Y’all, I am so excited to bring you this new Bingo board! #FallIntoRomBingo was easily the highlight of my reading in the last two and a half months and I knew pretty early on that I was keen to have seasonal bingos in my life for basically the rest of forever. Fortunately, Dani was also on board and Aarya joined us and we definitely got swept away in our excitement! We had the prompts picked out in October, if that tells you anything about our excitement levels.
#SnowInLoveBingo is our new hashtag for winter Bingo, which will take place from December 1, 2020 – February 28, 2020. We really hope that you’ll participate! The only things you really need to know for participation are the following:
- Please use the hashtag #SnowInLoveBingo on your posts so we can interact with you! That was/is one of my favorite parts about this. Additionally, you may notice that I capitalized each word in the hashtag and that is because when you capitalize each word, screen readers read a hashtag properly. So please make sure you do that as well!
- When you share your graphics or even the image of the board, please use Alt Text for a similar reason. On Twitter you do this by clicking add description below the picture or you can click edit and then move over to the ALT tab. I will have text available in the caption of the board that you’re about to see here that you can copy and paste into your initial tweet about the board if you would like or I know some people connected their thread to my main one for #FallIntoRomBingo. It’s up to you! But we really do want this to be an accessible readathon and we appreciate all that you do as you participate with us for helping us make that happen.
- Have fun!
So now let’s turn to going through each of the prompts and I’ll tell you what book I’m tentatively planning to read. You may know this about me by now, but I have an absolutely terrible track record of following a TBR. So take what books I’m reading very much as potential books I’ll read and not a guarantee. Plus, this way, you’ll have some more ideas of what books you could use. There will be a rec post from me (with a good bit of input from Aarya) up next week!
Set Outside the United States/Europe
I have a whole host of books I really want to read that would fulfill this prompt, but one of the 2021 books I’m most looking forward to will fulfill this so that’s what I’m going with. Courtney Milan’s The Devil Comes Courting is a historical set at least partially if not mostly in China. It comes out February 9, 2021 and I cannot wait! It’s about Captain Grayson Hunter, who is trying to figure out how to make the first worldwide telegraphic network and knows that there’s a man in Shanghai who could help with some math/science piece. Only, it’s not a man in Shanghai with that knowledge, it’s Amelia Smith, a woman not particularly interested in working with Captain Hunter at all. I’m so excited for this one!
So, I tentatively have Careless Whispers by Synithia Williams down for this one, but that’s dependent on me getting an advanced copy since it doesn’t come out until March. This entire Jackson Falls series from Synithia has been all about family drama and I’m here for it. Plus, this book follows a woman who has pretty much been deemed unlikeable and I’m very ready to read about her finding her HEA. So cross your fingers for me that I get an HEA.
Aarya and I have planned a buddy read, first time for me and a reread for her, of The Chocolate Kiss by Laura Florand. I am super excited about this because after reading Sun-Kissed for #FallIntoRomBingo, I want to read all of the books in this chocolate series thing and I plan to read the other companion novella to Sun-Kissed for #SnowInLoveBingo too! This particular book is about Magalie Chaudron and her two aunts who run a really gorgeous sounding sweets shop. When Philippe Lyonnais opens a pastry shop right down the street, tensions are high! I am so excited to dive more into this series and I’m really excited that Aarya and I are going to buddy read again!
So, I have an advanced copy of The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins, which Aarya very helpfully informed me has a great meta line in it: “Just a thump,” I tell him, shaking my head even though he can’t see me. “Or a few thumps. It’s so stupid, I know. Now I’m creeping around upstairs like I’m in a gothic novel or a bad horror movie.” Obviously the advanced copy and the final copy may differ, but for now, this is what we’re going with! If for whatever reason, I find myself feeling too guilty about reading a thriller for Bingo, I’ll switch it out for Undercover Bromance by Lissa Kay Adams, which I really should have read by now.
