What to Read After The Deal

by Maryse on May 19, 2016 · 44 comments

in Book Recommendations

I’ve been looking for more “new adult” books with that awesome, old-school “college/new adult” feel. There are so many in the new adult genre, from super-heartbreaking, to super-dark and everything in between. But to me… that one to the left? That is a recent “new-adult” book with that delightful “old-school’ feel.

You know the ones… Beautiful Disaster (<— although that one is super heartbreaking – LOVE!!), Easy, Flat-Out Love, Rock Me, Slammed… you get the picture. And they don’t have to be jocks (this isn’t a sports star romance list, although that’s coming, too!). ;) It’s about the “feel” of the writing, the storyline and the characters, their dialogue and connection, and not so much, the “trope”.

That witty writing and realistic story-flow, with relatable characters, believable dialogue (inner dialogue, too!), romance-angst, and personal dilemmas that have depth. That we connect to (but nothing too outrageous or over-the-top). But best of all, that “besties” feel and even “strangers-to-friends”, the hilarious moments and goofy hijinks that have us laughing out loud, and clutching our e-reader to our chest with glee. And swoons.

That’s THE PERFECT read! And we want more!!! So I asked:

Maryse: What books did you love that had a “The Deal” (by Elle Kennedy) feel? Doesn’t have to be sports guys, but I’m looking for more “new adult” stories with that witty, awesome writing and hilarious dialogue and funny situations, and of course… romance angst (but not too angsty). You know… not too much drama. :D For me, I’d say: “Undecided“, “Cocky Bastard” and “The Year We Fell Down” are absolutes!

Jessica: I was going to suggest Undecided lol. I stayed up most of last night reading it.

Maryse: I LOVED it. I want another! LOL!

Jessica: It went on my top reads so far this year

Sali: Ohhh. Following this post

Lauren: Following!

Sam: I LOVE these lists! They are 100% how I discovered your blog, and book blogs in general. I had just finished reading the latest in the Lux series and was in a major hangover state so I googled what to read next and I found your blog! And you were all “you must read Beautiful Disaster!” So I did! And it was amazing! So I then proceeded to read every recommended book in that list and basically my book obsession was born, lol!

Maryse: Oh I LOVE knowing this, Sam!! I’m so glad you’re a part of our awesome reading group, and that you’re loving the books like we are.

Kimberly: The other two books in the series, “The Mistake” and “The Score” are both fantastic, since you liked “The Deal.” I agree with Maryse, “Undecided” has the same feel as “The Deal.”

Trish: Thanks for the list, Hun!

Maryse:  My pleasure! This will be a list I will pick from often. :D

Trish: Me too! I saved it!

Yep! “Undecided” definitely prompted this list! I LOVED it like crazy and I just KNEW you guys would love it too. Actually, many of you here knew I WOULD love it, ’cause I loved “The Deal” (and the subsequent books in that series) and I’m SO thankful for this recommendation. Now that I’ve devoured this latest one, I realize, it’s time for this list. Because I want MORE!!!

So let’s make the list, shall we?

Right off the bat, EVERY single book in Elle Kennedy’s “Off Campus” series (the two after The Deal) are must reads. In fact, the third one is my favorite of the bunch!

Undecided by Julianna Keyes <— YES PLEASE!!! This is the one that prompted this list, ’cause I’ve been looking for that “The Deal” feel and I GOT IT! More like this. This one gave me all of the fun and feeling as if I was part of (or wanted BADLY to be part of) this impromptu group of new college friends and roommates. It had everything. From best friends that became enemies, from hookups that meant so much to one person, yet promptly forgotten by the other, to new roommates, to mixed signals, to roommates best friends. All that college drama (but on an even-keel feel). Rumors, and assumptions, crushes and love. Heartache, reveals and disappointments. An absolute delight to read! (my review) and Anne agrees:

Anne: “I am reading Undecided and LOVING it!! So good!! Maryse it does have an Elle Kennedy feel to it, which I appreciate so much!”

Teri: I just finished Undecided by Julianna Keyes and Loved It! I am glad to see another mention of her on here because she is def a new favorite author and I’m on to Going The Distance!

Robyn: I’m halfway into Undecided! You’re right Maryse, it has that “feel” to it. I’m love it and can’t put it down. I love the giddy and squirly feelings….love! This is what I look for in most books I read.

