Midweek Minis

Here’s another in our occasional series of mini reviews in which AAR staffers talk about what they’ve read lately.  Not all these books are romances (although most of them are), and some were obviously more well-received than others. Here’s what Kristen, Lisa, Maggie, Maria Rose, Melanie have to say about their recent reads.


Kristen:

We Were On A Break by Lindsey Kelk

This one is perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella – the humor and cultural settings are very similar. Liv and Adam’s Mexican holiday is sure to end in an engagement, or so Liv thinks. They’ve been dating for an age and surely, SURELY, he wouldn’t take her from England to Mexico without a real purpose, right? Well, imagine her shock when instead of giving her a ring, he asks for a pause. Dejected, confused, and heartbroken, they head back to the UK and to their separated lives.

One of this book’s strength […]

By | March 22nd, 2017|Categories: Kristen D, Maggie AAR, Maria Rose, Melanie AAR, Mini reviews, Reading, Romance reading|Tags: |5 Comments

Paige Tyler on unique characters. Plus, a giveaway!

In Her True Match, the feline-shifter heroine Dreya has always felt like a “freak.” She’s surprised—and relieved—when she learns that there are others just like her. There are lots of stories about characters who don’t feel like they fit in with everyone else, but learn to embrace what makes them unique. Here are some of my favorites!


  1. Monster High Series. For anyone who hasn’t read the books or watched the animated series (seriously, are you living under a rock?), it’s about a school for monster kids. Whether it’s Frankie Stein’s stitched-on hands always falling off, or Draculaura’s vegetarian lifestyle getting in the way of her relationship with Clawd, son of the werewolf, the stories are all about people dealing with the things that make them different and unique. But by embracing their freaky flaws, these teens find out it’s what’s inside that matters […]
By | March 20th, 2017|Categories: Authors, giveaways|Tags: , , , |10 Comments

Susan Sands: A Guest Post and a Giveaway

Hello Friends,

I’m thrilled to be a guest today on All About Romance. Thanks to Dabney for inviting me!

The third novel in my Alabama series, Forever, Alabama, is due to release March 20th. These books are Southern small town stories that share the contemporary romance and women’s fiction genre almost equally. They are hard to define in a single stamp.

The Laroux family is a fun, loud, and loving bunch who over-involve themselves in one another’s lives whether invited or not. I draw my main characters from this family. The physical tie that binds is the family event planning business, The Evangeline House. It is also the Laroux home where all five siblings grew up, and the matriarch, Maureen Laroux, still resides.

Each of my books stands alone but shares characters, peripheral stories, and setting. Setting is as […]

By | March 17th, 2017|Categories: Authors, giveaways, Guest Posts|Tags: , |15 Comments

Comfort Reads – TBR Challenge 2017

My Dearest Enemy by Connie Brockway

March’s prompt for the TBR challenge is “comfort read”, which is defined as a book that uses a favourite trope or setting, or is by a favourite author.  I’ve chosen something from my TBR that everyone seems to have read except me – Connie Brockway’s My Dearest Enemy, which combines two of my favourite things, an enemies-to-lovers romance and a story in which letters play an important part (I do love an epistolary novel!).  It’s a gloriously romantic, character-driven story set at the end of the 19th century, in which our hero – a famous explorer – and heroine – an advocate of women’s suffrage – butt heads over the home they both love, sniping and pushing each other’s buttons as the attraction between them deepens.

Avery Thorne finds himself all but disinherited upon the death of his uncle Horatio, who, believing Avery to be a […]

A newbie author on the joy and fear of writing romance.

I love romance novels. I love the mushy, tingly feeling I get when the hero and heroine kiss for the first time. I love becoming emotionally invested in the characters and their lives. I love knowing there will be a happily ever after. I even love the bit of drama needed to create turmoil, conflict and interest. When I find an author capable of holding my interest without being predictable, I binge read everything he or she has written.

