The ask@AAR: What are your favorite second chance at love romances?
All About Romance Blog
by Dabney Grinnan
9h ago
I love second chance romances. Not the ones where people dated briefly in high school or had a youthful fling, but those stories where people fell hard out of love and now, years later, have a chance to try again. Give me a Cam and Gigi, a Tara and Ford, a Adam and Marissa, a Josiah and Yesmen, or a Lyon and Olivia and I am in romance heaven. (I even have a soft spot for the utterly un PC Jack and Sherrie.) Truth: Out of the five couples of my family of origin–my parents, my three siblings and I–every couple but one, my sister, broke up for at least a year before reconciling. Dr. Feelgood bro ..read more
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Read any Romantasy lately?
All About Romance Blog
by Dabney Grinnan
5d ago
The two best selling nonfiction works at Amazon in 2023 were Fourth Wing and Iron Flame both of which are–and I so don’t love this mashup–romantasy. Also in the top 25 was A Court of Thorn and Roses–that whole series sold a boatload. If you look at just the best-sellers in romance, romantasy ruled on many a site. OK, just to be clear, romantasy is a fantasy with romance in it. Which is fantasy romance, right? I confess I’m not sure I know JUST what it is. The person who, for me, has described it the best is Sarah from Smart Bitches who wrote in The Washington Post: Like all fun indulgences ..read more
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A (personal) history of Valentine’s Day
All About Romance Blog
by Dabney Grinnan
1w ago
Today, in the U.S., hundreds of thousands of Valentine’s Day cards will be exchanged. Americans will spend close to thirty billion dollars on Valentine’s Day gifts. Close to 300 million roses were grown just for this day. Scores of lovers will pick today to propose to their intended and many will feel, even if they know it’s stupid, crushed that they, today, don’t have a Valentine. This is my 62nd Valentine’s Day. I don’t remember the first few, but have many memories starting in kindergarten. My mom–and she still does this–made each of her kids a homemade Valentine’s Day card that awaited us ..read more
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An interview with Susan Elizabeth Phillips
All About Romance Blog
by Dabney Grinnan
1w ago
There’s a new Chicago Stars book coming out which I, of course, had to read. I have always enjoyed the chance to chat with Susan, so when her team asked if I’d like to do an interview with her about the book, I was thrilled! Dabney: Susan, how lovely to get a chance to chat. I do hope you and yours are thriving. Susan: We’re camped out in Southern California for the winter, so we’re definitely thriving.  I love living in the Midwest, but I’m not a fan of doing my semi-daily 2 mile walk on icy sidewalks.  Dabney: So, it’s another—yay!—Chicago Stars book. What inspired you ..read more
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The ask@AAR: What have you been reading lately?
All About Romance Blog
by Dabney Grinnan
2w ago
Goodreads tells me I’ve read eleven books thus far this year. They are: The Woman on the Ledge by Ruth Mancini Never Blow a Kiss by Lindsay Lovise Devil’s Kitchen by Candice Fox The Duchess Takes a Lover by Jillian Eaton The Queen of Dust by H. E. Dare The God of the Woods by Liz Moore Middletide by Sarah Crouch The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese The Maid by Nita Prose The Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens Funny Story by Emily Henry Till Death Do Us Part by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn Many of these are coming out this year and some I can’t wait for you to read. My favorites from this li ..read more
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What do we think about Linda Howard?
All About Romance Blog
by Dabney Grinnan
2w ago
Yesterday’s Steals and Deals offered a twofer: Linda Howard’s Dream Man and After The Night, bound in one book. It was fascinating to read the reviews and the comments on these two books. Several readers found Howard’s sexual politics deeply offensive. Others adore her macho men and terrifyingly creepy villains. AAR has reviewed Howard 35 times–14 of which are DIKs. Our first review was in 1998 for Heart of Fire; our most recent was in 2018 for The Woman I Left Behind. Amazon says she’s published 76 novels. I confess–I’ve not read Howard recently. The last time I did so, it was a reread of D ..read more
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The ask@AAR: What song is YOU?
All About Romance Blog
by Dabney Grinnan
3w ago
Lately, Dr. Feelgood and I have been listening to a lot of music. I think it’s because he retired and we can’t TALK ALL THE TIME. When we want to jam, I go to Spotify and think of a song and scroll down to song radio. It is THE BOMB. Yesterday, I put in the Commodores’ Easy. It’s a gorgeous, bittersweet song–Lionel’s voice floats and it’s so calm. The playlist that came up is killer–here are just a few of the entries. #BoomerHeaven I’ll Take You There by The Staples Singers I’ll Be Around by The Spinners You Are Everything by The Stylistics Too Hot by Kool and the Gang What’s Going On by Mar ..read more
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In which a headline from the Washington Posts irks me….
All About Romance Blog
by Dabney Grinnan
3w ago
Yesterday, I returned from trying on possible Mother of the Groom lehengas to read this crap headline from Washington Post: At 59, I needed a fancy gown. Should I go for sexy or mother of the bride? So. Much. Ugh. This is an article about a lovely woman who, when her husband won a Nobel Prize, had to find a floor length gown. In her prose, she asks this question: Would it be a sheath to divert attention and hide my perceived flaws, or could it, possibly, serve to showcase a 60-year-old figure, still sexy and sublime? Her phrasing makes sense to me. Most of us, when we will be in the eyes o ..read more
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The ask@AAR: Have you seen any of the Best Picture Nominees? What did you think?
All About Romance Blog
by Dabney Grinnan
1M ago
It’s Oscar time and, as usual, I have seen almost none of the nominees–currently I’ve only seen Barbie. The nominees are: American Fiction Anatomy of a Fall Barbie The Holdovers Killers of the Flower Moon Maestro Oppenheimer Past Lives Poor Things The Zone of Interest I do plan, this weekend, to watch Oppenheimer although I still think it’s going to be a bit sexist for me. I very much want to see Past Lives. Most of my book club loved Maestro but it just doesn’t call to me. My son told me I would not like Killers of the Flower Moon and I suspect he’s right. Have you seen any of these? What ar ..read more
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Chatting with Kami Tei, Amazon Senior Editor, about the Top Romances of 2023
All About Romance Blog
by Dabney Grinnan
1M ago
I was interested in Amazon’s list of the top romances of 2023. (Of these, we’ve reviewed Fourth Wing, Iron Flame, Happy Place, Hello Stranger, Love, Theoretically, Forget Me Not, The Love Wager, The Blonde Identity, and Tastes Like Shakkar.) While this is not a list that AAR readers would have generated–not enough m/m or historical romance–it’s fascinating to see what Amazon, the definer of book sales, picked as the best. I was thrilled when Amazon reached out and asked if I had any questions about their list–there’s pretty much NOTHING I don’t have questions about. When I said yes, hooked me ..read more
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