Bridging the Gap – The Poll that never was…

Given that we’re soon going to be gearing up for our 2017 Annual Poll, it seemed like a good idea to bridge the gap between it and the 2015 poll because, as Dabney explained in her recent post, it just hasn’t been possible for us to do our annual poll for the Best Books of 2016.  You may recall that the majority of AAR staffers chose their best books of the year in a series of posts that ran throughout December and January.  Well, at around the same time, we had an internal poll of the books WE thought were the best of 2016.  In lieu of doing a public poll, we thought you might like to see what our choices were – and to chime in in the comments with your own thoughts and suggestions.

Obviously, our tastes as a group can be quite diverse, so none of the books on this list received a mountain of votes; but there were clear winners – and runners-up – in some […]

By | 2017-08-21T08:41:59+00:00 August 21st, 2017|Categories: Romance reading|2 Comments

The Book Blind Taste Test #2

Welcome again to our new semi-regular feature wherein a group of AAR staffers challenge themselves to pick up a book by an author they’ve never read before, either one they’ve never heard of or one they’ve been meaning to get to, and give it at least fifty pages. For AAR, our additional rule is that the book involves women; written by one or has one as a protagonist.This time round Kristen, Melanie, and Jenna give their choices a go, with mixed results.

Melanie:

Full Fathom Five by Max Gladstone
Sci Fi/Urban Fantasy

Summary: The world is particularly fascinating – running on souls, our heroine, Kai, builds gods to order for worshipers to follow, but when one of those creations is dying, Kai risks her own life to try and save it. The book jumps between Kai’s story and that of Izza, a 15-year-old responsible for what appears to be a gang of street kids, who acts as priestess/storyteller, and the winged woman, Cat, she finds on the street, […]

By | 2017-08-17T18:50:00+00:00 August 19th, 2017|Categories: AAR Jenna, Kristen D, Melanie AAR, Reading, Romance reading|2 Comments

August TBR Challenge – Kickin’ it Old School

Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn

Usually when it’s old school book month at the TBR Challenge, I go waay back in time on my choices. However, as I picked through my TBR, I was astounded to realize that I had somehow missed reading the début novel from an author whose subsequent books I’ve greatly enjoyed.  So – this time around we’re going back just ten years in time to Deanna Raybourn’s December 2006 novel Silent in the Grave.

This is the book that introduced readers to Lady Julia Grey. While it has its romantic moments, I wouldn’t say it’s strictly romance. It’s more a historical mystery with strong romantic elements – and rather a good one. The book opens as Lady Julia becomes a widow following events that at the time appeared to be natural, though tragic, circumstances. Fast forward a year later and we see Lady Julia […]

By | 2017-08-15T21:27:00+00:00 August 16th, 2017|Categories: Caz AAR, Lynn Spencer, Romance reading, TBR Challenge|11 Comments

Try it – You’ll Like it!

As a reader I’m often guilty of sticking with the authors or genres of romance that I’m most comfortable with.  I won’t call it a rut necessarily… but taking a close look at my reading shelves I see that European historicals with a male/female relationship dominate.  A few months back the lovely ladies here at All About Romance started talking about the choices we make at the bookstore and I was surprised to see that we all seem to stick fairly close to our favored genres in the books we review.  Em Wittmann and I used that discussion as a springboard to take a walk on the wild side by each choosing a book for the other to read – outside of our usual genres.

Em knows that I’m a die-hard historical reader so when it came to selecting a book for me I think she decided to be kind and chose something that’s within that spectrum.  I was given Think of […]

By | 2017-08-10T15:50:18+00:00 August 11th, 2017|Categories: EmAAR, Romance reading, Sara AAR|Tags: , , |1 Comment

This year’s RITA winners are….

Romance Novella Winner

Her Every Wish by Courtney Milan
Self-published
Lindsey Faber, editor

Buy Now: A/BN/iB/K

 

 

Contemporary Romance: Long Winner

Miracle on 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan
Harlequin, HQN
Flo Nicoll, editor

Buy Now: A/BN/iB/K

 

 

Young Adult Romance Winner

The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Harlequin, HQN Teen
Margo Lipschultz, editor

Buy Now: A/BN/iB/K

Historical Romance: Long Winner

No Mistress of Mine by Laura Lee Guhrke
Avon Books
Erika Tsang, editor

Buy Now: A/BN/iB/K

 

 

Romantic Suspense Winner

By | 2017-07-29T14:06:39+00:00 July 27th, 2017|Categories: Romance reading, RWA|Tags: , |8 Comments

Jennifer Wilck on why she writes diverse characters

When it comes to reading romance, most of us are looking for escape from our everyday lives. We don’t want to deal with our work stress, politics, crazy families or our to-do lists. Personally, while I always find a way, ultimately, to laugh at the crazy antics of my two teenaged girls, sometimes, I want a break from the eye rolls, attitude and emotional angst. When we do read books with those things, we like to see characters who solve their problems by the end of the story—simply, gracefully, with their own happily ever after. We might not be able to achieve that in our own lives, but we want to experience those solutions in our characters’ lives.

So too, do we want to see characters who look like us, talk like us, act like us and even worship like us. Readers are diverse, and characters should be too. I absolutely love to […]

Coming Soon… August 2017

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 […]

July TBR Challenge – Catch Up on a Series (or Not)

For this month’s challenge, we were called upon to pick a book from a series we’re behind on. One of us followed instructions and the other? Well, we at least tried to stay in the spirit of things.

Again My Lord by Katharine Ashe

I had a bit of a struggle to find a book to suit this month’s prompt to read a book in a series I’m behind on, because I’m pretty much caught up with all the ones I’m currently following.  There are some I haven’t started yet, but I wanted to try to stick to the prompt and finally, I came up with Again, My Lord, the second book in Katharine Ashe’s Twist series.  In the two books in the series so far, she’s taken a couple of well-known movie plots as her starting points and adapted them into historical romances which, while certainly out of the […]

The Book Blind Taste Test – Pick a book… any book…

I have always loved libraries, but I admit I had fallen out of the habit of using my local one recently. One of my dear friends is a middle school librarian and she (appropriately) shamed me a bit for it, telling me the best way to make sure libraries stay around and keep their funding is to use them. So, a few months back, I started building weekly trips to my local temple of knowledge into my schedule and added a particular challenge to myself. I would walk directly to the New Releases section and pick up the first book by an author I didn’t recognize.

This has led to some real gems (Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinsborough was one) and some duds (which I will leave out for politeness). I told the AAR Staff about my new project and several of them jumped on board, saying it sounded like a great challenge. So many other staffers joined me, in fact, that we’ve decided to make it a regular blog.

The […]

The AAR Seventeen in 17 Reading Challenge – July Update

Blimey – where has the first half of the year gone?!  Heading into the back half, here’s the place to share your thoughts about the good – and not so good – books you’ve been ticking off your TBR courtesy of AAR’s  Seventeen in 17 Reading Challenge.  Now that the message boards are up and running again, we’ve decided to move this back over there, so CLICK HERE to share your progress and thoughts on the books you’ve read from July and the rest of 2017.

It’s still not too late to sign up – just head on over to the main Challenge page to have a look at the fabulously varied range of prompts that are sure to provide food for thought for everyone, and get stuck in to your TBR pile!

Now it’s over to you Challengers.  How many books are you going to knock off the TBR pile this month?

By | 2017-07-02T21:50:00+00:00 July 3rd, 2017|Categories: Romance reading|1 Comment