Categories
Kissing Books

Patience, Grace, and Fanfiction

There’s still time to get some awesome swag to celebrate our 10th birthday!

Welcome to the Kissing Books newsletter y’all. I’m P.N. Hinton, your guide to the world of romance novels. I hope your spirit is doing well today. Whether it’s a backlist, new release, or an under the radar delight, I aim to help you find a book or two that you can get lost in. 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.

We’re a couple of weeks away from Halloween and, honestly, this is the most anti-climactic it has ever been for me. The teenager isn’t interested in trick-or-treating this year. While a change, this is just part of him growing up, I’m sure. So, I’ll be content with just staying at home and watching Toy Story of Terror, the Gravity Falls Summer-ween episode, and It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown—because you’re never too old for Charlie Brown.

Romance Reflection

Between the chatter among Book Riot peers and the tweets flying around, it seems that a few books have gotten their publication dates pushed back. Which can be a huge bummer, especially if you were looking forward to a specific book. But sometimes life happens. 

This time around the ‘life happening’ situation is a supply chain issue and printing delays, which are completely and utterly outside of the author’s control. Everyone is feeling the crunch here and that is why everyone and their grandmother is telling you to shop early for the holidays if you’re ordering from out of state or overseas. The books will get to us and I’m sure that none of us have completely empty TBR piles just yet. So, there is still plenty to read in the meantime. 

All of this is to say: show patience and grace to the authors and publishers behind this. It’s something they wanted to do, it’s something they had to. And be sure to extend this to everyone else who may be in some sort of crunch.

Book Riot Romance

Catch up with the latest episode of When in Romance where Trisha and Jess discuss how they find book recommendations. You can also send them your recommendation requests. Also, be sure to pick up the next book club pick, Sweet Disorder!

And here is a nice round-up of some of the best enemies-to-lovers in Fantasy Romance.

Do you love horror, romance, and manga? Then you’re in luck!

Around the Web in Romance

Here’s even more hate-to-love romances!

An Asian led holiday romance is happening this year and there is cause for much excitement on this.

Paranormal romances are great any time of year but extra perfect around Halloween.

Recommendations

One of the buzziest romance books around currently is The Love Hypothesis, and as with most buzzy books, there is a division in Romancelandia on it. A lot of it is centered around the fact that it started as Keylo fanfiction. 

I won’t go too much into that because it’s a long involved conversation and both sides have very good points. It did get me to thinking that fanfiction, for all the sneers it gets from ‘high-browed literary types’ is still very present across all genres, even literature. So, it is not a new concept by any stretch of the imagination. 

And that leads us to today’s recommendations; books that are, at their very core, fanfiction. As a bonus, y’all get four today since two of these are novellas.

Cover of Halloween Boo by Sarah Spade

Halloween Boo by Sarah Spade

Ever since she moved in a year ago, Dani has felt that her apartment was haunted. Despite that, she and her ghostly roommate have fallen into a routine with each other. She even calls him Casper. Then on Halloween Night, suddenly Casper, who’s really named Zack, appears to her on the one night that the dead can cross the veil and be mortal. Clearly, this is a Hocus Pocus fanfiction novella and, considering the current season, was always going to be on this list. It is quite delightful and naturally has an HEA.

Cover of Recipe for Persuasion

Recipe for Persuasion by Sonali Dev

In this Jane Austen retelling, chef Ashna and soccer star Rico are paired up on the new reality show, Cooking with the Stars. The only snag here is that they’re each others first loves and things did not end well. When their first interaction goes viral though, all eyes are on them and their undeniable chemistry. Will they be able to work through the past and ignore the feelings still present in the future to both win the competition and protect their hearts?

Cover of Her Mad Hatter

Her Mad Hatter by Marie Hall

This version of Alice is all grown up and runs her own cupcake and tea shop. She’s content with her life there until a very determined fairy godmother pulls her into Wonderland where she meets the Mad Hatter. The Hatter is determined to not fall into his fairy godmother’s trap having been burned by previous Alices before. But this one is different from the others, leaving him to wonder if he finally found his Alice.

Cover of Written in the Stars

Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur

Despite a horrid first date, Darcy and Elle decide to engage in a bit of fake dating to get Darcy’s brother and Elle’s family off their respective backs. Along the way though the two women learn more about each other and that maybe first impressions aren’t always accurate and second chances may be warranted. This one is a nod to both Bridget Jones and Pride & Prejudice.


And that’s all I have for you this week. I’ll be back bright and early Monday, depending on what time the newsletter gets to your inbox. If you want to see me before then, just follow @PScribe801 over on Twitter. Happy weekend!

Categories
Kissing Books

All The Holidays in Romance, Please

We’re still celebrating our 10th birthday so check out the limited edition merchandise we have on sale to commemorate the celebration!

Welcome to the Kissing Books newsletter y’all. I’m P.N. Hinton, your guide to the world of romance novels. I hope your spirit is doing well today. Whether it’s a backlist, new release, or an under the radar delight, I aim to help you find a book or two that you can get lost in. 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.

October seems to be going by at a slower pace than the months before it. I’m not sure if that is just because the day job has gotten a bit bananas or because it’s the calm before the storm of the holiday season. Either way, I’ve just been taking it day by day and trying to roll with the punches. I mean sometimes that is all you can do, right?

Romance Reflection:

Last week I shared a link to this article talking about optimistic endings in romance novels. This was specifically to Jewish romances but I feel it is also applicable to others. Then I saw this tweet when I was Twitter scrolling and it gave me even more to think about.

