I’ve been avoiding anything with Christmas in the title, so I mainly concentrated on Anne Stuart’s It Takes a Thief (working title) which isn’t out yet because she’s still rewriting. Such a pleasure to read smooth, professional writing that doesn’t use smirk as “cute grin.” (Get over it, Jenny.) Also a lot of Buzzfeed because that’s about where my intelligence level is at this point.
What did you read this week?
72 thoughts on “This is a Good Book Thursday, December 16, 2021”
I read two Taylor Fitzgerald books, both set in the You Could Make A Life hockey world. One was And Then (Advance Reader Copy) , the sequel to Coming in First. Really it’s the middle of a three part series and definitely ends in media res – beyond cliffhanger and will likely irritate if you haven’t girded your loins for it. I did and was still left wanting the third part desperately – probably another year, sigh.
The other Fitzgerald book was Thrown Off the Ice and I cannot express how much I loved this book, which the author accurately terms a love story, not a romance. I was warned by some kind soul on this blog that it ends sadly and so I’ve put off reading it until I was in the right head space. Cried like a baby at the end and I have cried at precisely four books my entire life. Weird to describe this book as beautiful, filled as it is with graphic sex, a low brow writing style, a grumpy progatonist and hockey, hockey, hockey; and it’s actually hauntingly beautiful.
Also, in both books Fitzgerald has mastered the art of writing from the point of view of the progagonist without using first person narration to make the job easier.
I have been immersed in Taylor Fitzgerald’s universe for about two months, reading the published novels, then the stuff on AO3, tumblr, her newsletter, and Patreon. Everything takes place in the same hockey league (“the NHL but gayer”). I started with Thrown Off the Ice, NOT prepared for the sad ending, and also sobbed and was heartbroken. She’s incredibly prolific and very interactive with readers (writing from prompts, etc.).
Have you read the Stories of the Week, Jen+B? Also, how do I get on her newsletter??
Sorry Tammy, just saw this. I just realized the email list is actually a weekly update (which contains
any news plus a story) that I get because I pre-ordered And Then and Between the Teeth (parts 2 and 3 of the David/Jake trilogy) directly from her on her Tumblr page. https://youcouldmakealife.tumblr.com/
That pre-order also got me an ARC of And Then and a whole ton of extra stories.
I ordered that too so perhaps I will end up on the list! Thank you.
I’m re-reading Harry Potter books. Now that Biden is President I expected to lighten up some, but alas, it’s winter… short days, gray skies. I’m very hard to satisfy!
I read a Meg Cabot romcom “No Offense” that was perfectly fine (fun Florida setting) but very, very mellow, and not as funny as many of her books are. On the other hand the characters were in their late 30s/ early 40s (I can’t remember exactly) and they actually acted like grown ups with normal jobs, so if you’re looking for a low-drama book about grown-ups with a mild mystery subplot, this could be for you.
I also read Christina Lauren’s The Soulmate Equation which I LOVED. It took a few chapters to hook me, but then I read it in one sitting. It’s only in the heroine’s POV so you get that tension from being pretty sure the hero’s falling faster than she is, but not being 100% sure. It’s a book that is technically low-ish-drama. She’s a single mom, he’s a scientist at a tech dating app company that thinks certain people are genetically more likely to fall in love with each other. They match with each other at a crazy high percentage the scientists have never seen before, so they proceed to date partly as a science experiment and partly as a PR stunt before the company goes public. They’re basically nice to each other until the dark moment tests their love, and then the offending party wins the other back because this is a romance. THAT SAID. It doesn’t feel low drama, because the heroine’s life is written so richly. She has a great community, great family (minus her mom), and a pretty good professional life she’s trying to hold together, and she’s guarded against anything that could threaten that. So the whole book is her taking baby steps (that feel like huge leaps to her) of being open with a new guy who is slowly coming to matter, and being willing to put herself first every now and then instead of thinking she’s the only person she can rely on to be the adult for her kid. Basically great sexual attention, great emotional tension, a kid character who actually seems like a kid, and a good emotional arc for both Heroine and Hero. I highly recommend.
Forgot to say, one thing I did like about No Offense was the idea that the amicably divorced hero hasn’t gone on a first date since high school, so his whole method of courtship is sweetly old fashioned (flowers, call promptly after the date, etc.) meanwhile his best friend is standing in the background going “Nooooo, you fooool, she’s going to think you’re desperate or crush your naive little heart!!!”
I’d be interested in other books with that trope.
So would I!
