Raging Romantics Podcast2021-06-29T09:14:12-04:00
Raging Romantics image, a heart in a bear trap

A NOPL Podcast: Raging Romantics

Join our librarians Jackie and Jen for this twice-monthly podcast to discuss one of the most divisive genres out there: romance! They’ll cover topics such as the ebook publishing sphere, genre-shaming, “chick lit”, Fifty Shades, book reviews, and more. They’ll be sure to have baked goods, bad dad jokes, and a few good stories along the way.

This podcast is rated for mature audiences and may be unsuitable for children under 17.

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Vampires Need Not Apply

Season 1 – Episode 22

Welcome back to the land of paranormal romancelandia! Jen and Jackie are diving right on in with a discussion of two paranormal romance books, one an old favorite, and one newer that’s…not really a favorite. Have we finally found an original romance read that is still good to read today?! What are the differences between indie published books and traditionally published? And what do you think- will physical books ever be obsolete? Don’t forget, you can always emails us at RagingRomantics@gmail.com or find Jackie on TikTok and instagram @Jackie_Recommends ! Thank you to everyone for tuning in. We love you all!

Vocab:

  • Indie Publishing – a way of publishing literary works that does not involve going through traditional publishing houses; one of the more popular methods is through Kindle Unlimited
  • Macedon/Macedonia – the empire of historic Macedonia occupies the region of northern Greece and the Balkan peninsula, not Turkey as Jackie mistakenly said in the episode. Read this article on History.com for more information!
  • Deus Ex Machina – an unexpected power or event saving a seemingly hopeless situation, especially as a contrived plot device in a play or novel.
  • Priapus – the Roman god of vegetable gardens and fertility that Jen keeps purposefully mispronouncing
  • Reverse Harem – A trope that consists of one female protagonist and three or more male love interests.

Books talked about:

  • A Coven of Her Own by Saskia Walker
  • Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Other books/authors we recommend:

  • JR Ward
  • Gena Showalter
    • “Warlord”
  • Ruby Dixon
  • Alexa Riley (not paranormal)
  • Kresley Cole
    • “A Hunger Like No Other”
    • “Lothario”
  • Christina Dodd
  • Laurel K. Hamilton
    • Anita Blake series
  • Christine Feehan
  • Charlaine Harris
  • Katie Macalister
    • “Blow Me Down”
  • Kristin Ashley
  • Christine Warren
    • The Others series
  • Eliza Rain
  • Alessa Thorne
    • The Court of the Underworld series
  • GA Aiken
  • Molly Harper “How to Train Your Dragon”
  • Penelope Bloom “Kiss Kiss Fang Fang”
  • Tessa Bailey
    • Phenomenal Fate series

Ruby Dixon article from CNN

Priapus’ mythology

Into the Unknown With Paranormal Romance

Season 1 – Episode 21

We tackled vampires, so now it’s time to dive into the realm of the supernatural…werewolves and faeries and shifters OH MY! And maybe some sasquatches? In this episode your favorite librarians explore what exactly quantifies as a paranormal romance novel, favorite authors, and why we love to read about crazy monsters as our romance heroes. Jen also drops some major tea about Sherrilyn Kenyon, romance author extraordinaire.

(Also, what side of the fence are you on- do you believe in the ‘Squatch?)

The infamous swan hat

Terms:

  • Paranormal romance– a large subgenre of romance which includes elements beyond the range of scientific explanation, blending together themes from the genres of fantasy, science fiction, and horror. Common hallmarks are romantic relationships between humans and vampires, shapeshifters, ghosts, and other entities of a fantastic or otherworldly nature.
  • Shifters – Short for shapeshifters
  • Wendigo – In the north woods of Minnesota, the forests of the Great Lake Region, and the central regions of Canada, there is said to live a malevolent being called a wendigo (also spelled windigo). This creature may appear as a monster with some characteristics of a human, or as a spirit who has possessed a human being and made them become monstrous. It is historically associated with cannibalism, murder, insatiable greed, and the cultural taboos against such behaviors. Known by several names — Windigo, Witigo, Witiko, and Wee-Tee-Go — each of them roughly translates to “the evil spirit that devours mankind”.
  • Seelie/Unseelie – types of faeries/faery courts- “The Faerie Courts
  • Found-Family Trope – Involves two or more people choosing to treat one another as family in an emotional sense; can also be when multiple characters join together to create a “family” group even though they’re not related by blood.

