Reviews
Lightning Review

The Diabolical Bones by Bella Ellis

The Diabolical Bones

The Diabolical Bones is the second book in the Bronte Mystery series. I enjoyed the first book, The Vanished Bride, and the second book can be read as a sequel or a stand-alone. In The Diabolical Bones, the siblings (Branwell, Charlotte, Anne, and Emily) attempt to solve a mystery concerning a skeleton that is discovered walled up in a local mansion. To whom did the skeleton belong, who put it there, and why? The mystery … Continue reading The Diabolical Bones by Bella Ellis

Book Review

(Trust) Falling for You by Charish Reid

(Trust) Falling for You

(Trust) Falling for You is a fun, sweet novella about two college professors with very, very different personal and teaching styles falling for each other on a Team Building retreat in the woods of Wisconsin. This retreat, incidentally, sounds both like an HR nightmare and the sort of thing guaranteed to result in multiple letters to Ask a Manager, and also precisely like something that someone in academic administration would decide was a brilliant thing … Continue reading (Trust) Falling for You by Charish Reid

Book Review

First Comes Like by Alisha Rai

First Comes Like

I was initially skeptical of the newest installment in Rai’s Modern Love series. The main character, Jia, is a social media influencer who creates videos about make-up. I tend to avoid novels about models, and wasn’t sure that I was millennial enough to appreciate this romance. But First Comes Like might be my perfect pandemic read. It has a more lighthearted, fluffier tone than Girl Gone Viral, with a heroine whose thirstiness made me smile, … Continue reading First Comes Like by Alisha Rai

Book Review

The Wife in the Attic by Rose Lerner

The Wife in the Attic is a retelling of Jane Eyre where a lonely governess falls for her employer’s mysterious wife, and contemplates whether murdering him is the easiest way out of their predicament. For many of you, that’s all you need to know to one-click. Go forth and enjoy this audiobook which is available on Audible now, and as an ebook in Fall 2021. This book is a gothic delight. It’s unsettling but not … Continue reading The Wife in the Attic by Rose Lerner

Book Review

A Lady’s Formula for Love by Elizabeth Everett

A Lady’s Formula for Love

Content warning: Discussion of a trans character who isn’t treated very well by the narrative. A Lady’s Formula for Love is a story about love, politics, science and the frustrations and difficulties of being a woman in 1840s England. It’s also a story about second chances, and reclaiming yourself after years of needing to be – or believing yourself to be – someone else. Perhaps most of all, it’s a story about claiming the right … Continue reading A Lady’s Formula for Love by Elizabeth Everett

Book Review

The Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec

The Witch’s Heart

The Witch’s Heart is intense and magical. It is NOT a romance novel, although there are love stories in it. It is loosely based on Norse mythology. Since I know almost nothing about Norse mythology this book was full of surprises for me. Fans of Norse mythology might not get the same sense of surprise, but I think they will share my enjoyment of the rich world and characters. We begin with the story of … Continue reading The Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec

Book Review

Much Ado About You by Samantha Young

Much Ado About You

Content warning: Emotional and physical abuse of a child (off-page but discussed by protagonists), alcoholism and resulting neglect of another child (off-page, but discussed by protagonist), character orphaned by the Bali Tsunami Much Ado About You is a contemporary romance in what I can only describe as the wish-fulfilment genre. Evie, fresh off an online dating disappointment, ups sticks and moves from Chicago to the tiny village of Alnster in Northumberland, responding to an ad … Continue reading Much Ado About You by Samantha Young

Book Review

Winters Orbit by Everina Maxwell

Winter’s Orbit

Bitchery, I feel personally attacked by how good Winter’s Orbit was. I feel that this book could only be the result of someone, somewhere, telepathically spying on me and then tailoring a book directly to my personal interests. I mean, this is a bona fide queer science fiction slow-burn romance with an arranged political marriage, interplanetary political intrigues, a murder mystery, and a creepy and mystical intergalactic bureaucracy that must be placated. This book manages … Continue reading Winters Orbit by Everina Maxwell

Book Review

Dearest Josephine by Caroline George

Dearest Josephine

Content warnings: Lots and lots of grief and loss, also death of a secondary character Dearest Josephine is an epistolary novel about grief and coming of age, disguised as a paranormal gothic romance. It is a sweet, clever, beautiful book, and I adored it. In 1820, the recently orphaned Elias Roch meets Josephine DeClare at an inn, and falls instantly and passionately in love. But in the morning, she is gone, and he has no … Continue reading Dearest Josephine by Caroline George

Book Review

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie

There’s a theme to The Mystery of Mrs. Christie and it’s, “Maybe don’t fuck with your wife when she invents unsolveable ways to murder people for a living.” In a lot of ways this book is a historical Gone Girl, which normally would be my jam, but I found the suspense disrupted by the fact that this is based on a real event and I already knew what happened. Add to that, we spend a … Continue reading The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict

Book Review

Siri, Who Am I? by Sam Tschida

Siri, Who Am I?

When I started Siri, Who Am I? I did not like it. I was grumpy, because I expected some realism and good detecting, neither of which are in this book. Then I settled into the story I was actually reading, which is as enjoyable and sparkly as one of the slushies that the protagonist enjoys. This is a goofy but also sharp romantic-comedy with a lot of references to pop culture, nerd culture, and the … Continue reading Siri, Who Am I? by Sam Tschida

Book Review

The Ex Talk by Rachel Solomon

The Ex Talk

The Ex Talk is an enemies-to-lovers fake relationship romance set in the world of public radio. It is also something of a belated coming of age story. Shay Goldstein has been working at Pacific Public Radio for ten years, beginning as the ‘wunderkind’ intern, and rising to the role of producer of the station’s flagship show, Puget Sounds. She loves public radio for its ability to tell stories that connect personally with listeners, and for … Continue reading The Ex Talk by Rachel Solomon

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