Thank you for that recommendation, I hadn’t read Meg Cabot before, and No Offense was exactly right for me at this time.
I just finished it, and liked it, and bought the other books in the same series.
I see she has written a whole lot of books in a lot of different series. Any advice on which to go on to after finishing this one?
At someone here’s recommendation (thank you!), I bought First And Then by Emma Mills.
First thought – Oh it’s a kid book (high school). Didn’t know that.
Second thought – Not sure if I am going to like this.
Third thought – Well this isn’t so bad… getting better.
By the end I LOVED it and am planning to reread it over the Christmas break. Excellent character development.
I then read Foolish Hearts. It too, started slow and then grew on me. I didn’t like it as much as First And Then, but now I have bought all her books. 🙂
I love coming her on Thursday and finding new books to try. Expensive but so much fun.
I haven’t been reading anything worthy of mentioning but I do have to make a watch recommendation for Netflix’s Arcane. It’s a tragedy but it’s brilliant. The world building, the music, the animation. Everything. I can’t recommend it highly enough. Jenny, if you ever watch it, I’d love it if you’d blog about it. The fight scene in episode 8. Wow.
It’s a tragedy?
No. I am in desperate need of manically happy endings.
By the way – Polygon published its list of best sci fi and fantasy – Murderbot #6 only got an honourable mention and Hench got none at all but it’s got some yummy looking entries: https://www.polygon.com/22822439/best-fantasy-books-sci-fi-2021?utm_campaign=polygon&utm_content=chorus&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter
Ack! I didn’t notice!
Yes, but they must give you a choice; all websites now have to do this, at least if you’re in Europe.
True, but I have noticed quite a few American and a few UK media companies are only offering the option to accept all, and tell you to adjust the settings on your device to remove them from your device if you don’t want to accept and keep them. You *have* to click on accept or you can’t see the article (I almost always choose the latter).
Also, beware the “legitimate interest” loophole: if you don’t reject all the “legitimate interest” options as well (where they are mentioned on the cookie notification page, usually in a separate tab on the pop-up), they can still put cookies on your device even if you have set cookies to ‘reject all’. They only have to argue that they have a legitimate interest because that way they can better serve you (i.e. with better targeted ads). Not all cookie notifications popups have his loophole visible; I have no idea if this means the rest does not allow these or if they do, but won’t let you know about and object to them.
So many people write here about brand new just-published books that sometimes I feel embarrassed to be reporting on books from the deep dark past but ah well. I’ll just do it anyway!
I’m still on a Mary Balogh-athon, which means reading whatever I get my hands on when it shows up in the library system or in a used bookstore. And I’m breaking my own informal rules, selecting books about mistresses, books with improbably dressed, 80’s-hairstyle duchesses, and theatrically lascivious covers. Whatever. I’ll try it.
And I just finished “More than a Mistress” — a book I thoroughly enjoyed. There is an oddly amusing duel at the beginning, and a main character relationship that starts out very Jennifer Crusie — two people who can’t really stand each other to begin with, giving one another quick, pithy verbal returns like a tennis match and making each other alternately more furious and oddly curious. I quite liked the way their backgrounds and strengths were slowly revealed, and the unexpected depth of feeling their connection gradually engenders in both of them.
As for the hero, I don’t recall this particular peer popping up in any other of her novels I’ve read, but I gather he shows up at least once more, so I’ll wait for his chance appearance elsewhere. And I’ve actually gone and purchased the Bedwyn saga books, which I’ll start reading over Xmas break. Those obnoxious rascals notwithstanding.
Thanks for the addiction, Jane!
Now I feel responsible. Do hope you like the Bedwyns.
Don’t take on my weird prejudices! I’ve disliked other Balogh characters until she provided all the interior emotional detail and showed they were less obnoxious than they appeared at first. And so far haven’t disliked any of her novels. You’re in the clear. 🙂
I have More than a mistress in a double 2-in-1 ebook with No man’s mistress, so that might be the other book where the character you’re looking for occurs.
I am really grateful for people here who have pointed me to older books and writers, as I have discovered several new-to-me authors that way where I can immerse myself in their backlist for lots of lovely reading. Please go right on mentioning the older good books!
Seconding the appeal for older books, too. I’ve missed a lot and it’s so good to find new good authors; I don’t care when they wrote.
I’m still reading Go Tell the Bees etc. by Diana Gabaldon. Every time I start a new chapter I’ll say to myself that at the end of that chapter I’ll switch over to a Christmas novella for a change of pace. But then something happens, for instance did you know that at fancier houses in the dining room a screened off corner was used for gentlemen to relieve themselves? OMG! For any time travellers reading, this is what is waiting for you. That Diana sure does do her research.
