Stricken with the knowledge of everyone’s complicity, and unable to return home, Li Haolan vows she will never beg for another thing in her life as she tries to claw her way out of her fallen circumstances and avenge the death of her mother and the wrongs done to her. The scheming merchant Lü Buwei purchases Li Haolan and takes interest in the fate of this intelligent, unusual girl. Together, they form an unlikely partnership as they both begin to climb the ladders of power.
A List of Asian Pacific Islander [American] Romance Authors
Hi friends! It’s that time of year again! Welcome to Asian Pacific American Heritage Month!
Like previous years, the upper list is “North American” Romance Authors … which sure SAPAHM/APIAHM is for the USA but … I’d posit someone living in Canada [maybe? generally?] has a closer cultural experience than someone who has never lived in N. America? And for the latter, diversity in reading is always good, yeah?
Gloria Chao (YA)
Mary H.K. Choi (YA)
Piper J. Drake
Pintip Dunn (YA)
Hafsah Faizal (YA)
Jenny Han (YA)
Julie Kagawa (YA)
Loan Le (YA)
Jade Lee aka Kathy Lyons
Sandhya Menon (YA)
Sophia Singh Sasson
Jesse Q. Sutanto
Neely Tubati Alexander
Lillie Vale (YA)
Jennifer Yen (YA)
International Asian Pacific Islander Romance Authors
Carla de Guzman
Six de los Reyes
Mina V. Esguerra
Farrah F. Polestico
Jay E. Tria
Exclusive Excerpt: Rock Icon Ready by Kella Campbell
Drum tech Kimmy Baker has been on the road with Smidge for six years, and she never wants to leave the band or concert tour life, but it seems incompatible with finding love. In any case, no one could compare to Dice, her drummer and best friend.
She’s always been careful not to jeopardize their friendship or her job by crossing any lines, even though he’s hot and sweet and shares her sense of humor and all her deepest secrets… except for one.
When she accidentally reveals that she wants to have a baby, he offers his DNA in trade for help with a secret of his own. It’s an irresistible proposition, especially when she suspects he might have a hidden dominant side. But as deeper feelings come into play, they’ll have to decide if they’re friends or lovers.
Will her intention to keep her promise of no strings conflict with his traditional impulses?
Is she meant to have forever with her rock icon?
Fall in love with the rock stars of Smidge… Rock Icon Ready is the third book in this series of interconnected standalone novels following each band member as they find their happily-ever-afters.
Excerpt from Chapter 5 of Rock Icon Ready by Kella Campbell
“I want the boys to have a nice party tonight,” Sally said. “It’s been such a hard year, and all this…” She gestured out the window at the tropical surroundings. “I know we’re here to stay out of the way so Valancy can negotiate for us, but it’s also a treat, a real vacation. You know how long it’s been since the boys have had anything but a working holiday, and New Year’s Eve has always been a work night. Some big show somewhere, or one of Awfully Hateful’s corporate bashes.” Continue reading
Team TBR Challenge Review: A Familiar Stranger
Shen Qin, the Prime Minister’s daughter, is due to be married to a powerful general, Xiao Han Sheng, but she is already in love with another man, Prince Ning. In a nefarious bid to disentangle herself from this marriage, Shen Qin traps a female artist, Shi Qi, and uses a magician to perform a type of sorcery that enables the two ladies to swap faces.
Shi Qi wakes up with her face now belonging to the Prime Minister’s daughter and is blackmailed by Shen Qin into marrying Xiao Han Sheng. To her surprise, she recognises Xiao Han Sheng from an old encounter in the past. Conflicted, she has to carry out a charade as his wife, Shen Qin, and matters get complicated when Prince Ning also starts getting interested in her. (Source: MDL)
A Familiar Stranger is a hidden gem. I hadn’t heard much about it and think more people should be giving it love. This is a short webdrama that I thought was incredibly well done. (I don’t quite get all the differences between web dramas in China and such – I do know they’re more an established medium than in the states – but sometimes still quite low budget. That’s not the case here/I don’t know how much was actually spent but it definitely doesn’t lack in terms of quality.) The sets, actors, script, musicality and OST (original sound track) are all great. In fact, after first watching it a week or so ago I rewatched it again a few days later, and have re-started it again for this review. And I’ve watched two other dramas that the male and female lead star in, respectively, I thought they were that good. (Also the theme for this month is “unusual historical” which … *gestures* – I mean, everything I watch now is an “unusual historical” in terms of our usual romance novels.) Continue reading
Review: A Winter Rose by Amy Craig
A Winter Rose by Amy Craig
Contemporary romance by the Wild Rose Press, Inc on July 28, 2021
Widow Eliza struggles to raise her young daughter and run her Washington state flower farm. Julien, a charming amputee with a knack for business, stops his road trip to help her out of a tight situation. A Southern native, he has no intention of sticking around a sleepy farm town. Eliza’s grit and dedication warm Julien’s wounded heart, but can they look beyond a business partnership and see the beauty of second chances?
