[Note from Frolic: We are so excited to have author Lexi Ryan guest post on the site today. Take it away Lexi!]
What if you had to live on a desert island for a month and could only take one bag of books? Three words: Sign. Me. Up.
I am a compulsive re-reader. Sure, I love finding a new book and devouring every word and plot twist, but there is nothing more comforting to me than rereading my favorites. It’s like comfort food for my brain. I know the characters, I know what’s going to happen, in some cases I could recite my favorite lines, and all this allows me to sink deeper into the story. To live it. I honestly think I enjoy a great book more the second time than the first. Every one of my choices I’ve read more than three times (in some cases the number is embarrassingly higher than three), and I would happily read each of these again several times, given the time.
Sweet Liar by Jude Deveraux
The first romance novel I ever read was by Deveraux. I loved A Knight in Shining Armor, and it introduced me to romance and resulted in years of devouring all of the historical romance at my local public library. But Sweet Liar was one of my first contemporaries, and I fell so hard for Michael Taggert. This is a slow burn romance with a mystery, a big family, forced proximity (Dad’s dumb will FTW!), and some twenties crime reenactment goodness. Did I mention the slow burn? Oh man. The payoff is excellent.
Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren
I’m a huge CLo fan. These ladies can make me laugh loud enough that I wake up my husband. I could easily fill my bag with their stories and do just fine, but . . . This. Book. I might have to pack two copies in case I wear out the pages in the first. Elliott and Macy’s story is a Now/Then story, told in chapters that alternate between the past and present. I love reading and writing books like this—like peeling away the layers to find a richer story the deeper you go. The “then” in this book is when they were teens and the writing is done so well that even on my fourth read, my stomach was doing flipflops.
The Next Best Thing by Kristan Higgins
Ever since I met her at RWA National in 2007 and she was so kind to me, I’ve been a huge Kristan Higgins fan. Her voice, her characters, their families. Everything. I don’t think she’s capable of writing a book I wouldn’t want to reread. However, I’m pretty sure this book was a lock for a forever favorite when I got to the hook at the end of chapter one. You can tell from the opening that it’s a friends-to-lovers book, and when the protagonist (a widow) decides to start dating again, she immediately wants to talk to her best friend, Ethan, who is also her late husband’s brother. So you think she has a thing for Ethan. You think she wants to date Ethan, despite the fact that it’s going to be a mess with their families. We’re romance readers. We know tropes. We know what’s coming. So she tells Ethan she’s ready to start dating again, and he seems to know what’s coming next too . . . but then she fakes left and throws right: “So we should probably stop sleeping together.” *FANGIRL FLAIL*
Faking It by Jennifer Crusie
I could have easily chosen any of Crusie’s novels, but this one is probably my favorite. Again: great cast of characters, including a family with complicated relationships (are we seeing a theme here?), great dialogue, lots of laughs, and some really crappy sex. I know, I know, romance is where the good sex is, but Crusie is so good about making characters earn the good stuff. Somehow this is wildly satisfying for this romance reader. Actually, it’s been awhile since I’ve read this one. Guess what I’m doing tonight?
A Court of Thorns and Roses, A Court of Mist and Fury, and A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
I’m going to fill a good deal of my bag with these three because they’re definitely meaty books, but they’re worth the cramp I’m sure to get in my neck from hauling them around my island. I absolutely adore this YA/NA fantasy series by Maas. They’re the only non-contemp romance to make it into the bag—not that there’s no romance here. Oh no. So much romance. So much sexual tension and the kind of selfless love that makes your heart burst. I started listening to book one on the drive to a family vacation in Georgia last summer and spent the rest of the trip ignoring everyone to sneak a few more pages. The world building is seamless, the characters compelling, and the twists are so damn sweet and carefully foreshadowed that even my friends who never re-read started over once they finished.
Easy. My bag is packed and I’m ready for my desert island and my month of living through these characters. Quick question: does my island have a Starbucks or do I need to sneak one of those into my bag too?
Tweet me at @writerlexiryan and let me know if we share any desert island reads!
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About the Author:
Lexi Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of emotional romance that sizzles. Lexi is the 2018 winner of the Romance Writers of America® RITA® award for Best Long Contemporary Romance. She considers herself the luckiest girl around to make a living through storytelling. She loves spending time with her crazy kids, weightlifting, ice cream, swoony heroes, and vodka martinis. Lexi lives in Indiana with her husband, two children, and a spoiled dog.
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Crazy for Your Love by Lexi Ryan out now!
The only thing worse than being single at my sister’s wedding is finding out that my ex will be there too. Not just any ex—the guy everyone expected me to marry, the man I came to Jackson Harbor to escape.
Now I need a date, and fast. Enter Carter Jackson—the firefighter who’s dealing with an unwanted five minutes of fame ever since a shirtless photo of him saving a puppy went viral. He’s warding off propositions left and right, and he needs a fake relationship as much as I do.
Sweet and sexy, Carter is completely off-limits. See, I have a rule. A no-heartache rule. Not only is Carter my friend and a known heartbreaker, but his job as a firefighter puts him in danger daily, and that’s something I just can’t handle.
The commitment between us might be pretend, but the passion all too real. As crazy as it makes me, I have to keep Carter at an arm’s length. Even that might not be enough to spare my heart.