Rank #1: 1: We're Gonna Come Back to Biting - A Hunger Like No Other
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Our next read (in two weeks) will be No Rest for the Wicked — the story of Sebastian Wroth (vampire) and Kaderin the Cold-Hearted (valkyrie), and the beginning of the IAD Amazing Race mini-arc!
- Why do people hate the word moist?
- There really are catacombs below Paris, and they seem very creepy.
- Co-ed is a more dated word than you'd expect. According to the Oxford English dictionary, it's been in use since the 1880s. Game, set, and match to The Independent, which printed the following sentence in 1903: "Any college where the girls are commonly called ‘co-eds’ is not a truly co-educational institution."
- The Fated Mates trope.
- Maybe you all missed the Kavanaugh hearings. I love myself, so we'll just stick to one informative infographic.
- Jen's romance book club at 57th Street Books in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood. If you're not in Chicago, bookstores and libraries across the country and online will be participating in The Great Big Romance Read in December 2018. Find your people!
- Romance isn't the only genre examining old favorites through the lens of #MeToo. Molly Ringwald looked back at John Hughes and The Breakfast Club in The New Yorker. This podcast from WNYC is about pop culture in the #MeToo era.
- The list of RITA award winners, sorted by year.
- A million articles have been written about Twilight, but I like this one that looks at the big themes that bubble up time and time again.
- Alisha Rai has said lots of smart things about toxic masculinity, as it turns out.
- Representation in BDSM matters.
- Take a crash course in modernity.
- A brief overview of Cassandra from Greek mythology.
- The Devil in Winter, because everyone loves to read about a sex deal.
- According to The Smart Bitches, a magic hoo-hah is "shorthand for the equally illustrious and many powers of the female sex organ, specifically the vagina. The Magic Hoo-Hoo tames the Mighty Wang, and becomes the magnetized true north for the hero’s trouser compass from the point of their first sexual coupling. The Magic Hoo-Hoo brings the hero to monogamous attachment, because after experiencing it, the hero will not be satisfied with anything or anyone else."
- I'm sure everyone wants to learn more about moon phases.
- Fury is an actual furie.
- When we say Lothaire was a big deal, we mean there was an actual Lothaire bus touring around America.
- Are you ready for No Rest for the Wicked?
Nov 14 2018
Rank #2: S02.13: Best Romance Novels of 2019
Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast in your favorite podcasting platform — and while you’re there, please leave us a like or a review!
In two weeks, we’re moving across the pond to Beverly Jenkins’s Indigo, with one of Sarah’s favorite heroines ever—Hester Wyatt, Underground Railroad conductor! Read Indigo at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Kobo or your local indie.
In between our recording and release of this episode, Kristen Callihan did release a new book, Outmatched, which is cowritten with Samantha Young. But don't miss Scottie from Managed, who will appear later in season 2 as a book that blooded Jen.
Some of the best of 2019 lists from Bookish, NPR and Kirkus. Sarah's website has all of her past Best of the Year Lists for the Washington Post. Amazon also has a best of the year list, but the Goodreads Award list is strange.
Jen will be appearing at The Book Cellar on Dec 7, 2019 if you're looking for something to do. She'll be talking about the best books of the year with other critics.
Around the same time we recorded this episode, Kini at SmexyBooks wrote this thoughtful piece about transparency in romance reviewing.
Kylie Scott's Repeat was also on our Amnesia episode.
Love's Sweet Arrow is a romance-only bookstore in Chicago's south suburbs.
In this Juno Rushdon series, Jen wants the boss's book.
We're talking about historicals, but we're not talking about Brazen and the Beast even though Jen wants you to know it's spectacular and you should definitely read it.
Don't sleep on the Gilded Age.
Kennedy's Basketball series is also great. But in The Kingmaker duet, she also tackles the problem of missing and murdered indiginous women and land grabs on Native land. Here is a list of #OwnVoices Native American authors from BookRiot, and another from Smart Bitches, but Jen specifically recommends Pamela Sanderson.
Jen and Sarah tried so hard to undersatnd the cinnamon roll phenomenon.
Maybe you want to check out Jen's many amazing Pinterest boards featuring very specific romance novel cover kinks.
Looking to buy some swag? You can buy Fated Mates buttons from Best Friend Kelly and Sarah has an awesome line of romance themed t-shirts and other swag from Jordanene.
