Reviews by Rike Horstmann

B
The Secret Adventures of Charlotte Bronte

Jane Austen has turned detective, so have Charles Dickens and Oscar Wilde (courtesy to Stephanie Barron, William J. Palmer and Gyles Brandreth, respectively). Why not Charlotte Brontë? The author of The Secret Adventures of Charlotte Brontë, Laura Joh Rowland, is best known for the Sano Ichiro mys ...

C-
The Vanishing Viscountess

On board a packet ship returning to England from a visit to Ireland, Adam Vickery, the Marquess of Tannerton, observes a woman who is prisoner to a Bow Street Runner. The ship founders, and the Runner callously takes the last place in the boat, leaving the woman to die. Tanner has guilt issues; he f ...

A
The Thief Series

I follow book recommendations to discover new authors and books on the Internet all the time. However, it is rare that a book recommendation leads me to a treasure so perfect that it leaves me breathless with awe and rather frightened at how easily I might have missed it. This is what happened with ...

C+
Distracting the Duchess

After reading only three chapters of Distracting the Duchess by Emily Bryan, I decided I would have to submit the book’s heroine to the Mary Sue Litmus test once I had finished reading. Come on! The woman has raven hair, moss-green eyes and a voluptuous figure. She shares her home with two cats. H ...

B-
Outlaw Bride

Jenna Kernan's Outlaw Bride is a tough book to grade. It has many truly likable aspects, but there are others that distracted me. As in others of her stories, Kernan writes about characters who’ve been hit hard. Three years ago, when coming to California, Cole Ellis’s wagon train got trapped in ...

B-
A Compromised Lady

When I picked A Compromised Lady by Elizabeth Rolls to review, I was attracted by the title. I tend to like books about heroines other than virgins with unblemished reputations. In that respect, this book did not disappoint me. The story takes a heroine with a difficult past, with nothing glossed ov ...

B-
Lord Deverill's Secret

Although Amanda Grange has written traditional Regency romances for British publisher Robert Hale for years, she has become more widely known for her Jane Austen point-of-view stories like Mr. Darcy’s Diary, retelling Austen’s novels from the hero’s viewpoint. I have read some of these and fou ...

A
Nine Coaches Waiting

I have a confession to make: I used to think Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart a prime example of a Guilty Pleasure. Very well written, but verging on melodrama, and thus only to be enjoyed with a touch of embarrassment. Rereading it for the purpose of this review, I realized I couldn’t have be ...

A-
The Perils of Pleasure

I am aware that Julie Anne Long has two DIKs under her belt, but as her debut novel has remained in my TBR pile for a year, I wasn't enthusiastic about being assigned her latest book - The Perils of Pleasure - to review. I had no idea what a treat I was in for, though, as this is the best romance I ...

C+
A Christmas Wedding Wager

Michelle Styles is best-known for romances set in Ancient Rome, and I know that some of her readers were disappointed that her latest romance is set in Victorian England. I had never read anything by her and was happy to pick up A Christmas Wedding Wager. I enjoyed many facets of the book, but one i ...