In our fourth chat in this series, Zoe and Jessica are talking with our authors about things that are out of this world! Well, not exactly, but we're talking all about paranormal romance! Commonly you’ll find romantic relationships between humans and vampires, shapeshifters, ghosts, and other entities of a fantastic or otherworldly nature. And paranormal romances can also include books featuring characters with psychic abilities, like telekinesis or telepathy. While it’s roots harken back all the way to Gothic fiction, it’s most recent revival has been spurred by technology, and in fact, paranormal romances are one of the fastest-growing trends in the romance genre today. Come along with us as we learn all about this stellar subgenre from authors Zoe Forward and Mariah Ankenman!
Anthony and Kate are living their best lives, but once a year, the gloves come off and our happy couple will do anything to outsmart and out-play the other. Julia Quinn gives us another glimpse of our favorite lawn game Pall Mall, which has become a yearly tradition at Aubrey Hall, with all the original players of that infamous day. **It's a second Epilogue, the whole thing is SPOILERS**
In our third chat in this series, Zoe and Jessica sit down with debut authors Allison Ashley and Yaffa Santos to discuss their publishing journeys, tips they have for first-time authors, and common pitfalls to avoid. Every road to published is different, but these two are sharing their success stories and answering common questions that we all have about how it works. (Spoilers - it's never the same!)
Ever wonder what happens after happily ever after? Well, Julia Quinn decided to give us a quick peek into the continuing lives of the Bridgerton Family. Today we're looking at Simon and Daphne, who are about to have a few unexpected changes in their otherwise blissful life. **It's a second epilogue, so real SPOILERS ahead!**
In our second chat in conjunction with the Escondido Library, Zoe & Jessica sit down with Historical Romance authors Eva Leigh and Erica Ridley to talk about what makes historical romance so appealing to the modern reader, and what the modern reader wants to see in their stories. How do you blend the past with the present? Listen in to find out!
We interrupt our scheduled program to bring you a fabulous interview! We sat down with co-owner of The Ripped Bodice Bea Koch to talk all about her new book Mad & Bad: Real Heroines of the Regency. Her book looks at the badass women living through the regency who have been overlooked by history in favor of their male counterparts but played an important role during the time period. Even more, a lot of these women knew each other, showing once more that when women support women, we can do some amazing things.
A prank gone horribly wrong leads to a marriage to save a reputation. Lady Jane Huxley may be a reluctant duchess but she soon finds that her new husband is hewn from more than icy marble - there’s actually a heart underneath that shell when he starts to thaw. But will this mismatched pair realize that opposites attract? Or will the Duke of Blackmore keep them from finding their happily ever after trying to fight his inevitable feelings? You'll find out as we read The Truth About Cads and Dukes by Elisa Brayden. **Don't try and bet against the SPOILERS**
Gregory Bridgerton believes in true love. How could he not after watching all his siblings, including Hyacinth, enjoying life in HEA? He finally find the girl of his dreams when he sets eyes on Hermione Watson. Hermione, while lovely, has one flaw - she is in love with another! Her best friend Lucy Abernathy, though, is happy to help Gregory win her affection but it turns out Lucy and Gregory get on better than Gregory and Hermione. Yet fate has another twist as Lucy is soon betrothed to another and cannot break the engagement. Gregory is not one to give up on love, and nothing, not even marriage to another, is going to stop him from getting his HEA. For our 50th Episode, please enjoy our final Bridgerton Novel, On the Way to the Wedding by Julia Quinn. **Going to the Chapel to get some SPOILERS**
Thorn Daughtry, the bastard son of a duke, is looking to get married and he has the perfect candidate. She is nothing like the woman who is helping him renovate his new estate. India for her part wants no part in a marriage to a man she cannot manage and Thorn is anything but manageable. That being said, sparks fly within their first meeting and the two cannot seem to stay away from the other. Three Weeks with Lady X is our first read by author Eloisa James and it does not disappoint! Her whit and fast-moving plot kept us hooked from the very first page. **We do not neglect the SPOILERS**
Back in May, cohost Zoë had the fabulous opportunity to partner with her local library to moderate a series of chats with Romance Authors! In this series, you'll get to hear from a variety of authors spanning many romance subgenres and topics! Our first chat was with Contemporary romance authors Lyssa Kay Adams (The Bromance Book Club) and Kristin Rockaway (She's Faking It) where we discussed how these two weave amazing tales that today's reader can relate to.
