PositiveAll About RomanceKin is the perfect character to serve as the central focus of such a story. He’s a very average man – middle income, not brilliant but just exceptional enough to find himself in some extraordinary circumstances, a good husband, friend and father. His ordinariness makes him very relatable and helps craft a tale with fantastical elements into a book about issues most people can empathize with. The supporting cast is equally well drawn, especially Miranda. Each of her reactions to actions by Kin is typical in the best way; they are written with acknowledgement of standard human emotional responses but they capture the depth, agony and beauty that is everyday life and love. I especially appreciated that there were no villains here: just people trying to do their best in difficult circumstances ... a good read for people who like some heart with their paranormal tales or for people who like heartfelt tales and don’t mind if they are mixed with a bit of the paranormal.
RaveAll About RomanceThe author does an excellent job of blending fantasy, history and reality to create a unique, lushly imagined world which glitters with the opulence of La Belle Époque but shows the shadows in which the dark stain of colonialism cast upon a large portion of the world’s population. The fantasy aspect weaves gently and naturally through this universe, the rich costumes, decadent cuisine and fabulous, lavish parties of the era a perfect fit for the luxurious, often ornate, magic of Forging ... The author has a writing style entirely suited to such work. She paints word pictures which are always sumptuous, gorgeous, and posh. Her characters might face hardship and hatred but they do so in style. This really adds to the enchantment of the work, forging an extra layer of bewitchment to the text ... the first book of a trilogy that promises to be entertaining, engrossing and utterly enjoyable. This is a must read for fantasy fans.
PositiveAll About RomanceMs. Barton is the queen of the slow burn mystery and this book is no exception. The plot doesn’t twist and turn so much as it meanders down a slightly curvy road ... Compelling and addictive, The Suspect slowly sucks the reader in. I think the slow start and the leisurely pace of the beginning might be a turnoff for those looking for an instant thrill, but if you are willing to put in the work, the payoff, in the end, is worth it. The book certainly left me thinking about it long after I put it down.
PositiveAll About RomanceFrom the issue of slavery in American history, represented by the character of Violet, to the vibrant world Charley lives in which includes people of varying ethnicities and sexual orientation, the author paints her little corner of the world as inclusively as possible ... Fans of historical books and dual timeline novels will thoroughly enjoy Bellewether. While the pacing here is slow and occasionally pedantic, the author’s smooth, lyrical prose and amazing ability to recreate life in another time and place make the moments spent within the pages a pleasure. I am happy to recommend this to fans of the author and to encourage anyone interested in a good tale to pick it up.
PositiveAll About RomanceThe plot is delicately intricate, filled with red herrings and laced with themes of bullying, infidelity, abuse, and homophobia. I questioned the inclusion of that last. I think readers might be uncomfortable with the slurs thrown at a particular character and how that person is forced to question their own sexuality ... I think fans of Hoag and fans of grittier police procedural mysteries will thoroughly enjoy The Boy. I certainly found it to be a page turner and was enthralled from beginning to end. My one criticism is that the conclusion was a bit of a let-down and I rolled my eyes some at one of the denouements since I thought it was completely out of character, but that didn’t change the fact that I loved the journey of getting to that moment. So I’m aware the ending might be mildly disappointing to some but would still strongly recommend the story. This is the perfect book for suspense fans to while away a cold afternoon with.
RaveAll About RomanceSpinning Silver is a lush, richly imagined, gloriously magical fantasy novel ... it is everything, EVERYTHING, that a fairy tale for adults should be ... The characters in this novel are amazingly, vibrantly drawn. I loved the way the author is able to capture the reality of an era in which women could be expected to be treated as little more than chattel, and yet create three clever, talented young ladies ... The writing is beautiful, lyrical, incandescent. It reads like a fairy story and but one with real depth, carefully crafted and heartrendingly poignant and lovely ... a brilliant, creative idea perfectly executed.
RaveAll About RomanceMehr is a near perfect heroine ... It is always wonderful to read a story spun from a culture other than the typical Western European one. Empire of Sand, with its colonial narrative showing an abused, subjugated minority exploited and despised by those in power, is especially meaningful because it is a tale that speaks to the conversations of our own time and place. Beautifully written, this thought-provoking heartfelt love story is the perfect book for fantasy/fantasy romance fans.
