So, I have a writers group (shout out to Jen, Mel and Heather!), and we correspond multiple times a day via Messenger. Lately, our whole thread has been dominated by a running commentary on The Hunter by L.J. Shen as we obsessively devoured it.
L.J. Shen writes across a variety of sub-genres in the romance world, and in my humble opinion KICKS ASS in the New Adult category. Like, these 17- and 18-year old protagonists are having better sex than me. Hands down. I'm not kidding when I say that Shen writes *filthy* sex. It is so. so. good.
What made The Hunter a standout for me was the hero - Hunter. Dear god, this boy is witty and irreverent and cheeky. Entitled and arrogant also, but it's a prep romance, so that was to be expected. He comes out with quotes like: "Taking your coffee with milk is like going down on a woman with a condom on your tongue," and sends texts like this:
Hunter: Send n00dz.
I followed it up with a GIF of a dog humping a pillow. Courting in the twenty-first century was the shit.
Aundi from Musings of a Book Belle comments that Hunter is what book boyfriends are made of, with his wicked tongue and soft soul. Shen certainly has a distinctive way of writing adolescent males that will have you laughing out loud.
The way Shen puts words together is pure mastery. Take this sentence, for example: "Rancid laughter, cheap alcohol and the scent of adrenaline and violence."
I'm not really into reading the typical billionaire romances (a la Mills & Boon), but damn if I don't love the decadent extravagance of this particular genre of romance. The wealth and privilege of the characters, coupled with the hyper-intense setting that schools evoke, results in complicated and messy emotions. Bring on the drama!