Thanks to a listener recommendation we have one of our steamiest reviews to date. Oliver is a Marquess looking for the perfect wife; a friend who can not only entertain him during the day, but also an adventuress wanton who will allow him to explore all his sexual fantasies at night. He believes he's found his perfect match in the mysterious diary he found on his property. Lily, the authoress of this diary, did not hold back in any of her entries. That being said, she's not looking for a husband, no matter how attracted she is to Oliver. Can these two turn a sexual chemistry into a marriage that can stand the test of time? We'll find out as we read The Scandalous Diary of Lily Layton by Stacy Reid. **There are SPOILERS on the street and even more in the sheets**
Hattie Sedley is taking life by the horns. It is the Year of Hattie and she is going to finish the year as a woman in charge. However, her plans are briefly derailed when she meets Beast, one of the three Bareknuckle Bastards that run Covent Garden. As their lives and limbs intertwine, Beast does his best to keep his distance to protect his lady love. Hattie calls bull on his antics and tells him that while no man has ever been able to stand their ground against him, this woman fights to win. **We'll only accept all the SPOILERS**
In the penultimate Bridgerton book, we return to the clan to watch our youngest Bridgerton find her HEA! Will Hyacinth allow herself to be a bit uncomfortable so that she can actually find love? Will Gareth allow his family secrets to derail their budding romance? Listen in as a fascinating family diary reveals its' secrets and sends our lovebirds on the trail of some hidden jewels in Julia Quinn's It's In His Kiss! **To the victor go the Spoiler Alerts!**
In our eighth installment of Julie Anne Long’s Pennyroyal Green series, we finally get to dig a little deeper into the life of the youngest Redmond sibling. Jonathan may act like the devil-may-care younger son, but this dude has plans. Tommy also has plans and while they did not initially include a Redmond, she’ll take him anyway. She’s spent her life doing things out of necessity, so she’s not about to stare a gift horse in the mouth. Together these two just ooze chemistry and as their goals align, these two may just be unstoppable. It Happened One Midnight is a diamond hidden amongst gems. **Spoilers & extra spoiler: it’s a perfect score!**
A Duke: Has been named the guardian of his cousin’s son. To get to him he needs to chase down his cousin’s uncle and figure out what happened to the boy’s mother. The Lady: Was locked in Bedlam by her husband’s uncle to keep her from her child. Now she’s a desperate mother with trust issues trying to find a way to leave England behind. A Baby: Lionel Jordan is the catalyst that brings together his mother Patience Jordan and Busick Strathmore, Duke of Reppington. In sharing their love of Lionel these two must learn to trust in order to vanquish their foe in A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby by Vanessa Riley. **As always, SPOILERS**
In this book our hero meets our heroine, fights a duel, has a stroke, loses his speech, re-meets our heroine, and escapes from a Sanitarium. AND WE’RE NOT EVEN HALFWAY THROUGH!! Laura Kinsale with her fantastic command of the English language really shows us a different side of love. Christian Langland, Duke of Jervaulx, has to deal with relearning his words and Archimedea Timms, has to figure out how to love someone outside Quaker Society. Flowers from the Storm took us on a wild adventure and we cannot wait to tell you all about it. **Thou shalt find SPOILERS**
Olivia Waite is a delight! She is funny, outgoing, and man does she like romance! She tells us about her journey to discovering her own sexuality and how she's used that discovery to fuel her own books. She is the author of Avon's first F/F historical romance and honestly we had so much fun we lost track of time. We laughed, we got serious, and we are so excited for you to listen to our interview with Olivia Waite!
