Saturday, April 21, 2018

Whatcha Reading? + Romancelandia Recap (April 21st)

But first a little

Romancelandia Recap

Hey look! This week we can finally start this post off with a bit of good news rather than romancelandia drama! Alisha Rai has signed on for a new contemporary trilogy, which spins-off from her Forbidden Hearts trilogy. The new series will include Rhiannon's story, which makes Jen and I both extremely happy as we were dying for her to get a book! No release dates yet though. *sobs*

While we're on the topic of upcoming books, more good news! Ilona Andrews sold 3 more novels and a novella in their Hidden Legacy series to Avon (novella late 2018, novels starting in 2019). Jen and I both love this trilogy, so we're excited for this as well.

And finally, Lucy Parker has sold two more books to Carina Press. I've not read Parker yet, though I have her books on my pile, but Jen read book 3 (out next month) and enjoyed it quite a bit. I know many are a fan of her books -- so yay for more books!

It's a day ending in Y, so of course we're having to deal with non-romance readers trying to tell us how the genre is. This time, it's the old "If you limit romance novels to HEA only, you're going to limit the evolution of the genre!". Which is total bullshit, on so many levels. Once again, for the people in the back: if you wish to write a story that follows a couple but does NOT end with them together and happy and, you know, BOTH ALIVE, that's totally fine. BUT YOU CANNOT CALL SUCH A STORY A ROMANCE. NOT NOW, NOT EVER, OVER ROMANCELANDIA'S DEAD BODY.

And because it's still a day ending in Y: The Boston Globe ran a story about romance and the #MeToo movement that was . . . not exactly great? It talks about bodice rippers, okay? Enough said. I'm not going to get into this, but Courtney Milan did a great thread on it, as did Roan Parrish.

Many of you may know c2s (Cee Squared) on Twitter. She's been a longtime romance reader, friend to many, and awesome person to follow. Sadly, she passed away this week. My heart goes out to her friends and family, and she will be missed in our community. You can find out more about how to donate to her favorite charity here.

Ending on a better note, there was an interesting conversation going on about romance authors (and readers) who love romance -- obviously! -- but are not romantic in their own lives. Courtney Milan started this discussion, and some replied to her thread, but many others started their own thread stories about their IRL romantic tendencies (or lack thereof). I couldn't keep up with finding all those separate tweets, but I can at least link you to Milan's to start.

Other than that, I think this week was pretty quiet in romancelandia. You know, compared to some we've had this year! Fingers crossed that quiet sticks around for a bit.

Nothing interesting to talk about from my own life this week, so I won't bore you all. Instead, let's get into the book recaps!

What I Read:

Heart's Choice by Celeste O. Norfleet
2 Stars

✦ Wealthy football player hires matchmaker service
✦ Successful actress not looking for love at all
✦ Story was ok, though there's a quick jump from "I like you" to "Let's get married!" But maybe this is not as big of a deal in category stories? IDK, I don't read many
✦ Writing didn’t work for me though. Too much head jumping, unnecessary explanations, etc.
     ✦ Ex: A joke would be explained in narration and then IMMEDIATELY the joke was told in dialogue. Just tell the damn joke, don't explain the joke to the reader.
     ✦ Head jumping would happen from one paragraph to the next -- but the two were in DIFFERENT places, not the same room. As in, they were sometimes in different cities even, making it very confusing. I had to stop and do a lot of rereading to keep up with it all.
✦ A lot of things dumped into the last few chapters, but not really addressed or resolved
✦ Sex was ok but didn't wow either

Find all the quotes I shared HERE

My Lady Quicksilver by Bec McMaster
Narrated by Alison Larkin
4 Stars

✦ Enemies to lovers
✦ He’s a vampire
✦ She’s human w/ mechanical hand, undercover as his assistant
     ✦ He doesn't know that his primp and proper assistant is also the mechanical-hand-bearing Mercury that he's after
         ✦ Which, honestly, I kinda had an issue with -- at least, with how long it was before he DID know this, considering he was intimate with "both" women, thinking they were NOT the same, and only found out the truth at nearly 75%. :/
✦ Pretty damn hot (slow burn first)
     ✦ I mean, damn, she has to fuck him to bring him back from the darkness inside him! (Okay, so her magical pussy didn't cure that but it did calm him some so he could pull himself back together.) Regardless, it was hot. Also a hot BJ (as Mercury) and some great tension throughout
✦ Best read in order to understand this world

