Kissing Books

Whirlwind World Wide Romances

Greetings and Salutations, fellow Romance lovers! It’s me, PN, back with another installation of the Kissing Books newsletter. I hope that your weekend was relaxing, rejuvenating, and that you’re ready to face the first full week of October.

I finally saw The Lost City and thoroughly enjoyed it. Each one of its rom-com-banana-pants moments. There was also the very real way it dealt with how someone could process grief, something I especially appreciated.

And, yes, I totally cheered when Alan firmly advocated for the joy of romance when Loretta had been disparaging of it. Made my heart super happy. Definitely going to be a regular watch. It also made me want to re-watch Romancing the Stone, no shame.

On to the rest of the newsletter.

Bookish Goods

picture of Book Trope Tshirt

Romance Book Tropes World Tour T-shirt by FanGirlByNeverlandB

This is an adorable and comfy-looking shirt that showcases love for all types of various romance tropes. And I love the design of it as well, as it is very reminiscent of shirts you would get at a concert. I would totally rock this while sitting on my porch, sipping a beverage. Comes in seven color options and starts at $19

New Releases

cover of Rescuing Hearts

Rescuing Hearts by Ruby Scott

Due to numerous heartbreaking experiences in her youth, Kristi has decided to live her life on the road, or rather in the air, as a flight attendant traveling for work, pleasure, and volunteer work. On a flight to San José, she meets pediatric surgeon Fenna and finds herself drawn to the younger and optimistic woman. Will she be able to trust her enough to forget the hurts of the past and open herself up to a new lease on life and love?

cover of Where Your Eyes Linger

Where Your Eyes Linger by Dani M. Ward

Jameson is an exotic dancer who also happens to be a Fire fae, on the run from her controlling royal ex. One of her most faithful patrons is Emmett but, fearing being hurt again or that Emmett will be harmed, she keeps him at arm’s length. As they get to know each other more, she begins to weigh the risks of opening up her heart again for a new chance at a happily ever after.

And don’t forget that for a more comprehensive list of new releases, you can always check out our New Books newsletter!

Riot Recommendations

I have been pulling extra hours at the day job over the last week because Mama needs that coin that comes with OT pay. True it gets tiring but Future Me will be grateful come payday. One way I have maintained a strong performance is because I am able to put on my ear buds, pick a Spotify playlist, and power through the day.

After all, a good playlist can make almost any stretch of time go by faster and make it slightly more enjoyable.

Now, my need for constant music flow during my nine to five got me thinking about how many romance novels borrow song titles for their own books. It’s not a consistent enough theme to be anything more than a sporadic pun, but it is still interesting to note and led to today’s recommendations: books that are also song titles!

cover of Maybe This Time

Maybe This Time by Jennifer Crusie

This second chance romance, which is also a modern spin on The Turn of the Screw, finds Andie returning to help her ex-husband North when he reaches out for help after finding out he is the sole guardian of two young cousins. A nice mix of romance and mystery with a spooky spin (there will actually be a ghost) also isn’t a bad way to kick off an October Reading List.

cover of Along Came Love

Along Came Love by Tracey Livesay

When India finds herself stranded in San Francisco, the only person she can turn to for help is Michael who is not only the man she ghosted after a two-day affair, but also the father of the baby she is carrying. Will this random series of circumstances be the perfect setting for the former lovers? Check out this one-time only, secret baby, forced proximity, second-chance story to see.

If you’ve been looking for some romances with Trans representation, here is a good jumping off point.

Plan a birthday party, get paired up with a 90’s heartthrob.

This is sound advice right here.

If you can’t get enough of enemies-to-lovers, this list has some options that you may have previously overlooked.

And that’s all I have for y’all today! I’ll be back on Thursday though so we shall meet again soon. Until then, you can give me a follow over on Twitter under @PScribe801. Happy reading and stay hydrated!

Kissing Books

Shakespeare in Love Novels

Hello and welcome (back) to the Kissing Books newsletter. I’m PN, here with another update in the world of Romance. First and foremost, happy belated birthday to Vivian Stephens! Her birthday was September 23rd and I am so happy she’s part of Romancelandia’s history. Check out this thread repost from last year highlighting just a few of her accomplishments to get an idea of why she’s so important to it.

We are super close to October now, and I’m over the moon for it. While I know that there have been fall vibes since the start of September, this is personally when I start putting myself into an ‘Autumn’ mindset. Now, it’s hard to do that fully since it’s the South and, as of this edition, the weather is forecasted to have a high of 91 on the 1st. But, I’m still excited.

In currently reading news, I started Two Wrongs Make a Right and am finding it delightful so far. I’ve never read Much Ado About Nothing or seen the Kenneth Branagh/Emma Thompson version but I know enough of the basic premise. With that said, let’s get to some bookish goods and new releases first!

