Book recs

What to read: Romances with Publishing Professionals

04:07



The creation of this list was prompted by a conversation on Twitter where a friend asked if there was a romance where the MCs are models who meet at a book cover shoot. Sadly, I don't this romance exits right now, at least no one suggested one, but I hope someone will write it for us soon. In the meantime, here are the recommendations I gathered for romances where the MCs are involved in publishing in way or another - writers, editors, audiobook narrator, college professors who teach writing classes. If you don't see your favourite book on this list, please message me and I will add it. 

Personal recommendations

Glitterland by Alexis Hall, m/m contemporary romance, one of my favourites by this author and one of my favourite romances in general. One of the MCs, Ash (A. A. Winters) is a writer. Review

Wanted, A Gentleman by KJ Charles - (m/m historical romance) Teo publishes The Matrimonial Advertiser and also writes Gothic romances, including erotic ones, under a pen name. Review

Unfit to Print by KJ Charles, another historical m/m romance, this time one of the MCs writes and sell pornogrpagic materials. Review

One and Only by Jenny Holiday, m/f romance, the heroine is YA Fantasy writer as heroine. It's light-hearted and fun. Review

Real Kind of Love by Sara Rider, lovely contemporary romance centered around introverted heroine who is an audiobook narrator. Review

Book Twitter recommendations 

Talk Me Down by Victoria Dahl - m/f contemporary romance, the heroine writes erotica

Ruin of a Rake by Cat Sebastian, m/m historical romance, one MC is a writer in secret

Wallflower trilogy by Maya Rodale, m/f romance, the heroine writes the Wallflower historic novels based on her life 

The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata, m/f romance, the heroine becomes a book cover designer

My Secret Fantasies by Joanne Rock, contemporary m/f romance, the heroine writes erotic stories

A Summer for Scandal by Lydia San Andres, m/f historical romance, the heroine writes a scandalous serial and the hero pens a dishy column. 

Wicked Quills series by Eva Leigh  historical m/f romances which feature writers; the last one features a writer of erotic fiction. 

Original Sinners series (queer romances) by Tiffany Reisz has a writer/editor relationship in the first book and the writer is central to the series.

Learning to Fall by Mina V. Esguerra, contemporary m/f romance, the heroine is a book blogger and artist/aspiring cover designer. 

The Professor by Charlotte Stein, erotic m/f romance, student-teacher romance in a writing class

Sweet as Sin by Inez Kelley, m/f romance, the hero is a YA author

Bookmarked by Piper Vaughn, m/m romance, one MC is a reclusive author & other is an indie bookstore owner 

Smut by Karina Halle, contemporary m/f romance, the MCs are two college students teaming up to make bank on erotic romance. 

Explicit by Roxy Sloane, erotic m/f romance, the hero is a writer and the heroine is his new editor. (It's free at time of publication of this post)

Suddenly You by Lisa Kleypas, historical m/f romance, the heroine is a novelist heroine, the hero is an editor

Stud in the Stacks by Pippa Grant, m/f romance, the hero is a romance blogger/librarian 

Letters from Cupid by Ari McKay, m/m epistolary romance, both MCs are English professors, one in creative writing, 

Playing the Part by Robin Covignon, contemporary m/f romance, the heroine is romance writer who teaches an actor how to be romantic

Melt for You by J. T. Geissinger, contemporary m/f romance, the heroine is a copyeditor, the hero - a rugby player 
*** *** *** 

Here are some online resources for more romances where the MCs are writer or involved in publishing in some way. 

Goodreads list of historical romances where hero/heroine is a writer

List of LGBTQIA historical romances with scholars, Booksellers, Playwrights, Bluestockings, and Journalists

____________________________________________

Note: The book titles are Amazon affiliate links. I have also included links to my reviews of the books I've read (reviewed). 

Adriana Anders

Mini Reviews and Reading Recap #5

04:33


The Wolf at the Door by Charlie Adhara
This is a debut m/m murder mystery/romantic suspense with werewolves. It was such an engaging read, twisty and kept me guessing who the murderer was till the very end. I liked the writing, it was smooth and there was an easy flow to the whole story. This story offers an interesting mix or real world + wereloves who are kept secret from the general public. I loved the narrator's POV, got to know him well and could relate to him feeling confused and awkward both in his professional and personal life. 
I wished we got more insight on the werewolves and their community though. It's the first books in a series that will follow the same couple, so in a way it was more of setting the stage than full immersion in the wereloves-human interactions. I'm excited to read the next book which comes in September and I already got the ARC, so I'm looking forward to starting it some time in August.

