Reviews by Lisa Gardineer

C+
Secrets: Dark Whispers (Volume 22)

Anthology
My second Secrets experience was all over the place. Two great stories paired with one bad and one that was blah. I’m still trying to figure out why these four were put together; a motlier crew I couldn’t find. ...

B
Blood Brothers

Just when I think the paranormal romance world isn’t going serve up anything new here comes the Incomparable Ms. Roberts and her spin. Blood Brothers isn’t without some problems, but this is some good stuff. I will be waiting in line for the next one once I finish this review. ...

B
Sweet Return

Take a modern southern gal who owns a beauty salon/janitorial supply store and a fledgling free-range egg business and match her up with the successful prodigal son of her older friend in a small town in west Texas. You’d think this is going to be a screwball comedy complete with every southern cl ...

B-
An Enchanted Season

Anthology
My first taste of the holiday anthology lot for this year and it wasn’t too bad. An Enchanted Season has two standout pieces which made this moderately overpriced collection worth it for me. Let’s hope there are more where they came from. ...

A-
If His Kiss Is Wicked

Why haven’t I been reading Jo Goodman? That will be the question floating through many minds when they pick up If His Kiss is Wicked. I’m certainly pondering it. I’m going to turn dictator on this one occasion because you must, simply must read this. Restell Gardner is a man of many talents ...

A
My French Whore: A Love Story

The acknowledgements that follow the last page read: “For the simplicity of language I’ve achieved, I thank my two mentors: Ernest Hemingway and Jean Renoir.” A more perfect statement has yet to be uttered. Gene Wilder’s first novel, My French Whore: A Love Story, is simple in the extreme an ...

A-
The Scottish Companion

Great historicals are quickly becoming the Woolly Mammoths of Romanceland, but books like Karen Ranney's The Scottish Companion give me hope for the future. The bare bones plot is nothing new: cold nobleman with certain death looking over his shoulder must wed with all haste and produce an heir. ...

B-
Catch of the Day

Catch of the Day, Kristan Higgins’s second novel, offers all the same things I loved about her debut, Fools Rush In: a sympathetic, down-to-earth heroine, great humor, and pleasant settings. This book could have great...if not for one major pitfall. Maggie Beaumont fell in love wi ...

D-
The Highlander's Bride

Some say it’s all in the details. If so, Donna Fletcher missed that memo. The Highlander’s Bride is filled with bad dialogue and a bad plot tied together neatly with a vague setting. Not a detail in sight except for many, many descriptions of the scent and color of the heroine’s red hair. ...

C-
My Immortal

As a devoted fan of Erin McCarthy, it was no question I would read My Immortal even though I’m not too happy with that whole vampire thing she’s trying to pull. Now she’s going with a new angle: a darker fantasy romance that counters her humorous contemporaries and vamp books. Damien du ...