Kissing Books

Does Art Have to Imitate Life?

Hello once again, fellow KBers. I hope that today finds you in a good place across all the checkpoints. The last few weeks of March ended up being extremely heartbreaking, due to some very real world ugliness. We had multiple mass shootings in Atlanta and Boulder and it just hurts that this still continues to be an issue. I heard somewhere that last year had the least amount of mass shootings like this but that’s because most of the country was stuck inside. So, it’s not a real victory for me.

If you or someone you know has been affected by these recent tragedies, my heart goes out to you and yours.

Moving on to some lighter topics.

What with the world being grown up grounded for the last year, a lot of bookish people, authors and writers included, wondered how COVID-19 would be reflected in current and future publications. I mean, it was a historical event on a global scale. So, it’s not like we can’t pretend it just didn’t happen. The truth of it is all around us even now as the vaccine is rolling out to more and more people. 

However, there is something to be said for wanting to have a bit of escapism especially so soon after the fact. This was something that we were not prepared for. The last time something on this level happened in America was, funnily enough, in the 1920s. And we ended up doing the same thing with being quarantined, getting mad at being shut in and going on, and it staying around even longer. You would think people would learn from history but alas.

I would argue it was worse then because at least now Internet, e-readers, and streaming services are an option for most. So, there were ways to pass the days that seemed to go on forever and ever. I know I got a lot of reading done as well as started to be more mindful of what I wanted to do for myself and considered self-care. It also let me know that again I’m pretty adaptable all around, which is always a good quality to have.

Still I want to be able to go safely into the freaking outdoors now please.

Regardless of what an author chooses to do I respect it. Talia Hibbert states in the forward for Act Your Age, Eve Brown, that she wrote the book in a COVID-free world. Which I respect. Now, the Brown sisters are also written in what I would call a ‘timeless’ period; meaning you know it’s contemporary but not exactly when it is. So, there is no need to really nail down exactly what year it took place in. I haven’t read any that specifically mention COVID-19 yet, but the year is still young and who knows what my future TBR pile shall bring.

I’ve also noticed from my casual, not-at-all scientific observation, a surge in books taking place in tropical locations, such as Meet Me in Paradise, or book festivals, such as the upcoming No Words by Meg Cabot. The covers of the book even show tropical locations. This is likely an extension of some of the things that we all wished we could have done last year, as well a call of what we hope to do very soon. Which is fair. I was supposed to got to KissCon last year with a friend and well….*shrugs*. C’est la vie.

And then there were some who embraced the pandemic and wrote romance novels around it. You know what story I’m talking about. Now, this isn’t my bag, but I’m not going to yuck someone’s yum.

All of this is to say that whichever way an author chooses to work through their frustration over the last year is between them, their editor, and the publisher. As readers, we are empowered to pick and choose what we read on our own time. So, if you don’t like the blind eye an author may turn towards the year 2020, that’s fine. You can choose not to read their book. Just like you can choose to not read a book that uses quarantine as a new method of forced proximity.

Personally, I’m trying to stay positive that by this summer we may be on the upswing. That’s not just because that is when my birthday is either (although it does add to it), but with the number of people getting vaccinated it is possible. Even if not everyone does it, if enough people do it, then herd immunity will kick in and then we can start trying to live the way we did.

Romance News

Let’s hear it for more books featuring older romance couples!

Frolic put together a list of contemporary romances that may have been missed in March!

Yes, more Bridgerton. Here is one writer’s choices for the steamiest (or funniest) lines from the entire series, including the second epilogue collection.

New Releases

Here are some of the new releases hitting the shelves this week!

Custom Made by Chantal Fernando

Knit, Purl, a Baby, and a Girl by Hettie Bell*

Sweethand by N.G. Peltier

The Rebel by Kendall Ryan

Back in the Burbs by Avery Flynn & Tracy Wolff

*I read this one as an e-ARC and it’s super sweet. However, there is a lot of body shaming in it from the narrator’s mother.


As of the writing of this newsletter, here were some sweet deals I came across!

Breakfast in Bed by Rochelle Alers can be picked up for $0.99

The Remaking of Corbin Wales by Roan Parish is available for $1.99

Second Chance on Cypress Lane by Reese Ryan is available for $2.99.

The Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas is $1.99

That’s all for now friends. Feel free to follow me over at Twitter under @PScribe801. Until next time!