Developing a writing style and character type consistent enough to grow a fan base without becoming stale is a challenge. It is too easy to find something that works, then type, or I should say, ‘write’ cast yourself. We all know the romance novel formula – boy meets girl, dramatic event threatens to keep them apart, they fall in love and live happily ever after. It’s a great formula, tried and true. I love the […]

By | March 13th, 2017|Categories: Authors, Guest Posts|Tags: |2 Comments

Long May She Reign: A Roundtable Discussion

Freya might be in the line of succession to the throne, but being in the double-digits in that line doesn’t inspire dreams of ruling. She’s dedicated herself to a life of science and logic, not of leadership and diplomacy. When a state dinner becomes the location of a massacre, leaving the king and everyone else between #2 and #22 dead, Freya has no choice but to step up.

As you can imagine, almost no one is happy about this turn of events – least of all Freya – but she is determined to do her best. This means looking at old allies with new eyes and learning other lessons along the way Rhiannon Thomas’ Long May She Reign is a rarity in the world of YA Fantasy – a stand-alone novel – and AAR Staffers Melanie, Shannon, and Kristen are here to share their thoughts about it.


SD: Let’s start out talking about the […]

By | March 11th, 2017|Categories: AAR Shannon, Kristen D, Melanie AAR, Reading, Roundtable|2 Comments

A guest post from Damon Suede. And a giveaway!

STRONG ROOTS: on messy nostalgia & going back home without living in the past

by Damon Suede

First, I want to thank All About Romance for letting me come knock around in their neck of the genre woods as part of the Lickety Split release tour. Holla! Today I came by to talk about homecoming stories, as a creative trope and a personal challenge.

I grew up in Houston, Texas at the height of the oil boom. LOL Some of y’all know what that means and for the rest, I’ll just remark that all that money and no sense made for some genuinely fun times and tacky outfits. Urban Cowboy was more than a title and Dallas was hot-hot-hot on TV, but Texans knew which one was the real city. Houston lives in a constant state of rush hour and its annual “Livestock Show & Rodeo” is the linchpin of the whole damn year.

Like Los […]

By | March 8th, 2017|Categories: Authors, giveaways, Guest Posts|Tags: |11 Comments

The return of the Dartmouth Brides! A guest post by Elizabeth Essex. Plus, a giveaway!

It has been said in literature that you can’t go home again, but in the age of digital publishing you most assuredly can. And I have—I am thrilled to bring you new editions of my first three romance novels: The Pursuit of Pleasure, A Sense of Sin, and RITA Award Nominee The Danger of Desire. These three loosely related stories set on the southern coast of England were first released seven years ago, but I am very happy for the chance to revise them and make them available in affordable e-versions.

One of the primary pleasures in revising these works is that I had the opportunity to revisit the characters that first made me want to write romance—those voices in my head that would not be silenced until I paid proper attention and wrote them down. Strong, sure, quick-witted Lizzie Paxton. Kind, thoughtful, intellectual Celia Burke. Light-fingered, brilliant thief Meggs Evans. […]

By | March 6th, 2017|Categories: Authors, giveaways, Guest Posts|Tags: , |32 Comments

The AAR Seventeen in 17 Reading Challenge – March update

Heading into Spring – in my part of the world, anyway – here’s the chance to keep track of your reading for the  Seventeen in 17 Reading Challenge and share your thoughts on the books you read in March.

It’s 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 in March?

By | March 2nd, 2017|Categories: AAR Reading Challenge 17 in 17|9 Comments

An Interview with Rhys Bowen

Over the years, I’ve read and thoroughly enjoyed a number of Rhys Bowen’s Royal Spyness, Molly Murphy and Constable Evans books – she really is a master of the quiet, cleverly plotted mystery.  I was especially intrigued by the synopsis for her latest book, In Farleigh Field, as it represents something of a new direction for her.  Set in Kent during World War Two, it involves MI5, Bletchley Park, codebreakers… and a mysterious airman.  I was delighted that she was able to join me for a quick chat.


Keira Soleore: Welcome to All About Romance, Rhys. We’re delighted you could join us.

Rhys Bowen: Thanks for inviting me.

KS: World War II is a new setting for you. Is using something that you’ve always wanted to do? And what was the impetus behind the book?

RB: I’ve always been fascinated by World War Two. It affected my own family […]

By | March 1st, 2017|Categories: Authors, Historicals, Interviews, Keira Soleore, Mysteries, Romance reading|4 Comments