Tagged: the royal we Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Tara Sonin 6:00 pm on 2017/12/07 Permalink
    Tags: a notorious countess confesses, a rogue by any other name, , , , , , heather cocks, if you deceive, jessica morgan, Joanna Wylde, , julie anne long, , , , , , , one good earl deserves a lover, original sinners series, , reaper's legacy, , sarah maclean, slightly wicked, , the royal we, , trouble at the wedding, unclaimed, when he was wicked   

    A Romance Novel for Every Song on Taylor Swift’s reputation 

    It’s been over a week, we’ve listened to it over a thousand times…and now the moment has come: we’re pairing up romance novels with Taylor Swift’s newest album, reputation!

    “…Ready For It?”

    I immediately thought of Claire and Jamie for this song, so Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander is my pick! It’s fast-paced, like their adventures, but also sensual and sexy, like their relationship. “Younger than my exes but he acts like such a man” make sense since Jamie is younger than Frank (and Claire herself) in the series. And of course all the references to islands reminded me of the current Season Three (no spoilers, if you haven’t seen it!)

    “End Game (featuring Ed Sheeran and Future)”

    “Ahh, and I heard about you…you like the bad ones too.” This song is all about a couple whose reputation precedes them, making them probably the least likely to work. “And I bury hatchets but I keep maps of where I put ‘em” made me think of Devon Ravenel of Cold-Hearted Rake by Lisa Kleypas: he’s a rake who lives up to his name. But then he inherits an earldom and must step up to the plate and assume responsibiity for his status—and the honor of the late earl’s three sisters. “You’ve been calling my bluff on all my usual tricks” is what happens when he meets Kathleen, who knows better than to ever fall in love with a man like Devon…except, as the song implies, they both wind up wanting to be one another’s end game.

    “I Did Something Bad”

    Unclaimed by Courtney Milan is about a handsome Bachelor known for having unimpeachable character…who finds himself entangled with a secret courtesan, not the high-bred lady he assumed her to be. “I never trust a playboy, but they love me…” totally embodies Jessica’s character: she’s a woman who knows what she wants, and is willing to do “something bad” in order to get it…like team up with the bachelor’s enemies to take him down in exchange for money. But of course, doing bad things makes you feel oh so good, and Jessica and Mark are no exception to the rule.

    “Don’t Blame Me”

    The moody, rumbling, erotic nature of this song brought one threesome to mind: Nora, Soren, and Kingsley from Tiffany Reisz’ Original Sinners series. “For you, I would cross the line/I would waste my time/I would lose my mind/They say, “She’s gone too far this time…” are definitely words worthy of Nora, preeminent Dominatrix and submissive only to Soren, a Priest she credits with saving her life. And of course, there’s Kingsley, the owner of the BDSM club, Dominant in every way…except when it comes to Soren. “If you walk away/I’d beg you on my knees to stay…” The pulse-pounding romance between these three people over the course of the series is the perfect accompaniment to Taylor’s pining words.

    “Delicate”

    Two people with broken pasts—and reputations that have never been worse, as this song croons—meet and marry for convenience in A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean. It’s just business between them: Bourne runs a casino after being stripped of all societal influence a decade ago, and Penelope is just trying to secure her future after a string of failed relationships. But eventually their boundaries start to slip. “Is it cool that I said all that?/’Cause I know that it’s delicate…” That’s contemporary speak for the passion that ignites between this regency couple when they least expect it.

    “Look What You Made Me Do”

    A revenge song needs a worthy book—and I can’t lie, this one made me think about one particular villainess in the 50 Shades Series…Christian Grey’s ex-girlfriend, Leila. “I don’t like your kingdom keys/they once belonged to me…” those words might as well have come out of her mouth in Fifty Shades Darker. We all know that Taylor likes to parody the “man-eater” persona the media has developed for her, but in this case, Leila’s instability was totally real. “I’ll be the actress starring in your bad dreams”, indeed.

