Archive for the ‘Rike AAR’ Category

The results of the AAR Top Ten Lists are in and the winner is….

Monday, October 7th, 2013

loverawakenedBack in April, we began, on each Tuesday, publishing a reviewer’s Top Ten list. There were no rules other than the books be in the romance genre. Over the next five months, we published twenty-three lists. Out of the 230 entries, we listed 201 books. We hit every genre (although we have a definitive fondness for historical romance), and waxed upon the works of 121 authors. After every one had weighed in, only one book garnered five–the most–votes: J.R. Ward’s Lover Awakened. (more…)

Special Title Listings: The Bad Girls

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

spear_of_summer_grass Bad girl heroines hold a special fascination for many romance readers because these women go against the grain of what we expect in a romance in a number of ways. They are aggressive, they take the lead, they act selfishly or irresponsibly, and they may even be without remorse. They don’t mind using their charm and attraction for their own advantage, and they even use their bodies to get what they want. Often they are outcasts, be it from choice or from necessity. However, as many of them are strong, independent characters, they are highly interesting to read about.

There are several special title listings at AAR that contain such heroines.

The Tormented Heroines are at odds with their role in society, and this results in their acting against the rules of sweet and caring womanhood. They may be cynical, eccentric, manipulative, selfish, or any combination of these. In any case they are mad, bad, and dangerous to know, and it takes a very special hero to bridge their defenses and let them find happiness. With these heroines, it is often clear that even the happy ending is only a single step forward in a battle of wits that will last for and enrich their entire lives. No conventional happily-ever-after here! (more…)

Two Special Title Lists Revised

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

bookstack It seems hard to believe but one year ago Rike, Cindy, and I took over the task of updating the Special Title Lists after they had been untouched for nearly three years.

Since then we’ve updated or created 29 lists. We’ve encountered some unanticipated problems such as inconsistencies or overlapping lists, unclear definitions, and a few clearly misplaced titles. But more than the problems, we’ve had a great deal of fun exploring these lists and learning about some new titles in our own favorite categories. This morning we’re pleased to announce that thanks to you, two more Special Title Lists have been revised and are now available for you to check out: Older Couples and Big City Contemporary Romances. (more…)

Special Title Listings: Summer Update

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

list As summer heads into its final months we’ve decided to take a bit of a break and are doing a light update for the Special Title Listings by opening just two lists for your suggestions. Even though we’re entering the Dog Days of summer we hope you’ll be able to help us once again and offer some great suggestions for the following lists: (1) Older Couples, and (2) Big City Contemporary Romances.

We look forward to seeing your submissions for these lists starting today Monday August 5 and going for the next two weeks ending Sunday August 18 at midnight. As a reminder, any additions to the list have to be: (1) the best of the best, (2) stand the test of time, and (3) actually fit the list for which they were submitted. (more…)

Updated Special Title Lists – Suspense & Mystery, and Heroes in Pursuit

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

newimproved As we said several weeks ago, we were simply bombarded with submissions when we opened these two lists up for your nominations, with over 150 recommendations for each. We have now posted the revised lists at AAR, but have a few issues to raise as you’ll see below.

Suspense & Mystery List. We’re afraid that the Suspense & Mystery list – as currently constituted – may have outlived its usefulness. This list was created in 1997, long before the power search was available at AAR. We believe that the Special Title Lists should provide something different than the power search feature. For example, we don’t have a Special Title list for Medieval Historicals or European Historicals or Contemporary Romances. So does it make sense to have a Special Title list with part of its definition as Romantic Suspense? We don’t think so, but we’d like your thoughts. (more…)

AAR Staff Top Ten Favorites – Rike’s Picks

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

cotillion All the romances listed below are true Desert Island Keepers for me, and for each of them the following holds true: Whenever I open them to reread a particular scene, I cannot put them down again, and I end up reading the whole book. Each and every time. So this list is entirely subjective, with no regard to subgenres or dates of publication – although to gain entry on this list, a romance must have been around for a few years, otherwise I won’t know whether I will reread it again … and again … and again.

The order in which I have placed the books is not according to preference, but, as far as I can remember, according to the time in which I discovered them and added them to my own personal canon. (more…)

Sports Romances and Heroines in Pursuit

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

list We don’t know what it is about the combination of Heroes in Pursuit, Heroines in Pursuit, Sports Romances, and Suspense & Mystery, but we seem to have hit all your buttons. Never since we have taken up the Special Titles Listings have we received so many nominations, in the case of Heroes in Pursuit and Suspense & Mystery more than 150 titles each. The good news is that these lists will be expanded considerably; the bad news is that we will just need a bit more time to do so. As a result, we are presenting the updated pages in two steps: Today the shorter Heroines in Pursuit and Sports Romances, and the week after next the other two lists. (more…)

New Special Title Lists Open!

Monday, June 10th, 2013

list We’re pleased to announce that we’re opening four more Special Title Listings for your suggestions. Even though it’s summer we hope you’ll be able to help us once again and offer some great suggestions for the following lists: (1) Suspense & Mystery; (2) Sports Romances; (3) Heroes in Pursuit; and (4) Heroines in Pursuit.

We look forward to seeing your submissions for these lists starting today Monday June 10 and going for the next two weeks ending Sunday June 23 at midnight. As a reminder, any additions to the list have to be: (1) the best of the best, (2) stand the test of time, and (3) actually fit the list for which they were submitted.

Suspense & Mystery
: While AAR is a romance site, we also recognize that many AAR readers – and staff – love romantic suspense as well as traditional mysteries with strong romantic elements. In this list we feature romances filled with intrigue, mystery, and mayhem. Traditional “gothic” romances are included, and suspense or mystery novels with a strong romantic sub-plot may be listed as well. It’s been over four years since this was last updated and based on the active thread on mystery and suspense on the Let’s Talk Romance Novels forum, we’re hoping to see a lot of great submissions from you to add to the list. (more…)

Four Special Title Lists Revised

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

newimproved This morning we’re pleased to announce that thanks to you, four more Special Title Lists have been revised and are now available for you to check out: Nerds & Absent Minded Professors; Bluestockings, Independent Misses, and Feminists; Beauty is in the Eye; and Unrequited Love.

Nerds & Absent Minded Professors
: We added 13 new titles to this list. You suggested a few new contemporary heroes, but the majority of our new nerds and absent-minded professors can be found in European historical romances. One of the nominations – Christian Langland from Laura Kinsale’s Flowers from the Storm – generated a lot of discussion amongst AAR staff members. We finally concluded that while he might not appear like a nerd on the surface, Christian Langland is a mathematical genius who is a bit of a closet nerd, and was added to the list with that descriptor. (more…)

New Special Title Lists are Open!

Monday, May 6th, 2013

list We’re at it again! With the help of our readers we have found the right formula for adding new titles to the Special Title Listings. This month we are opening: (1) Nerds & Absent-Minded Professors, (2) Bluestockings and Feminists, (3) Beauty is in the Eye and (4) Unrequited Love. We look forward to seeing your submissions for these lists starting today Monday May 6th and going for the next two weeks ending Sunday May 19th at midnight. As a reminder, any additions to the list have to be: (1) the best of the best, (2) stand the test of time, and (3) actually fit the list for which they were submitted. (more…)