Try it – You’ll Like it!

As a reader I’m often guilty of sticking with the authors or genres of romance that I’m most comfortable with.  I won’t call it a rut necessarily… but taking a close look at my reading shelves I see that European historicals with a male/female relationship dominate.  A few months back the lovely ladies here at All About Romance started talking about the choices we make at the bookstore and I was surprised to see that we all seem to stick fairly close to our favored genres in the books we review.  Em Wittmann and I used that discussion as a springboard to take a walk on the wild side by each choosing a book for the other to read – outside of our usual genres.

Em knows that I’m a die-hard historical reader so when it came to selecting a book for me I think she decided to be kind and chose something that’s within that spectrum.  I was given Think of […]

By | 2017-08-10T15:50:18+00:00 August 11th, 2017|Categories: EmAAR, Romance reading, Sara AAR|Tags: , , |1 Comment

Eagerly Awaited July Books

July looks like it’s going to be a month for historical lovers. Even though all of us here at AAR picked out some favorites across a variety of subgenres, historicals topped the list. Loretta Chase, Kaki Warner, Grace Burrowes and Mary Balogh all have new releases. I like to spend my summers lounging on the deck, daydreaming over a good book. What good books do you want to linger over this summer?

Title and Author Reviewer
Vixen in Velvet by Loretta Chase Vixen in Velvet by Loretta Chase Caz, Lee, Lee, Cindy, Alex, Heather
Where the Horses Run by Kaki Warner

Defending the Faith

Joan_of_Arc_(133751960) Every year in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day and on the holiday itself, the radio station I listen to every morning engages in a tradition that always gets under my skin. They call it “Romantic Ramblings,” and it involves sending one of the on-air DJs from the morning drive team over to nearest Walgreens, where he (always a he) selects a romance novel off the shelf, opens to a random page, and begins reading the “smut” he finds inside.

The DJ is instructed to select the book with the most extreme cover, and given that he always – always – manages to select a page that contains some kind of physical interaction between the hero and heroine, you have to wonder how random his selection process truly is. No romance, not even the bodice rippers of old, contains sex on every single page but he manages to hit pay dirt 100% of the time. The folks back in the studio […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:30:49+00:00 February 22nd, 2013|Categories: AAR Jenna, Romance, Romance reading|Tags: , , |8 Comments

The Book Hangover

It is two o’clock in the morning. You have work the next morning, and maybe kids that will be up in a few hours and need to get dressed and fed and sent off to school. You should have been asleep hours ago, but the “one more chapter” bug has hit and you have a book you can’t put down. Finally, around 4 am, the book is finished, you have a wad of used Kleenex on the nightstand, your eyes feel like sandpaper, but you have a sense of euphoria at the wonderful book that you have just read. Sounds great right? Yeah – all except for the hangover that you are sure to get the next morning.

The Book Hangover. Have you ever had it? What is it? It is more than just the exhaustion that you have the next day when you stayed up too late reading a good book. That is a part of […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:30:55+00:00 December 13th, 2012|Categories: Reading|Tags: , , |21 Comments

Appreciating Authors

bouquet You probably have already heard about the Wall Street Journal breaking the story of the Department of Justice plans to sue Apple and Simon & Schuster Inc., Hachette Book Group; Penguin Group (USA); Macmillan and HarperCollins Publishers Inc for price fixing related to e-books. And you might have read their response that they only did it to keep the market competitive. And you might be rolling your eyes thinking “not another blog about e-book pricing”. And I agree with you. I am talked out on the subject. There is only so many way you can say that agency pricing is wrong. So for something new, I thought I would write an article with a positive slant. To be honest, I had planned on writing about all the things that publishers do right. But it was a very short list. Maybe it’s because when I […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:31:13+00:00 March 30th, 2012|Categories: Authors, Leigh AAR, Romance reading|Tags: , , |39 Comments

The Appeal of the Mundane

that-old-black-magic I’m an enthusiastic lover of romance. I love the action and adventure, the sweeping sagas, the old school and new alike. But lately I’ve come to appreciate yet another facet of my favorite novels, the scenes of quiet domesticity. Sure, these aren’t the ones that typically grab your attention and make your heart pound. They usually aren’t even the ones you will remember after you close the book. But I believe they plan an important role in the development of the romance and give the reader a deeper understanding of the book’s characters.

