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BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS > Looking for Recommendations: Non-Steamy Books

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message 1: by Anne (new)

Anne Cordwainer | 12 comments It's getting harder for me to find books without a lot of sex filler. In the book I read most recently, *every* situation of conflict was resolved with sex. Others manage to have some sort of plot, but still tack on sex scenes which require me to skim a chapter or more and could easily have been replaced with ". . . and then we retired to my bedroom."

I have nothing against characters having a love life, including a sex life, but I'm bored with sex scenes. I'm also bored with sex-oriented scenes where the male love interest spends a chapter standing around looking sexy while the female protagonist tells us about her pounding pulse and weak knees.

Come to think of it, I believe I'm bored with anything where the love interest is described as "gorgeous" or similar. I've become leery of anything with vampires in it. :-\

I've enjoyed Carrie Vaughn's Kitty series (despite the misleading covers, they have real plots and characters). I've received several positive recommendations for The Dresden Files, and will be checking them out son.

What other recent books, series or not, place character and plot and ideas above sex? What are your favorites?



message 2: by Melodie (new)

Melodie (MelodieCO) The Morganville Vampires series is YA, so there are no steamy sex scenes in them. And the stories are great! You'd probably like the Dresden Files as there is little sex in them and what there is is like the "retired to the bedroom" thing for the most part.


DarkHeart "Vehngeance" (DarkHeart) | 113 comments Two of my favorite UF series are Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson and Ilona Andrews' Kate Daniels. There is a romantic interest in both series, but it's spread out over the series and there is no steaminess (at least not yet). Oh, and I agree with the Morganville recommendation. Brilliant series.


message 4: by Theresa (new)

Theresa  (TSorrels) It has been about a year since I read this one, but I don't remember there being any sex in it. The second book just came out and I haven't read it yet so...

Dark Days series by Jocelynn Drake:
Nightwalker
Dayhunter

Here are some other series with little or no sex in them:

Ravirn series by Kelly McCullough:
Webmage
Cybermancy
Codespell
MythOS

Faerie series by Maggie Stiefvater (this one is YA):
Lament The Faerie Queen's Deception
Ballad The Gathering of Faerie

Quincey Morris series by Justin Gustainis:
Black Magic Woman
Evil Ways


message 5: by Lily (new)

Lily (Lilithesque) | 84 comments Bloodblade had no real sex in it, and lots of kick ass action. Blood Blade




message 6: by Melodie (new)

Melodie (MelodieCO) I just thought of 2 other series that I don't really remember any sex in. Mark del Franco's Connor Grey series and John Levitt's series. The main character's name escapes me at the moment. The first in the series is Dog Days and the second is New Tricks.


message 7: by Anne (new)

Anne Cordwainer | 12 comments Thanks, folks. Some of these look good. I'll pick up a few soon.

And here I was thinking I'd soon have to swear off anything written after maybe 2000 or so. :-)


message 8: by The Flooze (new)

The Flooze (the_flooze) | 179 comments Definitely Mercy Thompson and Morganville.

I like Simon R. Green's Drood series, starting with The Man with the Golden Torc. Think supernatural James Bond.

Sookie Stackhouse doesn't really have much sex in it all (the tv show blows it all out of proportion--Harris doesn't tend toward graphic descriptions).

A. Lee Martinez wrote Gil's All-Fright Diner, which was funny and creative with a hick vamp, a trucker werewolf, and zombie cows.

Christopher Moore's books are hilarious, with mainly male protagonists who are sadly not really getting any. Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series is set in an alternate Britain, and Thursday has the ability to actually enter the world of books and police the characters within. I'm only just getting into Charles de Lindt, but his Newford books would seem to fit the bill too.

There's a book called Winkie which a lot of people should enjoy. It's about a Teddy that comes to life and is accused of becoming a terrorist.

Oh, and Christopher Golden's Veil trilogy, beginning with The Myth Hunters.

I'm anxious to see what others suggest!


