Interview with Eva Leigh

Historical romance has always been a look at the past through the lens of the present, with stories and characters finding inspiration through problems and challenges we still have today.  Authors have been shifting away from characterizing the ideal heroine as a demure or overly-sweet young lady, instead creating independent, strong women capable of anything.  Eva Leigh has been at the forefront of this movement, with her last series The Wicked Quills of London bringing to life three women with careers long before they meet the men who understand their drive.  I had the chance to talk with Eva about the self-reliant characters in her new London Underground series and how they fit into a time that wasn’t as easy for a woman to navigate on her own.


Caz: Eva, welcome to All About Romance.  It’s a pleasure to have you here today.

Eva: Thank you so much for having me!

Caz: I read a lot of historical romance and I’ve noticed more authors are […]

By | May 26th, 2017|Categories: Authors, Caz AAR, Interviews|Tags: |0 Comments

Coming Soon… in June

It’s time to look ahead to see what books we’re most excited about reading in June. As usual, we’ve a wide variety of choices, although it seems there’s a bit of a consensus about our most looked-forward-to new releases, K.J. Charles’ An Unnatural Vice and Sarah MacLean’s The Day of the Duchess. What are YOU looking forward to reading next month?


An Unnatural Vice by K.J. Charles (June 6)

As a big fan of both K.J. Charles and the Victorian Sensation Fiction which has inspired this series, I can’t wait to read this story of the battle of wits between a former-lawyer-turned-journalist and the man he suspects of being a sham spiritualist. The author’s ability to imbue her stories with a strong sense of time and space is superb, and I do love a good enemies-to-lovers romance. – Caz

I loved An Unseen Attraction (book one​ in the Sins of the Cities series) and ​I ​was intrigued by the characters​ […]

Is Hot the new Warm?

One of the things readers consistently tell us they like are our sensuality ratings. They’ve been a part of AAR since its inception and we think they help readers find books they love. We’ve not revised them, however, in quite some time and, with the trend towards more sex and more graphic sex in romance, we feel we may need to.

Here are our current definitions:

Kisses: Kisses only. Many of these books are quite simply “sweet.”

Subtle: No explicit sensuality. Kissing and touching, but physical romance is described in general terms or implied. The emphasis is on how lovemaking made the characters feel emotionally, and not on graphic description.

Warm: Moderately explicit sensuality. Physical details are described, but are not graphically depicted. Much is left to the reader’s imagination.

Hot: More explicit sensuality. Sex is described in more graphic terms. Hot books typically have more sex scenes and are more likely to depict acts beyond intercourse.<

Burning: Extremely explicit sensuality – these books are often erotic romances or flatout erotica.

We’ve thought about […]

By | May 18th, 2017|Categories: Dabney AAR|38 Comments

May TBR Challenge – Something Different

When I saw this month’s prompt was to read Something Different, I knew pretty much exactly which genre and which book I was going to choose.  Last year sometime, Maria Rose reviewed a Sci-Fi romance called Quantum, which was the second book in Jess Anastasi’s Atrophy series.  I really liked the sound of it and it struck me that while I’m actually a fan of Sci-Fi in TV and film, I don’t read it  – so I picked up the first book in the series, Atrophy for the May prompt.

I admit that I hadn’t realised, going in, that it’s part of a series in which there is an overarching story that runs through all the books (there are three so far).  Still, it’s a thumping good read and I’m sufficiently invested in that particular plotline to want to read the other books – when I can find the […]

By | May 17th, 2017|Categories: Caz AAR, Lynn AAR, Reading, Romance, Romance reading, TBR Challenge|Tags: , |8 Comments

The AAR Seventeen in 17 Reading Challenge – (Belated) May Update

Somehow, the first of May came – and went – without my posting the monthly AAR Reading Challenge update! Sorry to all who have been waiting on tenterhooks to post about the books you’ve read and are reading – but here (at last!) is the chance to keep track of your reading for the  Seventeen in 17 Reading Challenge and share your thoughts on the books you read throughout May.

