Kissing Books

Reading Romance Proudly

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

I forgot to mention last time that I finished Instructions for Dancing last weekend and it wrecked me. While I thoroughly enjoy it and do consider it a romance, it is definitely an HFN and not an HEA. Maybe that is the author’s typical MO though; since it was the first I’ve read by her I couldn’t say. But yeah; keep a tissue handy with this one. 

I am also half-way through Reel but again don’t interpret it taking a long time as a bad sign; I’m just savoring it because it’s so good. That and the issue with Neevah’s sister is hard to deal with since that is one of the levels of utmost betrayal for me and it is hard to take in whenever it comes up. Still a good book though so highly recommended, even if I’m not all the way done with it. 

This right here is a whole mood. I’m getting tired of hearing that a book is good for a romance. Genre doesn’t matter and should only be given if there are specific buttons that may be pushed for that person. I’m honest enough to admit that, up until more recently than I care to admit, I fell into this trap myself. I allowed myself to be ashamed for reading and writing about romance novels. When asked what I was reading, I would hold up the book almost apologetically and deal with the scorn that normally came after it. 

It wasn’t until I found a community of like minded people that I started working on not giving a flying flip what anyone thinks about what I read. Reading is for fun and romance is one of the few things that still and continues to bring me joy. It doesn’t make me any less of a reader or any less intelligent. A good book is still a good book, no matter what genre it is in.

Book Riot Romance

While I personally don’t dig reality shows of any kind, I know that the dating ones are popular. Especially when they have such unique premises like Sexy Beasts. If the show is something that snagged your interest, you may enjoy some of these other unconventional romances.

Also, if you’re needing or wanting a helpful guide on how to break into the of erotic manga, here you go.

Around the World in Romance

Congratulations to writer Jae for winning an eLit award for Wrong Number, Right Woman! This is so exciting especially considering this is the current WIR book club pick.

Since I’ve recently discovered that fake dating is apparently the bee’s knees for me, you know that some of these are going to be on my TBR pile.

Looking to get away from it all, even if it’s just between the pages of the book? Some of the ones listed here may fit that bill.

Here’s a fun little quiz to find out which type of fan-fiction matches your personality. Once you have that, then you can start looking for one to fulfill the 2021 Read Harder Challenge prompt.

Cover Reveals:

I’ve got more cover reveals for y’all today! First there is the one for Eva Leigh’s The Good Girl’s Guide to Rakes.

Then Mia Sosa tweeted out the one for The Wedding Crasher.

And then there was this one for Meka James Mechanics of Love!

I am really enjoying these so they may be a regular feature or as regular as they can be, depending on the announcements that happen with cover reveals.

New Releases & Deals

There are a variety of new releases hitting the physical and digital shelves this week.

Open Your Heart by Cherish Hodge and Lost: A Why Choose novel by Jayne Rylon are being released this week. You can also pick up Sophie Jordan’s The Duke Goes Down and Diana Quincy’s The Viscount Made Me Do It.

I missed it last Monday, but Susannah Nix’s My Cone and Only was released last week. I just love a good punny title, especially when it’s about ice cream.

One of the deals you can pick up this week is Talia Hibbert’s re-covered Guarding Temptation, a bargain at $0.99. This is one of the few I haven’t read so you know I clicked on that with a quickness. The anthology Four Dukes and a Devil is also $0.99 and Kate Claybourn’s Luck of the Draw can be purchased for $3.99.

If you’re looking to mesh up Christmas in July vibes with #JenkinsJuly, you can pick up I’ll Be Home for Christmas by Mrs. Bev for $1.99 as well as Jennifer Crusie’s Welcome to Temptation and Prince of Air and Darkness by M.A. Grant. Cherry Lane by Rochelle Alers is currently $2.99.

That’s all I have for you today fellow romance readers. I hope that the rest of the week until we meet again treats you well. Remember to stay hydrated as that is always important. Give me a follow over on Twitter @PScribe801 and I’ll see you next time.

Kissing Books

Apologize vs Grovel

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

I need another show to watch now that Loki is over. I know that the season finale divided a lot of people but personally I enjoyed how it all came together. I’m looking forward to how it will change future movies. And we are thankfully getting a second season cause that cliffhanger though…

I know a lot of fans were upset because of the Sylvie aspect, which I could take or leave. Maybe it’s the English Major in me but I took it as a metaphor for him learning to love himself. Because if you don’t love yourself then you can’t expect others to. Honestly I didn’t ship him with anyone on the show, not even Mobius. Why, you ask? 

