HaBO: Western with “Jade”
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Articles / September 17, 2019

This HaBO request is from Hannah, who is looking for an older Western romance: This HABO is a long shot because I remember so little about it and the details I remember may not even be accurate, but here goes! It’s the first romance novel I ever read, 16 years ago when I was 12. – It was a historical Western. – Based on what I remember of the cover art/style, it appears to have been published in the 80s but also could have been a 90s publish. – I believe the name Jade was in it somehow, either as the name of the main character or as the name of a gambling establishment or brothel that the main character may have worked at. Or maybe even literal jade, like the mineral. – I seem to remember there being some incorporation of “Chinese culture” (also where Jade comes in)… maybe dragon imagery or a dragon tattoo or something like that, related to the gambling den or brothel? – This may be the vaguest detail of all: at some point the hero and heroine are traveling together and sleep outside on the ground… like in 98% of all Western romance novels….

Rogues, Fantasy, & More
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Articles / September 17, 2019

Puppy Love Puppy Love by Lucy Gilmore is $1.99! Thanks to everyone who told us about this sale because it sounds adorable. The heroine and her sisters run a training school for service puppies and the hero is in the market for a diabetic service dog. ISN’T THAT SO CUTE! No matter the job, no matter the need These service dogs in training will always fall in love at first bark. When Sophie Vasquez and her sisters dreamed up Puppy Promise—their service puppy training school—it was supposed to be her chance to bring some good into the world. But how can she expect to do anything when no one will take her seriously? Enter Harrison Parks: a rough, gruff, take-no-bull wildlife firefighter in need of a diabetic service dog. He couldn’t be a more unlikely fit for Sophie or Bubbles—the sweet Pomeranian she knows will be his perfect partner—but when Sophie insists he give them both a shot, something unexpected happens: he listens. Even better, he keeps on listening, even as Sophie and Bubbles turn his lonely, uber-masculine world upside-down. As it turns out, they all have something to prove…and more than enough room in their hearts for a little puppy…

HaBO: Making Out in a Train Car
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Articles / September 17, 2019

This HaBO comes from Amanda (there are really so many of us)! She’s looking for a non-Regency historical romance: I’m trying desperately to remember this book. The worst part is, I read it in the past few years, which means I must have recorded it on my Goodreads account–but I still can’t figure out what it is. Here’s what I remember: It’s a historical romance. I’m pretty sure the hero is Scottish, and the heroine is English. I read it in the past few years, and I know it was published within the past 5-8 years. All I remember about the plot is that the hero has a private train car, and the heroine rides with him, and of course, they make out hardcore in the train car. Also, the hero wears really nice fabrics, which makes me think maybe he owns a mill? And the heroine might be into fashion because she’s always impressed with his fancy fabric. It’s definitely NOT a Regency since they travel by train. It might be a Sarah MacLean or Tessa Dare, but I can’t tell enough by reading book descriptions. I would love to figure out what book this was since I totally…

If It Makes You Happy by Claire Kann
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Articles / September 17, 2019

B If It Makes You Happy by Claire Kann June 4, 2019 · Swoon Reads LGBTQIARomanceYoung Adult This was my most anticipated book of 2019, and I was terrified that it wouldn’t live up to my expectations. I adored Kann’s debut, Let’s Talk About Love, and number 96 on my list of why is how body positive it was. When I saw her next book had a chubby heroine, tendrils of hope grew that this might be an author who could write fat characters well. In that regard, If It Makes You Happy exceeded my hopes. I have never read a book about a fat Black queer girl that felt as complex, layered, and authentic. While the primary romance is m/f, the story is embued with queer references. This is the book I desperately wish I’d had access to as a teenager. Reading it was what I imagine a private Lizzo concert might be; absorbing, revealing, and bad ass. Warning: the absolute worst thing about this book is the title because every time I picked it up, Sheryl Crow’s 1990s hit lodged itself in my brain. Winnie is a high school senior who has mapped out her future—getting a hospitality…

Highlanders, a Mystery, & More
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Articles / September 16, 2019

Written in Red RECOMMENDED BY MANY: Written in Red by Anne Bishop is $2.99! This is the first book in The Others series, and it has a 4+ star average. I love this series and many readers of the site do too. A warning, though, as it does feature self-harm. I will also note that I found Meg, the heroine, to be a little Mary Sue-ish at first, but she really comes into her own. As a “cassandra sangue,” or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut–a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg’s Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard–a business district operated by the Others. Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job. First, he senses she’s keeping a secret, and second, she doesn’t smell like human prey. Yet a stronger instinct propels him to give Meg the job. And when he learns the truth about Meg and that she’s wanted by the government, he’ll have to decide if she’s worth the…

A House of Rage and Sorrow by Sangu Mandanna
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Articles / September 16, 2019

