Category: book recs

NPR’s Book Concierge

NPR’s Book Concierge:

It’s that time of year! When all the “best of” book lists come out for 2017! And the best of the best is the NPR Book Concierge!

And there are real, gosh darned romance novels on this list. Alisha Rai! Beverly Jenkins! Tiffany Reisz!

I have so many exclamation points! In my heart! For this list!

Thanksgiving romances



I’m one of those readers that likes to read a book that correlates with the season. So it’s November right now, and before I dive into my holiday romance collection (sooooo many to choose from!) I like to try and give the autumn season one last hurrah with something Thanksgiving-themed.

BUT ALAS! There are hardly ANY “Thanksgiving-themed” romances out there!

The closest one I know of was published last year by Harlequin:

Her Naughty Holiday by Tiffany Reisz

Also (although I don’t know if it counts as “romance” or not) but there’s a book titled Thanksgiving by Janet Evanovich (it sounds like a romance, but I’ve never read Evanovich, who is more known for her Stephanie Plum mystery series)

ANYWAY, does anyone else out there know of “Thanksgiving-themed” romances???

Anna Richland’s His Road Home! The only reason I haven’t read it by now is that it seems available as an e-book only. It won a RITA for best novella several years back. Here’s the blurb:

Special Forces medic Rey Cruz needs to find a fiancée, fast, or he’ll end up in a marriage orchestrated by an Afghan warlord. Finding a picture online of a girl he barely knew back home, he fakes an engagement photo, thinking no one else will see it. But when Rey loses both legs and the ability to speak while rescuing a local boy, the image goes viral.

Seattle marine biologist Grace Kim is shocked to find out she’s engaged. When she’s offered a plane ticket to visit her “fiancé,” she takes it, looking for the answer to one question: Why did he lie? Touched by Rey’s funny texts and the determination she sees in him, Grace offers her friendship—a big step for someone who prefers whales to most company.

And when Rey is finally sent home, Grace agrees to help him drive his classic car cross-country over Thanksgiving—a once-in-a-lifetime road trip that leads to what feels like real love. In front of his friends and family, she plays the caring fianc‚e, but what place will Grace have in Rey’s new life once he’s ready to be on his own again?

Gadziala writes a lot of motorcycle club and dark romances, so I have no idea what her Thanksgiving romance will be like:

Stuffed by Jessica Gadziala

What books would you recommend for someone who likes Age of Youth, Big Little Lies, Mondai no aru Restaurant, and Dear my Friends? Also do you know any Cute literary romances with happy endings? Any books will be fine and thank you very much!

i shit, this is tough. i really don’t know! 

but big little lies is a book by liane moriarty, so you can start there. 

hmmmmmm let’s see

age of youth → kitchen by banana yoshimoto (or sputnik sweetheart by murakami)
mondai no aru restaurant → the edible woman by margaret atwood
dear my friends → i have no idea, but i’m guessing a really good bio or autobiography

i actually know nothing about romances, but @mfred knows everything about them!

anyone else know good matches?

clearlyromance: do y’all have any contemporary romance recommendations??i feel like i wouldn’t like…


do y’all have any contemporary romance recommendations??

i feel like i wouldn’t like the beach/resort setting type, but like office or college settings or something in that realm seems up my alley

Kristen Calligan’s college series Game On is pretty good. I loved loved loved the Game Plan. Hulking yet beta virgin hero!

The Ross Siblings books by Cherries Lynn are all college-age/new adult. I loved Rock Me.

The Rock Chick series by Kristen Ashley for zany adventurous sexy times centered around a coffee shop in Denver. Beware alpha heroes tho– your mileage may vary.

I could go on and on. I love contemporaries. Not enough tumblrs are into them.

Spooky reads


It’s October! Halloween is here! 

And what are you doing with your life? You could be reading some scary, spooky, horror-iffic reads. 

Here’s some of my favorites, in absolutely no order whatsoever.

The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls by Clair Legrand: Downright creepy kids story, with a refreshingly unlikable (yet totally great) girl protagonist.

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill: horror, death, carnage, and so many feelings.  I didn’t think that was possible, in a horror novel, to connect deeply with a character and her voice.