Growing up, I knew the most about Christmas as that was, and still is, the holiday that is observed in my house. I mean, I had heard of Hanukkah but, outside of the dreidel song, I didn’t know much about it or what it signified. And I didn’t even know about Diwali until I worked in daycare and was told that, as the lead toddler teacher, I had to pay equal attention to every holiday. Don’t get me wrong; I had no problem with that. I just had to some research beforehand. Although, to be fair, with toddlers, a lot of what you end up doing is inventive things with hands, feet, and paint. Or coffee filters.

I am not sure if there has been a lot of pushback on holiday romances outside of Christmas or not. I know that there have been feathers ruffled concerning LGBTQ holiday romances (because intolerance) but haven’t heard anything about this. So I sincerely hope it’s not true.

As I’ve grown older and wise, I’m very well aware that there are other holidays observed during the winter months. Personally, I am loving the titles that I’m noticing this year; A Holly Jolly Diwali, The Matzah Ball, and Love and Latkes to name a few. This is one of the things that shows me that the romance genre is actively trying to be more diverse. And honestly? It can be an educational experience, which I’m always down for. While I primarily read for entertainment, I love being educated along the way, especially when it’s in a genre I love.

Plus, I love love. So I enjoy reading about a romance blossoming between two people; it doesn’t matter if they’re different from me. In fact sometimes those end up being my favorite books. 

This is my way of saying bring on all the holiday romances. I’m down with it.

Book Riot Romance:

As mentioned above, I love love and I recognize that romance stories come in all types of formats. So I wanted to also highlight a few articles from Book Riot that are about romances in other formats.

First, there is this love letter to one Rioter’s OTP made up of Lois and Clark.

And then this rundown of some of the best romance light manga. Don’t be fooled by the use of the word light, since the romance in these is very strong.

Around the Web in Romance:

This new holiday anthology was announced this week! This is quite the exciting line-up so if you’re a lover of holiday romance, you can get your pre-order on.

Talia Hibbert, Andi Osho, and Frances Mensah Williams are just a few authors you can expect to hear from at this upcoming event about writing Black British Romance. It’s may be a bit down to the wire now but, as of this writing, there was still time to sign up for this.

You can take this quiz to find out which iconic Halloween couple you and your ‘boo’ are most similar to.

And this one to see which MCU character is your soulmate based off kitten preference. I am over the moon that I did end up with Tom Hiddleston. *heart eyes*

There will always be something inherently sexy about this image to me: I really need to start If the Boot Fits soon to get prepared for the final book in the trilogy.

New Releases & Deals:

Here are some of the new releases that will be hitting the shelves this week.

Cover of Traped

Sealed with a Kiss by Erin Nicholas

The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance (written by multiple authors)

Trapped: A Paranormal Erotic Romance by Shae Sanders

Red Sin by Aleatha Roming

Ghost of Lies by Alice Winters

Her Wolf in the Wild by Rien Gray 

Of Trust and Heart by Charlotte Anne Hamilton

Mistletoe in Juneau by Dahlia Rose

And here are some of the deals that I found when cruising the interwebs. As per the norm, these were the prices that I peeped when I was penning this newsletter.

Cover of Big Bad Wolf

The Roommate by Rosie Danan ($1.99)

Big Bad Wolf by Suleikha Snyder ($1.99)

Tangled Vows by Anna Stone ($0.99)

White Hot by Ilona Andrews ($2.99)

The Selkie Bride by Melanie Jackson ($2.49)

In Bed With the Earl by Christi Caldwell ($0.99)

Roommaid by Sariah Wilson ($1.99)

Honor’s Splendour by Julie Garwood ($1.99)


That’s all I have for y’all this Monday! I hope the day and the week treats you well. I’ll be back Thursday and in the meantime you can always give me a follow over on Twitter under @PScribe801. Until then!

Categories
Kissing Books

Unexpected Love

Did y’all know that Book Riot is 10 years old? Happy birthday to us!  Snag some limited edition merchandise to join the celebration!

Welcome to the Kissing Books newsletter y’all. I’m P.N. Hinton, your guide to the world of romance novels. I hope your spirit is doing well today. Whether it’s a backlist, new release, or an under the radar delight, I aim to help you find a book or two that you can get lost in. 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.

Last weekend I housesat for some of my close friends while they went on a family trip. It was mainly to watch their two dogs so they wouldn’t be alone. It was a nice change of scenery for me. Currently I live in an apartment and while I hope that will change soon, the housing market is insane so I know that it may be a bit longer. So, it was nice to play pretend at it for a while. I found that dogs are nice writing companions so we will definitely be getting some type of animal when it happens. And I was able to get a lot of reading and writing done so that was nice too.

Romance Reflection:

October 11th was Indigenous People Day. As I was scrolling through Twitter I came across this tweet and it gave me a lot of food for thought. When I first started reading romances, I remember seeing these types of books run rampant. One thing that I think gets overlooked a lot, though, is that this wasn’t just a historical romance thing. There were more than a handful of contemporary romances from the mid-nineties that also included this problematic theme.

And it’s not okay. It wasn’t okay then and it sure isn’t okay now when we all strive to be more aware of the harm we can cause with stereotypes. I agree with this sentiment that it is probably a back list that should be purged from existence. And that is across the board. I honestly can’t read any of these types of novels anymore, even ones by beloved authors because it just leaves an icky feeling in my heart. This includes books by Sandra Brown and Johanna Lindsey who were some of my go-to authors when I was younger.

Do I still like their work as a whole? Yes. Will I read those particular books again? No, I won’t. Because, again, it’s harmful and I know that now. I can’t plead ignorance anymore. And there are better romances out there, some even written by Indigenous people, that can be picked up and read. 

Book Riot Romance:

If you’re a lover of teachers in romances here is a roundup of some good picks that don’t cross any inappropriate lines or have an unbalanced power dynamic.

