Hot and Steamy Romance Novels: My Take

Hot and Steamy Romance Novels: My Take

Hot and Steamy Romance Novels

If Fifty Shades of Grey or Sylvia Day’s Crossfire series has shown us anything, it’s that reading the occasional “vulgar” and “crude” hot and steamy romance novel is something that a LOT of women (and perhaps men) enjoy. And rightly so. In my opinion, those gritty, intense scenes that would earn themselves an NC-17 rating on screen are a lovely way to distract yourself from the more mundane aspects of life…like work, house chores, and endless errands. And let’s face it, while I may never indulge in some of the more erotic things I have read (I wonder if some of those positions are even possible? Sheesh), it is certainly nice to imagine doing them.

Hot and steamy romance novels do nothing for me if I don’t enjoy the characters and/or plot.

I will say this, however, while I enjoy a good deal of raunch in some of my novels, it does absolutely nothing for me if I don’t enjoy the characters and/or the plot is shallow and adds very little depth to the story. If the characters are two-dimensional, I find that I really don’t care about all the wicked ways they can use their tongue, or what the heck they’re doing with their hands, or where they place their mouth, and…anyway, a solid plot with thorough character development can make those scenes even more intense and leave more of an impact *cough*.

How to cool off from your hot and steamy binge.

Reading a couple literary classics such as Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre, in between your hot and steamy reads is a perfect suggestion to cool off a bit. However, if you find your mind wandering towards what Mr. Darcy would be like sans clothing and doing the horizontal tango with Elizabeth Bennett *wink* then that might be your cue to chuck that classic behind you and pick up a copy of Hardwired by Meredith Wild, the first novel in her Hacker series. Or, if you’re needing a steamy novel that is heavy on the passion, but not so much BDSM and kink, then check out This Man by Jodi Ellen Malpas which is the first novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling series.

This Man by Jodi Ellen Malpas

Goodreads // Amazon

Whether you’re into sizzling cowboys, bad boys, bikers, multi-millionaires, or brooding regency heroes (I’m looking at you, Mr. Darcy!), you can rest assured that there is a raunchy novel somewhere in the world waiting for your naughty, little self to read it! If you’d like any suggestions, leave a comment down below and I’ll GLADLY recommend one, or two, or three *wink*

Be sure to check out my Top 10 Book Boyfriends here!

Book Hangover Cure

Book Hangover Cure

The Book Hangover Cure To Get You Through

We’ve all been through that horrible book hangover a time or two. If you’re like me, you’re hungover all the time. I might be almost 30 years old, but I can still pull an all-nighter- by now, I’m pretty used to the sensation of gritty, burning eyes. But that’s what happens when you’re addicted to something- all you can think about is that one thing that keeps you going- even when it’s two in the morning and you know you need to get up in three hours for work.

There are some books that just take complete control of your mind, your life– and suddenly, getting through the next chapter becomes your sole purpose for living. You just must know what happens next. While this is not always a terrible thing, the feeling after you finish the book leaves something to be desired- you feel just plain awful. You suddenly don’t know how to cope with the world.  I know. I’ve been there. Multiple times. Which is why I’ve had plenty of opportunities to cultivate my skills in curing-or managing-those ghastly hangovers…

Here are some helpful tips to get you through your next book hangover:

• Bookaholics Anonymous

Connect with a friend, your book club, family member, or co-worker who not only understands what you’re going through but is also patient enough to listen to you prattle on about how much that story blew your mind. Sometimes, just talking about the story with someone helps get you through the seemingly endless void lodged in your stomach after turning that last, and final, page.
I just started a little Book Club on Facebook, You should join up and share your hangover!

• Write a review

Writing a review on a novel not only allows for the opportunity to write about your feelings, but also helps to give you a little closure. Some books wrecked me mentally and emotionally and writing about how I feel helped to organize my thoughts. A bonus to reviewing the novel- you could engage in conversation with others who may be experiencing the same feelings you felt after finishing the book.
See my list of Book Reviews here!

• Genre Jumping

Sometimes, changing up the genres helps to process the experiences from the book you just read. If I read a YA novel that completely turns my world topsy turvy, I like to jump to another genre- such as romance- that offsets what I just experienced.

