Posts Tagged ‘All About Romance’

A Little Bit of Book News for the Holidays

Tuesday, December 24th, 2013

christmastree Maybe it’s my lack of affection for the massive consumption side of Christmas(or my resistance to being anywhere near a mall between Thanksgiving and New Year’s), but for some reason, I always find myself coasting into those last few days before Christmas just a bit unprepared. Even as I resist the gift frenzy, I do find myself with an affection for holiday romance, listening to carols on Pandora, and maybe feeling a bit more festive as I wander the internet. Here are some of the interesting reads I’ve found in my travels lately:

– For those who completely missed out on their internet/social media ruling, there was A Kerfuffle last week. I thought about writing a blog piece to cover this trainwreck of a piece by Palash Ghosh and the backlash that ensued, but in the end decided that there really wasn’t too much to say that hasn’t already been said by me or other bloggers in the past – not to mention Laurie and some of the romance authors and reviewers who were online way before some of us writing today. Quite frankly, after having seen romance readers mocked in the press for years, this round of looking down on romance readers has a feel of “same condescension, different jackass” about it. (more…)

TBR Challenge 2013 – Getting Into the Holiday Spirit?

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

comfortandjoy As we coast into the last month of the 2013 TBR Challenge, we get to one of my favorite categories – holiday romances. Since I was unpacking from a move, I just ended up reading the first holiday tale I encountered – Sandra Madden’s 2001 Christmas romance, Comfort and Joy. I probably should have kept right on digging because this frustrating little book definitely lands squarely in C grade territory for me.

The book has its good points. For starters, I loved the 1870s Boston settings. It’s refreshing at times to have a break from the Regency/Victorian England That Never Was. And since I tend to like romances with characters from different classes, the old money Boston hero and Irish immigrant heroine in this story caught my eye as well. Though acceptance of their romance comes perhaps a bit more easily than it would have in real life, the author does still give some consideration to the prejudices and class tension of the time. (more…)

Chick Lit/Women’s Fiction Recommendations for Best of 2013?

Friday, December 13th, 2013

loveliestchocolate LinnieGayl: One of my favorite categories in AAR’s Annual Poll is Best Chick Lit/Women’s Fiction. In most years I’ve read several books in the category and have a hard time deciding which book to vote for. This year is different. With just one month before polling begins on January 13, I realize that I haven’t read a single chick lit or women’s fiction book that I would consider voting for in the 2013 Annual Poll.

So I decided to take the advice we give readers: Do a power search at AAR. For Chick Lit titles published in 2013 that didn’t produce very helpful results; only Katie Fforde’s A Perfect Proposal, which received a B- from Maggie, has been reviewed this year at AAR.

A power search for best Women’s Fiction yields more titles published in 2013, including the following that interest me: (more…)

It’s the Holiday Season – But We’re Still Opening Special Title Lists!

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

suggestionbox So here we are in the thick of Holiday season and you have groceries to buy, baked goods to prepare, gifts to buy, decorate the house inside and out, buy a new dress for that annual Holiday party, all while trying to keep your home in tip top shape in case you get the lovely drop in. We here are AAR believe you could use a little ‘you’ time without a Christmas thought barreling through your head so we have opened 3 new Categories for the Special Title Listing and there isn’t a single Christmas theme in any of them! (more…)

Heads Up! The Annual AAR Reader Poll is Coming

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

winteriscoming Can you believe that in less than a month we will be celebrating a new year? Before that, we hope that many of you will have lots of free time during the holiday season with more time to read. So, with those wonderful thoughts of time to yourself running through your head we would like to remind you that on January 13, 2014 we will open AAR’s Annual Reader Poll for romance books published in 2013. That’s right, it’s time to buckle down and read those “to be read” books of 2013.

This year’s poll will be a bit different from previous years as we lay to rest a few categories that AAR readers have shown little interest in (Guiltiest Pleasure, Best Inspirational and Most Disappointing) while adding/changing categories that we hope will spark some interest.

First we are going to split the Paranormal category into two new categories: Best Paranormal/Time Travel Romance and Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy Romance. The paranormal romance has come to encompass so many different creatures, magical abilities and types of world building that we wanted to try and give our readers more room to vote for their favorite books. (more…)

What Books Are You Thankful For?

Friday, November 29th, 2013

thankfulbooks Perhaps it’s the fact that Thanksgiving was yesterday and the crazy crowds of Black Friday are something I try to avoid when possible. Or maybe it’s that I’m in the midst of moving. As I pack up my books and decide what to keep and what to donate, I’ve felt like I’m at a reunion with old friends. I pick up each book and remember encountering the characters within, and I have a few seconds of savoring that first time I encountered favorite characters ranging from Alinor of Roselynde, the Bridgertons, Katniss, or the cast of the Harry Potter books.

