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Kissing Books

Oh So Sweet Romances

Hello and welcome back! It’s me, PN back again with a fresh newsletter. I hope that today finds you well and rested. I went to a funnel cake food truck over the weekend, and it was delightful. However, it was also hot out, which means I’m slowly coming down from a sugar rush, being slightly overheated, and then a cool shower. All in all, it’s not too bad.

In reading news, I’m reading Payback’s a Witch, Ice Cream Lover, and an eARC of The Romance Recipe. I also realized that all three of these books have bisexual representation in them, which has never happened to me before. I mean, I’m okay with it of course and it made my heart super happy when the realization sunk in.

Bookish Goods

Romance Trope T-shirt Purple

Romance Trope T-Shirt

This adorable T-shirt displays some of Romancelandia’s best known and loved tropes on candy hearts. It comes in a variety of colors, so it’s highly likely that you will be able to find one that matches your personality. $25+

New Releases

cover of Can't Hide Love

Can’t Hide Love by Cheris Hodges

When she takes a much needed cruise vacation, Alexandria decides to shed her mantle of being the responsible sister and engages in an affair with a sexy stranger. When she returns to her family’s B&B, refreshed and ready to return to her normal form, she is surprised to find that the architect that they hired for renovations is none other than Wesley, the man she had a fling with. Wesley has seen a side of her that none else has and is determined to coax it out of her while he works, and show her that their connection can last more than a week.

cover of Queen of Love

Queen of Love by Cynthia Dane & Hildred Billings

Tired of all the heartbreak life has thrown at her, Genevieve decides to focus on her work and sets out to purchase one of the oldest lesbian bars in Shinjuku. Aya turns out to be the right real estate agent for this task as well as a candidate for Genevieve’s next love affair. Although the latter is hesitant due to previous experiences, the former is determined to show her that she is interested in more than just a fling with her.

Be sure to subscribe to the New Books newsletter for a longer list of new releases.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

Riot Recommendations

The deliciousness of the Tuxedo Funnel Cake I had over last weekend had me thinking of sweets in romance novels. Even if I never plan on making the food described, I always love reading about them. That lead me to my recommendations for today which both involve bakers. You’ll notice they both feature the same family, although they have different authors, from the now closed Harlequin Kimani series. So, we can still celebrate Harlequin’s anniversary with some foodie related romances.

Cover of Delectable Desire

Delectable Desire by Farrah Rochon

Artisan baker Carter is struck when the beautiful Lorraine walks into his family’s bakery and yearns to have her. However, Lorraine is an heiress to a jewelry dynasty and used to men going after her purely for her bank account, so it will take more than a little persuasion for her to believe Carter’s intentions are pure. I’m never dissatisfied with Farrah’s writing and this book is the perfect fulfillment for a sweet tooth and sweet romance craving.

cover of Love and a Latte

Love and a Latte by Jamie Pope

Chase is tasked with getting the West Coast branch of his family’s bakery up and running. He has no time for any type of distraction, especially not from Amber, the barista there. Amber is equally as determined to not get involved in a workplace affair but, as always, fate has other plans. I love a good dessert and coffee match-up so reading about two characters who feel the same way warms my heart.

The Romance for Reproductive Justice ran from May 21st to the 23rd and raised $46,350.50, which was 115.9% of the overall goal.

Click here for a chance to win some new Fantasy Romances.

May 19th was the late Nora Ephron’s birthday, someone who is renowned for her work in rom-coms. What better way to honor her memory than by picking up one of these books that are reminiscent of her movies?

Despite the rising temps, it’s technically still spring. So, if you’re looking for a way to beat the heat by staying indoors, check out some of these fun spring romances.

We’re fast approaching Pride Month, and if you’re one who loves reading challenges, check out this Bingo card and play along.

And that’s all I have for y’all today. I’ll be back on Monday with a fresh newsletter. If you need a bit more of me over the weekend, I can be followed on Twitter under @PScribe801. Have fun and stay hydrated.

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Kissing Books

Fake Dating, Real Romance

Greetings and Salutations once more! It’s PN, back with a fresh edition of the Kissing Books newsletter. I hope that this Monday finds you refreshed and recharged after a weekend of reading. Also happy 75th anniversary Harlequin! Thanks for being a consistent presence in Romancelandia for that long. Check out some of the books they will be releasing this week below!

Bookish Goods

picture angsty book lover keychain

Angsty Romance Book Lover Keychain

This is a keychain that could be read one of two ways. Either you’re a lover of angsty romance books specifically or you’re angsty in general but still love romance novels as well. Either way, it’s a wonderful addition to any set of keys. $9

New Releases

cover of Bloom Where You're Planted

Bloom Where You’re Planted by Darby Baham

Jennifer feels invisible, a feeling that is becoming more enhanced as friends in her life are moving on to the next stages in their lives. To help herself get out of this funk, she decides to start therapy. While her boyfriend Nick is supportive of her finding herself, he does worry that as she discovers more about herself, she’ll leave him and their relationship behind. Will these two be able to learn and grow together? Or is this the end of their journey?

cover of Boyfriend Lessons

Boyfriend Lessons by Sophia Singh Sasson

Eager to step away from the shadows into the light, wallflower Caitlyn enlists the help of her close friend Dev in what she calls “boyfriend lessons.” When it becomes clear the chemistry between them is far more developed than either thought, will they take a chance at a happily ever or will interfering parents block this happy match?

