Miranda Neville, you will be missed

I was shocked last week to find out historical romance author Miranda Neville had passed away. I knew she had been sick because she’d been away from Twitter for a while and when she returned we discussed it briefly. But she re-engaged with Romancelandia on Twitter, and I assumed her health crisis was over. So her loss to our book world brought on a welter of sorrow.

I first met Miranda at the Romance Writers’ of America conference in 2010 just after her second book The Wild Marquis was released. We met at the bar – where else does one go to meet interesting people at the professional conference for romance writers? We hit it off right away and shared many laughs over the course of those drinks. Much to my disappointment, I never met her in person after that.

However, we stayed in regular touch over Twitter, and we became friends. It was such fun discussing books, music, food, art, […]

By | 2017-10-30T18:33:45+00:00 October 31st, 2017|Categories: Authors, Historicals, Keira Soleore, Real Life|Tags: |5 Comments

October TBR Challenge – Paranormals versus Suspense

October’s TBR Challenge prompt was to read either a Romantic Suspense or Paranormal Romance: AAR reviewers  Lynn Spencer and Caz Owens went for one of each.


Northern Lights by Nora Roberts

I’ve been a reader of romantic suspense for as long as I’ve been reading romance, so when I saw the prompt this month, I immediately decided I was going to go the suspense route rather than paranormal. Even though I’ve read a ton of suspense, both romantic and otherwise, I’ve somehow only scratched the surface of Nora Roberts’ giant romantic suspense backlist. This time around, I decided to read her 600+ page doorstopper of a book, Northern Lights.

Originally released in 2004, this novel details the adventures of an almost-but-not-quite washed up Baltimore cop turned rural Alaska police chief. His new post involves keeping order in the tiny town of Lunacy, with only 2 deputies to help him. It’s […]

The Book Blind Taste Test #3

It’s time for another go-round in our occasional series of AAR’s adventures in blind book taste testing.  This time,  Lynn and Kristen describe two success stories and books they’d recommend.


Lynn:

Dangerous Games by Tess Diamond

Romantic Suspense

Summary: The hero and heroine are both outsiders of a sort. Maggie Kincaid survived a childhood kidnapping and went on to become one of the FBI’s top hostage negotiators, but left law enforcement after a hostage situation ended tragically. Jake O’Connor was a soldier who now works private security. When a Senator’s daughter is kidnapped, the two are brought into the investigation by their respective mentors and now they must work against time to rescue a child whose medical condition dictates that she be found quickly. Not surprisingly, they have to deal with their own personal demons as well as everything the kidnapper throws at them.

What drew you to the book? It popped […]

By | 2017-09-27T09:03:52+00:00 September 27th, 2017|Categories: Historicals, Kristen D, Lynn AAR, Reading, Romance, Romance reading|3 Comments

September TBR Challenge – Historicals Galore!

My Lady Thief by Emily Larkin

The Historicals prompt in the TBR Challenge is my Busman’s Holiday, but it can nonetheless be quite difficult to choose a book from the many still sitting unread on my Kindle.  In the end, I decided to go for something I was pretty certain would be a winner and picked up Emily Larkin’s My Lady Thief, a standalone title that was first published as The Unmasking of a Lady in 2010, under her Emily May pen-name.  Every book I’ve read by this author has proved to be extremely enjoyable and well-written; she creates attractive, well-rounded characters and puts them in interesting situations and her romances are always well-developed and laced with sexual tension.  My Lady Thief most ably continues that impressive track record.

Miss Arabella Knightley is beautiful, poised, intelligent, self-assured and the granddaughter of an earl – a most eligible parti were it not […]

By | 2017-09-20T10:12:28+00:00 September 20th, 2017|Categories: Caz AAR, Historicals, Lynn AAR, Reading, Romance reading, TBR Challenge|Tags: |9 Comments

Chatting with Virginia Heath… and a Giveaway

Back in the dim but not so distant past – more specifically, December 2016 – when I was choosing my favourite books of the year, I realised I’d been lucky enough to find no less than three new authors whose books had captivated me and turned them immediately into “must read” authors.  One of those was British author Virginia Heath whose début, That Despicable Rogue was a thoroughly enjoyable, funny, romantic and sexy story that was so accomplished it was hard to believe it was her first published work.  Over the past year-and-a-bit since Rogue’s publication, Ms. Heath has published five more titles – three of them standalones and the other two the first duo in her ongoing Wild Warriners series; and September sees the publication of her seventh book – another standalone  – a seasonal title, His Mistletoe Wager.


I was pleased when Virginia agreed […]

By | 2017-09-11T07:49:28+00:00 September 11th, 2017|Categories: Authors, Caz AAR, giveaways, Historicals, Interviews, Romance, Romance reading|22 Comments

July TBR Challenge – Catch Up on a Series (or Not)

For this month’s challenge, we were called upon to pick a book from a series we’re behind on. One of us followed instructions and the other? Well, we at least tried to stay in the spirit of things.

Again My Lord by Katharine Ashe

I had a bit of a struggle to find a book to suit this month’s prompt to read a book in a series I’m behind on, because I’m pretty much caught up with all the ones I’m currently following.  There are some I haven’t started yet, but I wanted to try to stick to the prompt and finally, I came up with Again, My Lord, the second book in Katharine Ashe’s Twist series.  In the two books in the series so far, she’s taken a couple of well-known movie plots as her starting points and adapted them into historical romances which, while certainly out of the […]

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 […]

June TBR Challenge – Pick Your Favorite Trope

A Rumored Engagement by Lily George

I’m a sucker for second-chance-at-love stories. I have autobuy authors I love and certain settings catch my eye, but when I’m taking a chance on a new author, favorite plotlines will often call my name. And second chance stories are definitely near the top of my list, with friends-to-lovers being a close second. For favorite tropes month on the TBR Challenge, I read A Rumored Engagement, a 2014 historical from Lily George. Though published as part of the Love Inspired Historical line, I suspect fans of Regency trads might like this one as well.

As the story opens, Susannah Siddons and her sisters prepare to open a millinery shop in the village of Tansley. Upon arrival, they run into a mishap with their door and when a man from the past comes to their rescue, we quickly learn about Susannah’s long-forgotten engagement to Daniel Hale of […]

Midweek Minis

In our continuing quest to bring you the lowdown on even more books, here’s our latest batch of mini reviews.  This time around, Em, Heather, Kristen, Lisa, Maria Rose and Mary share their thoughts on some of their recent reads.


Em:

Small Change by Roan Parrish

Ginger Holtzman owns and manages a tattoo shop in South Philly.  As Small Change opens, the shop and an upcoming art show have left her overcommitted, overworked and understaffed.  Fiercely independent, Ginger is prickly about accepting or asking for help – past relationships with men (she’s bi-sexual), and professional experience in the male dominated tattoo industry, have left her wary of appearing weak or vulnerable.  Lonely and overwhelmed, she’s struggling to find balance when she meets Christopher Lucen, the handsome owner of the coffee and sandwich shop she sometimes frequents.

Christopher is LITERALLY Ginger’s opposite in every way – temperament, appearance, faith, family background […]