Episode 44: JANEuary Part 5 (The OG) — Persuasion by Jane Austen
We did it y’all; we’ve been through the now, the then, the if only, and the as if; it’s been a month dedicated to yr grrl Jane; a celebration of her influence, and an inquiry into the resonance of her scope. But we would be remiss not to guide it all towards the inevitable confluence of meeting the indelible force herself; the matron of Romancelandia; the true essence of all things that send your heart and situation aflutter: it’s Persuasion by Jane Austen. For you, by you; thank you now and always.
Episode 43: JANEuary Part 4 (The Fans) — A Certain Persuasion by Julie Bozza et al.
JANE-U-VERSE - n. the world(s) expanded within and beyond Jane Austen’s novels as imagined by her readers through the act of emulation. This week, Morgan and Isabeau explore selections from A Certain Persuasion: Modern LGBTQ+ Fiction inspired by yr grrl’s novels, featuring stories by Julie Bozza, Fae Mcloughlin, and JL Merrow. It’s about the space between the novels; the nooks and crannies of potential intrigue; the nagging notion of a lingering ‘what if’ actualized. We’re going back in on fan fic for this cherished month of yr grrl y’all so plz don’t flame us ok?
Episode 42: JANEuary Part 3 (The Adaptation) — Clueless (1995) and Emma (1996)
Crash positions listeners: it’s a JANEuary charm bomb. This week, Morgan and Isabeau pour one out for the chaste and stationary in their discussion of the classic Jane Austen adaptation and sleepover film par excellence, Clueless, directed by Amy Heckerling, and its lackluster bedfellow, Emma, directed by Douglas McGrath. What is a proper distillation of this novel’s essence - is it the tragedy of a trapped mind? Does a modern retelling highlight its comedic elements? Did Alicia Silverstone and Gwyneth Paltrow become Emma in real life? Where do you stand on Emma? Cuddle up with your favorite sexy step-brother for this one y’all because it’s movie night.
Episode 42: JANEuary Part 2 (The Speculative) — For Darkness Shows The Stars by Diana Peterfreund
Dear Listeners, prepare to enter a tale as much yr grrl Jane as it is yr boi Aldous because this week Morgan and Isabeau are taking a trip to the other worldly. It’s Persuasion, generations after an event called "the Reduction," where love continues to blossom through the cracks of a biologically-enhanced hierarchical class structure. How does the framework of a mother text allow its children to run amok? Are epistles a creative crutch? Is alluding to it as “butterflies” an appropriate way for young-ish adults to discuss teenage sexuality? If we only had two syllables to describe this episode they'd be: it good.
Episode 41: JANEuary Part 1 (The Remix) — Pride by Ibi Zoboi
It’s Jane-uary in this beautiful New Year of yr grrl, and we’re going all in out the gate y’all. This week, Morgan and Isabeau are breaking off a little preview of Ibi Zoboi’s P&P remix, Pride, named the Great Big Romance Read of 2018 by the Ripped Bodice. It’s about being a castaway in the throes of youth culture. It’s about that-trendy-new-place-in-an-up-and-coming-neighborhood. It’s about Mr. Darcy’s relationship to the trope of the manic pixie dream girl. It's a modern telling of P&P with... teens. It’s all killer and no filler party people.
Episode 40: Not Outlander We Promise — Awaken, My Love —Robin Schone
In this episode Morgan and Isabeau discuss a time traveling romance. And it's not Outlander. Our modern day heroine (who lives in Chicago!) is thrown back in time and into an entirely different body! She does her level best to figure out the mystery of how she not only swapped bods but also timelines and she has sex on a horse.
Morgan and Isabeau dive deep into questions around corporeal identity, consent, and what rage looks and feels like. Trigger Warning: this book is a lot and deals explicitly with molestation and rape.
A Boxing Day Boner: Enemies To Lovers
Dismissive actions. Furtive eyes. Arguing and making out in the rain. Hate fucking that becomes love fucking. This week, for a special Boxing Day Boner, Morgan and Isabeau unpack the classic Romance trope of enemies to lovers through the lens of the indelible 2005 adaptation of Pride & Prejudice. Darcy. Gazebos. And displeasure turned titillating. Snuggle up with this cozy Boner and get ready because Jane-uary, came early.
Episode 39: Fuckin’ Dukes — How the Dukes Stole Christmas by Tessa Dare et al.
