#RomBkLove May 2019, Day 26: Travel/Road Trip

Day 26_ May2019Rombklove

Trisha a contributor to Bookriot, part of the When in Romance podcast duo (with Jessica Pryde) and romance lover, is on the road for the next ten months and so she is bringing us a rec post full of romances where love blooms on the road!

Travel/Road Trips

Twitter Archive

 

On the window of Magic City Books in Tulsa, OK, you’ll find a quote from author Jhumpa Lahiri: “That’s the thing about books. They let you travel without moving your feet.”

 

It’s an incredible thing to experience new places and perspectives through a story. But I’ve undertaken a multi-month road trip through the continental United States (hence that stop at a Tulsa bookstore) and it’s made me even more interested in what one or both characters hitting the road does to romance stories.

 

Plunging the characters into a new context offers a different lens for character development and tension, and a skilled author takes those things and uses them to move and mold a story in a way I find incredibly satisfying. It’s not just a matter of throwing a couple of suitcases and maybe a plane ticket into the mix. Different kinds of travel dynamics – traveling together, traveling out of necessity, traveling with responsibility for the lives or livelihoods of others – all create different kinds of complicated circumstances. Throwing a love story into the mix could be a disaster, and sometimes it is…right up until the HEA.

 

Signal book  two men holding hands with trees
Let’s start with some of those “blazing the trail together” romances in which our romantic leads venture out to attend a book convention, enjoy a fake honeymoon or save the world. That last one isn’t an exaggeration. Alyssa Cole is often sending her characters to different corners of the planet, but my favorite of her road trip romances is
Signal Boost, the second in her Off the Grid series. Following the mysterious and disastrous collapse of the electronic grid in Radio Silence, John Seong finds an opportunity to help get things up and running when he decides help a mysterious young astrophysicist named Mykhail get to the university that may hold some answers. The way the dangerous roads and the high stakes require John and Mykhail to build a trusting partnership adds dimension to an already poignant and vulnerable romance.

 

Woamn with knivesThere are some similar themes in Jennie Lin’s Butterfly Swords. Set in China during the Tang Dynasty, Princess Ai Li has no choice but to flee before her wedding once she learns a secret about her prospective groom. When she encounters Ryam, a western traveler with secrets of his own, they decide to travel together, navigating not only another dangerous road, but also disappointments and challenges related to family, loyalty, and honor.

 

White man holding black woman that kind of guyI know, I know – that’s a lot of very intense time on the road. But sometimes people travel for fun! Or at least mostly for fun. Take Talia Hibbert’s That Kind of Guy, the third in her Ravenswood series: Rae wants to take a date to a book convention at which she’s nominated for an award, and her friend Zach offers to go and be her fake boyfriend. Taking the two out of their small town and dropping them in a hotel (complete with a room with only one bed) allows for Hibberts’ trademark combo of humor and authenticity as her characters work toward their HEA.

 

Yellow cover unhoneymooners_Also on the lighter side is The Unhoneymooners, a new rom com by Christina Lauren in which Olive finds herself offered a free trip to Hawaii…as long as she goes with her new brother-in law/nemesis, Ethan. Oh, also, they have to pretend they’re married. The trip itself is full of the hijinks and banter Christina Lauren is known for, but things get real once the unhoneymoon is over. That tropical getaway is all well and good, but you can go home again. And in fact, you MUST go home again – and when you do, you often have to confront all of the real life problems and people from which vacations grant us a temporary reprieve.

Twisted wishes covers

My favorite group of road warriors, though, have to be Twisted Wishes, the band from Anna Zabo’s
Twisted Wishes series. As a band, they’re on the road all of the time which requires the kind of tight quarters that can put a lot of pressure on any budding relationship. But it does allow for sexy tour bus shenanigans, so it all works out. Each of the three books in the series is fantastic, so just read them all:
Syncopation is #1, Counterpoint is #2, and Reverb – admittedly my new favorite – is #3.

