BONUS BEST OF 2019

RomBkPod

Written by:

“THE BEST RULE IS A BROKEN RULE”

Happy New Year! This week the entire RomBkPod team gathers for a special bonus episode of the podcast as we discuss our favorite romance reads from 2019 and our most anticipated romance reads for 2020


BONUS EP HOSTS

> ANA COQUI (she/her) A lifelong genre reader, Ana grew up reading fantasy, sci-fi & mystery novels in Puerto Rico, before finally wandering into the romance section of the library in search of HEA’s after bawling through one too many dystopian novels. When she is not reading, knitting, writing about romance for Love in Panels or running #RomBkLove on Twitter as @anacoqui, Ana is a school librarian

> DANIELLE (she/her) is the voice behind LoveReadListen.com where she writes about her adventures in reading romance, YA, and audiobooks. Danie has a passion for promoting Black Romance and can’t wait to share her favorites with you. When she’s not reading, Danie enjoys anime, cartoons, and hip-hop. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @DanieReads

> MEKA WHITE (she/her) is the voice behind BookAbility.me where she writes about her adventures in reading romance and being visually impaired. Meka loves pushing books and can’t wait to share her favorites with you. When she’s not reading, Meka also enjoys singing and exploring the Pacific Northwest with her guide dog, Treble. You can follow her on Twitter @Mektastic

> MELINDA UTENDORF (she/her) was that child reading Baby-Sitters Club and Sweet Valley High books with a flashlight until 2 a.m. and checking out stacks of books from the library every week. After getting sick of ‘important’ books in her English degree classes, she turned to romance and HEAs and hasn’t looked back since. Melinda spends her time doing puzzles, listening to podcasts, and helping as admin for @RomanceSparksJoy. When she’s not busy with all of that, she’s a freelance editor or talking about books as @MelindaEdits

> SARAH JEAN (she/her) From the woods of Massachusetts, Sarah Jean has been reading queer romance for 12 years. She runs a queer book club called Rainbow Readers of Massachusetts (https://www.facebook.com/rainbowreadersmass/) that celebrates queer lives, joy, and empowerment through genre fiction. When not reading or listening to books Sarah is plotting her queer historical romances, cuddling with her cats, and planning her next adventure. Follow Sarah on Twitter @queer_reader

> SARAH JOHNSON (she/her) is a life-long reader with a passion for historical fiction and non-fiction. After having her first child, Sarah turned her attention to historical romance and is half-way to completing her collection of first edition Beverly Jenkins historicals. Sarah is the producer of RomBkPod, and you can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @LustFoundReads


BONUS EP DISCUSSION

NOTE: We have not included content warnings this week. If you’d like content warnings for a book we’ve read, please contact us @RomBkPod via Twitter or Instagram or email us at RomBkPod@gmail.com. Thank you!

2019 NEW TO ME

ANA: ADRIANA HERRERA
Ana highly recommends the Adriana Herrera’s American Dreamer series
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/series/252809-dreamers

> Danielle also mentions Adriana Herrera’s holiday novella Mangos & Mistletoe
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48747627-mangos-and-mistletoe

> Ana claims that if you email Herrera she’ll respond with recipes from her books!
Link: https://adrianaherreraromance.com/

SARAH JEAN: SARAH REES BRENNAN
Sarah Jean highly recommends In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31944679-in-other-lands

> Sarah Jean also recommends the In Other Lands audio book narrated by the excellent Matthew Lloyd Davies
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39891890-in-other-lands

> Here’s the link to the In Other Lands art Sarah Jean commissioned from artist Helen Kord
Link: https://twitter.com/mirabel_chan/status/1198299954625830912

> And here’s the link to the In Other Lands bookmarks Sarah Jean found on Etsy
Link: https://www.etsy.com/shop/DrinkCoffeeReadBooks?ref=simple-shop-header-name&listing_id=691344840&search_query=in+other+lands

DANIELLE: KRISTINA FOREST
Danielle highly recommends I Wanna Be Where You Are by Kristina Forest
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40864798-i-wanna-be-where-you-are

> Our first rule-breaker, Danielle skips ahead and mentions her excitement for Kristina Forest’s 2020 release Now That I’ve Found You
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46223352-now-that-i-ve-found-you

> Danielle and Melinda both recommend the audio book for I Wanna Be Where You Are narrated by Jeanette Illidge
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41150560-i-wanna-be-where-you-are

MELINDA: ANNA ZABO
Melinda highly recommends the Twisted Wishes series by Anna Zabo, especially the first book Syncopation
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/series/223920-twisted-wishes

> Sarah Jean also highly recommends the Twisted Wishes series, and says the audio book for Syncopation is due out in March 2020 with narration by Greg Tremblay
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8108759.Greg_Tremblay

MEKA: RUTH DIAZ
Meka highly recommends The Superheroes Union: Dynama by Ruth Diaz
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/series/137575-the-superheroes-union