Bookish Goods

picture of book wine glass

“I’m Not Addicted to Books We’re in a Committed Relationship” wine glass by CobaltCreatives

When I saw this wine glass, I knew that, at some point, it would need to be mine. I’ve lost count of how many times my spouse has sighed, albeit endearingly, whenever I walk in with a couple of new books in hand, giving a glance to my ever growing TBR pile. I keep telling him it could be worse and that is something I will stand by until the end of time. $12

New Releases

cover of A Ghost in Shining Armor

A Ghost in Shining Armor by Therese Beharie

Gemma can see ghosts and uses her gift to help them settle any business that they left unfinished. Levi is a ghost that, in a change of pace, is determined to help with her unfinished business, which includes reuniting with her long-lost sister. When this reunion happens, Gemma is trying to get to know her sister but keeps thinking about Levi who, for all that he tries to, can’t forget her either. Will there somehow be a way for these two to have their HEA or will there be no second chances here?

cover of The Tides That Bind Us

The Tide that Binds Us by Alexis C. Maness

When a young mermaid princess is found dead on her shores, Queen Celestia knows that she has to prove to her kingdom that she is a worthy ruler that will do whatever it takes to protect them. However, this is complicated with the appearance of Aura, an alluring mermaid that Celestia is drawn to but is also dividing her focus for ensuring her people’s safety, leading her to wonder if there is a way to have it all or if she’ll end up failing as a queen.

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

Riot Recommendations

I have noticed an uptick in romances that are inspired or based of Shakespeare. Now, I know that Romeo and Juliet is always a popular one with the forbidden love aspect, although I would agree with my whole chest that the play is a tragedy and not a romance. So, of course in that regard the adaptations in Romancelandia do deviate from the source material.

But there are more options to adapt than that one play and that is something that a lot of romance writers have proved in the last few years. And I’m here for it because, for the most part, I do enjoy Shakespeare. Now, do I think that his works are super brilliant? Absolutely not. If you ask me, his plays, even the non-romance ones, are the Elizabethan equivalent of beach reads. I could write an entire article on that so rather than ramble on, let’s check out the recommendations for today!

cover of Much Ado About Jack

Much Ado About Jack by Christy English

As evident from the title, this one is also loosely based off Much Ado About Nothing and involves the widowed Angelique who, after being heartbroken one time too many, vows to never fall in love or remarry. Her latest paramour, Captain James, is equally as determined to try to convince her to give him a chance, knowing that the outcome will be different than her previous experiences.

cover of Dating Dr. Dil

Dating Dr. Dil by Nisha Sharma

This cover very much gives off 10 Things I Hate About You vibes, which fits since it is an updated version of The Taming of the Shrew. Only in this version, the two main characters are the ones who come up with the fake dating scheme to get things they both desperately want. You know, besides each other. I read this earlier this year and thoroughly enjoyed it and do not see it discussed nearly as much as it should be.

Build a taco, pupusa, and an agua fresca to give insight on your soulmate.

Check out some of the favorite romance novels right now.

This is an exciting line up for an upcoming spooky season romance panel!

Changes are coming to Amazon’s return policy for ebooks and I’m so happy to hear it.

That’s all for this week friends! I’ll be back on Monday with a new edition of the newsletter. In the meantime, you can give me a follow over on Twitter under @PScribe801. Until then, happy reading and stay hydrated!

Kissing Books

Romances and Heavy Topics

Hello and welcome (back)! It’s me, PN, with another edition of the Kissing Books newsletter. It’s the last week of September y’all and I am in shock that 2023 is in the distant horizon. Yes, I know that it’s still three months off, but we are certainly closer now than we were a month ago, which again is just mind boggling.

With that said, on to the rest of the newsletter!

Bookish Goods

picture of heart & key booksleeve

Key to My Heart Booksleeve by BookishBling

I really only discovered book sleeves a couple of years ago but I have to say, I get the appeal of them. It is a reassuring feeling to be able to carry a physical book around, regardless of whether it’s hardback or paperback, and not have to worry about little imperfections on it showing up during the travel process. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still something to be said about a well-read book, but I like to try to keep them pristine as long as possible. $22+

New Releases

cover of Witchful Thinking

Witchful Thinking by Celestine Martin*

Lucinda loves her witchy life in Freya Grove as a high school teacher but can’t help to wish for more. One night, this wish turns into a spell that makes her unable to say “no” to any request. This also extends to her high school crush Alexander, who asks for help removing a hex from the house he just purchased, which is right across the street from hers, so he can sell it and continue to travel. Until then, these two are working closely together, which opens up the opportunities for old feelings that never really went away.

cover of Cupid is a Cat

Cupid is a Cat by Lise Gold

Cupid is known to take many forms and this time it is that of a sweet ginger tabby cat. The current mission is linking Nora and Yael, two women who met when they went to a speed-dating event. When they initially meet, they are certain it was just a one-time thing. When their paths cross years later, will they take this second chance at romance that has been offered to them, through the designs and machinations of a furry friend?

*I’m super excited for this one and am eagerly awaiting my pre-order to arrive soon!

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

Riot Recommendations

I recently made the somewhat questionable decision to read Book Lovers and The Dead Romantics at the same time. Now, this choice wasn’t questionable due to the books themselves because I thoroughly enjoyed both. No, it was questionable because each involve a dead parent. The former had a dead mom and the latter a dead dad. And both of my parents have since moved on from this mortal realm.

