#Rombklove Feed

Day 24: #Rombklove: Disability

Day 24_ Disability #RombklovePlease welcome Shantastic! @bardsong to #RomBkLove.  I've been following Shannon on twitter for a long time and I always enjoy her recommendations. When Calla Lily had to step away, Shannon offered to step in with her own list of recommendations, because as disabled (blind) romance reader, she had acquired a lot of opinion about the ways disability is used in Romance.
 

Hi everyone! My name is Shannon, and I'm excited to talk to you all about romances with disabled characters for #RomBkLove. This has become something of a passion of mine, because too often, disability is used as a shorthand in romance for angst. If you know that a heroine was blinded or a hero is an amputee, then you think you know all the reasons that character might be sad. And too often, authors don't delve into the topic more deeply than that. As a congenitally blind person with no usable vision, I've gotten used to seeing myself in the pages of books as a character who elicits either pity or inspiration, and it's important to me to consider disability from a more nuanced perspective. A romance with a disabled protagonist works when the disabled character has other facets to her life than her disability. Does she have other hobbies that are explicitly mentioned in the text? Does she exist for any other reason than to be pitied? If not, my follow-up question is always why not?

    Before we get to the recs, I want to point out where I'm coming from, since everyone with a disability has a different experience. I've been blind since birth, so I grew up disabled and have no other basis for comparison. I also cannot read books about blind protagonists. I keep trying; I end up wanting to argue with the author and nitpick their research, often justifiably so, which isn't a fun experience for me as a reader. So all of these recs will be for books with protagonists with disabilities I don't share. That all being said, here are my recs:

Love Lessons by Heidi Cullinan  white man in gray shirt and slacks surrounded by white scribblesHeidi Cullinan has tackled disability in several of her books. My personal favorite is Love Lessons, where one of the heroes has severe allergies and asthma. I loved that he finds this irritating, because it impacts all areas of his life, but it's not treated as an obstacle to overcome. I also adored Carry the Ocean and its sequel, Shelter the Sea, which feature a hero with autism and another with severe depression. They also have disabled friends, which is something I rarely see in books, although that's certainly been my experience in real life.

Hold on Tight by Serena Bell  White couple in an embrace  white woman with blonde hair looking towards camera  dark haired man eyes closed
I really loved Serena Bell's Returning Home series, with its wounded war vets who find themselves disabled and have to figure out what that means for them. They're angsty, and the battles these heroes fight, often with themselves, are so hard won but so worth it.

Damaged Goods by Ainslie Paton  white blonde woman in profile wearing a black lace teddy

Both Owen and Cara struggle with back injuries in Ainslie Paton's Damaged Goods. Owen's been newlyinjured and is addicted to pain pills. Cara was injured as a child, so she's had years to adjust to having a disability. I loved the conflict between the two of them and enjoyed Owen's journey out of addiction.

Friend (with benefits) Zone by Laura Brown  dark hairedd white man  shirtless in a dark leather jacket looks leftRecently, I read Laura Brown's Friend (with Benefits) Zone. The author herself is hard of hearing, and so are her characters. No mention is made of this in the blurb, which is billed as a standard-issue friends-to-lovers romance. It's so refreshing to have a book treat the disabled characters like they might be able to star in any other kind of book, disabled or no. She's got a few other titles, and I look forward to seeing what else she comes up with.

I really liked the disability as character trait, not as plot device aspect of the funny A Girl Like Her by Talia Hibbert  tattoed shirtless white man look down toward his six-packand sweet A Girl Like Her by Talia Hibbert, which features an autistic heroine. I always love small-town romances where the dark underbelly of life in an idyllic village is revealed. I love that Ruth is successful in her career and has hobbies, and I don't think I've ever read a book where online friendships were treated as just as valuable as real life ones. I keep buying Talia Hibbert books, and now I want to roll around in them.

51Ed8Tia2hLI don't read a lot of romantic suspense, but I really liked Station Alpha by Aislinn Kearns, and not just because she's fun to talk with on Twitter. Paul is in a wheelchair--another wounded vet--but he's still awesome and kick-ass, and I absolutely believed why Christine would fall for him.


For historical romance, I recommend Tessa Dare's Romancing the Duke, both because it's a rip-roaring Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare  Dark haired white woman in red ballgown in profile in front of Castlegood time and because I appreciated that Dare acknowledged that vision impairment doesn't always mean a person is totally blind. Ransome felt authentic to me, and we've already talked about how hard it is for me to read blind characters. I have to give an honorable mention as well to When a Scot Ties the Knot for its story arc involving a secondary character with short-term memory loss that could have been awful and demeaning but which was instead gentle and beautifully written.

51ZCUowVNTL._SY346_Years ago, Jennifer Ashley's The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie took the romance world by storm. The titular Lord Ian MacKenzie has what we'd now consider Asperger's. It's been a while since I read the book, but I remember that I really enjoyed it.

I can't step away from historicals without a shoutout to Laura Kinsale's Flowers from the Storm, which features a sheltered Quaker paired with a mathematical genius who is recovering from a Laura Kinsale's Flower from the Storm  Tree  flowers swaying in wind in front of a distant estate housestroke. I don't always like Kinsale's heroines, but this book is the ultimate in high drama and intense emotions.

Considering how much I love paranormals, you'd think I'd be able to rec a bunch for this topic. Part of the reason I can't is that I'm personally irritated by the trope where a person with a superpower considers it a disability. I have a real disability. Believe Ruby Dixon's Fire in his Fury  humanoid dragon with orange scaly skin embraces a white blonde woman from behindme, it's not a superpower. That said, I loved Ruby Dixon's Fire in His Fury, which has a heroine with a pronounced limp. Amy is sort of a plot mcguffin early on in the series, but once she gets her own book, she gets all the agency I could ever want for her, and Rast, her dragon lover, is delicious.

The Second Mango by Shira Glassman  two women ride a dragon  one is dark skinned and the other white and blondeEven though they're not romances, I do have to give a shout-out to the delightful mangoverse books by Shira Glassman. Shulamit has major food allergies, and Aviva shows her love by providing her gluten-free meals. It's not something she makes a big deal about, and she doesn't ask for cookies, and the romance between the two women is wonderfully sweet.

What books have I missed? Please share them in the #rombklove hashtag.

Also, check out Calla Lily's excellent blog, Sense and Disability, for another disabled person's take on this topic and additional recs.


Day 23 #RomBkLove: Gateway Books

Day 23

Kat, Rudi and Gabby, The BookThingo Team have put together a podcast about the books that brought them in Romance. I hope you love listening to their stories and checking their shownotes for all the details:

 


Day 22 #RomBkLove: Secret Baby

Day 22

One of my favorite things about #RomBkLove is reading about why people love certain tropes, especially if those tropes are ones that I didn't understand or care for.  Kini absolutely adores Secret Baby romances and has a top-notch list of recommendations to share on her Romance Romp Podcast Website.

 

 


Day 20 #Rombklove: Memorable Sex Scenes

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Joy is back today to talk about Memorable Sex Scenes. This topic was first hosted by Jen Porter who hosted the  Sexy edition of #Rombklove last July!  I can’t wait to see what scenes have left and impression for good or bad reasons for all of you!

Thank you Ana for once again allowing me to host a day of #RomBkLove.

 

Hey all, Joy here once again, still trying to recover from PNR day. Today I am here to talk about the memorable sex / love scenes in romance that stick with you. Now, for me, if a scene  makes my loins / my womb throb (LOL), my cheeks get inflamed, I start to sweat while reading said scene or said scene replays in my mind long after I have finished the book, then it is a rememorable scene. The scene can encompass anywhere from a kiss that blows your head off, foreplay, heavy petting, masturbation, lots of sexual tension, dirty talk to full on intercourse.

