Quickie Reviews: Contemporary and Historical Romance

Hey everyone, sorry for the long wait between reviews. As you can see, I’ve been reading up a storm – but just haven’t been putting fingers to keys afterward. I will do better.

So, let’s do some quickie reviews:

The Game Plan, by Kristen Callihan

I used to read contemporary romances, when I first got into the romance genre as a whole. Then I must have fallen into a muddle of saccharine heroines and too-easy endings, because I got really turned off for a while. This year, I’ve come back around and found some great reads, in particular the rock-star romances (more on those to come) and, surprising to me, military/ex-military (such as His Road Home). The Game Plan is the first sports romance I’ve read, and it was also enjoyable. I did find the hero to occasionally be too good to be true – I mean, he was like a laundry list of Fantasy Man Traits – but the story worked well overall. I’d pick this up and reread it for sure.

The Forbidden Duke, by Darcy Burke

Just how many dukes were there in Regency England? Anyhow, this was a solid three-star read: nothing horrible and also nothing striking or memorable. I was a little irritated at Nora, the heroine, having to take the fall for her father and always getting the short end of the stick, but that’s life for a woman in early 19th c. England…. The hero, Titus, was a good guy, if a bit stiff-necked, and it’s probably his lack of underlying naughtiness that made this only a 3-star for me. I like my dukes bad!

Angel of Redemption, by J.A. Little

Let me start by saying this book is long, and really heavy in places. However, it was one of the best I’ve read this year. A contemporary in which the heroine is a social worker and the hero runs a group home, it addressed issues such as foster care, parental neglect and drug abuse, and survivor guilt. Both main characters had some baggage to deal with, but by the end they had found a place to stand together. A 4-star read and maybe a re-read, if I’m feeling emotionally up to it.

HIS ROAD HOME by Anna Richland

His Road Home by Anna Richland on GoodReads
I’ll confess, right off the bat: I don’t read much contemporary romance. I’m not sure why – maybe I overdid it on Nora Roberts in the first decade of this century; maybe it’s not escapist enough – whatever the reason, I read 10 or even 20 historicals for every contemporary.

That said – if someone gave me more contemporaries like this one, I would read them like crazy!

This book – really more of a novella – was every bit as poignant as it needed to be, considering the hero lost his legs and suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Both of these are dealt with in a non-patronizing way, and I especially like that the heroine, Grace, steps up to the challenges thrown her way. As the family member and friend of people who’ve dealt with TBIs, I also appreciated the very realistic and sensitive portrayal of what Rey went through and how frustrated he was.

Other great stuff: it’s a road trip story, which is always a win for me. Rey is a cocky smart-ass, which also really works for me. My best friend dated a guy just like him in high school who, coincidentally, went into the Army. I know the type and Rey’s character rang true all the way through. The supporting characters were great too; I especially liked when Rey met Grace’s parents.

5 stars, and definitely on the re-read list.