Violetta Beauchamps may enter Bertrice Martin's life under false pretenses but quickly something more develops. Nothing brings people closer than a common goal. That goal being to oust Mrs. Martin's terrible nephew from his lodgings. And man, is this dude terrible! Just when you think he cannot get worse, he does. However his existence helps these ladies get to know each other. In today's read we're finding love in their twilight years in Mrs. Martin's Incomparable Adventure by Courtney Milan! **a hallelujah chorus of Spoilers**
To continue our Pride month episodes, we were lucky enough to get to sit down with Cat Sebastian, author of many LQBTQ novels, including Avon's first published MM historical romance. We spoke about her journey to being an author, what drew her to the genre and time period, and how she discovered queer romance as a reader and as an author. We also talked about how she gives voice to her very diverse cast of characters who challenge the status quo. We hope you enjoy this fabulous conversation with Cat Sebastian....because we most certainly did!
Lucy Mulcheney just watched her lover marry a man. And she didn’t even spare her a glance during the entire ceremony. Now her brother is threatening to sell their father’s telescope because it’s not like people hire female astronomers. Just when she’s not sure what to do with her life, she notices a letter from the Countess of Moth who needs assistance. Lucy takes her chances in London, finding Catherine St. Day is not only an attractive woman but also a staunch supporter of Lucy and her work. Working on a new astronomy translation though is not all that’s in the cards. They need to fight the misogyny of the scientific community and explore the attraction that arises between them. Come explore the world through the eyes of Olivia Waite in “ The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics.” **A constellation of SPOILERS**
This week we're replaying one of our favorite episodes as we prepare for a jam-packed June where we'll be celebrating Pride Month on Tea & Strumpets! But for today, we do hope you'll enjoy this second chance at loving our first-ever novella on the show, The Governess Affair! Now, on to the synopsis! This episode we have a couple of firsts! Our first novella! Our first hotel room recording! Join us as we chat about The Governess Affair by Courtney Milan, a novella that, let’s be honest, sets the bar for all novellas. Courtney Milan truly played upon all of our emotions in a short amount of pages. We were brought to our metaphorical knees by a twig! A TWIG! And don’t get us started on hairpins as a currency to build trust. *SWOON!* We’ve got a fantastic heroine on a transformative journey who finds her voice and it’s funny and fierce as hell. Oh, and one of the best marriage proposals (and rejections) ever. **Spoilers. We get into allllll the details!** TW: Rape
A torrid affair with an abrupt ending is what divided Diane Benchley, Countess of Cameron, and Oliver Warren, Marquis of Haybury. Now Diane is back in London and needs a favor from the man she loathes most. Oliver is happy to help Diane, since she does have some blackmail handy, but he’s going to name a price of his own. With his help, Diane sets the ton on its ear by starting a club for men staffed entirely by women. However, Diane’s success is immediately threatened by her greedy former brother-in-law. Can these two stop fighting long enough to save The Tantalus Club and actually admit their feelings towards one another? Will Diane ever actually give her consent to...anything? A Beginners Guide to Rakes by Suzanne Enoch is well-written and full of Suzanne’s expected whit but it gave your hosts A LOT to talk about. **Don't leave over the SPOILERS** TW: Consent
Michael Stirling was living his own personal hell since he friend-zoned himself by falling in love with his cousin's wife. Francesca Bridgerton Stirling was living her best life until the untimely death of her husband, John. She tried to lean on Michael for support in her grief but Michael, who is to become the Earl in John's stead, just cannot handle being her rock. He's loved her too long and now he has to replace John in so many ways, the idea of taking his place at Francesca's side is just too much. Four years later the pair are reunited and while Michael's secret feelings are unchanged, Francesca is on the hunt for a new husband and somehow just realized Michael is a man and is making her feel things she only ever expected to feel with her first husband. Our sixth Bridgerton installment features the elusive Francesca as she learns to reconcile the loss of her first husband with that of her new feelings of love for Michael, the man who was only ever supposed to be her friend. This week we're reading When He Was Wicked by Julia Quinn and man y'all....Who knew Francesca's book was going to be so steamy? **Spoilers. Were you really surprised?**
