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 | 2017-06-22T09:26:21+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 | 2017-06-18T10:22:32+00:00 June 18th, 2017|Categories: Best of 2016, Polls, Romance reading|Tags: |39 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 | 2017-06-11T22:17:09+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 | 2017-06-09T09:27:13+00:00 June 9th, 2017|Categories: Authors, Guest Posts|Tags: |2 Comments

The AAR Seventeen in 17 Reading Challenge – June Update

Back on track this month, here’s the post for those of you who are participating in AAR’s  Seventeen in 17 Reading Challenge.  Check in here and share your thoughts on the books you read throughout June.

It’s still not too late to sign up – just head on over to the main Challenge page to have a look at the fabulously varied range of prompts that are sure to provide food for thought for everyone, and get stuck in to your TBR pile!

Now it’s over to you Challengers.  How many books are you going to knock off the TBR pile this month?

By | 2017-06-07T07:39:59+00:00 June 7th, 2017|Categories: AAR Reading Challenge 17 in 17, Romance reading|6 Comments

The Best of All Worlds: A Guest Post by Sherry Thomas

Judith of Binge on Books and Open Ink Press emailed me February of last year and told me about an unusual project she was planning. The aim of the Sight Unseen anthology is to have known authors write stories of a kind that they aren’t known for, in time periods, sub genres, and subject matters that they would like to but haven’t had the opportunity to explore.

Even better, the authors’ names would be on the cover, but their stories would be presented anonymously. And then readers can make a game of guessing who wrote what.

I didn’t need to think long or hard before I said yes. I didn’t have anything I’d been “afraid to write up until this point”, per Judith’s original wording—I’ve always written what I wanted to write. But by joining the anthology, I would gain a deadline.

In a professional writer’s life, projects that come with a hard […]

By | 2017-06-06T09:37:06+00:00 June 6th, 2017|Categories: Authors, Books with Buzz, Guest Posts|8 Comments

Romantic Gestures: It’s the Thought That Counts – by Roan Parrish

I’ve never gotten a Valentine from anyone except my parents and my first through third grade classmates, back when you had to give a card to everyone, and I’ve been given flowers exactly once, from the guy I was dating when I was sixteen. I’d just had a fight with my father so I didn’t want to go back inside to put the flowers in water, so I put them on the dashboard of the guy’s car and they wilted and died. (#mylovelife.)

Some people are probably thinking, “You poor thing—no cards and no flowers!” Others, “Yeah, who wants that stuff anyway?” I am firmly in the second camp. Not because there is anything wrong with cards or flowers—hell, I like getting mail, and flowers are beautiful—but because stock romantic gestures really don’t do it for me. Even if they’re proffered with sincere feeling, most of these things (cards, flowers, chocolates) are given because they have become simply The Unthinking Things You Do To […]

By | 2017-06-05T09:42:53+00:00 June 5th, 2017|Categories: Romance reading|1 Comment