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|13 Comments

The Best of All Worlds: A Guest Post by Sherry Thomas

Judith of Binge on Books and Open Ink Press emailed me February of last year and told me about an unusual project she was planning. The aim of the Sight Unseen anthology is to have known authors write stories of a kind that they aren’t known for, in time periods, sub genres, and subject matters that they would like to but haven’t had the opportunity to explore.

Even better, the authors’ names would be on the cover, but their stories would be presented anonymously. And then readers can make a game of guessing who wrote what.

I didn’t need to think long or hard before I said yes. I didn’t have anything I’d been “afraid to write up until this point”, per Judith’s original wording—I’ve always written what I wanted to write. But by joining the anthology, I would gain a deadline.

In a professional writer’s life, projects that come with a hard […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:29:59+00:00 June 6th, 2017|Categories: Authors, Books with Buzz, Guest Posts|8 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

The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband: A Pandora’s Box

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 were pleased to be along for the ride.


KD: So, Emily – […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:29:59+00:00 May 31st, 2017|Categories: Books with Buzz, EmAAR, Kristen D|Tags: , |9 Comments

Interview with Eva Leigh

Historical romance has always been a look at the past through the lens of the present, with stories and characters finding inspiration through problems and challenges we still have today.  Authors have been shifting away from characterizing the ideal heroine as a demure or overly-sweet young lady, instead creating independent, strong women capable of anything.  Eva Leigh has been at the forefront of this movement, with her last series The Wicked Quills of London bringing to life three women with careers long before they meet the men who understand their drive.  I had the chance to talk with Eva about the self-reliant characters in her new London Underground series and how they fit into a time that wasn’t as easy for a woman to navigate on her own.


Sara: Eva, welcome to All About Romance.  It’s a pleasure to have you here today.

Eva: Thank you so much for having me!

Sara: I read a lot of historical romance and I’ve noticed more authors are […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:29:59+00:00 May 26th, 2017|Categories: Authors, Caz AAR, Interviews|Tags: |4 Comments

Coming Soon… in June

It’s time to look ahead to see what books we’re most excited about reading in June. As usual, we’ve a wide variety of choices, although it seems there’s a bit of a consensus about our most looked-forward-to new releases, K.J. Charles’ An Unnatural Vice and Sarah MacLean’s The Day of the Duchess. What are YOU looking forward to reading next month?


An Unnatural Vice by K.J. Charles (June 6)

As a big fan of both K.J. Charles and the Victorian Sensation Fiction which has inspired this series, I can’t wait to read this story of the battle of wits between a former-lawyer-turned-journalist and the man he suspects of being a sham spiritualist. The author’s ability to imbue her stories with a strong sense of time and space is superb, and I do love a good enemies-to-lovers romance. – Caz

I loved An Unseen Attraction (book one​ in the Sins of the Cities series) and ​I ​was intrigued by the characters​ […]

Is Hot the new Warm?

One of the things readers consistently tell us they like are our sensuality ratings. They’ve been a part of AAR since its inception and we think they help readers find books they love. We’ve not revised them, however, in quite some time and, with the trend towards more sex and more graphic sex in romance, we feel we may need to.

Here are our current definitions:

Kisses: Kisses only. Many of these books are quite simply “sweet.”

Subtle: No explicit sensuality. Kissing and touching, but physical romance is described in general terms or implied. The emphasis is on how lovemaking made the characters feel emotionally, and not on graphic description.

Warm: Moderately explicit sensuality. Physical details are described, but are not graphically depicted. Much is left to the reader’s imagination.

Hot: More explicit sensuality. Sex is described in more graphic terms. Hot books typically have more sex scenes and are more likely to depict acts beyond intercourse.<

Burning: Extremely explicit sensuality – these books are often erotic romances or flatout erotica.

We’ve thought about […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:29:59+00:00 May 18th, 2017|Categories: Dabney AAR|39 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