Sam Heughan: A Romance Hero for the Ages

We’re excited for the premiere of Outlander tomorrow! Here’s a column we wrote about Sam Heughan, the lovely actor who plays Jamie Fraser. 

 

I’ve been thinking about the Golden Globes, which followed the Emmys in failing to nominate Sam Heughan for Outlander (the show was nominated for Best Drama, and both Caitriona Balfe as Claire and Tobias Menzies as Black Jack scored acting nominations). In criticizing this omission, most people point to the last few episodes of the season which, without getting spoilery, contain emotional and violent scenes which are the classic route to awards attention.

I would also have liked to have seen Heughan nominated, but for a totally different reason. In fact, I haven’t even seen the last two episodes yet. I thought Heughan did something exceptional long before those episodes – and that was to satisfy female viewers with his depiction of a beloved romantic hero.

People think women are simple. Throw a good-looking man on a screen, […]

By | 2017-09-09T17:08:34+00:00 September 9th, 2017|Categories: Caroline AAR, Television|Tags: , , |58 Comments

Outlander, Old Skool Romance, and Female Pleasure: A Guest Post by Kiersten Hallie Krum

I had lunch this past Sunday in Lambertville, New Jersey with my aunt and uncle. It’s a good midway point for me and my mother—they come up from the Philadelphia suburbs and we come down from the northeast corner of New Jersey—plus, who doesn’t like Lambertville? While we do this every six weeks or so, it was special this time around as we were having a small celebration for the publication of my romantic suspense novel, Wild on the Rocks.

We were chatting about my book, and my aunt cheerfully brought up how an old friend of hers who I’d met in my childhood, read “those books” back in the day. She name checked The Wolf and the Dove and I immediately did the adult professional writer, lifelong romance reader version of SQUEE!

Sara Shares Her Love of Outlander

Outlander Season 2Readers, it’s time for a confession.

“Hello, my name is Sara and I didn’t like the book Outlander.”

Please, before you click away, give me a moment to explain. When I first read Outlander, I was just shy of eighteen years old and had just begun to read Romance. (I was die hard Sci-Fi/Fantasy reader). I had no favorite writers, no genre I preferred and I based a lot of my choices on what my friends were reading. I finally went to my mother, a long time Romance reader, and asked for a recommendation. The first book she pulled off the shelf was Outlander. […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:30:11+00:00 April 9th, 2016|Categories: Sara AAR, Television|Tags: , , |9 Comments

The Second Half of the First Season of Outlander is almost over. We have thoughts.

Today AAR’s Melanie–who is all caught up on the show–shares her thoughts about this season of Outlander. She watches the show each week with her sister, Natalie. Here’s their take:


With much ado, the current season of Outlander, the Starz adaptation of the novels by Diana Gabaldon, is coming to a close, and I have been an avid watcher since the beginning. While I don’t have the cable channel myself, I’ve enlisted my sister’s subscription and DVR to the service of romance series television, and I’ve gotten her hooked.

As I start to write this, I have to admit two things: one, I have never read Outlander, or any of the series by Diana Gabaldon (I’m perpetually stuck at 6% of Outlander, for no other reason than I have too many things to read in a limited amount of time); and two, I drank an entire bottle of […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:30:20+00:00 May 22nd, 2015|Categories: Melanie AAR, Television|Tags: |69 Comments

Jamie Fraser: Dreamboat or Douchebag?

Outlander has been in the Top 15 of AAR’s Top 100 Romances since we began doing them in 1998. It has a DIK review here.  In 1991 it won the RITA award for Best Romance Novel. I think it is pretty safe to say this novel is a beloved romance for many, many people.

Hero Jamie Fraser tends to be a fan favorite. He was No. 2 in our Top Ten Heroes Poll done in 2009. Claire and Jamie ranked third in our Top Ten Couples Poll. So could a guy this popular ever rate as a douchebag?

For some the answer is a resounding yes. And it all revolves around a handful of scenes.

