Coming Soon… November 2017

It’s not all that often that there’s a hands-down favourite when it comes to a post like this, but a new book from Loretta Chase is a red-letter day on any romance reader’s calendar and many of us here have put a big red circle around 28th November, which is when her latest release, A Duke in Shining Armor is hitting the shelves and our e-readers. Also coming in November is the next in Mary Balogh’s Westcott series, Someone to Wed, along with Loreth Anne White’s next Angie Pallorino novel and the next instalment – Undercover Attraction – in another favourite series, Katee Robert’s The O’Malleys.

Whatever your preference, there’s a lot to look forward to in November, ready to curl up with on those long, cold winter evenings.

What are you most looking forward to reading in the weeks ahead? Drop by and let us know in the comments.


Chessela Helm on Readers Create: Building a Story Together

Romance readers and writers are joined together in a relationship similar to characters who’ve found their happily ever after: neither partner can thrive without the other. Readers support writers by following their work, and writers support readers by writing books they will enjoy. It can be difficult as a writer to gauge what our readers desire, so we usually write the story we are compelled to tell. But what if writers did know what their readers wanted? What if writers could actively collaborate with their readers in order to create a shared story experience?

That’s the purpose behind Readers Create, an online social media project that encourages authors to write a short story with the guidance and input of their readers. Readers Create utilizes the creativity of readers and writers, both established and beginning, in an innovative crowdsourced format.

The Readers Create model is simple to follow. Writers will choose one or more social media platforms to engage readers, and use questions and polls to […]

By | 2017-10-13T10:34:39+00:00 October 13th, 2017|Categories: Writing Romance|0 Comments

Ginn Hale on When Love is Magic: Finding the M/M Fantasy Romance That’s Just Right.

When it comes to the gay romance I like them best with at least a touch of magic; it can make for fascinating worlds and thrilling conflict. But sometimes it’s tough to find a book that’s just right. That’s when picking up an anthology is the perfect solution.

So when I considered the selection of magical heroes I would like to recommend I decided to spotlight one of my favorite anthologies: Charmed & Dangerous, edited by Jordan Castillo Price. From shape-shifting princes to hard-boiled detective mages these short stories and novellas represent a fabulous mix of magic and romance. They also serve as appetizers to the longer novels and numerous series.

First, Rhys Ford serves up, “Dim Sum Asylum,” a fast paced urban fantasy set in a magical San Francisco, where the faeries aren’t […]

By | 2017-10-09T08:57:20+00:00 October 9th, 2017|Categories: Romance reading|Tags: , , |2 Comments

Huge Harlequin sale

This weekend only, Harlequin has put 500 of its bestsellers on sale for 1.99 each. It’s at all vendors. (Amazon, iBooks, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo.)

The AAR staff picked a few of their favorites and we’d love to hear what yours are too. Enjoy!

Bound by the Sultan’s Baby by Carol Marinelli

By | 2017-10-07T09:22:37+00:00 October 7th, 2017|Categories: Romance reading|Tags: |0 Comments

One Summer Night by Caridad Pinero

When I’m asked to describe the idea behind One Summer Night, I say that it’s a modern day Romeo and Juliet story, but with a happier ending. It is a romance after all!

I was a teen when I discovered Shakespeare’s tale of woe and something about it appealed to me . . . until everyone died at the end. I guess it was the fact that Juliet seemed to be a typical teen just like me at the time. And like Juliet, I was very much beginning to notice boys but I had very strict parents, so any boy was likely the “wrong guy” in their minds. Of course, not like Juliet’s totally wrong guy.

Every time I read the play or saw a movie version, I always wanted to rewrite the ending and when the heroine in One Summer Night popped into my head and wouldn’t let up, I knew it was […]

By | 2017-10-16T09:14:16+00:00 October 6th, 2017|Categories: Authors, Romance reading|1 Comment

Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been Japanese American?

Today we feature something a little different. A friend of mine, Eric Muller, has created a podcast I think is wonderful. It’s called Scapegoat Cities and features human stories behind the Japanese American Internment. I asked Eric if any of his stories featured love affairs. The most recent one, Are You Now or Have You Ever Been Japanese American?, (kinda) does. I loved the podcast and I think you will too. But first, here’s a bit about Eric and his work.