And then there is this deep dive into how much money romance authors actually make.

Around the Web in Romance:

If this isn’t a whole mood…real talk, if I lived through the Romancing the Stone jungle scenes, my hair would look like Chaka Kahn’s circa the 1980’s.

If you like romance novels where the MCs inherit the same thing and have to work it out, then you’re in luck.

A Black holiday romance set abroad? Sign. Me. Up.

Here is a nice little roundup of some of the new romances we can expect throughout this month.

All together now, y’all. No HEA? Not a romance.

With that last thought in mind, I really appreciated this thoughtful piece on optimistic endings, specifically in Jewish romance novels.

Recommendations:

October 11th was also National Coming Out Day! No matter where you are in your journey, know that you’re valued, loved, and you do matter. In addition to the 11th being National Coming Out Day, October 8th was also International Lesbian Day. As such, I wanted to highlight a few more lesbian romances, with the focus being about finding love when and where you may last expect it.

Cover of Fearless

Fearless by Shira Glassman

Lana hasn’t played the violin in years and has mainly focused on being a band mom for her clarinet playing daughter Robin. She has pretty much resigned herself to the fact that her playing days are over. Her daughter’s orchestra director, Melanie, has other ideas and can see the passion for playing that still lingers in Lana, among other things. This is a short, sweet romance and if you’re a former band or orchestra geek, full of musical jokes. A win-win all around.

Cover of That Could Be Enough

That Could Be Enough by Alyssa Cole

Mercy is maid to the widowed Eliza Hamilton during her endeavor to help save her husband’s legacy. One of the people interviewed is Andromeda. Both women are drawn to each other, although Mercy tries to deny the attraction, having disavowed the notion of love. Andromeda, however, is determined to teach Mercy to have her light shine through. Eventually their acquaintanceship moves to friendship and finally romance where both women decide that, in matters of the heart, a risk is one that may be worth taking.

Cover of Something in the Wine

Something in the Wine by Jae

Annie has been on the receiving end of her brother Jake’s practical jokes all her life. His latest one may have gone a bit too far, though, when she finds that Drew, a friend he set up a blind date for her with, is a woman. At first the ladies decide to turn the tables on him and pretend to fall in love even though they couldn’t be more different. As often happens in fake dating situations, reality and fiction blur, leaving both wondering if they want to move from fake to real dating.


And that is all I have for you today. I’ll be back next Monday with a fresh edition of the newsletter. Until then you can give me a follow over on Twitter under @PScribe801. Have a wonderful weekend! 

Categories
Kissing Books

Love Stories Vs. Romances

Did ya know? Book Riot is 10 years old! To celebrate, we’re selling some limited edition merchandise. Be sure to check out the shop and get yours before they sell out. 

Welcome to the Kissing Books newsletter y’all. I’m P.N. Hinton, your guide to the world of romance novels. I hope your spirit is doing well today. Whether it’s a backlist, new release, or an under the radar delight, I aim to help you find a book or two that you can get lost in. 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.

The teenager is coming off of a four-day weekend, lucky duck. I really feel that children today have more days off than I did. I do not remember having this much time off from school, even around the holidays. Nowadays they get the full week of Thanksgiving off, or at least they do in our district. Now, I could look at it as them giving the children built-in mental health days so things don’t get too overwhelming. And since he’s an early teenager, he is a bit more self-sufficient so that helps too, even with me still working from home. Still, there is a tinge of jealousy watching him sleep in while I’m dutifully typing at my keyboard. 

I’m still reading The Ex Talk as well as And They Lived Happily Ever After and The Matzah Ball.

Romance Reflection

One of the things I saw over in the romance wing of Twitter was a seemingly innocent question asking for favorite romances. And, as per the norm, the list was very divisive and caused dissension. As a quick aside, I’m fairly convinced at this point that there is a Chaos Demon out there whose sole focus is to ruffle the feathers of romance lovers on a regular basis. Because it seems to happen like clockwork.

I didn’t peruse the list fully because, frankly I didn’t have the spoons, but, based on some of the books that were mentioned, that may have been for the best. Because I did not agree on the few names and titles I saw. I’m not sorry I’m not sorry for thinking that Nicholas Sparks is not a romance writer. This is by his own condescending and dismissive response when asked about it. I have strong opinions about that, but I also have a word maximum so let’s forge on. 

However, I also saw this tweet and it gave me a lot of food for thought. Notwithstanding the aforementioned snooty male author’s work, I do think there’s a difference between a love story and a romance novel. While there are certain things that may overlap in the intersection of those Venn diagrams, there is still a lot of solo space that separates the two. Mainly the ending; I would argue that if one or both dies then, while it could be a love story, and even then there are a few you really have to convince me of, it absolutely cannot be a romance. 

And I really appreciate this thought crossing my path, because it is so true. I think this could diffuse a lot of future arguments or discussions that I have with my friends about this. Now I know that some people listing Anna Karenina and Gone With the Wind pushed a lot of buttons. But, garbage people characters aside, there is a thread of some sort of love story in there. And, while some may consider those tragedies or just literary fiction, I don’t begrudge the people who want to call it a love story. Because I really think that overlooking that thought process is part of what causes this division in the literary world between what some would classify as a romance or not.

But seriously if any part of the couple dies, then it’s not a romance. That really needs to be understood and accepted.

Around the Web in Romance

I really enjoyed this insight into the writing process that Jean Meltzer had for her debut novel.

Between all the holiday books coming out, this Lifetime line-up, and then Netflix announcing its first M/M holiday romance, it seems the universe is determined to not let me be a Grinch this year.  Plus props for that diversity, Lifetime. Good for you.

If you’re one who likes heat no matter what, you’re in luck with these fall romances.

