Links: Brooklyn 99, Forced Proximity, & More
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Articles / July 31, 2019

RWA is over! And my feet are so grateful. If you missed the RWA RITA award ceremony, I hope RWA uploads it to their YouTube soon. I haven’t been able to find it posted just yet. The speeches were amazing. I cried. And we finally (FINALLY) have a Black author winning a RITA. Two authors, in fact! The RITA also has its first South Asian author winning. You could not recreate the energy in that room if you tried. If you want to see a full list of the winners, they’re all listed here. … Gina Torres has been cast in The Hating Game adaption! News about this just gets better and better. … If forced proximity is one of your favorite tropes, author Rosanna Leo has some great reading recommendations at Frolic Media. … Sometimes McSweeney’s hits a little to close to home, like this satirical op-ed on all the women presidential candidates: Anyway, we need someone likable, because that’s who gets the most votes. Just think of a student council election. Everybody goes for the lovable goof, not the high-strung nerd with a big, boring speech about all the things she wants to implement at the school to help the student body. The…

Highlanders, Vampires, & More
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Articles / July 31, 2019

Slap Shot Slap Shot by Kelly Jamieson is $1.99! This is a Kindle Daily Deal and is part of the Aces Hockey series. The book is told from the hero’s POV, which isn’t my favorite. But readers loved the confident heroine: a psychologist who owns a business and helps design sex toys. My name’s Max Hall, and I need to f***. As a pro hockey player who’s been away from the game for over a year, my libido has picked one hell of an an inconvenient time to come roaring back to life. After my wife died from a rare form of cancer, sex was the last thing on my mind. Same with hockey, the other love of my life. Now, after fifteen months of eating too much, drinking too much, and generally just feeling sorry for myself, I’m facing a steep uphill battle to get my ass in shape and play my way back onto the Chicago Aces. So I’m not looking for a relationship. Just sex. Yeah, I know how that makes me sound. But the truth is, I’ll never love another woman the way I loved my wife. When I meet a sexy bridesmaid at my teammate’s wedding, I decide to…

Elyse Watches The Bachelorette–S15 E12: Four Times
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Articles / July 31, 2019

We open with Chris Harrison live in LA letting us know that The Bachelorette finale will stretch over four hours and two nights, and FML. Then we cut back to Greece. Peter, Tyler and Jed are still discussing the fact that Luke P showed up and was (eventually) sent home (again). Chris Harrison moves the rose podium back from where Hannah moved it away from Luke. Tearfully, Hannah tells the three remaining dudes that she feels blessed for having known them, but that she has to continue to make the right decisions. She picks up a rose and the scary music starts. The first rose goes to Jed, which I really didn’t see coming. The second rose goes to Tyler, which means Peter aka Mr. Windmill is going home. My husband is bummed. “For a wedding present people could have gotten them those little windmills that go in your yard!” Hannah, crying, tells Peter that he was the perfect guy and reminded her of her Ken doll from when she was a kid. She said “There’s like nothing wrong, just, like, not mine.” Peter tells her that it “sucks and it hurts,” but that she’ll always have a place in his…

Sure Thing by Jana Aston
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Articles / July 31, 2019

C- Sure Thing by Jana Aston October 10, 2017 · Rutherford Press Contemporary RomanceRomance Sure Thing was recent-ish-ly featured for Books on Sale. Since I’m the one who usually puts these posts together, it can be a work hazard. But shit, it was 99c! It also had some promising reviews on Goodreads and the quotes people pulled had me interested. It sounded fun! After finishing the book and sitting with my thoughts for days, though, I have no idea if I enjoyed it or not. Like I said, I finished it. That should count for something. For every moment that seemed to irk me, there’d be an adorable scene or great piece of dialogue that kept me going, but after weighing the pros and cons, it became obvious I had way more negative things to say than positive. Violet Hayden is a twin and her life is in turmoil. All in one go, she lost her new condo, her boyfriend, and her job. She’s always been the good twin, but her sister Daisy gives her a giant push to take risks and do something unexpected. Like have a one night stand and then also pretend to be Daisy at her…

HaBO: Gender-Flipped Three Musketeers
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Articles / July 30, 2019

This HaBO request is from Alyssa, who wants to find this historical romance: I’m looking for a historical romance I got from a library used book sale sometime in the early 2000s. It has a grey cover and looked benign enough that my adolescent self thought it was a fantasy novel. There might have been a sword. It took place in the middle ages in what was probably France. It turned out to be a distaff version of the Three Musketeers with three women pretending to be men in order to fight. I wonder now if there were sequels with the other musketeers. The heroine of the story was a fine lady with a twin brother who died in a plague, might have been The Plague? And maybe their parents too? She blamed her arranged fiancé for his death because he was supposed to stop by with some sort of healing charm but got waylaid by something. So she dressed up as her brother and went to go seek revenge on the Hero/Fiancé dude. The hero was her brother’s superior officer and BFF and initially believes the switcheroo. He’s really sad the Fiancée he never met “died” and is worried…

A Western Romance, Contemporaries, & More
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Articles / July 30, 2019

