Reviews by Lisa Fernandes

B
The Stillwater Girls

Nineteen-year-old Wren has been raised in a hunting cabin in the deep woods of upstate New York alongside her sisters, nine-year-old Evie and seventeen-year-old Sage.  Taught that the outside world is dangerous by her mother, Wren is shocked when a sick Evie is scooped up by Mama and carried off to ...

D+
The Trouble with Cowboy Weddings

I’m just gonna say it right off the bat – your enjoyment of The Trouble with Cowboy Weddings will depend on how easily you can swallow a few of its’ more tortured marriage of convenience trope twists and its message of forgiveness-will-set-you-free. Gavin Tyler is a rancher whose brother ru ...

C
The Oysterville Sewing Circle

The Oysterville Sewing Circle marks Susan Wiggs’ return to a more traditional kind of contemporary romance. Between its pages, we have a woman returning to her tiny hometown after a tragedy in the big city, two adorable orphans who need her guidance, siblings to make trouble, women to protect from ...

A-
Finding Lady Enderly

There’s a captivating sense of gothic tension filling Finding Lady Enderly, a romance that mixes suspense, a rags-to-riches Cinderella story, elements of faith and class division all in one fascinating wrapper. Raina Bretton is miserably poor working as a rag picker in London’s East End. She ...

B
The Chocolate Maker's Wife

Damnation has never been so sweet... Rosamund Tomkins, the illegitimate daughter of a nobleman, spends most of her young life in drudgery at a country inn. To her, the Restoration under Charles II, is but a distant threat as she works under the watchful eye of her brutal, abusive stepfather . . . ...

B
A Lady's Guide to Gossip and Murder

Dianne Freeman continues her series of light historical mysteries with A Lady’s Guide to Gossip And Murder, which combines cozy mystery and playful period romantic drama to create an entertaining – though not exceptional – historical mystery. Frances Wynn, Countess of Harleigh, is an Americ ...

B
Sweet Heat

Sweet Heat combines family drama and heated romance beautifully.  A story of love between two plus-sized black characters filled with humor and drama, it’s wonderfully appealing. Marvin Carter is a wiz with a whisk and a spatula.  An exemplary baker, he spends his days toiling as a line cook ...

B+
Hold on Tight

Want a cute second chance romance where the hero and heroine loved the person they were with before long and hard – but are willing to try for love again?  Shelly Shepard Gray does a good job of successfully bringing a realistic working class blue collar romance to life in Hold on Tight. Jacks ...

B
Unbreak Me

Unbreak Me is a blistering romance; searing and brutal and yet tender and sweet.  There are moments of gentleness that will melt you – but much of the book is a bruising indictment of a legal system that allows rapists to go free, and the government structures that caused the levées to break dur ...

B+
A Reluctant Bride

Les Miserables meets the high seas in Jody Hedlund’s A Reluctant Bride, the story of a woman from the slums who finds her worth on the bounding main. Mercy Wilkins lives in one of London’s poorest slums.  Barely able to keep shoes on her feet, she nonetheless sacrifices all she can to help t ...