A few months ago, I was chatting with our esteemed publisher here at AAR, Dabney, about how the books topping the best seller lists for romance at Amazon weren’t the one we were covering on the site nor were they the ones we saw being talked about on Twitter. […]
A few weeks ago, I selected a book to review that admitted it was a novella, but pretended it was a stand-alone. When I opened it up, the book was fifty seven pages and was about the farthest thing from a stand-alone I could think of. Instead, I think it’s a few chapters the author cut from another book and just… embellished. There was no time to invest in the characters, and instead I was expected to believe they were obsessed enough with each other to go from dreaming of having sex with one another to marriage – in fifty seven pages.
My pet peeve radar went off.
I loathe this. First of all, fifty seven pages is not a novella. It isn’t even a short story. It’s a plot bunny that needs further unpacking. 13,000 words may sound like a lot, and writing that much is arduous, do not get me wrong, […]
Hello, dear readers, do you have a minute? I have a question for you.
My husband and I are about to take a vacation that will involve about two days of travel on either end. We will be on planes for fourteen-hour stretches and I am looking to stuff my Kindle to the brim. I read a lot, but I know I barely scratch the surface when it comes to good stories and that is where you come in! I’d like some recommendations of what you think I should read on the plane. This means nothing that was shortlisted for the Man Booker, and nothing that requires a lexicon to decipher. Plane reads, people.
Here’s my parameters: I’m most partial to contemporary – romance, suspense, or fiction – but historical is my second love. I’m here for anything involving a country house […]
I just closed the cover on my 504th book read this year, and I loved so many of them. After looking over my list, I decided to craft my Best of 2017 from books that gave me joy this year and that I really want you to read. I adored the time I spent in these stories and several of them have characters I still carry around in my heart. Asking me to narrow a list of beloved books down to ten was enough of a challenge, asking me to rank them is a no go, so these are presented in no particular order. Also, as I look over this, I realize that for the first year ever, I have no historical romances on here, even though I loved many. This year was the year of contemporaries for me – I needed joy in present tense.
Hope. Escape. Fun. Happiness Something just for me. Taught me about respect. Joy. Taught me that I deserve a happily ever after, too.
I spent the spring and summer of 2016 listening to women about why they read romance novels. I ran a research project that was specifically interested in how women who see themselves as ‘religious’ interacted with the sex in romance novels, but my participants gave me so many gifts beyond that. Many I heard from weren’t even women of faith, they just wanted to tell me how important these books are to them, how vital they are to their lives. (1)
Because for so many women, they are just that: vital.
I talked to women whose entire sexual health education came from Harlequin, because their schools and families and religious spaces never talked about sex and the issues surrounding it. From the books, these women told me, they learned about consent and respect and orgasms. (2)
It’s time for another go-round in our occasional series of AAR’s adventures in blind book taste testing. This time, Lynn and Kristen describe two success stories and books they’d recommend.
Dangerous Games by Tess Diamond
Summary: The hero and heroine are both outsiders of a sort. Maggie Kincaid survived a childhood kidnapping and went on to become one of the FBI’s top hostage negotiators, but left law enforcement after a hostage situation ended tragically. Jake O’Connor was a soldier who now works private security. When a Senator’s daughter is kidnapped, the two are brought into the investigation by their respective mentors and now they must work against time to rescue a child whose medical condition dictates that she be found quickly. Not surprisingly, they have to deal with their own personal demons as well as everything […]
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.
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 […]
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 […]
In The Girl With the Make-Believe Husband, Cecilia Harcourt has found herself on an unexpected adventure. After receiving a letter that her brother, Thomas – who had been in the colonies fighting Washington’s rebels – has gone missing, she summons all her gumption, spends all her cash, and boards a ship to New York. Her brother proves elusive, but she finds his best friend, Edward Rokesby, convalescing in an officer’s hospital. While she’s never met Edward, they’ve been corresponding through Thomas and Cecilia shifts her focus to making sure that Edward’s battle wounds are well cared for. In order to do that, however, she lies to his officers that they are married, and when Edward wakes with amnesia, the lie snowballs. As Cecilia and Edward navigated their way to happily ever after, AAR staffers Kristen and Emily […]