Tag Archives: TBR Challenge

A Royal Affair, by Allison Montclair

17 May
Illustrated cover for A Royal Affair; the background shows a couple embracing under an archway in the distance, while in the foreground a white dark haired woman, dressed in a calf length, long-sleeved frock, looks at them.

In the “better late than never” category, I’m using this ARC as my ‘freebie’ entry to SuperWendy’s TBRChallenge–beyond the fact that this book has been in my digital TBR pile of doom for well over two years, despite my enthusiasm last summer, I happen to also have the ARC for the upcoming fifth title in the series that I would like to review on time, so I better catch up as best (and fast) as I can.

Beware: one of the protagonists has been flirting with alcoholism for a few years (probably as a coping mechanism for PTSD); threat of violence more than actual violence; one asshole forcing a kiss on an unwilling woman.

Continue reading

The Other Lady Vanishes, by Amanda Quick

21 Apr
Cover of The Other Lady Vanishes: there is a geometric design in pastel colors, resembling an illustration of a sun, with the center at the left margin. The colors of the radiating segments become translucent near the right side, to reveal about half of the face of a blonde white woman wearing a white dress and delicate tatted lace gloves, holding a white tea cup, looking straight at the camera.

Better two days late than never: this is my entry for the TBR Challenge for April, theme “unusual historicals”. Set in the California coast–not in Los Angeles–in the 1930s, and, having been sitting unread in my shelves in 2018, this one fits the bill very nicely.

Beware: explicit sex on page; several murders staged as suicides; violence; forced drugging; references to rape; shitty treatment of mental health issues.

Continue reading

Gallant Officer, Forbidden Lady, by Diane Gaston

15 Mar
Cover for Gallant Officer, Forbidden Lady:  a white man wearing a red uniform and a sword, holding a white woman with loose long auburn hair; she's wearing a white gown or perhaps a shift with petticoats, that's falling down her shoulders almost to her elbows. The background is a hazy sunset over a grassy field.

This month’s TBR Challenge theme is ‘baggage’; as SuperWendy notes, ‘baggage’ is the bread and butter of genre romance, so I was spoiled for choices. Which of course meant that I couldn’t think of anything.

However, this book has been inching its way up the towering pile of print TBR books in my nightstand for a while (a long while–I’ve had this signed copy since 2009, gog help me), and with a hero who survived the 1812 siege and subsequent pillaging of Badajoz, “baggage” was a given.

Reader beware: descriptions of battle scenes, PTSD, attempted rape, sex on the page.

Continue reading

A Christmas to Remember (anthology)

20 Feb
Cover for the anthology "A Christmas to remember", showing two people, shot from the back, holding hands in front of a red door where mistletoe hangs from a red bow near the top. One of them wears a blue jacket and a grey glove; the other wears a white jacket and a red glove. They appear to be a man and a woman, but the shot shows only a sliver of their silhouettes in the bulky clothes, focusing instead on their hands. The bottom half lists the contributors: Jill Shalvis, Kristen Ashley, Hope Ramsay, Molly Cannon and Marilyn Pappano.

Over the years, I have realized that most genre romance Christmas stories are not a good match for me.

No, that’s not true.

Most genre romance Christmas stories at best irk me, at worst enrage me.

And yet, I have so many of them spread all over the TBR cordilleras of doom, both print and digital. (I blame poor impulse control when an author I’ve liked is involved, or if the blurb is clever.)

Anyhow, this anthology (one of several so named), was my choice for SuperWendy’s TBR Challenge for December 2022 (“festive”). I hoped that, being short stories, I could read it quickly (I did), and review it quickly (oh, sweet innocent past me).

For what it’s worth, here is the belated review. Beware: relentlessly hetero, relentlessly white; death of parents, death of spouse, death of child (all off-page, as character backstory); some sex, not terribly explicit, on page. Oh, and spoilers for a couple of the stories abound in the review.

Continue reading