Be sure to subscribe to the News Books newsletter for even more new releases.

Riot Recommendations

Today’s recommendations is brought to you by the “Fake Dating” trope, which I discovered in the last year that I am a huge fan of. There’s something about the line between fake and real feelings blurring until neither party can deny it that just makes my heart sing.

cover of First Comes Like

First Comes Like by Alisha Rai

I loved meeting Jia in Wrong To Need You, so I was very happy to hear that she was going to get her own story. And I was very satisfied with this story over all. What’s not to love? A Bollywood star, a catfish scheme, and a seemingly compromising position being caught by the paparazzi? All that leads to a fake dating situation, a quick marriage, and then a wonderful stroll into a happily ever after.

the cover of D’Vaughn and Kris Plan a Wedding

D’Vaughn and Kris Plan a Wedding by Chencia C. Higgins

I just finished this book and I legit let out a happy sigh at the last word. I loved everything about this book, from the family members, to the challenges of the reality show, and of course the relationship between the two titular characters. What I really appreciated is that there was no third act break-up here and the biggest challenge these women faced was their own self-doubts. But this was easily and healthily resolved and the steam factor was *chef’s kiss*.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

Here is a list of fifteen books, some of them romances, that center around queer joy.

It’s still AAPI Heritage Month While you should read diversely all year, if you’re looking to make a concentrated effort this month, here are a few more books for your consideration.

It’s also Jewish Heritage Month and if you want to celebrate with some romances by Jewish authors, check out this list.

Here is another list of “Romance Books as Indian Couture” by the always wonderful Nick from The Infinite Limits of Love blog.

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

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Kissing Books

Meet Cutes and Second Chances

Hello again and welcome back. It’s me PN, your wonderful guide through the world of romance. We’re almost halfway through May which means it’s almost summer time! Even though I don’t get the summer months off like the kiddos do, I’m still looking forward to them. I hope that you have some adventures to look forward to as well, especially given the last couple of years. We could all use the reprieve.

Bookish Goods

picture of Enemies to Lovers candle

Enemies to Lovers Candle

A candle after my own heart! Or rather, one of my favorite tropes. Candles are always a welcome addition to setting the mood when curling up to read for an extended period of time. $5.00 and up.

New Releases

cover of The Love Connection

The Love Connection by Denise Williams

Ollie likes taking chances, such as with her business running a pet grooming salon that is housed in an airport. One thing she is cautious with is her heart; so, when her paths cross with handsome Bennett, she is determined to keep it that way. Bennett is a risk assessor by day and a romance writer by night, so he views their introduction of him returning a slippery dog to her as the ultimate meet cute. Will they both throw caution to the wind and give love a chance or keep each other’s at arm’s length?

cover of Castleton Box Set

Castleton Hearts Boxed Set by Chelsea M. Cameron

This box collection includes three Sapphic stories about three different women who find themselves unexpectedly falling in love in different situations and scenarios with someone they didn’t expect to develop feelings for.

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

Riot Recommendations

There’s something inspiring about second chance romances. I realize that most people may think “Oh there’s a reason you left them,” which is true. But sometimes the reason is because you weren’t ready to settle down or the person you were destined to be. Whatever the reason, here are some second chance romances for y’all to enjoy.

cover of I'm So (Not) Over You by Kosoko Jackson

I’m So (Not) Over You by Kosoko Jackson

This is an interesting one since it pairs up the fake dating trope with the second chance one. When Hudson approaches Kian asking him to pretend to still be together for his family, Kian refuses at first but then agrees when Hudson offers him the chance to kickstart his career. What I like about this one is that it’s clear there are still unresolved issues there and they don’t gloss over that. In fact, they fight about it a lot but still manage to work through it. It really shows that communication is necessary in any relationship.

cover of Been There Done That

Been There Done That by Hope Ellis

Zora and Nick are high school sweethearts whose romance ended when he broke her heart. When they meet years later, the sparks are still there although Zora is not willing to walk down memory lane even though Nick still loves her. Will he be able to convince her that he has changed for the better and is ready to settle down with her so they can start their happily ever after back up?

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

Here are some book recommendations for Taurus season.

Check out these twelve candidates for a your beach reading pleasure.

If you’re looking for some fun M/M summer romances, this list has you covered.

It’s been officially announced that the next season of Bridgerton will focus on Colin and Penelope.

