The Best of 2016: Maria Rose’s List

I had big plans for 2016. I was going to equal or better my number of books read in 2015, my goal for which was 500 books (which I surpassed). As it turns out, I just made it to 400 books read this year. I was going to get back to my first love – historical romances – and read a ton of them. That didn’t happen, as I’ll be lucky to get to fifteen of them by the end of the December. I joined a reviewer challenge in January, committing to reading at least one book in different romance genres than my norm, specifically Urban Fantasy, Young Adult and Steampunk. As of mid December I’ve yet to read any in those genres.  What […]

By | January 10th, 2017|Categories: Best of 2016, Best of List, Maria Rose|12 Comments

Before the End: The Beyond Series by Kit Rocha

buy links: A/iB/BN/K

The erotic dystopian Beyond series didn’t really come onto my reading radar until mid-2014, though the first book, Beyond Shame was released in 2012. Even then, I wasn’t particularly interested in reading them. I was happy with my contemporary and historical romances and hadn’t branched out too much into other romantic sub-genres. But I had some reviewer friends who couldn’t stop talking about them. “They are so dirty!” “’They are so addictive!” “The worldbuilding is fantastic!” and so on. Reluctantly, I picked up

By | December 3rd, 2016|Categories: Books with Buzz, E-books, Maria Rose, Reading, Romance reading|2 Comments

Midweek minis

AAR staffers Kristen, LinnieGayl, Maria Rose, Dabney, and Sara have been hard at work reading and reviewing even more books! Here are their thoughts on some of their most recent reads in another of our occasional series of mini reviews.

Kristen’s Reads:

Semi-Scripted by Amanda Heger

Marisol Gutierrez travels to the U.S. to pitch their nonprofit at a grant conference. The competition is stiff, Marisol is not usually the organization’s spokesperson, and she is especially nervous to do it all in her second language of English, but has stepped in at the last minute and is determined to do well. The future of the organisation depends […]

By | November 9th, 2016|Categories: Dabney AAR, Kristen D, LinnieGayl AAR, Maria Rose, Mini reviews, Romance, Romance reading, Sara AAR|5 Comments

Midweek Minis

Our team of avid readers continues to work tirelessly to point you towards the good, the bad and the… indifferent… when it comes to romance!  Here’s another group of mini reviews from Alex, Caroline, Emily, Janet, Kristen, Maria Rose and Ulysses to give you some ideas as to what you might want to read next!


Alex’s Read:

Night Study by Maria Snyder
I discovered Maria Snyder’s Study series about a year ago, and was instantly hooked. The mix of magic, political intrigue, and adventure found in these books was enticing enough that I read the first three back-to-back —an entire week of my life was abruptly taken […]

By | October 4th, 2016|Categories: Alexandra AAR, Caroline AAR, EmAAR, Janet AAR, Kristen D, Maria Rose, Mini reviews|Tags: , |0 Comments

Midweek minis

Here is another round of our occasional series of mini reviews.  This time Emily, Kristen, Maria Rose and Rike share their thoughts on some recent reads.


Emily’s Reads:

The Fixer by Jenny Holiday
Jenny Fields is on a crusade – she’s trying to save an historic art building on her college campus, convinced saving it will get her into Columbia for graduate school. At a staff meeting one of her colleagues on the college newspaper suggests they try to get a famous artist alumni on-board to promote the cause. The gossip columnist suggests Emmanuel Curry, who recently had a show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  To […]

By | September 14th, 2016|Categories: Dabney AAR, Kristen D, Maria Rose, Mini reviews, Rike AAR|19 Comments

Midweek Minis

AAR staffers Anne, Caroline, E.B, Keira, Maria Rose, Mary and Sara share their thoughts on some of their recent reads in another of our occasional series of mini reviews.


Anne’s Read:

The Governess Comforts the Disconsolate Duke by Abigail Haversham (0.99 at Amazon)

I looked forward to reading this Regency novella about a hero recovering from the horrors of war. Unfortunately, it read more like a textbook for show versus tell and often reads like an outline rather than an actual story. The hero and heroine don’t have a real encounter until about 20% into the book which, for a novella, is way too late.

Not […]

By | July 26th, 2016|Categories: Caroline AAR, Caz AAR, EmAAR, Maria Rose, Mary AAR, Mini reviews, Sara AAR|Tags: |6 Comments

Midweek Minis: RITA nominees Part Two

tmkcpfqv-600x323In advance of RWA2016, AAR staffers have been taking a look at some of the books nominated for RITA awards.  In our post yesterday, you’ll find a number of mini reviews of some of the titles featured in the various Contemporary Romance categories.  Today, BJ, Caz, Maria Rose, Sara and Shannon review some of the other nominated books.


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By | July 7th, 2016|Categories: BJ Jansen, Caz AAR, Maria Rose, Mini reviews, RWA, Sara AAR, Shannon AAR|Tags: , |8 Comments

Midweek Minis – RITA nominees Part One

tmkcpfqvIn advance of RWA 2016 next week and the announcement of the winners of the RITAs,  the AAR team has taken a look at some of this year’s nominees.  The full list of nominated titles can be found here.  Have you read many on this year’s list?  And if you’ve read the same listed books as we have, what did you think?

Our mini reviews cover titles listed in the contemporary, erotic, historical, paranormal and romantic suspense categories, and are spread across two posts.  Today, Maria Rose, Sara, Heather,  BJ and LinnieGayl take a look at the various contemporary romance nominees; the others will be covered in our second post tomorrow. […]

By | July 6th, 2016|Categories: BJ Jansen, Caz AAR, Heather AAR, LinnieGayl AAR, Maria Rose, Mini reviews, RWA|Tags: , |7 Comments

Midweek Minis

AAR staffers are such avid readers that, in addition to our regularly schedule programme of daily new reviews, we’re able to bring you another in our series of mini-reviews. Here Alex, Heather, Melanie and Maria Rose share their thoughts on some of their recent reads.
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By | June 22nd, 2016|Categories: Alexandra AAR, Heather AAR, Maria Rose, Melanie AAR, Mini reviews|4 Comments

Bittersweet by Sarina Bowen: A DIK Review

AAR grade: A

Sensuality: Warm

Sarina Bowen’s first story in her True North series (known colloquially among bloggers as her ‘Grumpy Farmers’ series) is a lovely and lush romance set in the countryside of Vermont. Griff is a farmer. When his father passed away unexpectedly three years earlier while Griff was at college, his dreams for the future died, to be replaced by the day to day operations of his family’s farm. They have cattle, chickens, but most importantly, apples. 53 varieties of apple trees dot his lands, and are the farm’s main source of income. With a chemistry degree under his belt, Griff is making the most of his circumstances by using his expertise to create new original cider concoctions, hoping it’s the way to keep the family business afloat. […]

By | June 12th, 2016|Categories: DIK, Maria Rose|Tags: |2 Comments