AoC

B+
The Bride Test

Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions - like grief. And love. He thinks he’s defective. His family knows better, that his autism means he just processes emotions differ ...

B+
The Takeover Effect

The Takeover Effect is a big, fat, luscious chocolate truffle of a book.  It’s funny, it’s sexy, it’s heartbreaking, it’s romantic; it luxuriates in the playgrounds of the rich while giving us down-to-earth people to root for, and it’s grounded strongly in a central family that provides a ...

A
Once Ghosted, Twice Shy

Whenever I read a lesbian romance novel, my heart expands by two sizes.  As a queer girl, back in my youth I used to long for books featuring heroines who liked girls the same way I did, and that the publishing industry is beginning to open up and publish more queer romance gladdens me.  Once Ghos ...

A+
Queenie

Queenie is, quite simply, the best novel I’ve read this year so far.  The publicity describes the book as Bridget Jones meets Zadie Smith, but I’d go a step farther – this is an original voice with something fresh to say about the lives of young black British women struggling to maintain thei ...

A
Can't Escape Love

I've been enjoying Alyssa Cole's Reluctant Royals contemporary romance series, with A Princess in Theory well deserving of its spot on my top ten of 2018 list. After reading book two, A Duke by Default, I was definitely curious about Portia's sister Reggie, and Ms. Cole has fulfilled my wish of writ ...

B+
Passion & Ink

If you do a social media survey of which current romance authors write the hottest sex scenes, there's a more than reasonable likelihood that Naima Simone will be on that list. Her tales run the gamut from suspenseful, to emotional, to fun and flirty but never fail to entertain. With her entries in ...

C-
Crashing into Her

Eva Montgomery is a fitness instructor who gambles that a move to LA will shake up her life. But working at her best friend Tori’s studio means running into Tori’s cousin (and Eva’s one-night-stand) Anthony Castillo, who teaches when not doing stunt work in Hollywood. The big barriers between ...

A-
An Unconditional Freedom

Daniel Cumberland and Janeta Sanchez could not have joined the Loyal League for more different reasons. Born free and then sold into slavery, Daniel uses the League to provide structure for vengeance against, in particular, the Sons of the Confederacy organization. By contrast, Janeta - whose Cuban ...

A-
Block Shot

Narrated by Teddy Hamilton and Seraphina Valentine Kennedy Ryan was a new-to-me author when I picked up Long Shot, the first book in the Hoops series.  I loved it.  It devastated, surprised and delighted me in equal measure, and it was one of my favorite books in 2018.  I didn’t think the fo ...

C
The Matchmaker's List

I was really looking forward to this book with its promise of cross-cultural highs and lows, an exploration of the immigrant experience, and a look at traditional arranged marriages in modern society. Unfortunately, it ultimately failed to live up to its pledge because the heroine quite sank the sto ...