Valerie Bowman Presents a Prequel Scene to <i>The Unlikely Lady</i> Valerie Bowman Presents a Prequel Scene to The Unlikely Lady Valerie Bowman Read an original Quickie scene from Valerie Bowman! <i>Magic Breaks</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Magic Breaks: Exclusive Excerpt Ilona Andrews "The feel of his mouth on mine was like coming home..." <i>My Beautiful Enemy</i>: Exclusive Excerpt My Beautiful Enemy: Exclusive Excerpt Sherry Thomas A beautiful and cunning woman meets her match... <i>Prototype</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Prototype: Exclusive Excerpt M.D. Waters "Fighting Her fight lost me my husband and daughter. My memories. My entire life."
From The Blog
July 29, 2014
J.R. Ward Announces Bourbon Kings Series
Megan Frampton
July 28, 2014
Mockingjay Part 1 Trailer!
Megan Frampton
July 27, 2014
2014 RITA and Golden Heart Winners
Team H & H
July 25, 2014
Friday Beefcake: Hero Inspiration
Team H & H
July 24, 2014
Historical Spies from Bradley, Galen, Quinn, and More!
Jennifer Proffitt
Showing posts by: John Jacobson click to see John Jacobson's profile
Tue
Jul 8 2014 4:30pm

Feels Like the First Time: My First Romance Novel—Diana Palmer’s Rogue Stallion

Rogue Stallion by Diana PalmerRomance has this thing about first times.

Everyone has their first time with a romance novel. Some of us remember them, and others don’t. Sometimes it’s something as simple as a plot trope or a particularly strange sex scene. Whenever people discuss romance together, particularly their first romance, I wonder how mine reflected the way that I read romance today—and how, invariably, reading romance ties me to those that read it before me in my life.

When I was thirteen, my mother still read a fair amount of Harlequin Intrigue novels (she’s since moved on to more suspense and single title romantic suspense), but Harlequin books were a big thing for her for years. I always got fascinated by the package that would come once a month with several books in the category line. Around this time, they also rereleased the Montana Mavericks collection, which my mother also ended up ordering on subscription. My mom would read some immediately and let others languish in her closet for weeks. This was before I realized that category authors wrote very different romances despite having a similar template, and that just reading one line could get very old, very fast.

I really wanted to read a romance. Something about the dude ranch yellows and the men in stetsons called to me. I loved the western setting, the dude ranches and flat grounds a far cry from the Pennsylvania dairy farms and forested mountains in which I grew up. So one day, I went down to the closet my mom stashed her books in and pulled out the book labeled number one in the line: Rogue Stallion by Diana Palmer.

[Let's start at the beginning, we hear it's a very good place to start...]

Wed
Jun 25 2014 2:00pm

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes: A Guide to New Adult Male/Male Romance

Apple Polisher by Heidi BelleauAs a reader who loves the New Adult genre and also loves a good dosage of M/M romance within it, I often find myself seeking out New Adult novels that feature M/M romances, or M/M romances that could also be labeled as New Adult. Being LGBTQ in one’s college and post-college years is something that affects many people. It’s a time where many people decide to come out, and a time when many people who are already out discover the complexities of their identity. It’s often also a better environment for LGBTQ people afraid to come out at home, though that isn’t by any means a universal truth. I want to share some New Adult M/M romances and authors that, I think, hit the nail on the head when it comes to showcasing an M/M romance with characters in that age group.

The Rear Entrance Series and The Professor's Rule

Heidi Belleau continually challenges traditional expectations in M/M romance and presents characters from diverse backgrounds and personality types. She also does everything with a clear sense of research; I never read her books feeling like they revel in caricatures or stereotyped ideas, and that says a lot about her skill in writing. Heidi Belleau’s Rear Entrance Video series, which includes the books Apple Polisher, Wallflower, and Straight Shooter, feature college students who room together in a house.

[(Sexual) Tension runs high when you live together...]

Thu
Jun 12 2014 4:30pm

What Can Romance Learn from New Adult?

Love Show by Audrey BellNew Adult, as it matures, is finally being accepted as a genre/subgenre that affects the romance community. Its crossover appeal to romance readers has become plain, as evidenced by its presence on the ebook bestseller lists. With so many New Adult books getting published and pushed to romance readers, it begs the question: what is it about New Adult that makes it important for the romance genre?

New Adult books don’t read like the traditional genre romance novels we’ve come to know and love, but they don’t read like their other close cousins, young adult novels, either. New Adult as an appearing genre has a few things that romance could learn from. Not all of its differences are bad; some of them could very well be the answer to some of the staleness come romance readers have commented on over the past few years.

Live in the Present

The difference between present and past tense is one that gets noted between these two genres all of the time. When you read books like Audrey Bell’s Love Show, you immediately get pulled into the story because of the first-person present tense. New Adult books live heavily in the moment. While many readers find first-person present tense a difficult tense to do well, it’s a staple of the New Adult genre.

[And maybe should be in romance a little more often?]