Not Everything Can Be Made Amusing: A Review of Amazon Prime’s My Lady Jane
All About Romance Blog
by Jenna Harper
4d ago
When I learned that Amazon Prime had made a TV series based on the life of Lady Jane Grey, England’s doomed Nine-Day Queen, I was intrigued. But when I watched the trailer for My Lady Jane which painted the show as a comical take on the poor girl’s life, I was confused. Jane Grey’s story is not in any way funny. Still, given the stellar cast and the potential for a steamy, slow burn romance between Jane (played by the lovely Emily Bader) and her hot husband, Lord Guildford Dudley (played by the interestingly handsome Edward Bluemel), and being in a bit of a TV show slump, I said why not? Note ..read more
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The ask@AAR: What’s the greatest sports romance/series in romance?
All About Romance Blog
by Dabney Grinnan
1w ago
It may surprise you to learn there are eight sports romances on the current (2018) AAR Top 100 List. Five are from Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ Chicago Stars series: Match Me If You Can (2005), Natural Born Charmer (2001), Nobody’s Baby But Mine (1997), Heaven, Texas (1995), and It Had To Be You (1994). The other three are: Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy (2015), Kulti (2015) and The Wall of Winnipeg and Me (2016), both by Mariana Zapata. Power Search tells me we have 144 romances tagged as sports romances, 47 of which are DIKs. Looking at the reviews, it appears our grades of this sub-genr ..read more
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The ask@AAR: Have conversations at AAR changed over time?
All About Romance Blog
by Dabney Grinnan
2w ago
Last week’s ask column irked many. One reader emailed me to tell me I was off base in my comments, another cancelled her financial support of AAR, and several others got close to testy in the comments. I thought it would be interesting to pull up some older conversations at AAR and see how or if our topics and/or comments here have changed. I picked four. The first is Are Feminism & Romance Novels Mutually Exclusive? and was published in November of 1997. (We can’t see the comments on this one–they were lost in a long ago site update, I think.) In it, Laurie Gold asks Kay Mussell, a sch ..read more
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The ask@AAR: Do authors owe readers a safe space?
All About Romance Blog
by Dabney Grinnan
3w ago
Right now, Dennis Lehane’s incredible Small Mercies is on sale. Set in Boston in the summer of 1974 and focused on the city’s violent response to the forced integration of the city’s schools, it’s not for the sensitive reader. The main character, Mary Pat, is a bitter, alcoholic, racist who, when her daughter vanishes, takes on the Irish mob, the police, and, from her perspective, all of Boston to find her child. Our world was, obviously, a different place in 1974. Much of America was comfortable with and unashamed about their biases. It was an era where kids–I was one–grew up telling dumb Po ..read more
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What have you been reading? Watching?
All About Romance Blog
by Dabney Grinnan
3w ago
I have, for the past two months, been reading Barbara Tuchman’s The Guns of August. This, dear readers, is astonishing. And I’m not talking about the book although it is phenomenal. No–it’s that I’ve stuck with and enjoyed this book! It’s non-fiction (not my usual fare), over 700 pages long, and about war (a topic that does NOT call to me.) It’s taken me forever because I only read before going to sleep and this is so dense, I read it far more slowly than I do fiction. I’m almost done–at the 90% mark. It’s one of the best written books I’ve ever read–here’s just one of thousands of examples ..read more
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The ask@AAR: Has ebook pricing changed lately?
All About Romance Blog
by Dabney Grinnan
3w ago
I’m pretty upfront about how terrible I believe Amazon and Kindle Unlimited are for authors and the book industry writ large. It’s not just me–the web is full of stories and facts explaining how Amazon’s policies and pricing structures are lowering the income of most authors, lowering the quality of ebooks, and, as Amazon has done again and again, wreaking havoc on booksellers who are not named Amazon. I didn’t used to feel this way about Amazon. While I’ve always worried about its impact on my local bookstore, I love ebooks and I’m always going to champion anything that makes reading easier ..read more
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The ask@AAR: What’s your favorite STEM based romance?
All About Romance Blog
by Dabney Grinnan
1M ago
Yesterday we reviewed–and loved–the latest by Ali Hazelwood who is one of the doyens of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) romance. I think she might be the first author I recall whose work was branded with that title but I’m not sure. STEM romances are also about the long standing and pervasive sexism women scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and those in medicine have faced in their fields and as such often have a lovely sort of depth to the stories they tell. We have a tag for STEM heroines and it has 81 books attached to it. The oldest reviewed book with that tag is from ..read more
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Fictional Images of Fictional People
All About Romance Blog
by Jenna Harper
1M ago
Being a Graphic Designer by trade, my feelings towards AI-generated imagery have been ambivalent, to say the least. Over the past year, I’ve evolved from adamant hatred and condemnation of the use of any and all AI-generated artwork, (convinced it involved the most heinous levels of copyright infringement and outright theft, not to mention heralding the end of all human creativity), through reluctant interest and curiosity for what it could accomplish, ending up in a grey zone where I have to admit that it is just so damn cool and wow, what you can do with AI is mind blowing! And while I stil ..read more
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The ask@AAR: What do you think of AI now?
All About Romance Blog
by Dabney Grinnan
1M ago
I wrote about AI and its writing prowess over a year ago in this column. Many of those of you who commented then felt that ChatGPT’s writing was soulless and repetitive and unlikely to usurp that of us humans. I thought it would be interesting to share an update and see if your feelings have changed. I asked ChatGPT to write me a ten paragraph book review of Lisa Kleypas’ classic Devil in Winter. Here’s what it produced: Lisa Kleypas’ “Devil in Winter,” the third installment in her Wallflowers series, offers a refreshing take on the Regency romance genre. The novel follows the unconvention ..read more
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The ask@AAR: Did you hear the latest about RWA?
All About Romance Blog
by Dabney Grinnan
1M ago
At one point in time, RWA (Romance Writers of America) was the envy of other genre writers. With over 10,000 members, a robust conference, and courses and tools for published and unpublished writers, it nurtured the careers of many for over four decades. It was, however, always a traditionally leaning organization. In this century, they earned a justified reputation for being determinedly disinterested in love stories that featured characters of color or queer leads. No Black author won the RITA until 2019 and finalists of color were virtually non-existent. In 2019, the organization blew up ..read more
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