The Sisters of Winter Wood The Sisters of the Winter Wood by Rena Rossner is $2.99! I mentioned this one in a previous Hide Your Wallet because I love magical realism. Reader say this book is incredibly atmospheric, but the chief complaints seem to be there’s romance (ew, yuck!) and the amount of Yiddish/Hebrew words. If you’re not familiar with them or Judaism in general, you may feel lost. Captivating and boldly imaginative, with a tale of sisterhood at its heart, Rena Rossner’s debut fantasy invites you to enter a world filled with magic, folklore, and the dangers of the woods. In a remote village surrounded by vast forests on the border of Moldova and Ukraine, sisters Liba and Laya have been raised on the honeyed scent of their Mami’s babka and the low rumble of their Tati’s prayers. But when a troupe of mysterious men arrives, Laya falls under their spell-despite their mother’s warning to be wary of strangers. And this is not the only danger lurking in the woods. As dark forces close in on their village, Liba and Laya discover a family secret passed down through generations. Faced with a magical heritage they never knew existed, the sisters realize the old fairy…

HaBO: Confederates in Canada?
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Articles / July 30, 2019

This HaBO comes from DiscoDollyDeb, who is searching for this historical romance: Greetings Bitchery! DiscoDollyDeb here and I’m looking for a historical romance I think I read in the late 1980s or early 1990s, although it may have been published earlier. I don’t read much historical romance now, but the reason this book has stayed with me is that it introduced me to something I had no idea about: during the Civil War, the Confederacy had a base in Canada from which they planned attacks on cities in the North. (Many years later, I saw a movie from the 1950s on TCM that included this Confederates-in-Canada plot, but the book I’m looking for was my first knowledge of this.) Also, I seem to remember a lot more about the first half of the book than the rest, so it might have been a book with a great set-up and not so much in follow-through. Here’s what I remember (or, at least, what I think I remember): The heroine is a northerner. She’s a recent widow, traveling by train to her father-in-law’s home (Buffalo? Niagara?). The father-in-law is rich, powerful, politically-connected, possibly a senator (also, a horrible person). The heroine is…

Under Currents by Nora Roberts
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Articles / July 30, 2019

C- Under Currents by Nora Roberts July 9, 2019 · St. Martin’s Press Romantic Suspense If Present Day Elyse traveled back in time and told Past Elyse that someday Nora Roberts would write a romantic suspense novel that didn’t quite work for her, Past Elyse wouldn’t have believed her. Then Past Elyse would have squinted at Present Day Elyse and said, “Are we growing out our bangs again? You know we’re only going to last six weeks before we cut them.” I love Nora Roberts’ romantic suspense books. I schedule time off around release dates. I was so excited when Under Currents was released because I assumed it would be a slam dunk for me. Unfortunately the pacing and the plot of this book felt so disjointed that it was difficult to enjoy. Rather than having several plot threads woven together, the story resolves them consecutively, like ticking boxes off a checklist. The result is that the tension is almost constantly disrupted and my reading experience was really uneven. I do want to warn that this book deals with domestic violence and much of that violence is graphic. That includes violence against children. There is also one scene that includes…

Epic Fantasy & Contemporary Romances
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Articles / July 29, 2019

The Wedding Date The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory is $1.99! Elyse read this one and gave it a B: The Wedding Date is charming and delightful, and it saved me from getting overly hysterical on a flight to Costa Rica. It’s not a perfect book, and I found myself giving the hero my “WTF” face a few times, but the awesomeness of the heroine thrilled me. A groomsman and his last-minute guest are about to discover if a fake date can go the distance in a fun and flirty debut novel. Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn’t normally do. But there’s something about Drew Nichols that’s too hard to resist. On the eve of his ex’s wedding festivities, Drew is minus a plus one. Until a power outage strands him with the perfect candidate for a fake girlfriend… After Alexa and Drew have more fun than they ever thought possible, Drew has to fly back to Los Angeles and his job as a pediatric surgeon, and Alexa heads home to Berkeley, where she’s the mayor’s chief of staff. Too bad they can’t stop thinking about the…

Brazen and the Beast by Sarah MacLean
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Articles / July 29, 2019

A Brazen and the Beast by Sarah MacLean July 30, 2019 · Avon Romance Well, that was just delightful. I loved every single minute of Brazen and the Beast, even the melodramatic bits. This historical is Book 2 in the Bareknuckle Bastards series and although I had no trouble starting here, I do plan to read the first book since they are closely connected. Lady Henrietta Sedley (Hattie) is still single at twenty-nine and determined to make this The Year of Hattie. It’s a four stage plan: Business, Home, Fortune, Future. Step One is to lose her virginity, thus sealing her unmarriagibility. She and her fabulous best friend Nora, who deserves her own book and possibly an entire series, head to a high class brothel that caters to women so she can get that pesky step taken care of. It’s very practical. Allow me to say, for what will not be the last time in this review, that I adore Hattie and I adore Nora and the fact that they are not the stars of a television series about pirate queens is a crime. Anyway, when Hattie gets in her carriage she discovers that there’s a stunningly handsome man in…