The Christmas Story by Julia London and The Governess Affair by Courtney Milan

March 26, 2012
Two little in-between snacks while we are waiting for the meal.
One thing I'm enjoying about my Nook is the wonderful little in-between short stories that are coming out.  I just recently read Julia London's The Christmas Story, which was released in November of 2011 and Courtney Milan's The Governess Affair, one of the longest prefaces I've ever read.

So, let's start with Julia London's novella first.  The Christmas Story is part of her Hadley Green series and we get to meet Declan's little sister Eireanne and Henry Bristol, a horse breeder from the United States.  This is a mostly enjoyable book about two people who like each other from the start, then slowly fall in love.  Or as slowly as a 100 or so pages will allow you to fall.  It was nice to visit with all the Hadley Green characters, especially Mr. and Mrs. Shay.  I loved their bickering.  What I found to be a bit of a silly irritation was the secret letters that kept showing up and two even sillier characters, Molly and Mabe.  I am hoping that those two don't get their own full book. I'm not sure I could put up with their shenanigans for an entire book.  Another mistake I made while reading this book was to purchase Courtney Milan's The Governess Affair and read it, then go back to The Christmas Story.  I lost the momentum of the book when I did this - that will teach me.

Overall, this was a good story and a fast fast read.

Time/Place: Regency England
Sensuality: Warm
Then we have Courtney Milan's The Governess AffairOMG!  I had to keep reminding myself that this was a short/novella story.  It seemed so much more than that.  And, if you are looking for a story in which the hero and heroine are not aristocrats this one is for you.  This story is the set up for her new series Brothers Sinister.  And, if the full length books are anywhere close to this one we are in for a treat.  I am rubbing my hands in anticipation.

Hairpins.  Ms. Milan must have a thing for hairpins. She used them for Smite Turner's agony, which also happens to have been one of best tear-jerker moments of last year.  This time around they bring to us one of the best-te-st, delicious-e-ious sensual bedroom scenes I've read in a long time.  Oh, Hugo, you are my hero.  And, Serena you're not bad for a heroine either.  These are two very strong characters and the banter/conversation/dialogue between these two was just wonderful.  Let me say this once again: I was amazed that all this wonderful storytelling was packed into a short story.

I only had a couple of throw-me-out-of-the-story moments.  One had to do with the infamous belt.  For a short time I wondered about the accuracy of including a belt as part of Hugo's wardrobe, because I thought that belts for this time period were used for decoration, for uniforms and such.  But to keep a man's pants up, I'm pretty sure that it was the sexy suspender and or lovely braces which were used.  And then the sexy suspender was covered by a vest.  And, don't forget the stirrups that were added to the bottom of a man's trousers.  Just so you can shiver at all the male manliness of the time period I have included a fashion plate of an 1830's hunk.  Maybe Hugo had custom-made pants.  Remember, this was called the Romantic Era and for some reason big ballooning mutton sleeves, tight waist for men and women, big old hats and such were thought of as romantic.

  The other thing that threw me out for a few seconds was what was contained in Hugo's pants.  Combined with the misreading of a word, I had a startle moment.  What I read was Serena had trouble with her "hands" meeting when quipping Hugo's Mr. Toad.  Of course, I had to hold my hands up.  I gasped.  Yipes!  That's one big Mr. Toad.  I looked back at the text.  Silly me.  It's "hand," she had trouble circling his Mr. Toad with her hand.  Wipe the sweat off my brow.  For all of you who have a scientific mind like I, the answer is, a cap from a 32oz bottle of Listerine Whitening Pre-Brush Mouthwash.  At least that was one thing in my household that prevented my forefinger and thumb from meeting.  You know I always have to investigate.

Back to The Governess Affair.  I checked the author's website but I could not find where this was going to be put into printed form anytime soon.  Which is a shame, because this is a wonderful little love story and a great lead in to what I suspect is going to be one humdinger of a series by Courtney Milan.

For fashion info on this time period:

Time/Place: Romantic Era England/Early Victoria
Sensuality Rating: Hot 

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