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  • Corrina Lawson 5:00 pm on 2018/04/19 Permalink
    Tags: A Bollywood Affair, , , , barbara ferrer, , brenda jackson, , farrah rochon, i'll catch you, , , something like love, Sonali Dev, , tonight and forever   

    The Great RITA Read: The Lost Voices 

    As someone who did not grow up reading romance, I’ve been more than impressed at the quality of the books that have won the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Award for excellence in Romance fiction. Out of over 65 books, I would say only three were subpar, and those suffered from not aging well.

    I intended to make this next article in my Great RITA Read series about how romance handles trauma, particularly female trauma, but I can’t do that until I talk about the elephant in the room with the RITA Awards: The authors it has failed to honor.

    Since 1982, no black author has won a Golden Medallion/Rita Award. This is particularly frustrating since one of the co-founders of RWA was a black woman, Vivian Stephens, a Dell and Harlequin editor who was committed to excellence in romance and to shepherding the success of romance authors.

    There are things RWA as an organization and RWA members can do to solve this problem, with the first being admitting the scope of the problem and listening to authors of color.

    But what I can do is recommend books by authors of color that you may not have heard about because they have not been marketed widely.

    I’m not recommending these books so readers can educate themselves. I’m recommending them because they’re damn fine books and they contain stories that deserve to be enjoyed by all readers. I believe firmly in the power of story, that stories can change the world, and that racism is causing so many of these brilliant voices to be lost.

    My list is by no means a definitive list of wonderful romances by authors of color; only a place to get started. To find more, I would urge you to look at the “Customers Who Also Bought” section at barnesandnoble.com under each of these books, which will bring you down a delightful rabbit hole to more wonderful stories.

    Pick these up, read them, enjoy them. And let them lead you to other great stories and voices.

    A Princess in Theory, by Alyssa Cole 
    This lovely book is about a former foster child who finds out that she is betrothed to an African prince. He’s determined to find his missing bride, she mistakes him for a pauper, and a terrific romance ensues. I received an advance copy of this book and my eldest daughter (24) grabbed it and promptly disappeared with it for days, to read it several times. I can think of no greater recommendation than that.

    A Bollywood Affair, by Sonali Dev
    I met Sonali Dev at an RWA event for readers and was thoroughly charmed by her, carrying my signed copy of her book home to read on the plane. I almost wished that plane ride had been long enough to finish the book because it was hard to tear myself away when we landed. It’s the story of a young woman from India who comes to the United States for an education, aware that she must be the best person she can be to appease the prospective in-laws who have taken care of her ever since she was proposed to by their son as a child. It’s the story of a young man, a Bollywood star, who wants to break away from family traditions. The book is lush and emotional and intense and real and I loved it.

    Something Like Love, by Beverly Jenkins
    I must confess I was unaware of the enormous body of Jenkins’ work until watching Love Between the Covers, a documentary about romance writers and readers. (I also highly recommend it.) That is my loss because the power of Jenkins’ voice comes through in her fiction. Her acceptance speech when receiving the RWA’s Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017 is not to be missed. I picked this book to represent her because it’s one of my favorite romance genres, a Western, and the hero and heroine have a fraught first meeting when he robs her train, a train she’s taking to escape an arranged marriage in Chicago. The hero can’t get the heroine out of his mind, but his lawlessness and the bounty hunters on his trail are a serious impediment to romance, especially as the heroine is the town’s newly elected mayor. Of course, love wins out, beautifully.

    I’ll Catch You, by Farrah Rochon 
    This one is a sports romance, more specifically, a fun NFL romance, in which a pro football player and his agent get closer than Tom Cruise and Cuba Gooding Jr. ever did in Jerry Maguire. This book is part of Harlequin’s now-canceled Kimani line for black authors. Other fantastic former Kimani authors include Reese Ryan, whose new book, Savannah’s Secrets, is just out from Harlequin Desire, and you can find a long list of Kimani books listed here at Barnes & Noble.

    Tonight and Forever, by Brenda Jackson
    This is the prolific and talented Jackson’s own favorite book and it’s one of those stories that romance does so well: tales of people who are healed by love. The heroines goes home to Texas after a bitter divorce, only to become involved with a doctor who is still mourning his late wife. It’s intense and emotional and sweet and heartbreaking and it will make you want to binge all of Jackson’s books.

    I’ve listed these books to get everyone started but rest assured, there are hundreds of wonderful stories from talented authors who have not nearly gotten enough notice. You can also look for books by Barbara Ferrer (possibly the only Cuban-American author to win a Rita), Alisha Rai, and Jamie Pope/Sugar Jamison.

    Please, make your own recommendations below in the comments!

    The post The Great RITA Read: The Lost Voices appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Cristina Merrill 4:44 pm on 2017/07/18 Permalink
    Tags: , brenda jackson, , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Romance Roundup: Special Forces Ladies, ER Nurses, and Football Players 

    This week’s Romance Roundup includes several ladies in the special forces, a woman and a football player whose one-night stand leads to a baby, and a nurse who wants to protect her childhood home.

