Categories
Kissing Books

Happy AAPI Heritage Month

Hey y’all, welcome to the Kissing Books newsletter. I hope your spirit is doing well today. I’m PN Hinton, your guide through the roller coaster of a ride that the world of romance can be. If this is your first time reading this newsletter, I’m glad that you’re here. If you’re a regular reader, welcome back; it’s always good to see you.

Last Saturday, I celebrated Independent Bookstore Day by checking out Black Pearl Books for the first time. And believe me, it won’t be the last time. I walked in and immediately felt relaxed. The space was open, warm, and inviting. The owners were friendly and it had a nice variety of books to choose from. They also had merchandise that I will need to go back and get some so I can promote them as I’m out and about since we all know how important it is to boost these types of bookstores so they can flourish. 

And of course I did snag a few books, including Savvy Sheldon Feels Good As Hell Taj McCoy for the romance pick. I can’t wait to get to it. 

Bookish Goods

Headphone Stand by BatelierHandicraft

A modern and minimalist way to stylishly hold your headphones when not in use, our stand features an angled black steel arm set into a natural oak/walnut wood base. It will take up little space while looking good on a bedside table, desk, or next to your TV.

New Releases

The Donut Trap by Juliet Tieu

After graduating college and having no job prospects, Jasmine returns home to work in her family’s donut shop. When a rent increase threatens the future of her family business, she turns to Alex, her old college crush, for help. Sparks fly and there seems to be hope of a future romance until a disastrous dinner date shatters preconceptions and puts both sets of parents against the match. Will Julie be able to pull it all together to save her family business and the hope of a future with Alex?

Cover of The Singles Table

The Singles Table by Sara Desai

After a terrible break-up, Zara makes a new rule to only be the matchmaker and not the matched. One wedding, she is sat at the same table as Jay, and they strike up a bargain; if he introduces her to his celebrity clients, she will find him his perfect match. However, as the spend the wedding season together, they begin to wonder if they’re avoiding the happily ever after staring them in the face.

And that’s all I have for you today. I’ll be back Monday with a fresh newsletter. In the meantime, I can be found posting on Twitter under @Pscribe801. Have a great weekend and happy reading until then. 

Categories
Kissing Books

Music Sets the Mood

Hey y’all, welcome to the Kissing Books newsletter. I hope your spirit is doing well today. I’m PN Hinton, your guide through the roller coaster of a ride that the world of romance can be. If this is your first time reading this newsletter, I’m glad that you’re here. If you’re a regular reader, welcome back; it’s always good to see you. 

Last Saturday, I went to watch my nephew’s baseball game in the nice spring weather. When I got home that night, I found a tan line from where my bracelet was. Y’all…the sun was that present and it’s just the beginning of April. If this is an indicator of how the summer heat will be, I will likely be staying indoors for most of it. 

I finished I’ll Come Back for You, which I highly recommend for a ‘horro-romance’ fix. I’m still reading Dating Dr. Dil and started an arc of Queerly Beloved by Book Riot’s own Susie Dumond. 

Quick note before we proceed. It was brought to my attention that while Marie Kondo stated that owning a max of 30 books was her preference, it was not intended to be a hard-set rule for others. Apologies for my misunderstanding on that!

Romance Reflection

Today I want to talk about how important music is when it comes to romances, especially the love scenes. True, this is mainly for movies, but I’ve noticed books in the last few years include playlists. Usually it is what the author was listening to when writing a particular scene in that chapter or illustrates the feeling the characters were going through at that point in the plot. 

And I dig it. Writing is a not an easy task, despite what people may think. Sometimes, you need inspiration to get into the mindset for the scene that is currently being written; so, it helps to have something extra to get the creative juices flowing. Music has always been, very integral to any kind of storytelling, even romances.

Take for instance the movie oft forgotten Boys & Girls, which was essentially When Harry Met Sally for a younger audience. When the two main characters finally hook up, Tyrese’s Lately is playing in the background. And that is for sure one of my go-to songs I think of when I think of slow dancing in all its various forms. 

I myself have a go-to song I will use for inspiration if I ever get back to writing romances: Billy Ocean’s Love Zone. It is a song that embedded itself in my brain as a young’un and I can’t remove it now, even if I wanted to. Which I don’t. 

Book Riot Romance

If you’re a huge fan of sports in your romances, here is a list of some books to check out.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

Around the Web in Romance

Looking for some new beginnings romances? Check out some of the ones listed here.

I agree with those who have felt conflicted at seeing this type of display. On the one hand, yay for displaying romances. On the other one, the sign is a bit dismissive. A lot of the books featured there deal with heavy topics so to call them cheesy is more than a bit disingenuous.

Another Bridgerton quiz to find out which character you’re the most and least likely compatible with. I got Will and Edwina respectively, which honestly, tracks.

Recommendations

One thing I really liked about I’ll Come Back for You is the strong sibling relationship that was present throughout the book. It was clear that Whitney and Helen cared deeply about one another to the point they were willing to open up a business again. And they way they looked out for each other when the ghosting got real was amazing.

Between that and the fact that National Sibling Day was this past week, I decided to focus on book series that were about siblings. Please note that I’m going to be recommending the whole series as opposed to individual books and just give a general overview of them and the titles in the series. 

cover of Brown Sisters trilogy

The Brown Sisters trilogy by Talia Hibbert

Starting with this one since it recently took Romancelandia by storm. This series by romance darling Talia Hibbert involves the Brown sisters Chloe, Dani, and Eve and them finding their happily ever afters. What I particularly love about this series is that the sisters often get together for a chat session and this is featured in the books. They are also staunch supporters of one another but also aren’t afraid to tell each other the truth, even when they don’t want to hear it.

