10 Romance Books by Asian Authors

Hi everyone! I think it’s pretty obvious for anyone that follows this blog that I read a lot of romance books, I’m a huge fan of the genre and I have been reading it for years. As I have mentioned before, it took me a long time to realize that I was only reading romance books by white authors and while I love a lot of those stories, I’m commited to reading diversely and that’s why in the last couple of years I have been trying to read more romance books by women of color.

Since May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and since I have read quite a few romance books by Asian authors, I thought it was a good idea to share some of my favorite ones with you. I have done this before with romance books by Latinx authors & romance books by Black authors, so check those posts out, if you want some recommendations!

*You can click the book titles throughout the post to go to the Goodreads page*

The Modern Love Series + A Gentleman in the Street by Alisha Rai

The Modern Love series addresses the role that social media plays in romantic relationships in today’s society, while centering diverse characters and sensitive subjects. The interesting concept, the great writing and the diversity are definitely the main reasons I like this series. While I enjoyed the second book a lot more than the first, I still think both are worth the read.

The first book, The Right Swipe, revolves around two rival dating app creators who find themselves at odds in the boardroom but in sync in the bedroom. This book has a Black heroine and a Samoan hero. The second book, Girl Gone Viral, is about a tweet that goes viral and shoves a camera-shy ex-model into the spotlight and into the arms of the bodyguard she has been pining for. This book includes a thai-american plus sized heroine with anxiety and an Sikh hero dealing with his PTSD.

Now when it comes to A Gentleman in the Street, my favorite thing about it is how sex positive and feminist it is, and the fact that it is incredibly steamy doesn’t hurt either. This book is about a man and a woman who have known each other for years and have been pretending they don’t like each other, but a single touch is all it takes for their simmering need to explode. This book includes a Japanese heroine.

Graham Delicacies + Soft on Soft by Mina Waheed

These two books where first release by the author Em Ali, but due to personal reasons they were released again under the pseudonym Mina Waheed. These books are fluffy, soft and angst-free romances, which is the main reasons I recommend them. If you are looking for cure, light queer romances these ones are for you!

Soft on Soft is a novella about a makeup artist that falls in love with a famous model. Both of the main characters in this book are queer, fat, women of color. This book doesn’t include sexually explicit content.

Graham’s Delicacies is a collection of three queer love stories set in one bakery. It includes a romance between a woman and a non-binry character, an m/m romance and a romance between a man and a non binary character.

If The Dress Fits by Carla de Guzman

There was a time when I would not shut up about this book, I love this and I need to re-read it soon. If the Dress Fits is set in the Philippines and it has an entire cast of Filipino characters. The main character is fat and and she has a very positive relationship with her weight. This is a best friends to lovers romance and it also inlcudes the fake dating trope, which it’s the best combination of tropes in my opinion.

A swoon-worthy romance with my favorite tropes, an insightful and vibrant depiction of the Philippines and fantastic #ownvoices representation are my favorite things about this book and the reasons I recommend it.

The Kiss Quotient Series by Helen Hoang

I’m a huge fan of The Kiss Quotient, I even got my IRL friends to read it and they loved it too. While I didn’t enjoy the second book quite as much, I still liked it. The diversity, the writing, the cute and steamy romances are the reasons I recommend this series.

The Kiss Quotient is about an Autistic woman who hires a male escort to teach her about sex and they end up falling in love. This book includes a very soft Vietnamese/Swedish hero, a successful and caring heroine and very steamy scenes! The Autistic rep is #ownvoices.

The Test Bride is about an Autistic man, whose mother wants to see married but thinks it won’t happen without her help, so she gets a mail-order bride from Vietnam and the son and the woman fall in love. This book inlcudes #ownvoices Vietnamese and Autistic rep.

Beginner’s Guide + Feels like Summer by Six de los Reyes

Both of theses books are set in the Philippines and they have a cast of Filipino characters. The representation is #ownvoices.

Beginner’s Guide is about a woman who is a scientist and who creates a methodology to find her perfect partner and she decides to test it with the most  unsuitable candidate and ends up falling for him. If you like romances where opposites attract and where people fall in love with someone that they didn’t expect, I would recommend this one!

Feels like Summer is about a woman who doesn’t want a relationship and a man who’s getting over a breakup, so they decide to casually date for 3 months and be done, but things change along the way. If you like romances with soft heroes and a great group of friends, I think you would enjoy this book.

What romance books by Asian authors would you recommend? Have you read any of the books I mentioned? Do you want to read any of them?

