Bloggers/Journalists

Ep. 42 What We’re Reading #3

Our third iteration of What We’re Reading, featuring Jen Prokop from JenReadsRomance!

We give a few life updates on Sarah’s new book and Jenny’s adventures in motherhood. Also, dicksoap. We have thoughts.

We forgot to take a picture together, so Jen gets to be the silhouette lady in the middle of this one.

Ways to listen:

Listen on Google Play Music

  • Books we discuss in this episode:

    A Taste of Pleasure by Chloe Blake

        • Gorgeous cover!
        • “Ghost Chef” meets handsome Italian man at a wedding
        • Snappy dialog, great banter.
        • Jen considers it “perfect”

    Whiskey Sharp: Unraveled by Lauren Dane

        • Angst vs stakes
        • high stakes low angst (external conflict)

    Forbidden Hearts series by Alisha Rai

    Forbidden by Beverly Jenkins

        • Historical in which hero is passing as white
        • High stakes/high angst, but the drama is driven by the internal conflict

    Sparks Like Ours by Melissa Brayden

        • F/F surf romance
        • Friends to lovers with one heroine discovering her sexual identity

    My Lady’s Lover by Nicola Davidson

        • F/F historical novella
        • Lady’s maid falls for her employer
        • “spectacular”

    Vegas Top Guns Series by Katie Porter

        • Sexy kinks.
        • Exhibitionism at its finest
        • Bisexual showgirl and a photographer

    Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan

        • Dark story of a woman escaping an abusive marriage
        • Incredibly powerful story of a woman surviving and fighting
        • Basketball romance

    Burn Down the Night by M. O’Keefe

        • Motorcycle club romance
        • AMAZING heroine who is not here for your bullshit

    Judgment Road by Christine Feehan

    Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase

    Rules of Scoundrels series by Sarah MacLean

    Radiance by Grace

    Hidden Legacy Series by Ilona Andrews

    Kate Daniels Series by Ilona Andrews

    Guardian Series by Meljean Brook

    Anita Blake Series by Laurel K. Hamilton

    Everything Ravaged. Everything Burned. (short story)

    Recs We’re Looking For:

    Angsty Books!

    Vikings!

    Tortured Control Freaks Who Like to Get a Little Kinky!

Ep. 17 Jennifer Prokop: Representation in Romance

In this episode, we’re joined by Jennifer Prokop, perhaps better known as @JenReadsRomance on Twitter. She’s an avid romance reader and reviewer, and teaches middle school English, so she has a knack for breaking complex concepts down in a way that makes them easier to grasp. We discuss representation in romance, how to be better allies, and how uncomfortable but necessary these conversations are.

Jen also reviews romance for The Book Queen’s Book Palace. Some of our favorite posts from her are:

Who Did it Better…In an Elevator

Who Did it Better…On a Horse

Listen on Google Play Music
Ways to listen:

You can click the button in the banner on the right or this link to download (and subscribe!) on iTunes!

Or click the button above to access the show on Google Play. It’s also available on Stitcher, Spotify, or most other podcast apps!

Highlights from our conversation include:

  • Witnessing the joyful epiphany her students experience when they see themselves represented in fiction.
  • How to respond to kids who learn to assign gender to things like books and reject them on that basis. “Books don’t have genitals!”
  • The Big 8 social identifiers and how they play out in fiction.
  • Why terms like “privilege” make white people so uncomfortable.
  • If we’re comfortable feeling historical pride, why can’t we also get comfortable with historical shame?
  • Strategies for explaining and handling these concepts to kids.
  • The metaphor of windows vs mirrors for readers and why “window books” can be the most exciting as a reader if you approach them with an open mind. With an open heart, all books can be both windows and mirrors because you can find something to relate to in the authentic human experience.
  • Why white, American, cishet, able-bodied women basically never have to think about representation when they’re reading–and why that can be problematic.
  • How harmful¬†the “stealing our jobs” rhetoric is and how it stems from white fragility.

Books mentioned in this episode:

Nurture Shock: New Thinking About Children by PO Bronson and Ashley Merryman

Books by Alyssa Cole

Books by Alisha Rai

Books by Colson Whitehead

Books by Talia Hibbert

Books by Melissa Blue