California

A
Tanked

Earlier this year, while poking around in my TBR pile (it's quite massive), I came across Mia Hopkins’ Thirsty, the first book in her Eastside Brewery series. I started reading it and was totally absorbed, cursing myself for not having read it sooner. In short order, I read book two, Trashed, and ...

A-
Ramón and Julieta

There is a single off plot point in Ramón and Julieta, but you’ll be darned to notice it while you’re nose-deep in the thick of reading it. It’s fun, light-hearted, and without the heavy sturm und drang of your usual Romeo and Juliet retelling; it’s got a lot of spirit and enough spice to m ...

A-
A Thorn in the Saddle

A Thorn in the Saddle is Rebekah Weatherspoon’s fun, fresh modernized take on Beauty and the Beast. It’s smart about people, warm, and filled with thoughtful commentary about how to accept growth and change in ones’ life. Hot-tempered Jesse Pleasant is not like his brothers, in that he’s ...

B+
The Lady Has a Past

The Lady Has a Past - the fifth book in Amanda Quick’s Burning Cove series - is a fast-paced, lively mystery set in California in the 1930s, full of ambiance and clever plot twists. This is the first book I’ve read in this series, and it can be read as a standalone, but I plan on checking out th ...

A+
Know My Name

Chanel Miller’s Know My Name is a devastating memoir. It was a must-read for me, but the pain and fear and frustration in this book is so raw and immediate that I had to wait for the right frame of mind to tackle it. Nevertheless, it’s one of the best books I’ve read this year, and the only ch ...

A
Party of Two

When I think of powerhouse authors the name Jasmine Guillory immediately comes to mind. It takes a special gift to produce a great read each time you publish, and this lady definitely does that. Her latest, Party of Two, is a warm, sexy, charming masterpiece, perfect for escaping the stressful world ...

A
Trashed

I love realistic looks at low-income characters, heroes who win you over by who they are and not what they have. So how have I never read Mia Hopkins before? Eddie “Trouble” Rosas has just completed a five year prison term when he encounters a stunning but sobbing woman in the east LA communi ...

B-
Temper

The alpha president of a motorcycle club (MC) and a bartender-turned-badass heroine fall in love and raise a little hell in the newest installment of Chantal Fernando’s Knights of Fury series. A moderately affecting romance with thrilling action, Temper tells an entertaining, at times soap-operati ...

A-
The Epic Crush of Genie Lo

There are plenty of books about teens discovering that they have supernatural powers, and even a strong subset of those involving gods and demon-slayers. What Genie Lo brings to the table to make The Epic Crush of Genie Lo stand out from the crowd is the infusion of Chinese and Chinese-American elem ...

B
A Cowboy to Remember

It’s been a while since I read a good cowboy romance, and I was starting to miss them. When I saw A Cowboy to Remember getting buzz on Twitter, it caught my fancy. Friends-to-lovers and second chance at love are my two favorite tropes, and this book has some of both going on in it along with the m ...