Whether they’re kicking you and your loved ones off their property, enjoying a solitary brood on the snow swept moors, parroting Ebenezer Scrooge, or simply trying to run a successful newspaper, it seems Dukes are everywhere these days. This week, Morgan and Isabeau explore the men beneath the titles in How the Dukes Stole Christmas, an anthology of novellas by Tessa Dare, Sarah MacLean, Sophie Jordan, and Joanna Shupe. Can love coexist with wealth? Is Heiress Alone just Home Alone with more vitamin D? Does magic shortbread show up on a drug test? It’s a festive Duke down with all the trimmings. Eat and be merry!
Boner-On-Us: Jane-uary Announcement
We said we wouldn’t do it. We said we’d never talk about Jane Austen on this show. She’s played out. Old hat. But this January, get ready for the face-off you never thought possible, because it’s Jane-uary motherbitches. Morgan and Isabeau are coming fully loaded with genre spanning Jane Austen inspired content, commentary, reviews, Clueless; the whole gamut.
But we want YOU to decide what Jane Austen novel to feature for Jane-uary! Is it Emma? S&S? P&P? Northanger Abbey? Start thinking about where your loyalties lay, because this January is all about yr grrl Jane.
Episode 38: Every Rose Has Its Thorn — Until Forever by Johanna Lindsey
Tenured and bespectacled Roseleen White, Professor of Medieval Studies, has just discovered a rather peculiar sword. Tethered to the sword is Thorn, a Viking warrior who may be summoned at will and is at the mercy of its wielder. Could this immortal and immaculate being be the key to Roseleen’s career advancement and *removes glasses* her sexual awakening? Do you think I look hotter with my glasses on or off? *puts glasses back on* On. *removes glasses once more* Off. No? This week, Morgan and Isabeau unpack the complexities of the culture wars, discuss eyeglass appropriation, and marvel at the novel’s internal adherence to the ethics of time travel. I can’t tell if you’re nodding — are you nodding? You’re just a gorgeous blur. *puts on glasses yet again* Well?
Episode 37: Xmas Redux — A Christmas to Remember by Lisa Klepas et al
Last year, two burgeoning podcasters recorded what was to be a true and undoctored account of their mental and emotional experience reading A Christmas to Remember featuring stories by Lisa Kleypas, Lorraine Heath, Megan Frampton, and Vivienne Lorret. Sadly, the recording and its sentiments were never recovered. Now, Morgan and Isabeau are back to reignite those lost feelings of arousal and outrage with a passionate reenactment of a previously unreleased Whoa!mance classic.
This never-before-heard deluxe edition includes: digitally remastered shots at the patriarchal coding of feminine beauty standards, an in-depth analysis of the capitalist rot beneath Santa’s suit, and takes categorically hotter than roasted chestnuts.
This episode is a perfect stocking stuffer for feet of all shapes and sizes — available now while supplies last!
Episode 36: Fumbling Memories — Turkey Day Tryst by Mia McAndrews
Thanksgiving is a time for indulging in corporeal comforts to distract from the guilt of America’s colonialist origin; the type of bad feeling that requires four distinct potato dishes and the gladiatorial sport of football to placate until bear baiting bubbles back into the zeitgeist. Why else would Debby choose to satisfy her most carnal of appetites in the warmth and safety of her childhood bed, the aroma of turkey fat thick in the air, her family moving about below? What could be better? What could be more repressed? What does your ideal penis look like? Morgan and Isabeau want to know; contains meat.
Episode 35: An Unbridgeable Breach — Never Sweeter by Charlotte Stein
At some point we’ve all felt bullied. But did you ever think, as you stared out through the slits of a locker, your new home, that perhaps your tormentor just needed to work through some misplaced sexual desire? That in fact, your personal Roger Klotz was just biding their time to tell you how they really felt? What’s the statute of limitations on attempted murder? Can a novel be both problematic and titillating? Morgan and Isabeau grapple with Letty and Tate’s relationship, barn weddings, and what to do when your mind’s telling you no, but your body, your body, has been reshaped by toxic masculinity.
Episode 34: Stunned and Humbled — Hidden Sins by Stacey Abrams
A first love. A religious cult. A hundred corpses. This week, Morgan and Isabeau join Mara Reed as she tries to outrun the violence of her past and survive in the Lone Star State. But not everything about Mara’s past is bent on her destruction: enter Dr. Ethan Stuart, forensic anthropologist and beefcake who needs Mara’s help to solve a mysterious case. Why Texas? Why violence? What is love? These questions and more y'all.
