Kissing Books

Holiday Romance Shirts and Snowed In Romances

Welcome (back) to the Kissing Books newsletter. It’s the first day of December, y’all and the last month of 2022. We’re almost there.

Now, I typically wait until the day after Turkey Day to consume anything holiday related. But this year I decided to wait until December officially started. The first movie I’m planning on watching is Writing Around the Christmas Tree. Now, we all know what they say about best laid plans so we’ll see what the future brings. If I do though, I’ll be sure to update on what I thought next time.

In things currently bringing me joy, I picked up a copy of Legends & Lattes from one of my local indie stores. I was also pleased that I correctly guessed the BOTM clue and that one of the picks this month would be Kiss Her Once For Me, which y’all know was the one I picked for even more holiday reading. And even factoring in those two purchases, as well as the copy of Delilah Green Doesn’t Care I recently treated myself to, I am still at my goal of reading half of the books I bought this year.

And I’m making a promise: no more (purchased) books for the rest of the year. Gifts and ARCs are a whole different story.

And on that note, onto the rest of the newsletter!

Bookish Goods

picture of Christmas Tarot Card

Small Town Christmas Trope Tarot Card T-shirt by lylajuneco

Of course this was going to be the bookish good to start December off with. I know that these small town Christmas movies are all the rage in July and December. And, if we’re being honest, we all know one person who watches these movies all year-round. Whatever the case is for you or your loved ones, this is just the perfect thing to watch for all your holiday movie viewings. Priced at $25.

New Releases

cover of The Naughty Chocolatier

The Naughty Chocolatier by Ana’Gia Wright

Celestial is recently divorced and looking for love. Ellis is a handsome restaurant owner who is trying to get a handle on the business he just inherited. After he saves her from a terrible arranged date, their paths continue to cross. This leads them both to wonder if destiny is about to open a new chapter for both of them.

cover of Ghosted Christmas Past

Ghosted Christmas Past by Bryce Oakley

When nanny Merritt and private chef Dylan’s paths cross a year after the latter ghosted the former, on Christmas day no less, there is a little bit of tension in the air. This gets a bit tighter when Merritt finds out they’re sharing a room while working at a holiday house in the Rockies. And when Dylan says she wants to give them a second chance, Merritt nearly explodes. This is part of an entire collection of nine novellas that all get released today, so if this one isn’t calling to you, there are eight other holiday filled options to choose from!

For a more comprehensive list of new releases, check out our New Books newsletter.

Riot Recommendations

This season is also the time of the year that the desire for snowed in romances goes up. I know that I’ve talked about this before, but that was last year. And I have yet to do it this year and it also fits in with the overall theme of this edition.

So yay time for snowed in romances!! And no worries; I made sure there were no repeats from my previous list.

cover of Redemption

Redemption by Kenya Wright

On the run from her abusive husband for three years, Kenya and her three kids find themselves snowbound at Yoshiro’s house. After the mafia murdered his family, Yoshiro left his life of crime, retreating to solitude for five years. Understandably, both of them have walls around them, but the close quarters and an undeniable attraction work to break them down, leaving them to wonder if they should both take this opportunity for a second chance family.

cover of A Christmas Gone Perfectly Wrong

A Christmas Gone Perfectly Wrong by Cecilia Grant

When Andrew is asked to drive Lucy to a house party, it is just another addition to the long list of tasks that have been bestowed on him. While he’s understandably grumpy about it, Lucy is overjoyed at the opportunity to break away from her mundane life. However a carriage mishap seems to forecast a scandal rather than a happy holiday, leaving a stoic man and carefree woman to wonder if love will help to make the best of this situation.

Pick some books and get a romcom to watch.

If you’re looking for some holiday romances to curl up with this month, here is a decent list of some options.

Guess the romantic movie by a random quote.

Fake dating romances!

And that is all I have for y’all this fine Thursday. I’ll be back in your inboxes on Monday with a fresh edition. In the meanwhile I can be found floating around Twitter under @PScribe801. Until next time, happy reading and stay warm and hydrated.

Kissing Books

New Releases and Authors You Should Read Before 2023

Hello and welcome (back) to the Kissing Books newsletter. It’s me, PN, back on this lovely Monday morning. I hope that your weekend was wonderful and, if you were like me and had a four-day one, you got plenty of rest and reading done.

I know I enjoyed my extra time off, if for no other reason than a mental break, because it has been hectic. One thing I know I need to work on next year is making sure to take more time off for that reason, even if all I am doing is staying at home. Breaks are important, y’all. This is something I tell everyone in my life and it’s time for me to apply it to myself. You heard it here first; that is one of my resolutions for next year.

In reading news, I finished The Kiss Curse and loved it as much as The Ex Hex. I cannot wait to see what the next book has in store for us. I also started Calling the Shots, which I am adoring as I have Kelly Farmer’s other books.

Bookish Goods

picture of Book Rescuer T-shirt

Book Rescuer T-Shirt by IkersonLTD

I need this shirt so I can point empathically to it every time I walk in from any bookstore with a huge bag of books and get the “What the heck” look from my partner. It comes in 12 colors and prices range from $13-24.