I pick up Venetia and want to read just a few scenes, or I find Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series and try to decide if I can spare a few minutes from packing to enter that world. I spend plenty of time picking out the weaknesses of books with improbable plots, poor writing and idiot characters, but there are so many good things to read as well. And for some reason, today I’m feeling sentimental and very thankful for the ways that the best books make me feel.

So, today instead of lots of commentary, I have a question for readers to answer in the comment section below. I want to know what book you’re thankful for and why. I’m curious to see what people say. I’m also planning another column for later and could use your help on this, so please do chime in!

I’ll give one to start. Since I’m rereading Bet Me at the moment, I’ll use that one. I love this book and I’m thankful for it because it’s one of those sweet, fantasy/wish fulfillment books that leaves me with a smile on my face. The dialogue makes me laugh every time.

Now, what about you? What book are you thankful for and why?

– Lynn Spencer

YA Corner – A Few American Contemporaries

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

perfectchem Welcome to the YA Corner! This is an ongoing feature in which Caroline and Jenna, two AAR reviewers who love their YA fiction, discuss a set of YA novels related by genre or theme.

How do we choose our books? First, because this is All About Romance, these novels are all romances or books with strong romantic elements. They are books at least one of us has already read and given a grade above a B. All things being equal, we’ll choose a more obscure book or non-AAR reviewed book over a more recent, buzzed-about one, in the hopes of showing something you haven’t seen before. Within our grade range, we also prioritize books which do something original, like show an unusual setting or feature under-represented characters. We’ll avoid spoilers whenever possible.

Our first YA Corner features American contemporaries. The books we chose this time around are: (more…)

Romances I Want to See on the Large or Small Screen

Monday, November 25th, 2013

byrdtheatre Recently we’ve seen a spate of books made into movies – Ender’s Game, Catching Fire and The Book Thief being three of the most recent. Which got me to thinking about romance novels I think would make excellent films or TV series. Books that I feel contain enough grit and depth to appeal to a wider audience while still containing the kind of luscious love stories that romance fans adore. I’ve added some casting hints just in case Hollywood needs the help. Here’s my list:

1. Nobody’s Baby but Mine – Susan Elizabeth Phillips – The story: Football hero and brainy scientist meet in the most unusual of ways. I can totally see Emma Stone as the brainy, feisty Jane. Cal is a bit harder but I can picture Mathew Fox (or a younger, hotter version of him) delivering the cereal killer line with aplomb. This sweet tale of a brainy gal and the jock she brings to his knees would make a terrific rom com. (more…)

Top 100 Poll – The Best of the Rest

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

dukeofherown Now that you’ve all had time to look over the results of the 2013 Top 100 Poll, it’s time to take a look at something many of you asked for, the romances that missed the top 100, but are in places 101 to 200. And since ballots from readers contained 4,961 titles which received at least one vote, being in 200th place is still a remarkable achievement.

A number of titles in the 101-200th places are by authors who also had titles in the top 100. For example, Mary Balogh had five titles place in the top 100 and has an additional five in the second 100. Elizabeth Hoyt had two titles in the top 100 and an additional seven in the second 100. And Lisa Kleypas had 12 in the top 100 and another six in the second hundred. (more…)

Special Title Listings Updated!

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

caressedbyice Whenever we look at the nominations for a currently open Special Title Listing, we are thrilled at how divergent the entries are. Each and every time, there are classics that for some reason no-one had thought of before, there are well-loved novels that were published during the last ten years or so, and there are recent books that have already made a great impact.

Taking the Virginal Heroes, there is Scaramouche, from Rafael Sabatini’s swashbuckling romances of the 1920s. There are Nalini Singh’s Judd Lauren from Caressed by Ice, and the Earl of Ardmore from Eloisa James’s Kiss Me, Annabel – both books were published in the 2000s. As for 2013 novels, there are Kaleb Krycheck from Heart of Obsidian (also by Singh), and Samuel Cooke from Courting Greta by Ramsey Hootman.

Newly entered classics on the May-Dec/Dec-May list are Mrs. Mike by Benedict and Nancy Freedman (1947), Arabella by Georgette Heyer (1949), Wildfire at Midnight by Mary Stewart (1956), and The Front Runner by Patricia Nell Warren (1974), an early male-male romance.
(more…)