Reviews by Mary Ann Lien

B
Undressed

Undressed is the sort of richly-detailed contemporary that's well-suited for readers who don't ordinarily like contemporaries. While this is a subdued book in a small-town setting, it takes a number of risks and grapples with some difficult issues that more superficially exotic books often sidestep. ...

B
The Chance

At first, all of the lead characters in The Chance are so insecure that it’s like traveling back to Regency High. Happily, the book quickly improves from its shaky beginning to become an interesting character study. Though never very dramatic, The Chance gives insight into some unusual people. ...

C+
Opposites Attract

Opposites Attract is hot chocolate on a winter's night. Smooth and comforting, this is a story warmed with family love and loyalty, sweetened with healing that comes when old secrets are revealed and truth is accepted. However, as the tale unfolds, detail-conscious readers could be distracted by une ...

C+
The Nabob's Daughter

The Nabob's Daughter contains loads of snappy dialogue, a bit of exciting action, a hint of intrigue, and an assortment of characters who range from stereotypical to original. Perhaps the only real lack is romance, and this is what keeps this story from rising to the top. The ever-so-proper an ...

F
Separate Lives

Separate Lives is billed as a romance but it is definitely not. It could be better categorized as soap opera - the dull, predictable, bland kind of soap opera of the past. While the distinct British flavor of writing is at first reminiscent of Mary Stewart or Daphne Du Maurier, this story rapidly pr ...

C-
The Maiden's Revenge

The Maiden's Revenge offers two bigger-than-life characters, an overdose of lust, and a modicum of action as pirate meets merchant, neither ever to be the same again. Although the book is competently written and possesses an intriguing story concept, the characters lack the multi-dimensional quality ...

B+
My True Love

Lovers of Karen Ranney's medieval My Beloved will rejoice to find the magic continues in My True Love, the story of Sebastian's 17th-century descendant, Stephen Harrington. Sheer romance permeates every page of this tale of a Scottish laird's daughter whose destiny is intertwined with that of the En ...

A-
When I Fall In Love

When I Fall in Love is a funny, emotionally intense, and meaningful mainstream romance offered by the author of Beaches, Iris Rainer Dart. It's a striking combination of real-life tragedy set in bigger-than-life Hollywood, topped off with an ending worthy of a fairy tale. Lily Benjamin is a fight ...

C
The Sentimental Soldier

The Sentimental Soldier offers an unusual heroine, a chivalric soldier, and plenty of opening action, which, if sustained, would make for lively reading. The promise of the first half is not entirely realized, however, as the second half of the story slows considerably, and is resolved with a rather ...

B+
Whispers from Yesterday

"So many regrets, Lord. So many regrets." These words of Sophia Taylor echo through the pages of Whispers from Yesterday, an intricate tale of pain and despair rooted in the past - and the love, faith, and hope that heal the present and change the future. Robin Lee Hatcher boldly, but with great lov ...