If you’re like for some Black romances featuring plus-size women, you may find what you’re looking for in either Part One and/or Part Two of these lists.

And that’s all I have for you today. Here’s to a restful and relaxing weekend for us all. Be sure to stay hydrated if you go into the out. If you’re so inclined, you can give me a follow over on Twitter under @PScribe801. Happy reading!

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Kissing Books

Loving in the Wild Wild West

Hello all and welcome to the new format for Kissing Books newsletter! If you’re a subscriber to our other newsletters, which you should be because they’re all awesome, you may already have experience with this format. No worries though; you’ll still get recommendations, new releases, and romance tidbits in each edition. It will just look a little bit different.

Bookish Goods

HEA or GTFO water Bottle

HEA or GTFO Water Bottle

We’ve already been experiencing triple-digit weekends in my area of the country and it’s not even June y’all! So, hydration will be especially important this summer. This a great option for keeping your water nice and cool as you sit outside, hopefully slathered in sunscreen and in the shade, and read. As an added bonus, it also lists some of the more popular tropes on the other side! $25

New Releases

cover of Her Pretend Fiancee

Her Pretend Fiancée by Alexa Woods

All her life, all Kayla has wanted is to be able to use her father’s last name. But, as his secret second family, she and her mother are relegated to the shadows. That is until her dad approaches her with the promise of what she wants in addition to shares in his business provided she can prevent Adalena, daughter of a business rival, from getting married. She agrees, not knowing that Adalena is looking for a way to get out of engagement for her own reasons. When the two women meet, sparks fly at the undeniable attraction. Will they end up banding together to spite both of their fathers and have a chance and their own happily family together?

cover of The Emma Project

The Emma Project by Sonali Dev

As part of the Raje family, Vansh has led quite the charmed life without ever really facing any challenges. Meanwhile, Naina has just ended a ten-year-long fake relationship with his brother and wants nothing more than to get away from this family and help bring economic independence to the women of South Asia. Just when it seems things may work out for Naina, Vansh shows up and threatens her funding. As they battle that out, they also end up starting a friends-with-benefits relationship, making her wonder if she really is done with the Raje family after all.

Be sure to subscribe to the News Books newsletter for other new releases!

Riot Recommendations

cover of Night Hawk

Night Hawk by Beverly Jenkins

I am never disappointed with a Beverly Jenkins and I love the cowboy vibes in this one, so I had just had to recommend it. I loved the banter between Ian and Maggie and laughed out loud numerous times when reading this book. It is also a standalone so you don’t have to worry about starting a series in the middle.

cover of A Man to Call My Own

A Man To Call My Own by Johanna Lindsey

Okay, I’ll be the first to admit this is a slightly banana pants plot but I love it. It has an explosive beginning, the mistaken identity/twin trope, and an ending I don’t think anyone expected. Also, while I do love books with a healthy sisterly relationship, I appreciate how honest this was about how volatile and violent they can sometimes be. This is also a standalone novel for those who may not like starting in the middle of a series.

And that’s it for today! I’ll see y’all Thursday with a fresh new edition. In the meantime, you can give me a follow over on Twitter where I post as @PScribe801. Until then.

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Kissing Books

Falling In Love Behind The Screen

Hey y’all, welcome to the Kissing Books newsletter. I hope your spirit is doing well today. I’m PN Hinton, your guide through the roller coaster of a ride that the world of romance can be. If this is your first time reading this newsletter, I’m glad that you’re here. If you’re a regular reader, welcome back; it’s always good to see you.

Book Riot Romance

Here’s a round-up from Jess on some of the romances we can look forward to coming our way in May.

And here’s this piece I put together on some feel good queer YA rom-coms that are out there.

Around the Web in Romance

A good portion of the books listed here are romances or have a heavy romantic element and I know that we could also use something to lift our spirits so I’m sharing the sunshine.

This week’s Trope Tuesday from Love’s Sweet Arrow was a challenge indeed with Cheating and Infidelity with an HEA.

For Heartstopper fans, here are some of the cutest moments from the first season.

I felt the same way! The baby goat is a large part of why I picked this book up.

If you love doctors in love, check this list out.

Pick a Bridgerton character and get a book recommendation.

Not book related, but The Lost City is now available for streaming at Paramount+ for those who may have missed it in the theaters for whatever reason.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

Recommendations

This last weekend while scrolling Netflix to pick something to watch, You’ve Got Mail popped up as an option. When my spouse mentioned he liked that movie, I replied that I had never seen it. He was a bit shocked, which in his defense is fair considering all the other romantic comedies I’ve seen, and promptly started it up.  

And overall, I enjoyed it. I can see where people have issues with it, but in my opinion, the active deception was barely a quarter of the movie. Sure, Joe figured it out early on but he didn’t start trying to make his online persona seem like a bad guy until almost the end. Which isn’t to say I begrudge people for having their issues with it but it is something that I could see myself watching again.

