Plus Love, Mental Health, and Deep Dive Into a Topic You Won’t See Coming
|Hi there! This week, we’re getting to know one of the best writers in contemporary romance, celebrating a series that changed the genre forever, and pondering the peach emoji. Plus, don’t forget to cast your vote for the best book of 2022 in the Likewise Choice Awards! |
|Mental Health, Healing, and a Second Chance at Love with Kennedy Ryan |
Kennedy Ryan’s triumphant romance Before I Let Go follows Yasmen and Josiah Wade, a couple who had a fairytale love story until grief and loss tore them apart. When a teacher suggests therapy for their son, it opens the door to discussions of mental health that lead Josiah and Yasmen back to each other.
Her award-winning, best-selling books are beloved by fellow writers from Colleen Hoover to Jasmine Guillory. Before I Let Go is on more Best of the Year lists than we can count, so we were delighted to have Kennedy chat with fellow author and podcast host Kelly Reynolds about the book.
Kelly Reynolds: Why did you choose to write from both Yasmen and Josiah’s points of view?
Kennedy Ryan: It’s crucial that we hear from him. When we hear him from her point of view, we hear him curt and terse. When we get his point of view, he’s kicking himself for sounding terse and curt. If we didn’t have the benefit of his point of view, it would completely change our understanding of what’s going on between them. It creates a lot of sexual and emotional tension between them.
Kelly Reynolds: How did you approach writing a second-chance love story for a divorced couple?
Kennedy Ryan: There are a few things that make a second chance romance work, especially when you’re talking about a divorced couple. I have to believe the reason they divorced. Then I have to believe that there’s something different from before, or why wouldn’t it just happen again? When we talk about the losses Josiah and Yasmen suffered, the depression she was navigating, the pressures they faced in their business, we see why they divorced. And we see their healing journey to understand what’s different.
Kelly Reynolds: Tell us about the book’s dedication.
Kennedy Ryan: The dedication is “To the strong girls, to the hustlers, to the super women: tend your hearts with ruthless care…and rest.” Yasmen is a Black woman; there are so few times when we as Black women are given safe and sacred spaces where we can be vulnerable. I wanted this book to be a safe space for this woman to break down and take off her armor and be vulnerable.
Check out three more romances that Kelly and Kennedy discussed during their chat:
|You Made a Fool of Death With Your Beauty |
|A woman still reeling from the death of her husband starts a casual relationship that becomes infinitely more complicated once she meets his handsome, soulful father.|
|A Merry Little Meet Cute |
|An adult film actress hoping to make it in traditional movies and a bad boy rock star reluctantly agreed to star in a cheesy Christmas movie together.|
|An actress on the cusp of her big break faces a choice between a role that could change her life and a scandalous relationship that could destroy it.|
|Ten Years of Fifty Shades of Grey |
|Record-breaking, controversial, and beloved: E.L. James’ runaway bestselling Fifty Shades series—which sold more than 150 million copies worldwide—came out a decade ago. To celebrate 10 years of the series that changed romance forever, Bloom Books is releasing three hardcover collectors’ editions. For both longtime fans and Fifty Shades newbies, it’s time to return Christian and Ana’s story.|
|Fifty Shades of Grey |
|College student Anastasia Steele enters a complicated relationship with billionaire Christian Grey.|
|Fifty Shades Darker |
|Ana and Christian’s relationship deepens as she learns his secrets and he proposes to her.|
|Fifty Shades Freed |
|Ana and Christian try to save their marriage in the face of internal struggles and external threats.|
Radke’s “winning, cheeky, and illuminating” (The Washington Post) cultural history appears on Best of the Year lists from Esquire, Time, and Publishers Weekly, which calls it “whip-smart…ingenious and eye opening.”
|Butts: A Backstory |
|RadioLab contributor Heather Radke considers the butt in all its biological and cultural glory, touching on topics from evolutionary biology to Jennifer Lopez.|
|The Big Debut|
Canadian author Amita Parikh makes a splash with her internationally bestselling debut, a WWII historical novel set aboard an unforgettable circus train. Pam Jenoff praises The Circus Train as “passionate and gripping.”
|The Circus Train |
|A young polio survivor and an illusionist's apprentice fall in love on a circus train as it winds its way across Europe in the late 1930s.|
|Page to Screen|
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