Series includes Get a Life, Chloe Brown, Take a Hint, Dani Brown, and Act Your Age, Eve Brown.

cover of The Brothers Synn

The Brothers Synn by Victoria Light

This series of books is about a trio of brothers who are also ex-military and the men who they fall in love with. Since the heroes are ex-military, you can expect more action than typical in these book,s but since they’re romances there will be an HEA. 

Series includes In His Sights, Not His Man, and Under His Watch.

cover of The Wright Brothers collection

The Wright Brothers by Christina C. Jones 

These books feature the Wright brothers and the various challenges they face in life and in love. As with most series like this, each one focuses on a different brother’s romance but they are also unique and feature different settings and tropes with their respective characters. 

Series includes Getting Schooled, Pulling Doubles, Bending the Rules, and Christmas with the Wrights.


And that is all I have for you today. I hope that your weekend is restful and relaxing since I hope to be doing that myself. I’ll be back Monday with a fresh newsletter. In the meantime, I can be found posting on Twitter under the handle @PScribe801. Happy reading!

Categories
Kissing Books

Don’t Read and Return

Hey y’all, welcome to the Kissing Books newsletter. I hope your spirit is doing well today. I’m PN Hinton, your guide through the roller coaster of a ride that the world of romance can be. If this is your first time reading this newsletter, I’m glad that you’re here. If you’re a regular reader, welcome back; it’s always good to see you. 

I have a happiness challenge for you this Monday morning! I want you to think back to the song that was your song as a kid. By that I mean, the song that no matter where you were in the house, when you heard the first few notes you would come running to dance and sing your lungs out. When you remember that song, play it during a challenging time of the day and see if that doesn’t increase your serotonin levels. 

In case you were curious, mine was Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me).” 

Romance Reflection:

I saw this tweet the other day and it really stuck with me because I can’t even imagine doing something like returning something that was for charity. That’s a new level of low and there is a super special apartment reserved in whatever their version of the Bad Place is for people who do that. 

As I read the rest of the thread though, I found that people do this a lot, which again boggles my mind. I knew that returning digital books was an option because I have seen the option before on a book’s info page. But I never even attempted to do it because, unless it’s a highly anticipated release, it’s rare that I read books right after I buy them. And that is usually reserved for pre-orders, which is also a rare purchase for me.

Here’s the thing; I’m not a big fan of keeping books, digital or physical, that I didn’t enjoy after I finished them. Heck, I’m not even a fan of keeping the ones I enjoyed that I won’t ever re-read again for various reasons. Life’s too short and space is too limited to hold on like that and, while I don’t adhere to the Kondo way of thinking of only having thirty books, the occasional purge is nice, digital or physical.

Let me be clear though; buying books with the sole intent to return them when you’re done is shady. 

It’s one thing if you start it and find a deal breaker within the first fifty pages. In those cases, yes, I understand returning it for a refund. You didn’t finish it for whatever reason. But it’s not okay to buy an entire series of books, breeze through them all, then return them for a full refund. This is especially true if the authors themselves have to pay an additional fee when that is done. That’s nonsense and more than a little unkind overall.

If you’re that type of reader, then either just use your library or get Kindle Unlimited. Since it’s a monthly fee and you can gorge on books to your heart’s content, even with the borrowing cap it has. Honestly, the only reason I don’t do that is because I don’t read fast enough to justify the costs. 

No one likes every book they read. That’s just a fact of life. But, if you purchase and read a digital book in its entirety and don’t like it, take the L and learn to click with more caution in the future. That’s happened to me in the past, which is why I’m more mindful of my digital purchases. But returning books that you’ve fully read for a full refund is just wrong.

Book Riot Romance:

Here are some romances from the 1950’s for your consideration.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

Around the Web in Romance:

Here are some of the M/M romances coming our way in April.

Check out this unboxing Ruby Barrett had for The Romance Recipe.

And if you’re a fan of sports romances, check out some of the recommendations here.

If you’re itching for more Bridgerton quizzes, here are twelve you may have missed. Yes I know the title says thirteen but I also know that I’ve shared one recently, so hopefully that is one you’ve already tried.

Yet another request for more diverse romance adaptations. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Bridgertons but I would also love to see the LeVeq or Westmorelands up on screen as well, especially since they’ve been around longer than the former family.

Frolic’s Monthly Book Crush is none other than Prem from Dating Dr. Dil, which happens to be on my currently reading pile.

New Releases:

Here are the new releases that were slated to be released this week. Please note that, as usual, these were the dates that were reflected as of the writing of this newsletter. 

cover of No Rings Attached

Secrets from the Heart by Sean D. Young (4/11)

Influenced by Love by J. Nichole (4/12)

The Romantic Agenda by Claire Kann (4/12)

With a Twist by Georgia Beers (4/12) 

No Rings Attached by Rachel Lacey (4/12)

Show Queen by Renee Dahlia (4/12) 

cover of His Royal Highness

Show Me Forever by Layla Hagen (4/12) 

What a Match by Mimi Grace (4/13)

His Royal Highness by Stephanie Nicole Norris (4/15)  

The Forgotten Dead by Jordan L. Hawk (4/15) 


I won’t lie; I’m super excited for No Rings Attached and it’s already pre-ordered.

