Reviews by Caroline Russomanno

B+
Defy the Stars

The planet Genesis has tried to secede from Earth’s ring of colony planets in order to create an ethical, environmental and religious utopia, but Earth isn’t letting it go without a fight. Thirty years earlier, a vicious war ended in stalemate, but the conflict has resumed. Noemi Vidal is one of ...

B
Caraval

Scarlett Dragna has dreamed of attending the magical and immersive fantasy adventure called Caraval for nearly as long as she's dreamed of escaping life on her colonial-era island, where her brutal father, the governor, keeps Scarlett and her sister Donatella under lock and key. On the eve of her ar ...

A-
After the Scandal

Elizabeth Essex is the best historical romance author you’re not reading. Fix that! Tanner Evans, the Duke of Fenmore, has led a colorful life. His father, a younger son, was cut off from the family, and when both parents and the uncle died, Tanner and his sister Meggs spent years on the street ...

B-
Breeder

The space slave may not be quite as ubiquitous in SF as the duke in historicals, but she (and it’s nearly always a she) is certainly at “trope” levels. Breeder provides an acceptable execution of this plotline, but delivers neither the depth of worldbuilding I look for in an alternate reality ...

A
Lord of the Abyss

A marvelous stand-alone Beauty-and-the-Beast fantasy (or maybe Beast-and-the-Beauty, or perhaps just Beast-and-Beast?) by an author who really knows her way around the supernatural? Yes, yes, yes! Twenty years ago, the kingdom of Elden fell to the vile Blood Sorcerer. Before dying, the queen cast ...

B-
To Seduce a Stranger

A kindly old duke married Charlotte Blakemore, but his death has left his son refusing to execute a will leaving Charlotte a significant independence. Charlotte runs away and finds herself in the company of Edward Cary, heir to the Earl of Beckley, who himself ran away two decades ago in the hopes o ...

B
The Spaniard's Innocent Maiden

A conquistador/indigenous Totonec romance novel? I had to give that a try. The Spaniard's Innocent Maiden sees Benicio Villafuerte sets sail for the West Indies in the hopes of becoming wealthy enough to support his beloved Luisa. Once there, he joins Cortes on his first expedition to Mexico. Tul ...

D
The Deep End

I hated the first half of The Deep End and had I not been reading for review it's likely I wouldn't have finished it. But I persisted, and thank goodness the second half was better. Amélie is top Domme at an expensive, exclusive sex club called The Bee’s Honey, but she’s bored with her prosp ...

B+
Wait for It

Fans of gritty, blue-collar romance will enjoy Wait For It, a dark and sexy look at a woman emerging from an abusive relationship. Tiffany married Blake’s abusive brother Phil, whose messes Blake has been cleaning up for decades. Blake is wealthy, thanks to managing the racecar inventions of h ...

A-
Almost a Scandal

Sally Kent’s brother Richard lets the family tradition down when instead of joining the Navy, he escapes to the clergy. So it’s Sally, who’s got the family saltwater blood, who dons midshipman’s blues and sets sail on the Audacious just before Trafalgar. She finds herself under the supervisi ...