It’s rare to find an author who can seamlessly move between different genres – especially when you happen to adore all the genres they write in. But that’s been our experience with Gena Showalter, who writes everything from paranormal romances to adventurous young adult series to sexy contemporaries filled with hot alpha men. At this point, we haven’t read anything by Showalter that we don’t love. Because of her versatility and her ability to make us fall for every story she writes, Gena Showalter is our official Author Crush for August.
This is a crush that’s been developing for years. Showalter wrote her first book in 2004 and since then she’s written over 25 titles. Over 25!! In 12 years!! It’s both crazy and awesome. (For us, at least. We imagine her fingers must hurt from all the typing.)
It doesn’t hurt that every book is better than the last. Her Lords of the Underworld series, about super hot guys who are cursed to carry demons inside them, has 16 books or novellas and counting. Prefer Young Adult novels? Showalter has two series for you to choose from, and one of them is about a secret zombie world and a hot bad boy who may or may not be shady. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Though all her work is unbelievably addictive, here are the four Showalter novels we turn to again and again:
Darkest Torment: Lords of the Underworld (HQN Books, May 31, 2016)
This is the latest installment in Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld, but it’s already one of our favorites. The series is about a band of immortal warriors who carry different Pandora curses inside their bodies –- making them extra tormented alpha warriors, indeed. Baden might be the most tortured of all, however. He’s the fallen warrior, hiding an even more dangerous monster inside of himself. After centuries in purgatory, any touch on his skin is agony. When he meets dog trainer Katarina, her gentle touch and kindness break through his tough shell, but is it enough to save him? Playing out like a sexier Beauty and the Beast, this installment also catches us up on all the warriors and their ladyloves. There’s also a twist or two that is bound to leave you gasping as you read (not to mention all those hot make out scenes).
Alice in Zombieland: White Rabbit Chronicles, Book 1 (Harlequin Teen, 2013)
Remember that zombie apocalypse we were talking about? Well, this is it: the start of Showalter’s Young Adult White Rabbit Chronicles. After a tragic accident takes her family, Alice goes to live with her grandmother and finds herself fighting her attraction a mysterious bad boy named Cole. Only Cole seems to know a lot about the secret monsters her father was always so afraid of. Alice starts to realize there might be more to the world around her than she ever thought possible, and Cole is the key to finding out the truth. But can she trust him? Showalter’s paranormal YA series is romantic, unique, and filled with illusions to Alice in Wonderland. Even the zombies are nothing like you’d expect, giving a unique twist on an old trope.
The Hotter You Burn: Original Heartbreakers, Book 2 (HQN Books, 2015)
We adore Showalter’s Original Heartbreakers series, featuring hot men who are only willing to settle down for the right girl. Book 2, The Hotter You Burn, is definitely our favorite, about playboy Beck who is the king of meaningless sex. But when he forms an unlikely friendship with town outcast Harlow he just might have to rethink his plan to only ever sleep with a woman once. Harlow is homeless and jobless, and she quietly takes the town’s scorn as her due after being a ruthless bully in her teens. Beck and Harlow need each other –- to break old patterns, to move beyond their pasts –- and their chemistry heats up every page.
Firstlife: An Everlife Novel (Harlequin Teen, February 23, 2016)
In her second young adult series, Showalter brings us into another unique and creative world. In Firstlife, you get more than one chance to live: your, well, Firstlife is just a dress rehearsal, with true life beginning after you die (called Second Life). But there are two factions in Secondlife, and if you don’t choose a side before you die, then you’re regulated to a land of torment. Seventeen-year-old Ten refuses to pick a side, leaving her locked in an asylum in her Firstlife. The two realms will do anything to win her soul, and when she finds herself on the run, Ten has no idea who she can trust, or what to make of her life after death.
Main image credit: Jovanka Novakovic