New Releases & Deals

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

Cover of Deadly Kiss

The Trouble With Magic by Patricia Rice

Protecting the Lady by Amanda Radley

Deadly Kiss by Ariel Marie

The Underdog by Briar Prescott

No Words by Meg Cabot

You Make It Feel Like Christmas by Francis Ray 

Elliot, Song of the Soulmate by Anyta Sunday

His Interim Sweetheart by Aliyah Burke

Here are some of the deals that you can snag. As always, these were the prices that I was saw when I originally wrote this newsletter.

Cover of Dare to Be a Duchess

Their Nerd by Allyson Lindt ($1.99) 

The Mixtape by Brittainy Cherry ($1.99)

Dare to be a Duchess by Sapna Bhog ($0.99) 

Claiming the Doctor’s Heart by Sean D. Young ($0.99)

The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires by Molly Harper ($1.99)

If the Boot Fits by Rebekah Weatherspoon ($0.99) 

Until We Break by Cynthia Dane & Hildred Billings ($0.99)


And that’s all I have for you today. I hope that your Monday started off on a great foot and I’ll see you Thursday. You can catch up me during the in-betweens on Twitter under @PScribe01. Until we meet again.

Categories
Kissing Books

“Sweet” Romances

Welcome to the Kissing Books newsletter y’all. I’m P.N. Hinton, your guide to the world of romance novels. I hope your spirit is doing well today. Whether it’s a backlist, new release, or an under the radar delight, I aim to help you find a book or two that you can get lost in. 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.

Based on how dark it’s been in the mornings as of late, it’s hard for me to reconcile that Daylights Savings Time is still a month away. I know that with that will come cooler weather which will be appreciated, but I’m not a person who likes walking in the dark, even to the bus stop at the front of our apartment. I promise the kiddo that once it stays dark in the morning and/or cold and rainy we would be driving up there which means I’ll have to find another way to get my morning steps in. 

I’m currently reading The Ex Talk and am loving it so very much.

Before we get to more romance things: Book Riot celebrated its 10th birthday on Monday, October 4th! To celebrate, we’re selling limited-edition merchandise. Be sure to check out the shop and snag what strikes your fancy!

Romance Reflection

I recently came across this discussion about one person’s decision to not ready The Lights on Knockbridge Lane and why. There’s no way to make a statement like this and not sound homophobic. I’m not sorry that I’m not sorry for feeling that way. As always I didn’t link to the actual person because traffic is still traffic but rather someone who screenshotted the nonsense.

Bluntly put, this is a garbage take. I don’t ‘see’ myself in romances where the heroine is a scientist because that’s not how my brain works. I don’t ‘see’ myself as a ballerina since, at best, I’m a less graceful version of the hippos of Fantasia. But I’ll still read books with those types of characters in it. Why? Because I read to open up my mind and broaden my horizons. Reading just about people who look like me would get tedious rather quickly. 

Also, why do people feel the need to broadcast stuff like this? Because when you do, especially on such a broad platform, then you’re opening up yourself for criticism and pushback. There’s no need to say every little thing that comes to your brain; some things that you can keep to yourself.

Book Riot Romance

The latest episode of When in Romance is up where Trisha and Jessica discuss their feelings on Katrina Jackson’s Office Hours. They also give some romance recommendations for the fall season.

I totally agree with everything that Jessica said here.

Keeping in line with the October theme, here is an opinion piece on the appeal of monster romances.

There’s also this well thought defense of instalove.

Around the Web in Romance

Here are some other romances that we have to look forward to this month.

Romance book covers on rocks!!

Come for the sweet, stay for the steamy.

In today’s episode of “Just Pay Your Authors, Dammit”…seriously this is fast becoming a song that I’m so very tired of hearing.

Recommendations

I mentioned previously that October starts the gauntlet of holidays for most people since there is at least one holiday per month for the rest of the year. Which got me to thinking of another thing that goes hand in hand with the holidays and that’s food.

I love food. I mean, I know most of us do, but I really do. I eagerly await the rush of holiday food goodness and am prepared to indulge myself. Especially on sweets. Which leads me to my the topic this week; romance novels that feature sweet treats.

Cover of Delectable Desire

Delectable Desire by Farrah Rochon

Carter is an artisan baker at his family’s bakery, Lillian’s, who despite his obvious talent has to deal with his family thinking too little of him. Some of this has to do with his reputation as a ladies man, something he’s not necessarily ashamed of. Still, he finds himself unexpectedly overwhelmed when Lorraine walks into his place of employment. Lorraine is an heiress and used to men falling in love with her bank account and feels he is looking at her with dollar signs in his eyes rather than hearts. This was a sweet romance that I read a couple of years ago and adored because I found it blended humor, romance, and sweets perfectly. 

Cover of Buns

Buns by Alice Clayton

Former foster child Clara is fascinated with familial ritual and generations, which is one of the things that draws her to Bryant Mountain House and its current owner Archie. He is determined to save his family business the good old-fashioned way; through hard work and not an ‘upgrade’ like Clara and his grandfather seem to want. He knows that tradition and his family’s special hot cross buns recipe will do the trick. But he can’t deny that some of Clara’s ideas do increase traffic…or his attraction to her.

Cover of For the Love of Cake

For the Love of Cake by Erin Dutton

At age 42, Shannon is on the edge of achieving her dreams when she lands on a baking competition show. Her competitors are half her age and have more experience which just seems to stack the deck against her. Her attraction to Maya, one of the show’s judges and someone who is fourteen years her junior doesn’t help to make matters easier and neither does the fact that Maya doesn’t seem to have a concern with either one of those issues.


That’s all for this week, friends. I’ll be back next Monday with a fresh edition of the newsletter. In the meantime, you can give me a follow over on Twitter under @Pscribe801. Until we meet again, happy reading.

