Lightning Review

After the Dragons by Cynthia Zhang

After the Dragons

After the Dragons is a subtle, tender love story set in a near-future Beijing in which dragons are as real as the climate change which has brought drought to the city. Eli, the biracial son of two professors, has come to Beijing as an exchange student, wanting to learn more about the city that his grandmother loved too much to leave, even when faced with a terminal diagnosis. Kai has received the same diagnosis as … Continue reading After the Dragons by Cynthia Zhang

Lightning Review

Thirsty Mermaids by Kat Leyh

Thirsty Mermaids

How can it be that it has taken me this long to discover Thirsty Mermaids, the graphic novel by Kat Leyh? This bawdy, body positive, inclusive story is my new favorite, and I’ve been reading a lot of mermaid stuff recently so that’s saying a LOT. When mermaids Pearl, Tooth, and Eez decide to use magic to become human, they only plan to be human for long enough to get some booze. But once Eez … Continue reading Thirsty Mermaids by Kat Leyh

Book Review

Feral Creatures by Kira Jane Buxton

Feral Creatures

Feral Creatures is the sequel to one of my favorite books, Hollow Kingdom. I liked Feral Creatures a great deal, but it very much has the feel of a middle book in a series (which it is) given that it relies too much on Hollow Kingdom to work as a stand alone and it has a cliffhanger ending. As a stand alone, it probably is good but not life-changing, but as part of a series … Continue reading Feral Creatures by Kira Jane Buxton

Book Review

At Summer’s End by Courtney Ellis

At Summer’s End

Trigger warning for on-page suicide attempt Claudia and I (CarrieS) are suckers for good historical fiction, good historical romance, and Beauty and the Beast retellings. So we were excited about At Summer’s End, in which an artist (Bertie, short for Alberta) takes a job at an English estate following WWI and meets an isolated, traumatized, and scarred survivor named Julian. While this book did a decent job with the tricky themes of PTSD and disfigurement … Continue reading At Summer’s End by Courtney Ellis

Other Media Review

Boyfriend Dungeon

CW/TW: stalking A few weeks ago, three people sent me (Tara) a link for Boyfriend Dungeon in the Nintendo Store. I don’t really believe in signs, but by the third message, I was sold. I started playing that evening and was totally hooked. And luckily, Amanda was into it too! Amanda: I was blessed enough to back it on Kickstarter and got some cool limited edition swag. I’ve been anxiously awaiting its release! Tara: Boyfriend … Continue reading Boyfriend Dungeon

Book Review

Along Came a Lady by Christi Caldwell

Along Came a Lady

Along Came A Lady is ridiculous, but initially I found it to be ridiculous fun. This Regency romance pits an etiquette teacher against a stubborn miner in a “Pygmalion” type story with a battle of wits and wills, plus a dash of “The Prince and the Pauper” and a smidgen of Poldark. Alas, the story went off the rails at around the 75% mark and soon began making even less sense than it did at … Continue reading Along Came a Lady by Christi Caldwell

Book Review

The Duke Who Loved Me by Jane Ashford

The Duke Who Loved Me

The Duke Who Loved Me is a friends to lovers romance between James Cantrell, the new Duke of Tereford, and Miss Cecelia Vainsmede, the daughter of the man who acted as his guardian during his minority. It has some fun and interesting things going on in the background to the story, but it missed the mark for me for two reasons. The first was James’s insufferable self-centredness, and the second was the failure to resolve … Continue reading The Duke Who Loved Me by Jane Ashford

Book Review

Bombshell by Sarah MacLean


Bombshell is a Victorian age romance with a ton of pining, and a heroine who belongs to a girl-gang out to dismantle the patriarchy. One of them specializes in explosions. Objectively I can look at this book and say that some readers may have an issue with how much time spent on the girl-gang scenes versus the romance, but also ONE OF THEM SPECIALIZES IN EXPLOSIONS. I think part of this imbalance is to set … Continue reading Bombshell by Sarah MacLean

Lightning Review

Love Scenes by Bridget Morrissey

Love Scenes

Celebrity romance is one of my favorite tropes, so I was super excited to read Love Scenes. I tried to make it through this book, I really, really did, but I had to put it down halfway through. I had no issues with the hero or the heroine or their conflict, but the heroine’s incredibly toxic family makes up a huge part of this book and I couldn’t deal with their chronic mistreatment of her. … Continue reading Love Scenes by Bridget Morrissey

Lightning Review

Miss Lattimore’s Letter by Suzanne Allain

Miss Lattimore’s Letter

Miss Lattimore’s Letter is a light, refreshing summer breeze of a book. While not much surprising happens, this Regency romance is consistently entertaining given it’s wry, well-intentioned, and down-to-earth protagonist. It’s eminently enjoyable, and, given its lack of serious conflict, also eminently forgettable. This book has a predictable plot with minimal angst and conflict, and the lovely, if simply sketched, characters give it a sense of reality. Sophie is gifted with common sense and a … Continue reading Miss Lattimore’s Letter by Suzanne Allain

Lightning Review

Chemistry Lessons by Jae

Chemistry Lessons

Best friends since childhood, Regan and Kylie are inseparable. They work at the same school (Ky in the lunchroom, Regan as a chemistry teacher), meet up weekly for a Netflix night, and have their own adorkable, two-person book club. Everyone who meets them is shocked they’re not in a romantic relationship and all of their friends and family think they should be together. Ky and Regan know the truth: there’s zero chemistry between them. Regan, … Continue reading Chemistry Lessons by Jae

Book Review

Opium and Absinthe by Lydia Kang

Opium and Absinthe

Opium and Absinthe is a mystery with a romance thrown in. In this book, a Gilded Age heroine tries to solve the mystery of how her sister died, and who killed her. The book is lush with vampire lore, grounded in social issues, and bathed in the nightmare atmosphere of addiction. While I thought this book could have gone deeper into issues and characters, I adored it overall because of the protagonist’s character growth and … Continue reading Opium and Absinthe by Lydia Kang

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