Stil, this pattern of falling in love behind words only is a pattern that has been in romances for quite some time and I can understand the appeal. It takes the “love is blind” concept and puts it to the test because it means that you are getting to know the actual person before you see them. True, people can still lie behind the screen, but there is something about someone who knows nothing about you but the handle you choose that makes you a little bit more honest.  Not always, but for the sake of this list we’ll go with that. 

And, while attraction is still a factor in any romantic relationship, it’s still a nice concept of falling in love with someone based on words alone. That leads me to my recommendations for today which are books that are similar to this movie. 

cover of Hana Khan Carries On

Hana Khan Carries On by Uzma Jalaluddin

As any good daughter would, Hana works part-time at her mother’s halal restaurant, Three Sisters Biryani Poutine, but secretly yearns for a career in radio and is also working to outshine her fellow interns at the local radio station. She also hosts a podcast and builds a relationship with one of her listeners. When a new and more upscale halal restaurant opens its doors in her city, Hana finds herself drawn to Aydin who is the young owner of said eatery, which is now her family’s rival. As they interact more she realizes that they may not be complete strangers to each other after all.

Cover of Read Between the Lines

Read Between the Lines by Rachel Lacey

Thanks to her mother owning a bookstore, Rosie has loved books since childhood. And, since becoming the owner of the store after her mother’s passing, this love has only grown. So she’s heartbroken when she receives a letter from her property management telling her they will not be renewing her lease. She begs the company to reconsider and invites them to the upcoming book club. Against her better judgment, Jane accepts the invite and attends only to have the meeting end in disaster when Rosie realizes that Jane is the one who actually signed the letter. What further complicates this situation is that both women have been keeping up an online correspondence, with Jane using the pen name Brie under which she writes lesbian romance. What will happen when secret identities get revealed and both women have to reconcile with the fact that this may not be an event they can stop from happening?

cover of Ghosting

Ghosting by Tash Skilton

Differing challenges have led both Miles and Zoey to wind up in a competition for space at Cafe Crudite, where they both try to make a living ghostwriting dating profiles for rival online dating services. Then, one night, they ‘meet’ online while pretending to be the clients and the sparks begin to fly. As they get closer online, their clients experience a dating disaster off the screen, which leads to even more complications. Once all this comes to light, will they allow the spark that ignited online to catch flame or sizzle into ashes?


And that’s all I have for you today. I’ll be back on Monday with another newsletter which, as a heads up, will look a little bit different than it has in the past. No worries though, you’ll still get all the goods. In the meantime, while you wait to see what Monday has in store, I can be found posting on Twitter under @PScribe801. Until then!

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Kissing Books

Take a Breath

Hey y’all, welcome to the Kissing Books newsletter. I hope your spirit is doing well today. I’m PN Hinton, your guide through the roller coaster of a ride that the world of romance can be. If this is your first time reading this newsletter, I’m glad that you’re here. If you’re a regular reader, welcome back; it’s always good to see you.

Happy belated Mother’s Day to those who celebrate. I know that it can be a bittersweet day for some, like myself, for multiple reasons. Regardless of whether or not you observed it, I hope that whatever you did was what was needed for you to recharge your batteries. 

In things bringing me joy, there’s a TikTok user who uploads what he calls “mature” thirst traps. Now, before you go wondering what I’m linking you to, by “mature,” he means what most women would likely find sexy if their partner did. Just click on this one which is a personal favorite at the moment cause yo, NGL…that is sexy as hell. 

In today’s edition of what I’m currently reading, I started The Donut Trap and D’Vaughn and Kris Plan A Wedding. I also got The Hacienda from Book of the Month, and started that for a Gothic fix. 

Reading Reflection:

Let’s be honest about something: we are not okay. And by “we,” I mean the the world as a whole is not okay, especially here in the United States. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. Recently, there was a “leak” that said that SCOTUS was trying to have Roe vs. Wade overturned. Mind you, this is a country where people still throw adult sized temper tantrums when asked to wear a mask. So, to say it’s disheartening is an understatement. Like, someone needs to come up with a new word to sufficiently and succinctly describe how devastating this is. 

And miss me all the freakin’ way with “The issue is the leak itself.” No…not it’s not. That’s someone trying to divert your attention from the dystopic hellscape overturning this would create.

Sometimes it’s hard to see any positivity in situations because honestly, like here, there are none. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t look to things that do bring us joy. As usual for when the proverbial poop hits the fan,  Romancelandia came through with this thread where people shared their favorite scene, lines, and moments from romance novels and movies. And I gotta say, it was very awesome, inspiring, and uplifting to see. 

These moments ranged within the medium and high spice level, which I loved. People’s responses showed how a scene that you may have given a passing glance to is one that someone else held close to them and what they recall whenever they need a serotonin boost. It just shows that romance is really for everyone, and I love that for us. It just feels like the sunshine is overthrowing the dark clouds a bit. 

