AoC

B+
The Heart Principle

Fans of angsty romance will be delighted with The Heart Principle, the third book in Helen Hoang’s The Kiss Quotient series.  While this book – and therefore this review – does contain spoilers for the first two novels, you do not have to read those to enjoy this story. Quan Diep, older br ...

C+
Mom Jeans and Other Mistakes

Three out of Ms. Martin’s four football romances have earned DIK status from me and her debut novel received a solid B, so I think it would be fair to label me a big fan of her work. Which is why Mom Jeans and Other Mistakes was a surprise.  This women’s fiction story has some of the humor and ...

B-
A Lot Like Adios

We have had numerous conversations on this site about how a readers’ ‘mileage’ may vary in terms of suspension of disbelief. I’ve always thought that contemporary romances had the hardest row to hoe in that regard because people who live in the country/time the story takes place in can alway ...

B-
Tokyo Ever After

Emiko Jean’s Tokyo Ever After is listed for grades 6-8 on Amazon, and it will be fine for that intended audience, especially in a library that is working to diversify. I do not, however, see it having what it takes to reach audiences beyond that maturity level, or to become a classic when a better ...

A
So Many Beginnings: A Little Women Remix

The best literary retellings take us to new places and bring new worlds to light.  So Many Beginnings does a beautiful job of applying the basic background of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women and adding a whole new layer of emotions and experiences to it. I have read many retellings of the story, ...

A-
Certain Dark Things

Certain Dark Things is a re-released 2016 novel by best-selling author Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Part noir and part horror story, this vampire tale takes place in an alternate reality Mexico City where two lonely souls try to survive the dangerous streets of a town riddled with trouble. Domingo doesn ...

D-
A Blues Singer to Redeem Him

The blurb for A Blues Singer to Redeem Him, promising a perilous interracial romance between the son of a Mafioso and a blues singer in a Jazz Age speakeasy amid the looming threat of the KKK, earned this title an instant high place on my TBR.  Sadly, it failed to live up to my expectations in almo ...

B
A Delicious Dilemma

Romeo and Juliet meets really good-sounding food in Sera Taíno’s A Delicious Dilemma, the charming story of a chef and a land developer who manage to tumble into bed and then have to deal with some uncomfortable truths when the morning after arrives. Val Navarro has a bustling family life, a b ...

B+
Velvet Was the Night

Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s Mexican Gothic was one of my favorite books of 2020, so I was excited to review her latest novel, Velvet Was the Night. This classic noir narrative is a beautifully written snapshot of one of the darkest times in Mexican/American history. 1970s, Mexico City.  Maite has a ...

A-
The Dating Playbook

The Dating Playbook is the delightfully funny second tale in Farrah Rochon’s The Boyfriend Project series. You can read this without reading the first book. Taylor Powell experienced her proverbial fifteen minutes plus of fame when her acerbic tweets about a date from hell turned into a viral v ...