Dec 04 2019
Rank #3: S02.2 The Alpha in Romance Novels - Interstitial
Next week, we’re digging into one of our original alphas, Derek Craven! You can find Lisa Kleypas’s Dreaming of You at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Kobo, or at your local indie. It's currently $2.99 in digital everywhere, so snatch it up!
- You should all follow Cora Harrington (lingerie addict) on twitter. It's all so beautiful.
- Jen screams about first person a lot, but MOSTLY about first person present.
- It was Demon Rumm by Sandra Brown that was all in the male POV, and this review is so great. Jen's going to follow Alaina, the author, on twitter. UPDATE: The Browne Pop Culture Library was able to find the descriptions of Demon Rumm, and as Jen predicted, they were in the back matter of the previous month's books! Thanks, Steve!
- Did you somehow miss us talking about The Professional?
- It the Movie may or may not be your cup of tea, but this discussion of Jane Doe with Victoria Helen Stone has some really interesting points about horror and romance.
- Bourne from A Rogue by Any Other Name is "Sarah's worst hero" by which she means it was just reall satisfying to break him.
- You have to listen to our antiheroes episode if you want to know what it means to "take the finger."
- Hillary Clinton was wrong about romance novels, and Lisa Kleypas explains why.
- What it means to be a Kinsey 2.
- Romance for Raices has a few more days. Spend enough money and you can pick an upcoming interstitial topic!
Sep 18 2019
Rank #4: 2: The Best Led Zeppelin Song is by Pink Floyd: No Rest for the Wicked
Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast in your favorite podcasting platform — and while you’re there, please leave us a like or a review.
Our next read (in two weeks) will be Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night — and the witches are coming! WDOAWN is the story of Bowen MacRieve (werewolf) and Mariketa the Awaited (witch)…and the book that really breaks open the wide world of IAD. We’ll be joined by the brilliant Adriana Herrera, and you won’t want to miss it. Get ready for the read along at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books or your local indie.
- Some fun facts about The Amazing Race.
- Vampires in pop culture & literature.
- On Urban Dictionary, I want to kiss the person who defined Frigid it as "An outdated, Victorian term used to describe women who aren't interested in sex. Only used today by drunk men in bars to explain why the woman they attempted to pick up wasn't interested."
- A wacky look at some potential real life examples of time travel.
- Just out of curiosity, this is what you'll find if you google "Bad Ass Estonian General." IMPRESSIVE.
- Sarah's wet noodle joke is part of a long literary tradition where vampires just need a good dose of viagra.
- Sarah mentions "the vampire chained to a bed" and she's talking about Conrad Wroth, the hero of Dark Needs at Night's Edge (book 4).
- Just a brief review of birth control, how we use it, and why it is so important to women's rights.
- In case you were wondering why Jen talked about "no one ever has to go to the bathroom." It's a thing. Sarah accused Jen of RUINING ROMANCE, but clearly that's not the case because here we are.
- More about lightning and planes.
- Chicago's Bubbly Creek. That's real. If you ever want to nerd out on this history, Jen recommends a book called Nature's Metropolis. Honestly, you really have no idea how fascinating grain elevators are.
- The short and incomplete list of magical items introduced in this book: Kaderin gives the Furies armor that can't be pierced and a battle axe that can kill Lore beings without having to behead them. The New Zealand coven of Valkyeries has a choker that allows the person wearing it to sing a siren's song. No one knows what happend to the armband that makes the wearer feel overwhelming sexual desire. Amphitrite's tear is a bead that will heal any wound. The Blade of Honorius never misses its target. Thrane's Key was the time-traveling prize in this Hie, and at the end of the book, Riora gives Sebastian one to use at his discretion.
- Deus Ex Machina is fun to say, but kind of a bummer when that's how an author gets her characters out of a jam.
- All the cool vampires from the mid-2000s carry RAZR phones.
- Diamonds are a construct, just like virginity.
- Sarah is pro-Kardashian.
- Swineherds vs. shepherds, and the only time Jen ever felt truly understood on Reddit.
Nov 28 2018
Rank #5: 16: Was It as Good For You as it Was For Me? Sweet Ruin
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In two weeks, we’re finishing up the Game Makers series with arguably Kresley’s most broken hero (don’t worry, we’ll get to the bottom of this ranking on the episode), Dmitri Sevastyan! Basically, July is “Sarah’s favorite books” month, so settle in for that…we’ll be joined by one of our favorites, Kate Clayborn, who will reveal the name of our group text thread! Read The Player at Amazon, B&N, Apple Books, Kobo, or from your local Indie.
