mini review

A
Lady Ann's Excellent Adventure

Set in 1802, Lady Ann’s Excellent Adventure is a perfect gem of a short story, full of verve and joy and I simply fell in love with it. The Earl of Evesham is merrily tooling his new curricle through the streets of London when he spots a young woman perched in a tree. He approaches her after convi ...

B
Desperate Measures

Set in 1810, Desperate Measures is a romance that takes place during one evening at a ball. Young Lydia Bettridge is suffering from the pangs of unrequited love. She’s desperate to have her brother’s friend, the Golden God, Geoffrey Danforth, notice her, so she and another of her brother’s fri ...

B
Duchesses in Disguise

Duchesses in Disguise contains three very different stories that all spring from one small accident.  Three noble ladies traveling incognito are stranded after their carriage is damaged in a storm.  When a local gentleman and his two companions come upon the accident, they immediately offer their ...

D+
The Take Down

If you had to describe your high school experience in one word, what would it be? Awesome? Horrible? Rad or cool? According to the heroine of Corrie Lynn Wang’s The Take Down there are only two ways to emerge from high school: Scarred or Worshipped. By the end of senior year though, she’s fairly ...

A
The Wild Girl

This is an extremely difficult book to rate.  At turns beautiful and gruesome, much like the fairytales that surround and weave through it, it chronicles the largely unknown life of Dortchen Wild, a next door neighbor of the sprawling Grimm family.  Dortchen has as many sisters as the Grimms have ...

B
What Matters Most

Writing as Gracie Leigh, well-known queer romance author Garrett Leigh ventures into m/f romance with What Matters.  I liked it, though What Matters is a particularly apt title.  I’m grading it based on what matters most to me, versus some specific problems I think some readers will have. (Spoil ...

D+
A Fare to Remember

I’ve enjoyed previous books by this author, and the concept of this one definitely intrigued me – a female cab driver who meets a sexy billionaire? Yes please! As it turns out, I’ve got mixed feelings about the execution. Yes, some of the sex scenes are super hot, including ones where Reid’s ...

C-
Some Small Magic

I’ll start with a disclaimer: I don’t find magic in the charm of Southern hill people’s poverty. I don’t find ignorance endearing. I don’t find struggle necessarily enlightening. I think to enjoy this book you would have to appreciate all three. Abel Shifflet is used to things not going ...

A+
Palisades Park

Here’s an unexpected, unheralded treat of a novel, set in the fondly remembered but long-closed Palisades Park in New Jersey. Focused on the Stopka family, who run a French fry stand in the park’s busy, colorful environment, our protagonist is seven-year old Antoinette, who insists on going b ...

F
An Italian Wife

Anne Hood’s encapsulation of life spanning four generations of the Rinaldi family starts out admirably.  Dreamy-minded teenaged spitfire Josephine is married off to Vincenzo, a man with some prospects, who plans to emigrate soon to America.  These initial chapters are extremely amusing, as young ...