Caz: One of the things that made the books that make up Lilah Pace’s His Royal Secret/His Royal Favorite duology such great reads is that the author chose to set her story in a Britain I was able to easily recognise as the one in which I live while at the same time creating a very believable ‘alternate’ Royal Family. (There’s none of that carving off bits of Scotland and giving them names that sound like supermarket chains or making the Isle of Man into a separate country!) In Ms. Pace’s version of Britain, the House of Hanover […]
In these divided times, there’s one thing we can all agree on:
Sex toys are fun.
I grew up in the 60s and 70s and despite being a wild child complete with toe socks and elephant jeans, I didn’t see a vibrator until I graduated from college. In 1983, I moved up the road from Durham to Chapel Hill to go to grad school and there I discovered a store called Adam and Eve. I’ve been a fan ever since.
But here’s the thing, as cool as sex toys are, making the world a better place is even cooler. And that’s what Adam and Eve started out for and that’s what they still do to this day. Here’s their story.
In the late 60s, a UNC grad student in Public Health named Phil Harvey traveled to India and, after traveling with a humanitarian NGO, decided that a lack of family planning created many of the third world’s problems. He and a doctor named Tim Black decided that […]
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.
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 […]
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 […]
While we AAR staffers have fairly diverse tastes on the whole, there are some books and authors that pull us together for various reason – we like the authors, we like their writing, we like their storytelling – and into genres that sometimes we don’t read very often. This month, the big draws appear to be historicals, with new titles from Sherry Thomas, Katharine Ashe and Juliana Grey all eagerly awaited by many of us.
A Conspiracy in Belgravia by Sherry Thomas (5 Sept)
I was fairly bowled over by A Study in Scarlet Women and am sure this second instalment in the Lady Sherlock series won’t disappoint. Our heroine is approached by the wife of her dearest friend to find the man she loved years before… but there’s bound to be a lot more to it than meets the eye! – Caz
I know I’m not the only AAR staffer […]
AAR staffers have taken a good look at the wealth of new books being published in August and decided which ones are most likely to make the biggest dents in our bank balances! Joanna Bourne is at the top of several of our lists, closely followed by Tessa Dare, Shana Galen, Layla Reyne and K.J Charles, among others. Here are the books we’re most looking forward to reading next month. How about you? Do you agree with our choices or think we’ve missed out on something really good? Jump into the discussion in the comments.
Beauty Like the Night by Joanna Bourne (1 Aug)
Um. It’s a new book in the Spymasters series by Joanna Bourne. Surely I don’t need to say anything else?! – Caz
Joanna Bourne. That is all. If there’s a stronger series than her Spymasters, I […]
It’s time to look ahead to see what books we’re most excited about reading in June. As usual, we’ve a wide variety of choices, although it seems there’s a bit of a consensus about our most looked-forward-to new releases, K.J. Charles’ An Unnatural Vice and Sarah MacLean’s The Day of the Duchess. What are YOU looking forward to reading next month?
An Unnatural Vice by K.J. Charles (June 6)
As a big fan of both K.J. Charles and the Victorian Sensation Fiction which has inspired this series, I can’t wait to read this story of the battle of wits between a former-lawyer-turned-journalist and the man he suspects of being a sham spiritualist. The author’s ability to imbue her stories with a strong sense of time and space is superb, and I do love a good enemies-to-lovers romance. – Caz
I loved An Unseen Attraction (book one in the Sins of the Cities series) and I was intrigued by the characters […]
One of the things readers consistently tell us they like are our sensuality ratings. They’ve been a part of AAR since its inception and we think they help readers find books they love. We’ve not revised them, however, in quite some time and, with the trend towards more sex and more graphic sex in romance, we feel we may need to.
Here are our current definitions:
Kisses: Kisses only. Many of these books are quite simply “sweet.”
Subtle: No explicit sensuality. Kissing and touching, but physical romance is described in general terms or implied. The emphasis is on how lovemaking made the characters feel emotionally, and not on graphic description.
Warm: Moderately explicit sensuality. Physical details are described, but are not graphically depicted. Much is left to the reader’s imagination.
Hot: More explicit sensuality. Sex is described in more graphic terms. Hot books typically have more sex scenes and are more likely to depict acts beyond intercourse.<
Burning: Extremely explicit sensuality – these books are often erotic romances or flatout erotica.
We’ve thought about […]
In 2011, I read the first of Elizabeth Essex’s Dartmouth Brides books, The Pursuit of Pleasure. This is Ms. Essex’s debut novel and, especially for a first book, quite good. In my B review I wrote:
I liked James and Lizzie but had a hard time understanding why they made the choices they did. James, in the name of his work, allows Lizzie to suffer tremendously while claiming to love her. Lizzie, bedazzled by sex with James and still hell-bent on being independent, behaves in ways that are at times unsympathetic and flat-out self-destructive. And for all the thinking they do about each other — and Ms. Essex spends a good deal of time relating her characters’ thoughts — neither really sees the other very clearly until, perhaps, the end of the novel. This lack of unambiguous relationship development combined with too little information about their pasts left me feeling unsatisfied. I wanted more […]