Reviews by Rike Horstmann

A
The Iron Duke (#80 on AAR's Top 100 Romances)

An AAR Top 100 Romance originally published on October 15, 2010 This is the first book I have read by this author, and for the first half or so, I read it with rather mixed feelings, mostly delighted but thoroughly exasperated at certain passages. Fortunately it turned out to be an excellent read ...

A-
The Odds of You and Me

Women's fiction can be an interesting change from contemporary romance (which, don't get me wrong, I mostly love), as it tends to be grittier and less inclined to small-town sheriffs and extended families. I picked up  The Odds of You and Me by Cecilia Galante mostly because I liked the set-up, and ...

C
Breathless

I have read very few novels that feature African Americans as both hero and heroine, and I know very little of Black U.S. history after the Civil War, so I was keen to read Breathless, which is set in the Arizona Territory in the 1880s. The novel is the second volume in a trilogy, but everything yo ...

B
Soft Barracuda

Many years ago, Abi Bishop was a fellow AAR reviewer whose voice I particularly liked. Turns out, she has since become a novelist whose voice I like even more. Soft Barracuda, her début novel, is a contemporary romance that mixes the exotic - a Trinidad setting - with a likeable hero and heroine an ...

B
Miss Goodhue Lives for a Night

I love older heroines and second-chance-at-love stories - and I adore Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson, to which this story's title alludes; and so I was delighted to be assigned Kate Noble's novella Miss Goodhue Lives for a Night. Although it did not quite live up to my expectation ...

D-
Hollywood Hot Mess & Total Trainwreck

There seems to be a current trend in taking one long book and publishing it in two volumes. In the present instance, Hollywood Hot Mess by Evie Claire ends on a cliffhanger and Total Trainwreck picks up immediately after that, so both volumes are reviewed as one story here. The blurb for Tot ...

B-
The Secrets of Wiscombe Chase

Christine Merrill is an author who can be relied upon to insert the unusual in her novels, and considering she writes regency romances, this is saying something. The Secrets of Wiscombe Chase delivers in that it takes a common trope - the marriage of convenience - and gives is several twists. L ...

C-
APB: Baby

APB: Baby is the first volume in Julie Miller's new series about the Kansas City Police Department, The Precinct: Bachelors in Blue. As usual with Miller, it is carried over from her last series, The Precinct: Cold Case, with the the leads from Kansas City Cover-Up getting married in the very first ...

B
The Unexpected Marriage of Gabriel Stone

I've enjoyed books by Louise Allen since way back, when I first read The Earl's Intended Wife, which was partly set on Malta! She has a knack for inserting the unusual into the rather well-trodden paths of the regency romance genre, and she does not disappoint in The Unexpected Marriage of Gabriel S ...

C+
Return of the Runaway

Return of the Runaway is a book which I wanted to enjoy far more than I effectively did. For one thing, last year's A Lady for Lord Randall by the same author was both unusual and utterly gripping, and I couldn't wait to read more by her. For another thing, Sarah Mallory has the courage to leave the ...