Reviews by Blythe Smith

B
Heartless

Reviewing Paranormals, Fantasy, Steampunk, and, well, anything with a lot of world building is getting to be a somewhat dicey proposition. When I first started reviewing, there were a handful of authors that we insisted reviewers be completely up to date on before reviewing the latest. That number i ...

C+
Real Men Wear Plaid!

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I went back and forth on whether to review Real Men Wear Plaid! as an anthology. It does have three complete stories, but they are all pretty similar, with exactly the same flaws and virtues. When it comes down to it, I’d say exactly the same thing about each one. They are all quick, steamy reads, ...

D-
Lord of Shadows

I thought I was never going to finish this book. It took me ten days to read it, but it seemed more like twenty as I waded through the seemingly endless clunky prose. Add in a couple of uninteresting characters, very little romance, the paranormal staple of incomprehensible italicized names, and you ...

B-
Portrait of Seduction

I didn’t like Carrie Lofty’s Portrait of Seduction only because of its unusual setting, but I admit that being set in 1805 Salzburg gave it a huge leg up on the competition. Throw in a noble heroine who is in love with a valet (not your typical valet, but a valet nonetheless), and you have a pre ...

D
Guarding a Notorious Lady

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Guarding a Notorious Lady is the type of generic romance you’ve already read hundreds of times. The heroine is a matchmaker who has loved the same man for years - her brother’s friend, who lived on a nearby estate. The hero recently came into a title, and has secretly been attracted to the heroi ...

D+
The Lost Symbol

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The Lost Symbol isn’t my first book by Dan Brown, but I’m pretty sure it will be my last. I don’t really think any of his books hold up to close scrutiny, but in the past I’ve found them entertaining in an exciting, page-turner kind of way. I picked this up hoping for more of the same, and r ...

D
Baby, Drive South

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As I was reading Baby, Drive South, I tried to think of the worst nickname I’d ever seen a hero give a heroine in a romance. On the whole, the nod probably goes to “Sis” - a nickname I encountered early in my reviewing career (the heroine was not, thankfully, the hero’s sister). But honorab ...

B
A Tale of Two Lovers

Initially, I thought A Tale of Two Lovers would be nothing new - probably because many European historicals I read seem vaguely like five, ten, or twenty of those that I’ve read before. But while I wouldn't call this one groundbreaking, it’s a solidly enjoyable book with two characters I really ...

B+
Follow My Lead

I really like what I’m seeing from some of the new - or relatively new - authors on the scene. There’s a lot of originality out there, and some damn good writing too. Follow My Lead is a great example of this trend. It’s a well-written road romance that takes place primarily in Bavaria and Aus ...

D+
She Who Dares, Wins

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I chose She Who Dares, Wins because I thought the plot sounded fun. The heroine is a private detective who goes to London to figure out who is threatening a prominent professor. I thought “London! Sexy Professor! How could I go wrong?” Unfortunately, the plotting was all so superficial that I ju ...