Loki doesn’t need a boyfriend or girlfriend right now. He needs a real friend. Like, a friend that is his friend first and then maybe Thor’s. And all the hugs because sweet niblets, that ending. 

Cover Reveals

I’ve got more cover reveals for y’all today! First there is this one for A Kiss at the Mistletoe Rodeo by Kathy Douglass, yet another holiday romance. I see you romance authors trying to prevent me from being a Grinch this year! And I appreciate it.

Then there was this one for Alexandria Bellefluer’s Count Your Lucky Stars! Guess this means I need to pick up Hang the Moon soon, huh? (looks ashamed in romance book nerd).

Then there’s the one for Becky Michael’s A Rake Like You. ALL THE COVER GOODNESS!!


I’ve noticed recently that one of the biggest selling points for a romance is how well ‘the grovel’ is done. It seems there are people out there who want the hero or the heroine to crawl across broken glass dipped in lemon juice with skinned knees to show the depth of their remorse and it’s like…no. It’s not for me. It’s a power play that brings to me someone feeling they’re beneath someone else and showing it.

Now, this isn’t to say that I don’t believe in apologies. Despite what the movies say, you’re going to say sorry to your loved ones…a lot. That’s just factual. And you have to mean your apology; so, your actions need to speak louder than words. Don’t just talk about it; be about it.

Still, the word grovel indicates a level of imbalance that I just can’t get behind. I know that a lot of that is just how I interpret the word. I prefer the term “make-up.” This is where either one or both parties acknowledge their wrong doing in the situation. It’s a much healthier resolution for me because it shows a level of talking and working it out and actively trying to be better themselves and work on their relationship. Here are some of my recent reads that I personally found had good make-up scenes in the book after the third-act conflict. They may not have been grandiose, but they are satisfying. 

cover image of The Hate Project by Kris Ripper

The Hate Project by Kris Ripper

I don’t think enough people talk about this book and that really makes me sad. I loved this M/M romance about two grumpy people who start off as enemies with benefits before slowly developing in the framework of an actual relationship. This of course leads to one of them getting scared and running away before having to return to the object of their affection and explain his reasoning. There are so many good things about this book and how it deals with anxiety and mental health, as well as being culpable for one’s actions.

cover image of Knit, Purl, and a Baby Girl by Hettie Bell

Knit, Purl, and a Baby Girl by Hettie Bell

This sweet sapphic romance about a bisexual girl who finds herself pregnant after a one-stand with an ex and the woman she meets when she visits Planned Parenthood for her options. I found that this was a little more fast paced than I normally prefer in my romances but I still enjoyed it. What sets this apart for me is that both women had to have their own apologies to each other after their fight. One of them even had to admit that she had to apologize for her actions because she didn’t stay within the boundaries that she set for herself, which made the conflict even harder to deal with. It’s just…trust me, it’s a sweet book that again doesn’t get enough promotion since its release and really should.

cover image of Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert

Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert

Honestly, anyone of the Brown sisters books would apply here but I’m picking Dani because I feel I don’t show her as much love as her sisters. This one is again recommended because of how believable it is as well as Dani realizing that the misunderstanding was all on her and her misconceptions on some things. I also love how this came about with a sister-and-friend ranting session and she came to the conclusion with gentle prodding from her friend and not so gentle from her sisters. Because you know…sisters. So, she is the one who has to make the amends. Anyone can be humbled and everyone should at one point.

And that is it for today. I will see y’all Monday with another edition but if you want little snippets of me before then give me a follow over a Twitter under @Pscribe801. Have a great weekend and remember to do at least one thing just for yourself. Until next time!

Kissing Books

Pulling Out of Stagnate State

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

I started reading Nicola Yoon’s Instructions for Dancing this last week and it was like a shot of adrenaline to my reading vein. It was like a breath of fresh air to me, and I’m loving it. It’s helping me a bit with my stagnate reading state and I hope it is a catalyst to help pull me out completely.

After listening to to last week’s episode of When in Romance, I actually think I’ve figured out part of what is going on with my reading habits as of late. It has to do with the format of the books I’m reading. I’m getting to the point where I don’t like reading on my phone much since, once I get off of work, I don’t really want to be reading stuff on another screen. If it’s not a physical book, I would much rather read on a tablet or e-reader.