We all know the reformed Rake trope. He’s out doing his thing with the ladies but suddenly he meets THE ONE and he opens his heart to love and marriage. It’s a classic and a favorite of many a romance reader. The Rakess is not that book. Our rake is our Heroine and while she meets a man who makes her rethink her party-hardy lifestyle, she is not about to turn away from her core values. Also, our hero is not a virgin and he likes it spicy in the bedroom. For your hosts, this book was akin to a revelation so we had to talk to the author herself and get the inside scoop! We had a fantastic afternoon chat with Scarlett Peckham and we deep-dived into her world of the Society of Sirens. We spoke all about her new book and what makes it the game changer we are embracing with arms open wide. **if you don’t like SPOILERS, you may need to do some homework**
In the small town of Yarlcote, the bad blood between the Rookwoods and the Frisbys is everyone's favorite kind of gossip. And that says nothing of Sir Phillip Rookwood's black reputation itself - with such rumors about what he gets up to, the Frisby siblings must stay clear. So what happens when fate intervenes forcing Guy and Amanda to reside at Rookwood Hall with not only Sir Phillip but also his friends who are in a club called The Murder!? Well, it turns out Phillip is actually a thoughtful person, and Guy has his sheltered mind blown after stumbling across a tryst between Phillip and Lord Corvin! Yet, despite the legal and moral ambiguities, Guy finds himself thinking more and more about it. Plus, because Phillip is all about transparency, he offers Guy a chance to explore a connection he did not even think it possible to have. Can the Frisbys and the Rookwoods make up at long last? There is no fighting attraction in Band Sinister by KJ Charles! **Let’s be frank. Spoilers**
Lady Calpurnia Hartwell may be named for an Empress but she certainly doesn’t feel the part. She’s not exactly sure when she became a plain, boring spinster of the ton, but somewhere along the way she lost herself. After Callie overhears a conversation where she is described as “passive” it lights a fire in her to become just the opposite. Armed with a list of things she would do if she were truly wild, she heads out into the night to complete item one: kiss someone - passionately!That someone is the handsome Lord Ralston, who just happens to be in need of spinster with a sterling reputation. He did not realize that one kiss from Callie would have him looking for more. Sarah MacLean's debut romance novel Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake is all the fun and drama you want from the genre! Plus it's a little hot to the touch with all that glorious spinster/rake chemistry!
Evie is looking to start a new life away from London and its nasty nicknames. She has been left a house in Pennyroyal Green by her late husband and this is just the place to start fresh. News travels fast though, and the town quickly learns of her infamous past but not before she meets the local Vicar. Adam Sylvaine may be a man of God but he's single, handsome, and seems to actually empathize with Evie's situation. While there is an instant attraction, they both need to be on their best behavior, after all, every pair of female eyes is on the Vicar and they're worried about the immoral former courtesan. Can Adam and Evie find a way to be together that does not require one or both of them to run out of town? Today we're reading A Notorious Countess Confesses, which means we are now in the second half of this series by Julie Anne Long! **We know you want to taste these Spoilers!**
This week we got together with some of the fabulous Frolic Network podcasts for an hour of mayhem and merriment! Kelsey and Zoë hung out with Sarah Wendell from Smart Podcast, Trashy Books, Laura Von Holt from The Mermaid Podcast, and Kelly Reynolds from boobies & noobies and talked about life in quarantine and what makes us smile right now. It's a mash-up extraordinaire and an hour of feel-good fun! We'll be back next week with our regularly scheduled episode on A Notorious Countess Confesses - but this week, we hope we can put a smile on your face and a laugh in your belly.
