Ep.40 Summer Romance Reads

Host Y. M. Nelson, guest cohost Jen G. and new guest co-host Leslie M. share the books that they’re excited to read (or re-read) this summer. This one is sure to fill up your TBR list whether you like a sweet or a steamy heat level.

We  recommend romance reads for your summer from every romance subgenre including, contemporary, sci-fi, historical, and paranormal. We even have a selection from the new hot romantasy genre. This episode is spoiler-free, so get ready to add to your eReaders, your library hold list, or your list for your next Barnes and Noble run because we’ve got you!

Meet this episode’s co-hosts

Headshot of Leslie Murphy, blogger, podcaster at She Reads Romance Books

Leslie Murphy

At She Reads Romance Books, the She Reads Romance Books Podcast and within the She Reads Romance Books Book Club, I celebrate the romance book genre.

Since 2019 it has been my mission to help my fellow readers find the best romance books worth reading and to explore the diversity of the genre.

With over 250 book reviews, over 350 book lists and counting, and reading 150+ new books a year, I’m all about sharing my expertise to strengthen the romance genre for readers and authors alike.

Want to contact her?

Website: https://www.shereadsromancebooks.com/
Podcast: https://www.shereadsromancebooks.com/podcast/
Book Club: https://www.shereadsromancebooks.com/bookclub/

Jen Graybeal

Jen Graybeal is “a book coach and freelance editor working with romance authors that want to take their books and their business to the next level.” She also loves talking all things nerdy, so look for her on more nerdy episodes.

Want to contact her?

Jen is accepting new clients for both coaching and editing. She offers a free 30-min coaching session for new clients. (sign up on her website).

Website: www.jengraybeal.com
Instagram: www.instagram.com/jentheeditor/
Clubhouse: Romance Author Community https://www.clubhouse.com/club/romance-author-community

Books we recommend (Click to jump to transcript’s section) :

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Episode Transcript

Y. M.Nelson: [00:00:00] Hello, Nerdy Romantics. We are here with guest host Jen and Leslie, a new guest host for us. And we’re going to talk about some great summer romances. Now, these may be some that we might have read and we want to reread them. They may be some that we want to read book 2 of. hint hint wink wink. Yes. I do have a book 2 coming out. And they may be some that are just plain new to us coming out this summer. So, get out your pens, your any kind of eReaders you’ve got going on get ready to mark all of these put all of these on your to be read list 

This is the Nerdy Romantics Podcast, and I’m your host, YM [00:01:00] Nelson. 

All right I am so excited y’all about this list because I am in full on summer romance read mode. It doesn’t help that it’s like 70 degrees outside at this point. But I’m really excited to just get a book and just do a beach read. By the pool, whatever, just outside having a good time. 

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Meet Leslie!

Y. M.Nelson: First off, we are going to introduce Leslie from She Reads Romance [Books]. And Leslie, tell us a little bit about yourself and about that wonderful podcast you’ve got.

Leslie: All right.

Leslie: Well, thanks so much for having me today. Yes, I am sort of the creator and writer over at shereadsromancebooks.Com, where I help romance book lovers find the best books reading worth reading in the genre. And I do that through my book list, through reviews, my fun book, quizzes, the shereadsromancebooks podcasts, and now the shereadsromancebooks book club.

Y. M.Nelson: Ooh, I like the book club idea. Is the book club virtual? 

Leslie: It is virtual. I would love for you to join because I really, I have interacted with various readers, people who are right into me and say, Oh my gosh, I love your list. Or we have the same like reading vibes and whatnot. But this year I really wanted to earn felt like I had the space to develop sort of a community.

Because I want to connect with my people, right? And I want to be able to talk shop about books that we love. Which we’re going to do virtually [00:03:00] every month, read a book and talk about it on the book club. But then also a great part about the book club is that during that month, we’re also going to get back together virtually and talk to the author who wrote the book.

So it’s an awesome way to connect with authors that, you know, readers love and ask them their questions. And I put together a discussion guide and all the kinds of fun stuff. So yeah, it’s going to be great. And. Part of the book club, too, is I do author interviews and different interviews on my podcast, too.

And then I always do an extended interview with them, and so people in the book club can watch the interview by video and get that extended extra, too, which is cool.

Y. M.Nelson: I like it. I like it a lot. And y’all know that I will have all of the details in the show notes. So everybody can join the book club that wants to join the book club. And tune in to the podcast. Everything that you have going on. I just, I love it [00:04:00] all. I love it all here.

Jen G.: That’s so 

Y. M.Nelson: cool!

Leslie: Thanks.

Y. M.Nelson: Jen! How’s it going up there?

Jen G.: my gosh. Things are great. How you doing, honey?

Y. M.Nelson: Oh, doing really well. For those who have just tuned in to this podcast, you just found us because I know we just started, putting ourselves out there on YouTube, so you might’ve just found us, Jen, tell everybody a little bit about yourself.

Jen G.: Sure. So I am a creativity coach. I’ve been working with romance authors for about nine years, and I help them with their books, their business and their and their mindset. So I do a lot of coaching and some editing on the side.

Y. M.Nelson: she’s good y’all. Especially with the coaching part, which I always need. Oh my goodness. Oh

Jen G.: talk. We’ll talk, babe.

Y. M.Nelson: yes. So let’s get into these wonderful books that [00:05:00] we are recommending. And Leslie, how about start us off with your list of summer romance reads that you’re dying to read.

Leslie: All right.

Jen G.: I have a pen handy.

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Play Along by Liz Tomforde

Leslie: Yes, get ready. I think this is really going to be a great summer of romance books, like I was actually putting together my list to put up on the blog today, and I’m like, Oh my gosh, this is really hard to narrow them down because there are so many really great ones coming out. The first one that I thought I’d talk about is by an indie author, Liz Tomforde.

The book coming out is Play Along on July 11th. So her, this is part of her Windy City series. This is book four, but all of her books can be read as standalones. It’s been really, it’s a really popular sports romance. series. She has, first one was a hockey player. Second one was a basketball player. Third one was a baseball player.

