(Diana Ketterer is the alias for a published author. Her first book was published in 2005, and throughout her association with AAR, she did not review within her sub-genre.)
Ever since I learned to read in first grade, I've had my nose in a book. My parents used to pry the book out of my hands and force me to go outside with the other kids. I got hooked on romance in junior high and high school when I used to sneak Harlequin series books out of the library behind my mother's back along with my stack of mysteries and biographies. Then college happened, with "serious" books that must be read and written about, and I didn't come back to romance until I was pregnant with my first child and needed something that wouldn't a) put me to sleep or b) depress me.
I like a wide variety of books from fast-moving thrillers to quiet, tender love stories. I love long books, the kind that suck you in and take over your life for several days (my husband calls these the "see you later" books because I walk around with my mind a million miles away). The best characters to me are the ones with hidden depths who can do something that seems shocking yet feels right; I can forgive almost any action so long as it's consistent with the character's make-up.
When not reading I bake very creative pizza, dig enormous but pointless holes in the garden for plants that never make it through the winter, obsess about the Boston Red Sox, and make awesome Play-Doh animals with my kids. I live in New England with my husband and two children, a bulemic cat, and whatever variety of bug my daughter manages to catch.
Personal Reading Tastes
What I'm a sucker for in a book:
Unlikely couples, arranged marriages, pretend engagements, non-virginal heroines, good boy/bad girl matches, sexy beta heroes, reunited lovers, and the American Revolution.
What I don't particularly care for in a book:
Slapstick humor, superprecocious children, adultery, fake rakes, mildly tortured heroes who just need to get over it, characters who stop in the middle of a scene and give an informational monologue, too many adjectives, and dialogue that squeezes out action.
What drives me absolutely nuts in a book:
When the hero thinks the heroine is smart, but she's really a dingbat, heroines who martyr themselves for ungrateful family members, inconsistent characters, arrogant alpha jerk heroes, sex in stupid places at stupid times, doormat heroines, matchmaking grandmas and other relatives, stupid will stipulations, and successful city heroines who give it all up to move to a small town and have babies.
Favorite Romance Authors
Best Discovery/Buried Treasure Authors
My Biggest Glom
Julia Quinn (Bridgertons and before)
Jamie Fraser, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Rhett Butler, Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Lily Lawson, Then Came You by Lisa Kleypas
Most Tortured Hero
Christian Langland, Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale
Anne Elliot and Frederick Wentworth, Persuasion by Jane Austen
Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Jack Randall, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Most Disappointing Book
Reckless Charmer by Julia London
Faking It by Jennifer Crusie
Authors I Have Given Up On
Authors Others Love That I Don't
Most Annoying Lead Character
Whitney Stone, Whitney, My Love by Judith McNaught
Favorite Romance Novels
One? Or even three? Are you joking me?
Sense and Sensibility
by Jane Austen
Favorite Short Stories
by Liz Carlyle
in Tea for Two
Favorites by Sub-Genre
Then Came You
by Lisa Kleypas
The Famous Heroine
by Mary Balogh
by Julie Garwood
by Madeline Hunter
Undead and Unwed
by MaryJanice Davidson
Getting Rid of Bradley
by Jennifer Crusie
Favorites by Plot Type
by Susan Isaacs
Bridget Jones's Diary
by Helen Fielding
Favorites by Mood
The Duke and I
by Julia Quinn
The Flame and the Flower
by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss
by John Cleland