Categories
Kissing Books

Hello October!

Welcome to the Kissing Books newsletter y’all. I’m P.N. Hinton, your guide to the world of romance novels. I hope your spirit is doing well today. Whether it’s a backlist, new release, or an under the radar delight, I aim to help you find a book or two that you can get lost in. 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.

We are firmly into fall and the last fourth of the year. While I’m excited for this, it also comes with a bit of self-preparation since we are moving into the busy time of the year. I never really realized until I got older that starting in October there is a holiday every month for the rest of the year (yes Halloween is a holiday, I will accept no arguments on this). Which means that it can get super busy. Even with all that, make sure you’re taking time to take care of yourself and make time for yourself. It’s the airplane rule y’all; you can’t help others if you yourself can’t breathe.

One thing bringing me joy this week is getting back into the K-drama Romance is a Bonus Book.

Romance Reflection

I know there has been an ongoing division in Romancelandia about the preference for illustrated covers versus ones with real people. Regardless of which side of that division a person is in, it seems they are firmly in that camp. Now, personally, I don’t have a preference either way, although I have stated I don’t like a mixture of the two. Whichever one you’re on, commit to it. 

That said, I have discovered a cover trend I don’t like; the partially hidden face. This is specific towards the covers with real models, since I found the illustrated one for Something to Talk About delightful. I like seeing people’s faces. I don’t like seeing just the chin, or the hard profile, or even the lack of features in animated ones. Nine times out of ten, I imagine that person in my own mind anyways so the cover model doesn’t factor in at all. But, I still want to see a full face. If you’re going to put a face there, go all the way. 

Another, more minor annoyance, is when the cover model doesn’t match up with the description. There were multiple instances in Beverly Jenkins’s Night Song where it talks about Chase’s impressive mustache; but on the cover for the  book version I have, he is noticeably mustache-less. Very disappointing. 

Around the Web in Romance

If you like romance and have been wanting to dip your toe into manga, then check out some of these recommendations.

According to various hashtags floating around Twitter, ‘tis the season…FOR MONSTER ROMANCE!! I know that the scandal involving this previously planned anthology put things on pause for these romances. But the “Play” button has been pressed and there are more of these coming out. A few that I have seen floating around on my sphere of Twitter are No Getting Ogre You by M.L. Eliza, Turning On by Ali Williams, and Flesh and Stone by Emily Hemenway. If I’ve learned one thing…it’s that there are a lot more monsters out there than I knew. 

On a serious note, if any of these strike your fancy, be sure to purchase and support the authors. A lot of established and potential authors got screwed in that nonsense and (most) stayed cordial about it. So, if you can help support those who stayed graceful, please do. 

I know that I’m late to the game but I started following Girl, Have You Read and I’m here for all the Black romance recs and announcements. Because I will always boost that type of romance. 

Speaking of Black romance, The Ripped Bodice has quite the impressive line up planned for the release of Rebekah Weatherspoon’s A Thorn in the Saddle. Be sure to sign up if you can!

I’m doing my part to help boost the signal for this anthology because, again, I feel there is a huge dearth in Sapphic romances.

I’m in this Tweet and I feel both seen and attacked.

And while not strictly romance related, that video of non-crazy Florida man catching an alligator not only warmed my heart but gave me a bit of the vapors.

New Releases & Deals

Here are some of the new releases we have to look forward to this week!

cover of Knot my Type

Knot My Type by Evie Mitchell

Moon Spell by Christina Lee* 

A Curse of Nightshade by Amber Lynn Natusch

A Holly Jolly Diwali by Sonya Lalli 

With Every Breath by Natasha D. Frazier

Admissible Affair by Adrian J. Smith

*note: this is book two in a series so you may want to pick up the first one as well, Moon Flower

And here are some deals I found while perusing the interwebs. As always, these are the prices that were showing as of the writing of the newsletter.

cover of Night Hawk by Beverly Jenkins

Love at the Fall Festival by Belle Bailey ($0.99)

Follow Your Heart by Brenda Jackson ($1.99) 

Twice Baked by Andrew Grey ($0.99)

The Dixon Brother Trilogy by Anna Durand ($0.99)

Night Hawk by Beverly Jenkins ($1.99)

Worth the Wait by Jae ($0.99)


That’s it for today. I hope that your Monday treats you well and that you take the rest of this week by storm. I’ll see y’all Thursday and until then you can give me a follow over on Twitter under @PScribe801. Until then!

Categories
Kissing Books

The Joy of Re-Reading

Welcome to the Kissing Books newsletter y’all. I’m P.N. Hinton, your guide to the world of romance novels. I hope your spirit is doing well today. Whether it’s a backlist, new release, or an under the radar delight, I aim to help you find a book or two that you can get lost in. 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.

Tomorrow is the first day of October. It’s that time of the year where I add scary books to my reading rotation. Don’t get me wrong; I live for romance but I know that there are other genres out there and this is my second go to. I actually had this revelation earlier this year: if I’m not writing about romance, I’m writing about horror. I know that they’re opposite sides of the circle genre-wise but both of them get the adrenaline pumping, albeit for different reasons. 

With that said I bring you one random thing that is giving me joy lately and that is the Surviving Romance webtoon. Girl finds herself in a romance novel that suddenly turns into a zombie outbreak.

Romance Reflection

I really wanted to not talk about this; but it is still being discussed in the Romance wing of Twitter, so I feel I have to. The latest Sally Rooney novel is getting a lot praise from ‘high literature’ over its depiction of sex positivity.

*head desk* 

Because, you know, there’s not a genre out there that already does that.

