I fell into a book slump at the beginning of December, I think going back to work was just so tiring, I just didn’t have the energy. Eventually, I just read a bunch of easy to read romance and that restored my reading ways!
The Pale Horseman – Bernard Cornwall (library e-book)
I have a vague recollection of reading The Last Kingdom years ago, I’d been watching it on the TV and so thought I’d read these two which the series is based on. Bernard Cornwall is just so readable and at some point, I’ll be catching up on the others (I think there are 9!)
I’m a completist, don’t start with this one but if you’ve read the others, this is a lovely finish (I assume that’s it!). This was the start of me climbing out of the slump…
Again lots of handwaving required but I liked that both hero and heroine were on the edge of respectability, her because she was a heiress and vulgar, he because of birth and Indian descent (also props to pointing out Lord Liverpool’s origins!). I liked the realisation that both had that everyone suffers and the recitation of things about their situation was good. It felt like both characters grew and that it was the growth that allowed them to be together.
When the Duke was Wicked – Lorraine Heath (library e-book)
I read this in an evening, so it wasn’t awful but when I was reading it I was clear that the author was an American, (actually I looked her up and she was born in Watford and raised in Texas) because the language was wrong and I felt beaten over the head with references to ‘Bertie’ and the ‘Marlborough House set’ with clumsy explanations that ‘Bertie’ was the Duke of Wales and the characters kept referring to other gentleman as ‘gents’ and no, no, no. I found myself wishing that she’d set this in America which would make the extreme social mobility and freedom given to the heroine in this story more believable (or maybe I would be able to handwave it away better) but this is supposed to be 1872 and it was a bit jarring. It’s a bit like Grace Burrowes historicals, sometimes it’s fine and I can suspend disbelief and sometimes I just can’t. And I struggled with this one, especially the constant use of ‘gent’. It’s one of those tiny US/UK language differences, I get that to American ears it sounds English and it does but it’s working class cor’ blimey Victorian English not upper class aristocratic English and it jarred, really jarred. Having said that I read it in an evening, instead of making mince pies and marking the ending of December’s slump so there’s that.
Tremaine’s True Love – Grace Burrowes (library e-book)
Burrowes is rapidly becoming an easy comfort read, when I want something new but can’t engage my brain. Don’t read them if historical inaccuracies drive you insane but if you need something undemanding she’s great, she’s also prolific so there’s always new ones to read.