Spooky, but Make it Gay: A Rec List from Isabelle Adler

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 3, 2021 11:15:00 AM / by Guest Post posted in list

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

Many thanks to Isabelle Adler, who's not only written one of my most anticipated Spooky Season reads, but has also given us a list of other queer spooky reads!

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Suzanne's 2020 Wrap-Up

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 28, 2020 10:00:00 AM / by Suzanne posted in site update, top reads, list

[fa icon="comment"] 3 Comments

This year was really something, huh?

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Floral Faves: Romance Covers Andrea Loves

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 12, 2020 9:45:00 AM / by Andrea posted in list

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

Summer in South Africa is ending; pouring rain has started to creep between days with blue skies. Even when it's sunny outside, these days it always kinda feels like the skies are grey. And at least once a day, I remember that I was supposed to be in Seoul, Korea right now for cherry blossom season, and then my heart aches even more. So! I’ve compiled a list of books that bring the much-needed spring blooming feeling with their covers.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Anticipated YA Romance - April-June 2020

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 20, 2020 9:45:00 AM / by Suzanne posted in list

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

We already shared our list of YA Romance for January-March 2020, so here's the next three months!

Since there are way too many books for one reasonably sized post, here's how we've structured the list:

  • Books that we're excited to read will have a cover and a little bit about why we're excited to read them.
  • Other books that we're aware of but not rushing out to preorder are at the end. They'll have links if you want to find out more!
  • This list is absolutely not any indication of quality or content. We haven't read these! Stay tuned throughout the year for reviews when we do.
  • Books are listed in chronological order and include what we're aware of as of February 2020. This means more will probably be slotted in before June and this list will be out of date. So it goes.
  • Every book will have a link to its page on Amazon. Yes, we'd love for you to buy the books elsewhere but the reality is that 98% of our clicks are to Amazon. In a list this size, it's just too much time to generate four links for each book instead of one. These are affiliate links, meaning we earn 4% of whatever you buy after clicking. It doesn't cost you anything extra but we have to disclose this for the feds.

Without further ado, on to the books!

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

The 2019 Ripped Bodice Awards Winners

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 14, 2020 9:45:00 AM / by Ana Coqui posted in news, list

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

A while back, we talked to Ana about being selected as a judge in The Ripped Bodice's first ever Awards for Excellence in Romance Fiction. Informally known as "the ribbies," this award is judged a bit differently than others. TRB put together a diverse team of judges and had them discuss the books they thought represented the best in Romance, rather than a system involving self-nomination, money or simple popularity (such as in the Goodreads Readers Choice Awards). You'll find the full panel of judges and more information about the contest here.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Guest Post: Small Town, Queer Community, by Valentine Wheeler

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 5, 2020 9:45:00 AM / by Guest Post posted in guest post, list

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

Today we're sharing a guest post about how queer individuals and communities function after breakups and how that may be different from straight relationships. Remember how everyone on The L Word dated each other? Yeah, that. (With less bananas soap shenanigans.)

Author Valentine Wheeler writes both contemporary and SFF queer romance. Her latest book is No Parking, a bisexual f/f romance set in small-town Massachusetts. Scroll down to the end of the post for more on the book, out on February 10th!


There’s a punchline I’ve heard in the queer community for decades, though the joke varies: when women break up, they stay friends. I’ve seen variations about queer men, too, though less often. But it’s rare that that trope makes it into romance fiction. When it does, I for one am thrilled.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

France is for Romance

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 23, 2020 9:45:00 AM / by Suzanne posted in list

[fa icon="comment"] 1 Comment

Reasons I love reading romance set in France:

1) revolution and beheadings, frequently spies

2) the extravagances of Versailles and The Sun King--everyone is terrible!

3) fashion and food, regardless of time period

4) in modern France, the magic of Paris, sans dog feces all over the streets

And since we give nearly all of our historical romance discussion time to books set in England, I'd like to talk about books set across the Channel for a change. With some contemporaries thrown in for funzies. This list will mostly focus on books I've actually read, but I'll be clear when I haven't.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Looking Back -- 15 Favorites from 2005 to 2019

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 8, 2020 9:45:00 AM / by Ana Coqui posted in list

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

Sometimes the urge to do something is so strong you just have to go with it. I’ve been reading romance for close to a decade and as we close this decade I felt a great necessity to look back at the Romance novels that marked me as a reader. Although I only started reading romance seriously during 2010, I started with what my library collection had, so my first romance novels were really books that had been out for years (Balogh, Kleypas, Quinn, Garwood, Dodd, Krentz and Chase). They were an excellent crash course on romance, if Romance is only for white, cis, straight historical ladies. I don’t regret reading them, I just regret thinking they were the only things out there.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Andrea's 2019 Audio Faves

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 2, 2020 9:45:00 AM / by Andrea posted in best bets, list

[fa icon="comment"] 1 Comment

This year was really difficult. For all the reasons that many of us struggled with, and for many personal reasons on top of those. I struggled to find motivation to be a person at all, and my concentration capabilities basically quit on me with no notice. As Suzanne said in her 2019 Favourites: It was "a really bad year for reading with my eyeballs." When I could eyeball-read, (Can we trademark this term? Getting my lawyers on this, stat!) I reread the books that comforted me; ones I could dive into and know everything would be exactly as I needed. But this year of limited eyeball reading also lead to an Audiobook Adventure! (Pretend there are sparkly emojis here, okay thanks!) 

