AAR

B
Death of a Red-Hot Rancher

Death of a Red Hot Rancher has a lot of fun with contemporary romance tropes. It’s the kind of cozy mystery that’s directly intended to appeal to romance fans, while anyone who doesn’t have a bit of familiarity with the genre will probably also get a huge hoot out of it.  But the book is just ...

C+
The Magic of Found Objects

There’s a note of hippie magic to The Magic of Found Objects, and not the least bit of a wink to the 1987 film Moonstruck. Maddie Dawson tries to mill much quirkiness from her unusual heroine, but grounds her in a formula that makes for some disappointing plot twists and very dull, rote format cho ...

B+
The Heart Principle

Fans of angsty romance will be delighted with The Heart Principle, the third book in Helen Hoang’s The Kiss Quotient series.  While this book – and therefore this review – does contain spoilers for the first two novels, you do not have to read those to enjoy this story. Quan Diep, older br ...

C+
Mom Jeans and Other Mistakes

Three out of Ms. Martin’s four football romances have earned DIK status from me and her debut novel received a solid B, so I think it would be fair to label me a big fan of her work. Which is why Mom Jeans and Other Mistakes was a surprise.  This women’s fiction story has some of the humor and ...

B+
Tenderness

Tenderness is a fascinating if overlong look into the Lady Chatterley's Lover obscenity trial.  Encompassing such far-ranging real-life characters as First Lady Jackie Kennedy and J. Edgar Hoover, all of whom were either admirers of Lawrence of tantigentially involved in the trial, it is artful, so ...

B-
A Lot Like Adios

We have had numerous conversations on this site about how a readers’ ‘mileage’ may vary in terms of suspension of disbelief. I’ve always thought that contemporary romances had the hardest row to hoe in that regard because people who live in the country/time the story takes place in can alway ...

B
Beautiful Mistakes

I’ve been eager to read this story from pretty much the first moment Garrett Wolf and Spencer Hawkins were introduced in The List, book one in Felice Stevens’ Second Chances series.  Spencer and Wolf – along with their best friends Elliot and Chess - have known each other since college, but t ...

B+
The Price of Innocence

A Retro Review originally published on April 17, 1999 Susan Sizemore's book, The Price of Innocence, takes place in late Victorian London. Sherrie Hamilton is an American - a widow with an eight-year-old daughter, Minnie. She has come to London with her cousins, Faith and Daisy and her aunt Dora t ...

B-
Tokyo Ever After

Emiko Jean’s Tokyo Ever After is listed for grades 6-8 on Amazon, and it will be fine for that intended audience, especially in a library that is working to diversify. I do not, however, see it having what it takes to reach audiences beyond that maturity level, or to become a classic when a better ...

B
Portrait of a Scotsman

Evie Dunmore’s series about a group of young women activists in late Victorian Britain continues with Hattie’s story, Portrait of a Scotsman.  Like the previous two novels in the set, this one is extremely well written and strongly characterised; the lack of agency of well-bred young ladies of ...