Kissing Books

So Much Pining

It’s a Monday in December, and that’s about all I can say about it. We’re back to sportsball as a background, so no fun anecdotes today. At some point I’ll finish The King and be able to tell you if it has a HEA (if you’ve watched it, I’ll take that one single spoiler). Otherwise, it’s been quiet on this side of the world.

Let’s talk book world!

News and Useful Links

NPR’s Book Concierge is live and there are some familiar titles there!

Nora Roberts isn’t on Twitter, but she was trending late last week because someone tried to explain publishing to her…on her own blog. Poor Debra has already been meme’d, so if you’ve been wondering why there are tee shirts with “I have personally explained the process to you, Debra” on them, that’s why. 

I might be overly excited about this book announcement specifically because it features an all female mariachi band. Like, yes, I’m happy for the book, but that is super exciting. 

Maureen rounded up some holiday romances for EW.

If you’ve got a little to spare this year, join the Romancelandia Holiday Fairies, or submit a wishlist if you need a little help on your end.

There’s also The Ripped Bodice’s Tamponukkah.

There’s a new holiday movie featuring a romance author who uses a wheelchair and a man who looks just like one of her cover models! It’s a Lifetime movie, which means I don’t think it’s findable if you don’t have access to cable, but it might show up on Hulu?

Christmas BINGO, anyone?   


Race to a Christmas Reunion by Brenda Jackson

Get a Brenda Jackson holiday novella for 1.99 right now! Race car driver (get it? Race to a reunion? Eh? Eh?) Myles returns to his hometown for a wedding, only to come face to face with the girl he left behind. The wedding brings them together again and again, and their fire still burns. Will they try again? I love Brenda Jackson’s drama, and I am always on the lookout for romances with racer protagonists, so this one sounds like a winner! 

Book Recs

I was making a list of holiday romances for the day job and asked the internet for recommendations for Winter Solstice romances, that were actually about the Solstice and not a Christmas story with random references to the Solstice. I got a few recommendations and was able to start reading them!

Wanting a Witch by Lauren Connolly

Keta is a vampire. She was turned in part thanks to Roe, a nurse who is also a witch. In years past, when Keta was near to death thanks to a vampire attack, Roe called the only vampire she knew to come save the woman, and now Keta is back in town, standing on Roe’s doorstep. Her intention had only been to thank her for saving her life and move on, but there is an immediate connection between the two that neither is willing to move on, even as Roe invites Keta to stay in her home as long as she needs to. And as the Solstice nears and Keta still hasn’t left, both women are afraid their feelings are one sided. 

This is a sweet story about two pretty lonely people who blossom from their exposure to each other. The way they start to fit into each other’s life grows almost organically, and it’s fun to watch them pine. So much pining. I love it. It’s a pretty short read, too, so you can just have a seat and enjoy the quick slow burn (I know that phrase doesn’t make sense but it’s slow for them, okay?). 

CW: Estranged parents; neglectful parents; blood drinking; safe self-injury; on-page sexual activity; hospital-related references; discussion of suicide

Another reader recommended Holly and Oak by R. Cooper, which involves a coven’s darling golden boy and the vaguely outcast rebel who are keepers of the town’s strongest magic and totally in love with each other (but think they can never be together). Or at least that’s how I understand it. I’ll be picking it up soon. I expect more pining in this one, too 😀

PS – Alexis Daria wrote a cute short story called Solstice Miracle but I can’t find a working link to it anymore! Let me know if you’ve read it recently…

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!