Reviews by Lisa Fernandes

A
Only a Novel: The Double Life of Jane Austen

Note: this is a re-release of a book that was originally published in 1972. Only a Novel is the general gold standard for Jane Austen biographies.  Written in a smooth, witty tone that’s easy to sink into, the book explores Austen’s life from pre-conception (her mother wore a daring red cloa ...

F
Pretty Revenge

If you think too hard about it, Pretty Revenge collapses like an ill-constructed house of cards.  While it starts as a compulsively readable slice of drama with some arch and fun moments, it turns into a weakly plotted mess with a ridiculous revelation and enormous plot holes that ultimately drag i ...

A
The Wedding Party

Any Jasmine Guillory novel is guaranteed to be a good time. The Wedding Party is another slice in that tradition; romantic, funny, sweet and easy to relate to, it’s a breezy read that will be like catnip for anyone who likes a good enemies-to-lovers story. No two ways about it - personal stylis ...

B-
Last Summer

Last Summer is a competently written, juicy page turner with a big problem – its mystery is non-mysterious. Ella Skye is a gorgeous, Barbara Walters-style lifestyle journalist who jet-sets with the rich and famous.  When she meets Damien Russell, they fall quickly in love, marry and it seems l ...

B
Stay and Fight

Stay and Fight is a powerful novel that haunts yet has derivative features that may give the reader pause.  But overall, it provides a thought-provoking experience. Helen Conley arrived in Appalachian Ohio fully in love with her boyfriend’s ideas about living off of the grid.  After all, if t ...

A
Queen Victoria: Twenty-Four Days That Changed Her Life

Popular TV historian Dr. Lucy Worsley once again proves her popularity is well deserved with this delightful biography of Queen Victoria.  But this book is different from any other you may have read about Victoria in that it takes an in-depth look at twenty-four specific days in the Queen’s life ...

B-
Tangle

Adriana Locke’s cozy Tangle is a continuation of her Dogwood Lane series of small town romances.  And ‘cozy’ is the best way to describe it – though the hero will give the reader occasional pause. Haley Raynor is having a terrible morning. She might be on the cusp of losing her job to b ...

C-
The Unbreakables

There’s something melodramatically untidy about The Unbreakables, the story of a woman who plunges herself into a period of hedonistic self-discovery in France when her husband confesses to a double-digit number of affairs.  On the whole it thinks itself much more daring than it is, and sometimes ...

B
The Plus One

If you’ve seen the John Malkovich movie Making Mister Right, you will be familiar with the premise of Sarah Archer’s The Plus One. All about a woman who literally creates her ideal boyfriend from code she’s written, It’s very much a rollicking eighties romcom with a twenty-first century glos ...

D-
A Rainbow Above Us

A Rainbow Above Us contains most of Sharon Sala’s go-to tropes, some of her weakest writing, and is, frankly, not worth a read, especially if this is your first entrée into her Blessings, Georgia series. Bowie James vowed years ago never to return to Blessings after he and his mom fled the tow ...