Kissing Books

Sci-Fi, Werewolves, and Bears, Oh My!

It’s the last week of June! I hope everyone who celebrates had a good Pride! Let’s get down to business (to defeat the Huns).

News and Useful Links

Sarah MacLean blessed us with some stories about her book titles. So many puns.

Sponsored by Fierce Reads

As best friend and lady-in-waiting to the princess, Branwen is guided by two principles: devotion to her homeland and hatred for the raiders who killed her parents. But when she unknowingly saves the life of her enemy, he awakens her ancient healing magic and opens her heart. Branwen begins to dream of peace, but the princess she serves is not so easily convinced. Fighting for what’s right, even as her powers grow, will set Branwen against her best friend and the only man she’s ever loved – can she succeed?

Also, she has a brief introduction between The Bareknuckle Bastards and some other fun folks on her website.

New Bingo Love! Also, there’s a really awesome Bingo Love Jackpot Edition graphic novel coming out, this year, too.

Love In Panels has a regular Sci-Fi best bets column. This is a place where there are big holes in my reading, so I’m always happy to see what they recommend.

Have you seen the new trailer for the Netflix adaptation of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before? Precious!

And speaking of trailers, there’s word that three Jane Green novels are going to be adapted for Lifetime. Have you read any of her books?

And not to put folks in the angry mood (did you notice I shared a bunch of happy stuff), Jen reminded me of the concept of Lost Cause romance, and yes, it should be disparaged and outraged against to the same extent of Nazi romances. The concept of the Lost Cause—the same movement that led to a million Daughters of the Confederacy monuments spread across the US in the 1920s and ‘30s, that put the idea that land and states’ rights was the cause of the Civil War, that spread the sentiment that enslaved people loved their benevolent masters and hated to leave them—is a dangerous one in which to base any romance. I had already made it a personal initiative not to read slave/master romances of any kind (Captive Prince notwithstanding because the portrayal of their slave/master relationship is horrible, as it should be), and had recently expanded it to books in which slaveowners were protagonists. I haven’t read the book Jen discusses in her tweet thread, just the blurb. But it sure sounds like the beleaguered owner of a plantation is written as a sympathetic heroine, a regular pre-Rhett Scarlett O’Hara. *Shrug.* You know what I say. You read what you want to, but always think about why you like it. Some people will say that this isn’t nearly as bad as Nazis. I don’t have time for it. Now is not the time. It’s too close to home, for any generation. That is not what I go to romance for.

Okay, I’m done. Let’s move on.


cover of from a distant starKaren McQuestion’s From a Distant Star is 1.99.

The Hating Game is still 1.99. You know you want to.

Looking for a movie star romance (featuring a romance novelist heroine?!)? Robin Covington’s Playing the Part is 2.99 right now.


Over on Book Riot

Firefighter romances, you say?

Romance readers can relate, I’ll bet.

Silvana put together a list of upcoming romances you really don’t want to miss!

Have you seen Cat Sebastian’s books in Barnes & Noble yet?

OOOOH Werewolves! I love werewolves!


Before I get to my regular recs, just wanted to toss out a correction: I noticed that somehow when KB went out last week, Top to Bottom by Delphine Dryden had somehow been turned into A Hundred Thousand Words. And then I remembered that Delphine had pulled her books from Riptide and you wouldn’t be able to buy them. So, so sorry!

Okay, now let’s get down to it. (I’m so sorry. I just watched Mulan.)

cover of when katie met cassidyWhen Katie Met Cassidy
Camille Perri

I saw the title of this book hanging about for several months before I knew anything about it besides the fact that it was not being published by a romance publisher and therefore I could not trust it to have an HEA. But I was at a party at RT Con and overheard a trusted publicist talking about a “cute lesbian romance” and immediately inserted myself into the conversation. A few weeks later, I got a copy in the mail, and was excited to sit down and read some loveliness.

It lived up, definitely.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to like Katie, to whom we’re introduced first. But I warmed up to her pretty quickly, and Cassidy as well. I’ve reached an age where most romance protagonists are younger than me, but these two weren’t that kind of young that you just can’t bear to read because you remember being that young. Their courtship is sweet and their relationships are fascinating. I will echo some people’s thoughts about Katie’s sudden and unflinching change of pace, but sometimes…well, that’s how that goes. Have you read it? What do you think?

cover of peter darlingAnother crossover novel that might be interesting to some romance readers is Austin Chant’s Peter Darling, which introduces us to a bored James Hook doling out routine piracy. A newcomer to Neverland sets Hook on edge, especially when he realizes that the young man is none other than Peter Pan. There is more to the story than a romance, but there is a romantic element that might draw some readers (I’ll admit to realizing halfway through that I just…hate the character of Peter Pan too much to read that much about him, even if the story is about his growth).

cover of bear among the booksI’m also a bit of a ways into TJ Masters’ Bear Among the Books. It’s the first of his books that I’ve ever picked up, and I’m curious about how he’s going to approach the power dynamics of a forty-plus librarian and the barely-legal young man he takes under his wing. I’m always more interested in gay romance by gay authors, (and also books about librarians) so I hope this one lives up!

Also, I’ve been meaning to read Xen’s Shatterproof since I got the new remastered version. I should get on that.

New and Upcoming Releases

cover of sweet summer daysSweet Summer Days by Sheryl Lister
Wicked and the Wallflower by Sarah MacLean (in case you missed it the last few times)
Electric Impulse by Angel Hilson
Iron and Magic by Ilona Andrews
Promised Land by Rose Lerner
The Pursuit Of… by Courtney Milan
That Could Be Enough by Alyssa Cole

So yeah, if you’d been interested in one of the novellas in Hamilton’s Battalion but didn’t want them all, you can do that now. And oh my, look at the covers. They’re marvelous.

As usual, catch me on Twitter @jessisreading or Instagram @jess_is_reading, or send me an email at jessica@riotnewmedia.comif you’ve got feedback or just want to say hi!