Well, that’s it for this Monday morning. I hope that it, and your song of choice, helped to start your day and week off on the right foot. I’ll be back Thursday with a fresh newsletter and in the meantime, I can be found posting over on Twitter under @PScribe801. Happy reading!

Categories
Kissing Books

Separating the Actor From Their Role

Hey y’all, welcome to the Kissing Books newsletter. I hope your spirit is doing well. I’m PN Hinton, your guide through the roller coaster of a ride that the world of romance can be. If it is your first time reading this newsletter, I’m glad that you’re here. If you’re a regular reader, welcome back; it’s always good to see you.

Romance Reflection

Some people have become unnecessarily nasty with the cast of Bridgerton on a personal level, which I take issue with. First, let’s start with the backlash against Jonathan Bailey as it recently became public knowledge he’s gay. This caused a huge backlash from fans, with the most hottest garbage take being that the chemistry between him and Simone was now nonexistent.

For anyone with that mentality, let me just say that you’re acting saltier than the Dead Sea for no reason. The chances of him falling in love with a random fan even before this was revealed is still the same as it was before. Which is zero. 

The idea of a handsome movie star sweeping us off our feet, a popular theme in contemporary romance, is the grown version of the ‘becoming a princess’ fairy tale. Does it happen? Yes, but not that often. Also, Jonathan being gay doesn’t negate him being a good actor as well as an an attractive man. The chemistry was still believable and that’s all there is to it.

Then there’s the backlash against Charithra, such as fans cutting her out of promotional poster. Why? Because of the love triangle that was written in for the story, which was out of her hands. Did I love this change? No. Am I going to take that out on the actress? Absolutely not. She played the role that was written for her and she did it well.

She also had a ‘friend’ tell her she only got the role because of the ‘diversity quota’ which boiled my blood. No one needs that negativity from anyone, let alone a ‘friend’. I sincerely hope that Charithra gave them their walking papers.

Please just remember that at the end of the day these are people doing the job they were hired to do. Both did it very well, as did the other members of the cast. 

Stop. Being. Hateful. It’s not a good look on anyone. 

Book Riot Romance

Don’t forget to listen to this week’s When in Romance with special guest Liberty Hardy where, among other things, they talk about monster romances and give recommendations for it.

Here is a round-up of some of the exciting romance novels coming out this month

Around the Web in Romance

Here are some more recommendations for enemies-to-lovers romances.

Check out this clip of the cast of Bridgerton reading from The Viscount Who Loved Me and understand why I almost crashed when I listened to Adjoa Andoh narrate Get a Life, Chloe Brown.

I’m all for guy-liner cause you do you boo, but I will admit I snorted when I saw the eyes on the Ken doll in this romance novel cover recreation.

According to this quiz, I’m almost romantic and, after reading the description, I really can’t argue.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

Recommendations

I mentioned earlier that celebrity romance novels are a modern day spin on the “becoming a princess” trope. And yes, I know that royal romances are still very much a thing, especially in Ye Old Kingdom of Hallmark around the holidays. But I don’t think it happens nearly as often in contemporary fiction because there is a modern counterpart for it. And I don’t want to make it seem like I do not appreciate it or begrudge those who like them. That’s why my recommendations today all are ones that involve a celebrity in some way.

cover of Between the Lines

Between the Lines by Bobbi Marolt

When romance writer Gail meets Tannen, feelings quickly develop between the two women. As they begin to develop a solid friendship that gives signs of being more, both of their pasts threaten to ruin this newfound happiness before it can be fully formed. Will they be able to leave the past in the past and focus on their future together? 

Cover of Love Scenes

Love Scenes by Bridget Morrisey

Sloane finds herself having to swallow all her pride when she finds out the lead actor on the movie she has been called upon by her family to help produce is none other than Joseph, the man who made her last job a living hell. However, she really can’t turn this down and decides to bite the proverbial bullet to take the job. A series of events causes her to have to take on the lead role, which leads to closer interactions with Joseph than she wanted. It also causes her to look at him with more romantic eyes and worry that, while pretending to be in love with him, she may have gone and actually fallen for real.

cover of Reel

Reel by Kenned Ryan

When Neevah is cast in renowned director Canon’s feature film about a lesser known starlet of the Harlem Renaissance, she is over the moon about what this could mean for her career. And Canon is ecstatic to have found ‘the One’ who can fully embody his vision of Dessie Blue. Both are attracted to one another but determined to keep it professional. As often goes with best-laid plans though, that determination falls by the wayside; it’s a juggling act to keep their professional life separate from personal to bring the forgotten story of Dessie to life while still keeping the door open for a happily ever after for them. 


And that’s all I have for y’all today. I hope that this week is restful and relaxing for you and, as always, has a dash of reading in it. I’ll be back Monday with another fresh newsletter ready for your enjoyment and, should you want to hear more from me in the meantime, I can be found posting on Twitter under @Pscribe801.

Categories
Kissing Books

Romance Twitter Trends

Hey y’all, welcome to the Kissing Books newsletter. I hope your spirit is doing well. I’m PN Hinton, your guide through the roller coaster of a ride that the world of romance can be. If it is your first time reading this newsletter, I’m glad that you’re here. If you’re a regular reader, welcome back; it’s always good to see you.