Look, nothing against Rooney herself since I know a lot of people enjoy her work. Honestly, I’ll probably never read her since that type of fiction is just not in my wheelhouse. But I don’t begrudge her success. That said, I am so very tired of someone who previously had no space in the romance genre suddenly getting accolades that authors in that field have been working hard at for years. Putting a sex scene in a novel doesn’t make it a romance; it makes it a fiction novel with sex.

Now, to her credit, I have also heard that Rooney is not comfortable with this type of praise since she seems to identify as a General Fiction writer. There’s nothing wrong with that just like there’s nothing wrong with romance. Just please stop with the accolades on what a revelation this book is. There are already tons of books with sex positive scenes in them in Romance. They’ve been there the whole time.

Around the Web in Romance

Here’s a handy-dandy guide to help find the romance book you’re thinking of based on the description alone, because I’m sure we’ve all been here.

I played this twice. The first go it was with what I would like to see in a romance story. The second was more closely aligned to my love story with my spouse. The first time I didn’t get his initial, but the second time I did, which I found kind of sweet.

As someone who is an aspiring romance writer as well, I loved these truthful words of encouragement.

Yay for grumpy/sunshine romances!!

Netflix released a snippet from the next season of Bridgerton and it only makes me want to reread The Viscount Who Loved Me even more.

Recommendations

I love re-reading books, although I’ll admit I haven’t done a lot of it recently. As a kid, I re-read a lot because I didn’t have many obligations besides school. Even with the various extracurricular activities I was in and the TV shows I just had to watch every week (Buffy, Dawson’s Creek, and Charmed to name a few) I re-read quite a bit.

There’s a certain level of comfortability in re-reading books. It’s like visiting an old friend. Which leads me to the theme of this week’s recommendations: books I can’t wait to re-read again.

cover of a prince on paper by alyssa cole

A Prince on Paper by Alyssa Cole

Johan has a reputation for being a royal bad boy, something he does primarily to deflect the paparazzi from his younger brother. When something threatens his brother’s future, he enters into a fake engagement with Nya, a woman who is in the midst of coming into her own after a lifetime of being under her father’s thumb. I’m sure I’ve talked about this before but Johan is one of the best cinnamon rolls I’ve ever read about. Plus it has fake dating, sort-of enemies to lovers, and thoroughly steamy scenes. What more could you ask for?

cover of the governess game by tessa dare

The Governess Game by Tessa Dare

Due to circumstances beyond her control that knock her off her career path, Alexandra becomes governess to Chase’s nieces and endeavors to show them how to be proper ladies. When part of this task includes ensuring they have a loving home with their uncle, who has kept them at arm’s length for the duration of their wardship with him, he becomes determined to educate her in pleasure instead. Of course, neither get what they anticipated when they begin to fall in love.

Cover of Work for It by Talia Hibbert

Work For It by Talia Hibbert

Griffin and Keynes are complete opposites in all ways, but their chemistry is undeniable. What was supposed to be a one-time and chance encounter in a dark alleyway becomes more when they find out that they are also going to be working together. Despite all the reasons they should stay away from each other, the men find themselves continuing to be drawn together and Griffin becomes determined to break down Keynes’s walls once and for all. 


That’s all I have for you today. I’ll be back Monday and until then you can catch up with me over on Twitter under @PScribe801. Have a great weekend and see you next time!

Categories
Kissing Books

Romance Naysayers Doth Protest Too Much

Welcome to the Kissing Books newsletter y’all. I’m P.N. Hinton, your guide to the world of romance novels. I hope your spirit is doing well today. Whether it’s a backlist, new release, or an under the radar delight, I aim to help you find a book or two that you can get lost in. 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.

Romance Reflection

Meg Cabot retweeted this defense of romance and again, you’ll find no disagreement from me. However it did get me thinking about a few things, mainly why is this still a topic that comes up? I’m not joking when I say it seems like I see some variation of this declaration from the romance lovers on Twitter every other week. And it is usually rooted in someone else making an equally declarative and negative statements toward the genre.

So my question now is….who exactly are the negative naysayers trying to convince at this point? 

Look, we get it. You don’t like romance. Say it once and be done. That would be enough for me. That should be enough for me. I’m not someone who tries to convince or convert someone to anything. Especially if their mind seems to be set on that way of thinking. And this is in anything.

However, this continued poking at it makes me think that most do like romance. It’s just, for whatever reason, they just don’t want to admit it. And so they keep on shouting it from the mountain top in the hopes of making it true. Which sure; there is a sort of power in manifesting something vocally. And if you don’t want your friends to make fun of you for what you like, you may be tempted to be loud about it. But then, that’s more on you and the company you keep. And, if you do like it, that’s on you to make that definitive line in the sand to let them know you will not take their guff on it, if it gets to the point of being mean.

I’ve mentioned before how, for the most part, I don’t like science fiction and or fantasy much. Sure, there are a few outliers, but overall, it’s just not for me. I have a whole branch of friends that are hardcore D&D players, and I have to consistently remind them that genre is not for me whenever they try to make recommendations. Do they press me? Sometimes. But it always ends up with, “I like what I like” with a tone and a face that indicates that I’m not going to discuss this any further and the nice is about to be turned off.

Alternatively, these negative naysayers could really not like the genre, which again is fine. But you don’t have to make a point of saying it all the freaking time. Leave it at, “I don’t like that genre” and don’t speak on it again unless someone asks you. Then, take a slight page from the genre and K.I.S.S; meaning, keep it simple, sweetie. Hardcore fans of any genre don’t care why people don’t like it enough for you to go on an hour-long tirade about what you feel is wrong with it, much like you probably wouldn’t like to hear that from a non-fan of your favorite genre. 

Just a little food for thought.

