AAR

C
The Book of Hidden Wonders

(Note: this title is published in the UK asThe Illustrated Child). The Book of Hidden Wonders is one big old dark, depressing slog of a novel, only enlivened by the skill required to tell the tale. Its treatment of childhood leans more towards Tennessee Williams than JM Barrie, though teens weane ...

B-
Forever

I had not read Vanessa Miller's work before, and just happened to pick up Forever, her fiftieth book and a significant milestone for any author. Forever also serves as the first installment of her new Let's Stay Together series. I was pleased to find a smooth read with a story full of a traditional ...

D
Warpaint

Warpaint is the story of Willow Campbell, a Scottish make-up artist who falls in love with a dashing American and allows herself to be swept away in a whirlwind romance. She agrees to marry a man she’s only known for six weeks and sets out for his home in New York City, only to find that his life ...

C-
The Exiles

Christina Baker Kline, a usually fine fiction writer, gives us a story that’s well-sketched but only marginally gripping with The Exiles, a novel about women convicts living in an Australian penal colony, and the aboriginal teenager struggling against white oppression who becomes a friend. Evan ...

B+
The Tourist Attraction

The Tourist Attraction, the debut from promising new contemporary romance author Sarah Morgenthaler, takes place in a tiny town in Alaska where the tourist/local divide is a chasm. The story is between Graham - the local who loathes tourists - and Zoey - the tourist who falls for Alaska's charm (and ...

D
The Siren and the Deep Blue Sea

For a novel featuring a romance that has been hyped up over four other books, The Siren and the Deep Blue Sea was a big letdown. The last in a series about the Embraced, people born with special abilities, this story follows Maeve and Brody as they continue the fight against the villainous Circle ...

D
Chance of a Lifetime

There are two sad scenarios as a reader: one is when I realize I’m reading the final installment in a wonderful series and the other is when I realize I’m reading the first installment in a series that shouldn’t be a series. I had the latter experience reading Chance of a Lifetime, which I do ...

B+
See Her Die

Book two in Melinda Leigh’s new series of mystery/suspense novels featuring Bree Taggert, See Her Die, opens just three weeks after the events of Cross Her Heart.  A former Philadelphia detective, Bree’s life underwent a major upheaval when she returned home to the small upstate New York town o ...

B
The Circus Rose

Betsy Cornwell’s inventive but somewhat pat take on the fairytale Snow White and Rose Red recasts the heroines as a pair of performers at their mother’s circus who must battle religious fanaticism when they return to the only town they’ve ever considered home. Ivory and Rosie have been work ...

B
So True

Serena Bell’s Tierney Bay series continues with So True, the finely written and engrossing story of Chiara Campbell and Jax Walker. It’s a good romance and the characters are generally sympathetic, but I had to take some points off for Jax’s self-flagellating, cruel behavior toward Chiara. ...