Reviews by Charlotte Elliott

C-
Once Upon a Broken Heart

Is there anything more heartbreaking than discovering a book you hoped to love isn’t all that? Stephanie Garber is capable of writing a genuinely satisfying fantasy with sweet romance and a sense of magic. Once Upon a Broken Heart (OUABH for short, which I realize sounds like a shady agency from S ...

D+
The Ex Hex

It seems fitting at this time of year to imagine a book as a brimming trick-or-treat bucket, every story element a different candy with a different flavor to (hopefully) be enjoyed. Sadly, The Ex Hex is full of candies such as Interchangeable Protagonists and Episodic Storytelling, with a few nugget ...

B
That Deep River Feeling

That Deep River Feeling is a brother’s best friend (with the brother in question being dead) Alaska-set romance that’s simple and easy to read, if a little unsubstantial.Zeke Montgomery has arrived in Deep River, Alaska charged with a mission: his recently deceased friend and business partne ...

D-
Wild Love

This is not a romance. This is a book about one town’s efforts to keep an alcoholic sober, and the people those efforts drag in its wake, including Wild Love’s hero and heroine. If you’re interested in this book because ‘wild love’ sounds sexy, let me tell you – ‘wild’ in this book j ...

C
How to Save a Life

I came up with the genre British Angst Lit to categorize books like Eva Carter’s long and underdeveloped How to Save a Life. In this genre, the story survives entirely on keeping apart its obviously meant-to-be protagonists until the last page, preferably through a variety of missed opportunities, ...

B-
Heart on a Leash

Alanna Martin’s Heart on a Leash asks the question What if Romeo and Juliet lived in contemporary Alaska and were not dazed teenagers but commendably functional adults? The answer, it is not much of a spoiler to say, is that they would have had some hot sex and lived happily ever after.Taylor ...

B
Shipped

Angie Hockman’s Shipped is a diverting novel that suffers from an unfortunate case of whiplash as it hops between genres without warning.Henley Rose Evans works in marketing for a small-scale international cruising company, Seaquest Adventures. She fills her days with work, MBA classes, and a ...

C
The Heiress: The Revelations of Anne de Bourgh

Molly Greeley’s The Heiress: The Revelations of Anne de Bourgh, inspired by the tertiary character in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, is a pleasant enough - but not remotely revelatory - piece of historical fiction.Anne de Bourgh, daughter of the infamous Lady Catherine de Bourgh, and cou ...

B
Tsarina

I can’t recall the last time I read a book so intriguing as Ellen Alpsten’s gripping (although at points a touch unbelievable) Tsarina, the story of Peter the Great of Russia’s second, last, and longest-lasting wife.Marta is born onto an estate of serfs in the Baltics in the late 1600s. Ra ...

B+
Truth, Lies and Second Dates

Contemporary romance seems a limited categorization for this comedic, murderous, and refreshingly fresh novel.Captain Ava Capp is captaining a routine commercial flight to her native Minnesota, when she runs into Dennis, the twin brother of her high school best friend, Danielle, who died in an u ...