And this fourth one is also a baseball [00:06:00] player, a brother of the hero from book three. So Isaiah is the hero. He is a shortstop and just like hysterical guy because he kind of already met him in the other book, but this book is about him taking a trip with the team to Vegas and waking up one morning realizing that he got married overnight to Kennedy, the physical therapist trainer to his baseball team who he’s always had a crush on But she had been engaged, but recently broke that off.

And so now they wake up married. Sounds pretty cool.

Y. M.Nelson: Oh my gosh!

Jen G.: love that 

Y. M.Nelson: sounds wild!

Jen G.: I love that they wake up married

Leslie: And another twist to that she has a stepbrother who is also a professional baseball player. Who’s kind of like the nemesis to Isaiah. So you’ve got that sort of like. angle going on [00:07:00] to the story.

Y. M.Nelson: Oh wow. So for those who, yeah, for those who are new to Liz’s books, what’s the, what’s the heat level on those?

Leslie: She can get pretty spicy. Not going to lie. Like she’s got, she has several scenes, you know, that can get pretty steamy. So I would say it’s up there probably like three or four chili peppers. We’ll say.

Y. M.Nelson: All right. Yeah. What, what is your do you have a, a range there on your on your list of esteem level there? What’s the hottest? Is it five?

Leslie: I’ll say a five. Yes. We’ll go like, you know, no peppers to five peppers is probably how I would do it. It’s hard though, right? I mean, it’s so subjective to say like, well, what does one person think is steamy versus another? But she’s definitely open door romance. I’m sure there’s going to be a few steamy scenes in there.

So yeah, this is, this is the pick for somebody who wants a little steam with a little, you know, baseball [00:08:00] summer’s pastime, right? Games. So this would be my pick for if you like a little baseball and if you want a little steam.

Jen G.: Love that.

Y. M.Nelson: I like it. So, what’s next on your list?

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The Rom-Commers by Katherine Center

Leslie: So speaking of steam, this one is very low steam. I would say not even really a chili pepper. There’s a kiss in it. So, because this book I want to talk about is The Rom-Commers by Katherine Center. Comes out June 11th and she’s pretty well known for her closed door romance books. And so that’s definitely what this one is.

So I’ve already read the book. I actually took this on spring break and read it at the beach. So I already know it’s like the perfect summer read because I, like, couldn’t put it down while I was reading at the beach in the pool. So good. 

Y. M.Nelson: Oh my gosh. 

Leslie: This is about Emma Wheeler. She is this aspiring screenwriter rom-com screenwriter. But she hasn’t really been able to fulfill her [00:09:00] dream of becoming a screenwriter because for the last 10 years, she’s been taking, she’s been the caretaker for her father, but then she gets this epic opportunity from her friend to work with a very famous screenwriter who was her hero on this rom-com and she’s going to work on it, but the rom-com is like terrible. You know, he’s more known for like, you know, the sci fi and Marvel, like those, you know, movies that we kind of love, but when it comes to rom com, he’s like, doesn’t know what the heck he’s doing. So she goes to LA to hopefully help him on this screenplay. And it was fantastic. I absolutely loved it.

Y. M.Nelson: Is it part of a series? I can’t remember, and she doesn’t really write in series, does she?

Leslie: Absolutely a standalone. You get cameos from a character that was in her release from two years ago, The Bodyguard. So there is a brief [00:10:00] cameo from him. Not that you need to read The Bodyguard, but if you did, then you would like his little cameo, but you know, summer again, it’s a great time to watch, you know, summer romance movies, you know, rom coms.

And this is sort of like her, I think, love letter to the genre, like saying like, cause Emma totally defends rom-coms and schools him on what’s it about. So I really appreciated that part of the book.

Y. M.Nelson: Yeah. Yeah. I like that, too. And you’ve got one more for us, too. 

Leslie: And. This one also comes out June 11th. There are a lot of summer romance books that come out on June 11th, by the way. I don’t know what’s so

Jen G.: Because it’s my birthday.

Leslie: but, oh, 

Y. M.Nelson: It’s your birthday, is it? For real, Jen?

Jen G.: June 11th is my birthday. And there are a lot of book releases that day. And I just want to say to the romance community, thank you. I appreciate that.

Leslie: We’ve got all your presents covered. Cause we’re going to like, buy them all for you.[00:11:00] 

Jen G.: What else would I need besides more romance novels?

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One Last Summer by Kate Spencer

Leslie: This one, I actually just finished too. Cause I got an advanced reader copy of it and it. I have to talk about it because it’s perfect for summer. It’s called One Last Summer by Kate Spencer. This is her second romance. She, her debut novel was In a New York Minute, which was fantastic. But this one kind of takes you to Boston and then to the lakes of New Hampshire.

Clara, who is the heroine, she’s sort of this woman and having like a midlife crisis and she’s forced to go on this like sabbatical or placation for a week to just to kind of get her head on straight and to get over her burnout. And so she goes up to this summer camp in New Hampshire where she went – attended as a kid and she reconnects with friends that she made there and she, but then they realized, Oh my gosh, the camp’s being sold.

And so she wants to [00:12:00] recreate, like, all the fun that they had when they attended summer camp as kids. But one of the friends is a fella that she had a crush on when she was there as a kid. So they reconnect and shenanigans ensue. So, yeah. So for anyone who wants to like reminisce to the nostalgia of, attending summer camp, you know, or just envisioning yourself in the beautiful lakes of New Hampshire over the summer, this would be a great one.

Y. M.Nelson: Oh, yeah, that sounds nice.

Well what is the heat level on that one? How many chili

Leslie: Oh gosh, let me think. That one, I would say it’s a, it’s maybe two or three chili peppers. You know, it’s not nothing super graphic in terms of being five chili peppers, but definitely a little bit of steam. I would say it’s not totally closed door, but lower on the scale. I think I’ve given,

Y. M.Nelson: And you said this yeah, 

Leslie: I was going to say, I gave one closed door, one sort of middle ground, and one, [00:13:00] maybe a little steamy.