    Dark Carousel, by Christine Feehan
    Tariq Asenguard is looking for his mate for life and does a major double take when Charlotte Vintage walks into his club, looking so fine. He wants her, but he doesn’t realize that our girl already knows what he’s about. Charlotte has stuff to do. She is on a mission to figure out who murdered a loved one. She and Tariq are soon drawn to each other, which totally makes sense because she’s awesome and brave and he’s cool and oozing sexiness. They also have a very niche interest in common. He collects old carousel horses and she restores them. See? There’s someone for everyone! This is the 30th—yep, 30th—book in Feehan’s Dark series. (Available in paperback on July 25.)

    Fatal Threat, by Marie Force
    Washington Metro Police lieutenant Sam Holland is eager to investigate a body that has just washed up from a river. (It’s all yours, Sam, as far as we’re concerned!) Secret Service agents, however, prevent our gal from getting close to the crime scene. (Nincompoops! All of them!) All she wants to do is investigate this new case and then go home and cuddle up with her yummy husband, Vice President Nick Cappuano. There are forces, though, that are preventing her from doing the things she needs and wants to do. Add to that a threat to her family and a shady person from her husband’s past and, well, there’s only so much a gal can handle before the gray hairs start popping up. (Not that you wouldn’t rock them, Sam!) This is the latest book in Force’s Fatal series, which is perfect for romance readers who are craving a story about a sexy, long-term couple. (Available in paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on July 25.)

    Locked in Temptation, by Brenda Jackson
    Police detective Joy Ingram has just exposed a major underground surrogate baby making ring. She cannot be distracted by the very sexy force that is security expert Stonewall Courson. (Sorry, Joy, but have you seen his biceps?!) He’s a reformed ex-con, and so he knows a thing or two about shady characters. He’s determined to protect Joy when her latest investigation proves to be more dangerous than one might have thought. (Underground surrogacy is no easily-disguised feat, that’s for sure!) Joy wants to maintain her fierce independence, while Stonewall wants to flex his manly-man muscles and prove to Joy how much he cares. (Let him, Joy, let him!) Here’s hoping they avoid the danger, catch the bad guys, that those babies end up in nice homes, and that Joy and Stonewall get to making some of their own! This is the third book in Jackson’s Protectors series. (Available in paperback and NOOK on July 25.)

    Before the Dawn, by Cynthia Eden
    Ex-SEAL Tucker Frost has some major family baggage: His brother was a serial killer known as “Iceman.” (Suddenly, that crazy aunt of yours doesn’t seem so bad!) Tucker is recruited into a special division of the FBI, one that hires people with personal ties to serial killers. Tucker goes back to Louisiana to investigate some murders, and he runs into his former lover, Dawn Alexander. He saved her from his crazy brother back in the day, but this is the first time in seven years that they’ve seen each other. They are both a little terrified that someone like the Iceman is in action, and their respective instinct is to hold each other close. (Tucker, we’ll certainly give you all of the hugs you need!) Can they keep their heads on and pick up where they left off? This is the second book in Eden’s Killer Instinct series. (Available in paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on July 25.)

    Until You Loved Me, by Brenda Novak
    Scientist Ellie Fisher just had a rough revelation: Her fiancé cheated on her with another dude. She’s feeling a bit down, to say the least, so she decides to enjoy a one-night stand with the very manly Hudson King. She disappears on him after having quite the blast, and she doesn’t even care that she never learned his full name. (You go, girl!) Then she finds out that she’s pregnant. She tracks him down, only to find out that he’s, like, a professional football player. (Don’t worry, Ellie. I wouldn’t have recognized him, either.) Hudson isn’t too thrilled about the situation, but he grew up a lonely orphan and doesn’t want that for his offspring. And as much as neither of them might want to admit, they actually like each other. Can they skip the whole soul-searching bit and just admit that they have each found The One? This is the third book in Novak’s Silver Springs series. (Available in hardcover, paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on July 25.)

    In the Market for Love, by Joy Avery
    ER nurse Vivian Moore feels some very conflicting emotions when real estate developer Alonso Wright struts into her hospital. (Alonso, feel free to visit our workplaces any day of the work week!) He wants to snatch up some property in her old neighborhood, including her childhood home, which would so NOT be cool with our gal. (On the flip side, Alonso has a body and smile that should come with individual warning labels.) It turns out that Alonso actually has some pretty philanthropic motives. He wants to build a community center in memory of his late grandfather. Vivian refuses to negotiate, though. Then a crooked business person gets involved, and a pesky hurricane hits the area, all of which make Alonso realize that he can get through any problem with the very strong and beautiful Vivian by his side. Alonso, buddy, the way to a woman’s heart is to buy her childhood home for her and let her redo it the way she wants! (Available in paperback and NOOK.)

    What romance novels are you reading in the heat of summer?

    The post Romance Roundup: Special Forces Ladies, ER Nurses, and Football Players appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Cristina Merrill 4:44 pm on 2017/07/18 Permalink
    Tags: , brenda jackson, , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Romance Roundup: Special Forces Ladies, ER Nurses, and Football Players 

    This week’s Romance Roundup includes several ladies in the special forces, a woman and a football player whose one-night stand leads to a baby, and a nurse who wants to protect her childhood home.