    “So It Goes…”

    This is one of the quieter songs on the album, but with lyrics like “You know I’m not a bad girl/but I do bad things with you” and “I’m so chill, you make me jealous” the book to match needed to have the right balance of sweetness with an undercurrent of passion. Sarah MacLean’s One Good Earl Deserves a Lover totally fits! Pippa is a good girl from a good family who wants nothing more than a quiet life…and the freedom to pursue science. But before she settles down in that life, she wants one little taste of true passion. So she goes to Cross, a notorious gaming hall owner, and proposes an arrangement between them—all in the name of science. But of course, Pippa can’t stay “chill” when it comes to Cross for long.

    “Gorgeous”

    This upbeat song is definitely worthy of a happily ever after! Julia Quinn’s When He Was Wicked follows the track of the song: a man and woman meet, and sparks fly…the problem—well, in the song it’s that she’s got “a boyfriend, he’s older than us…” but in this book, it’s a betrothal! And to make things worse, the guy she’s marrying is the cousin of the one she falls for. “You’ve ruined my life, by not being mine…” That’s exactly how Michael Stirling feels when she marries the guy anyway. But trust me, there’s a happily ever after waiting for this gorgeous couple.

    “Getaway Car”

    One of my favorite songs on the album spins a story about doomed lovers caught in the aftermath of their betrayal. “Nothing good starts in a getaway car”, the song begins…and the statement rings true in Reaper’s Legacy by Joanna Wylde, except for one thing: you can swap out “car” for “motorcycle”. A love triangle winds its way through the story of Sophie, Zach, and Ruger: Sophie and Zach slept together, resulting in their baby, Noah…but Zach’s a deadbeat dad, leaving his brother Ruger to pick up the pieces. But living—and loving—a man in a motorcycle club can be dangerous, and even when he tries to provide security for Sophie and her son, the past always finds a way of catching up with a speeding bike. After all, remember what Taylor says: “Us traitors never win…”

    “King of My Heart”

    This song makes specific reference to the “American” identity of the heroine (and of course, there’s been rampant speculation on the British identity behind most of Taylor’s new songs) so for this one I chose Trouble at the Wedding by Laura Lee Guhrke, a story about an American falling for a Brit! Annabel does not want true love (just like the heroine of the song, who knows she is “better off being alone,”) but still, she agrees to marry a high-born man with a British title as a way to protect her new, “Southern” estate. The problem? Christian, the Duke of Scarborough, does NOT approve of Annabel’s choice. “Change my priorities/the taste of your lips is my idea of luxury…” And that’s exactly what Christian decides to do: make Annabel fall for him, instead, and become King of Her Heart.

    “Dancing With Our Hands Tied”

    Mary Balogh’s Slightly Wicked is about the ramifications of one reckless, erotic night that you think no one else will ever find out about. When Judith meets Rannulf after an accident with her stagecoach, she indulges in a passion she knows she will soon have to bury. (“First sight, yeah, we love without reason…”) But when he shows up at her aunt’s house, intending to court her cousin, Judith knows her secret will not be kept in the dark for long, especially when she can’t stop her feelings from pouring out. As this song says, “I knew there was no one in the world who could stop us/I had a bad feeling”, and soon enough, Judith and Rannulf are dancing with their hands tied, too.

    “Dress”

    One of the sexiest songs on the album deserves a romance to match. A Notorious Countess Confesses by Julie Anne Long made me think of some of the song’s steamiest lyrics, starting with “All of this silence and patience, pining and anticipation/My hands are shaking from holding back from you (ah, ah, ah).” Evie is an ambitious actress, and has charmed all of London…until her scandalous marriage goes down in flames. (Sound at all like a familiar narrative?) She escapes the tidal wave of gossip only to find herself tempted once more…by Vicar Adam Sylvaine, a man sworn to piety and prayer. “Even in my worst lies, you saw the truth in me…” Soon enough, they can’t stop their passion from overflowing, and the costumes come off to reveal their true hearts to one another.