The Christmas themed novella is titled The Naughty, The Nice and The Nanny by Willa Nash if I ever get to it.
I was supposed to get back to someone on Argh about the book The Lincoln Highway that my husband read, well he didn’t finish it and got about 3/4s of the way through then put it down. He said he had a problem keeping track of the characters.
That was me so thank you for coming back to me on this. Well that is too bad. My book circle all enjoyed it… but not your husband. *:(
That’s why the ladies left the gentlemen “to their port” after dinner — so each group could relieve the hydraulic pressure amongst their own sex. Can you imagine the smells? Eww.
There’d be a cupboard, sometimes in a built-in sideboard, for the chamberpots. If the cupboard was built in, it might well have had a door on the opposite side so the pots could be removed and replaced from the other side.
“This struck me especially today when an old admiral who, clad in his dress uniform, probably on account of Lord Melville’s presence, made use of this facility for a good ten minutes, during which period we felt as if we were listening to the last drops from a roof gutter after a long past thunderstorm.”
So, because of last Thursday’s discussion I had to reread the Reluctant Widow and the Hallowed Hunt.
Bearing in mind what KJ Charles said in her interview, I tried to picture Francis Cheviot as the hero and failed. The main stumbling block wasn’t so much his mannerisms but the fact he killed his friend. I think the only way he could be turned into a hero by KJ Charles is if it turned out that he hadn’t killed him but maybe caused his death by inadvertance.
I do like Elinor a lot though and Carlyon is fine apart from the way he dismisses her injury at the hands of Francis, another hurdle to making Francis the hero actually now that I come to think of it.
The Hallowed hunt on the other hand was great. The gradual romance between Ingrey and Ijada is sweeter than I remembered and Hallana, i.e. the pregnant sorceress, is as delightful as I did recollect.
Yes: I think K. J. Charles was determined on an idiosyncratic reading. But it’s always interesting how different stories can be for different people.
I am almost finished with my re-listen to The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, with the double joy of getting through a big chunk of book and really enjoying it. There is so much that I forgot.
Up next is CM Nascosta’s anthology of Krampus short stories. It’s smutty and maybe darker than her regular stuff, but I like her writing so am looking forward to it.
My husband and I do a marathon rewatch of LOTR (Director’s cut) every holiday season so we are gearing up for that and my stepdaughter (12) will join us for the
Stephen Colbert showed a tribute to the Lord of the Ring movies for the 20th anniversary of the LOTR trilogy. It’s a lot of fun!
That was awesome thank you!
I read How To Walk Away by Katherine Center. I’m really impressed with the author’s work. It features a woman whose boyfriend is taking pilot lessons, proposes to her in the plane, then crashes the plane and she ends up burned and paralyzed while he doesn’t so much as need a Band-Aid. Obviously she loses him (not that he’s a prize, but boy does he ever have a breakdown over it), her home, her new job, etc. but rebuilds, eventually hitting it off with her PT. They have a reasonable not-quite-getting-together for like a year but she rebuilds. The only thing I didn’t like is that she insists on going to her ex’s wedding (which she’s NOT invited to and the rest of her family is, and they are all “Why on earth would she not be invited?!?!” Um, DUH?) in Belgium and the big reuniting scene happens there. It’s pretty weird. But otherwise really good, inspirational but not too inspirational–the heroine’s mom keeps hammering magical healing stories into her and making her feel like crap and that is taken down.
Anyway, depressing subject matter but handled really well, I recommend this author.
I loved ‘Things You Save in a Fire’ from the same author.
I finished Wilde Christmas and enjoyed it. Not enough dog. Would have been better as a Novelette or Novella. I didn’t like the father, much, but I liked his turnaround even less.
I’m rereading The Book of Firsts. Again.
After Firsts I’m revisiting The Hallowed Hunt.
Christmas movies, next. I’m leaving out the Die Hards and Gremlins and all those movies where some part of it takes place at Christmas. (I’m looking at you, It’s a Wonderful Life!) No. I need miracles on 34th street and Scrooges and stuff like that. If it can’t compete with those, I don’t need to watch.
Jour de Pesée Officiel Numéro Trente-cinq: 251.8
Thanks for giving Wilde Christmas a chance, Gary. I’m glad you enjoyed it! 🙂 I appreciate the feedback, too. The scene with the father’s turnaround wasn’t originally in the book until my beta readers expressed disappointment that there was no closure with Dean’s dad, so I added it. Did you feel the scene was too happy, too unbelievable, or did my execution of it miss its mark?