 


BridetestI’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention a couple of the fantastic romances in which a traveler is (often literally) flying solo. In many of these books, a character sets out in search for independence, a fresh start, a better life, or even all three. Newly on the shelves is
The Bride Test, Helen Hoang’s new romance about Khai, a handsome math and numbers whiz who’s autistic, and Esme, the hardworking and driven Vietnamese woman his mother recruits to marry him. The story is beautiful and unique in so many ways, but the way a struggling Esme is determined to succeed in a new country and culture hooked me into this book as much as anything. As my brilliant Book Riot colleague Annika Barranti Klein has pointed out, The Bride Test is at least as much a book about an immigrant experience as it is about romance. Beverly jenkings rebel

 

Beverly Jenkins is another author who likes to send her characters far and wide, and her newest book, Rebel, is no exception. Set in 1867, Rebel’s Valinda Lacy has come to New Orleans from New York City so that she can teach. Her plan is to do so temporarily – even after she meets the handsome and wealthy Drake LeVeq – and then to return north when her fiancé comes back from Europe. But life and circumstance have a way of disrupting any traveler’s plans. (Falling in love can also throw a bit of a wrench into the works.) Jenkins’ extensive research and exceptional attention to historic detail makes Rebel even more captivating for anyone who is reading along as Valinda’s plans shift. (Rebel will be out May 28.)

 

There are so many other great travel books out there – let us know your favorites! Make sure to use the #RomBkLove hashtag when you share on Twitter and other social media so that I know what I should be reading while on the road.

 

-Trisha

 

Instagram: @trishahaleybrown

Twitter: @trishahaleybrwn

How to participate?

Readers: Respond to the prompts! Share your favorite books, characters, scenes, or thoughts on tropes.  Make sure to include the #RomBkLove hashtag with your tweet! If you have read and loved a book by LGBTQIA+, Disabled, and/or  Authors of Color that fits the prompt please, please mention it.  You might think everyone has heard of the book but I can guarantee you there are lots of people who still need to hear about it.  

Authors: You are welcome to participate too, as fellow readers. The tag is not meant for self-promotion. Boost fellow authors, celebrate the community but do so in a way that respect reader spaces. Respect the conversation.   Join in to rec the books you love that fit the theme/trope/prompt. Yes, you can say “I wrote a book with this trope” but please don’t spam the hashtag with generic promo. 

For a list of all of these month's prompts and archives go to: https://www.anacoqui.com/2019/04/rombklove-may-2019-celebrating-inclusive-romance.html


#RomBkLove May 2019, Day 25: Someone Famous

Day 25_ May2019Rombklove

Alex stepped in and took over this prompt when one our original bloggers, @Gerireads had to step aside to deal with some health issues (she is on the mend!).  Alex is part of the #EuroRomTalk crew. 

Alex asks: "What are your favourite romances featuring famous people?" and "Do you know of romance featuring trans/non binary (or in general not cis) famous people?"

 

Someone Famous

Twitter Archive

How to participate?

Readers: Respond to the prompts! Share your favorite books, characters, scenes, or thoughts on tropes.  Make sure to include the #RomBkLove hashtag with your tweet! If you have read and loved a book by LGBTQIA+, Disabled, and/or  Authors of Color that fits the prompt please, please mention it.  You might think everyone has heard of the book but I can guarantee you there are lots of people who still need to hear about it.  

Authors: You are welcome to participate too, as fellow readers. The tag is not meant for self-promotion. Boost fellow authors, celebrate the community but do so in a way that respect reader spaces. Respect the conversation.   Join in to rec the books you love that fit the theme/trope/prompt. Yes, you can say “I wrote a book with this trope” but please don’t spam the hashtag with generic promo. 

For a list of all of these month's prompts and archives go to: https://www.anacoqui.com/2019/04/rombklove-may-2019-celebrating-inclusive-romance.html


#RomBkLove May 2019, Day 24: Retellings

Day 24_ May2019Rombklove

Isa is a European romance blogger and reader who adores retellings. 

  • Which retellings do you love?
  • What titles are you still missing?
  • What is the most important thing for you to have a perfect retelling? Do you care that it is close to the original or do you like changes?

 

Retellings

Twitter Archive

 

How to participate?

Readers: Respond to the prompts! Share your favorite books, characters, scenes, or thoughts on tropes.  Make sure to include the #RomBkLove hashtag with your tweet! If you have read and loved a book by LGBTQIA+, Disabled, and/or  Authors of Color that fits the prompt please, please mention it.  You might think everyone has heard of the book but I can guarantee you there are lots of people who still need to hear about it.  

