Nobody escapes from childhood unscathed, and this month, the new adult novels feature heroes and heroines trying—and usually failing—to put their unhappy pasts behind them. From mobster families, to dead families, to absent and neglectful families, there's plenty of domestic drama to drive the plot. And by finding new loves, these scarred men and women can look forward to starting healthier families of their own.
Rachel Van Dyken's Entice, third in the Eagle Elite series, is a mafia-themed, marriage-of-convenience story. The heroine Mil De Lange recently took control of her mafia family, and she feels that marriage to her childhood sweetheart Chase Winter will cement her leadership. Chase, who feels guilty for the way he used her when they were younger, agrees to her proposition. Mil soon realizes that she might have gotten more than she bargained for with Chase, who is no longer a boy but an alpha male whom she simultaneously loves and hates. She struggles to reconcile her feelings and keep her family in line at the same time.
Keegan, the heroine of Bender by Stacy Borel, is a twenty-year-old nursing student who can't concentrate on her studies because of her dysfunctional family life. So she moves out of her childhood home and into an apartment with Camden, a sexy as hell gym owner with control issues. Keegan's got some issues of her own (particularly about her body image), but she doesn't let Camden push her around. As much as the roommates seem to despise each other, they can't deny their raw physical attraction, and since they already live together, it's even harder for them to keep their hands off of each other. As an added bonus, readers greatly enjoyed the gym sex.
Asher by Jo Raven features a hero and heroine who were childhood sweethearts. They grew up next door to each other and shared their first kiss, but tragedy tore them apart. When Audrey returns to town for college, Asher is still there, struggling with his anger over his relationship with his abusive father. If she can find some way to reach him, she might be able to save him from self-destructing. And he can save her from her grief over her own childhood tragedies. They're two tortured souls who get a second chance at a happily ever after.
After college, Anna Cortez, the heroine of Phenomenal X by Michelle Valentine, flees to her aunt's home in Michigan to get away from her controlling father. On the plane, she meets a famous wrestler named Xavier Cold, a.k.a. Phenomenal X, and they feel an instant connection. Instead of taking her to his bed, he decides to protect her—even from men like himself. When he hires her as his personal assistant, however, the boundary lines get blurred, particularly when they end up sharing a bed.
Liz Carmichael, the heroine of Pretty Instinct by S.E. Hall, is a musician travelling around the country with her uncle, foster brothers, and disabled younger brother. Her mother died, and her father betrayed them, so she feels responsible for her family. They're in desperate need of a guitar player, and they find Cannon Blackwell on a park bench. With some hesitation, she invites him into their inner circle, and slowly but surely, they begin to fall in love.
Faye, the heroine of Dragon's Lair by Chantal Fernando, is a law student from a good family. When her boyfriend cheats on her, she makes a mistake and has revenge sex with her ex's brother Dex. Dex is in a Motorcycle Club, and she definitely never viewed him as long-term mate potential, but then she ends up pregnant and kicked out of her house by her family. She seeks refuge with Dex and his MC, but adjusting to such a completely different lifestyle is more difficult than she ever anticipated. Plus, Dex has a secret that could tear him away from Faye and their unborn child.
In Satan's Property by Celia Loren, the heroine Violet Avery is a nursing student who's happy with her life and her marriage until her father, the president of the Devil's Army MC, dies and her husband Rooster takes over. Rooster has a dark side that Violet never anticipated, and he trades her to Satan's Sons MC as collateral. The members of Satan's Sons, who live in an abandoned lunatic asylum, have a reputation as sexual sadists. Violet is terrified of what her future might hold, but then she meets Drifter, a former soldier and a member of Satan's Sons who vows to protect Violet and claim her as his own.
What New Adult books are making you function a little better 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.