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Authors I'd Give a Second Chance

Hi everyone! After an unexpected mini-hiatus caused by the current situation and the hard time I have had the last few days coping with it, I’m back with a new blog post! But before getting into that, I just want to say that I hope you all are doing well and staying safe during this difficult time.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about Books I Want to Give a Second Chance, which were books I had DNFed in the past and I wanted to try to read them a second time. In this post, I’m going to talk about authors I’d give a second chance, which means that I read one book by them and didn’t like it as much as I hoped but for some reason I think I could enjoy a different book by those authors.

Silvia Moreno-Garcia

This is the author that inspired this post. I read one of her books – Certain Dark Things – and I didn’t like it that much, but there were enough elements in it that I found interesting so I knew I would read another of her books at some point. Add to that, the fact that I have two friends who absolutely adore Moreno-Garcia’s books and I was even more inclined to give her another chance. Actually, I’m currently reading another book by her – Gods of Jade and Shadow – and I’m happy to say I’m really enjoying it.

Zaida Polanco

Zaida Polanco wrote one of my most disappointing books of 2019 – Crush, Interrupted – I hated the hero in the group and the writing was pretty bad, but I’m always looking for new Latinx romance authors and I own two more of her books that I haven’t read, so I’m REALLY hoping it was just a case of that one book didn’t work for me. The book I want to try next is Swing Batter Swing.

Alisha Rai

Last year there was so much hype surrouding The Right Swipe, so I had huge expectations when I decided to pick it up and while I didn’t dislike it, I didn’t like it as much as everyone else seemed to. I felt disconnected from the characters and I never got fully into the story and I think it may have been the writing style that made me feel that way. Nonetheless, I’m giving the second book in the series – Girl Gone Viral– a chance to see if I enjoy it and hopefully I will like Alisha Rai’s writing more.

Avon Gale

I read The Love Song of Sawyer Bell two years ago and unfortunately didn’t enjoy it as much as I hoped, mainly because I wasn’t completely sold on the romance and I didn’t feel the chemestry between the characters. Nonetheless, I have heard great things about some of her other books and I’m always looking for more authors who write queer romance novels, so I’m hoping to enjoy Off the Ice, which is the most popular out of all her books.

Arthur Conan Doyle

I’m a huge fan of the Sherlock Holmes’ movies and tv shows adaptations, so I was really disappointed when I read my first Sherlock book – A Study in Scarlet – and I really disliked it. The book had a weird structure, it jumped to 20 years in the past in the middle of the book to tell a story that had nothing to do with Sherlock, we actually don’t see Sherlock and Watson for most of the book, which was what I was interested in. Nonetheless, I’m hoping other stories are better and I’m planning to read A Scandal in Bohemia next because I have heard great things about it.

What authors would you give a second chance to? Is there someone on my list that you think really deserves a second chance?

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August 2019 Wrap Up

Reading Wrap Up

Hi everyone! August was a really good month especially since we announced the second edition of the Latinx Book Bingo, which will take place form September 15 to October 15. Reading wise, I feel like I got back on track after not reading much in July. So I’m excited to share some of my thoughts for the 13 books I read this month:

Diverse Romance

Fit by Rebekah Weatherspoon (3,7 stars): This was a fast, steamy and sweet read with a interesting female protagonist. Black main character and Black author (full review).

Acting on Impulse by Mia Sosa (3,7 stars): I loved the female protagonist, I had some issues with the guy at the beginning but at the end he turned out to be sweet and they had lots of chemestry. Afro-Latinx main character and Afro-Latinx author.

Pretending He’s Mine by Mia Sosa (3,7 stars): I really liked both main characters in this one and their chemestry was great. Also, I really like the way this incorporated discussion about diversity and representation in Hollywood. Black hero and Afro-Latinx author.

The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai (3,7 stars): I enjoyed this book and I think it touches important subjets, but I couldn’t really get fully into the story at any point. Black heroine and Samoan hero.

Only for a Night by Naima Simone (3,7 stars): This is a short novella and it’s really, really steamy! Even if it’s mainly sex scenes, there’s enough of the character’s backstory to make evident the connection and love between them. Black author.

Romance

Surprise, Baby by Lex Martin & Leslie McAdam (3,6 stars): This book was both steamy and sweet, my only issue is that it relied too much in miscomunication (full review)

The Penalty Box by Odette Stone (3,5 stars): This was really steamy and really angsty, my main issue with it was that guy got a bit too posessive for my taste (full review)

Temporary Groom by J.S. Scott (2,8 stars): The writing in this was terrible and I only finished it because it was so short.

The Knocked Up Plan by Lauren Blakely (3,8 stars): This book was fun, steamy and angsty and I would totally recommend it!

Others

Depression and Other Magic Tricks by Sabrina Benaim (3 stars): This poetry collections deals mainly with mental illness and it does it well, but I would say the only outstanding poem is “Explaining Depression to my Mother”, the one that went viral, everything else is just ok. 

