I am genuinely delighted to bring you the announcement that #SnowInLoveBingo is back! Hosted by myself, Aarya, and Dani, with artwork by my very talented sister, Sarah, we’re back with #SnowInLoveBingo, which will last from December 1, 2022 – February 28, 2023. Zero idea what the prizes will be again, but here is the link to the Google form to enter your Bingos. So now let’s chat real quick about the rules for #SnowInLoveBingo and then we’ll get started going through the prompts and what I’m hoping to red!
Rule #1: Please capitalize each word in the hashtag for accessibility reasons and use alt text for your images for the same reason.
Rule #2: Black Love means a romance where all romantic leads are Black and so is the author.
Now for the board(s)!
This prompt is fairly self-explanatory and works for a few different types of plots, I would say. My personal favorite “secret identity” type trope is the one where it’s actually a You’ve Got Mail retelling, but the one I’m actually putting on my TBR is Lies by Kylie Scott. I mean, look at this synopsis:
Betty Dawsey knows that breaking things off with Thom Lange is for the best. He’s nice, but boring, and their relationship has lost its spark. But steady and predictable Thom, suddenly doesn’t seem so steady and predictable when their condo explodes and she’s kidnapped by a couple of crazies claiming that Thom isn’t who he says he is.
Thom is having a hellish week. Not only is he hunting a double agent, but his fiancé dumped him, and thanks to his undercover life, she’s been kidnapped.
Turns out Thom is Operative Thom and he’s got more than a few secrets to share with Betty if he’s going to keep her alive. With both their lives on the line, their lackluster connection is suddenly replaced by an intense one. But in his line of work, feelings aren’t wanted or desired. Because feelings can be a lethal distraction.
How am I supposed to pass that up? Anyway, that’s my main choice here, but chances are I’ll find some others to throw on instead or in addition to… You know how it goes!
You know how sometimes it’s the really little things that let you know that a couple is strong? That they have good chemistry? That they belong together? This prompt is to attempt to honor those little moments of connection. This can look like a lot of different things so I don’t really know what book I’m going to put on here. If I had to choose an author who I think tends to show these quieter moments, I would say Laura Florand and Kate Clayborn, but I know there are a ton of other authors who do so as well!
This is another prompt that is open to interpretation. It could be that one of the main characters in the book you choose engages in self-care or talks about it. Or it could be really taking the time to make reading a form of self-care and making a whole thing of it. Taking the time to relax. I would say that a lot of my audiobook listening is done while driving, which would not be self-care. But, curling up with an audiobook and Disney’s Dreamlight Valley or Pokemon Violet? Throw in a glass of a wine and my new B.K. Borison sweatshirt in honor of In the Weeds and it sounds like a perfect night. Now, again, this could look like whatever to you. A very individualized prompt. And I have no idea what book I’ll choose for this sort of moment.
So, I’ve been trying to participate in #ShopYourShelvesBingo hosted by Love in Panels and let me tell you, that has really revealed exactly how many books I have. Which means, I also have a lot of novellas. At the top of my list are Treble by Rilzy Adams and Thresholds by Kate Canterbary. Those two are extremely different vibes, but you know. Treble is a sexy, erotic novella between Sadie, Hendrix, and Novah as they explore becoming a triad essentially. And then Thresholds is continuing the story of the Walsh siblings and their spouses, just extending the HEAs, I think. I’m super excited to spend more time with my favorite siblings.
Speaking of Rilzy Adams, I really need to start the Falling Like a Johnson series and speaking of Black Love, I really need to finish up the Equilibrium series by Christina C. Jones… That puts The Gift by Rilzy Adams on my TBR since it’s book one, but honestly the synopsis has me nervous. It sounds like a grief book and also there’s going to be a baby… So I’m hesitant, but Rilzy is so freaking talented, I know I’ll love it once I get over my nerves and pick it up. And next on my CCJ reading list is In Tandem, which I’ve only been meaning to read for forever. It’s a friends to lovers romance so I am, of course, beyond excited about it.