- Short chapters make for quick pacing.
- All about The Starship Enterprise.
- More about a witch's familiar.
- Thinking about theme as a literary device isn't just for English class.
- All about edging.
- Jen loves that scene where Captain America beats the shit out of everyone in the elevator.
- In case you need help finding Shipper Names.
- The What Would Allixta Do Button.
- The story of Supergirl.
- Speaking of our Heaving Bosoms friends, It wasn't Melody, it was Erin who said she doesn't read epilogues!
- The Player is coming up after our next interstitial!
- Pre-order Brazen and the Beast, and if you say "Fated Mates" in the notes, Sarah will include a Fated Mates sticker!
Jul 03 2019
Rank #6: S02.3: Lisa Kleypas Does Spectacles Better than F. Scott Fitzgerald: Dreaming of You
We’re back in two weeks with Johanna Lindsey’s Gentle Rogue, set on a ship with a heroine-in-pants and a hero who really deserves everything she delivers him. Find it at: Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Apple Books, or at your local Independent Bookstore!
Don’t forget to like & subscribe in your favorite podcasting app so you don’t miss a single second of us in your earholes!
- Anyone know if Warby Parker is looking for a podcast to sponser?
- Josh Lyman never calls it a recession, call it a bagel.
- The second casino is in Devil in Winter, where Ivo Jenner's daughter falls in love with Sebastian, St. Vincent, whom many think is Lisa's best hero. They are wrong.
- More about some of those Jungian archetypes.
- This article seems to think head hopping is more common in roamance, but I don't know if that's true.
- Close third person POV or Free Indirect Speech & Jane Austen.
- Have you listened to our bodily autonomy episode?
- Dangerous Liasons the book has been around for a long time, but Jen is talking about the 1988 movie.
- "She leaves the gun on the table" is a reference to a famous writing precept by Chekhov.
- Doing spectacles better than F. Scott Fitzgerald.
- Gentle Rogue is coming up in two weeks.
- Kelly has some Fated Mates swag and Romancelandia buttons for sale.
- Fated Mates is produced by Eric Mortensen
Sep 25 2019
Rank #7: 18.5 : Antiheroes in Romance: Interstitial
Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast in your favorite podcasting platform so that you know the moment we start Season Two (in early September)!
Next week, it’s the end! WHAT HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?! We’re talking Sian (HORNS HORNS HORNS HORNS HORNS HORNS HORNS) & Lila with Wicked Abyss, featuring the literal King of Hell, and the Queen who takes fully no shit from him. Get Wicked Abyss at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Kobo, or at your local indie!
- What is the appeal of the antihero?
- Fangirl Jeanne wrote a really interesting thread about why she ships villains and what it means to believe in an HEA for everyone.
- The Sierra Simone Scale seems relevant here.
- We here at Fated Mates love a grovel.
- Morality Chain is a very specific trope.
- Jen's Rita thread about how white guys get to be anitheores.
- What are we talking about when we talk about billionaire money.
Aug 07 2019
Rank #8: S02.11: Romance Recommendations: Stump Jen and Sarah
Stay tuned for the second half of the episode in December! Next week, just in time for your tryptophan induced coma, we’re talking Loretta Chase’s Lord of Scoundrels, which was on both Jen & Sarah’s list, and is on the lions’ share of Best Romance Novels Ever lists. We’ll get into why. Read Lord of Scoundrels at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Kobo or your local indie.
Question 1: Ennis from New York asked, "is like Lothaire by Kresley Cole or Cold Cole Heartby K Webster, where the hero is someone who would be a villain in any other book. A megalomaniac, horribly damaged, murderous, whatever- and a heroine who takes NONE of his shit and brings him to his knees."
Our Recommendations: The name of this trope is "morality chain" which might help you on your search for books like this. Sarah's Summer 2020 release Daring and the Duke is perfect for this question, but since it's not out yet, try The Masterpiece Duet by Skye Warren. The first is The King.
Question 2: Lesley from Washington DC asked for books "with Jewish heroes and heroines, does not have to be holiday themed."
Our recommendations: : Jen suggests Knit One, Girl Two and Cinnamon Blade by Shira Glassman. In fact, Jen was a special guest on the Heaving Bosoms podcast taking about Cinnamon Blade. Sarah recommends Craving Flight by Tamsen Parker and Dalliances and Devotion by Felicia Grossman. Stacey Agdern also writes about Jewish representation in romance and has written some novellas in the Rogue Anthologies. We also mentioned a great point that inspired a great thread by Felicia Grossman about Jewish characters in literature.
