May 10 2013 12:00pm

Get Crackin’!: Addictive Romances from Ashley, Michaels, and Kelly

Motorcycle Man by Kristen AshleyHave you ever read a book that you thought was crazy, but loved it anyway? Has something ever happened in a book that made you raise your eyebrows and ask yourself: “Did that really just happen?” Did you then go check out the author because you wanted to know if she had more books you could read as soon as possible? You might’ve read a crack romance, a book that seemed oddly different but totally captured your imagination. With the advent of self-publishing, crack romances abound. I am a huge fan of these books and try to read as many as possible. I often live tweet them in order to amuse and/or horrify my followers.

Kristen Ashley, author of titles like Motorcycle Man and Dream Man, may be the quintessential crack romance author. She suddenly appeared on the romance reviewer/blogger scene and readers either loved or hated her. I, myself, was hooked by Tack, the anti-hero of Motorcycle Man who uses phrases like “Get me?” repeatedly and heads up a motorcycle club. In the book Knight, the hero is a pimp, and he likes for the heroine to call him daddy. But Ashley is just one example.

Eye of the Storm by Monette MichaelsYou may never have heard of Monette Michaels, author of Eye of the Storm and several other romantic suspense novels. But she knows how to spin a tall tale that can keep me glued to my ereader even as she has my head spinning uncontrollably. Keely, a 21 year old Renaissance woman with 3 doctorates who is a consultant for the NSA, is Eye of the Storm’s heroine. When she gets intelligence that her brother’s op (the brother’s nickname is Tweetie, by the way) is in trouble, she travels alone to South America to save his posterior. Oddly, she is qualified to fly a helicopter into the jungle and help rescue her brother because she went to BUDs (military) training and would have passed if she wasn’t outed as a female when she stopped to help a fellow trainee. Oh, and one can’t forget that she is a very capable sniper.

If all this doesn’t scream crack to you, I bet this next part will. When Keely arrives to rescue Tweetie, she meets his buddy Ren—and sparks fly. Keely is more than intrigued, especially by the size of his manhood. She knows the dimensions of his male member because she hacked into his CIA file—and the CIA files record this measurement for posterity. This isn’t an odd fixation for our heroine because she is also quite aware of the dimensions of all of her brothers’ members. Seriously. But, of course, she is a virgin, so she has no first-hand experience.

Falling for Sir by Cat KellyThen there is Cat Kelly’s Falling for Sir, a BDSM erotic romance that I will never, ever forget. Marianne has never had a non-self-induced orgasm and decides that the way to resolve this problem is to have herself auctioned off to a Dom at a club. See, she is almost 30 and has a “neglected clitoris problem.” Masquerading as Claudia, our heroine is purchased by a well-endowed man for a night of pleasure. Because she doesn’t know the man’s name, Claudia refers to him as Mr. Woody. She also refers to her own lady bits as “Claudia the Clitoris.” I enjoyed this book even though some of the language was very cracktastic.

Books like these make me smile, even as they sometimes make me cringe. Either way, I actually get antsy if it has been awhile since my last crack read. Fortunately, I have a dedicated group of Twitter friends who are always ready to suggest another one – and I can always find some in my Amazon recommendations, on Goodreads’ list or by browsing All Romance eBooks.

Do you have any good crack romance recommendations?


Jennifer Porter, a mild-mannered librarian by day, runs the review site Romance Novel News and is a compulsive romance reader. She has a tendency to live tweet her craziest reads as @JenniferRNN.

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
1. BeretBrenckman
I didn't understand the cracktasticness of Ashley for a long time. I kept seeing bloggers talking about her and just couldn't bring myself to read anything. Then I gave in and purchased "Motorcycle Man" and I'm hooked like a rug. Wow, I thought Nora Roberts wrote crack but Ashley blows her out of the water as far as crack goes. In just a few short weeks I read every book in e"print" and loved them all! Now I reread them!
Megan Frampton
2. MFrampton
I have read some "crack" romance, and I like it--but then I tend to feel dirty after, and have to cleanse myself with some more highbrow stuff. I have no idea why I make that judgment call, it feels snobby. Some stuff is just too silly for me to tolerate, but I do like hearing about what others have read.
Liliane Menard
3. LilianeBM
My crack reading is diverse, thanks the goddess for my ereader ;)
Of course Ashley is on it, Moira Rogers/Kit Rocha, Lauren Dane, newly discovered Vivian Arend. Needless to say that my habit has become costly but still healthy
4. JenniferPorter
Crack is addictive! I agree about silly stuff, however, sometimes silly is just what I need to read.
Liz Semkiu
5. Liz Semkiu
Love Monette Michaels stories, especially her SSI and Prime series! If you haven't read about how Keely had her baby, go to her website and download the two short stories for free.
6. Shark with Lasers
You have hit upon the reason I love Lifetime movies (the ones that aren't headline based). It's not enough that the heroine is dumped into one bad situation, she suddenly has a completely different sort of bad situation thrown in there for kicks. Like the one where the heroine is lost in the mountains and all of the sudden a serial killer is there too. Or the one where the heroine's evil stalker turns out to be a straight up ghost. Crackalicious.
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