Thumbs up for The Belle of Belgrave Square by Mimi Matthews. Historical romance.
The ostensible one-line description: A young lady with severe social anxiety and a military hero with a secret enter into a marriage of convenience. The thing is, though, this book is not just better than most other historical romances, it is better than most other books regardless of genre.… >> Read more
Thumbs down for A Strange and Stubborn Endurance by Foz Meadows. Fantasy romance.
I enjoy high-fantasy romance and, particularly, political fantasy, and I was pleased to see that Tor was coming out with one. So I had such high hopes! And I did immediately enjoy the prose; the author has a way with words. However. It didn’t take long before I started wondering if I should quit (despite how easily the pages flowed by), because I noticed that one of the main characters was just Decent Guy and the other one was just Traumatized Guy, and neither of those things is an actual personality.… >> Read more
Two thumbs up for The City Beautiful by Aden Polydoros. Historical fantasy.
I have read a lot of excellent books this year but this one is in the Top 3. Alter Rosen, a young Jew in Chicago, 1893, is trying to keep his head down and raise enough money to bring his mother and sisters over from Romania. But boys from his community are disappearing—and the next one is his roommate (and crush).… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Stolen Threadwitch Bride by Clare Sager. Fantasy romance.
Magical seamstress with anxiety is kidnapped by sexy cinnamon-roll Fae prince who wants her to make him a suit of invisibility. Much steam, though it’s closed-door. This is part of a series called “Stolen Brides of the Fae,” and my reading of it owes to my attempt to understand contemporary fantasy romance.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Lava Red, Feather Blue by Molly Ringle. Romantic fantasy.
This book was billed as “Sleeping Beauty, but make it gay,” which meant that I kept putting off reading it because I almost always hate fairytale retellings. I shouldn’t have worried. Yes, Prince Larkin is awakened after two hundred years of magical sleep, but that’s just where this book starts.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for The Stand-In by Lily Chu. Contemporary romance.
Gracie Reed is living an ordinary Millennial life, trying out one to-do list app after another in an effort to keep it together. Then she’s approached by a famous Chinese actress: Wei Fangli wants her to be her public events stand-in while she’s in Toronto for a theater production. Which means that Gracie will be on the arm of Fangli’s leading man, Sam Yao, one of the hottest men in the world….though… >> Read more
Thumbs up for The Wisteria Society for Lady Scoundrels by India Holton. Historical fantasy romance.
This book is bananas, in the best way. From the description, I was expecting a Victorian romance with some derring-do, maybe some swashbuckling. On page two, a handsome pirate knocked on the door of the ladies’ genteel townhouse; by page four we had established that the ladies are also pirates; and on page eight it is made clear that said pirates use magical incantations to levitate and fly their houses for the purposes of looting and plundering and assassinating each other.… >> Read more