This last week was challenging for me because I actually had to deal with someone mansplaining to me, as in he said a basic word and then proceeded to give me the definition of it. Y’all…I’m an English Major. I probably know more $50 words than he ever will. I know it happens and I’ve seen and heard of it happening to others, but it was my first time. What was even worse was that it happened in a place where I had to reign in my response instead of lighting into him like I wanted. But wow…the rage I felt caused me to actually almost see red. 

In things currently bringing me joy, I got a Paramount+ subscription and am revisiting childhood favorites, primarily Are You Afraid of the Dark? I also finished Meet Cute Club and found it delightful. I was also able to start I’ll Come Back For You and the level of excitement I have for this cannot be measured. 

Romance Reflection

You know one thing I love? The Romancelandia Twitter trends. You know the ones I mean. Most recently it has been the “Anyone who thinks romance novels have unrealistic plots should know that…”. Before that it was the one about “if romance novels taught me anything.” 

I like these for many reasons. First, it’s genuinely an interesting way to find out a little more about someone. I’m one that believes that when it comes to social media, you only know what the person allows you to know. And that’s okay. Everyone has the right to a bit of privacy. So I appreciate the little glimpse into their lives. 

It’s also a great way to cleanse my timeline from all the other negative things that are there when I scroll through. I know a lot of people like to say Twitter is the most toxic platform of all but let’s be honest here; they’re all equally toxic. It’s not a contest and even if it were, one social media platform being less toxic than another one is akin to coming in second at a contest for making a garbage sandwich. At the end of the day, it’s still a garbage sandwich. 

Plus, it’s just fun. Sometimes you do things just because they’re fun. As adults we get caught up in the constant need to always be busy so we don’t always take the time to just have fun. And there’s nothing wrong with that no matter what age you are. So bring them on! Who knows maybe I will actually chime in on one soon when I feel I have something relevant to bring to that table. 

Book Riot Romance

If you’re looking for more queer rom-coms (and honestly, who isn’t?) here are ten swoon-worthy options.

Here is a roundup of recommendations that play on the best friends to lovers trope.

Around the Web in Romance

Here are a few more romances for adaptation consideration. What I do like about this list is that there are notable authors of color here, which is something that is desperately needed since the only adaptations we have now are by white authors.

Here is an absolutely stunning thread of Oscar outfits as romance novel covers!

Check out this gorgeously stunning Rebel Carter cover reveal.

This is an amazing piece about how LGBTQ romances are finally getting the recognition that they deserve.

There is a Queen Charlotte spin-off/prequel in the works and they’ve cast India Amarteifio as young Charlotte and Arsema Thomas as young Lady Danbury. Golda Rosheuvel and Adjoa Andoh are set to reprise their roles as well, along with Ruth Gemmell.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

New Releases

Here are some of the new releases I found for this week. As always, remember that these dates may change for various reasons, but that these were the dates showing up at the time that this newsletter was being written.

cover of The Wedding Crasher

Love Me Now by Isabel Hansen (4/4) 

Blood Thinners by Heather Novak (4/4) 

Indigo: Blues by Adrian J. Smith

The Wedding Crasher by Mia Sosa (4/5)

Cold Cases and Bitter Enemies by J.M. Dabney (4/5) 

Business Not as Usual by Sharon C. Cooper (4/5)

cover of Sari, Not Sari

Sari, Not Sari by Sonya Singh (4/5)

Know You by Heart by Tif Marcelo (4/5)

A Southern Street King Earned Her Love 2 by Porscha Sterling (4/7)

Famous in a Small Town by Kylie Scott (4/7)

Boulder Bear by Stephanie Stern (4/8)

Love on Replay by Monica Walters (4/8)


And that’s all I have for y’all today. I hope that your week has started off on the right foot to help set the stage of the rest of the week. I’ll be back on Thursday with a fresh newsletter and, until then, you can always follow me over on Twitter under @PScribe801. Happy reading!

Categories
Kissing Books

Different But Still Good

Hey y’all, welcome to the Kissing Books newsletter. I hope your spirit is doing well. I’m PN Hinton, your guide through the roller coaster of a ride that the world of romance can be. If it is your first time here, welcome and if you’re a regular reader welcome back. 

Fair warning that a good portion of this newsletter is Bridgerton related or adjacent.

Romance Reflection

There will be slight spoilers for the recent season of Bridgerton in this reflection. If you haven’t had the chance to watch it yet, you may want to skip the reflection for today and come back later when you’re done.

I marathoned the entirety of Season 2 over the last weekend because I was impatient to know how it would all turn out. And, overall, I enjoyed it. That said, I also understand why people didn’t. The plot was completely changed, too much for it to be called an actual adaptation. At best it’s an ‘as inspired by’ situation.

While there were differences from the first season and the first book, such as it not being Daphne’s debut season, for the most part, it was still close to the source material. That wasn’t the case this season so for the purist out there, I get your annoyance. Here is a rundown of my personal take on the changes that were made.

My biggest complaint about the season was how they played up the love triangle and completely fabricated the sister’s animosity. While it all got resolved by the end, at one point, Edwina lashed at Kate and emphasized that they were half-sisters. This was never an issue in the book so I hated it was mentioned at all by any of the Sharmas. However, I appreciated that Edwina was more than just a plot device because that is basically what she amounted to in the book.

I liked the bee scene. Was it different? Yes, but it still established a connection between Kate and Anthony. And I understand why it wasn’t used as the catalyst for them getting married. The show has brought a lot of new people to historical romances. While those who have read them for years understand the importance and sometimes necessity of the ‘compromise’ scene, newbies may not. I do feel that if they had kept it, there would have been cries of “That is exactly what happened last season!!” 

