Monday, March 7, 2016

In Which Keely Fangirls over Kit Rocha and the Magic of Series in Romance

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?


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  2. I'm a fan of the Beyond Series, precisely because of that. The writing is good, the sex scenes are amazing, the characters are well-developed, the books are fun to read, but above all that, they have created an amazingly interesting and human world for us readers to devour. Getting all of those things I've mentioned from just one book or just one erotica series sounds like too much to ask, but I believe this writing duo manages to pull it off as if it were an easy thing. Reading a new book from the Beyond Series feels like using your favorite blanket. You know you're going to love it and it will feel like coming home.

    1. Exactly!! Snuggling up for a good time and knowing you won't be disappointed. That's the promise...and the delivery.

  3. I have not read that before, but I do love reading. Jodi Picoult is one of my favorite authors.

    1. We can author swap! I haven't read Jodi Picoult yet either!

  4. Hi, Keely,

    Rocha is new to me. Thanks for the suggestion. (And for the Jamie and Barrett shout out!) I, too, love the Smart Bitches emails. They're always full of good stuff!

    I can't get enough of Maureen Johnson's Shades of London series. It's YA about a weird twist to the world, but I love the characters, their connection to one another, and even the heart-wrenching histories a couple of them have. Plus, they're working hard to make the world a better place for the living and those that have crossed over. Lots is compassion in those books! And I love 'em.

  5. I'll check Johnson out. Sounds like a great series!! While I don't need it in every book I read (or write), I find I'm drawn to stories and series with an end goal of saving/improving the world. Not sanctimoniously, but because the characters have a vision of something better and act to bring it about. Cool stuff, and it sounds like Shades of London would fill that yen!