#RomBkLove Day 13: Stolen Kisses & Sexy Interludes

Day13 #RomBkLove

A stolen kiss in a moonlight garden, a scorching encounter in the coat room, these little sexy interludes spice up many a romance novel. Which ones were the most sexy? Sweet? Funny? Ridiculously wonderful?  Give us the who, what & where for the most memorable? 

 

From Ada Harper's A Conspiracy of Whispers:

And oh, after it all, how she needed to be kissed like this. A kiss like a wall, stopping her thoughts. A kiss like a wolf, snapping up her breath. A kiss like stone, anchoring her in. A kiss like sunlight, chasing shadows and warming places so long in the cold. A kiss like everything Galen was, wrapped up and pressed past her parted lips until she tasted nothing but him.

 

 

 An archive of the day's tweets

A list of all the prompts and the previous posts


#RomBkLove Day 12: In Uniform

Day12 #RomBkLoveYesterday was the 100th anniversary of Armistice day which marked the end of the First World War. In the United States it was also Veterans Day, a day where we honor and remember the sacrifices made by those who served.

Today is #RomBkLove' In Uniform Day.  This category includes those who served in the military but is not exclusively about them, as other folks also serve and those careers share many things in common. Long-separation, crazy hours, dangerous and emotionally draining jobs don't sound sexy but romance has long been fascinated with MCs in uniform. Nurses, Astronauts, Navy Seals, Firefighters, and so many more. Why are these careers such a long-standing draw for romance readers?

Emma Barry and Genevieve Turner's Fly me to the Moon series is set during the Space Race and many of the MCs are Veterans, former military personnel or otherwise involved with the Government in pursuit of exploring space. I've really loved the way this play into many of the relationships and romances. I was particular moved by  Turner and Barry capture the way it affects the women, how they worry and how they band together to take care of each other. I've reviewed many of the books (Star Dust, Midnight Clear, Free Fall) and I beta read the 2nd book Earth Bound.

In Laura Florand' A Kiss in Lavender, military service provide a new community and place of belonging for Lucien when he needed it most. Elena struggle with fitting into that world however when they reconnect and struggles to let go of the idea that she would bring him back home.  They have to sort out a lot about how to have a relationship and balance how his military service will work or not work in their relationship.

Farrah Rochon has a couple of books in her Moments in Maplesville series that feature former military personnel. In A Perfect Holiday Fling, the Stephen is a former Navy pilot, coming to terms with the fact that he might no longer be able to serve due to injury and trying to figure out what his next step.  He is also taking care of his widowed sister's son, while she serves a tour as an Army Nurse. She ended up getting her HEA in I Dare You, where she is pursued by another ex-Navy pilot, a good friend of her brother.  

 

 An archive of all the day's tweets

A list of all the prompts and links to all the posts so far.


#RomBkLove Day 11: Cross-Class Romances

Day11 #RomBkLoveContemporary or Historicals cross-class romances are a staple of the genre. The Princess falls for the gardener's boy, the Millionaire for the clerk, but there is a lot to overcome when love crosses classes. From Cinderella retellings, rescue fantasies or unexpected reversals, what romances get it right? 

I recently read Band Sinister by KJ Charles that while it was not strictly a cross-class romance, one of the leads was a lord while the other a country gentleman. There was a huge gap between their financial positions and privilege. I loved how Charles had that be a pivotal part of the plot and something that she expressly address in the HEA, rather than something glossed over.

In Priscilla Oliveras's Her Perfect Affair both the Rosa and Jeremy struggle in different ways with fitting in with Jeremy's prominent and wealthy family. There is a scene early in the novel with Rosa, Latina, middle-class and pregnant feels so very out-classed by Jeremy's WASPy ex-girlfriend, who grew up with him and know all the same people his parents do. The subtle insider/outsider subtexts of the scene were perfectly portrayed.

Alisha Rai's Hurts to Love You is another contemporary that doesn't shy away from portraying class differences in modern day America.  Gabriel grew up the son of cook, while Eve is the sheltered heiress.  They both have a lot of baggage associated with the way they grew up and have to unpack it in order to fight for something together.

What romances capture how the cross-class divides impact romances?

 

 An Archive of all the Day's tweets

A link to all the prompts and to a list of all the posts so far.