Unbelievable. The man held a grudge, or an attitude, or at any rate, could not tolerate his own son for lo, those many years. A stranger sends links or printouts or whatever that confirm what his son said all along, and he does an about-face? He changed, when he wouldn’t for his son or his wife?!
Either he was drawn too hard on the boy for too long, or he should bah! Humbug! the stories she sent. Or something in between. Or maybe, “You were right all along, but you’re still a dumbass. Go give your mom a hug.”
Last night and this morning I reread “Hot Toy” which fit my current need: people who can say things — both lies and truth — out loud, and female relations who can share disappointment without resorting to attacking each other. Thank you, Jenny!
Citizens of London by Lynne Olson took up my head for most of the week. It tells the story of US involvement in WWII by way of the American diplomat types in London. I knew from reading Postwar by Tony Judt several years back that the UK was really screwed at the end of WWII: not part of the Marshall Plan; forced to pay back all its debts to US companies (last payment in 2006); and, loss of many of its resources. (Okay, resources = colonies and being a colonial power is bad, but other powerful nations do essentially the same thing to powerless ones.) Anyway, Olson’s book is good for a look at life under severe stress, as well as, sadly, where key players fall once the stress was over — the new Truman administration didn’t know what had been going on under FDR.
I once saw a sign in a city public school that read: We Had a Great Program But She Left. I’ve seen that repeated often in my life and in history. So, I won’t drag you through the relation between American diplomats in London during WWII with the 1140s in Wales and England. Suffice it to say, people died, times changed, and chances to build on the past were lost.
Sounds like you should have come to the Zoom talk I watched last week on the Marcher lordships; by the author of a series of three books on them, the first of which (on the northern ones, including Oswestry) has just been published.
Really? Who is the author? Jane, I’m jealous.
Here you are, from the blurb about the talk: ‘Philip Hume is the author of The Welsh Marcher Lordships I: Central and North (Logaston Press, March 2021), and editor of the Marcher Lordship series, On the Trail of the Mortimers (Logaston Press, 2016), co-author of The Ludlow Castle Heraldic Roll (Logaston Press, 2019), and author of articles in various journals. Philip is the Secretary of the Mortimer History Society.’ The first book listed costs £15.99.
Cool! Thank you very much!
Emma Jameson has released a new novel in her Blue mystery series, Untrue Blue. It was good, but perhaps not quite as good as some of the others in the series.
Victoria Goddard has released another in her Greenwing & Dart series. I enjoyed it. It starts a new phase that builds on the events of the previous book, wrapping up some threads and starting new ones. There’s a lot of setup for what will obviously be at least a couple of more books.
It’s been mentioned before, but I finished (in like three days, which is fast for audio) the latest Sherry Thomas Lady Sherlock Series (Miss Moriarty,I Presume). It dragged a little in the middle, I thought (mighta’ just been my expectations were wrong, because I had the impression Miss Moriarty would show up early in the book, which is probably just me misreading the cover copy or something, and I was anxious to meet her), and I had trouble keeping track of some secondary characters, but again, that’s probably on me, since I am so terrible remembering names, and the ending made up for any earlier issues I had and then some! Can’t wait for the next one. I haven’t seen a release date, but it sounds like the author is planning to continue the series indefinitely, at the rate of one a year.
Nearly through with Trisha Ashley’s One More Christmas at the Castle, and loving it. Will be really sorry when I finish it.
I just finished “Under the Whispering Door” by T. J. Kline. It is a wonderful and thought provoking story, M/M romance. (Trigger warning – be aware that it includes themes of suicide and murder). Kline is such a wonderful storyteller and I look forward to future books.
Due to the type of work I have been doing, I have been listening to audiobooks lately. A couple were DNF (thank you Jenny for making me aware of what bothers me about some books!) but I’ve enjoyed two series by Juliet Blackwell – the Witchcraft Mysteries and Haunted Home Renovation. They are narrated by Xe Sands who is wonderful.
I had a re-read of “Fast Women” which always makes me happy, and think I will pull out my copy of “Santa Baby” to get in the seasonal spirit.
I appreciate all the book suggestions on this site and hope I will have more time to read some of these recommendations!
