I don’t think it’s surprising to know that Halloween is my favorite holiday (and sometimes fashion aesthetic). Spooky tales of necromancers, witches, and monsters are my jam! I am a huge horror fan, but I am also a scaredy cat. The right horror story will keep me up for weeks. Paranomal romance is a great way to indulge in some horror-like elements without the insomnia. I generally read a lot of paranormal romances, but I’ve amped up my TBR pile with tons of titles now that the leaves are falling. Here are some of my favorites for Halloween:
Twitter is an awesome place to discuss romance books but sometimes I want to do it in person. Book clubs are a great way to discuss your favorite books with equally impassioned people, while maybe also having some cookies and catching up with friends. How do you start your own? We have some experts to help you out! Amy talked to Jen from Jen Reads Romance about their experiences starting romance book clubs in their community.
To My Muse is inspired by Cameron’s real-life brush with celebrity. Lily is a tech writer, but her real passion is romance writing. She has a successful self-publishing career that’s rarely discussed by her somewhat conservative Indian family, and her new fantasy series is taking off. The latest book’s main character is inspired by actor Tom Morrison, who is on a Western sci-fi TV show that sounds a lot like Westworld. One night Lily gets drunk, sends a copy of Feast of Lovers to Tom, and what happens next is on the level with a 90s rom-com movie. Lily breaks into Tom’s hotel room to try and get back the book and to dissuade a coworker from hitting on him, and Tom makes Lily his fake girlfriend. Tom is already impressed with Lily’s writing, having devoured her latest romance novel, and offers Lily a job adapting a biography into a screenplay. As they work, travel, and get to know each other, the whole fake relationship thing starts feeling more real by the second.
ROGUES RUSH IN is a duet of stories by Dare and Caldwell, each focusing on roguish men and their scandalous paramours. In HIS BRIDE FOR THE TAKING, Lord Sebastian Byrne has pined for Mary Caldwell, the sister of his best friend, for years. But when Mary’s brother died in battle, he made a promise to honor and protect her for the rest of his life. None of this included marriage. This code of honor has kept him from pursuing Mary for years. When Mary’s fiance leaves her at the altar though, all bets are off. Sebastian sees this as an opportunity to not only fulfill his friend’s wishes for his sister by saving her from embarrassment but also finally wedding the woman of his dreams. Dare’s story is super cute, with a lot of witty banter and some small twists that make for a sweet love pairing. BUT WE HAVE TO TALK ABOUT THE IKEA SCENE.
Cat Sebastian recently gave an interview on The Muse talking about LGBTQ characters in historical romance. Not surprising, it was glorious. Sebastian has become one of the biggest names in historical romance by not sticking to its tropes. She ties together all of the things we love about historicals (Class! Outfits! Balls! Drama!) and adds her own element - m\m romances. So imagine my surprise when I pick up UNMASKED BY THE MARQUESS and see a woman on the cover. Was she switching it up? Was this an m/f romance?
Don’t let the cover fool you. This book is still very very queer and very very delightful.
Before we get into the review of this anthology, two notes:
Are librarians becoming a trope in romance? I hope so because I am here for it! Olivia Dade’s Lovestruck Librarian series is, as the title suggests, all about librarians in a public library system. DRIVEN TO DISTRACTION is the fifth book and the series. Having never read any of the previous books, I became completely enchanted with the rich characters and familiar setting of her world.
A SCANDAL IN SCANDINAVIA is such a sweet treat to end your January reading. It has everything! Action, a hot romance between an older woman and a slightly younger man, international intrigue, and a nerdy heroine at the center of it all. Though Maher wrote a terrific romance novel to continue her Capital Kisses series, you’ll find the little touches are what make you devour this book.