Question 3: Daniela from Winnipeg had this AMA question: If there was a battle royale between all the IAD heroes, who would win? Does the answer change if they can't use weapons?
Our Answer: The Wroth brothers would band togehter, Declan Chase has a real shot, and Lothaire wouldn't care. No matter who wins, Thronos goes down first. Jen mentioned someone who wrote about what would happen if all the US Presidents were in a knife fight. Enjoy.
FWIW, Daniela also asked a question we skipped because we couldn't think of anything: A historical that has a silver fox duke and a spitfire heroine who exhausts the hell out of him. IDEAS? Let us know on twitter.
Question 4: Kristen from DC! asked, "LGBTQ romance easily available in PRINT for my book club???? We do it through a local indie bookshop, and are having a hard time finding things other than Cat Sebastian/Olivia Waite from Avon."
Our Recommendations: Adriana Herrera's American Dreamer series! Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. We think Vanessa North and KJ Charles might be print on demand, which many indie bookstores won't carry. Dreamspinner is a mess right now, but many great authors are there, including LaQuette's latest, Under His Protection, which Jen bought a copy of at Love's Sweet Arrow. Carina titles might be more easily available, so try Syncopation and the rest of the Twisted Wishes series by Anna Zabo. Jen mentioned Being Hospitable by Meka James, but it's just in E. But you should still read it for fun.
Question 5: Courtney from the Bodice Tipplers Podcast wants to know what books made us fall in love with the genre.
Our answer: Well, just listen to all of season 2 of Fated Mates! But Sarah mentioned Nobody's Baby but Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Jen mentioned a new book that has made her feel that way is The Bride Test by Helen Hoang. Julie Garwood and Jude Deveraux were old-school authors we both loved back in the day.
Question 6: Ali in NYC had an AMA and a question: How is Eric Mortensen so good at podcast editing?
Our answer: Well, he just is and you should contact him if you need podcast editing help.
Ali also wanted recommendations about historicals with witches/magic. Our recommendations: So many of these are old school, because this is not a very popular trope right now, so please proceed with caution. Sarah recommended Bewitching by Jill Barnett and Jen recommended a pair of books by Teresa Medeiros, Breath of Magic and Touch of Enchantment. In fact, Jen reviewed Touch of Enchantment for The Book Queen. Post-recording, we thought of Sex and the Psychic Witch by Annette Blair, which is the first of a series where three sisters use their "magic powers for good and their good looks for seduction."
Question 7: Hannah from Texas asked for a romance that "has a Lucy Liu in "Set It Up" type heroine getting her actual HEA. I need ball-busting energy falling in love with a guy/gal/whoever that deserves her."
Our Recommendations: Sarah recommended The Takeover Effect by Nisha Sharma which has a corporate espionage plot. Jen was maybe thinking of Set it Off and recommeded Elle Kennedy's Out of Uniform series. Jen mentioned Getting Hotter by Elle Kennedy, but upon further reflection, also thinks The Heat is On (in an anthology called Hot & Heavy) might work. But since Hannah was actually talking about Set it Up, which is about assistants and bosses, maybe try The Assistant by Ramona Gray or check out this extensive goodreads list of boss/employee romance novels.
Question 8: Jenica from New York asked for a book that has "Childhood friends to enemies to lovers, preferably contemporary."
Our recommendations: : We don't say it here, but one strategy Sarah and Jen use all the time with more popular tropes is searching for a Goodreads list. If you can find a book with a title or two you like on it, you might like others! Jen recommended His Until Midnight by Reese Ryan, and also noted that Sarah's book A Rogue by Any Other Name has this trope. Sarah recommended Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas. And a trailing suggestion was trying Christina Lauren, who has written many great enemies to lovers books and maybe one also has childhood friends. We didn't mention it on the podcast, but if you like YA, Jen loved Not if I Save You First by Allie Carter. That one would definitely work!
Question 9: Holly from Chapel Hill asked for a book that "Has all the mutual pining. Friends to lovers, enemies to lovers, doesn't matter. Give me every last drop of pining."
Our recommendations: Sarah suggests Waking Up with the Duke by Lorraine Heath. Jen recommends On Broken Wings by Chanel Cleeton. After we realized that there is lots of pining in Lisa Kleypas, but we think Again the Magic might be best.
