Meet All About Romance Reviewer
Like everyone else here at AAR, I love books. Reading and writing have been my favorite pastimes for as long as I can remember, and time hasnt dimmed either passion. I was turned on to romance through teen romance books as a youngster and had a memorable encounter with a friends grandmothers copy of Sweet Savage Love in the 5th grade. That was an eye-opener! My own grandmother read romance too, and whenever I visited her I would find tattered copies of Jean Auel, Celeste de Blassis, Danielle Steele, Barbara Cartland, and Kathleen Woodiwiss amongst the more literary fare. When I was 15 she gave me my very own three book set of Shanna, The Wolf and the Dove, and The Flame and the Flower. That was it – I was hooked for good!
Im now 32, single and happily dating, living in my own condo in southern Connecticut with three cats (*gasp* Im a classic spinster maiden! LOL). I have a degree in journalism from Boston University, which Im not currently using in any serious journalistic way, though I still write for fun and moonlight as a freelance marketing/writing consultant when the spirit moves me. My real day job is in New York City as vice president of client service for a small medical education agency. The hour long train ride (each way) gives me lots of quality reading time. I usually read one book at a time, and have been known to start one in the morning and finish it over dinner, depending on the book and my own mood/energy.
My reading tastes are broad in scope and not confined to any particular genre/subgenre of romance. I am an equal opportunity reader of contemporaries and historicals, with a particular love for English historicals, especially the Regency and Medieval periods. Im not a Western historical fan, though Ive been surprised by some great ones in the past. I find gothic historicals to be a little over-the-top for me, which is funny because I cut my teeth on Victoria Holt and Anya Seton. I like sizzle with my romance, so books that stop at the bedroom door tend to bore me – I didnt follow the characters to that point just to be left out at the um, finish!
All that said, I do enjoy many books that are not romance. Mysteries are a favorite (Tami Hoag, Lisa Scottoline, Sue Grafton), and the Anita Blake series turned me on to the supernatural/horror genre a few years ago, which I find fascinating. Im eagerly awaiting the next Anita Blake, Sookie Stackhouse, and the sequel to Bitten in 2003.
Authors in my Favorites bookcase run the entire gamut of the romance genre: Nora Roberts/JD Robb; Linda Howard; Susan Elizabeth Phillips; Rachel Gibson; Susan Andersen (though Im getting sick of these so-so rereleases!); Stephanie Laurens; Judith McNaught (her historicals are classics); Julie Garwood; Janet Evanovich; Jennifer Crusie; Tami Hoag; Betina Krahn, Michelle Jerrott/Albert; Sandra Brown; Julia Quinn; Laurell K Hamilton; Christine Feehans Dark Series; Lynn Kurland; Lisa Kleypas; Madeline Hunter; Fiona Brand; Juliana Garnett; Shana Abe; Marsha Canham; Robin Schone; Shannon McKenna; Rexanne Becnel (her older books were terrific!). Im a recent Judith Ivory convert, and have also enjoyed a few Suzanne Brockmanns recently, though I dont glom them the way so many others do.
I read some category romances (usually upon recommendation from friends); Eileen Wilks, Fiona Brand and Justine Davis write consistently good category romance, as does Kathryn Shay. I’d love to find some other authors to add to my list since so many authors start there and move on up to the mainstream ranks later on. It would be fun to follow someone new from the beginning like I did Nora Roberts, Tami Hoag, Barbara Delinsky and Sandra Brown.
Personal Reading Tastes
What I’m a sucker for in a book:
Bad boys and bad girls, high sexual tension/chemistry, witty banter, alpha heroes, experienced heroines, medieval settings, humor, hot love scenes, historical marriages of convenience, bluestocking Regency heroines, contemporary cowboys, rediscovered love and/or friendship, time travel plots, paranormal romances, mysteries, and multiple points of view.
What I don’t particularly care for in a book:
Tearjerkers, melodrama, older virginal heroines in contemporaries, lack of love scenes, big misunderstandings, overdone cute kids and animals, American historicals/Westerns, ghost heroes or heroines, historicals set in Italy, and first-person point of view.
What drives me absolutely nuts in a book:
Secret babies, stereotyped characters, formula plots, contemporary arranged marriage plots, pages and pages of narrative without dialogue, “falling for the boss” plots, desperate women seeking Mr. Right, humor at the expense of plot or character, and very involved or matchmaking family memebers.
Favorite Romance Authors
Favorite Romance Authors
Best Discovery/Buried Treasure Authors
My Biggest Glom