WWR—What We’ve Read in November

Anne here, and this month we have a bumper crop of recommended reads for you, from YA to timeslip, to Christmas treats, romance, literary fiction, crime and more.

The Christmas Escape

We'll start with Christina: This month I’ve read and enjoyed a couple of books recommended by fellow Wenches. First and foremost, The Christmas Escape by Sarah Morgan which was exactly as wonderful as I had hoped. The fact that it is set in snowy Lapland in the north of Sweden was just the icing on the cake! I now long to go there to take sleigh rides through the forests and see the aurora borealis in all its glory.

Then there was Boyfriend by Sarina Bowen, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I was very happy to find that it was the first in a series penned by different authors, all connected through the fictional US college Moo U in Vermont. The second book in the series, Blindsided by Victoria Denault, was just brilliant! As well as keeping up with hockey practice and his studies, hockey star Tate Adler is trying to save his family’s farm by doing an illicit side job. Their neighbours the Todds have their own problems. They are sworn enemies so when fellow student Maggie Todd finds out what Tate is doing, she doesn’t hesitate to blackmail him. But whenever they meet, sparks fly and their chemistry is off the charts. Can they risk a relationship or will the feud remain forever? This love story was just explosive and I loved every minute of it. I’m now reading my way through the rest of the series.

Pretty Reckless

A friend also recommended a brilliant YA series by L.J. Shen, starting with Pretty Reckless. It’s raw and angsty with a lot of misunderstandings, but I’m thoroughly enjoying these stories too. Penn Scully is from the wrong end of town with a drug addict mother and a deadbeat step-father, while Daria Followhill is a rich and spoiled princess. He believes she took away the only thing he ever loved and is out for revenge. When Penn’s mother dies, Daria’s parents decide to take him in as a foster son and he can set his plans in motion. As for Daria, she’s tired of always coming second in her mother’s eyes and wants to lash out at everyone and everything. But things don’t go to plan for either of them …

Next comes Pat, who says: If you’re in a literary mood, Anne Tyler is always a good bet.

Redheadbysideofroad

In REDHEAD BY THE SIDE OF THE ROAD, Micah Mortimer, is a 40-something computer tech. He’s the youngest of a large, messy family, and in consequence, he’s a tad obsessive about keeping his personal life contained, so contained that he has a bad habit of shutting doors on the world. The story follows Micah through a series of events that opens his eyes to what he’s been missing all his life. There’s no violence, no sex, just a lovely journey of discovery told by a fabulously talented writer. It’s wonderful to settle in for the evening in safe hands—I didn’t skim a single page!  

Read more

What We’re Reading in March

 … and what a medley it is.

Joanna here, with some lovely book suggestions from all of us.Wench bujold

I’m rereading one of Lois MlcMaster Bujold’s books. The Curse of Chalion. I picked it up at the library because the librarian had it out on the Recommended Shelf and I was reminded of it. 

When we reread books we sometimes come at them a little differently or, at least, I do. This time, when I approached Bujold’s broken, exhausted, emotionally and psychically destroyed protagonist I was better able to see the honorable man beneath. It’s a new way for me to look at heroism and I’m hoping to learn from it.

This is not a Romance, but it’s a satisfying portrayal of a complex protagonist and — yes — a bit of a love story.

 

Andrea writes:

I’m a big fan of Charles Finch’s historical mysteries—I find his Charles Lenox series, set in early Victorian England, an absolute delight. So it’s always a treat when a new one comes out.

Now, Finch has done something really interesting with the series. In the first book, A Beautiful Blue Death, which came out 12 years ago, we meet Lenox as an established amateur detective. He’s a cultured, erudite, clever younger son, so his slightly “black sheep” profession is tolerated by family and friends (it helps that he’s such a lovely, sensitive fellow) And throughout the next nine books, we see him develop, take on new challenges, dabble in politics, get married, have a child . . . all while unraveling some very intriguing mysteries.

Wench vanishing manThen lo and behold, like the clever mystery writer he is, Finch suddenly surprised his readers with a unexpected plot twist. In his previous book, The Woman in the Water, the 11th in the series, he started writing a “prequel to the series—we meed Charles as a green cub, just down from Oxford, trying to decide what he wants to do in life. He loves solving conundrums, but everyone thinks he’s a fool to consider it as a possible career. Nonetheless, he keeps reading the papers about crime, and finds he has an idea he thinks may help solve one. The police, of course, dismiss him as fop and

Read more