Queer Romance Month and Me

EandTWhat, really, does a straight married woman have to say about Queer Romance Month? Not much that might not come out sounding bumbling or privileged or flat out clueless, right? I’ve lived my entire life in the safe embrace of the expected. I fell in love with a boy, married him–much to the delight of my family–, bore our children, and bask in the ease of a life that no one ever questions. And yet, I want to say something in this month that celebrates Queer Romance and this is it: Thank you. Continue reading

Grown-Up Reading: Why Romance and Happy Endings Matter

QRMI heard George RR Martin on the radio the other day. Asked about the Game of Thrones body count he said something like (this is a paraphrase): “I used to read stories that had happy endings, where people did good things and nobody got raped…then I grew up.” Meanwhile, in an article on children’s fiction, author Robert Muchamore observes, “While a childish thirst for happy endings satisfies and entertains us, the real world is so complex that unambiguously happy endings hardly exist.” Continue reading

Speaking of Audiobooks: The Dreaded Burnout, Latest Listens, and Upcoming Releases

Burnout – More than a Reading/Listening Slump

The Civil WarIf you have been reading one genre or another consistently for years, I imagine it has happened to you – genre burnout. After reading and listening to romance for around twelve years, it finally happened to me earlier this year. Previously, I had experienced a sort of reading fatigue from time to time with one romance sub-genre or another but found that if I changed up my romance choices, my interest would return. But when my romance burnout occurred this year, it was all encompassing. I completely lost interest in romance. Possibly it was due to the fact that I explore a good deal of audiobooks written by new-to-me authors or with new narrators, in an attempt to stay up with the current romance audio trends. That means a good deal of DNFs (did not finish) and frustration as well. Continue reading

Happily Ever….

QRMOne of the most – cough – discussed posts we’ve had on Queer Romance Month recently has been about the happy ever after in queer romance. What the post, and the responses to the post, highlighted for me was just how complex and emotive this issue is. And while that would probably make any normal person STFU, I’d kind of like to talk about it. So the next two QRM-inspired posts for AAR are going to be about the HEA: in this one I’m going to ponder what HEA means in the context of queer romances, and in the companion post next week, KJ Charles is going to talk about why the HEA is valuable and necessary on its own terms. Continue reading

TBR Challenge – On the Edges of Our Seats

huntinghuman It’s been a while since I read a paranormal that felt fresh. For that reason, I was especially happy to read Hunting Human as I dove into the paranormal side of “paranormal or romantic suspense” for this month’s TBR challenge. This book is a 2011 release from Carina Press, and after reading it, I was rather disappointed to find that author Amanda E. Alvarez has apparently not released any other books. That’s a real shame because even if Hunting Human isn’t perfect, I’d give it a very solid B. My romance picks don’t often haunt me, but this book both made me smile and made chills run down my spine.

The chilling part starts early as we meet heroine Lizzy Williams in eastern Europe with her best friend Rachel. As they leave a bar and head for their hostel, the sense of foreboding increases. The reader just knows that something horrible is about to happen to these two happy young women, but reads on, powerless to stop it. When several men they encountered at the bar kidnap the duo and throw them into a van, my heart sank. I was horrified, but also so gripped by the story that I just couldn’t turn away. Continue reading

Opening five Special Titles Listings for submissions!

5heartsAfter a long, relaxing summer break we are very happy to be back and full of renewed energy. You can see that from the fact that we are opening no less than five of the Special Titles list, and hoping for many fascinating submissions from you. Remember, that you should only nominate the best of the best romances. We will be accepting submissions starting today, Monday, October 13, and ending at midnight on Sunday, October 26. Here are the five lists: Continue reading