Oh and for what it’s worth, I had a scene that immediately came to mind. It was from A Prince on Paper where Johan tells Nya, “If debauchery was what you wanted from me? I would do it. Thoroughly.” 

*fans self* I damn near melted.

Be sure to give that thread a read and even comment your own if so inclined. Keep that line of positivity alive.

Around the Web in Romance:

Check out this interview with Susie Dumond about her debut Queerly Beloved.

Ms. Bev shared this photo of Arabesque’s original line-up of authors and wow….the feels. And that’s just from being an outsider who started reading romances around that time; imagine being one of the pioneers pictured here. I will admit it is sad that some of these talented wordsmiths may have stepped away from the keyboard, but still, it’s a powerful picture.

Frolic’s latest book crush pick has been announced and it’s The Stand In by Lily Chu! This was originally released as an Audible Original narrated by Phillipa Soo (aka Eliza Hamilton), but it is now available in physical form as well.

Love’s Sweet Arrow’s Trope Tuesday this week was ‘Marriages in Trouble’. Give it a peek and get some recs.

I snorted at this and, like the commenter that mentioned it, I appreciate that they had to install GPS tracking on it since I am sure it kept getting stolen.

There’s an unofficial Bridgerton ball happening in Melbourne and, even with the ticket price, I’m a wee bit jealous. 

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

New Releases:

Here are a handful of new releases that will be hitting the shelves this week. As per the new normal though, some of these may be delayed, both physically and digitally, for various reasons.

Raised by Wolves by Christina C. Jones (5/6)

Burn by Aarti V. Raman (5/7) *

Out of the Ashes by Jenn Burke (5/10) 

Set on You by Amy Lea (5/10)

His Curvy Genius by Mary E. Thompson (5/10)

Risky Business of Love by Yahrah St. John (5/10)

Writer’s Block by Ali Vail (5/10) 

Love at First Stake by Mila Nicks (5/13)

*Author’s note says this does end on a cliffhanger


And that’s all I have for you today. I’ll be back on Thursday with a fresh newsletter for you. In the meantime, you can always give me a follow over on Twitter under @PScribe801. Until then!

Categories
Kissing Books

Happy AAPI Heritage Month

Hey y’all, welcome to the Kissing Books newsletter. I hope your spirit is doing well today. I’m PN Hinton, your guide through the roller coaster of a ride that the world of romance can be. If this is your first time reading this newsletter, I’m glad that you’re here. If you’re a regular reader, welcome back; it’s always good to see you.

Last Saturday, I celebrated Independent Bookstore Day by checking out Black Pearl Books for the first time. And believe me, it won’t be the last time. I walked in and immediately felt relaxed. The space was open, warm, and inviting. The owners were friendly and it had a nice variety of books to choose from. They also had merchandise that I will need to go back and get some so I can promote them as I’m out and about since we all know how important it is to boost these types of bookstores so they can flourish. 

And of course I did snag a few books, including Savvy Sheldon Feels Good As Hell Taj McCoy for the romance pick. I can’t wait to get to it. 

Book Riot Romance:

Check out the latest episode of When in Romance, where Jess and Trisha discuss what they’re currently reading, give backlist recommendations, and discuss their opinion on the Tessa Bailey cover scandal as well as the history of romance novel covers. 

I don’t know about y’all, but bookish romances are the bee’s knees for me.

I adored this piece on why it was important to have fat men in romance novels too.

Around the Web in Romance:

It’s AAPI Heritage Month and prolific author Jackie Lau put together this list of books by Asian authors that are available for a good price for those who may also book buy on a budget.

Here are some of the Spring romances that we have to look forward to. Please note that the Tessa Bailey cover, for better or worse, has been changed.

If you’re specifically looking for some M/M Spring romances, here’s some more books for your reading consideration.

It’s always a good time to recommend a good historical romance.

Check out this interview with Golda Rosheuvel, aka Queen Charlotte, on being told to not come out and essentially saying eff off. I already admired her, and this just solidified that.

If you’re a fan of house renovations, flipping, or the like, then you may find happiness with some of the books listed here.

Check out these sexual tension situations and find out where you stand with others in terms of the heat level. 

And finally, I couldn’t help but share this after Monday’s newsletter since it made me laugh out loud…hard. There may have even been snorting.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

Recommendations:

As mentioned earlier, May is AAPI Heritage Month! While I endeavor to read diversely all year around, I will admit to making a concentrated effort when it comes to awareness or history months. It can get very boring to only read about one specific type of person and reading about other cultures, even if genre fiction, can be illuminating on multiple levels. 

So, with that in mind, my recommendations for this week are books selected to highlight AAPI authors. I’m also planning on picking up the first one listed here once I finish one of my currently reading books since my reading rules for me this year are no more than 3 books at once.

