Reviews by Lisa Fernandes

C
The Love Hypothesis

Apparently The Love Hypothesis started out as a Rey/Kylo Ren Star Wars fanfiction.  Mercifully, the reader can’t really tell; the romance is bantery and spicy, but the hero tends too much toward the arrogant alphahole end of the spectrum and feels thinly drawn, and Our Heroine is that ‘feisty ...

B
The Missing Hours

Claudia Castro is rich, young and famous – but her life is a mess made worse by the evils of another person. Her parents are divorcing, her appearance on the reality show Rich Kids of the Hamptons has proven to be an ugly and humiliating mistake, and people tend to think of her in negative terms b ...

B
The Royals Next Door

The Royals Next Door is sweet and funny, but it also has body and substance.  It starts out as extremely fluffy and lighthearted – very much a beach-read – but then it hits you with some surprising depth and truth.  You might have to adjust your expectations with this one, but it’s worth the ...

B
Death of a Red-Hot Rancher

Death of a Red Hot Rancher has a lot of fun with contemporary romance tropes. It’s the kind of cozy mystery that’s directly intended to appeal to romance fans, while anyone who doesn’t have a bit of familiarity with the genre will probably also get a huge hoot out of it.  But the book is just ...

C+
The Magic of Found Objects

There’s a note of hippie magic to The Magic of Found Objects, and not the least bit of a wink to the 1987 film Moonstruck. Maddie Dawson tries to mill much quirkiness from her unusual heroine, but grounds her in a formula that makes for some disappointing plot twists and very dull, rote format cho ...

B+
The Charm Offensive

I was generally charmed by The Charm Offensive, which is funny, romantic, a little ridiculous and a lot of fun. But the book fails to set up any proper representation for its Indian protagonist, which caused me to dip the grade a little bit. Dev Deshpande is a total romantic, a fact that leaks in ...

B+
Tenderness

Tenderness is a fascinating if overlong look into the Lady Chatterley's Lover obscenity trial.  Encompassing such far-ranging real-life characters as First Lady Jackie Kennedy and J. Edgar Hoover, all of whom were either admirers of Lawrence of tantigentially involved in the trial, it is artful, so ...

C-
A Spot of Trouble

A Spot of Trouble is one of those dreaded too-bad-to-recommend-but-just-funny-enough-to-avoid-a-D romances.  If it weren’t for its heroine I’d rate it a bit higher, but our lead is a bit of an immature chore to deal with.  That the narrative (falsely) thinks that we’ll find her charming is a ...

A-
The Runaway Heiress

Meg Tilly does such a good job of the world-building in her tales of romantic suspense that reading her books always tends to be a treat.  The Runaway Heiress is a little more fun than her more slice-of-life Solace Island series – which I already liked (and to which this book is lightly tied) – ...

A
So Many Beginnings: A Little Women Remix

The best literary retellings take us to new places and bring new worlds to light.  So Many Beginnings does a beautiful job of applying the basic background of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women and adding a whole new layer of emotions and experiences to it. I have read many retellings of the story, ...