*please note that these friendships may be entirely one-sided and/or a piece of fiction I created in my mind but I'm still gonna potentially embarrass myself and write this.
The best part about being a reader is hands down getting to interact on a daily basis with your idols. I'd wager a bet that most sports fans don't DM their favorite players (or if they do they likely don't hear back). Fans of music don't typically get to tag their favorite artist in a post and have them comment back. But when you're a fan of romance novels, you can do those things and there's a really good chance that your favorite author, your idol, the creator of the things that changed your life, will get back to you.
Obviously, this isn't 100% assured. As someone who is DMed and tagged in like 100 things a day I can attest that it's super easy for comments to get missed, DMs to get lost, and tags to blend in with the many notifications. But authors do their best and I know they genuinely love getting to hear from their readers.
My favorite part of being a book blogger is getting to read all these amazing books, interact with all these amazing authors, and sometimes even getting to form amazing friendships with them. Check out some of my author friends and the specific book that led me to stalki--cough cough--I mean, led to me connecting with them on a personal level.
Click the author's names for links to profiles. Click the titles for links to purchase.
The Book: Ambitious warlord kidnaps heroine because she can tell when someone is lying and he needs help controlling his kingdom. Fantasy world in which Greek Gods are real and everything is trying to kill you. Three book series with a strong heroine learning to truth others while also discovering her incredible powers and destroying everything that gets in her way. Lots of hot enemies-to-lovers sex. Three book series.
My Obsession: I first noticed Amanda's book on a display at BookExpo America. It was one of the only romance novels I'd seen at the expo and so I, only recently having entered the bookish world, hovered awkwardly near the display in the hopes that... I don't know, maybe one of the books would magically leap into my arms? Instead the book was gently placed into my hands by one of the Sourcebooks representatives and I left a happy camper. Unfortunately, after devouring the book and falling in love with Cat and Griffin I discovered the other two books did not exist yet and I fell into one of those oh-no-what-have-I-done sadness holes that I could only climb out of by messaging the author and requesting frequent updates on her writing process.
That was almost five years ago now and I am a instant buyer of everything she writes! Amanda has been lovely enough to participate in a number of my blog posts including Rough Draft vs. Final Draft and an Author Spotlight.
The Book: Our heroine is on the run from her abusive, cop ex-boyfriend who tortured (by forcibly tattooing her) and abused her. Comes to the quiet little town for free tattoo removal. Meets her mysterious, sensitive, ex-felon neighbor who lets her take control. A whole series spun around free tattoo removals.
My Obsession: I can't remember how I ended up in possession of Under Her Skin--likely through my work at the bookstore--but once I read it I was totally invested in her writing. The plot of Under Her Skin was just so absolutely unique and interesting, while toeing the line into a dark romance without bringing that darkness into the relationship between the hero and the heroine. Adriana has also been lovely enough to participate in a number of blog posts of mine including Rough Draft to Final Draft and an Author Spotlight. She also scored major points when she mailed me autographed audiobooks and a personalized note.
The Book: Wanna-be comedian, but current vet assistant heroine accidentally gives her banking information to her hot, grumpy landlord (who moonlights as a book restorer) on the back of a sexy comic she drew of him dominating her. Consensual non-consensual sex. Stalking (also consensual). Hot stairway blow job. Cute, fast, sexy read.
The Obsession: I think I came across Captivated when I saw it recommended on Instagram or via a Facebook group. I was interested enough to actually buy the book which was rare for me because I hardly ever bought books by authors I wasn't already familiar with, but I'm so glad I took that plunge. This book tapped into a whole new kinky side of my reading and I swear it's the reason I'm so madly into the grumpy/sunshine trope today. Luckily, unlike the previous two authors, I had quite the backlist of books to get through with Tessa and I quickly went about buying every single one of them. My favorites have been the Beach Kingdom series and her Made in Jersey series. Is it a coincidence that my two favorite series by her include her two MM books in them? No. No it is not. Jamie and Marcus from Heat Stroke live rent free in my mind (himbo + professor + pining + gay for you + friends-ish to lovers? *drool*).
Now I make sure to put my name in for every ARC of Tessa's I can get my hands on because my life is not complete unless I'm recommending the book to y'all at least six months in advance. And I pop into Tessa's DMs like twice a week either gushing over her hilarious Tik Toks or asking when her next book is coming out. Tessa has participated on my blog...
The Book: See above. Lol.
The Obsession: Oh my gosh. I really got a whole two birds, one stone situation with this book. After reading Captivated I read Act Your Age by Eve which is an age gap, daddy kink, boss/employee, high drama read that introduced to me to daddy kink and totally gave me an angst boner. I've been lucky enough to read a few of Eve's ARCs of over the years and her most recent release, Return All, was such a freaking trendsetter with a heroine who has had plastic surgery and isn't ashamed of it in the least. I love it. Eve and I are both obsessed with Ice Planet Barbarians and I got to be a guest on her podcast, How Novel!, last month where we talked a whole lot about the romance genre in general, spurs, blue dicks, and how much we love giant alien men who worship their women (it was her most listened to episode ever!).
The Book: East Germany vs West Germany post WWII romance. Evil hero kidnaps heroine and forces her to work as his secretary. Lots of dubious consent. A lot of hate sex. Violence. Not everything is as it seems, however.
The Obsession: Brianna Hale is responsible for my discovery of Daddy Kink. This book didn't have any, but when I immediately started buying up her backlog I discovered that most of her previous books involved daddies and I fell harrrrd. I bought everything. Demanded entry to her ARC team. DMed her far too many times for a normal fan. And became a devoted, devoted reader. Hale was one of my first obsessions as a romance blogger and I'm still picking up what she's putting down. She's a one-click for me.
The Book: Orcs vs. humans. Orc kidnap human woman to force her husband's hand and doesn't expect to actually like her. So much sex. Like...a lot. Copious amounts of cum. Kink, kink, kink. Humiliation. Do I have a praise kink? Apparently. Lots of drama and angst and fighting and betrayal. Best grovel scene I've ever read.
The Obsession: I think we all know what happened here. I read this book on Eliza MacArthur's recommendation (and by recommendation I mean her super long Instagram story about the sheer amount of cum in these books) and then spent a weekend read all four books that were out at the time. They're everything I love. Alpha heroes who get knocked down a peg, breeding kink (I didn't know I loved this kink until I read this series), societies with a lack of females, heroes calling the heroine 'female', insane sex, one thousand kinks. And so, of course, I DMed Fenn. I joined her Facebook group. I tagged her in 1,000 posts and reels about it. And now I make her give me daily updates on her writing progress so I can sleep at night.
The Book: Your worst nightmares exist and they feed on your fear. Mothman, Jersey Devil, and Champ from Lake Champlain come together in this reverse harem to bone the shit out of the heroine. It's polyamorous, i.e. everyone banging everyone in here. Trigger warnings for slight kidnapping, intentionally scaring heroine, and weird dicks. But also super sweet and romantic. Aw.
The Obsession: I don't remember how I ended up reading this. I think I saw it recommended somewhere and was on a monster romance high and bought it. No regrets. It was everything I wanted at the moment. I immediately DMed Valentine, tagged her in a bunch of posts, forced my way onto her ARC team, and reread the book like once a month now. Unfortunately she's on the receiving end of my DMs, but fortunately for me she's always sending me weird book recommendations (like the one about a wolf shifter and...a... potato shifter). I look forward to our continuously stimulating conversations.