Add to Goodreads / Buy on Amazon

By Her Touch by Adriana Anders
In two words, I loved it. I read the other two books in the series when they came out last year and I got this one soon after that but somehow it got lost in the never-ending pile of unread books on my Kindle. I finally read it this week and it's fabulous, my favourite in the series together with book one. 
I was worried about the doctor-patient aspect of the romance but I think it was handled well. It was a very emotional, dark and very hard read at times but it's captivating and unforgettable. I explores a wide range of heavy subjects - the aftermath of trauma, grieving the loss of a loved one, moving on, believing you are worth it and deserve happiness and second chance to love and be loved. 
My only minor complaint is that I wish we got a more conclusive solution re hero's PTSD. I would also have loved to see the couple in a few month's time (we get a glimpse of them in the next book, so there is that). Highly recommended read!
CW: abuse in the past (physical and psychological), cancer (in the past), loss of a loved one, grieving, PTSD, kidnapping, violence

Add to Goodreads / Buy on Amazon

Real Kind of Love by Sara Rider
This is the fluffiest of fluff and just what I needed after the brilliant but heavy book I finished before it. It stars an introverted heroine (a rarity in romance I'd say) who struggles with her over-active and over-sharing/meddling family, She got into a fake relationship with the hero while camping with her family and all the fun and cute and sweet and heart-warming things happened. It eas a bit of "I'm not good enough for her, he is too perfect for me" type of conflict but it felt believable and work in the context of the story. Great family dynamics, interesting side characters and children who acted their age and I didn't find annoying at all.
There was a bit too much drama towards the end for me but it didn't take away from my general enjoyment of the story. I really, really appreciate the introverted heroine and the hero who respects her boundaries and needs for personal space and alone time. There was no magic transformation into more outgoing social butterfly for her. Rather the opposite, she became more assertive with regard what she needed/liked and the people aroudn her accepted that. Epic grovel scene and I-love-you gesture and a lovely epilogue. 

Add to Goodreads / Buy on Amazon

Charlie Adhara

Mini Reviews and Reading Recap #4

04:26


One and Only by Jenny Holiday 

This is a fun romcom set around a wedding. My first by this author and I enjoyed it a lot. I was not a big fan of all the wedding stuff because our traditions a different and it all seemed so over the top for me but ignoring that, it's was a great read. An opposites attract romance between the groom's stepbrother and one of the bridesmaids. Most of conflict was along the lines of him thinking he is not good enough for her, all the while his bad boy was just a misrepresentation, a false image hiding his true self. 

I had one main issue with the book and that was a PTSD episode the hero had, and while I'm not an expert, it felt wrong to me and gave me pause. I loved the female friendship so much, liked the family dynamics as well, and the complexity of the characters which made them feel like real people. The story has the most epic grovel scene (absolutely necessary) and the loveliest ending. 

Add on Goodreads / Buy on Amazon


Unfit to Print by KJ Charles

This is a m/m novella where one MC is Indian and the other is half-Black. One is a respected lawyer, the other sells book, including ones with pornographic content. It's a second chance romance of childhood friends/teenager lovers reunited later in life. There is an interesting  suspense plot that brought them together. It was a lovely story in the usual masterful and engaging writing style of KJ Charles. Still, it was too short and a rather intriguing start, I felt the last quarter was rushed and underdeveloped. Both romance arc and the suspense plot got resolved too quickly and too neatly and I was left wanting more.


Add on Goodreads / Preorder on Amazon

Currently reading: The Wolf at the Door by Charlie Adhara, m/m romantic suspense with werewolves. I'm almost finishing and it's such an intriguing murder mystery that I cannot put it down. I would love the see more of the romance though. 

Erin Satie

Weekly Mini Reviews and Reading Recap #3

03:47


Bed of Flowers by Erin Satie is a historical m/f, my first by the author and while it was nice, I definitely expected more.
It took me a while to warm up to the heroine and I still think her friends were more interesting/captivating than her. I did like the hero and the way he cared for his orchids was the sweetest, most endearing thing.
Bonny came as naive, self-sacrificing, defined almost exclusively by her stunning beauty which the others valued the most in her and which she also saw as her major, possibly only asset. In the end, I feel she was not too successful in her plans - she caused more problems to her family and friends, she lost the circulating library she was running. Her marriage was her major win  it was based on love and offered her a chance to help some less fortunate people around her.
This was not enough for me to love this story which ended just an Okay read for me. It had its strong moments but ultimately I expected more of it. 3 Stars 

Add to Goodreads / Buy on Amazon

*** ***

Behind These Doors by Jude Lucens is a queer historical romance involving a bi polyamorous aristocrat in a relationship with a married couple falling for a society journalist. It's a tender, emotional romance exploring a number of conflicts (along class lines, along making a polyam relationship work). There are lots and lots of historical details, which sometimes felt overwhelming. The romance unfolded at the background of the the Suffragette movement and the fight for the rights of women. This is  a very character focused story about a bunch of people who are so very different from each other but who love each other dearly who are trying to find a way to be together and happy despite the social norms and conventions which stand in their way.
Wonderful writing, smooth flow of an interesting story. Great debut!

Add to Goodreads / Buy on Amazon

*** *** ***

Currently reading: One and Only by Jenny Holiday. I'm only 20% in and I'm hooked. It's a romcom around a wedding where the heroine is one of the bridesmates and an YA author (this goes straight on my list with romances with bookish/writing type of MCs) and the hero is the groom's bother, ex-military who just came back from Iraq. and is the family's black sheep. 

