DMac Goes to Comic Con

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DMac Goes to San Diego Comic Con

… well, two days worth of Comic Con, but that was more than I had planned on so I was STOKED! Thanks to El, I got to attend for Wednesday and Saturday at the con, but I went in woefully under-prepared. Luckily El is a con expert, and she helped me get the most of my days (re: books/swag).

Technically I wasn’t there as part of the blog, but I still wanted to help El do some stuff for the site. I was able to get some good book information for Just Love, and snag some ARCs to read for my personal book review blog. I love to read, so this wasn’t a chore. I would have been all up in the book section even if I didn’t write for Just Love. Books are awesome!

I was only there for two days so I’m just going to break this post down by day instead of trying to reinvent the wheel.

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Mel’s Musings about Books, Quotes, and other Stuff: Shades of Magic, by V.E. Schwab

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mel's musings

Welcome or welcome back to my new column here on Just Love where I talk a little more about my personal reactions to books (or whatever strikes my fancy, I guess).

This time I’ll be talking about Shades of Magic, this cool high fantasy series by V.E. Schwab I am reading right now and its wonderful female and bisexual representation.

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Mel’s Musings about Books, Quotes, and other Stuff: Everyday History, by Alice Archer

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One of the reasons I read books is to find myself in them. I want to be seen and touched and get impulses for my life. Not every book does that, and that’s quite alright, actually, but I’ve had this idea that I wanted to share with you all what speaks to me on a more personal level in this new column of Mel’s Musings about Books, Quotes and other Stuff.

When I take something away from a book that doesn’t, however, necessarily have to reflect on the quality of the book itself and whether I enjoyed it or not. Although I will probably mention something about this as well, and I’ll try not to get spoilery (warnings will follow if).

Enjoy 🙂

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El’s BDSM Book Recs

A couple of days ago I was tagged into a conversation about BDSM romances on twitter. Guys, I love BDSM romances. A lot. So I ended up going on a ridiculously long ramble in a friend’s DMs with my favorite BDSM recs. And then other people chimed in asking me to share those recs!

So here’s my list in no particular order! Hopefully you can find a way to beat the heat this weekend with a nice, kinky romance novel. (I just spent five minutes trying to find a pun about beating and heat and BDSM and… okay, I’ll shut up. Here are some book recs.)


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Big News and Exciting Changes for JLR!


I’ve been teasing some big news over on Twitter lately, but had to delay while I was on vacation… so here it goes!

I’ve been running Just Love Romance solo since I started it more than ten months ago, and have loved the experience. And while I’ve gotten some jabs for “reading too much”, I haven’t felt any stress about maintaining such a regular posting schedule on my own.

But JLR has grown, and I’m incredibly proud of everything that I’ve managed to achieve. So here’s the first big change:

I’m bringing on some additional reviewers!


Please welcome our first new reviewer: DMac! She’s a long time sports fan who has broad reading interests that can only be explained by looking at her goodreads account. Her favorite romance novels involve sports and/or people who snark at each other.

seeking-reviewersI’m also seeking more reviewers to come on. Interested? Shoot me a message through my contact page! I’m looking for people to commit to at least 4 reviews per month (more is fine!), and please include a link to sample Goodreads, Amazon, or blog reviews that you’ve written.

And that brings me to the big news:

I’ve signed a contract to publish a novel in early 2017 through Riptide Publishing!

I’ve always loved reading and writing queer romances, and publishing with Riptide is a dream come true. I can’t wait to share these stories with the world! This is the first in a four book series, and will be an M/M romance. The other books in the series are still in talks, so I can’t say much; Book 2 is an F/F asexual romance, Book 3 will be F/F, and Book 4 will be M/M.

princess bride gif kissing book

I won’t be talking about my books here, as I want to keep reviewing and writing separate. Instead, you can follow book news over on my author twitter (@ElyseSpringer) for more info.

So what does that mean for JLR? Right now, nothing. I’ll continue to be the lead reviewer and blogger here, and will continue to bring you honest reviews and news on upcoming releases. I’ll also be attending RT Convention in two weeks as a blogger, so I’ll be reporting back on that!

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But as my writing amps up, I do anticipate needing to step back a bit. I’m not giving up on JLR; this blog is so important to me, and I’m so proud of what I’ve achieved here. But I’m also excited to be bringing in new voices and opinions, and hopefully to keep expanding JLR to more and more readers.

So that’s all for now!

