Desert Isle Keeper

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Utopia Avenue

Utopia Avenue is one part Backbeat, two more of the bracing whimsical wit of A Hard Day’s Night, several parts Head-like support of social upheaval and psychedelics, with maybe a skosh of That Thing You Do! thrown in.  The rest is the story - detailing the struggles and joys of the titular psych- ...

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Shades of Milk and Honey

Shades of Milk and Honey is billed as “the fantasy novel you’ve always wished Jane Austen had written,” and for once, the marketing is right on the money. Jane Ellsworth is the plain sister, but also the talented one. Whereas younger sister Melody has genuine beauty, Jane has the gift of gl ...

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The Spiral Path

(originally reviewed on December 21, 2001) In her second contemporary romance, Mary Jo Putney tells the tale of a memorable tortured hero and the woman who refuses to give up on him. While this sounds like a conventional love story, the special characters prove that, as always, Putney can be reli ...

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Season of the Wolf

It's been a week or so since I finished this book after reading the three that proceed it. I still think about the Great Northern Pack, the society of wolves that feature in Maria Vale's uncommon shapeshifter series. (If you'd like to know more about this world in detail, Vale spoke to AAR about it ...

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The Roommate

Friends, there is nothing like reading a debut romance and loving it.  Surprising, funny, sexy and original, The Roommate is on my shortlist of favorite books of 2020.  It’s excellent. Clara Wheaton has loved Everett Bloom since they were small children.  Their families, part of the Connecti ...

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Vice

(originally reviewed on November 11, 1999) I have read all of Jane Feather's books from the '90s and some from the '80s. This book is her finest because she goes into her material with a depth and complexity her other books lack. While all of her books are entertaining, this one is not only enterta ...

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My Christmas Number One

I had been prepared for Leonie Mack’s debut romance My Christmas Number One to be a ‘Hallmark-esque’ holiday romance complete with Christmas tree-lighting, cookie-baking, and enough snow to cool me down during California’s heatwave. Surprisingly, the fresh plot is largely unpredictable and l ...

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10 Things I Hate About Pinky

Readers of Sandhya Menon’s Dimple and Rishi series are likely familiar with funny, spunky Pinky Kumar, an activist who backs hundreds of causes and feistily fights for every one of them. She finally gets her own book in 10 Things I Hate About Pinky, which involves fake dating, summer vacations and ...

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Charming as a Verb

Some books jump out of the deep, fathomless ocean of creativity and arc through the imagination of their readers, with characters that stick in the back of your mind for months after you’ve closed the back cover. Ben Philippe’s Henri Haltiwanger is one such creation – memorable in a totally fr ...

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A Friend in the Dark

The first book in a projected series of four in the Arden & O’Callaghan Mysteries, A Friend in the Dark is an enjoyable introduction to our two quirky protagonists as well as an entertaining – if not especially complex - murder mystery.  Gregory Ashe and C.S Poe kind of snuck up on us with ...