Olivia Dade – Spoiler Alert

Spoiler Alert floored me because it does so many things so very well. Let’s tick them off, shall we?It’s a love letter to fandom/the fic community (and even provides some tips on how to interact with AO3…)It gently lampoons Game of Thrones and the artistic, erm, struggles, of Benioff and Weiss as they outpaced theContinue reading “Olivia Dade – Spoiler Alert”

Katherine Addison – The Goblin Emperor

I’ve been saving this to read for years because people I trust described it as a warm hug of a book, which seemed like something I might need to have in reserve. And that’s kind of true, and kind of not? Because while Maia, our viewpoint character, is trying to navigate a complex environment aboutContinue reading “Katherine Addison – The Goblin Emperor”

Kevin Hearne – Heir to the Jedi

Hey! Usually I don’t do spoilers. Herein be spoilers! Although perhaps not completely unanticipated spoilers. Most of the way through I thought this was enjoyable space opera/caper novel, set in the gap between the original “Star Wars” and “The Empire Strikes Back,” that gives Luke Skywalker a chance to mature a little, both personally andContinue reading “Kevin Hearne – Heir to the Jedi”

Courtney Milan – The Duke Who Didn’t

How awesome is this book? Let me count the ways. First, the barebones: Jeremey’s in love with Chloe, but he hasn’t told her he’s actually the Duke, and basically owns her village. Chloe doesn’t want to admit she’s in love with Jeremy. She knows he’s rich – he’s known as “Posh Jim,” after all –Continue reading “Courtney Milan – The Duke Who Didn’t”

Skye Kilaen – Glorious Day

“Glorious Day” takes some fairy-tale-ish elements – a wicked king and a scheming courtier, an innocent (at least in some ways) princess, a noble-hearted guard – adds a lot of realistic emotional complexity, gives it a futuristic veneer, queers it, and remixes it all into an unusual, slow burn FF romance (with just a dashContinue reading “Skye Kilaen – Glorious Day”

V.E. Schwab – A Darker Shade of Magic

I feel a little mean for not liking this more. I liked the general mood of derring-do, and I liked the two principal characters (especially after they met and started interacting directly). There are some fun set pieces (many of which feel like they would translate well to film). But I found the relationship ofContinue reading “V.E. Schwab – A Darker Shade of Magic”

Farrah Rochon – The Boyfriend Project

Really enjoyed this. Liked that the friendship between Samiah, London, and Taylor got nearly equal billing with the romance plot. I also loved the portrayal of a Black woman crushing it in tech. (Rochon really nails the vibe of late-stage startup software shop culture, if not all the code-slinging details). As romances go, I thoughtContinue reading “Farrah Rochon – The Boyfriend Project”

Ruby Lang – House Rules

I’m going to out on a limb and guess that Lang’s brief for herself with the “Uptown” series was to write using core romance tropes, but consciously alter some standard pillars of each. So the first portrayed a not-quite fake relationship and the second featured not-really-enemies-to-lovers, and here we have a nonstandard second chance (TheyContinue reading “Ruby Lang – House Rules”