Day 27 #RomBkLove: Re-Reads

Day 27 The fantastic Meka is back to tell us about why she re-reads and describing all the different kinds of re-reading she does. She also invited the #RomBkLove team to share their experiences with re-reading at the end of the post:

What do you get when you put a mood reader, a glommer, and a rereader together? Why, you get me, of course. The ability to sink in to a book series, read books based on my mood, and get stuck in a never-ending rereads session is a talent, in and of itself. I can get stuck in that cycle, but Agent Reread is on the case and ready for duty, provided I can find my way out of this 57-book small town series labyrinth. I know the risks!

Happy Reread Sunday. I hope that you have had the opportunity to visit yesterday’s prompt on new-to-me authors and have loaded up your shopping carts appropriately. Now that you have done so, let me tell you about the wonders of rereading.

Why reread a book when there are so many other books to choose from?

Rereading can be one of the most frustrating yet rewarding parts of being a voracious reader. Often, I reread books because I am a mood reader and I want a specific set of circumstances, such as a person having to navigate life due to trauma, a damsel in distress, novellas about shifters who only want a mate and a baby, some super dark (but not hero being the reason for dark) romantic suspense, a book full of humor, some epic fantasy with romantic elements, or just something to read that hits all of the buttons I want but may not be able to quantify until I’ve started the reread. Typically, I will be sitting on the bus during the commute, scrolling through the myriad of books that I have and get frustrated because I have “Nothing to read!’. I have learned over the years that it isn’t that I am out of books to read, but that I have to find something that gels with my mood brain, and sometimes the mood brain is a cruel and fickle mistress. She wants what she wants, and very often doesn’t communicate that to me until I’ve flailed and given up and decided to read something I’ve read before.

The other, and perhaps most important reason why I reread is because when the world gets a little too hard, when depression hits, or when I just need to check out for a while, my favorites are always there, ready and waiting for me to read them once again and perhaps pick up on something that I hadn’t noticed the other fifteen times I read them. You don’t know! Books are like onions and there is always another layer to uncover.

I don’t know that I can adequately convey the pure emotion that is involved in rereading. I spend all this time trying to find the next great read, particularly after a book hangover where I have read something absolutely amazing, and what do I do? I go to something familiar with towns and characters and plots that I know and have fallen in love with and I will read. Since I am a glommer, that means that I could likely spend up to two months reading a series that I’ve already devoured and you won’t see me until I’ve made it to the other side only to be swept back under again should the mood brain decide that I’m not ready to take on something new yet. It is like being hugged and tucked in beneath a treasured quilt as the smells of hot chocolate and chicken noodle soup waft through the kitchen. All is well and life is good.

Types of Rereads

There are several types of rereads and each and every one of them is valid. There is absolutely no wrong way to reread a book. Say it with me! There is absolutely *no* wrong way to reread a book.

The Stand-alone Reread

Nora Roberts the Witness  a small rocky river with lots of greens and leavesYou know it as soon as you see the title. It’s the book that you read because it got you through a difficult time. It’s the audiobook that made you fall in love with other audio books and got you interested in a specific narrator. It’s the paperback with frayed pages because you turned it so much. It’s the braille book whose dots might be a little run down because it’s been read many, many times. It’s the digital book that you keep gifting to all of your friends because it has meant so much to you. It hits every part of your brain with the feelings that you need, even if that book has high angst.

Speaking of high angst, my favorites for stand-alone rereads are Baby Love by Catherine Anderson and The Witness by Nora Roberts. Both books still have the power to make me feel as though I’ve been sucker punched with the pain of the characters, even though I know that things are going to be alright in the end.

The Series Reread

We find ourselves becoming immersed in a world of small towns, paranormals, FBI teams, westerns, Dystopian hellscapes, and the back streets of London where people are just trying to make a living and find love. We know these worlds. Reading them for the first time opens our eyes to new possibilities in world building. Reading them for the second, fifth, twentieth, and fifty-seventh time allows us to savor the build-up of new relationships and find hidden clues and setups that we never would have caught in the beginning. We know these characters. We rejoice in their happily-ever-after, we cry just as we did the first time one of our favorite side characters is killed off. We know the bad is coming and yet we’re still on pins and needles because if you are anything like me, the hurt will be followed up by exquisite comfort. These are still book hugs and it is very easy to get stuck in the rabbit hole of rereads until you’re finished. What happens when the series reread is complete? Hopefully they have anthologies and slice of life short stories in their newsletters and on their website!

Covers of three psychangeling books stacked with a man crouched front and center in the slave to sensation cover_Naturally, I have several series that I gravitate toward when it comes to rereading. It should come as no surprise that one of them is the Psy/Changeling books by Nalini Singh. When I reread, I get to see the world unfurling beautifully right before my eyes all over again. It is lovely and perfect and just what my mood reading brain desires.

Another series that I can reread quite easily is Karen Rose’s Long-running book series all about detectives, lawyers, and people in peril. It is very dark and I need to be in a pretty unhappy mood to read them, but they definitely are what I need during times of great stress.

The Author Reread

I know it’s time to reread an author when I’ve been reading a book by them and am not ready to quit. The author reread is very important because that author has established trust all across the board. You know what to expect, you know if they go off script, you will love them. You want to read their voice and maybe enjoy a little nostalgia at the same time. Sometimes when I reread an author’s massive back list, I find myself thinking that this is exactly what I want and need during this time. This is likely the most dangerous form of rereading, because you may start in on an author’s book series or stand-alone and are unable to find your way out until next year!

Nora Roberts is the ultimate author reread for me. No matter my mood, Nora’s got something for me. I know that whatever I pick up by her, I’m going to enjoy it the tenth time just as much as I did the first time. I know her voice, I know where her paranormal books are going, I know the familiarity of her romantic suspense, and I am here for all of it.

Dakrhaired woman holding a candle Seanan McGuire an Artificial Night_The Scene Rereaders

The scene rereaders are the ones who will skim through their favorite parts of the book just to get to a specific scene that resonated. I am a scene rereader.

Sometimes, my mood brain is impatient and wants to read quickly to get to the book hug moment. There is no rhyme or reason for this, but I want what I want when I want it. I want to read the breaking point for a character in an angst-filled book and then read the gentle scenes afterward. I want to experience those happy emotions that I get when there is a beautiful scene of strong female friendships written on the page. Sometimes, I just want to read some really, really good make up grovel.  This is harder for me to do now that I am not reading books on the laptop as much, but I can scene read like nobody’s business.

