I’d be hard-pressed to think of an author who has delivered more 5-star reads for me than J.T. Geissinger, and often I don’t even read the blurbs or know what I’m getting into ahead of time with her books. I just one-click and go along for the ride! She’s one of the first (non-Nora Roberts) romance authors I discovered when I got my Kindle in 2017, and I definitely have her to thank for my love of so many other authors since. Her brand of intense, steamy romance always makes my pulse pound, and the one-of-a-kind storylines usually have me reading late into the night. I haven’t rated one of her books as less than 5 stars since 2018, and that’s because she delivers on addictive, engrossing reads. She gets better and better with every series she writes.
When recommending Geissinger’s books, I always say to start with anything except Perfect Strangers or Midnight Valentine, lol! Those aren’t for the faint of heart, and your Kindle might suffer some damage from throwing it against a wall. Besides, her series are what really shine. They are often tied together some way, somehow, so I’ll note those connections below.
In this author spotlight, I’ll take you on my personal reading journey with Geissinger’s work. I haven’t read every single book she’s written, but the sixteen on this list should give you someplace to start! Links to my reviews are included for everything I read once I started blogging.
The Slow Burn Books
In hindsight, this was actually a good place for me to start reading back in the day! I picked up Burn For You because it claimed to be a “classic fairy tale with a sexy, edgy twist,” and it’s a play on Beauty and the Beast. It’s got a broody, mysterious hero and a gripping storyline, and I remember being hooked. Each book in this series is a slow burn (as titled!), and they’re each standalones that can be read in any order. It’s been years since I read any of them, but Melt For You was my favorite at the time.
This series is completely separate from everything else on this list, so they’re definitely not required reading – just solid books! The overall vibe is not representative of what Geissinger has been writing recently, so I’d say to start with one of the later series if you want to get caught up on her current work.
The Bad Habit Series
Angsty Rock Star Romance
After diving into the Slow Burn books, I went back and read the author’s Bad Habit series. I remember being scandalized. They were definitely the steamiest and angstiest books I’d read at the time, and these rock stars are certainly not the boys next door. Sin With Me, in particular, went outside my comfort zone a bit. Maybe I’d consider them tame these days, I don’t know, lol.
The important thing to note about the Bad Habit series is that it introduces the hero from the Dangerous Beauty trilogy, so if you want more insight into his character before diving into that, then I’d recommend checking out this series first. Otherwise, it’s a series of interconnected standalones that doesn’t tie into the current series in a major way. Each book features a different bandmate, so I do suggest reading these in order.
Start with Sweet as Sin on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3cD3iVL
The Dangerous Beauty Trilogy
Dark Romantic Suspense
Jeeves’ Top 19 of 2019 Selection
When I realized that the hero in the Dangerous Beauty trilogy was featured in the Bad Habit series, I knew that I had to give this trilogy a read. I’m not usually someone who loves trilogies, but this series was so action-packed and engrossing that there was never a dull moment. This is where Geissinger’s writing started to get darker and more suspense-focused, and it serves as the introduction to some characters from later series. It’s less steamy than her current books and more about the connection between our couple and their fight to be together.
The trilogy itself completely stands on its own, but longtime fans will appreciate some of the connections that are made in this series. You’ll probably also have a different experience reading Beautifully Cruel if you’ve read this trilogy first, though you definitely don’t have to. The trilogy was featured on my Top 19 of 2019 list, so you know that I loved it!
Start with Dangerous Beauty on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2S5VMvs
Rules of Engagement
Complete Standalone Romantic Comedy
What do you do after you’ve written a dark, suspenseful trilogy? Write a rom com, of course! Geissinger took a break from her series to write a total standalone, light and tropey rom com, and she proved that she does that well too. The original cover was pink and bubbly, and the vibes are completely different than any other book on this list. Like Perfect Strangers and Midnight Valentine, it’s a complete standalone that has nothing to do with any of the other books. Still a fun read!