New Releases

cover of A Valentine for Christmas

A Valentine for Christmas by Reese Ryan

After he saves her life not once, but twice, Chandra agrees to act as Julian’s fake girlfriend. She’s determined to keep it just pretend though, believing that the doctor is too young for her. But he is equally as determined to show her that the differences in their ages don’t matter, especially when it comes to affairs of the heart.

cover of Unlikely Match

Unlikely Match by Alexa Woods

When Poppy is matched with social coach Odessa through the TwinSoul app, the date starts off promising but ends in disaster. After Odessa reaches out, Poppy decides to hire her and Odessa reluctantly agrees, knowing that she would never cross that line with a client, no matter how tempting it is. However, as they work together, Poppy gains the confidence to tell Odessa how she feels, and Odessa wonders if she may end up breaking that rule for all the right reasons.

For a more comprehensive list of new releases, check out our New Books newsletter.

Riot Recommendations

I mentioned last week that we’re going to start seeing a lot of the “Best of 2022” lists floating around because of the time of the year. It is equally as true that we will start seeing the most anticipated books of 2023. I have quite a few myself because, well, of course I do!

Which leads to today’s recommendations: books that you should read before the authors release another book in 2023. Not only just to support them, but to get all caught up in case there is a continuing storyline. With that said, on to the books.

cover of Savvy Sheldon Feels Good as Hell by Taj McCoy; illustration of a plus-sized Black woman in a yellow dress and sunglasses in front of a Black man in jeans and a white t-shirt walking a small brown dog

Savvy Sheldon Feels Good as Hell by Taj McCoy

2023 release: Zora Books Her Happily Ever After

After the fissures that Savvy has been ignoring in her life begin to fully crack open, she decides it is time for a change and starts by renovating the kitchen in the house she inherited from her grandma. This life change starts off rough when the handsome contractor she hires is also someone that she recently offended, which she has to make amends for. As she moves through her new lifestyle, she realizes that she also has to work on improving her self confidence as well so she can feel as good as she looks.

cover of From Bad to Cursed

From Bad to Cursed by Lana Harper

2023 release: Back in a Spell

When it appears that this year’s Beltane Festival will be threatened by sinister dark forces, rivals Isidora and Rowan team up to find out who is behind it. Despite their animosity, there is also an intense attraction between the two and as they work together, it becomes harder to ignore. As a heads up, I highly recommend reading Payback’s a Witch first since a plot element from that one plays heavily in this one.

Check out The Ripped Bodice’s new display!!!

If you’re looking for some Hanukkah romances, this list has you covered.

More holiday reading!

Also, more romance cover art. Seeing these always brightens up my timeline.

Here’s another round-up of some of the romances that were released this year.

And that is all I have for y’all today. I’ll be back on Thursday with another fresh edition and in the meantime I can be found posting over on Twitter under @PScribe801. Until then, happy reading and stay warm and hydrated!

Kissing Books

Happy Turkey Day Y’all!!!

First and foremost, I was heartbroken at the news regarding the mass shooting at Club Queue on Transgender Awareness Day. My thoughts are with the loved ones of the victims of this senseless and horrific tragedy.

Hello and welcome (back) to the Kissing Books newsletter. PN here, ready to fill you in on more goings on in the romance world as well as give you some recommendations. I hope that wherever you are and whatever you do, that you get to spend today however you want it.

That said, I have to admit that it’s been difficult for me to refer to today as Thanksgiving for a while. The biggest reason, apart from the sobering reality that we were lied to as children about the first one, is due to what tomorrow is. You know what I mean. Black Friday. It just doesn’t sit well with me that on the day after the one where we’re supposed to be thankful for all we have, people throw down over electronics that they don’t really need. Hence why I prefer the term Turkey Day, even though I’m not actually a huge fan of turkey in general.

Enough postulating. Let me get down off my soap box and get to the rest of the newsletter.

Bookish Goods

picture of Death by TBR cup

Death by TBR Glass Can by LadyishCreative

Yet another cup that speaks directly to my soul ’cause if this isn’t the motto of my bookish life, I don’t know what is. Honestly though it is cute and perfect for drinking from while one attempts to tackle their TBR pile. $18+

New Releases

cover of Three Kings

Three Kings by Freydis Moon

Ethan is happy with his life as the local witch, lighthouse keeper and husband to sea captain Peter. After Peter returns from the sea with selkie Nico, things begin to change in their relationship leaving Ethan to wonder how all the chips will fall and where that will leave his marriage. However, the three men realize that not all changes are for the worst and sometimes they can be just what was needed.

cover of Astrid Parker Doesn't Fail by Ashley Herring Blake; illustration of a blond woman in a white dress and black high heels and a redheaded woman with short hair in overalls standing on the porch in front of a big wooden door

Astrid Parker Doesn’t Fail by Ashley Herring Blake

In this sequel to last year’s Delilah Green Doesn’t Care, we follow Astrid as she follows her dream of becoming an interior decorator one year after leaving her fiancé. When she’s given the opportunity to renovate the Everwood Inn for a hit reality show, she’s overjoyed. That is until she keeps having run-ins with the owner’s granddaughter and lead carpenter, who is determined to block every modern update Astrid wants to do. As the two women continue to bump heads, the tension between them builds until they’re forced to reconcile with the fact that it’s more attraction than animosity.

For a more comprehensive list of new releases, check out our New Books newsletter.