    “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things”

    You can finish the title of this romance novel with the title of Taylor’s diss track: If You Deceive…this is why we can’t have nice things! Two people caught at the center of a family feud (aka, a “narrative” they’d like to be excluded from, perhaps?) in the third novel in Kresley Cole’s MacCarrick Brothers series find themselves irrevocably drawn to one another despite the pain and anguish that their families have wrought. “But then you stabbed me in the back while shaking my hand…” What starts as a quest for revenge soon becomes a mission to keep the one thing they both hold dear in this Highland romance.

    “Call It What You Want”

    The Royal We by Jessica Morgan and Heather Cocks is a sweet romance with just a tad of high-stakes drama: Bex Porter has a real-life fairytale in the form of Nick, the heir to the throne of England. But just like Taylor Swift, loving a famous person comes with consequences. “All the drama queens takin’ swings/All the jokers dressing up as kings…” is right: between the paparazzi, backstabbers, and family baggage, it’s going to take everything she has to keep their relationship together.

    “New Year’s Day”

    This poignant, piano-based closer is heartfelt and raw with emotion, all about what happens when the glitz and glamour fades and the reality of life sets in….and who will be by your side when it does. “I want your midnights/but I’ll be picking up bottles with you on New Year’s Day…” It’s not a New Year’s story, but that sentiment really reminded me of The Notebook: a love story all about choosing the harder road, but the one that’s ultimately true to who you are.

    What do you think of our pairings?

    The post A Romance Novel for Every Song on Taylor Swift’s reputation appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Tara Sonin 7:00 pm on 2016/06/22 Permalink
    Tags: castles, , here comes the bride, , , , something borrowed, the bride quartet, the royal we   

    7 Romances to Read During Wedding Season 

    Summer is the season of love and weddings, so no matter where you are in the process of planning your wedding (or just find yourself a frequent guest at one!) here are some sweet and swoony romances to sweep you off your feet.

    The Royal We, by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
    If you’re constantly scrolling through royal weddings for inspiration to add to your Pinterest board, then definitely read The Royal We! It’s a tale as old as time: regular-gal Bex travels from America to Oxford and finds herself falling for Prince Nicholas, the heir to the British crown. What I love most about this book is that it covers their entire relationship, not just the falling in love part! Over five years you see Bex wrestle with the changes and challenges of living and loving a monarch— and we, the readers, get to live vicariously through her.

    Eligible, by Curtis Sittenfeld
    A modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice? Sign me up. The roles of women have certainly changed, as has the general acceptance of their being single as they approach middle-age, but the central plot is still the same: Liz is a magazine writer who lives in New York City, as does her sister, Jane. But when their father has a health scare, they go home to find their family in shambles. Enter, of course, the men: in this version, Bingley is a doctor who took a turn on a Bachelor-esque  TV show, and Darcy is a neurosurgeon (still with a chip on his shoulder). The modern updates to the characters make for a much more relatable and funny read.

    Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
    Of course if you’re going to read the retelling, you should try your hand at the original! Did you fall in love with your intended the moment you set eyes on each other? Or, like Lizzie and Darcy, did you have some “prejudices” and “pride” (see what I did there?) to overcome before you could say “I do”? A classic historical romance that will remind you that people are always more than what they seem.

    Something Borrowed, by Emily Giffin
    Okay, so this scenario might be every bride’s nightmare, but I love this book so much (it’s my favorite of Emily Giffin’s novels). Rachel has always been a good girl, a loyal friend, a rule-follower…until one night she ends up in bed with her best friend’s fiancé. This novel is all about how falling in love is NOT always a fairy tale. When Rachel has to make a choice between keeping her BFF in the dark-and keeping silent to save her own skin, the lines between good and bad are crossed, friendships are tested, and true love comes at a cost.

    Marrying Winterborne, by Lisa Kleypas
    I had to put one of Lisa Kleypas’ novels on here—she’s the queen of historical romance, and a perfect pick for a bride (or bridesmaid) looking to escape the harsh realities of seating charts and family feuds. Her newest novel, Marrying Winterborne, will introduce you to one my new all-time favorite heroes: Rhys Winterborne, a man of “new money” and cunning, with an eye for beautiful things. When he meets lady Helen Ravenel, nothing will stop him from possessing her—least of all her virtue. We first met these characters in the first Ravenel’s novel, Cold-Hearted Rake, and they do not disappoint! Winterborne is devastatingly charming, and eventually, compassionate, while Helen is a passionate heroine with a mind of her own.