Now, this isn’t a recent loss by any means. My mom will have been gone for 31 years this upcoming November and it will have been 12 years for dad in February. Still, the grief is called a constant bedfellow for a reason, since it never really goes away. You just learn to live with it and expect the unexpected moments of getting hit with it.

That said, I still think it’s important to touch on these topics in romance. Death is inevitable, which means that you will at some point experience these types of losses while with your partner. That isn’t to say that I want to read about it all the time, but I still think it has a place and dealing with it and other painful topics is important. That’s why my recommendations today are books that deal with heavier life topics. I will include the content warnings I know of but be sure to also research on your own to prepare accordingly.

Cover of Damaged Goods by Talia Hibbert

Damaged Goods Talia Hibbert

This is a second chance novella in Hibbert’s Ravenswood series that is about a woman who leaves her abusive husband for the sake of herself and her unborn child and gets a second chance at love. There is depiction of domestic violence in this so be wary if that is especially triggering. However, since it is Talia, it will still have an HEA.

The Heart Principle book cover

The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang

I know that this was a very divisive book for multiple reasons but I still stand by my enjoyment of it. It’s not an easy read by any means between a sick parent, anxiety issues, and a bullying older sister. But it is a satisfying one that ends in a believable way. It’s definitely more of an HFN, though, rather than an HEA, so heads up.

If suspenseful romance is your thing, check out this list of fifteen recommendations.

This is an impressively well-rounded list for some of the romance debuts we’ve had from last September to this one.

Build a wedding play list and get a guess on what type of engagement ring is perfect for you.

Two of my favorite authors at one speaking engagement? Yes, please.

And that’s all I have for y’all today. I’ll be back in your inboxes Thursday and in the meantime you can always follow me on Twitter under @PScribe801. Until then, happy reading and stay hydrated.

Kissing Books

More Grumpy, More Sunshine

Hello and happy Thursday. I’m writing this to you the day after I returned from my trip to the coast and lemme tell you, I’m already ready to go back. It wasn’t nearly as long as I would have liked it for my first time, and the friends I went with agreed that the next time we go, we’re going to shoot for three or four full days as opposed to just one.

Still, it was a great break and opportunity to recharge before the absolute bonkers-ness that the last part of the year always turns out to be. I watched my spouse go parasailing from the safety of the boat, since heights are a thing for me. We ate at a really good Cajun restaurant for lunch and I found a new way to eat boudain (squeeze some lemon, lime, or both on them). Then we all did a bonfire on the beach. It was also nice to go check it out sans teenager, I won’t lie. People forget or overlook parents and kids need breaks sometimes too, and that is okay.

While I spent most of my time out and about, I did manage to finish The Dead Romantics, which I enjoyed. I am still working my way through Book Lovers and plan on starting Love in the Time of Serial Killers, since I didn’t start that as planned over the weekend.

Now that I’ve talked to your ear off, onto the rest of the newsletter!

Bookish Goods

picture of Grumpy-Sunshine Candle

Grumpy and Sunshine Candle by BriarWick

This is, by far, one of my favorite tropes and I love that there is a candle for it. If you’re also a fan, then you can burn this beauty while reading one of the many books that fall into it. $5

New Releases

picture of Visible Mending

Visible Mending by M. Arbon

This is all about about Edd, a sweet and overgenerous clotheshorse and Corey, his shy new neighbor who is learning how to adjust to their new solo status after a break-up. Edd slowly works to bring Corey out of their shell and welcome them to the small town of Clover Hill. Just when it seems like their friendship may move to more, Corey’s past comes back and brings back their fears that they would make a good partner, leading them to ask Edd for space. Will their relationship be able to overcome this setback or will this doubt end it before it can really start?

cover of A Complicated Kind of Love

A Complicated Kind of Love by Adesuwa O’man Nwokedi

In this opposites attract romance, we meet Bioye who, after a makeup with her high school love, takes a position at the Malorno High summer camp being ran by Abolore, one of her former teachers who has sworn off love. An unexpected attraction blooms between them but their relationship has more than a few complications standing in its way. Will these prove to be too much for them or will they be able to overcome these obstacles and the hurts of their past to find a new love together?

And don’t forget that for a more comprehensive list of new releases, you can always check out our New Books newsletter!

Riot Recommendations

To go along with the bookish good, today’s recommendations will be books in the Grumpy/Sunshine genre. I know that I recently did this theme last month but what can I say? As mentioned numerous times, I’m sure, I’m a big fan of this trope and make no apologies for it!

cover of Gulf Breeze

Gulf Breeze by Gerri Hill

Due to intervention from a meddling, but well meaning aunt, photographer Pat finds herself helping marine biologist, Carly in restoring the woods and wetlands of the Texas Gulf Coast. For various and personal reasons, neither woman is looking for love but it seems that nature has other plans for them, especially when an early season hurricane decides to roll in. Close proximity, banter, and the beach? What more could you ask for?

cover of A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole

A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole

This was the first book that I read in the series and it’s still a favorite. I love Portia’s energy and how she matches the Tavish grumpiness with just the right amount of sunshine. Plus, I love how much work we see Portia put into herself since she wants to be a better person. Not that she was a bad person at all, mind you, which is another draw to this story: her finding out she is worthy and just fine as she is. Tthat alone is always something very encouraging to read.

