Scandal at the Midsummer Ball had its genesis when we received a house party invitation from Harlequin. The details were sketchy, we were provided with a picture of the venue, the name of our host, some suggested dates, and a mood board. We share an Editor and we’d worked together previously on the Castonbury Park series, but we’d never actually spoken, far less met, and we live on different continents and inhabit different time zones. But right from the start, the idea of jointly creating a Regency house party that was scandalous, romantic and sexy, really appealed to both of us. We wanted our stories to be fun, and we were also determined to have fun writing them.
And boy, did we! Our duet would share a common cast of colourful characters and span a week-long series of sumptuous events. Two distinctly separate romances would be played out, but we wanted our characters to meet, converse together, socialise, and be free to wander in and out of each other’s stories. Continue reading
Here’s our monthly look at what titles we’re excited about reading in the next few weeks. June boasts some highly anticipated titles by some of the biggest names in historical romance -Lisa Kleypas and Elizabeth Hoyt – as well as new books from Nalini Singh, Sarah Morgan, Jennifer Probst and sees Julie Anne Long making her début as an author of contemporary romance.
Here’s just a small selection of the titles AAR staffers are looking forward to getting stuck into. Do you agree with us, or do you have some goodies to add to our TBRs?
WARNING: This post has spoilers for the TV shows Castle, Downton Abbey, ER, Robin Hood, and Being Human.
I will admit, I love the television show Castle but I haven’t been as loyal a viewer as I used to be. For the years it was appointment television I was definitely a CasKett shipper and would find myself cheering every time they got closer or getting upset for each missed opportunity. When news broke that actress Stana Katic was leaving the show I was quite upset with the online chatter claiming her character Kate Beckett might be killed off in the season finale. In the fictional world of the show that would be a bombshell to say the least. (This post was written before the final aired.) Continue reading
Title: The Knight and the Rose
Author: Isolde Martyn
Setting: Medieval Romance (1320s England)
Readers who loved Isolde Martyn’s The Maiden and the Unicorn (Our DIK review is here.) have been waiting (patiently or not) for the stateside publication of her next book. Here it is, and it takes the reader for an exciting ride as it follows the story of a forced, falst marriage and how the two parties involved eventually make it a true union.
Lady Johanna Fitzhenry is looking to escape from her husband Fulk de Enderby, who beats her constantly and has not gotten the heir he demands. She manages a bit of freedom when she is summoned to her parents’ home at Conisthorpe, although Fulk has sent along his odious sister Edyth to keep an eye on Johanna. Once at Conisthorpe, Johanna’s mother, Lady Constance, decides to help her daughter and enlists Geraint, a rebel fleeing from the Battle of Boroughbridge who is passing himself off as a scholar named Gervase de Laval. Continue reading
I’m a fairly eclectic reader (just check my Goodreads account for proof of that), so when confronted with a theme calling on me to pick out something completely different, I found myself at a bit of a loss. I decided to go with the “outside my comfort zone” side of things, and I picked up Levi’s Will by W. Dale Cramer. I read plenty of inspirationals, but I have often been candid about Amish books just not being my thing. I only had this 2005 novel in the TBR because a couple bloggers I respect had praised it to the skies. Having read it, I now see why.
The book opens on an Amish farm in the 1940s as 19 year old Will Mullett flees his father’s home together with his younger brother Tobe. The two eventually find their way south from Ohio, where they end up taking on various manual labor jobs to support themselves. Early on, we learn that Will has fled not only the Amish religion and way of life, but also an impending marriage. The young woman he was courting is now pregnant and Will is expected to marry her. Knowing this makes Will a more morally ambiguous and complicated hero than we normally find in inspirational fiction, watching him grow and grapple with larger questions of faith, morality, and identity makes this book a real standout.