Whispers of Shadow & Flame by L. Penelope
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars
Loading...
Articles / October 5, 2019

B+ Whispers of Shadow & Flame by L. Penelope October 1, 2019 · St. Martin’s Griffin Science Fiction/Fantasy Oh, this book made me so happy. I had DNFed ten books within the first chapter before starting Whispers of Shadow & Flame, and I’m so grateful for this read for pulling me out of every book lover’s worst nightmare. You know that sensation when you’re reading something and you can just feel the joy bubbling within because it’s so freaking good? That’s what reading Whispers of Shadow & Flame felt like. Issues with the POV shifts aside, it’s an exquisite fantasy with a central romantic element, unparalleled world-building, gorgeous prose, and thought-provoking political commentary. Two essential things to know: 1) Whispers of Shadow & Flame is #2 in a series, but can be read without reading Song of Blood & Stone. It is set in the same time frame but follows different characters; and 2) I’ve seen some people classify this book as a fantasy romance; while I agree that the romantic element is essential, this book ends in a cliffhanger. I’m fairly confident that the characters’ fates will wrap up happily in the next book, but I’m not sure. All…

Dalliances and Devotion by Felicia Grossman
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars
Loading...
Articles / October 5, 2019

B Dalliances & Devotion by Felicia Grossman August 26, 2019 · Carina Press Romance Content warnings CW/TW for PTSD, sibling death, antisemitism Vapid, vacuous, and verbose — a waste of ink. These are the words swirling in Amalia Truitt’s head as we first meet her. It’s 1871, and Amalia is a beauty columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer. She thinks the scathing criticism, part of a complaint to her editor, comes from a reader, but in reality that’s the opening salvo of a larger threat. The words also play straight into Amalia’s insecurities. In her mid-20s, Amalia already feels dismissed for her love of makeup, fashion, and “fripperies,” and feels that family and friends don’t take her seriously. It doesn’t help that she has divorced two husbands in a relatively short period of time. Quite a few of the historical romances I’ve read seem to feature preternaturally mature young heroines, so I liked that Amalia is still feeling her way about life. She’s also unapologetic about her love of beauty tips, her hair ringlets, and her fashionable ensembles, even as she thinks these reinforce people’s perception that she’s spoiled and immature. She definitely knows she’s privileged to be rich enough to…