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 | May 13th, 2017|Categories: Romance reading|17 Comments

A Love for American Historical Romance: A Guest Post by Holly Bush

I confess, I’m a complete sucker for a Regency romance. Give me a duke, a marriage of convenience, or a governess to lover trope, with all the accompanying bothersome rules of behavior, and I will happily wrap up in a quilt with a cup of tea for the next hour or six.

But as a writer, I’ve discovered my passion for romance and for history is deeply rooted in the American story. Not only did this country, and its citizenry, weather a revolution, settle a dangerous land and the disagreements with its natives, and clash in a civil war, it came out the other side as one union. Every settler who built a cabin at the edge of the wilderness and every immigrant who landed here, bore witness to a fresh world of new possibilities and ideas. And so, the U.S. surpassed other nations with its ability to create and invent for […]

By | May 12th, 2017|Categories: Romance reading|10 Comments

Midweek Minis

In another of our series of mini-reviews, AAR staffers BJ, Em, Lisa, Maggie and Sara share their thoughts on some of their recent reads.


BJ:

Oren’s Right by Blaine D’Arden

This is a beautifully gentle, caring story in the Tales of the Forest series. The world author Blaine D Arden has created is sublime – I could just wish the stories were longer, but this edition has an extra scene at the end, which completes this tale perfectly and is very sexy.

Scarification may not be to everyone’s taste, but the author writes about it so sensitively, you can see how this might be part of a BDSM Master/slave style of loving relationship.

Blaine D’Arden introduces Veld a dark elf from another tribe, and details the prejudice he first encounters on reaching the village around which these stories are set. However, he is a Forester, a tree elf in great demand, […]

By | May 10th, 2017|Categories: BJ Jansen, EmAAR, Lisa F, Maggie AAR, Mini reviews, Romance reading, Sara AAR|Tags: , |3 Comments

So you like romance novels. Have you considered video games?

I see your eyebrow cocked at me, I do. But hear me out?

Once upon a time (namely five years ago) I was a video game skeptic. I did not play them, was intimidated by them, and had no interest in playing them. Then I met this boy who was adorable and lovely and wonderful and I was falling in love with him and he made a request: could I try to play? You see, he had spent much of his professional life working on testing video games and they were a love of his. He wanted me to experience this thing he loved that he was sure I would love and since I kept dragging him to musicals, I really couldn’t deny him.

And reader, the boy was right. I do love them. Not all of them (I can’t be doing with the ones where you have to play with others, like Destiny), but the ones I love, I love hard and usually […]

By | May 8th, 2017|Categories: Kristen D, Romance|9 Comments

Don’t Call Me Honey

Suzanne Brockmann’s Prince Joe was published in 1996, not exactly what we think of as the Dark Ages of feminism. But when I pulled it off my keeper shelf for a reread the other day, I noticed something that drove me absolutely bonkers: nicknaming.

The hero, Joe Catalanotto, is a Navy SEAL who grew up poor in New Jersey but happens to be a dead ringer for the prince of Ustanzia. When a wanted terrorist group tries to assassinate the prince, Joe steps in to impersonate him as bait. Veronica St. John’s job is to teach Joe how to pass as the prince. With just 48 hours until the tour resumes, and with admirals and senators involved and the economy of the prince’s country and the fate of one of America’s Most Wanted on the line, it’s a high stakes impersonation.

And Joe gives Veronica the least […]

By | May 5th, 2017|Categories: Caroline AAR, Characters, Movies|35 Comments

All About the Money: A Guest Post by Santino Hassell

I have a complicated relationship with wealth. Instead of being intrigued by characters who are cool or sexy or likeable because of their money, power, and social status, I love characters who are awesome in spite of it.

For books with wealthy characters or celebrities, my catnip is when they are utterly flawed. Give me a billionaire with a tragic past who has some hang-ups but isn’t a total coldhearted jerk, and you have me. I don’t want to read about what money can do for people. I want to read about what it’s done to people.

That’s the route I tried to go when writing about Ashton Townsend in Concourse, the next standalone novel in the Five Boroughs series. Ashton is the queer son of the wealthy family who runs Townsend Telecom—the AT&T of the Five Boroughs Universe. His stunning androgyny put him on the runway for as long as he […]

By | May 2nd, 2017|Categories: Authors, Guest Posts|Tags: , , |4 Comments