Reviews by Grade: B
Book Review

The Phoenix Bride by Natasha Siegel

The Phoenix Bride

Do not be fooled by this cover. The cover says, ‘Look at me and my whimsy! My light frolic through life!’ No, dear reader, this is not light. This is a book about persevering through tough times. The title should have been a clue for me. A phoenix doesn’t arise from a bouquet of flowers, after all. The book is set in 1666. Plague had ravaged London the previous year and reading the characters’ reflections … Continue reading The Phoenix Bride by Natasha Siegel

Book Review

Keep This Off the Record by Arden Joy

Keep This Off the Record

Abigail Meyer and Freya Jonsson hated each other in high school. And, from Freya’s rude words to Abby to the drink Abby launches into Freya’s face at their reunion, it’s safe to say that a decade hasn’t changed anything. Unfortunately for them, Will, Freya’s producer/date for the reunion (Freya is a TV anchor) falls for Abby’s best friend Naomi, so they’re going to have to figure out how to be around each other. Abby and … Continue reading Keep This Off the Record by Arden Joy

Book Review

Death Comes to the Village by Catherine Lloyd

Death Comes to the Village

I read about book 3 in this series, Death Comes to Kurland Hall, in the December 2015 issue of Romantic Times, which we’re recapping on the podcast. As I mentioned in Whatcha Reading, like a completely strange human being, I didn’t start with book three. I started with book one, Death Comes to the Village. This review will be mostly about that book, with some warnings about book two, Death Comes to London.  A Very Important … Continue reading Death Comes to the Village by Catherine Lloyd

Book Review

Housebroke by Jaci Burton

Housebroke

Housebroke is a perfectly charming romance that is lighter than air and that has very little active conflict. There is no reason for this couple not to begin registering for wedding gifts by, oh, say, Chapter Three. This is a lovely couple whose problems consist of one of them having too much money. In other words, a non-problem. For goodness sake, Hazel, open the dog shelter of your dreams and get on with the relationship … Continue reading Housebroke by Jaci Burton

Book Review

A Haunting on the Hill by Elizabeth Hand

A Haunting on the Hill

A Haunting on the Hill is a horror novel set in the same mansion as Shirley Jackson’s classic The Haunting of Hill House. There are brief references to the events in Jackson’s novel and a snippet of her dialogue, but those were the only things connecting the two books.  For me, this was an excellent, creepy book that worked well as a standalone, but I think people especially nostalgic for The Haunting of Hill House … Continue reading A Haunting on the Hill by Elizabeth Hand

Book Review

The Bookshop and the Barbarian by Morgan Stang

The Bookshop and the Barbarian

The Bookshop and the Barbarian is a sweet, funny fantasy/romance story. It’s advertised as “cozy” and it is. It’s pure comfort and whimsy with a happy ending for all. Even the villain has a cozy side. So, if you like cozy stories then curl yourself up with a cup of tea and enjoy. If not, feel free to take a drink every time I type the word “cozy.” Maribella Waters rides into the town of … Continue reading The Bookshop and the Barbarian by Morgan Stang

Lightning Review

Time to Shine by Rachel Reid

Time to Shine

I read this book in a day. A delicious day. A work day! In between meetings and emails I was reading this book. (Sorry, boss.) Landon Stackhouse, a hockey goaltender, has been called up from the Calgary farm team to play in the NHL as a backup goalie due to an injury. He’s riddled with anxiety in so many ways and tends to stick to himself. Casey Hicks, a star winger on the team, isn’t … Continue reading Time to Shine by Rachel Reid

Book Review

Witch of Wild Things by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland

Witch of Wild Things

The Witch of Wild Things has a romance, but it’s less of a romance novel and more a novel about familial bonds and trauma. It reminded me a lot of Practical Magic, but has its own vibe due to the personalities and histories of the characters, the setting, and the Latinx history of the family. I liked the overall atmosphere of the book and its prickly protagonist, but I thought events near the ending offered … Continue reading Witch of Wild Things by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland

Lightning, Book Review

Once There Was by Kiyash Monsef

Once There Was

If you are into cryptids/imaginary beasts/monsters from mythology and folklore, then you’ll find Once There Was to be a real treat. In this story, a teenager named Marjan is left an orphan when her father, a veterinarian, is murdered. Marjan soon discovers that her father had an unusual clientele consisting of magical animals and that she has inherited a gift of sensing their feelings and needs, a discovery that upends her life in every possible … Continue reading Once There Was by Kiyash Monsef

Book Review

Codename Charming by Lucy Parker

Codename Charming

I didn’t read book one in this series and perhaps I should have, but I am jolly glad I read book two. It’s a treat. Petunia De Vere (who everyone calls ‘Pet’ which takes some getting used to) is the personal assistant to a newly minted royal – Johnny Marchmont. He’s well-meaning, but endlessly clumsy and prone to putting his foot in his mouth. Pet often finds herself being flung aside by Johnny’s flailing limbs. … Continue reading Codename Charming by Lucy Parker

Book Review

Never Cross A Highlander by Lisa Rayne

Never Cross a Highlander

Never Cross A Highlander has a one-click cover. Black Highlander stories are rare, and I’m glad this one offered some of the adventure and steam that dreamy cover promised. The book is slow in the middle, but there are swordfights, forced proximity while camping, sex by a waterfall, a hellion heroine, and a hard-headed hero who needed his family to tell him that he was in love. Here’s the book’s description: Ailsa Connery has waited … Continue reading Never Cross A Highlander by Lisa Rayne

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