My Summer of Singh

Summer 2017 will always be my Summer of Singh. I started a serious binge when I read Nalini Singh’s first Psy-Changeling book, Slave to Sensation, back in May, and just a week ago I finished Silver Silence, the latest release. That’s sixteen novels, not counting the short story collections, which I also read.

I’ve gone on binges before, but this one was different. I never burned out on Singh the way I’ve done before. In order to keep a series from feeling formulaic and predictable, I usually have to intersperse the books with reads by other authors and genres. In some cases, even that doesn’t help, as the authors themselves lose the spark that made their early books so engaging.

Not so for Singh. The Psy-Changeling books are so […]

By | 2017-09-18T03:39:57+00:00 September 18th, 2017|Categories: Authors, Books, Caroline AAR, Romance, Romance reading|Tags: , |11 Comments

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 […]

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 […]

Inspirational Romance: A Roundtable Discussion

Welcome to the AAR Roundtable Discussion on Inspirational Romance novels!

According to RWA these books make up 17% of print sales and 14% of e-book sales of all romance novels sold annually. Reviewers Maggie Boyd, Kristen Donnelly, Lynn Spencer and Caz Owens talk about their first experiences reading Inspirationals–often called Inspys– what draws them to this particular type of book, and how they see the stories overall.


Maggie: When I needed to find a sub-genre I typically didn’t read for a reading challenge back in 2009 I determined to suck it up and read three Inspirational books to complete the challenge. I’d had some bad experiences with a few Inspy novels before so I wasn’t expecting to enjoy them much. I was stunned. Deeanne Gist, Cathy Marie Hake and Lynn Austin penned books I completely loved. I began to expand into more authors and found that the Inspirational market of the last few decades was actually rich with fantastic authors, beautiful stories, and fabulous settings. About a third of the books I read are Inspirationals […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:30:05+00:00 October 29th, 2016|Categories: Books, Caz AAR, Kristen D, Lynn Spencer, Maggie AAR, Roundtable|Tags: |11 Comments

The New Age of the Series – A Reader Rant

Am I crazy but does it feel like every romance novel published today is a part of a series? Almost every new book I pick up has a number after its title.

Is the standalone, single novel becoming extinct? I wonder if a book without a series will one day be a relic of the past similar to what happened to the landline telephone.

The death of the non-series novel might not feel like a big deal to everyone, but the series is starting to wreak havoc with my reading enjoyment. Am I whining? Probably. But I also think I have some valid grievances to address with authors and their publishers.

You (author and publisher) didn’t warn me there is a cliffhanger!

I did my due diligence. I read the book description and even downloaded a sample before buying it. There was no obvious hint that the story would not be resolved by page 289. Instead of an epilogue, I am given a teaser to the story to be continued in the book #X to […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:30:07+00:00 August 10th, 2016|Categories: Books, Reading, Romance reading, Uncategorized|31 Comments

Amanda Bouchet’s A Promise of Fire: A Roundtable Discussion

a promise of fire

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.

available at Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble

 

AAR staffers Melanie, Mary and Shannon read – and enjoyed – this new fantasy romance from début author Amanda Bouchet.


First […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:30:07+00:00 August 5th, 2016|Categories: Books, Books with Buzz, Mary AAR, Melanie AAR, Romance reading, Roundtable, Shannon AAR|Tags: , , , |Comments Off on Amanda Bouchet’s A Promise of Fire: A Roundtable Discussion

Eagerly Awaited August 2016 Books

scotdarkSome months are more filled with enticing books than others.  As we get to the end of summer (it’s flown by way too fast!), the August 2016 lists are out already. Some months, individual reviewers may only have a book or two to look forward to. However, this time around, my inbox lit up like a Christmas tree!  From historicals to suspense to contemporary to category romance, we are all eagerly looking forward to reading something new this August!



A Scot in the Dark by Sarah MacLean

I’ll admit that I was late to the party on discovering this author. However, I picked up one of her books after meeting her at RWA several years ago and being impressed by what she had to say(and also having lots of fun chatting!) Not every book has worked, but enough of them have been fabulous for her to be an autobuy for me. – Lynn

She’s hit-or-miss for me, but I loved her Never […]

Steals and Deals

This week has great steals and deals. Click on the book covers to go to Amazon.

Thanks and happy reading.


Caroline Linden’s I Love the Earl is just 1.99. We haven’t reviewed this one but we’ve given many of her other works high marks. Here’s the description from Amazon. Many other books are currently 4.99 which is still a good deal!

Margaret de Lacey has accepted her unmarried state with dignity, if not delight. She had no suitors when she was young and starry-eyed, though regrettably poor, and it’s unlikely any man will court her now that she’s older, wiser, and still just as penniless. Until, that is, her brother unexpectedly inherits the dukedom of Durham and settles an enormous dowry on her, making her the most eligible heiress in town. No gentleman in London is more in need of a wealthy bride than Rhys Corwen, Earl of Dowling. He contrives an introduction to Margaret because of her dowry, but she swiftly sets […]

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