Beth Ackerley is a widow who has recently inherited a fortune. Ian Mackenzie is the “Mad Mackenzie” of the infamous Mackenzie family. However, Beth cannot fight her instant attraction to this intriguing man. Ian has never really been able to read people’s emotions, cannot help but feel drawn to this woman. She grounds him in a way nothing else can. However there are secret’s to Ian’s past and loved ones to protect, will this budding romance make it through such adversary? We loved this book from beginning to end so cannot wait to share with you The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley. **Spoilers are being uncovered** TW: child abuse
Eloise has a secret and she's on her way to meet him for the very first time. However, our quiet country gentleman is not prepared for the hurricane that is coming his way. Despite him neglecting to tell her of his "rambunctious" twins, the two begin to see that there may be something more between them. Can a relationship that started via correspondence between two strangers blossom into a love that neither expected? Well, with time, understanding, and a push from our favorite brothers, To Sir Phillip with Love by Julia Quinn, has both your co-hosts signing with longing. It may have been a reread, but as with many good things, it's gotten better with age. TW: Suicide, depression, postpartum depression, child abuse.
This week we've remastered one of our less-listened-to, but no less fabulous episodes! With some better editing know-how, we do hope you'll enjoy this second chance at loving our second-ever episode! Now, on to the synopsis! This week, we continue our journey into Pennyroyal Green with Like No Other Lover by Julie Ann Long! While this book is less jam-packed, it is no less delicious. Our characters positively sizzle when they're near. Also, can we just talk about how nice it is that the main characters are actually honest with each other and do not make dumb decisions based on unnecessary misunderstandings?! **Spoilers are thing, just FYI**
In honor of the author's birthday, we’re diving deep into Tender Rebel by the great Johanna Lindsey this week! A Scottish heiress is on the run from her abhorrent cousin and in search of a husband! While she does have a few standards, love doesn't have to be part of the equation. Enter Anthony Malory - an exceedingly handsome rake of first order - who cannot stop his pursuit to see the lovely Roslynn Chadwick in his bed. In fact, he’ll even go so far as to marry the girl himself! But despite his noble intentions and his complete transparency and honesty, Roslynn just keeps Anthony at arm's length, leading to more drama than either of these hosts have the patience for. **Spoilers and misunderstandings ahead!**
This week, we've got a heartbreaking yet heartwarming tale of adventure, treasure, fate, and fighting! Our two main characters seem destined for each other - but after their first meeting, while they shared an epic love, they didn't share their names with each other! Will they even ever cross paths again? It seems fate is ready to intervene eight years later, as these two lethal lovebirds meet again many, many miles away. Sherry Thomas weaves a magical tale between China and England in My Beautiful Enemy, and she gives us a truly badass heroine to rave about! Plus we've got an extra special treat for our listeners today - which we'll announce in the parlor! Stay tuned, and stay on your toes! **Sword fightin' Spoilers in this one!**
This week we’re taking a trip to Spindle Cove! Except...oh no, the bridge is out and the carriage has broken, so I guess we’ll have to spend the night together in this roadside hut with ONLY ONE BED! It’s going to be a little tight in here because we actually have a very special guest for this episode too! Bookstagrammer and author extraordinaire Mazey Eddings (@romance.in.the.wild) is joining us to chat about Lord Dashwood and one of her (famously) favorite tropes - The Virgin Hero. It’s gonna be a trope-tactic time! **It's no secret there's Spoilers!**
Tom Severin, railway magnate, has never not gotten what he wants. One look was all it took for Tom to know that Lady Cassandra Ravenel was the one. However, Cassandra cannot be gotten easily. Her family objects and frankly so does she. As much as she wants a husband, she’s not interested in one with a frozen heart. With each meeting the attraction grows and Tom will do anything to make Cassandra his, including read the works of Jane Austen and Victor Hugo. In the end, no one could argue his commitment. Come listen to the New Release by Lisa Kleypas and the merry chase that leads to love and happily ever after. **you cannot run from Spoilers!**
It's a week for love and romance! While that is certainly our forte, this time, we're here to celebrate our favorite female friendships today. The genre is full of fierce females and their equally as fabulous friends. Today is for all your gal pals and girlfriends. Happy Galentines Day! Enjoy listening to us share our favorite examples of females friendships from Regency Romance.
