I have been reading New Adult romance since its arrival to the romance scene and I have seen it evolve into something that I think has enriched the romance genre. I knwo there are still some doubters out there, so today I’ve reviewed four titles that I think are the best of what this romance category can be. Enjoy!
Find out more about my romance ratings here.
Author: Viv Daniels
Tess McMann lives her life according to the secrets she’s sworn to keep: the father who won’t acknowledge her, the sister who doesn’t know she exists, and the mother who’s content playing mistress to a prominent businessman. When she meets the distractingly cute Dylan Kingsley at a prestigious summer program and falls in love, Tess allows herself to imagine a life beyond these secrets. But when summer ends, so does their relationship — Dylan heads off to Canton College while Tess enrolls at the state university. Two years later, a scholarship brings Tess to Canton and back into Dylan’s life. Their attraction is as strong as ever, but Dylan has a girlfriend…who also happens to be Tess’s legitimate half-sister. Tess refuses to follow in her mother’s footsteps, which leaves her only one choice: break the rules she’s always followed, or allow Dylan to slip away for a second time.
Yay for smart, driven women in the sciences! That was what I thought after I finished the fantastic NA offering from Viv Daniels, who is also known as Diana Peterfreund. All of you ladies and gentlemen who got for the nerdy guys will love this book! I am always a sucker for the love lost trope and this was a great example. Tess had some unusual circumstances surrounding her father and I really admired her determination to get what she needed from her education. Her inner turmoil about her relationship with Dylan was all wrapped up in her feelings about the relationship her mom had with her dad. I could not put this down and I can’t wait for the next book, which will tell the story of Tess’s sister!
Author: Sophie Jordan
Publisher: William Morrow
Pepper has been hopelessly in love with her best friend’s brother, Hunter, for like ever. He’s the key to everything she’s always craved: security, stability, family. But she needs Hunter to notice her as more than just a friend. Even though she’s kissed exactly one guy, she has just the plan to go from novice to rock star in the bedroom—take a few pointers from someone who knows what he’s doing. Her college roommates have the perfect teacher in mind. But bartender Reece is nothing like the player Pepper expects. Yes, he’s beyond gorgeous, but he’s also dangerous, deep—with a troubled past. Soon what started as lessons in attraction are turning both their worlds around, and showing just what can happen when you go past foreplay and get to what’s real. – Goodreads
I was really interested to see what Sophie Jordan would do with New Adult and I loved it! Reese and Pepper are an interesting couple, well developed as characters and interesting to read about. Pepper is driven and focused on school and I liked her character because she seemed to be a balanced, relatable person. Reece, of course, was hot and complicated but not in a way that made him the one-dimensional bad boy. I’m so glad that this is a series because I can’t wait to read about everyone else!
Author: Sabrina Elkins
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Cami Broussard has her future all figured out. She’ll finish her senior year of high school, then go to work full-time as an apprentice chef in her father’s French restaurant, alongside her boyfriend, Luke. But then twenty-year-old ex-Marine Julian Wyatt comes to live with Cami’s family while recovering from serious injuries. And suddenly Cami finds herself questioning everything she thought she wanted. Julian’s all attitude, challenges and intense green-brown eyes. But beneath that abrasive exterior is a man who just might be as lost as Cami’s starting to feel. And Cami can’t stop thinking about him. Talking to him. Wanting to kiss him. He’s got her seriously stirred up. Her senior year has just gotten a lot more complicated
This YA to NA crossover was a very pleasant surprise! Cami is a girl who is very focused on her dream of becoming a chef and she is willing to work very hard to achieve her dreams. When Julian comes into her life, wounded and adjusting to a major life change, their relationship makes her view her hopes and dreams a little differently. I liked the character development they both went through, as well as their chemistry. Julian was shown as very (understandably) bitter but also very vulnerable. I also liked the way that the families were portrayed. They were not perfect, but they were loving. That was a nice change from what I usually see in NA. I think this would be a great book for people that like sweet romance, but have been reluctant to try this category.
Author: Alison Parr
Natalie Sullivan is on the verge of a breakthrough most archaeology grad students only dream of: discovering a lost city. Her research points to a farm in Ireland, but to excavate she needs permission from the new owner: the Michael O’Connor, popular NFL running back. On TV Mike seems so charming and good-natured that Natalie figures getting his cooperation will be a breeze. So she’s not prepared to deal with the arrogant—and adamantly opposed—man she meets in person. Or the way one look from him sends shivers down her spine… Determined to kick-start her career, Natalie travels across the Atlantic and finds herself sharing an inn with Mike, who has come to Ireland in search of his roots. She tells herself her interest is strictly professional, but the more she gets to know him, the harder it is to deny her personal attraction to the sexy sports star. And when Mike confides why he refuses to allow the dig, Natalie must decide if she can follow her heart without losing sight of her dreams
I really love this series! On top of swoony guys, the women are interesting and different. In this book, Natalie is the daughter of a famous model who is pursuing a career in archeology. As the story progresses and she ends up in Ireland with the man she needs in order to get access to land for her dig and the romance blooms in the middle of a small Irish village. The setting was wonderful and the characters even better. I liked everyone in this book. Most importantly, I thought that Mike was a more thoughtful version of an “alpha male” than I usually see, especially since he’s a professional football player, and let’s be honest, the jock stereotype in romance can be heavy handed. If you are looking for the upper echelon of NA, Running Back would be a great place to start!