Romancelandia is once again coming together to fundraise for a good cause. Click here to donate to the  Campaign for Southern Equality’s Trans Youth Emergency Fund and get a baker’s dozen of awesome romances.

This is giving *big* romance novel energy.

“Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match…”if that trope is for you, then this list has you covered.

Pick your fall favorites and get your love language.

Here are just some of the romance novels we have to look forward to this fall. Out of the 66 titles listed, I’ve read two already and 17 are on my TBR.

And that’s all I have for you today. I’ll be back in your inboxes on Monday with a fresh newsletter. In the meantime, you can give me a follow over on Twitter under @PScribe801. Until then, happy reading and stay hydrated!

Kissing Books

All the Pirate Romances!!!

Argh and welcome back to the Kissing Books newsletter! I’m PN Hinton, and I be your Captain guiding you through the wonderful world of romance. And, if you can’t tell, today happens to also be “Talk Like a Pirate Day.”

That said, that’s about the extent of my pirate talking. To be fair though, it’s not a skill that I’ve ever really practiced. Don’t worry though! I have some more pirate related goodness for you sprinkled throughout the rest of the newsletter.

So let’s not delay that journey any longer and get to it!

Bookish Goods

picture of scoundrel mug

“Scoundrel” Romance Mug by fuglybarbie

This mug is perfect for curling up with your favorite pirate romance to help set the mood. The sunset, secluded island, and ship in the background all set the stage for some romantic hijinks on the high seas. Plus, it’s perfect for morning and evening beverages, by which I mean coffee/tea in the AM followed by wine in the PM. $14

New Releases

cover of Morgan Breaks a Vow

Morgan Breaks a Vow by M.L. Sexton

After a passionate romantic encounter in Jamaica, Morgan is happy to get back to work on her novel as well as be the maid of honor to her best friend. To her shock though, the groom’s best woman is none other than Leigh, her one-night stand. Despite the tension arising from this unexpected development, both are determined to work together to make sure that their friends’ wedding goes off without a hitch. Then they end up having to share a room in the Virgin Islands for the wedding. Will the spark be reignited between them?

picture of Constitution Check

Constitution Check by Katherine McIntyre

Kelly is a woman who recently lost her girlfriend and is looking for a distraction to avoid facing how distraught she isn’t. Tabby is an accountant by day and roller derby girl by night. They meet one night at a bar and engage in a passionate one-night stand. However, their social circles overlap, leading to multiple run-ins with each other and them deciding to have a casual fling. But when Tabby receives an injury that leads to more closeness than either woman expected, will they run away before they give anything a chance to develop?

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

Riot Recommendations

As mentioned above, today there is a pirate theme for the newsletter, due to the associated holidays. When I first started out as a young romance reader, pirates and Vikings were two of the most popular hero tropes. Of course, those don’t always stand up well to the test of time, especially with old school romances. So, be sure to approach with caution for those.

That said, my two recommendations for today are more recent publications, so they shouldn’t have too many of the pitfalls that was so prevalent in earlier years of romance. Enjoy!

cover of Pirate's Tempting Stowaway

The Pirate’s Tempting Stowaway by Erica Ridley

A kidnapping on the high seas, close quarters, and desires that refuse to be ignored are just a few of what you can expect from this delightful tale about the unlikely romance between a sea-loving captain and a well-bred lady. I love it whenever the heroine is the pursuer in romances; it gives it that little extra spice for me. So to hear that it is Clara who actively pursues the Captain Blackheart is a nice touch.

cover of Pirates of Aletharia

Pirates of Aletharia by Britney Jackson

Now with this pirate tale we get a dragon sorcerer, Sapphic pirates, enemies-to-lovers, and magic. That sounds like a winning combination all around, so sign me up! I am always an eager reader when the premise is one where the two have revenge on the mind but fate has something else in store for them. Spoiler alert: it’s love. It’s always love.

If you’re a fan of the the amnesia trope in romance, this list is just for you.

Here’s the latest Trope Tuesday from Love’s Sweet Arrow and it’s one of my favorites: the slow burn!

And check out this brief interview from The Ripped Bodice with author Elena Armas.

Plan a first date and get your love language. This was spot on for me so I highly recommend it.

More awards show night looks paired with romance covers.

And that’s all I have for today. I’ll be back on in your inboxes on Thursday with more romance news. In the meantime, you can always give me a follow on Twitter under @PScribe801. Until then happy reading and stay hydrated!

