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

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. Continue reading

AAR Staff Top Ten Favorites – Rike’s Picks

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. Continue reading

Sports Romances and Heroines in Pursuit

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. Continue reading

New Special Title Lists Open!

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. Continue reading

Four Special Title Lists Revised

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. Continue reading

New Special Title Lists are Open!

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. Continue reading

Special Title Listings – An Update

list When we embark on adding to one of our Special Title Listings, we are elated when there are lots of titles nominated, because, although it means spending several hours on the computer, it also means discovering fascinating new titles. Considering this, we are very glad that we got so many responses for our Unusual Professions and Met as Children Lists – 52 and 47 respectively. We are especially grateful that you volunteered so many details about the books, because that made it much easier for us to decide if a title fit the list. Thanks a lot! Continue reading

Special Title Listings: A Little More Information Please

library-2 Since reopening the Special Title Listings we have learned many things but the prevalent realization was that unless we had read the book in question, we had to do some serious investigating to ensure the titles submitted fit the definition of the category. Some categories are easy – Unusual Professions would be a category where we could find reviews that would let us know the occupations of the protagonists if our readers forgot to put in the information.
Continue reading

Love as a Bridge

Do you believe in the power of love to reconcile what is opposite or different? I do. Not without reservations: Some positions are opposed too far to be overcome easily, for example a union between an unrepentant racist and a person who despises racism. And in some instances, where there’s no real compromise possible, love may not be enough to bridge the gap, like whether one wants to have children or not, a pet or not. But in many cases love may bring together people that hold opinions and beliefs that differ, and may make a relationship possible that both partners would have declined for rational reasons before they actually fell in love.

My own marriage is an example of the opposites-attract kind. My husband and I are respectively conservative and green, Catholic and Lutheran, of working-class and academia background. And our marriage works well. We still vote differently (sometimes arguing about details, but always respecting the other’s right to a different opinion), we take turns attending both our churches together, and when we visit with our families, one of us may sometimes roll his or her eyes at the other family’s idiosyncrasies, but always prepared for tolerance. Continue reading

New Lists Open this Month!

In the spirit of keeping the momentum up we’re going to open five more categories on the Special Title Listings page. We have been getting such a great response(thank you all!) and we know how important these lists are to you, our readers, that we wanted to get one more update in before the end of the year. So we are pleased to open up the following categories for submissions: (1) Across the Tracks, (2) Christmas Romances, (3) Inter-Ethnic Romances, (4) Special Settings and (5) Luscious Love Stories. These categories will be open for submissions starting today Monday November 12th and ending Sunday November 25th at midnight. Four of the five categories are ones our readers asked to be updated first while the last one, Christmas Romances, seemed like the perfect addition since it’s about that time of the year. Once again, we are looking for the best of the best in these categories and we’ve included the definitions below. We’ve also included links so you can look over the titles currently on each of the lists. Continue reading