Cocky Bastard by Penelope Ward & Vi Keeland <— They’re out of college at this point, but the feels, and the interaction and the silly moments, and the romance-angst is JUST right for this list! A must read for sure! (my review)

Amy: I’m still working on Cocky Bastard and LOVING IT!!!! Holy moly, that unexpected twist after Vegas and the *why* of it…wasn’t expecting that! Chance…oh my, I’m in love with that guy right now. And that goat. How. Freaking. Cute.

Cristina: I finished Cocky Bastard last night and all I can say is, THAT my reading friends is how you fight for your girl!!!!! Chance had me *sighing and swooning* loudly during the last half of the book. His fighting spirit had me crushing on him so hard!!

The Year We Fell Down: A Hockey Romance (The Ivy Years Book 1) by Sarina Bowen <— Sweet and angsty, but again, in a fun and relatable format. Both characters live in a handicapped-accessible area in the dorm due to injuries they’ve received as star-hockey players, and while hers are permanent, and his are just temporary, they forge an incredible friendship. And more… but insecurities abound. (my review) and Arwen agrees!

Arwen: “I really liked the Year we Fell Down also!”

Jean: I LOVED The Year We Fell Down….. will never forget it.

Cheryl: I thought The Year We Fell Down was a sweet story too. Great book! I specifically read it because the heroine was in a wheelchair, because my daughter is special needs too and I wanted to read a positive story about the heroine having a “normal” life in college despite her “disability.” Heartwarming!! ;)

PUCKED (The PUCKED Series Book 1) by Helena Hunting <— Sunny’s recommendation! “I loved Pucked by Helena Hunting.”

Cindy: Just finished Pucked and never laughed so hard!! Great book and loved the outrageous things that came out of Violet’s mouth – especially in the epilogue. Thanks for the great recommendation!!

Anne: I love Pucked! If you want funny and hot read it :D

Lisa: Pucked was snort laugh funny….just what the Dr ordered after my recent book blues funk. Think I have an ice hockey/football player crush going on……too bad we don’t have either in Australia

Jean: Guys, if you are looking for a light, funny read…. Pucked! I loved it! So funny and instead of a stuffed manatee, she has a stuffed beaver!!!! Lol!

Rm w/a Vu by A.D. Ryan <— Rebecca loved this one! “I loved Rm w/a Vu. She was a college student and he was a sports agent- roommate book. It was great!”
Wrong by Jana Aston <— Lisa chooses these two! “Right and Wrong by Jana Aston (two separate books)” (my review of Wrong)
I Pick You by Jettie Woodruff <— Sue says: “Try “I Pick You” by Jettie Woodruff. I’m so in love with that story!!”
RoomHate by Penelope Ward <— Trisha chooses this one and I AGREE!! LOVED IT! (my review)

Tessa: Finished Roomhate and one word, super sweet. I have to admit, I didn’t feel angsty throughout the book, just happy. However, I’m still smiling over it. :D

DG: Read RoomHate and LOVED it. Justin gave me the ‘queasy’ tingles in the beginning…but it was so worth it!

Lisa: RoomHate by Penelope Douglas!!! Wow!!! Talk about angst,anger & love!! Yup it was one of those days work read work read & sneak a lil more reading !! Good thing I work from home or I’d be fired!! Good thing my boss is my hubby or I’d be fired!! Shhh!! I was productive today!!

Bastard by J.L. Perry <— Trisha also recommends this one!

The Debt by Tyler King <— Jamie found us this one! “I recently read The Debt by Tyler King, it came out last week I think, and I thought that it definitely had that old school, new adult vibe going for it. Awesome characters, funny/witty banter, angst and heartbreaking backstories. I really enjoyed it!”

Scoring Wilder by R.S. Grey <— Arwen loved these, too! “Two of my other faves are Scoring Wilder by RS Grey, and Baller by Vi Keeland.”

Anna: I just finished Scoring Wilder and totally loved it! Just a straight-up good college romance with a super sexy hot guy and a pretty kick-ass main character. Good stuff!

The Baller: A Down and Dirty Football Novel by VI Keeland <— Arwen also recommends this one and Stacy agrees: “I started this week reading The Baller and I can’t recommend it enough. It’s was amazing.” (and here’s my review)

Tapping the Billionaire by Max Monroe <— Linda suggests these: “Tapping the Billionaire, Mister O and Big Rock: (A Sexy Standalone Contemporary Romance). Perfect reads!!!”

Jean: Ok, I’m not screaming, but…..YOU ALL NEED TO READ TAPPING THE BILLIONAIRE!

