The Best of 2016: Alex’s (belated!) List

If I had to sum up 2016 in a sentence, I’d say it was the year I overestimated myself. It wasn’t a bad year, but as my life got busier, I kept thinking I could still juggle work, reading, and writing as easily as I used to. When I started to get this list together, my thoughts for every entry went something like, “This book! Oh, it was so good! I loved it when I read it back in… back in… huh. I don’t even remember when I read it.” Usually I can tell you exactly when I read my favorite books for the first time, but this year was too crazy for me to keep track of. Between a new job to preparing for graduate school, it’s a wonder I had time to read at all! But I did, and here’s what I loved:


The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

I haven’t […]

By | February 20th, 2017|Categories: Alexandra AAR, Best of 2016, Best of List|5 Comments

Why you don’t have to like sports to love them (or sports romance!) by Sara Rider

One of my earliest childhood sports memories is the day I found out my dad was taking my brother to watch the Winnipeg Jets. Without me. To say I was jealous would be a massive understatement, and, as my parents love to remind me, I pitched a fit. The decision to leave me out had nothing to do with sexism. My parents had always supported my love of sports. They signed me up to play on the local boy’s hockey team and my dad coached my soccer team for years. But unlike my non-hockey playing brother, I’d never shown any interest in actually watching sports. I only wanted to play them.

Needless to say, the story ends with my dad bringing seven-year-old me to the next home game. I don’t remember who won and I’m pretty sure I complained about being tired by the end of the third period, though I do remember developing […]

By | February 18th, 2017|Categories: Romance reading|8 Comments

Writing about love in a world ravaged by zombies: A guest post by Lee Sutherland

Hello, AAR! I’m here today to talk about romance, the apocalypse, and what it’s like to be a male writing in a field dominated and consumed by women. It’s an exciting opportunity for me to share my thoughts with you, so why don’t we get right down to it.

Whenever I tell people that I write romance novels, I almost always get the same reaction: a smile, a laugh, and then a ‘you’re kidding, right,’ followed by an immense amount of intrigue. They find it so hard to believe that I, a young (29), tattooed male, who looks like he belongs in a band, spends his days writing about love, sex, and emotions. I don’t necessarily think it is any harder being a male who writes romance, but I think women are usually more drawn to female writers because they at least know the writing is coming from a similar experience. I’ve always felt […]

By | February 16th, 2017|Categories: Authors, Guest Posts|Tags: , |1 Comment

TBR Challenge 2017: New-to-Me Authors

A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

The combination of cheap and “sounds intriguing” has lured me into buying many a book. And since I’m fairly dangerous in used bookstores, I have a massive TBR pile. So, when prompted to pick out a book by a new-to-me author, my dilemma was something along the lines of which new-to-me author to liberate from the stack. I’ve heard good things about Jennifer Donnelly’s books over the years.  I wasn’t quite in the mood to tackle a giant doorstopper of a book this month, so I skipped over The Tea Rose and picked up her 2003 young adult novel, A Northern Light, instead.

From the cover blurb, I was uncertain whether to expect YA romance or historical fiction. I think this haunting coming-of-age novel is more properly classified as historical fiction and while I did find it hard reading at times, I loved the story. Set […]

By | February 15th, 2017|Categories: Caz AAR, Lynn AAR, Romance reading, TBR Challenge|Tags: , , |4 Comments

Scenes that make us swoon…. (Part Two)

I asked the AAR staff to share the scenes from novels they found the most romantic. And, boy, did they come up with some exquisite scenes. Be prepared to swoon….


Caroline:

In Again, by Kathleen Gilles Seidel, the heroine Jenny Cotton, showrunner of a Regency-set soap opera, has been with her boyfriend Brian (an actor on the soap) for over a decade when Brian commits a terrible betrayal. Meanwhile, Alec Cameron, another actor, has fallen in love with Jenny, and his Grand Romantic Gesture is of the most delightfully practical and empathetic type.
Everyone in the production goes into hysterics over Brian’s misdeed, which doesn’t help Jenny in the slightest. An actress doesn’t want to work with Brian, but Jenny’s show will be ruined if the actors don’t act. A producer offers to fire anybody to help Jenny, but Jenny’s professional reputation will be in trouble if she’s seen as having someone fired […]

Scenes that make us swoon…. (Part One)

I asked the AAR staff to share the scenes from novels they found the most romantic. And, boy, did they come up with some exquisite scenes. Be prepared to swoon….


