Reviews by Rike Horstmann

B-
Scoundrel

I would have bought Scoundrel, the second volume in Zoë Archer’s Blades of the Rose series, for the setting alone: Most of its pages are spent on a small sailing boat island-hopping in the Aegean Sea – can you imagine anything more romantic? With lots of adventures magical and otherwise, it’s ...

B+
The Dangerous Viscount

Sometimes an author manages to take a plot device I usually despise and turn it into a novel I thoroughly enjoy. In the newest book by Miranda Neville the plot device in question is the revenge plot, and what can I say? It works just fine, and the resulting romance is both moving and fun to read. ...

C+
To Save the Devil

Sometimes you read a book which you quite like, possibly even in one sitting, so you don’t think too much about it while perusing it. But afterwards you lean back and begin to consider some details, and suddenly they just don’t fit, thus marring your enjoyment in retrospect. This is what happene ...

C
A Season of Seduction

Much as I applaud any attempts to break the hero mold in romance, sometimes the execution just doesn’t work for me. Jack Fulton in Jennifer Haymore’s A Season of Seduction is not Your Usual Hero on several accounts, but he failed to capture my heart, and even paired with a strong heroine, the co ...

B+
Rebels and Lovers

In my eyes, nobody does a better job at writing a fine science fiction romance than Linnea Sinclair. Her heroes and heroines are marvellous, strong characters, the tech talk is fun without being overwhelming, and the world-building with all its political implications captures me each and every time. ...

B-
Unsympathetic Magic

Laura Resnick’s Esther Diamond series are the only paranormals on my autobuy list. This is due to the dry tone of the novels and to Esther herself: She is a struggling actress in New York with an open mind and a no-nonsense personality, no magical talent whatsoever, but an attraction to the mystic ...

B
The Sergeant's Lady

Romance is full of heroines who make it through marriage: Exchange vows with a duke, or possibly a marquess – or a billionaire CEO in contemporaries –, and you’re made. There are very few Across the Tracks romances in which a hero stems from a lower class than the heroine. Th ...

B-
Claiming the Forbidden Bride

This book is the fourth installment in the Silk & Scandal miniseries published by Harlequin and written by six different authors. I enjoyed the first three volumes a lot, and Claiming the Forbidden Bride proved a worthy successor, presenting quite a different angle on society and the main characters ...

A
Tyler O'Neill's Redemption

NOTE: Originally a Harlequin SuperRomance, this book has been reissued by the author as The Gambler. There are about a hundred romances each year about a bad girl who returns to the small town where she grew up and gets entangled with the local sheriff – but very few where the bad boy returns t ...

F
My Unfair Lady

Sometimes, as a reader, I must admit defeat: An author just isn’t for me. I don’t consider her characters appealing or her jokes funny, and what I ought to do, is just stop reading her books. Unfortunately, when I am reviewing a book, I can’t just DNF and leave it at that, however much I would ...