Riot Recommendations

As I promised on Monday, today’s recommendations are going to be novellas. This is just in case you’re doing a lot of socializing today, but also still want or need those reading breaks. I also included a lot of romance-related articles as well, both for more quick reading and to add more books to your TBR. Enjoy!

cover of The Governess Affair

The Governess Affair by Courtney Milan

In this opening novella to the popular Brothers Sinister series, we meet Hugo, the right-hand man of a terrible duke. His latest assignment is to get rid of the governess Serena, who is equally as determined to make sure she gets compensation for all she suffered when she was in the duke’s employment. As the two continue to butt heads, they discover that they’re starting to feel more than animosity for each other. TW for references to off-the-page sexual assault.

cover of Beauty and the Blacksmith

Beauty and the Blacksmith by Tessa Dare

Here we return to Spindle Cove, where we meet local woman Diana, whose mother is determined that she make a wealthy match. However, Diana only has eyes for local blacksmith Aaron who isn’t exactly unaffected by the blonde beauty. Despite the differences in their statuses, the two are drawn together leaving them to wonder if there is a chance at a happily ever after for them.

One reader discusses how reading romance novels helped her to cope with the world at large.

If you’re like me and you wait until the day after Turkey Day to start your holiday romance reading, here is a great list to choose from.

This one is for my ‘off-the-page’ readers.

And, if you’re more of the ‘on-the-page’ reader, then this list has you covered.

EW rounds up their seven best romance novels for fall.

The Washington Post put out their top 10 romances of 2022.

And here are the top romances according to BookPage.

Yes, it’s that time already so expect to see more of these in the coming weeks.

And lastly, another eerily accurate-for-me quiz.

And that is all I have for you today. I’ll be back in your inboxes on Monday with another fresh edition of this newsletter. In the meantime, you can still find me over on Twitter under @PScribe801. Until then, happy reading and stay warm and hydrated.

Kissing Books

Fake Dating but With Revenge!

Hello and happy Monday! I know that I say this every time but seeing as today is World Hello Day, I wanted to be sure that I greeted y’all with that specific salutation.

It’s Thanksgiving Week, which for us means the Teenager has the whole week off. You would think that means he would be sleeping in but he actually still gets up relatively early even on days off and weekends. While that will be great for him when he gets older, it’s more challenging when you’re used to quiet in the morning while working from home. And he’s got a lot of energy, so quiet he is not. I know these problems aren’t huge in the grand scheme of things so I’ll stop bemoaning them and just be happy my son is getting a mental break from school.

As for me, I found out that I actually ended up with Thursday and Friday off from the day job, which was a nice surprise. Don’t get me wrong; extra money is also nice, but I’m using this as a sign from the universe that I need to take a break and recalibrate myself. And of course catch up on my reading.

Bookish Goods

picture of Unholy sticker

Unholy Stickers by LunarEndlessDesigns

I know there has been a fair amount of division on this song, especially after we were teased with it for so long. Personally, I think it’s a bop and I have been playing the hell out of it. And I love all the different spins that people have put on it, including this one right here. If you’re feeling the same way, then this sticker is perfect for you and, priced at only $4, is quite a bargain.

New Releases

cover ofTwo Wrongs Make a Right

Two Wrongs Make a Right by Chloe Liese

I am so glad that this book is finally out in the world, because I absolutely adored it. It’s all about Jamie and Bea and their well-meaning but massively overstepping friends’ attempts at matchmaking. Deciding that revenge is the best response, they pretend to fall in love and date, and plan to have a huge, dramatic breakup designed to make their friends feel guilty for their sneakiness. However, the more they pretend, the more they find that their friends may have been right and that they may actually be perfect for each other.

cover of Where There is Smoke, There is Fire

Where There is Smoke, There is Fire by Monique Fisher

From the moment that Kara and Aaron “Smoke” met, the sparks between them were instantaneous. However, Kara, fresh off a breakup, isn’t looking for a new relationship. And, while Smoke isn’t looking for a casual affair, he also doesn’t want to give up on her and accepts what he can get from her. This doesn’t mean that he won’t actively be working to change her mind, though.

For a more comprehensive list of new releases, check out our New Books newsletter.

Riot Recommendations

Today is also my Seester’s Birthday! I know y’all don’t know her from the Biblical Eve (well apart from those of you who know me in real life), but she’s pretty darn special to me. So, this day is as well. Of course it hasn’t always been that way since you know…we’re sisters. But the important part is we’re close now, which for various reasons, is a huge blessing.

One thing we’ve always had in common, though, is our love of reading. In fact, I’m the one who helped get her hooked on romance (in case anyone is interested, the book in question was Gentle Rogue). Which leads up to today’s recommendations: books with sisters that also somehow tie to our relationship. Enjoy the recs and the personal mini-backstories!

cover of Welcome to Temptation

Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie

This is a book and author we both love and have read multiple times. All Sophie wants to do is go to the town of Temptation, help her sister film a video, and leave. Mayor Phin wants the same thing. However, love, along with blackmail, adultery, and gossip among other things, have different plans for them. This is a hilarious and steamy read and remains one of my favorites by this author to this day.

cover of West Side Love Story

West Side Love Story by Priscilla Oliveras

A Romeo and Juliet retelling set in San Antonio, Texas with battling mariachi bands? And you know it will have a happy ending cause it’s a romance? Sign me up! As weird as it may seem, West Side Story has a huge role in our sister history. After our dad passed away, we went to see the local touring Broadway Across America production. Then when the movie remake came out, we went to see it, for her birthday as a matter of fact. And then we went to see our symphony play along with the original movie. So, it’s something that is now officially one of “our” things. That and the fact that one of the mariachi bands is compromised entirely of sisters, make it perfect for this recommendation theme.