Sarah ~Sehrenity~ Kat Richardson's Greywalker series:

Greywalker
Poltergeist
Underground
Vanished (coming at the end of this year)


message 10: by new_user (new)

new_user I can't tell what you've read recently, since your read shelf isn't populated, but I'm going to guess it's more PNR than UF because a lot of UF has no sex in it, LOL. Particularly the detective fiction.


message 11: by Melodie (new)

Melodie (MelodieCO) Oh, one more! Thomas Sniegoski's Remy Chandler books. There are only 2 so far, A Kiss Before the Apocalypse and Dancing on the Head of a Pin. Remy is an angel who chose to deny Heaven after the Angel Wars that sent Lucifer to Hell. Good mysteries with major supernatural stuff, and no sex except one time that I can think of and it was not a big production.


message 12: by Anne (new)

Anne Cordwainer | 12 comments I avoid PNR, actually. :-) I'm just adding books slowly, a few at a time, and mostly only bothering to add the ones I like.

I think the line between UF and PNR is blurring. I was looking at Robin McKinley's Sunshine, for instance, and it appears that the woman who specialized in adult reexplorations of fairy tales has now written a book about a sexy vampire. Et tu, Robin?

Remy Chandler sounds interesting. I'll definitely check those out.



message 13: by Adrienne (last edited May 25, 2009 10:00AM) (new)

Adrienne What about Melissa Marr Wicked lovely series and Poison Study/series by Maria Snyder::these books have no sex scenes what so ever::


message 14: by Anne (new)

Anne Cordwainer | 12 comments I just got a review which reminded me of this thread and its YA recommendations. The reviewer likes my book, but for some reason he thinks it's YA.

It's not marked YA. It doesn't star high school students. What gave him that impression? I can't help wondering if it's because there aren't any detailed sex scenes. :-)

I know more adults are turning to YA, and even midgroup, to find stuff which focuses on the actual story and the people. This bums me a little, but I guess as long as the books are there it doesn't really matter what shelf they're on.



message 15: by Deb (new)

Deb (curlygeek) | 2 comments I love the series recommended by DarkHeart (by Briggs and Andrews). Also enjoy the Fforde books, anything by Gil Martinez,and the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. I totally agree with the types of books you're looking for. I think Mercy Thompson is one of the best heroines I've ever read.


message 16: by Kelley Anne (last edited May 27, 2009 12:07PM) (new)

Kelley Anne I've got to agree with the Mercy Thompson series. They are fantastic, and they don't center around relationships. You will have to ignore the covers though. From them you would think that there is probably a lot of sex in the books, but there isn't.

Also, the YA Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead is great! There is some romance, but it's one of those forbidden love type of things, so nothing much ever happens.

Also, the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning is purely UF. The only problem with recommending that series, is I personally think that it's better to read her Highlander series before the Fever series, because there is some crossover. And her Highlander series is strictly PNR. But I know of quite a few people that do read the Fever ones without reading the Highlander ones first.

Lastly, I would recommend The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. It is a fantastic book! The second one in the series is coming out this summer. Let me put it this way as far as recommendations go. My mom is not a big reader. She might finish one book a month. But after I read The Hunger Games she decided that she wanted to read it too. For the next three days, she barely ever put the book down. Even when she was doing other things, she had the book with her and when she had a few minutes to read, that's what she was doing. I have NEVER seen my mom finish a book so fast! I mean, she's been reading the Twilight series for almost a year now and still isn't finished!

Just thought of another great one (but not fantasy) is The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. It's set in Nazi Germany and is a fantastic read!


message 17: by Lily (new)

Lily (Lilithesque) | 84 comments Another book I read recently that is leaning towards the action is Something from the Nightside (Nightside, #1) by Simon R. Green. Funny and intersting world. theres a little kissing but thats it.

Lily


message 18: by Melodie (new)

Melodie (MelodieCO) Lily wrote: "Another book I read recently that is leaning towards the action is Something from the Nightside (Nightside, #1) by Simon R. Green. Funny and intersting world. theres a little kissing but thats it.

Lily"


I absolutely LOVE the Nightside! Sex is pretty much non-existent in this series.



message 19: by Anne (new)

Anne Cordwainer | 12 comments Thanks for all the great recommendations. I'm getting ready to move, and these will give me something to do while I'm forcibly offline. :)


message 20: by Joy (last edited Jun 24, 2009 10:27AM) (new)

Joy (Crowgirl) Elizabeth Bear is a new author for me. I just started her "Promethean Age" series. Her writing is NOT for those who want simple. Her work is more prose and poetry (with big words...LOL) plus a good background in Myth much like Charles de Lint.