My Kindle Paperwhite is different because it’s e-ink; so, it’s not quite as reminiscent as an actual screen. The drawback, though, is that you can only read Kindle e-books on it. So, I don’t have access to the books that I’ve procured from other places. Since my tablet is essentially now a paper weight, that leaves my phone. But there are other things I’d rather be doing on my phone, such as scrolling through social media and/or TikTok or playing games.

So, when given the chance to read on my phone…I don’t. My next fun purchase is going to be a tablet so I can use other reading apps on, like Google Play, Libby, and Hoopla. I will use my phone for social media, TikTok, texting, and–you know–calling people every now and then. The trick is finding a tablet that supports other reading apps apart from Kindle that isn’t an iPad. Because I personally am not about that Apple life. I don’t have a Samsung, but I’m perfectly peachy with my Pixel. 

Book Riot Romance

If you want to hear about other reading habits, you can still listen to last week’s episode of When in Romance and take part in their survey.

I agree with Rey that paranormal romances have really always been a thing. They experience ebbs and flow like any other genre, but they’re always a constant in the romance world. I’m sure there’s a lot of commentary on the why of that, but that would be a story for another time. In the meantime, here is a list of some that may have flown under your radar. 

Around the Web in Romance

I feel like I’m one of the few people who didn’t like any of the re-issued covers that came out for the Bridgertons, for numerous reasons. One, there was the obvious race-baiting that has happening with The Duke and I, which showed Regé-Jean Page on the cover, even though the Simon in between the pages was super white. And that the ones that came after that were just…generic. I understand that the publishing company was trying to capitalize on the popularity of the series, since this re-cover treatment was also given to The Lady Most Willing and The Lady Most Likely anthologies, due to the Whistledown connection. But yeah, just not for me. Since I came to the series when I first got my very first Kindle, I never saw the original clinch covers. As such, I was super happy to see them all here.

Speaking of covers, Sharon Cooper’s latest cover reveal is giving me strong sexy vibes, and I’m here for all of it. I’m also feeling this same vibe with this debut from Gia de Cadenet that is coming soon. I am really starting to appreciate these cover reveals, since it helps to build the anticipation for upcoming books even more.

Did you hear that not one but two romance novels are in the finalists for the Tonight Show’s Annual #FallonSummerReads book club? Big shout out to People We Meet on Vacation and One Last Stop. I’ve only read the former, and while I wasn’t as big of a fan of it as I was of Beach Read, it was still enjoyable. The latter is, of course, somewhere on my TBR list.

Here is a rundown of some of the more buzz-worthy romance books this summer.

New Releases & Deals

The Poet and the Paragon cover

Some of the new releases coming soon include:

Isn’t it Bromantic? by Lyssa Kay Adams, Hot Under His Collar by Andie J. Christopher, The Poet and the Paragon by Rita Boucher, The Fake Prince Jake by Geoffrey Knight, Part of Her Plan by Catherine Peace, and To the Only Thug I’ll Ever Love by K.L. Hall. 

After the Crash cover

If you’re a fan of deals like I am, then some of the following may snag your interest as well. A Duchess a Day by Charis Michaels, Sanctuary for a Day by Rochelle Alers, Forged in Desire by Brenda Jackson, Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade, and After the Crash by Emma Alcott can all be procured for $1.99.

That’s all for today, friends. I’ll be back Thursday, but in the meantime you can give me a follow under my Twitter handle, @Pscribe801. See you next time.

Kissing Books

Holding Out for an (Anti)Hero

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

Another weekend is looming ahead of us and I’m here for it. Don’t get me wrong; last weekend was a good one. My book club met and it ended catching up since only two of us (not me) had read the book. But there were new kittens that required cuddling so…

Now, I’m perfectly fine with not finishing the book. We’ve never been that type of book club that shames members for not reading. Life happens and gets in the way and sometimes a book just doesn’t resonate with you. Also, I’m no longer forcing myself to finish a book for “insert reason here.” Sometimes it is wanting to keep a finger on the pulse of what’s popular. Sometimes it’s because it was a gift or an ARC. The reasons vary but the feeling of ‘should’ was still real. Which isn’t healthy or how one should approach reading in any situation. So, when I tried for the umpteenth time to get through the book I just couldn’t and I gave up the ghost. Life’s too short.

Romance Tidbits

Don’t forget to listen to this week’s episode of When in Romance where Jess and Trisha discuss the results of the survey. There is still time to take it if you haven’t though since they’re leaving it up for about another week. They will be discussing Wrong Number, Right Woman so you still have time to read that as well.

