The Best of 2017 – Mandy’s List

I didn’t get to do a great deal of reading in 2017, but here’s a quick run-down of my favorites from the books I did manage to read this year!


White Hot and Wildfire by Ilona Andrews

If I had to describe the Hidden Legacy series in one go, it would go something like this: crackling chemistry between leads, and super-crafted suspense plot. This is how Urban Fantasy should be written, no questions about it. The husband and wife team writing these books also know how to write some great secondary characters and give them enough backstory to turn them into real three dimensional characters, not just sidekicks. I waited a really long while for White Hot and Wildfire after Burn for Me – nearly three years. Both books came out in 2017 back-to-back, so that […]

By | 2017-12-13T20:55:18+00:00 December 14th, 2017|Categories: Best of List, Mandy AAR, Romance reading|Tags: |4 Comments

The Best of 2017 – Keira’s List

And it’s that time of the year again, when I have to agonize over which books to remove from a list that started out as long as my arm.

It’s a good problem to have, meaning I read wonderful books this year. Other than romance, I read nonfiction, general fiction, literary fiction, and children’s picture books. However, for the list here for AAR, I have included only romance and general fiction with a romantic subplot.

So in no particular order, my Best of 2017…


Beauty Like the Night by Joanna Bourne

Bourne is currently my favorite historical romance writer. Her writing, so delicately nuanced like a finely-honed, well-balanced blade, has captured my imagination like no other romance writer ever has. How does she envisage such intricacy of emotion and personality for her characters, such complexity of plot, and above all, such precision in […]

By | 2017-12-08T17:11:21+00:00 December 9th, 2017|Categories: Best of List, Keira Soleore, Romance reading|Tags: |31 Comments

The Best of 2017 – Lisa’s List

2017 has brought a lot of wonderful romance and a lot of wonderful literature into my life.  Here’s a list of my favorite reads of the year!


Falling For Trouble by Sarah Title

Have I mentioned that I love Sarah Title and think she writes the best light hearted humorous small town romances I’ve ever seen in my life?  This one’s the story of a failed rock star and a small town librarian, and it’s amazing.

Buy Now: A/BN/iB/K

Beauty Like The Night by Joanna Bourne

Bourne’s spy romances have become breathtaking treats and this sixth installment in her Spymasters series absolutely doesn’t slow down for a second.  Severine is a […]

By | 2017-12-08T17:09:16+00:00 December 5th, 2017|Categories: Best of List, Lisa F, Romance reading|Tags: |12 Comments

Romancing it Royally – Some of our favourite Royal Romances

With the recent engagement of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle, royal romance is on our minds. Here are some of AAR’s favorite royal stories, real and fictional, for anybody else in the mood.


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 […]

The Best of 2017 – Maggie’s List

2017 has not been a good reading year for me. So far, I have read only 110 books, while I typically average about 150.  The majority of the books I read that were published in 2017 were Women’s Fiction and mystery titles; romances comprised probably a quarter of what I perused. Adding to my woes is the fact that several of my go-to authors published downright lackluster fare this year. But there is some light at the end of this tunnel. Easily the most impressive, scintillating and addictive of the novels I read was Right Behind You by Lisa Gardner. If you haven’t read it yet, rush out and buy it. It’s absolutely fabulous. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a drop of romance. Not one teensy-tiny little bit.  Fortunately, I can recommend a few other books which are romantic, if not always romance, and which are well worth reading.

By | 2017-12-08T17:09:33+00:00 December 1st, 2017|Categories: Best of List, Maggie AAR, Romance reading|Tags: |16 Comments

Coming Soon… The Best of 2017

Incredible as it may seem, the end of the year is approaching, and AAR staffers are starting to look back through their year of reading and to pick out the books published throughout 2017 that they’ve most enjoyed reading.  In the past, we’ve run these posts a little later in December and into January, but the beginning of 2018 is going to be busy busy – we’ll be firing the starting pistol on our Annual Poll for 2017 AND asking for your help compiling a new Top 100 (the last was done in 2013, so it’s about time for a new one) – so we’ve opted to get an early start with all our yearly roundups.

Look for the first of our Best of 2017 posts tomorrow, with more to follow throughout the month.  We’d love to hear your thoughts on our lists, and on your own 2017 favourites; you might find yourself nodding in agreement with our choices or screaming “noooooo!” – […]

By | 2017-12-08T17:09:49+00:00 November 30th, 2017|Categories: Best of List, Caz AAR, Reading, Romance, Romance reading|Tags: |5 Comments

Coming Soon… December 2017

Hard as it is to believe, we’re almost at the end of 2017… time to look at what lovely books are going to be around for us to devour over that well-deserved Christmas break.


Now That you Mention It by Kristan Higgins (26 Dec)

Higgins is one of my very favorite writers and I’ve loved her move into women’s fiction. Now That You Mention It is her take on what happens when you have to move back home to a place you neither loved nor felt loved you. – Dabney

A new book by one of my personal heroes? Yes, please. – Kristen

If it’s by Kristan Higgins, I’ll read it.  Her books have gotten better each year. – Lee

Buy Now: A/BN/iB/K

By | 2017-11-18T17:42:25+00:00 November 18th, 2017|Categories: Romance reading|12 Comments

November TBR Challenge – A Recommended Read

Crystal Caress by Zuri Day

For some reason, the “recommended read” prompt for the TBR Challenge always gets me tied up in knots. I think that’s because it doesn’t fit in very well with how my books are (not all that) organized. Since I was talking recently on Twitter about my trip to RWA in New York several years ago, I remembered that I had several books in what was left of my RWA crate that had been recommended to me by others. One of them, Crystal Caress by Zuri Day, was passed to me by an excited conference attendee who had just finished reading it. This was my first time reading this author and I definitely enjoyed myself.

The heroine, Teresa Drake, comes from a prominent African-American family in California. While her family is in the wine business, Teresa has carved out a different path for herself. Even though […]

Maybe, Baby…

 

why yes that is red lipstick on me… and on the white carpet in our rented beach house….


Babies are often romanticized (so to speak) in romances, which tend to focus on pregnancy and only show us infants in glowing sunlit epilogues or cheerful cameos in sequels which focus on family and friends. It’s a rare book that throws you into the teeth of sleepless, unshowered, spit-up-encrusted life with a newborn – probably because, let’s be real, it’s hard to have enough energy for the relationships you have, let alone a new one.

Oddly enough, the most realistic portrayal of an infant I’ve read in a romance is in a young adult book, The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick.

By | 2017-11-12T22:01:39+00:00 November 12th, 2017|Categories: Caroline AAR, Romance reading|16 Comments

Sex toys I have loved (NSFW)

Earlier in the week, I told you the story of Adam and Eve, the adult toy company that makes the world a better place with every sale. And I promised I’d share some of their products I enjoy.

Given that this article is about sex toys, it’s explicit, complete with anatomical terms. If that isn’t your jam, this piece probably isn’t going to float your boat. But, if you are open to adult toys, I hope you’ll find some–if not the ones mentioned below–that enhance your love life.

Adam and Eve is giving AAR readers 50% on one item and free shipping anywhere in the US. All you need to do is use the code AAR at purchase.

Have fun!


Adam and Eve Thruster

Rather like dating, finding the right vibrator […]

By | 2017-11-02T15:04:38+00:00 November 2nd, 2017|Categories: Romance reading|Tags: , , |5 Comments