American Civil War

A
Redeemed

I loved Redeemed, even with its dark subject matter and deeply flawed characters. Ms. O’Keefe has a masterful touch and capably leads the reader out of the darkness and into the light as the story concludes. Though I’m often frustrated by short stories, this is lush with detail and engaging from ...

B+
Scotsman of My Dreams

Karen Ranney’s MacIain series moves away from Scotland for the second book, Scotsman of My Dreams, a well-written and very enjoyable character-driven romance featuring a hedonist who returns from war a very different man to the one who went away and the forthright woman who helps him to regain his ...

A
Only Call Us Faithful

The most successful Union spy of the Civil War wasn’t a dashing gentleman on horseback, or a Yankee femme fatale to match the Confederacy’s glamorous Belle Boyd. It was middle-aged Richmond socialite Liza Van Lew, whose achievements included placing a spy in the Confederate White House, abscondi ...

D+
The Last Heiress

Anyone who reads my reviews probably knows I'm a sucker for historicals set outside the usual Regencyish fantasyland. However, no amount of fantastic setting can save a story that just isn't told well. And that's the problem with The Last Heiress. The last gasp of the Confederacy makes for a fascina ...

D
An Outlaw in Wonderland

An Outlaw in Wonderland sounded like it was right up my alley. A Union doctor who spies in a Confederate hospital? A Virginia heroine with mixed loyalties? Sign me up! Or not. All the exciting stuff on the back cover takes place at the beginning of the book, which rapidly devolves into kitchen sink ...

B
A Borrowed Scot

At the beginning of Karen Ranney’s new romance, A Borrowed Scot, the hero, Montgomery Fairfax, is at a London club surrounded by Latin-chanting men dressed in hooded robes. He’s there because he’s curious about the provenance of a numinous diamond-ringed mirror he’s inherited. Montgomery is ...

A
A Reason to Live

My Desert Island Keepers are those in which the author has given me something to think about beyond the romance and the two people involved. A Reason to Live does that by extending what could be an ordinary on-the-road story into a commentary essential to all of us. In fact, McKade’s entire ser ...

C+
Texas Hold Him

Texas Hold Him by Lisa Cooke is a pleasant, but average wallpaper-y romance set in the post-Civil War South. Lottie Mason has 6 weeks to come up with $15,000 to pay off a blackmailer and keep her ailing father out of jail. But the Mason family isn’t doing well after the Civil War, and none of t ...

C+
The Haunting

It sort of kills me not to be able to give The Haunting a better grade. It's a very well-written book, with a grace and flow to its prose that's too seldom seen in series romances anymore. Hope Tarr also delivers a sexually explicit story that goes beyond mere sex, finding the deeper emotions in tho ...

B+
Winds of the Storm

I am so glad I read this book. I had never read any of Beverly Jenkins' novels before and didn't know what to expect, but I came away from this story very impressed. Jenkins does a wonderful job of balancing passion, emotion, an exciting story, and a masterful command of history, and, while this did ...