Bad boys, musicians, and one-night stands filled up the New Adult roster this month. While reading this month, I realized this new subgenre can have appeal to people who are leery of the sometimes angst-ridden and always sexy world that is New Adult. As Lucy Dosch mentioned in her article on the Role Models of New Adult (or lack thereof), we see a lot of 20-somethings dealing with raising their young siblings, parents with addiction, and coming to terms with who they are becoming as people. While this is still the case in the May 2013 releases, the characters still find the time to find love and have a good romp and even make each other, and us, laugh.
The biggest release in New Adult this month, by far, goes to Samantha Young’s Down London Road, the sequel to On Dublin Street—a book in my opinion which is almost single-handedly responsible for bringing New Adult fully into the genre’s attention. Jo Walker is raising her teenage brother all while working two jobs and trying to keep her mother’s severe alcoholism a secret. She meets Cam, her downstairs neighbor and fellow bartender and allows herself to let someone in and see the life she’s leading. The two have explosive chemistry and a heartfelt connection that landed this book on my Best of 2013 list.
The pair have many hurdles to cross, the least of which being that they are both in relationships at the beginning of the book (don’t worry, no infidelity, just lots of yearning).
In Beautiful Stranger, the original backdrop for the couple is also a bar. The sequel to Christina Lauren’s Beautiful Bastard has Chloe’s best friend Sara moving to New York City to take a job. As the pair celebrate Chloe’s engagement to Bennet, Sara see a (you guessed it) beautiful stranger across the bar and has naughty anonymous bar sex with him. Lo and behold, this sexy stranger is Bennet’s former college roommate and fellow New York heavy weight, Max Stella. The pair indulge in a no-strings attached and quite exhibitionist love affair. What started as a purely physical relationship soon becomes much more.
Erin McCarthy takes on the pesky issue of virginity in True. Rory’s roommates find out that she’s still a virgin and while they are wild party girls, Rory is a studious pre-med student. She does have one weakness and that’s for bad boy Tyler. Tyler always seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, but when it comes to Rory that’s hardly the case. The couple is sweet and like Jo in Down London Road, Tyler must find the balance between protecting his young siblings (one of which has Down’s Syndrome) and dealing with an addict as a parent. Tiffany Tyer believes McCarthy may have found her niche in New Adult and her foray into the genre certainly left me wanting more of Tyler and Rory’s story as well as the forthcoming story of the other members of their group.
Love at any age is a challenge, but in Kristen Proby’s Rock With Me, Samantha Williams already knows that love with a celebrity is even harder. In the case of Sam the love was with her famous brother Luke and she’s done with celebrities. That doesn’t stop Nash front man Leo Nash from pursuing her. If you’re looking for funny New Adult, this book definitely has some scenes that will have you clutching your stomach with laughter.
Another musician makes the list only instead of rock and roll, Kylie Quinn is looking to hit it big in the country music scene of Nashville in Caisey Quinn’s Girl with Guitar. Kylie’s father has recently died and her stepmother has kicked her out of the house they shared. With nothing but a guitar and a dream (and the necessary bus ticket), Kylie gets a job as a waitress to save money to record a demo and gets a big break when she’s asked to tour with country superstar Trace Corbin. Unfortunately, as Kylie’s star is rising, Trace’s is going down the drain one drink at a time, but not if Kylie has anything to do about it.
While Sam in Rock With Me has to deal with her perceptions of fame, Amy in C.M. Stunich’s Losing Me, Finding You has to deal with her own perceptions of life in her conservative town versus the perceptions of the motorcycle club she wants to join in order to leave it. Amy also has many book-boyfriends from the romance novels she reads (we can relate to that!) but even they can’t compete with the way she feels about MC member, Austin. Amy and Austin have explosive chemistry and are pretty perfect balances for one another. For fans of Sons of Anarchy, this is the New Adult answer—the lines of the law are blurry, the bikers are tough, and the action is explosive.
Finally, Stacey Wallace Benefiel takes on an unconventional romance when exuberant theater student Dani Walker meets class hottie, Liam Garrett in Crossing. This book is yet another to add to the slowly growing number of funny New Adult as “Plain Jane with a mouth” Dani shows you just what that means and has you cracking up along with Liam at her one-liners.
What New Adult did you read this month? Did you fall in love with any bikers or bad boys?
Jennifer Proffitt is a Midwest transplant to New York City. She spends most of her time reading and writing about romance, but you can follow her other adventures on Twitter @JennProffitt. She works for Heroes and Heartbreakers and Criminal Element.