Keep Me, but today I'm focusing on books by other authors that I think you'll all like.
On more than one occasion I've blogged about how much I love Ruthie Knox, and I'm about to do it again. It's for your own good, though, because right now her awesome book About Last Night is only 99 cents. I cannot recommend this book enough. It's so hot and fun and well-written, and I suspect it will make you a fan of her for life. In any case, it's such a good deal that it can't hurt to check it out.
But I'm not done. I just finished the New Adult book Deeper, which Ruthie Knox wrote under the name Robin York, and the second I was done reading it I wanted to start it over again. It's got a great hero and heroine and a believable – albeit painful – storyline about Caroline, a sophomore in college whose ex-boyfriend posts pictures he took of her during sex. The book begins shortly after that happens and traces how Caroline deals with it and the relationship she forms with West, a guy she's been attracted to since he lived across the hall from her freshman year. Caroline is a great character, smart but vulnerable and very relatable, and West is a sexy, complicated hero with whom you will immediately fall in love. It's delicious and I love it so. The sequel will be out in July.
Now, to be perfectly frank (and to prove I'm not a paid spokeswoman for this author), there are a couple of Knox's romances that didn't blow me away, but most of them have been stellar, and I love her combination of depth, humor, and incredible sex scenes. Really, she has the whole package. The books that didn't blow me away were still better than the majority of romances out there.
For those fans of Pride and Prejudice, I recommend the book Longbourn, by Jo Baker. It's a brilliant re-telling of the Jane Austen story from the point of view of the servants. Only to call it a re-telling does it a disservice, because the main characters are the servants and the main narrative is the romance involving Sarah, one of the Longbourn servants, and a mysterious man who joins the household. Sarah's romance unfolds at the same time as Elizabeth's and Jane's, which we see in a peripheral way. We see plenty of the Bennetts, though, and everything that happens aligns perfectly with Pride and Prejudice while also showing the Bennett family in another light. Nothing Baker does contradicts what Jane Austen created, but she widens the perspective. For instance, what she shows us of Mrs. Bennett makes her a more sympathetic character and her irritating ways understandable. Likewise with Mary, whereas Mr. Bennett gets a backstory that shows him to be just as weak as Jane Austen wrote him, though in ways other than we already know about.
What's interesting about this story is that although the period details feel right, the fact that it's written from a servant's perspective means that you get a rougher, earthier version of this Regency romance we all know and love. I have to admit, it probably did change the way I think about the Jane Austen characters, but I love the depth it gave to them, and the sort of behind the scenes version we get of their life.
Have recommendations for me? I'd love to hear them!