Dabney: Give me some background here. How did you get interested in the internment?

Eric: I’m a professor at UNC Chapel Hill, in the law school, and have been studying and writing about the mass removal and imprisonment of Japanese Americans for the past 20 years. I first began learning about this historical episode when I lived and taught in Wyoming, which was the site of one of the ten […]

By | 2017-10-03T16:13:54+00:00 October 4th, 2017|Categories: Dabney AAR, Interviews|Tags: , |4 Comments

Yeah, thanks, NYT. We’ll take it from here

Hope. Escape. Fun. Happiness Something just for me. Taught me about respect. Joy. Taught me that I deserve a happily ever after, too.

I spent the spring and summer of 2016 listening to women about why they read romance novels. I ran a research project that was specifically interested in how women who see themselves as ‘religious’ interacted with the sex in romance novels, but my participants gave me so many gifts beyond that. Many I heard from weren’t even women of faith, they just wanted to tell me how important these books are to them, how vital they are to their lives. (1)

Because for so many women, they are just that: vital.

I talked to women whose entire sexual health education came from Harlequin, because their schools and families and religious spaces never talked about sex and the issues surrounding it. From the books, these women told me, they learned about consent and respect and orgasms. (2)

I heard from women in helping professions – teaching, social […]

Good Laird! What’s in a name?

So, I’m reading a book that’s pretty decent (my review is either forthcoming or already posted, depending on when this blog post goes live), but there is simply one aspect that I cannot get past.

The hero’s name is Laird.

Laird.

When my eye catches it, I want to read “Lard” but then I think harder, and still all I can come up with is that Laird is the title used when referring to Scottish lords in historical romances. Except the story I’m reading is a new adult set in modern USA. Aye, it’s verra strange, dinna ye think, lassie?

What is with authors and the way that they name characters these days, especially the guys? I once reviewed a book where the hero’s name was Rome, and he was a member of a pack […]

By | 2017-09-29T17:03:51+00:00 September 30th, 2017|Categories: AAR Jenna, Books, Characters, Heroes, Reading, Romance, Romance reading|18 Comments

The Book Blind Taste Test #3

It’s time for another go-round in our occasional series of AAR’s adventures in blind book taste testing.  This time,  Lynn and Kristen describe two success stories and books they’d recommend.


Lynn:

Dangerous Games by Tess Diamond

Romantic Suspense

Summary: The hero and heroine are both outsiders of a sort. Maggie Kincaid survived a childhood kidnapping and went on to become one of the FBI’s top hostage negotiators, but left law enforcement after a hostage situation ended tragically. Jake O’Connor was a soldier who now works private security. When a Senator’s daughter is kidnapped, the two are brought into the investigation by their respective mentors and now they must work against time to rescue a child whose medical condition dictates that she be found quickly. Not surprisingly, they have to deal with their own personal demons as well as everything the kidnapper throws at them.

What drew you to the book? It popped […]

By | 2017-09-27T09:03:52+00:00 September 27th, 2017|Categories: Historicals, Kristen D, Lynn AAR, Reading, Romance, Romance reading|3 Comments

An interview with Jennie Melamed

This summer two of our reviewers reviewed Jennie Melamed’s debut novel, Gather the Daughters. In her DIK review, Kristen wrote:

Gather the Daughters is a haunting tale of a society where women are controlled but children are free, and a young woman on the cusp of that transition discovers something that pulls her ideological foundations out from under her. It’s perhaps not for the faint of heart, but will definitely appeal to  fans of engrossing dystopian fiction that lingers in the memory.

I reached out to Ms. Melamed and asked if she’d be willing to discuss the book.* She graciously said yes.


Dabney: I was on vacation with my large extended family when I read Gather the Daughters. It was a fascinating yet challenging book to read while surrounded by my clamorous and close clan. The book is… well, let me ask you. How would you describe this book?

Jennie: Gather the Daughters […]

By | 2017-09-25T08:30:03+00:00 September 25th, 2017|Categories: Authors, Dabney AAR, Interviews|Tags: |0 Comments