A few weeks ago I was reading Alpha Instinct, a werewolf book by Katie Reus, for review. The few scenes I enjoyed in this book were the ones in which the main characters interacted with their families in a domestic setting. In one memorable scene, the heroine Ana is in the kitchen making polvorones, Mexican shortbread cookies (think Pecan Sandies with a licorice kick), with Vivian, the […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:31:13+00:00 March 14th, 2012|Categories: Heather S. AAR, Romance reading|Tags: , , |4 Comments

Keeping It Real

becauseI hadn’t realized until this week what a liar I was about romance books.  If anyone asked what kind of romances I like best, I would have said those that transport me away to somewhere I haven’t been in either time or place.

Then I read three books in a row that convinced me I was lying to myself.

  • Because of You by Jessica Scott looks at love in the setting of today’s military between a wounded sergeant and a nurse. In many ways it reminds me of Cheryl Reavis’ The Older Woman, another in my personal AAR Top 100 list, except with buddies for the nurse and soldier instead of a grandmotherly landlady as charming peripheral characters.  Like The Older Woman, Because of You explores war wounds and breast cancer, two of today’s hot spots, and […]
By | 2017-06-23T08:31:14+00:00 February 17th, 2012|Categories: Authors, Books, Pat Henshaw, Reading, Romance reading|Tags: , |10 Comments

The Quest for the Perfect Book

holygrail As many of you know, I compose a list of all the books that I am looking forward to reading. It is like a security blanket or comfort item knowing that there are some books out there that I want to read. For the next three months I only have six books on my list, which is not good. There is not much security in that unless I plan on doing a lot of re-reads.

Years ago, I read The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold and loved it. That book is definitely an A book for me. After reading it I couldn’t stop talking about it, and recommended it to just about everyone I knew. But I lost the book, and forgot about the story, until someone on Speaking of Audiobooks posted that the audio book was on sale. Off I went and rediscovered the love. After I finished, I wondered […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:31:23+00:00 September 28th, 2011|Categories: Leigh AAR, Romance reading|Tags: , , , |18 Comments

One Recipe, Two Very Different Dishes

acrossuniverse Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t read the Lord of the Rings books or seen the movies, this post contains spoilers regarding the ending.

We’ve been having quite the lively discussion on the Romance Potpourri Board about just how much the HEA constrains the writing of a novel, whether books are written to a recipe or formula, and what reasonable amount of reality and originality can be expected from genre fiction (romance in particular) given said restraints. The whole formula issue is an old one here at AAR, with some of us looking for the works that push that barrier, and others pointing out thatours are not the only novels written to a pattern.
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Bed, Chair, Sofa, or Floor?

victorian-woman-reading-magnet-c11748947And no, I’m not talking about certain recreational activities.  I’m just wondering where you guys like to read.

See, I used to have this image of a “proper” reader: Someone who sits straight-backed in a chair, or lounges with dignity in an armchair, legs crossed, holding a book in two hands, serenely flipping the pages.

But I discovered early on that I’m not like that.  Me, I sprawl.  I fidget.  I cross my legs in a chair, then turn ninety degrees and hang my legs over the arms, then flop onto the floor and lean against my desk.  I do all sorts of random stuff.  And that’s only at my desk.  So I need space to move.

By and large, there are four reading options for me:

Bed

If I’m reading in bed, it’s at night.  And if it’s at night, that means a limited period of time.  Which kinda sucks if I’m in the middle of a really gripping passage, but hey – self control, right?  […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:31:23+00:00 September 21st, 2011|Categories: Books, Jean AAR, Reading, Romance reading|Tags: , |35 Comments