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  • Jenny Brown

Which Book Should You Read Next?

Updated: Apr 26, 2019


These books can be read in any order

Many authors write a very similar story from book to book. Readers love that, understandably, and I wish I was the kind of writer who could do that. But I write the books whose characters come and drag me over to my desk, demanding that I tell their stories, and their stories are as varied in tone as they are. So I thought it might be helpful to readers who enjoyed Lord Lightning and are wondering what to read next if I explained what kind of story they will find in the other four books I've published.

Lord Lightning combines light humor with deep psychological insight and an exploration of the powerful emotions that underlie sexual tension. From the reviews I've read, I can see that some readers prefer the humor and others the deep psychological exploration of emotion. If it's lighthearted humor you're looking for I'd suggest you read An Unexpected Heir next. It is laugh out loud funny at times. As with all my novels, you will find a solid, psychologically valid story underpinning the comedy in An Unexpected Heir , but it is more of a comedy of manners than my other books--one that harks back to the Signet Regencies I loved years ago. It had a sex scene in an earlier version, but on rereading it, I realized it wasn't necessary for the development of the plot. Since I'm not writing for a New York Publisher whose guidelines demand that every Historical Romance have a steamy sex scene, I took it out. This is a book you will enjoy most when you need to be cheered up. It is by far my most "feel good" book. Of all my heroes, Ned Prentice, its hero, is the one I would most like to spend the rest of my life with. If you prefer more emotional stories where sexual tension and difficult psychological issues play a stronger part, you may prefer to read Undisciplined Ardor next. Undisciplined Ardor is another story with a rake hero--who like Lord Lightning's Edward Neville fights very hard to remain a rake. Like Lord Lightning, Undisciplined Ardor takes a common trope--the girl dressed as a boy--and does something uncommon with it, going deep into the how the belief that stereotypical gender behaviors define a person's sexuality limits our ability to be authentic selves and to love. This is a big, meaty read and I have had several readers tell me that they found themselves in tears as the story neared its conclusion. You will get your HEA ending, but it doesn't come easily! I published two other novels with a big mass market publisher in the early 2010s besides Lord Lightning. They came out just as the Kindle Revolution was decimating paperback sales, and, since my publisher insisted on pricing them above the point where Kindle readers would buy them, very few readers ever discovered them Since my publisher would not give me the rights back to these two books, the Kindle versions are still priced pretty high. That is a shame, because as they are both very good books, though far darker than Lord Lightning in tone. After she sold Lord Lightning to my publisher, the agent who sold it pressured me to write another book where astrology played a part, though I had not intended to write an astrological series when I wrote Lord Lightning. Because everyone thinks of Scorpio as a sexy sign, she was enthusiastic about the idea of a book with a Scorpio hero. Unfortunately for her, and possibly my career, I take my astrology seriously, so I wrote a book with real Scorpios as the main characters. I did that because it is commonly believed that the only people who can find real happiness with strongly Scopionic mates are other people with strongly Scorpionic natures. The result was not the lightly humorous sexual romp that my agent and editor had had in mind. It remains one of my very favorite books, but it is very intense. Scorpio issues include a need to manipulate others, self-destructive behaviors, a life filled with betrayals, and, ideally, the gradual development of the ability to look reality in the eye and penetrate to the truth about oneself and others. Scorpios use sex to control other people. No romps here! My publisher chose to title the Scorpio book Star Crossed Seduction. Star Crossed Seduction features Eliza and Edward from Lord Lightning in supporting roles. Amazon has been suggesting to some people who download Lord Lightning that they should read this book next after Lord Lightning, but I would say this is only advisable if it wasn't the wit and charm of Lord Lightning that you responded to. That wit and charm are the Leo and Sagittarius characteristics that I brought out in the earlier book. Star Crossed Seduction is all Scorpio, all the time. Nevertheless, it all leads up to a satisfyingly romantic ending. Its plot is more complex than what you'll find in my other books with a very strong mystery to be solved at the heart of it.

The third book I wrote for my big publisher was originally titled The Dark Lord's Heir, and that is still how I think of it. But the publisher, for reasons that I have never understood, titled it Perilous Pleasures. Perilous Pleasures is the Pisces book of the astrology themed trilogy. It explores suitably Piscean themes: Self-denial, suffering, delusion, dreams, and the power of belief to heal people. Very few people ever got to read it because, once again, my publisher insisted on pricing it too high for Kindle buyers, and by the time it was published the chains had given up on selling paperback romances written by any but the best known romance authors. Reviews suggest that given its cover and title, buyers mistakenly believed it to be a paranormal romance and were unhappy when they learned that though Perilous Pleasures is full of what the characters believe to be magic, that magic is all illusory, though the power of their belief in a shared delusion is able to bring healing to two very wounded main characters. This is another powerfully emotional story with an undercurrent of sexual tension. I hope you enjoy all these books. If you do, let me hear from you!

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