Authors: You are welcome to participate too, as fellow readers. The tag is not meant for self-promotion. Boost fellow authors, celebrate the community but do so in a way that respect reader spaces. Respect the conversation.   Join in to rec the books you love that fit the theme/trope/prompt. Yes, you can say “I wrote a book with this trope” but please don’t spam the hashtag with generic promo. 

For a list of all of these month's prompts and archives go to: https://www.anacoqui.com/2019/04/rombklove-may-2019-celebrating-inclusive-romance.html


#RomBkLove May 2019, Day 23: Co-Workers

Day 23_ May2019Rombklove

Workplace romances are as common as they are taboo, often kept secret out of fear of endangering jobs but almost half of all employees have been in one.  Ericka loves workplace romances and has a list of romances between co-workers.

 

Co-Workers

Twitter Archive

How to participate?

Readers: Respond to the prompts! Share your favorite books, characters, scenes, or thoughts on tropes.  Make sure to include the #RomBkLove hashtag with your tweet! If you have read and loved a book by LGBTQIA+, Disabled, and/or  Authors of Color that fits the prompt please, please mention it.  You might think everyone has heard of the book but I can guarantee you there are lots of people who still need to hear about it.  

Authors: You are welcome to participate too, as fellow readers. The tag is not meant for self-promotion. Boost fellow authors, celebrate the community but do so in a way that respect reader spaces. Respect the conversation.   Join in to rec the books you love that fit the theme/trope/prompt. Yes, you can say “I wrote a book with this trope” but please don’t spam the hashtag with generic promo. 

For a list of all of these month's prompts and archives go to: https://www.anacoqui.com/2019/04/rombklove-may-2019-celebrating-inclusive-romance.html


#RomBkLove May 2019, Day 22: Beautiful Covers

Day 22_ May2019Rombklove

Cande is a young Latinx romance reader and blogger that brings great passion and enthusiasm to her work promoting Latinx & AOC authors.

Beautiful Covers

Tweet Archive

How to participate?

Readers: Respond to the prompts! Share your favorite books, characters, scenes, or thoughts on tropes.  Make sure to include the #RomBkLove hashtag with your tweet! If you have read and loved a book by LGBTQIA+, Disabled, and/or  Authors of Color that fits the prompt please, please mention it.  You might think everyone has heard of the book but I can guarantee you there are lots of people who still need to hear about it.  

Authors: You are welcome to participate too, as fellow readers. The tag is not meant for self-promotion. Boost fellow authors, celebrate the community but do so in a way that respect reader spaces. Respect the conversation.   Join in to rec the books you love that fit the theme/trope/prompt. Yes, you can say “I wrote a book with this trope” but please don’t spam the hashtag with generic promo. 

For a list of all of these month's prompts and archives go to: https://www.anacoqui.com/2019/04/rombklove-may-2019-celebrating-inclusive-romance.html


#RomBkLove May 2019, Day 21: Dancers

Day 21_ May2019Rombklove

#RomBkLove Day 21: Dancers is hosted by @DanieReads who has loved dancing for as long as she remembers. 

 

 What romances do you love with dancers or where dancing was a part of characters falling in love?

 

Read all of Danie’s recs on her blog:

 

Dancers

Tweet Archive

How to participate?

Readers: Respond to the prompts! Share your favorite books, characters, scenes, or thoughts on tropes.  Make sure to include the #RomBkLove hashtag with your tweet! If you have read and loved a book by LGBTQIA+, Disabled, and/or  Authors of Color that fits the prompt please, please mention it.  You might think everyone has heard of the book but I can guarantee you there are lots of people who still need to hear about it.  

Authors: You are welcome to participate too, as fellow readers. The tag is not meant for self-promotion. Boost fellow authors, celebrate the community but do so in a way that respect reader spaces. Respect the conversation.   Join in to rec the books you love that fit the theme/trope/prompt. Yes, you can say “I wrote a book with this trope” but please don’t spam the hashtag with generic promo. 

