If you read my last list post, you’ll remember me teasing about this one. I couldn’t even take a picture of a book stack for this one because they were all ebooks….easier to hide that way. 😉
Guilty pleasure reads are like candy for your brain. They are fun, engrossing, and pure entertainment. Buuuuut they aren’t always something you’re proud to admit to reading, whether it’s because you’re waaaaaay over the target age demographic for the books, because you don’t want to admit that werewolves are freaking hot, or because maybe you read a few too many smutty books.
Whatever the reason(s), one doesn’t always want to cop to reading certain titles. But, I’m going to do that not just once, but 12 times over. Here are my top 12 guilty pleasure reads, all series, coincidentally.
1. The Fever Series (Books 1-5)
by Karen Marie Moning
MacKayla “Mac” Lane is throws over her bored, sun-soaked, slow southern summer to travel to Ireland to get answers after her sister is mysteriously murdered. But what she finds will only lead to more questions, a world she never knew existed, and people and creatures that would make her nightmares have nightmares. These aren’t your average faeries. This series is a darkly sensual (if the author’s last name didn’t already give that alway 😉 ), paranormal thriller and will leave you feverish.
Full disclaimer: this series was originally meant to end after book 5, but Moning released five more books to this series. I’ve read the 6th, which I was less than impressed with, and the seventh, which was a lot better, but have yet to read farther. If you have, I’d be interested in your thoughts, as right now, I’m on the fence about whether I should leave well enough alone or risk disliking the next three books to the point that it ruins this series for me.
Honorable mention: Moning’s The Highlander Series are pretty great and tell the tale of some of the druids in the Fever Series. They can be read as stand alone novels, but if you like the first, you’ll end up reading all of them anyway.
by Rin Chupeco
This series is kind of Memoirs Of A Geisha meets Vampire Academy (without vampires, just the elemental magic), meets Game of Thrones. It is very much a story of the misunderstood heroine construed as a villain, and it is done so well that right up to the climax of the last book, you’re questioning if Tea is good or bad. While the writing can be a bit amateurish at times and there is plenty of YA angst, there are some really quotable lines in these books, pointedly making you reflect on them and have your head nodding in agreement.
3. The Iron Fey
By Julie Kagawa
A young woman, haunted by the disappearance of her father before her very eyes, suddenly notices she is being watched. When her pluckish best friend begins to act more protective around her, she begins to see that the world is more than she thought it was, and soon discovers that she is more than she knew. Borrowing characters from Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Kagawa takes us on a thrilling adventure to the realm of the Fae like you never imagined it: dark, twisted and surprisingly beautiful.
Honorable mention: Julie Kagawa wrote another series, Blood of Eden, which starts with The Immortal Rules. It is a bit sci-fi, and a lot fantasy, but an interesting mix.
By Deborah Harkness
I’m not sure what it says about me that most of the books on this list are fantasy fiction and many are YA or NA, but at least this one is a bit more grown up. Err, well, as grown up as one can be when discussing witches, daemons, vampires and the like. In A Discovery of Witches, we follow a young scholar, deep in the throws of research and long-denying her witchy side, when she accidentally calls up a lost manuscript that means everything to everyone in the realm of fantastical beings. It was even made into a TV series starring Matthew Goode. Handy when the character he’s playing has the same name as him, don’t you think?
By Richelle Mead
Remember when Twilight was all the rage? Yeah, the ship has pretty much sailed on vampires now, right? Well…maybe there’s room for one or two more…or maybe the vampire fad never really faded. Regardless, Vampire Academy blows Twilight out of the water. Rose and Dimitri are total bad asses and would kick shiny vampire butt. There was a spin off series as well that was just as good in my opinion, but definitely start with this first. You can thank me later.
6. The Others
by Anne Bishop
This is another series of grown-up fantasy fiction. What I like about that genre is the ability to make the reader really think about things we’ve become numb to, like the abuse of modern day slavery we all know exists but prefer not to think about. (P.S. if you want to find out more about real life, modern day slavery, go check out my friend Bernadette’s blog, A Purpose and a Stitch). This series is centered on Meg, a blood prophet, held and exploited for the profit her blood and prophesies will bring in. Meg escapes her prison, and ends up in a community run by Others, seen by humans as savages and, yup, “other.” This is one of those series that as soon as you’re done with one, you immediately want to jump into the next. They’re all published, so you won’t have to wait…unless you’re getting them from the library. Then, obvs.
By Estelle Ryan
I really liked this series, and honestly, it doesn’t really belong on a list like this, because there’s nothing to feel guilty about when reading about this autistic insurance turned art and murder investigator. She’s a total badass. I just wanted to draw people’s attention to this series so that it gets the attention it deserves.
By Robin LaFevers
Yup, more YA. I think that reading anything YA over a certain age might qualify as a guilty pleasure, but I so don’t care. If that’s bad, I don’t want to be good. This historical fantasy fiction series follows young women trained to become handmaidens of Death…as in the god of Death. Pure entertainment, I’m telling you.
By Marie Treanor
Okay, if you’re still looking at vampires as a fad gone by but aren’t ready to let it go, then here’s another series for you. If Vampire Academy kicked Twilight’s butt, Awakened By Blood stands atop even VA. Saloman was my main book boyfriend for a loooooonnnng time, and even now just thinking about him has me wanting to pull this series back out. Mmmmm.
By Alma Katsu
This series is seriously a bit dark and the main characters are totally messed UP, but in the best possible way….the way you can read about. You’ll cheer Lanore, curse her, and close your eyes because you can’t watch but end up peeking through your fingers to see what happens (metaphorically, obviously, because….it’s a book, duh). Gripping, dark, sensual, and pretty fantastical, but with a twist you don’t see coming.
By Amelia Hutchins
I rank this series right up there with the Fever series above. These aren’t in any order, so don’t be fooled by the list number on this one. This is another dark, fantastical, sensual fiction, and pretty explicit. Don’t judge me. Amelia Hutchins did a fan-freaking-tastic job writing her characters and building the world they inhabit. There’s just as much action as there is…ahem, action.
By Laini Taylor
This series is one of my all-time favorites. It’s beautifully written, wondrously meticulous in its world building, hauntingly beautiful and achingly tragic. It will have you questioning all you know about angels and monsters and all the gray area in between. And maybe, just maybe, we can all still be saved.
Once again, putting this list together was easy; but there are many more I could have added. If you would like to see what other books I have read and recommend, check out my Goodreads page.
I hope you enjoyed this list! What are some of your guilty pleasure reads? Have you read any I listed above?
Until next time!
Want to receive monthly recaps of what’s been happening on the blog, special sales and promotions, and even exclusive coupon codes to use in my shop? Sign up for my newsletter for all that and more! I promise not to spam you and you can opt out at any time!
The opinions and recommendations given in this post are entirely my own. I wouldn’t suggest anything to you that I have not tried and done myself. I earn nothing from my recommendations, I’m simply passing on a little information.