Reviews by Em Wittmann

B+
Idol

When I heard Kristen Callihan was writing a new series, I might have mentally (actually) high-fived myself. When I heard the stories are set in the music world, I was initially wary because I’ve recently been spoiled by excellent books about musicians by Mercy Brown and Erika Kelly, and I worried ...

D
Heat It Up

It’s rare I start a book and decide it’s not worth my time to finish it. Heat it Up, alas, is one of few to earn this distinction, though I did read it all the way to its conclusion. Based on its description as a contemporary, sports themed romance, it should have been a homerun for me. Some of ...

C-
Good Girl

I read a lot of romance. Some authors are favorites, others I like and will read if I see them their name in my eReader queue or shelved at the library, and others I refer to as ‘palate cleansers.’ I don’t necessarily dislike books by these authors, but I’m also not looking for a lot of emot ...

A
Undecided

I loved Undecided and it’s easily the best NA novel I’ve read this year. Based on the cover art, you might assume (like I did) it’s going to be the standard NA romance with a messy love triangle. You would be wrong. Instead – and ironically - Ms. Keyes has produced a love story about the per ...

C
Shut Out: A Bayard Hockey Novel

I’m a big fan of the New Adult genre. With the exception of Robin York’s Deeper and Harder (both excellent), my favorite NA novels feature athletes. You can also guarantee I’ll read the book if it’s well reviewed and part of a series featuring recurring and related characters. Lately, I’ve ...

C-
Thrown Down

I’m a big fan of hot contemporary romance series and looked forward to the Made in New Jersey books by Tessa Bailey. I very much enjoyed another book I read of Ms. Bailey’s - Chase Me. That story featured relatable characters with great chemistry, sharp, witty dialogue, and steamy sex scenes. My ...

B+
All Or Nothing

Ms. Lerner’s romances are set far from the glittering ton, her main characters are often working class men and women, not every character is wealthy, explicit depictions and conversations about sex are common, and sexuality isn’t limited to m/f. I like her books for those reasons, but mostly bec ...

C
The Liar's Dice

I don’t think The Liar’s Dice enhances Gambled Away. The slow pace, the setting, and ambiguous ending struck a discordant note with me and for me, it is the least successful novella in the anthology. A murder and the ensuing search for the killer drives the plot and unfortunately, Ms. Lin sacrif ...

B
Raising the Stakes

I’m still sorting out my feelings about Raising the Stakes. I don’t read a ton of fantasy, but I like the genre and the way it challenges my imagination. I was initially wary of a love match between a con artist and an elven warrior but Ms. Cooper makes it work. The story opens in the middle ...

A
Redeemed

I loved Redeemed, even with its dark subject matter and deeply flawed characters. Ms. O’Keefe has a masterful touch and capably leads the reader out of the darkness and into the light as the story concludes. Though I’m often frustrated by short stories, this is lush with detail and engaging from ...