Eagerly Awaiting for January

AAR Staff again weighs in with which coming January books they are dying to read.

Title and Author Reviewer
Chalice of Roses anthology Chalice of Roses anthology Blythe, Lynn, Rike
The Betrayal of the Blood Lily by Lauren Willig The Betrayal of the Blood Lily by Lauren Willig Jane, LinnieGayl, Lee
Dopplegangster by Laura Resnick Dopplegangster by Laura Resnick Rike, Lynn
Midnight Resolutions by Kathleen O'Reilly Midnight Resolutions by Kathleen O’Reilly Katie, Rike
Beyond the Night by Joss Ware Beyond the Night by Joss Ware Lynn, Jean
Lessons from a Scarlet Lady by Emma Wildes Lessons from a Scarlet Lady by Emma Wildes Blythe
The Taking by Erin McCarthy The Taking by Erin McCarthy Lea
Scoundrel's Kiss by Carrie Lofty Scoundrel’s Kiss by Carrie Lofty Lynn
The Brightest Star in the Sky by Marian Keyes The Brightest Star in the Sky by Marian Keyes Lee
A Tapestry of Spells by Lynn Kurland A Tapestry of Spells by Lynn Kurland Andi
At the Duke's Pleasure by Tracy Anne Warren At the Duke’s Pleasure by Tracy Anne Warren Jean
Her Secret Fling by Sarah Mayberry Her Secret Fling by Sarah Mayberry Katie
Stolen Seduction by Elisabeth Naughton Stolen Seduction by Elisabeth Naughton Emma
Criminal Deception by Marilyn Pappano Criminal Deception by Marilyn Pappano Ellen
Succubi Like It Hot by Jill Myles Succubi Like It Hot by Jill Myles Anne
Rebels and Traitors by Lindsey Davis Rebels and Traitors by Lindsey Davis Rike
The Truth about Lord Stoneville by Sabrina Jeffries The Truth about Lord Stoneville by Sabrina Jeffries Lea
The Duke's Redemption by Carla Capshaw The Duke’s Redemption by Carla Capshaw Lynn
Mending Fences by Jenna Mindel Mending Fences by Jenna Mindel Rike
Inked anthology Inked anthology Andi
Forbidden Falls by Robyn Carr Forbidden Falls by Robyn Carr Ellen
The Courteous Cad by Catherine Palmer The Courteous Cad by Catherine Palmer Anne
Spider's Bite by Jennifer Estep Spider’s Bite by Jennifer Estep Ellen
A Field Guide to Burying Your Parents by Liza Palmer A Field Guide to Burying Your Parents by Liza Palmer Anne

Eagerly Awaiting for December

AAR Staff again weighs in with which coming December books they are dying to read.

Title and Author Reviewer
Sold to a Laird by Karen Ranney Sold to a Laird by Karen Ranney Lynn, Lee, Jean
Twelve Nights by Hope Tarr Twelve Nights by Hope Tarr Rike, Lynn
Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde Jean, Rike
Fired Up by Jayne Ann Krentz Fired Up by Jayne Ann Krentz LinnieGayl
Her Colorado Man by Cheryl St. John Her Colorado Man by Cheryl St. John Lynn
A Mother's Secret by Janice Kay Johnson A Mother’s Secret by Janice Kay Johnson LinnieGayl
The Girl Next Door by Elizabeth Noble The Girl Next Door by Elizabeth Noble Lee
Chalice by Robin McKinley Chalice by Robin McKinley Jean
Then Comes Baby by Helen Brenna Then Comes Baby by Helen Brenna LinnieGayl
Seducing the Heiress by Olivia Drake Seducing the Heiress by Olivia Drake Lee
For Your Arms Only by Caroline Linden For Your Arms Only by Caroline Linden Rike
Mistress by Mistake by Susan Gee Heino Mistress by Mistake by Susan Gee Heino Lee
Her Desert Dream by Liz Fielding Her Desert Dream by Liz Fielding Jean
The Overnight Socialite by Bridie Clark The Overnight Socialite by Bridie Clark Lee
Gallant Officer, Forbidden Lady by Diane Gaston Gallant Officer, Forbidden Lady by Diane Gaston Lynn
Rich Again by Anna Maxted Rich Again by Anna Maxted Lee
Forever Waiting by DeVa Gantt Forever Waiting by DeVa Gantt Lynn
Dream Stalker by Jenna Kernan Dream Stalker by Jenna Kernan Rike

Make the Right Choice?

This spring I listened to the audiobook presentation of Impossible by Nancy Werlin, a young adult novel about a 17-year-old girl whose maternal line has been cursed by an evil elfin knight so that each generation becomes pregnant at seventeen and – unless she can solve the knight’s impossible riddle before she gives birth – forfeits her sanity to him.  This sounds like kind of an odd set-up, but the story was quite good.  Werlin states on her website that it was inspired by the ballad, “Scarborough Fair” (which the narrator sings this hauntingly throughout her performance of the novel).

Lucy Scarborough is one of a long line of Scarborough women who have gone insane and dropped out of their daughters’ lives.  Lucy has two big advantages over her forebears, however: she has her mother Miranda’s diary, written while she was pregnant with Lucy, and she has support.  Her foster parents are still in touch with Miranda, to the extent that they can be and they are willing to help Lucy when her time comes to need help.  Lucy also has a childhood friend-cum-love interest named Zach who is willing to risk life and limb to make sure this time the curse does not triumph.

One thing that is interesting about this book is that, in a time of paranormal glut, the “hero” is a fairly ordinary human boy who is kind, loyal, and very smart, but not in any way supernaturally powerful.  The elfin knight is the guy with all the powers, and he is very definitely the bad guy; Lucy is repulsed by him from the beginning.

Here is a video of Nancy Werlin explaining about her history of reading romance novels and why she made her hero a good guy and not a bad boy:

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If You Like at AAR

I’ve always had a soft spot for the If You Like pages because they are actually what led me to All About Romance in the first place.

Back in the fall of 1999 a lot of the chaos of my twenties was finally behind me.  I’d finished school, grad school, gotten a job, gotten married, and had bought a house.   At last I had time to read.  For fun.  So I turned back to my first love…romance novels.  Back in the early 80′s I’d read Kathleen E. Woodiwiss’s A Rose in Winter as a Good Housekeeping super-condensed fiction highlight of the month.  I was eleven, but I still remember the sweeping romantic line drawings on the beige colored insert.  I read it in sneak peeks in the downstairs bathroom because somehow I knew this was adult-type stuff.

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