Kissing Books

How Many Times Will You Watch This #Passthebookchallenge?

How’s everyone doing? I’ve decided I hate John Krasinski’s Some Good News because all it does is make me cry while I laugh, and that just doesn’t work for me. Like, how dare you, John. How dare.

(Who am I kidding, I will watch every single episode he produces because I love him.)

News and Useful Links

First, thank you to Jennifer and Norma for reaching out to remind me that Amazon has an Advanced Search! You can use it to search by publisher, so if you’re curious about that Entangled sale, it was recommended that you search using “Entangled: Scorched.” Also, the Barnes and Noble search is apparently pretty easy and straightforward.

We are all Beverly Jenkins. At least the part about the bookshelves.

Speaking of Ms. Bev, here’s a great interview with her on The Turn On.

This is just. THE BEST.

Some awesome folks are putting together a Social Distancing Book Fest on April 25 and while it covers a lot of genres, the romance game is going to be very strong.

The saddest of the sads. Employee of the Month Forever.

A bunch of authors are doing “pay what you can” style bundles:

Have you seen more? Let me know!

We’ve seen romance covers as a lot of things, but Bowie? Now we have.

And also cakes. So many cakes.


Cover of Hold Me Close Ravenswood boxed set by Talia HibbertIf you’re looking to start a new series, might I suggest the Holmes Brothers series by Farrah Rochon? Deliver Me, the first book in the series, is free right now, and there are six more where that came from.

You can also get the devastatingly good Only For a Night by Naima Simone for free, or the whole Lick Series Boxed Set for 1.99.

To add to this pile of riches, Holley Trent has a boxed set called The Norseton Wolves Mate Call Collection, which is also currently free.

And while we’re talking boxed sets, can we talk about Talia Hibbert’s Hold Me Close: A Cinnamon Roll Boxed Set, which gathers all four Ravenswood books into one? It’s 4.99 for the whole thing. That’s so much feels, you all.

And if you were curious after the last episode of When In Romance and were thinking of trying it out, Virgin River by Robyn Carr is 1.99 right now.


In usual fashion, I want to talk about a couple books I haven’t yet finished, but I will, dammit, I will. It’s so hard to read anything right now, and I’m upset that so many books I’m enjoying keep getting set aside.

If I Loved You Less
Tamsen Parker

If you’ve managed to already listen to this week’s When in Romance, you might have heard me talk about this book. If not, well, you’ll hear me talk about this book some more. As might be hinted from the title (or not, if you’re not an Austen fan), If I Loved You Less is a contemporary retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma. Here, Theo is a young surfer and homebody who is prepared to spend the rest of her days helping out her dad at the family surf shop and meddling in the locals’ business, including that of newcomer Laurel. Her oldest friend Kini tries to be the voice of reason, but there’s also something developing between the pair beyond their constant banter.

Theo as a person is an interesting character, and she might be pegged “unlikeable” to some readers—just like Emma, when you think about it. She’s still got a lot of space for growth by the place I’ve stopped for the time being, but I’m looking forward to seeing how she’ll reach the end.

Good Enough to Eat
Alison Grey and Jae

I read a Stucky fic a while ago in which Bucky was a vampire and Steve was a dragon, and I realized it had been a while since I’d read any vampires. This, after having spent nearly a decade reading just about every vampire I could get my hands on, startled me. I don’t know if I eventually tired of vampires or just wasn’t finding the good stuff. Or maybe people stopped writing it for a while. (There was a dip, but it never really went away.) Either way, I had noticed a void and while I didn’t start seeking them out, I made a note to keep my eye out for vampire romances.

A week or so ago, Jae posted that a book she’d written with a co-writer several years ago was now available on KU, and I saw an immediate chance: when had I actually read a lesbian vampire romance? The answer, my friends, was never. So I went ahead and added it to my borrowed list, even though I wasn’t sure from the description whether it was going to be funny or earnest. Why, you ask? Well, the hook is that a vampire decides to go to an AA meeting as a way to help stop her cravings after deciding to no longer drink from humans. So that could be played in either direction. It is very earnest. Which isn’t a bad thing, unless you are distinctly looking for funny. Otherwise, the protagonists are fascinating (one is, for all intents and purposes, a human who used to be something like a djinn, and the other writes vampire romances lol) and I’m still figuring out how the world works. There are a few little things that throw me off (ie, both protagonists live in New York and have cars, as do other people they encounter) but in general it’s an entertaining read. If you’re interested in a different kind of vampire, definitely check it out.

(CW: Discussion of alcoholism, 12-step program, prayer, description of death of an animal by car, gaslighting)

So, I guess this is the “Lesbians With Blue Covers” edition of the newsletter. Take it as you’d like.

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!