I too have been turned off by the soft porn now passing as Urban fantasy. My local library classifies those as Occult Romance and about time.


message 21: by Joy (new)

Joy (Crowgirl) Anne wrote: "I just got a review which reminded me of this thread and its YA recommendations. The reviewer likes my book, but for some reason he thinks it's YA.

It's not marked YA.


There are some really great fantasy books listed as 'Teen' novels. Books with actual plots and not just words added to frame the detailed sex acts. I enjoy pulp fiction sex occasionally but not when surrounded by bad writing.

The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud is great fun. Bartimaeus being a djinn.


message 22: by Anne (new)

Anne Cordwainer | 12 comments Interesting; I hadn't heard of that one.

Thanks, everyone, for the recommendations. Time to pick up a few more books, I think. Hey, I'm almost unpacked--it's high time to add some more clutter. :-\


message 23: by Lynne (new)

Lynne (GwenaLynne) | 1 comments Two authors I've been reading/re-reading a lot lately are Charles de Lint and Nina Kiriki Hoffman. Very little sex and what is there is "she woke up and smiled remembering the night before" stuff.


message 24: by Lily (new)

Lily (Lilithesque) | 84 comments Ah, Delint is fantastic! I havent read anything by Kiriki. Onto the ever growing tbr list!


message 25: by Joy (new)

Joy (Crowgirl) A big shout out for Charles de Lint! Great poet also.

Urban Fantasy should not just be cheap occult romance and that's not because I don't enjoy erotica. I just don't enjoy poor writing and I find most romance novels fall into that category.

I do read what I call Fantasy pulp fiction. Just finished the latest Jim Butcher novel in his Dresden Files series.


message 26: by Lily (new)

Lily (Lilithesque) | 84 comments Crowgirl,

Did you get your name from that delint book, Somewhere to be flying or is it your tribe?

Just Curious :-)



message 27: by Sandy (new)

Sandy | 122 comments A couple of other series that aren't full of sex.
Devon Monk's Allie Beckstrom series
C.E. Murphy's Wlaker Papers



message 28: by Natalie (new)

Natalie (Natakue) | 3 comments I'm so glad someone posted this question because I was running into the same issue. I first started listening to Laurell K. Hamilton's "A Kiss of Shadows". I had to turn it off/FF so often since the sex scenes were too descriptive to be listening to while standing on line at the supermarket, haha! I gave up on the book pretty early even though the fantasy part of it sounded really interesting. I chalked it up to the genre and didn't revisit it until I came across Kim Harrison's "Dead Witch Walking" this year. The sexy cover is a bit misleading, thank goodness. I was able to read this without excessive blushing on the subway.

Thanks for all the suggestions!


message 29: by Joy (new)

Joy (Crowgirl) Natalie wrote: "I'm so glad someone posted this question because I was running into the same issue.

I love all the Kim Harrison's books about her Urban World after the "killer tomatoes" They're funny, have a good story line (start from the first book or you'll be lost) and the sex scenes are good too without resorting to porn like detail. 5 stars in my book for pulp fiction.


message 30: by Joy (new)

Joy (Crowgirl) Lily wrote: "Crowgirl,

Did you get your name from that delint book, Somewhere to be flying or is it your tribe?

Just Curious :-)
"


Mostly because I've been a big fan of the Crow Girls of de Lint's for years but I also have Crow ancestors. So yes to both parts of your question. That's part of the reason I love his work. He includes a lot of AmerIndian Myth characters in his work. I'm very fond of Coyote too.


message 31: by Joy (new)

Joy (Crowgirl) Speaking of Coyote as a Myth Hero, I really loved Anansi Boys and American Gods by Neil Gaiman for his humorous treatment of Mythical gods in an urban setting.


message 32: by Lily (new)

Lily (Lilithesque) | 84 comments Yes, I love that about american gods, and I am going to have to take another run at Anansi boys. I started it and the main charicter was so whiny I just quit. I have been told by a few that I just needed to read and and his whinyness changes.

