The Best of 2017 – Lee’s List

2017 was an excellent reading year for me – in fact, I actually had trouble limiting my “Best of” list to ten.  I’ve found my tastes have changed over the years, as I am reading more historical mysteries, but I still enjoy excellent contemporaries and historical romances.  Here are ten of my favorite books of 2017, in no particular order.



Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

This was a hard book to read but the heroine was very endearing.  Due to circumstances in her family life, Eleanor is alone but trying to learn how to live in today’s world with the help of others.  Lots of sadness but humor too.

Buy Now: A/BN/iB/

By | 2017-12-23T09:53:02+00:00 December 23rd, 2017|Categories: Best of List, Lee AAR, Romance reading|Tags: |10 Comments

Coming Soon… November 2017

It’s not all that often that there’s a hands-down favourite when it comes to a post like this, but a new book from Loretta Chase is a red-letter day on any romance reader’s calendar and many of us here have put a big red circle around 28th November, which is when her latest release, A Duke in Shining Armor is hitting the shelves and our e-readers. Also coming in November is the next in Mary Balogh’s Westcott series, Someone to Wed, along with Loreth Anne White’s next Angie Pallorino novel and the next instalment – Undercover Attraction – in another favourite series, Katee Robert’s The O’Malleys.

Whatever your preference, there’s a lot to look forward to in November, ready to curl up with on those long, cold winter evenings.

What are you most looking forward to reading in the weeks ahead? Drop by and let us know in the comments.

Coming Soon… October 2017

It’s time once again to look ahead to the books we’re looking forward to getting stuck into next month, and as the nights are drawing in, I’m sure we’re all looking for reads to help us curl up and forget the encroaching cold.  AAR staffers have chosen quite a diverse bunch of titles as those we’re most looking forward to in October – some big names and favourite authors (Jackie Ashenden, Karen Harper, Elizabeth Hoyt, Eloisa James) have new books out this month, and maybe our picks of some less familiar names might encourage you to give something new a try.

Duke of Desire by Elizabeth Hoyt (17 Oct)

I admit, I’m not quite convinced by the set up for this that we glimpsed at the end of Duke of Pleasure, but what the hell – this is the final full-length Maiden Lane novel and as such marks the end […]

Coming Soon… August 2017

AAR staffers have taken a good look at the wealth of new books being published in August and decided which ones are most likely to make the biggest dents in our bank balances! Joanna Bourne is at the top of several of our lists, closely followed by Tessa Dare, Shana Galen, Layla Reyne and K.J Charles, among others. Here are the books we’re most looking forward to reading next month. How about you? Do you agree with our choices or think we’ve missed out on something really good? Jump into the discussion in the comments.

Beauty Like the Night by Joanna Bourne (1 Aug)

Um. It’s a new book in the Spymasters series by Joanna Bourne.  Surely I don’t need to say anything else?! – Caz

Joanna Bourne. That is all. If there’s a stronger series than her Spymasters, I […]

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.


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


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

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

The Best of 2016: Lee’s List



I tend to read a lot of historical romance and women’s fiction, and my list reflects that.


close-to-youI discovered a new author in Kara Isaac, who wrote two books this year.  Her début novel, Close to You, is about an English major who gives tours of the Tolkien movies filmed in New Zealand.  Along the way, she becomes intrigued by an American guy traveling with is uncle who thinks his nephew knows all about the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit books.  Our heroine catches him out.  This was a very entertaining story. […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:30:02+00:00 December 24th, 2016|Categories: Best of 2016, Lee AAR|12 Comments

The Best of 2015: Lee’s List

I chose The Legend of Lyon Redmond by Julie Anne Long. (Our DIK review is here.) as my favorite book of the year.

Here are the rest of my favorites (in alphabetical order by author last name):

Last Chance Llama Ranch by Hilary Fields. This is a fun and quirky story of what happens when a ski champ has to find a new career.

If You Only Knew by Kristan Higgins. Ms. Higgins really knows how to write relationship books and the central one here is of two sisters trying to cope with their changing lives. (Our DIK review is here.)


By | 2017-05-24T17:10:36+00:00 January 25th, 2016|Categories: Best of 2015, Best of List, Best of Romance, Lee AAR|10 Comments

The AAR Annual Readers’ Poll

The annual AAR Reader Poll is open!

We’re pleased to announce, for the 20th year in a row, the AAR Annual Reader Poll is now open! We hope you will help us take a look back to find the best romance books the year 2015 had to offer.

The AAR Annual Reader Poll began with the best romances of 1996, and ever since then, readers have used the poll results to guide them to some of the best romances published in the past year. But for the poll to be helpful, and truly represent as many AAR readers as possible, we need you to vote! Many readers use various guides to fill out their ballots. Some AAR readers keep spreadsheets of their reading year, while others utilize such online sites as Goodreads for their records, making it relatively easy to fill out a ballot. If you haven’t kept a spreadsheet or reading chart (and there are just as many readers who don’t), you can use the Power Search function […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:30:14+00:00 January 18th, 2016|Categories: Annual Reader Poll, Lee AAR, LinnieGayl AAR, Polls|19 Comments

The Annual Poll Results for Books Published in 2014 are in!

Yes, the results of the Reader Poll for Best Romances of 2014 are in. Click here to see the list of winners and go to the accompanying article to see author comments.

The Annual Poll at AAR is a cooperative endeavor between readers and staff, and this year’s poll is no exception. Largely based on reader comments, we tinkered with the categories for this year’s poll. We separated two former categories into three: Science Fiction, Paranormal and Fantasy. We dropped the Best Chick Lit/Women’s Fiction category and added Best LGBT Romance. We’re happy with the results for all of these new categories, and you’ll see them again in next year’s poll.

This year’s poll had 24 different categories. On average, readers voted in 12 categories, but 5 percent of you voted in 20 or more of the categories. The most popular category was Best Romance Novel, with 90% of you […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:30:21+00:00 February 23rd, 2015|Categories: All About Romance, Annual Reader Poll, Best of List, Cindy AAR, Lee AAR, LinnieGayl AAR, Polls|15 Comments

The Ideal Romantic Hero

Jaime-Lannister-jaime-lannister-29020283-458-533Every once in a while I will fall in love with a hero. Kit from Mary Balogh’s A Summer to Remember comes to mind. I loved his laughing eyes. I loved his sunny nature. As I typed this half a dozen scenes from the book came to my mind and I found myself with a smile on my face. I love Kit, it’s that simple. I also love Francis from Balogh’s The Famous Heroine. It’s his sense of humor which drew me, his sense of chivalry, his amazingly cheerful personality. Francis is a happy person and I just can’t imagine anyone being miserable around him.

Those are romance heroes. Sometimes I will also fall in love with a hero in a book that is most definitely not a romance. Will Laurence from Naomi Novik’s His Majesty’s Dragon springs to mind. There is no romance in this novel but there is plenty to love about Will. He’s honorable and […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:30:23+00:00 January 28th, 2015|Categories: Characters, Dabney AAR, Defining Romance, Heroes, Lee AAR, Maggie AAR, Mary AAR, Melanie AAR|15 Comments