Holly had a follow up AMA, "What would your ideal book-centered vacation be?" Sarah said a beach, Jen has always wanted to stay at The Library Hotel, and that led to a discussion of Nora Robert's Boonsboro Inn, in Boonsboro, Maryland. But Jen also loves to read locally, which means reading books set in the places you are traveling.
Question 10: Kara asked for a recommendation that "Has some sort of adventure or quest but is also slow burn."
Our recommendations: Slow burns aren't our speciality. Jen joked she likes a "fast, incendiary burn." Please check out the Hidden Legacy series by Ilona Andrews, and the second one where they finally do it is called White Hot. The first one is called Burn For Me, it's right in the title! If you like fantasy, try Bound to the Battle God by Ruby Dixon. Sarah mentioned A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet. And Aurora Blazing by Jessie Mihalik could count for this category and for pining!
Question 11: Chase from Germany wants "Has m/m with a happy ending and the trope enemies to lovers?"
Our recommendations: Sarah recommends Goalie Interference, which has enemy hockey players. Annika Martin has a good series, the first is called Enemies Like You, and Jen also likes a series by Layla Rayne called Agents Irish and Whiskey. Cask Strength also appeared in Jen's list of Who Did It Better on a Pool Table. You're welcome.
Question 12: Caitlin from Wisconsin wants a book that "Has a plus size heroine, emphasis on fashion...vampires would also be nice."
Our recommendations: We had to handle these two separately. For a curvy heroine with fasion, we recommended Take Me by Bella Andre and The King of Bourbon Street by Thea De Salle. For vampires, try Tall Dark and Hungry by Lynsay Sands. It's about a vampire who writes vampire novels. The Sherrilyn Kenyon book Sarah was thinking about is called Night Play, but it's actually about a werewolf. Oh well.
Question 13: Jess asked, "Has an alpha submissive (I’ve tasked Sarah with this before and want more!)"
Our recommendations: Jen doesn't think this exists, but Sarah recommends The Duke I Tempted, Giving It Up, The Devil's Submission and Sierra Simone's New Camelot series. If you can roll with Kristen Ashley's prose style, try Deacon. There is no pony play involved.
Jess had a follow up AMA: "I would love to hear more about audiobook production. How much say authors have. Do they get to check in during production to make sure jokes are being delivered properly, etc?" Sarah replied that the answer is ... authors don't have much say at all, except maybe a choice of narrators. Sarah loves her narrator, Justine Eyre.
Question 14: Lesley from San Francisco asked for a book that "Has a heroine over 50 who is single (not divorced or widowed)."
Our recommendations: This was a hard one, and we are hoping that listeners will chime in with answers. We don't think any of these heroines are single--all widowed or divorced. But try Apples Are Red, Driving in Neutral, Bound with Love, or Mrs. Martin's Incomparable Adventure. But, you can check out this facebook group for seasoned romance, and Donnaposts a weekly Frolic column of seasoned romances. Finally, Sarah recommended London Hale's Talk Dirty To Me.
Question 15: Carly from Atlanta is looking for “there’s only one bed,” historical edition (bonus points if they don’t have sex that time, but do later).
Our recommendations: There are so many of these that we had a hard time answering. Yikes! But A Christmas Gone Perfectly Wrong is amazing. Later in Season 2 of Fated Mates, we'll read Devil's Bride by Stephanie Laurens, but the ohter one Sarah was thinking of was The Capture of the Earl of Glencrae Afterwards, we thought of The Duke Buys a Bride and Tycoon.
Question 16: Shannon in Atlanta said, "Ghosts. I need all the ghosts. I’m regrading Lynn Kurland’s Stardust of Yesterday to see if I am still madly in love with Kendrick like 14 yr old me was. But I need more ghosts. For spooky season and for always."
Our recommendations: So obvioulsy the best IAD book is Dark Needs at Night's Edge. But Halloween Boo and Hot Ghost might also be of interest. After recording, Jen thought of The Headmaster by Tiffany Reisz and Sarah thought of For the Earl's Pleasure by Anne Mallory.
Question 17: Natali from Tampa asked for romances with "a sexy but serious body guard- saves heroine from her evil husband OR serious sexy body guard that is hired by father to care for wild heroine. And/Or sexy but consensual teacher-student relationship."
