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Spring into Romance Social Hop

While I adored most of Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling series, my absolute favorite was Kiss of Snow, which was a May/December romance. The connection between Hawke and Sienna was brewing through half of the series, and this was book ten. From beginning to end, it didn’t disappoint.

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Since the moment of her defection from the PsyNet and into the SnowDancer wolf pack, Sienna Lauren has had one weakness. Hawke. Alpha and dangerous, he compels her to madness.

Hawke is used to walking alone, having lost the woman who would’ve been his mate long ago. But Sienna fascinates the primal heart of him, even as he tells himself she is far too young to handle the wild fury of the wolf.

Then Sienna changes the rules and suddenly, there is no more distance, only the most intimate of battles between two people who were never meant to meet. Yet as they strip away each other’s secrets in a storm of raw emotion, they must also ready themselves for a far more vicious fight…

A deadly enemy is out to destroy SnowDancer, striking at everything they hold dear, but it is Sienna’s darkest secret that may yet savage the pack that is her home…and the alpha who is its heartbeat…

While the interactions between Hawke and Sienna are the absolute gem of this book (SO MUCH BANTER), the moments when they finally get together are breathtaking, so I included what’s probably my favorite line of the entire series.

 

“You’re in my every breath and every thought, intertwined so deep inside me that love’s not a strong enough word—you have my devotion, your name branded on my soul, my wolf yours to command. A hundred years? It’ll never be enough. I want eternity.”

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Spring Into Romance Social Hop

So we’re celebrating the romance genre and the absolutely magnificent passages that can be found within, and I wanted to kick off with my favorite read from last year: Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston.

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What happens when America’s First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales?

When his mother became President, Alex Claremont-Diaz was promptly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. Handsome, charismatic, genius—his image is pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House. There’s only one problem: Alex has a beef with the actual prince, Henry, across the pond. And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse.

Heads of family, state, and other handlers devise a plan for damage control: staging a truce between the two rivals. What at first begins as a fake, Instragramable friendship grows deeper, and more dangerous, than either Alex or Henry could have imagined. Soon Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret romance with a surprisingly unstuffy Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations and begs the question: Can love save the world after all? Where do we find the courage, and the power, to be the people we are meant to be? And how can we learn to let our true colors shine through? Casey McQuiston’s Red, White & Royal Blue proves: true love isn’t always diplomatic.

 

For a romance novel that was bitingly funny, it also had the propensity to be grandiose in scale and absolutely staggering emotionally. I chose two of my favorite passages from the book that I think showcase the gorgeousness of the language and the sheer poetry of the prose.

“Should I tell you that when we’re apart, your body comes back to me in dreams? That when I sleep, I see you, the dip of your waist, the freckle above your hip, and when I wake up in the morning, it feels like I’ve just been with you, the phantom touch of your hand on the back of my neck fresh and not imagined? That I can feel your skin against mine, and it makes every bone in my body ache? That, for a few moments, I can hold my breath and be back there with you, in a dream, in a thousand rooms, nowhere at all?”

 

“I thought, this is the most incredible thing I have ever seen, and I had better keep it a safe distance away from me. I thought, if someone like that ever loved me, it would set me on fire.

And then I was a careless fool, and I fell in love with you anyway. When you rang me at truly shocking hours of the night, I loved you. When you kissed me in disgusting public toilets and pouted in hotel bars and made me happy in ways in which it had never even occurred to me that a mangled-up, locked-up person like me could be happy, I loved you.

And then, inexplicably, you had the absolute audacity to love me back. Can you believe it?

Sometimes, even now, I still can’t.”

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New Philadelphia Coven Chronicles Release!

Rising for Autumn is OUT! Get your copy here!!!

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Crisis and danger have become second nature for Alanna Carrington. After all, as the boss of the Philadelphia Coven, she’s responsible for upholding the laws amongst the supernatural. Which means when the Order of the Serpent rears its ugly head, this time with the most powerful necromancer this city’s ever seen, she’s the one person who can keep Philly safe. Ex-Order djinn and now ally, Samuel Karim, happens to be the best-suited guy to help. Except he’s also the first man who’s stoked her interest in far too long, and ever since she commandeered the lamp he’s tethered to for safekeeping, he also hates her guts.

As the Order gathers the necromancers of her city and sparks a dangerous alliance, she finds herself working with Samuel Karim more and more. Hatred turns to passion, and when he exhibits a strength and compassion that breaks through her ironclad defenses, she finds herself falling deeper despite the complications between them. Yet with her city under siege and their lives on the line, the sharp desire between them erupts into the temptation to break their own rules, before the Order of the Serpent robs them of the chance permanently.

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Intro to Liam!

Hurray for Scrying for Summer‘s release today, where you get to meet Liam O’Reilly, one of my favorite heroes!

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I’ll be the first to admit, when I started writing Hunting for Spring, I never thought Liam would’ve transformed into the fantastic complex character you see in Scrying for Summer. And holy hell, his slick cockiness is ridiculously sexy. He’s selfish yet selfless at the same time, a character that appears callous and superficial but has some wonderful depths to uncover. Writing his character was an adventure in and of itself, and I hope everyone enjoys him in this book!

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Consent in Romance

Now, I don’t often publicize my stances on things, mostly because even if your views are different than mine, if they don’t hurt people, I’ll respect them. However, this one’s been boiling in the back of my mind for a long time, and it involves the topic of consent.

I was in the mood for a paranormal romance the other night and decided to check out a different book. Solid writing and steamy sex scenes should’ve meant I was in for a great time, but instead, I finished it feeling knots in my stomach and bile in my throat. Here’s the deal, guys. If the heroine says no, that she doesn’t want sex, and swarthy, domineering alpha male charges in and takes what he wants anyway, that’s rape. I know, I said it–the ugly word–the one that makes people start shouting feminazi from the highest hill. But seriously, this shouldn’t be a difficult concept to digest, and I have to admit that it really twists me up inside to see this in a modern day romance novel.

Now, I know the domineering thing can be a turn on. So can possessiveness, aggressiveness, and all of those charming dom traits, but at the end of the day, if a vocal ‘no, stop’ is being disregarded because daddy needs to get his rocks off, this is no longer in the realm of sexy hero–we’ve stepped into the danger zone of thinking women aren’t human beings any more. And you know what? It’s so tired, people. Obviously, we are. I’ve read tons of romances where there are submissive chicks and dom guys and they all coexist happily and sexily ever after with consent. My point? It does not need to cross over into rape territory.

I’ve heard plenty of arguments during the height of the Fifty Shades shenanigans where folks defended abusive behavior. Maybe for some people, the abuse and rape is a fantasy, however, for a hell of a lot of people it’s real, and I can almost guarantee you know at least one person who has been, whether they’re open about it or not. So yeah, I don’t like those sorts of books–let me make that abundantly clear. I’m not here to tell you what you should and shouldn’t like, but I will say, that for modern day romance novels, as authors and readers, we can do better than those antiquated and outdated views.

For my readers, I promise you this: When I write two leads getting their groove on, I sure as hell guarantee that both parties will be one hundred percent on the same page.