Rules of Engagement on Amazon: https://amzn.to/30IUOcU
The Beautifully Cruel Series
Darkly Funny Mafia Romance
Jeeves’ Top 20 of 2020 Selection
When I started reading Beautifully Cruel, I had no idea what I was getting into! By that point, I was already a diehard fan, but this is what really cemented it for me – and the book easily made my Top 20 of 2020 list. Geissinger was intentionally vague about where the book was headed, and once I got into it, well, a few pieces started clicking into place. That’s why I think the series is better appreciated after reading the Dangerous Beauty trilogy, though you certainly don’t have to. It’s also the perfect starting point for her current work, because this is where things start to get more interconnected.
The vibe of Beautifully Cruel is dark, steamy, and yet also funny. There’s a ton of sexual tension and lighter moments punctuated by darker elements. The mysterious antihero at the heart of it is intense and the forced proximity makes it a dynamic read. Cruel Paradise features a different couple, and the characters and storyline are strongly connected to Beautifully Cruel. You certainly don’t have to read this series prior to the Queens & Monsters series, but there are some overlapping characters and content for sure.
Start with Beautifully Cruel on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3kY4sQa
Steamy and dark mafia romance
Jeeves’ Top 21 of 2021 Selection
I already know that one or more of these books will be making my Best of the Year list, it’s just a matter of how many of them! This series is Geissinger’s most sexually charged yet, with a focus on sizzling chemistry and alpha antiheroes. This is a separate but related series to the Beautifully Cruel world, with an intensity that makes it incredibly bingeable. The two series are definitely going to start crossing over more at some point, so they’re better together, though I suppose the order is up to you.
This is Geissinger’s on-going series, and there’s more on the way soon! These books are darker and more erotic than her other work, and the alpha antiheroes are more commanding and straddle more of a gray line. None of them are “good” guys. This series has also felt more suspenseful with a stronger mafia element, and the pages absolutely fly by.
Start with Ruthless Creatures on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2NvbiPi
Give Geissinger a try!
Which books didn’t I discuss on this list? Her two more experimental standalones, Midnight Valentine and Perfect Strangers. I read Midnight Valentine years ago, and I remember enjoying it. The details are fuzzy at this point, but it was good. I have not read Perfect Strangers, but that’s only because I read some crazy spoilers before diving in, and I still haven’t purged them from my memory, lol. I’ll read it once that happens! Check out Perfect Strangers on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3xcc2M3 or Midnight Valentine: https://amzn.to/3oW4Ik1.
I also didn’t discuss Geissinger’s two oldest series. I haven’t read paranormal romance in years, so I haven’t checked out the Night Prowler series. It starts with Shadow’s Edge, which you can find on Amazon at: https://amzn.to/3oS6mmv. She also wrote the Wicked Games series. I have read the first book (I liked it), but not the other two. Frankly, that’s because the characters appeared in the Dangerous Games trilogy, and I feel like I already know their story. You can check out Wicked Beautiful on Amazon at: https://amzn.to/3r01b6I.
Wherever you decide to start, Geissinger’s books are always well worth a read. She writes in so many different subgenres and vibes, and she handles each of them well. Her books are also all included in Kindle Unlimited, and the audio add-ons are often very inexpensive, so it’s incredibly easy to give her books a try!
Surely you have Kindle Unlimited, right? It’s awesome! If not, get your first month free at: https://amzn.to/35RR1tf
What’s an audio add-on? Details here.
About the Author:
J.T. Geissinger is a bestselling author of emotionally charged romance and women’s fiction. Ranging from funny, feisty rom coms to intense, edgy suspense, her books have sold more than one million copies and been translated into several languages.
She is the recipient of the Prism Award for Best First Book, the Golden Quill Award for Best Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, and is a two-time finalist for the RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America®. She has also been a finalist in the Booksellers’ Best, National Readers’ Choice, and Daphne du Maurier Awards.
Her first novel was published in 2012. Since then she’s written eighteen more novels. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, drinking wine, surfing the internet, and daydreaming about all the things she’s going to be when she grows up. She lives near the beach in Los Angeles with her husband and deaf/demented rescue kitty, Ginger.
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