It’s Valentine’s Day and tonight Dr. Feelgood and I plan to do…. nothing special. I didn’t get him a card and I bought flowers on Saturday at the Farmer’s Market so I sure hope he isn’t bringing me home any more. I also do not want any chocolates–he is the candy freak, not me–nor do I hope for a gift given that I’ve nary a thing for him. I’m just not that into Valentine’s Day. […]
According to Goodreads, I read eighty-two books (for the first time – my rereads would have put that number closer to 165) in 2021. I read across genres and glommed series. I DNF’d anything that didn’t grab me after the first fifty pages. I gravitated (overall) to books that were aspirational and viewed humankind with a sympathetic eye. I read enough Karin Slaughter to sink a Kindle.
Here are the books I liked the best. I didn’t love them all but I’m glad I read them all and can recommend them easily.
(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. […]
According to Wikipedia, there are around 2700 or so billionaires in the world. Several of them are determined, after mastering our world, to take their empires to other worlds. Many a critic has said, good, get lost, we don’t need no stinking uber uber uber rich guys. Here at AAR, however, we’re slightly positive about romances featuring billionaires. Of the 24 books we’ve reviewed with billionaire in the title, two have been DIKs, fourteen have gotten Bs, six have gotten Cs, and two have gotten Ds. […]
I read an interesting–and to me, depressing–article in the New York Times yesterday about how the American flag itself is now considered by many a partisan symbol. The same is true for the 4th of July, one of this country’s most beloved holidays. Where I live, there is intense disagreement over how to celebrate the founding of our nation, at least on the part of policy makers.
originally published on February 3, 2017
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.
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 […]
While the first romance that ever really registered with me is Sweet, Savage Love (and I attribute that to it being the first book in which the sex was varied and, for the time, explicit), the first romance novel I read was–and I have no idea which–one of Barbara Cartland’s 723 books.
I read hundreds of Cartland’s books and they all blend together now in my head. There’s always a lovely young virginal woman, an older slightly rakish and devastatingly handsome hero, a villain who wants bad things to happen, a scene in a carriage, and at least one kiss that renders our heroine into a proverbial butter pat. […]