I am Lakota so I too love the AI elements to the mythos in these stories. Mercy books too.


message 33: by ♥Tricia♥ (new)

♥Tricia♥ (Siddie) | 91 comments You know, as much as I love a good sex scene I too get tired of the plots suffering due to the overabundance of sex in alot of the books I have been reading.

Great recommendations, I will have to pick some of these up myself too! :D


message 34: by Glory (last edited Jul 13, 2009 10:46PM) (new)

Glory (Juclecia) | 8 comments OO, some people have already mentioned and I'd like to second Black Magic Woman by Justin Gustainis and I'm currently reading Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison and can say there's a little bit of the "weak in the knees" thing going on, but nothing on the romantic end. Also, I picked up The Scent of Shadows The First Sign of the Zodiac due to rave reviews, and I don't think there are any sex scenes in it? Haven't read it though, so I can't say.

This may sound odd and ironic, but I think Guilty Pleasures by LKHamilton is a great book for this. Give me a moment to explain! It's the only book I read of her series (because I've read those terrible reviews too) and despite its title and the fact that yes, there is a lot of time spent at a strip club, and yes, Anita does kiss someone, it's not sex ridden at all. In fact, it's exciting with action, and is the reason why people fell in love with the series--before the "crazy secks" kicked in. It's suggestive, but not overly done, and is really about the story and characters.


message 35: by ♥Tricia♥ (new)

♥Tricia♥ (Siddie) | 91 comments Well the first 4 books in the Anita Blake series by Laurell K Hamilton have no sex in them.
None.

However, having read them all (that are in print) I can tell you this changes drastically.

So that's definately a series I wouldn't suggest getting your heart set on if you don't want alot of sex in the future books.
They are good, I liked them all (but the last one /sigh) and will continue to pick up this series when new ones come out.

But yes the first four are a fantastic read with lots of action and story and no sex.


message 36: by Sandy (new)

Sandy | 122 comments Changer by Jane Lindskold is good and doesn't have any sex in it. This is another book featuring Coyote as well as a number of other mythical characters including King Arthur.


message 37: by formlit (new)

formlit  | 19 comments dog days by john levitt. urban fantasy, male lead, but no sex. at least no yet.


message 38: by Colleen (last edited Jul 22, 2009 10:51AM) (new)

Colleen (colleeng) | 1 comments Most of these have already been mentioned, but I figured I'd add my vote to them and try to add a couple more...

Books with little sexual content and where the build up of the romance is not the main plot:
Kim Harrison - The Hollows
Ilona Andrews - Kate Daniels

Books with romantic interests but IMO UF elements overshadow romantic sub-plots:
Patricia Briggs - Mercy Thompson series
Carrie Vaughn - Kitty Norville series
Charlaine Harris - Sookie Stackhouse (don't judge this series based on the HBO Series "True Blood". The books have very little sexual content. They also don't really meet the definition of PNR cause they don't always have a happy ending and the romantic interests don't always go as you would like them to.
Karen Chance - Cassandra Palmer series (some sexual content but not really graphic)
Kelley Armstrong - Women of the Otherworld series. Has romantic interests, probably crosses more into PNR than any of the other series listed, but they're good UF/PRN books with good UF world development and very little sexual content.

YA books enjoyable by UF fans of all ages:
Kelley Armstrong - Darkest Powers (YA) series
Rachel Caine - Morganville Vampire (YA) series

Re: Anita Blake...
I agree that the first 4 Laurell K. Hamilton books in the Anita Blake series are great! They have little to no sexual content at this point. The just one BIG problem... you really will get hooked, won't want to stop reading, then somewhere between book 8 & 11 you'll will wish you did.


message 39: by Joy (new)

Joy (Crowgirl) Colleen wrote: "I agree that the first 4 Laurell K. Hamilton books in the Anita Blake series are great! They have little to no sexual content at this point. The just one BIG problem... you really will get hooked, won't want to stop reading..."

LOL!! Yep, as much as I bitch about the direction her series took I just finished her latest
Skin Trade. It felt like she was attempting to get back to her roots with the heavy descriptive sex only at the end. The writing was choppy as if she had a word count she had to meet and threw in extra dialogue to fatten up the book. Occasionally the original wise cracking Anita shows up but it was a very flat read.


message 40: by The Flooze (new)

The Flooze (the_flooze) | 179 comments Crowgirl, she originally wanted it to be 1000 pages. I think it would've been so much better if she had gone with/had time to write the fuller version.


message 41: by Joy (new)

Joy (Crowgirl) Michelle M. wrote: "Crowgirl, she originally wanted it to be 1000 pages. I think it would've been so much better if she had gone with/had time to write the fuller version."

