Reviews
Other Media Review

Queen of Tears (Netflix)

A close up of Kim Soo-hyun and Kim Ji-won in an embrace. he is smiling a little while she looks very sad and has a sparkly tear on her cheek that matches the sparkly diamond on her finger

This guest review is from Jeevani Charika! Jeevani (also known as Rhoda Baxter) writes award nominated romantic women’s fiction and romcoms. She has a YouTube channel teaching authors how to use Canva to make fun graphics. She is a ‘resting’ microbiologist. She lives in Yorkshire in the UK, where she enjoys eating cake, playing with Lego and, when she’s run out of excuses, writing. You can find out more about her (and get a free book) … Continue reading Queen of Tears (Netflix)

Lightning Review

Letters to the Luminous Deep by Sylvie Cathrall

A Letter to the Luminous Deep

What is the opposite of Dark Academia? Bright Academia? Radiant Academia? Whatever it is, Letters to the Luminous Deep certainly qualifies. This cozy, epistolary fantasy features a slow blooming romance and an intriguing mystery. The world in this novel is predominantly aquatic with only a small landmass being available to humans. People either live on ships, in buildings underwater or on man made islands. Our heroine E (her full name isn’t revealed until the end) … Continue reading Letters to the Luminous Deep by Sylvie Cathrall

Book Review

The Idea of You by Robinne Lee

The Idea of You

The Idea of You is an age gap celebrity romance where the heroine is older than the hero. I didn’t mind the age-gap portion (in fact I appreciate a book where the heroine is the older one), but I had a lot of issues with how the heroine’s relationship with the hero would and did impact her daughter. Also I was pretty surprised by the ending which is very different from the movie the book … Continue reading The Idea of You by Robinne Lee

Lightning Review

The Lifeguards by Amanda Eyre Ward

The Lifeguards

The cover for The Lifeguards is more fitting for a romantic comedy than this twisty, suburban thriller. Reminiscent of Big Little Lies, I think this book is a perfect fit for readers who want suspense and thrills without gore or terror. Focusing on the inner vs outer lives of three women, The Lifeguards follows Austinites Whitney, Liza and Annette. All three live in the same posh neighborhood and their respective fifteen-year-old boys are close friends, … Continue reading The Lifeguards by Amanda Eyre Ward

Lightning Review

Thrive Where You’re Planted by Andrea Debbink

Thrive Where You’re Planted

I started working at a local nature center about a year ago, and since then I’ve delighted in being more aware of the nature that inhabits my yard, fills apartment window boxes, and struggles through sidewalk cracks. Thrive Where You’re Planted: A Guided Journal to Help You Connect with the Natural Wonders in Your Neighborhood is a lovely exercise book for those of us who want to become more aware of the natural world around whether … Continue reading Thrive Where You’re Planted by Andrea Debbink

Book Review

A Fatal Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum: Murder in Ancient Rome

A Fatal Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

This Guest Review is from Jen Barr. Jen is an over-educated wonk who likes reading and writing both cool real-life stories and cool made-up stories. To her surprise, she currently lives in Denver, but will always be a Californian at heart. Ed. Note: this book is literally about historical murder, so please be careful with yourself and this review. Emma Southon’s book is a highly readable, incredibly smart, sometimes funny and sometimes heart-wrenching history of … Continue reading A Fatal Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum: Murder in Ancient Rome

Book Review

In Which Winnie Halifax is Utterly Ruined by Alexandra Vasti

In Which Winnie Halifax is Utterly Ruined

I don’t recall exactly how this trilogy came to my attention. Strangely, it may have been their long titles, which may have signaled to me an Austen-esque voice, one that at the same time did not take itself too seriously. In any case, I was very happy I picked up the first novella, In Which Margo Halifax Earns Her Shocking Reputation, and from then on I waited impatiently for weeks and weeks before the second … Continue reading In Which Winnie Halifax is Utterly Ruined by Alexandra Vasti

Book Review

The Shabti by Megaera C. Lorenz

The Shabti

Within the first paragraph of reading this I knew I wanted to review it. When the writing itself is just so good, you have to share it. About a chapter in, I actually stopped and restarted the book because I was reading it too quickly and I wanted to savour it. The book didn’t quite live up to the promise of those first few pages, but I still devoured it in one sitting. The book … Continue reading The Shabti by Megaera C. Lorenz

Book Review

To Cage a God by Elizabeth May

To Cage a God

To Cage a God is a fantasy novel with romantic elements that I think will work well for a lot of readers. It’s got similar vibes to the Grisha/ Shadow and Bone Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo, has a sapphic romance, has a morality chain romance, and has disability rep. All of that is topped off by a unique magic system and some really fun world-building. The world in To Cage a God is reminiscent of … Continue reading To Cage a God by Elizabeth May

Book Review

Blood on the Tide by Katee Robert

Blood on the Tide

I’m having a bit of a tryst with Katee Robert books lately and this one did not disappoint. After the events of Hunt on Dark Waters which I reviewed, I was desperate for what promised to be an epic sequel. In book one, we are introduced to Lizzie, a truly fearsome vampire. At the start of book one, Evelyn (the heroine of book one) steals Lizzie’s family jewels and disappears into Threshold, a fantastical place between … Continue reading Blood on the Tide by Katee Robert

Lightning Review

Lucky Bounce by Cait Nary

Lucky Bounce

I am no stranger to m/m hockey romances and I’ve reviewed a few here. This one has been on my TBR for a while and my library hold finally came in yesterday. Yes, I read it that quickly, folks. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that I devoured it. Ezekiel Boehm, or Zeke as he is more commonly known, is a gym teacher at a relatively posh private school. (The school is a Quaker … Continue reading Lucky Bounce by Cait Nary

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