Jackie Lau has a M/M romance coming soon!

Here is a list of Alyssa Cole’s Summer 2021 reads.

Happy Birthday to Violet Gaze Press! I don’t know about y’all but, given the hullabaloo with them and Amazon a few weeks ago, I’m super happy that this wonderful diverse and inclusive company reached this milestone. Be sure to check out their catalog of books if you haven’t already to snag a few of their wonderful titles.


I made mention last time of the joy I’ve been finding in the Loki TV series and that is something that I know a lot of the world is experiencing as well. Loki is arguably one of the most complex characters all around, even for those who knew about him prior to the MCU movies or even comics. He plays quite a large role in Norse mythology even when one doesn’t include his role in bringing on Ragnarok. 

In his current comic iteration though, he’s not quite a villain; but he sure as hell ain’t a one-hundred percent hero. He would, at best, be an anti-hero because his morals are gray at best. He has some redeeming qualities though and manages to always act smooth even after he’s been thrown around like a rag doll by the Hulk. It doesn’t hurt that Tom Hiddleston has an equally smooth and soothing voice.

That leads to today’s recommendations which are romances with leads that lean more towards antiheroes. This doesn’t mean that they’re as morally gray as Loki or a flat out bad boy either; they’re just not people who could or would be classified as the hero in a story.

Neon Gods by Katee Roberts

Hades and Persephone retellings are running rampant now and I love them all. This one finds Persephone running into the Underworld to escape a forced marriage to Zeus, who is the absolute worst. Together they form an alliance to help bring down the tyrant king of the gods. This book absolutely sizzles with sensuality and I’ve heard that it’s actual one of the more tame from this author. So, take that as you will.

Dirty Kisses by Kenya Wright

Emily is a washer who is forced to work for Kazimir to save her brother from being another one of the hitman’s victims when he is suspected of murdering Rumi, the top washer in the Russian mafia. This is one that is well loved by a lot of dark romance readers especially those who enjoy Mafia ties. This is the first in the Lion and Mouse series so if you’re looking to settle down with some characters for a few books, this may be a good option.

Free Falling by S.E. Jakes

When thief Blue wanders into one of hitman Mick’s jobs a year after a year of not seeing each other, Mick saves him and then disappears. Blue is determined to return the favor and goes after him, opening up the men the possibility of a romance neither could have foreseen. I don’t think anyone would liken anyone in either one of those professions as a hero so there is proof right now. When you add in adrenaline and attraction, it’s bound to be a bumpy ride indeed. 

And that’s all for now friends! Give me a follow over on Twitter @PScribe801. Have a great and relaxing weekend. I’ll see you Monday.

Kissing Books

We’re Half-Way There

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

It’s the start of the work week as well as the third week in July. This means we’re halfway through the month and the summer. You would think that with being super close to the level of Mario 3 where the sun is actively trying to kill us in my area, the serotonin would be off the chain. But, it’s not true. In actuality, I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately. Not sure why to be honest so I’m just waiting for it to pass. In the meantime I’ve been searching for things that bring me joy to help boost those levels.

One is the Loki series. I’m loving everything about it, including the title character. No, I don’t want to unpack what it may mean for my overall mental well-being. Also, Let’s Play is back on WebToon. I may or may not have actually squealed out loud when the Season 3 Premiere launched. If you want to play catch up with it, you have two full seasons and over 100 episodes to do so.

Sometimes, it’s the little things that get you through the day, which get you through the week, which gets you through the month, which gets you through the year. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: self-care is important, so make sure that you’re doing something to make yourself happy during these trying times.

In Book Riot Romance

If you fell in love with Emily Henry’s Beach Read last year, Silvana has got some read-a-likes for you that may peak your interest.

Speaking of read-a-likes, if you’re big into Sarah J. Maas fan you can also check out this list of authors who give off similar vibes, courtesy of Neha.

There’s also this ode to ‘Mass Max’ by Jess for your reading consideration.

Around the Web in Romance

Christina Milian is starring in a new rom-com called Resort to Love coming soon to Netflix and it looks amazingly adorable. I agree with everything that this tweet says with regards to Christina’s recent run in rom-com movies. No disrespect to Meg Ryan, but it’s time we had a new rom-com darling and Milian has the chops to fill those proverbial shoes. And that fact that it’s a woman of color just makes it even more *chef’s kiss*. And, no matter what people may say, everyone, on some level, loves a good punny title.

Summer may be almost over but you can still check these books off your reading bucket list.

