Saturday Smutty Six: Romance Blogs I Read

When we first started The Smut Report, I had no idea that the world of romance blogging was so huge. I knew about a couple of the really big sites (like Smart Bitches), but that’s it really. Imagine my surprise when I started poking around on WordPress – look at all these other people talking about romance, from all kinds of different angles! 

Ironically, since we primarily do reviews at TSR, I don’t necessarily read other blogs for the reviews. I don’t read them to find new books to read, or to find out what’s on sale, or to track new releases, or to do book tags and memes. (What can I say? I’m a grump.) 

Instead, the blogs I return to again and again are the ones where I learn something new, where the authors help me broaden my thinking about romance and romance novels, where I can see romance novels in a new light. 

Here are six of my favorites.

Miss Bates Reads Romance

Miss Bates was the first romance blogger who I started avidly following, and her reviews remain *chef’s kiss*. Did I say I didn’t read other blogs for the reviews? Miss Bates is an exception, because her reviews are top-notch: thoughtful, detailed, and with an eye to the transcendent. It helps that we have similar taste in books, so I trust her recommendations. 

Check out: Her review of Just a Heartbeat Away by Cara Bastone, which I immediately added to my TBR. 

Jeeves Reads Romance

Jeeves is a prolific reader who posts a ton of reviews, plus notes about new releases and daily deals. What I like about Jeeves is that I have never heard of 99% of the books and authors she reviews. Her reviews never get spoilery, but she’s clear about what does and doesn’t work – and has shared the juicy details of some particularly eyebrow-raising stuff when I’ve asked her in the comments section. 

Check out: This recent review of The Knockout Rule.

Firewhiskey Reader

Here we have a mix of posts – reviews, opinion pieces (think things that we would call “Smut Reporting”), and recommendation lists. She participates in readathons pretty regularly, so if you’re interested in playing along, this is a great resource. 

Check out: This piece talking about third act break-ups that…don’t quite work

The Infinite Limits of Love

Nick is super-engaged with the romance community at large (she was one of the brains behind the Readers’ Choice Swoon Awards this past year) and is a great resource for things like new releases. I especially appreciate how playful Nick is in her reviews – it’s a good reminder that reading romance is a fun endeavor, and that maybe I shouldn’t take myself so seriously. 

Check out: Her epic write-up on Nalini Singh’s psy-changling series, because those book cover / dessert pairing reviews are truly a thing of beauty. 

Close Reading Romance

This is the most academic of the blogs I have listed here (but not the only academic romance blog I follow, because, come on, of course), and I love it. Charlotte does close readings of passages of romance novels she loves – like, really close readings. Let’s break these sentences down into their component parts and talk about what literary effect these decisions have close readings. I love that her analysis shows that romance can be taken seriously as a literary genre, and that doing so is worth the effort. 

Check out: Her analysis of the pauses in Layover. OMG.

The Misadventures of Super Librarian

SuperWendy has a penchant for category romances, and reading her analysis of them is part of what convinced me to try them as well (and I am so glad I did, because sometimes a category romane is *exactly* what you need). But my absolute favorite feature is her monthly roundup of unusual historicals, where she highlights forthcoming historical romances that are NOT set in Regency England (or if they are, feature working-class characters).

Check out: Her post on the background and method behind my favorite feature

12 thoughts on “Saturday Smutty Six: Romance Blogs I Read”

  1. Thank you for all the kind words about Miss Bates Reads Romance! Yours is one of the romance blogs I read, along with Wendy, who turned me on to romance and category romance (alas, not what it used to be) in particular. It’s nice to see some more romance bloggers I can turn to, like you, more for the writing and perspective than “what should I read next?”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Of course! I love reading your takes on romances (and chatting about them with you, and vicariously reading others’ comments on your blog), and am happy to spread the love. Since joining the blogosphere I’ve come to realize how many different types of book blogs there are, so it’s been a fun journey finding the ones who really speak to me in different ways.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you so much, it’s always great to hear what people love about the blog, and yours is an opinion that means a lot! I do read way too many books, but hopefully that helps readers find new authors to enjoy.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I love what you said about not really using other blogs for reviews now that you’re also a blogger because I’m often the same! I also love Nick’s reviews though and that reminder that blogging is meant to be fun! I’m so glad you liked that Let’s Talk post of mine because I have had a lot of thoughts about it! I sort of want to revisit it to do a Let’s Talk about when third act break ups work because I think that could also be fun to explore. Anyway, thank you SO much for mentioning me!! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I would definitely be interested in seeing your take about when they work! I never even realized that people had such strong opinions about the third act break up until that kerfuffle a year or two ago.


  4. Thank you so much for the shout-out! Once upon a time I used to write more opinion pieces on the blog, but the last few years have made coherent thought and complete sentences really, really difficult – so it’s nice to know that someone is getting something out of my various book reviews and ramblings even when I feel like I’m flailing about.

    You mentioned so many of my favorites – but it appears I’m not following Close Reading Romance. Huzzah! A new blog to follow!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I feel you on the difficulty of putting together real sentences. I have about a dozen half-drafted pieces just sitting there…maybe someday.
      And I’m glad I could introduce you to Close Reading Romance! It’s so good!


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