In Seanan Mcguire’s An Artificial Night, there is a powerful scene where friends come together to do something amazing. I know that is very vague, but I would be spoiling the book if I said more than that. This scene, for me, was full of hope that was desperately needed. When I reread it, my breath catches, my eyes fill, and I am stunned all over again by the depth of caring that is portrayed.

So what about you?

What are the books that you find yourself rereading? What rereading rabbit hole have you found yourself sliding down? Why do you enjoy rereading, and which type of rereader are you?

I want to thank Ana for allowing me to delve in to this topic and for providing all of us a space to talk about romance all over Twitter via the #RomBkLove hashtag. I can’t wait until someone says that one of the books recommended either via the blog posts for this year’s #RomBkLove or recommendations from the hashtag has given them a huge wealth of books to reread. And remember, there is *no* wrong way to reread a book!

Here are some of the RomBkLove team’s favorite rereads:

Anne Marie Winston Carolina on my Mind Silhoutte Desire  man and woman on bed embracingOne from my reread-books mountain by Mary Lynne

Every once in a while, I have to reread Carolina on my Mind by Anne Marie Winston. It’s an old Desire title and an alien-abduction romance. And not today’s “hot alien sees someone and takes them” variant that’s a staple of KU. Nope, this book was published in 1994, so it’s the aliens of Whitley Strieber’s Communion, stealing humans to experiment on them. The hero and heroine meet each other on Earth, and only slowly do they put together that they were both the subjects of past alien experimentation. There’s a romance element (of course, the aliens put them together to observe breeding practices--this was a Desire title), but there’s a strong undercurrent that addresses PTSD--just in your typical alien-abduction romance storyline. :-) One thing I love about this book is that it points out the risk-taking that occurred in the series romance business. Publishing so many books back in the day, Harlequin was perfectly willing to release the occasional oddity in a traditional line. Carolina on my Mind is a classic example of that.

Kristen Ashley Lady LuckWhy and what I reread by Kini

I hardly ever reread, I like new stories, I like the surprise of them and finding new authors. However, sometimes I need something that I know is going to work for me. A re-read is like going home. Or like when my mom makes my favorite chicken & dumplings for me. I know that even after all these years, it is going to be exactly the same. There is a great comfort in that. There are two books that I alternate for my comfort re-reads. Lady Luck by Kristen Ashley or Heaven and Hell by Kristen Ashley. Problematic as KA books may be, I love re-reading these two. I love seeing Lexi and Ty fall in love, experience the heart-wrenching beach scene and then see them coming together again. Same with Kia and Sam in Heaven & Hell. I find both to be highly emotional stories. There is also a sense of recalibration of my reading when I re-read one of them. They help remind me what I like in my stories. They also help me remember that I can read a string of meh books and know that Lexi and Ty will be there to give me a love story that I will just adore.

Shirtless man with a moon and wolf in the background  Go Fetch by Shelly LaurenstonWhy and what I reread by Joy

I am a re-reader because I love reliving great love stories and memorable characters. With a reread I know what I am getting ahead of time and that makes me happy. Nothing to worry about re: is the book going to be good, will I like the characters, will the book disappoint, there are no unknowns with a good reread. Here are some of my favorite rereads: Just Joe by Marley Morgan, At Last by Melissa Schroeder, Go Fetch by Shelly Laurenston, Branded Sanctuary by Joey W. Hill, Waiting For It by Rhyannon Byrd, The Flame and The Flower by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, Night Fever by Susan Kyle and Knight of A Trillion Stars by Dara Joy

HiddenLegacy trio of bookcoversWhat I reread & why by Jen

I read really fast. In fact, I read too fast, skipping details and skimming if I have that feeling that I MUST KNOW WHAT WILL HAPPEN. So for me, rereading allows me to settle in and enjoy the details I blew past that first time around. Recently, I did that with the Hidden Legacy series by Ilona Andrews. I just was on the edge of my seat! I had to know what was going to happen, so rereading it allowed me to be more leisurely and take in those details I missed the first time around. But I also the comfort food equivalent of rereading: skimming back through favorite scenes and sections. It’s like visiting with an old friend. (I also rewatch the same movies over and over again for the same reason.) I have a collection on my kindle called A+ favorites, and I put books there that I keep going back to, over and over again. For some reason, I do tend to reread super-high drama books! I just love to read about the angsty drama, I guess. I’ve reread Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas about a hundred times. That part where he steals her glasses. /sigh


What a Bear Wants by Nikki Winter  white shirtless man and black woman mountain in the background.What I reread & why by E_Bookpushers

I, reread, I have my entire life.  If I didn’t reread I would run out of things to read I discovered as a child when I would finish the max number of library books I was allowed to check out two days into the week.   As a result if I finish reading something and I think I will never read it again, I don’t keep it. So I am going to try to scope this just a bit. During the times when my mood is driving me,  Shelly Laurenston, G.A. Aiken, Betty Neels, and Louis L’Amour (homesick) tend to be my frequent picks. For some of my favorite ongoing series, I will either reread right before a new installment is released or I will read the new installment and immediately back and reread the series looking for the hints or clues I missed or correctly pieced together.  And then there are the ones I just love so when nothing else catches my eye or holds my attention, I know I can sink into Immortal Danger by Cynthia Eden, the Hidden Legacy series by Ilona Andrews, Never Love a Lawman by Jo Goodman, the Goddess With a Blade series by Lauren Dane, Laura Florand, Here There be Monsters by Meljean Brook, The Bride by Julie Garwood (and the rest of her historicals), What a Bear Wants and Beastly Desires by Nikki Winter, along with Zoe Archer’s and Nico Rosso’s SFRs to name a few.  

Covers of the Others series by Anne Bishop all featuring a darkhaired woman with red streaks in her hair.Comfort and Familiarity but sometimes for clarity by Ana Coqui

Last year I wrote a little about re-reading for #Rombklove: Most Read or Re-read post  I mostly re-read for comfort but I occasionally re-read to re-examine.   I re-read a lot last year and the year before in the run-up to the election for comfort. Everything in the news sapped my energy.  As emotionally exhausted I was needed, to read, or listen to books in series that I knew I love and would deliver.  I was able to zone in and out and not lose track of the story or miss key details.  I tend to re-read or re-listen to Kristen Ashley when I'm too emotionally stuck to try something new. Sometimes I do go back and re-read for greater depth and clarity, especially when a series has a slowly unfolding series plotline.  I've re-listened to Anne Bishop's The Others Series several times over the last few years, as I awaited the final books to come out. And I re-read all of Nalini Singh's Psy-Changeling books in order once the initial story wrapped up because I had read them all out of order and I wanted to experience them in the proper sequence. Re-reading is powerful self-care tool for me, however I tend to binge read (read about my blanket-forting via G.A. Aiken or TS Joyce ) more than re-read.