DG: Jean is ABSOLUTELY right! Read Tapping A Billionaire! Like now. *putting my bossy hat*. Seriously….you can’t go wrong UNLESS you don’t like to laugh…you don’t like hottie all about the girl billionaires…you don’t like witty banter…and you definitely don’t like smexy scenes. Ask Linda or Grace…thinking they might agree with me….OH, and if you still haven’t met HIM….then you might need to one-click The Ending I Want while you are there…. you have to read Tapping the Billionaire! Definitely not like those other millionaire, billionaire books. Downright hilarious. In Tapping you get to meet not only Thatch but wait for it…..Bad_Ruck!!!!! *rolling on the floor hold belly giggling* the banter makes it so great!

Pia: Finished Big Rock a few days ago. A very sweet, fun, sexy and safe read – no angst here. But Lauren Blakely when she is best :-) An awesome read

Anne: I loved Big Rock! So fun! I love when books are from the guys POV. They always crack me up lol

Game On Series by Kris Callahan <— Carrie insists!! “You have to include Kris Callihan’s Game On series!!”

Marion: The Hook Up is soooooo good like 5star good to me. If you liked The Deal you’ll LUV this one! On to Friend zone now!

Tessa: The Hook Up is seriously everything I love in my HEA books. Angst, no over whiny, happy twirling moments, sad moments that make you want to hug everyone. It’s just wonderful.

bev: I really liked her NA books The Hook Up & The Friend Zone.

Cheryl: Just finished The Friend Zone and I liked it more than The Hook Up. There was more angst and more of a slow burn with their friends to lovers relationship.

Lisa: Laugh out loud loving The Hook up. Cant wait to start Friend Zone next. Fresh fun and sexy.

Bowler University series <— JenM recommends these! “I love Megan Erickson’s Bowler University series starting with Make It Count. I read it just after I blew through Sarina Bowen’s Ivy Years series (The Year We Hid Away: A Hockey Romance (The Ivy Years Book 2) is my personal favorite in that series) and I thought it had a very similar feel. Angsty, but not too much so, great characters, and realistic conflict.”

Forbidden Men Series <— Kennedy recommends this: “Linda Kage’s Forbidden Men series.”

Off the Subject series <— Trisha recommends TWO of this author’s series! “Denise Grover Swanks Off the Subject series. It’s college aged and perfect for this list …Definitely include them. Perfect amount of angst, romance and swoon worthy. I think “the wedding pact” series by Denise Grover swank would be good for this category. They r right out of college but it has the same angst and romance and I enjoyed these.

Blythe College Series <— Shelly recommends a bunch! “Oooooh, there are some on this list I haven’t read yet! Time to add some books to my TBR lol. I still have my #RushCrush from the Too Far books by Abbi Glines. I loved Sacked by Jen Frederick, too. And the Blythe College series by Rochelle Paige, especially Outside the Box.”

bev recommends these: I’m having a hard time thinking of any that have not been mentioned. Except for Fangirl: A Novel by Rainbow Rowell. And Losing It by Cora Carmack. But if we can stumble off the NA line a bit then the Stage Dive books by Kylie Scott. They are older though. On the other side of the line Anna and the French Kiss and Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins come to mind, but they are YA.

Andrea recommends these!! “Thank you for that wonderful list. Now I am happy to have an idea what books will follow to be read :) But I am missing the following books (that I already read and was zoomed in):
➜ “Bully
➜ “Elements of Chemistry” The book series
➜ “Bad Romeo
➜ “Play with me (Grover Beach Team)
Jeannie recommends these! “Great list!! I was also going to recommend the series, Elements of Chemistry by Penny Reid, which I loved. Other books along those lines are:
➜ Present Perfect (Perfect series Book 1) by Alison G. Bailey, which I really liked. I wanted to shake the h a number of times, and it was starting to drive me crazy until a plot twist, and then I couldn’t put it down.
➜ Wait for You by Jennifer L. Armentrout and
➜ Flat-Out Love (Flat-Out Love Series Book 1) by Jessica Park.”

                                          

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{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

Jamie B May 19, 2016 at 7:31 PM

I recently read The Debt by Tyler King, it came out last week I think, and I thought that it definitely had that old school, new adult vibe going for it. Awesome characters, funny/witty banter, angst and heartbreaking backstories. I really enjoyed it!

Maryse May 19, 2016 at 7:38 PM

Thank you Jamie!!! I’m adding it right away. :D

Anne May 19, 2016 at 7:52 PM

Love this list! Undecided is so good!!

