This month, the burgeoning new adult genre continues to expand. The best seller lists possess more variety, as new adult authors mix it up and cater to an increasingly diverse audience. As a result, readers can sample from a multiplicity of intriguing plot lines—from suspenseful to erotic to heartwarming.
First, there are the books that make your heart pound. They're filled to the brim with danger and suspense. It's not just a question of whether or not the main characters' love will survive but if they will survive. In One Day, which is the third and final installment in The Private Club series by J.S. Cooper and Helen Cooper, the heroine Meg works at a club owned by a wealthy, mysterious man named Greyson. Meg isn't sure that she can trust Greyson, and her worst fears seem to be confirmed when her roommate Nancy goes missing. Similarly, in Fierce by Nina Levine, an innocent country girl named Harlow falls for the vice president of a motorcycle club. Scott is a dangerous man with a checkered past, but when Harlow's life is suddenly in danger, he may be the only one who can save her. Finally, Unravel by Calia Read is a psychological thriller about a young woman named Naomi trapped in a psychiatric ward and told that she's crazy for believing that she has a lover named Max. Is she crazy, or is there a more sinister plot at work? Naomi's questionable reliability as a narrator kept readers enthralled and flipping pages.
Second, there are the highly erotic books that draw reader comparisons to Fifty Shades of Grey. New adult novels have always been sexy, but these stories turn the heat up a few degrees. Destroyed by Pepper Winters (who also writes adult erotica) features a tortured hero named Obsidian Fox who runs a secret fight club where very bad things happen. When he spots Hazel, a beautiful young woman with a sad past, he feels instantly drawn to her and knows that he has to have her. Hazel fights Fox's dominating ways, but she wants to save him and savor him as much as she wants to push him away. In Ruined by Tracy Wolff, the heroine Chloe is an emotionally damaged law student who fights her attraction to Ethan Frost, a wealthy CEO who's also her boss for the summer. Despite Chloe's reservations about starting a relationship with anyone, Ethan will stop at nothing to possess her. Readers commented that the BDSM elements were mild, but the sex scenes were nonetheless very hot.
Third, there are the stories featuring gifted, tattooed musicians who communicate their soul through their art. In Toxic by Rachel Van Dyken, the hero Gabe comes across as a bit of a jerk, but his passionate, raw piano playing hints at his inner depths. Saylor, who meets Gabe when they start volunteering at the same group home, is also a musician, and she wants to learn to play like him. As they spend time together, Saylor and Gabe start to fall for each other, and he reveals his tortured past and a secret that could destroy them both. In Back-Up by A.M. Madden, the heroine Leila feels like her dreams are finally coming true when she's hired by Jack Lair, the lead singer of the rock band Devil's Lair, to sing back-up for his band. As they practice together and start to tour together, Jack and Leila can't fight their attraction to each other, but a mistake from Jack's past could bring an end to their newfound love. Finally, Falling Under by Jasinda Wilder, the third in the Falling series, is set in the future—seventeen years after Falling Into You—and it tells the story of Nell and Colt's daughter Kylie, who is sweet, innocent, and musically talented. She meets a tattooed, brooding musician named Oz at college, and she wants to save him and make his pain go away. Musical references and music lyrics abound.
Fourth, there are the stories that deal with grief and those who find love in the midst of it—or even because of it. In Full Measures by Rebecca Yarros, twenty-year-old Ember has to pull her family together when her soldier father dies and her mother is grief-stricken and unable to function. Her next-door neighbor Josh, who's also a sexy hockey player, tries to help her manage everything, and they begin a relationship together. Unfortunately, Josh has a secret that could rip Ember and him apart. This Regret by Victoria Ashley features another grieving heroine named Phoenix who has spent eight years struggling to pull her life together after the tragic death of her brother. She encounters her brother's former best friend Kellan in a tattoo shop, however, and he's harboring a secret with the power to destroy her newfound peace. Finally, nineteen-year-old Mikki, the heroine of Black Box by Cassia Leo, isn't just grieving—she's suicidal. She flies to L.A. to kill herself and encounters the hero Crush, who's a musician, in Terminal B at the airport. During their time together, they realize that their lives have intertwined before in very significant ways, and she finds a reason to live again.
Finally, all readers crave a happily ever after, and some of the most inspiring novels are about redemption. Flawed characters are gifted with a second chance for love and happiness. In Forgive Me by Ashley Beale, twenty-four-year old Lexi returns to her hometown in Texas with her nine-year-old son in tow to beg forgiveness from her ex-boyfriend Zander for keeping his child a secret. Zander still has feelings for Lexi, despite her betrayal, but his impending marriage threatens their chance of a happily ever after. On a lighter note, Mallory, the heroine of The Hazards of a One Night Stand by Alyssa Rose Ivy, hooked up with her first boyfriend's younger brother Colt when they were in high school, never expecting to see him again. When he shows up at college looking for a second chance, however, she'll have to stop avoiding her past and all her painful memories, which she'd rather forget, in order to embrace a new love with Colt that could last forever.
What flavor of New Adult books are you reading this month?
Brittany is a freelance writer, aspiring novelist and small business owner who hopes that heaven will be like a bookstore with an endless supply of free books, free coffee and super comfy chairs.