PoC

A
Work For It

Talia Hibbert’s A Girl Like Her was one of my favorite books in 2018.  I initially doubted the story could or would appeal to me - as I mentioned in my review, it featured a heroine alternately described as rude, awkward, and, according to everyone in town, bad news.  But I was completely won ov ...

B
Permanent Record

Mary H.K. Choi’s Permanent Record is a uniquely told, dazzling experience about sudden gifts of serendipity and happenstance as well as the workaday grinding world that surrounds us.  The beautiful character work and realistic portrait of New York enchant, but with a heroine who feels more like a ...

A
Work for It

A smile and a tear – that’s what you’ll produce as Talia Hibbert scores another win with Work for It, the angsty but deeply romantic story of two men who fall in love in spite of their emotional scars. Olu Keynes is a tart-tongued but handsome man who has been numbed emotionally thanks to a ...

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-
Grading Curves

Professor Nikki Barber is starting over with a new job after drawing a firm boundary with her mother, and a tattoo feels like the right way to mark this new chapter in her life. Dean Shaw, six years her junior, offers to stay late at the tattoo parlor to work on her. But the tattooing process takes ...

B+
The Right Swipe

Alisha Rai modernizes the classic one-night-stand-to-HEA trope in her latest novel The Right Swipe. Diverse characters, a feminist approach to sexuality and cutting edge dating technology breathe fresh life into this familiar format and gives us a candid look at love in the twenty-first century. ...

A
Inevitable Conclusions

Sometimes you finish a book and all you can do is sit collapsed in your chair until your brain and body return from the place where the author transported you. Kora Oliver, Tony-winning actress turned director, and Tariq Evans, NFL star turned financial advisor, have known each other for over two ...

C-
The Bewildered Bride

A lot of elements go into a book, and some of the hardest books to review are ones where one element is terrific and the rest are borderline gibberish. That’s The Bewildered Bride, which has an exceptional rendition of a heroine with a sight disability and trauma-induced panic/anxiety, but plot th ...

B+
Playing House

Short and sweet is the perfect description of Playing House. Charming and humorous, this novel will be a complete delight for contemporary romance fans. Oliver Huang is going through a serious slump. He’s lost his job, which means he can’t afford an apartment and is forced to live with his fa ...

B
Sweet Heat

Sweet Heat combines family drama and heated romance beautifully.  A story of love between two plus-sized black characters filled with humor and drama, it’s wonderfully appealing. Marvin Carter is a wiz with a whisk and a spatula.  An exemplary baker, he spends his days toiling as a line cook ...