
Book most likely to make me text the other smut-reporters because “what did I just read?!?!?!”:
Erin: Cathian by Laurann Dohner
She’s propositioned to have sex with the captain for six days because he’s IN HEAT and he needs female hormones, and HE GETS THEM BY GOING DOWN ON HER CONSTANTLY, AND HE CAN’T ORGASM UNTIL HE’S EATEN HER OUT FOR SIX DAYS, and then he orgasms for, like, 4 hours.
Holly: Forbidden Desire: Kidnapped by an Alien Sex Goddess by Robin Lovett
She has three clitorises and also heals people with her magical orgasms. But also, I did a lot of “WTF?!?!” texting because she’s polyamorous (lives on a sex planet!) until she gets with a human, and humans are by definition monogamous and…that is a choice.
Ingrid: A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole
All I have to say is: Vampire Blow Job.
Book that inspired the ranty-est rant:
Erin: Vitality by Crysta Levere
This is a dark “romance” that doesn’t make any sense at all and yanked me along for 400 pages only to result in…NOTHING BECAUSE THEY DON’T END UP TOGETHER.
Holly: Indian Prince’s Hidden Son by Lynne Graham
Between the constant reminders that this Indian Prince has ice blue wolf eyes and the heroine who decides that losing her virginity immediately after her father’s funeral is the most meaningful moment of her life and a phrase so bad that it inspired it’s very own post, we can safely say that this one didn’t work for me on any level.
Ingrid: Be Your Anything by Jillian Liota
I had virtually no rants this year–but this was my only DNF. I’m all for messy characters, but messy characters should still have good values and I had a hard time seeing them in what I read of this book.
Book most likely to make me fan myself:
Erin: Fire In His Blood by Ruby Dixon
Don’t judge me: This enormous dragon man-thing has a tongue like a cat, and he likes to use it. A lot.
Holly: Hate Crush by Angelina M. Lopez
Look, there is emotionally complicated hate sex, but what really got me was the dirty talk.
Ingrid: By a Thread by Lucy Score
Good lord, this grumpy sunshine makes me fan myself when I so much as read the title.
Book that gave me the biggest heart eyes:
Erin: Love Hard by Nalini Singh
Jacob is just the most perfect book boyfriend, but I couldn’t take him for myself because he and Jules are so perfect together.
Holly: Wanted, A Gentleman by KJ Charles
When I finished this book, I held it close to my chest and just sat quietly for a moment and was utterly content.
Ingrid: Pursued by the Rake by Mary Lancaster
This was such a sweet, pure, fun read and I had to take a few days off reading afterwards because I just needed to wallow in the afterglow.