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 ...

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
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 Forbidden Rose

There has been a long delay between the release of the audio version of Ms. Bourne’s début novel, The Spymaster’s Lady, and audios of the other books in the series, but at last, we’re now able to enjoy this, the prequel to that book and can look forward to listening to the remaining books in ...

C+
Midnight Train to Paris

Narrated by Tanya Eby I have mixed feelings about this audiobook, and had to think about my review – and grades – for several days after I finished listening. There’s a lot I don’t like about this time travel story, from the clichéd language in sex-scenes to the use of first-person prese ...

A
Anna and the French Kiss

When my teenage student walked into my classroom, slammed a copy of this book on the desk, and announced, in audible capital letters, “THIS IS THE BEST BOOK EVER WRITTEN,” I knew Anna and the French Kiss was something special. A contemporary story of discovering the world and yourself at the sam ...