On Sunday, after two of the plugins we use for comments and the forums were updated, five months of forums vanished and the forums themselves wouldn’t function properly. I spent all day Sunday trying to fix it but it was beyond my expertise. Finally, on Monday morning, our tech guy answered his email and was able to fix it although it meant losing everything on the site that had been entered in the prior 24 hours. Welcome to my world! […]
Peeps–I’ve been a bit blue lately. I’m on crutches for six weeks–months after that with a cane–due to a soft tissue hip repair. Covid continues to threaten so many things. I have a neighbor who is as nasty as he can be and that just bums me out. My lovely sister-in-law suggested I read one of her favorite self-help books and I am considering it. But… I’ve never read a self-help book. When I first had kids, people gave me several parenting books and I just decided that they weren’t for me–I used this book instead–probably because I hate to be told what to do. (It’s a failing.) […]
I think I may have been overthinking TBR Challenge a little bit. When I tried to pick out a book from my bookcase that would be “unusual”, I found myself wondering, “Unusual to whom?” After all, Romancelandia is becoming an ever larger and more varied place. Settings I consider unusual based upon what I’m normally able to find may feel like home to someone else. In the end, I chose a book that turns a familiar trope (doctor-nurse) on its head, and looks at a favorite category romance setting from a different angle. Caz went for an uncommon historical setting, and a book which features a new slant on Arthurian legend. […]
Covers in romance come up again and again and, usually, readers are complaining. Whether it’s the Fabio-licious covers of the 1990s or the cartoon covers all over the place today, there’s always a contingent who just doesn’t like them. And, to be candid, one of the reasons I felt comfortable reading, after a thirty year absence, romance was because I had a Kindle and no one could mock me because of how the books I was reading looked. […]
There is chatter in Romancelandia about Helen Hoang’s The Heart Principle. Where her first two books were romances, this novel–and I haven’t read it so I’m just repeating what I’ve heard–is more women’s fiction. Readers, at least romance readers, are upset because the book is far heavier than they thought it would be. There are cries that the book was poorly marketed. […]
(originally published on June 3, 2016)
In another of our occasional series in which we discuss the merits – or lack thereof – of fictional heroes and heroines, AAR staffers turn their attention to Alex Markov of Kiss an Angel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips.
Kiss An Angel taps into the classic “arranged marriage” trope. The two protagonists, Daisy and Alex, are blackmailed into marriage by a third party: Daisy’s dad. Daisy agrees in order to avert legal trouble and avoid prison. For Alex Markov, this was his year for paying off big debts, first with his deathbed promise to Owen Quest to take the circus out for its last season under the Quest name, and then by agreeing to marry Max’s daughter. In all these years Max had never asked anything of him as repayment for having saved Alex’s life, but when he’d finally gotten around to it, he’d asked for a doozy. […]
From Sarah saying NO to Derek not listening and the portrayal of the villainess, I won’t be reading it again. And I don’t understand why I loved it so much in the first place.
This is an experience we’ve all had. There are romances we loved back in the day that now make us shudder or, at the very least, wonder what on earth we were thinking.
Earlier this year, I tried and failed to reread Devil’s Bride by Stephanie Laurens. The prose was absurdly purple, Devil is kind of a dick, and Honoria is just plain silly a great deal of the time. Today, it is a hard pass and yet, when I look at Goodreads, I see that in 2013 I gave it four stars which, for me, […]
I’ve been on a rereading binge. After the AAR Good Time Book Club read the surprisingly unsatisfying Fool Me Twice by the usually great Meredith Duran, I was inspired to read several others of hers that are far better. I’ve blasted through Bound By Your Touch, Written On Your Skin, and Luck Be A Lady all of which I, again, adored. Then, in need of more comfort, I moved onto to early Sherry Thomas–thus far I’ve reread Delicious, Private Arrangements, and Ravishing The Heiress. It’s been lovely. […]
September is usually the time of year you’ll find more new releases than you can shake a stick at, and it seems that this September is continuing that tradition! As usual, for this column, we’ve chosen a selection of new books we think are going to make for the best reads over the coming weeks, based on the information from authors and publishers that is available at time of writing.
Please do drop by to tell us which books YOU’RE most eager to get stuck into this month! […]
This week on Twitter, a famous historical romance author made the point that there are good reasons authors of historical romance break with convention. She argued authors do so not because they’re lazy or stupid but because they are deliberately making choices they feel better serve the stories they tell. I think she’s right. Authors write what they believe will best tell their specific story. Perhaps that’s why I’m not fussed when titles are wrong or language is off or characters behave in ways that seem at best unlikely. I read romance for plot, character, and believable HEAs . As long as a book has those, I enjoy it. […]