Reviews by Dabney Grinnan

A
The Sun Down Motel

Completely addictive, riveting, and engaging, The Sun Down Motel is the latest supernatural thriller from Simone St. James. A dual timeline tale of two women thirty-five years apart looking for answers to a series of disappearances, it contains the eerie, haunted tone I expect from this author’s w ...

B+
Private Practice

Dr. Ellie Swann has come home to Bluelick, Kentucky, to open her own practice when she overheard her longtime dream man, Roger, has broken up with his fiancée Melody. Apparently Roger wants someone scorching and adventurous in bed, and Melody didn’t fit the bill. Unfortunately, neither does Ellie ...

D
Above the Bay of Angels

A weak mystery and problematic history made Above the Bay of Angels my most difficult read of 2020 (so far). While I’ve loved previous novels by Rhys Bowen, this book was an absolute struggle to get through. Bella (Isabella) Waverly’s childhood is idyllic. Her father is an aristocrat estrange ...

B+
Of Curses and Kisses

Sandhya Menon breathes new life into the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale with her diversely cast Of Curses and Kisses. The author’s humor creates a nice balance to her look at serious issues like teen loneliness and parental expectations in this fun YA novel. The Emersons and Raos  are the Eng ...

B
A Cowboy to Remember

It’s been a while since I read a good cowboy romance, and I was starting to miss them. When I saw A Cowboy to Remember getting buzz on Twitter, it caught my fancy. Friends-to-lovers and second chance at love are my two favorite tropes, and this book has some of both going on in it along with the m ...

B
Her Scandalous Pursuit

Her Scandalous Pursuit, although Book seven in Candace Camp’s The Mad Morelands series, tells the story of the oldest Moreland sibling. When the series began in 2003 with Mesmerized, Thisbe was already married. Now, in Her Scandalous Pursuit, readers get to see Thisbe’s love story. It is a tale ...

C+
Owner of a Broken Heart

Romance author Cheris Hodges should consider moonlighting as a television writer. Her new African-American contemporary romance, Owner of a Broken Heart, which launches the Richardson Sisters series, reads like a primetime soap opera. The novel is one part sexy courtship and two parts melodrama. Had ...

B+
Perfect Little Children

When you read as many thrillers as I do, it can sometimes be hard to feel like you've discovered something new and different. I picked up Perfect Little Children, the latest novel from author Sophie Hannah, because the blurb sounded unlike anything I'd read before. Fortunately, the synopsis didn't l ...

C-
More or Less a Temptress

Anna Bradley’s More or Less a Temptress is an opposites-attract romance that wraps up her Somerset Sisters series. While the hero and heroine have their original sides, this potential is lost in a story that was too implausible for me to suspend disbelief. Hyacinth Somerset, the youngest of fiv ...

B+
Tales From the Gunpowder Academy - Love in the Time of Engines

Although Tales from the Gunpowder Chronicles features three separate steampunk novellas, I only read and reviewed the third novella, Love in the Time of Engines.  The other two novellas are standalone stories; LitToE is a prequel to Gunpowder Alchemy, published in 2014. LitToE is tough to grade. ...