Maryse May 19, 2016 at 8:06 PM

Agreed Anne. I REALLY love that kind of story and style of writing.

shawnee May 19, 2016 at 8:30 PM

Great list!!! Did anyone ever read # Nerd?

Trisha May 19, 2016 at 8:38 PM

Great list! I’ve read all these!

Maryse May 19, 2016 at 9:05 PM

Not me… yet. Have you, Shawnee?

Shelly B May 19, 2016 at 9:36 PM

Oooooh, there are some on this list I haven’t read yet! Time to add some books to my TBR lol.

I still have my #RushCrush from the Too Far books by Abbi Glines. I loved Sacked by Jen Frederick, too. And the Blythe College series by Rochelle Paige, especially Outside the Box.

Trisha May 19, 2016 at 10:33 PM

I added this to your Facebook post but I forgot about Denise Grover Swanks Off the Subject series. It’s college aged and perfect for this list.

JenM May 19, 2016 at 11:05 PM

I love Megan Erickson’s Bowler University series starting with Make It Count. I read it just after I blew through Sarina Bowen’s Ivy Years series (The Year We Hid Away is my personal favorite in that series) and I thought it had a very similar feel. Angsty, but not too much so, great characters, and realistic conflict.

bev May 20, 2016 at 12:10 AM

I’m having a hard time thinking of any that have not been mentioned.
Except for Fan girl by Rainbow Rowell. And Losing It by Cora Carmack.
But if we can stumble off the NA line a bit then the Stage Dive books by Kylie Scott. They are older though. On the other side of the line Anna and the French Kiss and Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins come to mind, but they are YA.

Kennedy Bishop May 20, 2016 at 12:38 AM

Linda Kage’s Forbidden Men series.

Lisa May 20, 2016 at 1:25 AM

Great list with some of my all time favorite books. Havent read Undecided yet but downloaded it based purely on all the SHOUTY cap responses it got on here. ;)

Grace May 20, 2016 at 3:05 AM

Help! I read The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan and enjoyed it, but when I read the premise to The Friend Zone, which according to Amazon I have not read, it rang bells loudly. Was the set up for it strong in the first book? Can anyone remember?

Lisa May 20, 2016 at 4:05 AM

Grace I think The Friend Zone was more fun than The Hook Up. It starts with H/h Ivy and Gray on different continents and bantering via text….ringing bells??

Grace May 20, 2016 at 4:17 AM

It totally is! I’m going to have to check and see if it was something I have in iBooks and that’s why it’s not in my Kindle. If not, I just must have really liked the description and meant to read it, but never did. Ugh, I just picked up Baller, Cocky Bastard and RoomHate so it’s gong to have to wait now. I bet this is what happened the first time! Too many books.

Grace May 20, 2016 at 4:18 AM

Oh! and Thanks Lisa!

Lisa May 20, 2016 at 5:15 AM

Ive read all of those Grace….great choices. :)

Grace May 20, 2016 at 7:06 AM

Lisa – Thanks! It’s going to so much fun. I’ve been meaning to pick these up since each one got love on here, but sometimes they slip through the cracks. This post was my wake up call.

Bless you Maryse! Got such a kick out your giggling video reaction to CB!

Maryse May 20, 2016 at 9:53 AM

LOL Grace! I couldn’t help myself. ;) I also embarrass myself but hey, why not share it, right?

Maryse May 20, 2016 at 10:19 AM

LOL Lisa!! I insist on its awesomeness!!!! :D

Laura May 20, 2016 at 10:34 AM

Dominic by LA Casey and Nero by Sarah Brianne are a bit on the darker side of the “new adult” feel but I loved both books.

Grace May 20, 2016 at 2:35 PM

Lisa and Maryse – Cocky Bastard is very funny. Why am I always reading the funniest stuff late at night when I can’t let lose my laughs? So glad I’m finally reading it. :)

Grace May 20, 2016 at 2:38 PM

Loose? Time for bed.

Andrea May 20, 2016 at 3:42 PM

Thank you for that wonderful list. Now I am happy to have an idea what books will follow to be read :)
But I am missing the following books (that I already read and was zoomed in):
“Bully”
The book series “Elements of Chemistry”
“Bad Romeo”
“Play with me (Grover Beach Team)

Jeannie S. May 20, 2016 at 6:36 PM

Great list!! I was also going to recommend the series, Elements of Chemistry by Penny Reid, which I loved. Other books along those lines are Present Perfect by Alison G. Bailey, which I really liked. I wanted to shake the h a number of times, and it was starting to drive me crazy until a plot twist, and then I couldn’t put it down. Wait for You by Jennifer L. Armentrout and Flat Out Love by Jessica Park.