Day 26 #RomBkLove: New-To-Me

Day 26

Chachic loves discovering new authors and has a load to share with you about why she loves them and who here newest discoveries have been.

Day 25 #RomBkLove: Steamy Reads

Day 25

Jen is back with a post about just what makes a Steamy reads STEAMY:

It was hard to define what makes a book steamy, rather than sexy, intense, or erotic.

Do you agree with Jen's definition of Steamy?


Day 24: #Rombklove: Disability

Day 24_ Disability #RombklovePlease welcome Shantastic! @bardsong to #RomBkLove.  I've been following Shannon on twitter for a long time and I always enjoy her recommendations. When Calla Lily had to step away, Shannon offered to step in with her own list of recommendations, because as disabled (blind) romance reader, she had acquired a lot of opinion about the ways disability is used in Romance.

Hi everyone! My name is Shannon, and I'm excited to talk to you all about romances with disabled characters for #RomBkLove. This has become something of a passion of mine, because too often, disability is used as a shorthand in romance for angst. If you know that a heroine was blinded or a hero is an amputee, then you think you know all the reasons that character might be sad. And too often, authors don't delve into the topic more deeply than that. As a congenitally blind person with no usable vision, I've gotten used to seeing myself in the pages of books as a character who elicits either pity or inspiration, and it's important to me to consider disability from a more nuanced perspective. A romance with a disabled protagonist works when the disabled character has other facets to her life than her disability. Does she have other hobbies that are explicitly mentioned in the text? Does she exist for any other reason than to be pitied? If not, my follow-up question is always why not?

    Before we get to the recs, I want to point out where I'm coming from, since everyone with a disability has a different experience. I've been blind since birth, so I grew up disabled and have no other basis for comparison. I also cannot read books about blind protagonists. I keep trying; I end up wanting to argue with the author and nitpick their research, often justifiably so, which isn't a fun experience for me as a reader. So all of these recs will be for books with protagonists with disabilities I don't share. That all being said, here are my recs:

Love Lessons by Heidi Cullinan  white man in gray shirt and slacks surrounded by white scribblesHeidi Cullinan has tackled disability in several of her books. My personal favorite is Love Lessons, where one of the heroes has severe allergies and asthma. I loved that he finds this irritating, because it impacts all areas of his life, but it's not treated as an obstacle to overcome. I also adored Carry the Ocean and its sequel, Shelter the Sea, which feature a hero with autism and another with severe depression. They also have disabled friends, which is something I rarely see in books, although that's certainly been my experience in real life.

Hold on Tight by Serena Bell  White couple in an embrace  white woman with blonde hair looking towards camera  dark haired man eyes closed
I really loved Serena Bell's Returning Home series, with its wounded war vets who find themselves disabled and have to figure out what that means for them. They're angsty, and the battles these heroes fight, often with themselves, are so hard won but so worth it.

Damaged Goods by Ainslie Paton  white blonde woman in profile wearing a black lace teddy

Both Owen and Cara struggle with back injuries in Ainslie Paton's Damaged Goods. Owen's been newlyinjured and is addicted to pain pills. Cara was injured as a child, so she's had years to adjust to having a disability. I loved the conflict between the two of them and enjoyed Owen's journey out of addiction.

Friend (with benefits) Zone by Laura Brown  dark hairedd white man  shirtless in a dark leather jacket looks leftRecently, I read Laura Brown's Friend (with Benefits) Zone. The author herself is hard of hearing, and so are her characters. No mention is made of this in the blurb, which is billed as a standard-issue friends-to-lovers romance. It's so refreshing to have a book treat the disabled characters like they might be able to star in any other kind of book, disabled or no. She's got a few other titles, and I look forward to seeing what else she comes up with.

I really liked the disability as character trait, not as plot device aspect of the funny A Girl Like Her by Talia Hibbert  tattoed shirtless white man look down toward his six-packand sweet A Girl Like Her by Talia Hibbert, which features an autistic heroine. I always love small-town romances where the dark underbelly of life in an idyllic village is revealed. I love that Ruth is successful in her career and has hobbies, and I don't think I've ever read a book where online friendships were treated as just as valuable as real life ones. I keep buying Talia Hibbert books, and now I want to roll around in them.

51Ed8Tia2hLI don't read a lot of romantic suspense, but I really liked Station Alpha by Aislinn Kearns, and not just because she's fun to talk with on Twitter. Paul is in a wheelchair--another wounded vet--but he's still awesome and kick-ass, and I absolutely believed why Christine would fall for him.

For historical romance, I recommend Tessa Dare's Romancing the Duke, both because it's a rip-roaring Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare  Dark haired white woman in red ballgown in profile in front of Castlegood time and because I appreciated that Dare acknowledged that vision impairment doesn't always mean a person is totally blind. Ransome felt authentic to me, and we've already talked about how hard it is for me to read blind characters. I have to give an honorable mention as well to When a Scot Ties the Knot for its story arc involving a secondary character with short-term memory loss that could have been awful and demeaning but which was instead gentle and beautifully written.

51ZCUowVNTL._SY346_Years ago, Jennifer Ashley's The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie took the romance world by storm. The titular Lord Ian MacKenzie has what we'd now consider Asperger's. It's been a while since I read the book, but I remember that I really enjoyed it.

I can't step away from historicals without a shoutout to Laura Kinsale's Flowers from the Storm, which features a sheltered Quaker paired with a mathematical genius who is recovering from a Laura Kinsale's Flower from the Storm  Tree  flowers swaying in wind in front of a distant estate housestroke. I don't always like Kinsale's heroines, but this book is the ultimate in high drama and intense emotions.

