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As a reader, I try to be open minded. I love finding new authors and am willing to give almost any book or author a try. But, as most readers, I do have my favorite authors as well as book genres, writing styles and even a preference for stand-alone books or series.
So, now, I know, you are all dying to know . . . which do I prefer? Which side of the line do I fall on when choosing between a series or a stand-alone . . . .
For any of you who have tracked my reviews, I think my preferences are pretty clear. I love nothing better than sinking my teeth into a well written series!
Now that I have stated that, let me also say, that there are some truly amazing stand-alone books that I have read and will continue to read. A well written stand-alone can pack a very powerful punch. It takes a skilled writer to get everything they need to create both a complete story line as well as complete characters into just two to three hundred pages.
Because I tend to binge-read a series I fall in love with, I have to be mindful of my time as well as any review deadlines I have coming up. This is when a stand-alone can be a life saver. It’s one book . . .there is no follow-up drive or commitment that has me forsaking all other books until I have read every available book in the series before being to move on with my life in the book world. (And, yes, it sounds over-dramatic, but it’s true. To me, there is nothing better than an amazing binge read of an entire series one right after the other so you can truly lose yourself in that particular world.) I also enjoy finding a collection or anthology of stand-alone books that have a similar theme, but each hold their own . . . it’s like the best of both worlds.
Here are a few recommendations for stand-alone books I have read and reviewed so far this year:
“Damaged” by L.M. Lee.
Genre – romance/contemporary/erotica
Amazon – http://amzn.to/2fGQB2b
“Master of Blackmoor” by Julie Shelton
Genre – romance/historical/erotica
Amazon – http://amzn.to/2xOm9JI
“The Friar” by Samantha A. Cole
Genre – romance/contemporary/romantic suspense
Amazon – http://amzn.to/2x6A8f8
As I looked through my reviews from this year as well as the books I have on my kindle, while there are plenty of stand-alone books, it is absolutely packed with series.
I have always gravitated towards series, even as an early reader. I remember devouring The Babysitter’s Club books as well as Beverly Cleary’s Ramona series, and, I’ve already gushed in earlier posts about my love for the Anne of Green Gables books!
This post made me stop and really think about why I love getting lost in a series.The characters become like family. When characters are carried throughout a series, we get to learn so much about them because the author has more time to devote to them. This lets readers in to see smaller and more minute details that you just can’t fit into one book. We get to watch them grow and change with how they interact throughout a series as we watch them take on the highs and lows thrown at them by an author. The struggle is real when either an author kills off a beloved character or, the series comes to an end and you finally have to say goodbye. I can honestly state that I have ugly cried more than once at the death of a fictional character.
A series can also give an author more time to develop a complex plot that arches over many books. For me, even as part of a series, a book needs to feel finished at the end of the last chapter (just say no to cliff-hangers!) That being said, a skilled writer can carry a story line or over arching plot through multiple books to really hook and draw readers in to their literary world. The current story can wrap up but you know there is so much more to come, and the anticipation of that is fantastic build up as you wait for the next release. When the big reveal finally happens, it is amazingly satisfying!
And, you can binge read! I really love nothing better than binging my way through a series! I can totally immerse myself into the characters and escape into their world for hundreds and sometimes thousands of pages and, I absolutely adore it! Of course, the book hang-over you are left with can seem devastating when you are done and trying to find something satisfying to pick up next can truly be a struggle . . . but I think the pros out weigh the cons for me . . . so I’ll continue to carry on with always looking for that next great series to get lost in!
I have so many favorite series recommendations, it is kind of ridiculous. So, I am just going to list them out by genre and post a link to book one in each:
Paranormal Romance / Urban Fantasy
- A. J. Aalto – Marnie Baranuik series – “Touched” (http://amzn.to/2yPeWrg)
- Dannika Dark – Crossbreed series – “Keystone” (http://amzn.to/2x4BMy5)
- Dannika Dark – Mageri series – “Sterling” (http://amzn.to/2kdWSUE)
- Dannika Dark – Seven series – “Seven Years” (http://amzn.to/2fZbVNo)
- Kym Grosso – The Immortals of New Orleans – “Kade’s Dark Embrace” (http://amzn.to/2x7cdaM)
- Teresa Gabelman – The Protectors – “Damon” (http://amzn.to/2x6j703)
- Victoria Danann – The Knights of Black Swan – “My Familiar Stranger” (http://amzn.to/2yO28kZ)
This next group of books can fall under many categories, so I will include genre along with the series name.
- Cherise Sinclair – Mountain Masters & Dark Haven series (erotica/bdsm, romantic suspense) – “Master of the Mountain (http://amzn.to/2yAMeK6)
- Cherise Sinclair – Masters of the Shadowlands series (erotica/bdsm, romantic suspense) – “Club Shadowlands’ (http://amzn.to/2fJtILz)
- Jodi Watters – A Love What Happens series (contemporary, romantic suspense) – “Next to Me” (http://amzn.to/2fFDMFq)
- Keira Montclair – Clan Grant series (historical romance) “Rescued by a Highlander” (http://amzn.to/2xRQDLf)
- Lexi Blake – The Masters and Mercenaries series (romantic suspense, erotica/bdsm) “The Dom Who Loved Me (http://amzn.to/2fGTsIn)
- Samantha A. Cole – Trident Security series (romantic suspense, military romance, erotica/bdsm) “Leather and Lace” (http://amzn.to/2x5HVKv)
- Scott Hildreth – The Filthy F*ckers (mc romance, erotica) Boxed Set (http://amzn.to/2xSw0P1)
- Scott Hildreth – The Selected Sinners (mc romance, erotica) – Boxed Set (http://amzn.to/2fFFyX6)
- Scott Hildreth – The Un-Series / F*cking & Fighting (boxer romance, erotica) Boxed Set (http://amzn.to/2xOVpsL)
- Susan Stoker – Badge of Honor series (military romance, romantic suspense) Justice for Mackenzie (http://amzn.to/2x4P2CJ)
- Susan Stoker – Delta Force Heroes (military romance, romantic suspense) Rescuing Rayne (http://amzn.to/2yBmv4b)
- Susan Stoker – Seal of Protection series (military romance, romantic suspense) Protecting Caroline (http://amzn.to/2xPjVKl)
I told you my list was a bit on the ridiculous side, but these either all are one click’s or all were one click’s for me on release day depending on if the series has been completed or not.
So, there you have it. My love for a series typically outweighs a stand-alone, and that is where I fall in this debate.
Are you team stand-alone or team series? Leave a comment and let me know! Or, have a series or stand-alone I should be reading? Let me know!
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