Episode 33: Covered in Victims, Looking Like a Snack — Anna Dressed In Blood by Kendare Blake
You know that feeling when you’ve been entrusted with your dead dad’s bloodknife to keep the spectral world from culling human victims, but you’re too hung up on getting a little ghost strange from bae to dispatch her to an unknown that’s likely worse than hell? This week, Morgan and Isabeau follow Cas Lowood to Thunder Bay, Ontario on his quest to rid the world of flesh-eating ghosts, chase tail, and pass biology. Trigger Warning — a dude gets ripped the fuck in half like a hamburger. $5 solo cup: keg in back.
Episode 32: Ripped and Hairless — Dark Desires by Eve Silver
What tempts you? What fixations lurk in the corners of your mind? Is it leather? Lace? Or perhaps...MURDER? This week, Morgan and Isabeau take a carriage ride to Whitechapel, London to meet Darcie Finch, and her mysterious new boss, anatomist and shit artist Dr. Damien Cole. But as whispers and disappearances continue to shroud Damien, Darcie is flayed by the peril of choice: to risk her love, or her life. SPOOOOOOKY!
Episode 31: A Dispora of One — The Prince by Katharine Ashe
Art. Passion. Surgeries. This week, Morgan & Isabeau explore the fourth installment of Katharine Ashe’s Devil’s Duke Series, The Prince. Is there a purer expression of love than building a prosthetic leg for one’s betrothed? Is the novel’s historical depiction of a culturally diverse Edinburgh resonate as *air quotes* modern or does it have more tokens than a Chuck E. Cheese? Is it time for Romance to outlaw the Shah? These questions and more! Dress code casual.
Episode 30: Dick, Dork, Dong — Hot Head by Damon Suede
In this week's episode Morgan and Isabeau tackle Damon Suede's Hot Head a pun-tastic m/m romance about firemen in NYC. These friends to lovers just don't know what to do with their feels. There's a lot to cover in this novel, and Isabeau and Morgan flow between the topics of sex work, sexual discovery, and masculinity over the course of this episode. If you like dicks this is the one for you!
A Very Special Website Announcement Boner
WE GET A WEBSITE YOU GET A BONER!
But seriously y'all check out our brand new, state-of-the-art, all-mod-cons with water and gas included WEBSITE where you can get caught up on all things Whoa!Mance. It's truly a thing of beauty.
And don't worry, this boner is on us.
Episode 28: Witchy Murder Ballad
On this week's episode Morgan and Isabeau interrogate a new medium for romance — Graphic Novels! Wild Rose is a graphic novel retelling of a popular Irish murder ballad. Writer Nicole Slaunwhite is kickstarting a wild Irish ride with a kick ass heroine who kinda gets her butt handed to her in the first issue — but there's big things in our Heroine's future or so says the witch and the tarot cards! This has it all sex, love, loss, magic, and Irish folks.
If you want to support Nicole in her efforts here's her website: wildrosecomic.wordpress.com
Episode 27: "Married with Children" Making It Last by Ruthie Knox
On this week's episode Morgan and Isabeau tackle series ender and novella Making it Last by Ruthie Knox. The last book in the author's Camelot series — The question on the table is: What is romance and how do we know what counts as a Happily Ever After? Where do the genre boundaries get blurry?
And perhaps most importantly what turns your crank when you're cranky?
Episode 26: Lisa Kleypas-ter Syndrome — Suddenly Who?
On this week's episode, our last in our Lisa Kleypas Series, Morgan and guest star Sean tackle Lisa Kleypas's stand alone novel Suddenly You. A novel about a spinster (she's 30) who orders a sexual awakening for her birthday! Listen in as Morgan and Sean dive deep on the surprises of the genre, how lived in and researched the world is — and the awkward messaging mashup of "scrappy" capitalism and blue-blooded hierarchy. Spoiler alert: they are both the worst.
Episode 25: Lisa Kleypas-ter Syndrome Part 2: Who has the right to talk about Lisa Kleypas?
Lisa Kleypas-ter Syndrome Part 2: On this week's episode we welcome back our good friend Kim and talk about what it's like to grow through an author's work, what that does to how we read characters and setting, what that means for how we view the work and cherish it (or not). Romance is special because you can grow up with it, and grow up through it, and sometimes out grow an author — but can you every really out grow something you loved? Listen and find out!
Listen and find out.
Episode 24: Lisa Kleypas-ter Syndrome —The Devil In Winter...Begrudgingly
Do you like gaming hells? Bad dudes who become good dudes and heroines who find their voices? US TOO!!! In this week's episode Morgan and Isabeau tackle a peculiar faultline in Romancelandia — is The Devil in Winter worth the hype and love it receives? Listen and find out where Isabeau and Morgan land on the critical question.