Our recommendations: Sarah and Jen both liked The Professor by Charlotte Stein. Sarah also recommended The Unrequited by Saffron Kent. Bodyguards for some reason we didn't have specifics, but check out Sexy/Dangerous by Beverly Jenkins, which has a female bodyguard. Fallen by Rebecca Zanetti will work. But also, Jen is convinced that something in Lexi Blake's Masters and Mercenaries series will work.
Question 18: Nisha wants books that are "bananas sexy."
Our recommendations: Ice Planet Barbarians forever. But Brill Harper anything will work, and Jen especially recommends Altogether. Everyone on twitter thinks White Whiskey Bargain is super hot, and The Red is amazingly sexy. Grace Goodwin's Interstellar Brides series is also pretty hot.
Nov 20 2019
Rank #9: 7.5: Scotland Historical Romances - Interstitial
Feb 20 2019
Rank #10: S02.12: Lord of Scoundrels: Reel or be Reeled
Lord of Scoundrels has its own wikipedia page, which in case you're curious, is kind of unusual.
If you haven't listened to our episode on Dreaming of You, what are you waiting for?
Maybe you want to find out what you first ordered in your Amazon account.
Jessica Trent is not a Mary Sue.
You've been lawyered is from How I Met Your Mother.
Sarah wrote the prologue to a new edition of The Transformation of Philip Jettan.
Love's Sweet Arrow is a romance-only bookstore in the Chicago suburbs. It's awesome.
Gentle Rogue started too late.
The gloves scene in the Age of Innocence movie. All that repressed longing from Daniel Day Lewis! In the book, it's this chapter where Newland Archer "bent over, unbuttoned her tight brown glove, and kissed her palm as if he had kissed a relic."
If you want to know about demon seals and the Wroth brothers, then listen to season one of Fated Mates.
The Beverly Jenkins book where the heroine shoots the hero is Tempest.
You'll be shocked to know that Jen has some theories about internal vs. external conflict.
When they're at the wrestling match, Dain says his friend could have "stayed comfortably at home and pumped his wife."
She Walks in Beauty Like the Night is a glorious poem, but that doesn't make Byron any less of a scumbag. That Ada Lovelace was Byron's daughter is kind of wild, but we're glad she's known for being her own person. Despite Sarah trying to create an authorship question for Byron, that's not really a thing. There's no such person as the Duke of Summerville. Jen just made that up.
If you're interested in The Romantics, you can find Jen's old college syllabus here. Lots of Wordsworth, but no Bryon, which is just fine. But we still love the way Loretta Chase used Don Juan in the text of Lord of Scoundrels.
Coming up next on December 11, 2019, Indigo by Beverly Jenkins
Nov 27 2019
Rank #11: 17: Sexclamation Points! - The Player!
Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast in your favorite podcasting platform — and while you’re there, please leave us a like or a review.
We’re getting down to the wire with IAD, but because we’re completists, we’re tackling the Dacians in two weeks with a two-for-one episode featuring both of these Lothaire spinoff stories, Shadow's Claim (featuring demon-sorceress Bettina and Dacian assassin Trehan) & Shadow's Seduction (featuring Caspion the demon and Mirceo the vampire prince)!
- Wecome back, Kate!
- This kind of teabagging does not appear on the Clayborn Scale.
- We should have asked Adriana Herrera about Dimitri's trauma.
- Everyone loves foreshadowing.
- But in romance, no one loves an unreliable narrator.
Jul 17 2019
Rank #12: 13.5: Freewheeling with Sarah and Jen: We’re Big Mad
We’re taking a break next week (Happy Memorial Day! Eat a cheeseburger for us!)…but will be back to regular IAD programming in two weeks with Dark Skye. Get ready to have your heart ripped out by these childhood lovers turned enemies turned lovers again! Poor Lanthe has been running from her Vrekener, Thronos since Kiss of the Demon King, and finally she gets her story! Read Dark Skye at Amazon, B&N, Apple Books, Kobo, or from your local Indie.
- That Victoria Dahl tweet about hysteria.
- How transgender and gender nonconforming people might be especially endangered from this recent spate of laws.
- Sarah's twitter thread asking about romances with abortion.
- The portrayal of abortion in Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
- Romance euphamisms FTW.
- Screenshots from the scene Sarah referenced in Jane Feather's Vixen.
- All about the efficacy of birth control.
- French Letters had to soak for two hours (at least)...oh! And we forgot the best (ACTUAL WORST) part: They were reusable. --scream emoji--
- "220/221 whatever it takes," is a quote from Mr. Mom. Actually, we talked about a lot of 80s movies on today's episode, including The Princess Bride and When Harry Met Sally. But we didn't mention Dirty Dancing which has a botched back alley abortion. We meant to...but this is what happens when you don't take good notes before you rant.
