Reviews by Dabney Grinnan

A-
Unstable

I love Alexandra Ivy’s Pike, Wisconsin series for its old-school suspense, and this standalone third installment is a nail-biter. Unstable is a second-chance romance at heart, and reunites Rachel Fisher and her ex-husband, Zac Evans, whose marriage imploded  eight years earlier. But if there’s ...

C-
The Lioness

The Lioness is a shockingly messy book given the skill and experience of the author. I was flummoxed on how to grade it upon finishing it and still find myself trying to balance the good and bad to arrive at a rating that is fair.When Hollywood super star Katie Barstow marries struggling gallery ...

C
Boyfriend Lessons

Caitlyn Lattimore, the heroine of Sophia Singh Sasson’s Boyfriend Lessons, is rich and gorgeous but socially awkward. She asks a friend of a friend, Dev Malik, to give her the lessons of the title to help her learn to date - but clearly, the two of them are going to fall in love. This book suffers ...

A
This Time Tomorrow

Have you ever lived a life that feels… well, ordinary? Not particularly special, and not in the skin you’re meant to be in?  Emma Straub examines this emotion in This Time Tomorrow, a melancholy and unique take on time travel fiction.Every day, Alice visits her beloved father Leonard at the ...

B
Rules For Engaging the Earl

Rules for Engaging the Earl is the second book in Janna MacGregor’s Widow Rules series, following three women who discover they were married (at the same time) to the same man after his untimely death.Constance Lysander is the first of the three wives, and the only one whose marriage was valid ...

C+
Blame it on the Brontës

Blame it on the Brontës has fun with its lighthearted small-town byplay, but it’s not a particularly substantial book.  For a fun, quick summer read it does the job - just don’t expect a lot of out of it.San Francisco-based Assistant Professor of English Athena Murphy is the world’s fore ...

A
Red Blossom in Snow

Jeannie Lin’s Lotus Palace Mysteries are back, and they continue to be satisfying, well-crafted reads. They’re best read in order, so I suggest not starting with this one; however, this review doesn’t have spoilers except for identifying previous couples.Song Yi is the lead courtesan at th ...

A-
Notes on Your Sudden Disappearance

Notes on Your Sudden Disappearance is an eloquent meditation on grief, guilt, and how both can wreak, destroy, change and heal lives.Sally Holt stands on the cusp of entering the eighth grade during an eventful summer that will change her life forever.  It seems to pass along lazily enough at f ...

B
The Heir Apparent's Rejected Mate

I've read four of Cate C. Wells books - this one, its predecessor The Tyrant Alpha's Rejected Mate, Hitting the Wall, and the second book in that series (Stonecut County) Against A Wall. I've enjoyed them all - The Tyrant Alpha's Rejected Mate is my favorite followed by Hitting the Wall. This book i ...

B
Once Upon a K-Prom

Once Upon a K-Prom is a spin on the “ordinary girl meets famous boy” YA story, incorporating the recent global success of K-Pop. Elena Soo’s childhood best friend Robbie Choi moved home to Korea when they were both ten. While Elena feels adrift, without anything to make her special, Robbie bec ...