Review: Chasing Lady Amelia by Maya Rodale

chasing-lady-ameliaReview by Janell

Did you see the movie Roman Holiday, with Audrey Hepburn? This book is totally Roman Holiday, only set in Regency England, and wackier, and with sex and a happy ending. Other reviews have pointed out how much of the dialogue and activities aren’t exactly period-appropriate, and I agree. This is not the book to read to learn about proper drawing room etiquette, because the drawing room scenes made even my easygoing head spin. [Read more…]

Review: Fast Connection by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell

fast-connectionReview by Janell

In this second installment of the Cyberlove series, we follow Dominic Costigan home from Afghanistan to his family’s deli on Staten Island. Dominic was introduced in the first book as kind of a prick, but now we understand that it was just him learning to accept his bisexuality.

Dominic is bored and depressed. He works for free room and board, and can’t figure out what kind of career he wants that doesn’t involve guns, because he is over carrying a weapon, so he’s kind of stuck. He decides to join Grindr because, basically, he’s horny. [Read more…]

Review: The Pacifist by Jenny Holiday

pacifistReviewed by Janell

This is the third in Jenny Holiday’s adorable eighties-set New Wave Newsroom Series. In the first, we met Jenny and hot moody art guy Matthew (excuse me I died of his hotness). In the second, Dawn stood out as the smart, driven investigator who’s noticed by the campus cop (swoon). Here, newspaper photographer Tony pursues Laraline, the grad student just itching to break free from her father’s control.

I have to say off the bat that Tony didn’t do it for me. Usually I’m all about the less alpha hero, but his casual demeanor didn’t have enough fire for me. Tony loves women. He has a twin sister, he’s friends with a lot of women, he enjoys sex with them. He’s a nice guy who’s gotten distracted in college, so now he’s in his fifth year, trying really hard to graduate. [Read more…]

Joint Review: Royally Screwed by Emma Chase

royally-screwedReviewed by Janell and Joanna

Janell – I’ve read two excellent books about falling in love with a prince (His Royal Secret and The Royal We), and one that wasn’t substantive enough. I heard about this book on a podcast and I was in the mood for a nice prince-falling-for-an-average-American story. The setup was great, but by the end I felt it was, well, too light on protocol particulars and too heavy on the sex. I know, my priorities are obviously mixed up, so that may be just the combination that works for you! [Read more…]

Review: The Gossip by Jenny Holiday

gossipReviewed by Janell

This is the second adorable novella in the New Wave Newsroom series. I gushed about the first here, when it was part of an anthology, and now it’s a standalone called The Fixer, and you should get it.

Dawn is the gossip columnist for the school paper. We first meet her when she’s a freshman trying to buy alcohol, hoping to get into the right sorority. Frankly, I wasn’t excited about Dawn. She seemed like a ditsy social climber.

We first meet Arturo, Officer Perez, when he busts Dawn for said alcohol purchase. Arturo is a campus cop, nine years older than Dawn. I’ll admit that I was wary about such an age difference, especially with Dawn being such a clueless freshman. But then something wonderful happened: the book skipped ahead. [Read more…]

Review: Pounded in the Butt By My Constantly Changing Thoughts on the Ongoing Mystery of Chuck Tingle’s Real Identity

pounded-in-the-buttReviewed by Janell

I have gazed into the Tingleverse and come away believing that Love is Real.

I first heard of Chuck Tingle when he wrote Pounded by the Gay Color Changing Dress, and later was intrigued by Oppressed in the Butt By My Inclusive Holiday Coffee Cups, but I never read his books (Tinglers). I believed that the author was a character invented by someone with a sharp eye on current events and a blazing turnaround time. But (butt) then, I listened to him on the Smart Bitches podcast, and became convinced that he was a real person. No one could fully inhabit such a character so convincingly, I thought. [Read more…]

Review: With A Twist by Staci Hart

with-a-twistReviewed by Janell

This is billed as a romantic comedy, which it kind of is, until the end when it’s all schmoopy poetry and love talk.

Lily is a principal ballerina with the New York City ballet, which is awesome. The book doesn’t delve into too much ballet minutia (except for sewing ribbons onto shoes and scoring toe pads, which I had no idea because I never danced en pointe), but it’s seeped into Lily’s life and character. She goes to work; she dances; she goes to bed early, and when she hangs out at the bar with her friends, she drinks ice water. I really liked that she was settled into her lifestyle, and that no one gives her crap about it. [Read more…]

Review: Rules of the Game by Sandy James

rules-of-the-gameReviewed by Janell

You guys, this is romantic fiction. We know that a romance has to have a main romantic plot, right? This started out as a romance, but the heroine, the sole narrator, gets so many subplots thrown at her that the romance took a back seat for a while. She got her HEA, but man, there was a lot of drama happening.

Maddie Sawyer is a successful romance author (how do we feel about author characters, btw? This one was handled fairly well, considering she barely worked during the story), writing under a pseudonym. Her persona is a confident New York City gal, but in reality Maddie is timid and freaking out about her high school reunion. She decides to hire some biker dude to be her fake boyfriend, because that will Show Them All! I enjoy the fake boyfriend trope, so I’m in. [Read more…]

Review: Adulting 101 by Lisa Henry

adultingReviewed by Janell

This is the story of Nick’s summer after high school graduation. The POV, while third person, is very deep, so you really get inside the brain of a guy who just isn’t ready to be an adult. Sometimes I really felt for him, but other times I really felt like shouting, “Dude, grow up!” Does this mean I’m old and out of touch? Perhaps.

Nick’s dad got him a summer office job at a construction company so that he can learn responsibility. Instead, Nick practices with the stapler.

His record is thirty-eight staples on one thing. Then he picked thirty-seven of them out again because he remembered he was supposed to be professional. Adulting is hard. The struggle is real.

[Read more…]

Review: The Soldier’s Scoundrel by Cat Sebastian

soldiers-scoundrelReviewed by Janell

I bought this book because Tessa Dare told me to. I’ve read very few male/male historicals, and I think that’s because the necessity of hiding their relationship makes me sad. It’s hard for them to carve out a happy ending. Then again, that’s what brings so much drama. Anyway, to get to the point: I loved this book. [Read more…]