Y. M.Nelson: Yeah. You said this one was her second book. Is it like second in a series?

Leslie: Nope. Totally.

Y. M.Nelson: Or this is a standalone as well. So we don’t have to read the first one, but we

Leslie: I think you should. It was really cute, especially if you like New York City. You know I used to live in Boston. And so it was just really cool hearing her talk about the public gardens and you know, different aspects of the city. I could really picture and see, and even like going up to New Hampshire, which is really cool.

So yeah, makes a great book.

Y. M.Nelson: Oh, I love it. I love all of these Recommendations that you’ve got going on and I love how they’re over the spectrum as far as heat levels because our audience Sometimes we like a sweet. Sometimes we like a steamy. So 

Leslie: And this would be for anyone who loves like friends to lovers romance because yeah, that’s always so much fun. And you know, childhood [00:14:00] sort of friends now reconnecting and you could tell that they had this spark and, and people who, who, who love really good banter too. Like they’re kind of like in the hero and heroine have this like really good antagonism to one another, which sort of sparks their chemistry, which is, which is always fun to read too.

Y. M.Nelson: Cool, cool. Well, you know Leslie, this is your inaugural appearance on here, but you know, you’re gonna have to come back because you are now … we have knighted you or whatever they say, as a nerdy romantic. You are official! I’m loving these recommendations. And so, you know I’m gonna have to have you back.

Leslie: I would love it. I would love it. Absolutely.

Y. M.Nelson: Jen, how about you? Now, you know – Everybody knows on here that we can always depend on Jen To give us A whole [00:15:00] bunch of recommendations time y’all though She’s given us some recommendations in different genres, and I didn’t even think about this but not everybody likes to read contemporary romance, which I happen to write and I happen to love reading but we all, like to read a few different things.

And for me, I am actually getting into,  a little more of the nerdy side of romance, which means we’re getting into things like paranormal, you know, sci-fi kind of romance, fantasy romance. And Jen, you’ve got a little bit of everything here. To satisfy all of that. All right. I – I’m loving all of that now Jen’s got a list y’all y’all be ready for this. What’s first on your list?

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Frequency (Series) by Lin Lustig

Jen G.: Okay. First on my list. For me, summer is [00:16:00] a time when I get a lot of books read. And so I wanted to make sure we had some bingeable options for everybody. So my first recommendation. And the paranormal world is a series called Frequency. It’s called The Frequency series by Lin Lustig. It’s four books. The series is complete.

The whole thing plays out. Now this is a true series. You’re going to want to start with book one, and then you’re just going to want to continue all the way through book four, because a lot is happening in this world. This is an alternate universe type of a world. All kinds of stuff has gone down, so including a massive shift in the frequency of the earth and what has happened as a result, speaking of 30, is that there are now people on the planet that have powers. And what’s great about the way that she did this with the powers is that the powers are all sort of relate to your emotional world.

So [00:17:00] it’s not so much flying around as it is being able to control other the emotions of, and and way that other people feel. So we have the first book is Gilded Lies. And in this book, we have our, our main hero is a very sexy movie star. And one of his superpowers is people feel very lustful around him.

I know. I kind of think that there’s a lot of maybe handsome movie stars that have this particular power about them, right?

Y. M.Nelson: I think so. Yes!

Jen G.: I’m thinking so.

Y. M.Nelson: We won’t name names. 

Jen G.: so he’s that kind of a guy. And he has this bodyguard that goes with him everywhere. That is in love with him. And, but you know what, our movie star guy is not out.

So alongside the massive things that are happening in the world we have a [00:18:00] really wonderful love story between the two of them of getting to know each other and figuring out, you know, who is it that’s important to you and what type of a statement do you want to make about this? And And so that makes a really great story.

But then we have in book two, we learned a little bit about this in book one, but in in book two, I should have this in front of me book two, we have copper wrath there’s the story continues and, and big things are happening in our world by book three, Bronze Shame. We have one of our heroines, her superpower actually has to do with her blood, her blood is able to heal people, and one of the massive corporations would really like to figure that out and really like to monetize that, of course, but They have not been able to they’re not able to figure that out.

And so our, our, our band of, of heroes has to try and figure out how to, how to keep her protected. And the science is like, the science is sciencing [00:19:00] folks. So then by the end, we have Platinum Death where everything in the world. makes another shift. And we have, we have heroines that can speak you know, telepathically.

We have so much has happened. So you really want to start with book one on this one and read all the way through The Frequency series. It’s, it’s a ride. It’s, it’s, there’s gentle love stories in each of them; really kind of following your heart and figuring out the people that you want to be around that you want to be with.

Oh, what I meant to say, I think I skipped over Copper Wrath. The thing about book two, Is that our is that our hero, our movie star hero in, in book one, he and the boyfriend are aware that he also has another love interest. And so we learn way more about her. And when I tell you how cool this lady is she is someone that has an incredible talent.

She’s an actress. They’re starring on Broadway together and she has the power to see Where [00:20:00] your weaknesses are. And so, oh yeah. So she is a force to be reckoned with when the big bad guys come after them. So really fantastic. So well put together such a really intricate and and wonderful world that Lin Lustig has created here. So if you like to just immerse yourself in superhero stories, this is the one go for it. 

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My Not so Super Blind Date by Allison Temple

Jen G.: If you like, if you want a little bit of something a little softer in the superhero world Alison Temple’s book, My Not So Super Blind Date is, is a novella and it has a really fantastic story with a sidekick.

So our sidekick has kind of been going along in the world and he ends up on a blind date with a henchman that works for the bad guy. And now, they are caught and they spend so much time together that [00:21:00] they’re trying to figure their way out of this time loop, who created the time loop, what is happening.

And. So many, so many good things. It is such a, it’s a great love story about people that are learning to trust each other and people that they cannot and should not be able to trust. But they stay side by side. This is not a super steamy book. The Frequency series, I don’t think I mentioned that is, is there’s like a tiny bit of steam, maybe like two chili pepper, three chili pepper kind of steam.

