Book Reviews

Book Review: Gentle Rogue by Johanna Lindsey

I’ve read the first five of the Malory-Anderson Family series books. While I like Love Only Once, Tender Rebel and Say You Love Me, my favorites so far are Gentle Rogue and The Magic of You. First, some of the language could be considered a bit iffy—I’ll leave you to deduce which on your own […]

Book Review: The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

When I heard about Breonna Taylor’s murderers evading justice with a minor charge of endangering white people, I was reading about 23-year-old Claude Neal: “…perhaps the single worst act of torture and execution in twentieth-century America occurred in the panhandle town of Marianna, Florida, a farm settlement halfway between Pensacola and Tallahassee.” When I was […]

Book Review: Prisoner of My Desire by Johanna Lindsey

Oy, speaking of rape/non-con…I took one glance at the Goodreads reviews and decided to not even bother. I even unfollowed a celeb reviewer after reading their review of this book that was—scant, and…stuffy? Needless to say, if you’re traumatized by the subject of rape/non-con or bondage, you may wanna pass this one up; you would, […]

Book Review: Hearts Aflame by Johanna Lindsey

If you’re squeamish about slavery and chains, you may as well take a pass on this entire Haardrad Family series. If you do though you’ll be missing out on some great characters. Set during the Viking and Anglo-Saxon era of British history with ‘the great’ King Alfred of Wessex, this book has one of my […]

Book Review: A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught

This book includes knights and castles and jousts—so much fun. I most relate to Jennifer Merrick’s stubbornness. Although, I cannot relate to her continued family loyalty—that aggravates the hell out of me. Another favorite and highly recommended. This book ends my Judith McNaught historical romance rereads. I love Royce Westmoreland—his sensitivity and empathy with Jennifer. […]

Book Review: Miracles by Judith McNaught

I had no idea this book even existed. I was completely and utterly thrilled to find out one of my favorite characters was getting his own book and with such an interesting romantic equal. I purchased it without bothering to read reviews or noticing the page numbers. I was so disappointed. It is clear that […]

Book Review: Almost Heaven by Judith McNaught

In honor of the forthcoming Bridgerton series on Netflix, I hereby submit the McNaught historical romance novels for a delicious and provocative Shondaland interpretative creative touch—especially this book; most especially this book. If anyone could do Elizabeth Cameron justice, it would be Queen Shonda—all hail! This book is fun and witty and is begging for […]

Book Review: Something Wonderful by Judith McNaught

Of all the McNaught historical romance novels, this is probably my favorite and Alexandra is my favorite protagonist. I love that she saves his life—as a Knight no less—and that she’s witty and independent and rebellious and compassionate and non-conventional. I adore that she quotes philosophers. I love the back from the dead trope and […]

Book Review: Once and Always by Judith McNaught

Rereading and reviewing these books critically now that I’m older and at this point in history has left me with some complicated emotions. The romantic in me continues to love them; the pragmatist recognizes and understands the infuriating misogynistic history both then and now; the feminist within me is provoked, irked, peeved, pissed, outraged, etc.—so, […]

Book Review: Until You by Judith McNaught

Book number three in the Westmoreland Saga focuses on the younger Westmoreland brother, Stephen—yet another aristocratic asshole, but one a tad less intense on that spectrum—and Sheridan, a feisty American governess stricken with amnesia. Clayton and Whitney Westmoreland, once again, make an appearance as well as the couples of the McNaught Sequels trilogy. Nicki du […]

Book Review: Whitney, My Love by Judith McNaught

From the onset of this review, I believe we can establish that a lot of men are assholes. We can argue about it, but after the past few years, that is a certainty very few can deny—even men. Some of us have known this a while because for a large portion of our lives we’ve […]

Book Review: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Prepare to feel discomfort and all manner of emotions reading this book, and it is for that reason I urge you to read it unaware of any of its many stunning attributes—stop reading this now and go read it then come back; to do anything but would do the story a disservice. I went in […]

Book Review: Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh

Categorized in many reviews as ‘unlikable’ and ‘unstable’ and all naysaying things ‘un’, Eileen is a vivid and compelling character study in contradictions, discomfort, and authenticity. I found her deeply raw and real, and endlessly fascinating—I couldn’t look away I was so enthralled. I would count her as one of my favorite characters—ever. Humans are […]

