Reviews by Rike Horstmann

C+
The Secret Dreams of Emily Porter

The Secret Dreams of Emily Porter is Judith Raxten's debut novel. Though competently written and easy to read, it left me dissatisfied. The author tells an interesting story, but her style of telling about events and characters shortchanged both, and her character development lacked refinement. ...

B-
Not Another New Year's

Christie Ridgway's Not Another New Year’s is one of those novels that starts off with too many stereotypes and then gets better. I had very low expectations after reading the first chapter, but found myself agreeably surprised about some interesting developments later – not that all the stereoty ...

B+
Me and Mr. Darcy

Within the space of a month, two chick lit novels appeared in which a modern young woman with Mr. Darcy as her romantic ideal goes on a trip to England inspired by Jane Austen’s novels and is made to test her ideals. Having enjoyed Austenland by Shannon Hale, I turned to Me and Mr. Darcy with grea ...

A
Bride of the Rat God

On rereading Barbara Hambly's Bride of the Rat God for the purpose of writing this review, I was surprised once more by what a truly superb novel it is. On rereading, I found new details to savor, ones that I had overlooked before because I had been too caught up in the excitement of the plot. I sti ...

D
Bride Enchanted

Edith Layton is no newcomer in the field of paranormal historicals, having written stories in the sub-genre before - the novellas Hounds of Heaven and The Last Gift (in A Regency Christmas VIII and A Regency Christmas Present, respectively). So when I picked up Bride Enchanted, I hoped that in the h ...

D
Undercover in High Heels

Undercover in High Heels is the third novel in a series about Maddie Granger, a 29-year-old shoe designer in Los Angeles. One good point of the novel is that you needn’t read the earlier installments to follow the basic plot. This is an independent story, with enough background information about t ...

B
Austenland

When I first read about Shannon Hale’s Austenland, I was intrigued: An American travels to an English holiday resort where one can completely immerse oneself in the world of the Regency for a number of weeks. Being very fond of dressing up myself, and having some experience in Medieval-type role-p ...

A-
The Rules of Gentility

On the back cover of The Rules of Gentility by Janet Mullany it says: “Pride and Prejudice meets Bridget Jones’s Diary”. This, while not untrue, is not quite on the spot. To give potential readers a true hint of what they are in for when they buy this book, the tagline should have read: “Meg ...

C+
Witch Fire

Witch Fire, Anya Bast's first book with her new publisher, is the starting point to a new series about elemental witches. Readers should know that this book is not romantica, like her Ellora's Cave releases, but more mainstream, if still very hot, paranormal romance. The novel began well, and I sett ...

B+
Lean Mean Thirteen

I should point out straight away that I have been a Stephanie Plum fan from day one and that I have read all of the books in the series with an almost equal degree of enjoyment. I don’t mind the similarities and comparative lack of development, and while I did want the love triangle resolved aroun ...