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

Yes We Can! Our favorite Activist Heroines

Women have a long history of standing up for their beliefs, and there are great romance novels starring heroines doing just that. American and British suffragettes (or suffragists), Civil Rights activists, lawyers, writers, organizers, and military rebels – you’ll find all of them here, and more. Let these ladies inspire you to fight for your beliefs, whatever they happen to be.


Caroline Russomanno:

Erica Johnson – Unfinished Business by Karyn Langhorne

Erica, a teacher, is tired of seeing funding diverted away from the neediest and most vulnerable. She protests at the hero’s (a Southern Republican senator’s) press conference and is dragged out by police. This book is set during the W. Bush administration and Erica is a strong reminder that black activists have been working continuously, even when out of the media spotlight. Our review of the book is here.

A/BN/iB/K

The AAR Seventeen in 17 Reading Challenge – February Update

It’s been great to see so many people joining with the Seventeen in 17 Reading Challenge and sharing their thoughts on the different prompts and about the books they’ve read so far.

However, confining comments to a single blog post that stays open throughout the year is likely to mean that it will quickly become unwieldy and difficult to navigate, so the intention is to open up a post on the first of each month as a kind of “continuation” of the previous one.  The intention is to make it easier for people to comment and respond to each other; we hope you will find that to be the case.

Hopefully, participants will have found the link to the main Challenge page (which lists all the Challenges and prompts) in the “Connections” tab at the top of this page; we’ll put a link to each month’s post there, too, to make it easy to find.

So now it’s over to you Challengers.  How many books […]

By | February 1st, 2017|Categories: Romance reading|21 Comments

Toni Anderson talks travel and Cold Justice (there’s a giveaway!)

It’s great to be here at All About Romance talking about my latest release, Cold Secrets. My books tend to be gritty Romantic Suspense novels—sexy, but heavy of the suspense (one of my best friends call them ‘plotty’)—and this one is no different. Cold Secrets features the FBI taking on sex traffickers and starts with a bang.

Here’s the blurb:

When an international ring of sex traffickers kidnaps an eight-year-old girl in Boston, FBI Agent Lucas Randall heads undercover. But his rescue operation goes disastrously wrong and Lucas barely escapes with his life. Now the ruthless traffickers are hunting him down, along with everyone else who threatens their operation.

Computer expert Ashley Chen joined the FBI to fight against evil in the world—evil she experienced firsthand. She has mad skills, and deadly secrets, and once she starts working with Lucas, she also has big trouble, because after years of pushing people […]

By | January 30th, 2017|Categories: Authors, giveaways, Guest Posts|Tags: , , , |9 Comments

The books AAR loved best in 2016

This year the AAR staff posted 16 Best of 2016 Lists. We chose books from every genre and, in romance, from every sub-genre. And while it’s safe to say we don’t all share the same taste in books, there were some books that appeared on more than one list.


As will surprise no one who has been reading these lists, Sally Thorne’s debut novel The Hating Game is AAR’s Book of the Year. (Our DIK review is here.) Eight of us put it on our list. We call it: charming, witty, sexy, smart and refreshing. It gives the enemies to lovers trope new life and reveals paintball for the dangerous game it truly is. We loved it.

A/iB/BN/K


Duke of My Heart by Kelly Bowen was on four of our lists. (Our […]

Midweek Minis

Here’s another in our occasional series of mini-reviews.  AAR staffers Dabney, Emily, Mandy, and Sara share their thoughts on some of their recent reads.

(Please note that links are provided for ebook editions of these titles.  Some may be available only from Amazon; where no link is given, an ebook is not available from that retailer.)


Dabney’s Read:

Claiming Her by Kris Kennedy

Lady Katarina has been holding the Irish stronghold Rardove for Queen Elizabeth. (The Virgin Queen is a slyly drawn character in this book!) The year is 1589 and Elizabeth has decided to give the barony to an English lord. This does not go over well with Aodh Mac Con who believes he is the rightful heir. What’s a rogue Irishman to do? Why seize the castle for himself… including its very clever lady.

This Medieval romance was remarkably entertaining. We’ve given Ms. Kennedy’s books very good grades and, after reading this, I see why. The chemistry–insta-lust, really–between […]

The Best of 2016: Dabney’s List

2016 was the year I wrote more and read less. I’d have thought reading fewer books would make me easier to please but the opposite proved true. Not many books knocked my socks off in 2016. The ten on this list did.


The Trespasser by Tana French

I’ve been a devotee of Ms. French’s complex, character-driven mysteries since I read her first, In the Woods, almost ten years ago. While my favorite is still Faithful Place, The Trespasser is next on that list. […]

The Best of 2016: Keira’s List

Every time I sit down to write one of these lists, I have to pull up my detailed book spreadsheet that’s my pride and joy, search for my reviews on AAR, and open up my blog where I comment on every book and poem I’ve read. Thus, with all this data on hand, putting this Best Books list together was fun, and I got to look back into exactly why I loved the books that I did.


Belgravia by Julian Fellowes

I delighted in the gossipy tone of Belgravia by Julian Fellowes. Set in early Victorian times, the book is written with the soaring arc of a saga and the delicacy of shifting emotions. At its core are two intense love stories spanning two generations and class boundaries, and the women in this story, through their love for their men, shake up the 19th century aristocracy. The various story threads allowed […]

By | January 20th, 2017|Categories: Best of 2016, Best of List, Keira Soleore|10 Comments

TBR Challenge 2017: A Quick Read

It’s the 3rd of week of January (already!), and that means it’s time for romance bloggers to start shrinking their TBR piles in unison.  Or, if you’re like me, you read everyone else’s blog entries and start bingeing on books.  This month of the TBR Challenge starts off nice and light, with short reads such as novellas, category romance, etc…  Caz and I both had fun.


That Despicable Rogue by Virginia Heath

Virginia Heath registered on my radar when her début novel came out in the Spring of 2016, but I didn’t manage to get around to reading it.  I did, however, pick up her next book, Her Enemy at the Altar, and enjoyed it very much – on the strength of that one book, I decided I had a new author to follow by virtue of the fact that Ms. Heath’s writing is accomplished, her characterisation is strong […]

By | January 18th, 2017|Categories: Caz AAR, Historicals, Lynn AAR, Romance reading, TBR Challenge|Tags: , |8 Comments