Book Riot Romance:

Coffee shops and romance? Those are a few of my favorite things! No apologies if that song is now stuck in your head.

Have you ever wondered how romance novels are made? I know I have a time or two so I was happy to see that brief history on it.

Bi Visibility Day has since passed but, as with anything else, you can read bisexual positive books any time!

Around the Web in Romance

Not that we need another reason to not romance novels, but here’s a reminder that you can also learn new things from them. It’s just not for smoochy times.

As a general rule, I don’t like camping. I’m a glamping girl all the way. That said, I don’t mind the trope.

Odd couples are also a good trope! Because we all know opposites attract, amirite? I am also not sorry for that ear worm.

If you were a fan of Duke I’d Like to F… from last year, here is some fan art capturing the couples in the collection.

Looking for historical romances outside of Regency England? Here ya go! Please note that while some of these books do take place in England, it is outside the Regency period, hence the title.

New Releases & Deals

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

Cover of The Lights on Knockbridge Lane

The Lights on Knockbridge Lane by Roan Parrish (I read and loved this sweet M/M holiday romance)

Bewitched Alpha by Susi Hawke

Just a Little Married by Reese Ryan

Kiss of Karma by Louise Lennox

Wicked Daddy by Bianco Cole

Stern and Playing with Desire by Brenda Jackson (with a bonus story from Reese Ryan!)

And here are some of the deals. Please note that these prices were active as of the writing of this newsletter. 

Cover of The Checklist

If I Never Met You by Mharir McFarlane ($1.99)

Coming Up for Air by Amanda Meuwissen ($0.99)

The Checklist by Addie Woolridge ($1.99)

Stick a Cork in It by Rich  Amooi ($1.99) 

Southern Comfort by Sandra Kitt ($0.99)

The Promise of a Kiss by Synthia Williams ($1.99)

The Heir by Johanna Lindsey ($1.99)


That’s all I have for you this week. The next time we meet, we’ll be saying good-bye to September. I hope that this month treated you well. If you want to have more of me between the editions, give me a follow over on Twitter under @Pscribe801. See y’all Thursday!

Categories
Kissing Books

Bisexuality in Romance

Welcome to the Kissing Books newsletter y’all. I’m P.N. Hinton, your guide to the world of romance novels. I hope your spirit is doing well today. Whether it’s a backlist, new release, or an under the radar delight, I aim to help you find a book or two that you can get lost in. 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. 

We’re almost done with September! The mornings have been cool for our walks to the bus stop, which is nice. I could deal with this type of weather all day every day because it’s sunny but not hot. And it’s not freezing cold. It won’t last long, so I’m going to embrace it while it’s here.

Romance wise, I’m currently reading The Ex Talk and And They Lived Happily Ever After. I’m also reading Outlawed for book club but hopefully will be done by the time this will be published, considering we’re meeting on Saturday. 

Book Riot Romance

When in Romance returned this week with a brand new episode! Jess and Trisha gave a recap of all that has been going in the world of romance since we last heard their melodious voices. As a reminder, Office Hours by Katrina Jackson is the next WIR book club pick so if you haven’t picked it up yet, be sure to do so.

Also, here are the results of the WIR Reading Survey.

I’ve mentioned this author a few times in deals, but if you’re wanting a good reading pathway for Rochelle Alers, you’re in luck.

And yours truly wrote this piece on some recommended romance anthologies.

Around the Web in Romance

When will people learn to stop coming for Beverly Jenkins?  This guy tried it and failed. For those not in the know, Ms. Bev is a precious jewel in the crown of Romance and we will always rally behind her. This is not the first cover that features this type of positioning between the two MCs and it won’t be the last. To call this one out specifically is certainly a choice.

Elizabeth Kingston wrote this think piece on white supremacy in romance. As this is a discussion that I feel we’ve been having a lot this year, it seems fitting to call it out here.

Here are some romance novel recommendations based on your favorite movie rom-com.

Some of these are so funny, I’m glad I wasn’t drinking anything while reading them. I felt number twelve in my soul.

This cover reveal was delightful. Fake dating and baking?!?! Sign me up!

Recommendations

It’s Bisexual Awareness Week and today (the 23rd) is official Bisexual Awareness Day! I’m sure you’ve seen the tags floating around over on all the various social media platforms and I wanted to take another moment to boost up it. I’ve mentioned before that there has been a trend lately of being bi-phobic, which is just not cool. So, I always endeavor to show my support of them as well as other members of the LGBTQ family. Which leads me to my recommendations for the week; romances that feature a bisexual character! 

As a note, please remember that regardless of who a bisexual person ends up with, they are still bisexual. Bi women and men who end up with a partner of the opposite gender doesn’t points taken away from their “bisexual meter”. Love is love is love y’all and that is what it comes down to; who they fall in love with. 

Cover of Wrong to Need You

Wrong To Need You by Alisha Rai

After his name is cleared of a crime he didn’t commit, Jackson returns home to his family and the one woman he hasn’t stopped loving…even after she married his brother. Sadia is a widowed single mom who has been letting one night stands with the women and men who frequent the bar she works at keep her company when she needs it. When Jackson and she begin working together on a cafe she inherits, she begins to notice him in a different light than just her brother-in-law. As both of them struggle to ignore their attraction, they realize that it is futile and wonder if they have the strength to ignore the past so they can have a future.