Authors we mention:

Books we talk about:

  • Fever series (Karen Marie Moning)
  • The Price of Pleasure (Kresley Cole)
  • Twilight
  • The Chill (Scott Carson)
  • The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires (Grady Hendrix)
  • Devolution (Max Brooks)
  • Night Hunters (Sherrilyn Kenyon)
    • Acheron
  • Shadowhunter Chronicles (Cassandra Clare)

Articles read:

We Love Cowboys

Season 1 – Episode 20

The librarians ride again, back into the land of cowboy romances with a book discussion! We chose two historical and one contemporary romance to take a deep dive into the journey the cowboy trope had gone on. We discuss what original cowboy romance books look like, problematic heroes, cinnamon rolls, independent women, and whether or not Jen will read more cowboys now. Jackie also discovers that once again, you should never reread books that were your favorites years ago…because you will question your life choices.

Content WarningDiscussions of abusive relationships, domestic abuse, bully romances, forced consent, rape, dubious consent, age gaps, racial slurs, slavery and divorce, and use of language

The below links are resources for you to use at your own discretion. We here at Raging Romantics support and love you.

National Domestic Violence Hotline

National Teen Dating Hotline

RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline

National Resource Center on Domestic Violence

National Human Trafficking Hotline

Books read:

  • Only Mine by Elizabeth Lowell
  • Wild Rain by Beverly Jenkins
  • Down Home Cowboy by Maisey Yates

Other books we mention:

Terms:

  • Dubcon – dubious consent
  • Bully Romance – where the heroine falls for a hero who is a bully. He may torment, tease, belittle, or deride the main character and others in the story.
  • Cinnamon roll – A sweet, supportive, kind, and oh-so-sweet hero who is just too good for this world.
  • Instalust – Immediate sexual attraction

Saddle Up Cowpokes

Season 1 – Episode 19

Congratulations to the winner of our Lyssa Kay Adams giveaway! We had fun doing this and we will DEFINITELY be doing similar giveaways in the future, so stay tuned!

Have you ever dreamed of riding off into the sunset with a faithful steed and a cowboy hat? Have you ever wanted to hear a debate about what a modern cowboy actually is…ad nauseam? WELL, YOU ARE IN LUCK because this month we get into cowboy romances, both historical and contemporary! Jen also makes it clear what she thinks of modern westerns…let us know what you think!

(more…)

A Love Letter to Bromance Books

Getting Bromantic with Lyssa Kay Adams

Season 1 – Episode 18

Don’t forget to send us an email at RagingRomantics@gmail.com to be entered to win a copy of Crazy Stupid Bromance! You have until May 28 to enter. We will announce the winners on the June 4th episode.

May the odds be ever in your favor…

Content Warning: Discussions of #MeToo, victim-blaming, internalized misogyny, and toxic masculinity, and mild language use

We’re back with another Bromantic episode! Make sure to go give episode #17 a listen if you haven’t done so yet, because we had the high honor of interviewing bestselling author Lyssa Kay Adams! In this episode Jen and Jackie fangirl over the Bromance Book Club series by Lyssa, and there are quite a few spoilers. If you haven’t read the series yet, go do so then come fangirl with us! We talk covers, characters, plot, favorite scenes, steam level, and theorize about the next book!

Book #4, Isn’t It Bromantic comes out July 20! Preorder here: Penguin Random House (or go chat with your local small bookstore and support small businesses!)

Books talked about:

Getting Bromantic with Lyssa Kay Adams

Season 1 – Episode 17

It’s finally here! Jen and I were so honored to get to sit down with the amazing Lyssa Kay Adams, author of the Bromance Book Club Series!!! In this episode, we have a (very long) casual conversation with Lyssa about her career as a romance author, her journey to the bestseller list, her inspirations, and the best part about being an author. We also hype up a bunch of newer/lesser known/inclusive romance authors for you to check out!