And that’s all for today. I’ll be back in your inboxes on Thursday. Yes, y’all get to start Thanksgiving off by hearing from me! I’ll be sure to include some novellas for recommendations there for quick clicking and reading just in case you need it as a break from any social engagement.

I can also be found posting on Twitter under @PScribe801. Until then, happy reading and stay hydrated.

— PN Hinton

Kissing Books

Warm Bookish Blankets and Reading Goals

Hello and welcome (back) to the Kissing Books newsletter! I’m PN Hinton, and I’m your guide through the rollercoaster world of romance. We’ve almost made it through another week, y’all! Huzzah!

Next week is Thanksgiving, which is mind-boggling to think about it. I am not yet sure of my plans for the day, as I’m holding out hope that my blood family, who I haven’t seen as a whole since December of 2019, will do something. It’s been hard, I won’t lie. That said, not one but two of my aunties have also made declarations that they’re tired of not seeing their family as well. So, silver lining there is that if it doesn’t happen for Turkey Day, it will most likely happen for Christmas.

I finished Dowry’s Meadow (which fair warning ends on a cliff hanger) and started the follow up Dowry’s Punishment. It’s a banana pants plot and, full disclosure, not what I would call historically accurate in a handful of ways. But I’m having fun with it and that alone makes it gold-star worthy. I also started The Kiss Curse to buddy read with one of my romance besties and am enjoying that.

Bookish Goods

picture of Gothic Romance Blanket

Gothic Romance Blanket by fuglybarbie

We’ve had our first real cold snap of the season where I live. So, naturally, I immediately started thinking of ways to bundle up. And yes I turned on my heat already and have no shame at it. Even though I’m still pretty much a novice in the world of Gothic Romance, this blanket spoke to me. Not only does it look warm as all get out, but I love the design on it and it’s perfect for curling up next to a fire or rain-spattered window to indulge in whatever your current book is. Priced at $35.

New Releases

cover of Her Vixen Actress

Her Vixen Actress by Violet Cowper

Grace is an aspiring actress in England in 1782 but is not finding any luck at all. That is, until she encounters Frances, a playwright who may just be able to provide her the opportunity she needs. When Frances decides to give her a chance she is rewarded with a kiss that leaves her breathless but scared to pursue more. However, when a wealthy man enters wanting to be Grace’s patron, will Frances stop denying her unexpected desire for Grace or lose her forever? TW: mentions situations of non-dubious consent between other characters.

cover of Securing Ava

Securing Ava by Anne Shade

All Ava has wanted her entire life is to carry on her family’s legacy, going so far as to enter into a fake engagement with a man she doesn’t like or even trust. When she believes him to be part of an attempt to hurt her father, she goes on the run. Paige is the PI who is hired to find her, and she’s determined to do just that; at least until she witnesses a failed kidnapping attempt. Then she decides to focus on keeping Ava safe while they try to simultaneously find out who is threatening her family and ignore the feelings quickly developing between them.

For a more comprehensive list of new releases, check out our New Books newsletter.

Riot Recommendations

We’re halfway through November now which means for those of us who choose to set a reading goal, we’re coming down close to the wire. Now, I will say that if you’ve not met your reading goal yet, that is fine. It’s your challenge to yourself and it’s for fun. You shouldn’t beat yourself up if you fall short. And yes, I am also including myself in that kind reprimand because in the past, I’ve been guilty of this.

Now, I’ve already met my goal since I was more pragmatic this year and set a modest goal of 52 books. That way, it averaged to one a week. Now, my goal is to read at least half, if not more, of the books that I’ve obtained this year. Which leads to recommendations for today, which have no other connection apart from they are ones I really want to make a point of finishing before the year rolls over to 2023. Hopefully, this will also help you if you’re in the same boat and pick at least two, if not more, you want to get to as well.

cover of Book Boyfriend

Book Boyfriend by Kris Ripper

I’m a fan of the slow burn and pining, especially if the ‘payoff’ is worth it and has me fanning myself. So, I’m eager to read about PK who puts his unrequited love for his friend Art in a book that becomes a best-seller, and having to deal with the effects of Art realizing he was PK’s muse. Additionally, I really enjoyed The Hate Project by this author so when I heard about the premise for this one, I was sold on zir name alone.

cover of Bet on It by Jodie Slaughter; illustration of a Black woman and a blonde white man holding a large bongo card with hearts across the center

Bet On It by Jodie Slaughter

And for this one, I was sold on the fact that the meet-cute was in a Piggly Wiggly and that they go on Bingo dates. I also really appreciate this recent trend in romance novels that deal with heavier, not darker, topics. I know it’s not for everyone; I think that mourning or dealing with an ill family member is an unavoidable aspect of a relationship and reading how it’s handled in romance novels especially can be helpful.

Surprisingly, this seemingly random ‘pick a name’ quiz guessed my partner’s initial.

Here are some romance novels where the heroine is the one who makes the first move.

And that’s alll I have for y’all today. I’ll be back in your inboxes on Monday with another new edition of the newsletter. Until then, you can still find me over on Twitter under @PScribe801. Until then, happy reading and stay hydrated.