Squee A House of Rage and Sorrow by Sangu Mandanna September 17, 2019 · Sky Pony Teen FictionScience Fiction/FantasyYoung Adult Note: This review contains minimal spoilers for the first book A Spark of White Fire. The YA SFF trilogy must be read in order. If this review piques your interest, then I recommend that you start with the previous book. If someone asked me what the happiest event of my life has been up to this point, I’d point to the moment when my parents decided to leave Asia and relocate our family to the United States. And if someone asked me what the saddest event of my life has been up to this point, I’d point to the moment when my parents decided to leave Asia and relocate our family to the United States. It’s a memory drenched in excitement and wistfulness. As proud as I am to be an American, I’m also keenly aware of diverging timelines and missed opportunities. Somewhere out there, maybe in a parallel universe, there’s another Aarya who never traversed oceans and instead remained secure in her identity as an Indian — as someone who can claim authority to her heritage. But I’m not…

Squee from the Keeper Shelf: Claudia Gray is a Book Jedi
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Articles / September 16, 2019

This guest squee was written by Crystal Anne With An E Crystal reads a lot, cross-stitches, and is an autism consultant by day and goes to library school by night. She is a Hufflepuff. Hi, my name is Crystal. I…I have to talk about something. I’ve been dying to talk about this, and the time has come. So I’m going to just jump right into it. I love what Claudia Gray does with Star Wars. What? Context, you say? You mean, I can talk more about this and give exhaustive detail about this? I love this song, don’t mind if I do. Poe agrees In the past few years, there has been an explosion of Star Wars literature in conjunction with the new movies. Before this, there was the Extended Universe, that included stories about Han and Leia’s children, including Jedi twins Jacen and Jaina, Luke’s initial antagonism and then romance with Emperor’s Hand Mara Jade, and the fearsome, intelligent General Thrawn. With the advent of the new films, this entire canon was essentially thrown out, to the consternation of many fans (including my husband, he’s holding an impressive grudge about this). That said, a lot of really interesting new literature…

Books by Tamara Morgan, Kristen Ashley, & More
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Articles / September 15, 2019

A Scandalous Proposal A Scandalous Proposal by Kasey Michaels is $1.99! This is a historical romance and the second book in The Little Season series. Readers recommend this one for a silly and light romance, while others mentioned they didn’t care for the hero and heroine’s frequent sexual fraternizing. Who would have thought a man could tire of being fawned over and flirted with? Ever since Cooper Townsend returned from France as a hero with a new title, he has been relentlessly pursued by every marriageable miss in London. Perhaps that’s why the unconventional Miss Daniella Foster is so appealing. She doesn’t simper or flatter. She only wants him to help unmask her sister’s blackmailer, and Coop has never been so intrigued… Let every other woman in London fight over His Lordship’s romantic attentions. Marriage is the last thing on Dany’s mind…at least until she samples his illicit kisses. Now, as a mutual enemy races to ruin Coop’s reputation and Dany’s family name, an engagement of convenience will spark an unlikely passion that might save them both Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here.       My Favorite Mistake My Favorite Mistake by Chelsea…

The Queen of Ieflaria by Effie Calvin
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Articles / September 15, 2019

A The Queen of Ieflaria by Effie Calvin February 19, 2018 · Nine Star Press LGBTQIARomanceScience Fiction/Fantasy Once in a while, you find a book that does exactly what it said it was going to do. The Queen of Ieflaria is one of those books. I bought it based on a Tumblr post which had the following summary, verbatim: “two princesses attempt to fight dragons and get married.” That’s what I wanted, and that’s exactly what I got. If you stopped reading and one-clicked based solely on that description, you won’t be disappointed. (The post also contained the phrase “Will turn all your other books gay!” but all my other books were already gay, so … cannot confirm or deny.) The story starts when Princess Esofi of Rhodia arrives in the kingdom of Ieflaria to make good on her betrothal to the crown prince. There’s just one problem: since she left Rhodia, the prince has died. If Esofi wants to stay, she’ll have to marry the new heir to the throne, Crown Princess Adale. Adale never wanted or expected to be queen. She has a minor drinking problem, a group of decadent young friends who egg her on, and an…

Romance Wanderlust: The Muraka Hotel
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Articles / September 15, 2019

It’s here! It’s finally open! Now all I need is $200,000! This month’s Romance Wanderlust takes you to The Maldives, where The Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Hotel Muraka Villa is open. The Conrad Maldives includes beach villas and water villas, but The Muraka features an underwater bedroom. As ever, this is not a review nor an endorsement, and in real life if I had this much money I hope I’d use at least some of it for the greater good, but that will not stop me from daydreaming about staying at The Muraka which looks AMAZEBALLS. The Muraka is actually two stories, with the upper story being above water. The above water part has two bedroom suites, each with their own bathrooms, and something called a “nanny room,” a phrase I had never heard before today. There also quarters for a butler and a “security detail.” Apparently The Muraka can fit nine people not counting staff but how do the nine people choose who sleeps downstairs? The answer is ME. I SLEEP DOWNSTAIRS. I DO. The “downstairs” is about 16 feet underwater. It’s basically a bedroom and a bathroom inside an acrylic bubble. It has a coffee maker and wifi,…