Magical Realism, a Mystery, & More
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars
Loading...
Articles / April 30, 2020

Spellbound Spellbound by Allie Therin is $1.99! This is a gay fantasy historical romance with a dash of mystery. Most readers loved the writing, while others wished the execution were better. Reviews also mention that this one has closed door/off the page sex scenes. To save Manhattan, they’ll have to save each other first…  1925 New York Arthur Kenzie’s life’s work is protecting the world from the supernatural relics that could destroy it. When an amulet with the power to control the tides is shipped to New York, he must intercept it before it can be used to devastating effects. This time, in order to succeed, he needs a powerful psychometric…and the only one available has sworn off his abilities altogether. Rory Brodigan’s gift comes with great risk. To protect himself, he’s become a recluse, redirecting his magic to find counterfeit antiques. But with the city’s fate hanging in the balance, he can’t force himself to say no. Being with Arthur is dangerous, but Rory’s ever-growing attraction to him begins to make him brave. And as Arthur coaxes him out of seclusion, a magical and emotional bond begins to form. One that proves impossible to break—even when Arthur sacrifices himself to keep…

Minor Admin Note: Comment Hearts Are Back!
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars
Loading...
Articles / April 30, 2020

On Christmas Eve last year (remember that? It was like sixty-twelve years ago) the comment liking plugin was really unhappy, and was dragging the load time of the site. So I turned it off. A number of you emailed to ask where the hearts on comments had gone, as it was a feature y’all really liked (ba-dum-bum). So! I’ve done some investigating and have re-enabled the comment liking. Woo! You should see little hearts next to comments that you can click on to like them. I have disabled logging of those likes to comply with international laws on privacy so I don’t have records of what IP likes what (you like what you like, right? Right!). But if you would be so kind as to help me test the comment likes a bit, I’d be very grateful. You can leave a comment here (tell us a joke! Say hello from where you are!) and like different comments. If you notice a problem or if the site slooooooooooooooooows down to a whoa-crawl, let me know here or at sarahATsmartbitchestrashybooksDOTcom. I’ll be keeping an eye on the site, too. Thank you!

The Rec League: Supportive Brothers
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars
Loading...
Articles / April 30, 2020

This latest Rec League is inspired by a discussion I had during one of my romance book club meetings. I can’t remember what book we read, though I think it was a historical romance. But in a lot of cases, in books where there is a brother/sister sibling relationship, the brother is usually an asshole or even the bad guy. They’re judgmental about their sister’s dating life, is ruining her financially, or is somehow impeding her independence and autonomy. So I’m personally asking for romances with healthy brother/sister dynamics! Carrie: The many generations of Bridgertons ( A | K | G | AB ) have mutually supportive brothers who lend their names and hearts to many a spin off novel. Claudia: That’s easy — Loretta Chase’s Carsington Brothers, and I always thought the earl dad deserved a prequel. Carrie: Anyone But You by Jennifer Crusie has a pair of brothers that start off somewhat codependent but who end up being mutually supportive. AJ: The Masqueraders by Georgette Heyer has a pretty good brother, as I recall, although he doesn’t get his own separate sequel. Amanda: I THINK the original siblings in the first Maiden Lane books may qualify. The brother…

Links: Just Stuff
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars
Loading...
Articles / April 29, 2020

I don’t even know what to title these things anymore. There is no theme to this collection of stuff. It’s just…stuff. Tarot cards, fun videos, virtual book events. If you’re curious how I’ll be spending my afternoon, I somehow have all the ingredients for this. … It’s okay to treat yourself and, right now, I’m ogling this gorgeous botanical-themed tarot deck on Kickstarter. It’s already reached its goal, so you’re guaranteed to get your reward! It’s also reached a stretch goal to have the illustrations compiled into a book. Hell yeah. … There are a few of these types of videos going around, but this one is my favorite so far! Quarantined stuntmen, bruh… pic.twitter.com/nYSOqzAzBs — Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) April 22, 2020 … Romance authors are contributing items for the LIFT 4 Autism auction. I believe bidding opened up on Monday and ends Friday. … Speaking of Friday, don’t miss this awesome virtual event happening with Alyssa Cole, Beverly Jenkins, Mia Sosa, and Rebekah Weatherspoon! View this post on Instagram Next Friday, May 1st, kicks off Date Night @loyaltybooks ! Every two weeks, we’ll be chatting with a panel of your romance faves about their latest books and more! 💕…

Nailini Singh, a Thriller, & More
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars
Loading...
Articles / April 29, 2020

Love Lettering RECOMMENDED: Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn is $2.99 at select vendors! I think this deal started on Friday, so it could end very soon. Aarya gave this one an A: Love Lettering is a special book that I’ll hold close to my heart for a long time. It’s a quiet romance with quiet protagonists, but sometimes it’s the quiet moments that echo the loudest. In this warm and witty romance from acclaimed author Kate Clayborn, one little word puts a woman’s business—and her heart—in jeopardy . . .   Meg Mackworth’s hand-lettering skill has made her famous as the Planner of Park Slope, designing custom journals for her New York City clientele. She has another skill too: reading signs that other people miss. Knowing the upcoming marriage of Reid Sutherland and his polished fiancée was doomed to fail is one thing, but weaving a secret word of warning into their wedding program is another. Meg may have thought no one would spot it, but she hadn’t counted on sharp-eyed, pattern-obsessed Reid.   A year later, Reid has tracked Meg down to find out how she knew that his meticulously planned future was about to implode. But with a looming deadline…

