Kissing Books

Six Diverse Jane Austen Retellings

Happy Thursday! The weekend is almost here (for some of us, at least), and every new April day gets us closer and closer to an 80-foot Chris Evans In A Henley.

(Oh, I guess that’s just my countdown? Sorry. Let’s Books.)

Sponsored by Misadventures with My Ex, from Waterhouse Press.

Weston Quaid left Eryn Hope standing at the altar three years ago, but when circumstances reunite them, their attraction to each other burns hotter than ever. A daring arrangement brings them closer, but does their relationship end when the arrangement does, or are they finally built to last?

Over on Book Riot

Get a free Brenda Novak book!

Jamie’s looking for our favorite books featuring librarians. I’d bet we’ve got a few to share!

Who’s never looking for new Jane Austen retellings?! These six books reshape the work of the Grand Dame of Romantic Stories into something modern and universal, and are set in North America and elsewhere.

Want to read KJ Charles but not sure where to start? Check out this Reading Pathway! (And then read everything else she’s written because it’s all amazing.) (I can’t really say that because I haven’t read it all, not even every book of hers that I own.)

I am the worst podcast host on the planet. You know why? Because—once again—I forgot to link you to our most recent episode of When In Romance, which went up last Monday. Stay tuned for the next one, which will have a special treat!

And speaking of podcasts, there’s a new one! This one is especially for those of you who might need to listen to something in the car with your kids: Kidlit These Days. Check it out!


cover of because of miss bridgertonHave you already read and loved the Bridgerton series? If your answer is yes, maybe it’s time to start a new Julia Quinn series. And Because of Miss Bridgerton is 1.99 right now. It’s a prequel series, which takes place in the Georgian era—a nice change from all the Regencies, I guess.

Trying to figure out where to start with Brenda Jackson? Instead of jumping into the Westmorelands (there are like 95 now), how about the Forged of Steele books? The first book, Solid Soul is 1.99, and the rest of the series is discounted as well.

New Books!

Shortly after writing last Thursday’s Kissing Books, I finished Mrs. Martin’s Incomparable Adventure. So, I started a book. Then I started another one. And put that aside and tried another. None of them were bad—actually they were all pretty great. But I couldn’t make up my mind what I wanted to finish first! One was pretty backlist; it came out a few years ago. One just came out last week. One comes out next week, and another comes out the week following. I couldn’t decide how far in advance I wanted to read, so I just came back to the one from last week. (I’ll talk about the backlist one on Monday, though!)

cover of hook shot by kennedy ryanHook Shot
Kennedy Ryan

There’s been some discussion on Kennedy Ryan’s HOOPS series on twitter lately, mostly about the first book, Long Shot. That one, the first in the series, is one of the few books by authors of color on the RITA finalist list, so it’s resurfaced now, even though the third book in the series recently emerged. I have not read Long Shot or Block Shot, but had a chance to read Hook Shot and it sounded worth checking out. I recall Trisha mentioning that it’s a hard book, and the link that I shared indicates ALL THE TRIGGER WARNINGS.

Hook Shot also has content warnings, but I’m not far enough in to tell you if anything is discussed on the page. I can tell you that there is discussion of family-related sexual violence, as well as former partners pushing set boundaries, and if that’s not your thing, skip this book.

If you are not affected by that kind of content, and are interested in experiencing the dynamics between a woman who has gone “off dick” in order to figure out her own issues with intimacy, sex, and other things, and the recently-divorced baller who believes strongly in controlling the situation for the benefit of all, this is a book you might want to check out. Kennedy Ryan’s writing is lush. Her characters are complete, and you want to break as they’re breaking just to be put back together the same way. Talia Hibbert gave it five stars, and really that was all I needed to pick it up.

Have you read any of the HOOPS books? What do you think?

Other recent releases I’m looking forward to picking up:

cover of The Takeover Effect by Nisha SharmaThe Takeover Effect by Nisha Sharma

Arctic Sun by Annabeth Albert

Speak No Evil by JR Gray

I Want You Back by Lorelei James

Engaging The Enemy by Reese Ryan

Yes, Chef by T. Neilson

Breaking His Rules by Aliza Mann

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