No Time Travel for Me Please

Along with a lot of people, I’ve been sucked into the marvelous Starz adaptation of Outlander. The cast is terrific, the production values are top-notch, and I’m really enjoying the scripts. But Outlander clearly illustrates something that, as a historian, I realized a long time ago: a lot of us modern ladies would be an absolutely catastrophically bad heroines for a time-travel romance. Continue reading

Talking with Joanna Bourne

Dabney: Thank you so much for talking with me. I am an unabashed Joanna Bourne fan girl and have been ever since I first read The Spymaster’s Lady. AAR readers have loved your Spymasters series; I’m sure many of us are counting the days until the release of your newest, Rogue Spy. Continue reading

Speaking of Audiobooks: Older Romance Gems I Discovered through Listening

Kiss of the HighlanderWhen I started writing the Speaking of Audiobooks column in 2009, romance listening was still a rather new, if not unheard of, experience for the majority of romance fans. We may have heard of audiobooks, and even tried one, but romance? Possibly we had listened to an instructional audiobook or a children’s book when vacationing with the family but that was it.

Although I know there are huge numbers of yet-to-be-converted romance audio fans out there, audiobook listening is definitely on the rise. The selection, ease of access through downloads, and the affordability of today’s audiobooks brings in new audio listeners every day. Continue reading

Eagerly Awaited November Books

November is definitely shaping up to be a blockbuster month for historical romances. Personally, I’m thrilled to see Jeannie Lin’s latest novel out, and most of us here at AAR can’t wait to get our hands on the big new releases from Joanna Bourne and Mary Balogh. What do you have your eyes on this November?

Title and Author Reviewer
Rogue Spy by Joanna Bourne Rogue Spy by Joanna Bourne Blythe, Lynn, Dabney, Lea, Lee, Caz, Cindy, Alex, Mary, Rike, Jean, Caroline, Alex
Only Enchanting by Mary Balogh Only Enchanting by Mary Balogh Dabney, Rike, Alex, Blythe, Maggie, Caz, Lee
Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews Lea, Jean, Heather, Melanie, Maggie
Gunpowder Alchemy by Jeannie Lin Gunpowder Alchemy by Jeannie Lin Lynn, Maggie, Rike
Arhcangel's Shadows by Nalini Singh Archangel’s Shadows by Nalini Singh Jean, Lea, Alex
Shopaholic to the Stars by Sophie Kinsella Shopaholic to the Stars by Sophie Kinsella Lee
Maybe This Christmas by Sarah Morgan Maybe This Christmas by Sarah Morgan Rike
Santa's Playbook by Karen Templeton Santa’s Playbook by Karen Templeton Caroline
Wild by Jill Sorenson Wild by Jill Sorenson Lynn
Dreamer's Pool by Juliet Marillier Dreamer’s Pool by Juliet Marillier Melanie
The Paris Winter by Imogen Robertson The Paris Winter by Imogen Robertson Caz
Wish Upon a Snowflake anthology Wish Upon a Snowflake by Christine Merrill, Linda Skye, and Elizabeth Rolls Rike
A Yorkshire Christmas  by Kate Hewitt A Yorkshire Christmas by Kate Hewitt Lynn
Hello From the Gillespies by Monica McInerney Hello From the Gillespies by Monica McInerney Lee
Alanna by Kathleen Bittner Roth Alanna by Kathleen Bittner Roth Melanie
Destiny's Captive by Beverly Jenkins Destiny’s Captive by Beverly Jenkins Lynn
Crossfire Christmas by Julie Miller Crossfire Christmas by Julie Miller Rike

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