Review Briefs: Spotlight, A Dangerous Madness, and Winter Queen

by Krista Richmond
Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback282 Pages
May 22nd 2014 by The Writer's Coffee Shop Publishing House


Lily Richards loves a good story. As a journalist, she’s often writing one. As a fan, she’s often reading one—especially when it’s about her favorite celebrity.

The attention he generates fascinates her. As does the role her profession plays in creating the phenomenon that is actor Daniel Brighton. Are the media to blame for the way the paparazzi chase him? Do they provide too much information about his private life to obsessive fans? And are they the cause of all the madness surrounding Daniel’s rumored relationship with a certain former costar?

Personally, Lily would much rather report on Daniel’s latest role than on his latest dining companion. And a chance encounter with the star gives her the opportunity to prove she’s not like every other journalist, or every other “fangirl.”

Nate Brennan—Daniel’s publicist—isn’t convinced of Lily’s altruistic nature. His client’s sudden preference for the no-name columnist baffles him, and when he is forced to concede to Daniel’s wishes and work with her, their professional battles soon lead to personal sparks. While Daniel and Lily grow closer, Nate finds himself caught between mistrust and attraction.

As Lily’s career slowly transitions from the newsroom of her hometown paper to the online world of entertainment media, she must find a balance between the demands of the job and the personal relationships she now holds dear.

Is a photograph worth losing a friend?

Is her next story worth losing the man she loves?

She never knew it would be so hard, standing near the glare of the Spotlight . . .

You can read an excerpt of Spotlight here.

My Brief Review

I really enjoyed parts of Spotlight. It started off really good and then the pacing became a little slow for me for quite a bit of the story. Then the last fourth or third of the book there is some tension between certain characters and some things that happen that sped up the pacing and engaged me in the story again. Overall, it was a sweet story and I did enjoy it. I just wanted something a little more.

Content: There are a few closed-door scenes, but nothing at all descriptive, so I would consider this fairly clean for the genre.
Source: From the publisher/NetGalley, which did not affect my review in any way.

A Dangerous MadnessA Dangerous Madness
(Regency London #3)
by Michelle Diener
Adult Historical Romantic Suspense
Paperback, 326 Pages
May 19th 2014 by Michelle Diener


The Duke of Wittaker has been living a lie...

He’s been spying on the dissolute, discontented noblemen of the ton, pretending to share their views. Now he’s ready to step out of the shadows and start living a real life...but when the prime minister of England is assassinated, he's asked to go back to being the rake-hell duke everyone believes he still is to find out more.

Miss Phoebe Hillier has been living a lie, too...

All her life she's played by society's rules, hiding her fierce intelligence and love of life behind a docile and decorous mask. All it's gotten her is jilted by her betrothed, a man she thought a fool, though a harmless one. But when she discovers her former fiancé was involved in the plot against the prime minister, and that he's been murdered, she realizes he wasn't so harmless after all.

And now the killers have set their sights on her...

The only man who can help her is the Duke of Wittaker--a man she knows she shouldn't trust. And she soon realizes he's hiding behind a mask as careful as her own. As the clock ticks down to the assassin's trial, the pair scramble to uncover the real conspiracy behind the prime minister's death. And as the pressure and the danger mounts, Phoebe and Wittaker shed their disguises, layer by layer, to discover something more precious than either imagined–something that could last forever. Unless the conspirators desperate to hide their tracks get to them first.

My Brief Review

I really like stories with political intrigue and especially when there is a feeling of suspense and some romance. A Dangerous Madness contained plenty of all of these. I was pretty much sucked into the story from the beginning and enjoyed it the whole way through. I really loved the banter between the two protagonists. Their conversations and the situations they found themselves in on multiple occasions cracked me up! I also liked that the story didn't end in a nice little package. Even though they figured out what happened, it's bittersweet. I would definitely recommend A Dangerous Madness to those who enjoy historical adult romance. I'm looking forward to reading the other books to be released in this series.

Content: There was quite a bit of innuendo and suggestive content, but nothing actually happens.
Source: From the author, which did not affect my review in any way.

Winter Queen (Fairy Queens, #1)Winter Queen
(Fairy Queens #1)
by Amber Argyle
Adult Fantasy
Paperback254 Pages
June 19th 2013 by Starling Publishing


~Becoming a winter queen will make Ilyenna as cold and cruel and deadly as winter itself, but it might be the only way to save her people from a war they have no hope of winning.~

Mortally wounded during a raid, seventeen-year-old Ilyenna is healed by winter fairies who present her with a seductive offer: become one of them and share their power over winter. But that power comes with a price. If she accepts, she will become a force of nature, lose her humanity, and abandon her family.

Unwilling to pay such a high price, Ilyenna is enslaved by one of the invaders, Darrien. While in captivity, she learns the attack wasn’t just a simple raid but part of a larger plot to overthrow her entire nation.

With the enemy stealing over the mountains and Darrien coming to take her to his bed, Ilyenna must decide whether to resurrect the power the fairies left behind. Doing so will allow her to defeat Darrien and the other invaders, but if she embraces winter, she will lose herself to that destroying power—forever.

My Brief Review

Winter Queen was a very unique story. It felt realistic in many ways, such as the rival tribes, the ramifications of war, how the people lived, and how the slaves were treated. Then there was the fantasy element that gave it that unique twist. I liked the characters and the story was well written. I just didn't connect with the story completely or enjoy parts of it (some parts made me uncomfortable or just sad). I would say that this wasn't the ideal story for my tastes, but that I still liked it okay.

Content: There was violence, innuendo, attempted rape, and blunt descriptions.
Source: From the publisher, which did not affect my review in any way.

Have you read any of these or plan too?


  1. Regency London...yes please :). Winter Queen has a fabulous cover, just bummed it wasn't a "love" for you :)

  2. Charlie Anderson8/7/14, 11:44 AM

    Have fun! See ya when ya get back.

  3. Enjoy your vacation, Tressa! I'm sure you'll enjoy that relaxation. :)

  4. I agree abut Regency London - if well done a great favorite.

    Not too sure the other 2 are for me.

    Helpful reviews thank you.

  5. Cali Willette8/7/14, 5:50 PM

    Good reviews. I need to read the Winter Queen still. ;)

  6. A Dangerous Madness sounds good. :) I like books with intrigue and suspense. It's too bad that Winter Queen wasn't better. The cover is so pretty!

  7. Hi Tressa! Enjoy your family and vacation! Have a blast, just relax and no worries. We will be here when you get back . Hope you have the best time!

  8. You make me quite jealous.

  9. I hope you had a good time off! :)


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