Like all avid readers, I'm always on the lookout for new-to-me authors, preferably ones with a backlist of titles that I can tear through like a hot knife through butter.
Even better are the authors who deliver consistent high-quality reads within a series. Whether it's continuing characters from book to book (like our own Nic's Jamie and Barrett or J. D. Robb's Eve Dallas and Roarke) or something else that holds the series together - a threat to society, a small town community, a family saga - there is something addictive about returning to the a specific world to get your fix.
The peeps over at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books send out an email on Fridays with a round up of romances that are sale (if you don't already subscribe, I totally recommend you do!). A couple of weeks ago, they recommended the first in a series by Kit Rocha called Beyond Shame. It sounded intriguing enough to give it a try...and at the time it was free (and as of today, it looks like it's still free). Nothing to lose but a little time if I didn't like it, right?
Nothing to lose but every single free minute from the last two weeks.
I read book 1. I devoured book 2. I bought the series bundles (there are three) and pre-ordered book 7. Today, I'm mourning the fact that book 8 doesn't come out until idon'tknowwhenboohoohoo.
Hot knife through butter.
So what caught me? Well, interestingly, it wasn't the sex. Which is plentiful (as befits an erotica) and h-o-t (ditto).
No, it was the community. Rocha builds a society of misfits who come together in adversity to build a family that isn't beholden to doing anything "the old way." Unlike in the ubiquitous motorcycle club titles on the market or some of the BDSM-leaning romance I've read, the protagonists in Rocha's books are fighting to make their world a level playing field for men and women. These stories aren't about humiliation, or playing by some set of hard and fast rules, or even equality.
Ultimately, for me, Rocha's world is about human dignity.
That sounds pretty heavy and I promise, it's not. If you simply want to read about a group of hard drinking booze smugglers who like to fight and have a lot of filthy, fun sex, you're in luck. You can have exactly that read. If you're interested in something a little more, a bit richer, well, damn, you've got a twofer going here, because it's not hard to glean Rocha's message of positive gender politics while enjoying a series of well written, whip-smart romance.
Have you read Rocha? Are there other series or authors you've sucked down in big greedy gulps?