When AAR ran the Top 100 romances poll, our reviewers blogged their personal Top 10s weekly to share some of their favorites. Since the mini-polls are smaller, we consolidated a few of our favorites into one blog post. Hopefully this will help you finish up your own ballots before voting ends on April 25. (You can vote for your favorites here at SurveyMonkey). Read the rest of this entry »
When I saw that this month’s TBR Challenge category called on us to read a contemporary romance, I found almost an embarrassment of choices. Did I want to go mainstream or inspy? Small town or big city? Something serious or more chick lit in tone? In the end, the setting drew me into Return to Tomorrow, a 2010 re-release of a 1990 title.
The premise of this novel is definitely not run of the mill. The characters were all shaped by their experiences in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War, and even 20+ years on, the author shows how the war affected them. Rachel McKendrick spent years in a prison camp in Laos, and not surprisingly, has a lot of emotional issues to work through. After her rescue, she never intended to return to the region but a promise made to a priest she respected deeply brings her to a refugee camp.
There she meets Brett “Tiger” Jackson, a man with a dangerous reputation. Tiger fought in the war and has stayed behind working a variety of shadowy jobs and living among a trusted group of expats who, like him, never could quite return home after the war. Rachel’s brother back home knew and trusted him, but on the ground in Thailand, he has a reputation as a dangerous drug smuggler. There is obviously more to him than meets the eye, but readers are only slightly ahead of Rachel in learning this. Read the rest of this entry »
Back last fall when we were feeling inundated with the Top 100 Poll, several readers asked if we would consider reviving the AAR Mini-Polls, or “Top Ten Polls.” Our rather quick response was, “we’ll think about it, but need to get through the Top 100 Poll and then deal with the Annual Poll in January.” Since two of us (LinnieGayl and Cindy) also update the Special Title Lists with Rike, it seemed rather daunting. But a number of months have gone by and we’ve decided to give reviving the mini-polls a try.
We’ve decided to start this month with updating the mini-poll for your top 10 favorite frontier or western romances. Why did we decide to pick this poll as our first to update? Well, it was last updated in October of 2007, nearly seven years ago. That’s seven long years when there have surely been some outstanding frontier or western romances published. Our write-up of the results of that poll can be found here. But more importantly, when the results of the Top 100 poll were released this past fall, a number of readers decried the lack of frontier and western romances in the top 100 (and actually in the top 200). So this is your chance; what are your favorite frontier and western romances of all time? Read the rest of this entry »
Although I love seeing today’s top romance authors’ books released in audio format, it feels like an even bigger victory when I see the audio release of an older romance jewel with an excellent narrator to match their outstanding content. Today, we’re taking a look at books with an original print publication date prior to 2003 that are now successful audiobooks. The audio version may have been recorded 18 years ago or as recently as 2014. All were once favorites with romance readers and many are still readers’ favorites today as evidenced by their appearance on such lists as AAR’s Top 100. Read the rest of this entry »
I knew pregnancy was going to change my life, but it came as a surprise to me that pregnancy changed my romance reading. I haven’t read books, especially historicals, in the same way since. Read the rest of this entry »
Rita Dove said that “Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful.” I totally agree with that. Whether it is painting a beautiful picture or capsulizing an ugly truth, a poem is language used in simplicity and beauty to help us see what can often not be captured by the naked eye. A favorite poem can say a lot about love, about life, about the author but it also tells a bit about the person who loves it. Here are a few of the AAR staff’s favorite poems: Read the rest of this entry »
Currently I am assiduously avoiding sports. Literally. Much of my family is in another room swearing at the television as my husband’s alma mater fights to move forward in the NCAA tournament. In the time they’ve cared deeply about the outcome of this game, I have chatted on Twitter, painted my nails a lovely shade of grape, bought two, actually three, new romances based on recommendations from my Twitter feed, and burned a pan of sweet potato fries. Read the rest of this entry »