Please also note that I am recommending these books for the authors themselves and that the books listed here may not necessarily feature AAPI characters.

cover of the donut trap

The Donut Trap by Juliet Tieu

After graduating college and having no job prospects, Jasmine returns home to work in her family’s donut shop. When a rent increase threatens the future of her family business, she turns to Alex, her old college crush, for help. Sparks fly and there seems to be hope of a future romance until a disastrous dinner date shatters preconceptions and puts both sets of parents against the match. Will Julie be able to pull it all together to save her family business and the hope of a future with Alex?

Cover of The Singles Table

The Singles Table by Sara Desai

After a terrible break-up, Zara makes a new rule to only be the matchmaker and not the matched. One wedding, she is sat at the same table as Jay, and they strike up a bargain; if he introduces her to his celebrity clients, she will find him his perfect match. However, as the spend the wedding season together, they begin to wonder if they’re avoiding the happily ever after staring them in the face.

cover of The One in My Heart

The One in My Heart by Sherry Thomas

What was supposed to be a one-night stand turns into a six-month fake engagement when Eva’s sexy doctor neighbor makes her an offer she can’t refuse. As she goes along with the arrangement, she wonders if she will be able to stop herself from falling in love with a man who, once the contract has expired, is likely to leave without so much as a backwards glance — or is she signing up for an extended stay at the Heartbreak Hotel?


And that’s all I have for you today. I’ll be back Monday with a fresh newsletter. In the meantime, I can be found posting on Twitter under @Pscribe801. Have a great weekend and happy reading until then. 

Categories
Kissing Books

Help Make Better Expectations

Hey y’all, welcome to the Kissing Books newsletter. I hope your spirit is doing well today. I’m PN Hinton, your guide through the roller coaster of a ride that the world of romance can be. If this is your first time reading this newsletter, I’m glad that you’re here. If you’re a regular reader, welcome back; it’s always good to see you. 

I can’t believe it’s already May. I’m sure by now we’ve all been inundated with all the Justin Timberlake memes floating around, notifying us of what month it was going to be. Seriously, who knew that one line in a song from 22 years ago (yes it’s been that long, suffer with me) would have such lasting power? I have to say though that every time I see a variation of this meme, I immediately think of him making this face and I laugh even harder. 

Romance Reflection

I saw a tweet the other day that tickled a memory for me from way back when I was just diving into the world of romance. One day in French class after my work was done, I was reading a book. The teacher noticed me reading and when she saw what it was gave a sad little sigh. When I asked why, she replied that it was going to give me unrealistic expectations. 

This is a common argument against the romance genre. And, as much as it pains me to admit it, on some levels I get it. 

Hear me out before you get the pitchforks.

Based on what I read in early romance novels, I was somewhat terrified of having sex for the first time. Between the descriptions of the pain, the blood, and everything else…it was unsettling to say the least. Even more so when you factor in that in most of those same books, consent was not a thing and the male main character barely cared for her pleasure. 

Now, while I’m fairly confident that this wasn’t what the naysayers had in mind when they warned against unrealistic expectations, it is one of ones that I had. And it’s not a great one to have if you’re someone who wants to actually engage in intercourse. While there are selfish lovers out there, not everyone is that way. And, yes, the first time isn’t always pleasant; but it isn’t always as traumatic as those old school novels would have us believe. 

And honestly? This fear is something that can be avoided by implementing comprehensive sexual education in our schools. That way, everyone knows what to expect their first time and how to prepare for it. This would mean the removal of abstinence-only teaching, which is utter nonsense and no one can convince me otherwise. It is entirely possible to be in love with someone and be sexually incompatible with them. That kind of thinking could leave someone signing up for a lifetime of disappointing sex, which is just not fair. 

So, thanks romance haters; you inadvertently just came up with a great reason we should throw out abstinence-only teaching and focus on healthy sexual education. 

Around the Web in Romance

There’s a new all-romance bookstore for our purchasing pleasures now! It’s the Happily Ever After Bookstore and, while purchases are only available online currently, stores should be popping up around Toronto soon. 

Here’s an engaging interview with Sonya Singh on what prompted her to write Sari, Not Sari.

Take this quiz to find your Marvel crush, ex, and soulmate. I got Bucky, Natasha, and Sam respectively and I am a-okay with it.

Here are some more small town romances for your reading pleasure.

New Releases

Here are some of the new releases slated for release this week. That is of course barring any shipping delays or other forms of the various shenanigans that have been hitting the world as a whole lately.