If you’re big into YA like yours truly, here is another list of highly anticipated novels is this genre coming soon to a shelf near you.

And, as we are over the midway point of there, here is a round up of some of the best romance novels so far this year.

New Releases & Deals

Some of the new books hitting our shelves this week: How Sweet It Is by Dylan Newton (which I loved), While We Were Dating by Jasmine Guillory, It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey, and The Calyx Charm by May Peterson, and Unbridled by D. Jackson Leigh.

As for deals, you can pick these up for $1.99 (deals are active as of the time of writing this newsletter): Next in Line for Love by Harper Bliss, All In with the Duke by Ava March, Forbidden Promises by Synthia Williams, Any Duchess Will Do by Tessa Dare, and Just One Night by Kyra Davis.

And if you’re looking for a new device to read these on, don’t forget to enter our giveaway for a Kindle Oasis!

And on that note, here’s where we end our time together for today. Catch up with me over on Twitter under @PScribe801. See ya Thursday.

Kissing Books

Fake Dating, But Make It Real

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

The end of last week was really rough for me, so relaxing was at the top of my list this last weekend. Friday I embraced my love of horror by watching Fear Street: 1994, which I LOVED and can’t wait for the other two. Saturday I went swimming with the teenager and Sunday I dog-sat for my cousin. All that said, I can’t believe we’re already in July. This year is just breezing by like last year didn’t do a slow crawl.

Romance News

This July is the second annual is #JenkinsJuly, a month-long celebration of the career of Beverly Jenkins. This was started by Ana Coqui and celebrates the author’s twenty-seven year career that began with Night Song. In fact, eight of her books are celebrating milestone years. If you still haven’t read anything by her, they’re are a great spot to start from.

There was also a tweet floating around last week that touched on the subject of how one author approached writing about sex between two men and honestly, it was terrible. The author has since deleted her Twitter account but you can still see a screenshot of it here via this tweet from author Jack Harbon. There is a lot to unpack here, more than can be fit into a newsletter with a cap on word count but…this was not a good take.

Around the Web in Romance

Here’s a rundown of some of the must read YA romances coming out from now until the end of this year.

If you’re looking for a few good M/M romances to relax on the beach with, here is a list of contenders.

Here are a few books you might be tempted to marathon in one sitting. I can personally attest for how adorable and awesome How Sweet It Is was.

Here’s my plug to say I hope you took the When in Romance survey and if you haven’t, click here to get it done. It shouldn’t take too long depending on how prolific you want to be with your answers.


I recently had the realization that I am actually a bigger fan of the fake relationship/dating trope than I thought. When I began to look back on some of my well-loved books, it made sense since a lot of those fell into this trope. This leads me to today’s recommendations which are ones that have some thread of this trope. I think it’s a nice mix of historical and contemporary and the ladies mentioned here are some of my favorite authors. Hopefully you’ll find one you haven’t picked up yet, and have some beach reading options. 

Jewel by Beverly Jenkins

Y’all know Mrs.Bev was going to make an appearance with it being #JenkinsJuly. Jewel and Eli are lifelong friends who tend to butt heads along the way. When Eli has to pretend to have a wife to help get his struggling newspaper back off the ground, Jewel agrees and it seems like it will just be a secret between them. As often happens in small towns, word of the arrangement gets out resulting in a real marriage and the associated feelings that come with that. You don’t want to miss this gem from Jenkins, if you’ll pardon the pun. Or not; I know I make them a lot and am not sorry.

Angel by Johanna Lindsey

Angel is a gunslinger known as the Peacemaker, tasked with helping Cassie get out of the mess she got herself into when someone he owes a favor to calls in his chip. This mess? Getting herself caught in the middle of a family feud that rivals the Hatfields and the McCoys. Of course his reputation precedes him so when the families realize who he is, she claims he is her fiancé to try to prevent any more trouble. This ends up in a real life shotgun wedding though and both are left in a position where they can legally (for the time) give into their desires.

cover of that kind of guy by talia hibbert

That Kind of Guy by Talia Hibbert

Author Rae does not want to attend an upcoming awards convention where her ex-husband and his new wife will be in attendance solo. Her solution? Asking her friend Zach to pose as her boyfriend. He agrees thinking it will be an easy, breezy weekend but the desire both have been ignoring to avoid ruining their friendship rears its head in the close quarters. They both have to decide if they’re willing to take a risk. If you’ve read the rest of the Ravenswood books, this is a good wrap up one for everyone’s love story. Bonus points for the demisexual rep here!