For a list of all of these month's prompts and archives go to: https://www.anacoqui.com/2019/04/rombklove-may-2019-celebrating-inclusive-romance.html


#RomBkLove May 2019, Day 20: Celebrations

Day 20_ May2019Rombklove

RomBkLove: Day 20. Celebrations

Day 20 Tweet Archive

By Stacey Agdern

I had a bit of a wild reaction to a book I read last year. I sobbed.

It wasn’t a sad book. In fact, it was, fun, funny and sexy. I still cried. Like a baby. All over everybody. To anybody who asked me what the problem was, I replied that it wasn’t a problem. Far from it. It was one of the best books I’d read last year, in fact, but it still made me cry.

Why did it make me cry? And more importantly what book is it?

To understand why the book made me cry, we have to consider a different facet of representation than we’ve been discussing.   

Celebrations are also representation. Happy moments, described by the author in the course of a story denote both who gets to celebrate and how they do it. Ask anybody about the ingredients of a wedding, what name they use for a coming of age ceremony, a winter festival or even a harvest holiday and through their answer, you hear what their view of what that celebration and is what it celebration looks like.

Dil or no dillIn ‘A Taste of Blessings’, Suleikha Snyder spins a beautiful romance in the course of a Bengali version of a Hindu festival. Through the course of the story, you see the small town setting, a community that has known the heroine since birth and a full, gorgeously described multi day religious celebration. That is representation. Clear. On the page and gorgeous.

You also see this in Sonali Dev’s ‘The Bollywood Bride.” The story takes the reader through beautiful cultural and faith based traditions that are described in glorious detail.  In fact, any observant reader can tell that a huge part of Alyssa Cole’s worldbuilding for ‘A Princess in Theory’, and the other books in the Reluctant Royals series, involved creating beautiful cultural and religious traditions for Thesolo.

But celebrations don’t just serve as a facet of representation in stories where the primary focus is the celebration itself. In fact, diversity of faith traditions can sometimes be beautiful bits of afikomen, small almost hidden references to things written alongside the main story.

51rTBP03gbL._SY346_Like in Helen Hoang’s ‘The Kiss Quotient’, the moment where the heroine makes an offering to the hero’s ancestral idols shows both respect for the hero’s family and the traditions they observe.

Because here’s the thing. Tolerance, acceptance and understanding can be some of the most important religious values. And seeing that on the page can be powerful.

Like in Thea DeSalle’s Lady of Royale Street, where deeply Catholic characters debate their own faith principles in the context of a beautiful wedding that reflects the traditions followed by the bride and groom. Alex and Theresa’s acceptance and understanding of which traditions Rain and Sol follow, and which they don’t, say more about their beliefs than their on the page debates do.

Dance all nightOr in the unexpected but still crucial moment when Nik Kovalenko, the hero of Alexis Daria’s ‘Dance All Night’, makes a reference to his relatives who celebrate Hanukkah. The way the moment is referenced and framed on the page demonstrates the way his family, and therebefore the reader, are meant to respect those traditions as well as his family’s own.   

Sometimes representation is also a matter of recognizing that the majority religious culture in the story isn’t the only one that exists. Simple verbal references can make a large impact on someone who isn’t used to seeing their culture acknowledged on the page.

Tome a i wedFor example, the central focus of KM Jackson’s ‘To Me I Wed’ is the wedding her heroine, Lilly Perry, plans for herself. This allows Lilly to take long standing traditions and turn them into a powerful and self affirming act. But Lilly is also an event planner, and as her personal plans get further steeped in her own family and religious traditions, her business side has clear understanding of the fact that in a city like New York, there are multiple faiths and cultural communities, each finding their own ways to celebrate a child’s coming of age. Both Quinceanera and Bat Mitzvahs are explicitly referenced at important parts of the story.   

TimelesscrhristmasAnd in Alexis Stanton’s ‘Timeless Christmas’ the beautiful musical that the characters feel like they must see, contains completely unexpected references to both Hanukkah and Kwanza.   

Now we get back to the book that made me cry and why it did.

StrippedThe title : Zoey Castile’s ‘Stripped’.  

I’ve been reading romance for a long time. Jewish Characters and traditions are very slowly making their way onto the page. Authors like Felicia Grossman, Laura Brown, Xan West and others are slowly adding the gorgeous tapestry of the religious and cultural tradition I’ve grown up in to the potential settings for romance novels.

