Reviews by Caroline Russomanno

A
Winterkeep

Winterkeep is the fourth book in the Graceling Realm series, and I’d strongly suggest that if you like the sound of it, you start with the first book, Graceling. Like many fantasy series, the books build on each other, and there’s no way to write this review without spoilers. Fortunately, the th ...

B+
Kidnapped by the Viking

Under the name Megan Crane, Caitlin Crews has plenty of experience writing faux-Vikings in her dystopian Edge series. I was curious to see how she’d do with an actual Viking in a genuine Dark Ages setting. The answer? Pretty well! In 918, the real-life Lady of the Mercians (daughter of Alfred t ...

A-
A Marriage of Equals

Harlequin Historicals continues to demonstrate that smaller packages contain not just good things, but sometimes, things that are great. As a young girl, Psyché Winthrop-Abeni came to England from Jamaica with her biological father, a white man (her enslaved mother had died). She was raised alon ...

B
A Pho Love Story

Two households, both alike in owning Vietnamese restaurants, in SoCal, where we lay our scene. Fortunately, Bảo Nguyễn and Linh Mai are brighter than their Veronan counterparts, although their situation is no less complex: their parents have bad blood that goes far deeper than a culinary rivalry ...

B-
Lord Satyr

The second book in Jade Lee’s Lords of the Masquerade series, Lord Satyr stars a neuroatypical botany-loving on-the-shelf spinster and an aristocrat trying to make an independent business fortune. While some aspects of the story are silly, the core relationship in this book is full of warm-fuzzy a ...

A
Sorcerer to the Crown

I’ve tried so many of the ‘British history, but with magic’ books over the years: Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke, etc. Zen Cho’s Sorcerer to the Crown is the best one I’ve read - and the competition is not even close. ...

A-
Crushing on You

Ever since I finished Crushing On You, I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. Romance generally doesn’t challenge me to read a messy heroine who behaves badly, so I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on Crushing’s troubled heroine, Anna Tang. Anna, an aspiring music journalist, meet ...

B
I'll Be the One

Skye is, at size 16, an average American girl - but much larger than the average Korean (something her mother will never let her forget) and downright gargantuan in the world of K-pop. Skye, however, won’t let other people’s beauty standards hold her back. Knowing she can dance and sing, she ent ...

C+
A Taste for Love

Like most Jane Austen adaptations (this one is a riff on Pride and Prejudice), A Taste For Love struggles to work some of the plot devices of the original into the modern world. While some aspects of this book are sweet, it’s ultimately underbaked. Liza Yang’s parents run Yin and Yang, a Taiw ...

B
Claimed

Why should YA have all the dystopia fun? Elle Kennedy takes the post-apocalyptic US in a decidedly adult direction in Claimed, the first book in her Outlaws series of erotic romances. Rather than marry the psychopath who wants her hand, Hudson Lane fled her privileged life in the city and joined ...