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Rant, Dueling Review, Back to Old School

Back to Old School: It Was Contemporary Week

Night Whispers by Judith McNaught (1998)

Heat Factor: No foreplay.

Character Chemistry: Sex so good you’ll forget all of your police training. (But they’re definitely gonna get divorced.)

Plot: Cop goes undercover to investigate her estranged family.

Overall: That’s a nope.


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Sea Swept by Nora Roberts (1998)

Heat Factor: Fighting is foreplay.

Character Chemistry: Sex so good you’ll forget the ethics of your very sensitive job.

Plot: Three brothers have to honor their father’s last wish by rearranging their lives and taking care of their newly adopted ten-year-old brother. And the social worker is really hot.

Overall: Rough seas ahead.

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Back to Old School, Dueling Review

Back to Old School: Pirate Week

Gentle Rogue by Johanna Lindsey (1990)

Heat Factor: It’s your standard old school fare—a couple of relatively descriptive scenes and then a bunch of interludes that fade to black.

Character Chemistry: Antagonism leads to love. 

Plot: Georgie is dressed as a boy but James knows she’s a woman. So he’s seducing her. And then they’re forced to get married. 

Overall: Slow. Then bonkers.


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Captured by Beverly Jenkins (2009)

Heat Factor: There’s a lot of blue balls, and then it’s just balls to the wall.

Character Chemistry: It was “NO!” Then, “YES, let’s do it.” Then, “Let’s get married!”

Plot: Dominic steals Clare away from her mistress and shows her a life of freedom, but Clare can’t rest easy until her children have also been freed from slavery.

Overall: High stakes, low tension. Very historically juicy.

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Back to Old School, Dueling Review

Back to Old School: The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss (1972)

Birmingham, Book #1

Heat Factor: “His warmth and passion” is “led on to his nest.”

Character Chemistry: Is it abuse or is it love? Hard to tell.

Plot: Brandon rapes Heather. They are forced to get married. And then Brandon takes Heather to South Carolina, where shenanigans occur and also they somehow decide they’re in love.

Overall: It’s all totally yikes or totally infuriating and sometimes both!

Please note: This book includes rape, abuse, chattel slavery, and ableism (among other things), which we discuss in this review.

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Rant, Review

Review: Figure of Speech by Kasha Thompson (2022)

Heat Factor: The whole middle of the book is pretty much sex.

Character Chemistry: feelings are annoying

Plot: The new White House Press Secretary worked with the president once many years ago. This time he’s not about to let her get away.

Overall: I was put off by the way the president was initially represented (it’s single POV from Clover), and that kind of snowballed with other things as I continued to read

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Dueling Review, Rant

Dueling Review: Love’s Serenade by Sheryl Lister (2018)

Decades: A Journey of African American Romance, Book #3

Holly’s Take

Heat Factor: Some cursory details.

Character Chemistry: They seem to have a chemical attraction that supersedes all of Miles’ bad behavior.

Plot: Miles woos Leigh, plus they write a song together.

Overall: The music details were fun, but that’s the only nice thing I can say.

Erin’s Take

Heat Factor: Nothing too involved – it’s kinda lavender

Character Chemistry: Ugh

Plot: Miles abandons Leigh then changes his mind 3 years later and that’s just supposed to be fine

Overall: DNF at 45%

Continue reading “Dueling Review: Love’s Serenade by Sheryl Lister (2018)”