In 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. (more…)
Archive for the ‘Lynn AAR’ Category
February proved to be quite the “challenging” month for me and I finished only four books that applied to my challenges. The good news is that reading three of those books helped me finish off my geography challenge. None of the books were standouts to me unfortunately, although A Gathering Storm by Rachel Hore was certainly the most memorable.
In Hore’s novel, Lucy Cardwell’s father seemed to have some sort of breakdown shortly after his mother’s death. He divorced his wife and seemed obsessed with some strange branch of family history. When Lucy sorts through his papers she finds out about an uncle she never knew she had. Intrigued she finds herself visiting her father’s childhood home, the once beautiful Carlyon Manor. The house has burned down but the village near it is still around and it is there that she meets Beatrice, an old woman who knows all the secrets of Lucy’s family. Starting in the 1930’s and ending shortly after the war we learn of a boy, a girl and a breathtaking adventure. (more…)
I can’t believe we’re already thinking about spring releases! But, March is just around the corner. Judging by the list of books we here at AAR are eager to try, I think it’s fair to say that Deanna Raybourn’s historical novels have our attention. Spring is bringing a variety of interesting-sounding books in other subgenres as well, and there seem to be more category romances than usual catching our eyes. So, what are you looking forward to in March?
|Title and Author||Reviewer|
|City of Jasmine by Deanna Raybourn||Lynn, Caz, Pat, Lee, LinnieGayl, Rike, Maggie, Alexandra, Melanie|
|The Jade Temptress by Jeannie Lin||Maggie, Caroline, Lynn|
|All a Man Is by Janie Kay Johnson||Heather, Pat|
|Carolina Man by Virginia Kantra||Lee, Haley|
|Night Broken by Patricia Briggs||Maggie, Heather|
|The Fall of a Saint by Christine Merrill||Caz|
|Awakened by His Touch by Nikki Logan||Rike|
|Secrets at Court by Blythe Gifford||Lynn|
|Love Comes Calling by Siri Mitchell||Maggie|
|The Bride Insists by Jane Ashford||Lee|
|Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop||Heather|
|Atonement by B.J. Daniels||Pat|
|For His Eyes Only by Liz Fielding||Caroline|
|The Rebel Pirate by Donna Thorland||Alexandra|
|The Rome Affair by Addison Fox||Lynn|
|Ghost Train to New Orleans by Mur Lafferty||Melanie|
|The Dark Affair by Maire Claremont||Caz|
|The Tropic of Serpents by Marie Brennan||Rike|
|Precious Thing by Colette McBeth||Maggie|
|A King’s Ransom by Sharon Kay Penman||Caz|
|Love Another Day by Gina Robinson||Lee|
|The Kindred of Darkness by Barbara Hambly||Caroline|
|Dancing With Dragons by Lorenda Christensen||Lynn|
|The All You Can Dream Buffet by Barbara O’Neal||Heather|
|Death by the Book by Julianna Deering||Maggie|
|All I Ever Wanted(reissue) by Kristan Higgins||Jenna|
|Double Blind(reissue) by Heidi Cullinan||Pat|
|An Arranged Marriage(reissue) by Jo Beverley||Rike|
As we get closer to time for February releases, I think it’s fair to say that more than a few of us are curious to see what Tessa Dare’s new historical romance series holds for readers. February also brings us a new series from Suzanne Brockmann. And if you aren’t in the mood to try a new series? Well, we found several other upcoming books to pique our curiosity. What do you want to read next month?
|Title and Author||Reviewer|
|Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare||Lynn, Dabney, Cindy, Lee, Mary, Blythe, Caz, Alex|
|Do or Die by Suzanne Brockmann||Blythe, Lea, Heather, Caroline, Caroline|
|The MacGregor’s Lady by Grace Burrowes||Mary, Caz|
|Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen||Maggie, Haley|
|Jaded by Anne Calhoun||Dabney, Lynn|
|Walking on Air by Catherine Anderson||Lee, Pat|
|Concealed in Death by J.D. Robb||Maggie, Blythe|
|The Forbidden Queen by Anne O’Brien||Caroline, Lynn|
|To Tempt a Viking by Michelle Willingham||Haley|
|Shamed in the Sands by Sharon Kendrick||Caroline|
|Up From the Grave by Jeaniene Frost||Lea|
|In Search of Hope by Anna Jacobs||Pat|
|At the River’s Edge by Mariah Stewart||LinnieGayl|
|Alienated by JMelissa Landers||Maggie|
|The Countess Confessions by Jillian Hunter||Lee|
|Winter at Mustang Ridge by Jesse Hayworth||Pat|
|The Real Mr. Right by Karen Templeton||Caroline|
|Misbehaving by Tiffany Reisz||Lynn|
|Curl Up and Dye by Sharon Sala||Maggie|
|Why Earls Fall in Love by Manda Collins||Lee|
|Melting the Ice by Jaci Burton
|That Part Was True by Deborah McKinlay||Pat|
|The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan||Maggie|
|After I’m Gone by Laura Lippman||Dabney|
|The Major’s Wife by Lauri Robinson||Caroline|
Once again, I’m participating in the multi-blog TBR Challenge but this year we’re doing things a little differently here on the blog as a couple of my fellow AAR reviewers are working on reading challenges, too. So, each month we’ll all be talking reading challenges and if there are any challenges you want to hop onto for yourself, you’ll find links down at the bottom.
