France

A
The Forbidden Rose (#62 on AAR's Top 100 Romances)

An AAR Top 100 Romance originally published on June 10, 2010 Plodding through forgettable spy novels (and historicals in general) sometimes makes me forget what a truly great book looks like – and then I read one like The Forbidden Rose. Joanna Bourne’s latest novel has everything I love about ...

D+
Traitor in Her Arms

I should have loved Traitor in Her Arms.   I was sure the combination of spies, an enemies-to-lovers romance and the Scarlet Pimpernel was destined to be wonderful, and I’m so disappointed to tell you it wasn't.  The principals are unappealing, the plot contrived and ridiculous, the secondary c ...

A-
Beauty Like the Night

Beauty Like the Night, the eagerly awaited sixth book in Joanna Bourne’s widely acclaimed Spymaster series, tells the story of Séverine de Cabrillac, whom we first met as a very young child caught up in the revolutionary terror of late eighteenth century Paris in The Forbidden Rose.  Ten years a ...

A+
The Mistress of Normandy (aka The Lily and the Leopard)

Everyone who reads historical romance has a favorite period that they love time-warping back to again and again.  Mine happens to be the medieval period. I have a good handful of keepers that I always go back to when I want to revisit the era.  Some are well-worn (the entirety of the Rosalynde ...

B+
King's Warrior*

I’m a big fan of medieval romances and have enjoyed all of Kris Kennedy’s full-length stories. She has a great grasp of the medieval psyche and behaviors, and she backs it up with meticulous research. Her stories are fast-paced and peopled with alpha heroes in tender romances; and while there is ...

A
A Crown of Bitter Orange

The first Laura Florand book that I read was The Chocolate Kiss, the second story in her Amour et Chocolat series. I loved it, and since then I’ve been a pretty dedicated fan, so any new book by her is a cause for celebration. The author has now moved from the world of haute cuisine to the world o ...

B-
Christmas in Paris

Ahh... it's Christmas romance time again.  I have a real soft spot for holiday romances, and Christmas in Paris is a modern-day fairytale. Its best moments are achingly romantic and I would have loved sinking into this book if only the story were constructed a little more solidly. American Isabe ...

B
Isla and the Happily Ever After

Isla Martin has been in love with Joshua Wasserstein since she first saw him in ninth grade, but between Isla’s shyness and Josh’s misunderstanding of her relationship with her best friend Kurt, the two never managed to get on the same page. Suddenly it’s senior year, and these bicultural New ...

A
Rogue Spy

To say I’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of Rogue Spy is an understatement of immense proportions. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed each of the books in Ms. Bourne’s Spymaster series, and given the revelations about Pax made in The Black Hawk I’ve been on the edge of my seat waiting for his sto ...

A
The Black Hawk

In All About Romance’s review of The Black Hawk in November 2011, Jean Wan wrote, “Once in a while, during every reader's literary life, you encounter a book that reminds you why you are a reader. It renews your faith, if faith was lost; it rekindles your interest, if interest waned; and every ...