Fiction

D
Firebird

Firebird is a novel that would like to have it both ways. It's being marketed as straight fiction (so people will take it seriously), but it's also clearly targeting the lucrative romance audience. Frankly, I don't think either group would find it very appealing. Straight fiction fans are likely to ...

D
Fortune's Hand

The cover flap of Fortune's Hand claims that the book is about "temptation, betrayal, greed - and of the redeeming power of love." I have no quarrel with the first three adjectives, but if there is any redeeming love in this book I sure couldn't find it. This is a depressing, unpleasant novel about ...

B
Ferney

A casual bookstore browser may be lured into buying Ferney because its cover emphasizes its resemblance to Diana Gabaldon's Outlander. Ferney is a good, compelling read, but it's nothing like Outlander. There is no time travel here, but there are lots of past lives. If anything, it bares a passing r ...

B
Belonging

Belonging is a very good piece of women's fiction, but it is not a romance. A romance, to me, has the development of the relationship between the hero and the heroine as the primary focus (haven't we discussed this at length many times at AAR?). In Belonging, romance elements play such a small role ...

B+
Rose's Garden

Rose's Garden is much like the angel who serves as the focus of the book. At once beautiful and insubstantial, it leaves a pleasant memory of a simple time spent with good friends. Conrad Morrisey is a 75-year old widower who is coping with the recent loss of Rose, his wife and childhood sweethea ...

D
One Last Dance

One Last Dance is the first I've read of Eileen Goudge's work, and while the basic premise was enjoyable, there were plotting problems. And, though this book is general fiction, there were strong romantic and suspense elements. Unfortunately, these elements were not well intertwined. As for those pl ...

C-
One Last Dance

While this book is not a romance, there are many romances going on within it's pages, some more satisfactory than others. I'll tell you right off the bat that this book was well written and had an interesting premise - but the characters are all so whiny and unsympathetic, my own personal irritation ...

B-
Family Affairs

Family Affairs is labeled as straight fiction, but that's not quite accurate. The primary focus of the book is the love story between the hero and the heroine. So is it romance? Well, not exactly. The hero and heroine both sleep with other people, and though their relationship seems to be solid at t ...

B+
Coast Road

Although this author was once known for her romance novels, she's made a strong transition into contemporary women's fiction, and Coast Road is a fine example. While the foundation of the book is the love story between Jack and Rachel, the emphasis here is on the complexities of modern relationship ...

F
Legacy of Silence

Belva Plain does not write romances. She writes what was called "women's fiction" back before Oprah expanded the definition to include more literary works. Plain practices what I think of as the "sweeping family saga" school of women's fiction. Thus, I did not judge this book as a romance, but on it ...