All About Romance Celebrates PRIDE 2017


LGBTQ+ PRIDE is celebrated in June in many countries around the world. In the UK we celebrate PRIDE across June / July / August with London Pride Parade being held on 8th July this year. However, there is a good reason why PRIDE events and parades start being commemorated in June – so here’s a little history…

As the gay community blossomed in New York City in the 1960s, they had few places to gather publicly. At the time, it was still illegal to serve gay patrons alcohol, to display homosexuality in public or for two gay people to dance together. Under the guise of New York State’s liquor laws that barred ‘disorderly’ premises, the New York Police Department regularly raided bars that catered to gay patrons and arrested them.

In the early hours of the 28th June 1969, The Stonewall Inn, Greenwich Village, Lower Manhattan, NYC was raided by police. One of the few places left for LGBTQ patrons, the tavern was full of […]

By | 2017-06-27T19:06:40+00:00 June 27th, 2017|Categories: BJ Jansen|14 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​ […]

Midweek Minis

In another of our series of mini-reviews, AAR staffers BJ, Em, Lisa, Maggie and Sara share their thoughts on some of their recent reads.


BJ:

Oren’s Right by Blaine D’Arden

This is a beautifully gentle, caring story in the Tales of the Forest series. The world author Blaine D Arden has created is sublime – I could just wish the stories were longer, but this edition has an extra scene at the end, which completes this tale perfectly and is very sexy.

Scarification may not be to everyone’s taste, but the author writes about it so sensitively, you can see how this might be part of a BDSM Master/slave style of loving relationship.

Blaine D’Arden introduces Veld a dark elf from another tribe, and details the prejudice he first encounters on reaching the village around which these stories are set. However, he is a Forester, a tree elf in great demand, […]

By | 2017-06-23T16:58:21+00:00 May 10th, 2017|Categories: BJ Jansen, EmAAR, Lisa F, Maggie AAR, Mini reviews, Romance reading, Sara AAR|Tags: , |3 Comments

Tale as Old as Time… Our Favourite Beauty and the Beast Stories

When I heard that there was going to be a live-action version of Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson I was incredibly excited. Disney’s cartoon version was a childhood favorite of mine and, even though I was disappointed with the live-action take on Cinderella, I hoped that the the choice to keep the film a musical would help retain some of the original magic.

I saw Beauty and the Beast on opening weekend and I have to say, I loved it. Watson was perfectly cast as the modern Belle, who is just a beautiful as the original, but more strong-willed and inventive. Hearing new takes on the familiar songs brought out the child in me, but I also enjoyed some of the new numbers, particularly the Beast’s heart wrenching song “Evermore”.

Leaving the theater, my first thought (after wanting to download “Evermore” to listen to again) was that I wanted to read something Beauty and the Beast! There are so many fantastic adaptations out there that I knew I could either go […]

Scenes that make us swoon…. (Part One)

I asked the AAR staff to share the scenes from novels they found the most romantic. And, boy, did they come up with some exquisite scenes. Be prepared to swoon….


Keira:

This scene is from the novella Paris for One from Jojo Moyes’ Paris for One. Nell and Fabien sit on the ledge. A half-drunk bottle of wine sits beside them. He is reading to her, his voice halting as he translates into English. Her head rests on his shoulder.

Because she knew already that this would be the thing that would end them. And that in the deepest part of her, she had known it from the beginning, like someone stubbornly ignoring a weed growing until it blocked out the light.’”

“You can’t stop,” says Nell when he does.

“The other pages are missing. Anyway — like I said, it’s no good.”

“But you can’t stop. You have […]

The Best of 2016: B.J.’s List

I hope my favourite books of 2016 show that queer novels don’t just mean contemporary m/m romance. My list includes historical, humour, paranormal, alpha males, older main characters; characters of colour, European, American; bisexual, gay, trans and genderqueer characters. No matter who is involved, love is love and everyone deserves romance. […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:30:02+00:00 January 8th, 2017|Categories: Best of 2016, Best of List, BJ Jansen, Queer romance|23 Comments

Midweek Minis: RITA nominees Part Two

tmkcpfqv-600x323In advance of RWA2016, AAR staffers have been taking a look at some of the books nominated for RITA awards.  In our post yesterday, you’ll find a number of mini reviews of some of the titles featured in the various Contemporary Romance categories.  Today, BJ, Caz, Maria Rose, Sara and Shannon review some of the other nominated books.


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By | 2017-06-23T08:30:08+00:00 July 7th, 2016|Categories: BJ Jansen, Caz AAR, Maria Rose, Mini reviews, RWA, Sara AAR, Shannon AAR|Tags: , |8 Comments

Midweek Minis – RITA nominees Part One

tmkcpfqvIn advance of RWA 2016 next week and the announcement of the winners of the RITAs,  the AAR team has taken a look at some of this year’s nominees.  The full list of nominated titles can be found here.  Have you read many on this year’s list?  And if you’ve read the same listed books as we have, what did you think?

Our mini reviews cover titles listed in the contemporary, erotic, historical, paranormal and romantic suspense categories, and are spread across two posts.  Today, Maria Rose, Sara, Heather,  BJ and LinnieGayl take a look at the various contemporary romance nominees; the others will be covered in our second post tomorrow. […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:30:08+00:00 July 6th, 2016|Categories: BJ Jansen, Caz AAR, Heather AAR, LinnieGayl AAR, Maria Rose, Mini reviews, RWA|Tags: , |7 Comments

A Lambda Awards Roundup

The 28th Annual Lambda Literary Awards–or the “Lammys,” as they are affectionately known–kick off another record-breaking year with this week’s announcement of the finalists. They were chosen from a record 933 submissions (up from 818 last year) from 321 publishers. Submissions came from major mainstream publishers and from independent presses, from both long-established and new LGBTQ publishers, as well as from emerging publish-on-demand technologies.

Nearly 100 literary professionals, including booksellers, book reviewers, librarians, authors, academics and previous Lammy winners and finalists volunteered countless hours of reading, critical thinking, and invigorating discussion to select the finalists in 25 categories, including the inaugural year for Transgender Poetry.

“Being nominated for a Lammy is an outstanding achievement among such a crowded field of submissions and within an LGBTQ writing community rich with talent,” said Lambda Literary Executive Director, Tony Valenzuela.

Here are all the nominations in the 25 categories: Lambda Nominations

A few of the romances that have been nominated

Romance

Blueberry Boys, Vanessa North, Riptide Publishing

Connor Graham is […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:30:12+00:00 March 10th, 2016|Categories: Best of Romance, BJ Jansen|Tags: |10 Comments

The Best of 2015: B.J.’s List

A DIK for me is a novel that captures me to the detriment of real life events. It will have characters I am intrigued by and like. The romance will be at the centre, but there will a fascinating storyline too. I like sex in my romances, but it should not be gratuitous. I want to sigh or gulp at the emotion, and thrill at the beauty of the writing. This book will leave me with a ‘hangover’, and have me looking for further titles by the author, or hanging on for their next release. For me DIKs this year include –

A Fashionable Indulgence – KJ Charles

I had a simply delicious time reading A Fashionable Indulgence. This title managed to be the first in a series without the usual inherent difficulties. There are many characters to introduce, but all were interesting, played integral parts in the main storyline, and had well developed personalities.

I empathised with […]