First Comes Like by Alisha Rai

Beauty influencer Jai has been having an online correspondence with someone she thinks is Bollywood star Dev Dixit…until a face-to-face encounter proves she’s been catfished. She flees desperate to save face, which prompts Dev to follow her to make amends only for them to be caught in a somewhat compromising position. Damn that paparazzi. Both decide that a fake engagement is the best way to save face all around, but thanks to well -meaning but overbearing family members, it quickly becomes a very real marriage. Will they be able to overcome the initial rocky beginnings for a real chance at love?

That’s all for this week. I’ll be back next Monday to catch y’all up on the world of romance. In the meantime give me a follow over on Twitter under @PScribe801. Until next time!

Kissing Books

Conflict Resolution is Important

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

So, I had a wonderful birthday weekend! It was exactly what I needed. I got to see some of my good friends, got some good food, and ended up buying three new books that I’m eager to read. The books I procured were The Ghost and the Haunted Portrait, Dead Dead Girls, and 14 Ways to Die.

I felt I earned it because it was my birthday and because I finished two books I had been in the middle of over my long weekend. And I started and finished Night of the Mannequins so the reward was warranted.

It tracks logically in my head so that’s what I’m going with.

Around the Web in Romance

The latest episode of the When In Romance podcast is up for your listening pleasure! Among other things, Jess and Trisha discuss how their reading habits have changed over the last year. There is also a survey in the show notes if you want to chime in on how yours may have changed since last year.

Jess also did a nice round-up of contemporary romance novels that feature a visual artist and helped to add even more books to my TBR pile.

I agree with everything that author Harper St. George has on this list about favorite things in historical romances, with the exception of number four. I’ve got hips for days; I don’t need a huge ball gown to embellish them even more. Seriously; small children have bounced off my hip and flown three feet.

Author KJ Charles wrote this blog post about conflict in romance articles and it is a really good read, especially coming from someone who used to edit for Mills & Boon.


Reading KJ’s article got me thinking about how the idea of conflict in romance has evolved since its early days. Nowadays, it’s more of a misunderstanding rather than an outright conflict. More likely, it’s a small omission that comes back later to bite someone in their rear and requires scrambling to resolve and fix.

Personally, I like the misunderstandings that are easily resolved through open communication. Some may feel it’s a bit anticlimactic, but I don’t need a huge dramatic situation followed by an equally dramatic resolution. Conflict resolution is one area where I don’t mind the lack of a huge climax in my romances (wink wink). 

We all know that the key factor in all of these is communication. But it’s easier said than done. This is something that couples have been struggling with since the dawn of time. I know a lot of people sneer that romances wouldn’t have as much of a conflict if the two ‘simply communicated’ but that’s hard to do, especially in the newness of a relationship. That kind of cavalier attitude comes after years in a relationship. And yes, when the open communication happens, a simple resolution normally follows.

That leads me to today’s recommendations. I’m going to include some of the romances that I enjoyed for the story as well as how easily the resolution was resolved. In some cases it was communication; in others it’s just a matter of people knowing more than they let on. In any case, they are still good reads and the ‘conflict resolution’ had me smiling with how easy-peasy it ended up being. I will endeavor to not give spoilers on any of the titles listed though, so the synopsis will be super short.

The Duke Who Didn’t by Courtney Milan

This is one of the sweetest books I’ve ever read. It’s a slow burn from friends to lovers that is just delightful. Chloe and Jeremy’s interactions were super sweet, even when she was mad at him. However, there is ‘the secret’ that is looming over the story and the build up on that is intense. The actuality of it had me literally bursting out laughing when I read it. It’s a Milan so you’re guaranteed a treat no matter what.

The Secrets of Sir Richard Kentworthy by Julia Quinn

Okay so I know that the ‘secret’ in this one is a bit divisive in Romancelandia, but I appreciated the accuracy of how a situation like this would play out if it were to happen in real life. Plus, I felt that Richard cared about his family and Iris and was trying to make the best of the situation that they found themselves in. And the way it ended was as even keeled as it could be.

cover of get a life chloe brown

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

Everyone has heard of this book by now and for good reason. I loved everything about it so much that when we got to the misunderstanding I actually said, “No, no, no” out loud in my car. Side note: I was listening to the audiobook I wasn’t reading while driving. I don’t do that…much. Anyways, the resolution for that misunderstanding wasn’t as drastic as it needed to be, but it was still sweet and they ended up with their HEA which is always a winner in my book.