A Spark of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna (4,5 stars): This was amazing, there was an underlining tension thorughout this book that made it really hard to put down because I was always waiting for something bad to happen. I loved how complex the relationships in this were and the ending was heartbreaking. I can’t wait for the next book.

Nocturna by Maya Montayne (4 stars): I really enjoyed this book, I liked the main characters, I loved the way Spanish was incorporated and the way Latinx culture was reflected in the story. Also, the way this book addresses colonialism and its effects in the colonized countries is very interesting. My only issue is that I think the pacing could have been better.

The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro (3,8 stars): This was a fast and entertaining read, but the mystery left something to be desired and I was so confused the entire time and I was left confused after I finished. Still, I loved Holmes and Watson and their complicated, angsty relationship. I read this as part of a buddy read with Rebecca @ Bookishly Rebecca and Jenna @ Bookmark Your Thoughts

How was your reading in August? Any new favorite books? Have you read any of the books I mentioned? 
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Anticipated Book Releases of August 2019

Anticipated Releases

Hi everyone! Here are some books coming out in August that I think sound amazing and that I can’t wait to get my hands on.

The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai 

Release Date: August 6th 2019 

The Right SwipeRhiannon Hunter may have revolutionized romance in the digital world, but in real life she only swipes right on her career—and the occasional hookup. The cynical dating app creator controls her love life with a few key rules: 1) Nude pics are by invitation only  2) If someone stands you up, block them with extreme prejudice 3) Protect your heart.

Only there aren’t any rules to govern her attraction to her newest match, former pro-football player Samson Lima. The sexy and seemingly sweet hunk woos her one magical night… and disappears.

Rhi thought she’d buried her hurt over Samson ghosting her, until he suddenly surfaces months later, still big, still beautiful—and in league with a business rival. He says he won’t fumble their second chance, but she’s wary. A temporary physical partnership is one thing, but a merger of hearts? Surely that’s too high a risk…

Why am I anticipating it? 

I have been waiting for this book for months, which is not surpring if you know about my undying love for romance books, especially because this one sounds right up my alley. Also, all my friends in Goodreads have given it 4 or 5 stars and they have all mentioned how diverse this books is, so I’m hopeful that I’m going to love it.

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

Release Date: August 6th 2019

House of Salt and Sorrows

In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.

Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.

Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?

When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.

Why am I anticipating it? 

This sounds so whimsical and I have heard it has some horror elements and that makes me so excited, I definitely have been wanting to read more fantasy/horror books. I can’t wait to see the author’s take on The Twelve Princesses story, especially since this book is suppost to be focused on the sisterhood.

The Other Half of Happy by Rebecca Balcárcel 

Release Date: August 20th 2019

The Other Half of Happy

Twelve-year-old, bi-cultural Quijana likes her Anglo life just fine. Nevermind that her Spanish is shaky and she can’t talk with her abuela. When her Latino relatives show up and prompt her parents to plan a trip to Guatemala, Quijana plans an escape. She’s sure that being half makes her happy.

Chronicle brings us poet Rebecca Balcárcel’s middle grade novel about a biracial girl who’s navigating between the Anglo and Guatemalan sides of her family, a burgeoning crush and a cool new friend, and trying to figure out what’s going on with her little brother, who is becoming remote and hard to reach, all while trying to determine just who she is. Publication is scheduled for August 2019.

Why am I anticipating it? 

I’m always excited to read latinx books by latinx authors and this one sounds like it’s gonna be a heartfelt story. I don’t read that much middle grade but I’ll definitely give this a chance.

All the Bad Apples by Moïra Fowley- Doyle 

Release Date: August 27th 2019

All the Bad ApplesThe day after the funeral all our mourning clothes hung out on the line like sleeping bats. ‘This will be really embarrassing,’ I kept saying to my family, ‘when she shows up at the door in a week or two.’

When Deena’s wild and mysterious sister Mandy disappears – presumed dead – her family are heartbroken. But Mandy has always been troubled. It’s just another bad thing to happen to Deena’s family. Only Deena refuses to believe it’s true.

And then the letters start arriving. Letters from Mandy, claiming that their family’s blighted history is not just bad luck or bad decisions – but a curse, handed down through the generations. Mandy has gone in search of the curse’s roots, and now Deena must find her. What they find will heal their family’s rotten past – or rip it apart forever.

Why am I anticipating it? 

I have never read a Moïra Fowley-Doyle book, but all of her books always sound so intriguing to me and after hearing this one has a lot to do with Irish history and the catolic church, I’m even more curious about it. Also, I know there are queer characters, which is always a plus in my eyes.

What July book releases are you anticipating? Do you want to read any of the books I mentioned? Have you read any of them already? what did you think about them?

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