Sep 10 2013 11:00am

Like Sons of Anarchy’s Jax Teller? Here’s What to Read

News of Charlie Hunnam's casting as Christian Grey in the filmed version of E.L. James's Fifty Shades of Grey only increased excitement for tonight's premiere of the sixth season of Sons of Anarchy.

While we wait, we thought we'd share some book recommendations that featured motorcycle clubs, or heroes (anti-heroes?) like Hunnam's character Jax Teller on SOA.

First off, you cannot overlook Kit Rocha's Beyond series. Set in a dystopian future, the only world readers experience is the one similar to inside the Sons of Anarchy's clubhouse. It's gritty, raw, sexual, pained, angsty, and has very flawed characters who are also compelling to watch move through their difficult lives. Looking for Jax? You can find a piece of him in O'Kane gang leader, and king of Sector Four, Dallas O'Kane. In his book, Beyond Control, we see the fine line Dallas must walk to maintain his sector and gain power without destroying the relationship he has with the uninhibited and strong Lex.

Then there's Julie Ann Walker's Black Knights Inc. series. In a post on Walker, Robin Bradford comments on a memorable scene, “It is harsh and powerful and brilliant. And horrible. If you prefer your violence off screen, just know this book may not be for you.” The series is also wickedly sexy, and its larger-than-life alpha heroes know what they want—and take it.

Fire Inside by Kristen AshleyKristen Ashley's books are equally dirty with blue collar heroes who don't always know how to say what they mean, but they sure do show it. It was with her Chaos series, featuring members of the Choas Motorcycle Club that Ashley shot to fame, however her alpha anti-heroes permeate all of her books. The heroes are always demanding, bossy, and sexy as hell. In her Dream Man series, we are introduced to heroes like Cabe “Hawk” Delgado, neighbor-turned-protector-turned-lover Mitch Lawson, and the unforgettable Kane “Tack” Allen. Sometimes the heroes' actions are hard to swallow and the women seem like they've been steam-rolled, but as Tori Benson wrote in her post on The Cracktacular Appeal of Kristen Ashley and Her Anti-Heroes: “The majority of the stories Ms. Ashley writes revolve around the heroine and her need to find herself. Usually the heroine has been through a bad relationship. She meets the hero, who is a complete arse, and begins the painful journey of learning to stand on her own two feet.”

Defiance by Stephanie TylerThere's something about dystopia and motorcycle clubs that seem to go perfectly together because Stephanie Tyler's Defiance series also combines the two. The violence, both within the gang and towards women, is very real, but in Tyler's first book in the series, Defiance, Tru Tennyson, the daughter of the club's enforcer, and Caspar, the bastard son of the club leader, try to make change—which wouldn't be easy even if they weren't dealing with a post-apocalyptic world. In Jennifer Porter's First Look of the book, she said: “These two bring hope for a better way of life, although not an entirely less violent one.”

For New Adult's answer to Kristen Ashley, there's C.M. Stunich's Losing Me, Finding You, the first book in the Triple M Series. In the May New Adult Roundup, Jennifer Proffitt fell in love with Amy, a romance novel lover with more book boyfriends than actual friends, and Austin, the badass biker who sweeps her away from her conservtive small-town and into the Triple M Motorcycle club where “the lines of the law are blurry, the bikers are tough, and the action is explosive.” Austin is just as rough and tough as Jax but always puts Amy first.


Megan Frampton is the Community Manager for the HeroesandHeartbreakers site. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband and son.

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.

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1. CarrieB
If you really want the dark and grittiness that is SOA, I strongly recommend the Trinity Falls series by Mara McBain. It hits all the right notes - strong characters (yes, even the women), badass biker brotherhood, family ties and some hot lovin'.

The romances take somewhat of a backseat to the story (just like SOA) but the story is fast paced and engaging that you won't mind.
Lege Artis
2. LegeArtis
Great post. I'll just jump in to recommend excellent Undeniable series by Madeline Sheehan. There are two books out (Undeniable and Unbeautifully) with third one coming out in November. This series is the closest to SoA for me. I absolutely love it.
4. Torifl
I have to ditto on the Trinity Falls series by Mara McBain. Also, Joanna Wylde's Reaper series.

Crystal Spears Breakneck series is a bit on the drama silly side but enjoyable.
Nicole Leapheart
5. BoxyFrown
Madeline Sheehan's series is a must read! Hers is the best series out of the ones I have read so far(and an auto-buy). A close second is the Reapers MC series by Joanna Wylde, the first book being Reaper's Property. I can't wait for the second book to come out. There is also The Last Riders series by Jamie Begley, the first in that series is Razer's Ride. (Can you tell I love MC books?)
Jennifer rape
6. jennifermr
Don't forget... Kim Jones 'Saving Dallas' (can not wait for book #2)... and Maegan Lynn Moores ' Sweet Ride'... these are not as dark as Undeniable... but they are still yummy. The male leads are based on Jax... need I say more.
Nicole Leapheart
7. BoxyFrown
Oooh I hadn't heard of Kim Jones' Saving Dallas, that looks awesome. Another on the TBR pile-but high up on the list ;)
8. CL Swartz
I am so sad that I've already read all these books, in the post and the recommended ones. I agree, Madeline Sheehan's series was the best. I am a huge Biker Romance fan. Love them. The badder and darker, the better.
9. cocopuff
Another one to check out is Outlaw by Nicole James.
10. Viperval
Is there somebody who can tell me if these books exist in french? I can't read english usually :-(
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