Recently I had the opportunity to sit and talk with Alisha Rai about The Right Swipe, romance and dating. The Right Swipe is the first in Modern Love, a new series for Rai with Avon, who previously published her angsty and soapy Forbidden Hearts series. In The Right Swipe the main characters meet via a dating app, and although they had fantastic chemistry, they just as quickly lost that connection only to be reunited unexpectedly in a very public way. The realities of modern dating via apps, from sexting to ghosting are central.
First, this book was fine. I have no massive complaints or warnings. It’s a perfectly fine book that took me 35% to get into, and then there was no strong emotional arc to keep me engaged. Second, this is my biggest quibble, the book acts like it takes place in a small town, but Yakima is not a small town. So, you have to ignore that Yakima is a real place and a city of more than 90,000 people, and embrace the small town-ness.
Reading Red, White and Royal Blue (RWARB) was a roller-coaster of first love, risky choices, and history in the making. Reading it as a bisexual person was validating. Reading it as a person living in a country characterized by both a spirit of hope and a history (and present) of horrors was something, too.
Some books feel like they were written for you, as if an author is eavesdropping on what you want in a book and what you like in books, and part of me wants to accuse Ruby Lang of bugging my house. Playing House is charming and almost breezily free of plot. It’s two messy people going through big changes in their lives and finding each other at the right time.
Little reviews of The Love Song of Sawyer Bell, Waiting for Tom Hanks, and Evvie Drake Starts Over.
New Ink on Life is an f/f romance that manages to be both sweet and gritty, harrowing and hopeful. Before we go further, please note that if reading about characters in cancer remission will be difficult for you, you may not want to continue with this review (or the book, naturally).
School starts at the end of this month for much of the US. This means one of three things:
1) Time to read as many books as possible! Get them in that Ripped Bodice Bingo card before vacation ends!
2) School will be back in session and your kids will be gone so now you can finally read!
3) Nothing new, but let's read a bunch of books while eating peaches and soaking up the last of the summer sun!
No matter what, the message is that you can read these new books we're excited for AND you get an exclamation point.
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There are few things Rhiannon Hunter won’t do to get a shot at outmaneuvering her competitors in her quest to buy Matchmaker, but when the sweet and sexy man who ghosted her after talking her into a rare second date turns out to be the new face of the company, she has reevaluate a lot of her plans. Samson Lima walked away from football after seeing his team routinely mismanage his best-friend’s concussions and has spent the last five years caring for his uncle Aleki as he suffered from CTE-related dementia, except for that one night he spent with Rhiannon. Samson is just starting to come out of the fog of grief, and trying to figure out what he wants to do with the rest of his life, and the one thing he knows is, he wants to spend time with Rhiannon again.
I don't read a ton of small town romances because many times that can be code for middle of America white small town and I'm not interested in that. Happily, K.M. Jackson's Sugar Lake series is definitely not. Jackson's writing of family dynamics shine particularly when Kellen's love for his grandmother is allowed to take center stage, as highlighted by his hesitations and actions.
Inaugural Ripped Bodice Awards for Excellence in Romantic Fiction Announced