Kissing Books

“Spicy” Stickers, Paranormal Love, and Princesses

Hello and welcome (back) to the Kissing Books newsletter. I’m PN Hinton, your guide through the world of romance. By the time you’re reading this, it will be less than 24 hours to my beach trip. *excited squeal*

I know that beach settings aren’t always ideal for ereaders so I’ve got my paperback version of Love in the Time of Serial Killers all set to go. I also know that I might be too busy with friends to read but it’s always good to have a book packed just in case.

On to the newsletter!

Bookish Goods

picture of spicy stickers

Spicy Sticker Pack by NeverDoAnything

For some reason, the start of Fall always makes me think of stickers. Maybe it’s because I remember my school years of getting new notebooks and binders and thinking of all the various ways to decorate them. Either way, stickers are always fun, especially when you get to proclaim your love of something with it, hence this sticker pack being my pick for today. Prices are either $12 or $24 depending on how many stickers you want.

New Releases

cover of Dearly Departed

Dearly Departed by Heather Novak

Medium and single mom Eliza is determined to do whatever it takes to make life easy for her daughter after losing her fiancé, Ben. This includes undertaking difficult tasks like working with Paris, her ex and the person who played a role in Ben’s death. As the two women work together, sparks reignite but there’s more than just them that’s at stake here; they both know that above all else, they have to be mindful of not just their desires, but the loved ones they’re both protecting.

picture of Shadow's Doubt cover

Shadow’s Doubt by Danni Williams

When vampire Lisa meets wolf shifter Sean, she knows that she has met her mate. Despite the obvious attraction between the two, he is less willing to admit anything is between them and give up control of his life to a vampire. During their search for a kidnapped dragon shifter, an unexpected tragedy occurs. Will Lisa claim Sean to save his life even if means losing their relationship completely?

And don’t forget that for a more comprehensive list of new releases, you can always check out our New Books newsletter!

Riot Recommendations

One thing that broke and divided the Internet last weekend was the trailer from the upcoming live action version of The Little Mermaid that Disney unveiled at the D23 Expo. Now, I’m not sure if y’all remember the absolute chaos that happened a couple of years when it was announced that Halle Bailey was cast as Ariel because she was *gasp* Black.

Miss me *all* the way with that mindset.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again; representation is very important. It’s been accepted for far too long that the default being white, cis-gender, and heterosexual even though that’s never been the case. And, frankly, those of us who don’t fit those boxes are tired of being jammed into them. If someone doesn’t realize why this is a wonderful thing for young Black children to see, it’s because they never had to search for people who looked or were like them in all aspects of media. And that is a privilege that they need to acknowledge, accept, and unpack.

I know I went off on a tangent there but I feel very strongly about this for obvious reasons. Not every piece of media will be for everyone and that’s okay because there’s options. Stop trying to steal people’s joy though because that is wrong. And with that in mind, today’s recommendation are royal reads where the princesses would likely be considered ‘unconventional’ because they don’t fit all the narrow-minded parameters I referenced above.

How to Find a Princess book cove

How to Find a Princess by Alyssa Cole

A long-lost princess, a fake marriage, and just one bed coupled with some high seas calamities? This book has it all and Cole’s notable written wit. Plus that cover is just gorgeous. This has been on my TBR for a bit and I’m planning finally on reading it this year.

cover of Once Upon a Princess

Once Upon a Princess by Clare Lydon & Harper Bliss

Olivia is a princess who actually wants to marry for love, despite the desires of her family for her to make a more political match. Villager Rosie is trying to keep her café, and by extension her dream, alive. When Olivia escapes the palace to get a break, her paths cross with Rosie and the chemistry is instant. But, is there hope for a happily ever after for the women who are from two drastically different worlds?

Take this quiz to find out your perfect Regency suitor.

Awards show fashion matched with romance covers.

Check out some of these steamy romances that feature a bet of sorts.

And that’s all I have for you this week! I’ll be back in your inboxes on Monday with a fresh edition. I likely won’t be posting too much on Twitter this weekend but you never know! You can always give me a follow under @PScribe801. Until next week, happy reading and stay hydrated.

Kissing Books

Short Stories and Forever Love

Hello and welcome (back) to the Kissing Books newsletter. I’m PN Hinton, here to guide you through almost everything related to romance books. I’m especially excited this week, since I have a four-day weekend to look forward to! I’m going with some close friends to the coast and believe me, to say that I need this would be an understatement. There has been a lot of personal things happening and the step away will be nice.

This is our first adult trip sans kiddo since, well, ever and I’m not ashamed to say I’m not excited for that aspect as well. So, I will say that is one of the things bringing me joy right now as well as the prospect of time with close friends.

On my currently reading pile, I am still working through The Dead Romantics and Book Lovers. I also started All Signs Point to Yes, since I am planning on trying to get through some of my short story collections this month.