Book Review: Warrior’s Woman by Johanna Lindsey

I wanted to do a quick reread and review of this book since I brought it up here as an inspiration for writing science and speculative fiction. This book was first released in 1990 and I was twenty and naïve. I cannot remember what I felt like at the time of reading it. I’m sure […]

Book Review: Salt by Nayyirah Waheed (Poetry)

Last month, I found some of my old poetry from the early 2000’s and started posting it here on this site. This poetry was written at an illusive indecisive moment for me. It was mostly an outlet for larger issues—therapy writing, if you will. All of it bad—really bad; some so bad, I’ll probably never […]

Book Review: Circe by Madeline Miller

I’ll be completely upfront: I never read The Iliad or The Odyssey and had no clue about any of the ancient gods or Greek and Roman religions. I was completely and totally ignorant about it all and have only just begun to graze its gilded surface. What about college, you ask—I’m a college dropout; I […]

Book Review: Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Jesmyn Ward is an artist of words. She wields her visions into searing stories of the Black contemporary south. Complex, heartbreaking and bleak narrations that seduce and sway you into the Black bodies born of love and pain and hunger and beauty that will make you tremble with rage and cry in horror; that will […]

Book Review: The Life and Death of Sophie Stark by Anna North

This novel appeared at a much needed time in my life touching parts of me that rarely saw light. Having been a ‘train wreck’ myself, I can relate to the damage—not specifically but in general. The inability to share that damage left me floundering. I believed I was alone in being so broken. I was […]

Book Review: Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky

The world building in this book features a multi-generational spider and ant society evolutionized with a nanotech virus, created and delivered to them by a marooned and cocooned human scientist in a semi-sentient pod, suspended in animation hovering above the planet’s atmo—who was from an Earth human’s destroyed with war and climate change—claiming to be […]

Book Review: The Dream Hunter by Laura Kinsale

I love historical romance novels. If you come at me with any type of literary or cultural snobbery whatsoever (music, movie, TV, etc.), I will laugh you off as a pedestrian rube. And if you are a man and not reading historical romance novels, you are missing out on a trove of knowledge, sexual and […]

Book Review: Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

I am the product of an abusive alcoholic father and family. This book and The Shining speak to me on an entirely other level. One with the puking, the violence, the rage, melancholy and moodiness, the fugues, the cruel silence with the banal abusive micro-aggressions, and on and on ad nauseam. I equate the shining […]

Audio Book Review: Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Narrated by Joe Morton aka Papa Pope, this audio book is probably one of my favorites. Joe Morton’s intensity and glorious acting skills succeed in making this a fantastic, riveting listen. Morton’s read is made all that more excellent by Ellison’s words and story. Hypnotic doesn’t do it justice. Stark and poetic, revealing and utterly […]

Book Review: Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

David Mitchell is a god of words. A brilliant, utterly divine artist that pushes creative boundaries beyond akin to Shakespeare, Virginia Woolf, Marcel Proust, Mary Shelley and their more modern equivalents (to which I’ll go more into on future posts). When I first read Cloud Atlas, I waited for someone to jerk me from the […]

Book Review: The Secret History by Donna Tartt

This book was unputdownable. Intensely addictive. Thrilling. Philosophically and aesthetically deliberate—as is every Tartt novel. Privilege illustrated to an engrossing degree—glaringly elevating rich white entitlement and classism within the hallowed halls of even the most revered American educational institutions. How the perception and power of youth and events surrounding that experience evolve with time and […]

Book Review: A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

I inhaled this book—it consumed me. This book left me raw. exposed, alive, shattered, and…human—so extraordinarily human. It lived and grew within me for weeks afterward and transformed me into something other, hypersensitive teeming with an abundance of grit and heart and life; something graceful that made my toes curl and my humanity multiply and […]

Book Review: Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey

Once again, we have an author lifting up the language and unspoken stories of the oppressed; examining the perspectives and circumstances of the alternate embellished—often compelling—history to the voices and narratives silenced; scrutinizing the actual ghost tale told by the oppressors or the oppressed, the victims or the perpetrators; anecdotes transformed over time—made mythical by […]

Book Review: SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard

SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard is such an immense read that I’m still reading it. I didn’t wanna wait to write about it though while experiencing just how important a read her words are given how germane history relates to our present and the total lack of historical awareness people have […]

Book Review: The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal

The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal is an alluring and infuriating must read. From the socio-political themes to the catastrophic extinction level event that requires immediate action—all currently, highly relevant and related—the plot focuses on the main character’s quest to become an astronaut after a meteorite strikes off the coast of D.C. causing a […]