Reviews by Lynn Spencer

A
The Devil in Music

Twenty years ago, Kate Ross published the fourth (and last) of her Julian Kestrel mysteries, The Devil in Music. The entire series is strongly written and wonderful to read, but this last book contains an intricate mystery and adds depth to Kestrel's character. It was a fantastic reading experience, ...

B-
This Time Around

Stories about couples getting a second chance at love are one of my favorite tropes.  I like a sweet, funny romance, too. However, sometimes we can get a little too much of a good thing. This Time Around has all the marks of a favorite for me, but the dosage on sweetness and kookiness is just a tad ...

B
Under the Lights

Do you like small town romances set in towns that feel like they actually could exist?  If so, you should try reading Shannon Stacey if you haven’t discovered her already. When I talk about small towns that feel real, the setup of this book hints at it.  Stewart Mills is not an idyllic little ...

C
Hot in the City

Do you ever pick up a book thinking it has interesting-sounding characters and the right kind of plot to be a winner - and then it just isn't?  As a reviewer, that's happened to me more times that I care to remember. I chose Hot in the City thinking that it had potential to be a great read but inst ...

C+
Wenna

I initially picked this book up because of its unusual setting.  While Wenna provides a vivid picture of life in colonial Australia, I often found myself frustrated with both the hero and heroine. The book is well written, and definitely has some strong scenes, but much of the tension comes from a ...

N/A
A Star Looks Down

We’ve had a pretty mild winter here, but I could still use a few afternoons to curl up with a comfort read. This time around, I sought the comfort of a favorite author. I read a fair amount of category romance, but I’ve never found another author quite like Betty Neels. She wrote for Harlequin f ...

A-
A Lady's Code of Misconduct

I find that when we speak of romance, it's easy to fall into judging a book based on whether or not we think the main characters are nice people with whom we would actually want to spend time. I've long admired Meredith Duran's writing for challenging me on this. She is one of those authors who cons ...

B+
A Northern Light

The combination of cheap and "sounds intriguing" has lured me into buying many a book. And since I'm fairly dangerous in used bookstores, I have a massive TBR pile. So, when prompted to pick out a book by a new-to-me author, my dilemma was something along the lines of which new-to-me author to liber ...

B
Wild Wicked Scot

I love "second chance at love" stories and most books revolving around troubled marriages are near cousins to these. In Wild Wicked Scot, our protagonists weren't head over heels in love the first time around, so the dynamic is a little different. However, since the characters are layered and worth ...

B
The Diamond Secret

Normally I love the January TBR Challenge because I tend to collect category novels like crazy.  At their best, the storytelling is usually streamlined and top notch.  This month was a little tricky for me. Unwilling to settle for a so-so read, I DNF-d a couple of Harlequin Intrigues before uneart ...