Category Archives: Short Story

Recent Release Review-You Think It, I’ll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld

You Think it I'll Say it

Title: You Think It I’ll Say It: Stories
Genre: Contemporary Short Stories
Author: Curtis Sittenfeld
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Random House, April 24, 2018
Pages: 226
Rating: 4
Sexy rating: 4
Violence rating: 0
Description from Amazon:

Throughout the ten stories in You Think It, I’ll Say It, Sittenfeld upends assumptions about class, relationships, and gender roles in a nation that feels both adrift and viscerally divided. In “The World Has Many Butterflies,” married acquaintances play a strangely intimate game with devastating consequences. In “Vox Clamantis in Deserto,” a shy Ivy League student learns the truth about a classmate’s seemingly enviable life. In “A Regular Couple,” a high-powered lawyer honeymooning with her husband is caught off guard by the appearance of the girl who tormented her in high school. And in “The Prairie Wife,” a suburban mother of two fantasizes about the downfall of an old friend whose wholesome lifestyle empire may or may not be built on a lie.

With moving insight and uncanny precision, Curtis Sittenfeld pinpoints the questionable decisions, missed connections, and sometimes extraordinary coincidences that make up a life. Indeed, she writes what we’re all thinking—if only we could express it with the wit of a master satirist, the storytelling gifts of an old-fashioned raconteur, and the vision of an American original.

**
This book chronicles the often misinterpretations that arise between men and women. The author shows how seemingly innocent encounters or games or interactions between men and women are misconstrued. Sometimes a women feels she is in love only to find that the man isn’t onboard. Or the man thinks he has an innocent relationship where the woman wants more. Each story is different and well worth the read. So sit down and enjoy the mystery of the sexes. Highly recommended.

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Recent Release Review- Sidney Chambers and The Dangers of Temptation by James Runcie

Title: Sidney Chambers and The Dangers of Temptation

Sidney chambers and the dangers

Genre: Short Stories/Mystery

Author: James Runcie

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA, June 2016

Pages: 336

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: N/A

Description from Amazon.com:

It’s the summer of love in late 1960s. The Apollo 11 astronauts are preparing to land on the moon, the war in Biafra dominates the news and Basil D’Oliveira has just been dropped from the England cricket team before a test series in apartheid South Africa. In the midst of all this change, Sidney Chambers, the loveable English clergyman, continues his amateur sleuthing investigations.

A bewitching divorcée enlists Sidney’s help in convincing her son to leave a hippie commune’ at a soiree on Grantchester Meadows during May Week celebrations, a student is divested of a family heirloom; Amanda’s marriage runs into trouble; Sidney and Hildegard holiday behind the Iron Curtain; Mrs. Maguire’s husband returns from the dead; and an arson attack in Cambridge leads Sidney to uncover a cruel cast of blackmail involving his former curate.

In the rare gaps between church and crime, Sidney struggles with a persistent case of toothache, has his first flutter at the Newmarket races, and witnesses the creation of a classic rock song. Charming, witty, intelligent, and filled with a strong sense of compassion, these six new stories are guaranteed to satisfy and delight this clerical detective’s many fans.

**

The book description pretty much tells you what the five stories are about so I won’t repeat it here.  I’m a fan of the Grantchester T.V. show on PBS now going into its third season.  I was particularly pleased with how the TV show captures what author Runcie characterized in his depiction of Sidney Chambers, the Vicar and now in this book Archdeacon, and Geodie Keating, Sidney’s friend and partner in crime solving, a police detective.  The stories would all make for terrific TV episodes.  Perhaps that is how they were conceived.  I did enjoy each story, especially how the author makes Sidney very “human” and not this paragon of virtue.  Sidney solves crimes using thoughtful insights more than physical clues. Sure there are plenty of clues also.

I do recommend this book to mystery fans and those fans of the PBS series.

I received this book free for review from the publisher.

**

Sidney and Geordie

Here is a 2-minute look at the Grantchester TV show( e-mail followers may need to view this on my blog site):

 

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Recent Release Review- The Duke and Miss Christmas by Amelia Grey

Title:  The Duke and Miss Christmas

The Duke and Miss Christmas.png

Genre: Holiday Historical Romance Short Story

Author: Amelia Grey

Publisher: St. Martin”s Paperbacks, Oct 13, 2015

Pages: 84

Source: Free for Review from the publisher

Rating: 3

Sexy Rating: 5

Christmasy Feeling: 3

Description from Amazon.com:

Crispin, the Duke of Hurst, has never met a woman he couldn’t handle–until he’s hit over the head with a basketful of mistletoe by a young lady who mistakes his intentions. When he gets into a tussle with her–and she can hold her own–Crispin knows he has finally met his match.

Miss Gwen Prim is mortified that she attacked a duke, but even more concerning is the way her resolve melts when she’s near him. She’s never felt this way about a London gentleman in her life. And with the magic of Christmas in the air, she may end up with a proposal she didn’t expect…

**

Yes, this had a bit of holiday feeling since mistletoe and holly were mentioned. Yes, there is a handsome Duke and a beautiful maiden. No, there is nothing new in this story and it is beyond predictable.  Am I just becoming jaded by so much of the same in HR? If you want a quick, simple read during the holidays this one is not badly written just more of the same.

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Advance Review- Hot Toy by Jennifer Crusie

Title:  Hot Toy

Hot Toy

Genre: Contemporary Holiday Romance Short Story

Author: Jennifer Crusie

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, October

Pages: 77 (e-book)

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 3

Description from Amazon.com:

Previously published in the anthology Santa, Baby, HOT TOY is now available as a standalone e-story for the first time! Mayhem ensues under the mistletoe as a determined shopper grabs the very last hot toy action figure off the shelf, only to find herself plunged into the middle of a real-life spy game and in the arms of a sexy secret agent…

**

Unless you want to wake the entire household with your laughs, you better not read this at night in bed.  I nearly choked trying to stifle laughs as I read this at 11pm.  This is a mad-cap Christmas adventure with bad guys and good guys and….wait a minute, who is the bad guy and who is the good guy?  Jennifer Crusie can write humor that is not silly (hate that) but very witty.  Even though there is a lot of slap-stick scrambling it all plays well in this delight of a short story.  Yes, this is the perfect quick read for when the holidays are starting to get you down.

 

 

 

 

 

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Free on Kindle Today, Historical Story from Courtney Milan plus another

The Lady always Wins

Here is my review from March, 2012:

If I had a top ten author list Courtney Milan would be on it every time she published.  This is a short story about 60-70 pages long.  Now you might think that is not enough length to fully develop a love story.  You would be wrong.  At first we don’t know why Simon feels an urgency to marry in three days and we wonder why this particular woman.  As the story unfolds we are privy to their long standing love and regard, and the problems that hindered them in the past and that have come to hinder them again.  There are heartbreaking memories that make the reader long for the couple’s happiness.   The romance in this story is exquisite.  If you ever thought roses were the flower of love your mind will be changed, for the flower of this love is the tulip.

Also free on Kindle: The prequel novella to The Brothers Sinister Series

The Governess Affair a novella

 

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