Tuesday, February 2, 2016

What I Read in December 2015 Part IV

What I Read in December 2015 Part IV ...

The Further Adventures of Ebeeezer Scrooge by Charlie Lovett--Historical fiction

The Further Adventures of Ebenezer Scrooge Twenty years after being visited by spirits, Scrooge is exactly the opposite as he was before the nocturnal Christmas visit 20 years before. In fact, Scrooge is so filled with the spirit of Christmas he walks around wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year every day, even in the middle of a sweltering London summer. His seasons' greetings are enough to make everyone cringe and his bankers wince as they study his declining bank balance. They try to reason with Scrooge but he is insistent that he must be responsible for helping the poor. While Scrooge makes merry, Bob Cratchitt is busy working and has little time for his family. Scrooge's nephew Fred, a clerk in Whitehall, also has little time or inclination for anything but his job. When Marley next visits Scrooge he reveals that his future is nearly as bleak was it was 20 years ago. It's up to Scrooge to propose a plan that will free Marley from his chains and allow him to rest in peace.

This book is something of a parody of A Christmas Story. It also borrows heavily from Dickens's own life and other writings (Scrooge even reads David Copperfield). It takes the characters and the reader on a journey through the seedy side of 19th century London life, much like the original. A Christmas Carol is my family's favorite Christmas story so I was skeptical going into this, but I enjoyed it for the most part. Charlie Lovett's writing is pretty good. He mimics the tone of the original, borrowing phrases from the novella and twisting or changing the words around. It's a bit more light in the beginning and very heavy on the message. If you like A Christmas Carol, you will probably enjoy this take on the story.

A Grosvenor Square Christmas
Grosvenor Square Christmas Bakery by Anna Campbell, Shana Galen, Vanessa Kelly, Kate Noble- Regency romance short stories

Warning! If you search Smashwords with adult content off this book comes up but it is NOT clean.
Also, each story is very short - about 22 digital pages long and a good chunk of the book is taken up with excerpts from the authors' novels.

Lady Winterson’s Christmas balls are legendary. One happy couple finds true love at the gray townhouse in Grosvenor Square.

The first story "The Seduction of a Duchess" by Shana Galen is about second chances. A dowager emigre has a second chance at love. I didn't like or understand this story. Though the characters were intriguing and I liked the idea of an older heroine, I do NOT enjoy stories about seduction. It's just a polite way of saying harassment - at least at first. I didn't understand why now, why there was only one night to seduce the Duchess. Why couldn't he make her acquaintance and get to know her properly despite their differences in station. This story features sensual kissing.

"One Kiss for Christmas" by Vanessa Kelly features a hero, Nigel Dash, who is everyone's best buddy but no one's idea of a romantic hero. With the urging of his friend the Marquess of Silverton, he sets out to change that but finds it difficult to escape the role he's always played. When Amelia Easton, the lovely niece of Lady Winterston needs his help, Nigel steps in and finds that the comfortable role of knight errant suits him just well. This is my favorite story! It's very cute and sweet. I love Nigel. He's a beta hero, not one to inspire fits of passion, but he's a solid, dependable, kind man. He's intelligent enough to know how to stop his rival with a well-placed witticism and please his true love by just being himself. This story is clean with one little sensual kiss at the end.

"His Christmas Cinderella" by Anna Campbell is a different story. The heroine is a poor relation made to work for her aunt and cousin during the Season. She's found true love but he is far above his station. Though she's been his mistress for a wonderful 6 weeks, she dreams of more. Marriage between them is not meant to be. Not only is he above her station but she is being sent back to the country tomorrow and her idyllic tryst will come to an end. I have mixed feelings about this story. It's wildly improbable but I kind of liked it. If you like Cinderella, you'll enjoy this story. This story features adult content. The reader is right in the heroine's head in bed with the hero. (Despite Smashwords adult content filter)

In "The Last First Kiss" by Kate Noble, a tomboyish girl must find a way to make her neighbor realize she's his true love. If only they can share a kiss. Lady Winterson also might find her dreams coming true after many long years and a string of broken-hearted lovers. I'm not a big fan of the girl next door stories. If the hero can't love the heroine for her own sake without her dressing to the nines and being courted by other men, then they don't deserve a happily ever after. Those stories are all the same and this is no exception. Snooze. This one is lightly sensual.


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