Succession by B. Love (5/3)

One Chance Only by Elysabeth Grace (5/3)

Gaga Crazy by Camaa pearl (5/3)

A Bennett Wedding by Rhonda McKnight (5/3)

Singing With the Devil by Cassandra Rose Clark (5/3) 

Under One Roof by Ali Hazelwood (5/3) 

Rose and Wicked by Rebel Carter (5/3)

Still Loving You by Jay Quin (5/3)

Dark Savior by Melissa Combs  (5/3)

Queerly Beloved by Susie Dumond (5/3)*

By the Book by Jasmine Guillory (5/3)

The Duet by Harper Bliss (5/4)

Count On You by Sienna Waters (5/5) 

Everything About You by Jenna St. James (5/7) 

*Book Riot Contributor


And that’s all I have for you today. I hope that your Monday started off on the right foot and even if it was a bit more of a challenge, here’s to the hope that it was the worst day you have this week. I’ll be back on Thursday with a fresh new edition and if you want a little bit more of me in the meantime, I can be found posting on Twitter under @PScribe801. Until then!

Categories
Kissing Books

Women Can Be Prickly And Lovable Too

Hey y’all, welcome to the Kissing Books newsletter. I hope your spirit is doing well today. I’m PN Hinton, your guide through the roller coaster of a ride that the world of romance can be. If this is your first time reading this newsletter, I’m glad that you’re here. If you’re a regular reader, welcome back; it’s always good to see you. 

Monday was a challenging day for me. I lost power mid-morning and didn’t get it back until mid-afternoon, which meant I couldn’t do anything at all but sweat in the darkness. The perk of the day was the installation of my new dishwasher, even with the lack of light.

In things bringing me joy, since ‘lort’ knows I could use the boost, I recently discovered the game Spiritfarer and am thoroughly enjoying it. On Saturday night, I spent at least four hours just playing it and only stopped when I got the low battery warning.

Romance Reflection

Today’s reflection is brought to you by this tweet that I saw the other day. While I will agree that unrealistic expectations are put on women and their personalities, even in romances (more on that later), I have to disagree with the first sentence.

Real talk; a man can be too much of an arsehole for me to root for their HEA. I have DNFed romance books because I couldn’t stand the hero and their arsehole tendencies. I avoid entire sub-genres since that is exactly what the heroes are like. Hell, I will even skip books in a series if the hero is someone who previously was a jerk. I tried this with one series and it was a grudge read at best. I shan’t make that mistake again. 

There is also a huge difference between being grumpy and being an arsehole. Typically, with grumpy people, there is a reason for it. And, while your baggage shouldn’t be anyone else’s problem, it makes sense if someone is closed off because of it. When someone in a romance novel is an arsehole, they typically tend to be one just because they can.

Give me a grump or a cinnamon roll but an arsehole is always a pass for me.

Book Riot Romance

Jessica is out there paving the way for would-be Resident Romance Librarians everywhere!

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

Around the Web in Romance

Here is the cover reveal for Priscila Oliveras’ November release.

Small towns, big romances!

Take this quiz to see if you can match the wedding dress with the rom-com.

Recommendations

Following up on the previous expectation, it really does bother me that a lot of readers out there feel a woman who has to Pollyanna in order to be ‘worthy’ of love. It’s really fracking annoying to say the least. This is even further compounded when you factor in that a lot of readers who feel this way are the same people who cry that romance is for women only. So one would think that there wouldn’t be unrealistic expectations about how a woman should act in those novels. 

Make it make sense. 

I feel that women have the deck stacked more against them, by far. And no one can change my mind on that. So, it logically follows for them to be grumpy every now and then. Between the expectations that our world, work, family, and friends have of us all at the same time? Hell, sometimes I wonder why we’re not all more grumpy to be honest with you. 

All of this is to say that if arseholes can get an HEA, then prickly females can too. Fair is fair after all. So, with that in mind, I’m going to highlight romances where the heroine would be considered the grumpy one or prickly. 

cover of the trouble with hating you

The Trouble with Hating You by Sajni Patel

Liya is happy with her life as a single biochemical engineer. So much so that when she goes to dinner at her parents and finds they have used it as a set-up attempt, she escapes out the back door. Imagine her surprise when the guy turns out to be Jay, the lawyer hired to save her company. Will their unsuccessful beginning allow for them to work together on this endeavor and maybe even find love along the way?

cover of Man vs. Durian by Jackie Lau

Man vs Durian by Jackie Lau

Peter and Valerie have an interesting first encounter when they run into each other and she spills her durian ice cream all over him, a fruit that he detests. Soon after this meet cute, Valerie asks Peter to pretend to be her fake boyfriend to get her family off her back about getting back into the dating world. Intrigued by her, even her fondness for durian, Peter agrees. Slowly he begins to learn more about Valerie and why she is the way she is, and works to move his boyfriend status from ‘fake’ to ‘real’. 

cover of mangos and mistletoes

Mangos and Mistletoes by Adriana Herrera

Kiskeya leaves her home of the Dominican Republic to travel to Scotland, determined to win the Holiday Baking Challenge. She will not let anyone, not even attractive teammate Sully, deter her. Sully comes to the challenge to find her purpose after caring for others for years. She is equally as determined to show Kiskeya that they make partners both in baking and in love, before outside forces threaten the futures in both fields.