 

Capturing the sensuality and emotion of a love / sex scene, bringing the reader into the story and getting them to feel what the Hero or Heroine feels, almost as if you are a voyeur, so to speak, takes talent. And sometimes a memorable scene can be when you are thinking to yourself, how the heck did they do that?? or that's got to smarts (ouchie, lol) or you find yourself trying to reinact the scene to see if what you just read is physically possible to accomplish (ha!). 

 

In order for me to enjoy a romancre, there must have some form of heat in the book. I can enjoy a romance with just a little sex, but the sexual tension must be high! I need at least one flaming hot scene. Having read erotic, hot, steamy romance for quite a long time, it would take me days to go over all of the scenes that have stuck with me. I don't want to give away all the details in my recommendations, so that you can enjoy the strories when you pick them up AND YOU WILL! Here are just a mere fraction of the books with memorable love/sex scenes that have left me broken, throbbing and trying to recover, (rotflmao), listed in no certain order.

 

Perv by Dakota Gray (M/F) https://amzn.to/2k8DwNG

The Hero not only is honest in his love of eating the puss, he revels in pleasuring a woman in that manner. A LOT! Enough said, LOL!

 

Midnight Man by Lisa Marie Rice (M/F) https://amzn.to/2rUjquS

Hero rents out office space to the Heroine. Lots of sexual tension, Hero is enamored immediately. The first time they have sex is in his offic (MEOW!) The next day she arrives at the office to see that he has left the panties that he tore off, on the doorknob of her office. 

 

Fall Fury by Jaci Burton (M/F) https://amzn.to/2k9niny

Hero can control storms. He persues Heroine and enacts foreplay in some very inventive weather related ways.

 

Natural Law by Joey W. Hill (M/F) https://amzn.to/2rUaTYR

Joey guts me every time with her Contemporaries as well as her BDSM books. There are too many memorable scenes to count  so I will use the scene from Natural Law where the Heroine, a Domme, is teaching the Hero to use his safe word. Hero is a cop and uber Alpha. Let just say that it gets verrrrrrrry intense.

 

Waiting For It by Rhyannon Byrd (M/F) https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/177413.Waiting_for_It

As with Joey, Rhyannon Byrd guts me every time but here are two of the books that hurt my innards (in a good way) 

Hero has loved the Heroine for years. Stayed away, respected her marriage. She is now divorced and he comes back to town to claim his woman! Lots of oral on his part and when they finally make love, the Big Bang Theory happens (lol). Very Alpha, very loving, dirty talker.

 

Triple Play by Rhyannon Byrd (M/F/M) https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34208364-triple-play

Heroes friend knows Hero loves the Heroine but the Hero wont persue her because of something from his past. Friend brings Heroine to Heroes place as a gift for his birthday with the Heroines consent. So begins a night of  breaking down the Heroes defenses with some very intense lovemaking.

 

Night Fever by Susan Kyle (M/F) https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/566133.Night_Fever

Hero is the DA. Heroines brother gets into trouble and she tries to convince the Hero that he is a good boy.  She has much on her plate taking care of elderly grandfather and her younger brothers. Hero patiently courts the Heroine with lots of foreplay. 

 

Protecting What's His by Tessa Bailey (M/F) https://amzn.to/2LeyonK

Hero is a very sexy cop next door. Heroine has newly moved in and is on the run with her younger sister. Heroine wants nothing to do with Hero even though he is to die for, her first concern is her sister and keeping a low profile. Hero is having none of that and is a verrry dirty talker. 

 

Pack Challenge by Shelly Laurenston  (M/F) https://amzn.to/2rUxV1L

Hero is a wolf shifter. Small town Heroine has been shunned most of her life due to an injury that left her walking with a limp and in pain. On top of that her grandmother was an evil bitch. She is very wary of people in general so when the Hero walks into the auto repair shop that she works in and shows interest, she is NOPE! Let the dance begin (lol). Sexual tension and a very hot scene when the Hero finally is able to be alone with the Heroine.

 

HAVEN by Rebekah Weatherspoon  (M/F) https://amzn.to/2ID5Jqs

After a very harrowing incident while on a camping trip, our Heroine literally runs into the arms of the Hero as she makes her escape to safety. Haven is a very intense story whos' Heroine and Hero are both trying to come to grips on how to live with their new normal. They begin a D/s relationship that is so pure and real as well as immensely erotic. Their journey to not only learning how to love one and another but how to come to grips with their very different lifestyles makes for a very great read.

 

Wicked Sacrifice by Lora Leigh (M/F/M) https://amzn.to/2kbWe78

Twin Heroes who share their women. Heroine works as secretary for them and is having none of being in a relationship with either much less both of them. Heroine turns the tables on Heroes as they persue indiviually and together. Oh, and what what twin feels, so does the other. OMG!!!!! 

 

Rejar by Dara Joy  (M/F) https://amzn.to/2rW5jog

Rejar is a Familiar from another world and is a very sexual being. He lands in the 18th century and rebukes the strait laced rules that prevent him from being the wanton and sexually open man that he wants to be. He sees the Heroine and immediately knows that she is his. He falls in love and uses everything in his repetoire in his pursuit of our very independent Heroine and I mean nothing. Mwahahha. 

 

Knight of A Trillion Stars by Dara Joy (M/F) https://amzn.to/2LfyDPn

From the same world as Rejar, KoATS's Hero is Rejar's brother. He is very Alpha and his Heroine is a modern woman from the 20th century. He kidnaps her to his world where he courts her and he courts her alllll over his realm.. a lot! 

 

Below are memorable scenes suggested by some of my fellow Romance Peeps, who are hosting other prompts during #RomBkLove.

 

Awaken, My Love by Robin Schone (M/F) https://amzn.to/2rWoMFf

The Heroine time-travels through self-love orgasm. - Mary Lynne Nielsen (@emmelnie)

 

Savage Thunder by Johanna Lindsey (M/F) https://amzn.to/2rTBrto

"Sex while riding on a horse". Massively dated book, but that scene! - Mary Lynne Nielsen (@emmelnie)

 

Muse by Anne Calhoun (M/F) https://amzn.to/2LaThjH

Very intense sex scenes & role playing. - Ellie Reads (@e_savova)

 

Please share your most memorable love/sex scenes, using #RomBkLove on Twitter. I'll have my pen and paper ready!

 

Joy is the co-owner of Joyfully Reviewed, a Romance Review site that will be celebrating  their 13th year come this August. Joy attends many Romance conventions and Booksignings in addition to sharing videos and pics of her cat, Bleu. She can be found at the following social media sites. 

 

Facebook: https://bit.ly/2fkuMU7

Facebook: https://bit.ly/2k5w2uY

Twitter: @JoyfullyReviewd

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2gvWWxh 

Instagram: https://bit.ly/2gvVKdl

 


Day 19 #RomBkLove: Worldbuilding

Day 19: Worldbuilding #rombklove

Please welcome Mary Lynne a long-time Romance reader. I’ve always ernjoyed her thoughtful tweets on Romance and I hope you enjoy her thoughts on Worldbuilding: 

 

How many times have you heard of romance referred to as an escape? You’re told that you should be swept away, that you’ll explore worlds of adventure and love. Heck, Harlequin even built an entire ad campaign around this.