Cover of Out on the Ice

Out on the Ice by Kelly Farmer

Former pro-hockey player Caro is settling down in her role as the proprietor of an all-girls hockey camp. She is drawn to her new summer hire, Amy, but determined to keep their business professional. Amy, on other hand, isn’t shy about her crush on Caro and, as the women work together, the chemistry between them cannot be ignored. As the summer ends, both women are left wondering if it will last beyond that or was it just a fling?

cover of team phison forever

Team Phison Forever by Chace Verity

Tyson is our narrator in this sequel and, if possible, he’s even more charming here. After dating boyfriend Phil for a couple of years, Tyson is ready to pop the question and fully embrace his new found family. This is especially true since his own parents have disowned him for being bisexual and he has pretty much resigned himself to not having any blood relationships in his life. This all changes when someone he meets one night in a multiplayer match claims to be his half-sister. As he comes to terms with this new information and confronts whether he’s really over his father removing himself from his life, he begins to wonder if he is worthy of love. This is a bittersweet ending to this duology, so be sure to pick this up if you were a fan of the first one.


And that is all I have for y’all today. I’ll be back next week with another edition of the newsletter and in the meantime give me a follow over on Twitter under @PScribe801. Have a great weekend!

Categories
Kissing Books

Romance Writers are Not Desperate

Welcome to the Kissing Books newsletter y’all. I’m P.N. Hinton, your guide to the world of romance novels. I hope your spirit is doing well today. Whether it’s a backlist, new release, or an under the radar delight, I aim to help you find a book or two that you can get lost in. 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. 

Well, we made it this far in the school year having no homework, which was nice. What wasn’t nice was that when we did get homework, it was in algebra. And it involved integers. Which are longtime a nemesis of mine. When I groaned about this to my Engineer friend, she quipped that at least integers made more sense than what he had last year, (which isn’t untrue). To which I replied, “I’d like to remind you I was a Liberal Arts Major.” Needless to say we made it through thanks to video chat with said Engineer friend and Google. And promptly made a cheat sheet to remind ourselves of integer rules for both the teenager and me.

I finished For the Love of April French and found it a nice blend of kink, steam, and sweet. Things that have recently brought me joy is the return of the Cursed Princess Club on WebToons and this tweet. If you want the full story in article form, click here.

Cover Reveal:

I’m very excited to reveal Amy Lea’s, the Bookstagrammer behind the account amyleabooks, upcoming debut novel Set On You. The synopsis is as follows:

Cover of Set On You

Curvy fitness influencer Crystal Chen built her career shattering gym stereotypes and mostly ignoring the trolls. After her recent breakup, she has little stamina left for men, instead finding solace in the gym—her place of power and positivity.

Enter firefighter Scott Ritchie, the smug new gym patron who routinely steals her favorite squat rack. Sparks fly as these ultra-competitive foes battle for gym domination. But after a series of escalating jabs, the last thing they expect is to run into each other at their grandparents’ engagement party.

In the lead up to their grandparents’ wedding, Crystal discovers there’s a soft heart under Scott’s muscled exterior. Bonding over family, fitness, and cheesy pick-up lines, she just might have found her swolemate. But when a photo of them goes viral, savage internet trolls put their budding relationship to the ultimate test of strength.

I don’t know about y’all but I’m very excited to read this one!

Romance Reflection:

There were a few threads going on in the Romance world about whether or not romance writers write romance because they’re “desperate” to have someone regularly say things like “I love you” or “You’re perfect”. As with any statement like that, there was division. But, it stayed civil for the most part, or at least it did from what I saw.

That said, I think the real enemy here is the people who perpetuate the myth that romance writers write romances because they’re “desperate, lonely” individuals who need and want to hear these things everyday as a way to validate them. That is a whole lot of malarkey along with every other single misconception about romance. This stereotype of the romance writer was imposed on the genre but outsiders and outliers and I rebuke it in the name of Romancelandia!

Seriously though. Stop hating. That type of behavior is dependent on the writer and honestly the character. If you have a character whose love language are Words of Affirmation, then yes their love interest is going to make it a point to say that to them. And people who share that Love Language will appreciate it. But if their Love Language, as decided by the author and their creator is Time Spent, then you’ll find a lot more instances of being together outside of sexy times. Personally, I love Parallel Play (generally recognized to be one of the neurodivergent love languages) because you’re still spending time together. 

Ultimately it isn’t always a case of a author projecting what they want/ need, and may or may not be getting. It just fits the story and the characters. And that should be taken at face value. 

Book Riot Romance:

Here are some of the best manhwa for all romance reader types, courtesy of Silviana.

And CJ has a round-up of some of the best 2021 rom-coms.

Around the Web in Romance:

Jodie Slaughter’s new cover reveal had me at ‘bingo-based sex pact’.

Goodreads interviewed the authors behind three of this season’s swooniest reads.

We got to watch another round of “[Insert Word Here] as romance novel covers”, this time with outfits from the Met Gala.

Another round-up of some anticipated romance reads coming this fall.

New Releases & Deals:

Here are some of the new releases hitting shelves near you this week. 

Cover of Mechanics of Love

Mechanics of Love by Meka James

When Sparks Fly by Helen Hunting

Kiss and Don’t Tell by Meghan Quinn

The God’s Wife by Lena Austin

Falling for the Underdog by Casey Griffin

The Jock Script byLane Hayes

And here are some of the deals that I found perusing the web. Please note, as always, these were the displayed prices as of the writing of this newsletter. 

Summer Heat Anthology is currently $0.99 and will be until the 27th. After that, it will no longer be available at all. So be sure to snag it while you still can.

That Perfect Someone by Johanna Lindsey is showing for $1.99.

Feinted Love by Elle Keaton is currently $0.99

Head to Head by Eli Easton is showing as priced at $2.49

A Taste of Her Own Medicine by Tasha L. Harrison is $0.99

Alec Mackenzie’s Art of Seduction by Jennifer Ashley is $0.99


And that’s all I have for you today. I’ll be back Thursday and in the meantime you can catch up with me on Twitter under @PScribe801. Until then!