With the American election season already burning up the internet and my television screen seemingly constantly turned to pundits talking politicians, I thought it might be time to talk leadership. Specifically, the kind of leadership we see between the pages of a book. In this blog I’ll be focusing on the bad, some of them really bad. Thanks to the recent rage of dystopian novels I have several truly murderous politicos to pick from. But you don’t have to ruin an entire nation or world to make my list; some of these guys are just good old fashioned thieves or charming local criminals.
Below are my picks for the worst politicos I’ve come up against in the last few decades of reading popular fiction genres. Continue reading
Publication date: June 2010
European historicals set outside Great Britain are rare, and those set in countries other than France, Italy, and Greece are close to extinct. Carrie Lofty’s Song of Seduction is set in 1804 Salzburg, and merely reading about it got me salivating. It proved a rich meal: Tightly written, well-researched, and as moving and romantic as I could have wished. Continue reading
I admit I often by-pass short stories and novellas, as I really like a novel I can get my teeth into and be completely absorbed by.
Happily, there are times when a cover, an author or a blurb has attracted me. Otherwise, I would have missed some gems.
In another of our occasional series in which we discuss the merits – or lack thereof – of fictional heroes and heroines, AAR staffers turn their attention to Alex Markov of Kiss an Angel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips.
The book taps into the classic “arranged marriage” trope. The two protagonists, Daisy and Alex, are blackmailed into marriage by a third party: Daisy’s dad. Daisy agrees in order to avert legal trouble and avoid prison. For Alex Markov, this was his year for paying off big debts, first with his deathbed promise to Owen Quest to take the circus out for its last season under the Quest name, and then by agreeing to marry Max’s daughter. In all these years Max had never asked one thing of him as repayment for having saved Alex’s life, but when he’d finally gotten around to it, he’d asked for a doozy. Continue reading
Posted in Anne AAR, Caroline AAR, Characters, Dabney AAR, Dreamboat or Douchebag, Haley AAR, Heroes, LinnieGayl AAR, Maggie AAR, Mary AAR
Tagged Kiss an Angel, susan elizabeth phillips
Scandal at the Midsummer Ball had its genesis when we received a house party invitation from Harlequin. The details were sketchy, we were provided with a picture of the venue, the name of our host, some suggested dates, and a mood board. We share an Editor and we’d worked together previously on the Castonbury Park series, but we’d never actually spoken, far less met, and we live on different continents and inhabit different time zones. But right from the start, the idea of jointly creating a Regency house party that was scandalous, romantic and sexy, really appealed to both of us. We wanted our stories to be fun, and we were also determined to have fun writing them.
And boy, did we! Our duet would share a common cast of colourful characters and span a week-long series of sumptuous events. Two distinctly separate romances would be played out, but we wanted our characters to meet, converse together, socialise, and be free to wander in and out of each other’s stories. Continue reading
Here’s our monthly look at what titles we’re excited about reading in the next few weeks. June boasts some highly anticipated titles by some of the biggest names in historical romance -Lisa Kleypas and Elizabeth Hoyt – as well as new books from Nalini Singh, Sarah Morgan, Jennifer Probst and sees Julie Anne Long making her début as an author of contemporary romance.
Here’s just a small selection of the titles AAR staffers are looking forward to getting stuck into. Do you agree with us, or do you have some goodies to add to our TBRs?