As a huge lover of books and music, it only makes sense that the two would go together. When I’m sitting down to read, I’m not just picking a random playlist, I’m searching for those specific songs that I know will go perfectly with the tone and the atmosphere of what I’m reading. For sweet romances, I want quiet love songs. For epic fantasy, I want soaring classical numbers. But no matter what, the music is just as important as the words I’m reading.

Lately, I’ve been devouring indie/self-published romances, where the men are hot and the women are sassy. Here are two I can’t put down —and the playlists to go along with them.


Hold On (The ‘Burg Series Volume 6) by Kristen Ashley (Kristen Ashley, September 2015)

hold on kristen ashleyThe second a new Kristen Ashley novel comes out, I’m all over it. I will read anything this woman writes. If she wanted to tackle the new phonebook, I would be standing there holding out cash, ready for the first copy. Which is why I’m currently devouring Hold On, the final book in her ‘Burg series. This one follows Cher, a former stripper and single mother who we met in For You. She’s had a rough time of it but so has Garrett Merrick, a local cop and one of Cher’s close friends. When they drunkenly sleep together, the nature of their relationship changes and they each have to decide if their love is worth fighting for. These two are badasses, who are bruised and taking a chance on each other, so it only makes sense that their playlist would be filled with tough-but-sweet songs. This playlist is all about second chances, about being broken, and about finding love anyway:

Listen to:

“Renegades,” X Ambassadors

“Don’t Wanna Fight,” Alabama Shakes

“Make Our Own Way,” Little Brutes

“Hold Back the River,” James Bay

“March: Hills to Climb,” Tim Myers



Hollywood Dirt by Alessandra Torre (Everafter Romance, September 2015)

hollywood dirt alessandra torreIs there anything better than a hot-actor-falling-for-small-town-girl plot? No. No, there’s not. In Alessandra Torre’s new novel, Cole Masten is the hottest actor around, sleeping his way through Hollywood’s starlets. When he lands in Summer Jenkins’ small town in Georgia, it’s not long before the two are falling for each other hard. They’re opposites with completely different lives, but neither can deny the chemistry between them. Their playlist is all about yearning—songs that swell and build, that are upbeat and sentimental. It’s a fun collection of music, but the message is clear: at the end of the day, love will overcome any differences.


Listen to:

“Crystals,” Of Monsters and Men

“Hollywood,” Fisher

“Eye of the Needle,” Sia

“Headlights,” Robin Schulz & Ilsey

“You Haunt Me,” Sir Sly