We pick the “Buried Treasures” of 2013

Starfish-beach-wallpaperIn 2013, self-publishing was mainstream, social media allowed authors more specific ways to publicize their work, and everyone had a strongly held opinion about what constituted a great romance novel.  This environment makes the idea of a “buried treasure” more difficult to define. So, let’s agree to accept this definition: a buried treasure is a book you loved you think isn’t as well known as it should be. Continue reading

Buried Treasures: The Movie Version

simplyirresistible We’ve discussed romantic movies here several times, most recently in Jean’s March 2012 blog. Many of the films we talk about are popular, something we most likely have all seen or at least heard of. However, a recent viewing of a movie I literally stumbled across while searching for something else had me thinking of films that sit quietly waiting to be discovered. I don’t know that the movies are obscure so much as just not often discussed and therefore often hard to find (or at least, find out about).

A romantic movie doesn’t necessarily have to be a romantic comedy, although all the films listed below do contain that element. It does have to have a couple actually falling in love, though. Too many films meant to be romances lack actual romance. And for me, if the couple is going to be doing battle I’d prefer it to be of the sweet and zany variety. Downright cruelty, such as that highlighted in The Ugly Truth starring Katherine Heigl, doesn’t appeal to me.

The humor can be subtle – a smile can work every bit as good as a laugh. And the love story can be as sweet and silent as a snowflake. And like Sleepless in Seattle I don’t need a complete HEA, the promise of a future one is enough. Continue reading

Buried Treasure Reads – 2012

With self-publishing and a proliferation of small presses dotting the landscape, I’m not surprised to see that 2012 yielded a rather varied list of buried treasures. We have a diverse group of reviewers and from the looks of things, they read a pretty diverse crop of books this year both for review and just for pleasure. Thankfully, that’s yielded a list of buried treasure books covering everything from the self-published to the books from major publishers that just didn’t seem to generate nearly as much buzz as we thought they deserved.

Started with the self-published, Dabney Grinnan really enjoyed the erotic novella, By His Desire by Kate Grey. I also had a fun self-published discovery. Mary Castillo’s romantic suspense novel, Lost in the Light has its weak points, but the mystery intrigued me and I appreciated how the author managed to make her heroine both sympathetic and very flawed. Continue reading

Buried Treasure Reads of 2011

Did 2011 yield some great buried treasure reads? Of course it did! It seems like every year there are some wonderful books that fly under the radar, deserving of accolades but never quite getting the buzz they deserve. All of us here at AAR put our heads together and we came up with quite a list of books that you really should go back and read if you missed them the first time around.

flirtitalian Flirting With Italian by veteran author Liz Fielding not only got a DIK review here, but was also one of Senior Reviewer LinnieGayl Kimmel’s Buried Treasure picks, which she described as “a little gem of a category romance.” She really enjoyed its “fully developed characters and a wonderful sense of its Italian setting.” As both a series title and a holiday season release, it seemed that this book got a little lost in the holiday shuffle and really deserved more buzz than it got. The same is true of LinnieGayl’s other Buried Treasure pick, It Happened One Christmas, a Blaze book by Leslie Kelly.
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Buried Treasures of 2010

seven_secrets_of_seduction 2010 seems to have been a good reading year for many of our readers and also for AAR staff. Some of the books we’ve loved have gotten lots of buzz, but there are always those buried treasures out there waiting to be found. Some of these books come from new authors or smaller presses, and a few are from bestselling authors who, for whatever reason, just didn’t get the buzz here on the site that staffers felt they deserved. So, here is our chance to point out the books from 2010 that we really think more people need to read.

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Long Buried Treasures

crocodile-on-the-sandbank-186x300Each year AAR features a list of staff members’ buried treasures for the past year. In last year’s blog announcing our 2009 buried treasures, Lynn described them as  “the books that we really liked this year that just didn’t seem to get nearly as much attention as we thought they deserved.”  While tabulating your votes for AAR’s 2010 Top 100 Poll, I’ve been reminded that many of us not only have buried treasures for a particular year, some of us actually have much-loved, and frequently re-read books that no one else seems to know about.

As we wrote when publishing our 2007 Top 100 Poll, 2,784 titles, or 56% of all the titles readers voted for, appeared on only one ballot. That’s a lot of books that only one AAR reader loved enough to place on their ballot. After looking over ballots for the first weeks of this cycle, I’m confident that we’ll have similar numbers again of books appearing on only one ballot.

Each time I prepare my Top 100 ballot (and I’ve voted in each one), I face the same quandary:  Should I vote only for titles that I think have a chance of placing in the top 100 (or even the top 200), or do I genuinely vote for my favorites? And each time, I just go with my favorites, no matter where I think they’ll end up. Before the 2007 poll, I figured if nothing else, some unknown pollster would read my selections, and know that someone out there loved those books. Now, as a pollster, I know that Lee or Cindy (Cindy this year) will at least know about the books that I think are wonderful.

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Buried Treasures of 2009

BT01 At one point, pretty much every reader has that moment of finding a wonderful, delightful book that doesn’t seem to be getting any love anywhere. It’s not flying off shelves at the bookstore, it’s not getting buzz all over the internet, it just doesn’t make sense. And that’s what our Buried Treasure column is for – it’s our time to mention the books that we really liked this year that just didn’t seem to get nearly as much attention as we thought they deserved. These may be books by midlist or small-press authors who should be better known or they may be lesser-known books by authors readers are more familar with. Either way, these books just haven’t gotten the attention we feel they deserve.

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Buried Treasures 2008

“Oh my goodness, I can’t BELIEVE that you don’t know this book!” How many times have you heard this – or said it to someone after raving about your latest find? Every reader I know seems to stumble upon a few truly wonderful reads that just don’t seem to generate the buzz we think they deserve. Each year, all of us here at AAR like to gather up a few of our buried treasures and share them with you.

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