And in My Not So Super Blind Date like a two chili pepper scene. I think there’s only one I think there’s only one real love scene in there, such great writing. So fun. And definitely a quick read that is part of like a shared world series that has other authors. But the Alison Temple one is is, is a great one. So highly recommend.

Y. M.Nelson: Cool.

Jen G.: And 

Y. M.Nelson: Sounds like good Sounds like one for Doctor Who fans. They might like that.[00:22:00] 

Jen G.: Ooh,

Y. M.Nelson: I’m thinking

Jen G.: I have more time. If we want to do a whole series, if we want to do a whole episode on time travel, I’ve so got you on time travel.

Y. M.Nelson: Oh boy. Okay. So that will be then our next episode. Oh, okay.

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Order of Olympus (Series) by Maria Shield

Jen G.: Okay, I have, I have one more paranormal sort of world to talk about. If anybody has been watching the Percy Jackson series that came out, It was so well done. It was such a great thing to watch. And the Percy Jackson series for anybody that hasn’t read it, that’s a YA series that involves the Greek myths coming to life and being part of the contemporary world. Great book for kids, great series for kids on Disney.

But if you like that stuff and want it to be a little more on the adult side, I got you. So this fantastic author, Maria Shield, has written a series, it’s called the Order of Olympus. There’s four books currently available there.

Two of [00:23:00] them are novels and two of them are novellas. So The novels, the novellas are standalones. You don’t have to read anything. If you wanna start small and just start with a novella, you can do daring. The Demigod is a snowed-in book, so our hero and heroine are up in Alaska and they are snowed in, which I realize is maybe not exactly what you’re looking for in the summertime, but when I tell you the heat,

Leslie: He makes up for it.

Jen G.: you’ll be fine.

Don’t worry.

Y. M.Nelson: All right.

Jen G.: That is a great book between, a son of Zeus and a daughter of Aphrodite. Good times are happening. So then we have the other the other novella does take place in the summertime. We have we have an archaeologist who is exploring where myths supposedly took place and she’s kind of gone in search of, of these, these locations.

And so she finds [00:24:00] the rock where Prometheus was chained, right. And had his, his. He brought fire to the humans. And well, she finds the rock and then Prometheus finds her. So lots of good, wonderful things are happening there. We love that. So if you want to start, if you want to start short, the novellas are really great.

The novels, the novels take place in the contemporary world. The kind of along the East Coast, like the Chesapeake Bay sort of area. So really lovely locations that are incorporated into the story. And the first one is called Holding Out for a Hero. And you know, I love me a song lyric. So 

Y. M.Nelson: Oh 

Jen G.: holding out for a hero.

Which is one of the immortal warriors has escaped from Calypso. We love that for him and and runs into a chef. In modern day Chesapeake Bay. So we love that. And and then we have, Then a Hero Comes Along, again, we love a good song [00:25:00] lyric. And in this one we have one of the furies, one of the the, the furies is loose in DC and our hero is like, oh, I need to be a part of this.

So really great series, really well done. She does the mythology really well. And she also does she does these love stories. Just fantastic. Just really brings people together. Incorporates the the Greek gods here and there. And and, and the, the two novels, like I said, those you, you, you don’t have to read them in order, but they are connected. So,

Y. M.Nelson: Okay.

Jen G.: are great.

Y. M.Nelson: That’s what I was going to ask the way that you kind of talk about them. The, it seems like they’re the two novellas are connected. The two novels may be connected.

Jen G.: So the, all four happen in the same world, so it’s all like, they’re all sort of like leading to something. But you don’t have to read, the novellas can be read in either order. They don’t connect, they’re, they’re not like [00:26:00] dependent on each other in the storyline. They happen, it’s two separate things that are happening separately. If that makes sense. And then the the, the longer novels are they’re more connected. The two heroes know each other. So they, they’ve been friends for a few thousand years.

Y. M.Nelson: Okay. Okay. Got it. 

Leslie: I love, I love the mythology angle. That’s really cool.

Jen G.: Oh yeah, she does such a great job with it too. Just just really builds a world and builds characters that, that you feel like you just want to reach out and touch. They’re just really wonderfully done. So that’s Maria Shield. And and on a spice level, we’ll, we’ll go a solid three, maybe four, depending on your, on on how you feel about spice. But but yeah. Those are really great books. And again, cause there’s four of them. You have a really nice bingeable experience there,

Y. M.Nelson: it. Exactly. Love it. That’s what summer is all about. Bingeable stuff.

Jen G.: right? You get to the end of a book. You just want your Kindle. Just download the next one. Let’s go. Let’s have [00:27:00] it.

Y. M.Nelson: Right. so so give us more. Give us more, bingeable 

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Never Cross a Highlander by Lisa Rayne

Jen G.: more, All right. Okay. Well, let’s do historical. I have a couple of contemporaries I want to talk about. So we’ll we’ll do the historical first and then we’ll come back around to the to the contemporary. So it, I swear one of my absolute, absolute favorite books. This is not a brand new book.

This book has been out for a year and a half. Okay. But Never Cross the Highlander by Lisa Rayne. is is easily one of the very best historicals I have ever read. And so if you haven’t read it yet, you are missing out. She has a way with language that is beautiful. She has the she actually used to teach history and has this whole like historical research that she’s done where she’s gone real deep into into real life England and Scotland and and is able to sort of like pull these characters like straight out of the past and make them so alive and so real that [00:28:00] you cannot put it down. You cannot put this book down.

Y. M.Nelson: Oh, wow.

Jen G.: we have a very sexy Highlander. That is, he is at a castle to for like a tournament type situation, but he has a secret. He has a secret. He frees slaves secretly, and brings them to freedom. She is trying to escape the castle, but does not want to go with this guy Because she has a plan! And she’s like, no, I have a plan. I know what I’m doing. And he’s like, no, get in the cart. And so they start off, they started off in this like enemy space of he messed up her escape and her ability to reconnect with her family because her, her clan was at the tournament as well.

And she missed out on being able to connect with them because he insisted that she’d be quiet because he’s trying to save other people. And so she ends up like completely off. In the wrong direction and angry as all [00:29:00] get out. But he needs to keep to his, he needs to keep to his plan. So the the, the sparks are flying for sure at the beginning, but it is not a, they, it is not romantically.