T. J. Klune not Kline – thanks autocorrect!!
S.J. Bennett’s The Windsor Knot was a charming, low-key mystery. Someone here recommended it, and I decided to try it. I don’t read many mysteries – not my favorite genre – but I enjoyed this one.
One of the novel’s protagonists is Queen Elizabeth – the current ruler of Britain and one of the sleuths of the story. Besides the queen, there are other characters representing the living people in the queen’s entourage, all with their real names. I wonder if the author had to ask permission to use their names and the queen’s personality in her story. And what does it say about the British law that the permission was (obviously) granted? Maybe Bennett didn’t even have to ask. Maybe any writer could use the British royals as characters in their fictional stories. I know there are several books like that. How much difference is there between the real Queen Elizabeth and her fictional counterpart in this book?
And the inevitable second series of questions also bug me. I’m a Canadian. What if wanted to create a fictional version of our political leader, the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau? Would I have to ask permission? Would it be granted? Or is it permissible without asking?
What about American writers? Could they write fiction about their current president? Any public person?
Another nice read last week was Freya Sampson’s The Last Chance Library – a quiet book about a quiet woman. It was also a tribute to libraries everywhere. I liked it a lot. The story is about a an assistant librarian in a small English village. When the local Council announced the library closure, because of budget cuts (what else?), the heroine and her friends fight for it, but of course, they lose their doomed fight. The author is realistic, she doesn’t pull her punches, and her fictional library inevitably goes under, as so many real libraries did in real life.
I think this book is pretty sad because it is so true to life. I’m glad I don’t live in that English village. Our local branch of the Vancouver Public Library is still open, and I’m immensely grateful for it. Last year, in the beginning of the COVID pandemic, our library closed for 6 months. It was a very distressing time for me and for many others in the city. I love my library, and I mourned its closure, even though it was temporary. I hope it will be open forever from now on, or at least until I die, which shouldn’t be so many years in the future as one could hope.
Alan Bennett wrote a sweet little book called The Uncommon Reader; the uncommon reader is Queen Elizabeth. (I can’t find any relationship between Alan Bennett and SJ Bennett.)
I need to read this one. I don’t think there is a connection between the two authors.
American authors can absolutely write about public/famous figures without permission. Either in non-fiction or fiction. However if the work portrays these characters in a negative way, the subject can sue for defamation of character, if not libel. They may not win, if the negative actions or character traits can be documented, but it may be expensive to nonetheless.
There’s the guy who wrote about Joe Biden and Barack Obama solving mysteries together.
And if you do write a roman à clef, the character intended to be Famous Person can be as true to life as you like; the trick is to include a character with Famous Person’s real name make a cameo appearance, where your heroine just shakes hands with him/her. Then the author can say sweetly, “Yes, Famous Person is on page 258, but not in any way that would be actionable, surely.”
Unfortunately public figures can’t really object to their fictional portrayal, can they? I mean look at the Crown!
I suspect this author doesn’t know about libel law, especially if they’re self-publishing. In England, especially, it’s a minefield. Many celebrities prosecute here because the law’s much more favourable to them than in other jurisdictions. I think the Queen is unlikely to prosecute, but other members of her household might. And it’s not even about whether the depiction is accurate; it’s about whether you can prove that it is beyond all doubt. Most people don’t have the money to defend themselves in a libel case; and most publishers won’t want to publish anything that risks a sparking one. Libel risk is something I always keep an eye out for as I’m copy-editing, although the book should have been checked for that risk before it gets to me.
Doesn’t it make a difference if the work is clearly marketed as fiction?
Not if you include real people and portray them in a way that is – or that they perceive is – defamatory. You can’t write a novel about me that portrays me as dishonest and a bad editor, for example, and get away with that by saying it’s fiction. Because readers could still think it’s true, and I could find my work drying up. (Mind you, I couldn’t afford to sue you, but you see what I mean,)
Also, you aren’t a Public Figure. Isaac Asimov wrote about getting involved in such a suit, and said that that was where he learned about the very limited recourse a Public Figure actually has.
If you run for President, your hope for privacy is Gone. Or anyone in your family.
But, as I said, British (or maybe just English, since Scotland has its own laws) libel law is more far-reaching than in other countries.
I need to correct the title of Jenny’s Christmas story — it’s “Hot Toy” in the collection called Santa Baby.
This GBT report goes all the way up to, oh, half an hour ago (when I finished reading the book-in-progress). Join me in celebrating an afternoon off. I can’t decide whether to do something virtuous involving cleaning up the old laptop, or … not.