Part of our Lisa Kleypas series.
Listeners be warned there is discussion of attempted assault.
Episode 23: All Revved Up on Hair — Sylvia Day
Buckle up Buttercups because on this week's episode Morgan and Isabeau deep dive into secret babies, body shaming, body hair of all kinds, but most of all romance. Listen in as we unpack our feelings about lies, masculinity, and bikini lines
Boner On Us — Special Request
Whoa!mance wants to know! We've got questions and you've got answers! Morgan and Isabeau pose a series of questions that we are dying to hear our fans answer! Let us know what you think about Lizzy Bennet's hair, what man smells like, and your fav word for penis — you'll be featured on the podcast!
Episode 22: Author Interview Donna Thorland — Romance Across Mediums
In this episode Isabeau talks to author Donna Thorland about her craft, and romance across mediums. If you loved the TV show Salem, Buffy, and are interested in the reboot of Sabrina the Teenage Witch this is a good episode for you. If you've noticed that romance tropes are migrating toward your fav TV shows — you're right! We talk about that! And we talk about what it means to keep hope alive in the times we live in — romance being a key point of that. Romance is a subversive genre about revolution always — Who can you love? What choices do you make? That's the romance question.
Episode 21: Love in the Time of Reagan — Wild Orchids by Karen Robards
Ever wonder what Romancing the Stone would have been like with a strong neoliberal bias? Unlike the big hair, there's a lot about the Reagan era that doesn't hold up no matter how much spray you lacquer on. This week, Morgan and Isabeau take Wild Orchids by Karen Robards to task for its worldview and experience some unexpected trickle-down titillation. Dedicated to all the far flung Midwesterners out there trying to find love in this mad world.
Episode 20: HBD America 🎆🎆🎆 — Donna Thorland's Mistress Firebrand
Hey There Listeners! Do you love conversations about consent, safe sex, and revolutions internal and otherwise? Well this star spangled episode is just for you! Morgan and Isabeau break down Donna Thorland's Mistress Firebrand and get into the nitty gritty of french letters and french kissing. It's so much fun you might throw your tea in the harbor!
Episode 19: 177fic
In this episode Morgan and Isabeau tackle some of Isabeau's particular tipples — namely 1776 Fanfiction, America in general, and what it means to want to love things that are problematic. If you've ever had questions about fanfiction, what Mr. Feeney did before Boy Meets World, or if you're looking for a safe harbor in an increasingly bleak place — this episode is for you.
New Girl on the Block:
Philidelphia is for Lovers…or something of that sort:
The Course of Love Never Did Run Smooth:
Episode 18: Bromancing — Dudes Read Romance: Paradise by Judith McNaught
In this special episode Isabeau interviews long time friends Nigel and Maarouf about the time in their early twenties when they read a romance novel out loud to each other. The novel? Paradise — by Judith McNaught a snazzy bit of 90s Regan Romance — bootstraps and all. This second chance scorcher takes place in Chicago — and boy howdy does it deliver. Boardroom brawls, blackmail, letters gone astray, miscarriage and HEAs all over the place. Want to hear how much two straight dudes learned from a romance? What lessons they took away? This episode is an unconventional look at how the genre we love can work its magic on everybody.
Episode 17: "Flock of Mongooses/geese" Mr. Impossible by Loretta Chase
In this episode Morgan and Isabeau welcome a dear friend to discuss one of her favorite romance novels. In this particular discussion we tackle cultural appropriation, colonization, and of course always female empowerment. If you've ever watched The Mummy and thought "IT ME!" this is the episode for you! Travel to the sun swept sand dunes of Colonial Egypt (yikes) and get whisked away into hilarity, adventure and happily ever afters!
Episode 16: The One Where We Agree on Everything — The Suffragette Scandal by Courtney Milan
It's our Sweet Sixteen! And on this week's episode we talk about Courtney Milan's delicious and scintillating The Suffragette Scandal. Do you love men with damage? Do you love women with gumption? This book is for you! Let me tell you what Free is Victorian England's His Girl Friday and Morgan and Isabeau freaking love it!!!
Episode 15: "An Inconvenient Booty" A Pirate's Love by Johanna Lindsey
On this episode Isabeau and Morgan tackle a sea monster of a Classic in Johanna Lindsey's A Pirates Love. Readers be Warned: this book deals explicitly with sexual assault. As our producer said — it really puts the rape back into rape and pillage. It's a lot. So take care of yourself listener.