Kissing Books

Cowboy Romances and More Second Chances

Greetings and salutations fellow romance lovers. It’s me PN, back in your inboxes with the latest edition of the Kissing Books newsletter. I followed my own advice from last week and took it easy over the weekend since I was not happy with the results of Election Tuesday. Happy for other states but no real changes for mine; just the same stuff we’ve been dealing with since the mid ’90s. But since I’m not in a position to easily move somewhere else, I’ll have to bunker down and try to make it through, like I’ve been doing.

Next week is Thanksgiving and the Teenager is looking forward to having the entire week off from school. I’m not sure how it works in other places but here we get the full week. While I’m happy for him, since I believe in breaks, there’s also a fair amount of jealousy at play since growing up we only got the three days.

In things currently bringing me joy, I finally decided to try my hand at Fall Guys and, while I admit I get a bit anxious playing it, just because of my nature, it is a fun game nonetheless. And a nice reminder to myself that sometimes it’s okay to just veg out and play video games.

Bookish Goods

picture of Cowboy Romance Tarot Card Sticker

Cowboy Romance Tarot Card Sticker by lylajuneco

I’m a sucker for a good cowboy romance and do not even try to hide it. So I’m not ashamed to admit that when I saw this sticker, I squealed out loud. And again I am always a fan of anything in the Tarot card design so it’s an added bonus. The sticker is priced at $4 but if you prefer a T-shirt or sweatshirt, they can be purchased for the respective prices of $25 and $35.

New Releases

cover of Before I Let Go

Before I Let Go by Kennedy Ryan

Even though their marriage has long since ended, Yasmen and Josiah still work together both as co-parents to their children and business partners. It isn’t too long before feelings they both thought were long since gone begin to reignite, which lead to stolen passionate moments. However, when the wounds of the past threaten to re-open, will they be able to overcome them or repeat what happened years prior?

cover of Calling the Shots

Calling the Shots by Kelly Farmer

Even though Regan has retired from playing, the former hockey star is looking forward to her new career coaching the Boston Ice. Tierney, who coaches rival team New York Lady Libertys and the woman who Regan ghosted in the past, is determined to not go easy on Regan her first year. As their teams continue to face off, the women become unable to ignore the heat radiating between them and wonder if this is the perfect chance to try again.

I know, again with the second chance romances! But it’s a popular trope for a reason. That said, I’ll try to make sure I highlight books with different tropes next time. And, as always, you can always sign up for our New Books newsletter for a more comprehensive list of new releases across multiple genres.

Riot Recommendations

When I found the Bookish Good for today, I looked back over my spreadsheet and realized that I haven’t recommended cowboy romances in a good while. Modern, historical, alternate timeline…I’m not really picky on when these stories take place. Just as long as there is a cowpoke involved, I’m sold. With that in mind, here are the recommendations for today.

cover of To Tempt a Wilde

To Tempt a Wilde by Kimberly Kaye Terry

After years of running, Althea thinks she has finally found a safe place on Wilde’s ranch in Wyoming, and is very appreciative of the beautiful ranch, including the handsome oldest brother, Nathan. Still hurting from an ex-lover’s betrayal, Nathan is reluctant to open his heart again, especially when it seems like the ghosts from Althea’s past are finally catching up.

cover of All I Need Is You

All I Need is You by Johanna Lindsey

After a fight with her father, Casey runs away from home, determined to prove to him that she has what it takes to run her family’s ranch. Damian is a young man from the East who traveled to the West to avenge his father’s death. Their paths cross when Casey, disguised as “Kid” saves Damian and then gets hired on to help him in his task. When it comes to light that Casey is a she, neither is able to continue to ignore the attraction that has been building between them.

If you’re a fan of the arranged marriage trope, this list will likely be of interest to you.

This is how most of my bookstore adventures would end up, especially with Ms. Bev, if I had just a little less shelf control (see what I did there?)

The accuracy of this quiz literally had me flummoxed because it correctly guessed the age that I got married.

I invite you to come and be attacked with me. Also, this is the exact reason I also love friends to lovers.

Another favorite of mine? Nerd romances!

And that’s it for this fine Monday Morning. I’ll be back on Thursday and in the meantime you can still find me on Twitter under @PScribe801. Until then, happy reading and stay hydrated.

Kissing Books

All the Second Chances!

Hello and welcome (back) to the Kissing Books newsletter. In case you’re new here, I’m PN and I’ll be your guide through the happenings in the world of romance.

I know that this was a stressful week for a lot of us, what with Tuesday being Election Day. I’m writing from the past so no clue how it all turned out yet. All I can tell myself is that I voted with my heart and for the betterment of my state. All I can do now is hope that it proves to be successful.

In lighter news, I finished Witcha Gonna Do? and found it delightfully cheeky and fun. I finally also indulged myself and one-clicked Dowry’s Meadow, a book that has legit been on my mind since I saw this specific TikTok a few months ago and will be starting that very soon. I also started A Haunted History of Invisible Women: True Stories of America’s Ghosts for nonfiction November vibes.

Onto the rest of the newsletter.

Bookish Goods

picture of Reader til I Die Bookmark

Reader ’til I Die Magnetic Bookmark by CraftyEliseShop

I feel this motto to the depths of my little reader soul. Plus, I also like that it looks larger than most magnetic bookmarks I’ve seen, which I really appreciate. I have a few floating around but they are tiny so it’s like a little surprise when I actually find them in a book. But something tells me this one would be a tough one to lose and it’s super affordable, priced at just $3.