#RomBkLove Day 10: What Did I Just Read? OTT & WTF

Day10 #RomBkLoveFun, wacky, wild or just plain odd. Sometimes nothing but an OTT or WTF will do. Which odd-ball romances are more than they seem? Which ones have stuck with you?  Why read something OTT or WTF?

Sometimes I have an itch for stories with over-the-top elements and ridiculous situations. I tend to binge read them for comfort when I am stressed or overwhelmed.  A few summers ago I read 40 TS Joyce, Lumberjack Werebear books over a 2 to 3 week span. The books are full humor, and surprisingly deep worldbuilding, but mostly about werebears fighting in lumberjack camps.    

GA Aiken/Shelley Laurenston has fantastically over-the-top fights and plots. I love the out-thereness of her stories. Whether it is brawling honey-badger sisters or a blood-thirsty queen married to a dragon.

Who do you turn to when nothing but eye-brow raising drama or zany plotlines will do?

 An Archive of the day's tweets

A list of all the prompts and links to all the posts so far.


#RomBkLove Day 9: Unlikable Heroines

Day9 #RomBkLoveRomance readers are super hard on heroines, always held to higher standards than any heroes. Flawed, flinty, flaky...and some ruder words are frequently used.  But some of us like our heroines less than perfect, emotionally messy, and maybe more than little rude. Which hard-to-love heroines are your faves?

This year I have been lucky enough to read a bunch of heroines that are anything but sweet or perfect. I adored Billy in Beverly Jenkins's Destiny's Surrender.  Billie is the definition of fierce, flawed and flinty for me. She expects to be hurt and to be set aside and Billie has been disappointed at lot, so she never expects much of Drew, despite his charm and affection. She is fiercely protective of their child however and will do whatever she has to do for him. I love seeing how much emotional labor Drew had to do to bring them to a place where they could build something together.

Ada Harper's Olivia an for-hire-assassin, in A Conspiracy of Whispers, is all edges and denial. She has built a nearly impenetrable shell around herself and will do nearly anything to protect herself.  She does have a soft-center but really makes Galen earn it. 

Portia in Alyssa Cole's  A Duke by Default made the whole book for me.  She was the unreliable, bad friend in Princess in Theory, and in Duke by Default we get to know her and all her messiness. I loved that she is problem drinker, whose un-diagnosed ADHD has driven her into a cycle of enthusiasm and disappointments.  She has made a lot of mistakes and for me as mother of teen with ADD, she was so damn familiar, I wanted to hug her.

What "unlikeable" heroines do you love. What gets a heroine labeled as unlikeable?

An archive of the day's tweets

 A list of all the prompts and the posts so far

 

 


#RomBkLove Day 8: Hard to Categorize: All Those Cross-Genre, Mini-Genre Delights

Day8 #RomBkLoveSteampunk, Horror Romances, Dystopian/Royal Romances, Historical/Contemporary hybrids...and dozens more. Which mini-genres & cross-genre romances do you love hard even if they are hard to categorize?

I suspect many others will name the books on my list but I love Kit Rocha's novels. They write HopeDark romances set in a dystopian world. The Beyond Series & The Gideon Riders series are a part SFR, part Fantasy, part RS, with fantastic worldbuilding and it all works for me.

I also love Susanna Kearsley's romances. Her books often have dual timelines with paranormal elements, so are they contemporary, historical or paranormal? The romances are atmospheric, gentle and emotional. My favorites are the Winter Sea, A Desperate Fortune and Shadowy Horses.

I read a lot of historical fantasy where it is hard to click just one box for because both elements are equally important.  KJ Charles's A Charm of Magpies Series, is a cross of horror, PNR and fantasy romance.  Zen Cho's Sorcerer to the Crown, is full of political intrigue and the social shenanigans of regency novel but in fascinating fantasy world.  Similarly Stephanie Burgis's Hardwood Spellbook series is set in a deeply political fantasy regency world full of magic.

Which niches in romances do you love?

An Archive of the Day's tweets

A list of all the prompts and links to all the posts so far


#RomBkLove Day 7: Categorical Love: Harlequin/Mills & Boon

Day7 #RomBkLoveUniform in style  but far from formulaic, category romances pack a lot of romance in a slim package. 