Tiny House, Big Love by Olivia Dade is my choice for fluffy because Olivia Dade’s books always feel like a warm hug. Also, I am obsessed with the sheep Sarah drew for this square. Lucy is determined to leave everything behind, including her best friend, Sebastian, but before she goes, she requests that he join her on cable television to pick out the perfect tiny home. Lucy and Sebastian are maybe mutually pining (*screams with joy*) and hopefully this television show will bring them together romantically. I have an intense love for friends to lovers, mutual pining, and reality shows so I’m high key excited to finally read this one.
In my recommendations post, you’ll see that basically every book with this type of HEA has a star beside it because I’ve not read them. I have two options for this prompt that are at the top of my list. First we have One Day to Fall by Therese Beharrie, which follows Sophie as she decides to not wait for her niece/nephew/nibling to be born and instead dives into a cab driven by surly Parker. I’m really excited for this one and I’ve been meaning to read more from Beharrie since I loved One Last Chance earlier this year. My other option is Wild Rain by Beverly Jenkins, which follows Spring!!!!! I really don’t need to know anything more than that. I’m so excited for Spring’s book. She’s introduced in Tempest and no offense to any of the other characters in that book, but she stole the show for me. And she’s quite happily childfree.
Into the Woods
So my tentative plan for this is to read (on audio) Nalini Singh’s second thriller, Quiet in Her Bones, which comes out on February 23rd. So I’ll be cutting it really close if I do wait for this one, but honestly, the atmosphere in A Madness of Sunshine was so captivating, I think this is going to be the perfect pick. If I decide that’s cutting it too close (I’m really paranoid to be a procrastinator), I may pick up Sanctuary by Rebekah Weatherspoon instead. So I just read the blurb for this (It’s by RW so I bought it without paying much attention, tbh) and there’s an element of fake dating so HELLO, come to me! I have two excellent choices for this prompt, clearly.
Because of traditional publishing being woefully behind the times of addressing our collective desire for more Black Love in historical romance, we decided that we weren’t going to require both/all leads for this prompt to be Black. But it is Black History Month in America so we wanted to encourage y’all to pick up a Black historical romance. In my recommendations post I mention a few that aren’t quite as well known as the one I plan to read! I mentioned Wild Rain earlier and it could fit here, as well. But I need to finish off the Destiny series by Ms. Bev, so I’ll be reading Destiny’s Captive instead. I’m really excited for this pirate romance. I have a feeling it’s actually going to be my favorite of the series (although, Billy is a pretty incredible heroine who will be hard to top).
Feels Like Home
This is one of my favorite things to randomly stumble across, but it’s also super specific so I would up searching through a number of my ebooks trying to find a book that worked. I’ve now spoiled myself for the last paragraph of The Spare by Miranda Dubner, which Dani recommended to me a while ago, but I’m really excited for the journey to that last paragraph. Apparently this is a Prince falling for his bodyguard so like, I am hella here for this!! If I don’t get an advanced copy of Careless Whispers, I may have to shuffle this one there, and hope that Best Laid Plans by Roan Parrish lives up to its blurb and includes a line about feeling like home.
Alisha Rai is one of my absolute favorites, which you may have picked up on if you’ve been here for a bit. Her new book First Comes Like is out February 16, 2021 and I have been blessed with an advanced copy. I cannot explain to you how much willpower it is taking for me not to dive into this before we actually get to start this bingo board. Fake relationship is one of my favorite tropes and honestly, what’s better than fake dating for publicity purposes? Okay, jk, I accept all reasons to fake date as equally excellent and valid, but I am intrigued by this catfishing situation and can’t wait to read this one!
I reread books often so I’m really excited about this. I’m even more excited about it because I’m planning to finally reread A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole. This is one of the books I would consider an all-time favorite romance and yet, it’s one of the only ones that I’ve only read once! Which is wild. I think about it all the time so it doesn’t feel like it’s been two years since I’ve read. If you’re not aware, this is where #SwordBae comes from. It’s about Portia, who is my favorite hot mess heroine, who is trying to get her life together and has this plan for making it happen. She goes off to Scotland to be an apprentice for a swordmaker, Tavish, and he’s super grumpy, but they fall in love and it’s everything.