New Releases

cover of A Sweet Lowcountry Proposal

A Sweet Lowcountry Proposal by Preslaysa Williams

All of Jaslene’s plans for a perfect wedding with her fiancé Marcus drastically changed when her sister died in a tragic car accident. After this loss, she focuses on raising her niece and keeping the wedding business she started with her late sister afloat. Marcus, heartbroken but understanding, decides to turn his focus to his job at Charleston’s Black History museum. When their paths cross again, they can’t ignore the pains from the past or their ripple effects in the present. They also cannot ignore that they are still very much in love with each other.

cover of A Second Chance

A Second Chance by Tessa Vidal

Gracie left her town to pursue a career in medicine and in the process left behind the woman she loved. When she returns years later, she is eager to help the less fortunate with affordable medical care as well as try to win back Lauren’s affections. Having gone through a gauntlet of stressful and tragic life changes, not to mention the intense heartbreak she felt when she got left behind, Lauren isn’t sure she is willing to accept Gracie back into her life or heart, even though the temptation to do both is very high.

For a more comprehensive list of new releases, check out our New Books newsletter.

Riot Recommendations

I totally didn’t intend to highlight two second chance romances in the New Release section. But you know what? I’m not mad about it and we’re going to continue to ride that hype train through today’s recommendations.

Also, you’re welcome for the earworm that you may have gotten from that sentence. Fun fact: my dad hated that song because I wore it out when I was in high school. That and “Shy Guy,” which I still regularly jam out to.

Enough with the tales about Wee Me. It’s recommendation time!

cover of Through the Storm

Through the Storm by Beverly Jenkins

This was probably my first second chance romance book. I still have fond memories of it and how it taught me that it is possible to forgive and grow when it comes to matters of the heart. This is the first in Jenkins’s remarkable Le Veq series and, in my opinion, one of her most emotional ones. But you’re sure to fall in love with Raymond and Sable, along with every Le Veq family member.

the ex hex book cover

The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling

I’m still in the mood for witchy reads and I just got my copy of the sequel to this, The Kiss Curse, via a Book of the Month add-on. So, it seemed the perfect time to hype up this book about what can happen if you mix a broken heart, vodka, and witchcraft to curse your ex. Especially when they show up years later, still looking as handsome as ever and also very much cursed. And it doesn’t help the fact that the attraction is still there as well.

Check out this interview with Elena Armas.

Here are some of the most anticipated upcoming and current releases in historical romances.

Test out your romcom quote knowledge here.

Or, you can make a dessert pizza and get a Disney prince.

And that is all I have for y’all today. I don’t often give ‘homework,’ but I’m going to today by imploring you to take some time for yourself this weekend or whenever your next day off is. This timeline is challenging as hell, and that’s even before you factor in what time of the year it is. It’s okay to take that necessary time to prepare yourself for what may come next.

I’ll be taking my own advice this weekend and really focusing on relaxing. I will also be going to the symphony, courtesy of a season’s pass one of my near and dear friends recently purchased for me, and am beyond excited for it. I can also still be found posting occasionally over on Twitter under @PScribe801. Until Monday, happy reading and stay hydrated.

Kissing Books

It’s Never Really Just One Night…

Happy Monday friends! It’s me, PN, back with more updates from the world of romance for you. I hope that you had a relaxing weekend. As of right now, I don’t have any “going into the out” plans, which is nice. I have been super social for the last few weekends and, while I do enjoy that, at the core of my Cancerian soul, I am very much a homebody. So, that type of recharge is something I regularly need to do.

In viewing news, the spouse and I started watching The Midnight Club. It’s very rare that he expresses an interest in anything remotely horror related so I jumped at this opportunity to watch with him.

And in reading news, I finished Love in the Time of Serial Killers and am still working my way through Witcha Gonna Do?. So many books, so little time.

Onto the rest of the newsletter.

Bookish Goods

picture of Romance Reader Patch

Romance Reader Patch by FINNandFABLE

The fall season always makes me think of cardigans and sweaters. Either one of those would go well with this patch. It’s the perfect size to place over your heart to really showcase your love for the genre. It is also perfect for canvas bags as well! Plus, I love the color scheme here as red and black have always been two of my favorite colors. Priced at $13.

New Releases

cover of Kiss You Back

Kiss You Back by Mel Walker

Ten years ago, Kennedy was the most popular girl of Spring Hills High school and Elijah was the nerdy best friend who loved her from afar. She surprised everyone, even Elijah, when she up and ran away with a boy she thought held the keys to her happily ever after, leaving Elijah heartbroken. They end up reuniting at their class reunion, both of them older but much wiser. Is this the perfect second chance for these former best friends or will the secrets from the past be too much for them to overcome?

cover of Better Than Fiction

Better Than Fiction by Alexa Martin

To say that Drew is surprised when she inherits The Book Nook, her late grandmother’s bookstore, is an understatement. After all, she is known for always saying that she feels the movie is always better. There, her path crosses with best-selling author and hopeless romantic Jasper, who becomes determined to convert her to a voracious book reader. As they spend more time together, Drew finds herself opening up more to the idea of reading as well as a future with the bookstore and Jasper. That is, until familial issues begin to develop that threaten the future of it all. Is their story doomed to have an unhappy ending, or is there still a happily ever after waiting in the wings?

