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!

rt booklovers

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


wordpress blog stats

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.

Continue reading

Happy New Year 2016!


wordpress blog stats

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!


wordpress hit counter

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


wordpress blog stats

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?

Continue reading

Redefining BDSM Romance


wordpress blog stats

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.

Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday: What I’m Thankful For


wordpress blog stats

Thanksgiving is very much an American (and Canadian!) holiday, but the entire concept of being thankful, and spending the day with family, friends, and good food, is something we can all relate to.

I’m thankful for a lot this year. Mostly, I’m thankful that I’ll be moving home, after years overseas, next month.

But keeping with the blog theme, here are a few bookish things that I’m thankful for this November (in no particular order):

Continue reading

Why I might not survive November

wordpress blog stats

If T.S. Eliot is right and April is the cruellest month, then November must surely be the most overwhelming!

There’s a lot going on this month. Books being released, blog posts to write, fantastic blog posts by other people to read. And then there’s this beast:


Oh yeah, that. Really, whose bright idea was it to write a 50,000 word novel in only 30 days, in what is traditionally a pretty hectic month on its own? (Okay, it was this guy, but whatever.)

I’ve been doing NaNoWriMo for an embarrassing number of years. My first year, and my first win, was in 2002. I skipped a few years recently, for personal reasons, but I’m back on the wagon this year with what I hope is the best thing I’ve ever written.

A convenient blizzard, a series of lies, and a lot of suspicion and regret.

A convenient blizzard, a series of lies, and a lot of suspicion and regret.

But I also work full time, and blog full time, and my co-worker is leaving on vacation tomorrow which means I am the only person in my entire office who is trained to do certain tasks. Downtime and reading at my desk? Bye bye!

My big move back to the United States is five weeks out. I get back on Star Wars Day, which is pretty exciting… serious jet lag + 3D IMAX = potentially bad idea?

Anyways, enough rambling. I just want to say that I’m sorry if I owe blog comments, emails, or tweets. I’m keeping up with blog posts, although mostly by not sleeping at night.

Is anyone else doing NaNo this year? Let me know and I’ll add you as a writing buddy on the site!

wordpress hit counter

Asexual Awareness Week! What does being asexual mean for me, and where can you read about awesome ace characters?


wordpress blog stats

This week is Asexual Awareness week, which is pretty exciting for me. I mentioned this recently in a blog post, but I identify as biromantic asexual. And the first question I usually get is, “What the heck does that mean?” So raising awareness of what asexuality is and means is super important to me!

Right then. What does asexuality mean?


Hmm, not quite.

(I’m going to talk about my asexual experience. This is most definitely not “THE” asexual experience. Your mileage may vary.)

Personally, I do not experience sexual attraction. Ever. Tried it, just to make sure, but… nah. Sex isn’t just the physical stimulation of a body part; there are a lot of emotions and sensations that go into it. I don’t think my body is “broken”, I just don’t experience the emotions and sensations that make sex with someone a thing that I am interested in doing.

My body is what it is, and that’s fine.

There are LOTS of different types of asexuality. And there are a LOT of asexuals. WE ARE EVERYWHERE.

1 in 100
Not all people in the asexual spectrum are just “ace”. Some are grey-ace, or demi, or a number of other words. But all of us experience a lack of sexual attraction in one way or another.

Asexuality is starting to get more attention, too. just hosted this article on “How It Feels To Discover You’re Demisexual“:

You will want to cry. Because after searching and searching you have found a word to validate how you feel, to tell you that you are not alone, you are not broken, there is a word for people like you and it is okay.

Now, fiction-wise, there are not a lot of books with asexual characters. There are even fewer with asexual romances. Most people, it seems, still equate “love” with “sex”. And that is true for 99% of the population, but several authors have shown that you can have a loving, fulfilling relationship with no sex at all!


Of Monsters and Men, by Caitlin Ricci
My Review (3.5 stars)
Buy on Dreamspinner Press

Quick summary: Seth has a great job at the pet rescue with a fantastic boss, who happens to be a werewolf. But when it comes to relationships, no guy stays around. Eventually, they always want more than Seth, who is asexual, is able to give. Seth wants love and a relationship, but not the sex that everyone puts so much value on.


klune-how-to-be-normal-personHow To Be A Normal Person, by T.J. Klune
My Review (5 stars)
Buy on Dreamspinner Press

Quick Summary: Gus is not normal. And he’s fine with that. All he wants is to be left alone. Until Casey, an asexual stoner hipster and the newest employee at Lottie’s Lattes, enters his life. For some reason, Casey thinks Gus is the greatest thing ever. And maybe Gus is starting to think the same thing about Casey.


The Goodreads list for Asexual Fiction has more recommendations, but is not a comprehensive list.

With tens of millions of ace folks around the world, I’m hoping that awareness weeks like this one, and books like these, will help to make asexuality something that the rest of the world doesn’t bat an eye at. How does the saying go? We’re here, we’re queer, GET USED TO IT!

wordpress hit counter

Like this post? Follow me for more great content!