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins: zombies, dark gods, lovecraftian evils, librarians, possible end of the world.

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire:  Spooky, scary and intense! With queer representation!  McGuire created a brand new fairy tale, based on the classics, but with new and exciting adventures. She uses elements from horror stories to evoke a spooky, scary atmosphere that ratchets up the tension in delightful ways.


Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero: Lovecraft meets Scooby Doo. 

Cool, funny, action-packed and horribly scary. 

The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson

Weird, complex, layered, nuanced and filled with Lovecraftian horrors. Reading along with Vellit Boe on her quest is an amazing, scary experience. 

Final Girls by Riley Sager: Oh. My. God. Quincy is a final girl. The sole survivor of a real life horror movie style massacre.

This is a slow burn of a horror story but once things get going, man does shit get intense. Thrills and chills galore.


My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix: Ok, hear me out. This is a story about demonic possession but it’s also an exploration of friendship and an intense examination into the emotional lives of teenage girls. I was actually in tears at the end.

Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff

A horror novel set in Jim Crow America. The scariest parts are not the Lovecraftian evils that befall the black characters, but the day-to-day brutalities of life in a racist society.

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle: A short take on an old HP Lovecraft story. Sorcery and sleeping gods and Jazz Age New York. 

Bird Box by Josh Malerman: 

It was genuinely creepy and kept me up late. Something causes people who see it to kill themselves. 

sansasttvrk:I’m about to go looking on my own, but I figured I’d ask here: does anyone have any…


I’m about to go looking on my own, but I figured I’d ask here: does anyone have any recommendations for wlw romances, preferably a historical romance? It doesn’t have to be, and I’ll pretty much read any genre with different age groups in mind (YA, new adult, adult), but that’s what I’m mostly after at this time. Thanks in advance!

I don’t read historicals really, but here are some of my recent fav wlws

  • Storm Season by Pene Henson. Trapped in the Australian wilderness together!  My review.
  • Ex-Wives of Dracula by Georgette Kaplan– if you are at all looking for something spooky for the season? My review.
  • Bridget Essex’s fantasy romance featuring lady knights and werewolves. My review.
  • Slow Burn in Tuscany by Giselle Fox. Like a wlw Under the Tuscan Sun. My review

Here’s a Goodread’s list for Lesbian Historical Fiction.

Here’s the Lesbrary’s Historical Fiction tag archive.

If you find something good, tell me about it!

romancingthebookworm: bespectacled-phoenix: Are there any halloween themed romance novels because if…



Are there any halloween themed romance novels because if there are I want them in my life!?!?!


Okay there are a few. 

There are a couple old Signet Regencies floating around that are Halloween themed (Here, Here and Here) and some contemporaries as well – I have Her Halloween Treat by Tiffany Reisz in hand for this year! –  but the pickings can be slim.

Sometimes Harlequin will go spooky for a month, but I haven’t seen their October line up yet so I’m not sure if they’re getting in the spirit of the season yet. (Edit: Just took a peek,verdict is: Not a Spook in Sight)

Historicals-wise (cause when does Jessica ever know about anything else?) authors seem to get their Spooky Funtime on by writing Gothic flavored novels (which don’t ALWAYS come out in October but still). And stay tuned because (RE: my last post) I have a box of SUPER SPOOKY HOUSE BOOKS coming to my door this week.

And then there’s the Paranormal Romance squad, who live for the spooky everyday but once a year rise from the proverbial grave to take power of the romance market for a month. 


So if you’re looking for things that lurk in the shadows, there’s always the paranormal sub-genre, ranging from light and lovely to DAMN YOU SCARY.

All in all, sadly, by the time October rolls around we’re onto Christmas romances, and Halloween sort of gets edged out. *sad face*

I was like, LESBRARIAN TO THE RESCUE but it turns out there is a Goodreads list for that.

Currently Reading // September 9th 2017

Currently Reading // September 9th 2017

romancingthebookworm: sunnysaysbookreviews: I’m really itching to get my hands on some historical…



I’m really itching to get my hands on some historical western/cowboy romances…

Does anybody have any really good suggestions???