    Dark Carousel, by Christine Feehan
    Tariq Asenguard is looking for his mate for life and does a major double take when Charlotte Vintage walks into his club, looking so fine. He wants her, but he doesn’t realize that our girl already knows what he’s about. Charlotte has stuff to do. She is on a mission to figure out who murdered a loved one. She and Tariq are soon drawn to each other, which totally makes sense because she’s awesome and brave and he’s cool and oozing sexiness. They also have a very niche interest in common. He collects old carousel horses and she restores them. See? There’s someone for everyone! This is the 30th—yep, 30th—book in Feehan’s Dark series. (Available in paperback on July 25.)

    Fatal Threat, by Marie Force
    Washington Metro Police lieutenant Sam Holland is eager to investigate a body that has just washed up from a river. (It’s all yours, Sam, as far as we’re concerned!) Secret Service agents, however, prevent our gal from getting close to the crime scene. (Nincompoops! All of them!) All she wants to do is investigate this new case and then go home and cuddle up with her yummy husband, Vice President Nick Cappuano. There are forces, though, that are preventing her from doing the things she needs and wants to do. Add to that a threat to her family and a shady person from her husband’s past and, well, there’s only so much a gal can handle before the gray hairs start popping up. (Not that you wouldn’t rock them, Sam!) This is the latest book in Force’s Fatal series, which is perfect for romance readers who are craving a story about a sexy, long-term couple. (Available in paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on July 25.)

    Locked in Temptation, by Brenda Jackson
    Police detective Joy Ingram has just exposed a major underground surrogate baby making ring. She cannot be distracted by the very sexy force that is security expert Stonewall Courson. (Sorry, Joy, but have you seen his biceps?!) He’s a reformed ex-con, and so he knows a thing or two about shady characters. He’s determined to protect Joy when her latest investigation proves to be more dangerous than one might have thought. (Underground surrogacy is no easily-disguised feat, that’s for sure!) Joy wants to maintain her fierce independence, while Stonewall wants to flex his manly-man muscles and prove to Joy how much he cares. (Let him, Joy, let him!) Here’s hoping they avoid the danger, catch the bad guys, that those babies end up in nice homes, and that Joy and Stonewall get to making some of their own! This is the third book in Jackson’s Protectors series. (Available in paperback and NOOK on July 25.)

    Before the Dawn, by Cynthia Eden
    Ex-SEAL Tucker Frost has some major family baggage: His brother was a serial killer known as “Iceman.” (Suddenly, that crazy aunt of yours doesn’t seem so bad!) Tucker is recruited into a special division of the FBI, one that hires people with personal ties to serial killers. Tucker goes back to Louisiana to investigate some murders, and he runs into his former lover, Dawn Alexander. He saved her from his crazy brother back in the day, but this is the first time in seven years that they’ve seen each other. They are both a little terrified that someone like the Iceman is in action, and their respective instinct is to hold each other close. (Tucker, we’ll certainly give you all of the hugs you need!) Can they keep their heads on and pick up where they left off? This is the second book in Eden’s Killer Instinct series. (Available in paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on July 25.)

    Until You Loved Me, by Brenda Novak
    Scientist Ellie Fisher just had a rough revelation: Her fiancé cheated on her with another dude. She’s feeling a bit down, to say the least, so she decides to enjoy a one-night stand with the very manly Hudson King. She disappears on him after having quite the blast, and she doesn’t even care that she never learned his full name. (You go, girl!) Then she finds out that she’s pregnant. She tracks him down, only to find out that he’s, like, a professional football player. (Don’t worry, Ellie. I wouldn’t have recognized him, either.) Hudson isn’t too thrilled about the situation, but he grew up a lonely orphan and doesn’t want that for his offspring. And as much as neither of them might want to admit, they actually like each other. Can they skip the whole soul-searching bit and just admit that they have each found The One? This is the third book in Novak’s Silver Springs series. (Available in hardcover, paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on July 25.)

    In the Market for Love, by Joy Avery
    ER nurse Vivian Moore feels some very conflicting emotions when real estate developer Alonso Wright struts into her hospital. (Alonso, feel free to visit our workplaces any day of the work week!) He wants to snatch up some property in her old neighborhood, including her childhood home, which would so NOT be cool with our gal. (On the flip side, Alonso has a body and smile that should come with individual warning labels.) It turns out that Alonso actually has some pretty philanthropic motives. He wants to build a community center in memory of his late grandfather. Vivian refuses to negotiate, though. Then a crooked business person gets involved, and a pesky hurricane hits the area, all of which make Alonso realize that he can get through any problem with the very strong and beautiful Vivian by his side. Alonso, buddy, the way to a woman’s heart is to buy her childhood home for her and let her redo it the way she wants! (Available in paperback and NOOK.)

    What romance novels are you reading in the heat of summer?

    The post Romance Roundup: Special Forces Ladies, ER Nurses, and Football Players appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
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