New York Times bestselling author Emma Chase knows that sometimes too much of a good thing can be disappointing. That’s why she likes to switch it up every now and then. Whether it’s the books she’s reading, the ice cream she’s eating, or the characters she falls in love with in rom-coms, a refreshing change of pace is sometimes just what the doctor ordered!

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Last week I took my children out for ice cream. They both have their favorite flavors – go-to choices – guaranteed to satisfy (chocolate & vanilla respectively). But on this particular night, they branched out, took a chance on a flavor they’d never tried before that looked enticing and delicious in the massive vats of creamy goodness. Child #1 chose Mocha Almond Chip, #2 went for Strawberry Ripple. Afterwards, chocolate and vanilla still reigned supreme as ultimate favorites, but both thoroughly enjoyed the new flavors and said they’d choose them again if they were in the mood for something different.

And it got me thinking about books (it always comes back to the books, doesn’t it?).

We all have our favorites – tried and true tropes that satisfy our literary cravings and leave us grinning (or crying, if angst is your preference). But in today’s exciting world of publishing there are a huge array of choices. So many characters, so many variations on the “love story.” There’s reformed playboys, billionaires, broody rock stars, MC clubs, Doms and MMA fighters. There are spirited innocents, competitive coworkers, sultry dominatrices, devoted submissives, survivors, and girls next door trying to find their way in the world – to name a few. Stories range from fun, sexy and silly, to heartbreaking, uplifting or dark…and very dark.

What all romances have in common are ‘the feels.’ We experience the events of the story right along with the characters and our emotions reflect theirs. Their laughter, tears, lust, frustration, surprise and joy become our own. It’s exciting and at times addictive (to all the ‘just one more chapter’ readers – you know what I’m talking about).

No one enjoys being disappointed, so when we find a story or trope that resonates with us, it’s tempting to stick with similar reads. To avoid the worlds of contemporary love triangles, first love or second chance love, BDSM, rom-com, historicals or paranormal, because they’re outside of our known preference. Although this tips the odds for enjoyment in our favor, it also risks turning familiar into mundane.

In the summer, I prefer my reading like my ice-cream – sweet and refreshing. But I think it’s important to stray from the old reliables once in a while. To vary our reading palette and taste something new.

Who knows? You might just read your next favorite flavor.

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Click here to read a sneak peek of TAMED, the next sizzlingly sexy book in Emma Chase’s Tangled series … you just might like it! =]