- This 2011 paper about condoms and birth control in romance is VERY INTERESTING.
- Pulling out is weirdly more effective than you'd think for preventing pregnancy, but not at all effective for preventing STIs.
- All about Plan B.
- Kelly Faircloth writes great articles about romance for Jezebel.
- Endometriosis deserves more attention than it gets.
- What it means to be "childless by choice."
- 25% of American women have had an abortion.
- Sweet Liar is the only romance that Sarah can think of that references a vasectomy--please tell us if you've got other examples?
- The Jezebel article wondering how many more abortion stories we have to share.
- If you're on FB, check out Sarah's OSRBC (Old School Romance Book club).
May 22 2019
Rank #13: S02.1 Welcome to Season Two
Get reading, y'all, we've got a lot to say. You can find Dreaming of You at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Kobo, or at your local indie. It's currently $2.99 in digital everywhere, so snatch it up!
We'll be announcing the schedule for the first few reads later this week -- so you'll have time to read ahead, but in the meantime, sit back, relax, and let us give you a preview of what's to come!
Don't forget to like and subscribe in your favorite podcasting platform!
- Jen tweeted about Altogether by Brill Harper and then all of Romancedlandia read it. It's deliciously filthy.
- Read Sarah's drunk texts to Jen and Kate on the Vika group chat.
- Take a look at these covers for Rebecca Zanetti's Deadly Silence.
- You had no idea flag design was so fascinating.
- Looking back at twitter, it might have been a shared love of Derek Craven that made Sarah and Jen friends. We can't wait to discuss Dreaming of You in two weeks.
Sep 11 2019
Rank #14: 12: Do Not Let the Lykae into the Yankee Candle Store: MacRieve
May 01 2019
Rank #15: 8: Triggering the Chastity Clause: Pleasure of a Dark Prince
This episode, we’re discussing the way this book wraps up the first movement of IAD and preps readers for what’s to come (SPOILER: IT’S TORTURE ISLAND), we get into how the books are becoming more political, we update the lost-limb count, begin Lothaire-Watch, and dig into why it’s just plain futile to try to stay away from a werewolf mate on the night of a full moon. More than all that, we’re interviewing moon expert Summer Ash about moon business, and Jen is beyond excited.
Feb 27 2019
Rank #16: 1.5: Escort Romances - Interstitial
-Romancing the Stone is an 80s movie classic. Kathleen Turner plays a romance writer on an adventure to retreive a missing emerald.
- The Smart Bitches made a list of competence porn romances, where all the characters are just really good at their jobs.
- Burn Down the Night by Molly O'Keefe
- The Duke by Gaelen Foley
- Claiming the Courtesan by Anna Campbell
- The Master by Kresley Cole
- Get ready for No Rest for the Wicked
Nov 21 2018
Rank #17: 3: A Great Lay or All the Knowledge in the World: Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night
-Jen interviewed Adriana about domestic violence in romance for the Smart Bitches.
- Kresley's historical trilogy is called The MacCarrick Brothers, and you can get all 3 bundled together, of course.
- The five witches' castes are warrior, healer, enchantress, conjurer, and sorceress. Jen's going to make a Buzzfeed Quiz that tells you which witch strength you'd have. (This is a lie. Jen does not know how to make Buzzfeed quizzes. But it's a good idea, right?)
-Speaking of vibrators, the best Romancelandia blog is the Bawdy Bookworms, which features review of both books and sex toys!
- This blog is dedicated to looking at feminism and Snow White in American culture.
- Deconstruct Disney for yourself or for your kids.
- There's an IAD wiki, and it's pretty useful for when you're listing Hekate, Haxa, and can't remember the third one is Hela.
- As symbols, apples do a lot of heavy lifting.
- Mirrors and feminism have a long complicted history. And since we're talking action movies, check out this think piece by Carolyn Petit about feminism, movie criticism, and John Wick's house of mirrors. And then I found this article about Sylvia Plath's senior thesis at Smith and it's very far afield from the current topic, but this is a super interesting read.
- How young women have internatlized the Girl Power vs. Feminism dichotomy.
- There's a famous image that illustrates the difference between equality and equity. It's most often used in the context of race, but can be used as a way to envision any kind of oppression.
- Our next Dark Needs at Night's Edge is next.
