Debut

C+
Best Laid Plaids

Best Laid Plaids is the first book in a new series of historical romances set in 1920s Scotland by début author Ella Stainton.  The blurb promised a romance between an eccentric former academic who trashed his career when he announced he could talk to ghosts and a war veteran turned PhD student wh ...

A-
The Sight of You

When you google The Sight of You, it comes up with the subheading ‘The Love Story of 2020’ a grandiose statement about a book that is the opposite of grandiose in the most lovely way. The Sight of You is very tender, and there’s a sense of humility in it and in its main characters, that makes ...

C-
One Match Fire

As a reviewer, I have all kinds of thoughts when I pick up a book for the first time. Sometimes I'm eager to see what an author I admire is doing next, or I'm curious about an author whose works I've never read. And then there are the plot descriptions that call me like catnip. One Match Fire defini ...

B
The Vanishing Season

When it comes to mysteries, I'll be the first to admit I've grown a little jaded. I read a lot of them, so it takes something pretty great to really wow me, and while Joanna Schaffhausen’s début, The Vanishing Season, isn't the most original mystery I've ever read, the author's ability to craft a ...

B-
Under the Harrow

With the success of books like Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, psychological thrillers are enjoying a rebirth of popularity. Flynn Berry's debut novel, Under the Harrow fits nicely into this category.  Though a bit rougher around the edges than some I've read from more accomplished authors, th ...

B+
Rakes and Radishes

Rakes and Radishes is Susanna Ives’ début novel, and it’s one of the most unusual historical romances I’ve read. The author has very successfully turned one of the most commonly-used tropes in the genre upside-down and inside-out. The story of the hardened rake who eventually settles down ...