Reviews by Dabney Grinnan

A-
The Wedding Bait

I’m always excited when I find an author writing romances with older characters (and by older, I mean over forty) and Adele Buck’s The Wedding Bait hit the spot for me, garnering a place on my Best of 2022 list.Tove Nilsen is getting ready to attend her daughter Emily’s wedding at a lakesi ...

B+
The Wedding Bait

I grabbed Adele Buck’s The Wedding Bait because it features protagonists who are over forty, and I wasn’t disappointed.Tove Nilsen’s daughter Emily is getting married, and Tove’s dreadful ex-husband Anthony, Emily’s absentee father, has shocked them both by RSVPing yes - both for him a ...

B+
Chick Magnet

Don’t let the blurb for Emma Barry’s Chick Magnet fool you; this is a surprisingly serious romance with a lot of dark issues floating about in its prose to match its sense of personality. But while it lacks the sense of easy-breezy fun the synopsis promises it’s beautifully poetic and romantic ...

A-
The Worst Woman in London

I am thrilled to see Julia Bennet again publishing historical romance. Her first two novels, The Madness of Miss Gray and The Ruin of Evangeline Jones, are four star reads for me and, were I awarding points for simply being more interesting than the vast majority of historical romances I've read in ...

B
The Wandering Prince

The Wandering Prince is the final book in the trilogy of fantasy romances featuring Jack Straw and Sebastian Beau, who have risked life and limb to rescue princes, track down mysterious artefacts and battle legendary beasts while bickering their way into love in the world of the 13 Kingdoms. These s ...

B
Maame

Maame suffers a bit because I’ve read a several similar books over the past few years, each about women emerging from the pressures and stifling cloister of their family lives to become a fully actualized person. This novel offers a couple of new twists, but the author’s voice isn't especially d ...

B
Loathe to Love You

When I grabbed a copy of Ali Hazlewood’s Loathe to Love You, I didn’t realize it was three connected novellas rather than one full-length novel. But since I’m a fan of novellas, that wasn’t an issue for me. Some readers may think that novellas are less bang for your buck, but the reality is ...

B+
The Sweet Spot

The Sweet Spot is a tangled and complex though still fun story – it definitely feels like living in a busy brownstone. It is the well told story of three women, a building in Manhattan, and the quasi-foundling who binds them together.Lauren and Leo Shaw and their three kids have inherited the ...

B+
The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy

An undertaker and a zombie hunter in a steampunk/western fantasy realm is probably the least expected way to adapt The Shop Around The Corner (which is more famous in another adaptation, You’ve Got Mail). At times, the story forces itself to adhere too closely to the source material, and these str ...

B+
Exiles

At a busy festival site on a warm spring night, a baby lies alone in her stroller, her mother vanishing into the crowds.A year on, Kim Gillespie’s absence casts a long shadow as her friends and loved ones gather deep in the heart of South Australian wine country to welcome a new addition to the fa ...