This book technically has a lot of elements I love in my favorite books–disabled characters, interesting family dynamics, and love interests falling in love and learning to work together. Unfortunately, it did not work for me. I am sure that this book would appeal to lots of other people, so I will do my best to highlight the parts others might enjoy, but please keep in mind this was not working for me as a reader. Also, there are mentions of suicide and death in a vehicular accident in this book, as part of the background for Eliza, one of the love interests. Eliza is a widow, running a flower farm and raising her young daughter in a small town in Washington. Julien is passing through said small town when he agrees to help Eliza out at her farm for a short time–at least to start. Continue reading
Review: Bright Familiar by Jeffe Kennedy
Bright Familiar (Bonds of Magic Book 2) by Jeffe Kennedy
High fantasy romance released by Brightlynx Publishing on July 9, 2021
He wanted her with consuming passion… and so did the monster within.
Lady Veronica Elal has been freed from her tower—and entered a life of servitude. It doesn’t matter that her wizard master has odd ideas about circumventing Convocation tradition and making their relationship equal. Nic prides herself on her practicality and that means not pretending her marriage is full of hearts and flowers. Besides she understands that, despite her new husband’s idealism, they face obstacles so great the pair of them could be crushed to nothing, even without dashing themselves brainless trying to fight the Convocation.
Lord Gabriel Phel has come this far against impossible odds. He was born with powerful wizard magic, the first in his family in generations. He’s managed to begin the process of reinstating his fallen house. And—having staked his family’s meager fortune to win a familiar to amplify his magic, a highborn daughter to be mother to his children, his lady, and lover—he rescued Nic in a distant land, successfully bringing her home to House Phel. Though she’s cynical about their chances of success, he’s certain they can defy their enemies and flourish. Together.
But, the more Gabriel discovers about working with the fiery Nic, attempting to learn the finer points of wizardry and marriage, the more illicit fantasies plague him. His need for Nic—and the dark cravings she stirs in his black wizard’s heart—grow daily. Though Nic has reconciled herself to being possessed by Gabriel—and indeed yearns for even more from her brooding and reluctant master—creating a new life for herself isn’t easy. Especially when Gabriel seems determined to subvert the foundation of her world. Starting with her father.
This is a good sequel to Dark Wizard, which I reviewed and enjoyed. I’m a bit grumpy that it ends on a cliff hanger, although I appreciated that the cliff hanger doesn’t have to do with Nic and Gabriel’s relationship. When I reread this book, I struggled a bit with the pacing, but I also found it fairly absorbing both times I read it. I would not recommend picking up this book before reading Dark Wizard because it follows closely on the events that ended Dark Wizard. Nic and Gabriel have to navigate their relationship and how it differs from the one they had imagined, figure out what their life together will look like, and deal with the repercussions from their actions in the previous book. That last part is a bit of a spoiler. Continue reading
Aidee’s Anticipated Books of 2023
*EN: Aidee sent this list on January 5, all delays are my fault.
Anticipated Books of 2023
First, this list is late because I was struggling to track down books I was truly excited about. However, it was like a slow snowball, because I now have more than ten books I’m looking forward to, and I’m sure there will be many more I grab throughout the year that aren’t on the list. As always, these books are not in order of how thrilled I am about them, but they are loosely in order of when they are supposed to be released into the wide world (presuming nothing funky will happen that affects release dates).
Bradley Graeme is pretty much perfect. He’s a star football player, manages his OCD well (enough), and comes out on top in all his classes . . . except the ones he shares with his ex-best friend, Celine.
Celine Bangura is conspiracy-theory-obsessed. Social media followers eat up her takes on everything from UFOs to holiday overconsumption—yet, she’s still not cool enough for the popular kids’ table. Which is why Brad abandoned her for the in-crowd years ago. (At least, that’s how Celine sees it.)
These days, there’s nothing between them other than petty insults and academic rivalry. So when Celine signs up for a survival course in the woods, she’s surprised to find Brad right beside her.
Forced to work as a team for the chance to win a grand prize, these two teens must trudge through not just mud and dirt but their messy past. And as this adventure brings them closer together, they begin to remember the good bits of their history. But has too much time passed . . . or just enough to spark a whole new kind of relationship?
Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert (which is already out if you are reading this list)
Lost in the Moment and Found (Wayward Children Book 8) by Seanan McGuire *This book is also already available
Happily: A Personal History-With Fairy Tales by Sabrina Orah Mark *This book is also already available
Furious Heaven by Kate Elliott
The Keeper’s Six by Kate Elliott *This book is also already available
Rogue Familiar by Jeffe Kennedy
Radiant Sin (Dark Olympus #4) by Katee Robert *This book is also already available
A Tempest at Sea by Sherry Thomas *This book is also already available
Mr. and Mrs. Witch by Gwenda Bond *This book is also already available
Backpacking through Bedlam (InCryptid Book 12) by Seanan McGuire *This book is also already available
Ana María and The Fox by Liana De la Rosa
Some Desperate Glory by Emily Tesh
Witch King by Martha Wells
Water Outlaws by S. L. Huang
Resonance Surge (Psy-Changeling Trinity Book 7) by Nalini Singh
Starter Villain by John Scalzi
A Dance of Smoke and Steel by Milla Vane
A forbidden love between a Mexican heiress and a shrewd British politician makes for a tantalizing Victorian season.
Ana María Luna Valdés has strived to be the perfect daughter, the perfect niece, and the perfect representative of the powerful Luna family. So when Ana María is secretly sent to London with her sisters to seek refuge from the French occupation of Mexico, she experiences her first taste of freedom far from the judgmental eyes of her domineering father. If only she could ignore the piercing looks she receives across ballroom floors from the austere Mr. Fox.
Gideon Fox elevated himself from the London gutters by chasing his burning desire for more: more opportunities, more choices. For everyone. Now, as a member of Parliament, Gideon is on the cusp of securing the votes he needs to put forth a measure to abolish the Atlantic slave trade once and for all—a cause that is close to his heart as the grandson of a formerly enslaved woman. The charmingly vexing Ana María is a distraction he must ignore.
But when Ana María finds herself in the crosshairs of a nefarious nobleman with his own political agenda, Gideon knows he must offer his hand as protection . . . but will this Mexican heiress win his heart as well?
[Apologies if you already saw this – the original post went live while the host was moving things so the site was down for some time, so I’m re-upping it as new. Especially since I need a lot of help/lot more than I had anticipated.]
You may or may not know but … the site was down for a while – the hosting company had to make some changes and it was a big mess … and I’ve also got a lot going on.
It’s mostly explained in the GFM post and updates so … I literally cringe even asking this, but if you’re able to help at all, I’d really appreciate it. “Please help Limecello.”
Or if you prefer Paypal: https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/Limecello
Or buying actual items, I was advised to create a registry and I did once I found someone to collect and get things to me since I’ll be down for the count. You can find it here.
I really appreciate everyone’s generosity – Romanceland is so giving and wonderful – and the support. <3 People sharing the links to things directly for greater reach – all that helps if someone doesn’t have the budget to give money. (Which I obviously understand.)
So, thank you all for your patience.
As for a new/current update … I’d thought the robot wounds had stopped bleeding but they have not, unfortunately. My eye has been twitching for over two weeks now, and on average I’m getting about 3 hours of sleep a day. It’s rough going, but I’m trying. And I really appreciate everyone keeping me company and being so kind. Thank you. ❤️
Team TBR Challenge Review: The Blood of Youth
Blurb: As a disciple of the Lei Clan, Lei Wu Jie can’t wait to prove his worth as a hero, but as a novice who has only just entered the martial arts world, the path to becoming a true hero is difficult, at best. Undeterred by the challenges that lay before him, Wu Jei makes his way to the great city of Xue Yue, certain that his time there will mould him into the hero he so longs to be. Unfortunately, his trip to Xue Yue is waylaid by an unfortunate mishap at the Villa of Fallen Snow.
As proprietor of the Villa, Xiao Se has all the looks of a wealthy innkeeper, but he can barely afford to keep the inn open. Struggling with his business, Xiao Se is less than pleased when his establishment is damaged by the antics of a young, wannabe hero. Demanding he makes amends for the damage he caused, Wu Jei can think of only one way to appease the grumpy Xiao Se, and that is to take him with him. With no other options, the two set off together without any idea of what fate has in store for them.
Befriending several people along the way, including Wu Xin, Sikong Qian Luo, Tang Lian, and Ye Ruo Yi, Xiao Se and Wu Jei soon find themselves caught up in an adventure far greater than any of them could have imagined. While facing countless dangers, the group stumbles upon a trail of clues that tie one of them to a battle for the throne that took place over a decade ago. The question is, is the intrepid hero ready and willing to take his rightful place as the leader of the people? And where will the brotherhood go from there?
