working-class contemp

A
Just a Heartbeat Away

I haven't read too many début stories this year, but I heard good chatter on social media about Cara Bastone's Just a Heartbeat Away, the first full length novel in her Forever Yours series. (Technically her first book is a prequel novella to the series, When We First Met, but this is her first ful ...

A
Trashed

I love realistic looks at low-income characters, heroes who win you over by who they are and not what they have. So how have I never read Mia Hopkins before? Eddie “Trouble” Rosas has just completed a five year prison term when he encounters a stunning but sobbing woman in the east LA communi ...

B+
Love Her or Lose Her

Love Her or Lose Her is the second book in Tessa Bailey’s Hot & Hammered series.  A love story about a marriage on the rocks and about growing into who you were always meant to be, this novel is fun, sweet, intense and heartwarming. It stands very well on its own; Georgie and Travis from Fix ...

B+
Hard Chrome

I've read a few of Vanessa North's romances before, my favorite being The Lonely Drop, an LGBTQ friends-to-lovers novella written for a photo prompt in a Goodreads readers' group. It put the author on my radar, and this latest story solidifies that spot. Hard Chrome is the first in her small town Am ...

A-
Kiss and Cry

There’s just something about ice skating stories. Calinda Valerio and Ramirez Diaz-Tan met a decade earlier, when they were both regulars at the same Manila rink, she for figure skating, he for hockey. Calinda was twenty, but her parents demanded she not date, lest dating, or marriage, or pregn ...

A
The Reckless Oath We Made

Fans of deeply moving, intense stories of love and redemption won't want to miss The Reckless Oath We Made, the latest novel by author Bryn Greenwood. It's a dark and gritty love story centred around the unlikeliest of couples, and it packs an emotional punch that will linger with you long after you ...

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 ...

A-
Lock Nut

Lock Nut is the fifth book in this wonderful series about plumber Tom Paretski and now fiancé, private investigator, Phil Morrison. Tom has a slightly quirky paranormal ability which enables him to find things, which often leads them into trouble. However, that is not overly utilised in this episod ...

A-
Suddenly You

I don’t read many category romances—I like longer stories. Sarah Mayberry’s, however, are the outstanding exception to that rule. I’ve read twenty of her novels. Suddenly You is my favorite. It’s funny, sexy, feminist, and wonderfully real. Harry is a nice guy who likes to take it all e ...

A+
One Christmas Knight

A DIKlassic originally published on February 7, 1998 Happy holidays to all! We all dream at one time or another of that handsome knight riding in on a white charger and rescuing us, but did you know that there really are modern day knights out there, just ready to rescue that damsel in distress? ...