folklore + romance novels: part two

Welcome back! And welcome to a new month. August is here, which is wild. My nephew should arrive this month though so I am incredibly excited and EMERALD BLAZE will be in front of my eyeballs in 26 days!! I can’t wait. In the meantime, I’m still listening to the greatest surprise of my life on repeat every day and am so excited to share with you the last eight songs on the album. So let’s get started!

background is a picture of the forest with folklore + romance novels on it

this is me trying + American Sweethearts by Adriana Herrera

Key Lyrics: I didn’t know if you’d care if I came back

So there were a couple of options for me to choose from here, but I went with my primary choice of American Sweethearts because Juan and Priscilla have ended things between them more than a few times and they know this next time is it. So Juan Pablo is an absolute angel and it really feels like this song is him to Priscilla. He is TRYING and he’s going to be a better person and be the person she needs and damn if he doesn’t succeed. I really love this entire series, as you can see here if you want more thoughts. My other option was Steadfast by Sarina Bowen, which is a second chance where Jude is really having to try. He’s put down the whiskey and spilled his guts to a therapist. It’s a really powerful book too actually, but a little more angsty than American Sweethearts.

illicit affairs + Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai

Key Lyric: for you I would ruin myself a million little times

If you’ve been here for a while, you may know that Hate to Want You is one of my favorite books of all time. And in that book, there’s this thing between Livvy and Nicolas where every year for ten years on Livvy’s birthday, they get together and bang it out and then don’t talk at all until the next year. Every angsty line in this book just fits them so perfectly and I’m obsessed with this song and this book. I think it’s time to reread it again. I did also consider Forbidden Promises by Synthia Williams, which is a book where India falls in love with her ex-brother in law, Travis. It’s great and a bit scandalous.

invisible string + The Kingmaker & The Rebel King by Kennedy Ryan

Key Lyric: isn’t it just so pretty to think all along there was some invisible string tying you to me?

One of the things I love about Kennedy Ryan is that she somehow manages to write books that feel like fated mates in contemporary settings and for a person who doesn’t really believe in fate or soulmates, the fact that I love this is weird. But I do, because Kennedy is amazing. Anyway, The Kingmaker is really one of the books that I think shines at doing this because the love story between Maxim and Lennix spans continents and a decade. There is so much of a sense of fate here in their first meeting at the protest to the meeting in Paris about four years or so later (Amsterdam? tbh, I don’t remember what country they were in). I just love the way this book is so dramatic and beautiful and I love it a lot.

mad woman + Untouchable by Talia Hibbert

Key Lyric: and there’s nothing like a mad woman

Honestly, I just feel like this song really fits Hannah’s overall mood, especially at the beginning of the book. She’s really over her judgmental town and the fact that she’s ostracized a little bit just because she got revenge for the way this rich man treated her sister. I love Hannah and everything about her so this just makes me love her more. I also considered The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai, Shards of Hope by Nalini Singh, and Kiss of a Demon King by Kresley Cole in case you’re in need of other angry heroines to cheer for.

epiphany + Gone Too Far by Suzanne Brockmann

Key Lyric: watch you breathe in, watch you breathing out

In truth, I’m probably just more accurately recommending the Troubleshooters series with this song, even though I struggled to no end to come up with a way to get this song to work for a romance novel. It was hard for me to divorce the song from the idea of going to war, so I was like, well, Troubleshooters it is. And my favorites are Gone Too Far (Sam and Alyssa!!!!!!!!!!!!), Breaking Point (Max and Gina’s second chance following a kidnapping, oh the angst), and Force of Nature (for the secondary love story between Jules and Robin, which coincidentally could also work for “this is me trying”). Anyway, in each of these books, which unfortunately really are better if you read in order (they are six, nine, and eleven respectively), there are some real themes of serving together and just being there for one another and also the “things you can’t speak about” going on. It’s a great series that I really should hurry and finish.

betty + Flying Gold by Vanessa North

Key Lyric: but if I showed up at your party would you have me? would you want me?

I know that everyone is convinced this song is sapphic and I fully support that interpretation, but unfortunately, I couldn’t think of a single sapphic book that fit this vibe. So what I went with instead is Flying Gold by Vanessa North, which is about a man (Matt) who at seventeen cheated on his girlfriend (Tiffani) in a moment of stupidity and now he needs her to fix his fancy car like a decade later. Tiffani is still mad as hell and it’s actually so glorious. But truly I feel like Matt gives me James vibes. So anyway, hopefully you’ll enjoy Flying Gold if you try it. I really believe it’s a rather underrated book! Here’s my review if you’re curious for additional thoughts.

peace + Hidden Legacy: 1-3 by Ilona Andrews

Key Lyric: would it be enough if I could never give you peace?

Listen. This song has Mad Rogan written ALL OVER IT and I do not care if you disagree with me. This is officially a song written for Nevada and Connor and I’m not interested in being swayed otherwise. I mean, “now that I see your brother as my brother” is basically now that I have embraced your entire family, including your mother who would maybe like to kill me a little bit. And the “clowns in the West” and the “robbers in the East” are like all of his enemies. It is 100% a song for the two of them and I’m obsessed with both the song and this series. Time to listen to it again!

hoax + Grip by Kennedy Ryan

Key Lyric: No other shade of blue but you, no other sadness in the world would do

I mean, I did tell y’all that Kennedy writes books where people have this whole fated thing happening and the Grip trilogy really encapsulates this whole “there is one person that I want even though it hurts me”. I feel like the angst really worked for me, but Dani and I had a really good conversation about it in our first When Old Meets New posts. So anyway, this song is my definite choice for this one. What do you think?

And there you have it, a song for each of the sixteen songs on folklore! Which songs are your favorite? Are there any song/book connections that really speak to you? Let me know!


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