February’s Author Crush: Lauren Blakely Will Put a BIG Smile on Your Face
A while ago I picked up a Lauren Blakely book right before bed. Big mistake. Huge! Four hours later and, bleary-eyed, I finally had to admit that I wasn’t going to be getting any sleep that night. At that point it didn’t even matter: I just couldn’t stop reading. And as any good reader knows, sometimes you have to sacrifice sleep for a great book.
And O.M.G. was it a great book.
Called Big Rock, it’s funny, smart, and scandalous enough to make me blush (more on it below!). After that, I knew I would forever be hooked on Lauren Blakely — which is why before the month was up, I decided I had to make her my official Author Crush for February.
It’s rare to find an author that perfectly balances humor and romance, especially when that romance is scorchingly hot. But Lauren Blakely is an expert, delivering story after story that’s heartfelt, romantic, and often laugh-out-loud funny. If you always gravitate toward those covers with half-naked men who clearly know how to, um, deliver, then Blakely is the author for you. She’s also just a great storyteller, with characters you care about and romances you can’t help but root for.
Here are five Blakely books that are guaranteed to put a BIG smile on your face:
It takes a lot to make me blush. I’m a veteran romance reader with a Kindle full of erotica that my mother would definitely not approve of me reading. But the first couple pages of Big Rock still made my cheeks flame up and my eyes dart around to see who might be watching. Let’s just say that the main character, Spencer, is well aware of his assets, and he isn’t afraid to describe them in loving detail. Add in a sarcastic best friend love interest, and I was immediately hooked. Because while Spencer might be graphic, he’s definitely not a jerk – he’s smart, funny and falls hard for his best friend, Charlotte. The two are also true best friends, with a relationship that feels realistic and deep. When they decide to pretend to be engaged for a week (it’s a long story), their friendship deepens, realistically blossoming into love. These two are adorable together, the prose is hilarious and sexy, and – trust me – you won’t be able to put this book down.
I clearly have a thing for friends-to-lovers romances, which is also the premise of Blakely’s latest novel. This is another male POV book (rare in the romance world!), which instantly gives us a unique perspective into an adorable relationship. Like Spencer and Charlotte, Josie and Chase start out as true friends. But when “Doctor McHottie” needs a place to stay and Josie just so happens to need a roommate, the two are thrown into a situation they’ve never dealt with before. It’s not long before they’re warming each other’s beds – and navigating the complications that come from adding sex to a strong friendship. Watching them realize their love for each other is a true (and sometimes hilarious) pleasure.
After reading Big Rock, I was dying to get the love story between Spencer’s best friend, Nick, and his off-limits sister, Harper. I’m happy to say that Blakely definitely delivers. Nick is a cartoonist who specializes in the Big O, which is why women are always throwing themselves at him. He’s also just as vocal as Spencer about his performance, and maybe even a little more inappropriate (if you think I blushed hard during Big Rock, you should have seen me here…). Harper, Spencer’s sister, is a magician who’s looking for some dating advice. When Nick agrees to help, their relationship starts to get hotter and hotter, despite the fact that they’re both trying hard to resist each other. But that kind of insane chemistry can’t be denied for long, and soon these two are most definitely giving into temptation. Sexy, sweet and heartfelt, I could read about Nick and Harper forever.
Blakely’s earlier books are perhaps a bit less playful than her latest ones, but they’re still compelling love stories that will suck you in from the first page. Night After Night is the first book in her Seductive Nights series, telling the story of Clay and Julia. I love all of Blakely’s heroes, but Clay just might be my favorite. He’s sexy, smart, successful, determined and did I mention that he likes dirty talk? Because he definitely likes dirty talk. As soon as he meets bar owner Julia, he’s pretty much smitten. But Julia has a complicated past and secrets that she’s just not ready to share with Clay. After spending a few nights of passion together, Julia decides it’s time to run. Clay’s been hurt before, and even though he’s clearly drawn to Julia, he’s also trying to protect his heart. The two have a long journey if they want a future together, but it is definitely worth the wait. Fair warning: after you read this one, you’ll want to get your hands on the sequel(s) ASAP.
This is the second book in Blakely’s Sinful Nights series, which follow the sexy Sloan siblings as they all find true love. And while all of the books are worth reading, Sinful Desire is definitely my favorite. Why? Because I just can’t get enough of Ryan Sloan and philanthropist Sophie Winston. I’m a huge fan of opposite-attracts romances, and these two are definitely opposites. Sophie is open, honest and looking to give up control. Ryan is harboring some secrets, and looking to take control. The result leads to some very, very (VERY) sexy times. Seriously, these two might burn the plastic off your Kindle. Their chemistry is off the charts from the beginning, and only gets hotter the more you read. Throw in an ongoing mystery that ties the couple together, and you get a complex love story with thriller-style undertones that will keep you hooked from the first page.