Romance throughout American history

Happy 241st birthday, America! You don’t look a day over 240 years old. In honor of Independence Day, here are a few romances from some eras of American history that aren’t as beloved in the romance world as the Wild West or the Civil War, in chronological order.

Book cover image for Hamilton's BattalionHamilton’s Battalion by Courtney Milan,
Rose Lerner, and Alyssa Cole
This collection of historical romance novellas are all connected by one man: Alexander Hamilton. In Milan’s “The Pursuit Of,” a Black American soldier goes on a 500 mile walk and is joined by a motor-mouthed Redcoat, who knows that his companion’s silence can mean more than one thing. Rose Lerner’s “Promised Land” is the story of Rachel, a Jewish woman who disguises herself as a man to fight for America, only to come face to face with the man who broke her heart. And in Alyssa Cole’s “That Would Be Enough,” Mercy is Eliza Hamilton’s servant, helping Eliza’s quest to preserve her husband’s legacy. But when a bold dressmaker comes into the Hamilton household, Mercy must decide what’s more important: being safely alone or taking a chance on love. Continue reading “Romance throughout American history”

Romance by authors of color

Over the past week, there’s been a spirited discussion on Romance Twitter (yes, it’s a thing) about the way the industry and publishers treat authors of color as well as readers of color. Authors told stories about being shunted to “ethnic” imprints, seeing books by white authors featuring characters of color with racist tropes in them, and, in one thoughtless thread, someone asked if people of color even wanted to read or write romance.

If you’re wondering how to find an author of color writing good romance, here are some great recent choices available at the Seattle Public Library:

Continue reading “Romance by authors of color”

The Spy Who Loved Me

What is it about spies that make them such fantastic romance heroes? Is it the air of danger? The ability to write in code? Or maybe it’s that, when a hero is a spy, you know that eventually they’ll have to let down their guard and expose their secrets to the woman they love, proof of how she’s changed him and captured his heart. If you’re looking for heroes in service to the crown, this is a good start.

In Sherry Thomas’ His At Night, Elissande is virtually a prisoner of her uncle and the only way to escape is through marriage. In desperation, she sets her sights on Lord Vere, a notoriously vapid marquis. Once married, she’ll have freedom from her uncle, and with a husband who’s not very smart, she’ll have freedom within her marriage to do as she pleases.

Vere has spent years cultivating his reputation of idiocy, a man with no interests deeper than fashion, gaming, and skirt-chasing. But his secret is more than just his intelligence, it’s that he’s a spy in the service of the British government.  When he’s cornered into marriage by Elissande, at first it’s only physical passion that unites them. But as they slowly learn to reveal themselves, they find that it’s love. Sherry Thomas writes intelligent and original heroes and heroines, with angsty, passionate plots. Continue reading “The Spy Who Loved Me”

Noteworthy 2015 RITA Award Finalists

-Posted by Eric G.

The Romance Writers of America (RWA) announced the winners of the 2015 RITA Awards at their annual conference on July 25th. The RITA is one of the most prestigious awards for romance writers and its numerous subcategories showcase the variety within romance publishing. That being said, there were many excellent books nominated that didn’t walk away with the prize this year.

 

A Bollywood Affair in the Library catalogBest First Book nominee: A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev

Despite not winning Best First Book, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more winning romance from the past year than Sonali Dev’s debut. This joyful love story is steeped in rich Indian culture and was a library favorite that ended up on numerous staff-curated lists. Pick it up and join us in singing its praises.

 

Continue reading “Noteworthy 2015 RITA Award Finalists”

Romantic Wednesdays: Staff Picks

For the past two years we have been highlighting the robust and diverse romance genre on Wednesdays. Despite its staggering popularity, the romance genre doesn’t always get respect or recognition from mainstream press and book awards. It’s been our goal with this column to give romance the love it deserves (pun intended) and acknowledge its massive readership, which includes many librarians at The Seattle Public Library. As we prepare to take a hiatus from this regular column, we asked these librarians to give a shout out to some of their favorite books and authors. Feel free to share some of your favorites in the comments, and happy (ever after) reading!

The Duchess War in the Library catalogAny Duchess Will Do in the Library catalogAnne of the Island in the Library catalog Continue reading “Romantic Wednesdays: Staff Picks”