Reviews by Grade: D
Book Review

Hot Under His Collar by Andie J. Christopher

Hot Under His Collar

This is a weird book, y’all. It opens with raunchy pining, segues into creepytown, and ends with a full-throated critique of Catholicism. What did I just read? As a devoted veteran of tortured priest love stories, I was curious to see if this book could avoid the potential minefields in the pairing. The first couple of chapters made me think I was getting an edgy romcom with steamy high-conflict angst. By the end, the book … Continue reading Hot Under His Collar by Andie J. Christopher

Book Review

To Love and To Loathe by Martha Waters

To Love and to Loathe

Claudia and Shana both love historical romances, but Shana loves Milan’s prickly heroines and puns, while Claudia’s catnip is the cozy charm of Balogh’s love stories, the fewer puns the better. Shana convinced Claudia that To Love and To Loathe’s “enemies to hookup to lovers” storyline would pull us out of our reading slump. She now owes Claudia a million lemon bars because this book was a tropeopcalypse. So much potential, but so poorly executed. … Continue reading To Love and To Loathe by Martha Waters

Book Review

The Virgin and the Rogue by Sophie Jordan

The Virgin and the Rogue

The Virgin and the Rogue is the sequel to The Duke’s Stolen Bride, a book I enjoyed immensely. Unfortunately I had a few issues with this novel, in part because the hero and heroine don’t spend as much of the book together as I would expect, and also because I doubted the heroine’s ability to consent the first time she engages in sexual activity with the hero. Charlotte Langely has spent her entire life making … Continue reading The Virgin and the Rogue by Sophie Jordan

Book Review

The Heir Affair by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

The Heir Affair

TW: Miscarriage, infertility The Heir Affair is the follow up to 2015’s debut The Royal We, a book I enjoyed immensely. Unfortunately, while the humor and the narrator’s voice still worked for me, there was no character growth at all in The Heir Affair. A lot of things happen in the book, but the three main characters, Bex, Nick and Freddie all end up at pretty much the same place they started at. First of … Continue reading The Heir Affair by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

Lightning Review

The Companion by Kim Taylor Blakemore

The Companion

I’m a huge fan of Gothic and of creepy shit in general, so I was super excited to read The Companion. While this book has Gothic elements, it doesn’t follow the Gothic convention of having the heroine vindicated, and frankly it turned out to be a depressing read in general. Part of the book takes place in 1855 as Lucy Blunt awaits the verdict of her murder trial. While she is imprisoned, Lucy reflects back … Continue reading The Companion by Kim Taylor Blakemore

Book Review

The Lost Ones by Anita Frank

The Lost Ones

CW: The death of a child, sexual assault, suicidal ideation The Lost Ones by Anita Frank lured me in with the promise of a Gothic set in WWI, but the pacing was massively slow and the characters largely unlikeable. As a result, I only finished the book because I needed resolution on the ghostly portion. This book actually made me grind my teeth, and at one point my cat, Dewey, shut the book on me … Continue reading The Lost Ones by Anita Frank

Book Review

What I Like About You by Marisa Kanter

What I Like About You

What I Like About You is a terrific example of how a book’s flaws can overwhelm the good parts. It has engaging writing, stellar #ownvoices rep of Jewish teens, and nuanced exploration of grief. It also enraged me enough to slam my tablet down and seethe for a good hour after I finished. My initial grade was an F but I upgraded my rating after a few days of introspection (see the above good parts). … Continue reading What I Like About You by Marisa Kanter

Book Review

Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams

Undercover Bromance

Content Warning: Sexual Harassment, #MeToo and the costs of reporting Undercover Bromance is an enemies to lovers story that plays with traditional romantic tropes in some clever ways. I have very mixed feelings about this book. I really enjoyed reading it, and I think it was trying to do some fairly interesting and ambitious things. And it succeeded in some of them; the recurring theme of fantasy/perfection as a romantic hero versus the authenticity/respect for … Continue reading Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams

Book Review

Out of the Ashes by MJ James

Out of the Ashes

Caution warnings: In MJ James’ debut Out of the Ashes, Alex Porter loses everything when the bookshop that he rebelled against his wealthy family to build goes up in flames. His overbearing mother insists that a fire marshall be called for, so Matt Fields has to drop everything and devote himself to the case, and Alex. I wanted to like Out of the Ashes. Queer mysteries are my wheelhouse, and I’m always looking for new … Continue reading Out of the Ashes by MJ James

Book Review

Blood in the Water by Cynthia Rayne

Blood in the Water

Good morning, class! I’m Charlotte B., and I’ll be your professor for Legal Ethics 101. I hope everyone has done the assigned reading. Wait – you say you didn’t sign up for law school? That this is a site about romance novels? Well, I’m sorry, friends, because today we’re discussing a romance novel – Cynthia Rayne’s Blood in the Water – whose entire plot turns on the ethical obligations of a crusading criminal defense lawyer … Continue reading Blood in the Water by Cynthia Rayne

Book Review

Heiress Gone Wild by Laura Lee Guhrke

Heiress Gone Wild

Heiress Gone Wild is the fourth book in the Lady Truelove series. It stands alone – I have read the first book in the series, but not the others, and while characters from the previous books make appearances in the book, you certainly don’t need to know their stories to read this one. The story starts when Jonathan Deverill goes to collect his new ward, the daughter of an old friend, from her school in … Continue reading Heiress Gone Wild by Laura Lee Guhrke

Lightning Review

Piece of Work by Staci Hart

Piece of Work

This contemporary romance started out incredibly promising if you can overlook the initial setup of an intern/supervisor pairing. Rin is a statuesque heroine, who wears heels that bring her above 6’0”. She lives with a great group of girlfriends in New York in an unfathomably beautiful brownstone that no one her age could afford in real life. She’s an art nerd who really comes into her own and gains some confidence. However, that’s about all … Continue reading Piece of Work by Staci Hart

↑ Back to Top