#1 skipped large middle chunks of Patricia Bray then deleted on kindle. Waste of a dollar.
I enjoyed Poetic Justice by Alicia Rasley enough to purchase it. There’s no onscreen sex, if that’s important. It’s a fun caper where the protagonists fall in love over books. The end is a bit rushed, but there’s also no unnecessary angst. (The best part though is a glimpse the love affair of the long-dead parents!) The first in the series is free on Amazon but I haven’t read it yet (update: it was ok, but not worth paying for). I also haven’t read the second in the series, but plan to…
I tried a couple of Patricia Rice regencies, but I don’t like how the heroes take away the heroine’s agency, even when having agency is a big deal for the heroine and it seems like the resolution should include the hero giving in on that. We’re talking about things like, I dunno, secretly marrying the women against their will in Scotland where the marriage rules are different and not telling them they’ve been married until months later when circumstances have made it far too late for an annulment. Or, you know, not stopping sex when the woman is in pain because of his “need”. UGH. Or forcing the heroine to have sex as a transaction in a situation where she doesn’t want to, but feels that she has to in order to save someone else. Not cool. Her Genius series is a modern set of romances… the amazon reviews complain about it having a liberal agenda, but there are too many uncomfortable racial and homosexual “jokes” for it to truly be liberal… or maybe it just shows how far we’ve come in the past 20-30 years in terms of what’s not cool to say about minorities. I won’t purchase it, but I think I’ll try the second in the genius series, and later books seem to get higher reviews. So I dunno… it felt like the books could be really good if they were just updated and the bad parts that used to be more common in this literature were removed. It’s possible that, like Mary Balogh, her more recent books are less icky because the entire genre has moved away from icky.
Genuinely enjoyed The Heiress Companion, which is an old fashioned (and clean) regency novella by Madeline Robins. It is no The Grand Sophy, but a pleasant read nonetheless. Lady John and My Dear Jenny were also pretty good. Spanish Marriage and Althea were both pretty awful, though in different ways.
Danse de la Folie by Sherwood Smith was also worth buying. An old-fashioned style regency, if that makes sense. (Not a bodice-ripper, older than that– more Austen-style.) Not perfect, but soothing.
We both love love LOVED KJ Charles’ latest, Spectred Isle. The adopted son of Simon Feximal is in it! SOOOOO GOOOOOOD. Neither of us can wait for the next one.
In the modern world, #2 read and liked Attachments, which was Rainbow Rowell’s first book. Can you fall in love with someone via email? (Of course.) I think I’ve already mentioned Carry On somewhere on this blog.
Finally, we love books. I loved the little book, Dear Fahrenheit 451: A Librarian’s Love Letters and Breakup Notes to the Books in Her Life. Writing letters to books is a neat idea and maybe I’ll try it sometime.
Get to reading, Grumpeteers! Tell us what’s good in romance.