However if you want to brave the tides with Morgan and Isabeau on this classic anchors away me hearties! Lets get down and dirty.
Episode 14:Tempest by Beverly Jenkins
For this episode Morgan and Isabeau tackle a western! Do you love cowboys, history, and sex positivity? Got secret hots for the country doc? This book has it all!
Tell us which bit was the best bit — email@example.com
Episode 13: Interview with a Romance Author — Caroline Linden
It's Whoa!mance's first ever author interview! Listen as Isabeau fangirls all over one of her favorite authors — the Rita Award Winning Caroline Linden. Curious about how Caroline broke into the field? The first romance she ever read? Or how she writes smutty periodicals for her hilarious and strong characters? Listen and find out — we cover everything from Happily Ever Afters to diversity in stories and publishing.
Episode 12: Gaywyck by Vincent Virga
If you love the sound of the ocean, sexual awakenings, murder plots, candles and late 19th century New York — this new Whoa!mance is just for you! The Grandfather of Queer Romance is a gothic stunner of sensual delights. Loosen your cravats m'lovelies this one gets good.
Episode 11: Love And Other Scandals by Caroline Linden
This week Morgan blows Isabeau's mind on the social construct of flattering fashion and what constitutes a Freudian sex scene. If you love fancy balls, trashy mags, discussions of female friendship — and bobbing penises this is your episode! NSFW but you knew that.
Boner-on-us (Bonus) Episode: The Rita Awards
Isabeau patiently explains to Morgan the Rita Awards — especially the recent controversy over long-standing, systemic problems therein.
Apologies for the lack of cool tunes and sound-goodness — without Nick we really boner'd this ep. But we wanted to be timely.
Episode 10: A Princess In Theory by Alyssa Cole — Part Two
Pt. 2 of our two-part series on A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole. LISTEN as Morgan and Isabeau argue the difference between a strain and a reach, shout about what it means to be progressive and inclusive in genre fiction, and finish with some ASMR sound triggers. Hashtag intentional, indeed.
Episode 9: A Princess In Theory by Alyssa Cole — Part One
This week on Whoa!mance we're talking about Alyssa Cole's new and delectable book A Princess In Theory. If you love PhD candidates trying to scrape by under the oppression of the patriarchy in NY — who suddenly meet a woke and hot as hell prince this is the book for you!
IT'S A TWO PARTER!!! Morgan and Isabeau had a lot of feelings on this gem.
Episode 8: No Other Duke Will Do by Grace Burrowes
Do you love libraries, castles, house parties and discussion of gauche merchants? You'll love Grace Burrows regency delight — this one takes place in Wales — and listeners you've nothing to loose but your inhibitions. That's right this gem is class conscience and NOT in a Cinderella way!
Episode 7: Improper Arrangements by Juliana Ross
In which we tackle Improper Arrangments (a novella-ella-ella eh eh by Juliana Ross), perspectives, family planning, sea sponges, underpants and more. Can you believe it — this was the second Whoa!mance ever recorded!
Episode 6: Shanna by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss
Hold on to your stays for this romance classic! Shanna has it all! Pirates! A marriage plot! Assumed names! A feisty heroine and a Caribbean island. If you like Sandals Commercials you will like some of this book. Listeners beware there is discussion of non-consensual sex and slavery.
Episode 5: Montana Sky by Nora Roberts
We tackle Montana Sky by lioness in her field NORA ROBERTS while discussing the vanilla candles, The American West, and 1996 in general. Warning: This episode (and book) contains discussion of violence against women.
Episode 4: Priest by Sierra Simone
Heads up — there is discussion of rape and violence in this episode.
WOW! We talk about religion, Three Billboards, the complexity of complicity, the complexity of consent, the complexity of guys who won't shut up about their Women Studies class, and some pretty graphic sex!
Episode 3: About Last Night by Ruthie Knox
Whilst talking about About Last Night we also cover the mob, naughty knitwear, colonialism, and the quality of egg dish you DESERVE to be served by your lover.
Episode 2: Beast by Judith Ivory
Morgan and Isabeau get weird with Judith Ivory's Beast and talk identity, whales, consent, Lynch, Baudelaire, Americans and aristocracy, and personal aroma.
Episode 1: A Week to be Wicked by Tessa Dare
Isabeau and Morgan kick off the podcast by talking about A Week to be Wicked by Tessa Dare, dinosaurs, agency, labor, the border between England and Scotland, and Trader Joes.