Why We Need Asexual Romances


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I’ve been thinking lately about asexual romances, and having asexual characters in fiction. After writing about the discrimination that the asexual community faces, and the reactions from allosexual people when they encounter a fictional ace character, I realized something:

Asexual romances are necessary. In fact, they’re essential to maintain the balance in romance genre.

No, wait, hear me out. You’re thinking, “But I don’t want to read a book about two friends who don’t do anything for 250 pages. That sounds boring!”

But not only does that thought process slight the asexual community… there may already be more asexual characters and romances than you know about.

There are two reasons we need asexual characters and relationships in our books.

1. Human sexuality is a spectrum. The romance genre is, for the most part, centered on the spectrum, in the range of ‘average sexual attraction’ for a ‘typical’ relationship. But there are erotica novels. Lots of them, in fact. Books with only sex, and no plot. Books that are textual porn. Books with sex addicts and promiscuity galore. So we should have books on the opposite end of the spectrum as well, right?


2. The romance genre is defined by a few very specific things. Per the RWA (one of the preeminent authorities on romance, I’d say), a romance novel must contain two things: “a central love story and an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending.” (Source). And many asexual people are capable of both of those things.

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Happy New Year 2016!


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Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year, filled with warmth, joy, and all the amazing books you can dream of!

2015 was an interesting year for me, filled with some fantastic high points. While I did struggle professionally, I also made some amazing friends and was fortunate enough to discover book blogging, which became one of the highlights of my year! So, thank you to my fellow book bloggers who were so welcoming and friendly… you’re all amazing, and I can’t wait to see what the new year brings you!


I started blogging earlier this year because I was reading so much. It became a way to process the books I read, and to connect with the authors and publishers that I love and respect.

In 2015 I read:

  • 315 books (not including re-reads)
  • 84,000 pages
  • First book of the year: Ball & Chain by Abigail Roux
  • Last book of the year: Rock N Soul by Lauren Sattersby (out Jan. 18, 2016)

While I didn’t start blogging until May (and didn’t get serious about it until August), I think I did really well on the blogging front this year as well. I managed to blog consistently, and to keep up with my reviews as I read.



I have a lot of hopes and dreams for 2016. After years of contracting for the US Government overseas and traveling the world, I’m hoping to move to NYC and finally get a job in publishing like I’ve always dreamed. So here are my New Years Resolutions:

  • Read at least 200 books. (I’m not sure I can hope for 300+ again, since a job like my previous one is unlikely to fall in my lap.)
  • Buy a house with a spare room for a library.
  • Travel, always. I’ll be going to Japan, London, and RT Booklovers in Las Vegas.
  • Live a life with no regrets. Don’t look back at the end of the year and feel bad because you skipped over an opportunity.
  • Get a job I enjoy. Sounds easy, right? I suspect this will be the hardest one…

Wishing everyone a safe, warm, and very Happy New Year! I hope all of your resolutions and dreams come true!


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The Mythical Unicorn of LGBTQIA Novels (Or, the A doesn’t stand for Ally.)


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I read a book last week that made the breath catch in my throat, made me pause and re-read a dialogue exchange once, twice, and then punch the air and shout “YES AWESOME!” That book was Part & Parcel by Abigail Roux. The scene that affected me so strongly was this one:

“Are you asexual?” Kelly asked carefully.

“That mean I don’t really like having sex?” Digger asked, and Kelly shrugged and nodded. “Then I guess so.”

I’ve discussed this a few times previously here on my blog. I am asexual. I am part of the approximately 1% of the world that is*. Think about that. 1% of the entire world is ace. That’s more than 70 million people. By comparison, only about 2% of the male population in the world identifies as gay. And yet there are thousands of books with gay romantic pairings, and only a handful with ace romantic pairings.

* It’s entirely possible that this number is much higher.

Look, asexuality is a real thing. There are literally tens of millions of people out there who identify as ace (or gray-ace, or demi, etc). So… where are the books about asexual characters?

And more importantly: why are people so upset whenever an asexual character is written?

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Redefining BDSM Romance


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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Romance sub-genres, and the BDSM sub-genre in particular. I’ve read several fantastic novels in the last few months that are categorized by publishers and booksellers as BDSM, but I’m starting to realize that the term is not one-size-fits-all when it comes to romance novels.

So I’m going to ramble on for a bit about how I define BDSM romances. Possibly this is something that no one else will care about. Possibly many people will tell me that I’m wrong. Maybe someone else will agree with me. But this is a topic that matters to me, and affects how I read and process romance novels, so I really want to get my thoughts out.

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