The Best of 2017 – Haley’s List

I think last year I started my Best of 2016 list by saying I felt that I hadn’t read as much that year and so I had fewer great books to choose. Well, if I thought 2016 was a tough reading year, I did not have a clue what 2017 would be like. The amount of time I’ve spent each day keeping up with the news cycle is seriously eating away at my casual reading time. I also read more children’s books and graphic novels (for my job), as well as some excellent older titles. That said, I do have a handful of books I loved in 2017 to share (in no particular order).

Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai

This one snuck in just under the wire. Meaning, I only finished it less than two weeks before the end of […]

By | 2018-01-08T12:14:29+00:00 January 8th, 2018|Categories: Best of List, Haley AAR, Romance reading|Tags: |5 Comments

The Best of 2017 – Anne’s List

This year, my rest reads were psychological suspense and thrillers. Yikes! No wonder I jump every time I see a shadow.

Unraveling Oliver by Liz Nugent

Our own Kristen Donnelly said “I have been harping on about this book for months, so if you’ve not been subject to my evangelical zeal about its brilliance, allow me to quickly summarize.” I think she had me at “evangelical zeal.” Why did a mild-mannered children’s author beat his wife into a coma? I refused to wait for the library to get a copy, and I snagged the Kindle edition. It was worth it! While this is more of a mystery crossed with a character study, I found it far more riveting than many psychological thrillers. Contrasting points of view shine an unrelenting light on the truth about Oliver Ryan. The revelations are stunning, but not out of left field, and of course, the secrets […]

By | 2018-01-06T21:50:29+00:00 January 7th, 2018|Categories: Anne Marble, Best of List|Tags: |3 Comments

The Best of 2017 – Maria Rose’s List

Narrowing down the choices for my top ten best reads of any given year is no mean feat. Though I read less books overall than in my previous 3 years (topping out at about 300), seven new to me authors made my list! I wish I had branched out into more romance genres as that was one of my reading resolutions that I failed at spectacularly (sorry steampunk, young adult and urban fantasy). On the other hand, I made sure to include more own voices/diverse authors which I definitely count as a win as some of them made the final cut. These are my favorites.

My Roommate’s Girl by Julianna Keyes

The only new adult romance on my list, Julianna Keyes managed to redeem a seemingly nonredeemable hero in this romance about a young man who covets his roommate’s girlfriend and […]

By | 2018-01-04T22:22:24+00:00 January 5th, 2018|Categories: Best of List, Maria Rose, Romance reading|Tags: |14 Comments

The Best of 2017 – Melanie’s List

I’ve been a bad reader this year, so it was a bit of a struggle to go through and pick out the best from this past year. There were some books, though, that really stood out.


An Unsuitable Heir by KJ Charles

While I agree with Caz that the romance itself is a bit underdeveloped, I loved this story! Pen was such an interesting character, I loved how Charles wrote him, and how that part of the story developed. And the mystery was finally solved! The entire series was really well done, the twists and turns of the overarching story were captivating, and I was more than satisfied by the ending to the story.

Buy Now: A/BN/iB/K

By | 2018-01-03T09:05:52+00:00 January 3rd, 2018|Categories: Best of List, Melanie AAR, Romance reading|Tags: |2 Comments

Reading Resolutions for 2018

AAR staff have been making plans to be their best reading selves in 2018. Here are some of our reading resolutions:

Caroline: My resolution is to reread books that have been on my keeper shelf without a reread for four years (that’s the easiest time for me to calculate since it’s when I moved). I find a lot of books I’ve had for that long aren’t holding up, and I need to get rid of them to free up space. I also resolve to get rid of my pile of Regency Christmas anthologies that I’m keeping just for the one Carla Kelly story and replace it with the Kelly collection that has all of those stories in it.

