Reviews by Marian Perera

A
Slammerkin

A slammerkin is a loose dress, and also a loose woman. Emma Donoghue, author of Room, based this book on the true story of a girl who was executed in 1763 for murdering her mistress, and who apparently did it from a longing for ‘fine clothes’. While this wasn’t exactly a pleasant read, it was ...

B
One Night with the Major

Bronwyn Scott’s One Night with the Major has a wonderful start that turned to a pleasant but not exceptional read. Although this book is part of the Allied at the Altar series, new readers should have no difficulty leaping in here. Pavia Honeysett is a woman with a mission most possible: losing ...

B-
Garters

In the town of Vader, Tennessee, the Crabbs are the poorest family, so Esme Crabb plans to find a prosperous man to marry. Cleavis Rhy not only owns a store filled with delicious foodstuffs but lives in a big house, which makes the decision easy for her, and Pamela Morsi’s Garters begins with Esme ...

B-
Miss Bingley Requests

Pride and Prejudice told from the perspective of one of the villains of the piece sounded interesting, so I picked up Judy McCrosky’s Miss Bingley Requests. It was an unusual read that actually made me feel for the main character (can’t exactly call her a heroine) and I kept wondering how it wou ...

C+
The Scoundrel in her Bed

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Rich girl falls for poor boy. Surrendering to teenaged passion, they make love, then plan to run off and marry. But at the designated hour, girl’s father shows up and tells boy she’s changed her mind. Boy leaves, vowing to hate girl for ever, and girl f ...

B-
The Last

Tawna Fenske’s The Last opens with a great scene. Sarah Keating is celebrating her thirtieth birthday at home with a few of her closest friends, all of them in comfy pajamas. It’s the kind of party I could imagine clearly and wouldn’t have minded stepping into at all. Sarah is single while ...

A-
The Desperate Duke

Theo Radney is not having a good day. For one, his father died. For another, his father was the Duke of Reddington, meaning Theo must now take on responsibilities that his father never bothered to prepare him for. Finally, Theo is twenty-three going on seventeen (at most), so he promptly gets himsel ...

D
The Recipe Box

Reading The Recipe Box was like drinking a large, thick milkshake that tasted of nothing but sugar. This book might charitably be described as sweet, perhaps even wholesome, but I found it a cloying one-note read. Maybe it’s an acquired taste, but if so, it’s not one I wish to acquire any time s ...

D+
Pretty Woman

I like rags-to-riches stories, so when I read that the heroine of Fern Michaels’ Pretty Woman is an unhappily married woman who wins the lottery, it sounded worth a look.  While I wouldn’t recommend this book, it does deserves props for what it does well. Rosie Bliss is fat. No two ways arou ...

B
Jamaica Inn

I first picked up Jamaica Inn when I was fifteen, and it’s remained on my favorites shelf ever since. Certain parts of it haven’t aged well, but I read it again recently and still felt a claustrophobia and growing dread even though I knew what would happen next. In 1820, Mary Yellan’s dying ...