Avon Gale on queer representation in sports romance.

Hi! I’m Avon Gale, and I’m here today to talk a little about queer representation in sports romance. As a queer person, and a writer of sports romance, this is obviously a subject near and dear to my heart. My series, Scoring Chances, is set amidst the lives of queer minor league hockey players and coaches in the southern United States. While the ECHL is a professional hockey league, it’s a completely different world from the majors and it brings its own set of challenges for my characters – everything from a hectic schedule, sub-par facilities and (because it’s the south) low-attendance that constantly threatens the security of a team.

Of course I want my characters to have their HEA with their love interest (even if I have to put them through the wringer to get there!) But I need to make sure my characters – who are playing in the lowest […]

By | 2017-06-28T11:07:38+00:00 June 29th, 2017|Categories: Authors, Guest Posts, Queer romance|Tags: , , |1 Comment

All About Romance Celebrates PRIDE 2017


LGBTQ+ PRIDE is celebrated in June in many countries around the world. In the UK we celebrate PRIDE across June / July / August with London Pride Parade being held on 8th July this year. However, there is a good reason why PRIDE events and parades start being commemorated in June – so here’s a little history…

As the gay community blossomed in New York City in the 1960s, they had few places to gather publicly. At the time, it was still illegal to serve gay patrons alcohol, to display homosexuality in public or for two gay people to dance together. Under the guise of New York State’s liquor laws that barred ‘disorderly’ premises, the New York Police Department regularly raided bars that catered to gay patrons and arrested them.

In the early hours of the 28th June 1969, The Stonewall Inn, Greenwich Village, Lower Manhattan, NYC was raided by police. One of the few places left for LGBTQ patrons, the tavern was full of […]

By | 2017-06-27T19:06:40+00:00 June 27th, 2017|Categories: BJ Jansen|6 Comments

Coming Soon : July 2017

Heading into July, it’s time to take a look at what’s looking good in the next batch of upcoming releases.  Staffers have selected a couple of historicals as the most highly anticipated releases of the month, closely followed by the conclusion to Ilona Andrews’ Hidden Legacy series and the latest from Jennifer Probst.  We’ve got our normal, fairly eclectic mix of the various sub-genres in our list of what we’re looking forward to next month; are any of these on your Wish List?  Or have we missed out on something awesome that you’re just dying to tell us about?


Scandalous Ever After by Theresa Romain (4 July)

I’m a big fan of Theresa Romain’s and despite knowing absolutely nothing about horse racing have thoroughly enjoyed the books in the Romance of the Turf series so far.  The plotline of this sounds intriguing – a mysterious death, a handsome […]

An Interview with Anne Calhoun

We enjoyed Anne Calhoun’s Turn Me Loose. (Our B+ review is here.) We always like talking with Anne. Caz had a few questions which Anne was happy to answer.


Caz: I believe Turn Me Loose wraps up the storyline that was begun in Under the Surface – is it the final book in the Alpha Ops series, or will there be more?

Anne: This is the final book in the Alpha Ops series. I wrote Under the Surface first, added the SEAL stories when I sold the series to St Martin’s, then wrote Going Deep and Turn Me Loose. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed fleshing out the world, and creating a group of characters woven together by ties of blood, service, shared history, and ultimately, love.

Caz: I absolutely LOVED all the foodie details about Riva’s restaurant and the dishes she and her team created.  I confess that I’ve never heard of the […]

By | 2017-06-23T09:53:54+00:00 June 22nd, 2017|Categories: Authors, Caz AAR, Interviews|Tags: |0 Comments

June TBR Challenge – Pick Your Favorite Trope

A Rumored Engagement by Lily George

I’m a sucker for second-chance-at-love stories. I have autobuy authors I love and certain settings catch my eye, but when I’m taking a chance on a new author, favorite plotlines will often call my name. And second chance stories are definitely near the top of my list, with friends-to-lovers being a close second. For favorite tropes month on the TBR Challenge, I read A Rumored Engagement, a 2014 historical from Lily George. Though published as part of the Love Inspired Historical line, I suspect fans of Regency trads might like this one as well.

