Friday, October 30, 2020

My October Reading

Due to various reasons, I have moved to doing only one romance review for Frolic Media every week. I am hoping this will give me more time to read other things that I have been putting off this year, because of personal reasons as well as doing a lot of work for Frolic. Poetry, essays, nonfiction, and non-romance fiction have gotten the shaft as well as my children's picture book reviews for a newspaper. I would also like to dive into making a dent in the unread books on my Kindle and bookshelf. I, um, have my spreadsheet set up through the end of 2021. ::hides face in embarassment:: More and more, I am Zooming to lectures, interviews, panels, and events all over the country and abroad on a wide variety of topics. For my birthday, my brother gave me a gift for MasterClass, so that is on my list of things to do as well. As a result...I am excited that I have gotten out from under the load of work for Frolic and am having the freedom to stretch a bit.

Claiming his Bollywood Cinderella by Tara Pammi
Category: Contemporary Category Romance
Comments: This is Pammi's first book in her Born into Bollywood series. In it, she has created a thoroughly entertaining story of the one of the biggest entertainment industries in the world.

Naina Menon is a personal secretary to the great Vikram Raawal’s grandmother. She is conscious of the honor of her position, and she genuinely enjoys working for the feisty old lady living in a centuries-old mansion steeped in Raawal history. In her personal life, Naina feels a great sense of responsibility towards her flighty stepmother and bright but irresponsible stepsister. She is the only sensible one who is working to hold the family together and keep them financially afloat while the other two pursue their dreams. Giving up her own half-finished PhD in the history of film and getting a high paying but not intellectually stimulating job are her only options. By not allowing Naina to wallow in self-pity, Pammi has created a character who is mature and moving forward in life. And yet…she is lonely.

Hot looks and hot moves combined with sharp business acumen and old and new money make Vikram Raawal a Bollywood legend and a force to be reckoned with. But along the way, success has become a shield and a wall that keeps everyone at arms’ length. Everyone wants a piece of him without valuing the man behind the success. His childhood was one of chaos at the mercy of his immature and temperamental parents. Their very excesses have led him to value a life of strict control, and he not only brings up his brother and sister under that principle but also runs his business and private life in that fashion. And…he is lonely. My review is here.

He's Come Undone by Emma Barry, Olivia Dade, Adriana Herrera, Ruby Lang, Cat Sebastian
Category: Contemporary & Historical Novellas
Comments: He’s Come Undone is an anthology of five stories sharing a simple premise: The hero is very much in control of all aspects of his life…till he meets his partner and comes undone and is redone. I was fascinated by how the five authors took the theme and innovated on it to write five unique stories. All content warnings are in the review.

Barry's story is between a virtuoso concert pianist, who is suffering from panic attacks and stage fright, and a virtuoso piano tuner, who has been in love with her over the years and has secret yearning to be a concert pianist. Dade's story is about a buttoned-up head of the math department at a high school, who's been asked to mentor the new art teacher Poppy Wick who thrives on chaos. Herrera's story is about a major league baseball player who has been in love with his best friend forever, but doesn’t think he feels the same about him.

Lang's story had me in tears—it is about rheumatologist with starched shirts and perfectly creased trousers, who falls in love with a former office manager at a large medical practice who have given all of that up to return home to become a caregiver for her mother with dementia. Sebastian's historical story with two timelines where the now mathematics teacher at a private college prep boarding school for boys feel in love with his larger-than-life roomate who it seemed returned his love but went on to marry; now they're meeting up again. My review is here.

Ten Things I Hate About the Duke by Loretta Chase
Category: Regency Romance
Comments: This is the second book in Chase's Difficult Dukes series about three duke friends called Their Dis-Graces. I have not read her first, so I cannot tell you whether this second book follows in much the style as the first one. However, this book is not in the same fabulous style as Dukes Prefer Blondes. It is a more conventional Regency romance that I, nevertheless, found satisfying.

Miss Cassandra Pomfret is the eldest daughter of Lord deGriffith, the terror of Parliament. In her recent past, at her debut, she instigated more than one sensation — even had the Riot Act read to her. So her father packed her off to the Continent, only allowing her to return when it was time for her younger sister’s debut. Unfortunately for her father, no sooner had she returned, than she caused a uproar about a bill in the House of Commons, and her father becomes a laughingstock. He thus issues an ultimatum: Until she marries, her sister will not be allowed to go out to events that a debutante usually attends for her successful launch on the marriage mart. Cassandra does not want to marry and doesn’t think anyone would want to marry The Gorgon. But she does want a brilliant match for her sister. What is she to do?

Lucius Wilmot Beckingham, the Duke of Ashmont, also known as Luscious Lucius, is a wastrel. Oh, he is solvent and doesn’t lay waste to his estates, but otherwise, he is an unsteady fellow up to all pranks along with his close ducal friends and drinking like a fish. He does not lift a finger to help anyone (or so it seems). Not a redeemable bone in his body, according to Cassandra. He agrees that he is an arsehole and is not arsed to change an iota of his life. My review is here.

Act Like It by Lucy Parker
Category: Contemporary Romance
Comments: This is the first book in Parker's London Celebrities series, and it was my first book by Parker, and it remains my most favorite. Parker is a beloved author—I find Parker breathlessly funny—and I am happy to report that she will have more than one book out next year. I read this book for our Sunday Twitter Book Club with Mary Lynne (@emmelnie), Kay (@miss_batesreads), and Ros (@ros_clarke) (and sometimes, Joanne (@regency_gal)). We will finish this book up on Sunday, November 1, and then we'll be launching into a traditional holiday Regency A Christmas Promise by Mary Balogh.


willaful said...

I somehow missed out on this book club... but I've seen this, so you can't avoid me next time. :-)

Keira Soleore said...

Excellent! Glad you're interested! We are reading "A Christmas Promise" by Balogh every Sunday at 2pm ET starting November 15. We're reading two chapters at a time for eight weeks. The hashtag for the conversation is in flux, but hopefully should be settled by November 15. Hope you'll join us! I'd love to know what you think of the book.