Fiction, Historical, Reviews, Romance

A Holiday by Gaslight

A Holiday by Gaslight by Mimi Matthews

Sophie Appersett is quite willing to marry outside of her class to ensure the survival of her family. But the darkly handsome Mr. Edward Sharpe is no run-of-the-mill London merchant. He’s grim and silent. A man of little emotion—or perhaps no emotion at all. After two months of courtship, she’s ready to put an end to things.

A Last Chance for Love

But severing ties with her taciturn suitor isn’t as straightforward as Sophie envisioned. Her parents are outraged. And then there’s Charles Darwin, Prince Albert, and that dratted gaslight. What’s a girl to do except invite Mr. Sharpe to Appersett House for Christmas and give him one last chance to win her? Only this time there’ll be no false formality. This time they’ll get to know each other for who they really are.

My book club always tries to pick out a holiday read every year, though most of them end up rather disappointing in my opinion. However, this was one I discovered via an online list and I recommended it for this year’s Christmas read. And surprise – I actually loved it!

If you’ve spent any length of time looking through the books I read and review you’ll notice there aren’t many romances among them. Hardly any at all. I don’t really find straight romances intriguing, though I’m fine and happy with books that include romantic elements. So all the romances I read are usually bookclub picks – because that’s the point of the bookclub, to stretch yourself and read things you wouldn’t normally.

However, as I said above, I picked this one and really enjoyed it. So maybe Victorian romances are my thing? But contemporary romances are not? If anyone reads a lot of historical romances, leave me a comment below – I am curious about how they compare to contemporary romances and what ones you would recommend.

Anyway, about the actual book! Yes I’m posting this on Christmas Eve, but the good news is it’s available on Kindle so you can still read this one before Christmas is over! It’s a novella and a super quick, cute read in general.

This story felt right up there with a Jane Austen novel, albeit one set around Christmas and written in a slightly more modern style. I think the author definitely did her research and did a great job capturing the time period and crafting a period-appropriate romance. I really loved the two main characters, Sophie and Ned. We get both their viewpoints in this book, which was nice. That also makes it a little different than a typical Jane Austen novel.

Above all, I felt this book did a phenomenal job painting a picture of a traditional Victorian Christmas complete with snow, garlands, roaring fireplaces, and glowing lights. I definitely wish I could visit Appersett House! As I’m not traveling to Colorado this year for Christmas, it made me nostalgic not only for travel, but for snowy woods and cold temperatures. In the meantime, this Christmas read will have to suffice.

Fiction, Romance, Uncategorized

The Rosie Project

By Graeme Simsion

Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical—most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.

Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent—and on a quest of her own. She is looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might be able to help her with. Don’s Wife Project takes a back burner to the Father Project and an unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the scientifically minded geneticist to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that love is not always what looks good on paper.

whatimreading-rosieproject

This book was recommended to me and it was actually one of the most adorable books I’ve read in a long time. Not only was it a fun, fast-paced read, it was pretty funny!

I probably wouldn’t have picked this book for myself if it wasn’t recommended to me. Books that fit squarely in the category of romance or chick lit are not my thing. But I enjoyed this book so much I want to get my hands on the sequel!

This book does have a unique voice because it’s narrated by a man with Aspergers. But I knew that going in and didn’t find his voice bothersome. It only served to make the book funnier, as it was mainly indirect humor through the main character just not understanding things the way someone without Aspergers would.

The romance between Don and Rosie was very cute. I didn’t find it corny or trying, which is my usual reaction if the romance is front and center in a book.

If you liked Something Missing or The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, you will definitely enjoy The Rosie Project!

 

Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult

Hemlock

By Kathleen Peacock


Mackenzie Dobson’s life has been turned upside down since she vowed to hunt her best friend Amy’s killer: a white werewolf. Lupine syndrome—also known as the werewolf virus—is on the rise across the country, and bloodlust is not easy to control. But it soon becomes clear that dangerous secrets are lurking in the shadows of Hemlock, Mac’s hometown—and she is thrown into a maelstrom of violence and betrayal that puts her in grave danger.

I received this book via Secret Santa a few years back. I promptly lost the address of the person who sent it to me, so I never sent a thank you! So if you’re reading this and you sent me an ARC of this book (and Shiver I believe), thank you very belatedly!!

I wasn’t really sure what to expect with this book. After Twilight, the market for young adults was so flooded with paranormal romances that I largely stayed away from it, fearing that everything would be a rehash of Twilight and/or just not very good.

I really liked this book. I haven’t read too many werewolf centered books, but it seemed unusual that it was so front and center. I was expecting it to be more of “is there a werewolf out there? werewolves are just fairytales like big foot” and was pleasantly surprised when I found a story reflecting the tales of the Japanese internment camps, where everyone with lupine syndrome is imprisoned for their own good and the good of others.

The story is very fast-paced and engaging. I liked Mac a lot as a heroine…she’s definitely strong and tough and doesn’t need anyone to take care of her. I also liked the love triangle that was set-up, especially at the epilogue.

Looking forward to reading Thornhill which I have on my shelf!

P.S. The author’s last name is Peacock…I really hope that’s her real name and not a pen name, because that’s freakin’ awesome.