Now I know that people were upset about the desk scene not being there but let’s be honest about it. Anthony steps on Kate’s foot and kicks her. Hard. Yes it served as a conduit and prompted the first kiss; but, I do not think it would have transferred well to the screen. Even with as much as I love the book, I do have issues with that interaction. 

We did get the Pall Mall scene and while it was different, it still helped to establish a turning point in their relationship, while giving insight to how their rivalry would always remain even if it was playful.

I didn’t mind the lack of sex scenes since I felt that the longing and the pinging and the “almost” everything was well done.

Ultimately, I feel the book and the season need to be judged on their own standing. And of course regardless of how you feel about it, remember everyone is entitled to their own opinion. 

Book Riot Romance

Second chance romance, YA edition!

Around the Web in Romance

Here are other ways that the second season differed from the source material.

Another season, another round of book recs for Bridgerton fans. I love it!

More Edwina? If it’s the show version, I’m all for it.

If you’re a fan of the “Smash or Pass” trend that’s been going around, here’s another round to play.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial! 

Recommendations

Since the majority of the content today was in reference to a historical romance, all my recommendations today will be contemporary picks. That said, I’m still going to focus on enemies-to-lovers though since that is my catnip and what the relationship between Kate and Anthony is in the book.

image of the worst best man cover image

The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa

When wedding planner Carolina gets left at the altar, she worries she’ll never bounce back from it. Time proves her wrong though and she becomes one of the most sought after event planners in D.C. She’s offered the opportunity of a lifetime that could change her career path forever. The only hitch? She has to work with her ex’s brother. Who was also his best man. Who is also the man who convinced his brother, her groom, to leave her at the altar.

cover of The Rivals

The Rivals by Vi Keeland

Years ago, Weston and Sophia’s grandfathers were business partners and best friends. They also had the unfortunate luck of falling in love with the same woman, who happened to be their third business partner and, when she couldn’t choose between the two, went their separate ways across all fronts. This animosity was passed down through their family and was destined to remain. That is until the woman who caused the fissure dies and leaves a hotel to both of the men which means it passes down to their grandchildren. As they try to find a way to unravel this mess, they find themselves at each other’s throats while simultaneously wanting to rip each other’s clothes off.

cover of Party Wall

Party Wall by Cheyenne Blue

When sex-store owner Lily moves into the storefront next to Freya’s new age shop, it throws the latter’s life in a whirlwind. Despite sharing a common wall, Freya desperately tries to keep all aspects of their lives separate from one another even as the universe seemingly conspires to keep them running into one another.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!


And that’s all I have for you today. I’ll be back on Monday with another round-up of romance reflections, updates, and new releases. Remember to give me a follow, if you’re not already, over on Twitter under @PScribe801. Happy reading! 

Categories
Kissing Books

All the Smolder

Hey y’all, welcome to the Kissing Books newsletter. I hope your spirit is doing well. I’m PN Hinton, your guide through the roller coaster of a ride that the world of romance can be. If it is your first time here, welcome and if you’re a regular reader, welcome back. 

It’s the last Monday in March y’all. This time next week, we’ll be in April and at the beginning of the second quarter of 2022. It’s hard to believe, especially when I remember that in roughly nine weeks it will be summer again. I know the Teenager will be happy at that but it will be an adjustment for me to get use to having someone around during my work day. No worries though, I’ll manage. I always do. 

I also saw Turning Red last week and loved everything about it. I know there has been a lot of criticism for it, to which I saw *raspberry*. In the 80’s and 90’s we were overwhelmed with all the teenage, horny boy movies and all the content that would not fly today. So we can deal with a movie about a girl who is going through puberty and all the ups and downs it entails. Because everyone who went through it knows that it’s more than just boobies and getting your period.

Romance Reflection:

I’ve been seeing a lot of discussion on The Smolder in Romancelandia as of late. I think part of that is due to the release of the second season of Bridgerton and seeing all the smoldering looks between Anthony and Kate. And I totally get it. Because boy howdy some of those ocular exchanges…. *fans self*

Smolders abound in romance novels and movies. And it’s so glorious to read about and see in a romantic movie. It’s been said that the eyes are the window to the soul and typically are easy ways to decipher how someone is feeling. Unless one has perfected the art of a poker face or RBF, which is something I wear proudly most days. It took me a lot of years to perfect mine and gosh darn it, I’m going to show it off. 

Getting back on track, sometimes you just can’t help looking at someone with such stark emotion on your face. And that is where the smolder comes in. Especially if it happens before either one or both of the main characters are willing to admit that they have feelings for one another. Or they let the mask slip because they think no one is watching and then someone, hopefully a friend, tells them in not so many words, “I totally saw you eye-banging them, just so we’re clear.”, much like the gif here illustrates. 

And when the object of the observer catches the smolder and is caught off guard not knowing what to do or how to feel? Especially if they were previously combative with one another?!?! YES!! All the yes and swooning there. 

So, bring on more of the smolder. Bring on the eyes that promise all the dirty and decadent things that will be done behind closed doors. Give me more of the longing gazes across crowded ballrooms or bars. I will always be here for it.

Book Riot Romance:

If you like manga, webtoons, and romance, this list has some recommendations for you.