I know that there are others out there which have misunderstandings that are easily resolved but here are the few that stand out to me.And that’s all for now. I won’t see you next Monday since Book Riot is off for the Fourth of July holiday in America. If you’re off that day, enjoy your long weekend. Give me a follow over on Twitter @PScribe801. Until next week!

Kissing Books

Sex ‘Reality’

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

Well, Monday, we meet again. Now, I’m not like Garfield who detests Mondays but we’re not always buddy-buddy. We have a begrudgingly somewhat civil relationship since it’s always inevitable. Please don’t ever ask me if I’m having a case of ‘the Mondays’ a la Office Space though. Someone saying that to me would have me wanting to set fire to something even without stealing my red stapler. 

But…don’t do that either. 

This week should start off a little bit more positively since I’m coming off my birthday weekend. I had a great time relaxing with friends and, yes, I did buy a few books. Sometimes it feels weird buying books when I know I still have a TBR stack waiting at home. Recently, I’ve been in a weird reading mood. It’s not a slump though; it’s more stagnant reading. Books are taking me longer to get through, and this isn’t counting the ones that I’m savoring slowly. I think it’s because on some level I’m still trying to avoid DNFing books. Which isn’t to say that I still won’t, but so far this year I’ve only done that for five books and two of those were within the last week. 

It’s an interesting internal struggle to have. On the one hand I want to finish the books at a higher rate than I’m obtaining them. This includes ARCs provided to me through NetGalley or otherwise. On the other hand, life’s too short to force yourself through a book that you’re not loving. So it’s a mixed bag all around.

Romance World Recap

Recently, Andrea of the Shelf Love Podcast tweeted about how romance novels shouldn’t be a substitution for sex education. And she’s correct; they shouldn’t be. Some people’s beef with romance is that it portrays an inaccurate view of sex and relationships. However, I will counter by reminding that these are fiction novels and they’re not intended to depict reality. Not every murder mystery gets solved; so by that mindset, there should be just as much pushback against mysteries and thrillers.

Part of the draw is that the sex is always good. Is it sometimes unbelievable? Sure, especially in the olden days of romance. But again, every other genre has a quality or two that in real life would be unbelievable such as cozy hamlets that have a new murder mystery every other month. In real life there wouldn’t be a plucky amateur sleuth. In real life, the town would be on a watch list and most people would get the hell out of dodge.

In real life, sex isn’t always great. Kids interrupt, you’re too tired, you’re not in the mood…the list could go on. And there’s nothing wrong with that because, in my opinion, when you’re in a committed relationship, whether it’s monogamous or polyamorous, you should feel comfortable enough with your partner(s) to have that type of honesty. Sex is not the foundation of a relationship nor does it a relationship make. It can be an enhancer but not always because there are asexual people in very happy relationships that don’t include sex. And that’s perfectly fine.

And not every single romance novel has a fireworks inducing first sex scene. In Jennifer Crusie’s Faking It, the first time Minerva and Davy hook up, she is…well faking it, prompting Davy to stop mid-stroke and say, “You’re not getting anything out of this are you?” Now, the next time is much better, but the first time wasn’t anything to write home about. Intentional bad sex scenes can happen in romance novels too. I make that distinction because unintentional bad sex scenes are a completely different kettle of fish.

Around the Web in Romance

Over on Book Riot, Erika gave recommendations for book about Black Love, something we’ve discussed before, and Isabelle gave some for witchy romances.

If you’re still looking for LGBTQ books, romance or otherwise, peruse this list.

Here is a gathering of some of the most eagerly anticipated romances hitting the shelves this summer.

New Releases and Deals

Some of this week’s new releases include An Extraordinary Lord by Anna Harrington, Paws and Prejudice by Alanna Martin, American Fairy Tale by Adriana Herrera, and Surprise Double Delivery by Therese Beharrie. There are a lot of new releases this week, including re-issues from Linda Lael Miller and the Bridgerton series, so get thee to a bookstore to see them all. 

As for deals, Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall, Play it Again by Aidan Wayne, and The Love Song of Sawyer Bell by Avon Gale are all currently $1.99. You can also pick up The Forbidden Man, His All Night, and Her Kind of Man all by Elle Wright and all for $0.99. 

And that’s it for today. I’ll be back Thursday with another edition. As a heads up, there will not be a new one next Monday for America’s Fourth of July holiday. Give me a follow over on Twitter @PScribe801. Y’all have a great week!