Considering how much I love paranormals, you'd think I'd be able to rec a bunch for this topic. Part of the reason I can't is that I'm personally irritated by the trope where a person with a superpower considers it a disability. I have a real disability. Believe Ruby Dixon's Fire in his Fury  humanoid dragon with orange scaly skin embraces a white blonde woman from behindme, it's not a superpower. That said, I loved Ruby Dixon's Fire in His Fury, which has a heroine with a pronounced limp. Amy is sort of a plot mcguffin early on in the series, but once she gets her own book, she gets all the agency I could ever want for her, and Rast, her dragon lover, is delicious.

The Second Mango by Shira Glassman  two women ride a dragon  one is dark skinned and the other white and blondeEven though they're not romances, I do have to give a shout-out to the delightful mangoverse books by Shira Glassman. Shulamit has major food allergies, and Aviva shows her love by providing her gluten-free meals. It's not something she makes a big deal about, and she doesn't ask for cookies, and the romance between the two women is wonderfully sweet.

What books have I missed? Please share them in the #rombklove hashtag.

Also, check out Calla Lily's excellent blog, Sense and Disability, for another disabled person's take on this topic and additional recs.

Day 23 #RomBkLove: Gateway Books

Day 23

Kat, Rudi and Gabby, The BookThingo Team have put together a podcast about the books that brought them in Romance. I hope you love listening to their stories and checking their shownotes for all the details:


Day 22 #RomBkLove: Secret Baby

Day 22

One of my favorite things about #RomBkLove is reading about why people love certain tropes, especially if those tropes are ones that I didn't understand or care for.  Kini absolutely adores Secret Baby romances and has a top-notch list of recommendations to share on her Romance Romp Podcast Website.



Day 20 #Rombklove: Memorable Sex Scenes


Joy is back today to talk about Memorable Sex Scenes. This topic was first hosted by Jen Porter who hosted the  Sexy edition of #Rombklove last July!  I can’t wait to see what scenes have left and impression for good or bad reasons for all of you!

Thank you Ana for once again allowing me to host a day of #RomBkLove.


Hey all, Joy here once again, still trying to recover from PNR day. Today I am here to talk about the memorable sex / love scenes in romance that stick with you. Now, for me, if a scene  makes my loins / my womb throb (LOL), my cheeks get inflamed, I start to sweat while reading said scene or said scene replays in my mind long after I have finished the book, then it is a rememorable scene. The scene can encompass anywhere from a kiss that blows your head off, foreplay, heavy petting, masturbation, lots of sexual tension, dirty talk to full on intercourse.


Capturing the sensuality and emotion of a love / sex scene, bringing the reader into the story and getting them to feel what the Hero or Heroine feels, almost as if you are a voyeur, so to speak, takes talent. And sometimes a memorable scene can be when you are thinking to yourself, how the heck did they do that?? or that's got to smarts (ouchie, lol) or you find yourself trying to reinact the scene to see if what you just read is physically possible to accomplish (ha!). 


In order for me to enjoy a romancre, there must have some form of heat in the book. I can enjoy a romance with just a little sex, but the sexual tension must be high! I need at least one flaming hot scene. Having read erotic, hot, steamy romance for quite a long time, it would take me days to go over all of the scenes that have stuck with me. I don't want to give away all the details in my recommendations, so that you can enjoy the strories when you pick them up AND YOU WILL! Here are just a mere fraction of the books with memorable love/sex scenes that have left me broken, throbbing and trying to recover, (rotflmao), listed in no certain order.


Perv by Dakota Gray (M/F)

The Hero not only is honest in his love of eating the puss, he revels in pleasuring a woman in that manner. A LOT! Enough said, LOL!


Midnight Man by Lisa Marie Rice (M/F)

Hero rents out office space to the Heroine. Lots of sexual tension, Hero is enamored immediately. The first time they have sex is in his offic (MEOW!) The next day she arrives at the office to see that he has left the panties that he tore off, on the doorknob of her office. 


Fall Fury by Jaci Burton (M/F)

Hero can control storms. He persues Heroine and enacts foreplay in some very inventive weather related ways.


Natural Law by Joey W. Hill (M/F)

Joey guts me every time with her Contemporaries as well as her BDSM books. There are too many memorable scenes to count  so I will use the scene from Natural Law where the Heroine, a Domme, is teaching the Hero to use his safe word. Hero is a cop and uber Alpha. Let just say that it gets verrrrrrrry intense.


Waiting For It by Rhyannon Byrd (M/F)

As with Joey, Rhyannon Byrd guts me every time but here are two of the books that hurt my innards (in a good way) 

Hero has loved the Heroine for years. Stayed away, respected her marriage. She is now divorced and he comes back to town to claim his woman! Lots of oral on his part and when they finally make love, the Big Bang Theory happens (lol). Very Alpha, very loving, dirty talker.


Triple Play by Rhyannon Byrd (M/F/M)

Heroes friend knows Hero loves the Heroine but the Hero wont persue her because of something from his past. Friend brings Heroine to Heroes place as a gift for his birthday with the Heroines consent. So begins a night of  breaking down the Heroes defenses with some very intense lovemaking.


Night Fever by Susan Kyle (M/F)

Hero is the DA. Heroines brother gets into trouble and she tries to convince the Hero that he is a good boy.  She has much on her plate taking care of elderly grandfather and her younger brothers. Hero patiently courts the Heroine with lots of foreplay. 


Protecting What's His by Tessa Bailey (M/F)

Hero is a very sexy cop next door. Heroine has newly moved in and is on the run with her younger sister. Heroine wants nothing to do with Hero even though he is to die for, her first concern is her sister and keeping a low profile. Hero is having none of that and is a verrry dirty talker. 


Pack Challenge by Shelly Laurenston  (M/F)

Hero is a wolf shifter. Small town Heroine has been shunned most of her life due to an injury that left her walking with a limp and in pain. On top of that her grandmother was an evil bitch. She is very wary of people in general so when the Hero walks into the auto repair shop that she works in and shows interest, she is NOPE! Let the dance begin (lol). Sexual tension and a very hot scene when the Hero finally is able to be alone with the Heroine.


HAVEN by Rebekah Weatherspoon  (M/F)

After a very harrowing incident while on a camping trip, our Heroine literally runs into the arms of the Hero as she makes her escape to safety. Haven is a very intense story whos' Heroine and Hero are both trying to come to grips on how to live with their new normal. They begin a D/s relationship that is so pure and real as well as immensely erotic. Their journey to not only learning how to love one and another but how to come to grips with their very different lifestyles makes for a very great read.