RaveAll About Romance\"One thing the author gets all kinds of kudos for is the best depiction of an alpha female/beta male pairing I have ever seen in romance. EVER ... The characters, therefore, are perfect not in the sense that they don’t have flaws but that the author skillfully uses even those flaws to move her plot along and endear her creations to the reader ... Funny, warm and romantic The Proposal is a fantastic, not to be missed romance. I recommend it to anyone who loves – or even just likes – contemporary romance novels.\
PositiveAll About RomanceIt’s safe to say it is one of the most anticipated publications of the year. I was anxious to see if the story lived up to all the hype and, for the most part, it did ... The tale works very well as a coming of age story in that it highlights how, regardless of one’s station in life, young adulthood is always a difficult period full of painful discoveries ... Easily the greatest strength of the story is its rich look at Ghanaian culture. The author conveys the beauty, frustration and difficult aspects of the land as a beautiful mosaic in the background of the novel, showcasing how we are the same on the inside the world over even as our external life experiences are vastly different ... House Girl tackles some tough issues, so it is not always an easy read. It is an insightful one.
RaveAll About Romance\"I love a good meet cute/meet crazy and Alyssa Cole offers up a delectable new favorite in her latest novel, A Duke by Default. Funny, poignant and sweet this is a truly fantastic summer read ... I also loved that the tale had several laugh out loud moments. It’s a light, comedic romp that has lots of heart, which made it a pleasure to pick up and read through. The story has some moments which may make you roll your eyes at the silliness in regard to the dukedom plotline, but A Duke by Default is such a wonderful, whimsical, tale that even sticklers for accuracy will be able to overlook that flaw. I highly recommend you put this book at the top of your summer reading pile.\
Ingrid Rojas Contreras
RaveAll About RomanceA rich girl, poor girl account of late twentieth century Colombia, Fruit of the Drunken Tree is a staggering emotional journey through the destruction of life in a time of war. It will give you a new perspective on why some people risk it all to come to America ... For those living in that turbulent era, there were no good options. Wealth delayed the inevitable; it didn’t circumvent it. You were either the kidnapped or the kidnapper, killer or prey. Neutral parties got blown up in car bombs or shot in crossfire. It makes for a very thought provoking read, if not a very easy one.
RaveAll About RomanceThe symbiosis of the characters, culture and city in [What We Were Promised] is masterfully handled ... a character-driven tale which reflects the heart and soul of a nation going through great changes. It’s a beautifully written, evocative and provocative narrative which shows that human nature is the same the world over, even when our lives look superficially different.
MixedAll About RomanceThe mystery is handled well. It’s a typical Harlequin suspense plot, which means it’s low on reality, but the author does a good job of keeping it in the background while her romance shines in the foreground ... The author occasionally lapses into info-dumps and stilted dialogue which is likely to pull the reader out of the story. And while I know it is virtually a rule of romance fiction featuring military men to include cute nicknames, David’s moniker of Flipper just about drove me nuts ... I smiled a lot while reading An Honorable Seduction. It’s a light, primarily happy book that tells the love story of a sweet, charming young couple. It’s a great beach read or nice way to while away a sunny spring afternoon.
PositiveAll About RomanceMichelle Sacks delivers a chilling, disturbing thriller with [You Were Mde for This] ... If the goal of a psychological suspense novel is shock and awe, Ms. Sacks certainly achieves her objective... However, the fact that the characters are so deeply embedded in their depravity gives the novel an otherworldly feel that almost deprives it of some of its power. Less would have been more in this case. A bit of good mixed in with the bad would have lent some much-needed light to the darkness. That said, this is a powerful debut for those who have the courage to take it on.
RaveAll About RomanceBury What We Cannot Take is evocative, engrossing, beautiful, frightening and illuminating. The only flaws I could find are that it was also a bit unbelievable and that it scratches only the surface of issues and characters that could have used a fuller exploration. That said, I would still recommend this novel to anyone looking for a good read. It packs a powerful punch into a relatively small package.\
PositiveAll About RomanceA tale of a missing girl, a mother’s shattered life and the gradual rebuilding of a family, this twisting, turning mystery will have you reading into the wee hours of the morning ... The author does an excellent job of getting the reader invested in the characters ... Then She Was Gone is a near perfect novel of suspense.
MixedAll About RomanceI also didn’t like the personal issues the women were dealing with. Each of these threads should have been snipped several books ago and having them drag into the present storyline was more than a little irritating ... Fortunately, the book has some strong points. Gerritsen is a good writer whose prose paints clear pictures of the events within the novel. While the story isn’t ripped from the headlines it is a timely, relevant and thoughtful tale.