Our episode today is one most scandalous, A Lady and an Earl who were far from amorous. A bold action to disparage, Leads to a necessary offer of marriage. Will there ever be trust between them then, In this titillating tale by Scarlett Peckham? And while our characters' love was allowed to soar, Zoë and Kelsey could in no way reach an accord. And with the end of this terrible poem, We invite you to tune in for details and then some! **Spoilers, I'm really bad at poems**
This week sat down with Kerrigan Byrne to talk all about her journey as an author. Well, that’s where we started, but honestly the alternate title of this episode could have been “I Digress: The Podcast Story.” But don’t let that turn you away, because with each twist and turn, the conversation got even more interesting! And throughout, we kept coming back to Kerrigan's amazing resilience to any naysayers in her day to day life as well as the poignant resilience of the characters she crafts. We budgeted an hour and a half for our chat but we could have gone on all day! So get comfortable and enjoy our inspiring morning with Kerrigan Byrne!
What do you get when you combine an icy marquess and a plucky school teacher? Why a marvelous tale from Pennyroyal Green of course! This week not only do we get delicious dialog and a cat straight out of Greek mythology, we also get a feel-good tale of two who were meant to be. However, we do need to get through a few tropes to find our happily ever after but it’s not too much trouble as our hero and heroine draw us along as much as they are drawn to each other. Come and read “How the Marquess was Won” by Julie Anne Long **don’t be fooled, there are spoilers**
Today's episode may seem a bit daunting in length, but be not afraid dear listener, there are a couple of excellent reasons for its loquaciousness. Firstly, the book we read had a lot of swoon-worthy moments to talk about and secondly, we were joined by some very special guests! Jeff Adams and Will Knauss of The Big Gay Fiction Podcast dropped in to talk about Cat Sebastian’s The Soldier’s Scoundrel. Will by-the-book Oliver let himself fall for don’t-ask-questions Jack? Will pessimist Jack open his heart to the idea of love at all? Sparks fly in this steamy regency as these two solve the mystery of some stolen letters and along the way find their HEA. **Spoilers are sneaking in**
It’s the middle of the season and everyone is bored. What is a lady to do? Why, solve a mystery of course! Lady Danbury has tasked the ton with unmasking their favorite gossip, Lady Whistledown! However, this crusade is just the backdrop for our latest Bridgerton tale. Colin Bridgerton has recently returned from travels abroad and for some reason, he discovers that spinster Penelope Featherington is the person he most wants to spend time with. Penelope is not about to protest, but she is shocked to find that Colin is not just the charmer she’s been in love with for 12 years. That being said, Penelope is also not the person she thought she was either - maybe, just maybe, she is something more...and Colin’s heart is unprepared. We’re reading an absolute favorite of the Bridgerton Series: Romancing Mr. Bridgerton by Julia Quinn. **Spoilers and more!**
Happy New Year everyone - and welcome to the roaring twenties! With such an obviously historically-minded decade, we know it's going to be a fabulous time for historical romance. And we're ringing in this year by sharing some of the 2020 historical romances we are most excited about! So many books are already announced and we just could not keep our 2020 must-haves to ourselves any longer. Will your favorites make the list? Will we introduce you to some you didn't know were coming? Did we egregiously leave something out?! Get ready to mark those calendars and click preorder, because the list is long and full of HEAs we think you're gonna love.