Coming Soon : July 2017

Heading into July, it’s time to take a look at what’s looking good in the next batch of upcoming releases.  Staffers have selected a couple of historicals as the most highly anticipated releases of the month, closely followed by the conclusion to Ilona Andrews’ Hidden Legacy series and the latest from Jennifer Probst.  We’ve got our normal, fairly eclectic mix of the various sub-genres in our list of what we’re looking forward to next month; are any of these on your Wish List?  Or have we missed out on something awesome that you’re just dying to tell us about?

Scandalous Ever After by Theresa Romain (4 July)

I’m a big fan of Theresa Romain’s and despite knowing absolutely nothing about horse racing have thoroughly enjoyed the books in the Romance of the Turf series so far.  The plotline of this sounds intriguing – a mysterious death, a handsome […]

June TBR Challenge – Pick Your Favorite Trope

A Rumored Engagement by Lily George

I’m a sucker for second-chance-at-love stories. I have autobuy authors I love and certain settings catch my eye, but when I’m taking a chance on a new author, favorite plotlines will often call my name. And second chance stories are definitely near the top of my list, with friends-to-lovers being a close second. For favorite tropes month on the TBR Challenge, I read A Rumored Engagement, a 2014 historical from Lily George. Though published as part of the Love Inspired Historical line, I suspect fans of Regency trads might like this one as well.

As the story opens, Susannah Siddons and her sisters prepare to open a millinery shop in the village of Tansley. Upon arrival, they run into a mishap with their door and when a man from the past comes to their rescue, we quickly learn about Susannah’s long-forgotten engagement to Daniel Hale of […]

Good News and Bad about Polls

It’s clear to us we don’t have the manpower to do our usual reader’s pick the Best of Poll for 2016. We’re bummed about that but it is what it is. (Clichéd but true.) We plan to get a jump on it this fall and it will return for 2017.

We are also hoping to, in 2017 or early 2018, do another AAR’s Top 100 Romances poll. We last did this in 2013–we’ve done this six times since 1998. You can see all the polls here.

In the meantime, we’re curious. What do you think the best romances ever written are? Do you think the 2013 list holds up?

Let us know in the comments!


By | 2017-06-23T09:44:28+00:00 June 18th, 2017|Categories: Best of 2016, Polls, Romance reading|Tags: |41 Comments

Midweek Minis

In our continuing quest to bring you the lowdown on even more books, here’s our latest batch of mini reviews.  This time around, Em, Heather, Kristen, Lisa, Maria Rose and Mary share their thoughts on some of their recent reads.


Small Change by Roan Parrish

Ginger Holtzman owns and manages a tattoo shop in South Philly.  As Small Change opens, the shop and an upcoming art show have left her overcommitted, overworked and understaffed.  Fiercely independent, Ginger is prickly about accepting or asking for help – past relationships with men (she’s bi-sexual), and professional experience in the male dominated tattoo industry, have left her wary of appearing weak or vulnerable.  Lonely and overwhelmed, she’s struggling to find balance when she meets Christopher Lucen, the handsome owner of the coffee and sandwich shop she sometimes frequents.

Christopher is LITERALLY Ginger’s opposite in every way – temperament, appearance, faith, family background […]

Candice Hern’s Traditional Regency Short Stories

Lately, I’ve become more and more fond of traditional regency romances, because I like their focus on developing a complex, romantic tale with sparkling dialogue in a compact form while keeping sensual details to a minimum. Back in the day, Candice Hern wrote some wonderful trads, so I was excited to find out that she has not only republished those books in e-format, but  has also written new ones. Desperate Measures and Lady Ann’s Excellent Adventure are short stories in the same vein, although the heat level here is a little higher than the usual trads.