The Background: We are all familiar with Stonehenge. What some don’t realize is that, while nowhere near as magnificent, there are other ancient circles of rock all over the British Isles. Thanks to a standing stone from one of those Claire Randall travels back in time from 1945 to 1743.Through a […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:30:24+00:00 December 10th, 2014|Categories: Dreamboat or Douchebag, Maggie AAR|Tags: , |60 Comments

Our First Take on Outlander: The Series

outlander_starzStarz’s adaptation of Outlander, with Caitriona Balfe as Claire and Sam Heughan as Jamie, premiered last week with a free online episode available here. Outlander is a legend in the romance world and here at AAR, where it’s placed in the top five romances in every annual poll except 2004 (it “crashed” to seventh). I’m a fan of the books but not a die-hard, so I’m not troubled by minor plot deviations or additions as long as they’re in the spirit of Gabaldon’s book. I’m looking for something that captures the detailed, warts-and-all Highland setting, Claire’s confidence and competence, Jamie’s honesty and enthusiasm, and their marvelous, inevitable attraction. On the basis of the first episode, I’m optimistic that this series is going to deliver. […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:30:26+00:00 August 11th, 2014|Categories: Caroline AAR, Romance|Tags: |31 Comments

Speaking of Audiobooks: Favorite Romance Audiobooks Poll Results

OutlanderOur first annual Favorite Romance Audiobooks Poll results are in and it’s time to share!  While many of the standard favorites shine through as expected, I was delighted with all the other books, narrators, and series that received a good amount of notice as well.  The Poll is divided into five categories:

  • Absolute Favorites
  • Sub-Genre Favorites
  • Narrator Favorites
  • Other Favorites to Ponder
  • Let’s Let the Audiobook Industry Know…

And with that…drum roll please!

[…]

Casting My Favorites

cliveWe’re talking casting here again at the AAR blog.

Lynn wrote earlier this week about how she never, ever visualizes actors as characters in a novel she’s reading.  Truth is I rarely do either.

But sometimes something just clicks and the pairing of an actor with a character feels totally right.

The list of favorite characters that I haven’t cast is far (far, far, far) longer than the characters I have.

In fact, I’ve really only cast three.

Clive Owen as Derek Craven:

I’ve loved Derek Craven since he first crossed my path w-a-a-a-a-y back in 1994 when Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas was first published.  Back then, as is typical with me, I never pictured him as having a particular face.

Then I saw Clive Owen.  I forget what film – maybe Croupier – first introduced me to his wonders, but by the time Gosford Park was released in 2001, I knew he was Derek.  Just knew it.

[…]

Speaking of Audiobooks: The Outlander Series

Outlander choiceThe audiobook standard of excellence in my opinion is undoubtedly the unabridged version of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series as told by narrator Davina Porter.  Specifically, I am talking about the first four in the series:  Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, and Drums of Autumn.  Rarely have I been entertained to this degree for such a sustained period of time and that’s quite a statement given that these four books represent 159 hours of listening enjoyment with barely a boring moment.

Although I own all of these books in print, I have never actually read any one of the four.  My immense satisfaction with this series comes solely from listening to the unabridged audiobooks.  Now, I can’t imagine just settling for the printed word when I choose to revisit Frasers and company.  It’s as though there is another whole dimension beyond the mere reading that totally captures my mind’s eye.

It goes without saying that Diana Gabaldon’s writing is […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:32:04+00:00 November 9th, 2009|Categories: audio books, Characters, Historicals, Lea Hensley, Romance|Tags: , , , |82 Comments

Libraries in the Digital Age

reviewcoffee This confession will probably give some of you a heart attack, but I haven’t read any of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. I know, I know. It’s like I’ve been living under a rock buried 3 miles below the surface of the Earth. But lately I’ve been thinking about giving the first book a try. So I sent out a half-joking tweet on the subject. To my surprise, I received a personal response from my local library letting me know that Outlander is available for checkout, should I so desire. Now granted, I’m kind of a dork, but I thought this was really cool. So cool, in fact, that I decided to explore more of the digital/virtual features my local library offers, and get the perspective of the Sacramento Public Library’s Digital Services Librarian Megan Wong on the subject of libraries in the digital age.

[…]

By | 2017-06-23T08:32:04+00:00 November 5th, 2009|Categories: Books, E-books, Katie AAR, Reading, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , |33 Comments