But until Stripped, I hadn’t seen an on the page, full fledged, Jewish wedding in a romance novel. Seeing that on the page made me cry. All over everybody. Constantly. Consistently.

What are your favorite celebrations in romance novels? And why did they have an impact on you ?:)

Looking forward to hearing your answers 😊

Stacey

@nystacey

www.staceyagdern.com






#RomBkLove May 2019, Day 19: Communities

Day 19_ May2019Rombklove

Wendy loves romances where finding community is part of the HEA. Check out her rec post on her blog and while you are there check out her new #RomBkBlog project!

Communities

Tweet Archive

How to participate?

Readers: Respond to the prompts! Share your favorite books, characters, scenes, or thoughts on tropes.  Make sure to include the #RomBkLove hashtag with your tweet! If you have read and loved a book by LGBTQIA+, Disabled, and/or  Authors of Color that fits the prompt please, please mention it.  You might think everyone has heard of the book but I can guarantee you there are lots of people who still need to hear about it.  

Authors: You are welcome to participate too, as fellow readers. The tag is not meant for self-promotion. Boost fellow authors, celebrate the community but do so in a way that respect reader spaces. Respect the conversation.   Join in to rec the books you love that fit the theme/trope/prompt. Yes, you can say “I wrote a book with this trope” but please don’t spam the hashtag with generic promo. 

For a list of all of these month's prompts and archives go to: https://www.anacoqui.com/2019/04/rombklove-may-2019-celebrating-inclusive-romance.html


#RomBkLove May 2019, Day 18: Career-Oriented

Day 18_ May2019Rombklove

Caro is romance reader, Bookriot contributor and Professor from Argentina that loves when romance writers showcase the work and careers in their stories. Check out Caro’s post on Instagram. 

Career-Oriented

Tweet Archive

How to participate?

Readers: Respond to the prompts! Share your favorite books, characters, scenes, or thoughts on tropes.  Make sure to include the #RomBkLove hashtag with your tweet! If you have read and loved a book by LGBTQIA+, Disabled, and/or  Authors of Color that fits the prompt please, please mention it.  You might think everyone has heard of the book but I can guarantee you there are lots of people who still need to hear about it.  

Authors: You are welcome to participate too, as fellow readers. The tag is not meant for self-promotion. Boost fellow authors, celebrate the community but do so in a way that respect reader spaces. Respect the conversation.   Join in to rec the books you love that fit the theme/trope/prompt. Yes, you can say “I wrote a book with this trope” but please don’t spam the hashtag with generic promo. 

For a list of all of these month's prompts and archives go to: https://www.anacoqui.com/2019/04/rombklove-may-2019-celebrating-inclusive-romance.html


#RomBkLove May 2019, Day 17: Love Me all the Curves

Day 17_ May2019Rombklove

#RomBkLove Day 17: Love Me All the Curves is hosted by @Aqueda_Veronica who found it an unexpectedly emotional experience to prepare this post. 

 

Agata is celebrating stories with terrific fat rep over at her blog & is looking for more recs.

 

 

Share your recs for books were Soft, Curvy & Fat MCs find their HEAs. 

 

Love Me All The Curves

Day 17 Tweet Archive

How to participate?

Readers: Respond to the prompts! Share your favorite books, characters, scenes, or thoughts on tropes.  Make sure to include the #RomBkLove hashtag with your tweet! If you have read and loved a book by LGBTQIA+, Disabled, and/or  Authors of Color that fits the prompt please, please mention it.  You might think everyone has heard of the book but I can guarantee you there are lots of people who still need to hear about it.  

Authors: You are welcome to participate too, as fellow readers. The tag is not meant for self-promotion. Boost fellow authors, celebrate the community but do so in a way that respect reader spaces. Respect the conversation.   Join in to rec the books you love that fit the theme/trope/prompt. Yes, you can say “I wrote a book with this trope” but please don’t spam the hashtag with generic promo. 

For a list of all of these month's prompts and archives go to: https://www.anacoqui.com/2019/04/rombklove-may-2019-celebrating-inclusive-romance.html