Is it just me or is it hard to concentrate on anything right now? I usually read between 6-10 novels and graphic novels a month and I’m not sure I fully finished a book during the month of March. I finally forced myself to sit down and read two books (mainly because it’s part of my job to review books and also interview authors about their books) over the last couple of weeks, and I’ve started about three more, but they’re just sitting on my nightstand collecting dust or waiting patiently on my kindle.
But I have been consuming romance novels, just not in the traditional sense. Romance Podcasts! There are many, they are delightful, and I can turn them on while I stress-bake, stress-clean, or stress-stare-off-into-space. I admire so many of these hosts, enjoy their banter, and trust their judgment when it comes to book recommendations, and I can safely “argue” with them when I disagree. The podcasts listed below are a small number of the romance podcasts available – check your favorite podcatcher for even more romance listening:
Hosted by bestselling romance author Sarah MacLean and romance critic Jen Prokop, Fated Mates started out in season one as a read-along of Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series, but it quickly became so much more. Season 2 of Fated Mates focuses on the romances that “blooded” Sarah and Jen – meaning the romances that had the most impact on the romance readers they are today. Additionally, there are delightful “interstitial” episodes that often feature guests and are bok recommendation episodes that revolve around a certain theme. Listening to Sarah and Jen deep dive on a number of topics is an absolute delight – everything from the titular fated mates to pegging (yes, PEGGING in that sense) to category romance recommendations, and SO much more.
My favorite thing about Heaving Bosoms is there are so many inside jokes, so many catchphrases, and references that only start to make sense after you’ve listened to a few episodes. Even when there are things being said I don’t quite understand, I never feel like an outsider, and I want to know more! Hosts Erin and Melody give amazing recaps of romance novels they read – sometimes their recaps span 2 or even 3 episodes – and intersperse updates about their lives and other pop culture.
Jenny and Sarah are two devoted romance fans and romance writers themselves. I love their discussions with industry professionals and authors. They bring insight and humor to every conversation, ask tough and fun questions, and I’ve learned a lot listening to their podcast.
Hosts Morgan and Isabeau are 1) hilarious and 2) VERY smart. That’s it, that’s the recommendation.
All praising aside – Whoa!Mance, like the other podcasts on this list, brings the discussion about romance to a new level. Whoa!Mance adds a scholarly lens to the romance genre, and the books they read each week is given a lot of careful thought and consideration… with a lot of jokes thrown in, too. They also have done some special month-long themes, including if Jane Austen really wrote romances, Johanna Lindsey’s legacy (and obsession with spanking) and a fascinating look at the microaggressive and inherently racist history of Shiek romances.
Erin, a romance veteran, and Clayton, a romance virgin, read romances from all different romance subgenres and give their honest opinions from someone who knows the genre well and from someone who is learning the ins and outs of how romance operates in the bookish world. Also – when the world is back to normal, will someone please submit Clayton on Hot Dudes Reading?
One of the things I love about When In Romance, Book Riot’s romance podcast, is Trisha and Jess tackle a lot of the industry happenings when it comes to the romance genre. As a former publisher publicist, this podcast had made me feel like I’m still in the know! Whether it’s something unfortunate like the #rwashitshow or awesome efforts like Romance for RAICES, When In Romance has its finger on the pulse about all things romance.
Each of these podcasts is an absolute joy and I’m grateful to have them to listen to during these trying times. Of course, just as there are too many books to read, there a so many more romance-focused podcasts out there: Shelf Love, RomBkPod, Big Gay Fiction Podcast, Not Your Mom’s Romance Novel Book Club, Boobies and Noobies, and seriously so many more… I hope you can find one for your own enjoyment! What are your favorite podcasts – romance or otherwise?
Fresh Fiction Editorial Manager Danielle Dresser is an avid reader, lackluster-yet-mighty crafter, and accomplished TV binge-watcher. Once upon a time, she was a publisher publicist and continues to cultivate her love of books and reading by chatting with the best authors in the business. She lives in Chicagoland with her very own romance hero husband, darling daughter, and two tempestuous cats. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram, @dj_dresser.