The best novels with unpredictable protagonists

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m going to date myself horribly here, but…I’m an old-school fan of the guy in the grey hat. Think Kerr Avon of Blake’s 7. The guy you could never quite predict. Or Han Solo until about halfway through The Empire Strikes Back. Are they going to do the right thing? Are they going to follow their heart? And it’s so satisfying when they do! Of course, it’s equally satisfying when they go right ahead and sucker punch the bad guy, ‘cuz hey—only the good guys give warnings, right?

I wrote...

Picture Imperfect

By Kate Berberich,

Book cover of Picture Imperfect

What is my book about?

Bad girl turned heiress, Lacey Devere has a penchant for falling for precisely the wrong person. Her dad is determined to give her a fresh start, beginning with a luxurious European tour and a new camera to capture each perfect moment. Dan Lewis is a modern-day highwayman traveling the world, relieving wealthy tourists of their excess cash and jewelry. He learned the hard way not to let anyone get too close.

Their heads are urging caution, but their hearts are being swept away by the glamour and romance of the dazzling cities they’re visiting.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Prosecution's Protection

Kate Berberich Why did I love this book?

Personally, I find perfect characters perfectly boring.

Give me a protagonist with a past, whose actions you can’t predict and I’m in heaven. Prosecution’s Protection features a rich cast of characters with dark secrets in their pasts which have marked them in different ways. Desmond Graves and Remi Archer have both chosen to channel their past darkness into protecting others—they just go about it very differently.

Oh, yeah—and they can’t stand each other at first. If you enjoy tales of badass heroines protecting their men, this is for you.

By Michele Leech,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Prosecution's Protection as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

After prosecuting attorney Desmond Graves is targeted by an aggressive, violent stalker, Remi Archer is hired to keep him alive, whether he wants it or not. As tempers clash and danger escalates, Desmond and Remi start to grow closer-and so does the stalker. Falling in love among a backdrop of threats, courtroom theatrics and gunfights wasn't part of Remi's plan but Desmond is the exception to her ideas of love. Drawing each other out of their self-imposed isolation and into the eye of danger, they must work together to survive, even if it means putting the other at risk.

Book cover of Not a Chocolate Snowball's Chance in Hades

Kate Berberich Why did I love this book?

So you think you know your mythology?

The King of the Underworld must be a bad guy, right? And those folks up on Olympus are the good guys? Yeah…maybe rethink that a bit. There’s more to this Hades than you’ll find in dusty old mythology. He cares for his realm and its denizens, and he’s looking for a queen to share his kingdom and be his equal partner. 

By Lianne Kelly,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Not a Chocolate Snowball's Chance in Hades as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Held in Demeter's overprotective grip, power burns deep and seductive in Persephone. She will do whatever it takes to win her freedom and the Olympian Duel of Yule.

When Hades, King of the Underworld, swaggers into the baking competition, Persephone's competitive spirit rises to meet his challenge. The two clash over more than cookies. Until a little chaos interrupts the competition. She shouldn't trust Hades, but a fiery death with Ares doesn't appeal. An escape to the Underworld leads to a passion that burns hotter than Tartarus.

Persephone is all too aware of Olympian rules. Loving Hades comes with a…

Book cover of Sweet

Kate Berberich Why did I love this book?

Sweet is a novella set in the universe of Love Stories on 7th and Main. A friend recommended it to me and I gobbled up the whole series in a week or two.

Spider Villalobos settled in Metlin to escape life in a gang. When his past catches up with him, which choice will he make? Run away? Return to the gang? Or follow his heart?

I love this entire series because the town of Metlin is so vividly detailed. The characters feel like people I’d like to know, and I definitely want to go browse in INK or grab a slice of pie from Café Maya!

By Elizabeth Hunter,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sweet as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sweet is a standalone romance novella from USA Today Bestselling author, Elizabeth Hunter.

He survived by always being in control. She’s about to make him melt.

It’s 2004, and Daisy Rivera knows two things: she’s going to end up disappointing her parents’ fondest hopes and dreams in roughly six months, and somehow she’s going to figure out how to kiss the mysterious tattoo artist two shops down from her grandmother’s cafe that everyone calls Spider.

Spider Villalobos knows one thing: if he gives into temptation and makes a move on Daisy, his fresh start is over.