Bookish Goods

picture of book witch keychain

Book Witch Keychain by CraftyEliseShop

Another sub-genre in romance I am digging now are the witchy romances. I know I’ve mentioned it before but it bears repeating. Due to that and the fact that it would actually be accurate to call me a book witch on some levels, I am digging this cute keychain as a nifty way to show that off. $3.00

New Releases

cover of Melting Her Heart

Melting Her Heart by Cheris Hodges

Winter learns the hard way that fights with friends and over-imbibing are not a good combination for one night after she wakes up in the arms of Remy. This normally wouldn’t be a big deal except Remy is a man she works with at an FBI field office and can’t stand. Remy isn’t so sure about her distaste, especially after that night and is determined to try to break through the barrier she has put up around her heart.

cover of Winning Move

Winning Move by Skye Kilaen

Gina is a divorced woman who much prefers board games over a possible long-term romantic partner. Marek, reeling from his own recent breakup with his long-time boyfriend, ends up coming to the small town she lives in to try to get the car of his dreams and leave just as quickly. When a meet-cute in the form of a vehicular related rescue results in a one-night stand, both think that is enough to scratch the proverbial itch. Except when Marek’s stay is extended and he slowly falls in love with the small town and Gina. She isn’t immune to these feelings, but is left to wonder if she’s ready to take another chance on love.

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

Riot Recommendations

I mentioned earlier that I am trying to get through some of my short story/anthology collections this month, because I’ve actually obtained a lot this year, across multiple genres. Thanks to the Reading Log spreadsheet that is put out by fellow Rioter Tirzah every year, I know that I have purchased exactly five short story collections this year. And I have yet to read one, but I aim to fix that this month.

That said, I actually have a love/hate relationship with these types of collections. When I love them, I really love them. But when I don’t, it’s quite the bitter bill to swallow. Still, these types of collections are a go-to for me if I find I’m in a place where I can’t even focus on something that is the length of a novella. Even if I’m left wanting more, the stories contained in these are just enough to satisfy.

With that in mind, here are the recommendations for this week. Please note that since they are collections, I am just listing the title and not all the involved author’s names.

cover of start here

Start Here: Short Stories of First Encounters

This collection of short stories is all about first romantic encounters between all different types of people. There’s guaranteed to be something for everyone in this collection of 10 stories. The end of each one will leave you with a smile on your face.

picture of Della's House of Style

Della’s House of Style

In this follow up to Rosie’s Curl and Weave, we meet a new group of women who work and patronize a newly christened shop. As with the last one, the store opens the doorway for them to be set up with new romantic opportunities in their lives and finding love when and where they less expected it.

Here are some read-a-likes for fans of Lisa Kleypas.

The most recent Trope Tuesday for Love’s Sweet Arrow was all about secret identities.

Check out these well-loved YA romances that 2022 has brought us so far.

Frolic’s September Book Crush Pick is Angelika Frankenstein Makes Her Match by Sally Thorne.

And that is all I have for you today. I’ll be back on Thursday with a fresh new edition and in the meantime you can find me posting over on Twitter under @PScribe801. Until then, happy reading and stay hydrated.

Kissing Books

Long Weekends, Pet Lovers, and Author Updates

Hello again! Due to the holiday on Monday, it’s been a whole week since we last spoke. If you were fortunate enough to also have a long weekend, I hope that the break was super beneficial and recharging for you.

I spent mine house/dog sitting for some good close friends of mine. It’s always nice to see a different sent of walls and I got some good reading in. Plus, I got plenty of doggo snuggles and love. So, winning all around.

I also got some reading done over the long weekend, including finishing Daisy Darker, which was not what I expected at all but in a good way. I finished Unexpected Goals and started The Dead Romantics.

Bookish Goods

picture of smut mug

Probably Reading Smut Mug by KYTDesigns

A fellow Rioter recently did an article on the word ‘smut’ and how some romance readers are looking to take it back. While I’m honest enough to admit I’m still getting use to using the term in any way, I’m all for taking something that was originally intended to be dismissive and embracing it because that’s a big middle finger to all the haters out there. $14

New Releases

cover of Yours for Now

Yours For Now by J. Nichole

Shay is focused on the success of her beauty salon and taking care of her sick mother. So, she has no time for a relationship, but she is willing to take Avery up on his offer of fulfilling her physical needs. This arrangement is perfect for him as well, since he never got over the loss of the woman that he loved. But does fate, and the well-meaning members of their small community, have a different outcome in mind for them?

cover of Crossing the Pond

Crossing the Pond by Sienna Waters

After a series of undesired changes in her life, fortune finally seems to have smiled on Piper when she inherits a house across the Atlantic. There she meets a whole lot of new and interesting people, including contractor Camilla. When there is an instant attraction between the two ladies, they both have to take a step back to figure out if love is in the cards for them and if they’re willing to take the chance.

And don’t forget that for a more comprehensive list of new releases, you can always check out our New Books newsletter!

Riot Recommendations

Even if I don’t have one of my own, I am big animal lover. There are a few reasons why I don’t have a pet, the main one being that I personally didn’t want to have a pet, feline or canine, in our very tiny apartment. There’s also the fact that the pet deposit where we live shot up to $400, which is a big fat “Yikes” followed by a quick “No thank you.”