Keira: I resolve to continue my detailed Spreadsheet of Joy, wherein I maintain all kinds of data about every book I read. I have been spreadsheeting my reading since 2013, and I also blog about an in-depth analysis of that data […]

Coming Soon… January 2018

Out with the old, in with the new…

Here’s the first of 2018’s regular looks at the upcoming releases we here at AAR are most looking forward to reading in the next few weeks.  Drop by the comments section and tell us which books YOU’RE eager to read in January – do you agree with our choices, or is there something awesome coming up that we’ve missed?

Whatever your choices, we’d like to take the opportunity to wish all our readers a very Happy New Year! – may it be filled with lots of wonderful books!

The English Wife by Lauren Willig (9 Jan)

I enjoyed Ms. Willig’s Pink Carnation series but for some reason haven’t yet got around to reading any of the books she’s published since. But pre-publication buzz for The English Wife has me completely intrigued; New York’s Gilded Age isn’t an often used setting in historicals, and the […]

By | 2017-12-30T11:51:33+00:00 December 30th, 2017|Categories: Eagerly Awaiting, Romance reading, Upcoming releases|Tags: |6 Comments

The Best of 2017 – LaVerne’s List

This has been my first year reviewing for AAR, and it’s been a challenging and exciting experience. The challenge has been to write reviews that will help readers decide where to spend their well-earned cash, and the excitement comes at times like the end of the year when I can give a nod to my favorite books. I read mostly inspirational romance with forays into historical, fantasy and mystery, and I do find the inspirational genre consistently produces enjoyable, well-written novels. Let me share a few that excelled in merging romance and a compelling story painted with a brush of faith.

The Captain’s Daughter by Jennifer Delamere

The ‘captain’s daughter’ of this delightful book refers not only to the heroine of the story, but also to the main character of the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta H.M.S. Pinafore, the focus of the […]

By | 2017-12-28T22:29:50+00:00 December 28th, 2017|Categories: Romance reading|2 Comments

The Best of 2017 – Mary’s List


I knew it would be difficult to pick my favorite reads of 2017, but it ended up being much harder than I expected, because I read a lot of amazing books this year. These ten romance are the ones that I am still thinking about long after finishing them and the ones that I know I will read again.


The British Knight by Louise Bay

There’s absolutely nothing not to love about Louise Bay’s The British Knight. It’s wickedly sexy, heartwarming and highly entertaining with charming characters and an interesting peek into the British legal system.

Buy Now: A/BN/iB/K

The Hard Truth About Sunshine by Sawyer Bennett

This is a highly emotional and […]

By | 2017-12-27T18:29:44+00:00 December 26th, 2017|Categories: Best of List, Mary Dube, Romance reading|Tags: |7 Comments

The Best of 2017 – Kristen’s List

I just closed the cover on my 504th book read this year, and I loved so many of them. After looking over my list, I decided to craft my Best of 2017 from books that gave me joy this year and that I really want you to read. I adored the time I spent in these stories and several of them have characters I still carry around in my heart. Asking me to narrow a list of beloved books down to ten was enough of a challenge, asking me to rank them is a no go, so these are presented in no particular order. Also, as I look over this, I realize that for the first year ever, I have no historical romances on here, even though I loved many. This year was the year of contemporaries for me – I needed joy in present tense.

By | 2017-12-24T09:19:13+00:00 December 24th, 2017|Categories: Best of List, Kristen D, Romance reading|Tags: |15 Comments

The Best of 2017 – Lee’s List

2017 was an excellent reading year for me – in fact, I actually had trouble limiting my “Best of” list to ten.  I’ve found my tastes have changed over the years, as I am reading more historical mysteries, but I still enjoy excellent contemporaries and historical romances.  Here are ten of my favorite books of 2017, in no particular order.



Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

This was a hard book to read but the heroine was very endearing.  Due to circumstances in her family life, Eleanor is alone but trying to learn how to live in today’s world with the help of others.  Lots of sadness but humor too.

Buy Now: A/BN/iB/

By | 2017-12-23T09:53:02+00:00 December 23rd, 2017|Categories: Best of List, Lee AAR, Romance reading|Tags: |10 Comments