Last summer, one of my earliest pieces for Frolic was all about the magic of podcasts for romance fans. I still maintain that these podcasts are dynamic parts of the internet landscape, allowing us to find places to unashamedly discuss romance novels–a generally taboo subject–in a very public way.
However, since last year I’ve discovered even more amazing podcasts for romance fans. If you’re like me and can’t get enough of Romancelandia on your daily commute or during your workouts, here’s a list of recommendations for your listening pleasure!
A Fun Family Book Club: Smart Women Read Romance
As mentioned in my previous podcast article while covering Not Your Mom’s Romance Book Club, romance fans often first learn about the genre from a family member. This is a built-in aspect of Smart Women Read Romance, in which aunt/niece duo Jessen and Juliette read, review and dish on their favorite romances.
In their introductory episode, the two women recall getting one another hooked on different series over the past many years. From a paranormal YA to a broader mix of subgenres, Jessen and Juliette clearly love one another and strengthened their family bond through book appreciation.
This is an excellent podcast for recapping a lot of folks’ all-time favorites like The Kiss Quotient or The Viscount Who Loved Me. And in between review episodes, there are cute mini episodes that deal with things like dishing about Game of Thrones or ranking book boyfriends.
If you’re looking for an accessible internet book club, Smart Women Read Romance makes you really feel like part of the family!
Trailblazers In Romancelandia’s Internet Presence: Smart Podcast Trashy Books
When I first began reading romance, a friend of mine who was more of a veteran of the genre said, “Oh, you’ve got to check out ‘Smart Bitches, Trashy Books!’” Before websites like Frolic or high Twitter engagement in romancelandia, this was one of the primary internet spaces for romance readers to find one another, read reviews and nerd out over the genre.
Lucky for all of us–they also have a podcast! This one is so much fun, because unlike others on this list with a much stricter formula, Smart Podcast Trashy Books manages to surprise me. It’s a podcast that’s filled with expected author interviews and book recommendations. But there are also unique romancelandia-adjacent discussions with experts like pop culture librarians and sex researchers that provide more insight than your average review podcast!
I owe so much to Sarah Wendell and her team for trailblazing online romance spaces, so I absolutely recommend their podcast!
A Romance Veteran and A Romance Virgin Dish on Classic Reads: Learning the Tropes
My first podcast roundup for Frolic centered around the thesis that romance podcasts are important because they create safe feminine-coded spaces on the internet. So this particular podcast is an intriguing addition to my listening lineup because it features a cisgender dude dishing on romance!
In Learning the Tropes, Erin is the more experienced romance reader and Clayton is trying out romance for the first time. I was worried at first about my feminine-coded bubble being disrupted by some masculine energy, but Clayton assuaged my fears by saying completely wonderful things like “The Wallflowers are my Avengers!” Plus, he’s very cognizant of the fact that he’s, as he puts it, a guest in someone else’s house when it comes to romance culture.
As the podcast’s title suggests, its hosts are invested in investigating different tropes of the genre as they review a new book each week. Some, like “friends to lovers” are typical. But the show has its own growing list of increasingly specific tropes like “kissing behind curtains” and “secret places.”
The upbeat banter and discovery of new tropes with these hosts has made Learning the Tropes one of my personal must-listens.
A Paranormal Romance Deep Dive: Fated Mates
I actually haven’t listened to much of this podcast, because I’ve yet to really commit to trying out paranormal series (let’s be honest: it’s only a matter of time, though). But no romance-themed podcast roundup is complete without mentioning the fan favorite Fated Mates.
In Fated Mates, the wonderful Jen Prokop (well-known online as “Jen Reads Romance”) and the beloved historical romance author Sarah MacLean do a book-by-book recap of Kresley Cole’s sprawling Immortals After Dark series.
Who is this podcast for? Based off of the hosts’ description from the very first episode, it’s a fabulous choice if you’re the kind of person who loves that a werewolf bites off his own arm to free himself from captivity in order to pursue his one true mate. If that last sentence makes you swoon because it sounds like twue wuv, you best start listening to Fated Mates.
Come for the paranormal fangirling, stay for the funny and passionate banter from women who truly care
I used to be the kind of gal whose podcast app contained a smattering of NPR and a zillion comedy podcasts. Now? It’s all about the romance podcasts! It’s like an internet book club, and there are always new perspectives, author interviews and interesting tidbits to fuel my romance-loving brain.
Have you listened to any of these podcasts? Any favorites I haven’t mentioned yet? Tweet @onfrolic to shout out the romance podcasts that make your heart beat wildly with fandom love!