Kissing Books

Julie Andrews is Going to Be in The Bridgertons

Happy Monday, folks! I am wrapping up my time at the American Library Association’s annual conference and I had a blast! I also ended up with way too many books that aren’t even romance for the most part and I’m not sorry. Though my bookshelves will be.

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News and Useful Links

If you hadn’t heard, Judith Krantz died. She was a pioneer in the modern romance field writing novels like Princess Daisy that were a lot of people’s introduction to the genre.

Also, you know that Bridgerton series Shonda Rhimes is producing? Damme if the Grand Dame herself, Julie Andrews isn’t voicing Lady Whisteldown.

This isn’t so much news as “how great is this” but Sonali Dev, Uzma Jalaluddin, and Soniah Kamal were all in one place and it was awesome.

This is a great history thread.

Have you been thinking of trying a subscription box? Maybe check out the Bawdy Bookworms’ summer box.

Apparently, too many people asked Gail Carriger why she writes sexy books, besides the obvious “because it’s fun, duh” and she has some good stuff to say here.

June (and therefore Pride month) may be almost over, but it’s never a bad time to check out this amazing collection of queer reads.

And I just…I have to share this thread. It’s a must-read, no matter what your opinion on pool tables.


cover of three strikes by holley trentLooking for a suspense thriller that is also a romance? Hour of Need by Malinda Leigh is 1.99. The top Amazon reviews talk about how it’s swoony and full of character development and feelings, feelings, feelings, so this is definitely the romantic suspense novel for me. Right? Why wouldn’t you want a crime novel that also involves feelings?

Want to read something thrilling in a much different way? Holley Trent’s Three Strikes, which is part of the Den of Sin series, is 99 cents. Old friends? Who might take it further if one of them can bring them around? Yes, please.

Some Books I Talked About At ALA

As I mentioned before, I went to the American Library Association’s annual conference, which considering its size is pretty lackluster when it comes to romance. The publishers kinda push it, and somebody might propose a panel about it, but really it’s not something we talk about, and there aren’t lines on the exhibits floor like there are for thriller, genfic, and youth authors. Which is fine. Whatever. Publishers know we’re going to buy their books anyway, but we talk about more than purchasing at these events.

So while it wasn’t to the scale of everything else, I did get a chance to get my hands on some recent and upcoming books that are either romance or will appeal to romance readers.

cover of The Key to Happily Ever After by Tif MarceloThe Key to Happily Ever After
Tif Marcelo

If you follow When in Romance, you know that Trisha absolutely loved this book. You might also know that I haven’t gotten to it yet. But a group of sisters running a business in DC while also dealing with love stuff sounds right up my alley to me. I’ll take it.

The Cottage on Rose Lane
Hope Ramsay

This is the first book in a series and Hope actually talked about the second one, but I am very curious about this book. Hope mentioned that she ensures that her small-town romances aren’t homogeneously white, and also don’t ignore racial tension and conflict in the South. This book, in particular, was interesting, since the hero is working to protect his Gullah heritage and land. So yeah, I know very little about this author, but am glad I came across her work (and her, since she’s a very nice person).

cover of song of blood and stone by L. PenelopeSong of Blood & Stone
L. Penelope

This isn’t a new book, or even a new-to-me book. The copy I got signed by the author is a previous version of the one that has been revamped and extended, soon to be released by St. Martin’s Griffin (who is doing some super awesome work to move up in the playing field of romantic stories published by the Big Five). But I can never walk away from this story of love and magic in an alternate 1920s universe, because damn. Of course I can’t.

First Earl I See Tonight
Anna Bennett

An artist and a grumpy earl do what they can to not fall in love and do it anyway? Sounds like the perfect book for me, seriously!

cover of welcome to moonlight harbor by Sheila RobertsWelcome to Moonlight Harbor
Sheila Roberts

Once again, this wasn’t the book I got my hands on, but it is the first in Sheila Roberts’ most recent series, and that’s honestly the best I can do. I have no idea what this book or series is about because the author is so hilarious that I couldn’t keep track between her story and the story therein. Just know you’re gonna laugh your face off if her written word is anything like her presentation style.

Evvie Drake Starts Over
Linda Holmes

This book, which comes out this week, sounds like a combination of self-discovery, family relationships, and romantic relationships that we often categorize as “women’s fiction.” But there’s definitely a strong romantic element in this book that keeps showing up in my face and probably will continue to do so for a while. Did I mention it starts with Evvie planning to finally leave her husband, only to get the phone call that he’s been killed? And an athlete (not her husband) with a case of the Yips? So put all that together and see what you get.

Obviously, I have a huge problem with willpower, so I grabbed way more books than this. But you’ll probably hear about them as I read them, or at least pretend to.

What are you reading this week?

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