Their shops may be…

Book cover of Discount Armageddon

Kate Berberich Why did I love this book?

Discount Armageddon is the first of the InCryptid novels.

The Price family comes from a long line of monster hunters, but a few generations back, they decided they didn’t agree with the prevailing definition of “monster.” Now they’re dedicated to protecting the cryptid community—as long as it’s not chowing down on the neighbors.

I love this universe because there’s such a wide variety of characters that are each convinced that their way is the right way. Sometimes you never quite know whose side someone will come down on. Discount Armageddon introduces us to Verity Price.

Verity is tough, resourceful, and yeah—kinda selfish at times. She’s no goody-two-shoes, but she does a lot of good, just the same.

By Seanan McGuire,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Discount Armageddon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Price family has spent generations studying the monsters of the world, working to protect them from humanity - and humanity from them.

Meet Verity Price. Despite being trained from birth as a cryptozoologist, she'd rather dance a tango than tangle with a demon, and is spending a year in Manhattan to pursue her dream career in professional ballroom dance. That is, until talking mice, telepathic mathematicians, and a tangle with the Price family's old enemies, the Covenant of St. George, get in her way...

Book cover of Catwoman: Soulstealer

Kate Berberich Why did I love this book?

Selina Kyle, AKA Catwoman, is probably my all-time favorite “Whose side is she really on?” character.

Soulstealer is a brilliant reimagining of Gotham City and its denizens. Catwoman will always be a thief, but it’s her motivations and her heroine’s journey that make her so interesting to me.

By Sarah J. Maas,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Catwoman as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

Sizzling with action and suspense, #1 New York Times bestselling author SARAH J. MAAS delivers with this DC Icons coming-of-age Selina Kyle who will steal readers' hearts in the YA blockbuster: CATWOMAN!


"A Catwoman story with Maas' signature touch. . . . Devilish." --Entertainment Weekly

When the Bat's away, the Cat will play. It's time to see how many lives this cat really has.

Two years after escaping Gotham City's slums, Selina Kyle returns as the mysterious and wealthy Holly Vanderhees. She quickly discovers that with Batman off on a…

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Love, Sex, and Other Calamities: 15 Stories and a Poem by Ralph Hickok

By Ralph Hickok,

Book cover of Love, Sex, and Other Calamities: 15 Stories and a Poem by Ralph Hickok

Ralph Hickok Author Of Vagabond Halfback: The Saga of Johnny Blood McNally

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in Green Bay and my dad was the official scorer for the Packers, so I was immersed in pro football history even as a child. During my careers as a newspaper feature writer and editor and as an advertising copywriter, I also became a sports historian. My magnum opus was “The Encyclopedia of North American Sports History,” 650,000 words. But my favorite by far is my biography of Johnny Blood. I was 12 or 13 when I decided I wanted to write it, 33 when I began working on it, 38 when I finished it, and 78 when it was finally published.

Ralph's book list on the history of pro football

What is my book about?

From Kirkus Reviews: "This debut short-story collection paints the wistful life of a newspaper journalist as seen through his sexual and romantic encounters...

Throughout, Hickok writes in an assured style, pulling readers along. The narrow sexual focus results in a distorted picture, yet other aspects of Art's life emerge at the edges—his intelligence, his career as a journalist, and even the sincerity with which he gives in to his male urges and construes sex as love... 

Subdued yet alluring; a pensive reflection on the male psyche."

Love, Sex, and Other Calamities: 15 Stories and a Poem by Ralph Hickok

By Ralph Hickok,

What is this book about?

A man arrives in a new city, hoping to start a new life, but he’s still haunted by memories of past loves…
A 12-year-old boy and an 11-year-old girl have a brief romantic encounter when their families are vacationing in neighboring lakeside cottages…
Two teenagers enjoy sexual experimentation when she babysits for her little brother while her parents are out drinking…
A high school boy has a crush on an older woman who identifies with Molly Bloom…
A college freshman falls in love with a high school freshman and is amazed at the depths of her passion…
A guy wins…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in heroes, cryptozoology, and Hades?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about heroes, cryptozoology, and Hades.

Heroes Explore 106 books about heroes
Cryptozoology Explore 22 books about cryptozoology
Hades Explore 18 books about Hades