They are both very angry with each other. Spoiler they managed to get past it.

Y. M.Nelson: of course we hope that happens. Otherwise, romance

Leslie: You had me at Highlander. That’s all I had to hear, was Highlander.

Y. M.Nelson: Highlander. Yes.

Jen G.: Highlanders. Don’t worry. There’s Highlanders. There’s sword fights. There are there are kilts there are– there is a waterfall. We’re going to leave it at that. So highly recommend this book. And like I said, this is one that that just takes just uses really beautiful language throughout. So so yeah, always handy.

Always hand me a Lisa Rayne book. Always. So that I I love that book. 

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Full Moon Over Freedom by Angelina M. Lopez

Jen G.: Okay. So if we want to think about contemporary, and I know Yvonne has a book 2 coming out. We love a book [00:30:00] 2. We love to like revisit a little bit about heroes and heroines that we’ve met in the past and like come into the, the next story how their friends are doing, how our loved ones are doing.

And so one of my very favorites is called Full Moon Over Freedom. It’s by Angelina M. Lopez. This is book 2 in her Milagro Street series. You don’t have to read book one in order to understand book two. You certainly can. You certainly should because it’s a great book and we’ve talked about it before.

But in book two, we have a divorced heroine with two children who comes back to her family’s house in Kansas and is you know, trying to figure out life now that she’s divorced her husband. And And she’s been kind of a high society mom while she was in, while she was married and, and really fit in that way. And she’s in small town, Kansas now. So there’s, there’s no high [00:31:00] society to be had. And she’s trying to figure out like what she’s going to do with her life. What role does she have? How does she want to raise her kids? All these kinds of big questions that somebody going through a major transition is, is happening.

And one of the things that she is. That she has really sort of disconnected from is her own internal magic. Ladies, we have an actual real brouha that in this story, and it takes, it takes the whole story to a different level of somebody who is not only trying to reconnect with who they are, reconnect with their family, reconnect with their culture, and reconnect with this magical element that she has.

Y. M.Nelson: Oh

Leslie: very cool.

Jen G.: But just to continue the reconnection you know, theme that we have running through here, she is out on out on a dark road. One that is full of mystery [00:32:00] and some backstory for her. And who does she come across? But her teenage crush. Oh, not just crush.

I should, I should clarify. Not just crush. But, her first time, her love, her, all the big feelings, we have, we have found him. And, what happens when she is like, oh, this is a sign, oh, yeah, we’re gonna like, we’re gonna have a moment in this car, like, we’re gonna, we’re gonna reconnect, and what does he say? I’m engaged.

Y. M.Nelson: No!

Jen G.: I know, know, I know.

Leslie: Oh!

Jen G.: He, he is a complicated man. He is a complicated man that has a complicated past. He is an artist and he is and he has come back. He is now like a, like a famous, like a really famous artist. And he has come to town to do a [00:33:00] mural in honor of of the historical, for the historical society.

And and he’s very happy to do it. It just means that he’s in town for a while. Oh, and man, Oh, there’s a lot that happens. There’s a lot of history that those two need to cover together. So it is, it makes for a really fantastic read. And and you just, you just want these two to be happy. So,

Leslie: I love her  that. I love her writing, so I’ll have to check it out.

Jen G.: Angelina is another person,

Jen G.: right? Oh my gosh. 

Y. M.Nelson: totally 

Jen G.: just has a way with words. Oh, 

Y. M.Nelson: Amazing. Amazing writing. Yes. And very rich characters. 

Jen G.: yes,

Y. M.Nelson: I’m like, now that she has this magical level on, oh gosh, I’ve got to read this book.

Jen G.: you have to, you have to because, and of course, like, cause it’s a book too, we have to bring back the whole family, all the cousins, know, Sunday dinner at grandma’s that is [00:34:00] complicated and fraught, of course. So we love the family drama. We love the family dynamics and and we just love this, this whole theme of reconnection.

Good, good things are happening. Okay. 

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Exposed Dreams (Series) by Eva Moore

Jen G.: So to continue the family theme I have another bingeable complete series for folks that as called Exposed Dreams. So this one is by Eva Moore, all four books, all done. This is about a family that has a Like a remodeling company and they get a deal with what we would recognize as HGTV, but she uses a different name for for it.

And they’re going to do a television show about these remodels that they’re doing in Silicon Valley. And see dad is the one that signed the contract, and he springs it on the kids that work for the company. The wife who thinks he was going to retire. He, she thought we [00:35:00] were having a dad’s going to retire dinner.

And that’s why it was so important for everyone to be here. No, it turns out dad signed a contract to do a television show without consulting with anybody who was going to be in the show. Oh yeah. And this really hits the daughter, the oldest daughter. is, she’s like, well, wait, have you, have you, have you Have we had a lawyer look at it?

Have we reviewed this? Have we, this kind of stuff, right? She, this is a family that has experienced some tragedy. The the oldest brother went into the military and, and died overseas. And so this is a family that has been grieving and hasn’t figured out how to put themselves back together yet.

And so a lot, when, when that happened, mom sort of, you know, Extracted herself from everything the family was going through. And, and the daughter steps up, the daughter steps up, she takes over the whole office. [00:36:00] She takes over so many things. And, and here she is just feeling completely overworked. And now they’ve got a television show and what am I supposed to do?

And then they’re really fantastic manager, like head, like construction guy, construction head for the company. He sees her in a way that nobody else sees her and helps her to see herself as someone that’s, that’s strong and takes very good care of her in all the wonderful ways. So we love that.

We love a supportive guy. We love a guy that loves his family. We love a guy that is that’s just really dang good at his job. So she, through this process, she kind of helps her. She gets herself to sort of be like, you know what? I want to be in charge of all the design because that’s what she went to college for.

And and she makes it happen. She makes so many things happen. And, you know, [00:37:00] our guy has, you know, he has a complicated family as well, but together they are just going to be thrilled. All, all the good things happen and we love that for them. We really love that for them.

