Reviews by Jane Granville

C
Sworn to Protect

Taking on the guardianship of a child is a very difficult thing. There are so many transitions and adjustments on all sides, and a lot of awkwardness. When the hero of Sworn to Protect becomes the guardian of a teenager, there are, of course, a lot of changes to be made. However, the emotional adjus ...

B-
The Care and Feeding of an Alpha Male

The title of The Care and Feeding of an Alpha Male raised my feminist hackles quite a bit. Why not just call it "The Big Strong Man, the Demure Housewife, and Adventures in Traditional Gender Roles?" While the book didn’t totally prove me wrong, it was much more enjoyable (and less sexist) than I ...

C
The Trouble With Love

Almost exactly three years ago, I started out a review with the sentence: "Fact: I will read just about anything that has to do with cupcakes." This was spring of 2010, when I lived in DC and the city was in the height of its cupcake craze. Like the rest of DC, when I went for cupcakes, I went hard, ...

B-
The Conquest of Lady Cassandra

I really hate the title of The Conquest of Lady Cassandra. Not only does "conquest" have terrible connotations for a relationship, it's also misleading in the context of this story. One of the best parts about this book is the development and balance of the relationship between the hero and heroine. ...

C-
Homecoming

This may be a controversial statement, but I hate pets in romance novels. Not all the time, but whenever they’re used as a cutesy plot point or overblown metaphor, I cringe. When I saw that Homecoming was going to involve not only six reunited siblings but six puppies and a small town, I knew thin ...

C-
Untangling the Knot

Keeping a romance chaste while creating chemistry between the main characters can be tricky. It's a fine line for inspirational romance writers, and unfortunately, Untangling the Knot falls too far on the "chaste" side and doesn't create any connection between the characters. Gabriella Bessu is ...

C+
That Night on Thistle Lane

That Night on Thistle Lane is a small-town romance of the New England variety, which basically means the neighbors are less nosy and there’s more herb gardening than in its Southern counterpart. This book has the sort of tranquil mood to it you might expect in one of those small New England towns, ...

C
Bare It All

Bare It All was a difficult book to grade because despite its many flaws, I also had a hard time putting it down. In the end, though, when I look back at the reading experience, I remember more of the book's problems and less of why I turned the pages so quickly. The book picks up ...

C
The Duke Diaries

Several authors have attempted to write novels that occur simultaneously, with mixed results. I have yet to see this work really well, though some are better than others. Unfortunately, The Duke Diaries is not one of the ones that goes smoothly. This is the third in the Royal Ent ...

B-
Too Hot to Handle

Victoria Dahl is a real hit-or-miss author for me. Some of her books I absolutely adore. Others I couldn't even finish, including Close Enough to Touch, the first in her new series. Her latest installment, Too Hot to Handle, probably would have headed down the DNF path, too, except that I had to fin ...