If you aren’t aware, The Ripped Bodice (aka heaven on earth) is an all-romance bookstore just outside of LA, which is pretty much the only reason to go there, as far as I’m concerned. Anyway, they are hosting a summer reading challenge, via a BINGO board (which they also did last summer). I’m extremely excited and can’t wait to participate, which is why I’m making this post! I don’t have a book picked out for each of the categories right now so there will be updates to this post throughout the summer and also I would love your suggestions. For now, though, here are the categories that I have figured out!
Soccer/Futbol: Kulti by Mariana Zapata
I’ve owned this book for a while and though I’ve heard that the soccer rep makes little sense in this book, I’m still excited! Soccer is one of the sports I actually played so I’m not sure if those inaccuracies will bother me more than any inaccuracies in books about hockey, which I still do not understand and therefore cannot observe inaccuracies, but we shall see! I want to say that this romance is between a player and a coach? I’m hoping for Bend It Like Beckham vibes, honestly, so if you have any books like that, send those recommendations my way!
Fairy Tale Retelling: Bollywood and the Beast by Suleikha Snyder
Obvioiusly a take on Beauty and the Beast, one of my favorites, and another book I’ve had for a while. I adore Snyder’s twitter account so I’m really hoping to love her book as well!
Forced Proximity: Wanna Bet? by Talia Hibbert
Two Talia Hibberts on this list and ya girl feels so good about that choice. Anyway, FRIENDS TO LOVERS plus FORCED PROXIMITY = Jenica’s catnip. Except I forgot the tropes and therefore it’s been chilling on my Kindle since the day it came out. Oops. Not for much longer though!
Fashionista: The Princess Trap by Talia Hibbert
Let’s all agree to ignore the fact that I haven’t read this yet and celebrate that I have more Talia Hibbert novels to go! I adore Hibbert’s style, her Twitter account, and really everything about her. I’m extremely excited to actually pick this one up.
Set at a Summer Camp: Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy
I know this isn’t an own voices m/m, but Him features two of my favorite characters ever, Jamie and Wes and I’ve really been in the mood to re-read this duology and it’s the perfect fit for this prompt. It features flashbacks of the two attending the camp and they’re both at the camp as counselors/instructors now. So basically double dose of summer camp? We’ll go with it.
Enemies to Lovers: Archangel’s Viper by Nalini Singh
The only one I’ve already completed!! My first book of June and it absolutely qualifies. Venom and Holly have been at each other’s throats since basically book two and so watching them fall in love was extremely satisfying. I really enjoyed this one! Of course, it’s book ten so… That said, the first Guild Hunter’s book also qualifies because holy cow did Raphael and Elena start out fighting like crazy.
Queer Historical: A Soldier’s Scoundrel by Cat Sebastian
It’s honestly wild that this book will be my first Cat Sebastian, but it will! I’m very excited and hope I love it.
Hero Named Harry: Tempt Me at Twilight by Lisa Kleypas
I’ve been wanting to re-read this one since I picked up a copy at my used bookstore. I feel a little bad about how many books on this list I’m re-reading, but also, I’ve been in a re-reading mood lately so… Sorry not sorry?
Time Travel: Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness
This one requires a double re-read because I’ll have to read both the first and second books in the series since time travel doesn’t happen till book two. This series though was on my list of books to re-read that I made at the beginning of the year so I actually do not feel bad about using this readathon/challenge to check two of them off the list. Plus, the new book is coming!!!
Tech in the Big City: Trade Me by Courtney Milan
Another re-read, but to be fair, I re-read Hold Me in January and it just seems unfair to have re-read that one and not Trade Me. Plus, I’m hoping that we’ll get book three in the series sometime this year and if so, I’ll definitely be prepared this way!
Heroine is Older than the Hero: Falling for Him by Alisha Rai
An excellent excuse to finally read this novella by one of my faves. I really can’t get enough of Alisha Rai’s writing so it’s a good thing I have a couple of books left to go!
Damsel in Distress: A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole
Perhaps it’s unfair to call Portia a damsel in distress, but she’s even described in the cover copy as a perpetual hot mess so… I’m feeling like it totally works.
Birds Are Somehow Involved: A Good Rogue is Hard to Find by Kelly Bowen
I adore Kelly Bowen and when she pointed out that this entire series qualifies, I was so excited because it’s the perfect excuse to finally pick up the second book in the series.
So, as you can see, I still need quite a bit of help. I’ve got to figure out something for (1) firefighters, (2) young adult paranormal (I feel like this shouldn’t be so hard?), (3) carriage sex (let us cross our fingers Tessa Dare delivers this in The Governess Game), (4) mermaids, (5) extreme location (like, seriously, send help), (6) a book that is now a movie (or I could read Simon vs. for the third time, I guess), (7) pre-Renaissance, (8) return to hometown, (9) baby on the cover (probably just going to start pulling covers at the used book store next time I’m there until I find one), (10) heroine’s eyes are described using the ocean (please let me stumble across this), and (11) hero smells like MAN (help).
I am extremely excited to get this challenge underway though! Are any of you all participating? Let me know!