This month, funny New Adult (at last!), nice girls masquerading as bad girls, and losing the V-card all take center stage.
My favorite new author of New Adult, and maybe my favorite author of the year, is Cora Carmack. She breathes a light-hearted and fun breath into the sometimes angst-ridden and dark air that is New Adult. Faking It, the sequel to Losing It, features Cade and Max. Max is in desperate need of a fake boyfriend for Thanksgiving weekend when her parents make an unexpected trip to her Philadelphia home. Who could her willing victim be but none other than Cade, who we last saw broken-hearted and bruised after his feelings weren’t returned in Losing It?
Max is tattooed, dyed, pierced and the lead singer of a successful band. Cade couldn’t be more opposite, looking more like a boy next door turned catalogue model, and a graduate student in the city. Somehow, the two work out and instead of reforming her, this good boy helps this bad girl accept her bad girl ways.
Another punk rocker chick features in Danielle Torella’s Private Message. After being nearly raped at a rock concert as a teen, Tess concentrated her college years on her art and photography rather than her social life. One night though, she heads to a chatroom/bar (yes, in the Age of Social Media, that’s become a thing, in fiction at least) and meets Ben. He’s a ladies’ man to the core, but can’t crack Tess. He’s intrigued—and so is she. With many hurdles to jump in their new relationship, Tess and Ben must find a way around them in order to be together.
Forbidden love features in one of the most anticipated titles on this list with H.M. Ward’s Damaged 2. Readers last left Sidney as she left school to see her mother and estranged family. Damaged is the lightest of words that could be used for Sidney’s family. Broken, twisted, and unsupportive could be a few more. With her professor-turned-boyfriend, Peter, at her side, Sidney faces her family and finds love with Peter in the conclusion to their story.
J.C. Reed’s Conquer Your Love left me wanting to be a real estate agent, if only it meant meeting a “six foot two sex god.” Brooke and Jett get a second chance at love in this book, which borders on the bubble of the age group New Adult is supposed to represent.
Being Me by Lisa Renee Jones gives us a steamy look at New Adult in the final book in the Inside Out Trilogy. Sara is still on the hunt for Rebecca, the owner of the erotic journals which both fuel Sara’s fantasies and endanger her sense of self. However, things still heat up outside of the journals with Sara’s lover, Chris.
Another series finale features in Forever Too Far, the final book in the Too Far series by Abbi Glines. Blair and Rush’s happily ever after is threatened when Rush feels torn between his love of Blair and the love of his family. Glines weaves together a great story that leaves you sad to see the series end, but happy to have experienced it.
I love it when a bad man is brought low. Jack of J. Sterling’s The Game Changer wasn’t necessarily “bad” when we first met him, but he certainly had a lot of growing up to do. From the cocky attitude towards life to the way he treated women, Jack needed to be put in his place and Cassie did it in the best way possible—with love. As the only girl who has managed to avoid the rising baseball players charms, Cassie had a lot to contend with in the first book, Playing the Game, including Jack’s infidelity. The couple have to fight back from the edge, but in they have to learn to fight for each other and that love is worth it all.
Two celebrities feature in Jessie M.’s White and Black and Dara Bowman’s Bad for Me. In Bad for Me, Dom, a rockstar, is everything Annie doesn’t want or need in her life, but they feel an inexplicable attraction (my favorite kind!) toward one another. In a very '90s-comedy fashion, Dom and Annie learn that their parents are getting married and they’ll be forced to be with each for better or worse—which is just what they need to get the fires going!
Jessie M.’s Devlin is a celebrity of a different kind. As a martial arts star, the lifestyle of work hard, play hard is starting to weigh heavily on him (poor baby!). Ella is dealing with responsibilities she can’t hope to juggle but Devlin is about just might be what she needs.
Jase in The Impact of You by Kendall Ryan has also grown tired of the party scene as he hides from a family full of issues. What seems to be the cure is a girl with more issues than him, as he becomes the self-appointed life coach to Avery, but Avery teaches Jase as much as he teaches her.
Another bad boy in serious need of reigning in is Cheryl McIntyre’s Park in Before Now. Park is dealing with a broken heart and how is any bad boy with a functioning libido supposed to deal with it but to sleep with as many girls as possible. This is a rule he’ll have to break if he wants Lucy. Unfortunately the friend he’s living with has one rule for him too—stay away from Lucy. One problem Lucy won’t stay away from him and sees past all the booze and bimbos. Sometimes you might choke on the angst Park and Lucy bring to the table, but if you’re willing to weather that storm then the read is definitely worth it!
Finally, April Adams has to choose between Isaac Sharpe, the hottest guy on campus, and Lukas Roberts, her best friend and “security blanket” (pretty sure that’s a worse sentence than being nice) in Karli Perrin’s April Showers.
What New Adult did you read in June? What’s something you’re wanting to see in the genre?
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.