But the underlying theme of these ideas is that romance removes you from the everyday to something else. And you wouldn’t have any of that without worldbuilding. Merriam-Webster calls worldbuilding “the art of creating a fictional world,” while Charlie Jane Anders says it’s “the lifeblood of storytelling” in her blog post The 7 Deadly Sins of Worldbuilding. While most people, unsurprisingly, think of worldbuilding in relation to fantasy and science fiction, it has a vital role to play in romance.

Warsong cover, a woman with long brown hair and sword climb up a cliffThe most direct and obvious connection is in fantasy and SF romance. I recently read Elizabeth Vaughan’s newest book in her Chronicles of the Warlands series, Warsong. Even though it had been several years since I’d read one of her books, I was instantly transported to the Plains and its clan structure, to the imperial city of Xy and its complexities. When I asked Vaughan about worldbuilding, she noted, “I think good worldbuilding is essential. But the writer always has to remember that the worldbuilding needs to be behind the scenes. What makes a great read is the focus on the actions and struggles of the characters moving through your world.” Vaughan’s comment, to me, drives home that necessary connection of not just creating a believable world but creating believable characters within that world.

Another great example of enveloping worlds in fantasy romance are Jeffe Kennedy’s Twelve Kingdoms and Uncharted Realms books in her series of the same names. She even has a map available for you to see those countries, which is a classic SF/F tool for worldbuilding! Linda Winstead Jones, in her first trilogy in her wonderful Columbyana series, reminded me of Mervyn Peake’s classic Gormenghast books when she set a huge portion of the action in a castle that is, in and of itself, its own world. Ava Sinclair built a complex dragon culture in her Drakoryan reverse-harem series—and then once I grew accustomed to it, she went even further and changed it through a long-suppressed and now-risen threat. Tracy St. John has created an intricate world of war and cultural differences in her Clans of Kalquor series, which includes ménage relationships as well as an intersex heroine in her book Michaela.

But good worldbuilding applies to historical romances as well. The difference is that the historical writer doesn’t get to create the rules of that world as the fantasy writer does. Instead, historical writers have to work with the facts and conventions of the time. They don’t have to slavishly adhere to them, but they also can’t consistently go so far from the mainstream that they become the dreaded “wallpaper historical” author, with people who don’t act or talk like someone from the years they’re supposed to be living in. As KJ Charles writes on her blog, “I am not here for histrom that is modern day people in silly hats; that takes all the fun out of it.”

Georgette Heyer, of course, is the ur-Regency romance author, building the conventions of that massively popular subgenre as we know it today. Interestingly, Heyer actually created some of the things we take as gospel for the Regency period: her use of slang exceeds anything you’ll find in Austen. But as noted in The Private World of Georgette Heyer, her research was meticulous and filled volumes, with information far beyond what she ever used in her books. Her depiction of Waterloo was used for years in British military schools to teach that battle. And that attention to detail has been passed down as a requirement for every historical writer since; woe betide the author that messes up the use of titles for English lords! (There’s nothing that annoys historical fans more, as it’s a relatively easy thing to research.)

51H2j+y1EGL._SY346_You see that attention to Regency detail in some of its classic authors, such as Mary Balogh, Joanna Bourne, and Jo Beverley. Their books are rooted in research of the period: Balogh exploring the challenges in recovering from war in books like The Proposal, Beverley showing the complexity of smugglers’ life in A Shocking Delight, and Bourne, who recreates the exploits of spies in books like The Black Hawk. But recent years have shown us more diverse elements of this historical period, with authors like Rose Lerner exploring the Jewish experience in books like True Pretenses and Cat Sebastian and KJ Charles movingly revealing the many aspects of life for gay men in the Regency in their m/m romances, such as The Ruin of a Rake and A Gentleman’s Position. There are authors like Carla Kelly, who made a point to write books that *didn’t* feature the nobility (unlike the plethora of dukes found today). As her biography notes, “Carla has made certain types of Regencies her own, particularly novels and stories about people who are not lords and ladies. Many of them are hard-working and hard-fighting members of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines in the Channel Fleet, and the British Army on the Spanish Peninsula.”

Another historical period that has been an inspiration for romance novel worldbuilding is the American West. Lorraine Heath illustrated the challenges of pacifism in the Civil War in her classic Always to Remember, while Alyssa Cole gives us spies who navigate an interracial relationship in that same time period in the marvelous An Extraordinary Union. Piper Huguley blends the black experience in the post-Civil War era with inspirational themes in her wonderful Home to Milford College series. Alexis Harrington expanded our view of the West by going to the edges of the frontier in the world of the Alaskan Gold Rush of Harper’s Bride. And no discussion of this time period is complete without mentioning Beverly Jenkins, the doyenne of African-American romance. Books like Night Song and Indigo opened so many people’s eyes to the historical African-American experience back in 1995, and Ms. Jenkins hasn’t stopped since.

51AeB8M6sXL._SY346_Even contemporary romances have to build worlds. Sometimes they blend with other genres, such as the enormously popular paranormal genre. One of my favorite authors for great paranormal worldbuilding is Becca Jameson. Books like Grizzly Survival are rooted in a shifter culture that is both affected by and affects the human world. In this book, it’s not just that one man of the main couple is human and the other man is a shifter; there are PTSD issues, issues of transformation, and threats to the shifters that all come into play and make this world seem real despite its fantasy aspects. Jennifer Ashley’s long-running Shifters Unbound series deals with prejudicial topics in its paranormal world, like internment and separation of the “other,” that speak to difficulties in our world at the same time.

There has to be logic in the place a contemporary author builds: I always roll my eyes when a town of a few hundred people out in the country somehow manages to support a cupcake-store business. Jodi Thomas is a master at the small-town Texas story, writing historical and contemporary romance in this region. Her Ransom Canyon series has built its world of a Texas town, Crossroads, over its books. Thomas acknowledges the challenges of small-town life, such as having characters leave Crossroads in their late teens to live elsewhere due to the difficulty of education and employment in a small town. Jessica Scott is an author who creates vividly the ups and downs of military life in her romances. She addresses the sorrows, the challenges, and the joys of being a military spouse in books like Homefront.

51CGyb5IqjL._SY346_Alexis Daria built a specific world in contemporary romance by rooting her Dance Off books such as Take the Lead in a “Dancing With the Stars”-like reality competition. And of course, I have to praise the original mistress of them all: Jane Austen. While we may view her as historical, she wrote contemporaries, presenting the opportunities and challenges of Regency life as she knew and lived it. Books like Persuasion draw on her experience with family in the Navy, and the poignancy of lost opportunities and time.

But now it’s time for your thoughts! What makes for good worldbuilding in romance? What breaks it down for you faster than you can say, “wallpaper”? What are some great examples that you can think of, Romancelandia? I’m excited to see your tweets today!

Finally, I want to thank Ana Coqui for hosting me today. I’m not a regular blogger, but I’m involved in the setup for #readRchat, helping determine the topics and questions for each month’s prompts. And when Ana proposed dropping readRchat for this month to bring back #RomBkLove again, our team members were the first to volunteer to help Ana and spread the load of managing the behemoth that is a month of RomBkLove. So that’s how a simple reader got involved. The message I hope all you readers of these blogs gain from this? You can do it, too!

 


Day 18 #Rombklove: Paranormal Romance

Day 18: Paranormal #Rombklove

Joy and Meka are some of my favorite people to follow on twitter, they both have such a exuberant love for romance and their recommendations are always aces. I was thrilled when they chose to work together on a post about Paranormal romance. I love PNR, as it was one of my entry point into the romance genre.  I hope you find some amazing books on Meka and Joy's list.

