Ready, Set, Go: Un-Putdownable Romances
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Articles / May 28, 2020

Time for the most evil recommendation feature we have: READY, SET, GO! Here are the rules: We pick a specific sub-genre, trope, or type of romance, and we have to make ONE recommendation for that type. ONE. YES, ONE. And no more than two sentences as to why. It’s a challenge! Which one book do you pick to fill that rec? This month we have a guest request from Susan T: “Since I don’t have to get up quite so early to take the kids to school, I thought that right now might be a great time to have a list of recommendations of books that are likely to re-up one’s membership in the Bad Decisions Book Club. Are there any books that you can recommend that are un-putdownable? Thanks!” Any genre, but just one rec. Ready, set, GO! Sarah: Lately I’ve been deep diving into the Murderbot Diaries, which I’m having a hard time putting down because there’s sarcasm AND action and I’m here for both. BUT, and I’m breaking my own rule here, if I had to put one book as the VIP Elite Access Pass to Bad Decisions Book Club, hmmm. A | BN | K | AB…

Links: Baby Animals & What is Love
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Articles / May 27, 2020

I may have already complained about this, but I’m going to complain again. It’s completely unfair that I have to deal with allergy season when I have avoided going outside way more than usual. And to make all the sinus pressure even worse, I have a wisdom tooth coming in. HOW! WHY! Frankly, this is bullshit. … The Smithsonian Channel is offering a free trial and may I suggest using it to watch their Baby Animal series. … This was linked in our SBTB Slack: Cats as Zoom call participants. I am “Clearly the One Who is Doing Something Else.” Which one are you? … This YouTube channel has brought me so much joy (I know I already posted about it) and I have been listening to this cover song on repeat for the last 48 hours. … This list of emotional regulation tips from therapists has been hugely helpful right now. … Did you know that Alisha Rai has launched a cooking YouTube channel while in quarantine? … Don’t forget to share what super cool things you’ve seen, read, or listened to this week! And if you have anything you think we’d like to post on a future Wednesday Links, send…

Tessa Bailey, YA Fantasy, & More
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Articles / May 27, 2020

An Heiress to Remember An Heiress to Remember by Maya Rodale is $3.99! Elyse read this one and gave it a B: So while it took me awhile to get into An Heiress to Remember, once the hero stopped being a door knob and got over himself, I found the romance compelling. Added to that great details about 19th century department stores as a feminist innovation and some solid femaile friendships, and I had a ton of fun. Can a scandalized heiress… Beatrice Goodwin left Manhattan a duchess and has returned a divorcée, ready to seize control of her fate and the family business. Goodwin’s Department Store, once the pinnacle of fashion, has fallen from favor thanks to Dalton’s, its glamorous competitor across the street. But this rivalry has a distinctly personal edge… And a self-made tycoon… For Wes Dalton, Beatrice has always been the one—the one who broke his young heart by marrying a duke, and now, the one whose cherished store he plans to buy, just so he can destroy it. It’s the perfect revenge against a family who believed he’d never be good enough for their daughter—until Beatrice’s return complicates everything… Find happily ever after at last? While Goodwin’s and…

Recipe for Persuasion by Sonali Dev
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Articles / May 27, 2020

C Recipe for Persuasion by Sonali Dev May 26, 2020 · William Morrow Paperbacks Contemporary RomanceRomance Content warning: This book has ALL the triggers, and I’m a bit worried I’ve forgotten one, but here goes. Abusive/manipulative/neglectful/controlling parents. Alcoholism. Suicide of a parent (witnessed by the child – off page, but remembered rather vividly). Forced marriage and rape (off-page). Infidelity. Hero is orphaned at an early age and is not acknowledged by his father’s family. Plane crash. People who stress you out just showing up and letting themselves into your apartment to stay. Obviously, PTSD and panic attacks abound, but that seems entirely reasonable, don’t you think? I’ll be upfront about this: I have absolutely no idea how to review Recipe for Persuasion. But I kind of feel like I need to anyway. Here is the blurb: From the author of Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors comes another, clever, deeply layered, and heartwarming romantic comedy that follows in the Jane Austen tradition―this time, with a twist on Persuasion. Chef Ashna Raje desperately needs a new strategy. How else can she save her beloved restaurant and prove to her estranged, overachieving mother that she isn’t a complete screw up? When she’s asked…

HaBO: Home Reno for a Wedding Venue
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Articles / May 26, 2020

This HaBO comes from Katie, who is looking for what I assume to be a contemporary romance: I read this book within the last year (I think), but it didn’t get added to my Goodreads account (which makes me think it was a library book), and now I can’t figure out the title. The female lead is fixing up an old house to be used as a venue for weddings and other parties (for some reason I keep picturing it in the southern Appalachian mountains somewhere). Her best friend, who is a baker, is helping her when she has the chance. They are still remodeling, but a woman wants to get married there and sends her brother to make sure that all the preparations will be completed by the time the wedding happens (the brother is famous (?) and is paying for everything for the sister (?)). Of course the woman who is fixing up the house falls for the brother (who is in a band, I think). She doesn’t want to be a wedding planner (because I think that’s what her mother does?), just the venue owner, but ends up doing both for the bride. Also, of course, everything…

