#RomBkLove 2021 Day 12: Weird and Wonderful Powers in PNR
#RomBkLove 2021 Day 14: Inclusive Paranormal Romance

#RomBkLove 2021 Day 13: Musicians

Day 13

Our guest post today is by Vicki Haddix, a romance loving librarian and one of our #RomBkLove support team:

Music has always had a big place in my life, and I’m eagerly anticipating more concerts to attend in person in the coming months! I also really enjoy reading about musicians in my romance novels. There’s often an element of found family that resonates with me, and the tension between public and private is often interesting even when the musicians are not at a huge level of fame. Where do you draw the line between public and personal? What are you comfortable putting on social media about your relationship?


Musician romances have been part of #RomBkLove in past years, and there are lots of my favorites that are frequently mentioned. For example: Nalini Singh’s Rock Kiss series, Kristen Callihan’s VIP series, Kylie Scott’s Stage Dive series, Anna Zabo’s Twisted Wishes, Lauren Dane’s Hurley brothers, Emma Hart’s Burke brothers, JN Welsh’s Back on Top series, and Amber Lin’s Half-Life series- to name just a few.


But for this year, I wanted to spotlight some of the books that I haven’t seen mentioned as often or that were released since the last #RomBkLove round. Most of them are novellas, because that’s what has worked for my brain this year. Shout out some new musician romances you’ve read, or tell us what you’ve loved about your old favorites!


ThingshopedforThings Hoped For, Chencia C. Higgins

This book just made me smile while I was reading and for a nice chunk of time afterward. Massage therapist Trisha moves to Houston and meets Xeno, a rapper on the verge of breaking out, after one of her shows. Trisha is hesitant to be all in on their relationship, and it was beautiful to read how she works through it. Xeno documents quite a lot on social media, and the friend and family relationships are developed so well within just 129 pages. 

Representation: Gay, Black women


When in Tokyo, Imani Lewis

When in tokyoMost of this story takes place over the course of a single long evening into night in Tokyo. Hendi is a rockstar who escaped from his security and she helps him hide from fans, not having any idea who he is. Ari has just moved to Tokyo to take a job as an intern research analyst in a lab doing neuroscience research. I have never been to Tokyo so I can’t vouch for the realism, but they have a magical night getting to know each other and talking through family tragedies. Two epilogues wrap up the story.

Representation: Female MC is Black

Content warnings: Male MC speaks about his father’s suicide, Female MC speaks about her grandparent’s battle with dementia



Craving his spotlight, Renee Dahlia Craving his spotlight

Riley Micah was the lead singer of a very successful boy band about 10 years ago but then dropped out of that world in an alcoholic haze. He’s been sober and working in the outback of Australia for 8 years. Riley has started making music again, releasing it under a new name and starting to get airplay. He knows he’s going to need some help to make it again in the music world on his terms, this time. (Also, apparently many of his fans thought he was dead.) Vince is the CEO of the agency Riley chooses, and with all the sparks happening between them, they decide to scratch the itch to get it out of the way...as if that ever works. 

Representation: Gay Male MCs

Content Warnings: Riley is a recovering alcoholic, Vince’s father was an alcoholic


ListerLove’s Serenade, Sheryl Lister

This takes place in the 1920s in Harlem and is second chance romance. Leigh and Miles knew each other in Arkansas and initially planned to run away to Harlem together. Piano player Miles went his own way with little explanation (then or now) but seeks out Leigh at her friend’s club where she has recently become the headlining jazz singer. We don’t see a lot of either jazz singers or historical settings within the musician trope, and I enjoyed the change of pace.

Representation: Both MCs are Black

Content warnings: Female MC’s parents are religious fundamentalists and send a preacher to get her, which results in violent resistance; Male MC’s grandmother passes away peacefully


ScandalizedScandalized, Tara Frejas

I must admit to having only a passing familiarity with Kpop, and I’m sure I missed some things in this book, but I loved it anyway. Fi is living in Seoul, enjoying life as the road manager for the band East Genesis Project when a series of unplanned events lands her in the middle of a mess. The band’s fans think she’s trying to be in a relationship with the lead singer, and have harsh things to say on social media. The record company relieves her of her position and she goes home to the Philippines. But Gabriel Park, executive at that company, sees it differently. There’s a strong anti-bullying message in the book, and it was also fun to see how Gabriel works to get Fi’s mother to approve of him. And ok, yes, this a musician adjacent start to the series- check out the next book in the series to get East Genesis Project member Jo Yihwan’s story.

Representation: Female MC is Filipina

Content warnings: online bullying


LoveandlifeLove and Hiplife, Nana Prah

I found this book while browsing my library’s online collection and then bought it. Lamisi is a multilingual PhD student in Ghana trying to finish her thesis work despite her supervisor. She meets Bizzy, a multilingual hiplife musician when his companion makes some unflattering comments about her in a language he didn’t think she spoke. There’s clearly a spark but she decides to let it go and focus on her studies. But then that supervisor throws up another roadblock that Bizzy could help her get around. She helps him with the French he needs for the new music style he wants to try, there’s a weekend trip to the Ivory Coast to practice, and an “other woman” plot point (that I could have done without) along the way to their happy ending.

Representation: Both MCs are Black

Content warnings: Female MC’s interaction with her thesis advisor is unpleasant to read, some kink shaming of the “other woman”


Beach thingBeach Thing, DL White

Wade is a mega-producer borrowing a friend’s tropical island home to escape some family drama in NYC, and Ameenah has just opened a smoothie shop on this island. She has her own family issues, as her parents would have preferred she stay in their restaurant business. While Ameenah and Wade know he’s only on the island for the summer, they decide to have a “beach thing” and enjoy it. Of course it doesn’t stay where they put it- it’s a romance novel! I found this a fun and minimally angsty book that I will be re-reading when I finally get another beach vacation. 

Representation: Both MCs are Black

Content warnings: Male MC’s father has just been released from jail and appears to threaten his mother

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