Meka and Joy are so thrilled to be talking about paranormal romance (PNR) for today’s #RomBkLove, but it is so hard to know just where to start. There are so many tropes within this subgenre.

 

Meka: I began reading paranormal romances back when I was fairly new to reading romance regularly. I knew that I probably would like it because I enjoyed non-scary movies about paranormal things that go bump in the night…if it wasn’t too scary, of course! What is it about this genre that appeals so much?

 

Joy: I started reading LoveSpells which were time traveling romances and those books got me hooked on the paranormal genre.  I discovered Rebecca Paisley and Laura Kinsdale. Happy me. Read many a PNR and then I picked up Christine Feehan's Dark Prince, Book One of the Dark series and went down a rabbit hole of incredible vampire stories and MC's that I totally fell in love with. The rest is history and a huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge book collection.

 

 

The World Building

 

Meka: Paranormal romance allows authors to have free reign, allowing them to make up fun and fantastic rules that they can either stick to or break with enough good reason. They have the distinct ability to wander within all other romance subgenres. I don’t read a lot of historicals, but if you put some paranormal elements within that genre, I will sprain my one-click finger. Hard. They can be in modern day where people either know all about the supernatural or have to hide their identity. They can be steampunk novels with airships and frightening creatures, and the brave people having to fight them. They can be set in the distant, or not so distant future. Paranormal romance novels get to be malleable in scope and setting, and the rules for one world will not be the rules for others.

 

Joy: Why paranormals? In mind, to be able to create an entirely new world that doesn't exist and make me believe the story that I'm reading means you have a gift. I love the romance genre with all my heart, been a reader of romance since I was 13, about 10 years ago (LMAO). But something extra special clicked with me when it came to Vampires. Authors can make up any type of creature, being, shapeshifter (my personal favorite) and wisk the reader to anywhere in this universe and beyond. I read for escapism and being able to lose myself into a world like no other gives me joy and happiness. Honestly, that is all that matters, what makes me happy is why I continue to support the romance genre. 

 

There are so many subgenes.

 

Meka: Whether you are wanting to read psychics using their gifts to solve crimes, lonely creatures struggling to not give in to their inner beast before their fated mates can appear, a knight getting rescued by a group of orphans who are fighting vampires and trying to survive, faeries coming in and taking names, werewolves dealing with tough pack dynamics, vegetarian vampires, people learning to deal with burgeoning psychic abilities and those attempting to squash them, angels and vampires trying to work together, angels falling from Heaven and coming to shake up the Earth, Demons struggling to let their passions rule without harm and dealing with all of this while falling in love? Paranormal romance has you covered! 

 

Joy: I want it all, too. Meka pretty much summed it up. And what do we all want at the end of the day. To go on that journey with the MC's, no matter where they are from and see them have their HEA or HFN.

 

Meka's Recommendations

 

A few months ago, there was this amazingly long roving thread on Twitter all about paranormal romance novels. I’m not entirely sure of what else happened in the world, but people were on point with recommendations. I heard that thread reached over 900 Tweets! For my part of the recs, I want to highlight both the books that got me in to PNR and the ones that keep me here, squeeing forever. Fair warning: lots of PNR are meant to be read in order but blurbs make me super weak and I will often gravitate toward the book whose blurb speaks to me the most, as opposed to reading order. Also, some of this is considered urban fantasy, but I put them under PNR due to the Happily-ever-After rule, and really, because I loved them!

 

Dark Melody by Christine Feehan: https://amzn.to/2KxBbal 

Christine Feehan has so many books in her Carpathian series, but this was the first that I read. Watching Dayan and Corinne navigate their lives and come to love each other was a fulfilling journey. She is his life mate and Carpathians cannot see color until they meet their fated mate. If they don’t meet them, they turn in to vampires unless they seek the sun first. It’s a hard knock life!

 

The Missing by Shiloh Walker: https://amzn.to/2wOPmFV

Often times, I want to read about more subtle hints of paranormal in a contemporary setting and Shiloh Walker knows right where to gut punch me the most. In my feelings. I loved the couple in this book and were so glad to see them navigate through so much to get to their HEA.

 

The Unleashing by Shelly Laurenston: https://amzn.to/2IN8bOt

Shelly Laurenston writes the world! Seriously! Viking clans, women kicking ass and taking names after being called in to protect the artifacts of a death god, female friendships, Viking heroes, female friendships, lots of fighting, and female friendships! Did I mention female friendships?

 

Goddess with a Blade by Lauren Dane: https://amzn.to/2k1sb1S

Lauren Dane is an author introduced to me when I was very, very new to PNR. While I cannot highlight the first book of hers I read due to it currently being out of print, let me tell you about my BFF, Rowan Summerwaite. She is a vessel to a Celtic goddess, beats down rogue vampires, and knows who she is and why she is. She and Clive are both fantastic as individuals, but they are amazing together! This book takes place in Vegas and it is one of my favorites! 

 

steam and sorcery by CIndy Spencer Pape: https://amzn.to/2IKx4dH 

Mix a knight of an order that hunts monsters, a group of plucky street children who save his ass, and a governess who doesn’t realize she is more than what she has been taught, and what do you get? Meka’s first introduction to steampunk and the beginning of a really fantastic series.

 

Blood of the Maple by Dana Marie Bell https://amzn.to/2k5viGc

Dana Marie Bell writes some of my favorite books and I couldn’t go through this post without at least mentioning Bunny. You should read all about him. However, this book deals with Parker, a vegetarian vampire and Amara, a dryad. It takes everything I love about small-town romance and brings it in to a deliciously awesome PNR package which is both humorous and dark.

 

Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh https://amzn.to/2KybFSf 

Nalini Singh writes it all! I struggled between recommending this books and her other PNR series. Slave to Sensation introduced me to a world of psychically-repressed people like Sascha, and the shifters who are fighting back against the cold Psy, in the year of 2079. While my absolute favorite is a book further in to the series, we get to learn so much that will serve as developments later on in the series. But seriously. Who can resist a woman forced to not show emotion, and the alpha wereleopard who loves her? 

 

Prince in Leather by Holley Trent https://amzn.to/2KA3sgx

Holley Trent is amazing. I could seriously squee about her all day long. This book is the beginning of a series which somehow fits in to the other series that she writes and there are faeries! On motorcycles!! I am here for all of this. Simone and Heath are awesome and have to figure out so many things together! Both are capable, competent people and you need this in your life!

 

Cold Iron by D.L. Mcdermott  https://amzn.to/2wOmEoA 

D.L. Mcdermott’s Cold Iron series is wonderful, and in my opinion, underrated. It takes place in Boston and deals with the fae and their enemies, the druids. I loved book 1, but the rest of the series just picks up speed and hurls you through some epic plots! The world-building is layered and complex, and every character adds so much more to the series as it progresses.

 

Angelborn by L. Penelope  https://amzn.to/2wO4pQ

I was just introduced to L. Penelope’s writing through this book and my goodness did it pack a wallop! There are angels who are half-human, half-angel, and are on the lower end of the angelic totem ple. This story has angelborn doing forbidden things, getting a second chance, and tossing the fated mate trope on its head. It is so lush and lovely. You need this!

 

 

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Joy's Recommendations: 

 

The following Authors are what I catalogue as, I would jump in front of an oncoming car for you kinda reads / autobuys / anxiously await their next book. So much so that for one author mentioned below, I was so excited to see her again, I actually bit her (I WOULDN'T SUGGEST THIS TO ANYONE), when I saw her at RT in Houston one year. Not her book, but her. Yes, her. Lets just say that I say my life flash before my very eyes. Thank god we were friends by that point. HAAAAAA.

