I looked through two lists of over 100 romances coming out in 2019 and picked out the books I was most excited about. If you’re interested in hearing about how that fits into my no book buying year, check out my latest video. If you’re just here for the books, keep reading!
An Unconditional Freedom by Alyssa Cole is part of the Loyal League series. I read book one, An Extraordinary Union, in 2017 and loved it. There’s so much action and tension and fascinating history. Plus the heroine is a complete badass. I have A Hope Divided on my TBR. So this one About a Cuban immigrant heroine who gets tapped to spy for the Confederacy in order to save her father from prison is on my absolutely must read list. Releases February 26th.
Theresa Romain is one of my favorite Regency romance authors. I don’t read a lot of them these days because to quite honest I burned out on ballrooms and gaming hells. I have read a few of Romain’s house party romances, but they’re house parties with a twist, a little mystery. Her plots are so intricate and her characters have real struggles. Not that struggles in other books aren’t real, but I really have to be in the mood for the contrived sort of Regency romance struggle where the heroine is trying to save her sister from an arranged marriage to a known rake. That kind of thing. Romain’s characters struggle with things like alcohol addition and mental health issues and sexism. Lady Notorious features a heroine who is an honorary Bow Street runner and gets to investigate a murder plot. Sign me up. Releases February 26th.
Adriana Herrera is a new-to-me author. American Dreamer might even be her debut book? Anyway, it features an Afro-Caribbean food truck owner, which is basically my dream hero, and the man he meets who distracts him from his plans to move his business from Ithaca to NYC. There’s bound to be amazing food in this one and I’m into it. Releases March 4th.
One book literally everyone will be talking about this year is The Austen Playbook by Lucy Parker. The latest in her London Celebrities series, this book features the sister of the hero from the previous book and the theater critic who somehow gets involved in the scandal she causes at a house party. Freddie, the heroine, was a royal piece of work in the previous book and getting inside her head is bound to be fun. However, I cannot acquire this book this year because it doesn’t fit in with any of my no book buying rules. I wax pathetic in the video referenced above so that might be entertaining for you. Releases April 22nd.
Another book bound to garner a lot of attention this year after last year’s debut of The Kiss Quotient is The Bride Test by Helen Hoang. The Kiss Quotient got so much buzz that I was skeptical of it. How weird are we as book lovers when something is super duper popular and we’re surprised when it actually turns out to be good? I really loved The Kiss Quotient. The mathematical genius heroine, the escort hero, the Bay Area setting–it all worked for me. This one is a contemporary arranged marriage trope book and I’m fascinated to see how that works. Can’t wait. Releases May 7th.
Probably the most exciting book on this list is Rebel by Beverly Jenkins. I read nearly the entirety of Ms. Bev’s historical romance backlist last year from Indigo on forward. I enjoyed so many of them that listing them all would take a whole post, but two of my faves were Through the Storm and Winds of the Storm, both featuring the incorrigible Le Veq brothers. This latest one is about Drake Le Veq and a schoolteacher whose school is burned down in Reconstruction Era New Orleans. Releases May 28th.
The last book on my list is Well Met by Jen DeLuca and is kind of a cheat because I’ve already read it sort of. I beta read an early draft of this book and it was already so so good that now that it’s being published, I’m sure it’s even better. It’s Renaissance Faire romance, which I’m already a complete sucker for (see my review of Katie MacAlister’s Hard Day’s Knight here), but it’s also funny without being goofy, romantic, sexy, with lots of fun Faire shenanigans. The hero is a pirate and the heroine is a beer wench and the ribald good humor of this book is going to knock you all flat with joy. Releases September 3rd.
So how about some recipes? We’re snowed in here chez Lane so we spent some time meal prepping for next week. Along with more of the vegan curried lentil and kale stew from last week’s email, we tried a couple new recipes.
Venezuelan Black Beans
I referenced this on Twitter, but the problem with some online recipes is that they’re just not really very well written. Like, the instructions aren’t clear or there’s some obvious fault with them. This one tells you to “cook the beans until tender” and then tells you to “cook until tender” again later in the instructions. Look, just cook the soaked beans for an hour, puree the portion directed and then boil down the results until it’s your desired thickness. It took me about an additional half hour but you could go longer if you want less liquid.
Pollo Mechado (Venezuelan Chicken)
You could do a lot of things with this flavorful chicken: burritos, tacos, serving it over rice or the beans above. We filled arepas with it. But a big batch of this opens up a bunch of different options for leftovers over the course of the next few days. We’ve got a busy week ahead next week so I used four chicken breasts, which is a lot when shredded.
What books are you excited about in 2019? Tell me in the comments!