Cover/Title You Love
Harlequin Desire has been absolutely crushing the cover game for a while now and this one for Scandal in the VIP Suite is no exception. Plus, the title is so intriguing. I can’t wait to pick this one up! This is the short blurb: When Nina Taylor peeks into the luxury hotel suite that should have been hers, she’s caught by the room’s occupant, Julian Knight. The Hollywood bad boy quickly offers a compromise: why not share? Soon, the paparazzi is jumping to scandalous conclusions—and Julian and Nina share an incredible kiss. Good thing they’re only booked for a week…because, boy, is she in trouble!
So while we hope you’ll feel comfortable choosing literally any holiday book, not necessarily for a holiday celebrated in the months of Bingo, this is technically in the free space category so if you don’t want to, we understand! I’m planning to read A Wedding One Christmas by Therese Beharrie, but honestly, my holiday books are piling up and there are just so many! Angie needs a date at the last minute for a wedding she’s attending and so she persuades a complete stranger, Ezra, to accompany her. I’m high key excited for this one.
Last Book Acquired
So, if you’re anything like me, you have a bad habit of picking up a book and not reading it right away, whether that’s from borrowing from the library or Kindle Unlimited or Audible Plus, etc., or buying it or downloading from Netgalley. So at some point during these three months, your only job is to immediately read the book you pick up one time! This is not a large commitment, hopefully, but I know it’s likely to be a challenge. For me, I plan to fulfill said challenge with Flirting with Forever by Cara Bastone. I’m so incredibly excited for this book that I’ve got it preordered and plan to read it as soon as it hits my kindle. This one is about John and Mary who are set up on a date without knowing anything about one another beforehand and it goes poorly because John makes a comment about Mary’s age. But then they wind up fake dating anyway because John’s mom won’t leave them alone. So many fake dating books are on my TBR and I, personally, am thrilled.
Audiobook or HEA
I have a number of romance audiobooks available to me at any given time because I have a problem and Libro.fm’s Kiss Club enables me. Kiss Club is Avon’s Club where they put certain audiobooks on sale every month. The selections vary widely, but tend to include at least one Beverly Jenkins and usually a good amount of historicals otherwise. I’ve gotten several from them. I’m actually planning on reading Headliners by Lucy Parker for this one, probably, because I’m obsessed with the London Celebrities series, although my progress through it has been glacial so you probably can’t tell. And if you don’t do audiobooks, that’s completely fine! You can just read any romance novel as a sort of second free space.
I really wanted to get to The Hidden Moon by Jeannie Lee during #FallIntoRomBingo, but just didn’t manage, so I was really pleased to realize how easily this fits in here. I think several bloggers recommended it, but Dani’s the one who made sure it was on my radar. Here’s the short blurb: A well-bred lady and lowly street hustler team up in a historical murder mystery set during China’s glittering Tang Dynasty. Part of the best-selling Lotus Palace series.
I feel like in Western Culture, there’s a big thing about blue and green eyes and brown eyes don’t get celebrated enough. So in an attempt to encourage us all to celebrate the depth and beauty of brown eyes, we came up with this prompt! I’ll be reading Queen Move by Kennedy Ryan for this, finally, and I am so excited. This is childhood friends to lovers, but if I understand this correctly, they haven’t seen each other in ages before they reconnect. And Ezra is a single-father, which is something I’ve been finding myself drawn to in books lately.
Small Town Romance by an Author of Color
I don’t remember which authors I’ve seen note that their books don’t get classified as small town romances even though they are, but it’s a conversation that stuck with me. I’m pretty sure Alisha Rai has at least mentioned it though. Anyway, because I want to make sure that we are celebrating authors of color who are writing small town romances, I’m really excited about this square! Surprising no one, I have a few options for this. Hopefully, I will have already finished Second Chance on Cypress Lane by Reece Ryan before December 1st since that’s her book birthday, but… If not, it’s an option! Next we have Love at Catalina Cove by Brenda Jackson, which has been languishing on my physical shelves since Kiss Con last year and I need to get a move on! And finally, Work for It by Talia Hibbert because I love Talia and I finally seem to have moved past my irrational fears that if I read all of her books, I’ll never get another. First of all, I reread books so that shouldn’t be a worry and secondly, Talia has Eve Brown coming out in March and also she’s making Mating the Huntress a series! So I’m safe and therefore, it’s okay to read my final two hoarded books of hers.