But! Books! Nine full-length things and … [counting] … six short things. Of the shorts I’d say the standout was ‘The Thaw’ by Pat Henshaw, a M/M novella about two guys in Nebraska who were friends in school, then un-friends for a while, and are brought back together by a joint bequest. The perfect amount of story for a novella and plenty of figuring-things-out. This is only the second thing I’ve read by Henshaw (her publisher’s prices are on the high side, plus she’s closed-door on the love scenes, and I usually like to see a little action), got it from JMS books’ advent calendar promotion, well worth signing up for.
Read a Lambda Award winner that I didn’t like: ‘The Ghost and Charlie Muir’ by Felice Stevens; then read a finalist that I did like: ‘This is Not a Love Story’ by Suki Fleet; and re-read another finalist: ‘Digging Deep’ by Jay Hogan. The first one thinks it’s a quirky fated-lovers story but it really rubbed me the wrong way (ranted on my blog, to spare you). The Fleet is a tough book about two homeless teenagers to whom lots of awful things happen, but there is a sweet and hopeful conclusion. The Hogan is also tough, about a cop who falls for a midwife who lives with Crohn’s disease. Both have life-changing professional experiences over the course of the book; medical details are unflinching; character development is really, really good. It gets off to a bit of a slow start because there’s a lot of This Is Crohn’s, but stick with it.
Then there were two linked-novellas-equals-a-novel, ‘Between a Rock and a Hard Place’ by Amy Jo Cousins; M/M, set at college, featuring high achievers. Realistic new-adult relationship fumbles by two opposites-attract couples. Next, a NYC-set M/M rom-com by Robin Knight, ‘The Billionaire’s Boyfriend,’ which was farcical but fun.
The last four books were ‘Him’ by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy, a very good M/M hockey romance; ‘Act Your Age, Eve Brown’ by Talia Hibbert, my favorite of the Brown Sisters books; ‘Saffron Alley’ by A.J. Demas, which did not disappoint; and ‘Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Broadway Revolution’ by Todd S. Purdum, a terrific piece of theater history.
I don’t think I’ve read Foolish Hearts yet but I know I started it. Must get back to that! I’m currently reading Beast Behaving Badly by Shelly Laurenston which is fun and light and about all my brain can handle right now.
MC Beaton/Marion Chesney kick. I have no idea why, but I’m tearing through whatever my library owns that’s either Edwardian or Agatha Raisin.
I’m enjoying listening to Christmas Every Day, by Beth Moran, read by Helen Keeley, who is great. I’m in the finicky mood where I want that finding a home trope, and I’m waiting for a dog to show up. Having watched a couple of Christmas movies, I’m finished with bland attractiveness, and this book has some fun characters with some zing and snap. I *would* like it if a dog showed up.
THE WOMAN WHO SMASHED CODES , by Jason Fagone, a biography of Elizebeth (yes, that’s how she spelled it) and William Friedman, the code breakers. She was a genius at it, of course. I was especially amused to read that her grandchildren visited an exhibit about her and said that they had No Idea that Grandma was involved in anything so world-shaking . . . .
SCONE WITH THE WIND, by Miss Victoria Sponge, has all the dramatic ingredients of a much-loved classic, not to mention heaps of drawling (or should we say drooling) Southern charm. It’s the belle of the baked goods. What better way to enjoy these unpretentious puffs of perfection than smothered in jewelled Scarlett strawberry jam and rich, rich clouds of clotted cream? (No need to answer; it’s a Rhett-orical question). As for the age-old question as to which to layer first – the cream or the jam – frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.
Finished rereading A TIMELY DEATH, by Janet Neel. Next will probably reread DEATH’S BRIGHT ANGEL, the first in the series. It isn’t a Christmas book, but does feature my favorite musical scene in the MESSIAH rehearsal . . .
HIDING THE PAST, THE LOST ANCESTOR & THE ORANGE LILIES, available as an omnibus edition titled THE FORENSIC GENEALOGIST SERIES: BOOKS 1, 2 & 3, by Nathan Dylan Goodwin. As a genealogical hobbyist — my brother’s Christmas present to me this year is another DNA sample, this time for Ancestry — I am looking forward to seeing how well this goes, and how the genealogy fits into the plot. Will let you know.
I reread two Loretta Chase novels – A Duke in Shining Armour and Ten Things I Hate About the Duke. Both hilariously wonderful. The heroines are so smart, and the heroes start off as such bumblers, but gradually find their footing.
Kate Quinn’s ‘The Huntress’ was a Bookbub deal.
So, of course, I bought it😂
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