Around the Web in Romance:

Here is this delightful round-up of 2022 romance novel covers as cocktails.

I had fun taking this Smash or Pass quiz that feature older Hollywood celebrities. And I won’t lie; I almost broke my mouse button on more than a handful for them.

I don’t know who this person was but I know they need to go kick rocks. Naysayers will need to stop saying romance writers aren’t intelligent when they’re some of the most intelligent people out there.

Kacen Callender is writing an adult romance novel!!

Love’s Sweet Arrow started a Trope Tuesday series on their TikTok and I’m excited to see what all they recommend in the coming weeks. I also strongly co-sign on the recommended book.

You mean you will pay me to say that I rejected you? I’m here for it. I agree someone needs to write this book because, whoo, is there potential there. I would definitely buy it.

Read this interview with Simone Ashley and Charithra Chandran about their experiences joining the Bridgerton cast.

And this piece about how the friendship between Eloise and Penelope parallels in the books and show. This is one of the endearing constants in the series, so happy to see that.

New Releases:

Here are the books showing as being scheduled for release this week, although some of them may be subject to change. There’s a lot of exciting ones coming out so prepare your wallets and bank account accordingly.

cover of Going Public

Chet Lee by Monica J Charles – (3/27)

Malum Discordiae by Ashlyn Drewek (3/28) 

Going Public by Hudson Lin (3/29)

What Happens on Vacation by Brenda Jackson (3/29)

Her Favorite Rebound by Jackie Lau (3/29)

The Dragon’s Bride by Katee Robert (3/29)

cover of A Duke, the Spy, an Artist, and a Lie

A Duke, the Spy, an Artist, and a Lie by Vanessa Riley (3/29)

A Small-Town Girl by Diana Anyango (3/30)

The Water’s Edge by Jerica Taylor (3/31)

You and Me Together by Kitty Jones (3/30)

Big Duke Energy* (3/30)

Last Resort by K. Bromberg (3/30) 

*Anthology


And that’s all I have for y’all on this lovely Monday morning. I hope that your week has started off on the right foot and, if it was challenging, that this newsletter helped with a boost of serotonin. I’ll be back Thursday with another one and some recommendations. If you’re not already following me on Twitter, I can be found posting under @PScribe801. Happy reading!

Categories
Kissing Books

Sometimes You Just Need a Light Romance

Hey y’all, welcome to the Kissing Books newsletter. I hope your spirit is doing well. I’m PN Hinton, your guide through the roller coaster of a ride that the world of romance can be. If it is your first time here, welcome and if you’re a regular reader welcome back. 

As y’all know I had last week off and I ended it by going to a small, local Renaissance Faire on Saturday with friends and the Teenager. While he was moody most of the day, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. It was small enough to get around quickly if you needed to and not constantly be in a crush of people. I also got some new pieces of jewelry which I enjoyed. A great ending to a good week.

In ‘What I’m Reading’ news, Meet Cute Club and Out on the Ice on both on my reading shelf.

Romance Reflection

While I want to get out of the habit of constantly rehashing less-than-stellar news, there are some things that just need to be discussed, such as the one for today, which is about the harassment that Jennifer L. Armentrout is receiving since the publication of her latest book, The War of Two Queens

I’m not here to hash out the scene in question, whether it fits the characters, or anything like that because it’s not for me to say. What I will say is the reactions from the fans, which have ranged from physical threats to doxxing, are ridiculous.  

Y’all. This type of behavior needs to stop. Like, yesterday. Authors are people too. 

It’s okay to be angry, sad, or disappointed with the direction a book takes. I’m not discounting that. It’s okay to be extremely passionate about it. But It’s not okay to threaten the author just because something didn’t play out the way it was shipped in your brain. Just stop reading the books and, if you’re feeling that froggy about it, the author altogether.

Book Riot Romance

Be sure to listen to the latest episode of When in Romance and hear more on Jess and Trisha takes on some of the questionable things that have been occurring in Romancelandia as of late.

Around the Web in Romance

Here are some books that feature a single parent as one of the main characters.

I loved this thread of celebrity couple pictures as romance tropes.

Pick your favorite condiment in this quiz and find out your taste in men.

Check out this interview with Julia Quinn and a sneak peek of Season 2 of Bridgerton which launches tomorrow!

Everything about this exchange gave me warm fuzzies.

If you missed Margo Hendricks’s Masterclass in Indigo, you’re in luck since you can check it out here.

There is a new anthology out to help support Ukraine.

Recommendations

Recently one of my oldest and closest friends went through an unexpected life challenge when her boyfriend, who is relatively young, underwent open heart surgery. His family lives in another state so everything fell on to my friend. And while she doesn’t mind because, you know, she loves the guy, it was still a very overwhelming experience. 

She’s also part of my book club and a few weeks ago we had our meet up which also served to give her a break. When it came to picking a new book her only request was something light and fun that didn’t require a lot of heavy thinking. The consensus ended up being The Ex Hex.

Sometimes it is nice to read a romance novel purely for the romance factor. There’s no social commentary, trauma, or anything like that. Because, while I think those are important to call out, it’s not something you can read all the time as it weighs heavily on you after a while.

