Kissing Books

New Books, Including a Christmas Anthology with Sarah MacLean!

We’re well and settled into the month, and it’s been relatively quiet. I hope all my east coasters are taking care and have found shelter from the storm.

News and Useful Links

How many romance podcasts do you listen to? Here’s a great profile from Frolic. (And of course, if you haven’t already, check out ours! This past week, Trisha and I talked about that plagiarism issue I mentioned a while ago, and then announced our first When In Romance book club pick!)

Sponsored by Flatiron Books and The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle

At one point or another, we’ve all been asked to name five people, living or dead, with whom we’d like to have dinner. Why do we choose the people we do? And what if that dinner was to actually happen? These are the questions Sabrina contends with in Rebecca Serle’s utterly captivating novel, The Dinner List. When Sabrina arrives at her thirtieth birthday dinner she finds at the table not just her best friend, but also three significant people from her past, and well, Audrey Hepburn. Delicious but never indulgent, sweet with just the right amount of bitter, The Dinner List is a romance for our times. Bon appetit.

This is an important piece about domestic violence in romance, even if you think differently about the opinions expressed.

I am living for this cover.

Have you watched the trailer for the film adaptation of Beverly Jenkins’ Deadly Sexy? They’re trying to boost the number of views in hope that it gets picked up by a distributor. Let’s do our part!

Sarah MacLean, Tessa Dare, Joanna Shupe and Sophie Jordan announced a new christmas anthology coming out in October.

New Tif Marcelo!

I missed this the first time around, but here’s an interesting article about self-realization and understanding.


cover of the pirate by jayne anne krentzIs it ever not time to read a Jayne Ann Krentz novel? The Pirate is 2.49.

Tell Me by Abigail Strom is 99 cents. If you’ve been meaning to read a recent RITA winner, it’s a good one to start with.

Who can resist a romance between an author and the leading man set to play out the part in the adaptation of her novel? Look no further; Playing the Part by Robin Covington is 2.99.

Over on Book Riot

What’s your next steamy read?

Are you ready to have your TBR completely murdered? Laura put together a list of 50 must-read m/m romances. I added tons of books to my want-to-read list. The few that I’ve read were pretty awesome too.

Some of the best books we read in August were romances. What was your favorite?

Kamrun interviewed Eloisa James and it was as fun as you’d expect.

And we’re giving away a 6-month subscription to OwlCrate Jr. Check it out!


I realized a couple of days ago that I’d been recommending a lot of contemporary romantic comedy and historical fiction, meaning I’d been leaving a large piece of romance to the wayside: specfic.

If you’re unfamiliar with the term, specfic is the shortened version of speculative fiction, which is basically anything outside the realm of reality. Paranormal? Specfic. Post-apocalyptic? Specfic. Alternate history with dragons? Specfic.

Obviously, I’ve mentioned some before, but I’d been neglecting them. The most neglected of all?

cover of radio silence by alyssa coleRadio Silence
Alyssa Cole

Y’all, this was the first Alyssa Cole book I ever bought. Before A Princess in Theory, before An Extraordinary Union, before Let it Shine and even before Agnes Moor’s Wild Knight, I bought Radio Silence and its corresponding books. There was something about the original cover that drew me, before I knew anything about Alyssa Cole beyond her name and profession. But I hadn’t picked it up. Thinking back, I think I wasn’t ready for post-apocalyptic romance, even though I knew it would have a happy ending. Same reason it took me so long to pick up Beyond Shame—the darkness wasn’t something I sought. If you haven’t noticed, I lean towards fun and funny, even in situations that are not. So when I realized I hadn’t really covered any specfic of any kind recently, I sought one of my rainy-day reads. I try to have an Alyssa Cole novel on-hand, just because. So this was a good place to start, especially in an area that I’m not as well-versed in.

In a near future New York State, the power has gone out and no one knows why. There’s no radio, no cell service. Nothing from the government. At first, it was just a matter of waiting, but then people got desperate and it went Book of Eli pretty quickly. Arden and her best friend/roommate John travel from Rochester to John’s family’s cabin in the middle of nowhere, but get waylaid by some other desperate travelers. When John’s brother Gabriel saves them from who knows what, there begins a push-pull relationship between Arden and her savior, who is also a pain in the ass.

Y’all know how I love stories that start with the hero being a pain in the ass.

You’ll just have to read it to know what happens next.

If you’re interested in more speculative fiction, you can always look at old editions of KB (because I know you’ve saved them all) for my reviews of books like Highland Dragon Warrior by Isabel Cooper,The Viking Queen’s Men by Holley Trent, and Snowspelled by Stephanie Burgis. There’re tons more, though, so I hope you endeavor to explore.

What’s your favorite specfic romance?

New and Upcoming Releases

Cover of soft on soft by em aliSoft on Soft by Em Ali
Passionate Rivals by Radclyffe
Intercepted by Alexa Martin (Honestly, this is the last time, I swear. At least…for a while.)
Swagger by Liz Lincoln (September 18) (Dat cover tho)
More than Crave You by Shayla Black (September 18)
Queen of Hearts by Sheryl Wright (September 18)

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