Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

A Mountain of a Man Named Stone

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Jess and Trisha make an important clarification about who gets publishing deals in romance, discuss who is and is not – EVER – redeemable even in fiction, and play Calvinball with romance awards for books from 2017.

This episode is sponsored by Penguin Random House Audio 2018.

Bonus! Book Riot is doing a giveaway for $500 of Penguin Clothbound classics over on our Instagram account. $500 WORTH OF BOOKS. Go to to enter (giveaway post is sticky at the top of the profile).

(Also – at about the 9 min mark of this episode we mention that you might want to skip ahead if the content of the next discussion isn’t for you. We promised to give the tick-tock for when you should rejoin us, and the magic moment to pop back in to the conversation is at 24:40. We’ll be delighted to have you back.)


The Ripped Bodice team did a 2016 review of The State of Racial Diversity in Romance Publishing Report that pretty much defines “worth your time to read.”

A great recommendation from Jess regarding the topic of what you’re reading and why: “How to Like Bad Things” by KJ Charles.

The RT Award categories are BANANAS, y’all. Ba.Na.Nas…

Books Discussed

…So we created our own:

*Jess’s “Virtue-Moir ‘Ship” Award goes to Take the Lead by Alexis Daria

*Trisha’s “Favorite Meet-Cute” Award goes to Madly by Ruthie Knox

*Jess’s “This Was Everything” Award goes to Hamilton’s Battalion by Rose Learner, Courtney Milan, and Alyssa Cole

*Trisha’s “Favorite Book by an Author that was New to Me (but might not be new to you, but I don’t care because I made up this award)” Award goes to Thaw by Elyse Springer

*Jess’s “I Hope the Supporting Character Gets Their Own Book” Award goes to Alexandra from The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare (Fun side note: Jess’s dreams are coming true in August 2018 with The Governess Game because the WIR awards are VERY powerful probably. Possibly.)

*Trisha’s “Best F- You to the Sophomore Slump (because it’s the second in her series even though this isn’t her second book)” Award goes to Wrong to Need You by Alisha Rai. (And feel free to pre-order Hurts to Love You like Trisha did.)

TELL US ALL OF YOUR MADE UP AWARDS!! Or tell us whatever else you want. Find us on email ( and, Twitter (@jessisreading and @trisha_reads), or Instagram (@jess_is_reading and @trishahaleybrown).

And if you’re going to Instagram anyway, you should probably check out the $500 giveaway I mentioned above. Just saying.

Fun bonus link

Jess mentioned a couple weeks ago that she was going to do a “Romances to Read if you enjoyed The Wedding Date” post. And reader, she did it.