Reviews by Rike Horstmann

C
Fatal Affair

There are good novels, there are bad novels, and then there are novels that are plain nondescript. Fatal Affair falls firmly in the latter category, which can be deduced from the fact that only one week after finishing it I am hard-put to clearly remember a) who the hero and heroine are and b) what ...

B+
In Plain View

While I enjoy mysteries with over-the-top clever detectives (I’m looking at you, Sherlock), what I like even better are mysteries with protagonists that captivate me as people. When I started In Plain View by J. Wachowski, I wasn’t too sure whether it would really appeal to me, as its heroine, M ...

B-
Liberty Starr

Liberty Starr by Rebecca E. Grant is the (rare) kind of romance that had me both shaking my head and laughing by the end of the first chapter, then captured me in spite of myself. Under a layer of silliness and several clichés there is a solid romance here, and the author is definitely one to watch ...

A-
Song of Seduction

European historicals set outside Great Britain are rare, and those set in countries other than France, Italy, and Greece are close to extinct. Carrie Lofty’s Song of Seduction is set in 1804 Salzburg, and merely reading about it got me salivating. It proved a rich meal: Tightly written, well-resea ...

A
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

My copy of Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day was a Christmas gift from my best friend. I had never before heard of the author, Winifred Watson – no wonder, as she published six novels in the 1930s and stopped writing altogether in 1943, although she did live to see the reissuing of Miss Pettigrew in ...

B
Thrill Me to Death

The Bullet Catcher series by Roxanne St. Claire is the only bodyguard series I read consistently, and that is because her heroes and heroines are equally delicious. That is, the men are strong and sexy and macho, but still in possession of both a brain and some discretion, while the women are tough ...

B
The Gentleman's Quest

Having grown up on a diet of Victoria Holt novels, to this day I appreciate a fine Gothic mood in my romance reading. Give me empty moors, abandoned ruins, and secret passages any day. So I was inclined to enjoy Deborah Simmons’s The Gentleman’s Quest, an enjoyment further enhanced by a very lik ...

A
Too Hot to Handle

After I had finished reading Too Hot to Handle by Nancy Warren, the word that seemed best to sum up my impression of the book was adorable. It is funny, sexy, and romantic. And it combines the glamour of the 1940s with a firm grounding in today’s world. I loved it. Alexandra Drake is a rising j ...

D+
Holiday Kisses

I bought Holiday Kisses by Gwynne Forster because I felt I should widen my horizons and read more African-American romance. It was probably not the best choice, as, although the book contained several elements I usually like, on the whole it disappointed. Kisha Moran is a dentist who m ...

B
Bellfield Hall, or the Observations of Miss Dido Kent

Bellfield Hall by Anna Dean is the first installment in a new series of historical mysteries set in the Regency period, with a spinster as amateur sleuth. I am a sucker for this setup; so once I had read about this book’s existence, I had to get it. Fortunately, I was not disappointed. ...