Reviews by Dabney Grinnan

D
Second First Impressions

Sigh. My first (reading) impression of this book was that it was worse than the last Sally Thorne book, 99% Mine, a book I gave a C grade to only because I so liked the best friend that I couldn't bring myself to give it a D. Thus, after reading about 25% of Second First Impressions, I put it dow ...

B
The Absolutely Positively Worst Man in England, Scotland and Wales

If you love Reckless, my personal fave of Stuart's historical romances, you'll like The Absolutely Positively Worst Man in England, Scotland and Wales. The latter has all the trappings of the former with not quite the panache or charm. In TAPWMiESaW, our anti-hero is (Earl) Kit Adderley who, if t ...

B
Her Husband's Harlot

Her Husband's Harlot, a 2011 debut by Grace Callaway, is a story you've read before: innocent young lady weds a sexually voracious, morally iffy rake. That's OK--this telling is a good time. It opens with a disastrous wedding night. Helena lay there, trying to think of England, but when it hur ...

A-
Season of the Wolf

It's been a week or so since I finished this book after reading the three that proceed it. I still think about the Great Northern Pack, the society of wolves that feature in Maria Vale's uncommon shapeshifter series. (If you'd like to know more about this world in detail, Vale spoke to AAR about it ...

C
Dance Away with Me

When life throws her one setback too many, midwife and young widow Tess Hartsong takes off for Runaway Mountain. In this small town high in the Tennessee mountains, surrounded by nature, she hopes to outrun her heartbreak and find the solace she needs to heal.  But instead of peace and quiet, sh ...

B+
Dragon Unleashed

Shannon: Phoenix Unbound, the prequel to Dragon Unleashed was my first experience with Grace Draven’s writing, and I was beyond impressed by the novel. This, the second book in the series, is set in the same world, but has little noticeable carry-over from the first book. I think readers could ea ...

C+
Chasing Cassandra

Everything has a price... Railway magnate Tom Severin is wealthy and powerful enough to satisfy any desire as soon as it arises. Anything—or anyone—is his for the asking. It should be simple to find the perfect wife—and from his first glimpse of Lady Cassandra Ravenel, he’s determined to ...

A
A Heart of Blood and Ashes

A generation past, the western realms were embroiled in endless war. Then the Destroyer came. From the blood and ashes he left behind, a tenuous alliance rose between the barbarian riders of Parsathe and the walled kingdoms of the south. That alliance is all that stands against the return of an anci ...

A-
Long Bright River

In a Philadelphia neighborhood rocked by the opioid crisis, two once-inseparable sisters find themselves at odds. One, Kacey, lives on the streets in the vise of addiction. The other, Mickey, walks those same blocks on her police beat. They don't speak anymore, but Mickey never stops worrying about ...

B+
Frozen

I love our end of the year lists in part because, later, I can look back and see what we loved. In 2014, Meljean Brook's novella Frozen made my #Bestof2014 list. (2014 produced several books on it I still adore: Three Weeks with Lady X, Rogue Spy, No More Mr. Nice Guy, Having Her, Off the Edge, and ...