Lost Limb Count
(Leg - 2, Arm - 1, Eye - 1)
- Lachlain tears off his own leg to reach Emma. He regenerates. (A Hunger Like No Other)
- Sebastian pulverizes most of his right arm during the Hie. He regenerates. (No Rest For the Wicked)
- Bowen loses an eye and most of his forehead during the Hie. Mariketa has cursed him and he can't heal until he returns to her. (Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night)
- Mariketa's skull is fractured and her leg is torn from her body. She heals herself after Bowen lays on the ground. Ivy grows over her and heals her. (Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night)
Dec 12 2018
Rank #18: 10: Declan Chase is Kinda Trying: Dreams of a Dark Warrior
This episode, we’re digging into the way Kresley builds characters and lays the brickwork for the rest of the IAD series. We’re talking about torture, about childhood, about packing for the end of days, and about Lothaire’s Guide to Wooing Women. We’re joined by the wonderful Sarah Hawley, co-host of the Wicked Wallflowers podcast, and Declan-stan.
Mar 27 2019
Rank #19: 11.5: Sports Romance - Interstitial
Apr 24 2019
Rank #20: S02.17: Pegging Romance Interstitial
Auspicious beginning, right? Don’t miss a single moment of our 2020 episodes — subscribe on your favorite podcasting platform and like/review the podcast if you’re so inclined!
Jen misquoted a famous scene in Chinatown; it's actually "my sister and my daughter." Yikes.
Pretty sure if you're fancasting us into this clip from Grease about the Pink Ladies, Sierra is Rizzo.
We've talked a lot about Sierra's books on the podcast, but it was on the Small Town Romance interstitial that Sarah joked all of Sierra's books take place in Menage County, Kansas.
The Romance for RAICES auction was the brainchild of Suzanne from Love in Panels and raised TWENTY THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS! You should definitely support her blog and patreon if you can. The crisis on the border is ongoing and getting worse. Please continue to support romance's teams at RAICES and The Young Center.
Sierra is also, of course, the founder, owner, and operator of The Simone Scale, which does not include teabagging even, but has been, because she loves us, updated to include pegging. The image is on our website in show notes.
Everyone wants the right pegging playlist, and of course there's one on Spotify. What a world! Besides Ariana Grande's Dangerous Woman, we offer up for your consideration Back It Up, Boys by Peaches and Behind the Wheel by Depeche Mode.
Here are some Sierra Simone recommended toys and harnesses. She says of the toys, "The small is VERY gently sized and some men may feel more comfortable with a toy is that isn’t a hyper-realistic reproduction of a cock."
Elia Winters is a Fated Mates favorite, and we want to thank her for her help thinking through the implicatons for gender essentialism and cisnormativity in this discussion. Buy her books! Her latest Three For All has pegging.
Sierra mentioned "that law about gas expanding to fill a space" -- well, I phoned Jonathan, a friend who teaches chemistry, and he says that's called entropy or Boyles Law of Kinetic Molecular Theory. Learn more about it here from Professor Dave, a Jonathan-approved chemistry youtube instructor.
Jen Porter wrote a great twitter thread about erotic romance and character development.
Sarah mentioned "the RITA entry window" and goddamn if that's not a bitter pill to swallow right now. She's sorry.
A little about what it means to be allosexual.
The Pegging Song that Adriana sent us from Twitter is amazing, and we want to thank @shutupaida for being so gracious about letting us play it during the podcast. Also, be sure to watch Big Mouth on Netflix, because she's writing for it now!
The Rogue Anthologies are pretty great and there are quite a few of them.
Jen had to do a major "retcon" on this hero in the Tamsen Parker book in order to read it. It's fine, really.
Special thanks to our special guest Sierra Simone! You can find her on Instagram or Facebook. Read her New Camelot series, the first is American Queen! She also joined us on our MacRieve episode, and we talked about Priest, a book that blooded Sarah.
Next week, we'll be talking about Born in Ice by Nora Roberts! We mean it!
Much thanks to all the members of the Pegging Cabal for their amazing, generous donation, and for asking us to do this episode: E is reading, Jennifer, Stephanie Blackhart, Amanda, Kini, Melinda, Tempest Bonds, Michelle Boule, JS Lenore, Eve Pendle, and Isabel. Give them a follow, or maybe this related account, Is There Pegging? But whatever you do, don't make everyone think that something is wrong with Colin Firth. We hope you enjoyed the episode!
Jan 01 2020