Reviews by Blythe Smith

C
Amber Beach

Just how interested are you in boating and amber? If you don't know now, you will after you read Amber Beach, a book in which each of these subjects are discussed in elaborate detail. I discovered I was fairly interested in the amber, but not the boating. This pretty much sunk the first half of this ...

B-
Mountain Heather

Mountain Heather is one of those books that refuses to be pigeon-holed. According to its spine, it is fiction, but the back blurb touts a romantic angle. It was originally published last year in Great Britain under the title Grianan, which makes much more sense, since there were neither mountains no ...

D-
Floating

Floating was the winner of the MTV fiction contest. From this we can only assume that the other 400 entries out there were worse. The book is the debut of MTV books. MTV, btw, is owned by media conglomerate Viacom, which, in turn, owns Simon & Schuster, which owns Pocket books. This, apparently, is ...

A-
The Winning Hand

Picking up a Nora Roberts book is seldom a disappointing experience, because Nora Roberts almost always delivers. The Winning Hand is no exception. It's like reading a fairy tale, a Cinderella story with a rags to riches plot and deeply satisfying characters. It is also part of the MacGregor series, ...

C+
A Dangerous Man

A lot of books start well, sag in the middle, and get steadily worse. A Dangerous Man is exactly the opposite; it gets off to a slow start, gains momentum, and is pretty good by the end. The last quarter is so enjoyable that you can almost forget the tedium of the first part. Almost, but not quite. ...

A
The Outsider

The Outsider is a keeper. It's also the second book in Rosalyn West's The Men of Pride County series. Set in post-Civil War Kentucky, the series features a divided county trying to heal its war wounds. The hero of The Outsider was first introduced in the series' first book - The Outcast. It definite ...

D
The Elusive Flame

The Elusive Flame is the long-awaited sequel to The Flame & the Flower, written 26 years ago. It has its moments, but as the title suggests, they are elusive. In order to find them, you have to slog through Woodiwiss's heavy-handed, verbose, purple prose. It can be slow going. This ...

B-
Rightfully His

The mood of this book is set from the first sentence of the prologue, and it is obvious that Rightfully His is no light-hearted romp. Rather, it is a melancholy book with a complicated plot, deep emotions, and lots of family secrets. I found the plot and the characters fascinating. However, the writ ...

C+
Maggie's Wish

Maggie's Wish is a fairly well-written, "married to the wrong man" kind of a story. It has some strong characterizations and a likeable hero and heroine. The setting, 1880s Prescott, Arizona, is well-described and interesting. If it weren't for the heroine spending a little too much time worrying ab ...

B+
Highland Scoundrel

Highland Scoundrel has a lot to recommend it. It has humor, action, and intrigue. The hero and heroine are both interesting, and the secondary characters are full of personality. There are plots and subplots everywhere. It's a little hard to keep up with it all, but it's worth it. Shona MacGowan ...