Book two and three sort of cover the other siblings and and we have, we have a wonderful gray sweatpants scene. If anybody’s into those and (laughter)

Y. M.Nelson: Oh boy. Anyway.

Jen G.: Eva definitely, even more definitely right on the spicier side. So we’re looking at, you know, in that three to four chili pepper sort of range. She, she writes wonderful family dynamics, really a lot of complications within the family and in terms of, of who they are and what they want. And then book four throughout kind of the overarching, you know, like storyline through the, the whole thing is, is, is.

The fact that, that the patriarch, the father of the [00:38:00] family has been, has, you know, Not retired the way he promised his wife that he would retire. He is making decisions that impact everyone and not communicating in the way that he should communicate. So book four talks about, is really all about the way that their marriage is dissolving in front of your eyes.

So you get a little bit of story kind of revisiting some of the previous books where you saw them arguing, or you saw mom not exactly dating somebody else, but definitely spending time with another man. And, but we get her perspective on it. We get to see what mom was thinking through all of this.

So we have a marriage and trouble theme that’s sort of like going on in the background of the, of the first three books. And then book four kind of covers what happens with the parents and and whether or not they get a happily ever after at the end. So we love that for them, but the first three books are, are the adult are the adult kids, which is really fun. [00:39:00] So yeah,

Y. M.Nelson: It sounds like for this one, we probably should read these in order, to get that overarching that’s

Jen G.: exactly to get that overarching kind of storyline. It’s, it’s nice to read them in order. Not mandatory, but it’s nice if you’re going to sit on a beach and binge a whole series. This is a really good one to do. They incorporate some fun stuff with with the, the television show and some behind the scenes stuff.

So that’s really fun. And and just generally having a really good time, in a story. So Eva has quite a few books out, but but that’s a really great series to just start off with for her.

Y. M.Nelson: I’m liking this. I’m liking this a lot. You know, this is bringing in, of course, my #WeekendDIYGirl side. You know, she, she watches

Jen G.: I know, right? 

Y. M.Nelson: yeah, 

Jen G.: Yes.

Y. M.Nelson: she watches all the HGTV shows. So I’m like, ooh, yep.

Jen G.: Oh, yeah. Yeah.

Y. M.Nelson: Yeah. And so yeah, read a little, fix a little. [00:40:00] Have a little fun. Yeah, I’m liking,

Jen G.: Oh,

Y. M.Nelson: all of this.

Well I know we’ve been teasing it so much Throughout but yes, I do have something coming out as well over the summer and as I actually Thought about this and looked at this and realized hey I need to change the date that it actually comes out.

I’ve also realized that There are a couple other books that i’m recommending that are coming out on the same day as mine so 

Jen G.: That’s a great thing. You know, the more the merrier.

Y. M.Nelson: that’s that’s what I say. 

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Filthy Rich Fae by Geneva Lee

Y. M.Nelson: So, I’m actually reading it now because they just Sent out the arcs and and I am going to have this author on for next month’s podcast episode. And I’ve been talking about this for a while. Her name is Geneva Lee and [00:41:00] she is writing her she is writing her Fourth Wing like book, her romantasy book. Yes.

Jen G.: ah.

Leslie: Love it.

Jen G.: Great.

Y. M.Nelson: called Filthy Rich Fae

Leslie: Ah, perfect, yeah.

Y. M.Nelson: Yeah, so it is my first foray into romantasy, actually. I have, I have not gotten into the whole, Fourth Wing and all of that stuff going on. I haven’t gotten into that yet. I am actually entering the romantasy genre through this book and In kind of preparing and kind of waiting for the ARC to come out,

I did read filthy rich vampire, which this she says this is kind of a companion series. It’s not in this, it’s not the same. It’s not going to be like continuing. [00:42:00] This is more like a companion type series. I’ve only read through book one of that series. I think there’s four in the series. I’m halfway through book two, but book one, Filthy Rich Vampire, is a dark, paranormal romance. So she does have trigger warnings for this, so, you know, everybody that has issues with violence then, I mean, it’s vampires, y’all. And they’re, and they’re not, you know, cute, sparkly vampires, either. So another reason to love it. No, that was mean. So 

Leslie: spicy?

Y. M.Nelson: yes, her books are spicy.

The, a Filthy Rich Vampire, however, though, was a slow burn because the heroine was–the heroine was a, the heroine is a virgin and there is an issue there [00:43:00] with vampires and virgins that I’m not going to spoil. So it is a serious slow burn, but everything that could happen on page happened on page. We’ll just say that.

Leslie: One click.

Jen G.: Fantastic.

Y. M.Nelson: Yeah, yeah, she’s also in KU too, so. You know, it’s like, Oh

Leslie: No brainer. Oh, 

Y. M.Nelson: She just makes it too easy. So Filthy Rich Fae is about Cate Holloway is set in New Orleans. Cate Holloway, she is a nurse at a New Orleans hospital. And she has a brother who likes to get into some shenanigans and, you know, it’s kind of like shenanigans that, you know, we need to get godfathers involved in [00:44:00] underworld kinds of things going on. It’s like, oh, why did we get into this kind of thing? And so. He actually comes into the hospital one day. He’s rolled into the hospital. This is not a spoiler; this is the very first chapter, by the way, y’all. So I have just read, I’ve just read the first chapter! I’ve just gotten this book yesterday, and I’m already like, oh my gosh, when am I going to get be able to get back to this book? So, he has just been rolled into the hospital. He’s had a gunshot wound.

It’s not fatal. It’s not anything like that, but we know that he is in with a big time, kind of mafia-like family that rules over New Orleans Underworld, or Otherworld, as we will find out. And this big mafia family, the head of it is a guy named Lachlan Gage. [00:45:00] 

And even though we’re supposed to stay away from Lachlan Gage, Cate has to go to Lachlan Gage because she wants to get her brother out of this mafia-like gang kind of thing that he’s, that he’s in. And of course he says. Yeah you can, he can get out if you trade your life for his life. So, she kind of gets tricked into being bonded to him, or by, you know, getting bound to him. And she doesn’t know this, but Lachlan Gage is not just a mafia guy, he’s actually a fey prince. So that’s where our fey comes in, that’s where

Jen G.: Oh, good.