As the story opens, Susannah Siddons and her sisters prepare to open a millinery shop in the village of Tansley. Upon arrival, they run into a mishap with their door and when a man from the past comes to their rescue, we quickly learn about Susannah’s long-forgotten engagement to Daniel Hale of […]

Good News and Bad about Polls

It’s clear to us we don’t have the manpower to do our usual reader’s pick the Best of Poll for 2016. We’re bummed about that but it is what it is. (Clichéd but true.) We plan to get a jump on it this fall and it will return for 2017.

We are also hoping to, in 2017 or early 2018, do another AAR’s Top 100 Romances poll. We last did this in 2013–we’ve done this six times since 1998. You can see all the polls here.

In the meantime, we’re curious. What do you think the best romances ever written are? Do you think the 2013 list holds up?

Let us know in the comments!

Thanks!

By | 2017-06-23T09:44:28+00:00 June 18th, 2017|Categories: Best of 2016, Polls, Romance reading|Tags: |41 Comments

Midweek Minis

In our continuing quest to bring you the lowdown on even more books, here’s our latest batch of mini reviews.  This time around, Em, Heather, Kristen, Lisa, Maria Rose and Mary share their thoughts on some of their recent reads.


Em:

Small Change by Roan Parrish

Ginger Holtzman owns and manages a tattoo shop in South Philly.  As Small Change opens, the shop and an upcoming art show have left her overcommitted, overworked and understaffed.  Fiercely independent, Ginger is prickly about accepting or asking for help – past relationships with men (she’s bi-sexual), and professional experience in the male dominated tattoo industry, have left her wary of appearing weak or vulnerable.  Lonely and overwhelmed, she’s struggling to find balance when she meets Christopher Lucen, the handsome owner of the coffee and sandwich shop she sometimes frequents.

Christopher is LITERALLY Ginger’s opposite in every way – temperament, appearance, faith, family background […]

Candice Hern’s Traditional Regency Short Stories

Lately, I’ve become more and more fond of traditional regency romances, because I like their focus on developing a complex, romantic tale with sparkling dialogue in a compact form while keeping sensual details to a minimum. Back in the day, Candice Hern wrote some wonderful trads, so I was excited to find out that she has not only republished those books in e-format, but  has also written new ones. Desperate Measures and Lady Ann’s Excellent Adventure are short stories in the same vein, although the heat level here is a little higher than the usual trads.

Set in 1810, Desperate Measures is a romance that takes place during one evening at a ball. Young Lydia Bettridge is suffering from the pangs of unrequited love. She’s desperate to have her brother’s friend, the Golden God, Geoffrey Danforth, notice her, so she and another of her brother’s friends, Phillip, hatch a […]

By | 2017-06-23T17:17:41+00:00 June 12th, 2017|Categories: Historicals, Keira Soleore, Romance, Romance reading|Tags: , |2 Comments

Layla Rayne shares three fictional partnerships she loves

Thanks so much AAR for having me as a guest blogger today. I’m delighted to be here to chat about my male-male romantic suspense series, Agents Irish and Whiskey. For those who haven’t checked it out yet, AIW follows FBI agents Aidan “Irish” Talley and Jameson “Whiskey” Walker as they investigate cybercrimes and the murder of Aidan’s late husband. Aidan, whose family fled Ireland during the Troubles, is the top field agent in the FBI’s San Francisco field office, and Jamie, twelve years his junior, is a former basketball star turned Cyber agent.

Irish and Whiskey’s partnership—professional and personal—is at the heart of the AIW series. It’s also one of the reasons I love writing romantic suspense. Sure, the intricate plots, high stakes and car chases are a draw too, but having been raised on a steady diet of cop shows, this genre is a natural fit and first love. When asked […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:29:58+00:00 June 9th, 2017|Categories: Authors, Guest Posts|Tags: |2 Comments