So, lately, something I’ve been loving in romance is when a main character just shakes off the expectations of her family or the people pleasing instinct and says, “Nope, I’m pursuing what I want.” There are lots of ways in which this particular idea manifests itself, but the point is that I love it all. And so that is what I had in mind when I picked this prompt. If you’re nostalgic for HSM days, then I fully support finding a book that reminds you of the song “Breaking Free” and please let me know what you pick either way you interpret it! If you have some other thought in mind, that is 100% okay too! Anyway, I’m looking at two that I think will meet this category for me already and those are Astrid Parker Doesn’t Fail by Ashley Herring Blake and About Last Night by Ruthie Knox. Astrid Parker is a sapphic romance with an HGTV style set up so I’m basically guaranteed to love it and About Last Night has the most delightful premise and also Nick told me to read it because she thinks I’ll love it so that’s a similar guarantee basically.
Naughty or Nice
For some reason the naughty or nice dichotomy has been overwritten in my head by those Sour Kids commercials “First they’re sour, then they’re sweet,” and I do not know why. But regardless, I feel like this prompt can once again be interpreted multiple ways, but I’m thinking of doing it in the almost morality chain style way because that’s apparently what I want at the moment. This means that I’m interested in reading The Hunter by Kerrigan Byrne, which to me sounds like a morality chain or in a very different vibe, The Devil You Know by Elizabeth O’Roark.
As always, I love a good re-read prompt and since I’ve really not made a ton of progress on my Contemporary Romance Project, I’m thinking I should finally re-read Reel by Kennedy Ryan and/or Best of Luck by Kate Clayborn.
On the one hand, I have a million sports romances to read and on the other hand, I have an obnoxioiusly large stockpile of Sarina Bowen books I’ve gotten behind on. So I’m up to Superfan and that’s the one I should read. We’ll see if I stick to it!
This does not have to mean a representation of organized religion, which is something that I think is very important to mention. There are lots of ideas of faith. But I would like to personally read representation of religions other than Christianity and so on deck for me in this vein are two Carina titles that I can’t mention in solidarity with the Harper Collins strike. I would really love for Harper Collins to come to the table in good faith with their workers. Alternatively, I could finally pick up Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin, which would be a great choice as well.
At the top of my TBR for this is Donut Fall in Love by Jackie Lau, which actually features a baker, so I presume it will have baking. Definitely important to keep in mind though that your choice for this prompt does not have to be a foodie romance, it can just include someone baking!
Okay, listen, am I putting the same two historical romances I’ve been meaning to read for literal years at this point on here? Yes. Will I read them? God, I hope so. Those two reads are The Devil Comes Courting by Courtney Milan and The Hidden Moon by Jeannie Lau. I would like to point out too, there was another book I wanted to include but Harper Collins not coming to the table stands in the way of that again. (That is true of most of these categories, tbh.)
Please know that Happy Holidays is genuinely meant to encourage you to read whatever holiday you would like, whether it occurs during these months or not. I am so excited to read Eight Nights of Flirting by Hannah Reynolds! I honestly don’t know much about it beyond I absolutely adored Reynolds YA from last year (thank you, Aarya!) so I was immediately thrilled to add her follow up to my list of anticipated reads.
Divorced Main Character
Kennedy Ryan’s Before I Let Go is really having a moment and I am ashamed to say that I haven’t read it yet! Despite having an ARC!! Despite being so incredibly excited about it. But anyway, it’s hard to get yourself emotionally ready for a KR book, but I think I’m about there. So I’m really excited for this one. But I do also have Believe in Me by Alexandria House as well to continue the Strickland Sisters series I started a month or so ago.
I’m leaning toward reading Love, Comment, Subscribe by Cathy Yardley for this one. It looks like the main character is a beauty guru, so I trust lipstick will be included at some point in the book. Lipstick happens to be my favorite part of makeup and is often the only thing I wear, so I’m excited Dani picked lipstick to have its time to shine on the Winter board.
