Love Wins (Eventually):
Once Ghosted, Twice Shy by Alyssa Cole
Then Came You by Kate Meader
Two Rogues Make a Right by Cat Sebastian
Trauma, Recovery, Leaps of Faith & Cultural History:
Girl Gone Viral by Alisha Rai
Contemporary Culture Clash Drama:
Then, Now, Always by Mona Shroff
Historical Culture Clash Romance:
Forever My Duke by Olivia Drake
Repartee as Foreplay:
The Two-Date Rule by Tawna Fenske
First Comes Scandal by Julia Quinn
Books Nerds Collide:
The Write Escape by Charish Reid
Smooth Covert Operators:
The Cost of Honor by Diana Munoz Stewart
Forever Strong by Piper J. Drake
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
June 2020* (Bloomsbury reprint of 2015 original)
Eight years ago Fate turned its back on nineteen-year-old Feyre, her two older sisters, and her lame father. Keeping them fed becomes Feyre's responsibility, which she teaches herself to fulfill through trial, error, and some fickle luck. They're living on the edge in more ways than one. There's an invisible wall that separates the seven territories of the High Fae from the Mortal Lands and the Faerie Realms, but power-mad forces plot to undermine the centuries-old treaty designed to keep peace between them. A dangerous encounter between Feyre and a beast leads to a cascading series of consequences that redirect the course of Feyre's and her family's lives.
A Court of Thorns and Roses enchants readers from the first chapter. Feyre's indefatigable mental and physical stamina combined with her curiosity despite her pessimism and personal insecurities make her narrative voice compelling. Magical beasts, a curse, heroic sacrifices, a past race war on the verge of reigniting, and political factions competing for allies examine themes of tyranny, subjugation, and their cumulative momentum in chipping away at the ethical cornerstones of civilization. It's possible for readers who are sensitive to scenes of drug-induced compliance even when it's not sexual to skim or skip those few passages without losing the rhythm or comprehension of the escalating saga. This unself-consciously clever nod to ancient mythology and faerie lore will satisfy fans of Patricia Briggs, L. Penelope, and Lilith Saintcrow as inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien.
*Originally selected for Romance Daily News, but my enthusiasm generated by the story description plus a tight reading and submitting deadline equaled my not realizing this was a reprint instead of a first release, which is why this review is on my blog rather than RDN. Currently reading A Court of Mist and Fury, book two in this engaging series, for my personal enjoyment.