Reviews by Blythe Smith

B
The Admiral's Heart

The Admiral’s Heart is a short but surprisingly thought-provoking novella by now-back-on-the-scene author Danelle Harmon. I read it in a flash, questioned the premise - and then found myself thinking about it long into the next day. On the surface, the story is short and simple. When Lady Phili ...

B-
The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen

I have found the growing trend of literary spin-offs to be a mixed bag; some are kind of fun, and others just seem like creatively bankrupt attempts to cash in. The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen is a book within a book, featuring a modern heroine who finds a previously undiscovered Austen book. ...

C+
Ripe for Seduction

Ripe for Seduction is almost - but not quite - a good book. Part of the ubiquitous series phenomenon (in this case it’s The League of Second Sons), it has a hero who begins courting the heroine because of a night of drunken revelry, and ends up falling in love with her. It also features a seconda ...

B+
The Importance of Being Wicked

Miranda Neville is an author who flies under the radar for me, but when I read her books I nearly always like them. The Importance of Being Wicked is a good book. It’s thoughtful, and the characters are interesting and different. This isn’t your cookie cutter Regency-set romance. Caro Townsen ...

C-
Twelfth Night Secrets

Jane Feather has been writing romances for what seems like forever; I remember reading her early in my romance reading life, before AAR existed. Though I vaguely remember some of those V books being good back in the day, the two books I’ve read in the last decade have both been underwhelming. ...

B-
Tarnished Rose of the Court

Oddly enough, while I was reading Tarnished Rose of the Court I also happened to be reading Meredith Duran’s At Your Pleasure - which has a very similar plot. Both have sisters whose brothers are or were involved in treasonous plots, both have heroes and heroines who were in love in the past and w ...

C
His Mistletoe Bride

His Mistletoe Bride is not really a bad book. So I had to ask myself why, then, it took me the better part of a month to read it. I concluded that despite a fun Christmas theme and an intriguing Quaker heroine, the book couldn’t quite overcome its lackluster hero.         Phoebe Li ...

A-
A Notorious Countess Confesses

I’ve read romances about former courtesans (too many to count), and I’ve read romances about ministers (not as numerous as ex-courtesans), but I’d be hard pressed to think of one I liked as much as I liked this one. A Notorious Countess Confesses may sound like the type of title you see all th ...

B
The Casual Vacancy

I’m sure I was one of many Harry Potter fans who bought J.K. Rowling’s new adult novel, The Casual Vacancy, on day one. I decided to go ahead and review it as well, mostly because I’m sure there are other readers who have the same question I did: “If I loved Harry Potter, will I love this to ...

C+
The Highlander's Stolen Touch

The Highlander’s Stolen Touch is an earnest medieval full of well-meaning characters who try to do the right thing for their clan - whatever their personal desires might be. I liked the characters and the feeling of historical accuracy, but the plot did not quite work for me.         ...