Oh goodness, my list of self-published TBR is so, so long. At the top of my list right now are In a Jam by Kate Cnterbary, Twisted Hate by Ana Huang (which has admittedly been picked up by a publisher now), and The Don by Katrina Jackson. I’m honestly shocked I haven’t read/finished all three of these already. I definitely need to!
So, I still need to publish my Midnights + Romance Novels posts, but, well, you see, this Harper Collins strike and my tendency to read a lot of Avon and HQN novels means that I am currently struggling. So, in the meantime, here is my Instagram post about “Glitch” + Romance novels and hopefully The Astronaut and the Star by Jen Comfort gives me “Glitch” vibes when I read it because the synopsis was giving the right vibe. Setting aside Midnights as inspired by Midnights, you could also interpret this prompt as a book that kept you up late or a book where something key happens at midnight. If you check my October Wrap Up post, there are a lot of Midnights and book recommendations linked as well!
I’m finally going to pick up Amor Actually for this one, although again, this does not have to be a book centered around Christmas. It could be a book set around Halloween or Valentine’s Day or Chinese New Year. Literally whatever you choose!!
Oh y’all, community in books is one of my very favorite things and I’m really excited because I’m pretty sure The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna is going to deliver on the community aspect so well. I’m also just going to suggest that continuing some more with the Equilibrium series by CCJ would definitely deliver community content. (CCJ is utterly brilliant at writing community, just saying.)
I’m so excited to read Two Wrongs Make a Right by Chloe Liese, whom I adore!! I picked up a physical copy today and have the audiobook ready to go as well. #ShopYourShelvesBingo and not buying books isn’t necessarily going well…
Trans or Non-Binary
I’m going to have to mention two Harper Collins titles here, but I think I’m not really going against the Union advocates desires? I’m just going to mention the titles though so that my words can’t be used in place of Harper Collins actually paying their employees a living wage. So the two titles at the top of my list are both from Carina Adores: The Love Study by Kris Ripper and For the Love of April French by Penny Aimes.
Take a Chance
Take a Chance is one of the prompts I chose because I have this theory that there are exceptions to all of the tropes that I hate, where there are books that I will still love. But I wanted to make sure it’s broad enough that it could be used for you to take a chance on a new to you author if you’re adamant there’s no way you’re reading a book with a trope you hate. And maybe there’s a subgenre you could take a chance on. You know, the versatility of this one is as broad as we could make it! I have really fallen in love with Devney Perry’s writing in the books I’ve read recently, which means that I could maybe, hopefully like Tattered, which is a secret baby romance. This is a one-night stand romance where the blurb gives me Bountiful vibes and therefore, I should be okay with the overall set up of how we come to have a “secret” baby. I also like Cate C. Wells writing generally, so I’m curious about Hitting the Wall, which is another secret baby book. I’ll likely wind up reading one of these two to see if I can find another book to be an exception for me.
For a person who really does not like going outside, I really seem to like books with more descriptions of the outdoors and nature than any reasonable person would expect. Now, it makes sense that I love books set on the water because I love the water. Water is the type of nature that I am willing to visit. But it’s more shocking to me how much I love the mountains/hiking type descriptions. So I’ve decided that this is a good reason to finally get around to The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker, which I hope to actually love. If not that one, I have plenty of other books that are set on the water or maybe I’ll accidentally find another mountain/hiking type book again.
I’m really thinking Free Fall by Emma Barry & Genevieve Turner will be the book I choose for this one. I’ve been loving their historical series and it’s been an age since I last picked one of the books up. So here’s a perfect excuse!
Snow on the Cover
I have several books on my TBR with snow on the cover so choosing one was harder than I anticipated. But I’ve been really intrigued by The Puck Drop and the whole series by Jaqueline Snowe and so even though these ice chip things from the hockey rink may not count as snow, I’m counting it because I’ve got both those ice things going for me and the author’s last name.
The final things I wanted to share are the above template that you’re welcome to use with Sarah’s illustrations and to ask that you feel free to recommend me all of your favorites for the prompts down below. Also, please share what your favorite prompts are. And are you even participating? Let me know! I so look forward to hearing from you!!