My challenge for the month was to read something short – a category novel or a novella or short story. I tend to buy plenty of category romance so this was no problem for me. When Entangled launched, I had purchased several books from their various category lines to try and a few were still sitting unread on the Kindle, so this time around I decided to try Three River Ranch by Roxanne Snopek. Three River Ranch is a 2012 release from the Bliss line, a line that seems to feature American settings, strong family/home/community themes and fairly low-level sensuality. I have a feeling this line would appeal to readers of Harlequin American Romance or Special Edition. (more…)
There’s something about starting a new year that just feels fresh and inspiring. New places yet to see, new books still to be read, and somehow on that first day of each year, the world itself feels a little more new.
I moved recently, and as I’ve been unpacking my books (and even with my Kindle, there are still tons of paper books!), I find myself thinking about how I want to be reading in 2014. Here are some of the things important to me for next year:
Discovering new-to-me authors – I started reviewing at AAR when I was not long out of school. 2013 marked my 10th year here, and one of my favorite things about being a reviewer has been the discovery of books and authors I probably would not have discovered on my own otherwise. AAR is what led me to (more…)
As we coast into the last month of the 2013 TBR Challenge, we get to one of my favorite categories – holiday romances. Since I was unpacking from a move, I just ended up reading the first holiday tale I encountered – Sandra Madden’s 2001 Christmas romance, Comfort and Joy. I probably should have kept right on digging because this frustrating little book definitely lands squarely in C grade territory for me.
The book has its good points. For starters, I loved the 1870s Boston settings. It’s refreshing at times to have a break from the Regency/Victorian England That Never Was. And since I tend to like romances with characters from different classes, the old money Boston hero and Irish immigrant heroine in this story caught my eye as well. Though acceptance of their romance comes perhaps a bit more easily than it would have in real life, the author does still give some consideration to the prejudices and class tension of the time. (more…)
Perhaps it’s the fact that Thanksgiving was yesterday and the crazy crowds of Black Friday are something I try to avoid when possible. Or maybe it’s that I’m in the midst of moving. As I pack up my books and decide what to keep and what to donate, I’ve felt like I’m at a reunion with old friends. I pick up each book and remember encountering the characters within, and I have a few seconds of savoring that first time I encountered favorite characters ranging from Alinor of Roselynde, the Bridgertons, Katniss, or the cast of the Harry Potter books.
I pick up Venetia and want to read just a few scenes, or I find Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series and try to decide if I can spare a few minutes from packing to enter that world. I spend plenty of time picking out the weaknesses of books with improbable plots, poor writing and idiot characters, but there are so many good things to read as well. And for some reason, today I’m feeling sentimental and very thankful for the ways that the best books make me feel.
So, today instead of lots of commentary, I have a question for readers to answer in the comment section below. I want to know what book you’re thankful for and why. I’m curious to see what people say. I’m also planning another column for later and could use your help on this, so please do chime in!
I’ll give one to start. Since I’m rereading Bet Me at the moment, I’ll use that one. I love this book and I’m thankful for it because it’s one of those sweet, fantasy/wish fulfillment books that leaves me with a smile on my face. The dialogue makes me laugh every time.
Now, what about you? What book are you thankful for and why?
– Lynn Spencer
This month’s TBR Challenge was to find a book that got inescapable buzz. As it turns out, I have had one sitting in my Kindle for ages, waiting for that perfect time to be read. When Carina Press launched back in 2010, one of their debut titles, Exclusively Yours by Shannon Stacey generated lots of chatter almost from the beginning and it filled my Twitter stream for months. In fact, this title generated so much buzz and so many sales that it ended up being picked up for reissue in print by HQN. As it turns out, it ended up being the perfect companion for me as I sat through my 3 hour glucose test(ah, the joys of pregnancy.) If you like single-title contemporaries, this one is a cute, light-hearted read. I’d give it a B+ for the huge smile it left on my face.
The basic set-up is this: Hero and heroine fall in love in high school. Heroine wants a life outside of small-town New England and she takes off for the West Coast, where she starts to build a career for herself writing for celebrity tabloids. Hero, meanwhile, goes on to become a famous author and also notoriously reclusive in his private life. (more…)