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What Jayne’s Been Reading and Watching – November and most of...

Jayne AvatarLawks, it’s been ages since I wrote one of these. Mainly because for the past two or so months, I’ve been in a romance reading, ennui funk. It hits me every few years but I think I’m almost over it and that the light at the end of the tunnel is sunshine and not an Amtrack train.

In Bed with the Opposition by Kathie DeNosky – This one shows that I need to take more care when picking books. Usually I don’t like to start a series at the end and that’s where this book is. After 3 chapters of introduction of tons of other characters and short recaps of their roads to happiness, I got tired and put this book down. I might head back at a later time.

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Her Rebel Heart by Shannon Farrington – A US Civil War story using a backdrop of Baltimore, Maryland at the beginning of the war caught my attention due to the fact that I can’t recall anything like it. It’s an inspie so is heavy on religion but in a historical and during wartime, I can tolerate it better. This ends up being one of my December recs. Review to be posted.

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Casting Samson by Melinda Hammond – I’d read and enjoyed a traditional regency by this author and so decided to give this Carina book a try when I saw it at netgalley. Small town village life in England crossed with a shy heroine returned home to lick her romance wounds equals a sweet story that I enjoyed. Review to be posted.

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I decided to take a few chances by going to Smashwords and typing in “romance Civil War” and seeing what I got. Here’s a quick rundown of a few of the stories I found.

A Confederate Yankee in Miss Annabelle’s Court by Rob Shelsky – This is a very short TT story. So short that a lot of it is told and not seen. It’s of the insta-love variety and the hero is awfully quick to make his life changing decision. Sweet but not much to it and easily forgotten.

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Homecoming by Cheryl Pierson – Another short story but this one has a major twist in it. It’s not a HEA in the traditional sense and I’m still pondering the final revelation but it shows love is eternal and I did enjoy it.

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The Most Beautiful Girl? by WE Monroe – I was really looking forward to this one since it promised to be funny and set in the post Civil War years. It started in a sort of “Pamela Morsi historicals” sort of way. I was amused. I was smiling, especially when a horse ridden by the hero gets not only a name change but also a gender reassignment over the course of an evening. And then halfway into it, the promised disaster strikes and, frankly, the book goes to hell. Literally in a post Hurricane Katrina sort of way. At this point, all humor was lost to me with the descriptions of a washed away town plus dead people and livestock.

Talk about a 180 turn…

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As for what I’ve been watching, I’ve been on an MST3K kick watching old favorites and a few that managed to slip past me over the years. I’ve also begun watching the TLC (The Learning Channel) reality show “Say Yes to the Dress” series. Brides from all over the world descend on Kleinfeld in NYC searching for that perfect dress for their big day. So far it’s lots of Daddy’s Princesses, panicked brides arriving for their dress fittings, as well as watching Kate Gosselin pick out her dress for her renewal of her vows – darkly amusing to watch in a “what we know about that marriage now” sort of way. Another cross polination appearance came from Stacy London who was there with a good friend to help pick out said friend’s dress and who then ended up giving advice to the brides there that day. I’m amusing myself by commenting on the brides’ choices and totally sure that I could never cut it as a bridal consultant. Four more seasons of the series still to go!

Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 15 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there's no TSTL characters and is currently reading very few paranormals.


  1. Christine M.
    Dec 29, 2011 @ 14:19:08

    Most of TLC’s reality shows are addictive. I couldn’t do a tenth of what most of the consultants do (except Claudia, but she got what she deserved in the end/2 cents).

  2. Jayne
    Dec 29, 2011 @ 14:31:15

    @Christine M.: This and, I’m embarrassed to admit, Bridezillas are the only two reality shows I watch. And they are addictive. I can watch 4-5 “Say Yes” episodes in a row. And wasn’t Claudia a piece of work?! She definitely didn’t lack in the self esteem department.

  3. Maili
    Dec 29, 2011 @ 17:20:46

    I’m going through a phase of watching cooking shows (I can’t cook so I may as well enjoy watching others cooking).

    My current fix is ‘Come Dine With Me’, which is basically a train wreck in slow motion. Four strangers cook each other a meal at each other’s home and judge accordingly. Whoever gets the highest score at end of their week wins. Some episodes were toe-cringingly embarrassing but dang, the series is so addictive. Celebrity episodes are my favourite as some weren’t quite on our planet.

    More info

  4. BlueRose
    Dec 29, 2011 @ 17:28:09

    Can I have your cat, its GORGEOUS!

  5. Jayne
    Dec 29, 2011 @ 18:26:56

    @Maili: Are these people foodies or regular Joe Schmoes? It does sound interesting but unfortunately, I couldn’t play the clip/episode from the link.

  6. Jayne
    Dec 29, 2011 @ 18:30:16

    @BlueRose: That is a pretty kitty but alas s/he is not mine as this is a stock photo. S/he does look a lot like a kitty I lost to old age and chronic health conditions a few months ago and who is dearly missed.

  7. Terri
    Dec 29, 2011 @ 18:43:12

    Love MST3K

  8. Maili
    Dec 29, 2011 @ 18:51:34

    @Jayne: Regular Joes! Some had clearly never cooked in their lives. I forgot geographical restrictions. Sorry about that.

  9. Jayne
    Dec 29, 2011 @ 18:58:38

    @Maili: No worries. I wondered if it would work based on trying to watch the later seasons of “Shameless.”

  10. Maili
    Dec 29, 2011 @ 19:06:27

    @Jayne: Come Dine With Me is (was?) available on BBC America, according to Wikipedia CDWM: Other Broadcasters. It’ll worth your time, I promise.

  11. Jayne
    Dec 29, 2011 @ 19:11:21

    @Maili: Aaargh, I really want BBC America. Wish I had the option. Sigh. But look at all the international versions. Wow.

  12. Susan
    Dec 30, 2011 @ 00:48:13

    Jayne, For Civil War and other time periods, looking back at the old books are the only ones I’ve seen. Jennifer Blake and Cheryl Reavis come to my mind easily. There was at least one other that had some excellent books in or around that era too. Maybe L. Spencer?

  13. Julie
    Dec 30, 2011 @ 01:01:46

    I’m reading that Melinda Hammond book at the moment and it’s fabulous. She is one of my favourite writers writing today. Did you know that she writes for Harlequin Historicals as Sarah Mallory?

  14. Jayne
    Dec 30, 2011 @ 07:11:50

    @Susan: Yes, I’ve read most of Reavis’ Civil War era books and loved most of them. I know Blake has written some – I have one I bought from Fictionwise – though I’ve only read her books set earlier in the 19th century so far. I need to investigate her back list.

  15. Jayne
    Dec 30, 2011 @ 07:12:39

    @Julie: No, I didn’t know she wrote under that name. Thanks for telling me.

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