mini review

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 ...

B+
We Were On a Break

This one is perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella – the humor and cultural settings are very similar. Liv and Adam’s Mexican holiday is sure to end in an engagement, or so Liv thinks. They’ve been dating for an age and surely, SURELY, he wouldn’t take her from England to Mexico without a real ...

B-
The Mad, Bad Duke

The Mad, Bad Duke has a little more of the paranormal elements that Ms. Ashley is known for but these prototype Shifters are more feral and tribal than they are a subsect of a progressive kingdom.  The intriguing part of the story is how it recasts the former villain into a romantic hero by shatter ...

C
Penelope and Prince Charming

I’ll admit that I bought this and another in the series because I was really in the mood for a fantasy and Jennifer Ashley has been promoting the re-release of her Nvengaria series as being chock-full of magic and romance.  She’s a go-to author for me so I figured they would be a hit.  Unfort ...

B
Stroke of Midnight

Andie J. Christopher’s début romance novel  begins on New Year’s Eve in Miami. Growing up in a traditional Cuban family, Alana Hernandez has to work harder and longer than the men in her family to prove that she deserves a top place in the family business. It’s particularly galling because h ...

A-
Fall

In Fall we see the repercussions of incidents that occurred toward the end of Rise, when rock star Zander, the lead singer of Rage, stopped the band’s tour in order to have surgery on vocal polyps. The rest of the band and Dimity Graham (the band’s PA) are still waiting to find out if Zander wil ...

C-
The Star King

Though I rarely read sci-fi romance, I made an exception and picked up The Star King after we recently reposted a B+ review and it was free on Amazon.  I was entertained by the story but not as fond of it as my fellow reviewer.  Underdeveloped relationships and world-building, combined with one t ...

A-
Almost a Scandal

Sally Kent’s brother Richard lets the family tradition down when instead of joining the Navy, he escapes to the clergy. So it’s Sally, who’s got the family saltwater blood, who dons midshipman’s blues and sets sail on the Audacious just before Trafalgar. She finds herself under the supervisi ...