And a secondary trailer because why not
I really enjoyed this show. I started writing this review when I was rewatching (again again) and on episode 6 where there’s a lot of great humor. The Blood of Youth has such a badass ending. The theme for the March TBR challenge is “baggage” and boy howdy does our (main) hero have a lot of it. The most eyebrow raising aspect is – and … get ready to mark your calendars because this is rare – ignore the “romance” in it. Truly it’s terrible. I recoiled from my screen during most the “romance” scenes 😅. I liked the great balance of this series between plot and serious matters and humor, as well as the great relationships that are displayed. Really in my opinion it’s a buddy epic, and a journey of the hero “re-discovering” himself. It’s a bit of a wuxia fantasy – there are a lot of suspension of disbelief elements (basically people flying, near sentient weapons etc), but just go along for the ride. It’s a good time. Continue reading
2023 “BHM” List of Black Romance Authors
Hi friends! It’s that time again! As you know the Smithsonian Heritage Month posts stopped working a few years ago so since then I’ve been posting lists of authors for most of the Smithsonian Heritage Months. I’m really excited to offer this updated and IMO extended list for 2023, and hope you all find a new author to love.
- Stacy Hawkins Adams
- Rochelle Alers aka Rena McLeary
- Kianna Alexander
- Jewel Amethyst
- Bridget Anderson
- A.C. Arthur aka Lacey Baker, Artist Arthur, and Sapphire Blue
- Amarie Avant
- Xia Axelrod
- D. Reneé Bagby
- ReShonda Tate Billingsley
- Melissa Blue
- Phyllis Bourne
- Niobia Bryant
- Denny S. Bryce
- Carla Buchanan
- Adrianne Byrd
- Dee Carney
- Brittainy C. Cherry
- Ann Christopher
- Alyssa Cole
- Sharon C. Cooper
- Robin Covington
- Francine Craft
- Nina Crespo
- Kaia Danielle
- Angie Daniels
- Zuri Day
- Sasha Devlin
- Delaney Diamond
- Kathy Douglass
- Cecilia Dowdy
- Asanti East
- Lucy Eden
- Tigris Eden aka J. K. Rivers
- Sherron Elise
- Hope Ellis
- Lindsay Evans
- Gwynne Forster
- Natasha Frazier
- Olivia Gaines
- Seressia Glass
- Elysabeth Grace
- Sherelle Green
- Jasmine Guillory
- Suzette D. Harrison
- Tasha L. Harrison
- Shenae Hailey aka B. Love
- Shirley Hailstock
- Carolyn Hector
- Mia Heintzelman
- Talia Hibbert
- Chencia C. Higgins
- Donna Hill
- Cheris Hodges or Cheris F. Hodges
- Alexandria House
- Jacinta Howard
- Piper Huguley
- Brenda Jackson
- K. M. Jackson
- Katrina Jackson
- Meka James
- Sugar Jamison aka Ginger Jamison
- Beverly Jenkins
- Christina C. Jones
- Wayne Jordan
- Beverley Kendall
- Martha Kennerson
- Shelly Laurenston aka G.A. Aiken
- Sherri L. Lewis
- Sheryl Lister
- Terra Little
- Tracey Livesay
- Donnia Marie
- Nana Malone
- Alexa Martin
- Tina Martin
- Rhonda McKnight
- Deborah Fletcher Mello
- Vanessa Miller
- Mary Monroe
- Selena Montgomery
- Victoria Christopher Murray
- Sienna Mynx aka T.A. Ford
- Stephanie Nicole Norris
- Nicki Night
- Grace Octavia
- Tiffany Patterson
- Kayla Perrin
- Jamie Pope
- Nana Prah
- Charish Reid
- Stacy Reid
- Erica Ridley
- Lisa G. Riley
- Vanessa Riley
- Farrah Rochon
- Kennedy Ryan
- Reese Ryan
- Blue Saffire
- Emma Salah
- Patricia Sargeant aka Regina Hart aka Olivia Matthews
- Sabrina B. Scales
- Angela Seals
- Candace Shaw
- Toni Shiloh
- Naima Simone
- Jodie Slaughter
- Maureen Smith
- Evelyn Sola
- Mia Sosa
- Yahrah St. John
- Jacquelin Thomas
- Holley Trent
- Xyla Turner
- Eve Vaughn
- Keith Thomas Walker
- Alexandra Warren
- AlTonya Washington
- Lisa Watson
- Rebekah Weatherspoon
- Jamie Wesley
- Denise N. Wheatley
- D. L. White
- Denise Williams
- Preslaysa Williams
- Synithia Williams
- Rita Woods
- Stefanie Worth
- Elle Wright
- Kenya Wright
- Pamela Yaye
I compiled this list through the past year, so my apologies if there are any errors. Also, if you know of anyone to add, please let me know. (Or as always if someone wants to be removed from the list, let me know and I’ll be happy to do so.)