Y. M.Nelson: Yeah, all of our fairy goodness [00:46:00] comes in there.

It’s, it’s, you know, it’s dark. It’s probably gonna be pretty steamy. I do not know if this one is a slow burn. I’m not that far into it yet. But knowing but from reading Filthy Rich Vampire, even if it is a slow burn, it’s not gonna be lacking for wonderfully open door scenes of some sort. We’re gonna, there’s gonna be some 

playing around happening. Yeah,

Jen G.: Everybody gets to have fun.

Y. M.Nelson: That’s right. Everybody gets to have fun. However, again, warnings with this one as well. She gives Geneva Lee gives a warning of you know, obviously there’s violence going on. There’s a little bit of dubcon kind of things going on.

I mean, obviously, as you can probably tell, she’s getting tricked into being in this thing. Yeah, so we might, there might be [00:47:00] some consent issues going on here. There’s some backstory of some, of some violence and possibly of some genocide. Some things like that. So there are, this is dark romance, people. This is not our fun rom coms that we usually talk about, right? Warning. Warning! Yeah. Danger, Will Robinson. Okay, so anyway. Had to have a little nerdy in there somewhere. 

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The Accidental Proposal by Y. M. Nelson

Y. M.Nelson: So anyway, this one is coming out on June 25th, which is the exact same day That The Accidental Proposal by yours truly [Y. M. Nelson] is coming out June 25th as well.

I I wanted it to come out June 11th. I’m sorry, Jen. I couldn’t I can’t make that happen! Please don’t be mad.

Jen G.: You know what? Here’s the thing. I’m actually going to be out of town on my birthday. And so I have like [00:48:00] a ton of travel in June, so I will be back in my own house. On my own couch on June 25th. So I will be very much looking forward for that to download my Kindle and and we can just kind of spend a couple of days hanging out together.

Y. M.Nelson: Yay! I love this too! I love this so much! Oh gosh, I’m, I’m, I’m excited already. See I was a little bit petrified because I still have one major edit to do. My editor was like, you got to make this just a little bit better than what it is right now. And I was like, okay, all right, challenge accepted, challenge accepted.

Jen G.: You can do it.

Y. M.Nelson: But but it is actually the ebook is actually on preorder right now, as we’re recording the paperback will be on pre order probably when this comes out because that is literally what I’m working on right now And it is book [00:49:00] two of the accidental lover series it

It is the accidental lover series is a is going to be well, it’s really going to be a trilogy At this point. The trilogy is one that you do have to read in order. Yes, you will be able to read book two without book one. But you may feel like Feel like you’re missing something. So reading The Accidental Swipe first is probably gonna be the best bet there. But the accidental proposal follows the same couple from The Accidental Swipe.

Jason Reed and Fortune Edwards. And Jason and Fortune are obviously now together. And they’ve been together for a few months, and they’ve kind of been hiding the fact that they are together from Jason’s friends. Because, again, if you read book [00:50:00] one, you’ll know why. Jason’s friends, the ones that Fortune have met, she didn’t meet them on very good terms. We’ll just leave it like that. She didn’t make a great impression there, so they’ve been kind of dreading this. But, finally, they decide, yeah, they’re gonna have to do this. Because Jason’s been called out by a friend. 

And, so, what ends up happening is, Jason feels like the best way that they kind of can come together and meet each other and get to know each other is by having a series of group dates. So his friends and her friends are going to go on a series of wonderful group dates to try to maybe bring the [00:51:00] friends together because Jason has already realized this is the woman for him. And he wants to be with her, and he is done looking, so he needs this to work. Yeah. 

And so You know, things, there’s shenanigans, there’s a lot of things going on, but one major thing that doesn’t seem to be working out is Jason’s friend, Seth, Jason’s friend, Seth does not like fortune at all. And has a major problem with her, and basically does not see Jason with Fortune. So he’s trying to kind of break them up. And Jason has to choose because Fortune is like, No you’re either going to have to choose between Seth and me. If you want to have a continuing friendship with Seth, [00:52:00] then I can’t be in this picture because we are not going to get along.

Jason wants them to get along. Fortune says no way. And so, he has to figure out his choice. He has to make a choice. There’s always consequences to a choice, especially when it’s between a friend and possibly the love of your life. And so a lot of things are going to go on there. This one you know, it’s, it’s a rom-com, yes, and it is a little lighter than I thought it was gonna be, but it does, I do have a few trigger warnings here there is microaggressions in here there is some outright racism, there there are some violence issues as well. And and so trigger warning/content warning there, but it’s, it’s not dark, [00:53:00] but it is not fluffy. Let’s just say it’s, it’s a lot of reality here.

Jen G.: Yeah.

Y. M.Nelson: Yeah. Unfortunately, which is what happens. But it’s- 

Jen G.: we love that about your writing. We love that you, that you bring the, the, the realness to, to your stories. We love that about, about you. So it’s okay that it’s not all like, you know, fluffy, you know, we want that. We want the real deal, babe. We want that real deal and you do it so well. So

Y. M.Nelson: Thank you.

Jen G.: I’m excited to read this one.

Leslie: Yeah. Congrats for being almost finished. 

Y. M.Nelson: I’m excited for it to come out. I can’t, Yes. I, I’m like, I can’t wait for it to come out. And I’m at that fun part where, you know, you’re for a self-published author and a person who loves marketing. I am the I’m getting the marketing pieces together. I’m doing, you know, formatting. book formatting. There’s [00:54:00] colors, there’s fun stuff happening. You know, it just feels like it’s, you know, almost about to happen here. You know, it’s not just, just words on a page. It’s, it’s a, it’s a world coming together. And I, I kind of like that. I think that’s kind of cool. 

But I’m glad that I’m glad that you like the realness cause this one is bringing the realness. And this is Jason’s book. So we get to see a lot of Jason’s life and he is a construction manager in Charlotte. So, you know, there’s a lot going on there. So we get him. We get to see him, you know, you know, swing a sledgehammer. So yeah, that’s that’s always good I’m an hgtv junkie. What can you what can I say?

