Reviews by Candy Tan

C
In a Heartbeat

I'll admit that this book puzzled me. It tried to be so many things at once that at the end I was hard-pressed to classify it properly for the review. Is it a romance? Not really; there are a couple of love stories in the book, but not really a romance as we know it. Is it suspense? Again, no. The v ...

D+
Fortune's Bride

Fortune’s Bride isn’t all that bad, really. It has a certain exuberant energy that (barely) saves it from a full-on D grade. Unfortunately, almost everything else about it - plot, characterization, dialogue - is trite, occasionally bordering on childish. As I read this book, I kept feeling that ...

C
The Seducer

Margaret Evans Porter has written many enjoyable, intelligent Regency Romances before she began writing "full-length" titles for Avon. However, her latest historical, The Seducer, comes across as a mediocre book. Part of this is probably due to Porter's dry, cerebral style, which may be better suite ...

C-
Beauty Like The Night

Beauty Like the Night wins the Henry James Award for Endless, Redundant Internal Musing. It starts out delightfully enough with a witty narrative voice reminiscent of Heyer or Chase. It ends on the same charming, neo-classical note. In between, though, it sags under the weight of its own non-story, ...

B-
Wild Thing

There's something about the Jungle Boy trope that's enormously appealing to me. As a child, I devoured all of the Jungle Books, and Wild at Heart by Patricia Gaffney is one of my all-time favorite romances. Perhaps it's the contradictory yet intriguing mixture of wildness and innocence present in bo ...

A-
The Devil's Delilah

The Devil's Delilah is yet another gem from Loretta Chase, featuring one my favorite types of heroes: the cute, absent-minded nerd boy with a heart of gold. The only complaint I have about this book is that it had to end. Jack Langdon's vagueness is part of the reason he didn't get the girl in Vi ...

C-
The Enchantress

I never used to think a bland medieval was possible. The time period is so lush, the possibilities for drama and conflict so numerous. The temptation would be to overdramatize, if anything. Then I read The Enchantress, the second book in the Highland Treasures trilogy, and discovered that the bland ...

B+
After the Kiss

Margaret Esterly is both widowed and impoverished the night her husband's London house-cum-bookshop burns down. The only things left to her are three volumes of erotic literature called The Journals of Augustin X. When she discovers two years later that her husband had several potential buyers lined ...

B+
Viscount Vagabond

Viscount Vagabond is a fun Regency romp, an early work by that Incomparable herself, Loretta Chase. Although it employs many standard Regency devices, including hidden identities and interfering servants, thanks to Chase's writing ability, it's definitely much better than your standard Regency Roman ...

B
Intimate Enemies

Shana Abé tends to write a kind of romance that I generally avoid like the plague, what I like to call the "Adversarial Romance." When she writes them, I don't seem to be bothered by the "I hate you but want to bonk you" interactions, big misunderstandings, and revenge and/or established enmity tha ...