In the Mood for Romance

Books & Bites Podcast, Ep. 86

JCPL librarians bring you book recommendations and discuss the bites and beverages to pair with them.

On this episode, we discuss romance novels, one of the prompts on the Winter-Spring 2024 Books & Bites Bingo reading challenge. This popular book genre has something for everyone, even the horror fans among us. Listen below to find out more about our selections!

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Once Upon a Broken Heart book cover

Jacqueline’s Pick

Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber is a young adult fantasy novel. Seventeen year old Evangeline had loving parents who raised her on tales of magic, fates, and fairytales. She believes in hope, true love, and “happily ever after” until she learns that the boy she loves is going to marry someone else.

Then she makes a bargain with Jacks, a Fate whose kiss is deadly to all but his one true love, leading her into a dangerous adventure.

Pairing: Tempt yourself with French Apple Cake, a recipe with the appeal of an apple pie or apple tart, but in a decadent, custard-like cake.

The Salt Grows Heavy book cover

Michael’s Pick

The Salt Grows Heavy by Cassandra Khaw is a gorgeously written novella that perfectly mashes up horror, fairy tales, and romance. An unnamed, mute narrator sets off from the kingdom she’s been living in since being caught and married by the prince. She’s what we would likely refer to as a mermaid, a creature from the Deep with sharp teeth.

She’s joined by the androgenous Plague Doctor, the one who has attended to her since her marriage to the prince and the only one who has never been afraid of her. This book leans into horror but at its heart is the love story between the Mermaid and her Plague Doctor.

Pairing: Enjoy a glass of Sierra Nevada’s Narwhal Imperial Stout, a perfect beverage to sip while reading this tale set in the snow and ice.

Thank You for Listening book cover

Carrie’s Pick

In Thank You for Listening by Julia Whelan, main character Sewanee Chester is a former actor turned award-winning audiobook narrator known for performing the most demanding audiobooks out there, the ones with multiple voices and accents.

Sewanee got her start narrating romance novels, but she no longer takes those jobs because she doesn’t believe in the typical romance ending.Then she gets an offer she can’t refuse, and soon she’s exchanging flirty texts with her co-narrator, Brock McKnight. Will Sewanee get her own happily-ever-after ending?

Pairing: Taco Dip, a favorite recipe of one of Sewanee’s grandmother’s friends. The secret ingredients? Taco seasoning and sour cream.

More Great Romance