I missed a lot of the old school historical romances the first time around, but starting in college, I began to discover them in used bookstores. There are definitely some aspects of Ye Olde Romance that are best forgotten (such as A Pirate’s Love and similar rapefests), but the older books had their good points, too. Roberta Gellis has long been a favorite of mine, and I remember how her stories could span years of a couple’s story, taking them through all manner of places and conflicts. (more…)
Archive for the ‘Lynn AAR’ Category
That’s right! I got a press release from Grand Central today announcing that it will be expanding the Forever imprint. After reading what Anne had to say below about the pending Penguin and Random House merger, I had wondered whether traditional publishing of romance would start to shrink a bit. Would RH and Penguin combine imprints and cause slots to be lost? It does seem a bit like a recipe for further squeezing the midlist and making it harder for new writers to establish themselves.
In contrast, the news from Grand Central felt pretty welcome. In the press release, the publisher announced that Forever and the eBook-only imprint Forever Yours had 64 titles in 2012, they expect about 120 this year and over 190 in 2014. Wow! That’s a huge increase. Not surprisingly, they’re also looking to add to their editorial and marketing staff.
Based on the comments from Grand Central reps in the press release, it sounds like they are attuned to the fact that romance readers read a lot, and we like to have lots of books to select from. Amy Pierpont, the Editorial Director of Forever and Forever Yours stated that, ” “Romance readers are talking, and Forever is listening! Fans want more books from their favorite authors, they want them published more frequently, and they’re eager to discover new favorite authors and series. Forever’s expansion allows us to bring readers exactly what they’re asking for—and more.” The publisher also seems to realize that readers have very diverse tastes. Beth de Guzman, the founding editor of Forever and now a VP at Grand Central, described the romance market as “more robust and diverse than at any other time…” I hope that the realization we romance readers are a pretty eclectic bunch translates into some nice, broad-ranging title lists as well. I see potential here, and I just hope that having room for more authors and books on the publisher’s roster turns out to be a good thing for readers.
– Lynn Spencer
This month’s TBR Challenge read is supposed to be one recommended by a fellow reader. In this case, I went for a 2003 paranormal historical(and RITA winner) recommended to me when I blogged about my hunt for something both romantic and creepy.
Shades of Midnight by Linda Fallon (aka Linda Winstead Jones) definitely fit the bill both for romance and for creepiness. This ghostly romance set in 1880s Georgia was one of those books that formed pretty vivid pictures in my mind. Though the book had its weak moments, lack of creepy atmosphere was not one of them and I would probably give it a B- if I were grading.
Here’s the setup: Lucien Thorpe has a gift for releasing earthbound spirits and when he receives a summons from Eve Abernathy to rid her house of a ghostly couple, he comes running. Lucien had stood Eve up altar a couple of years before, so things between them are strained at best. However, the compelling mystery of the ghosts in Eve’s home captivates them both and compels them to work together. All that Lucien and Eve know is that the home’s original occupants, Alastair and Viola Stamper, died thirty years before in a murder-suicide on Halloween night. Their spirits haunt the home, reenacting their last day alive, growing more vivid as Halloween approaches. (more…)
Just this month, Harlequin officially launched their new KISS line of books promising readers modern stories that are fresh and fun. Sometimes when I read contemporary romance, the characters seem very old-fashioned so I was curious to see what I would find in the new line. I ended up having The One That Got Away as a review book and I picked up the other three to read on my own. While the tone and stories varied, they did all feel believably modern. I was able to interview two of the launch authors, Kelly Hunter and Kimberly Lang, and this is what they had to say about the new line: (more…)
It’s probably pretty plain that we love romance here, and we enjoy reviewing books and trying to give readers good information about what’s out there. But – there’s a lot of books and comparatively few of us. We would love to add a few more reviewers, so if you’re interested in All About Romance, we would be thrilled to have you apply.
What’s the commitment? We ask that reviewers be willing to commit to reading and reviewing at least three books per month. If you want to do more, that’s wonderful! But we do try to keep a minimum so that people know what to expect.
Are we looking for particular genres? As you can see from looking at our current roster, we welcome readers with a wide variety of tastes and would like to people interested in reviewing any genre of romance. I will warn you: sometimes reviewing makes your tastes change! When I started in 2003, I read historicals and romantic suspense, with a smattering of category books, almost exclusively. However, seeing my fellow reviewers and other readers talking about books broadened my horizons quite a bit and I’m now a much more eclectic reader. Since we’ve lost a few reviewers in the subgenres, we’d certainly like to see some historical and paranormal readers, but we’d love to hear from readers of all subgenres of romance.
