Alexandra Potter: Me and Mr. Darcy

My parents, a scientist and a career academic, both have a fondness for Regency (i.e., historical and relatively chaste) romance novels that might seem at odds with their characters. If I remember right, on separate occasions, both described a fascination with the combinatorial aspect of the genre: all the allowed variations of the genre playingContinue reading “Alexandra Potter: Me and Mr. Darcy”

Laura Resnick: Disappearing Nightly

I liked Disappearing Nightly, but I have a bit of trouble explaining why. It’s a light contemporary fantasy with a whodunnit flavor and a dash of romance. It partakes of several genres, and I didn’t think it succeeded particularly well at any one of them. A mystery novel, for instance, needs a bit more misdirectionContinue reading “Laura Resnick: Disappearing Nightly”

Alyssa Goodnight: Austentatious

There was a lot I enjoyed about Austentatious, but also a fair bit I found problematic. The novel scored big points with me early on by dropping a reference to The Princess Bride without belaboring it with an explanation. And I enjoyed its breezy, nerd-culture-reference-spiked tone throughout. I’m generally favorably inclined toward modern spins onContinue reading “Alyssa Goodnight: Austentatious”

Victoria Connelly: A Weekend with Mr. Darcy

Connelly has come up with a clever new tactic for reaching the surprisingly healthy market for Jane Austen-related fiction: instead of a working with Austen’s characters directly, or even in a Regency setting, she’s penned a modern day romance about Austen-obsessed characters. Connelly’s own love for Austen shines through, and there’s enough solid detail toContinue reading “Victoria Connelly: A Weekend with Mr. Darcy”

Lou Beach: 420 Characters

I expected that limiting the length of a short story to 420 characters — as counted by Facebook’s software, spaces and punctuation included — would come off as a gimmick rather than an artistic constraint, but this collection of a hundred and fiftyish micro-stories is pretty amazing, in several dimensions. The first thing I noticedContinue reading “Lou Beach: 420 Characters”

Gail Carriger : Soulless

Soulless is set in a fantasy alternate Victorian era, with vampires and werewolves alongside airships and mysterious brass apparati. It deftly mashes the modern urban fantasy/paranormal romance into the Regency-style historical romance, adds a hefty dollop of whodunnit, and seasons it with steampunk atmosphere and a tiny dash of xenophobic horror. I liked it aContinue reading “Gail Carriger : Soulless”

Courtney Milan : Proof by Seduction

I’m leaving this review up, but noting that I cringed at how patronizing it is when I re-read it, and I wouldn’t write it like this today. I was a little slow to warm to Proof by Seduction, mostly because of a familiar complaint with historical fiction: the characters seemed more like 21st-century people thanContinue reading “Courtney Milan : Proof by Seduction”

MaryJanice Davidson: Undead and Unwed

What I liked best about Undead and Unwed is that neither Davidson nor her heroine take the proceedings too seriously. Betsy reacts to joining the ranks of the undead with sass and irreverence not totally dissimilar to Buffy’s response to learning that she is “The Slayer.” In fact, I almost wonder if that might haveContinue reading “MaryJanice Davidson: Undead and Unwed”

Kimberly Raye: Dead End Dating

Dead End Dating‘s premise seemed promising, if fluffy, at the outset: a young woman with no romantic life of her own starts at dating service. The twist is that she and most her clients are vampires (although it’s not much of a twist). I thought an Emma-ish comedy-of-manners, 21st-century-ized and fanged-up, sounded kinda fun. Unfortunately,Continue reading “Kimberly Raye: Dead End Dating”