Reviews by Marguerite Kraft

C
An Encounter with Venus

Over the course of a long career, the late Elizabeth Mansfield wrote over thirty books, some of which could be characterized as great. Unfortunately, An Encounter With Venus doesn't touch greatness. With a hero and heroine who never really come alive to the reader, as well as a plot that sags in the ...

B-
The Wagered Heart

Miss Julia Allard is standing innocently on a street in London, enjoying her first Season, when a man - the Duke of Kelbourne - suddenly kisses her very publicly in order to fulfill a drunken wager. The resulting scandal sends Julia back to her quiet country life, where her neighbors whisper that sh ...

A
A Princess of Mars

I love books. My favorite genres are science fiction and romance, and I have hundreds of keepers of both varities on the shelves of my personal library. But if I were to be stranded on a desert island and could have just one book, I know the one I'd choose. It's quite old (published in 1912, long be ...

D
The Princess-In-Training Manual

The Princess-in-Training Manual is very hard to synopsize. Why? For the simple reason that it's hard to write a synopsis when there is no plot. Our protagonist is Princess Jacqueline de Soignee. Princess of what, you ask? Well, the book never says for sure, but she appears to be the Princess of ...

C+
Divas Don't Fake It

Alexandra (Xandra to her friends) is a diva "from a long line of passionate Russians." She does everything in a big way, is extremely high maintenance and has already been married twice - not to even mention two broken engagements. As Divas Don't Fake It opens, Xandra sits in a bar with Scott, he ...

A-
A Clean Slate

Don¹t let the Red Dress Ink label fool you. A Clean Slate isn't a hip Chick Lit novel filled with sardonic humor and ditzy characters. Instead it's a fascinating, compelling, thought-provoking book about one woman's efforts to find five missing months of her life, and what she learns about hersel ...

D+
The Last Year of Being Single

Romance has the Big Misunderstanding. Chick Lit has the Big Lie in which an entire plot is wrapped around the heroine's failure to be honest. If the heroine would simply tell her boyfriend/friends/fiance the truth, we wouldn't have a book. Or perhaps we could call it the Big Indecision: The heroine' ...

C-
A Twist Of Fate

A novel without conflict is like a hot fudge sundae without the fudge. A Twist of Fate lacks any real conflict, and it reminded me of unadorned vanilla ice cream - pleasant, perhaps even sweet, but fundamentally uninteresting. While lost in a snowstorm, Lord David Winterbrook ...

B+
The Reluctant Rogue

Sebastian Carr, Viscount Langley, is a wastrel and a gambler who cares for little besides himself. As The Reluctant Rogue opens, Sebastian has just been informed by his father that if he doesn't marry a suitable young woman by his twenty-fifth birthday (a mere two months away!) he will be cut off wi ...

C-
Lucy's Launderette

Lucy's Launderette is a Chick Lit novel that seems to wander around with no real sense of where it wants to go. As the book ambles idly along, it makes some interesting points, but doesn't seem to come to any clear conclusions. Its plot is complex, yet somehow it manages not to touch the reader in a ...