 

Shelly Laurenston: I had the luck and priviledge to beta read a book ohhh so many years ago. We had a mutual friend who contacted me and asked if I would read a book by an unknown author friend of hers. I said sure! That book was Pack Challenge and that Author was, Shelly Laurenston aka G.A. Aiken. That's right folks, that is how Shelly and I "met". I had no contact with her until AFTER I read one of the most hilarious books I had ever read. Not only was Pack Challenge an awesome story with a mewl worthy Hero but the Heroine was a woman of color. Holy cow, I said, wowza! At that point in time, the only woc in paranormal that I had read was the Heroine of Stephanie Burke's, Keeper of The Flame. I contacted said friend and said, where are the rest of her books. I couldn't find a website, nothing! I was stunned to learn that Pack Challenge was her first book and it was unpublished to boot.  I was astonished, not only was PC unique, it had an unrepentant, true to herself, can fight for herself, Heroine, said Heroine had a group of ride or die friends and the Hero loved all that she was. No tryng to change each other but learning to love the person they met, how refreshing. 

 

Shelly's shifters are of all races and creeds and that's the beauty of a Laurenston or Aiken book. The characters and world building flows. Nothing feels forced. Her Heroines are tough yet love with everything they have and will protect family and friends to the ends of the earth. Her Heroes are Alpha yet they love and respect their Heroines and all the nuttiness that comes with being with a non conformational woman. Her Heroines go by the beat of their own drum. Shelly also writes fierce Dragons under the name of G.A. Aiken. Whether it be under Shelly Laurenston, writing witches, lions, tigers, bears, honey badgers and so much more or her dragons, as G.A. Aiken, you will not only get extraordinary worldbuilding but characters that will have you howling, rotflyao for days after. The following are all of her books as I love them all!

 

Series: Long Island Coven https://bit.ly/2kaLRkh

Series: Pride https://amzn.to/2wM4OCK

Series: Magnus Pack https://amzn.to/2wT0wJW 

Series: Call of Crows https://amzn.to/2wQDV0D 

Series: The Gathering https://amzn.to/2KBDidn

Series: Honey Badger Chronicles https://amzn.to/2Kzkj2X

 

G.A. Aiken

Series: Dragon Kin https://amzn.to/2wPLAMx 

 

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Stephanie Burke is the author who started my journey into ebooks. In 2005' I was bored of what I was reading from NY publishers. I went searching on the web, happened upon a cover with a black woman on it. Whaaaaat? NoI had to know what this book was about. What was an e-book? I'd never heard of such a thing. Well. Keeper of The Flame's Heroine was a nurse, who had a spacecraft land in her backyard. Turns out it is the Hero, and he is in labor!!! Yes, you read that correctly. I purchased that book with no way of knowing how to read it. I didn't know what an e-reader was. I eventually had my sister print it out and I read it that way. HOLY SMOKES, what a cover to cover read!!! Stephanie writes (MF / MM / MMM / MMF / MGFMMM) and per her bio, sex shifting shape-shifting dragons to under sea worlds, up to sexually confused elemental fey and homo erotic mysteries, all the way to pastel challenged urban sprites. There is literally something for everyone in Ms. Burke's catalogue of books.  My favorites are the following: 

 

Series: Testrios https://bit.ly/2x05SmT

Series: Pride Talon  https://bit.ly/2x05SmT

Series: Hot Not To Date https://bit.ly/2x05SmT

 

Melissa Schroeder is one of the few Romance Authors that I follow from genre to genre. Not only has she always written Multicultural MC's but her stories have a different feel across each of sub genre. I was a friend of Melissa's from the old Yahoo groups back in the day and have been a fan of her work since she started publishing. Her PNR's are extra special to me but in the case of the By Blood series, she combines my love of historical romance with my love of vampires! 

 

Series: By Blood https://amzn.to/2rP1Ok8 

Series: Telepathic Cravings https://amzn.to/2KzzRUt 

Series: The Cursed Clan  https://amzn.to/2k6F7DF

Series: Lonestar Wolf Pack: https://bit.ly/2KvDVVy

 

L.A. Banks books have kick ass heroines of color, combined with some awesome world-building. Damali, the Heroine, a Black Woman drives most of the series and when these books were being released, it wasn't the norm. L.A. was a trailblazer, talk about a roller coaster ride of well written suspense and romance along the way.  I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Banks on only three occasions before she passed away but let me tell you, a nicer woman, you would ever meet. Her vampire world will keep you enthralled.

 

Series: Vampire Huntress Legend  https://amzn.to/2rO2qGW 

 

Rhyannon Byrd  was my second email fan letter. I read her contemporary, Waiting For It and told her that she made my womb throb with her hot sex scenes. MEOW!!!!! Yeah I said it, I had never had that happen to me before. Ms. Byrd is the author of some very dirty talking Alpha's, who looooove their women and they'll will move heaven and earth to please them. Her Harlequin PNR's are a little lower on the heat scale than her others ones BUT she more than delivers in terms of story. To continue a series for a length of time without it getting stale is a true testament to an author's talen and like Nalini Singh, Ms. Byrd  takes us on a journey that you never want to end. 

 

Series: Bloodrunners  

Series: Primal Instinct  

Series: Touch  

Series: Magick Men

https://amzn.to/2wNI9WU

 

 

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These PNR books are ones that I think were ahead of their time

 

Lori Herter

Series: David de Morrissey https://amzn.to/2IpoEoN

 

Linda Lael Miller 

Series: Black Rose Chronicles https://amzn.to/2L5ZFbG

 

Sharie Kohler aka Sophie Jordan

Series: Moon Chasers https://amzn.to/2IM62mf 

 

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The following is a list of my Autobuy PNR Authors. I don't even read the blurbs, I must have anything they release because these authors keep the storylines fresh and write great characters that stick with me. I'm also a sucker for secondary characters as well. Totally love reading a book and noticing who the next couple will be or catch up on couples from previous books, and these Authors deliver on that. Sequels and Series, I MUST HAVE THEM!!!! HA!

 

