Comfort Reads – TBR Challenge 2017

My Dearest Enemy by Connie Brockway

March’s prompt for the TBR challenge is “comfort read”, which is defined as a book that uses a favourite trope or setting, or is by a favourite author.  I’ve chosen something from my TBR that everyone seems to have read except me – Connie Brockway’s My Dearest Enemy, which combines two of my favourite things, an enemies-to-lovers romance and a story in which letters play an important part (I do love an epistolary novel!).  It’s a gloriously romantic, character-driven story set at the end of the 19th century, in which our hero – a famous explorer – and heroine – an advocate of women’s suffrage – butt heads over the home they both love, sniping and pushing each other’s buttons as the attraction between them deepens.

Avery Thorne finds himself all but disinherited upon the death of his uncle Horatio, who, believing Avery to be a […]

An Interview with Rhys Bowen

Over the years, I’ve read and thoroughly enjoyed a number of Rhys Bowen’s Royal Spyness, Molly Murphy and Constable Evans books – she really is a master of the quiet, cleverly plotted mystery.  I was especially intrigued by the synopsis for her latest book, In Farleigh Field, as it represents something of a new direction for her.  Set in Kent during World War Two, it involves MI5, Bletchley Park, codebreakers… and a mysterious airman.  I was delighted that she was able to join me for a quick chat.


Keira Soleore: Welcome to All About Romance, Rhys. We’re delighted you could join us.

Rhys Bowen: Thanks for inviting me.

KS: World War II is a new setting for you. Is using something that you’ve always wanted to do? And what was the impetus behind the book?

RB: I’ve always been fascinated by World War Two. It affected my own family […]

By | March 1st, 2017|Categories: Authors, Historicals, Interviews, Keira Soleore, Mysteries, Romance reading|4 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

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

Meet… Emily Larkin

A few years back I randomly picked up a book called The Spinster’s Secret, by a new-to-me author named Emily Larkin, purely because the premise sounded interesting; a spinster living in a cold, bleak, grey home who writes erotic novels in order to earn enough money to be able to move out and set up on her own, meets a scarred war hero – sent to unmask her – with whom she falls in love. (This was a few years ago, so the spinster/erotic novelist trope wasn’t something I’d come across often, whereas at the moment, that character seems to be in one in every three books I pick up!)

I was captivated by the story and the quality of the writing and eagerly sought out the-spinsters-secretmore books by Ms. Larkin, only to be disappointed to discover there weren’t any 🙁 Fortunately, […]

By | November 4th, 2016|Categories: Authors, Caz AAR, giveaways, Historicals, Interviews, Romance, Romance reading|8 Comments

The importance of story. . . and history: a Guest Post by K.C. Bateman

K.C Bateman’s To Steal a Heart was undoubtedly one of the best début historical romances I’ve read recently, and I’ve been looking forward to her next book – A Raven’s Heart – ever since. I asked Ms. Bateman to tell AAR a little more about herself, her books… and her alter-ego as an antiques expert!


Five years ago I left my home in England and uprooted my young family to move to the American Midwest with my husband’s work. Before that, I’d spent twelve wonderful years as a fine art and antiques appraiser, running my own auction house, and also appearing on several British antiques-related TV shows as an on-screen expert.

But I soon discovered that there wasn’t much use for my auctioneering or appraisal skills in central Illinois, and with three small kids at home, I realized I would go stir crazy if I didn’t find something else to do. I’ve always been […]

By | October 14th, 2016|Categories: Authors, Caz AAR, Guest Posts, Historicals, Romance|5 Comments

An Interview and Giveaway with Cat Sebastian

The Soldier’s Scoundrel, Cat Sebastian’s début novel for Avon Impulse, is a male/male historical romance set in early nineteenth century England.  It is also, I believe, the first such book released under the Avon imprint.  I was able to get hold of an advance copy to review (look for that next week) and was immediately impressed with the quality of the writing and storytelling.  I asked Ms. Sebastian if she’d care to share a little of the background to the novel with us.


Caz: Is historical romance a genre you’ve always wanted to write?

CS: A few years ago, when my kids were all pretty much babies, I started reading historical romance as an escape. I don’t think I’ve gone more than a day or two since then without reading romance. So when I started writing, I felt at home in the universe of fictional 19th century Britain. I think I […]

By | September 17th, 2016|Categories: Authors, Caz AAR, giveaways, Historicals, Interviews, Romance|12 Comments

In Love with Digital People: A Guest Post by Sandra Schwab

Art vs. Artist: Sandra and some of her digital creations Art vs. Artist: Sandra and some of her digital creations

Thank you, AAR, for inviting me to talk a little bit about my process of creating covers with digital models! My digital adventures started in December 2014, and I entirely blame Twitter for the whole thing.

After all, it was on Twitter that friends talked me into writing a historical romance set in ancient Rome. Please note this is what happens when you mention on social media that you live near a reconstructed Roman auxiliary fort at the Upper Germanic Limes: your friends think you’re super-qualified to write Roman romance, and because you don’t want to disappoint them, you buy oodles of new research books and—oh, well, stock photography for the cover.

Have you ever tried to find stock photography for a historical romance set in ancient Rome?

Let me tell you, it wasn’t pretty.

And for me, this rather frustrating search proved to be the tipping […]

By | August 7th, 2016|Categories: art, Guest Posts, Historicals|9 Comments

Jane Ashford: Five Reasons to Love My Latest Hero (and a Giveaway!)

  1. He cares about other people. He goes out of his way to help his brothers when they turn to him for aid with dilemmas big and small. Nathaniel likes making other people happy.
  2. He’s responsible and reliable. If he says he going to do something for you, he does it. He helps his father the duke manage their estates for the benefit of their many tenants as well as the family.
  3. None of this means he doesn’t like to have fun, however. He has a keen, though quiet, sense of humor. How else would he tolerate the pranks his brothers play? Such as removing all his clothes from his bedroom at his future in laws home on the eve of his wedding. And taking the bell rope, too, so he can’t summon his valet to rescue him.
  4. Not to be superficial, but he’s a hunk – just over six feet, built, with […]
By | December 28th, 2015|Categories: Guest Posts, Historicals, Romance|Tags: , |32 Comments

Queer Regency romance: a chat with Ava March and KJ Charles

Regency Romance Tour bannerToday’s post is by queer Regency romance authors KJ Charles and Ava March. Ms. Charles’s latest book, A Fashionable Indulgence, is a DIK at AAR (review here). Ms. March’s The Viscount’s Wager was released by Carina yesterday.

Thanks to both!


KJ Charles: Some readers seem to feel that queer historical romance is basically going to be either unrealistic (even more so than het romance) or depressing. Modern readers have a sense that homosexuality (to use a modern concept that didn’t exist in the Regency as such) was always disapproved of, and that gay men in particular were doomed to shame and the gallows. But this isn’t always the case.

Ava March: There was such a great divide between the upper classes and lower classes during the Regency, and it wasn’t just in terms of wealth. There was a divide in […]

By | August 11th, 2015|Categories: Authors, Guest Posts, Historicals, Romance|Tags: , |2 Comments