We’re still experimenting with formats for our regular On Sale lists, and plan to launch our New Look early in 2017. Until then, here’s a look at what’s new for December. Where possible, titles are linked to Amazon. […]
Back in 2008, a conversation on the Romance Potpourri Message Board revealed two things: Many of us had massive to be read piles and most of us had no real motivation to pull books off of them. In order to conquer those dual issues we created the Unofficial 9 in 2009 AAR Reading Challenge. The goal was to read at least nine books on your TBR. I did it, loved it (as did several others) and we have been doing the Reading Challenges ever since.
Here’s why the challenges are so great. Reason one is that it has definitely helped expand my reading experiences. I don’t know about the rest of you but I will often read a review on AAR, buy the book – and then let it languish in the TBR pile. Because a part of the challenge is often to tackle new to you authors, it inspires me to tackle those books which were well reviewed at AAR written by authors unfamiliar to me. I’ve found several DIK’s (and new authors to glom) thanks to that aspect of the challenge.
I also discovered a new sub genre thanks to the challenge: one notable year I […]
Ah…coasting into the holidays. For me personally, December tends to be a month where I binge-read holiday romances and sneak in portions of anthologies or short category romances during breaks in the holiday madness. While most of my holiday reads are oldies-but-goodies, I’ve scouted out a promising-sounding anthology and some category romance goodness that I can’t wait to read. This may be a busy time of year, but the reading lists turned in by my fellow AAR-ers show that we all want to make time to read.
I love anthologies, and this one features authors I have enjoyed in the past. I’ll have to wait until after Christmas to get my hands on it, and I can’t wait! – Lynn
I love Julia Quinn. No scratch that – I adore Julia Quinn and her heroes and heroine and am excited for her latest. – Lisa
I am not usually much of an anthology fan as I like meaty stories, but this one is chock full of talent, so I will give it a try. – Mary
I not so secretly love anthologies, and Quinn and Guhrke are on my shortlist of favorite historical romance authors. […]
The erotic dystopian Beyond series didn’t really come onto my reading radar until mid-2014, though the first book, Beyond Shame was released in 2012. Even then, I wasn’t particularly interested in reading them. I was happy with my contemporary and historical romances and hadn’t branched out too much into other romantic sub-genres. But I had some reviewer friends who couldn’t stop talking about them. “They are so dirty!” “’They are so addictive!” “The worldbuilding is fantastic!” and so on. Reluctantly, I picked up Beyond Shame (which is free) just so I could say that I’d tried it and it wasn’t for me.
I was so wrong. I devoured that first book. I checked back to my review on Goodreads (this was before I was reviewing regularly) and all it says is “well, that was something.” Apparently, I couldn’t put my thoughts about the story into actual worthwhile words because I was too busy buying the next books in the series that were out and binge-reading […]
When I started reading romance, I stuck almost entirely to historicals and romantic suspense. When I saw this month’s TBR Challenge prompt, I knew I had no shortage of historical reading in my closet o’TBR. I decided to go with a new-to-me author and picked up Liana LeFey’s 2012 debut, Countess So Shameless. This Georgian historical, set in France and England during the reign of George II, has enough intelligence and unique characterization to keep me reading but also enough eyeroll-inducing plot twists to make it difficult for me to recommend.
The novel opens at Versailles where the teenaged Melisande Compton has come to court with her French mother and English father. We learn very quickly that this isn’t entirely a pleasure visit and while in France, Melisande learns a dangerous and devastating family secret. Overcome with emotion, she runs headlong into Lord Alessandro Orsini, a rakish diplomat for the Papal States. Though warned early and often by her mother of Alessandro’s unsuitability and danger to properly brought up young women, Melisande finds herself enjoying his company and is quite swept off her feet.
Alessandro feels likewise and when the two cross paths again some years […]
So I didn’t use the show’s name in the title on purpose, because if you’re like me you’d be put off and wouldn’t even read below the break. Which is fine, except you’d be missing one of the most amazing shows currently on TV.
Still here? Okay: the show’s called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend – don’t run away!
If you’re anything like me you won’t have seen it (very likely – the ratings suck), you’ll read that, and you’ll think “not in a bajillion years”. That’s what I thought. Show with a title like that? Probably kooky characters who are adorbs even if they’ve got lots of troubles. Love triangles. Lots of cringing that comes with artificial situations that only happen on TV. Exhausting and phony.
You wouldn’t necessarily be wrong, because CEG does all of that. Except it’s not exhausting or phony. It takes every one of those situations and turns them on their heads. It approaches all characters with nuance and honesty, maintains a crackerjack sense of humour, has the most authentically diverse cast on television, depicts mental illness with sincerity and kindness, and punches you right in the gut.
Oh, and it’s a musical.
Rachel Bloom plays Rebecca Bunch, the crazy ex-girlfriend: […]
AAR staffers Kristen, LinnieGayl, Maria Rose, Dabney, and Sara have been hard at work reading and reviewing even more books! Here are their thoughts on some of their most recent reads in another of our occasional series of mini reviews.
Semi-Scripted by Amanda Heger
Marisol Gutierrez travels to the U.S. to pitch their nonprofit at a grant conference. The competition is stiff, Marisol is not usually the organization’s spokesperson, and she is especially nervous to do it all in her second language of English, but has stepped in at the last minute and is determined to do well. The future of the organisation depends on getting this grant and the pressure overwhelms Marisol, stealing her of her usual joy and plunging her into a permanent state of panic.
Since she’s in L.A. a few days before she has to begin the conference, she decides to try to attend a taping of her favorite show, a Price is Right-esque competition show. For a whole lot of reasons and plot contrivances, she ends up at the taping and as a guest on a late night chat show instead. […]