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Post Thumbnail of Romance and Me: Culinary Romances, yummy!

Romance and Me: Culinary Romances, yummy!

Hey Everyone!

Today let’s talk food. Or rather romances where food plays an important role. I’m sure you have come across some of those stories where either due to the hero’s or heroine’s job creating meals, cooking and/or baking, sampling food features heavily in the story, almost like an additional supporting character.

I remember the first such novel I read, it was Summer Desserts by Nora Roberts. The heroine (Summer) was a pastry chef and her sweet creations provided plenty of sinful tasting opportunities for the hero 😉 After that first delicious book it was drought for a few years and it is only now that I find myself surrounded by delicious-looking and sounding books once again.

There is Amanda Usen’s Scrumptious and Luscious, which not only feature chef heroines, but due to Amanda Usen being a  chef herself her descriptions of cooking were luscious …

Post Thumbnail of Romance and Me: What Happens in Vegas...

Romance and Me: What Happens in Vegas…

Hey Everyone!

I recently read The Officer Says “I Do” by Jeanette Murray which is a Vegas romance: hero and heroine meet one night in flashy Las vegas and under the influence of heavy booz and friends’ pressure to let loose they elope and tie the knot, only to awaken the next day and… but I won’t spoil the rest of the story, you’ll have to read it (or at least my review). 😉

But it got me thinking that I really love this trope (kind of like the modern equivalent of the beloved forced/arranged marriage in historical romances: the hero and heroine are tied together and have to get to know each other, fall in love but not in the usual chronology of a relationship which ends with marriage.

So I craved more and asked on Twitter if anyone had any …

Post Thumbnail of Romance and Me: The Wedding Romance

Romance and Me: The Wedding Romance

Hey Everyone!

With one of this week’s guest author (Christi Barth) and her novel Planning For Love I realized we never discussed wedding romances, and summer being the season for weddings,  now is the perfect time!

What are wedding romances you ask? Well romance stories which are focused around weddings! Either the heroine or the hero (or both of them) has a wedding related job, like wedding planner, photographer, florist, baker, etc.

Long before I realized these kinds of books existed I was already a fan of this type of movies: My Best Friend’s Wedding, The Wedding Planner, etc. Even if the movie wasn’t of great quality I very much enjoyed getting a glimpse of the behind the scenes of how a wonderful lavish wedding is put together. And when this is combined with a group of close friends, so that besides the wedding preparations we …

Post Thumbnail of Romance and Me: Historical Erotic Romances

Romance and Me: Historical Erotic Romances

Hey Everyone!

I don’t know if you have noticed (though unless you live under a rock or were too preoccupied with other books, in which case you are forgiven;-) ), but there is a new trend emerging: the historical erotic romance subgenre, which you have very correctly guessed is a combination of the 2 subgenres of historical romance and erotica. Depending on the proportions it can even become historical erotica, when the romance part is either very light or even non-existent.

I’ve enjoyed and liked the few I have read in this category: both Improper Relations by Juliana Ross and Lessons in Indiscretion by Karen Erickson were wonderful and in my opinion more at the romantic end of the scale (so looking forward to the next story in the trilogy A Scandalous Affair by Karen Erickson), while Introduction to Pleasure by Jenna …

Post Thumbnail of Romance and Me: Suit Up Baby! - or Protection in Romance Novels

Romance and Me: Suit Up Baby! – or Protection in Romance Novels

I have had this issue on my mind for some time now and thought it was about time we discussed it, namely unprotected sex in contemporary romance novels.

I think due to the specificities and different rules applying to  historical / fantasy/ paranormal / sci-fi romances, I can live with it if the author fails to mention the couple using any protection during sex. I mean in historical novels that’s a given (even if there were some protective measures even back then), in paranormal/fantasy sci-fi stories the author can bend the rules of her universe so that the issue doesn’t warrant being mentioned: vampires are sterile/ humans and paranormal creatures cannot transmit diseases or impregnate each other, etc. But where I expect the issue of safe sex between strangers and one night stand partners being mentioned and dealt with is in contemporary romance.