Wicked Sacrifice by Lora Leigh (M/F/M)

Twin Heroes who share their women. Heroine works as secretary for them and is having none of being in a relationship with either much less both of them. Heroine turns the tables on Heroes as they persue indiviually and together. Oh, and what what twin feels, so does the other. OMG!!!!! 


Rejar by Dara Joy  (M/F)

Rejar is a Familiar from another world and is a very sexual being. He lands in the 18th century and rebukes the strait laced rules that prevent him from being the wanton and sexually open man that he wants to be. He sees the Heroine and immediately knows that she is his. He falls in love and uses everything in his repetoire in his pursuit of our very independent Heroine and I mean nothing. Mwahahha. 


Knight of A Trillion Stars by Dara Joy (M/F)

From the same world as Rejar, KoATS's Hero is Rejar's brother. He is very Alpha and his Heroine is a modern woman from the 20th century. He kidnaps her to his world where he courts her and he courts her alllll over his realm.. a lot! 


Below are memorable scenes suggested by some of my fellow Romance Peeps, who are hosting other prompts during #RomBkLove.


Awaken, My Love by Robin Schone (M/F)

The Heroine time-travels through self-love orgasm. - Mary Lynne Nielsen (@emmelnie)


Savage Thunder by Johanna Lindsey (M/F)

"Sex while riding on a horse". Massively dated book, but that scene! - Mary Lynne Nielsen (@emmelnie)


Muse by Anne Calhoun (M/F)

Very intense sex scenes & role playing. - Ellie Reads (@e_savova)


Please share your most memorable love/sex scenes, using #RomBkLove on Twitter. I'll have my pen and paper ready!


Joy is the co-owner of Joyfully Reviewed, a Romance Review site that will be celebrating  their 13th year come this August. Joy attends many Romance conventions and Booksignings in addition to sharing videos and pics of her cat, Bleu. She can be found at the following social media sites. 




Twitter: @JoyfullyReviewd




Day 19 #RomBkLove: Worldbuilding

Day 19: Worldbuilding #rombklove

Please welcome Mary Lynne a long-time Romance reader. I’ve always ernjoyed her thoughtful tweets on Romance and I hope you enjoy her thoughts on Worldbuilding: 


How many times have you heard of romance referred to as an escape? You’re told that you should be swept away, that you’ll explore worlds of adventure and love. Heck, Harlequin even built an entire ad campaign around this.

But the underlying theme of these ideas is that romance removes you from the everyday to something else. And you wouldn’t have any of that without worldbuilding. Merriam-Webster calls worldbuilding “the art of creating a fictional world,” while Charlie Jane Anders says it’s “the lifeblood of storytelling” in her blog post The 7 Deadly Sins of Worldbuilding. While most people, unsurprisingly, think of worldbuilding in relation to fantasy and science fiction, it has a vital role to play in romance.

Warsong cover, a woman with long brown hair and sword climb up a cliffThe most direct and obvious connection is in fantasy and SF romance. I recently read Elizabeth Vaughan’s newest book in her Chronicles of the Warlands series, Warsong. Even though it had been several years since I’d read one of her books, I was instantly transported to the Plains and its clan structure, to the imperial city of Xy and its complexities. When I asked Vaughan about worldbuilding, she noted, “I think good worldbuilding is essential. But the writer always has to remember that the worldbuilding needs to be behind the scenes. What makes a great read is the focus on the actions and struggles of the characters moving through your world.” Vaughan’s comment, to me, drives home that necessary connection of not just creating a believable world but creating believable characters within that world.

Another great example of enveloping worlds in fantasy romance are Jeffe Kennedy’s Twelve Kingdoms and Uncharted Realms books in her series of the same names. She even has a map available for you to see those countries, which is a classic SF/F tool for worldbuilding! Linda Winstead Jones, in her first trilogy in her wonderful Columbyana series, reminded me of Mervyn Peake’s classic Gormenghast books when she set a huge portion of the action in a castle that is, in and of itself, its own world. Ava Sinclair built a complex dragon culture in her Drakoryan reverse-harem series—and then once I grew accustomed to it, she went even further and changed it through a long-suppressed and now-risen threat. Tracy St. John has created an intricate world of war and cultural differences in her Clans of Kalquor series, which includes ménage relationships as well as an intersex heroine in her book Michaela.

But good worldbuilding applies to historical romances as well. The difference is that the historical writer doesn’t get to create the rules of that world as the fantasy writer does. Instead, historical writers have to work with the facts and conventions of the time. They don’t have to slavishly adhere to them, but they also can’t consistently go so far from the mainstream that they become the dreaded “wallpaper historical” author, with people who don’t act or talk like someone from the years they’re supposed to be living in. As KJ Charles writes on her blog, “I am not here for histrom that is modern day people in silly hats; that takes all the fun out of it.”

Georgette Heyer, of course, is the ur-Regency romance author, building the conventions of that massively popular subgenre as we know it today. Interestingly, Heyer actually created some of the things we take as gospel for the Regency period: her use of slang exceeds anything you’ll find in Austen. But as noted in The Private World of Georgette Heyer, her research was meticulous and filled volumes, with information far beyond what she ever used in her books. Her depiction of Waterloo was used for years in British military schools to teach that battle. And that attention to detail has been passed down as a requirement for every historical writer since; woe betide the author that messes up the use of titles for English lords! (There’s nothing that annoys historical fans more, as it’s a relatively easy thing to research.)

51H2j+y1EGL._SY346_You see that attention to Regency detail in some of its classic authors, such as Mary Balogh, Joanna Bourne, and Jo Beverley. Their books are rooted in research of the period: Balogh exploring the challenges in recovering from war in books like The Proposal, Beverley showing the complexity of smugglers’ life in A Shocking Delight, and Bourne, who recreates the exploits of spies in books like The Black Hawk. But recent years have shown us more diverse elements of this historical period, with authors like Rose Lerner exploring the Jewish experience in books like True Pretenses and Cat Sebastian and KJ Charles movingly revealing the many aspects of life for gay men in the Regency in their m/m romances, such as The Ruin of a Rake and A Gentleman’s Position. There are authors like Carla Kelly, who made a point to write books that *didn’t* feature the nobility (unlike the plethora of dukes found today). As her biography notes, “Carla has made certain types of Regencies her own, particularly novels and stories about people who are not lords and ladies. Many of them are hard-working and hard-fighting members of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines in the Channel Fleet, and the British Army on the Spanish Peninsula.”

