dual timelines

B
The Summer Hideaway

The Summer Hideaway is part of Susan Wiggs' Lakeshore Chronicles series, set at a camp in upstate New York, but it works as a standalone. It combines a contemporary romance with the story of three children growing up during World War II. I enjoyed both stories, but would have liked a bit more of eac ...

A-
An Echo in the Bone

Have you ever wondered how reviewers balance review-reading and books for fun? Everyone does it differently, but I'm fairly regimented; starting at the beginning of the month, I'll read three books for review (that's our standard reviewer commitment), then my book club book. If I have any month left ...

B-
The Treasures of Venice

You might need to suspend some logic when it comes to enjoying The Treasures of Venice by Loucinda McGary. But if you do, enjoy it you will. Sam Lewis was supposed to be on her honeymoon, and when her fiancé broke things off at the last minute, she decided to go to Italy anyway. While ...

C+
The Bone Garden

The Bone Garden was my book club book this month, and since Tess Gerritsen got her start in romance, I thought it might hold some interest for romance fans. Indeed, it has some romantic elements, but oddly, those are the book's weaker elements; its medical and historical aspects are better written a ...

A
Last Dance at the Jitterbug Lounge

Once I started reading Pam Morsi's Last Dance at the Jitterbug Lounge, I could hardly put it down, even when reaching for a Kleenex; it was such an emotional story and touched me on a personal level. I stayed up to 1:00 in the morning to finish the story and it was the first thing I thought of when ...

B
The Rossetti Letter

Conceptually, The Rossetti Letter is similar to Lauren Willig’s Pink Carnation series: Both tell the modern day stories of doctoral candidates in Europe, searching for a mystery lost in the crumbling papers and bound books of the past, and at the same time recounting the historical story about the ...

B
Whispers

While I read a paranormal romance every now and then, I can’t recall reading an old-fashioned ghost story so reminiscent of 1950s horror flicks wherein a reluctant hero must rush to save everybody in a house that is best described as haunted. Set in the notorious town of Diablo Springs, Arizona, W ...

B
Sheltering Rain

Since I often find the plots to be long and terribly slow-moving and the characterization to be both flat and unrealistically glamorous, the family saga is usually one of my least favorite forms of fiction. Sheltering Rain, a debut novel from the United Kingdom, is blessedly different. Joy, her d ...

C
The Blessing Stone

The Blessing Stone makes those sprawling intergenerational sagas and inscrutable epics seem like rank amateurs with the sheer scope of its coverage spanning over 100,000 years. Barbara Wood is an engaging writer, but her themes, played out in the history of a precious stone, are not. Her research is ...

B+
What You Owe Me

Although most authors are advised to write what you know, it might be more appropriate to suggest they write what they feel. Bebe Moore Campbell's writing is proof that an African-American woman can write believably from any perspective. Her first book, Your Blues Ain't Like Mine read like a lighter ...