Lara Adrian https://amzn.to/2KxuchI 

Vivi Anna https://amzn.to/2KBi8fj

Amanda Ashley aka Allyson James https://amzn.to/2KBi9j

Jennifer Ashley https://amzn.to/2k8pCeL

Shara Azod https://amzn.to/2k83GAl

Anya Bast https://amzn.to/2IO4S9X 

Dana Marie Bell https://amzn.to/2KvXRb5

Jaci Burton https://amzn.to/2IN26BQ

Coreen Callahan https://amzn.to/2KzJRwY

Marly Chance https://amzn.to/2Kz8pq1 

Ashlyn Chase https://amzn.to/2IOQ5Mc

Kendra Leigh Castle https://amzn.to/2k7K13e

Kresley Cole https://amzn.to/2k579Q5

Alyssa Day https://amzn.to/2rQEK4J 

Sylvia Day https://amzn.to/2k5Xrgn

Delilah Devlin https://amzn.to/2IRaRL4

P.J. Schnyder aka Piper J. Drake: https://amzn.to/2k8ddrc 

Dianne Duvall https://amzn.to/2k7s05u 

Cynthia Eden https://amzn.to/2k9eFJM

Donna Grant https://amzn.to/2k5sCZa

Kym Grosso https://amzn.to/2k58BSo

Thea Harrison https://amzn.to/2k4n5Ce 

Michele Hauf https://amzn.to/2k82Y6d 

Yvette Hines https://amzn.to/2k57HFD 

Emma Holly https://amzn.to/2rS03Te

Larissa Ione https://amzn.to/2k82ZHj 

Alexandra Ivy https://amzn.to/2k6JrmD

Allyson James aka Jennifer Ashley https://amzn.to/2k6JrTF

Lisa Renee Jones https://amzn.to/2KyCyW7

Dara Joy https://amzn.to/2IPC6FK

Stacia Kane https://amzn.to/2IQjvJP

Heather Killough-Walden https://amzn.to/2k9fTom 

Sherri L. King https://amzn.to/2IMkTNx

Laurie London https://amzn.to/2ISvI0Q

Nana Malone https://amzn.to/2ILb1DY 

Judy Mays https://amzn.to/2IRu7bt

Cheyenne McCray https://amzn.to/2k7XM28

Patrice Michelle https://amzn.to/2k6v0ir

Elisabeth Naughton https://amzn.to/2rQsZLy 

Sharon Page https://amzn.to/2IMlKxJ

Kristen Painter https://amzn.to/2rPVrwR

Pamela Palmer https://amzn.to/2IJoV9F 

Kate Pearce https://amzn.to/2k7KMt6

Caridad Piniero https://amzn.to/2k6SSCj 

Lynsay Sands https://amzn.to/2k82g92

Eve Silver https://amzn.to/2k7pWdK

Nalini Singh https://amzn.to/2k58aaI 

Kathryn Smith https://amzn.to/2rR6IgC

Sydney Somers https://amzn.to/2kax9JH

Terry Spear https://amzn.to/2INkjiG

Juliana Stone https://amzn.to/2k6IaMn 

Jory Strong https://amzn.to/2k8urVp

Jordan Summers https://amzn.to/2IOrwz6 

J.D. Tyler https://amzn.to/2ILxAID 

Paige Tyler https://amzn.to/2IPvKXa 

Stephanie Tyler https://amzn.to/2rSUCDF

Shiloh Walker https://amzn.to/2k818lO 

N.J. Walters https://amzn.to/2k8rZOG

Christine Warren https://amzn.to/2rRYbKc 

Mary Wine https://amzn.to/2rRraOl 

Laura Wright https://amzn.to/2k8rqV4

Rebecca Zanetti  https://amzn.to/2IPvvve 

 

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Below are more authors whose PNR's I enjoy and I think you should try :D

 

A.C. Arthur https://amzn.to/2IOsjQA

Jade Buchanan https://amzn.to/2kaXgAB

Jodi Lynn Copeland  https://amzn.to/2k5C92k

Taige Crenshaw https://amzn.to/2k689Dr

Kate Douglas https://amzn.to/2k5Wu7N 

Ava Gray https://amzn.to/2rPeMhY

Nathalie Gray https://amzn.to/2k5W0hZ

McKenna Jeffries  https://amzn.to/2rRt9lH 

Marteeka Karland https://amzn.to/2k7VW

Angela Knight https://amzn.to/2k6QYSb

Titania Ladley https://amzn.to/2rPdVOi 

Marilyn Lee https://amzn.to/2rPdsf0

Lora Leigh https://amzn.to/2rR6bv8 

Tressie Lockwood https://amzn.to/2rQmLLw

Kathy Love https://amzn.to/2INk6Mh

Reana Malori https://amzn.to/2k7pqwk

Mynx Malone https://amzn.to/2k4OpQD

Alexis Morgan https://amzn.to/2rSTnnZ

Tuesday Morrigan https://amzn.to/2rRq84V 

Cait Miller https://amzn.to/2k7IytK 

Theresa Meyers https://amzn.to/2rRqTLj

Michelle M Pillow https://amzn.to/2k9dmum 

Mandy Roth https://amzn.to/2k5juUl 

Milly Taiden https://amzn.to/2k6KW4f 

Tawny Taylor https://amzn.to/2k7VCj2 

Theodora Taylor https://amzn.to/2k5CGBm

Twyla Turner https://amzn.to/2rPixUs 

 

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These are new to me PNR's Authors whos' books are in my TBR, eagerly awaiting me to dig into. They gave great blurb, LOL. 

 

Kate Baxter https://amzn.to/2k7HqX2

Alana Delacroix  https://amzn.to/2KxWJnp

Vivien Jackson  https://amzn.to/2wKlY3S 

Juliet Lyons https://amzn.to/2wWHSRB 

Maria Vale https://amzn.to/2KwNljM

 

 

Final Thoughts

No matter what books you enjoy, there is a PNR that is just right for you. What are some of your favorite paranormal books/authors and why? Please share your favorites with us on Twitter using the #RomBkLove.

 

Meka, a voracious Romance Reader and Reviewer, can be found on Twitter discussing her love of the Romance genre and life in general at @mektastic or you can find her Romance Reviews at The Bookpushers:  http://thebookpushers.com/reviewer-bios.

 

Joy is the co-owner of Joyfully Reviewed, a Romance Review site that will be celebrating  their 13th year come this August. Joy attends many Romance conventions and Book-signings in addition to sharing videos and pics of her cat, Bleu. She can be found at the following social media sites. 

 

Facebook: https://bit.ly/2fkuMU7

Facebook: https://bit.ly/2k5w2uY

Twitter: @JoyfullyReviewd

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2gvWWxh 

 

Instagram: https://bit.ly/2gvVKdl

 


Day 17 #RomBkLove: Seasoned Romance (Romances with MCs older than 35)

Day 17: Seasoned (+35) Romance

On romance shelves there is no shortage of young misses and young bucks dancing and flirting, what is rare to see is older couples finding love. Whether it is Penny Watson, Kristen Ashley or Victoria Dahl, I tend to drop everything for authors whose books feature older MCs. In part it is because the older I get the less I can relate to romantic protagonists in their twenties or early thirties who have more in common with my children than with myself. It is such a fantastic thing to find older MCs in romance, people who have lived a little, maybe have a bit of baggage and have been banged around by life a bit, protagonists whose struggles are paying the mortgage, dealing with their teen children and/or ageing parents and whose bodies might be a little softer and rounder, because it is to feel seen.  Seasoned romance extends the hopeful promise of companionship and passion to all, not just the young.

What are you favorite romances featuring older MC's? Who are your favorite older MCs?  Do you love age-gap romances?

The RomBkLove team loves older MCs, and I grateful for Ellie, Corey and Mary Lynne for putting together the list below. We hope you find new books and authors to try:

Both main characters are older

A Seditious AffairA Seditious Affair by KJ Charles is the second book in her historical m/m series Society of Gentlemen, which should be read in order. It’s an amazing, very emotionally intense BDSM romance between a seditious publisher and a man of the law. It’s fraught with tension and full of twists and turns till the very end, which brings the main characters a hard-won, at times seemingly impossible HEA.[m/m, historical] (Rep: Gay MC, Bi MC) (Ellie)

 

A beared man in white shirt and black suspendersAutumn by Cole McCade is a contemporary m/m romance, part of the Crow City series, but it can be read as standalone. It features two older main characters, one of whom is disabled and just discovered he is bi, the other a gentle, bit eccentric man who has been in love with his ex brother-in-law forever. [m/m, contemporary, AOC] (Rep: Bi MC, Gay MC, Queer Author) (Ellie)

 

51nofbL0m-L._SY346_Dear Mona Lisa... by Al Steward and Claire Davis ia a contemporary m/m romance with two older MCs. One of them has synesthesia (which the first time I read something like this). It's a very moving and emotional story told in a unique voice [m/m, contemporary]. (Ellie)

