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Best of 2008 List: Reviewer Joan/Sarah F

Dr. Frantz is our resident professor (but not our only literature scholar) whose DA moniker is Joan. She is reviewing primarily m/m fiction that is epublished although she is a reader of a wide range of romance authors with Suzanne Brockmann and Kresley Cole being a couple of her favorite print authors. Dr. Frantz brings a unique viewpoint given her background in literature. It’s people like Dr. Frantz and the crew at Teach Me Tonight who help to increase the legitimacy of the romance genre.


  • ROUGH, RAW, AND READY by Lorelei James (Samhain)
  • UNEVEN by Anah Crow (Torquere)
  • COLLISION COURSE by K.A. Mitchell (Samhain)
  • LOVE AHEAD by Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux (Dreamspinner)
  • IN THIS LAND: The Purple Book by Matthew Haldeman-Time (Volume 1 of 5 that combine the ongoing weekly subscription service on author’s website, $4.99/month)

Print books:

  • DARK NEEDS AT NIGHT’S EDGE by Kresley Cole
  • INTO THE FIRE by Suzanne Brockmann

Sarah F. is a literary critic, a college professor, and an avid reader of romance -- and is thrilled that these are no longer mutually exclusive. Her academic specialization is Romantic-era British women novelists, especially Jane Austen, but she is contributing to the exciting re-visioning of academic criticism of popular romance fiction. Sarah is a contributor to the academic blog about romance, Teach Me Tonight, the winner of the 2008-2009 RWA Academic Research Grant, and the founder and President of the International Association of the Study of Popular Romance (IASPR). Sarah mainly reviews BDSM romance and gay male romance and hopes to be able to beat her TBR pile into submission when she has time to think. Sarah teaches at Fayetteville State University, NC.


  1. whey
    Dec 19, 2008 @ 14:33:51

    Much awesomeness here.

  2. roslynholcomb
    Dec 20, 2008 @ 02:28:17

    I was intrigued by your review of the Lorelei James book. I bought it, and you’re right, it’s a great book.

  3. cs
    Dec 20, 2008 @ 07:58:30

    IN THIS LAND: The Purple Book by Matthew Haldeman-Time

    I wonder if the author will release this as a paperback/e-book in the future? I don’t like joining subscriptions for fiction. I read his previous novel and enjoyed it very much.

  4. Joan/SarahF
    Dec 20, 2008 @ 09:49:33

    @cs: This IS a paperback version of the first fourteen chapters of the subscription service. Problem is, In This Land is huge and the first “book” of it (with complete romance of first brother) is going to take five paperback volumes to publish the whole thing. So he’s got Vol. 1 out and is working on Vols. 2-5. While he’s still producing around 9K words a week for the subscription. Not sure if he’s got plans to publish whole thing as e-book when he’s done with the POD volumes.

  5. Joan/SarahF
    Dec 20, 2008 @ 09:51:59

    @roslynholcomb: You know, that just made it all worthwhile! :) Thank you so much and I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

  6. carolyn jean
    Dec 20, 2008 @ 14:28:04

    oooh, thanks for these recommendations!!

  7. cs
    Dec 21, 2008 @ 22:58:23

    Thanks for letting me know. I thought this was paid fiction which you’d get access to after you paid for it, and read it on his website. I’m not into that, but if it’s out in paperback then I shall be getting it. I haven’t visited his site in a long time, so I didn’t know. But thanks for clarifying.

  8. Madeleine Urban
    Jan 15, 2009 @ 07:31:30

    Hello Joan/SarahF,

    I just found this post and wanted to say thank you. Abigail and I are honored by your mention of “Love Ahead” in your “Best of 2008 List.”


  9. Louisa Edwards
    Jan 29, 2009 @ 14:37:36

    I love K.A. Mitchell! Everything she’s ever written, really, but Collision Course is probably my favorite. And Uneven was great, too. I’ll have to try everyone on your list, because we clearly have similar tastes! Kresley Cole and Suz Brockmann are two of my absolute favorite authors.

  10. Joan/SarahF
    Jan 29, 2009 @ 21:06:41

    Heh, thanks, Louisa. A very good thing to hear today! :)

  11. Ana Buencamino
    Feb 02, 2009 @ 05:29:09

    Aside from In This Land by Matthew Haldeman-Time, my top favorite authors are J. R. Ward and Kresley Cole. I’m definitely going to check out the other ebooks on your list. Thanks!

  12. All About the Lists | Romance Fiction Books
    Oct 20, 2009 @ 08:18:33

    […] Best of 2008 List: Reviewer Joan/Sarah F […]

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