Keira:

This scene is from the novella Paris for One from Jojo Moyes’ Paris for One. Nell and Fabien sit on the ledge. A half-drunk bottle of wine sits beside them. He is reading to her, his voice halting as he translates into English. Her head rests on his shoulder.

Because she knew already that this would be the thing that would end them. And that in the deepest part of her, she had known it from the beginning, like someone stubbornly ignoring a weed growing until it blocked out the light.’”

“You can’t stop,” says Nell when he does.

“The other pages are missing. Anyway — like I said, it’s no good.”

“But you can’t stop. You have […]

What’s your best Valentine’s Day story?

It’s great to have a Valentine but having one doesn’t make or break Valentine’s Day. Almost anything can make February 14th fun, right? We asked our friends at Harlequin to share some of their favorite Valentine’s Day stories.


B.J. Daniels, author of the upcoming title Renegade’s Pride (on-sale February 28, 2017):

One year my husband took me to a foreign country for dinner—Canada.

The border is only about 50 miles from where we live in Montana. But when we reached the first town across the border, a tornado had taken out the power so everything was closed. We tried another Canadian town close by. The only restaurant there had closed.

We ended up having dinner at a diner back in Montana. We still laugh about that romantic Salisbury steak dinner.

Which proved that we didn’t need a foreign country to make our day romantic. We just needed each other.


By | February 13th, 2017|Categories: Authors, Guest Posts|Tags: , , , , |1 Comment

Rachel Grant talks Tinderbox and Djibouti. And there’s a giveaway!

Readers and reviewers often mention the amount of research that goes into my books, and how they enjoy the history and prehistory woven into the story. This is satisfying because I spend a lot of time researching the setting, archaeology, and suspense elements for each book. But I also have a shortcut when it comes to researching archaeology and setting: my husband. 

Dave has a master’s degree in nautical archaeology and is an archaeologist for the US Navy. Prior to that he worked for the US Army Corps of Engineers, and before that he worked for the Underwater Archaeology Branch of Naval History and Heritage Command. If UAB and NHHC sounds familiar to you, it’s because several of my heroines in the Evidence Series work at NHHC. In fact, the storyline for Covert Evidence was inspired by a file cabinet he came across when he worked at […]

By | February 10th, 2017|Categories: Authors, Dabney AAR, giveaways, Guest Posts|Tags: , , |6 Comments

Midweek Minis

AAR staffers are avid readers – Caroline, Dabney, Emily, LinnieGayl, Maria Rose and Sara are here to share their thoughts on some of their recent reads.

Caroline’s Read:

Almost a Scandal by Elizabeth Essex

Sally Kent’s brother Richard lets the family tradition down when instead of joining the Navy, he escapes to the clergy. So it’s Sally, who’s got the family saltwater blood, who dons midshipman’s blues and sets sail on the Audacious just before Trafalgar. She finds herself under the supervision of Lieutenant David Colyear, an outstanding officer and old friend of her brothers.

I adore competent, intelligent heroines, Sally’s natural bent for the sea is developed in a way that is completely convincing without seeming over the top. From her love of the wind and water to her ability to manage onboard rivalries, she’s a sailor to the tips of her fingers. I believed completely that if she’d been born today, she’d be […]

By | February 8th, 2017|Categories: Caroline AAR, Dabney AAR, EmAAR, LinnieGayl AAR, Maria Rose, Mini reviews, Romance reading, Sara AAR|Tags: |7 Comments

An Interview with Erica Monroe

In my review of Erica Monroe’s latest book, Stealing the Rogue’s Heart, I pointed out that there are very few historical romances around that draw their heroes and heroines from the lower social classes.  Yet most fans of historical romance that I interact with, whether here at All About Romance, or on Goodreads or other sites and blogs all say that we want more such stories; books about people other than dukes and debutantes, or rakes and bluestockings.  It’s not uncommon for a heroine to be poor, and there are a reasonable number of cross-class romances out there (which are very difficult to pull off properly), but to find stories using working class protagonists, set amid the terrible housing and harsh conditions in which such people had to live is unusual.  In many ways that’s understandable.  Life is tough and a bit of escapist glamour never hurt anyone.  But those aren’t the only stories that deserve to be told, so I asked Erica […]

By | February 6th, 2017|Categories: Authors, Caz AAR, Historicals, Interviews, Romance, Romance reading|4 Comments