Reviews by Blythe Smith

C-
Madame Tussaud

I’m nearly always up for a good war story, because let’s face it - the conflict practically writes itself. Madame Tussaud seemed like such a good idea; it’s set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, and features a protagonist who straddles both worlds. Madame Tussaud tutors a member o ...

B+
Sweet Revenge

I don’t particularly like revenge stories or heroes who are escaped convicts, but it’s amazing how little all that matters when you are reading a good book. And Sweet Revenge is a good book. When Jack Dalton finds out that the man who killed his sister is in town, he engineers his escape from ...

C
Love at First Sight

Philosophically, I don't have a problem with love at first sight. I know it's a premise that some romance readers just can't buy into, but I can manage to suspend my disbelief most of the time (even if I might think that usually it's lust at first sight that eventually matures into love). But though ...

D
An Outlaw in Wonderland

An Outlaw in Wonderland sounded like it was right up my alley. A Union doctor who spies in a Confederate hospital? A Virginia heroine with mixed loyalties? Sign me up! Or not. All the exciting stuff on the back cover takes place at the beginning of the book, which rapidly devolves into kitchen sink ...

C
All He Ever Dreamed

I’ve heard some good things about Shannon Stacey, which makes me think that perhaps All He Ever Dreamed was not the best book to start with. While I enjoyed some of the dialog and interactions of the characters, I often found their behavior illogical - which is, admittedly, a hot button for me. ...

F
Dusk with a Dangerous Duke

People who make fun of romance novels assume that all of them are like this one. Dusk with a Dangerous Duke features purple prose galore, a club full of heroes with ridiculous nicknames (and the one in this book is a total ass), no plot to speak of, and the most unintentionally hilarious ending I’ ...

B-
What Happens in Scotland

What Happens in Scotland is - undeniably - The Hangover in 19th C. Scotland. And much like its inspiration, this book requires some serious suspension of disbelief. If you can get past that, you might just find it innovative and entertaining. What do I mean by “like The Hangover"? ...

B
An Inquiry into Love and Death

An Inquiry into Love and Death is a mystery/ghost story set in 1924 England - perhaps capitalizing on Downton Abbey's popularity. But if we have Downton to thank for the fact that we now find a new period of history interesting (and therefore marketable), then thank God for it. Ji ...

C+
Gilded

I found Gilded hard to review and hard to grade. There are many things I liked about it, particularly the setting, world-building, and primary characters. But though I fundamentally got the story arc, I wasn't very happy with the way this book ended. This book is the second of The St. ...

B+
The Duchess War

It's not uncommon for me to take some time to get around to reading an author everyone else has been enjoying for some time. Our reviewers request their books early, and rather than pulling rank I tend to let others go ahead. So no, I haven't been living under a rock, but yes, this is the first time ...