Reviews by Donna Newman

B-
Bad Boys on Board

Anthology
Bad Boys on Board is the third in a series of anthologies revolving around, you guessed it: bad boy heroes. Following behind I Love Bad Boys and I Brake for Bad Boys, this one brings together Lori Foster (featured in all three), Donna Kauffman (featured in ILBB) and Nancy Warren, a newcomer to these ...

A
Bad to the Bone

I rarely read series romance, as I find that the shorter format tends to work against the kind of plot development and characterizations that I most enjoy. But there is one I picked up on a whim some years ago - Debra Dixon's Bad to the Bone - that simply knocked my socks off. Not only do I have a c ...

D-
Slightly Wicked

The time is ripe for a reminder about how subjective the reading experience can be. It is probable that many Balogh fans will greatly enjoy Slightly Wicked. As for me, despite being a long-time fan of Balogh, I found the generally well-loved A Summer to Remember surprisingly mediocre and clichéd, a ...

B-
Red-Hot and Reckless

I've read a good many contemporary romances purporting to be about bad girls, but I do believe I actually encountered one of those rare critters in Tori Carrington's Red-Hot & Restless. Nicole Bennett isn't a bad girl because the author told us she was, then threw in a few over-the-top acts of ...

D+
The Return

The Return features an enjoyable writing style and generally likable characters. Generally likable, that is, aside from main character Ashley Chambers, who was problematic for me, so problematic that the book is not one I can recommend. The Return is a sequel to Allen's 1999 book, For Molly, wher ...

A
Out of the Blue

I immediately recognized that Isabel Wolff was an author with a fine sense of the absurd upon reading the proviso at the front Out of the Blue, which advises that "No dogs were harmed in the writing of this book." And despite the fact that this story about the unraveling marriage of Faith Smith, mor ...

A-
After the Ashes

Cheryl Howe's debut novel, After the Ashes, is a rare find in more ways than one. Aside from being a Western Romance, a category which is somewhat underrepresented in the current market, it showcases the kind of tightly woven storytelling and solid characterization that are at times equally elusive. ...

A
Billy Bob Walker Got Married

Many romance readers have never even heard of Lisa G. Brown, whose books are sometimes hard to find. But take it from me, they more than re-pay the effort of tracking them down. Billy Bob Walker Got Married is my favorite by her, but is followed very closely by Crazy For Lovin' You. Brown also appar ...

C
Hannah's Half-Breed

Of all the romance sub-genres, the one that instills in me both anticipation and dread is the historical Native American romance. Native American men are some of my favorite heroes, but if the story is to come across as realistic, then it most likely contains some gritty elements that make me uncom ...

C+
Enter the Hero

Judith O'Brien's Enter the Hero requires the reader to suspend a good bit of disbelief but manages to be a pretty fun read anyway. Unfortunately, the story tries to cover too much territory; the end result is that what is best about it becomes diluted by what is only marginally entertaining. ...