Another historical period that has been an inspiration for romance novel worldbuilding is the American West. Lorraine Heath illustrated the challenges of pacifism in the Civil War in her classic Always to Remember, while Alyssa Cole gives us spies who navigate an interracial relationship in that same time period in the marvelous An Extraordinary Union. Piper Huguley blends the black experience in the post-Civil War era with inspirational themes in her wonderful Home to Milford College series. Alexis Harrington expanded our view of the West by going to the edges of the frontier in the world of the Alaskan Gold Rush of Harper’s Bride. And no discussion of this time period is complete without mentioning Beverly Jenkins, the doyenne of African-American romance. Books like Night Song and Indigo opened so many people’s eyes to the historical African-American experience back in 1995, and Ms. Jenkins hasn’t stopped since.

51AeB8M6sXL._SY346_Even contemporary romances have to build worlds. Sometimes they blend with other genres, such as the enormously popular paranormal genre. One of my favorite authors for great paranormal worldbuilding is Becca Jameson. Books like Grizzly Survival are rooted in a shifter culture that is both affected by and affects the human world. In this book, it’s not just that one man of the main couple is human and the other man is a shifter; there are PTSD issues, issues of transformation, and threats to the shifters that all come into play and make this world seem real despite its fantasy aspects. Jennifer Ashley’s long-running Shifters Unbound series deals with prejudicial topics in its paranormal world, like internment and separation of the “other,” that speak to difficulties in our world at the same time.

There has to be logic in the place a contemporary author builds: I always roll my eyes when a town of a few hundred people out in the country somehow manages to support a cupcake-store business. Jodi Thomas is a master at the small-town Texas story, writing historical and contemporary romance in this region. Her Ransom Canyon series has built its world of a Texas town, Crossroads, over its books. Thomas acknowledges the challenges of small-town life, such as having characters leave Crossroads in their late teens to live elsewhere due to the difficulty of education and employment in a small town. Jessica Scott is an author who creates vividly the ups and downs of military life in her romances. She addresses the sorrows, the challenges, and the joys of being a military spouse in books like Homefront.

51CGyb5IqjL._SY346_Alexis Daria built a specific world in contemporary romance by rooting her Dance Off books such as Take the Lead in a “Dancing With the Stars”-like reality competition. And of course, I have to praise the original mistress of them all: Jane Austen. While we may view her as historical, she wrote contemporaries, presenting the opportunities and challenges of Regency life as she knew and lived it. Books like Persuasion draw on her experience with family in the Navy, and the poignancy of lost opportunities and time.

But now it’s time for your thoughts! What makes for good worldbuilding in romance? What breaks it down for you faster than you can say, “wallpaper”? What are some great examples that you can think of, Romancelandia? I’m excited to see your tweets today!

Finally, I want to thank Ana Coqui for hosting me today. I’m not a regular blogger, but I’m involved in the setup for #readRchat, helping determine the topics and questions for each month’s prompts. And when Ana proposed dropping readRchat for this month to bring back #RomBkLove again, our team members were the first to volunteer to help Ana and spread the load of managing the behemoth that is a month of RomBkLove. So that’s how a simple reader got involved. The message I hope all you readers of these blogs gain from this? You can do it, too!


Day 18 #Rombklove: Paranormal Romance

Day 18: Paranormal #Rombklove

Joy and Meka are some of my favorite people to follow on twitter, they both have such a exuberant love for romance and their recommendations are always aces. I was thrilled when they chose to work together on a post about Paranormal romance. I love PNR, as it was one of my entry point into the romance genre.  I hope you find some amazing books on Meka and Joy's list.

Meka and Joy are so thrilled to be talking about paranormal romance (PNR) for today’s #RomBkLove, but it is so hard to know just where to start. There are so many tropes within this subgenre.


Meka: I began reading paranormal romances back when I was fairly new to reading romance regularly. I knew that I probably would like it because I enjoyed non-scary movies about paranormal things that go bump in the night…if it wasn’t too scary, of course! What is it about this genre that appeals so much?


Joy: I started reading LoveSpells which were time traveling romances and those books got me hooked on the paranormal genre.  I discovered Rebecca Paisley and Laura Kinsdale. Happy me. Read many a PNR and then I picked up Christine Feehan's Dark Prince, Book One of the Dark series and went down a rabbit hole of incredible vampire stories and MC's that I totally fell in love with. The rest is history and a huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge book collection.



The World Building


Meka: Paranormal romance allows authors to have free reign, allowing them to make up fun and fantastic rules that they can either stick to or break with enough good reason. They have the distinct ability to wander within all other romance subgenres. I don’t read a lot of historicals, but if you put some paranormal elements within that genre, I will sprain my one-click finger. Hard. They can be in modern day where people either know all about the supernatural or have to hide their identity. They can be steampunk novels with airships and frightening creatures, and the brave people having to fight them. They can be set in the distant, or not so distant future. Paranormal romance novels get to be malleable in scope and setting, and the rules for one world will not be the rules for others.


Joy: Why paranormals? In mind, to be able to create an entirely new world that doesn't exist and make me believe the story that I'm reading means you have a gift. I love the romance genre with all my heart, been a reader of romance since I was 13, about 10 years ago (LMAO). But something extra special clicked with me when it came to Vampires. Authors can make up any type of creature, being, shapeshifter (my personal favorite) and wisk the reader to anywhere in this universe and beyond. I read for escapism and being able to lose myself into a world like no other gives me joy and happiness. Honestly, that is all that matters, what makes me happy is why I continue to support the romance genre. 


There are so many subgenes.


Meka: Whether you are wanting to read psychics using their gifts to solve crimes, lonely creatures struggling to not give in to their inner beast before their fated mates can appear, a knight getting rescued by a group of orphans who are fighting vampires and trying to survive, faeries coming in and taking names, werewolves dealing with tough pack dynamics, vegetarian vampires, people learning to deal with burgeoning psychic abilities and those attempting to squash them, angels and vampires trying to work together, angels falling from Heaven and coming to shake up the Earth, Demons struggling to let their passions rule without harm and dealing with all of this while falling in love? Paranormal romance has you covered! 


Joy: I want it all, too. Meka pretty much summed it up. And what do we all want at the end of the day. To go on that journey with the MC's, no matter where they are from and see them have their HEA or HFN.


