Kissing Books

New Year, New Kissing Books!

Happy 2019, lovers!

I’ve missed you this last couple weeks, and man, do we have some things to talk about!

Sponsored by Waterhouse Press.

After being left at the altar, Jade Roberts seeks solace at her best friend’s ranch on the Colorado western slope. Her humiliation still ripe, she doesn’t expect to be attracted to her friend’s reticent brother, but when the gorgeous cowboy kisses her, all bets are off. Talon Steel is broken. Having never fully healed from a horrific childhood trauma, he simply exists, taking from women what is offered and giving nothing in return…until Jade Roberts catapults into his life. She is beautiful, sweet, and giving, and his desire for her becomes a craving he fears he’ll never be able to satisfy. Passion sizzles between the two lovers…but long-buried secrets haunt them both and may eventually tear them apart.

News and Useful Links

So the first thing is actually Kissing Books news: I’ve been bouncing in my boots to tell you! As of next week, you get Twice The Jess in your inbox every week! Catch me on Mondays as well as Thursdays. I have to warn you: we probably won’t be doing double 1000-word newsletters a week, but all the familiar content (and maybe more!) will be there. Bear with me as I figure out how not to spit a million words at you every week, and keep an eye out for Monday’s edition!

Okay, now, let’s talk the five-month-long end of 2018, also known as the last week and a half.

The adaptation of Deadly Sexy that Beverly Jenkins and Iris Bolling crowdsourced is now available on Amazon! There was a bit of trouble early on, but now watch away! (I’m not sure why, but it’s not available on Amazon Prime even though the earliest excitement included that. But hey, spend 2.99 or 9.99 and support this bit of beauty.)

Also, if you like podcasts, check out the SBTB interview with Ms. Bev herself. (And there’s a transcript if you don’t.)

Alyssa Cole just had to release her list of best romances right after I hit send on the last KB, so even though we thought we were done with Best Of lists, this one is an absolute must share. What do you think?

Do you follow #readRchat? The results are in for their Best Of 2018, voted by twitter!

So there was some tea drunk and served on Twitter over the holidays, as various people shared some hot takes and end-of-year thoughts (and lots of people were off work and basically on twitter for ten days straight). A “hot takes” request inspired a confusing thread about romance without HEAs deserving to be part of the genre (spoiler alert: no they don’t, cause then they’re not romance). A “nice takes” request inspired a lovely tweet about romance being wonderful and life changing, which led to some Well, Actuallys that we definitely didn’t need. Tess Sharpe wrote a detailed thread about craftsmanship, which led to Patton Oswalt thinking “hey, I’d like to read some romance.” Which led to Sarah MacLean being her usual awesome self and leading him to try a couple, including Alyssa Cole’s Let Us Dream (a 2018 favorite for me) and Mia Hopkins’ Thirsty—which I have not yet read but every person I trust who has absolutely adored. (So guess what, it’s going on the read soon list.)

And when we thought the wild ride that was Romancelandia 2018 was over, we had to have another conversation about Who Deserves A HEA. This time, it wasn’t Nazis, thank goodness. But there was a Historical Accuracy Conversation because a woman who started out as a sex worker ended up a Duchess (the book in question was Dare to Love a Duke). Besides the fact that there is a history of this kind of coupling, this type of Historical Accuracy Conversation can often be led by someone who thinks certain kind of people (read: not white cishet perfect morally upstanding pollyanna) don’t deserve HEAs or somehow didn’t have them before 2000. The hashtag #HEA4SW is a pretty great response.

And honestly, there was probably more going on. Twitter can be so insular.

On a brighter note, the BookLoversCon agenda is up. It’s kind of difficult to follow the different tracks because of the colors, but you can at least see who’ll be there and what they’ll be talking about. (PS – are you going to New Orleans this year? Let me know!)

Okay, this is getting long, let’s move to some books, shall we?


cover of Mine till Midnight by Lisa KleypasLooking to start a complete series? Lisa Kleypas’ Mine Till Midnight is $2.99 right now.

If you’d rather read a contemporary one, Act Like It by Lucy Parker is $1.99.

EE Ottoman’s The Craft of Love is $1.99 if you’re looking for a lovely queer novella.

I know football season’s almost over (right? I think.) but if you have a hankering for starting a football series from the beginning, Huddle With Me Tonight by Farrah Rochon is FREE.

Over on Book Riot

R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Give it.

Fantasy and Paranormal romances by their Hogwarts houses. Brilliant. I have so much reading to do.

The Tropetonite Lives! Jessica Avery picked up the slack (I know, I’m going to try to do more of them in 2019. First resolution!) and talked about Forced Proximity. I love those, do you?


Who wants to start the year with a couple of novellas? Both of these were books I bought and let hang out on my kindle for a while, and then I was very upset with myself for waiting. But that’s been happening more, so you’re probably going to see a lot more backlist recs from me this year (but don’t worry, I’ll still be reading and reccing frontlist, too!). Helps I get to babble twice a week, huh?

cover of only for a night by naima simoneOnly for a Night
Naima Simone

This book popped up in a couple places this year, including Erin McCoy’s list of erotic short stories, and I’d gotten a sample to see if it was as wild as people had said. Needless to say, I started it, and the sample. Was. Not. Enough. Harper is a young widow who has come to Rion to let loose. Rion owns an aphrodisiac club, where people can pursue their wildest desires, and she wouldn’t trust anyone else to help her explore her own desires—the kind that were pent up for years. Rion, who started the club with friends after finally getting out of the Irish Mob, has never thought he was good enough for her, even though they were friends as kids. But he can’t let her go anywhere else, so he offers her one night. No more. She accepts, and boy do they have a night. There’s a lot packed into a brief package, but it’s the perfect combination of emotions, sexytimes, and total satisfaction. And it’s the first in a series (and the introduction to the other two heroes is pretty seamless).

cover of tikka chance on me by suleikha snyderTikka Chance on Me
Suleikha Snyder

First off: if you are on Twitter and don’t follow Suleikha, you should. She has great things to say and also she shares photos of Bearded Chris Evans, who was also (in part) inspiration for Trucker, the hero of this novella. Pinky, our strong-willed, delightful heroine, works in her family’s Indian restaurant, which Trucker and his biker buds frequent surprisingly often. The two have a mild attraction but don’t act on it—until they do. It’s a short fireburst that Melissa Blue (whose books are also good, go read them) called a Master Class in romance. So yeah. I devoured it.

(Oh! I remembered the other thing that went down on twitter and it was about a problematic reviewer’s coverage of this book. I won’t give her links, but the trail is easy to find.)

I am so excited to read this year! It’ll be a bit easier after this month, when I’ve finished with a non-romance book commitment that has been quite an experience but also quite time consuming. What was your first read of 2019? (Mine was Bygone Badass Broads and man do I want romance novels based pretty much on every single one of their lives—even Mary Bowser, who was already the inspiration for Elle in An Extraordinary Union!)

New and Upcoming Releases

cover of nightchaser by amanda bouchet Nightchaser by Amanda Bouchet (I’m excited for this one!)
The One You Fight For by Roni Loren
Tigers On the Way by Sean Kennedy
Finding Alexei by Kendall Ryan (January 7)
Once Ghosted, Twice Shy by Alyssa Cole (January 8) (MORE RELUCTANT ROYALS YAY)

That’s it for now! 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!