Also, what in the world do I mean by that title?
What are you looking for in a book? Do you always read a particular story-line (trope) or genre regardless of the author? Will you pick up anything by a certain author simply because you love their voice? Do you want the story to make you laugh? Cry? Keep you on tenterhooks till the last page (what are tenterhooks, anyway?)? Transport you to a different world? Do you love you some competence porn?
I read for all of these things, and I suspect you do too. There are certain tropes I love – friends to lovers, forbidden lovers (if it’s truly forbidden; BFF’s little sister doesn’t work for me) and second chance romance are some of my favorites. And that’s because I love angst. Lovelovelove it! I want the book to make me cry at the black moment or give me a stomach ache when I’m worried about the couple or make my skin prickle with goosebumps when something deeply emotional happens. And as for competence porn? A well-written restaurant kitchen or military setting are my catnip.
There are some authors who craft stories I adore, and they are my auto-buys. Even if every once in a while they write a book that I don’t completely fall in love with, I trust them and will always come back for the next book. Victoria Dahl, Sarah MacLean, Tessa Dare and Julie James are all on my one-click faves because their stories just draw you in.
And some authors I read because I like their voice. Bill Bryson is one of those. I don’t care what the topic of his book is, I’m gonna read it. And I’m gonna love it. And I’m gonna buy the next one. He’s this witty, sarcastic, clever combination of American brashness and British cheek that completely works for me. Alice Clayton writes what she calls “comedic erotica” and it’s fantastic. Her books aren’t necessarily deeply emotional and making me cry my own tears all over my Kindle, but I laugh out loud and can’t put her books down once I’ve started them. Mark Bowden, who wrote the book Black Hawk Down before the movie came out, is another voice I love. And Joanna Bourne produces gorgeous prose because she is intricately aware of and intentional with the language she uses throughout her books.
When I want to read all the emotions? Linda Howard, Julianna Keyes, Laura Florand, Cara McKenna, Cecilia Grant. Howard’s Cry No More makes me bawl my eyes out every. single. time. I read it, and yet I read it religiously every year. Florand’s novella Snow-Kissed is heart-wrenching, and my masochistic little brain just eats it up. These are what I read when I want a book that will make me feel every single freaking feel there is.
Florand hits this list a few times, because she gives me feels…in professional kitchens…in Paris. Emotions, competence porn, and new worlds, all right there! Jessica Scott is my go-to for military romance because she gets it right. It’s hard to get it right if you’re not actually in the military, which is why Scott, an active duty Army soldier, gets my one-click monies.
So, what do you read for?
Also: Tenterhooks – “Tenterhooks are hooks in a device called a tenter.” Well, that’s super helpful, Wikipedia.
If you read for not perfect girls still made to feel beautiful, or hot one night stands with handsome strangers, or veterans with boobs rather than flat man nipples, check out my novella, Three Little Words, available on Amazon.