I told y’all you’d see Laura Florand on this list again and I meant it. Snow-Kissed is a marriage in trouble novella where Kai and Kurt are having trouble conceiving and I think Kai has just had a miscarriage. She runs away to her mother in law’s cabin in the woods and Kurt follows. They find themselves snowed in, which is an excellent trope too. Definitely sensitive content though so tread lightly if you choose to pick it up!
I don’t know exactly what You, Me, U.S. by Brigitte Bautista is about, but Aarya recommended it so that’s pretty much good enough for me. Here is part of the blurb: Best friends Jo and Liza are as opposite as night and day. Sex worker Jo swears by the worry-free, one-day-at-a-time dance through life. Salesclerk Liza has big plans for her family’s future, and there is nothing bigger than a one-way trip to the U.S. But an almost-kiss, a sex dare, and news of Liza’s engagement to her American boyfriend unveil feelings Jo and Liza never thought they had. Deciding between staying together and drifting apart puts Liza’s best-laid plans and Jo’s laidback life in jeopardy.
I just need you to know that my mouth dropped at a sex dare. Like, do tell me more??? Thanks!
So, I will admit that it was a very shallow thing that led me to wanting to read Get It Right by Skye Kilaen, which is that this cover is absolutely magnificent. As for why I’m using it to fulfill messy character(s), here’s the first paragraph of the blurb: Finn is finally out of prison, which is great. Having no job, no car, and no place to sleep except her cousin’s couch? Not so great. Plus, her felony theft conviction isn’t doing wonders for her employment prospects, so she can’t afford her migraine meds without the public clinic.
Characters trying to get their lives together is literally one of my favorite things. Probably because I always feel like my life is two seconds away from no longer being together so I relate. Anyway, I’m high key excited for this f/f romance!
I don’t know why this category gave me a struggle, but I finally decided that I was going with The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon, which features two radio show talk hosts. I’ve not really read many books with this sort of job, so I think it counts as unusual. Shay and Dominic don’t like one another and are paired to pretend to be exes to give relationship advice on air. But obviously they catch feelings and wow, that’s a lot of deception. I don’t think I’ve ever read a fake exes book before! I’m into this concept.
I’ve been meaning to continue the Fly Me to the Moon series for a while and I think now seems like a good time. My pick for this one is A Midnight Feast by Emma Barry and Genevieve Turner, which is actually set at Thanksgiving. I don’t remember why there are lists, but I know that when I searched my kindle book, one of those words showed up several times so we’re going with it!
I’m finally going to pick up Anna Zabo’s Syncopation for this prompt. The book has been hanging out on my kindle for entirely too long and I’m excited to finally get to it. Ooh, our lead singer of Twisted Wishes is seeming out of control and Zavier is coming on board as the new drummer and wants to help him get it together. I can’t believe I forgot what this book was about. It sounds right up my alley.
Another Aarya recommendation, Tweet Cute is my selection for this one because I have been assured that I will love it! It’s a YA Contemporary, which I haven’t been reading much of lately, but I’m excited about this one. I’ve heard a lot of good things about it. There’s a viral twitter war happening between Jack and Pepper, but they’re also falling in love IRL??? Help, I love this trope so much. It’s a retelling of You’ve Got Mail, which I’ve actually not even seen, but I do tend to love the retellings so I should maybe fix that?
And there you have it! My TBR and hopefully all the information you need to participate in #SnowInLoveBingo and have so much fun! What prompt is your favorite? Which illustration do you love? Let me know!