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#RomBkLove Day 24: Sweet as Pie/Cinnamon Rolls

Day 24 #RomBkLoveIn romance sweet, gentle, care-taking MCs are not terribly common but sometimes that is the only MCs we can bear to read. What romances have them? What do you love about them?  

I love caretaking MCs but they are hard to find caretaking MCs that aren't also bossy, and alpha.

Both the heroes in KJ Charles's An Unseen Attraction (Sins of the City) are gentle and sweet-tempered, but it Rowley that to me best fits the Sweet as Pie/Cinnamon Roll description. Although small, and eccentric (he is passionate about his job as taxidermist) he never hesitates to champion Clem. He does all the little things that show care, knowing how to stress Clem, respecting his boundaries and making sure others take that care with Clem too.

Sasha Devlin's Beary Christmas, Baby is another fantastic friends to lovers romance with a cuddly gentle hero. Liev has loved Sira since they were children, but on Christmas eve she has finally pushed him to far, and that realization is the spark Sira needs to realize that what they could have is not something she wants pretend isn't there.

Tristan in Laura Florand's Crown of Bitter Orange is totally a cinnamon roll hero. His whole arc is about overcoming Malorie's suspicions and figuring out how to show her love in ways that she won't misunderstand or mistrust. Unlike his more aggressive Rosier cousins he know, that he needs to handle her with care, and not just bulldoze his way in.

Rosa in Priscilla Oliveras's Her Perfect Affair is a sweet as pie heroine with a spine of steel.  Rosa loves and cares for her sisters, trying to fill the holes left by their parents deaths.  She has tried to so hard for so long and she just lets loose a little bit one night.  When Jeremy tries to take relationship shortcuts after he discovers she is pregnant. Rosa is sweet, loving but no push-over and no willing to compromise of what matters most to her, love.

and if you want more recs check the list that Olivia Dade crowdsourced last year.

An archive of all the day's tweets and debate!

 

A lists of the prompts and posts so far.


#RomBkLove Day 23: Crafts and Hobbies

Day 23 #RomBkLoveWhat are your hobbies? What do they say about you and what you love? I love when authors give MC's something they are passionate about beyond their romantic partners.  What romances combine crafts and hobbies?  Which has been the most unexpected one portrayed?  Anything ever drive your up a wall about the way your hobby has been portrayed?

Although I am a knitter I have generally avoided knitting themed romances but there are few exceptions. I really loved Knit One, Girl Two, by Shira Glassman. One of the MCs is Indie Yarn dyer who is inspired by the vibrant colors of the other MC's paintings.  The book has great scenes with them collaborating and preparing batches of yarn for yarn subscription service. Everything about it was interesting and none of it felt wrong or off.  

Sometimes knitting is simply mentioned in passing and I pay attention. Kit Rocha had Nessa in Beyond Surrender be a failed knitter, how still kept her abandoned projects on a shelf along with all the other things she learned to do and then abandoned, driven by her ADHD into different interests.

I also enjoyed the portrayal of knitting in Annabeth Albert's Knit Tight.  One of the MCs is a knitwear designer who comes back to town to help run his beloved aunt's yarn shop when she falls ill.

Do any romance MC's share your hobbies? What kind of hobbies make into romance novels?

An archive of all the day's tweets 

A lists of prompts and the posts so far.


#RomBkLove Day 22: Found Family

Day 22 #RomBkLoveThis is absolutely my favorite trope ever.  I adore romances where the MCs either already have a group of people they love as family or find that in the course of the story.   What authors and romances have this as their core story. What do you love about books with the found family trope?

I am writing this in the living room at my sister's in-laws house. Over twenty-years ago, one Thanksgiving K brought R to home to her family.  They welcomed my prickly, brash and opinionated sister and just loved her.  Then they loved us all too. Over the last 20 years, I have spend dozens of thanksgivings at their house, even lived briefly with them. They are like an additional set of grandparents for our kids and fantastic set of older wiser adults to listen to us.  

Having lived thousands of miles away from our families for most of our married life, folks like the Ks and other couples over the years, have become surrogate family, they have welcomed us to their house on holidays, picked up the kids from school when there was an emergency and picked us up from airports during snowstorms.  Knowing how important chosen/found family have been in our lives, I love romances where the MCs not only find love but find community.

My go to for found family is Kit Rocha. The O'Kanes aren't just a bi-sexual love army, they are a community. They support each other, they challenge and help each other grow.  The MCs in these books don't just find lovers, they find a crew of people to have their backs.

A lot of PNR romances have this as an element.  In Nalini Singh's Psy-changeling series, Sasha falls for DarkRiver before she falls for Lucas. Starved for touch and affection, she soaks up their love and show her that she isn't flawed for feeling.

KJ Charles's romances often feature found family, communities of Queer people, who love and care for each other, standing together for each other.

Who are the authors that give their MCs not just lovers, but friends who love and care for them?

An Archive of the day's tweets

A lists of previous prompts and posts.


#RomBklove Day 21: Travel

Day 21 #RomBkLove

Today is one of the biggest travels days of the year and I'm hitting the road along with so many others. Lovers in romance, often met away from home, or hit the road together. Whether they travel by carriage, horse, plane, train or auto, what your favorite travel romance? 