And that is all I have for you today. I’ll be back on Monday, where I’ll hopefully keep power all day, with a fresh new edition. In the meantime, I can be found posting on Twitter under @PScribe801 random, and usually bookish related, things. Have a great weekend, full of reading and relaxation.

Categories
Kissing Books

Think Before You Post

Hey y’all, welcome to the Kissing Books newsletter. I hope your spirit is doing well today. I’m PN Hinton, your guide through the roller coaster of a ride that the world of romance can be. If this is your first time reading this newsletter, I’m glad that you’re here. If you’re a regular reader, welcome back; it’s always good to see you. 

I don’t know about y’all but my allergies have been beating me up over the last week. It has not been a fun experience overall. I mean, on the positive side I don’t have to suffer in an office around people since I’m WFH. But on the other hand, I still have to deal with it. 

One thing currently bringing me joy is Lady Grey tea. In the past, I haven’t been a regular tea drinker but I’ve since discovered this and it brings me joy. On days where my stomach can’t handle coffee for one reason or another, this is my go to beverage to still start my day off with a dose of caffeine.

Romance Reflection:

So there was quite a scuffle over in the Romance wing of Instagram and Twitter late last week over the comparison of two similar covers and well…it was wild y’all. Here is a tweet from Nick where you can see the two different covers in question.

Are they similar? Yes. Are they carbon copies? Not even. Should any artist be able to claim they created the clinch cover? *laughs in over 50 years of romance novel covers* 

I won’t lie. It’s giving off very “I’m going to copyright the word ‘cocky’ vibes.”  And trust, that is a camp that one does not want to find themselves in.

Now, I’m not here to debate which cover is superior or prettier. As with any form of art, it comes down to a preference. The issue here is that people really need to stop trying to copyright and claim something that is part of an entire genre as solely theirs. I know I was being snide above but we all know what ‘cocky-gate’ was. Recently, there was another issue with someone trying to claim they created the three act structure. When it has been part of storytelling for, like, EVER. And now this. It’s exhausting. 

This tale of two covers is not anywhere close to being copyright infringement. They are artists using what has been an available clinch pose and part of the genre literally for years. There’s bound to be overlap in some areas but it’s just that. It’s one thing if you were to write a book about a family called the Archertons who consist of eight siblings named in an backwards alphabetical order starting from Z whose comings and goings are written about by Madame Sirenup. Yeah, that’s copyright infringement and you’re gonna be held accountable for that. 

But artists using various poses of clinch covers that have practically been around since the inception of romance novels? Absolutely not.

Pick a different struggle, cause this ain’t it. 

And in a move that surprised absolutely no one, the cover will now be changed. Now, maybe the next one will be more accurate to the character within because the tone used for the male character caused more than a few eyebrows to be raised as well. 

Book Riot Romance:

Another ode to the single person POV in romance. I’m not sure why this is such a hot button topic since it comes down to preference, but here we are.

Around the Web in Romance:

I’m almost ashamed about how many times I listened to this brief audio clip. Almost.

Take this quiz to see how old you are based on the rom-coms you’ve seen. They overshot my age by a few years, I won’t lie, it stung more than a little a bit.

Here’s an article on the 10-year anniversary of Fifty Shades of Grey, and its impact on publishing as a whole. Because, regardless of which side of the line you end up on in that debate, you can’t deny its lasting effects.

In infuriating news, apparently a library in Enid, Oklahoma is canceling the ‘bodice ripper book club’. As sucky as this is, I am one who feels that maybe now that it is hitting home for some people when it wasn’t before, there will be more pushback on censorship as a whole.

Bookstore Romance Day is scheduled for August 20th of this year. In anticipation of this celebration, check out this shirt that displays that “Love is queer.” I’m probably going to snag one myself.

This purse is awesome!

Check out the cover reveal for this delightful looking holiday Sapphic romance!

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

New Releases:

Here are some of the new releases that, as of the writing of this newsletter, were showing a release date for the upcoming week. As per the new norm, this could be subject to change, depending on the supply and demand. 

Love Hate & Clickbait by Liz Bowery cover

The Book Boyfriend by Kris Ripper(4/26) 

The Long Game by Rachel Reid (4/26) 

Partner Track by Cat Wynn (4/26) 

Summoning Up Love by Synithia Williams (4/26)  

The Bookshop Rescue by Rochelle Alers (4/26)

Hidden With You by J. Kenner (4/26) 

A Fortune in the Family by Kathy Douglass (4/26)

cover of The Beguiling Earl by Hildie McQueen

Love, Hate, & Clickbait by Liz Bowery (4/26) 

The Beguiling Earl by Hildie McQueen (4/26)

To Love Again by Serenity King (4/29)


And that’s all I have for y’all today. I’ll be back on Thursday with a fresh newsletter. In the meantime, though, you can always give me a follow over on Twitter under @PScribe801 to see what I’m up to in between the editions. Until then!