When we do get a house, the plan is to get a pet, since I do enjoy the companionship of one. In the meantime, I live vicariously through my friends animals and the ones I read about in books. With that said, here are some books that feature animal lovers and their furry companions.

cover image of The Happily Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez

The Happily Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez

Tucker is just what Sloane needed to help try to get her life back on track after the loss of her fiancé a couple of years earlier. Just when a routine is starting to be set, his previous owner, Jason, who is also a touring musician, reaches out to Sloane wanting his pal back. She’s not willing to give him up and he’s not willing to back down which leads to terse text messages between the two that soon blooms into friendlier ones followed by conversations of a flirty nature. With his career and her past hurts though, will they have a chance at the titular HEA they both want?

cover of Don't Cry For Me

Don’t Cry for Me by Rachel Lacey

When Eve and Josie enter each other’s lives, both women have something that could benefit the other. For Eve, Josie’s recently neglected kitten rescue appears to be the savior for the box of abandoned ones she has just found. For Josie, it’s the hope that Eve’s business makeover show can help revive her late father’s bar, which is the reason for her putting the kitten rescue on the back burner. The attraction is undeniable but is it enough for them to take a chance on that as well as each other’s help?

This is just one of the many reasons Nora Roberts is amazing. Also, if you’re not subscribed to the Check Your Shelf newsletter, be sure to sign up and keep to update on the latest in all library news, good and bad.

Upcoming date night with Alyssa Cole, Brenda Jackson, and Beverly Jekins on September 16th.

Here are some book recommendations for all the Virgos out there.

Check out some of these awesome romances headed our way in the next couple of months.

EW put out a list of their favorite romances from Summer of 2022.

Big cities, big romances.

Here’s the latest Trope Tuesday recs from Love’s Sweet Arrow.

I’m sure we’ve all been on both sides of this situation.

That’s all I have for y’all today. I’ll be back in your inboxes on Monday with a fresh edition. In the meantime, I can be found posting over on Twitter under @PScribe801. Until then, happy reading and stay hydrated!

Kissing Books

Love Abroad, Road Trips, and Second Chances

“Alexa, play September by Earth, Wind, & Fire”.

Yes, I know that the date called out in there is the 21st of this month. And, no I do not care, since I’m still jamming out in my head.

Seriously though, Happy First of September y’all! As mentioned last time, I’m looking forward to the cooler weather and, while it’s not my favorite flavor, I’m happy that my Pumpkin Spice Loving peeps will soon have their fix. This also means that I’m patiently awaiting the Peppermint season.

Now that I’m sure we’re all wanting coffee, let’s get to the rest of the newsletter!

Bookish Goods

picture of trope tote bag

Bookish Tropes Canvas Tote by CloudCandyCastle

I enjoy a good tote bag. And this one is adorable. I love how they matched the pictures with the various tropes perfectly. Plus, when you use this to shop you’re helping cut down on plastic bag usage. Now, that said, do I need anymore tote bags? Probably not. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t want them, especially when they’re this cute. If you’re in that same boat, it starts at $19 in price.

New Releases

cover of Kisses From Paris

Kisses From Paris by Amber Ghe

When studying for a Master Sommelier exam becomes a bit overwhelming, Kane turns to Seven for some tutoring assistance. Seven, unhappy with the way another student bullied Kane, is all to happy to help. As they study together Kane begins to fall for him but is uncertain if he will ever realize or reciprocate her feelings.

cover of Where Love Leads

Where Love Leads by KC Luck

After New York Socialite Melanie finds herself lost and abandoned in LA with absolutely nothing on her, she is rescued by Milo, a woman who is also down on her luck and trying to piece her life back together. The two women embark on a road trip to get Melanie back home and Milo compensated financially for her help. Along the way, the two women find themselves being drawn to each other and feelings being to develop.

Riot Recommendations

You may have noticed an increase of book arrows floating around the various social media platforms. If you’re unaware of what those are, they are graphics used to describe books quickly. Check out this one for J.J. Mavoy’s upcoming release, Aphrodite and the Duke, and this one that Mimi Mathews used back in April for her release of The Belle of Belgrave Square to see how they look.

Now, the main reason that they’re so popular at the moment is due to a dismissive and condescending tweet a user put out regarding Ali Hazelwood’s latest release, Love on the Brain. I believe the phrase used was ‘cringe’ and the post implicated that Ali, and any other who uses this, should be ashamed for it. I’m not linking to the original tweet because I earnestly try not to boost negative posts like that. At the end of the day, it’s just an attention grabber and I refuse to give them that.

Look, I’m all for people having a difference opinions and not enjoying something. But the issue there is that the OP gave off very ableist vibes. Book arrows may not be your cup of tea; but for others, it’s super helpful. Also as the old adage goes, let people like things.

Now, while I can’t do the graphics like that for formatting issues, the recommendations today will be presented in that bullet format style just to give a quick overview of what these books are about.

cover of Unlocked

Unlocked by Courtney Milan

— Second chance romance vibes

— Wallflower stands up for herself

— Childhood enemies to lovers

–There will be groveling

— Never too late for love

cover of First Love, Take Two

First Love, Take Two by Sajni Patel

— Second chance romance

— Also they’re roommates

— All the pining

— Disapproving family members

— He can cook (food is love y’all)

Check out these marriages of conveniences romance novels.