In Mia Sosa's Acting on Impulse  Carter and Tori meet while stowing luggage in an overhead compartment on a plane. They end up at the same resort and things start heating up until Tori learns that Carter is Carter Stone, TV Star and she has sworn of dating anyone remotely famous after the very public breakup she just had with a local politician.   The rest of the novel is about them recapturing and growing beyond the little bubble that they initially shared while traveling together.

The first half of Joanna Bourne's The Forbidden Rose is a rough and dangerous road trip from a burned out French Chateau to Paris. Maggie and Doyle are constantly trying to outwit each other on the journey, trying to figure each other out and trying to stay safe. I love the tense love affair that develops between them and how stubborn they both are about protecting the people they love. It is my favorite of Bourne's Spymaster romances.

The Kraken King by Meljean Brooks is a plus-sized travel romance. Originally released as serial, this SF travelogue chronicles the travels of pulp adventure writer, Zenobia Fox, where she tumbles into rebel leader, Ariq. They travel/flee all over the outskirts of the Golden Empire. 

In Beverly Jenkins Night Hawk, Ian "Preacher" Vance is just trying to get back home after going home to bury his mother back in Scotland. His long journey home is interrupted by duty. His duty is wrangling and keeping in custody, the unjustly hounded Maggie Freeman.  From the beginning he is more her bodyguard than her captor, but she leads him on merry chase through the West before finally bringing her back home with him. 

 

 What are you favorite travel romances?

 

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#RomBkLove Day 20: Rom-Coms

Day 20 #RomBkLove

Comedies have ended with weddings from time immemorial. But writing a good Rom-Com, one that is funny and romantic is not easy.  Who makes you laugh as you fall in love with their characters?  

When I think of Rom-Coms, I think of Olivia Dade's Lovestruck Librarians.  Her characters are quirky, her premises lean toward madcap and in all her books her sense humor just shines through.

Shelly Laurenston's Pride books are hilarious to me.  I love the antics, arrogance and brashness of her characters. Some of the mutually aggravating relationships remind me of the best sitcoms. 

Who makes you laugh as much as swoon?

 

 An Archive for the day's tweets

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#RomBkLove Day 19: Holidays

Day19 #RomBkLoveHave you started watching holiday movies on Netflix? Getting ready to travel for Thanksgiving?  Did you light candles in the dark night?  Holidays are emotional high-points and low-points for people. Family get-together are sometimes as tense as they are joyful.  

However holiday romance, particularly Christmas romances are a huge romance sub-genre. Do you have favorites?  Do you have recs for romances about other holidays? Why do you love holiday romances? 

 These three romances do a fabulous job depicting the ups and downs of holidays. The long-awaited reunions, the bittersweet or down-right awkward moments and even tensions that threaten those celebrations. 

A Taste of Blessings by Suleikha Snyder is a delightful novella about Tiya,an almost 40,  good-girl "with all the bad-girl trappings", tattoos, short-hair, & singleness, who has been nursing a crush for fourteen years for perpetually unavailable Arnav. First he was married, and no divorced still out-of-bounds. She sees him every time she comes home and she is ready to suffer her crush once more but this time he flirts back.  I loved the love of family here. Arnav loves his sons, and wants them to be happy, hoping one day his oldest might be brave enough to bring a man he loves home and similarly Tiya's father's love is undeniable. Doting, loving and determined to smooth things for her.  I loved the vibrancy and joy of the Durga Puja celebrations, and how their faith and traditions matter to the MCs.   Originally available in the Silver Bells Anthology, it s now available in a short-story collection along with other fabulous shorts by Snyder in Dil or No Dil).

Never Again by Stacey Agdern, from Rogue Acts, in the weeks leading into Chanukah, and it deals with the alarming rise of Antisemitism that we are seeing and is about being lights in the darkness.   Sam is a Jewish superhero-playing actor who is determined to use his fame & wealth and the platform it gives him to make a difference, from funding small donor-choose style projects for teachers to lending his influence to help promote a  documentary on Jewish resistance that moved him.  Deb, is the filmmaker’s sister & coincidentally the preschool teacher whose school-fund projects Sam’s been funding. While the pacing was a bit choppy at times,  I loved how Agdern portrayed the role of faith and religious practice in their life. It was poignant last winter and even more so now.

Cecilia Grant's Christmas Gone Perfectly Wrong is a delightful snowed-in holiday romance with a stuffy uptight hero, who loses it for the heroine, when they are stranded together after just about everything goes wrong on a snowy Christmas eve. I loved the way Grant presented how grief has affected both their families.

 

What holiday romances do you love?

 

 

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


#Rombklove Day 18: Romantic Bargains: Fake Relationships & MOC

Day18 #RomBkLove

Need a date for your ex's wedding, hire a total stranger to be your +1. Your father's will won't let you inherit until you marry? You don't need a love match, just someone willing to say I do.  What makes this such a beloved romance trope? Are there kinds of MoCs you love more than others. Does it work better in one sub-genre than another.

