Reviews by Lisa Fernandes

C
The Binding

Bridget Collins’ The Binding is set in a magical quasi-Victorian world in which books are dangerous. I was intrigued by that unusual premise, but the novel ultimately fails to deliver and instead presents the reader with a story that’s at times so dark as to be difficult to get through, and in w ...

B
Serious Moonlight

I’m going to use the word ‘charming’ a lot to describe Serious Moonlight. Mostly because ‘charming’ perfectly describes how the book combines a cute first love story, a coming of age tale, a mystery and a character study into a single, tight package. Eighteen-year-old narcoleptic bookwo ...

B+
The Takeover Effect

The Takeover Effect is a big, fat, luscious chocolate truffle of a book.  It’s funny, it’s sexy, it’s heartbreaking, it’s romantic; it luxuriates in the playgrounds of the rich while giving us down-to-earth people to root for, and it’s grounded strongly in a central family that provides a ...

A-
City of Flickering Light

In City of Flickering Light, readers are introduced to twenty-one-year-old Irene van Beck, a woman who has grown disenchanted with her life as a dancer in a bottom-tier Burlesque show. She knows there's more to life than removing her clothing in front of a different group of men each night, and she' ...

C
In Another Time

Jillian Cantor’s In Another Time takes us tastefully into the romance of Hanna and Max, two young people who meet and fall in love in Germany on the brink of the outbreak of World War II… and then introduces an awkward plot point that nearly wrecks the proceedings. In 1931, Hanna Ginsberg, a wa ...

B
I Want You Back

With I Want You Back, Lorelei James opens up a brand-new series set around Snow Village, a high-rise apartment complex that hosts multiple winter sports athletes.  This first novel is about a hockey player trying to regain the trust of his daughter and his ex-girlfriend – two people who alternate ...

B
The Poison Bed

London, 1615.  The young, spirited Frances Howard-Carr and her husband (And James I’s long time favorite), the self-made social climber Robert Carr, 1st Earl of Somerset, stand accused of poisoning Sir Thomas Overbury, Robert’s friend and advisor, who knew a dreadfully personal secret about the ...

C
The Lost

In The Lost, Natasha Preston writes another chilling YA tale, this time about eleven missing teens – and the one girl who might just defeat their captor. Eleven teenagers disappeared from in and around Mauveton, Ohio in the late spring before seventeen-year-old Piper and Hazel’s senior year o ...

B+
The River Widow

Ann Howard Creel’s southern gothic mystery tale The River Widow combines homespun drama with wicked mystery.  It’s a superb tale, but it’s not without its problems. When we first meet Adah Branch, it’s 1937, the Great Depression is ongoing, and she’s trying to salvage what she can from ...

A
Gimme Some Sugar

“Nice Southern girls did not make money baking penis cakes” Some romance novels are just nice times spent with pleasant people you want to see succeed in life.  Gimme Some Sugar fits that bill beautifully. Six months after the death of her husband Wayne, Lucy Bowman Garten is trying to star ...