• Peruse online book recommendations

Thankfully, there are many sites that offer helpful suggestions for books to read if you enjoyed a similar novel. For example, I recently finished reading Firstlife by Gena Showalter- for those that enjoyed this series, I highly suggest they read the Divergent series by Veronica Roth, as the concepts are somewhat similar. Not to mention, these series are incredibly addictive! Also Check out one of my favorite book bloggers, In Love and Words, for her book hangover remedies for The Hating Game by Sally Thorne.
See my Top YA Fiction Series for some ideas!

• Convince someone you know to read the book

I will admit, there are times I like to live vicariously through others. Sometimes, just seeing other people get sucked helplessly into the novel in the same manner I did helps to get me through the “hangover”. Once they finish it, we can help each other process the feels…usually with a couple pints of Ben and Jerry’s and a glass of wine.

I hope these suggestions answered your “how to get over a book hangover” question! Sometimes you may need to engage a few of these tips to get yourself through the worst of book hangovers. Just remember…you’re not alone. Your fellow bookworms are your tribe. We know book hangovers. They’re inevitable. The struggle is real. Please feel free to share some of your own personal hangover tips in the comments below!

5 Thoughtful Gifts For Booklovers In Your Life

5 Thoughtful Gifts For Booklovers In Your Life

Gifts for Booklovers


Buying books for a bookworm can be intimidating. The odds are, they already have that new novel from James Patterson, or the latest story written by their favorite Indie or self-published author. I’ve been there- I’ve bought novels for my fellow bookworms and have been told, “Oh! Thanks for the book, but…I already read it.” Ugh. Total let down. So, to avoid the daunting task of figuring out which novel hasn’t been read by someone who plows through books at a suspiciously preternatural speed- I have created this list to help you find the perfect gifts for booklovers or someone who enjoys books more than they do sleeping, eating, drinking…heck, breathing (well, I’d say 50/50 on the breathing. It’s awful hard to read if you’re six feet under). So, here are five ideas of gifts for booklovers:


Literary Scarves

My bestie surprised me with a scarf decorated in passages from Pride and Prejudice- Seriously, nothing completes your wardrobe more than impassioned speeches by Mr. Darcy *sigh*.

Get your Pride and Prejudice Scarf from Amazon! 


Book-Scented Candles

Oh, yeah. These are a thing. Other people can happily scent their homes with cranberry chutney- I’m going to make sure mine smells like a well-loved library.

Find Book Scented Candles at Etsy


Creative Quitter Strips a.k.a “bookmarks”

 I happen to be one of those people that enjoys reading multiple books at once- this means that I, unfortunately, need to slide my quitter strips between those tempting pages. However, I feel better about doing this if they look cool.

12 pcs Vintage Metal Alloy Book Markers at Amazon


Release-Date Calendar

 If you really love your bookworm, you’ll take the time to purchase a calendar and painstakingly write the release dates of some of their favorite authors. I swear, some years authors pop books out faster than housewives did with babies after World War II. It can be hard to keep track after a while.


Book Store Memberships

 These are my best friend. I purchase so many novels that I’m 80% positive I’m keeping most bookstores in our area afloat. So, it helps to have a membership- saving a bit of money with each purchase is helpful- of course, I end up using those savings on other novels. It’s a deliciously vicious cycle. Oh! But you get coupons and sometimes free cookies! So, it’s worth it *wink*.

Get your Barnes & Noble Membership here!

If all else fails, get them a gift card to their favorite book store. Trust me. They’ll be pleased.

Happy shopping!

7 Steps for Surviving the Holidays

7 Steps for Surviving the Holidays

By: April Hughes


   Every October I find time to reflect on everything I’ve learned in holidays past. This is done in an effort to emotionally, mentally, and physically prepare myself for the chaos to come. I know that once November 1st hits, there’s no going back. I am going to be thrust into the whirlwind of holiday spirit- I’m talking Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and all the cheery crap that comes in between. With having two kids I am more inclined to participate in the “festivities”. So, the day after Thanksgiving I slap on my jolly elf hat and I decorate until my house looks like the North Pole threw up all over it. So, here are the 7 steps I take to navigate the benevolent, and sometimes unpredictable, currents of the holidays and still manage to cheerfully sip my hot cocoa.

