Reviews by Megan Frampton

B-
The Dashing Debutante

Many novels, no matter what the genre, feature a story with a lot of action, but whose main characters (in romance, the hero and heroine) do not change as a result of that action. Even though the action is resolved by the end of the book, it somehow seems more satisfactory if the characters actually ...

D
A Spinster's Luck

Even when it fails miserably, there's something admirable about an author taking risks when she writes, especially if it's within the constraints of a fairly strict genre. Rhonda Woodward's A Spinster's Luck takes absolutely no risks at all, resulting in a competently-written but absolutely dull Reg ...

F
The Riddle Of The Deplorable Dandy

Patricia Veryan is lauded as one of the grande dames of Regency writers, and has long been in my TBR pile. It seems, however, that with the Georgian romance The Riddle Of The Deplorable Dandy, this experienced writer has fallen prey to the most simple of writer edicts: show, don't tell. Not to menti ...

B+
What You Owe Me

Although most authors are advised to write what you know, it might be more appropriate to suggest they write what they feel. Bebe Moore Campbell's writing is proof that an African-American woman can write believably from any perspective. Her first book, Your Blues Ain't Like Mine read like a lighter ...

A
The Dress Lodger

The Dress Lodger is a tour de force, a boldly imaginative novel that is nonetheless based on fact. Reading it is like biting into a rich, dark chocolate: almost too delicious to bear, all sorts of scents and tastes rushing throughout your mind. The writing is sumptuous, conjuring up the period with ...

B
Kindred Spirits

Like Carla Kelly, Allison Lane's Regencies are dark forays into human drama. But where Kelly explores class boundaries and moral dilemmas, Lane primarily stays within the human psyche, exposing society's seamy underbelly and celebrating those who remain true to themselves. Kindred Spirits is an extr ...

D
Ravished

Ravished is an anomaly; a larger-than-life romance featuring elegiac sex, preposterous plot twists and turns, and a hero and heroine who are as close to perfect - and colorless - as those found in any 70's or 80's bodice-ripper. In addition, Virginia Henley peppers her story with loads of historical ...

B+
The Storybook Hero

It is a rare Regency Romance indeed that can tackle adult issues while still maintaining the usual light, spirited Regency tone. With only a few caveats, The Storybook Hero does just that, giving me another author to add to my glom list. Octavia Hadley is penniless, and rather than foo ...

B
Crossing the Line

Crossing The Line tells the story of a strong woman who has been able (out of both choice and necessity) to cross the line in a variety of ways: race, sex, education and age. Thea Morgan, the heroine, is an intricately drawn portrait of a woman forced to deal with her past, and thus prepare for her ...

D
Virtual Warrior

When it's done well, fantasy and science fiction can be breathtaking, twisting the constraints with which humans see themselves and their world. Amateurish SF/F, however, reads like a high schooler's first attempt at writing after getting stoned and playing Dungeons and Dragons. The first three quar ...