Meet Reviewer Sunny MacAllister

About Me Personal Reading Tastes

I cannot remember a time when I couldn’t read.  Through most of first grade, my teacher thought I was “slow” because I was never on the correct page in my reading group.  When she put me in a special group for the students having difficulty, she discovered I was reading way ahead of my peers, not behind!  Ever since then, I’ve been struggling to find enough to read.

I began reading historical romances in junior high in the very early 1960s, raiding my parents’ and my grandparents’ collections of book club editions when I was still too young to use the adult section of the public library.  A gift of the Harvard Classics introduced me to poetry and drama and essay at about the same time, so I’ve always had wide-ranging interests in both fiction and non-fiction: history, romance, anthropology, mystery, political science, science fiction.

In the 1970s, I snarfed up every Woodiwiss and Deveraux and Rogers and McBain I could get my hands on, hot off the presses, and historical romance remains my favorite to this day.  As a great supporter of underdogs, I love finding gems in the works of lesser-known authors.

After working for many years in cost accounting, I returned to college in the 1990s as a “mature” student to complete my accounting degree.  I ended up not only switching majors but staying on long enough to earn a graduate degree in sociology.

Recently widowed after thirty-six wonderful years with a wonderful man, I am a native of the Midwest but have lived in Arizona for 20 years. My son and daughter are grown and married, and have just presented me with my first two grandsons.

Favorite Romance Authors Candice Camp
Roberta Gellis
Pamela Morsi
Laura Parker
Mary Jo Putney

Favorite Romance Novels

Absolute Favorites

The Saracen Blade by Frank Yerby
The Far Pavilions by M.M. Kaye
Hummingbird by LaVyrle Spencer
Lord Johnnie by L.T. White

Favorite Comfort Read

The Saracen Blade by Frank Yerby

Favorite Classic Novel

Tom Jones by Henry Fielding

What I’m a sucker for in a book: splendid writing about wounded (not necessarily tortured) characters.

What I don’t particularly care for in a book: exceptionally wealthy characters, especially when the plot gives me the impression that their wealth makes these characters’ sins automatically forgiven – not just forgiveable, but forgiven from the get-go.   Also, I’m not a big fan of spy stories.

What drives me absolutely nuts in a book: contrived plots, TSTL characters who would never fall in love or even in like with each other in reality, and any kind of “violence as proof of love.”

Favorite Characters

Favorite Hero

John Ballantyne, Lord Johnnie by L.T. White

Favorite Heroine

Abbie McKenzie, Hummingbird by LaVyrle Spencer

Most Tortured Hero

Del Morgan, Firefly by Linda Hilton

Strongest Heroine

Del, Jennifer Roberson’s Sword Series
Rui Ravenstone, The Shadow of His Wings by Bruce Ferguson
Lola Montaro, The Infinite Woman by Edison Marshall

Favorite Couple

Del and Tiger, Jennifer Roberson’s Sword Series

Least Favorites

Most Disappointing Read

A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux

Worst Read

A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught

Purple Prose-iest Book

The Windflower by Laura London

Authors Others Love That I Don’t

Judith McNaught

Favorites by Sub-Genre


Tapestry of Dreams by Roberta Gellis

European Historical

Black Silk by Judy Cuevas/Judith Ivory

American Historical

Hummingbird by LaVyrle Spencer
Firefly by Linda Hilton
Bitterleaf and The Rainbow Season by Lisa Gregory


Possession by A.S. Byatt *

Romantic Suspense

House of Stones by Barbara Michael

Alternate Reality

Wine of the Dreamers by Susannah Leigh

* Possession is set in two periods – one historical, the other contemporary