Quick Coverage: Romancelandia Takes the ‘Girlboss, Gaslight, Gatekeep’ Meme A Little Too Literally on Twitter

I’m always here to be a thorn in the ass of annoying people online and right now… that’s a lot of people who view themselves as (gate) keepers of Romancelandia’s Sacred Sexy Flame. 

Let’s begin with a bit of backstory:

January 25th at 7PM YouTuber Jack Edwards – whose whole thing is being a guy who reads books and then talks about them for his subscribers – tweeted the following joke using a popular meme format:

no-one:

romance books: this man is so big. he is just so huge. he towers over me. all i can think about is how big he is. his arms are big. but i have to contain this feeling. we work together! yet my mind is imagining a life with mr big in all his enormousness. he is so… big.

This is “normal”. Most people writing traditional M/F romances engage in a really dramatic size difference between their hero and heroine.

Read More »

Fleeting Frustrations #4: What’s the Deal With Reverse Harem Romances?

fleeting frustrations 4

There are only about three thousand books that come up when I search for “reverse harem” so let me start out by letting y’all know that I do get that it’s a small part of the overall genre and makes up a teeny tiny percentage of the books published.

But the point of my Fleeting Frustrations pieces is to air a grievance, and on this site: no grievance is too small, too petty, or too focused on a niche within a specific genre for me to air it like laundry on a line.Read More »

[Review] A Duke by Default (Reluctant Royals #2) by Alyssa Cole

A Duke By Default Cover.jpg

I only recently bought Alyssa Cole’s A Duke By Default so I missed out on months of basking in this glorious and delightful novel (because my local library never got around to purchasing it on my request). But I have read this book and it is everything I’d hoped it’d be.

Now, I’m a diehard Alyssa Cole fan. I seriously stan her because she’s a wonderful writer, a fellow Caribbean islander, and she always manages to get me super invested in her characters. She’s another writer that could write a grocery list and have me pleading to read it because it’d be art on scratch paper.

So it can’t be a surprise that I genuinely loved the second book in her Reluctant Royals series, A Duke by Default.Read More »

[Book Review] Midtown Masters by Cara McKenna (+ Giveaway)

midtown-masters-coverTitle: Midtown Masters (Sins in the City #3)
Author: Cara McKenna (Twitter)
Rating:
Recommended
Genre/Category: Contemporary Romance, Erotica, Queer Romance, Queer Fiction
Release Date: February 21, 2017

Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group: Intermix

Pre-Order Here: AMAZON (KINDLE)  | BARNES & NOBLE

Note: I received an ARC (Advance Reader Copy) of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions expressed here are my own. This review has some spoilers for the book but they’re not major ones that you couldn’t guess from reading McKenna’s other books or the book blurb.


It’s Valentine’s Day folks and that’s kind of the perfect time to talk about the third book in Cara McKenna’s steamy Sins in the City series. Midtown Masters, comes out in a week which gives you plenty of time to read the other two standalone novels in the series if you’re a fast reader.

Out of the three books in the series so far, Midtown Masters is my favorite. Starring a pair of close friends who cam together for well-paying customers and the mysterious client that winds up sparking a deeper connection with one half of the duo, Midtown Masters has so much to it that was genuinely enjoyable.Read More »

Condescension, Crosstalk, and why Connie Willis’ Misunderstanding of the Romance Genre is a Deal Breaker for Me

crosstalk-cover

When I first heard about Connie Willis’ book Crosstalk, it sounded like a bunch of fun.

I put it on my wishlist and dropped a bunch of hints that I’d be open to reviewing it even if I had to buy the book myself (which wouldn’t be an issue as even if I get an ARC, I buy the books once they’re released).

Then today, I woke up to see an article on The Verge where she was interviewed about the book and, in one response, managed to miss the entire damn point about romance as a genre and as an aspect of our lives (for those folks who aren’t aromantic) and I decided to save my money. Read More »

[Book Review] That Potent Alchemy by Tess Bowery

that-potent-alchemy-coverTitle: That Potent Alchemy
Author: Tess Bowery (Twitter)
Rating: Highly Recommended
Genre/Category:  Historical Romance, Regency, Erotic, Queer, Entertainment,
Release Date: October 4, 2016

Publisher: Seamchecker Ent.