Author Spotlight

Friday Favourites with Erin Satie

03:34

It's time for another Friday Favourites post. My guest today is Erin Satie, author of historical romances. Her latest book, and the first in a new series, Bed of Flowers, comes out on June 19 and it's a lovely romance between girl of stunning beauty but with no fortune (who is running a circulating library of sorts with her best friend) and a disgraced and disowned lord who grows orchids for sale. Read on to learn more about the author and her upcoming release. Don't miss the chance to enter a giveaway for one ebook copy of Bed of Flowers at the end of this post.


Meet Erin

1. Favourite place
Travel is one of my passions, so this is a hard one for me. Instead of giving an answer (sorry) I'll explain a little bit of my philosophy of travel.

One of my main goals in life is to always have visited more countries than I've lived years... and since I've visited 43 countries now, you can make a rough estimate of my age. I made this rule because it forces me to discover new places instead of returning to old favorites. There are so many wonderful places in the world--to be honest, I could count on the fingers of one hand the places I haven't enjoyed visiting--so much to marvel at, so much beauty.

I believe in appreciating each place for what it is. Forget about comparisons, forget about expectations. Find out what makes a place special and then soak it in. Even, and especially, home. I love the verse from Eliot's Little Gidding where he writes "We shall not cease from exploration / And the end of all our exploring / Will be to arrive where we started / And know the place for the first time." -- I haven't really had a home for the past year because I've committed to a nomadic lifestyle, but I think about this quote all the time. For many of us, it's hardest to appreciate what's wonderful about home, because home is so familiar. You have to step outside to see it with fresh eyes.

2. Favourite food and drink
Vanilla pudding with some sort of a fresh fruit topping. Fresh fruit smoothies.

3. Favourite music/genre/artist/song
I'm not nearly as passionate about music as I used to be but anything by David Bowie makes me happy.

4. Favourite movie/TV series
I'm really obsessed with Game of Thrones. I started with the TV series, then read the books, and now I've got nothing but fanfic to keep me company until the show starts again, which won't be until next year. So it's a good thing I love fanfic.

5. Favourite hobby besides writing, if you consider writing a hobby
Travel, though at this point it's probably a lifestyle. Reading--and I've taken to preaching the many virtues of audiobooks, which have absolutely changed my life for the better (you can read anywhere! While doing dishes or driving!). More recently, yoga.

6. Favourite books
Oh no, how can I keep this short? So far this year I've loved The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare, Making Up by Lucy Parker and A Lady's Code of Misconduct by Meredith Duran.

I was surprised to notice some similarities between the Parker and the Dare--the thought probably only occurred to me because I read them back to back--but both romances really focus on building companionship and camaraderie between the hero and heroine. They're romantic and sexy but in both cases I'd say you believe in the HEA because the hero and heroine have become such good friends over the course of the novel. A Lady's Code of Misconduct is the best amnesia romance I've ever read and really goes to show that everything old school can be new again--it's such a classic trope but Duran makes it modern and fresh.

I really enjoyed Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick--which I read because whenever some topic keeps cropping up in the news, I'll try to search out a good book that will give me the context I need to understand what's going on. The news just isn't enough.

7. Please introduce your latest/upcoming release 
My new book is called BED OF FLOWERS. My original idea was to write a Beauty and the Beast story where Beauty has agency--you know how in most versions of the fairy tale, it's Beauty's father who accepts Beast's hospitality then steals a rose from his garden, and Beast who angered a fairy and the fairy who put him under a curse? Beauty seems like the protagonist of Beauty and the Beast but the one who grows and changes is usually Beast.

So I wanted to write a book where Beauty propels her own story forward, where she makes the choices and the mistakes that advance the plot. To be honest, the end result doesn't much resemble Beauty and the Beast. I doubt anyone would notice the parallels if they didn't look for them. But many of the key elements (like the fact that my heroine, Bonny, is staggeringly beautiful or that my hero, Loel, grows exotic orchids for a living) did start there.

In the end, BED OF FLOWERS is about a heroine, Bonny, who lives to make other people happy, who would never intentionally harm another soul, and who falls in love with the one man who her family could never accept. She's lovely and optimistic and generous, and I'm really excited about building a series around a core of female friendship and cooperation, but Bonny has to make some hard choices to get her happily ever after.


Blurb 

Bonny Reed is beautiful, inside and out.

A loyal friend and loving daughter, she’s newly engaged to her small town’s most eligible bachelor. She’s happy for herself—but mostly for her family, who need the security her marriage will bring.

An old enemy shatters her illusions.

First Baron Loel cost Bonny’s family her fortune. Now he’s insisting that her fiancé has hidden flaws, secrets so dark that—if she believed him—she’d have to call off the wedding.

How will she choose?

When the truth comes out, Bonny will have to choose between doing what’s right and what’s easy. Between her family and her best friend. And hardest of all—between her honor and the love of a man who everyone wants her to hate.

Purchase links: Amazon - iBooks - Barnes & Noble - Kobo - Google Play

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Flickr Images