Reviews
Lightning Review

Tamon’s B-Side, Vol. 1 by Yuki Shiwasu

Tamon’s B-Side, Vol. 1

A young woman, Utage Kinoshita, who loves the popular boy band F/ACE, has a job as a house cleaner. When she covers for a colleague who calls out, she discovers the assignment is for her favorite member of F/ACE, Tamon Fukuhara. However, Tamon’s charming, bad boy persona is fake and the poor guy is riddled with imposter syndrome and anxiety. A lot of manga feature teenagers as the main characters; that’s the case with all … Continue reading Tamon’s B-Side, Vol. 1 by Yuki Shiwasu

Lightning Review

Yakuza Fiancé, Vol 1. by Asuka Konishi

Yakuza Fiancé, Vol. 1

I forgot where I heard about Yakuza Fiancé initially, but that cover was a strong motivator. Yoshino, the granddaughter of a crime boss in Osaka, and Kirishima, the grandson of a Yakuza boss in Tokyo are instructed to date (and possibly marry) to strengthen an alliance between the two families. Yoshino is a bit of a fish out of water, leaving Osaka to live in Tokyo with the Miyama family. She transfers to Kirishima’s school … Continue reading Yakuza Fiancé, Vol 1. by Asuka Konishi

Lightning Review

The Apothecary Diaries, Vol. 1 by Natsu Hyuuga and Nekokurage

The Apothecary Diaries, Vol. 1

Please check the content warnings before continuing as several of them are unavoidable when discussing the setup! This manga is originally based on a series of Japanese light novels. They’ve been translated to English and even just reading the sample, it seems that the beginning of the manga follows the text closely. Maomao was kidnapped from her job as an herbalist/apothecary in a red light district and is now forced to work as a maid … Continue reading The Apothecary Diaries, Vol. 1 by Natsu Hyuuga and Nekokurage

Other Media Review

Movie Review: Anyone but You

It’s D for Dick, I’m afraid. Specifically, it was a close up of Beau’s (Joe Davidson) penis which gave me my first genuine (albeit startled) laugh of the movie. Bea (Sydney Sweeney) and Ben (Glen Powell) have a meet cute in a coffee shop and spend a lovely night together. The next day, Bea overhears Ben disparaging her to a friend and so the enemy part of the trope is set. Time passes until it … Continue reading Movie Review: Anyone but You

Lightning Review

The City of Stardust by Georgia Summers

The City of Stardust

When I first read the description of The City of Stardust, it seemed like a tempting amalgamation of things I love in a quasi-dark academia package. Things I heard and read alluded to a magical mystery, vengeful gods, and a forbidden romance. Yes, I can confirm the book had all of those things, but wow, did it take a lot of time to get things done. Violet Everly knows her family is cursed. Once in … Continue reading The City of Stardust by Georgia Summers

Book Review

Throne of the Fallen by Kerri Maniscalco

Throne of the Fallen

CW: Graphic violence, blackmail, sexual harassment, and mind control If I had to pick one word to describe Throne of the Fallen, it would be ✨ decadent ✨. A second choice would be indulgent. It has the seven deadly sins in corporeal form, a journey through a seductive fantasy world, and it’s incredibly horny. It also reminded me delightfully of early 2000s paranormal romances, with its borderline corny details and powerful supernatural hero and plenty … Continue reading Throne of the Fallen by Kerri Maniscalco

Book Review

Escaping Mr. Rochester by L.L. McKinney

Escaping Mr. Rochester

Escaping Mr. Rochester is not the book I hoped for but it’s OK. This is a YA retelling of Jane Eyre.  If you’ve been reading SBTB for awhile, you know that Jane Eyre is one of my favorite books. I read it annually, and each year it gives me a new experience, ranging from comforting and empowering to deeply challenging. I liked the basic content of Escaping Mr. Rochester, but wished it delved more deeply … Continue reading Escaping Mr. Rochester by L.L. McKinney

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

Midnight Ruin by Katee Robert

Midnight Ruin

CW: I’m going to quote the content note verbatim here: “Midnight Ruin is an occasionally dark and very spicy book that contains violence, murder, blood, guns, pregnancy (not the heroine) and abortion (off-page, not the heroine).” I can’t be trusted to be objective and balanced when the book in question made me gasp repeatedly and then exclaim at my partner that the book was SO GOOD. This book gave me so much Good Book Noise! … Continue reading Midnight Ruin by Katee Robert

Book Review

A Fragile Enchantment by Alison Saft

A Fragile Enchantment

A Fragile Enchantment is a gentle, cozy fantasy romance (I refuse to use the word romantasy–you can’t make me), and it’s perfect for anyone looking for a romance that’s got a solid conflict, but isn’t angsty. I loved this book. This book is like being wrapped up in a blanket that just came out of the dryer. This book is like drinking the perfect cup of tea while watching it snow outside, knowing you don’t … Continue reading A Fragile Enchantment by Alison Saft

Lightning Review

Emily Wilde’s Map of the Otherlands by Heather Fawcett

Emily Wilde’s Map of the Otherlands

This book is CHARMING. C.H.A.R.M.I.N.G. I devoured it in just over a day and what a beautiful day it was. Emily Wilde is a scholar of the fae, or ‘Folk’ as they’re called in the book. She’s serious, a bit curmudgeonly, dedicated to her studies, and utterly genius when it comes to studying and interacting with the Folk. The Folk are tricky and cunning, with some of them being outright gruesome and vicious. In book … Continue reading Emily Wilde’s Map of the Otherlands by Heather Fawcett

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