Content Warning: Discussions of #MeToo and sexual harassment

Do you want to win a signed copy of Crazy Stupid Bromance??! Of course, you do, duh. Email us at ragingromantics@gmail.com by MAY 28 with your name, and why you’re excited to read the Bromance series!

We’ll announce the winner on the episode that airs on June 4!

Lyssa’s website

Lyssa’s Books:

  • Bromance Book Club
  • Undercover Bromance
  • Crazy Stupid Bromance
  • Isn’t It Bromantic (pub. July 20, 2021)

Books/Authors we talked about:

Articles worth reading:

  • “Why I’m Addressing Toxic Masculinity in my Romance Novels” (Adams, 2019)
  • “Sex Hugs and Throbbing Boners: Inside a Bromance Book Club” (Rogers, 2020)
  • RWA (Romance Writers of America Drama) “The Implosion of the RWA” (Ryan, 2019)

Podcasts listened to:

Random restaurant in Nashville that Jackie couldn’t remember: Pinewood Social! (seriously an amazing place for brunch if you’re ever in town)

Don’t Forget Your Flashlight!

Season 1 – Episode 16

Welcome back to the scary world of Dark Romance, fellow romance junkies! We hope you brought your blankie and a flashlight because we’re diving right on in. In this mini-episode Jen and Jackie discuss “Sweetest Obsession” by Ann Mayburn, and “Den of Vipers” by K.A. Knight (spoiler alert, Jackie did NOT like the Mayburn book). We look into some rather heavy topics, so please take the trigger warnings to heart for this episode. But, if you want to hear Jackie get really mad at a book and then speak really fast, plug-in those earbuds, hit that play button, and don’t forget to sparkle on!

The below links are resources for you to use at your own discretion. We here at Raging Romantics support and love you.

National Domestic Violence Hotline

National Teen Dating Hotline

RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline

National Resource Center on Domestic Violence

National Human Trafficking Hotline

It’s Getting Dark In Here

Season 1 – Episode 15

TW: Issues and tropes of dubious consent, forced consent, and non-consent, rape and rape fantasies, pornography and its influence on real-world violence, violence against women, language-use, NSFW content

This whole episode is a trigger warning and rather NSFW, so listener beware! Here be morally-questionable heroes, dubious scenes, and a lot of stuff that traditional romance wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole. This whole subgenre runs the gamut from BDSM and kink/fetish, to forced/dubious consent, and much…much…further. Jen and Jackie herein have a discussion on some of the more common topics such as fantasies that include dubious consent, the heroes that this subgenre is known for. and why, if it’s so scary, so many books still exist for such a large readership. Plugin those earbuds and breakout the flashlight sparkly nerds, because Jen’s leading us into the world of dark romance.

The below links are resources for you to use at your own discretion. We here at Raging Romantics support and love you.

National Domestic Violence Hotline

National Teen Dating Hotline

RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline

National Resource Center on Domestic Violence

National Human Trafficking Hotline

Mad, Bad, and Scantily Clad in Regency Romances

Season 1 – Episode 14

These proud smut readers are happy to bring you a discussion of some off-brand regency romance novels…and Georgette Heyer. In this episode, we talk about the books we read by Heyer, Kate Pearce, and Vanessa Riley. Featuring discussions of inclusivity, classism, white male privilege, heroes we aren’t the biggest fans of, the effects of modern warfare on regency characters, and even sex clubs, be warned that this discussion does feature some NSFW chat…so earbuds in, sparkly nerds!

Plus, bonus points for sticking around until the end for a SUPER EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT! Something supercalifragilisticexpialidocious is happening May 7…so put that date in your calendar right now!

