During Christmas break I gorge myself on Christmas themed novels--mysteries, period pieces, Regency and modern romances--and in that way refresh my somewhat academically bruised psyche so I can walk into the Spring semester refreshed.
For reasons I haven't quite discerned yet, that did not happen this year to the usual extent. I had the books, but the reading did not happen as much as I wish it had. However, here are the last three of this season. A very mixed bag in terms of quality. I almost want to read one more, but Memory of Light
is singing a siren song, and it's time to call my Warder and get to work. (Now, where did I put that shawl....)Snowbound Wedding Wishes: An Earl Beneath the Mistletoe\Twelfth Night Proposal\Christmas at Oakhurst Manor
by Louise Allen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Usually romance books of this sort (collections of novellas around a shared theme) start with a strong novella, then move to a weaker one, then end with one that is either very weak, or one that confounds a convention (for example, the Regency heroine wears glasses, or is plain, or the hero is a schoolteacher, not titled, or nerdy rather than athletic, or the characters are Jews in nineteenth century England...).
This volume confounded that convention. I found all three novellas A) well-written, B) with engaging characters, and C) a pleasure to read.
Merry Christmas to me!!View all my reviewsA Christmas Journey
by Anne Perry
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I came to the Anne Perry Christmas novels late, and so am reading them out of order. I look forward to them every year, and eagerly opened this one.
Of all of these I have read (about 5, including this one), this one I enjoyed least. I didn't like many of the characters, I thought the plot was "forced," and the usual sense of place and context I find in Perry's Victorian world was missing.
I am glad I came to this novel late, because it is the first, and if I had read it as my first experience of the series, I never would have read the others, and one of those became one of my favorite Perry novels. So, next year I'll hope for better.View all my reviewsA Christmas Promise
by Mary Balogh
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I really liked the premise of this book, but was less enamored of the execution.
Still, in the great, wide world of Regency romance writers, Mary Balogh is one I can rely on to respect the English language and her readers. Her prose is always good, and her plots are never stupid. She has a deft hand with giving minor characters depth, and manages to avoid getting so detailed in descriptions of the scene and artifacts that the stories leave center stage.
So, all in all, worth the time I put into reading it, but not much more.View all my reviews