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 […]

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 […]

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

Midweek Minis

In our latest batch of mini reviews, Em, Lisa, Maggie, Maria Rose and Sara share their thoughts on some of their most recent reads:


Em:

Back Piece  by L. A. Witt

This is the story of two men who fall in love despite vastly different backgrounds and life experiences.  Unfortunately, because Ms. Witt has saddled them each with such heavy backstories, it’s mostly sex and angst and very little plot.  Once our principals meet, it’s a bit of a never ending (and unsatisfying) cycle of lust and sex, angst, apologies, lust and sex, angst… you know what I mean.  I liked this couple but the story drags, and the drama gets old – fast.

Colin Spencer is at the gym readying to workout with his trainer when he spots a group of men enter the gym.  One in particular catches his eye, and when he looks […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:30:00+00:00 April 26th, 2017|Categories: EmAAR, Lisa F, Maggie AAR, Maria Rose, Mini reviews, Romance reading, Sara AAR|3 Comments

Midweek Minis

Here’s another in our occasional series of mini-reviews.  This time round, Kristen, Lisa and Maria Rose share their thoughts – good and bad – on some of their recent reads.


Kristen:

Playing By Her Rules by Amy Andrews

Y’all, I love me some Amy Andrews books. I especially love her books that involve rugby. This one, the first in her Sydney Smoke series, is about Matilda and Tanner. Once high school sweethearts, the two suffered a traumatic break up when it was time for Matilda to head off to college. Now both back in Australia, Matilda’s been assigned to do a profile on Tanner for her magazine. She’d basically rather perform her own appendectomy with a rusty swiss army knife, but duty calls.

Tanner is a rising star on the Smoke and is a bit of a lad about town. The order to participate in the feature comes from the club’s ownership, and […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:30:00+00:00 April 12th, 2017|Categories: Kristen D, Lisa F, Maria Rose, Mini reviews, Romance reading|Tags: , |5 Comments

Midweek Minis

Here’s another in our occasional series of mini reviews in which AAR staffers talk about what they’ve read lately.  Not all these books are romances (although most of them are), and some were obviously more well-received than others. Here’s what Kristen, Lisa, Maggie, Maria Rose, Melanie have to say about their recent reads.


Kristen:

We Were On A Break by Lindsey Kelk

This one is perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella – the humor and cultural settings are very similar. Liv and Adam’s Mexican holiday is sure to end in an engagement, or so Liv thinks. They’ve been dating for an age and surely, SURELY, he wouldn’t take her from England to Mexico without a real purpose, right? Well, imagine her shock when instead of giving her a ring, he asks for a pause. Dejected, confused, and heartbroken, they head back to the UK and to their separated lives.

One of this book’s strength […]

By | 2017-05-24T17:34:00+00:00 March 22nd, 2017|Categories: Kristen D, Maggie AAR, Maria Rose, Melanie AAR, Mini reviews, Reading, Romance reading|Tags: |5 Comments

Midweek Minis

AAR staffers are avid readers – Caroline, Dabney, Emily, LinnieGayl, Maria Rose and Sara are here to share their thoughts on some of their recent reads.

Caroline’s Read:

Almost a Scandal by Elizabeth Essex

Sally Kent’s brother Richard lets the family tradition down when instead of joining the Navy, he escapes to the clergy. So it’s Sally, who’s got the family saltwater blood, who dons midshipman’s blues and sets sail on the Audacious just before Trafalgar. She finds herself under the supervision of Lieutenant David Colyear, an outstanding officer and old friend of her brothers.

I adore competent, intelligent heroines, Sally’s natural bent for the sea is developed in a way that is completely convincing without seeming over the top. From her love of the wind and water to her ability to manage onboard rivalries, she’s a sailor to the tips of her fingers. I believed completely that if she’d been born today, she’d be […]

Midweek Minis

Here’s another in our occasional series of mini-reviews.  AAR staffers Dabney, Emily, Mandy, and Sara share their thoughts on some of their recent reads.

(Please note that links are provided for ebook editions of these titles.  Some may be available only from Amazon; where no link is given, an ebook is not available from that retailer.)


Dabney’s Read:

Claiming Her by Kris Kennedy

Lady Katarina has been holding the Irish stronghold Rardove for Queen Elizabeth. (The Virgin Queen is a slyly drawn character in this book!) The year is 1589 and Elizabeth has decided to give the barony to an English lord. This does not go over well with Aodh Mac Con who believes he is the rightful heir. What’s a rogue Irishman to do? Why seize the castle for himself… including its very clever lady.

This Medieval romance was remarkably entertaining. We’ve given Ms. Kennedy’s books very good grades and, after reading this, I see why. The chemistry–insta-lust, really–between […]

Midweek minis

AAR staffers Kristen, LinnieGayl, Maria Rose, Dabney, and Sara have been hard at work reading and reviewing even more books! Here are their thoughts on some of their most recent reads in another of our occasional series of mini reviews.

Kristen’s Reads:

Semi-Scripted by Amanda Heger

Marisol Gutierrez travels to the U.S. to pitch their nonprofit at a grant conference. The competition is stiff, Marisol is not usually the organization’s spokesperson, and she is especially nervous to do it all in her second language of English, but has stepped in at the last minute and is determined to do well. The future of the organisation depends on getting this grant and the pressure overwhelms Marisol, stealing her of her usual joy and plunging her into a permanent state of panic.

Since she’s in L.A. a few days before she has to begin the conference, she decides to try to attend a taping of her […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:30:05+00:00 November 9th, 2016|Categories: Dabney AAR, Kristen D, LinnieGayl AAR, Maria Rose, Mini reviews, Romance, Romance reading, Sara AAR|5 Comments

Midweek Minis

Our team of avid readers continues to work tirelessly to point you towards the good, the bad and the… indifferent… when it comes to romance!  Here’s another group of mini reviews from Alex, Caroline, Emily, Janet, Kristen, Maria Rose and Ulysses to give you some ideas as to what you might want to read next!


Alex’s Read:

Night Study by Maria Snyder
I discovered Maria Snyder’s Study series about a year ago, and was instantly hooked. The mix of magic, political intrigue, and adventure found in these books was enticing enough that I read the first three back-to-back —an entire week of my life was abruptly taken over by Ms. Snyder’s work. When I found out there was going to be a second trilogy to follow the first Study books, I naturally jumped on them.

Night Study is the second book of this new trilogy, and it picks up right where Shadow Study left […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:30:06+00:00 October 4th, 2016|Categories: Alexandra AAR, Caroline AAR, EmAAR, Janet AAR, Kristen D, Maria Rose, Mini reviews|Tags: , |Comments Off on Midweek Minis