I’m aware of how …

Post Thumbnail of Romance and Me: The "My Best Friend's Little Sister" Romances

Romance and Me: The “My Best Friend’s Little Sister” Romances

There is a favourite trope of mine we haven’t discussed yet and that is the brother’s best friend falling for the brother’s little sister or vice versa. And lately it seems that most of the romances I have read featured this trope.

So why do I like this setting you might ask? Well it’s quite obvious: I LOVE protective and thoughtful men and usually these heroes have grown up with the heroines, saw them when they were little, vulnerable and as friends of their brothers they still feel a bit responsible for the sister’s wellbeing. I just love those scenes when these alpha male heroes get all Neanderthal when an other man behaves irrespectfully with the girl and they step in *Stella fans herself so as not to swoon* And those scenes where the big brother’s best friend hero is trying hard not to think about …

Post Thumbnail of Romance and Me: Science Fiction Romance

Romance and Me: Science Fiction Romance

Since I started blogging I’ve become much more adventurous when it comes to reading. I’m more open to taking chances and discovering some new genres/subgenres I previously never would have read. Two of my most recent discoveries were the fantasy and sci-fi subgenres.

The way I discovered sci-fi romance was quite accidental: I never set out to venture into science fiction land and read some “weird alien book” (what old, ignorant Stella would have said), it was not a conscious decision on my part.

I simply stumbled upon Gini Koch’s debut novel Touched by an Alien and loved its cover so much that after some internal debating and torturous dilemma (because in spite of the gorgeous knee-weakening cover I feared that as a sci-fi book I wouldn’t enjoy it) I gave in (hail to the inner cover whores 😉 ) and I was …

Post Thumbnail of Romance and Me: Venturing into m/m Land

Romance and Me: Venturing into m/m Land

I am a kinda m/m virgin (you’ll see why the “kinda” below).

Those who have been living under a rock and don’t know what m/m is, here is a very official (insert sarcastic snicker) definition: “m/m stories are romance stories with male protagonists” as in hero&hero instead of a hero and a heroine. 

Lately m/m stories are in a boom and now not just specific publishers like Dreamspinner Press are releasing this romantic subgenre, but mainstream publishers like Harlequin as well (their Carina Press imprint has a wide variety of m/m novels. Be it contemporary, historical or supernatural m/m you’ll find it.).

I first heard of this set-up in romance novels and that it had its own subgenre qualification through blogging: some of my favourite romance bloggers like Sophia from Fiction Vixen and Mandi from Smexy Books are big fans of this subgenre, but until recently, …

Post Thumbnail of Romance and Me: I need my fix RIGHT NOW! or Reading Withdrawal Symptoms

Romance and Me: I need my fix RIGHT NOW! or Reading Withdrawal Symptoms

Last week I was between two review books: I have just finished reading a contemporary romance novel and the next book on my reading schedule (oh no, do not think I have a fancy schedule I follow, it is just a thrown together list of books and review dates I have signed up for) was a contemporary romantic suspense story, when I felt like I was suffocating and needed something else. No, it wasn’t because the books weren’t good or were lacking in anything, no it was simply that I overloaded on contemporary stories and needed my historical romance fix. It certainly had physical symptoms like an actual withdrawal: 

– my attention span was that of a fly (all over the place, the book couldn’t hold my interest for longer than half an hour),
– I felt bored with the story, the characters and the romance (I stress once …

Post Thumbnail of Romance and Me: For the Love of a Gladiator

Romance and Me: For the Love of a Gladiator

Hey Everyone!

Being the Latin Lover, as ‘Nomen est Omen’ (the name obliges), you might have guessed that I’m a fan of Latin: both the language and the rich historical culture.

So it came as quite a shock when I realized that despite my love for historical romances and interest in Ancient Rome, somehow until very recently I have neither read nor researched HRs set in Ancient Rome. I wasn’t even aware there was such a category (I know, unbelievable!) so I had no idea what I was missing out on.

But then in February I stumbled upon Georgie Lee’s Mask of the Gladiator which I LOVED! Not only was it a terrific story, but it opened a whole new horizon and made me aware of a new subgenre of historical romance. Since then I keep seeing other HRs set in Ancient Rome emerge: My …

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