Hey y’all and welcome (back) to the Kissing Books newsletter. I hope that the weekend was kind to you and was as productive, or unproductive, as you wanted it to be. I spent a lot of last week clearing off the dining room table, which had become the furniture equivalent to a junk drawer, so that there would be another surface to work on laptops and, oh I don’t know, maybe eat on. Crazy thought, that.
I also used this surprise but not unwelcome energy to go through a mini-purge and get rid of a lot of other unnecessary things including some books I will never read or re-read. So, all in all I’m satisfied with the last few days.
Enough chit-chat; let’s move on to the rest of the newsletter.
Gothic Manor Candle by BriarWick
I’ve mentioned before that I love a pleasant smelling candle. I always have, but I recently got back into buying and burning them again since I’m very much in a “treat yourself” mentality after the last couple of years. And the combination of these three scents are sure to stir up images of a Gothic domicile. $5.00+
For You I Will by Cheryl Barton
After years of being unhappily married, Kasey has had enough and files for divorce. When her ex-husband threatens to take her to court for sole custody if she doesn’t take him back, she turns to attorney Darren for help. While they both know they need to keep their minds on the task at hand, they also are unable to deny their mutual attraction as it draws them closer to one another.
Breakaway by E.M. Lindsey
Between the constantly bloodthirsty press and the public eye, Ravi is not having much luck overcoming a past mistake. Even worse is that his community service is being supervised by professional figure skater Adrien, who seems to despise the very air Ravi breathes. However, despite what he says, Adrien seems to be drawn to Ravi until both men are forced to admit their connection and have to focus on what to do about it.
For a more comprehensive list of new releases, check out our New Books newsletter!
Apart from whether or not a romance needs an HEA (it does), another discourse that regularly makes the rounds in the romance world is whether or not there should be, *gasp*, half-nekkid people on the cover. And it grates oh so many levels because, at its core, it’s driven by the toxic purity culture that the U.S. thrives on.
Now, look, on the one hand I do get it; there is a certain stigma and assumption people make when they see you reading a romance novel with a clinch cover. That’s a topic for another time. But this cry for covers to stop doing it entirely is what sets me off, since not everyone feels this way. You want flowers, benches, and beaches on the covers of your romances? Have at it and do you. Just don’t presume to speak on what others want on the covers.
As I said above, I’m all for it, which leads to the recommendations I have for today; some of my favorite clinch covers where I also happen to enjoy the story.
Tall, Dark, & Deadly by Kharma Kelley
I had the fortune of seeing this author speak in person a few years ago at my library’s Romance Social and snagged a few of her books after. This was one of them, a cover which was gleefully referred to as the NSFW cover. My friend opted to get the milder version while me, chaos demon that I am, went for this one. When you factor in the story is about vampires, shifters, and other paranormal creatures in a paranormal world that exists alongside ours? It’s winning all around. And Kelley has a wonderful sense of humor in her novels that is always welcome.
Tender Rebel by Johanna Lindsey
Yes, I did have to do some internet sleuthing for this specific cover, since the current edition is much tamer. But look at this clinch and all that hair!! I love it. This is a delightful addition to the Malory series, which is the series that most people know this author for. Plus, I love a reformed rake story and Tony stands out amongst his peers since he purposefully stepped away from that life when he decided to marry Roslynn. You have to read it to find out more on the why and how. Also bear in mind this is “old school’ romance and, while it is arguably better than some of its peers content wise, there may still be some CW to be mindful of.
Speaking of clinch covers, I am confident I’ve mentioned the Daily Clinch Twitter account before, but if not, you really should check it out. All the throwback stepbacks can be found there.
I’m already on pins and needles waiting for this conversation between Rebekah Weatherspoon and Beverly Jenkins!!!
The latest Trope Tuesday from Love’s Sweet Arrow was all about those Stern Brunch Daddy vibes.
And that’s all I have for you today. I’ll be back Thursday with a fresh newsletter for you. In the meantime, I can be found posting over on Twitter under @PScribe801. Until then, happy reading and stay hydrated!