We're delighted to welcome our this month's #BookTalk guest to the PHS: Kristen of Beverages and Books!
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Kristen, book reviewer under @bevsandbooks, reviews appear in a variety of places. Moonlights as a researcher interested in intersectionality of religion, sexuality, and women.
What made you choose the romance genre?
I have no idea what made me choose it at first, just because it's been part of my life for that long! I was 11 the first time I smuggled one of my grandmother's Catherine Coulter books for my own and I've never really looked back since. I keep reading it because my professional life includes very few clear answers or promised resolutions and there is such great comfort in being given what is promised on the page.
Your favorite trope?
My favorite trope - I have several. I am a complete sucker for both second chance and friends-to-lovers as relationship tropes. Situational tropes change a bit more, but I generally love books with royalty, beta heroes, and sprawling groups of friends who each get their own novel.
What kind of story do you think is still missing from the genre?
I think we need more international stories, desperately. Whenever I hear of a contemporary set somewhere that's not the U.S., Australia, or England, I get nearly giddy. We're missing all sorts of voices and perspectives, as big as Romancelandia is we still need to grow.
For instance, if someone wants to write a billionaire romance, I hope they're thinking of new ways to portray that trope. Like what if she was a billionaire who was in the process of giving it all away and falls for the financial advisor trying to talk her out of it? Or what if the billionaire was from Johannesburg instead of Manhattan? What we do not need more of are books that call themselves romance but don't have a HEA/HFN. May they go far, far away. There's still so much need to grow the genre inside of its conventions - I have no interest in how you want to blow up something I love.
Your house is on fire. What book do you save?
My tattered and dog-eared edition of the Chronicles of Narnia.
What’s the 2017 release/next book in a series you’re most looking forward to reading?
Well, I just inhaled the first two books in Emma Chase's Royally series, so the third one to that can appear on my Kindle immediately, please and thank you. I'm also really looking forward to the new I Do I Don't series Lauren Layne has coming out, more installments in Sarina Bowen's The Ivy Years hockey series, and (duh) Julia Quinn's Bridgeton prequel, The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband.
What is the book you’d hands down recommend to our readers?
The one book... sorry, no can do. I will instead do three. First, if you are in the mood for an immersive adult series, you must pick up The Bellator Saga by Cecilia London. Set in a dystopian America, two leaders find both true love and purpose in undermining a fascist regime and have tons of hot sex along the way. Seriously, the six book series is my highest recommendation. Second, if you enjoy romantic comedy, please make sure and pick up The Hating Game by Sally Thorne and third, if you like immersive dives into a life unlike your own, please get A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev.
To find out more about Kristen and Beverages and Books, check out her website and follow her on Twitter.