There was a good 1/3 of the book that should have been cut and then the ending could have been fuller without that "quick lets wrap it up" feel. A 1000 pages would not have improved the book.


message 42: by The Flooze (new)

The Flooze (the_flooze) | 179 comments I think it might have if she gave greater weight to the Day Father and actually gave him a proper background and ending, rather than the shadow of a villain he turned out to be.

But you're right that in its current state, if she couldn't do some storylines properly, she should have just cut them. Trying to stick them in there anyway did give parts a slapped together feel.


message 43: by Joy (new)

Joy (Crowgirl) Michelle M. wrote: "I think it might have if she gave greater weight to the Day Father and actually gave him a proper background and ending, rather than the shadow of a villain he turned out to be."

Nailed it! The Day Father and the Mother of Darkness; 2 major players in previous books, taken out in only a chapter at most. I could have done with a ton less dialogue between her and Igor the sociopath or what ever his name is and the first angry exchange between her and her Master been revisited in depth. Slapped together describes it.


message 44: by The Flooze (new)

The Flooze (the_flooze) | 179 comments Guess we should mark our posts Spoilers for Skin Trade. (How did we get here when this is the non-steamy board? Lol)

You are so right. The Otto (Igor, lol, appropriate) exchanges seemed to become a huge focus. Unnecessary to that degree. He's creepy and sick, but wants to be a better man for Anita. Don't they all.

Everyone has railed against the Marmee Noir and Daddy dearest treatments. All in a 50 page wrap-up. Since when are big bads so easily defeated? And what the hell was Belle doing there for all of five seconds, to absolutely no end? Bah!

I'm still going to read the next one, though. I'm a glutton for punishment.

I'm more anxious to see where in tarnation she's going to take Merry Gentry next, since the last book had such an air of finality to it. Could be great. Could be crap. I'm scared.


message 45: by Melodie (last edited Jul 26, 2009 10:25AM) (new)

Melodie (MelodieCO) Michelle M. wrote: "Guess we should mark our posts Spoilers for Skin Trade. (How did we get here when this is the non-steamy board? Lol)

You are so right. The Otto (Igor, lol, appropriate) exchanges seemed to beco..."


It was Olaf, and the crap with him was TOO much. I really don't give a rat's ass about him!



message 46: by The Flooze (new)

The Flooze (the_flooze) | 179 comments Olaf!

Isn't his other name Otto though?


message 47: by Melodie (new)

Melodie (MelodieCO) Olaf!

Isn't his other name Otto though?


Could be. I hadn't read an Anita book since CERULEAN SINS, so he could have had another name in a book I didn't read.


message 48: by Hayley (new)

Hayley (hayleyannking) | 10 comments The two series that I would recommend for this (both have already been mentioned) are the Harry Dresden series and the Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris. There is very little sexual content in the Southern Vampire Mysteries and it's integral to the plot- it isn't there as filler.


message 49: by Tamara (new)

Tamara | 6 comments I haven't seen this series mentioned. Julie Kenner Carpe Demon: Confessions of a Demon Hunting Soccer Mom. Is the first title. "Retired" demon hunter now raising a family ends up back fighting demons again. There is plot and much like real life with kids not alot of opportunity for sex.


message 50: by Joy (new)

Joy (Crowgirl) Michelle M. wrote: "Guess we should mark our posts Spoilers for Skin Trade. (How did we get here when this is the non-steamy board? Lol)"

Sorry, I get carried away on ranting and forget I might be spoiling a book for someone; on the other hand, I might save them money as they will buy a better book. I think we ended up on the Non-Steamy discussion as books like Hamilton's stuff are what drives people to look for Urban fantasy with PLOTS not just sex to hold them together.

Someone told me to rent the DVDs of 'Blood Ties' as they are based on a favorite series of mine by Tanya Huff. Henry Fitzroy, her vampire, is a favorite character and I'm told the actor who plays him is hot.


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