Marriage of Convenience works the best for me in Historicals but this year I read a fantastic MoC in contemporary, that reminded me that all tropes can be awesome in the hands of great writers. I loved Olivia Dade's Cover Me in Rogue Acts.  This is a friends-to-lovers MoC for insurance purposes. The heroine is so determinedly independent and the hero so determined to care for her. The result is incandescent.  

Ilona Andrews gave us marriage of convenience between distrustful partners in their new series, Iron and Magic. Hugh needs shelter for his hounded Iron Dogs and Elara and her people need their protection. They marry to cement the allegiance but have not come close to trusting their hearts yet.  I can't wait to see where it goes.

Emma Barry and Genevieve Turner's Free Fall has a marriage of convenience between an astronaut and a sorority girl after their one-night-stand has complications. I loved how much space Vivy takes up in this story. She is loud, brash, and bold as she fight for her marriage despite her husband's desire to keep his feelings boxed up.

I adore grumpy widowers convinced they will never love again, and so I loved Tempest by Beverly Jenkins. Seeking adventure Regan agrees to a MoC with a doctor who needs someone to care for his daughter.  They get off to a terrible start when she accidentally shoots him and things get hotter from there!

An Archive of the day's tweets 

A list of all the prompts and posts so far


#Rombklove Day 17: Fantastical: Fantasy and Urban Fantasy

Day17 #RomBkLove

I didn't grow up a romance reader, at least I didn't think I was one, but almost all the fantasy and urban fantasy I read had romantic elements in it and that was one of the reasons I read it for.  Which Fantasy and Urban Fantasy books provide satisfying romantic storylines? 

For Urban Fantasy my number one author is Ilona Andrews. Her Kate Daniels and Hidden Legacy series are fantastic and I know even as the leads go through romantic up and downs that I can trust for the relationships to be built up. They have even gotten me to read a story about Hugh, and actually feel sympathetic for the murdering lug. I also love Patricia Briggs, particularly her Alpha and Omega books.

For fantasy romance that delivers, I would immediately think of Grace Draven. And I am really excited for new book by Song of Blood and Stone  author L. Penelope.  as I really loved the first of the EarthSinger chronicles book and the rest of the series looks to be published soon.

I am also very excited for Stephanie Burgis new series, the Hardwood Spellbook. I have loved the stories that come out so far and I adore the world. Snowspelled is the first book. In this world men do magic and women are politicians.  But our heroine works magic and is not going to be bound by the prescribed limitations of her society. 

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#RomBkLove Day 16: Just a Fling

Day 16 # Rombklove

This is one of my favorite tropes, because how closely it tracks with MC's in full-denial.  I absolutely adore MC's that somehow think a few days of passion will be easy to shake off.  I love when characters unexpectedly catch feelings for the "just a bit of fun" partner.  What do you love about this trope?  The denial, the negotiation, something else entirely? What are your favorite "Just a fling" romances? 

An Archive of the day's tweets

 

This year I really enjoyed Ainslie Paton's odd-couple, temporary roommates with benefits romance, The Love Coupon (m/f, contemporary).  Their romance has an end date and everything turns complicated when their hearts engage.  I loved how inconvenient and confusing those feelings became.

Mia Hopkins's Thirsty (m/f, contemporary with POC MCs) is another of those, it is just temporary, turns into more romances.  Sal has been out of prison for a little less than a year, trying to get his life together when his housing situation falls apart and he moves into Vanessa and Chinita's garage in exchange for clearing it out.  She was the good girl next-door that he never had a chance with when he was a teen. Their affair is hot and time-limited but both of them start feeling much more for each other than they dare admit.

Stripped by Zoey Castile, (m/f contemporary with POC, ownvoices heroine) this Magic Mike XXL inspired fantasy has a burn-out quarter-life crisis having teacher, Robin, falling for the stripper who moved in downstairs. The twist here is that while they know they only have a few months together, Fallon fails to tell Robin that his stay in NYC is even shorter than they thought.

Billie and Drew have an arrangement. He wines, dines and pampers her while paying her madam well for the time they spend together.  Billie works hard to remember that despite all his affection, she isn't Drew girl, or even his mistress but a sex worker for hire. But after Drew leaves to go find a wife, she discovers she is very inconveniently pregnant. Destiny's Surrender by Beverly Jenkins's Billie is fabulously prickly and determined and really deepens and complicates the it was just a fling trope into marriage of convenience/marriage  in trouble romance that was absolutely engrossing. (m/f america-set historical, POC MCs).

A lists of the previous prompts and posts.


#RomBkLove Day 15: Slump Busters

Day15 #RomBkLove

There are few things as miserable as a reading slump. Bad luck or bad mood, nothing is working. What do you do?  Do you re-read? Switch genres?  Do you save books by favorite authors in reserve in case of a reading emergency?  Do you wait out a reading slump or bust out of it?

I do a little of everything. I will switch genres, re-read faves (Hello, Hidden Legacy by Ilona Andrews, we meet again!), and occasionally if am lucky, I have been saving a book by a favorite author to try.  What do you read or do to break out of a slump.

An Archive of the Day's tweets

A list of the prompts and previous posts