As many a bibliophile can understand, it’s a big decision to begin incorporating digital books into your library. On the one hand, a book is a book, is a book. But on the other, it’s an acknowledgement that the literary industry is, indeed, evolving and in order to adapt, you’ve got to keep up.
(The first e-book I bought when I got a Kindle for Christmas 2009 was Julie Garwood’s Sizzle. We turned on the device, plugged it in, and BAM! there it was. Now I’m hooked.)
E-books come in every genre imaginable. You can download the first chapter for free to see if you want to try something new, which is nice. My husband is an expert first chapter dude; I think he spends his days stopping at the phrase “Chapter Two,” and wondering how stories end. But in the romance industry, there’s been a surge in erotic literature. It’s much easier to read the juicier stuff when you’re not having to hide the book covers from the prying eyes of your children and strangers on public transportation. And e-books are a wonderful way to discover new authors. I read so quickly that I can work my way through an entire backlist in a matter of weeks. And then where am I?
Here are a few authors and great stories I’ve discovered by rolling the dice of fate on the Google machine.
I found a great new book, and a great new author, with Avery Flynn’s Up A Dry Creek. Her sarcastic, smart humor really shines here, despite the fact that it’s a good suspense. It’s also different, because our hero, Jake Warrick, happens to be tough, sexy and capable without being a Navy SEAL. Imagine that! But he’s also infuriating, challenging, and crazy about Claire. A winning combination, for sure.
Denise Agnew: I really love her sexy, contemporary suspense, and I ran across her when I was looking around on Ellora’s Cave and found The Dare. When you combine a “mousy and boring,” sheltered woman like Bella and move her in next to a self-confident, sexy detective like Luca, who’s on the trail of a serial killer, you’ve got the right combination for sexy suspense. And I like how Agnew introduces the two characters: Luca’s fallen asleep on the chaise lounge outside and is dreaming…erotically…and he wakes to find Bella’s eye peeking out at him from a knothole in the wooden fence.
“A crash and a cry of pain, and then curse came to his ears. Worry vaulted through him, and he hurried to the connecting door in the fence. He unlatched the door, opened it, and rushed through.”
Elle Kennedy has a great Out of Uniform Series featuring, you guessed it, soldiers. Sigh, but they’re great, quick reads that’ll get your heart racing. Heat it Up: Out of Uniform (book 4) is my favorite, because I really like Jane Harrison. At first, she seems so self-confident and pushy in her pursuit of an interview with Navy SEAL Thomas Becker, who saved her sister, but when he balks at the spotlight, she backs off and agrees to leave him alone. But one fateful elevator ride later, where we see her vulnerable claustrophobia trying to defeat her, it soon becomes evident that Becker may not want to be left alone after all.
I love Jo Davis’s Fire Fighters of Station Five series, but ran across her Shado Agency series online last year. I bought I Spy A Wicked Sin first and really enjoyed it. How can you not buy a book with this line in the description:
“After a mysterious accident, he’s lost all memory of his former life, and embraces his new identity as a hedonistic artist.”
Duh. But turns out it was really good, so I bought the next one in the series, I Spy A Naughty Game. I’m not easily embarrassed or shocked, but I’m also not a big fan of BDSM…while the public sex scenario is intriguing, I have NO interest at all in being held down. But this second Shado series story is really entrenched in that BDSM lifestyle, and the main character, Blaze, is bisexual.I know, you’re giggling at the name like I did. But in this instance, I’m happy to report that two penises are much better than one. Grrrrowl.
Collateral Damage (Silent Warrior, Book 1), by Jennifer St. Giles (writing as J. L. Saint) blew me away. AWOL Delta Force soldiers, terrorist missles, partial memory loss, sexy sex, emotional turmoil, and Chuck E. Cheese? OMG, it has my name written all over it.
Here are some other great books to get on your new e-readers:
· Tempting Alibi, by Savannah Stuart (great opening scene!)
· Cajun Hot, by Nikita Black (“In the primitive wilds of the South Louisiana swamps …” GASP!)
· Sweet Revenge, by Nina Bruhns
· How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf, by Molly Harper (also in print, and very fun)
· Seal of My Dreams, from Stephanie Bond, et. al. I love anthology collections on my e-reader because you get a lot of bang for your buck, so to speak. And it’s great to take to the gym, where you can read one of the stories while you’re on the bike.
If you’ve read any of these stories, or decide to check them out, let me know what you think. And please make sure to leave suggestions for everyone else!
Dolly Sickles is a Southerner with a lifelong penchant for storytelling. Her Secret Squirrel identity is Dolly Sickles, but she also writes romance as Becky Moore, and in the spring of 2012, her first children’s book will be published as Dolly Dozier. She’s an avid reader of all literature, but she takes refuge in the romance genre, where despite the most grandiose, exhilarating, strange, and unlikely plot that’s out there, every story has a happy ending.