Frankenstein, Creepy Libraries, & More
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Articles / May 26, 2020

Girl Gone Viral Girl Gone Viral by Alisha Rai is $3.99! I know some of you yesterday expressed frustration that this is already on sale after you paid full price. I completely agree with you and I think it turns readers off from buying books during release week, which is when sales are most important. BUT THAT IS A DISCUSSION FOR ANOTHER TIME! Maya wrote a great review for this one and gave it a B-: If you can handle some angst, some systemic oppression, and a distinct lack of totally justified vengeance, check out this slow burn romance between two damaged, but kind people of color who desire only each other and the safety of anonymity. In Alisha Rai’s second novel in her Modern Love series, a live-tweet event goes viral for a camera-shy ex-model, shoving her into the spotlight—and into the arms of the bodyguard she’d been pining for. OMG! Wouldn’t it be adorable if he’s her soulmate??? I don’t see any wedding rings Breaking: #CafeBae and #CuteCafeGirl went to the bathroom AT THE SAME TIME!!! One minute, Katrina King’s enjoying an innocent conversation with a hot guy at a coffee shop; the next, a stranger has live-tweeted…

HaBO: Old Skool Time Travel
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Articles / May 26, 2020

This HaBO request is from Shayna, who is hoping to find the first romance they ever read: The very first romance I ever read was in the 1970s. I don’t remember much, but it had something to do with a modern woman who time traveled back in time (accidentally) and the people she encountered were trying to persecute her as a witch. I don’t remember anything about the love interest. I think the title was three words along the lines of “Love’s [something something].” I have no idea how good or bad this book was because I was pretty young when I read it, but I do remember that it was definitely not a YA novel and it had a typical Fabio-ish romance novel cover. I definitely laughed at “Love’s Something Something.”

Something to Talk About by Meryl Wilsner
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Articles / May 26, 2020

B- Something to Talk About by Meryl Wilsner May 26, 2020 · Berkley Contemporary RomanceLGBTQIARomance CW: sexual harassment I first heard about Something to Talk About last year and said “oooooh,” because it has tropes and character types that I like a whole lot: Hollywood setting Ice queen lead Boss/employee relationship Tabloid photo fallout Jo Jones is showrunner for the hottest drama on TV and rumours abound that she is going to head up the next Agent Silver movie (I imagined an American James Bond). Jo has no interest in fielding questions about it at the SAG awards and decides to head that annoyance off by asking her assistant extraordinaire, Emma, to accompany her. Jo’s never brought a date to an awards ceremony and is infamously aloof, so the press have a field day when they photograph her and Emma beaming at each other on the red carpet. Everyone speculates that Emma and Jo are a couple and their only comment is “no comment.” Is it great for Emma that everyone thinks she’s sleeping with her boss? No, but because Jo’s never commented on her love life before, making a comment would only further fuel speculation. They just need to…

Series Starters, YA Fantasy, & More
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Articles / May 25, 2020

Lady Isabella’s Scandalous Marriage RECOMMENDED: Lady Isabella’s Scandalous Marriage by Jennifer Ashley is $1.99! This is the second book in the Mackenzies series, and I love these books with my whole heart. I think this one would be fine as a standalone and I even made an angel food cake in honor of it. Only one man could match a lady like this—scandal for scandal. Six years ago, eighteen-year-old Lady Isabella Scranton scandalized all of London by eloping the night of her come-out ball with the notorious rake, Lord Mac Mackenzie. After three turbulent years of marriage, she scandalized London once again—this time by leaving him. Now Mac has resurfaced, every bit as charismatic, and with one goal: to seduce Isabella back into his life and his bed even if it means acting like a real gentleman. But when Isabella rises to the challenge of posing nude for Mac’s erotic paintings, her pent-up hunger for the decadent rake is exposed as well, and she finds herself unable to resist the smooth strokes of an artist at work. But someone’s been watching them—dangerously close. This ingenious forger with designs on Mac’s paintings also sets his sights on Isabella herself. Deciding to become Isabella’s…

Cover Snark: Lil’ Dingo
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Articles / May 25, 2020

Cover Snark, ahoy! Amanda: I think we can all agree they’re both staring at his dongus. Sarah: OR AT HIS LIL’ DINGO. Sneezy: He seems mighty displeased by what he sees. Catherine: Given his arm placement, I don’t think he is just looking at his lil’ dingo. Ellen: All I can think is A WILD DINGO APPEARS!! And dingo is a euphemism. Shana: I think the nipple and veins are mesmerizing, but not in a good way. Also, the blurb calls him “the dark-haired arrogant prince who’d vowed to charm his way into her heart.” Amanda: I was immediately taken back to my college film classes. “So is this what they mean by chiaroscuro?” Elyse: I hate that the nipple is staring at me. Tara: I can’t tell if he has goosebumps or if they gave his skin a sandpaper effect. Sneezy: Tara, I second that. The dude needs to go see a dermatologist. Sarah: He’s clearly rather cold. Please allow him to put on a shirt? Tara: That shirt would also solve the problem of the creepy, staring nipple… Catherine: Thirding the dermatology referral. That skin is just not right. Ellen: I, too, am very concerned for his health….