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”

Ruby Lang – Open House

I liked that “Playing House,” the first short novel in this series didn’t slot too neatly into the “fake relationship” trope, and “Open House,” similarly, isn’t quite “enemies to lovers” – the protagonists have and acknowledge an immediate attraction, but their roles place them in conflict: Tyson is helping out with a community garden, andContinue reading “Ruby Lang – Open House”