[Editor's Note - All reading is reading! To suggest otherwise is horribly ableist among other things. So please don't. There are lots of reasons why reading with eyeballs doesn't go well/isn't possible, and everyone deserves stories.]

Suzanne has beeeen repping audiobooks, and I really wanted to be the kind of person who was there with her, but I never got round to it. Then, during a LiP Patreon chat (whoop whoop this is the sign up link, join us for the next one wink wink) before my long flight to South Korea, the LiP Patreon gang SOLD me! I signed up for Audible while still on the chat, and added a ton of their recs to my Wishlist. In the end, I was violently ill the entire flight there and knocked out cold on the flight back, so I did not get to listen. But when I came home and everything sucked, audiobooks swept in and saved the day! These are my favourites on the adventure so far:


Salt Magic, Skin Magic, by Lee Welch  
This is the very first audiobook I listened to. Got dat free Audible trial credit, listened to this sample and boom. I was hooked. It was SO captivating and intriguing, and it made me smile. Even just looking at the cover, I hear the specific atmospheric British accent and immediately feel pulled into the Salt Magic, Skin Magic realm and wanna go back. I've never really been into things this... mystical and magical in Romance but wow this one captures your whole heart and man, these guys are so deeply devoted to each other it's magnificent. Thank you Suzanne for the rec! It's literally the reason I got into audiobooks. I am eternally grateful, and so are my eyeballs.  
Finders Keepers, by N.R. Walker
This is a book I will never stop recommending. And now I can recommend it in audio format! It is PURE SUNSHINE. This will come up in my eventual 'books I read for comfort' list because man, oh man, I must have read it eight times this year alone. Twice on audio. It's equally cheerful and sexy and utterly perfect in both formats. I love the Australian-ness of it, I love how normal and genuinely good both these guys are. And I love love love Wicket, the dog the story centers around! It's a charming, sweet as heck, all-in perfect summer romance that is as delightful as the cover makes it seem. Possibly even more! 
King Me: A Forever Wilde novel, by Lucy Lennox
Okay, whoa. Think of every cool heist movie you love, and then squish them into one. You're thinking 'But Andrea, how would that even work? There's so many twists and levels to just one of them! How could that all fit into a single book?' I don't know how!! But that's what happens!! And the thing that really hits my heart in the very golden juicy middle (my heart is now a Caramello bar, apparently) is that these guys are sworn enemies, but pretty much from the moment they dive in and accept they're into each other, that's it. Sold. All in. The drama and the worry and the ups and downs of the story and the EPIC crime plot twists are all set on the solid ground of knowing they trust and love each other, which MAKES MY HEART SING. The art heist suspense vibes often made me GASP. And these characters made me LAUGH OUT LOUD! A lot. Like, a lotttt.
I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson
Amazon (and Audible)
There's something about the wonder of a YA Romance --that ohmygoshisthishappening of the first kiss and the first crush and the chaos of being a teenager against the quiet of being with someone that stills your heart because true love. Jandy Nelson is... The person whose writing I am most in awe of. I have read her books to escape into their magical realism, I have read them as a writer being like "howww can I do what she does here," and I have read them as a young adult daydreaming that I too could find bright love in the middle of my grief. I know this story well. Hearing it on audio somehow showed it to me from new angles and emphasized a whole new layer of whoa.
Turbulence, by E.J. Noyes
Isn't this cover just great? Such pretty colours! Awesome things in this book: Women just killing it in their professional lives. Brilliant stockbroker. Badass pilot. Doing their jobs well and having epic sexual chemistry. There's teasing, and a whole lot of masturbation while they fantasize about each other and also when they can't spend the night together. The HR logistics and employee-relationship conflict is very much addressed and considered a lot, with company lawyers and Isabelle's (really great) therapist, which is dope. It's also extremely (2011 rom-com) Friends With Benefits in its "This is just sex, okay wait I took you home to meet my mom, oops we're in a wonderful rhythm of food and friendship on top of the sex, okay woah are we basically dating aaaahh! but neither of us is gonna say that aloud because we don't want to risk it ending" vibes. It is Great! Also very very sexy, did I say that? I mean it, from the bottom of my heart. 
Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Everybody Else is Doing it... Suzanne's 2019 Favorite Romance Novels

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 13, 2019 9:45:00 AM / by Suzanne posted in top reads, list

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

These posts are so subjective that I decided not to call mine a Best Of 2019 list this time. Did I read every romance that came out this year? Does every person bring their own preferences and baggage to each book? Yeah, exactly.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]