[Note from Frolic: Today, we welcome author Rebecca Jenshak to the site. She’s talking about her favorite Turkish drama and the books that have helped fill the void it left. Take it away, Rebecca!]
[Editor’s Note: This post contained a book that had questionable material. It has been removed and we apologize for its inclusion]
I have a love/hate relationship with TV shows, movies, and books that I get so wrapped up in that when it’s over, I’m left in a major story hangover. Which is exactly how the Turkish television drama Kurt Seyit & Sura left me when I binged it. The show originally aired in 2014, but if you’re late to the game like I was, you can find it on Netflix.
Here’s what you can expect in a nutshell: Handsome Turkish soldier falls in love with a young, naïve Russian girl during WWI. They have a love story that spans war, distance, family disapproval, secrets, deception, and so much more. All the drama and angst you can possibly imagine ensues for forty-six fabulous episodes.
After bingeing the series and finding myself in a major funk, I went in search of romance novels to give me all the same feels. These are my top picks! Prepare to be swept up into characters and worlds you’ll want to devour and savor at the same time!
Dear Aaron by Mariana Zapata
I asked my reader group for a military romance recommendation so I could keep living out my soldier hero fantasies, but I wanted something that wouldn’t make me ugly cry. A hard ask in the military romance department, but they came through for me with Dear Aaron.
This book is about a young woman who signs up for an adopt a soldier email exchange program. The first thirty percent of the book is told in emails/messages ONLY. It is unique and fun and totally worked to introduce you to the characters and set up the story. The hero is so swoony and the heroine so delightfully awkward at times, I couldn’t get enough. I stayed up WAY too late to finish this one and can’t recommend it enough. Military, slow burn, friends to lovers, and HFN.
Debase by Rachel Van Dyken
Does anyone write mafia like RVD? I loved this first book in her spinoff Elite Bratva Brotherhood series and Andrei gave me Seyit feels with all the responsibility and honor that rested on his big, handsome shoulders. There’s just something about a man conflicted between right and wrong, family and love – sigh. Without giving too much away, let me just say it’s a great book and I know you’ll be hooked. Enemies to lovers, mafia, HEA.
The Highway Man by Kerrigan Byrne
*Sigh* This book… just sigh. Though a different time period, the historical elements and world-building feel similar to Seyit & Sura. It also has the same suspense and a wide range of characters that I really enjoyed. I felt like I was transported in time in the same way I was watching Seyit & Sura and that’s no easy feat through words alone. The hero in The Highway Man gives broody a whole new meaning! And bonus, this is the first book in the Victorian Rebels series, so it’s totally bingeable! Young love, time apart, friends to lovers, suspense, slow burn, HEA.
New Camelot Series by Sierra Simone
I don’t like to play favorites with my books, but this series… it’s up there at the tippy top. It’s a trilogy, a re-telling of King Arthur, and it spans many years and delves into the messy and beautiful love between three people. I want to keep it super vague because I don’t think there are any words or tropes that do it justice, but here are the basics: military/political, erotic, MMF, HEA.
About the Author:
Rebecca Jenshak is a self-proclaimed margarita addict, college basketball fanatic, and Hallmark channel devotee. A Midwest native transplanted to the desert, she likes being outdoors (drinking on patios) and singing (in the shower) when she isn’t writing books about hot guys and the girls who love them.
Find Her Here:
The Fake by Rebecca Jenshak, out now!
I’ve made a lot of dumb mistakes but none dumber than losing her.
Senior year. I should be partying and living it up with my friends before graduation, but one more mistake and I’m off the team.
Enter Chloe. She comes into my life at a low point, but she becomes the bright spot I reach for every day. She’s the kind of girl who makes a guy want to be a better man. And for a while, I even start to believe I’ve changed enough to deserve her.
I’ve got my eye on the future, and I’m letting my past stay where it belongs.
But the thing about the past… it always comes back to bite you when you least expect it.