Meka's Recommendations


A few months ago, there was this amazingly long roving thread on Twitter all about paranormal romance novels. I’m not entirely sure of what else happened in the world, but people were on point with recommendations. I heard that thread reached over 900 Tweets! For my part of the recs, I want to highlight both the books that got me in to PNR and the ones that keep me here, squeeing forever. Fair warning: lots of PNR are meant to be read in order but blurbs make me super weak and I will often gravitate toward the book whose blurb speaks to me the most, as opposed to reading order. Also, some of this is considered urban fantasy, but I put them under PNR due to the Happily-ever-After rule, and really, because I loved them!


Dark Melody by Christine Feehan: 

Christine Feehan has so many books in her Carpathian series, but this was the first that I read. Watching Dayan and Corinne navigate their lives and come to love each other was a fulfilling journey. She is his life mate and Carpathians cannot see color until they meet their fated mate. If they don’t meet them, they turn in to vampires unless they seek the sun first. It’s a hard knock life!


The Missing by Shiloh Walker:

Often times, I want to read about more subtle hints of paranormal in a contemporary setting and Shiloh Walker knows right where to gut punch me the most. In my feelings. I loved the couple in this book and were so glad to see them navigate through so much to get to their HEA.


The Unleashing by Shelly Laurenston:

Shelly Laurenston writes the world! Seriously! Viking clans, women kicking ass and taking names after being called in to protect the artifacts of a death god, female friendships, Viking heroes, female friendships, lots of fighting, and female friendships! Did I mention female friendships?


Goddess with a Blade by Lauren Dane:

Lauren Dane is an author introduced to me when I was very, very new to PNR. While I cannot highlight the first book of hers I read due to it currently being out of print, let me tell you about my BFF, Rowan Summerwaite. She is a vessel to a Celtic goddess, beats down rogue vampires, and knows who she is and why she is. She and Clive are both fantastic as individuals, but they are amazing together! This book takes place in Vegas and it is one of my favorites! 


steam and sorcery by CIndy Spencer Pape: 

Mix a knight of an order that hunts monsters, a group of plucky street children who save his ass, and a governess who doesn’t realize she is more than what she has been taught, and what do you get? Meka’s first introduction to steampunk and the beginning of a really fantastic series.


Blood of the Maple by Dana Marie Bell

Dana Marie Bell writes some of my favorite books and I couldn’t go through this post without at least mentioning Bunny. You should read all about him. However, this book deals with Parker, a vegetarian vampire and Amara, a dryad. It takes everything I love about small-town romance and brings it in to a deliciously awesome PNR package which is both humorous and dark.


Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh 

Nalini Singh writes it all! I struggled between recommending this books and her other PNR series. Slave to Sensation introduced me to a world of psychically-repressed people like Sascha, and the shifters who are fighting back against the cold Psy, in the year of 2079. While my absolute favorite is a book further in to the series, we get to learn so much that will serve as developments later on in the series. But seriously. Who can resist a woman forced to not show emotion, and the alpha wereleopard who loves her? 


Prince in Leather by Holley Trent

Holley Trent is amazing. I could seriously squee about her all day long. This book is the beginning of a series which somehow fits in to the other series that she writes and there are faeries! On motorcycles!! I am here for all of this. Simone and Heath are awesome and have to figure out so many things together! Both are capable, competent people and you need this in your life!


Cold Iron by D.L. Mcdermott 

D.L. Mcdermott’s Cold Iron series is wonderful, and in my opinion, underrated. It takes place in Boston and deals with the fae and their enemies, the druids. I loved book 1, but the rest of the series just picks up speed and hurls you through some epic plots! The world-building is layered and complex, and every character adds so much more to the series as it progresses.


Angelborn by L. Penelope

I was just introduced to L. Penelope’s writing through this book and my goodness did it pack a wallop! There are angels who are half-human, half-angel, and are on the lower end of the angelic totem ple. This story has angelborn doing forbidden things, getting a second chance, and tossing the fated mate trope on its head. It is so lush and lovely. You need this!




Joy's Recommendations: 


The following Authors are what I catalogue as, I would jump in front of an oncoming car for you kinda reads / autobuys / anxiously await their next book. So much so that for one author mentioned below, I was so excited to see her again, I actually bit her (I WOULDN'T SUGGEST THIS TO ANYONE), when I saw her at RT in Houston one year. Not her book, but her. Yes, her. Lets just say that I say my life flash before my very eyes. Thank god we were friends by that point. HAAAAAA.


Shelly Laurenston: I had the luck and priviledge to beta read a book ohhh so many years ago. We had a mutual friend who contacted me and asked if I would read a book by an unknown author friend of hers. I said sure! That book was Pack Challenge and that Author was, Shelly Laurenston aka G.A. Aiken. That's right folks, that is how Shelly and I "met". I had no contact with her until AFTER I read one of the most hilarious books I had ever read. Not only was Pack Challenge an awesome story with a mewl worthy Hero but the Heroine was a woman of color. Holy cow, I said, wowza! At that point in time, the only woc in paranormal that I had read was the Heroine of Stephanie Burke's, Keeper of The Flame. I contacted said friend and said, where are the rest of her books. I couldn't find a website, nothing! I was stunned to learn that Pack Challenge was her first book and it was unpublished to boot.  I was astonished, not only was PC unique, it had an unrepentant, true to herself, can fight for herself, Heroine, said Heroine had a group of ride or die friends and the Hero loved all that she was. No tryng to change each other but learning to love the person they met, how refreshing. 


Shelly's shifters are of all races and creeds and that's the beauty of a Laurenston or Aiken book. The characters and world building flows. Nothing feels forced. Her Heroines are tough yet love with everything they have and will protect family and friends to the ends of the earth. Her Heroes are Alpha yet they love and respect their Heroines and all the nuttiness that comes with being with a non conformational woman. Her Heroines go by the beat of their own drum. Shelly also writes fierce Dragons under the name of G.A. Aiken. Whether it be under Shelly Laurenston, writing witches, lions, tigers, bears, honey badgers and so much more or her dragons, as G.A. Aiken, you will not only get extraordinary worldbuilding but characters that will have you howling, rotflyao for days after. The following are all of her books as I love them all!


