Sponsored by The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare
Lady Penelope Campion never met a lost or wounded creature she wouldn’t take into her home and her heart. When her imposing—and attractive—new neighbor demands she clear out the rescued animals, Penny sets him a challenge. She will part with her precious charges, if he can find them loving homes. Gabriel Duke, who clawed his way from the lowliest slums to the pinnacle of high society, finds this easier said than done. Soon he’s covered in cat hair, knee-deep in adorable, and bewitched by a shyly pretty spinster he can’t resist.
It’s Monday again, and whatever, we’ll make it through the week knowing that at some point, we have romance novels to read, right?
News and Useful Links
Come for the book recs, stay to watch the Keanu Reeves GIFs over…and over…and over…
This new app says it’s for the “high volume genre reader” and I’m curious but am bad at forming habits. Has anyone tried it?
RWA finally posted recordings of some of the speeches from the annual conference last month. I’m particularly excited to hear Alyssa Cole’s Librarians’ Day Keynote (are we surprised at all, or just surprised I haven’t listened to it yet?) but there are plenty of good things there.
Did you know that Romance Sparks Joy pulls together a thread of noteworthy tweets/threads by and about authors of color, queer authors, disabled authors, and other marginalized groups in Romancelandia? This week was a doozy (I’m going to pull out a couple of the big moments that they mention here, too):
- Marie Force hired former Borders bookseller Sue Grimshaw to be an editor at her press, Jack’s House. This is particularly noteworthy because Sue has proven herself not to be particularly open to or supportive of authors of color or queer authors in her previous work. After some consideration, Sue was no longer a part of Jack’s House.
- Connected to our conversation on When in Romance last week and the ongoing discussion on Twitter, Melissa Blue wrote about a specific book that did not particularly do a good job of representing a main character whose experience was outside of their own. It comes down to the same thing; if you’re going to do the writing, do the work.
- Speaking of doing the work—this actually sparked some amazing conversation about what quality writing is in romance. We have this thing about accepting something that might not be particularly well written because Feels. I’ve definitely overlooked some writing that made me go “hmm” because the book had an unusual setup or something similar. Of course, good writing gives me the feels, too; have you ever just put your book down and swooned because of an amazingly well-written or gut-wrenching sentence? Either way, craft is important, and I look forward to seeing where these conversations lead.
- Oh, and some publicist doesn’t know that there are already bisexual people in romances. Hoo, man.
Not to mention, there have been some think pieces that have been so bizarre and out of touch that I’m not even going to link to them. We’re all better off just not knowing what some people think.
So yeah. Buttons, anyone?
Romance Adjacent Romcom Alert: Have you seen the trailer for Falling Inn Love? I am utterly and completely unironically excited to watch it many many times before year’s end.
Finally, did you participate in Bookstore Romance Day? I didn’t get to participate in all the activities but the event I attended at my local indie was delightful.
If you’re like me, you might see the phrase “Small Change by Roan Parrish is FREE” and immediately go to buy it only to realize you’ve owned it for nearly two years. But if you aren’t like me you should definitely take advantage and grab this queer M/F romance that is basically the perfect coffee shop/tattoo shop AU. It’s also the first in a series that includes Invitation to the Blues, which is one of the most beloved Roan Parrish stories (that I have not yet read because I want to relish it someday when I really need it).
If you want something completely different, Eva Leigh’s Temptations of a Wallflower is 2.99. What does a woman do when she needs to hide the fact that she writes some of the most scandalous literature society has ever seen? Marry a vicar, of course…but what if he’s the one tasked with finding out who the author is? (I know, right?)
I have been putting Christina C. Jones’s books on my to-read list for years, and yet I had never actually picked one up before this weekend. I’ll never be able to answer the question of why, but now the question is how much vacation time do I need to take to read all of her backlist as quickly and as soon as possible?
I Think I Might Love You
Christina C. Jones
I made the decision to start reading this book after reading the first few pages of three or four other books and peacing out for one reason or another. It had been sitting on my Kindle since my first round of Kindle Unlimited picks a couple months ago (I follow CCJ on Facebook and had gone all heart-eyes emoji at each cover release for this trilogy), and after a week of the author’s name popping up all over the place, I knew I needed to come into this decade.
And y’all, it was glorious.
This book somehow pulled together three of my tropetonites and managed to make them all work here: meet-disaster forms an enemies-to-lovers setup turns into we’re-forced-to-be-in-each-other’s-company-for-a-long-amount-of-time leads to some very lightly sprinkled fake-relationship and what the hell how did this work.
Back to the beginning:
Jaclyn Love is having a rough night, rounded out by her finding a naked man in her sister’s apartment, who she proceeds to punch in the face and kick in the balls. Turns out that’s her sister’s tenant (whoops) and he’s also the vet she has to turn to when she finds a wounded cat on her fire escape. Things unroll from that first meeting, and oh man I have not been this excited about two people who are so openly hostile towards each other in their earliest stages learning to care about each other. It’s just so wonderful to watch. I laughed, I cried, I spent a lot of time reading with a smile.
I was joking about the PTO thing (or was I?), but I might still read the next one ASAP.
Speaking of openly hostile turned somehow caring, I also started reading The Unhoneymooners because I am apparently in the mood for Poor Woman Can’t Catch A Break But Look She Has To Spend A Lot Of Time With This Guy She Hates But It’s All A Misunderstanding, Maybe. I’m only about a third of the way in, and I am worried about this whole setup. But it must turn out okay, because it’s a Christina Lauren book and they don’t disappoint us. So while I’m currently cringing at Olive telling her future boss that she and the guy she can’t stand are newlyweds, I look forward to seeing how on earth they’re going to untwist themselves from this whole mess.
What are you reading this week?