Kissing Books

Romance vs Romantic

Hello again romance readers. I’m PN Hinton, your companion for the world of romance. I hope your spirit is doing well today. If you’re new to the Kissing Books newsletter, welcome and enjoy your stay. If you’re a long-time reader, welcome back; it’s good to see you again. 

My birthday is this week, y’all!! I’m so excited for my birthday visits. I’ve found that as I get older, I don’t need or want big parties anymore. And it’s not just related to birthday parties; summer is ripe for family reunions as well. Whenever the idea for one has come up in years past, all I could think was, “It’s going to be loud, outside, overly crowded, and HOT.” Cause you know…Texas. It’s also become tiresome to try to find a date where all my friends can make it. And speaking of friends, another factor is that my friend pool has shrunk over the years. Due to some of the bumps I’ve faced on this road of life, people have chosen to jump off the friendship wagon. I know I sound like some kind of motivational poster, but you know who your real friends are by how they react to those situations. The age of the friendship doesn’t even matter because you can be left behind by a cradle friend. But, I’ve also come to realize that I’d rather have a small group of true friends than an entire fair-weather flock. 

World of Romance

It seems there was another shakeup in the Romance side of Twitter about whether or not a book can be called a romance if it doesn’t have an HEA/HFN. The discourse happened about Heart & Seoul, which I mentioned a few weeks back as being a new release. Full transparency; I haven’t read the book. I don’t read all the books I talk about here simply because, as much as I may want to, I don’t have the time. I do have a day job and, unfortunately, it’s not reading. 

The dissonance seems to be that there isn’t an HEA or even HFN in this one; nor is there any indication that it is a series. As such, many are upset it’s being labeled as romance when it’s really not. Which I understand. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, and I will die on this hill; if there isn’t an HEA or an HFN, it’s not a romance novel. It can be a romantic novel, though, which is different. One of the articles from Romantic Reads day listed a few romantic books where the couples broke up; but the article was very careful to call these romantic reads as opposed to romances. This may seem like splitting hairs, but that fine line is there. 

Romantic books are books with romantic elements or a romantic theme. But romance isn’t the driving force behind the story like it is with a romance novel. From what I’ve gathered, Jen Frederick’s book is a more of a romantic book. There’s nothing wrong with that, but be honest with the readers. We are a loyal group, but we also do not like literary bait and switches. Don’t try to trick an entire group of readers to make sales because when word of the trickery gets out, it will be hard to get that reputation back. 

Around the Web in Romance

Jess talks here about the allure of slow reading and I have to say I agree; there is something to be said about savoring a read. I am taking my time with a few of the books I’m currently reading, including Kennedy Ryan’s Reel.

As if you need another reason to read The Queer Principles of Kit Webb, here are a few more.

Harlequin beat Hallmark to the punch with an LGBTA holiday romance story with the announcement that Roan Parrish will be writing the very first gay romance novel in a series line. It’s slated to come out this September and looks like it has all the warm holiday feels you could want. I’m not going to lie, I’m super excited for how sweet this book looks. I’m not a holiday person anymore, so I rely on movies and books to help me not be a Grinch and this looks like a great candidate for the job.

Here are some pairings of princesses and romance novels.

New Releases & Deals

Some of this week’s new releases include The Next Mrs. Russo by Jana Aston, Love is All: Volume 4, an anthology of LGBTQ romances, Jock Royal by Sara Ney, and Love Your Life by Sophie Kinsella (which, being a Kinsella, may be a romantic book). It also looks like quite a bit of Ms. Bev’s back list is getting the audiobook treatment, including Something Like Love and Wild Sweet Love. So, if you’re more of an audiobook reader, that may be more your jam. 

As for your deals, The Champion’s Desire by Marie Lipscomb and The Only Man by Rochelle Allers can both be snagged for $0.99. If you’re having a bit of wanderlust, the roadtrip romance Dine With Me by Layla Reyne is available for $1.99, as are New Ink on Life and Inked with a Kiss by Jennie Davids.

And that is all for now. I’ll see you Thursday with another edition. Until then give me a follow over on Twitter @PScribe801.