TW: discussions of racism and racial slurs, violence against women, erotic romance, BDSM, language use, and really annoying “heroes”

An Introduction to Regency Romance

Season 1 Episode 13

If you loved Regency romance novels before 82 million households tuned into Bridgerton’s on Netflix, or if you’re new to the regency game, then this episode is dedicated to you. Here Jen and Jackie attempt to boil down an iconic era of British history into a single podcast episode. Jackie’s gives you a fun history lecture on what precisely the regency period was, and together your favorite hosts discuss where the regency romance got its start (all hail Queen Austen), and some potential issues that can be found in (arguably) one of the most popular romance subgenres out there! Button up your pelisse and throw some glitter in your mob cab; it’s time to learn about the regency!

If you’re interested in visualizing regency fashion, go find @Asta.darling on Instagram (I said it wrong in the episode)! She is an “historically-inspired modiste” who remakes period clothing (and fantasy clothing too), and posts really pretty pictures.

Is Christian Grey a Narcissist?

Season 1 – Episode 12

We would like to introduce you, dear listener, to the concept of “hate reading,” because Jackie sure as heck hate-read Fifty Shades. Jen, meanwhile, read the trilogy for the first time, and decided it wasn’t completely terrible. So they sat down and had an in-depth (very long) discussion about the trilogy as a whole, the characters they hated, their favorite and least-favorite scenes, what they did and didn’t like, and just how much Elena upset them both. So here’s a question for you, you sparkly romance nerd: if Fifty Shades were written in 2021, could it have been written any better?

TWTalk about grooming, disordered eating, drug abuse and addiction, stalking, physical abuse, physical abuse of children, teacher-student relationships, statutory rape, abortion, some discussion of BDSM practices including gagging and whipping, #MeToo and blackmail; language use

The Cult of Snowqueens Icedragon and 50 Shades

Season 1 – Episode 11

Raise your hand if you’ve ever read 50 Shades of Grey. Now raise your other hand if you’ve ever seen the movie(s).  If your hands remain by your sides, then don’t worry, we’re here to introduce you to the world of the 2011 viral sensation that was 50 Shades. In this episode, we look at the rise of the series and EL James (aka Snowqueens Icedragon), and examine just how it go so darn popular. We’ll also address some of the pros and cons of the story, so please pay attention to the below trigger warnings. This episode is NSFW, so make sure you have your headphones on! Laters, sparkly babes.

TW: BDSM, Intimate Partner Violence, Domestic Abuse, Disordered Eating, Self Harm

National Domestic Violence Hotline

Love is Respect National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline

RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline

National Resource Center on Domestic Violence

Adventures on an Ice Planet

Season 1- Episode 10

Welcome back to Not-Hoth, dear humans! You sparkly thing you, thanks for giving us a listen! In this episode, we, Jen and Jackie, follow up on our discussion of the Ice Planet Barbarians series by Ruby Dixon. We narrowed down the 18+ books of the series into a critical think session of four books that we reallllllly wanted to talk about. This is a heavier discussion, and we have some difficult themes we’re going to be talking about, including dubious consentrapekidnapping, and slavery. We end the discussion with a shout out to some of our other favorites in the series (there are many), and Jen gives us a particularly bad joke (as usual). Thanks for listening!

Reminder to go back and listen to the first episode this month (episode #9), as there’s a lot of information about the Ruby Dixon universe!

Don’t forget to email us at RagingRomantics@gmail.com if you have any questions, concerns, recommendations, or just want to say howdy.

TW: Discussions of rape and rape culture, dubious consent (dubcon), kidnapping, and slavery

Fifty Shades of Blue with Ruby Dixon

Season 1 – Episode 9

Hey there sparkly blue romance nerds, are you ready for an out-of-this-world discussion? No…literally. We’re talking about sci-fi romance! Even better, we’re talking in this episode about our favorite Kindle author (maybe one of our favorite authors out there?), Ruby Dixon and her alien romances series Ice Planet Barbarians and Ice Home! We’re going to put on our spacesuits and jet out to the far side of an unknown galaxy to explore what a blue barbarian romance hero looks like, acts like, and whether or not this is worth the read. Spoiler alert, we say yes. We’ll also discuss the issues that readers might have with the series, so please review the trigger warnings below!

