Ep #202


This week Meka and Melinda, aka Melinka, continue our Friends to Lovers theme with special guest author Mina Waheed and introduce the F2L spinoff trope “My Ex’s Mom”


> 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 Meka 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


MINA WAHEED (she/her) Mina grew up on TV and K-pop like many in her generation, and is a romance reviewer, sensitivity reader, and occasional writer. You can visit Mina’s website at https://minawaheed.carrd.co/ or follow her on Twitter @RomanceMina



NOTE: These notes include affiliate links to Bookshop.org and Amazon.com to support the RBP transcript project

NOTE: This episode was recorded in late July during the coronavirus pandemic of 2020

> “Melinka” is Meka and Melinda’s cute portmanteau

> Have you read a romance where the female MC ditches the guy for the mom? Will someone please write us this romance? Pretty please?!

> Do you have an ideal friends to lovers equation? Do they have to be friends from childhood? Or are adult friends better? Or do you just go with the flow?


> Title: Wrong to Need You (Forbidden Hearts #2)

Author: Alisha Rai

Relation to theme: Friends to lovers

Representation: South Asian author, bi MC, autistic MC, Asian MCs

Content Warnings: wrongfully accused of arson (past), sibling death (past), spouse death (past)

Bookshop: https://bookshop.org/lists/hosts-meka-melinda-s-recs

Kindle: https://amzn.to/3bVav26

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34217566-wrong-to-need-you

> RELATED: Here’s Corey Alexander’s list of recommended autism rep in romance

Link: https://coreysbookcorner.wordpress.com/2019/04/25/recs-for-autistic-representation-in-books-and-stories/

> Title: Wanna Bet?

Author: Talia Hibbert

Relation to theme: Friends to lovers

Representation: Black author, autistic author, queer author, Black MC, Asian MC

Content Warnings: parental neglect and abandonment, parental death, alcohol dependence

Bookshop: unavailable

Kindle: https://amzn.to/2ZxbMre

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39835958-wanna-bet

> RELATED: Here’s Corey Alexander’s interview with author Talia Hibbert from 2018

Link: https://coreysbookcorner.wordpress.com/2018/09/20/interview-with-talia-hibbert/

> Title: Graham’s Delicacies

Author: Mina Waheed

Relation to theme: Friends to lovers

Representation: Muslim author, queer author, queer MCs

Content Warnings: parental death, misgendering that’s challenged on page

Bookshop: not available

Kindle: https://amzn.to/3kkoSQL

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43498882-graham-s-delicacies

> RELATED: Here’s Corey Alexander’s interview with Mina Waheed from 2019

Link: https://coreysbookcorner.wordpress.com/2019/03/07/interview-with-em-ali/

> Title: Soft on Soft

Author: Mina Waheed

Relation to theme: Friends to lovers

Representation: Muslim author, queer author, queer MCs

Content Warnings: anxiety, panic attacks

Bookshop: not available

Kindle: https://amzn.to/3bWbijr

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41207417-soft-on-soft

> RELATED: Here’s Corey Alexander’s interview with June & Selena, the MCs from Soft on Soft

Link: https://coreysbookcorner.wordpress.com/2018/09/07/character-interview-with-june-and-selena-from-soft-on-soft/

> Title: Jericho Candelario’s Gay Debut

Author: R. Cooper

Relation to theme: Friends to lovers

Representation: Queer MCs

Content Warnings: parent’s alcoholism, references to parental mental illness, references to parental queer antagonism, self medication through use of valium

Bookshop: unavailable

Kindle: https://amzn.to/2FB0pYl

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40367605-jericho-candelario-s-gay-debut

> Also mentioned Hottie Scotty and Mr. Porter, also by R. Cooper, but not Friends to Lovers

Bookshop: unavailable

Kindle: https://amzn.to/33vo3xF

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30758552-hottie-scotty-and-mr-porter

> Title: Like Lovers Do

Author: Tracey Livesay

Relation to theme: Friends to lovers

Representation: Black author, Black MCs

Content Warnings: evil ex, racism

Bookshop: https://bookshop.org/lists/hosts-meka-melinda-s-recs

Kindle: https://amzn.to/2Ro245V

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52167727-like-lovers-do

> RELATED: Tracey Livesay also recently appeared on the Fated Mates podcast where they discussed Friends to Lovers

Link: https://fatedmates.net/episodes/tag/Tracey+livesay

> Title: “Echo of Silence” (Wild Embrace: A Psy-Changeling Collection)

Author: Nalini Singh

Relation to theme: Friends to lovers

Representation: Asian author

Content Warnings: tbd

Bookshop: https://bookshop.org/lists/hosts-meka-melinda-s-recs

Kindle: https://amzn.to/3iBwoWX

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28008158-wild-embrace

> This month’s Melinka shout-out is #RomanceClass and the new YouTube web series “Hello Ever After” which they debuted over the summer 

Link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkDe6gOJNwjxPjfnCMVS8iA

Link: https://twitter.com/romanceclassbks

> What are your #InclusiveRomance Friends to Lovers favorites? Tag us @RomBkPod or share with us in the comments

Happy Reading!


Music: “Lift Off” by Jahzzar

From the Free Music Archive

CC BY-SA 3.0