The Best of 2017 – Mandy’s List

I didn’t get to do a great deal of reading in 2017, but here’s a quick run-down of my favorites from the books I did manage to read this year!


White Hot and Wildfire by Ilona Andrews

If I had to describe the Hidden Legacy series in one go, it would go something like this: crackling chemistry between leads, and super-crafted suspense plot. This is how Urban Fantasy should be written, no questions about it. The husband and wife team writing these books also know how to write some great secondary characters and give them enough backstory to turn them into real three dimensional characters, not just sidekicks. I waited a really long while for White Hot and Wildfire after Burn for Me – nearly three years. Both books came out in 2017 back-to-back, so that […]

By | 2017-12-13T20:55:18+00:00 December 14th, 2017|Categories: Best of List, Mandy AAR, Romance reading|Tags: |4 Comments

The Best of 2017 – Keira’s List

And it’s that time of the year again, when I have to agonize over which books to remove from a list that started out as long as my arm.

It’s a good problem to have, meaning I read wonderful books this year. Other than romance, I read nonfiction, general fiction, literary fiction, and children’s picture books. However, for the list here for AAR, I have included only romance and general fiction with a romantic subplot.

So in no particular order, my Best of 2017…


Beauty Like the Night by Joanna Bourne

Bourne is currently my favorite historical romance writer. Her writing, so delicately nuanced like a finely-honed, well-balanced blade, has captured my imagination like no other romance writer ever has. How does she envisage such intricacy of emotion and personality for her characters, such complexity of plot, and above all, such precision in […]

By | 2017-12-08T17:11:21+00:00 December 9th, 2017|Categories: Best of List, Keira Soleore, Romance reading|Tags: |31 Comments

The Best of 2017 – Lisa’s List

2017 has brought a lot of wonderful romance and a lot of wonderful literature into my life.  Here’s a list of my favorite reads of the year!


Falling For Trouble by Sarah Title

Have I mentioned that I love Sarah Title and think she writes the best light hearted humorous small town romances I’ve ever seen in my life?  This one’s the story of a failed rock star and a small town librarian, and it’s amazing.

Buy Now: A/BN/iB/K

Beauty Like The Night by Joanna Bourne

Bourne’s spy romances have become breathtaking treats and this sixth installment in her Spymasters series absolutely doesn’t slow down for a second.  Severine is a […]

By | 2017-12-08T17:09:16+00:00 December 5th, 2017|Categories: Best of List, Lisa F, Romance reading|Tags: |12 Comments

The Best of 2017 – Maggie’s List

2017 has not been a good reading year for me. So far, I have read only 110 books, while I typically average about 150.  The majority of the books I read that were published in 2017 were Women’s Fiction and mystery titles; romances comprised probably a quarter of what I perused. Adding to my woes is the fact that several of my go-to authors published downright lackluster fare this year. But there is some light at the end of this tunnel. Easily the most impressive, scintillating and addictive of the novels I read was Right Behind You by Lisa Gardner. If you haven’t read it yet, rush out and buy it. It’s absolutely fabulous. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a drop of romance. Not one teensy-tiny little bit.  Fortunately, I can recommend a few other books which are romantic, if not always romance, and which are well worth reading.

By | 2017-12-08T17:09:33+00:00 December 1st, 2017|Categories: Best of List, Maggie AAR, Romance reading|Tags: |16 Comments

Coming Soon… The Best of 2017

Incredible as it may seem, the end of the year is approaching, and AAR staffers are starting to look back through their year of reading and to pick out the books published throughout 2017 that they’ve most enjoyed reading.  In the past, we’ve run these posts a little later in December and into January, but the beginning of 2018 is going to be busy busy – we’ll be firing the starting pistol on our Annual Poll for 2017 AND asking for your help compiling a new Top 100 (the last was done in 2013, so it’s about time for a new one) – so we’ve opted to get an early start with all our yearly roundups.

Look for the first of our Best of 2017 posts tomorrow, with more to follow throughout the month.  We’d love to hear your thoughts on our lists, and on your own 2017 favourites; you might find yourself nodding in agreement with our choices or screaming “noooooo!” – […]

By | 2017-12-08T17:09:49+00:00 November 30th, 2017|Categories: Best of List, Caz AAR, Reading, Romance, Romance reading|Tags: |5 Comments

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 | 2017-06-23T08:30:00+00:00 February 20th, 2017|Categories: Alexandra AAR, Best of 2016, Best of List|6 Comments

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 | 2017-06-23T08:30:02+00:00 January 20th, 2017|Categories: Best of 2016, Best of List, Keira Soleore|10 Comments

The Best of 2016: Lisa’s List

I’m closing out my first full year as a reviewer at AAR with a list of my top ten favorite books of 2016!


Twenty Five Mystery Science Theater 3000 Films That Changed My Life In No Way Whatsoever by Frank Conniff

I’m a long-time MiSTie  who has devoured Kevin Murphy and Mike Nelson’s books, and Conniff – a natural storyteller – surpasses both of his colleagues with this tome.  Conniff’s contribution to the MST3K canon is a stroll through the ten movie he screened (It was one of Conniff’s main jobs during the Sci Fi era run to screen potential movies for the show to tear apart) while working for MST3K.  A delight.

A/BN/iB/K


The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

You can never go wrong with Carrie Fisher’s autobiographical work, whether […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:30:02+00:00 January 16th, 2017|Categories: Best of 2016, Best of List, Lisa F|9 Comments

The Best of 2016: Lynn’s List

2016 has been a heck of a year. I have to say that reading has been a bright spot, though. I think I’ve had more DIK and B+ reads this year than I have for a while. In trying to narrow it down to a top 10, I’ve had all kinds of fun looking back over my books – and I think I’ll have to reread some.



The Hating Game
by Sally Thorne

Definitely my favorite read of the year. I forget which of my friends at AAR first started pushing this book (our review is here) but I’m thrilled that this one popped up on my radar. It’s a smart, funny and refreshing read. I’ve never worked in publishing, but I’ve worked in highly competitive offices so I could relate to the heroine’s adventures as she tries to secure her promotion and fend off her rival. If you’re in the […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:30:02+00:00 January 12th, 2017|Categories: Best of 2016, Best of List, Lynn AAR|15 Comments