Kissing Books

Dual Timeline Romances

Hello and welcome (back) to the Kissing Books newsletter. I’m PN Hinton, here to give you the rundown on the world of romance, including new releases, recommendations, and other entertaining ways to pass your time.

School ends this Thursday, which means that summer break is just around the corner for us. Well for the kiddo, anyways. Summer is different when you’re an adult ’cause, as we all know, you don’t really get the two and a half to three months off. Still, it can be fun as an adult; you just have to find ways to make it so. One thing I am doing to help with this is a throwback summer-long buddy read with one of my friends. We are primarily focusing on YA and MG horror that we read growing up, but other genres may get thrown in. Either way, it will be a reading adventure.

If you haven’t already checked out Book Riot’s latest podcast First Edition, you’re really missing out. Here, co-founder Jeff O’Neal explores the entirety of the bookish world, using interviews, recommendations, and more from well-known people in the bookish community. The most recent episode has a discussions between Jeff and Khaled Hosseini and their thoughts on the 20th anniversary of The Kite Runner and its lasting impact.

Bookish Goods

picture of steamy romance novel tshirt

Steamy Romance Reader T-Shirt by fuglybarbie

Keeping with the theme of throwbacks, isn’t this just an amazing shirt? I love the homage to the classic clinch cover and that it also showcases people of color with it. This is definitely a book I would pick up off the cover alone. $22

New Releases

cover of Sun of a Beach

Sun of a Beach by Mia Sosa

Despite the tropical setting, Naomi is not happy to be saddled with the task of accompanying Donovan along on the photo shop for the first swimsuit edition for M-Class Magazine. Donovan himself is none too pleased at this since he perceives it as a way to control his creative genius and goes out of his way to purposefully annoy Naomi. However, the island setting is the perfect background for a new romance to develop between the two and make them look at each other with new eyes.

cover of Love At First Set

Love At First Set by Jennifer Dugan

When gym enthusiast Lizzie agrees to accompany her best friend James to his sister’s wedding, she inadvertently ends up talking the bride out of walking down the aisle. Cara, said runaway bride, is now single and not sure what comes next. James convinces Lizzie to help Cara rebound with a quick fling, but as the two women spend more time together, real feelings quickly develop. Even though Lizzie is worried that she will never be good enough for Cara.

For a more comprehensive list of new releases, check out our New Books newsletter.

Riot Recommendations

One of my favorite romcoms that I also feel is vastly underrated is Forget Paris. My spouse was the one who introduced me to this movie years ago. He loved it and figured I would too because I liked romance. And he was right.

I think one of the reasons this movie is underrated is because it’s told in an interesting format. You hear about Mickey and Ellen’s relationship in flashbacks as their friends tell the story of their ups and downs with the most recent development being that they separated. Now, it’s still a romcom, so of course you know they end up together, but I will be honest in that it is something I would classify as an HFN since there is no way to know if they tried to work through their issues.

Still, I love that type of back and forth storytelling because it gives both aspects: the before and the after. And it shows how sometimes, even if people don’t readily admit it, love is hard and some days you have to work at it. With that in mind, here are today’s recommendations, which are stories told in a dual timeline.

cover of Back in the Day

Back in the Day by Katrina Jackson

While Amir is helping his father Alonzo pack up his home, he comes across a box of records that his father refuses to get rid of. Confused by this stubbornness, Amir pushes the issue until his dad relents and explains to him the history behind the box, which is the unfolding of his love story with Amir’s mother, Ada, that began in 1967. While I would agree that this is an unconventional romance novel, I stand by that it is still a romance because, even though it begins after her death, we still get to experience Alonzo and Ada’s love story and the they family built before her passing.

cover of Love and Other Words

Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren

This book is about estranged childhood friends Macy and Elliot and what happens after they run into each other as adults. It’s told in alternating timelines from when they were young friends to a period when they were more before they separated and then meet up again. When they do, they both realize it’s a chance to make amends for the hurt in the past and perhaps work towards a second chance at love.

Take this quiz to find how you receive and show love.

Plan a date and get which romcom heroine you are.

And that’s all I have for today. I’ll be back in your inboxes on Thursday with another romance-filled newsletter. In the meantime I can be found floating around over on Twitter under @PScribe801. Until then happy reading and stay hydrated.