I just picked one up last month that I haven’t read yet, but which looks FABULOUS. 

Knight on the Texas Plains by Linda Broday takes place in 1880. A cowboy finds himself left with the care of a baby girl and he doesn’t know a damned thing about babies. Luckily a woman on the run stumbles across his fire and they find themselves in a position to help each other out.

Ride by Roxie Noir! It’s a contemporary but dont hold that against me. A bullrider had a secret romance with the photographer shooting him for a big story. Second chance romance! Little town boy vs big city girl! Really super hot sexy times! I gave it two thumbs up.

The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi HeiligRating: ★★★☆☆SynopsisIt…

The Girl
from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

Rating: ★★★☆☆


It was the kind of August day that hinted at monsoons, and the year was
1774, though not for very much longer.

Sixteen-year-old Nix Song is a time-traveller. She, her father and their
crew of time refugees travel the world aboard The Temptation, a glorious pirate
ship stuffed with treasures both typical and mythical. Old maps allow Nix and
her father to navigate not just to distant lands, but distant times – although
a map will only take you somewhere once. And Nix’s father is only interested in
one time, and one place: Honolulu 1868. A time before Nix was born, and her
mother was alive. Something that puts Nix’s existence rather dangerously in

(from Goodreads)


I was really excited to read
this book for the longest time. First of all – time-traveling pirates. That’s
the best thing imaginable. Secondly – the cover is just so incredibly beautiful
(I know, I know, don’t judge a book by its cover), that it drew me in. In the
end the book may not have quite lived up to my expectations, but it was still
an enjoyable read.

The concept of this story is
spectacular and unique. It’s such a cool idea that a person would be able to
navigate to any map, be it real or imaginary. My first thought when the
characters described how they travelled between times was of course: “So if they
had a map of Hogwarts or Narnia, they could just go there?” That made me very
excited. Do you have any idea how often I’ve dreamt of being able to do that?
However, navigating, as they call it, it a bit more complicated. The map has to
be hand drawn and made in the contemporary time, so a map of India in 1774 must
have been drawn in 1774. And in order for them to travel to a mythical or
imaginary land the person who drew the map must believe the place is real. This
makes it sound like mythical maps are extremely rare, but apparently not. On
the ship the crew has a bunch of magical objects from different myths, such as
a bottomless sack from an Irish story and luminescent herring from a
Scandinavian myth explaining the Northern Lights. They even have a crew member
from an imaginary city.

The crew is able to navigate
to these strange and magical places all thanks to Nix, our main character. The
girl is like a walking encyclopaedia of myth and history. I am myself a big fan
of mythology, but there was still so much mentioned in this book that I had no
idea about. Still, you could keep up with the story without knowing all the
facts beforehand. And for the very curious (like me) there is a handy dandy
author’s note in the back detailing the origins of most of the myths and
objects mentioned in the story.

The story mostly takes place
in Hawaii in the 1800’s. I have always wanted to go to Hawaii, so learning more
about its history was really fascinating. This was a story I had never heard
before in my life. I am starting to realize what an interesting history Hawaii
has, and would really like to learn more.

I found the main character to
be extremely smart, but a bit hard to relate to. She keeps herself at arm’s
length from the other characters, and also from the reader. The rest of the
characters in this story are very diverse, which always makes a story better in
my opinion. The ships motely crew come from all over the world and from all
different times, which makes a very interesting mix.

This is most of all an adventure
story, but from the blurb I thought it would also have quite a bit of romance
in it. I mean, the front reads “A journey through time. A journey to love.”. In
spite of that, I do not think this was a love story at all. Sure, there was
some romantic tension between a few characters, but not at all enough to call
it a romance. This turned out to be the complete opposite of most YA, where
there is usually more romance than you expected. Instead, this book focuses
more on the love within families, which is refreshing.

I really enjoyed this story.
It had plenty of adventure and lots of myth and history. I adore the
time-traveling concept, and I look forward to seeing where the author takes the
story in the next book (I believe this is a duology?). I recommend it to all
history- and mythology nerds out there or to anyone looking for an entertaining
adventure story. Also, how could you say no to time-traveling pirates?

//love from L

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