 

51fsL3I2kBL._SX322_BO1 204 203 200_Noelle Adams has written several books featuring older protagonists. In Christmas at Eden Manor, she has a May/December leading couple. That he’s significantly older than her is tackled head-on, and Adams matter-of-factly presents the differences in their sex life from a younger couple. And in Late Fall, Ellie and Dave are in their 70s. Work rivals in their professional days, they reconnect (and not joyously) when they both move into an assisted living center. Late Fall touches on all the aches and pains and hopes and satisfactions of being elderly--and weaves into that a pretty magical love story. (m/f contemporary) (Mary Lynne)

 

51dPkwcqU3L._SX303_BO1 204 203 200_Mary Balogh is an author who’s comfortable writing older leading couples. In  A Counterfeit Betrothal, Marc and Olivia are married yet have been estranged for 15 years. At 40 and 36, it seems their separation will continue for a long time. That is, until their daughter decides to fake a betrothal with a dear friend to motivate them to contact one another. Balogh contrasts the impetuosity and vivacity of the young couple with the bitterness and poignancy of an older couple moving from hate back to love. And in Only Beloved, George, the Duke of Stanbrook, is a widower nearing 50 who finds a second chance at love with Dora, the sister of one of his friend’s wives who is herself almost 40. Balogh loves topics like lost chances, overcoming missed opportunities, and finding love at any age.  (m/f historical) (Mary Lynne)

 

6a00e54ee394bf883301bb09eaf0c7970d-120wiTalia walks into her new job as assistant to police community liaison to discover that her new boss is Eve the one woman who had ever made spark with awareness. Talia is starting over after her husband’s sudden death and the last thing she expects is the undeniable and inconvenient attraction she feels for Eve. Twice in a Lifetime by Jodie Griffin is the rare office romance that worked for me on every level. Griffin’s two heroines have seen a lot in their 50+ years, and their romance is emotional, bittersweet and tinged with the knowledge of loss and grief. I loved seeing Talia and Eve trying to navigate the trickiness of developing a personal relationship and giving it time to grow before coming out to work and friends. I loved the way Griffin portrayed these women as mother and sexual beings, they have complicated loving relationships with their grown or nearly grown children and are allowed to love and lust like all other adults.  [f/f, contemporary] (Rep: Jewish heroine and Black heroine, Bi MCs, Bi Jewish Author) (Ana) 511ISHXQmPL._SY346_

 

Fair, Bright and Terrible by Elizabeth Kingston is a second-chance at love romance paired with an arranged marriage of convenience and a revenge plot.  Eluned was young and lonely, married to an absent mad crusader lord when she first fell in love with Robert. Their affair’s abrupt end, changed the course of Robert’s life and it nearly cost Eluned hers. Decades have past and Eluned participation in a Welsh revolt and her vast land-holdings make a threat to the King that must be neutralized and she is given in marriage to Robert as a reward for his family’s loyal support of the English King. It is a novel about finding a way back to love and trust after years of pain and betrayal. [m/f, historical] (Ana)

 

51wJ9elddwL 51qv8vAKRqL._SY346_Age gap

For Real by Alexis Hall is a RITA-award-winning erotic BDSM m/m romance about a young inexperienced dominant and an older, slightly jaded submissive..[m/m, contemporary] (Rep: Gay MCs, Queer author)  (Ellie)

Magic Mansion by Jordan Castillo Price is a contemporary m/m romance about two magicians at a reality show. One main character is over 60, the other is around 40. There are lots of magic tricks and reality-TV competition elements in the story that make for a fun reading. There is a bit of a supernatural element in it, but ultimately it’s all about love. [m/m, contemporary] (Rep: Gay MCs) (Ellie)


Pretty Face
by Lucy Parker is a fun romcom set at the London theatre scene. She is a TV series actress known for her roles of silly bombshells, he is an older, critically acclaimed stage director looking with scorn on TV productions. They are forced to work together and to everyone's surprise, including their own, they fall hard for each other. [m/f, contemporary] (Ellie)

Silver Belles is perfect for folks looking for shorter seasoned romances, as its an anthology of holiday 41HvfYwo9AL._SY346_novellas. I liked The Longest Night, but my favorite story in this collection is A Taste of Blessings by Suleikha Snyder, an age-gap m/f romance centered around Durga Puja. Complex nuanced compelling characterization and conflict, deeply drawn cultural context, great secondary characters, lovely humor, and sizzling heat and chemistry between the main characters; so much UST. [m/f, contemporary romance, AOC] (Rep: Bengali heroine. Older Bengali hero. Desi woman author.) (Corey)

A Boy Called Cin by Cecil Wilde: I adore this age-gap billionaire romance between a younger trans man 5150+G+xF2L._SY346_artist college student and an older genderqueer tech geek billionaire for so many reasons, but especially for the way consent and sexual negotiation happen in this story, and how trans and non-binary centered it is. [m/genderqueer romance with a trans man lead, contemporary] (Rep: Bisexual genderqueer MC. Queer trans man MC. Non-binary trans author.) (Corey)

Team Phison by Chace Verity: I loved this fluffy age-gap m/m romance so much. Grumpy meets sweet, 41bAHFzyMPLboth of them super geeky and awkward and adorable and I was rooting for them so hard. This depicts a long-distance relationship where the main characters meet through a video game, and one thing leads to another, though it takes the older main character a while before he will consider the younger one a viable potential partner. He just can’t keep thinking about him though. [m/m, contemporary romance] (Rep: Bisexual MC. Gay MC. Pansexual author.) (Corey)

If you are a fan of Older MCs don't miss:

Kat's Bookthingo podcast interview with Sandra Antonelli and her list: https://sandraantonelli.com/2016/02/24/a-little-help-from-my-romance-reading-friends/

or

AAR List: Older Couples (needs updating, but still a great resource).

and if you are looking for community of readers who like reading older MCs:


Day 16 #Rombklove: Rockstars

Day 16: Rockstars


Day 15 #RomBkLove: Geeky/STEM

Day 15: Geeky/STEM

While cupcake-shop owners and Navy SEALs are ever-popular career paths for many a romance protagonists, there are an ever-growing number of characters pursing careers in STEM in both contemporary and historical novels.   For example, in Alyssa Cole's new contemporary series, Reluctant Royals,  the heroines of A Princess in Theory and Duke by Default are pursuing studies in STEM or STEM related-fields, and in Priscilla Oliveras's Her Perfect Affair the hero, Jeremy, is an IT-security professional Joanna Chambers and Cat Sebastian both have featured scientist heroes in their recent historical m/m novels (A Gathering Storm and The Lawrence Browne Affair). I personally love this trend, as I love inventor, scientist, and maker protagonists more than your more common CEOs or aristocrats.  

The world of STEM and Geeky/Fandom are often intertwined in our pop culture, and romances are no exception. The #RomBkLove team has put together a list of favorite romances where Geek/STEM themes intersect. 

What are your favorite novels that have great STEM and/or Geek representation?  Who are the authors that get fandom?

Reply to us on Twitter and let us know your faves and what they get about Fandom/Geek/STEM right.