Lucas by Elna Holst
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars
Loading...
Articles / April 29, 2020

C+ Lucas by Elna Holst April 13, 2020 · NineStar Press LGBTQIARomance Tara was kind enough to alert me to the existence of a book about Charlotte Lucas, who is Elizabeth Bennet’s friend in Pride and Prejudice. We had so many feelings about this very strange book, which involves Gothic emotion and SO MUCH SEX, plus at least two flights across the moors, which I can only assume were dutifully wuthering. But before we get started, here’s a bunch of content warnings Stillbirth Miscarriage Discussion of previous rape experiences On-page suicide Homophobia For those who are rusty on their Austen, here’s the background: Charlotte Lucas agrees to marry the odious Mr. Collins, to Elizabeth Bennet’s horror, in Pride and Prejudice. Austen did not write Gothic novels, with the sort-of-exception of Northanger Abbey, which has a protagonist who desperately wants to be in one but is stymied by ordinary events at every turn. While Lucas  features an Austen character, it does not imitate Austen’s style. Lucas begins after Charlotte has been married for several years. It is in the form of letters that Charlotte writes to Elizabeth even though she knows she can’t send them (too lurid!). It tells the tale…

HaBO: Bare Root Roses, Not a Euphemism
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars
Loading...
Articles / April 28, 2020

This HaBO request comes from Irene, who is trying to identify a book her housemate keeps talking about: My housemate has been describing this book to me, and I am, frankly, desperate to read it. Things she remembers: The heroine is the illegitimate daughter of a nobleman and his mistress. The heroine is destined for a life as a mistress, and her mother and her mother’s friends are trying to set her up with a nice young man as her first paramour. The heroine and hero agree to fake a relationship for REASONS. (Her mother and her friends are trying to do right by her within their scope, they are not bad people) He is supposed to bring her flowers, and the heroine’s mother sees him bring…a bare branch? And her friend goes “No! This is trouble! He has brought her a BARE ROOT ROSE! THE MOST ROMANTIC GIFT.” At some point the hero and heroine are FORCED INTO MARRIAGE and he goes off feeling like he was LURED. The heroine’s parents have broken up because her father said ‘how dare you lure my daughter into being a mistress!’ and her mother is all ‘I’M YOUR MISTRESS’. At some point…

Hugo & Nebula Award Nominees and Winners
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars
Loading...
Articles / April 28, 2020

Gideon the Ninth RECOMMENDED: Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir is $2.99! AJ and I did a lot of squeeing about this one on a podcast episode. Will you understand what’s going on? Probably not, but you’ll have a lot of fun being clueless. I also gave it a B+: Gideon the Ninth is a unique and bloody bananapants book, and I do think it’s worth a reader’s curiosity. Gideon is an unforgettable protagonist. Gideon the Ninth is the most fun you’ll ever have with a skeleton. The Emperor needs necromancers. The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman. Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead bullshit. Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon the Ninth unveils a solar system of swordplay, cut-throat politics, and lesbian necromancers. Her characters leap off the page, as skillfully animated as necromantic skeletons. The result is a heart-pounding epic science fantasy. Brought up by unfriendly, ossifying nuns, ancient retainers, and countless skeletons, Gideon is ready to abandon a life of servitude and an afterlife as a reanimated corpse. She packs up her sword, her shoes, and her dirty magazines, and prepares to launch her daring escape. But her childhood nemesis won’t set her free without a service. Harrowhark…

HaBO: Austenland Erotica
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars
Loading...
Articles / April 28, 2020

This HaBO request is from J, who is looking for this romance with Regency cosplay: I think I read this around 2014 or 2015. The heroine is some kind of Regency expert and she’s invited to this country house, which has been restored, and the guests are supposed to dress in period costume and live as though they are in Regency England. There’s an age difference between her and the hero – I think she’s older, which isn’t as common. There’s also a subplot with the gay couple who run the spa/retreat and one of their employees. I think it’s a little one sided. The heroine is scattering her recently deceased husband’s ashes at the beginning of the book and there’s some angst over being attracted to the hero, who I think is a fellow guest. It’s resolved by the heroine discovering her late husband’s affair with a student, so she suddenly feels no guilt. I think it was HQN maybe? One of those black covered trade PB with the heroine in a fancy (purple?) dress that were so popular at the time. Thanks, Bitchery! Who knows this one?

Flying Gold by Vanessa North
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars
Loading...
Articles / April 28, 2020

B+ Flying Gold by Vanessa North April 27, 2020 · Carina Press Romance Sometimes the right book comes along just when you need it, and that was Flying Gold for me. I love reading about a heroine’s personal growth but have no patience for heroes who have to learn not to be assholes. I’ve been easily distracted lately, and this second chance romance set in a world I know nothing about, amateur classic car racing, hit my sweet spot. My tolerance for plot stress is zero right now, and I was worried the racing storyline would be too competitive for my tender heart. Luckily, the focus was less on racing (or the main characters’ past disagreements) and more on how their love for cars reminded them of their teenage longing for one another. The main characters in this book pick up their intense teenage romance after ten years, without the bog of eternal flashbacks. This gave me the headiness of instant emotional connection, without needing the suspension of disbelief that instalove requires. Matt is a cinematographer who left small town Georgia to follow his moviemaking dreams in Hollywood. Now he’s back on location in Atlanta for several months, and reliving…