Note: This is going to be both a combination of the “series reading order guide” (scroll further down below if that’s what you need right away) and also observations, fun notes and trivia about the series in general (as per myself, fellow readers, and the author).
Another series I’m obsessed with! I’ve been devouring these books ever since I finally FINALLY read book #1. Lots of recommendations, kept coming my way, and I decided it was time. What was I waiting for!!? I’m thrilled that it keeps branching off into more and more stories. I’m LOVING it!! We keep seeing smaller characters (and even main characters) from other books appear over and over again.
As per Megan Hart, here is the READING ORDER GUIDE (she says):
“Maryse — I say there’s no reading order only because the books are meant to stand alone … Generally, they’re chronological in order of publication. But there probably is a novella or short story that takes place in between that is published out of order…
- Dirty (published Jan 1st 2007)
- Broken (published May 1st 2007)
- Tempted (published Jan 1st 2008)
- Everything Changes – a short story… Alex’s POV from his role in “Tempted” (occurs at the same time as “Tempted”)
- Reason Enough (a short Elle and Dan story)
- Stranger (published Jan 1st 2009)
- Deeper (published July 1st 2009)
- Switch (published Dec 29th 2009)
- Naked (published July 27th 2010)
- Collide (published July 1st 2011)
- The Space Between Us by Megan Hart – expected release date: September 4th 2012 —> Little tidbit direct from the author about this book:
“The Space Between Us features:
Joe and Sadie
Brandy (from Broken, one of Joe’s chapters)
Eric from Switch
That’s all I can think of right now.
Time-line wise, it would take place after all the books the characters were first featured in. So it would be the most current.”
“… publish books later that actually take place “earlier” if I want to write about stuff that happened then, to fill in the blanks, so I don’t really have a “reading order” for that reason — “
When discussing these books and this series as a whole with other fellow readers, I’ve said:
“I’ve come to realize that the sexy excerpts and synopsis for this author’s books are very different from the depth and beauty of the actual storyline. These may be “erotic” in detail, but the emotion and realism allows the reader to connect on a deeper level. Some uncomfortable subject matter for sure, but wonderfully detailed, and the reader experiences and grows along with the characters…”
“…in the first half of Dirty I was more disgruntled and irritated then anything… and then it *hit* me. What I was looking for in a romance novel, I wasn’t going to find in “Dirty” (which is what I was struggling with at first). BUT I realized I found something else, darker and deeper and that the romance that was there… fit. Then I LOVED it.”
and when a few readers were worried about the rumored lack of HEA (“happily ever after” endings) I felt the need explain it this way:
“… the endings are appropriate and, so far, always ALWAYS make me smile and sigh. Someone mentioned that her books were not HEA, and I would say… “okay maybe, not the typical flowery HEA” maybe, but I disagree a bit about her books not having an HEA. So far two for two and I was VERY happy with the ending.”
Now I’m not confirming (or denying) whether they all have an HEA or not (or even whether the ones that had me smiling in the end, had an HEA). That would be making it too easy on y’all, and part of the fun in reading is freaking out during the story (and, since I haven’t read them all yet, I don’t know for sure for the rest of the books, but I’m working on it). What I am saying, is that so far, it feels right.
Sandra from my Facebook page describes it perfectly:
“… it’s feel is so different from any other romance erotica. I think I might describe it as tense…”
Yep! Tense and INTENSE, for sure!
Eloquent, deep, beautiful, sexy, dark, and addicting. And you want to know the characters. You can’t help but feel like you do know them, eventually. They are so raw, and real.
And the author explains the reasoning behind her more “raw and gritty” story lines. I found this in one of her blog posts, and it’s perfect:
“What’s important to me in a story is not that my characters make all the right choices, do the right things every time. They’re not meant to be perfect. They’re meant to be…well…human. Realistic. And ultimately what’s important to me is, at the end of the story, has something changed? Have they somehow changed from who they were at the beginning?
THAT is my goal. To take characters through a progression. If they start off perfect, where’s the story?”
Exactly! That is exactly what you will find, in each of these unique and intriguing stories.
Oh… and the covers are gorgeous too! Can you judge a book by it’s cover, in this case? Yep!
- As per the author regarding “Dan” in “Dirty” —> “Also, in my head, Dan looks a lot like Ewan McGregor.”
- Oh and another fun bit of trivia regarding “Jack” (as per the author): “Jack is based on a real person I met twice. Both times he ended up naked. I did not. Let your imaginations do the work, m’kay? Oh and yes, he did have the piercings. For real.” And then in a later blog post she indicates: “Yay, Jack! Jack, who was in fact based upon a real person whose real name I do not know but who sure knew how to dance.”
- Regarding a frequently appearing (even if in short spurts) character, Sarah – “My favorite of all Joe’s women is Sarah. I think Sarah needs her own book someday. And not just because she has blue hair, like someone else I know.”
- Here’s an awesome little tidbit from the author’s blog about Joe from “Broken”: “So, one small piece of trivia for you readers, that may or may not make you feel differently about BROKEN. And you might feel differently about my opinion of the scene, too, which is fine, too, whatever floats your boat.In my head, the scene with Joe and the three women? … He made it up. It was just a story.”
- Dirty we meet: Elle, Dan and we meet “Jack” –> my favorite character, so far
- Broken we meet: Sadie, Adam, Joe and we quickly meet “Mary” and “Sarah” (who appear in future installments). Elle from Dirty has a larger role in this one, too.
- Tempted: we see Jamie, Alex, Anne, and Mary from her short stint in Broken (Joe), is Anne’s sister.
- Stranger: we meet Grace, Sam, Jared and ♥Jack♥ (who was originally in Dirty & has a large role in this one). We also see a character from Broken, but I’m keeping that one a secret. We also see Dan and Elle, from Dirty, in this one too. Sam is Dan’s brother.) Megan Hart said this about “Sam” on her blog: “Sam sounds a lot like a combination of Joshua Radin and Thom Lyons.”
- Deeper: contains a brief cameo by characters Joe and Sadie
- Switch: - Tidbit (♥Jack♥ shows up in this novel, too)
- Naked: - Alex’s book (As per the author – ♥Jack♥ “… ”sneaks in a tiny peek in Naked”. (I’ve heard that Anne, from Tempted also makes a cameo here.) and Natalia informs us that “Naked has Anne and Jamie as well (Also Sarah and Jack )”. Oh and Lauren just informed me that “Dan and Elle pop up in Naked. As well as Elle’s brother Chad and Luke.”
- Collide: - tidbit: “Jared” from “Stranger” shows up in this one.
- Book TBA Fall 2012 —> as per the author: “features sneak peeks of Joe and Sadie as well as Johnny from Collide.”