Kissing Books

Coffee is Love and Life

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

By the time you’re reading this, I’ll have started my four-day birthday celebration weekend. So far a BBQ is all that’s planned, but the week is still young. I kinda want to do a book shopping spree. But, I’m well aware of the amount of unread books I have already. So, I may try to be responsible…

But then again it’s my birthday. So, I may still do it. I’ll be sure to catch you up on my purchases next week if it happens. 

World of Romance

I am getting increasingly frustrated with the misconception of what actually constitutes a taboo romance. Some people seem to think that it’s a Cole Porter song and anything goes. Proof in that pudding is this Tweet I found the other day, which referenced the latest ‘taboo’ romance. When that user looked it up, she found out it was about a romance between a girl and her biological father. 

Yep. You read that right. 

As per the normal I’m not going to state what the book is, since we don’t want to even more of a light on it. Books like this do nothing to help work against the stigma that the romance genre already has.

A taboo romance is one between a professor/student of legal age, or a sibling’s ex, or a best friend’s parent. It’s not a parent and child, or brother and sister. That’s not taboo; that’s illegal in most states and it’s a whole lot of *shudder*.

To paraphrase Regina George; stop trying to make incestuous romance happen. It’s not gonna happen.

All that said, I can’t give a lot of recommendations for taboo romance…yet. However, you can check out this list for some books to pick up if it is your cup of tea.


Roughly eight years ago, I gave up Pepsi on a whim. And oh my sweet giddy aunt, it was HELL. I had massive mood swings, headaches, feeling hungry all the time. After all that, I decided to cut caffeinated sodas out completely, and haven’t had one since. I still drink Sprite and the occasional energy drink though.

However, at the time I was still working nights with a two-year-old at home who I was still responsible for during the day. I needed something to keep me awake and coffee became my new best friend. Now, I had been a coffee drinker already. Since cutting out sodas though, my love for the beverage has grown. I’m one who loves flavored coffee, iced coffee, blended coffee, etc.

And I’m not alone here. It’s estimated that one billion people worldwide drink coffee. It was the central focus hang out location on Friends. I know it sounds like a T-shirt, but coffee is life. That’s why, for today’s newsletter, I’m going to focus on books that feature coffee or a coffee shop.

The Coffee Agenda by Jackson Tyler

Seth and Tyler are brought together by fate and friends when the latter receives a surprise inheritance. They decide to open up a coffee house called Agenda for the LGBTQ community. When they begin to fall in love with each other, it makes starting a business trickier than normal, especially with them being complete opposites. This is currently a duology, so if you find yourself falling in love with the characters and the coffee shop, you can pick up the follow-up, High on the Agenda.

Wrong by Jana Astor

Sophie’s luck with love is lackluster to say the least. So she keeps her expectations low for reality even though her fantasies are another story. After fantasizing about a regular customer in the coffee shop where she works, she is embarrassed to find out on her next visit to the student clinic that he is the doctor there. This is also the first in a four book series that seems to center around the same coffee shop so, again, you can linger with the characters a bit. It would likely be classified as New Adult and fairly steamy, so keep that in mind going in.

Java Frost by Courtney Hunt

Apparently, I’m just feeling the series vibes today because this novella is also the first in a series of books that focus around a place called Cupid’s Coffeeshop. In this one, serious single dad Ben hires carefree preschool teacher Amy to teach him how to let loose and have fun with his daughter. This is a novella so it’s a short one, and the series appears to lean more towards sweet than steamy.

Cover of Mating the Huntress

Mating the Huntress by Talia Hibbert

Werewolf Luke wanders into Chastity’s family coffeeshop looking for his mate. Chastity sees Luke as a way to show her family of monster hunters that she is more than capable of taking up the mantle. From that premise and the fact that it is Talia, you know you’re in for a great time with this story. While he is already over the moon for her, it takes a bit more convincing for chastity to realize that there’s more to this wolf than meets the eye. I love the cinnamon roll aspect of Luke in this, and of course their chemistry practically sizzles off the page. You can’t go wrong with this one.

And that is all for today! I hope that y’all enjoy your weekend. I know I will and I will see you Monday with the next edition. In the meantime give me a follow on Twitter under @Pscribe801. Until next time.

Kissing Books

Romance vs Romantic

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

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

World of Romance

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

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

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

Around the Web in Romance

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

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

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

Here are some pairings of princesses and romance novels.

New Releases & Deals

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

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

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