Order Here: AMAZON (KINDLE) | BARNES AND NOBLE

Note: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review. All of the views in this review are my own.


That Potent Alchemy, the third book in Tess Bowery’s “Treading the Boards” series blows all of the historical romances I’ve been reading clear out of the water. One of my frequent complaints about diversity in publishing is that it’s very difficult to find authors who write characters I can relate to because they’re like me. Because they’re queer and brown and gender-whatever like me.

And That Potent Alchemy gave me that sense of belonging, that “I could be here” feeling that I rarely find in the historical romances I read.

In Tess Bowery’s England, there’s room for queer women and genderfluid people to be.Read More »

Small Spoilery Stitch Review: Tracey Livesay’s “Love on My Mind”

Love on My MindTitle: Love on My Mind
Author:
Tracey Livesay
Rating:
Could Be Better
Genre/Category: Contemporary, Romance, Geeks/Nerds, Autism, Interracial Romance
Release Date: 7/12/2016

Publisher: Avon (Impulse Imprint)

Order Here: AMAZON (KINDLE) 

There’s a lot to love about Tracy Livesay’s Avon Impulse debut book Love on My Mind. Unfortunately, there’s also a lot of stuff that made my head tilt and my eyes narrow. Read More »

Love Hate – My Contentious Relationship With Contemporary Romance

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Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of contemporary romance – both the erotic and non-erotic kind.

I’ll admit it: contemporary romance is my thing.

Somehow, I fell for the genre despite being utterly uninterested in romance in my day-to-day life. My favorite books are “neighbor next door” romances, the ones where the couple is made up of two folks that I could imagine riding the bus with or chatting with about comic books. My favorite movies are romantic ones – I even ditch my “no comedies” stance for rom-coms because I love the idea of love that’s funny.

Hell, I’m still half convinced that the scene in Captain America: Winter Soldier where Sam and Steve were talking after their run was something plain out of a meet-cute. The film was good, but my brain is still so sure that what should’ve come next was something cute and fun that ended with Steve and Sam adopting a Greyhound and moving into a townhouse in DC.

So yeah, I love contemporary romance.

It’s a great genre because it’s real.

The characters in contemporary romance stories are supposed to be people that you know, people that you can identify with. They’re supposed to have an air of realism because that’s the draw of contemporary romance: these characters and scenarios seem to scream, “Hey, this love is normal love. It could happen to anyone! It could happen to you!”

Except of course, if you’re a person of color or you’re not cisgender and heterosexual.Read More »

[Book Review] Archangel’s Enigma by Nalini Singh

arch angel's enigma

Rating: Highly Recommended
Release Date: September 2015

At this point in my life, I’d read just about anything from Nalini Singh. Archangel’s Enigma, the eighth full book in her Guild Hunter series, simply solidifies that desire.

This book is just a good book.

Straight up.

For seven books we’ve seen the evolution of these different characters. We’ve watched Elena and Raphael battle their figurative demons as well as go head to head against the intensely overpowered archangel Lijuan. At this point, these characters are pretty well set up and you’re strapped in for the ride because you need to know what happens next. After Archangel’s Shadows, the book that gave us Ashwini and Janvier’s intense and emotional story, we were all like “how is she going to top this?”

And then she gives us a book about Naasir.Read More »

[Rant]Too Many Alpha Male Assholes

Content warnings for mentions of sexual assault/”so-called-seduction” and generally awful behavior from these main characters


If he was the MC of one of these novels, name would probably be Wynter. You see, because his eyes are probably as cold and as blue as the arctic sea.
If he was the MC of one of these novels, his name would probably be Wynter. You see, because his eyes and heart are probably as cold and as deep as the arctic sea.

Why is it that in many romance novels, the word ‘alpha’ is often synonymous with ‘asshole’?

I don’t know why we’re getting this influx of assholes disguised as romantic leads, but I’m so over it.Read More »