Sandi May 20, 2016 at 9:08 PM

Ok, I’m going to have to put my foot down! My TBR list is just too long and you keep putting too many up that sound good. I can’t be held responsible because I have to keep checking…so you have to stop!

Maryse May 21, 2016 at 9:54 AM

Great list, Andrea! I’m adding ‘em. :D

Maryse May 21, 2016 at 10:10 AM

Yes Jeannie!! Awesome additions!

Maryse May 21, 2016 at 10:10 AM

LOL Sandi!!! I’m gonna pick from this list a ton!

Maryse May 21, 2016 at 10:11 AM

OMG these are perfect, bev. I’m adding them. And of COURSE “Losing It” was one of the firsts that I went crazy for, so many years ago with exactly this “feel”

bev May 21, 2016 at 10:43 AM

Lol. I remember, that’s why I read it.

lisa a ocallahan May 21, 2016 at 12:00 PM

I did not see this on this great list. I`m reading now( Emerge by S.E Hall)

Jessica gomez May 21, 2016 at 2:32 PM

Hello maryse i really enjoyed the plotline for desperately seeking epic. Ive been looking for similar books like that. Could you please make a what to read after list

Jan130 May 21, 2016 at 7:08 PM

Ooh. Quite a few here I haven’t read. Yummy! Yep, I’ll add my vote for Kristen Callahan and Cora Carmack. Great characters, great feels.

What about Grace Grows by Shelle Sumner? Grace and Tyler aren’t college students, but they’re young, both kind of starting out on their lives/ careers. It’s a very sweet and moving story. There’s kind of a triangle, but not too angsty. And Tyler is gorgeous, but I love that’s he’s not perfect – just human. I loved this book. Has some of the feels of Elle Kennedy, but different too.

Grace May 21, 2016 at 7:43 PM

Ugh! This list is giving me fits! It’s got so many I’ve missed and feel like I need RIGHT NOW, but I’ve already gone crazy this month. I think I’ll be working through this list for a while. That’s when I know it’s been an epic list! Everyone else will be 10 posts down the road buddy reading and I’ll be back here going through the list. LOL! We really appreciate what you do Maryse! Thank you!

Grace May 21, 2016 at 9:18 PM

Oh! Lisa A Ocallahan! Yes!!! The Evolve Series! Emerge, Entangled Embrace and Endure by S. E. Hall. I thought the first three were good. I didn’t even realize there was a 4th out! Thanks!

Emerge is free right now.
Embrace is a novella for .99!

Grace May 21, 2016 at 9:28 PM

And OH MY GOSH! How did I not know about Sawyer Beckett’s Baby Mama Drama Guide For Dummies and Sawyer Beckett’s Guide For Tools Looking To Date My Daughter! (Both $.99)

I’m going to have to re-read this series, read the 4th book and enjoy those ridiculous novellas!!!

Grace May 21, 2016 at 11:32 PM

Whoops! I missed Entice on that previous list.

Jan130 May 22, 2016 at 2:51 AM

Oooh. A freebie! (Emerge). *clicks, while wryly muttering to self, I need more to read like a hole in the head*

But completely unable to stop the reflexive action of that clickin’ finger. :-D

Grace May 22, 2016 at 3:29 AM

Jan! LOL! Me Too! I’m loaded with the too many books that I bought this month, not to mention many I bought ages ago and haven’t gotten to, I have a list of more I want to buy and now I’m planning to re-read 2 books and a novella just to move forward in a series that I liked enough to buy 2 more books and 2 more novellas when I swore I wasn’t buying anything else this month! I know I have a problem! Isn’t that supposed to be half the battle! I’m finally show big Baller and then I’m going to read Emerge. If you are going to start it let me know we can have a mini BR. ;)

Grace May 22, 2016 at 3:32 AM

That should say “I’m finishing Baller” Ha Ha Ha!
“Finally show big Baller” is an interesting take on my typo though. Go auto-correct.

Denisse May 22, 2016 at 4:40 AM

Please add Mayhem by Jamie Shaw to this list. I had a lot of fun reading this book!

Lisa May 22, 2016 at 6:08 AM

Yes Denisse….the whole Mayhem series belong on this list!! I loved them too.

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