I read a lot of books. Like, 100-200 a year since I was about 13, a lot. I have read so many authors, and one thing I've noticed is that I crush hard on various authors' minds. Is that weird? Probably. But it's what we're rolling with today.
1. Jay Kristoff
Author of Nevernight, co-author of the Aurora Cycle, and author of the upcoming Empire of the Vampire. I'm in the middle of reading Nevernight, and I'm in love already. Mia, our main character, is ruthless, crazy, and badass, and I might just be in love whatever part of Jay's brain invented her. Jay Kristoff is also one of the nicest authors on social media I've ever seen. He tags all the illustrators he and his publisher uses, frequently chats about his life, and is super relevant. Which I find refreshing, because a lot of us authors hide in our caves until we have to come out or risk our book release flopping. Who doesn't crush on a badass-inventing sweetheart?
2. Neve Wilder
Oh, Neve. You stole my heart when you wrote Try Me, and then you locked it in a cage and refused to give it back when you wrote Rhythm of Love. Her books are some seriously hot juju. I've never seen an author write sex scenes as good as this. But she's also one of those Wonder Women who manage to make it just as beautiful, not feel cheap or porn-like, but manage to have all the juicy details without rushing things. I bow down in molten awe. Inspiring! If I could jump into her brain and spend a good sexy afternoon there, I would. But alas, that kind of magic doesn't exist yet.
3. Tate James
Where would list be without the cliffhanger queen that is Tate James? If you follow this blog, you'll probably already be aware of my crush on Tate James. It's a legit problem. Let's hope I never have the social awkwardness of meeting her, because I might just die. The sex scenes, the tension, the swoon-worthy romance, the haters-to-lovers frenemies, and sometimes just plain enemies . . . Her stuff is so well built. The character development is always on-point. And even though I wasn't a huge fan of the MK series (I know, I know, I'm sorry), I still love her writing and her mind.
4. A.K. Koonce
A. K. Koonce's To Tame a Shifter series pretty much changed my romance reading life. As a rule of thumb, I do not read shifter romance. I find them possessive, controlling, and irritating. However, since this series, I have come to the conclusion that the one exception to this rule is dragon shifters. I'll take the possessiveness and the controlling BS if I get hot dragon shifters. Call me shallow, I don't care. I love dragons. Since then, I've read a few other series by this amazing woman, and I love her episodic structure, her amazing world building, and the cool female characters. Also, one of the few epic fantasy RH authors out there.
5. Lucy Score
Author of the Bootleg Springs series, Millionaire Scandal, and lots of other role-reversing romance. Alongside some regular romcoms. They're funny, they're steamy but not clogged down with sex scenes, they build tension beautifully, and they hit that cheesy romcom spot while being original. Every now and then, I like to sit down and bathe in chick lit, and she allows me to do that without feeling as though the women are dumb and subservient to men. Her women are either on top, ruling the relationship, or equal to the men. And I love that. I never get annoyed reading her work.
6. C.M. Stunich
Author of my favourite romance series of all time. Groupie! Ugh. She's the reason I have an obsession with music romance, rockbands in particular. Before her, I never had such a problem. But now every time I come across one in a book, I fall in love instantly. Like bloody female cliche. Seriously, I love the fact that this woman keeps doing what she does, regardless. Even as tropes move on and things change in the RH world, she still does her usual thing with the new trope or fancy niche. And staying true to your creative juju is super awesome, and it kinda make me love her even more. Here's to hoping she goes back to writing fantasy sometime soon.
7. Kaye Draper
Kaye, Kaye, Kaye . . . If you're reading this, girl, I'm sorry to embarrass you, but your mind is hot, fluid, inclusive, and full of steam. Did you expect me not to include you and your beautiful imagination that came up with Sam? Sam is mine. I licked Sam first. For this who don't know or missed it in my newsletter, Kaye Draper and I are accountability partners who chat every single day, keeping each other up, helping each other pick ourselves back up, and holding each other accountable to our weekly/daily goals. So unlike the other authors on this list, I actually know Kaye. Maybe that's weird, but I'm pretty fucking strange, so we're gonna roll with this one. If you haven't yet met Sam from the Not Quite series, please do. Sam is love and life.
8. Auryn Hadley
Another beautifully sexy mind. I've read a couple of her series, and she leans more toward poly than the restrictions of reverse harem, and I love her for that. The MM deliciousness in Demons' Muse is off the charts hot. How can one person's mind be so adaptive and sexy? I don't get it. But whatever it is, I'm in awe of it.
9. RA Steffan
Another author who I love because of their genderbending and sexuality flexing goodness. Love the inclusion of pegging, squirting, and other things in sex scenes you don't often see. It makes her work refreshing. I also have a book in the future that I ABSOLUTELY WILL GET AROUND TO WRITING whose sex scenes will be partly inspired by this goddess of a writer's sex scenes. That's how much I love her. The characters are also really diverse, from gay to lesbian to bisexual to gender-nonconforming . . . There's a true range inside her pages.
10. Sarah Piper
I love the simplicity of the romance experienced in Sarah's books. I don't mean the romancer itself is simple, just that she uses typical angst, denial, not-ready-yet-ness, and other techniques that authors seem to avoid because they're "cliche" and "cheesy", but I love them. Sarah manages them well by pairing them with realistic character development and emotional responses, rather than forcing it and pushing it in a direction that isn't natural.