books and reading

Romance Spotlight: Abigail Barnette

Abigail Barnette is the pen name of author Jenny Trout, who writes under her actual name, too.  Today, I’m highlighting her excellent “The Boss” series as part of my “Reading Out of Your Comfort Zone” goal.  This is a thing I just made up, guys.  I mostly just wanted to talk about this smart, sexy series.

Partly created as a response to how problematic and worrisome the dom-sub relationship is in E.L. James’s ridiculously popular (and astonishingly TERRIBLE) 50 Shades trilogy, Trout’s books focus on Sophie Scaif, a woman in her mid-20s working for a fashion magazine when she realizes that her new boss, billionaire Neil Elwood, is the same man (who gave the name of Leif) that she hooked up with for the hottest one-night stand of her life in a hotel room eight years previously.  Realizing that there are still sparks between them, they start a sexual relationship that quickly becomes much more.

The first book started as serialized fiction on Trout’s blog, but she ended up turning it into a book.  That novel has spawned two published sequels and a novella, with a fourth book to be published this November.  The books are sexy, smart, and completely different from most of the other things I read on a day-to-day basis.  They are really, really fun.

But what sets these books apart from other titles in the romance/erotica/kink genres is that Trout has given them fully-realized personalities and quirks.  Although there is a ton of sex in the books (and it is some hot BDSM sex, you guys–this woman knows her kink), there’s also a lot of other stuff happening, too.  Sophie and Neil have hopes and dreams completely unrelated to their bedroom activities.  They talk about life stuff, they support each other, and they struggle with things that are incredibly real.

At any rate, the books are a ton of fun, and I’m enjoying the hell out of them.  I can’t wait for The Ex to be released in November.

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