With that in mind, my recommendations this week will be centered around lighter romances. As in they are romances with little to no angst, drama, or trauma. They’re just about two people falling in love. 

cover of Love Me Forever

Love Me Forever by Joanna Lindsey

Kimberly, still mourning her mother’s passing, is sent off to a country house party by demand of her father to find a husband. Lachlan, Laird of his impoverished clan, is looking for a wife to help fill their coffers. She writes him off both for being a gold digger and for already having designs on their very married hostess. However, the two are drawn to one another and find themselves helpless to fight the attraction.

cover of A Second Chance Road Trip for Christmas

A Second Chance Road Trip for Christmas by Jackie Lau

Ex-lovers Greg and Tasha find themselves as carpool buddies on the drive home for Christmas. Even though they’re each others first loves, they couldn’t be more different, and the years haven’t changed that. They also haven’t changed the fact that they two are attracted to and care deeply about one another. When a snowstorm forces them to stop in a hotel where there is only one room with one bed available, they wonder if this is a second chance at a forever love for them.

A Little Light Mischief Book Cover

A Little Light Mischief by Cat Sebastian

Molly is determined to settle into her new life as a lady’s maid and turn her back on her prior criminal background. She is also equally determined to not seduce Alice, the lady she is maid to. Or at least she would be if Alice didn’t continue to give her smoldering looks. Alice, for her part, is bored which is one of the reasons she can’t ignore her growing attraction to Molly. When a nefarious figure from Alice’s past returns, Molly agrees to return to her previous vocation to help protect Alice and win her heart.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!


And that is all I have for y’all today. I’ll be back next Monday with a fresh newsletter full of wonderful romance related things. In the meantime, you can follow me over on Twitter under @PScribe801. Have a great weekend!

Categories
Kissing Books

More Secondary Romances, Please

Hey y’all, welcome to the Kissing Books newsletter. I hope your spirit is doing well. I’m PN Hinton, your guide through the roller coaster of a ride that the world of romance can be. If it is your first time here, welcome and if you’re a regular reader, welcome back. 

Today marks my first day back at the day job after a week off. And it’s a bit bittersweet to be honest. Like most people, I enjoy the time off when I make myself take some and think, “Oh I could do this forever.” But then reality sinks in and I realize that I’m someone who can’t not work. I’d like to think that I am but I am honest enough to know that I will always need to do something to keep my brain busy. Otherwise I would go insane.

That said, I am already thinking of when my next extended weekend or vacation will be. Likely when the kiddo is off, since that way I don’t have to worry about getting him up and moving for school. 

In things currently bringing me joy, I have jumped on the Wordle and Quordle train and trying to solve the puzzle has been added to my morning routine along with coffee. 

Romance Reflection:

There’s one thing I feel doesn’t get enough love in romance novels and that’s the secondary love story. And by that, I don’t mean second chance love; I mean the secondary one in the same book. That’s the one that isn’t the main coupling of the story but rather the one we get the snippets of in-between the MCs’. Or, better yet, it’s the one you can see the seeds being planted for but doesn’t come to fruition until they get their own book 

I am here for it. 

There are a few reasons for this but I think one of the main reasons is that it can teach perspective. It takes us past our own personal bubble to see what is happening with others. I could be stretching here, and I won’t be insulted if you feel I am, but it really does. We talk a lot about not fully knowing anyone else’s story as a reminder to be kind. But it’s also a good reminder that you’re only the main character in your life, not necessarily in someone else’s. 

To put a rosy spin on it, there is always another love story that could be happening outside the main one and this helps us to not only recognize that but also appreciate it. And sometimes, although not in the case of the book mentioned here mind you, the secondary love story is better than the main one. 

A good example of this was Verity and Monk from Reel. Don’t get me wrong, I adored the book and Canon and Neevah’s story. But the history between Verity and Monk and the references that were made by the characters who were in the know, even if the audience wasn’t the wiser, was a great and tactical move by Kennedy Ryan. I wanted to know more about their first time on the love train. I wanted to know what caused it to derail. And I definitely want to know what will make that choo-choo go, “I think I can” a second time. 

So please, more secondary love stories in romance please. I’ll eat them up like candy.

Book Riot Romance:

This is a good read on how literary novels can be enhanced with the thread of a love story.

Around the Web in Romance:

Considering that two bits of writing advice that are constantly given are “Write what you know” and/or “Write what you want to see”, this is an interesting take indeed. Another option is to, you know, pick up a different book and skip that one but whatever. Please note that the OP does not agree with that assessment and were just referencing it.

The amount of jealousy I feel with this tweeted picture cannot be measured. So…pretty. To this day I still don’t know what happened to my OG copy of Indigo.

Here are some of the best unscripted moments from some of our favorite rom-coms. Numbers 3, 7, 8, and 14 were the ones I was more surprised about.

Here are three upcoming historical romances to add to your TBR.

I haven’t seen tick, tick…Boom! yet, but this deleted scene almost gave me the vapors. That head tilt he did when the dress was revealed…

And speaking of movies I was already excited for The Lost City, and this clip just ramped that up.

I really enjoyed reading this article that introduces us to the Bridgerton’s Sharma family. Seems like there will be a bit of a rivalry between Edwina and Kate which makes me a little nervous. However, I will wait and see how it all plays out before I pass judgment. 

New Releases:

As always, please note that these were the dates that were showing as of the writing of this article.

Red Blossom in Snow by Jeannie Lin (3/21)

The Eos Key– by D.M. Lewry (3/22)

Gouda Friends by Cathy Yardley (3/22)+

Savvy Sheldon Feels Good as Hell by Taj McCoy (3/22)

I’ll Come Back For You by Charish Reid (3/24)*

Tough Luck by Annabeth Albert (3/24)

cover of Storm Chasers

Salty Cowboy by Elana Johnson (3/24)

Storm Chasers by ML Preston (3/25)

Uncovering Her Hunger by Rae Shawn (3/25)

Not Your Type by Elizabeth Jeannel (3/25)

+I’m super excited for this one.