> If you like superheroes, Sarah Jean recommends the My Hero Academia manga
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/series/152982-my-hero-academia

2019 FAVORITE READ

DANIELLE: WONDER by Christina C. Jones
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43688305-wonder

MELINDA: AN UNCONDITIONAL FREEDOM (Loyal League #3) by Alyssa Cole
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36392966-an-unconditional-freedom

SARAH JEAN: A DUKE IN DISGUISE (Regency Imposters #2) by Cat Sebastian
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36501794-a-duke-in-disguise

ANA: THE BRIDE TEST (Kiss Quotient #2) by Helen Hoang
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39338454-the-bride-test

MEKA: BRING ON THE BLESSINGS (Blessings #1) by Beverly Jenkins
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3733459-bring-on-the-blessings

2020 MOST ANTICIPATED

SARAH JEAN: DOCILE by K.M. Szpara
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40522814-docile
NOTE: Not a traditional romance, but does end with an HFN
2ND NOTE: This is a Tor title and will be affected by the MacMillan library embargo

> THE HOUSE IN THE CERULEAN SEA by T.J. Klune
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45047384-the-house-in-the-cerulean-sea
NOTE: This is a Tor title and will be affected by the MacMillan library embargo

> BROTHERSONG (Green Creek #4) by T.J. Klune
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43191767-brothersong

> THE FASCINATORS by Andrew Eliopulos
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45304055-the-fascinators

> The series Sarah Jean describes as her candy is The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/series/73675-the-raven-cycle

> I KISSED ALICE by Anna Birch
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43300915-i-kissed-alice
NOTE: This is an Imprint title and will be affected by the MacMillan library embargo

> THE CEMETERY BOYS by Aiden Thomas
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46676540-cemetery-boys

> Sarah Jean mentions the blog Two Book Thieves and their list of 2020 LGBTQ+ YA releases which you can find here
Link: https://twobookthieves.com/

ANA: AMERICAN SWEETHEARTS (Dreamers #4) by Adriana Herrera
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47795440-american-sweethearts

> Ana also mentions several other books, which inspires mutiny:

> DEAL WITH THE DEVIL (Mercenary Librarians #1) by Kit Rocha
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40078832-deal-with-the-devil
NOTE: This is a Tor title and will be affected by the MacMillan library embargo

> THE WORST BEST MAN by Mia Sosa
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43801254-the-worst-best-man

> YOU HAD ME AT HOLA by Alexis Daria
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48585246-you-had-me-at-hola

> HEADLINERS (London Celebrities #5) by Lucy Parker
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47826382-headliners

> GIRL GONE VIRAL (Modern Love #2) by Alisha Rai
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44148565-girl-gone-viral

> THIRD SHIFT series by Suleikha Snyder
Link: https://twitter.com/suleikhasnyder/status/1123588617073496065?s=20
NOTE: Not anticipated until 2021

> THE HEART PRINCIPLE (Kiss Quotient #3) by Helen Hoang
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50056075-the-heart-principle
NOTE: Release pushed to May 2021

> EMERALD BLAZE (Hidden Legacy #5) by Ilona Andrews
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49053880-emerald-blaze

DANIELLE: A COWBOY TO REMEMBER (Cowboys of California #1) by Rebekah Weatherspoon
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46128399-a-cowboy-to-remember

> REAL MEN KNIT by Kwana Jackson
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47634974-real-men-knit

> THE BOYFRIEND PROJECT by Farrah Rochon
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48342046-the-boyfriend-project

> YOU HAD ME AT HOLA by Alexis Daria
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48585246-you-had-me-at-hola

MELINDA: HOW TO CATCH A QUEEN (Runaway Royals #1) by Alyssa Cole
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47942574-how-to-catch-a-queen

> LOVE HARD (Hard Play #3) by Nalini Singh
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49074389-love-hard

MEKA: CHOICE OF GAMES: HEART’S CHOICE
Link: https://www.heartschoice.com/shop/

> Sarah Jean mentions that RoAnna Sylver is writing for Heart’s Choice and her game is Dawnfall
Link: https://www.choiceofgames.com/hearts-choice/dawnfall/

> Sarah Jean also mentions RoAnna Sylver’s other gaming work which can be found here
Link: https://roannasylver.itch.io/

PRODUCER SARAH’S PICKS

2020 MOST ANTICIPATED: WILD RAIN (Women Who Dare #2) by Beverly Jenkins
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43701060-wild-rain

2019 FAVORITE READ: HITHER, PAGE (Page & Sommers #1) by Cat Sebastian
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44785311-hither-page

2019 NEW TO ME: PROPER ENGLISH by K.J. Charles
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44420645-proper-english

> Sarah Jean also high recommends the audio book for Proper English narrated by Bella Lowe
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48477533-proper-english


Join @RomBkPod in January for a month of romance retellings!

Happy Reading!

BONUS EP MUSIC CREDIT
Music: “Lift Off” by Jahzzar
From the Free Music Archive
CC BY-SA 3.0

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