Fallen Ink by Carrie Ann Ryan
4 Stars

✦ Friends to lovers
✦ Tattoo artists (she owns the shop)
✦ Single dad
✦ Silver fox (went grey early, they're both 30s tho)
✦ Super hot -- both the masturbation and the sex scenes ;)
✦ Easy read (low conflict)
✦ Looking forward to book 2 (Thea and Dimitri) -- though until then, I should probably try to catch up on the many CAR books I have not yet read. It's a good problem to have though, since I enjoy her books.

Find all the quotes I shared HERE

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
Narrated by Janina Edwards
3 Stars

✦ Elevator meet-cute
     ✦ He needs a date for his ex's wedding, she agrees, turns into a fake dating story, and then real weekend hookups
✦ Pediatric surgeon
✦ Lawyer turned mayor’s Chief of Staff
✦ Cute at times.
✦ Buuuuut more often it was annoying
     ✦ Constant -- literally, CONSTANT -- "No, we're not dating! This is just weekend hookups." ACROSS THE DAMN STATE. FLYING BACK AND FORTH? Yeah, okay, sure keep whining that it's just fucking and *nothing* else going on.
     ✦ Also, she was always comparing herself to other women. And by other women, I mean skinny, tall and blonde. Stop. Just stop.
     ✦ Sometimes he was sweet. Sometimes I wanted to kick him in the nuts. IDK, I have mixed feelings -- with him and this book in general.
✦ Fade to black scenes. Super disappointing that these two couldn't stop fucking -- hell, the entire book was practically set around their weekend fly-and-fuck marathons -- and yet the scenes were all fade to black. I think one was *technically* on page -- but it was, not exaggerating, two thrusts and a groan and that was it.
✦ Overall: okay. Definitely not worth the big $, but if your library has it, maybe try it?

Remember, Jen did a review on it in February!

Wanna Bet? by Talia Hibbert
5 Stars
April Royal Pick

✦ Friends to lovers
✦ Angst and feels OMG
✦ Forced proximity --- temporary roommates
✦ Hero of color as well (Muslim/Hindu heritage)
✦ Controlled cinnamon roll in the streets, sweetly bossy in the sheets
✦ She’s queer and gives zero fucks about her life, her sexuality, etc.
✦ Talia is a motherfucking writing goddess and she proves this EVEN MORE with each book
     ✦ DEFINITELY my favorite (so far) -- and I already loved all the previous ones, so that's saying a lot.

Find all the quotes I shared HERE

Currently Listening To:

Only You by Denise Grover Swank

I'm pretty sure I've read one from this author before -- but I think it was a YA/NA PNR? Update: Yes, it was -- this series. I liked it! 

Anyway! Wedding planner + ex-Marine. Their meet-cute was kinda, well, cute and fun. He just bought the fixer-upper next door to her and her cousin (roommate) sends her over with food to welcome him -- and possibly get a date. She doesn't want to do this, and ends up making a bit of a fool of herself while welcoming him to the neighborhood.

Currently Reading:

After the Wedding by Courtney Milan

Out 04/24

Loving this one so far! I forgot how amazing Milan's historicals are. I'm SUPER behind on them! Must fix this.

Biracial hero who is undercover as a servant (to try and help his uncle) + heroine who has never had a place to call home or people who love and care about her (*sobs*) + a shotgun wedding. Literally -- they're forced to wed at gunpoint.

Want to follow my thoughts and quotes as I read? Here ya go!

Miscellaneous Links

So what are YOU currently reading?

Or tell me about your week/weekend -- doing anything fun? Is it actually spring where you live or is mother nature also being a moody bitch?


Until Next Time,

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