Category: Romance

May 28 2020

Well Met (Well Met #1) by Jen DeLuca

I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to Pro and Con a book more than this one, at least in recent memory! Pro: the writing is really terrific! The book flows so smoothly, the events and timeline make sense and the prose is both modern and pretty. You feel like you’re really in Emily’s head as …

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May 11 2020

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Ah, if only, if only. I’ve enjoyed enough romance novels to be able to differentiate between the wonderful modern-day version and the traditional version described by Sir Walter Scott, and only sometimes do the twain meet in ways more convincing than mere bad plotting. It’s bittersweet to feel that this charming tale of the First …

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Mar 23 2020

Girls Of Paper And Fire (Girls Of Paper And Fire #1) by Natasha Ngan

I unreservedly loved the first half of this book. I’ve had a problem recently with books claiming to represent the various of my identities and doing a pretty shitty job of it, so it was something of a relief to see how meticulous Natasha Ngan and the team behind Girls Of Paper And Fire were …

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Feb 12 2020

The Story of Flamenca: The First Modern Novel, Arranged from the Provencal Original of the Thirteenth Century by William Aspenwall Bradley

What a delightful thing to read in the lead up to Valentine’s Day. Being both thrifty and impatient, I actually read the online copy for free at The Hathi Trust digital library, as the original came out in 1922 and is yet unavailable for e-reader. Since I’ve been listening to Rosalia’s El Mal Querer on …

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Jan 31 2020

The Bride Test (The Kiss Quotient #2) by Helen Hoang

Some books are like a long cool drink of water on a hot day: to be consumed greedily because it just feels so good going down. Obviously, since I brought it up, one of these books is Helen Hoang’s The Bride Test, which has just dethroned its predecessor, The Kiss Quotient, as my favorite contemporary …

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Dec 18 2019

The Kiss Quotient (The Kiss Quotient #1) by Helen Hoang

This may well be the best romance novel I’ve ever read. And it’s not just because it features a leading pair from two wildly under-represented groups in romance fiction. From start to finish, I desperately wanted our lovers to wind up together. I have literally never cared so much about a romantic couple having their …

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Nov 06 2019

Bringing Down the Duke (A League of Extraordinary Women #1) by Evie Dunmore

Bringing Down The Duke by Evie Dunmore

There’s an almost Hardy-esque quality to this book, from its impoverished protagonist’s longing for higher education to the frank discussions of sexual transactionalism to the desperately whipsawing balancing acts between respectability and happiness. Of course, since this is a romance novel written in the modern era, our main protagonists do find their ways towards a …

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Aug 17 2019

Hate to Want You (Forbidden Hearts #1) by Alisha Rai

What a delightfully fast read! Great romance novel featuring a pair of childhood sweethearts forced apart by their family circumstances, who manage to find their way back to each other. The twist, or hook, is that they’ve spent the last decade seeing each other for only one night a year, meeting at whichever coordinates she …

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Jul 20 2019

The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal

The Calculating Stars starts with a bang. Elma York, Kowal’s protagonist and first-person narrator says that she and her husband had flown up to the mountain cabin that he inherited for stargazing, “By which I mean: sex. Oh, don’t pretend that you’re shocked. Nathaniel and I were a healthy young married couple, so most of …

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Apr 20 2019

Frederica by Georgette Heyer

Twenty-odd years ago, I would likely have rated this novel higher than I do now. I actually only picked it up because I was recently told that it’s considered a classic of the romance genre. I’ve read my fair share of Barbara Cartland and old school Mills & Boon, and was delighted in college to …

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