Well, I have completed my conversion to Romance reader. It is officially not just a phase. Looking at my May reads, Romance reading has taken over my life.
I read 20 books in May and DNF’d one (The Hooker and the Harlot, which got off on the wrong foot with some icky sexual harassment). Goodreads is being glitchy right now, there is one missing from this which is Any Duchess Will Do by Tessa Dare. Two outstanding books were The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue and A Princess in Theory (I’m going to start sending this book to all my friends who I’m trying to convert into Romance readers). The biggest surprise was Let’s Get Textual by Teagan Hunter which I read based on a recommendation in a Facebook group. The recommendation was for a light read so I looked it up and here’s the cover.
Romance novels are so weird. This looks like it would be the dirtiest sexting book! But it was light and sweet, with a clever meet cute, and had one of the funniest endings I’ve read. I’m learning not to judge a book by its cover or title in this genre! It seems a given that Romance novel titles and covers can seem super dirty or cheesy and hide a really sweet story. I guess that is part of why this feels like such a discovery for me, like a secret garden hidden behind a wall of urban decay. Let that be a lesson, I guess.
The audiobooks I read were Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (for book club, which I missed anyway, after trudging through this book that I thoroughly despised) and Melt for You by J.T. Geissenger. Both had excellent narrators.
I read Angels’ Blood for the Austin Public Library Romance book club, which was super fun and I can’t wait to go back. I didn’t love the book but discussing it with other real humans made me so happy. For June, the book club is doing free choice of LGBT novels for Pride month. I’ve already read two that I adored– The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue (Monty, the main character, is bisexual and it’s a love story with him and his best friend Percy who is gay) and the very sweet story of two Jewish lesbians in Knit One Girl Two by Shira Glassman. I’m currently reading my first Gail Carriger, Romancing the Inventor, which is a steampunk vampire lesbian novella(!). I chose it because it’s narrated by the excellent author and narrator Emma Newman.
May was a good month for Romance readers following the #RomBkLove hashtag hosted by Ana Coqui. I learned about a lot of new authors and found a ton of new books to read. It’s also been the month of #cockygate, which…whoa. If you ever wanted to know exactly what Romance authors are made of, it’s backbones of steel …and a few law degrees. All About Romance issued their Top 100 list, a reader’s choice list that is overwhelmingly WASP/straight/neuro-typical/etc. I’ve read 15 books on the list so far, and a lot of these books are on my to-read list but it is disappointing that the authors are so homogeneous. Romance has numerous outstanding authors who are not white/straight/neuro-typical and it’s one of the best things about the genre. I hope that AAR embraces that diversity soon.
June is going to be a crazy month with our first kid having a real school summer! We’re driving to a different camp each week which is going to make life interesting. I’m holding my breath. And it’s already SO. HOT. in Austin. At least it’s good reading weather!
Are you a Romance reader? Another favorite Romance I’ve read recently is After the Wedding by Courtney Milan.