VBC Beach Reads: Krista picks Kiera Cass, Kelly Gay and Shelly Laurenston


A Note from Chelsea / VBC: All the suggested poolside reading lists we see online point to cheeky contemporary novels or lighthearted romps. Well, at VBC we know there are plenty of books featuring paranormal elements, badass heroines and sexy heroes that are perfect for reading out under the sun. So, of course, we’ve decided to do our own Beach Reads picks. Each Friday for the next several weeks, we’ll share one VBC reviewers picks for the ultimate beach reads. Today Krista offers up a clever young adult book, a kickass urban fantasy and a sexy and funny paranormal romance.

The Selection by Kiera CassKRISTA’S BEACH READ PICKS

One of my favorite things to do in the summer is to grab some books, slap a ton of sunblock on, fill up my iPod, and lay out on the beach reading for hours. There is just something about tuning out the rest of the world while diving into a new or old favorite with the salty smell of the ocean carrying on the wind.

The Selection (The Selection #1) by Kiera Cass
Get the book at: Book Depository or Amazon

This is one of my favorite books from the last few years and is what I would consider a perfect beach book: A light quick read but not fluff. Honestly I may just consider it a quick read because it grabbed me from the get go and I finished it in one sitting. The Selection is set in a world that has been destroyed by economic fallout and global war. What we once knew as the democratic United States is now ruled by a Monarchy and divided into a caste system.

The heroine America Singer (honestly that’s her name, please don’t hold it against her) and her family are artists, part of one of the lower castes. In her society it is a tradition that when the prince comes of age there will be a national televised competition with candidates from each caste vying to become his wife—a competition which could be likened to The Bachelor meets The Hunger Games. Candidates are supposedly chosen by lottery.

America only applies because the boy she is in love with makes her a deal that if she is not chosen he will marry her. Their relationship has been hidden because of his status as a member of a caste lower than hers. As you can guess America gets chosen and becomes embroiled in the selection process. As she has left her heart behind America is not happy living in a glamorous fish bowl. The Prince stumbles upon her the first night, where in the middle of a panic attack she tells him how she really feels about his pretentious attitude and stupid contest. Of course she then becomes one of his favorites.  This book is so much more than its basic premise and includes layers upon layers. The sequel The Elite lives up to its predecessor, and I highly recommend both.

The Better Part of Darkness (Charlie Madigan #1) by Kelly Gay
Get the book at: Book Depository or Amazon

Last summer I was starving for some fresh urban fantasy and I stumbled upon Kelly Gay’s Charlie Madigan Series. I plowed through the first two books on what became my favorite beach day of the year. From the very beginning you have a kickass heroine who won’t stay dead, a precocious daughter, a sexy offworlder partner, an ex who makes stupid decisions and all manner of deadly mischief. To top that off, the world has recently experienced an extreme upheaval as the earth is stuck between hell and heaven realms with citizens who would either like to visit or immigrate.

I would highly recommend this series to fans of Patricia Briggs, Seanan McGuire and Ilona Andrews. Also the subsequent novels are just as enthralling.

Bear Meets Girl by Shelly LaurenstonBear Meets Girl (Pride Series #7) by Shelly Laurenston
Get the book at: Book Depository or Amazon

Shelly Laurenston is my go-to whenever I need a pick up or a laugh. I can’t help but feel as if the world is a better place after reading one of her books. As this series doesn’t necessarily need to be read in order, I chose one her latest offerings and my current favorite. These books belong in the paranormal romance genre so it is no surprise that there is a happily ever after. The fun is finding out how they got there. And fun is something in which Laurenston excels.

Our hero Crush is a stodgy undercover cop who looks like a giant meth dealer and also happens to be a polar bear shifter. Under the influence of numerous deceitful Jello shots he finds himself waking up naked with a very shapely Bengal tiger shifter with no memory of how he got there. Hijinks ensue. I love this series and I dare anyone to just read one—it’s impossible. I would also highly recommend anything under Laurenston’s pseudonym G.A. Aiken that starts with Dragon Actually (The Dragon Kin Series should be read in order).

I am totally open to any suggestions you have for either books to read or songs to add to my iPod. Enjoy your days at the beach. I know I will.

4 Responses to “VBC Beach Reads: Krista picks Kiera Cass, Kelly Gay and Shelly Laurenston”

  1. Colleen says:

    Thanks for the suggestions. I just read Sins and Needles by Karina Halle. Quick read and what I enjoyed about it was, I am not sure I even LIKE the main characters but it was a great book anyway!

  2. Holly says:

    I love this website for all the new authors you introduce me to! I will be picking up all three of these to check out. I love G.A Aiken’s Dragon series! So entertaining and definitely a summertime read. I think I’ll start with Shelly Laurenston then since it’s the same author! Who knew?!

  3. Arely Z. says:

    I recently finished reading Life After Theft by Aprilynne Pike and I highly recommend it. Another one I’ve heard good things about is Reboot by Amy Tintera, and I have it and am planning on reading it very soon!

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