Modern Historical

B-
Then Came Heaven

I've been on a LaVyrle Spencer reading kick recently. I was in the mood for something quiet, emotional and deeply immersive, and Spencer’s books nearly always deliver in that regard. Her last published novel, Then Came Heaven, was an interesting read in many ways, but didn’t have the romantic de ...

A-
Two Tribes

Fearne Hill’s Two Tribes is a funny, touching and heartrending romance set across three decades in which we follow two teenagers from the Midlands as they fall in love (think Heartstopper but with class differences and a lot more snark and swearing!), are separated by circumstance and reunite twen ...

B
Burning Season

I’ve categorised Rachel Ember’s Burning Season as an historical romance – although it feels utterly weird to use the word ‘historical’ to describe a story that takes place during my lifetime!  Set in 1972 (when I was eight!) it’s the third published book in the author’s Wild Ones seri ...

A-
Honeytrap

Aster Glenn Gray’s Honeytrap is a compelling and unique story that charts the development  of the  unlikely relationship between an American FBI agent and a lieutenant in the Red Army (and possible KGB agent) over a period of around thirty-five years.  It’s extremely well-written, and the aut ...

A
Confessions in B-Flat

Confessions in B-Flat is a resonant and romantic novel, filled with truth and history and finely-etched details.  Featuring two young lovers who are passionate about changing the world but unsure of how to accomplish their goals, the reader will remember them and their story long after finishing th ...

B
Upsy Daisy

Daisy Payton and Trevor Boone are two of the most likeable characters I have come across in a long time and their HEA is a sweet yet realistic coming-of-age story. Set in 1975 at Fisk University - an historically Black university in Nashville, Tennessee - Upsy Daisy tells the origin story of two bel ...

B+
Promise Me a Dream

Promise Me a Dream is a gentle, tender story about two people coming together at a turbulent time in American history.  Unsparing when discussing racial violence, it also tells a lovely story of community and first true love.  And while I had a couple of issues with the stiffness of its prose, ove ...

A
Lady in the Lake

In Lady in the Lake, Laura Lippman sweeps readers back in time to 1960s Baltimore, where the body of a young, African-American woman is found floating in a lake. No one seems to know who she is, nor do they seem all that interested in finding out, so housewife-turned-reporter Maddie Schwartz decides ...

A-
Star Dust

With the recent fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing, it was about time that I caught up on the Fly Me To The Moon series, which fictionalizes the astronauts, techs, and families of 1960s NASA into the imaginary American Space Department (or ASD). I’m completely thrilled that I did. In ...

A
Mrs. Everything

Jennifer Weiner is known for writing remarkably emotive books about women, their struggles, and their triumphs. In Mrs. Everything, she does this again, but in a much bigger, bolder way than before. Jo and Bethie Kaufman are sisters, growing up in 1950s Detroit and leading lives that are pretty a ...