Kissing Books

Romances for Valentine’s Week

It’s the first day of Valentine’s Week! I am not actually a go-hard for the holiday, but I support anything that allows people to think a little harder about love and love stories…even if we have to suffer through the Fabio and Fifty Shades think pieces.

News and Useful Links

Sarah MacLean finished her book and had some time, so she wrote a long thread about the process of hosting the RITA awards last year. Get ready.

Did you see the segment on the Today show yesterday?

Reminder that Olivia Waite, author of one of the other things called Kissing Books, is great.

Avon announced the results of their open submission call for own voices romances. I’m excited for the authors, yes. But you know…just accept more submissions by authors of color and other marginalized folks in general, yes?


Everybody likes a dragon romance, right? Branded by Flames, the first in Sean Michael’s Dragon Soul series, is 99 cents. You get a dragon shifter and a guy covered in dragon tattoos, and you know, that’s kind of a sign. These are super sexy books, so be prepared.

Black History Highlight

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole, but in this case, I want to talk about the person Alyssa based Elle Burns on: Mary Bowser. She was a woman with many names, but there’s one thing we know: she was a genius. She was a woman who could infiltrate any household and gather information that was incredibly valuable to the cause. Unlike Ellen Burns, Mary Bowser went as far as to pose as a slave in the house of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, where she used regular errands to deliver messages to a Union agent in Richmond.


I mean, it’s Valentine’s week, so let’s talk about romances set around Valentine’s Day.

I only read my first Valentine’s Day romance last year, but now I’m determined to read at least one every year. This year, we’ve got a near abundance with three that I know about! So here are some Valentine’s Day romances for you to check out.

Just One More
Jodie Slaughter

What starts out as the worst Uber pool Whitney has ever experienced turns into something much better when both she and Vic, who had spent a good amount of that ride pressed up against her, get out before reaching their destinations. It’s Valentine’s Day and she just wants some cupcakes from her favorite bakery, but he would like to end on a high note after a bad date and invites her for dessert instead. Dessert becomes a night together, which becomes more, as the pair finds they can’t get enough of each other. Just one more, indeed.

Be Mine
Savannah J. Frierson

Ingrid has three roommates. She loves them all in their own ways. When Valentine’s Day comes around, she decides to ask one of them to be her Valentine…which is a surprise to everyone involved! What surprises her most, though, is what comes next: all three are determined to be hers for more than just the holiday of love. But is this kind of relationship something she’s ready for?

Candy Hearts
Erin McLellan

Benji Holiday could kill his sister Sasha when he arrives at the lakeside Valentine’s Day house party she invited him to only to discover that the property’s power is out and the property owner wasn’t expecting company for another day. But William is more than happy to have him stay. The pair tiptoe around each other for a while before they acknowledge their attraction to each other, and Benji suggests the pair—who are both hesitant to start anything serious—be fake valentines. Be romantic. Have some sex. Stare at the lake, look at the moon. But what happens when people start showing up?

A Big Surprise for Valentine’s Day
Jackie Lau

The fourth book in Lau’s Holidays with the Wongs series (which I have loved. I mean come on—Lunar New Year romance! Canadian Thanksgiving! Last year, as part of a different series, she wrote a Pi Day book!) gives us the final Wong sibling to have not succumbed to Cupid’s arrow. Amber runs into old family friend Sebastian late one night in a convenience store and the pair begin a no-strings sexual relationship. But as Valentine’s Day draws near, Feelings emerge.

There are a couple more on my radar to check out, including Alexandra Warren’s A Tale of Two Cities: A Valentine’s Novella and Special Delivery Valentine by Roz Lee.

I know Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that people either love or hate, but what better way to spend the long weekend than with a bunch of romance novellas and maybe some chocolate?

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!