Recommended Read, Review

Review: Paradise Cove by Jenny Holiday (2020)

Matchmaker Bay, Book 2

Heat Factor: The perfect amount of spice – that sweet spot where there’s enough sex so it’s sexy, but not so much sex that it’s erotic romance

Character Chemistry: I absolutely believe that Jake and Nora are best friends. 

Plot: Big City Doctor moves to Small Town, Befriends Local Hermit. With Benefits. But also, this is a story about grief and finding love where you least expect it and letting yourself feel.

Overall: I am an emotional mess and I loved every minute of it.

Continue reading “Review: Paradise Cove by Jenny Holiday (2020)”
Rant, Review

Review: The Billionaire Needs a Bodyguard by Ravina Hilliard (2020)

Heat Factor: Spicy enough

Character Chemistry: He berates her and does angry seduction and she melts under his caresses, so you know I am ALL about it

Plot: She’s his bodyguard, but he thinks she’s an escort/con artist

Overall: Once I started pretending this book was published in 1980, my enjoyment increased dramatically

Continue reading “Review: The Billionaire Needs a Bodyguard by Ravina Hilliard (2020)”
Recommended Read, Review

Review: The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows by Olivia Waite (2020)

Feminine Pursuits, Book 2

Review of Feminine Pursuits, Book 1

Heat Factor: Slow, steady, burn.

Character Chemistry: So much pining! But also, believable BFFs. And they do that thing where they call each other by last name and I swoon every time. 

Plot: A year in the life of Flood and Griffin. 

Overall: The plot meanders but sometimes a book (even a romance) is more than a tight plot. I recommend reading this one.

Continue reading “Review: The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows by Olivia Waite (2020)”
Recommended Read, Review

Review: Real Men Knit by Kwana Jackson (2020)

Heat Factor: Moderate heat

Character Chemistry: Palpable sexual tension while they’re knitting together 

Plot: This is a light-hearted story about coming to terms with grief

Overall: I enjoyed myself immensely

Continue reading “Review: Real Men Knit by Kwana Jackson (2020)”
Listicle

Saturday Smutty Six: Black Historical Romances on Holly’s TBR

In my romance journey – that is, since Erin, Ingrid and I started The Smut Report and reading romance took over my brain – I’ve gone from all historicals, to no historicals, back to thinking historicals are pretty awesome. The caveat: I am bored with lords, and want historicals about working class people, or queer people, or people of color. 

To that end, here are some of the Black Historical Romances that I look forward to reading in the near future. All feature at least one Black protagonist and were written by Black authors. 

Titles link to the book’s Amazon page.

Destiny’s Captive by Beverly Jenkins

LADY PIRATE! Need I say more? 

Note: Jenkins’ book Captured, about a black pirate who steals slaves, was a close second, but a big part of my goal in putting this list together was to highlight some of the other amazing authors besides Jenkins who are writing Black historical romance. 

An Unconditional Freedom by Alyssa Cole

The third in the Loyal League trilogy, about Black Union spies. I read the first two and thought they were excellent (especially book 1) – both examine issues of race, allyship, and resistance during the Civil War. No Confederate Apologist Nonsense here! Plus, Alyssa Cole writes consistently swoony love stories. I honestly can’t believe I haven’t already read this one.

The Bittersweet Bride by Vanessa Riley

Second chance romance, you say? In Regency England, you say? First book in a series about people advertising for spouses, you say? With a gorgeous cover, you say? I am so there. 

Heart and Hand by Rebel Carter 

Here we have a Western mail order bride throuple. Either you are me, and immediately one-click it, or you are…not me, and decide this is definitely not for you. 

Love’s Serenade by Cheryl Lister

This book, about musicians during the Harlem Renaissance having a second chance at love, is part of a larger series of African-American historical romances – one book set in each decade of the 20th century. So while I want to read Lister’s book first (because Harlem Renaissance), I am also interested in other titles in this series. Like, what does a historical romance about the 1980s even look like? Can’t wait to find out!

Moonrise by Roberta Gayle

Fun fact! People have been writing Black historical romance for a while, so I had to include an old school read on this list. Moonrise is about artists in 19th century Paris, which sounds friggin’ awesome. The only challenge will be getting my hands on a copy…because it’s currently selling on Amazon for $900. I love smut, but not that much. 


Other recommendations for historical romances featuring Black characters finding love? Let me know in the comments!