The Book Blind Taste Test – Pick a book… any book…

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 me, in fact, that we’ve decided to make it a regular blog.

The […]

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 […]

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​ […]

Coming Soon… in April and May

The question “What books are you looking forward to reading over the next couple of months?” is the sort of thing we love here at AAR.  We’re always on the lookout for our next great read, so here are a few of the upcoming releases we’re keen to read in April and May.


Anne

The Girl With The Make-Believe Husband: A Bridgertons Prequel by Julia Quinn (30 May)

First, it’s Julia Quinn, and it’s a Bridgertons prequel. Second, the plot sounds really fun — an amnesia twist and a heroine traveling to the Colonies.  A/BN/iB/K


Caz

A Warriner to Protect Her by Virginia Heath (18 Apr)

I was pleased to discover a really good new author of […]

Long May She Reign: A Roundtable Discussion

Freya might be in the line of succession to the throne, but being in the double-digits in that line doesn’t inspire dreams of ruling. She’s dedicated herself to a life of science and logic, not of leadership and diplomacy. When a state dinner becomes the location of a massacre, leaving the king and everyone else between #2 and #22 dead, Freya has no choice but to step up.

As you can imagine, almost no one is happy about this turn of events – least of all Freya – but she is determined to do her best. This means looking at old allies with new eyes and learning other lessons along the way Rhiannon Thomas’ Long May She Reign is a rarity in the world of YA Fantasy – a stand-alone novel – and AAR Staffers Melanie, Shannon, and Kristen are here to share their thoughts about it.


SD: Let’s start out talking about the […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:30:00+00:00 March 11th, 2017|Categories: AAR Shannon, Kristen D, Melanie AAR, Reading, Roundtable|2 Comments

Yes We Can! Our favorite Activist Heroines

Women have a long history of standing up for their beliefs, and there are great romance novels starring heroines doing just that. American and British suffragettes (or suffragists), Civil Rights activists, lawyers, writers, organizers, and military rebels – you’ll find all of them here, and more. Let these ladies inspire you to fight for your beliefs, whatever they happen to be.


Caroline Russomanno:

Erica Johnson – Unfinished Business by Karyn Langhorne

Erica, a teacher, is tired of seeing funding diverted away from the neediest and most vulnerable. She protests at the hero’s (a Southern Republican senator’s) press conference and is dragged out by police. This book is set during the W. Bush administration and Erica is a strong reminder that black activists have been working continuously, even when out of the media spotlight. Our review of the book is here.

A/BN/iB/K

The Best of 2016: Shannon’s List

It’s time to start looking back over 2016 at what we’ve read – what we’ve enjoyed, what we’ve hated and everything in between.  Over the coming weeks, the AAR team will be blogging about their favourite books of the year, and to kick us off, here’s Shannon Dyer’s Top Ten.

 


A Gift of Time by Beth Flynn

This was an amazing ending to Beth Flynn’s Nine Minutes trilogy. The hero and heroine had a long and complex road to their HEA, and I loved seeing them finally achieve it. […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:30:02+00:00 December 15th, 2016|Categories: AAR Shannon, Best of 2016|19 Comments

Midweek Minis

Here’s another in our occasional series of mini-reviews.  We’ve got five DIKs here along with three B reads!  Here’s what Caroline, Caz, Maria, Heather, Shannon and E.B. have to say about some of their recent reads:


Caroline’s Read:

I just finished The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon. It’s a fantasy/dystopia novel about Paige Mahoney, who can spirit-walk in a world in which paranormal talents are illegal, and whose life using her abilities for an underground syndicate is disrupted by her arrest. She finds out that the entire structure of her world isn’t what she thinks, and she’s placed into the custody of the mysterious and powerful Warden. I have a guilty love of prisoner-captive books, and this is an interesting one, with solid sexual tension and a couple that plausibly has to work through some trust issues. I liked that the heroine already had abilities, so we ddn’t have to […]

The Weekend DIK: The Glittering Court

Fans of Kiera Cass’ Selection series won’t want to miss The Glittering Court, book one in Richelle Mead’s trilogy of the same title. It’s a captivating story of forbidden love set against the backdrop of a world not so different from Great Britain and America. […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:30:10+00:00 April 23rd, 2016|Categories: AAR Shannon, Best of Romance, DIK|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on The Weekend DIK: The Glittering Court

Amanda Bouchet’s A PROMISE OF FIRE – a Roundtable Discussion

a promise of fireAAR staffers Melanie, Shannon and Mary recently read Amanda Bouchet’s A Promise of Fire. They share their thoughts on what they’ve agree is a very strong début novel.

Catalia “Cat” Fisa lives disguised as a soothsayer in a traveling circus. She is perfectly content avoiding the danger and destiny the Gods-and her homicidal mother-have saddled her with. That is, until Griffin, an ambitious warlord from the magic-deprived south, fixes her with his steely gaze and upsets her illusion of safety forever.

Griffin knows Cat is the Kingmaker, the woman who divines the truth through lies. He wants her as a powerful weapon for his newly conquered realm-until he realizes he wants her for much more than her magic. Cat fights him at every turn, but Griffin’s fairness, loyalty, and smoldering advances make him increasingly hard to resist and leave her wondering if life really does have to be short, and lived alone.


What did you think of the book overall?   Is it […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:30:11+00:00 April 4th, 2016|Categories: AAR Shannon, Books, Mary AAR, Melanie AAR, Romance, Roundtable|Comments Off on Amanda Bouchet’s A PROMISE OF FIRE – a Roundtable Discussion