Jen G.: love that.

Y. M.Nelson: I mean Oh gosh, but for this one as far as spice level goes it’s pretty much like the last one i’m gonna give this one, what, three chili peppers? [00:55:00] Okay?

Jen G.: Three chili peppers.

Y. M.Nelson: Alright. Alright. We’ll give it three. Yeah. In other words, 

Jen G.: I haven’t read this one, so I don’t know. They weren’t together when, in the first book. So we, we got the, we got the chili peppers like partway through. So

Y. M.Nelson: Yeah, it’s not. Yeah. Yeah, we it’s all the way through

Jen G.: Alright. It sounds like we’re going from two chili peppers to three

Y. M.Nelson: Yeah, yeah, it got right,  This one is this one is straight three chili peppers. Yeah,

Jen G.: There you go.

Y. M.Nelson: It’s all the way through. But, you know, I’m not one to be, you know, very graphic with anything or I’m, I’m no Tessa Bailey. You’re not gonna it’s not gonna get crazy like that. I, I, I don’t curse very often. And even if I do, it’s mild. It’s not anything that you, you know. Can’t say in front of well, I shouldn’t say that anyway but you know, it’s [00:56:00] it, you know. 

And I’m not–with this particular book, I’m not really, it’s not really trope heavy. We do have the touch-her-and-die trope. Because Jason’s got he’s got issues. And it’s more so of, like character kind of tropes. You know, I love my cinnamon roll heroes. And Jason is that. My heroine is plus size and, we’ve got some, of course, disastrous group dates going on.

But one thing that I have started to, I guess, we’re kind of going towards the realness part of it is, I’ve started to bring in more mental health representation. And showing that it’s okay to go to therapy.

Leslie: Well, yeah,

Jen G.: Good.

Y. M.Nelson: That kind of thing, because I think we really need that.

Jen G.: Yeah, we do. Yeah, we do

Leslie: I appreciate that. That’s good. Yeah.

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The Wedding Crush by Mia Heintzelman

Y. M.Nelson: yeah, so, you know, [00:57:00] June 25th the accidental proposal and One last book that is going to be an honorable mention because I have not yet gotten into the loveliness That is this series my host for my launch party for accidental for the accident swipe Also has a book coming out on June 25th.

It’s called The Wedding Crush and it’s by Mia Heintzelman. And she was my host

Jen G.: Oh, that’s fantastic!

Y. M.Nelson: And I didn’t realize her book was also coming out on June 25th. I hope she’s okay with this. But like I said, you know, like you say, the more the merrier. That’s, that’s how I feel.

Jen G.: I mean, once I click, once I click the, pre-sale button, I mean, I’ve got that book and, and heaven’s Betsy, do I have enough books on my–in my library? No, I do not.

Leslie: Never enough.

Jen G.: No, I do not. So yeah.[00:58:00] 

Y. M.Nelson: Right. There’s still room for more.

Jen G.: Good to know that Mia has a book coming out too that day and I can go buy that one, like all in one fell swoop. Good for me.

*CORRECTION* Y. M.Nelson: All right, nerdy romantics. Listen, sometimes I get a little bit too excited about romance novels coming out, especially romance novels by people who I know. I mean, I really get excited about these things. So I did mention that Mia Heinzelman’s The Wedding Crush is coming out on June. 25th. That is incorrect. Mia Heinzelman’s The Wedding Crush is coming out on June 11th, which is when all those other books are coming out, and it just happens to be Jen’s birthday as she said.

Who knew?  But I wanted to make sure that I correct that error, so that you can go out and get Mia’s book the minute [00:59:00] that it drops, June 11th of 2024. Go out and get it. *END CORRECTION* 

yay. But yeah her book, The Wedding Crush, is also a book 2, of this particular series that she’s doing. And this series is about basically wine–winery owners in Napa Valley. So I am, I’m loving that because I’m just, I’m loving all the feels with that. That’s just,

Jen G.: All it feels. Mm

Y. M.Nelson: It’s just all good. So I wanted to make sure that I mentioned her. I haven’t gotten into that book yet. I’m just anticipating it. But I’m sure it’s going to be a good one because hers are; hers are pretty awesome as well. So. Yeah. And I’m loving her Instagram.

Leslie: Great. 

Y. M.Nelson: I think it’s her TikTok and Instagram. Her TikTok [01:00:00] and her Instagram is, yeah, with that book is, with the whole series. It’s just, it’s just been fun. So I know these are going to be fun books. So 

Jen G.: Fantastic.

Y. M.Nelson: yeah, but y’all, this has been great. It has been so fun hanging out and talking romance books with you ladies!

Jen G.: this. My favorite thing

Leslie: This has just filled my TBR list even more. I love it. Yeah.

Y. M.Nelson: I know this is, this is so awesome. And you know both of y’all gonna have to come back Because this is just summer, you know, we’re gonna have to talk about you know, fall Jen, she’s already she’s already hooked me with some time travel romances. Oh my god time travel books in general! Yeah,

Leslie: We’ll do holiday. We’ll do holiday next or something. Yeah.

Y. M.Nelson: I love this. I am loving this. Yes, we are down for that. Everybody look forward for that. Leslie has spoken. Oh gosh, thank you so [01:01:00] much ladies for being

Leslie: Thank you. And congrats on early book release!

Jen G.: Anytime.

Leslie: you. It’s awesome.

Y. M.Nelson: Oh, thank you so much.

Jen G.: Always, always up to chat with you, hun. I’m so excited to read your next book, so.

Y. M.Nelson: Thank you. 

While that’s the end of our discussion, it’s not the end of the story. Check out my website at nerdyromanticspodcast.com and while you’re there, sign up for my newsletter to get show notes of the episodes in your inbox. And if you want to see me, my guests, and my guest cohosts on video, please subscribe to my YouTube channel at youtube.com/@AuthorYMNelson Thanks for listening and for [01:02:00] watching.

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