While this list of recommendations isn’t 100% romance novels, the percentage is high enough for me to want to call it out here.

I love the vibes in this TikTok from The Ripped Bodice because, to me, it perfectly captures the feelings of trying to explain something to someone without ‘breaking’ them.

If you’re looking to start reading Nalini Singh, here are some great books to start with.

Click here to find out how your favorite, or least favorite, romance tropes match up with others.

I invite you to feel personally attacked along with me at the accuracy in this Tweet.

And that’s all I have for y’all today. As a quick heads up, there won’t be a newsletter Monday since it is a US and Canadian holiday. So, it will be a week before you hear from me again via this format. That said, you can always give me a follow over on Twitter under @PScribe801. Until we meet again, happy readying and stay hydrated!

Kissing Books

“Dirty” Shelves, “Blind” Marriages, and Meet Cutes

It’s the last week of August which means, that, technically fall is almost here. However, it’s possible that the weather outside will likely stay the same and it will still be hotter than heck outside. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens. That said, I have been appreciative of the rain that has rolled through my neck of the woods recently and hope it comes back for a longer visit.

I’m currently reading Book Lovers, for real this time, as well as Unexpected Goals, and The Unmatchmakers, which is a Kobo exclusive by Jackie Lau. I also picked up Love in the Time of Serial Killers on Tuesday. I intended to get this on Bookstore Romance Day but it was sold out. I’m still counting it for that though since that was the intention. And never mind to that muffled, angry yelling you may be hearing. It’s just my TBR pile and bank account reprimanding me. I’ve learned to tune them out.

Let’s move on to the rest of the newsletter!

Bookish Goods

picture of romance punny t-shirt

“I Dust My Shelves…” T-shirt by WeirdlyBookish

I know this was the pick for this week when I legitimately laughed out loud reading the shirt. Thank goodness I wasn’t drinking anything since I might have choked a bit on it. Again, I love snark in almost everything and this shirt fits that bill. $26+

New Releases

cover of That My Dear is Love

That, My Dear, is Love by Sula Sulivan

Eager to break away from the mundaneness of her day-to-day life, Prairie agrees to marry a man she never met and start a life elsewhere. When she meets her new husband, she realizes that she maybe should have given this more thought and consideration since he’s not at all what she expected. But, that doesn’t mean he’s not the perfect one for her.

picture of Pivot cover

Pivot by Anna Pulley

Hopeful costume designer Paula is having trouble bouncing back from a very humiliating and public experience at a cosplay convention. She ends up meeting journalist Nita, who is going through a difficult season herself, with a nasty divorce. Together, they embark on a series of mad cap adventures and, naturally, fall in love along the way.

And don’t forget that for a more comprehensive list of new releases, you can always check out our New Books newsletter!

Riot Recommendations

There are some books, both inside and outside of romances, where I almost wish I was a fly on the wall when it was pitched. And this is because, in theory, the premise is a bit banana pants. And that’s fine. I’m all for banana pants as long as it’s done well.

That leads to recommendations I have for today. While I’m very open minded with most romance plots (although I do have deal breakers which I’ve talked about before), both of these made my eyebrow quirk a little bit for both the premise and, if I’m being honest, the title. But I also know that they are favorites as well and are a great way to pass a couple of hours.

Also, as fortune would have it, both are romances with a fantasy thread in it. So, if that is your fancy, you’re very much in luck today.

cover of that time I got drunk and saved a demon by kimberly lemming

That Time I Got Drunk and Saved a Demon by Kimberly Lemming

I mean, a majority of the premise is right there in the title. It’s just missing that the main female character gets dragged along on a mission to take down an evil witch after said rescuing. I had heard of this book in passing and was intrigued by the title alone. Then I saw this TikTok that the author put out, got drawn in by her pink hair, and that cemented it for me.

cover of No Getting Ogre You

No Getting Ogre You by M.L. Eliza

I’m not sure anyone ever had ogre romance on their reading bingo card, but here we are. Don’t mistake me, though, since this is still an engaging story. There is something to be sad about a sweet, albeit large, green guy who is super sweet and understands consent. Because we all know how important that is in real life and in fiction. It’s also a novella, so it’s something that can be knocked out in a couple of hours.

Read about Ali Hazelwood chatting up her latest release, Love on the Brain in this interview. If you’re interested the book was released last week.

There are two upcoming chances to see author Danielle Jackson speak. One is on August 30th, where she’ll be discussing her recent release, The Accidental Pinup. And then in early-ish September, she’ll be chatting up Elena Armas to discuss her newest release, The American Roommate Experiment.

Build a sweet charcuterie board and get the first initial of your soul mate.

I actually haven’t seen It Follows but same my friend…same.

And that’s all I have for y’all today. I’ll be back on Thursday, which will also be the first day of September, with another fresh newsletter for you. In the meantime, you can find me occasionally posting over on Twitter under @PScribe801. Until then, happy readying and stay hydrated!