“Old School” is one of those terms that can have a lot of meaning. After all, the romance genre has evolved quite a bit over the decades and different threads of the genre have gone in different directions. I’ll admit that my first thought when I see the term takes me to the 400-500 page books I used to find in used bookstores and library sales back in the 90s. Big, epic historicals definitely still have their appeal for me, though I’m pickier than I used to be. Some problematic features just can’t be glossed over for me anymore. This time around, Caz and I both ended up going in a similar direction, reading old Regency trads from the late 80s/early 90s. At their best, these stories, just like their contemporary category cousins, pack a focused romance into a […]
This month’s TBR prompt was a fun one – “a book by a favorite author.” Sometimes the challenge pulls me outside my comfort zone, but this month we just got to work our way through backlists we’ve already been enjoying. Lynn caught up on a high-action romantic suspense series, while Caz read a lovely contemporary m/m romance. Whose backlist do you want to explore next? […]
I think folks sometimes underestimate just how huge the romance genre is. I’ve been reviewing romance since I was in my 20s, and I’ve been reading longer than that. Even so, there are still PLENTY of new-to-me authors. Caz tried a new historical, and after several false starts, I made it through a new-to-me romantic suspense novel from 2013. My TBR Challenge pick didn’t knock my socks off, but Caz fared better. What new-to-you authors have you tried lately? […]
After a year like 2020, I was honestly glad to see “comfort read” as the prompt for this month’s TBR Challenge. I needed one of those. As with many readers, most of my comfort reads are books I’ve read over and over, but both of us managed to find some new-to-us books in the TBR that warmed up our January reading. And best of all, two DIK reviews! Who are your favorite comfort reads? […]
“Dress for Success” can mean all kinds of things. In Lynn’s case, she went for fashion designer lead characters. Or, one can do as Caz did, and pull out a Pygmalion-esque story. And then there are masquerade balls, heroes and heroines in disguise…all kinds of possibilities. What would be your favorite “dress for success” book?
Since “Backlist” is pretty much what the TBR Challenge is all about, this month felt completely wide open for both of us. In the end, while we chose different subgenres, we both went with similar strategies. We each picked a backlist book by an autobuy author and as it turns out, we had somewhat similar results in terms of grading. So, who’s on your backlist? […]
This month’s TBR Challenge post is smaller than usual, as Lynn wasn’t able to make it this time around, so Caz is flying solo this month. The “Family Ties” prompt offered plenty of scope; families often feature strongly in romance novels, whether it’s a couple making a family, family members featuring in a series or, as in the book Caz chose, a group of un-related people becoming a family unit.
Imagine by Jill Barnett
Many romance series feature siblings, but for the Family Ties prompt, I decided to go for a ‘found family’ story, and Jill Barnett’s Imagine (originally published in 1995 and reissued in 2017) fit that bill perfectly.
It’s 1896, and in San Francisco, successful, hard-working attorney Margaret Huntington Smith has been urged by her father, a judge, to take a well-deserved vacation. Knowing she […]
This month’s TBR prompt of “getaway” was a tough one in that one can take it in almost too many directions. Do we want to read pure tropical vacation escape? A road romance? Running away from the bad guys? Getting away with something forbidden? So many options. In the end, Caz chose an emotional road romance, while Lynn went with a vacation fling. […]
For many readers, when you utter the phrase “old school,” they tend to think of big sweeping historicals. The hated phrase “bodice ripper” often comes up as do the clinch covers of old. And that’s certainly one way of doing old school romance. Maybe it’s pandemic fatigue, but neither one of us was really up to that thread of old school romance. Instead we revisited the world of Regency trads by well-loved authors, where Caz found more success than Lynn this month. […]
This month’s TBR Challenge prompt pretty much left the reading choices wide open. After all, with the word “freebie,” one can come up with all kinds of things. Gift books, Kindle deals, books about free stuff, who knows? In the end, the common thread between our picks seemed to be high action. Caz went with a m/m romantic suspense novella, while Lynn chose an equally action-packed paranormal. […]