Contemporary Romance

A
Unguarded

Jay Hogan takes the number of books in the Vino and Veritas series into double figures with Unguarded – the story of a closeted, repressed bisexual veterinary surgeon and an ex-pat Kiwi running from an abusive relationship – and it’s the best book of the series (that I’ve read) so far.  If ...

B+
The Girl With Stars in Her Eyes

The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes is a contemporary romance about a young Black woman making her way through the music industry, and her reconnection with her childhood sweetheart. Antonia - Toni - Bennette has no interest in super-stardom, or, really, any level of fame. She grew up with a mother o ...

B+
Anchored Hearts

Priscilla Oliveras’ charming Keys to Love series continues with the story of Luis’ sister, Anamaría. While this book is a little less heart-pounding than the previous volume (thanks to an occasionally annoying hero), there’s still enough romance and cozy family drama to earn a recommendation ...

B-
Heart on a Leash

Alanna Martin’s Heart on a Leash asks the question What if Romeo and Juliet lived in contemporary Alaska and were not dazed teenagers but commendably functional adults? The answer, it is not much of a spoiler to say, is that they would have had some hot sex and lived happily ever after. Taylor ...

B
Up in Smoke

Up in Smoke is the fourth book in Annabeth Albert’s Hotshots series about wildlife firefighters and smoke jumpers based in rural Oregon, but it’s got a slightly different tone (and a very different sort of cover) to the other books in the series.  Smoke jumping does feature in the story, but it ...

B+
Dial A for Aunties

When Meddelin Chan ends up accidentally killing her blind date, her meddlesome mother calls for her even more meddlesome aunties to help get rid of the body. Unfortunately, a dead body proves to be a lot more challenging to dispose of than one might anticipate, especially when it is accidentally shi ...

B
The Hate Project

Kris Ripper’s The Hate Project is a warm, quirky and often very funny romance with a difference -  a grumpy/grumpy  pairing – and I enjoyed it a lot.  It’s a well-written mixture of snarky and poignant, and I loved the idiosyncratic and uncompromising voice of PoV character Oscar, whose anx ...

A
The Color of Love

A Retro Review originally published on May 6, 1999 Could there be a more controversial topic to write about in a romance novel than this interracial romance between a white cop, Jason Horn, and an African American graphic designer, Leah Downey, who live and work in and around New York City? I doub ...

B-
Twice Shy

Sarah Hogle’s Twice Shy is one dollop sweet romance about two wallflowers, one dollop ‘what-in-the-world-am-I-reading?’ Its heroine is so deeply entrenched in her own fantasy world at the age of thirty that I occasionally wanted to shake her, but Hogle’s talent kept me reading. Maybell Pa ...

A-
His Haven

The third book in Con Riley’s His series of contemporary romances, His Haven is a gorgeous, angsty opposites-attract romance between an uptight lawyer and an open-hearted gentle giant of a man, and it’s every bit as good as His Compass, which I adored. The books in this series work as standal ...