Series: Long Island Coven

Series: Pride

Series: Magnus Pack 

Series: Call of Crows 

Series: The Gathering

Series: Honey Badger Chronicles


G.A. Aiken

Series: Dragon Kin 




Stephanie Burke is the author who started my journey into ebooks. In 2005' I was bored of what I was reading from NY publishers. I went searching on the web, happened upon a cover with a black woman on it. Whaaaaat? NoI had to know what this book was about. What was an e-book? I'd never heard of such a thing. Well. Keeper of The Flame's Heroine was a nurse, who had a spacecraft land in her backyard. Turns out it is the Hero, and he is in labor!!! Yes, you read that correctly. I purchased that book with no way of knowing how to read it. I didn't know what an e-reader was. I eventually had my sister print it out and I read it that way. HOLY SMOKES, what a cover to cover read!!! Stephanie writes (MF / MM / MMM / MMF / MGFMMM) and per her bio, sex shifting shape-shifting dragons to under sea worlds, up to sexually confused elemental fey and homo erotic mysteries, all the way to pastel challenged urban sprites. There is literally something for everyone in Ms. Burke's catalogue of books.  My favorites are the following: 


Series: Testrios

Series: Pride Talon

Series: Hot Not To Date


Melissa Schroeder is one of the few Romance Authors that I follow from genre to genre. Not only has she always written Multicultural MC's but her stories have a different feel across each of sub genre. I was a friend of Melissa's from the old Yahoo groups back in the day and have been a fan of her work since she started publishing. Her PNR's are extra special to me but in the case of the By Blood series, she combines my love of historical romance with my love of vampires! 


Series: By Blood 

Series: Telepathic Cravings 

Series: The Cursed Clan

Series: Lonestar Wolf Pack:


L.A. Banks books have kick ass heroines of color, combined with some awesome world-building. Damali, the Heroine, a Black Woman drives most of the series and when these books were being released, it wasn't the norm. L.A. was a trailblazer, talk about a roller coaster ride of well written suspense and romance along the way.  I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Banks on only three occasions before she passed away but let me tell you, a nicer woman, you would ever meet. Her vampire world will keep you enthralled.


Series: Vampire Huntress Legend 


Rhyannon Byrd  was my second email fan letter. I read her contemporary, Waiting For It and told her that she made my womb throb with her hot sex scenes. MEOW!!!!! Yeah I said it, I had never had that happen to me before. Ms. Byrd is the author of some very dirty talking Alpha's, who looooove their women and they'll will move heaven and earth to please them. Her Harlequin PNR's are a little lower on the heat scale than her others ones BUT she more than delivers in terms of story. To continue a series for a length of time without it getting stale is a true testament to an author's talen and like Nalini Singh, Ms. Byrd  takes us on a journey that you never want to end. 


Series: Bloodrunners  

Series: Primal Instinct  

Series: Touch  

Series: Magick Men





These PNR books are ones that I think were ahead of their time


Lori Herter

Series: David de Morrissey


Linda Lael Miller 

Series: Black Rose Chronicles


Sharie Kohler aka Sophie Jordan

Series: Moon Chasers 




The following is a list of my Autobuy PNR Authors. I don't even read the blurbs, I must have anything they release because these authors keep the storylines fresh and write great characters that stick with me. I'm also a sucker for secondary characters as well. Totally love reading a book and noticing who the next couple will be or catch up on couples from previous books, and these Authors deliver on that. Sequels and Series, I MUST HAVE THEM!!!! HA!


Lara Adrian 

Vivi Anna

Amanda Ashley aka Allyson James

Jennifer Ashley

Shara Azod

Anya Bast 

Dana Marie Bell

Jaci Burton

Coreen Callahan

Marly Chance 

Ashlyn Chase

Kendra Leigh Castle

Kresley Cole

Alyssa Day 

Sylvia Day

Delilah Devlin

P.J. Schnyder aka Piper J. Drake: 

Dianne Duvall 

Cynthia Eden

Donna Grant

Kym Grosso

Thea Harrison 

Michele Hauf 

Yvette Hines 

Emma Holly

Larissa Ione 

Alexandra Ivy

Allyson James aka Jennifer Ashley

Lisa Renee Jones

Dara Joy

Stacia Kane

Heather Killough-Walden 

Sherri L. King

Laurie London

Nana Malone 

Judy Mays

Cheyenne McCray

Patrice Michelle

Elisabeth Naughton 

Sharon Page

Kristen Painter

Pamela Palmer 

Kate Pearce

Caridad Piniero 

Lynsay Sands

Eve Silver

Nalini Singh 

Kathryn Smith

Sydney Somers

Terry Spear

Juliana Stone 

Jory Strong

Jordan Summers 

J.D. Tyler 

Paige Tyler 

Stephanie Tyler

Shiloh Walker 

N.J. Walters

Christine Warren 

Mary Wine 

Laura Wright

Rebecca Zanetti 




Below are more authors whose PNR's I enjoy and I think you should try :D


A.C. Arthur

Jade Buchanan

Jodi Lynn Copeland

Taige Crenshaw

Kate Douglas 

Ava Gray

Nathalie Gray

McKenna Jeffries 

Marteeka Karland

Angela Knight

Titania Ladley 

Marilyn Lee

Lora Leigh 

Tressie Lockwood

Kathy Love

Reana Malori

Mynx Malone

Alexis Morgan

Tuesday Morrigan 

Cait Miller 

Theresa Meyers

Michelle M Pillow 

Mandy Roth 

Milly Taiden 

Tawny Taylor 

Theodora Taylor

Twyla Turner 



These are new to me PNR's Authors whos' books are in my TBR, eagerly awaiting me to dig into. They gave great blurb, LOL. 


Kate Baxter

Alana Delacroix

Vivien Jackson 

Juliet Lyons 

Maria Vale



Final Thoughts

No matter what books you enjoy, there is a PNR that is just right for you. What are some of your favorite paranormal books/authors and why? Please share your favorites with us on Twitter using the #RomBkLove.


Meka, a voracious Romance Reader and Reviewer, can be found on Twitter discussing her love of the Romance genre and life in general at @mektastic or you can find her Romance Reviews at The Bookpushers:


Joy is the co-owner of Joyfully Reviewed, a Romance Review site that will be celebrating  their 13th year come this August. Joy attends many Romance conventions and Book-signings in addition to sharing videos and pics of her cat, Bleu. She can be found at the following social media sites. 




Twitter: @JoyfullyReviewd