AoC

A-
We Set the Dark on Fire

In the far-flung future, Medio has been run for thousands of years on the principle of the ancient legend of the thieving Salt God and the financially ripe Sun God.  The upper crust of society are the descendants of the Sun God and his two wives; women are expected to behave in either the manner of ...

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-
The Prince and the Dressmaker

How about a fairy tale where the heroine is the fairy godmother and the prince needs a beautiful gown? Prince Sebastian of Belgium is hiding a secret: he loves wearing gowns, and dreams of donning something more bold and glamorous than his mother’s old castoffs. When he sees a ballgown by seamstre ...

B
Cherokee America

Margaret Verble’s sprawling family saga, Cherokee America, explores the lives of the Singer and Cordery families who live, thrive, suffer and love in the post-Trail of Tears, Post Civil War landscape of mid 1870s Cherokee Nation West. Cherokee America Singer, known as Check, is the mother of fi ...

A-
50 Ways to Ruin a Rake

Mellie Smithson is a chemist whose discoveries have helped her father and uncle’s textile production boom, bringing the family to new wealth. However, her reward for this is that the men want to keep that money in the family by marrying Mellie off to her cousin Ronald. Too rich for local boys and ...

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 ...

B+
A Summer for Scandal

It’s 1911, and while Emilia Cruz and Ruben Torres are both authors, he’s a literary darling and newspaper publisher, while she uses a pseudonym to write The True Accounts of a Former Courtesan, an explicit and swashbuckling adventure serial. When their paths cross and Ruben learns Emilia’s sec ...

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 ...

A+
The Girls at 17 Swann Street

Every once in a great while, a book comes along and punches me right in the gut. It sounds unpleasant, and in a way, I suppose it is, but it's also the best way I can describe my visceral reaction to certain very powerful stories such as Yara Zgheib's début novel, The Girls of 17 Swann Street. It's ...

B+
Here and Now and Then

Here and Now and Then is a literary science fiction novel which focuses on family - how we can never have too much of it and how we will do anything to protect those we love. His mind is going, his memories fading along with it. In the year 2142 Kin Stewart is a special agent for the Temporal Cor ...