As an aside, please note that these recommendations are based on the release dates showing at the time when the newsletter was originally written.

And for a more comprehensive list of new releases, check out our New Books newsletter.

Riot Recommendations

One of the most popular tropes in romance novels is the “just one night” trope. You know the one; the two strangers meet in a random location and end up hooking up for a one-night stand. Or, they already know each other and they decide to give into their mutual attraction and indulge in a passionate one-time encounter.

Now, the idea of a one-night stand in real life doesn’t appeal to me at all. Not to dismiss people who do because everyone is different. But me, I have to know someone before sexy times enter as an option. That said, I don’t dislike this trope in romance novels because I know that since it is a romance novel, it won’t just be the one night.

So, the recommendations today both involve encounters that were intended to just be for one night but of course end up being more.

cover of Just One Night

Just One Night by Kyra Davis

In this erotically charged novel, as the overly cautious Kasie approaches her 30th birthday, she realizes that she has played it too safe her entire life. During a birthday trip to Vegas with her closest friend, she throws caution to the wind and engages in a one-night stand with a random stranger. After all, it is just one night and the next morning she will willingly slip back into the roles that her parents and fiancé have assigned her to. When she walks into work on Monday, she discovers that the stranger is in reality Robert, the CEO of a lucrative firm that her company does business with and he wants more than just one night with her.

cover of The Virgin and the Rogue

The Virgin and the Rogue by Sophie Jordan

When the current bout of menstrual cramps prove to be too much for Charlotte, she takes some of her sister’s healing tonic to help with the pain. It also proves to have an aphrodisiacal effect, resulting in a passionate kiss with the rakish Kingston who is not her fiancé. While she is willing to forget about their encounter, Kingston has other ideas and is determined to prove to her he is a risk worth taking.

Here are some of the trends in romance novels that a few of the Harlequin editors have been noticing.

I do this same thing with my loved ones.

And that’s all I have for y’all today. I’ll be back on Thursday with even more romance related goodness. In the meantime, I can still be found on Twitter under @PScribe801. Until then, happy readying and stay hydrated.

Kissing Books

Beer and Books Can Be the Best of Friends

Hello again friends, and welcome (back) to the Kissing Books newsletter. It’s me, PN, and I’m here with more updates from the world of romance. It’s good to see y’all again. We are officially in November, which is just mind-boggling.

Speaking of November, if you haven’t already be sure to vote come Election Day. It’s important to let all of our voices be heard, especially when it comes to decisions that will have an effect on our bodily autonomy, among other things.

In fun holiday news, today is International Stout Day! I love a good stout beer; in fact it’s my go to almost every time. I will have to wait until tomorrow to celebrate though since I don’t drink during my work week, for personal reasons.

Onto the rest of the newsletter!

Bookish Goods

picture of Books and Brews pin

Books & Brews Enamel Pin by ReaderZing

In honor of one of today’s holidays, here is your bookish good of the day. It’s simple but that in no way makes it any less awesome. And yes, I know that it’s not a stout beer being displayed, but it’s still cute. $11

New Releases

cover of The Heartbreak Handshake

The Heartbreak Handshake by J.R. Hart

Paxton and Remi agree to fake date to help put an end to the well-meaning but also completely unwanted matchmaking efforts of the latter’s mother. The plan is to go on a few dates and then break up, which will give Paxton a pass on future set-ups since he’s ‘heartbroken’ and Remi the chance to get back on the road which is what they really want. However, as the two spend more time together, they realize they have more in common than they first realized. Will they stick to the plan or take a chance at a satisfying companionship?

cover of Ex Appeal

Ex Appeal by Cathy Yardley

When ten million dollars goes missing from one of tech fixer’s Vinh’s accounts, he knows that the best person to help find them is hacker Emily, who also happens to be his ex. After Emily finally listens to Vinh’s call for help, she sees it as both an opportunity at a large payout and revenge — and she could certainly use both. As they work together to track down the missing money though, they realize that they have changed in the last 10 years. One thing that is still present though is their attraction for one another.

For a more comprehensive list of new releases, check out our New Books newsletter.

Riot Recommendations

In keeping with the theme of International Stout day, the recommendations today all involve a brewery. I recently went to a local brewery (the Barking Armadillo in Georgetown specifically) and I really enjoyed it! While I am picky when it comes to beers, and most every other beverage, I do appreciate being able to sample the different types before committing to a full glass.

cover of thirsty by mia hopkins

Thirsty by Mia Hopkins

Former high school classmates Salvador and Vanessa end up crossing paths when he becomes her tenant. Both have had their own various challenges that they have had to overcome, leaving them drastically different from the people they once were. However, they find themselves drawn to one another, discovering that the other one helps to heal the wounds of the past. Will this be enough to survive when Salvador’s criminal past attempts to lure him back or will he be strong enough to focus on his new possible future with Vanessa?

cover of Love on Tap

Love on Tap by Karis Walsh

Stacey, otherwise known as Tace, discovers she has a hidden talent when she assumes ownership of her brother’s microbrewery. She embraces this wholeheartedly, deciding, for once, to put herself first. When sparks fly between her and her new tenant, Berit, an archeologist on sabbatical, she indulges in these feelings. She knows it is just a short-term affair, rather than a full-blown relationship, something that Berit is on the same page about. As they spend more time together though, they wonder if maybe they want something more from the other woman than they initially thought.

