Reviews by Caroline Russomanno

B-
Tokyo Ever After

Emiko Jean’s Tokyo Ever After is listed for grades 6-8 on Amazon, and it will be fine for that intended audience, especially in a library that is working to diversify. I do not, however, see it having what it takes to reach audiences beyond that maturity level, or to become a classic when a better ...

B+
Homebound

Science Fiction romances tend to battle sequences and spaceships, but Homebound by Lydia Hope is set on a dystopian Earth. In The City, an urban ruin that reads like a Dickensian slum, Gemma works for a pittance scrubbing prison cells. A surprise reassignment to the third floor, where the alien p ...

B-
All Rhodes Lead Here

Mariana Zapata is very well reviewed here, so I was excited to try her new book, All Rhodes Lead Here. But with its clumsy heroine, rude but ultimately gold-hearted hero, and bland first person narrator, this book reads as run-of-the-mill YA, with only the swearing and sex scenes making it an adult ...

C-
Falling For His Practical Wife

Like so many Romancelandia gentlemen, Leo Ashburton, hero of Laura Martin's Falling for His Practical Wife,  has an elderly relative who is a) dying, b) marriage obsessed, and c) willing to write an absurd will. Therefore, Leo finds himself searching for a bride, but not one whom he can love. Enter ...

A-
Getaway Girl

Tessa Bailey writes sex scenes that never let you down. Sometimes I don’t love the characters outside the bedroom, though, so I’m delighted to report that Getaway Girl is a read in which the characters are a good match throughout, and not just in the spicy parts. Addison Potts crashes her cou ...

B-
How to Win the Surgeon's Heart

Many AAR reviewers, including me, have been buzzing about the good things coming out of Harlequin lately. I haven’t read a book from the Harlequin Medicals line before, so it seemed like a good time to give one a try. Tina Beckett is a prolific Medical author, and her latest, How to Win the Surgeo ...

A-
Song of Scarabeus / Children of Scarabeus

Sara Creasy’s Song of Scarabaeus matches an intricately-built world with engaging characters and a fascinating plot. In the future, humanity terraforms planets by seeding them with biocyph (biology technology) pods called BRATs. This tech absorbs data from the existing ecosystem, then engineers an ...

B
No More Mr. Nice Guy

Mack Kennedy is a nice guy; a gentle giant of a veterinarian who has been a critical emotional support for his widowed sister Sal. Josie Butler, who rooms with the two, never considered him for the list of post-breakup naughty sex she’d like to have. But when Mack sees her list, it brings out a ne ...

C
The Promised Queen

Alas for another series that loses steam. While I loved The Orchid Throne, book one in Jeffe Kennedy’s Forgotten Empires series, and I enjoyed (with some caveats), The Fiery Crown (book two), The Promised Queen disappointed. Because this is book three of a fantasy series, a LOT has happened bef ...

C-
A Lowcountry Bride

I cannot tell you how badly I wanted to like Preslaysa Williams’ A Lowcountry Bride. I’m a fashion and design geek, I love ambitious heroines, and I like to read about diverse characters, including those with illness or disability. On paper, this book should have been everything I wanted. Unfort ...