Recommended Read, Review Revisited

Review Revisited: Holly’s Take on A Christmas Gone Perfectly Wrong by Cecilia Grant (2014)

Hey you! Yeah, you! 

Are you feeling Grinchy right about now? 

Would you like your heart to grow three sizes?

Yes? 

Then please go read A Christmas Gone Perfectly Wrong immediately. It might be the perfect Christmas romance. It’s utterly charming and includes just enough of the obligatory “let’s do Christmas cheer” activities without being twee. It features two protagonists for whom *everything* goes wrong (#relatable, what’s up 2021!), but things end up just right in the end (and my heart goes pitter-pat).

I agree with everything Erin wrote about the characterizations in her review. What she doesn’t discuss is how crisp the writing is. Not just on the level of plot and characterization—because the way Grant builds up the tension between these two crazy lovebirds is masterful—but also on the level of word choice. 

Here are the first two paragraphs:

The trouble, Andrew Blackshear would later reflect, might have all been avoided if he’d simply kept to the main road. His first glimpse of the girl would then have been indoors, seated, with her hair bound tidily back, and their first dialogue would have been an inquisition so tedious as to temper the allure of those great swooping clean-edged curves that made up her prodigal mouth.

But with no way of knowing what lay in store, he hadn’t any reason to avoid the detour. The clouds broke above him, he turned down a lane whose towering yews promised a bit of shelter, and trouble found him, in torrents that put the winter squall to shame.

“Trouble found him, in torrents that put the winter squall to shame.” Just sit and savor that clause. I am egregiously bad at text analysis, so I can’t explain how amazing it is, but I can feel it, in my guts.

Look, both Erin and I thought this book was really really wonderful. You should probably just trust us. (Read on for Erin’s thoughts on the characters, plus general squeeing.)

Continue reading “Review Revisited: Holly’s Take on A Christmas Gone Perfectly Wrong by Cecilia Grant (2014)”
Review

Review: I’ll Be Home for Hanukkah by K.K. Hendin (2020)

The Girls in Apartment 5G, Book #1

Heat Factor: They do not even kiss, my friends.

Character Chemistry: Noam is extremely opaque, but he plays with Shayna, who is a bit tightly wound, so it’s fun

Plot: Shayna and Noam, Orthodox Jews who grew up in NYC, are suddenly and unexpectedly sent to North Pole, Alaska just weeks before Christmas, for an end-of-year review meeting with a big client

Overall: I really enjoyed this read, mostly because it’s so playful

Continue reading “Review: I’ll Be Home for Hanukkah by K.K. Hendin (2020)”
Review

Review: Duke, Actually by Jenny Holiday (2021)

Sequel to A Princess for Christmas

Heat Factor: This is a slow burn with a bit of boning at the end; if you’ve read other Jenny Holiday books, this one is on the tame side. 

Character Chemistry: Dani and Max are adorable, separately and together. 

Plot: Dani and Max become best friends. Then they fall in love, but can’t admit it—not to themselves, and definitely not to each other.

Overall: It’s cute.

Continue reading “Review: Duke, Actually by Jenny Holiday (2021)”
Review

Review: The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary (2019)

Heat Factor: There’s plenty of horniness when they figure out their feelings, but the door is closed

Character Chemistry: Epistolary romance very well done

Plot: Tiffy has to move out of her ex’s place and needs really cheap rent. Leon needs money, so he decides on a flatshare, but it’s a weird flatshare because they’re sharing the exact same space, just never at the same time. 

Overall: This is the sort of book that might inspire one to read a whole bunch of other epistolary romance

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Rant, Review

Review: Witch Please by Ann Aguirre (2021)

Fix-It Witches, Book #1

Heat Factor: She climbs him like a tree, so that’s fun…but I would have liked a little more communication beforehand

Character Chemistry: They were so not on the same page but also so into each other

Plot: So many drama shenanigans 

Overall: Oof

Continue reading “Review: Witch Please by Ann Aguirre (2021)”