TW: Discussions of rape and forced consent, dubious consent, abduction/kidnapping, and sex slaves and alien slave trade.

Billionaires, Hot or Not?

Season 1 – Episode 8

Hello, again sparkly romance nerds! We’re back with Jen’s favorite heroes to hate, billionaires. In our last episode, we discussed the billionaire trope as a whole and had an open discussion of whether or not it’s okay to like them in romance novels (if you haven’t listened to it yet, this is your sign. GO DO IT NOW). In the meantime, if you really want to hear Jen’s true feelings on billionaires, give this episode a listen…it gets interesting.

TW: waterboarding/brief discussion of dark romance; toxic relationships; unwanted pregnancy and forced adoption; grooming

In the meantime, if you haven’t yet, go check us out on Spotify @ Raging Romantics! Give us a follow…we’ll reward you with kudos.

Diamonds are a Billionaire’s Best Friends

Season 1 – Episode 7

Bear with us on the audio for this one, folks. We’re sorry…we had some technical difficulties with having to record remotely.

Why are we so obsessed with billionaires as romance heroes? In real life, billionaires are nowhere near as popular, or common, as they seem to be in romance novels, where it appears that they are on nearly every street corner. We’re not talking Christian Grey here, people! We’re talking UBER wealth, UBER attractive, and UBER unrealistic. So, if you’re interested in hearing Jackie get very excited about a line graph, and Jen gets very conflicted about loving billionaire romance heroes, click that play button and pour some of your favorite beverage into a diamond chalice (what, you don’t have one? How plebian).

TW: Some political discussion

On the Prowl With Cougars

Season 1 – Episode 6

“…[D]ear reader, everyone knows that romance for women ends at 30. Doesn’t it?”(Jones, 2017)

Be warned y’all, JACKIE GETS VERY RAGEY IN THIS EPISODE. Why, you may ask? Because herein, Jen and Jackie take on the patriarchy that is rife in western culture with a discussion of cougars in romance novels. We review the history of the term “cougar” and ponder why older women in romance novels simply isn’t a “thing.”

TW: Teacher-student “relationships,” age gaps, discussion of the porn industry’s influence on romance, divorce, miscarriage, Abusive relationships; talk about BDSM

Silver Foxes and Romance Heroes, Oh my!

Season 1 – Episode 5

“Mr. Rochester was about forty, and this governess, not twenty; and you see, when gentlemen of his age fall in love with girls, they are often like as if they were bewitched.” (Jane Eyre, chapter XXXVI)

In this episode, Jackie and Jen explore how older men (aka, “silver foxes”) are portrayed in romance novels; why are they so popular, and why does it seem like no one cares that these older men are engaging in relationships with much younger women? What’s the psychology behind this? And why are women authors continuing to play into this trope with their plots? Sound off in the comments after listening; do you think that we should get rid of age gaps in romance?

TW: Discussions of rape and domestic violence; cheating, questionable consent, age of consent, “daddy issues,” divorce, teacher-student “relationships”

 

One of These Books Didn’t Suck

Season 1 – Episode 4

Vampires were at one time one of the most popular romance heroes, especially in Young Adult fiction; now, however, they appear to have gone back into the coffin. What attributed to their meteoric rise through authors such as Christine Feehan and Stephanie Meyer? In this episode, librarians Jen and Jackie review these two authors and their popular series, “Dark” (Feehan), and “Twilight” (Meyer). Were you a Twihard like Jackie? Or do you prefer your vampires with a little more grit, like Jen? Sparkle on, romance nerds!

Vampires: Why are Bloodsuckers so Sexy?

Season 1 – Episode 3

Join Jackie and Jen as they debate the pros and cons of vampire heroes in romance novels. Are you Team Edward? Or do you think these books absolutely suck?

Intro: Meet the Biggest Romance Nerds Out There

Introduction

Welcome to Raging Romantics! In this episode, librarians Jackie and Jen introduce themselves and their history with the romance genre. Curious how we got into reading these books, and the sorts of titles we like to read? Listen to find out more!