And that’s all I have for you today. I hope that you enjoy your upcoming weekend and that, whatever you have planned, it is exactly what you want. I’ll be back in your inboxes on Monday with a fresh update from the world of romance. In the meantime, I can be found posting on Twitter under @PScribe801. Until then, happy reading and stay hydrated.

Kissing Books

It’s Halloween Y’all!!!

Happy Halloween y’all!! And welcome (back) to the Kissing Books newsletter. It’s me, PN, here with more updates from the world of romance. I hope that you had a wonderful and relaxing weekend, especially if you celebrated Halloween festivities over it.

Ours will be a pretty low-key celebration since it falls on Monday. The Teenager has a dentist appointment this morning, something I am sure he’ll be less than thrilled about. Luckily, it’s just a cleaning, so it should be quick. But he does have a more intense procedure in his future, which neither one of us is looking forward to. But it is what it is.

This evening we’re planning on helping one of my book club besties pass out candy in her neighborhood. While he isn’t a huge fan of trick-or-treating anymore, he still loves candy and seeing costumes. Which is fair ’cause, same on both counts.

I’m feeling especially accomplished since I managed to make it in for Early Voting. Not only did I make sure my voice is heard, I also got to avoid the crowds on Election Day. I also picked up Witcha Gonna Do? for my romance read, since y’all know I always need at least one of those in my rotation.

Bookish Goods

picture of Halloween Trope mug

Small Town Halloween Romance Mug by CardiganLibrarian

I have been waiting for ages to share this mug as a bookish good. And, by ages, I really mean like two weeks. I love all the Halloween themed puns on popular romance tropes that are all over the mug. Perfect for any time of the year, but especially October. Starts at $27

New Releases

cover of Resting Witch Face

Resting Witch Face by Juliette Cross

Roughly a decade ago, witch Jules ended her relationship with vampire Ruben, knowing that it was the best course of action, no matter how much it broke her heart. When the two team up in present day to go campaigning for the werewolf cause, Ruben is certain this is their second chance at true love. And he will not let anyone get in his way of proving that to Jules.

cover of In for a Penny

In for a Penny by Rina Gray

Penny is an aspiring novelist who knows that if she wins the Malcolm Dagner Writer Fellowship grant, her dreams of making it big will soon follow. Unfortunately for her, the man behind the grant has turned over a very misanthropic leaf and ended the fellowship. Undeterred, Penny pays a visit to the reclusive author and ends up getting snowed in with him. As the storm rages on, the close proximity proves to be the perfect place for an attraction to develop. Is this a chance at a forever love or is it a short-term affair destined to end once the blizzard passes?

For a more comprehensive list of new releases, check out our New Books newsletter.

Riot Recommendations

I looked back over the spreadsheet I had for all the books I’ve recommended so far this year and realized that I have yet to do one for shifters.

Yes, I keep a spreadsheet. I have elevated to that level of nerd-dom.

Anyways, I’ve recommend books with vampires, ghosts, and even some witchy reads sprinkled here and there. But no shifters. At least not this year. Well that ends today, friends! Below you will find some reading options to get your shifter fix on. And, as an added bonus, all the “official” recommendations today feature a different shifter type.

cover of That Time I Got Drunk and Yeeted a Love Potion at a Werewolf

That Time I Got Drunk and Yeeted a Love Potion at a Werewolf by Kimberly Lemming

I mean…the title really lays it all out right there. But just to make it even more alluring, in addition to a lovestruck werewolf and the object of his affection, you also have invading demon pirates. Plus, apparently one of the werewolf’s love language is acts of service, which he shows by doing his love’s household chores, while simultaneously giving multiple compliments. Now that is sexy as hell.

cover of Second Nature

Second Nature by Jae

In this slow burn Sapphic romance, shifter Griffin is assigned to monitor romance writer Jorie. The reason for this is that her new work in progress is hitting a little too close to the truth about shifters. She is instructed to investigate and, if necessary, exterminate the threat. As she continues to observe Jorie, she finds herself being drawn closer to the woman and developing feelings for her. This unexpected change leaves her to wonder if she will be able to follow through with the assignment should it come to a fatal end.

cover of Unicorn Vet

Unicorn Vet by Zoe Chant

While on vacation, Everly stumbles across a baby dragon. Not sure what to do, she takes the creature to the local vet, figuring if anyone would know how to handle this, they would. Angel is that vet and he does know what to do but it’s not just because of his superior medical skills; he is a shifter as well. When he lays eyes on Everly, he knows that she’s his mate. But her big city life, not to mention a handful of other magical factors, loom in the background and may be a threat ending this love match before it can really start.

If you’re specifically wanting some werewolf romances, then this list is for you. One I will also co-sign on that isn’t listed there or above is Mating the Huntress by Talia Hibbert since you can never go wrong with one of her books.

Steamy reads are not restricted to contemporary settings, and this list proves it.

I am wounded by this accurate attack.

Also I admire Oliver’s optimism here…and I’m not going to be the one to break it to him either.

And that is all I have for today. I’ll be back Thursday with more updates from the crazy world of romance. In the meantime, I can be found posting bookish things over on Twitter. Until then, happy reading and stay hydrated.

PN Hinton