Many of the biggest names in romance got started in category romance, whose books stand-out?

I came into romance late, and didn't quite know what to make of Category romance.  It didn't make sense to me, was I supposed to read them in order? Did stories interconnect? So I steered clear only to eventually make book friends who kept recommending category authors to me. 

The lines that most worked for me was SuperRomance & Blaze. I have a small collection made up titles by Molly O'Keefe, Karina Bliss, Meg Maguire (Cara Mckenna) or Sarah Mayberry.  

After falling in love with Farrah Rochon's self-published novels, I ended up going back to find her Kimani books, just like how I went back to find HelenKay Dimon's Intrigues after reading her later single-title books.

Do you read category romance? Which lines did you love best? Which lines do you miss the most?

An archive of the day's tweets

Bonus #RomBkLove: A listing of all the prompts for the month


#RomBkLove Day 6: Civic Engagement: Public Service, Politics, & Activism

Day6 #RomBkLoveBack when I put this list together it seemed like a good idea to directly reference it being Election day in the US than to pretend it wasn't happening. 

I strongly believe that all romance is political, not just the ones with politicians, civil servants & activists. HEAs and who gets to have them are things that matter. Who is erased and who is glorified matters.

From parliaments to street protests, proper parlors to gaming halls, lobbyists, council members, seditious pamphleteers, abolitionists, suffragettes, crusading journalists and presidents have all found love in Romance novels.  Who made civic engagement just a little bit sexy?

Rose Lerner's Sweet Disorder is one of my favorite political romances. A young widow can cast a deciding ballot, and is being courted heavily for her vote. The heroine is prickly, independent and no one to mess with.

In KJ Charles's A Seditious Affair, Silas run a illegal printing press in his basement, and nearly dies for his political passions.

I really love The Rogue Anthologies, I have pre-ordered each one! (Rogue Acts is one of my favorites), as they have collected fantastic morsels of political resistance and radical hope from their inception in the days after the 2016 election.

In Beverly Jenkins's historicals, the political action is often part of the story or backstory. In Forbidden, Rhine Fontaine is a black man, a former slave, passing a white man in Nevada, active politically, serving in his city's council and it is one of the things he gives up when he claims his blackness to live along side his beloved Eddie. Their beloved nieces are also deeply passionate about politics. Portia in Breathless deep interest in women's suffrage and looking forward to attending a women's rights convention while  in Tempest on the things that attracts Regan to wilds of Wyoming Territory is the opportunity to vote.

I could keep naming romances where the politics are central to the love story...but I want to see who you will name. 

An Archive of all the day's tweets

Bonus #RomBkLove: A listing of all the prompts for the month


#RomBkLove Day 5: Still Looking: Hard-to-Find Tropes

Day5 #RomBkLove
What tropes do you keep looking for and not finding? What kind of books do you wish you saw more of? What tropes are you yearning for?

Yesterday I was looking for Puerto Rican baseball player romances, and I got one rec. Maybe you are looking for f/f best friends's older sibling or whatever... do you have a kind of book that you keep looking for an not quiet finding? 

My hope for all of us is that someone has read or written it and we can find recs from each other today.  At worst we speak our desires out loud and maybe someone out there will write it!

 

Bonus #RomBkLove: A listing of all the prompts for the month

An Archive of the day's tweets


#RomBkLove Day 4: Sports

Day4 #RomBkLove

On the ice, the field, the track or pool, romance MC's compete for more than medals or trophies, they are out to win hearts.  What are you favorite sport-themed romances? 

I don't read a lot of sports-themed romances but there are several sports-adjacent romances that I would highly recommend.  Ruby Lang writes fantastic prickly heroines, with fierce competitive streaks. In Hard Knocks a neurologist ends up embroiled in a very public feud with a hockey player on the brink of retirement. I love the humanity and humor of her characters.  In her story, The Long Run in Rogue Acts, the MCs in the her short-story are neighbors who got off on the wrong foot and keep running across each other on their jogging routes. They are surly, wrong-headed and I loved both of them.

As we enter the winter season I would also recommend Tamsen Parker's Snow and Ice series.   Parker does not shy away from portraying the costs of competition while bringing to life passionate and flawed MCs.

 

An Archive of all the day's tweets