Ep #206


This week host Melinda continues our Found Family theme with special guest reader/reviewer Melanie and they share their own found family story


> 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


> MELANIE (she/her) A life-long bookworm, Melanie discovered her love of books with kissing at a pretty early age. Gilbert Blythe was her very first book boyfriend. Since then, she’s developed a love for contemporary, historical, and more recently, paranormal romances. Basically, if it involves humans or vampires or shapeshifters or even aliens falling in love and living happily ever after, chances are high she’ll be interested in reading it. When she’s not immersed in a book, she can usually be found baking and hanging out with her husband and daughter. You can find Melanie’s reviews at Love In Panels https://www.loveinpanels.com, and you can follow Melanie on Twitter @Melon_Reads



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

NOTE: This episode was recorded in mid-September during the coronavirus pandemic of 2020

> Meka was not able to join us this month, but she sends her love! Love you, Meka!

> When Melinda says “RomBkPod” at the beginning she means “RomBkLove” the hashtag started by our host Ana Coqui

> Melanie also mistakenly refers to “RomBkPod” when she means “RomBkLove”

> Do you have a favorite romance series that utilizes the found family trope?

> Title: Haven (Beards & Bondage #1)

Author: Rebekah Weatherspoon 

Relation to theme: Found Family

Representation: Black, queer author, disabled rep, kink rep

Content Warnings: serial killer plot, references to sexual assault, descriptions of physical assault, murder of a loved one, detailed descriptions of running from danger and an MC killing someone in self defense, grief, both traumatic grief and grief that’s not connected to trauma is threaded throughout the story, brief mention of loved one dying of cancer in the past, brief mention of loved ones dying in a car accident in the past, kink shame

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

Kindle: https://amzn.to/2SxZQl0

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34745311-haven

> Title: Sanctuary (Beards & Bondage #2)

Author: Rebekah Weatherspoon 

Relation to theme: Found Family, fake relationship, small town

Representation: Black, queer author, Autism rep, diabled rep, kink rep

Content Warnings: story opens with female MC being attacked in her apartment during a break in, PTSD, male MC has toxic relationship with his sibling

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

Kindle: https://amzn.to/3jGuHI3

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35209847-sanctuary

NOTE: This is the one with all the dogs

> Title: Harbor (Beards & Bondage #3)

Author: Rebekah Weatherspoon 

Relation to theme: Found Family

Representation: Black, queer author, queer MCs, kink rep, polyamory

Content Warnings: grief, death of a partner, infidelity (past)

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

Kindle: https://amzn.to/2Iq0EH1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54305666-harbor

> Don’t miss Rebekah Weatherspoon discussing how her books are connected in RBP ep #205

Link: http://lustandfoundreads.com/rombkpod/ep-205/

> Title: Scoring With the Wrong Twin (WAGS #1)

Author: Naima Simone

Relation to theme: Found Family, mistaken identity, no strings attached

Representation: Black author, black MC

Content Warnings: mistaken identity

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

Kindle: https://amzn.to/2Fn4LSY

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37460470-scoring-with-the-wrong-twin

> Title: Scoring Off the Field (WAGS #2)

Author: Naima Simone

Relation to theme: Found Family, secret pining, friends to lovers, friends with benefits

Representation: Black author, fat rep

Content Warnings: foster system, adoption

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

Kindle: https://amzn.to/3dlH6Pg

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38657358-scoring-off-the-field

> Title: Scoring the Player’s Baby (WAGS #3)

Author: Naima Simone

Relation to theme: Found Family, one night only, surprise baby

Representation: Black author, biracial MC

Content Warnings: divorce, infidelity (past)

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

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40575166-scoring-the-player-s-baby

> What’s your favorite example of male friendship in romance?

> Title: The Boyfriend Project

Author: Farrah Rochon

Relation to theme: Found Family, girlfriends

Representation: Black author, Black MCs

Content Warnings: infidelity, racist microagressions 

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

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52776397-the-boyfriend-project

NOTE: This book reads more as women’s fiction with romantic elements

> Do you like to buddy read with a friend?

> Title: Can’t Help Falling (Forever Yours #2)

Author: Cara Bastone

Relation to theme: Found Family, opposites attract

Representation: White author, white MCs

Content Warnings: foster system, parental death (off-page), older sibling as guardian

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

Kindle: https://amzn.to/3lFi9Bn

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53064694-can-t-help-falling

> Title: Cemetery Boys

Author: Aiden Thomas

Relation to theme: Found Family

Representation: Latinx, trans author, Latinx MC, trans MC

Content Warnings: magic, allusions to deadnaming, gender dysphoria, misgendering

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

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52359739-cemetery-boys

> Melinda highly recommends the audiobook for Cemetery Boys narrated by Avi Roque

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52102525-cemetery-boys

> Title: Hot and Badgered (Honey Badger Chronicles #1)

Author: Shelly Laurenston

Relation to theme: Found Family

Representation: Black author

Content Warnings: depression, mental illness

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

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35534548-hot-and-badgered

> General favorite found family shout outs to…

>> Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling and Guild Hunter series

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/series/41454-psy-changeling

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/series/47942-guild-hunter

>> Beverly Jenkins’ Blessings series

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/series/61529-blessings

> What are your #InclusiveRomance Found Family 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