    Castles, by Julie Garwood
    Alessandra and Colin from the Crown’s Spies series are one of my favorite reluctant-to-wed couples. An orphaned princess taking refuge with a Duke’s family, Alessandra must wed to protect her kingdom from the will of a bloodthirsty general who would marry her first. But Colin, the Duke’s son, does not want to marry—especially someone his father picks. They strike up a bargain that he will help her choose her husband from the leftover candidates…and in the process, they fall in love.

    The Bride Quartetby Nora Roberts
    Okay, I’ve cheated a bit: this option is four books in one: Vision in White, Bed of Roses, Savor the Moment, and Happy Ever After. Whether you’ve just gotten engaged, are in the middle of planning your wedding, or are about to embark on your honeymoon, the Bride Quartet is one of my favorite Nora Roberts series. Four best friends run a wedding planning company together, and in each installment, meets the man of their dreams!

    What are your favorite wedding-season romances?

     
  • BN Editors 4:30 pm on 2016/05/31 Permalink
    Tags: , , delfina blaquier, , nacho figueras, national velvet, riders, , , the polo season, the royal we   

    Nacho Figueras and Delfina Blaquier on the Books That Inspired the Feel for The Polo Season 

    Summer is heating up with the debut of a new series set in the seductive world of high-stakes polo competition. Nacho Figueras, the captain of Argentina’s Blackwatch polo team, presents The Polo Season—perfect summer reading for romance fans who like a little drama and intrigue along with their gorgeous athletes and stunning thoroughbreds. Equestrian fans in particular will love this fascinating behind-the-scenes look at a thrilling sport. A smart, saucy country vet and a sexy, determined polo team captain match wits in the steamy first novel in the series, High Season—in stores today. Figueras teamed up with his wife, photographer Delfina Blaquier, to share a few of the books that inspired the feel for this captivating new series.

    Black Beauty, by Anna Sewell
    One of the best classics of all time. I think my daughter needs to be a little older for me to read it to her, but I already can’t wait. It’s true that every horse has a personality, and a good owner can bring out the best in a good horse.

    The Royal We, by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
    This is such a fun look at the behind the scenes of a “royal” family and what might happen if the heir to the British throne fell in love with an American commoner. Bex is so much like Georgia in High Season, being in this fancy world with all kinds of rules she doesn’t even know. We only wish they’d included one of the princes playing polo!

    Riders, by Jilly Cooper
    One of the ultimate dishy summer reads. We love how this gives such an amazing look at the world of high-stakes horse jumping combined with sexy, charismatic characters. Jilly puts you right there. It’s exactly what we wanted to do with The Polo Season, but for a different horse-related sport.

    The Bourbon Kings, by J.R. Ward
    A sprawling wealthy family with plenty of secrets? Yes, please! Kentucky is some of the best horse country in the world (outside of Argentina, of course), and reading about the life of privilege of the Bradford siblings is very similar to Alejandro and Sebastian in The Polo Season series. They might fight with each other, but no matter what, they also have each other’s backs.

    National Velvet, by Enid Bagnold
    We’ll end on another classic. After reading this, it’s impossible not to want a horse of your very own (you’ve been warned!). The thrill of excitement as Velvet takes an unremarkable horse to the world’s most famous steeplechase competition is a true underdog story that has us cheering Velvet all the way every time. It’s the same kind of feeling we wanted to bring to Alejando del Campo as he sets out with his struggling team to win the biggest polo match of the season.

    High Season is in stores today. The Polo Season series continues this summer with Ride Free, available July 26.

     
c
compose new post
j
next post/next comment
k
previous post/previous comment
r
reply
e
edit
o
show/hide comments
t
go to top
l
go to login
h
show/hide help
esc
cancel