Set in 1810, Desperate Measures is a romance that takes place during one evening at a ball. Young Lydia Bettridge is suffering from the pangs of unrequited love. She’s desperate to have her brother’s friend, the Golden God, Geoffrey Danforth, notice her, so she and another of her brother’s friends, Phillip, hatch a […]

By | 2017-06-23T17:17:41+00:00 June 12th, 2017|Categories: Historicals, Keira Soleore, Romance, Romance reading|Tags: , |2 Comments

The AAR Seventeen in 17 Reading Challenge – June Update

Back on track this month, here’s the post for those of you who are participating in AAR’s  Seventeen in 17 Reading Challenge.  Check in here and share your thoughts on the books you read throughout June.

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 | 2017-06-23T08:29:59+00:00 June 7th, 2017|Categories: AAR Reading Challenge 17 in 17, Romance reading|12 Comments

Romantic Gestures: It’s the Thought That Counts – by Roan Parrish

I’ve never gotten a Valentine from anyone except my parents and my first through third grade classmates, back when you had to give a card to everyone, and I’ve been given flowers exactly once, from the guy I was dating when I was sixteen. I’d just had a fight with my father so I didn’t want to go back inside to put the flowers in water, so I put them on the dashboard of the guy’s car and they wilted and died. (#mylovelife.)

Some people are probably thinking, “You poor thing—no cards and no flowers!” Others, “Yeah, who wants that stuff anyway?” I am firmly in the second camp. Not because there is anything wrong with cards or flowers—hell, I like getting mail, and flowers are beautiful—but because stock romantic gestures really don’t do it for me. Even if they’re proffered with sincere feeling, most of these things (cards, flowers, chocolates) are given because they have become simply The Unthinking Things You Do To […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:29:59+00:00 June 5th, 2017|Categories: Romance reading|1 Comment

Table-Rapping: The Secrets of Victorian Spiritualism by K.J. Charles

available at Amazon, iBooks, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo

It was tough being a Victorian. In the nineteenth century, change—technological, scientific, cultural, religious—was accelerating at a previously unthinkable pace. Alfred, Lord Tennyson was born before the Regency began, and lived to see the motor car, cinema, zips, and the ballpoint pen. Just think about that: a lifetime that took you from the quill to the biro.

New ideas were hitting from every direction. The combination of Darwin’s theory of evolution and the discovery of fossils blew a hole in conventional Christian beliefs. Meanwhile technology was creating ever greater marvels, such as the electric telegraph allowing communication between Britain and America, India, and finally, in 1872, Australia. (In other words, you could send a near-instant message to Australia twenty years before you could write a note with a ballpoint pen.)

One of the weirder products of this time was […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:29:59+00:00 June 2nd, 2017|Categories: Romance reading|5 Comments

May TBR Challenge – Something Different

When I saw this month’s prompt was to read Something Different, I knew pretty much exactly which genre and which book I was going to choose.  Last year sometime, Maria Rose reviewed a Sci-Fi romance called Quantum, which was the second book in Jess Anastasi’s Atrophy series.  I really liked the sound of it and it struck me that while I’m actually a fan of Sci-Fi in TV and film, I don’t read it  – so I picked up the first book in the series, Atrophy for the May prompt.

I admit that I hadn’t realised, going in, that it’s part of a series in which there is an overarching story that runs through all the books (there are three so far).  Still, it’s a thumping good read and I’m sufficiently invested in that particular plotline to want to read the other books – when I can find the […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:29:59+00:00 May 17th, 2017|Categories: Caz AAR, Lynn AAR, Reading, Romance, Romance reading, TBR Challenge|Tags: , |8 Comments

The AAR Seventeen in 17 Reading Challenge – (Belated) May Update

Somehow, the first of May came – and went – without my posting the monthly AAR Reading Challenge update! Sorry to all who have been waiting on tenterhooks to post about the books you’ve read and are reading – but here (at last!) is the chance to keep track of your reading for the  Seventeen in 17 Reading Challenge and share your thoughts on the books you read throughout May.

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 | 2017-06-23T08:29:59+00:00 May 13th, 2017|Categories: Romance reading|19 Comments