How do I apply? You can apply by email. Please send us two sample reviews – one should be a DIK, and the other should be a D or F review. You should include your full name and email address. Email should go directly to Blythe Barnhill at Blytheaar AT gmail DOT com and you’ll just need to put “AAR Reviewers” in the subject line.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to email me (lspenceraar AT hotmail DOT com) or Blythe. You can also contact us using the contact form. Good luck and happy reading!
– Lynn Spencer
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. (more…)
Ah, new year…new resolve to dive deep into the TBR for the multi-blog TBR Challenge. This month we’re easing in with short reads (novellas, category books, etc..) and so I went pulled out 2004 release In Like Flynn from Harlequin’s now-defunct Flipside line. I didn’t remember having this book, but as soon as I saw the author’s name I knew immediately why I would have picked it up. Dorien Kelly is the author of Do-Over, which is to this day one of my very favorite lawyer romances. Most romances involving the law center on criminal practice, but I’ve always worked in the civil realm and Do-Over a pitch perfect portrayal of what life in a sizable corporate firm is like. Short on glamor, long on drudgery and intense politics.
With this book, Kelly turns her focus to life in a family-run restaurant chain. Annie Rutherford comes from an overachieving family and while she has an MBA, she’s still the black sheep as she works for a pizza chain in Ann Arbor rather than a silk-stocking investment firm or something of that nature. Annie dreams of showing the owner of the chain how to make it into a franchise, but Mr. Donovan has other ideas – he wants to create an Irish pub like one he enjoyed on vacation. (more…)
Decisions, decisions…. – If you haven’t voted yet, don’t forget that our Annual Reader Poll runs through Sunday, January 20, 2013. I’ll admit that I’m one of those still procrastinating over my ballot. My votes for some of the categories jump out at me right away: The Siren was definitely the most unforgettable erotica I read this year and nothing was as much a tear-jerker for me as The Sleeping Night. However, it’s very hard for me to vote for just one book in some of the other categories.
So, what books are you all thinking about as you go over the poll this year? (more…)
Well, love is certainly in the air for February! One look at the list of books coming out in February, and we were all drooling with anticipation over everything from historicals to contemporaries to romantic suspense, with new arrivals coming from Meredith Duran, Lisa Kleypas, Anne Gracie, Karen Rose and a host of other talented authors. So, what are you looking forward to reading this winter? We could always use more reading suggestions, so post your ideas below. Thanks!
|Title and Author||Reviewer|
|That Scandalous Summer by Meredith Duran||Blythe, Jean, Lynn, Jane, Rike, Lee|
|Crystal Cove by Lisa Kleypas||Heather S., Jane, Pat|
|The Autumn Bride by Anne Gracie||Rike, Lee|
|Reservations for Two by Jennifer Lohmann||Dabney, Lynn|
|Once Again a Bride by Jane Ashford||Lee, Rike|
|Did You Miss Me? by Karen Rose||Lynn, Maggie|
|Killing Time by Cindy Gerard||Lee|
|Speaking From Among the Bones by Alan Bradley||LinnieGayl|
|Touch & Go by Lisa Gardner||Maggie|
|‘Til The World Ends by Julie Kagawa, Ann Aguirre, and Karen Duvall||Lynn|
|A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan||Rike|
|Crazy Thing Called Love by Molly O’Keefe||Pat|
|It Stings So Sweet by Stephanie Draven||Lynn|
|Cover of Snow by Jenny Milchman||Maggie|
|A Duke Never Yields by Juliana Gray||Lee|
|Be Mine by Jennifer Crusie, Victoria Dahl and Shannon Stacey||Rike|
|Destiny’s Embrace by Beverly Jenkins||Lynn|
When readers list their favorite writers of category romance, Sarah Mayberry consistently makes the lists. Her characters feel very real, and her ear for dialogue makes their stories a delight to read. In addition, she tends to be a versatile author, writing stories with heat that fits in well with the Blaze line while also exploring family situations and deep emotion within the Superromance line.
In her latest release, The Other Side of Us(due out this Wednesday!), Mayberry takes readers to a beach community in Australia where the hero and heroine have retreated from their usual lives. For one, the discovery of an affair has led to the end of a marriage, while the other is still on the long road to recovery following a devastating car accident. The new neighbors are prickly with each other at first and there’s certainly a lot of believable baggage between them, but watching them create a relationship is a delight. Mackenzie and Oliver are both mature, intelligent characters and both the emotion and heat in this book made it good reading.
And we have three(3) copies to give away! If you’d like to win a copy of The Other Side of Us, just comment below by 11:59 p.m. on January 3, 2012. This contest is open to both US and international readers. (more…)