mental illness

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The Stand-In

Début novels can be a bit of a gamble, but I’m glad to report that Lily Chu’s The Stand-In is a risk worth taking. Gracie Reed is the biracial daughter of a white Canadian man and a Chinese mother now struggling with dementia. First, her boss sexually harasses and then fires her. Next, a pap ...

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Weather Girl

Weather Girl, I can’t wait to see you – Russell to Ari Weather Girl is an incredibly charming romance.  Warm and sweet, it’s also honest about what depression can do to a person and the rigors and difficulties of single parenthood, mean bosses and difficult parents. Ari Abrams is a cheery ...

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The Nobleman's Guide to Scandal and Shipwrecks

After Mackenzi Lee’s Tulip Fever was cancelled in 2019 for multiple reasons, the author has returned to the familiar stomping ground of her Montague Siblings series. This third (and allegedly final) book in that triad focuses on the youngest brother, Adrian.  For those worried that the book would ...

B
The Royals Next Door

The Royals Next Door is sweet and funny, but it also has body and substance.  It starts out as extremely fluffy and lighthearted – very much a beach-read – but then it hits you with some surprising depth and truth.  You might have to adjust your expectations with this one, but it’s worth the ...

B+
The Heart Principle

Fans of angsty romance will be delighted with The Heart Principle, the third book in Helen Hoang’s The Kiss Quotient series.  While this book – and therefore this review – does contain spoilers for the first two novels, you do not have to read those to enjoy this story. Quan Diep, older br ...

B
The Hate Project

Kris Ripper’s The Hate Project is a warm, quirky and often very funny romance with a difference -  a grumpy/grumpy  pairing – and I enjoyed it a lot.  It’s a well-written mixture of snarky and poignant, and I loved the idiosyncratic and uncompromising voice of PoV character Oscar, whose anx ...

A-
Pinot and Pineapple Lumps

Pinot and Pineapple Lumps, the fourth book in Jay Hogan’s Southern Lights series, is a deeply emotional story about dealing with loss, healing from trauma, and fighting to be what and who you are, and for what you want. One of the protagonists is Kurt Sharpe, brother of Ethan from Powder and Pavol ...

A
How to Start a Scandal

How to Start a Scandal is the second book in Madeline Martin’s The London School for Ladies series. I have not read the previous one, but I'll definitely be checking it out after reading this one. Seth Sinclair, Earl of Dalton, returns from war a broken man suffering from PTSD. He has recentl ...

A
Fair as a Star

Have you ever finished a romance novel and needed a few moments of quiet reflection before you can rejoin ‘the real world’ again?  Time to sit and savor the pleasures of a well written story?  If you haven’t - or, if you’re eager to do it again - I recommend you read Fair as a Star.  Gent ...

A
Truths I Never Told You

Truths I Never Told You is the latest offering from Australian author Kelly Rimmer. It's the deeply evocative story of one woman's quest to understand not only her past but the ways in which that past affects the life she's currently living. Once I started reading, I hated putting the book down, and ...