My 7 Steps

  1. I do the bulk of my shopping over Amazon- Amazon Prime is my best friend during the holidays. This means I can avoid the blood-thirsty hordes swarming our local stores. Prime Discounted Monthly Offering Only $5.99 per month until Dec 31st!!!
  2. Instead of participating in Black Friday, I join the “stay-in-bed-where-it’s-nice-and-warm” Friday. You should try this. You’d be amazed about how great it feels to not be standing in a mile-long line in freezing temperatures.
  3. Spike the eggnog, punch bowl, fruit juice, or any cup you’re holding that contains liquid. Trust me. You’re going to need it.
  4. Heading to a holiday party? Snag a dessert at your local supermarket, place it in one of your own dishes, and present that sweet delight to the masses. They’ll never know (unless you’re naturally terrible at baking. Then they might suspect something is amiss).
  5. DON’T wait until Christmas Eve to wrap presents! Ugh. I tell myself this same thing EVERY year. I never listen. Then I regret not listening. It’s a vicious cycle.
  6. Avoid participating in Elf on a Shelf. How is moving that little bastard every night fun? Save yourself some time by writing a good-bye note from the elf to your kids. I highly doubt they’ll miss his creepy little face *shiver*
  7. When someone mentions Christmas caroling, that’s your cue to start singing “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” very loudly and off-key. I guarantee they won’t ask you to join their caroling group. You’re welcome.

Try a few of these Holiday survival tips and you may just make it through the next two months. Good luck!

See Next: 6 Secrets to Finding Time to Read

<script src="//"></script>
The Secret to Finding Time to Read

The Secret to Finding Time to Read

The Secret to Finding Time to Read

By: April Hughes


“How do you find time to read?”

This is a question I get asked all too often. It’s also a legitimate one considering the circus impersonation that I call my life. I discovered my love of reading in fourth grade when my teacher began reading to us Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling. I was completely engrossed in the story. From the cupboard beneath the stairs, to the shocking entrance of Hagrid on that wave-tossed, stony island- every moment captured my interest. Unfortunately, my teacher believed in long drawn-out pauses that did little to dramatize the scenes, and dog-eared the pages on the good parts. Not cool. Naturally, I took it upon myself to finish the novel. At home. Without unnecessary dramatic pauses.

As time went by and I cruised through the rest of the Harry Potter series, Nancy Drew, Little House on the Prairie, and other childhood favorites, I discovered that reading was a natural part of who I am. Suddenly, the idea of not reading was as foreign to me as putting pineapple on a pizza (yuck!) or walking barefoot over scorching-hot coals (ouch!). The day I stopped reading would be the day I stopped breathing (hopefully that’s not for a long long time as my “to-be-read” pile is going to take me approximately 50+ years to finish).

Because life is an unpredictable and crafty wench, she has to place obstacles-both good and bad-into our path to make things interesting. For me, these cinder blocks would be work, school, kids, housework, familial/friend obligations, and other necessary parts of “adulting”. Thankfully, I enjoy most of these blocks. This just means I have to be a little creative in how I find ways to read (after all, my book boyfriends and paper besties would be devastated if I didn’t find time for them). So, here’s how I jumped these hurdles and found the time:

  1. Arrive 20 minutes early to everything- work, meetings, your little nephew’s birthday party, etc. That way you can spend 15 minutes reading in the quiet of your car.
  2. Read while you cook- sounds weird, I know. But you’d be amazed how much reading you can do while stirring that minestrone and waiting for things to bake.
  3. Read on scheduled breaks and during lunch at work- this is a great way to escape the monotony of your work life.
  4. That peaceful thirty minutes before bed- After the kids are tucked- squawking and all- into their cozy beds at night, I treat myself to a little, uninterrupted reading time.
  5. Keep a book in your purse/man-purse, fanny-pack- You never know when you’ll have unexpected time to read. For example, at the doctor’s office. Thankfully, mine is notorious for being late. That means MORE time to READ! Yay!
  6. “Sick Day”, also known as “I-can’t-come-into-work-because-I’m-on-a-good-part-in-my-book” Day- Let’s be honest, bookworms, we’ve all done this a time, or two, maybe three? *wink*

Finding time to read is POSSIBLE. You just gotta be creative.


See my tips on surviving the holiday season here!

See some of my more steamier book recommendations here!

<script src="//"></script>

Would you like to…?

Use the Divi Builder…

to design your pop-up!

Donec rutrum congue leo eget malesuada. Curabitur non nulla sit amet nisl tempus convallis quis ac lectus. Cras ultricies ligula sed magna dictum porta. Curabitur aliquet quam id dui posuere blandit. Proin eget tortor risus.

Pin It on Pinterest