CONTEMPORARIES:

D1xN6gnKljS._SL250_FMpng_Melissa Blue's #dirtysexygeeks  This series is devoted to gamers and fandom, and the glue that holds it all together is a group of men who have been friends since they were kids. At the center of the circle are are brothers Grady (To One Hundred) and Wade (Bluest of Blue). There is so much heart in this series, but it also tackles mental illness, examining how friends and lovers can support each other through times of struggle and pain. [m/f, Contemporary,  AOC] (Jen)

Cover of GL Tomas F*THS, Diagonal split cover with black curly haired heroine and a white hero with dark hair, wearing a baseball cap wearing Friends That Have Sex series by GL Thomas. The MCs of this story begin by trying to keep it casual with each other, but end up catching feelings. This is complicated by the secrets they keep from others and each other; one of the biggest ones being that she has cancer and doesn’t tell him. I fell so hard for the heroine in these books, and especially appreciated her geekiness; she is all about reading science fiction, and gets the hero into reading it as well. Both of the leads are bisexual, and I appreciated the incidental bi representation. The first book ends on a cliffhanger, the second brings the characters back together, and the third book is about later challenges in their relationship. [m/f, Contemporary, AOC, Rep: Afro-Cuban bisexual woman MC with cancer. Bisexual man MC. Genderfluid minor character. Queer Afro-Cubanx authors.] (Corey)  A blonde woman holds a giant heart, cover of dating-ish by Penny ReidDating-ish by Penny Reid is a romcom, part of her Knitting in the City series, but works well as standalone too. The hero, Matt, is a robotics engineer who is socially awkward but with some hidden sex appeal. Penny Reid’s romances stand out with her unique sense of humour and over-the-top plots. In this book the journalist heroine, Marie, explores professional cuddling and dry-humping services, orgasm meditation, and more. As usual, a poignant social commentary is hidden behind all the fun times. [m/f, Contemporary] (Ellie)

  A woman looking down to the ground with a giant wolf in profile in the backgroundThe Better to Kiss You With by Michelle Osgood: I really enjoyed this fun, funny, geeky, hot, butch/femme romance, told from the POV of the femme character, who works for a gaming company. I love that basically everyone we meet in the book is queer. The butch love interest is a werewolf, which is ironic because it has a suspense plot around a stalker complaining that werewolves are misrepresented in the werewolf game the MC works on. [f/f, Paranormal] (Chubby femme queer woman MC. Butch queer woman LI. Queer woman author.) (Corey)

Two game-controllers with hearts Cathy Yardley’s Fandom Hearts series is smart, funny, honest, portraying both the positives and negatives of fandom/STEM/Geek culture perfectly. I adored Level Up, in which Tessa Rodriguez is trying to work her way up to her dream job as game designer at a company that doesn’t value her skills as much as they should because she is a woman. Tessa’s HEA is as much about gaining the recognition and respect she deserves as from finding a supportive and loving partner who understands her passions. [m/f, Contemporary AOC, Rep: Latinx MC] (Ana)

Cover divided in comic strip like panels, first panel has airplane,a futurist landscape,  set of chess pieces, a pair panties and Defying Convention by Cecil Wilde. Friends-to-lovers romance between a trans man and his longtime online non-binary best friend. They meet up for the first time to go to a scifi convention and fall for each other. I have a soft spot for this book, which has lovely trans and non-binary representation. The hero has anxiety, and the depiction is really resonant for me as a reader; it shows him having and coping with a panic attack. [m/enby with a trans man lead, Contemporary, Rep: Sri Lankan-American bisexual non-binary MC. Bisexual trans man MC. Non-binary trans author.]  (Corey)

Dark haired woman in glasses looks downBeginner’s Luck by Kate Clayborn is a debut contemporary romance with a STEM heroine: Kit is a scientist working in a university lab. I loved the complexity of the human relationships it presented, including the professional context of Kit’s job. She is super smart but at the same time prefers to stay in the background and not draw attention to herself. I absolutely loved how smitten Ben was with her and how proud he was of her professional accomplishments. It’s one of my favorite romances of 2017 and I can’t recommend it enough. [m/f, Contemporary](Ellie)

51ZgVzJazqL._SY346_Gaymers series by Annabeth Albert. This m/m series are comfort rereads for me; well...re-listens, as I prefer them on audiobook. They are geeky and angsty and give me all the feels, and they each have an MC who works at the same gaming company. My favorite is the third book, Connection Error, which has two MCs with very different disabilities. This geeky romance is so compelling to me, particularly because of the moments of access intimacy between the disabled characters and the way they navigate the changing nature of their disabilities with regard to their sex lives. Naked Twister for the win! [m/m, Contemporary] (Rep: Gay man MC with ADHD. Gay man amputee MC with a mobility disability.) (Corey)

A black and white cat with a ball of yarn, two girls kissingKnit One, Girl Two by Shira Glassman: In this short and tender romance,  Indie Yarn dyer Clara first finds inspiration in Danielle’s vibrant Floridian artwork and then finds herself falling for her new friend and collaborator. Their mutual love of fanfiction and their shared fandom for Captain Werewolf is one their many connection points.  [f/f, Contemporary, Jewish MCs, Jewish bi author, fat rep] (Ana)

Shirtless man in gray hoodie, six-pack abs.Sated by Rebekah Weatherspoon. Kinky, funny, geeky. One of the few BDSM romances I’ve read with switch MCs, this begins as the characters bond at a con. The hero Daniel is bisexual and an amputee; I liked the incidental representation for both. Weatherspoon has a knack for writing heroines I want to be friends with, and Keira is just wonderful. I especially enjoyed watching her come into her own as a novice dominant. [m/f, Contemporary, AOC, Rep: Korean American amputee bisexual man MC. Black woman MC. Black queer woman author.] (Corey)

A 60's dressed woman in silhouette HISTORICALS:

Emma Barry & Genevieve Turner: Earth Bound is the third book in their Space-Race era set romance series, Fly Me to the Moon. The previous protagonists have been astronauts and this book is a departure from the focus on the fly-boys to the engineers and computer scientists whose calculations are essential but much less lauded contributions to space program. Eugene and Charlie are grumpy and prickly, and their relationship is deliciously combustible. It was full of longing and explosive sexiness. [m/f, historical] (Ana)

51OPuIMEF9L.SX316.SY316My Darling Caroline by Adele Ashworth is a Regency historical where the titular Caroline is a botanist, and quite a good one. Then her father arranges a marriage for her, and neither she nor her new husband Brent trust one another to start. How they manage to merge their mutual needs into a compatible marriage is the heart of this book. But it’s certain scenes that stand out for me: Caroline’s shock (and initial complete lack of belief) when Brent is willing to use her savant math skills to help with the estate; Brent’s defense of Caroline and her abilities to her family (who have never encouraged her interests). It’s a great older (1998) example of a historical STEM heroine. [m/f, Historical] (Mary Lynne)

51iVUSWClBL._SY346_Folks, all I need to tell you about Tessa Dare’s When a Scot Ties the Knot is this: the Regency-era heroine is studying the mating habits of lobsters. If that doesn’t get you to read this enchanting geek-heroine historical romance, I don’t know what will. [m/f, Historical] (Mary Lynne)

517A1jbUORLThe glory of The Countess Conspiracy by Courtney Milan is how it deals with appearances and reality. This is another Regency historical with a STEM heroine, but Violet has completely hidden her talent, using her oldest friend Sebastian as her “front” to the world. He pretends to be the scientific expert; she does all the work and gets to share it publicly through Sebastian (because a mere woman cannot speak about scientific discoveries). The Countess Conspiracy shows Violet and Sebastian’s achievements and struggles, and how love builds their confidence to share their truths with one another and the world. [m/f, Historical, AOC] (Mary Lynne)

 

Still want more? Dig into Lacy Literacy's List of 100 STEM heroines.