*According to Amazon I pre-ordered this on November 28th of last year; so, to say I’m highly anticipating it would be an understatement. Be sure to check out the author’s unboxing here.


And that is all I have for you today. I’ll be back on Thursday with more romance reflections, news, and recommendations. If you’re not already following me on Twitter, I can be found posting under @PScribe801. Until then, happy reading! 

Categories
Kissing Books

Listen Responsibly

Hey y’all, welcome to the Kissing Books newsletter. I hope your spirit is doing well. I’m PN Hinton, your guide through the roller coaster of a ride that the world of romance can be. If it is your first time here, welcome and if you’re a regular reader welcome back. 

I am almost at the end of my week off and it has been glorious. It was just what I needed; a chance to recharge my batteries and spend time with my kiddo. Which is always a winning combination. In reading news, I finished I’m So (Not) Over You and started my re-read of The Viscount Who Loved Me to prepare for March 25th. 

Romance Reflection

There is something that I feel doesn’t get discussed enough in Romancelandia and that is the dangers of listening to romance audiobooks while trying to multitask and do other adult duties. 

First, I will say audiobooks are not my go-to for reading. I don’t judge those that do because of course it counts as reading. But I just prefer to read on my own. Occasionally though I will pick them up and read them and when I do, it’s always a pleasant experience. But there have also been some, shall we say, memorable experiences with them as well. 

I actually haven’t listened to a lot of romance audiobooks and the two that readily come to mind were both by Talia Hibbert. The first was Get a Life, Chloe Brown narrated by the marvelous Adjoa Andoh otherwise known as Lady Danbury. I listened to it when I was still commuting to and from my office. I loved the banter between Red and Chloe but of course knew there would be sexy times ahead. And I tell you, the first time that Adjoa growled in Red’s voice, I almost swerved off the road. 

Then I was listening to The Roommate Risk, back when it was still titled Wanna Bet?, narrated by Cornell Collins. That story is first told in different timelines and in the present, Rahul and Jasmine are just friends. So, when a flashback to the past sets up the scene where it made it seem like they would engage in sexy times. I was like “Naw, they’re just friends. They’ll stop.”

They didn’t stop. 

So here I am in my break room, frantically trying to hit pause on my phone because I’m certain all my co-workers can hear the horny fun coming from my earbuds. 

Then there was another scene later on that I listened to while trying to clean. And I got distracted by the narrator’s voice and breathed in a bit too much of the cleaning product and had to leave the bathroom for fresh air.

So just remember to listen to romance books with caution. 

Of course again, this is all in jest. Both books were delightful and I highly recommend them.

Book Riot Romance

Speaking of Talia Hibbert, here is a list of a few authors who write in a similar fashion.

Check out this list of romances that take place in New York City.

Or some of these romance manga recommendations.

Around the Web in Romance

The answer to the question proposed in this article regarding Eloise Bridgerton: yes, we have.

If you’re looking for more romance fantasy novels, check out this list.

Here are some romances that were just what the doctor ordered.

If you’re looking for a fun quiz, check out this one where you write a letter to a loved one to see if they feel the same way.

Recommendations

Since today is St. Patrick’s Day, my recommendations for today are going to be books that feature Irish characters or take place in Ireland. A few even mark off both requirements.

cover of The Write Escape by Charish Reid

The Write Escape by Charish Reid

After losing her job and her man, literary editor Antonia finds herself at the crossroads of, “What comes next?” To help decide this, she decides to embark on a trip to Ireland where she ends up being next door neighbors to a handsome Irishman. Aiden is a literary professor on what is intended to be a working holiday. But the new friendship between the two quickly develops into an attraction that neither can ignore. However they also can’t ignore that Antonia’s home is an ocean away and that this vacation romance may not have the strength to last once it ends. 

Cover of Talk Sweetly To Me

Talk Sweetly to Me by Courtney Milan

Everyone knows who Irishman Stephen Shaughnessy is: infamous rake and advice columnist. He’s the complete opposite of his new neighbor Rose Sweetly, who prefers obscurity. After he moves in, the two begin to have a few interactions, which leads to Stephen becoming interested in Rose’s mathematical works as well as the woman behind them. She knows it will take every bit of strength she has to not succumb to his charms and walk down the road to ruination.

Cover of The Wife Trap

The Wife Trap by Tracy Anne Warren

After her behavior proves to be too scandalous to ignore, Jeanette is sent away from her family’s estate to live with elderly cousins in the Irish countryside. There she crosses paths with the handsome Darragh, a man she enters into a dalliance with, which leads to a marriage when their affair is uncovered—much to her chagrin since he’s a commoner. Looks are deceiving however since Darragh is actually an earl, a fact he hides from his wife until he can be sure she is willing to admit that she doesn’t need a high-style life or husband to be happily in love. Heads up, this is the second in a trilogy so if you’re a stickler for that, you might want to read The Husband Trap first.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!


And that’s all I have for this Thursday. I’ll be back Monday with another wonderful newsletter full of romance goodness for y’all. In the meantime, give me a follow over on Twitter under @PScribe801. Happy reading and have a wonderful weekend.