cross-class lovers

B+
Badlands

Anthony Brandt said “Other things may change us, but we start and end with family.” It’s true that family can have the most profound effect on our lives. In this novel, family is a tie that binds, in both good ways and bad. Penny Sandoval has a complicated family life. On the one ...

B+
The Lotus Palace

I've enjoyed Jeannie Lin's China-set historicals so far and I was thrilled when I heard she would be writing single title as well. I went into The Lotus Palace expecting some element of suspense in the plot, but otherwise I had no idea what I would be getting into. As it turns out, it was quite a tr ...

A
Flowers from the Storm

Narrated by Nicholas Boulton One of the first books I read when I got back into reading romance a few years ago was Flowers From the Storm. I remember being caught up in heart pounding fear for Jervaulx as he was mistreated in the asylum; of feeling rage on his behalf. I remember being so captiva ...

B
Platinum Promises

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Life’s most urgent question is what are you doing for others?” The heroine of this novel takes that advice to heart, giving everything that she has for those around her. Just like in real life this doesn’t turn her into a doormat; instead it turns her into s ...

A-
Practically Wicked

I still remember the first time I read Georgette Heyer's Venetia. I loved that story because the intelligent characters made me want, more than anything, for them to fall in love and live happily ever after. I found myself having similar feelings as I read Practically Wicked by Alissa Johnson. The c ...

B
My Fair Concubine

My Fair Concubine - as the title might suggest - is a Tang Dynasty take on My Fair Lady. The heroine is a tea shop girl, and the hero talks her into impersonating his sister - who is supposed to be a peace bride, a gift to a warrior in a distant province, but has run away with her lover. I found it ...

B+
Marriage of Mercy

At times reviewing books is like a little kid eating vegetables. You avoid a book as long as possible and then read it in unpalatable hunks just trying to finish, choking and grimacing all the while. Following that same analogy, Carla Kelly's latest Marriage of Mercy is the dessert, sweet and fulfil ...

B-
Jenna Starborn

In reading retellings of beloved classics, you kind of have to go in knowing how much you can take. For me and Jane Eyre, it’s simple: I don’t like the book. Parts of the plot draw me back every time - governess, tortured hero, etc. - but it’s just not my favourite story in the world. This mea ...

A-
In For a Penny

Not infrequently, I find myself reading debut novels with heart. However, finding a brand new author who writes a first novel that not only has life, but also beautiful writing, charming characters, and attention to the small details happens far less often. In for a Penny is just such a book, and I ...

C+
The Bachelor's Bargain

Are you sick of Regencies where characters treat servants like their best buddies or where class distinctions are ignored? The Bachelor's Bargain might be just the tonic you need. Be aware, however, that the heroine's faith is a strong element in this book. This is, after all, a marriage of convenie ...