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review 2019-01-12 21:11
Comfort Food - Sierra Riley

I can't help unless you let me."


"I might be alone, but at least I'm safe."

Martin Painter has been a recluse since his parents died when he was seventeen. Sure, he has money and a sprawling house in an upscale neighborhood, but material things can't patch the holes in his heart. When his sister drags him to a charity auction, the last thing he expects to win is a date with a handsome stranger. He can feel the attraction starting, but it's pointless, isn't it? He's better off alone. He's too awkward for a platonic "date," let alone real love.

"Do you ever wonder if you made a wrong turn somewhere?"

Charity owner Travis Cole loves his work even if he misses the world of haute cuisine. But his charity is hemorrhaging money. He throws an auction to scrape together extra funds, and up on the auction block? Cooking lessons and a dinner with himself. He never thought the winner would be a man. And stranger still, he never expected to care so much about the soft-spoken, sad-eyed loner who won him.

"We've both got too much to lose, don't we?"

Martin isn't sure he's capable of love anymore. Travis isn't sure he's capable of loving a man. But they can't deny it: there's something between them as powerful as gravity, even if it's just a desire to help one another let go of the past. While Travis teaches Martin how to cook, can they teach each other to be happy?

 

Review

 

Watching Travis and Martin fall in love is a pleasure. I love the food charity elements of this book and the slow hope that fills both heroes as they find a partner to share their lives.

There is a bit of a mystery that gets solved here. I would have liked more information on the motivation of villain but this element of the story caused a closeness and care between Travis and Martin which was lovely.

A good read.

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review 2018-12-31 16:39
Your Art Matters
V is for Vulnerable: Life Outside the Comfort Zone: An ABC for Grownups - Seth Godin

There seems to be a trend of books that look like they are for children but written for adults. There are adult coloring books and picture books on writing or life. This picture book from
Seth Godin is on the abc’s of motivating to create art. 

In some ways, I felt this book, with its motivational words of wisdom, reminded me of another author’s speech about creating art and that author is Neil Gaiman. It’s a wonderful speech and if you haven’t heard or read look for it on the interwebs. This picture book is simple but prompt. Something to pump up an artist who, like me, wonders if their art matters.

The feeling the book gives is a wonderful pick me up even if the literal words do not stay with you. I have to keep reading over each letter trying to remember what the one before it said. I guess that makes it is a good thing it’s only a picture book. 

V Is For Vulnerable is a book that can be read repeatedly especially when you need a push to keep creating. 

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review 2018-12-21 17:46
Review: "A Soldier's Wish" (The Christmas Angel, #5) by N.R. Walker
A Soldier's Wish - N.R. Walker

 

~ 4.5 stars ~

 

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text 2018-11-23 17:17
24 Festive Tasks: Door 8 - Penance Day, Task 1 (Comfort Reads)
The Complete Sherlock Holmes - Arthur Conan Doyle
Poirot: The Complete Battles of Hastings, Vol. 1 - Agatha Christie
Poirot: The Complete Battles of Hastings, Vol. 2 - Agatha Christie
Gaudy Night - Dorothy L. Sayers
A Man Lay Dead / Enter a Murderer / The Nursing Home Murder (The Ngaio Marsh Collection) - Ngaio Marsh
The Clock Strikes Twelve - Patricia Wentworth
Envious Casca - Georgette Heyer
Margery Allingham Omnibus: Includes Sweet Danger, The Case of the Late Pig, The Tiger in the Smoke - Margery Allingham
The Great Detectives - JULIAN SYMONS,TOM ADAMS
The Golden Age of Murder - Martin Edwards

It's probably no secret that my comfort reads are Golden Age mysteries -- I'm slowly making my way through the works of the members of the Detection Club, including the forgotten and recently republished ones, but most of all, I keep coming back to, again and again:

 

Arthur Conan Doyle / Sherlock Holmes: Still the grand master -- both the detective and his creator -- that no serious reader of mysteries can or should even try to side-step.  I've read, own, and have reread countless times all 4 novels and 56 short stories constituting the Sherlock Holmes canon, and am now making my way through some of the better-known /-reputed Holmes pastiches (only to find -- not exactly to my surprise -- that none of them can hold a candle to the original), as well as Conan Doyle's "non-Holmes" fiction.

 

And, of course --

 

The Golden Age Queens of Crime

Agatha Christie: Like Sherlock Holmes, part of my personal canon from very early on.  I've read and, in many cases, reread more than once and own (largely as part of a series of anniversary omnibus editions published by HarperCollins some 10 years ago) all of Agatha Christie's novels and short stories published under this name, as well as her autobiography, with only those of her books published under other names (e.g., the Mary Westmacott romances) left to read.

 

Dorothy L. Sayers: My mom turned me onto Sayers when I was in my teens, and I have never looked back.  I've read all of her Lord Peter Wimsey novels and short stories, volume 1 of her collected letters (which covers her correspondence from childhood to the end of her career as a mystery writer), and some of her non-Wimsey short stories and essays.  Gaudy Night and the two addresses jointly published under the title Are Women Human? are among my all-time favorite books; not least because they address women's position in society decades before feminism even became a mass movement to be reckoned with, and with a validity vastly transcending both Sayers's own lifetime and our own. -- Next steps: The remainder of Sayers's non-Wimsey stories and of her essays, as well as her plays.

 

Ngaio Marsh: A somewhat later entry into my personal canon, but definitely a fixture now.  I've read all of her Inspector Alleyn books and short stories and reread many of them.  Still on my TBR: her autobiography (which happily is contained in the last installments of the series of 3-book-each omnibus volumes I own).

 

Patricia Wentworth: Of the Golden Age Queens of Crime, the most recent entry into my personal canon.  I'd read two books by her a few years ago and liked one a lot, the other one considerably less, but Tigus expertly steered the resident mystery fans on Booklikes to all the best entries in the Miss Silver series, which I'm now very much looking forward to completing -- along with some of Wentworth's other fiction.

 

Georgette Heyer: I'm not a romance reader, so I doubt that I'll ever go anywhere near her Regency romances.  But I'm becoming more and more of a fan of her mysteries; if for no other reason than that nobody, not even Agatha Christie, did viciously bickering families as well as her.

 

Margery Allingham: I'm actually more of a fan of Albert Campion as portrayed by Peter Davison in the TV adaptations of some of Allingham's mysteries than of her Campion books as such, but I like at least some of those well enough to eventually want to complete the series -- God knows I've read enough of them at this point for the completist in me to have kicked in long ago.  I've also got Allingham's very first novel, Blackerchief Dick (non-Campion; historical fiction involving pirates) sitting on my audio TBR.

 

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review 2018-11-19 21:03
A Festive Re-read
Winter Solstice - Rosamunde Pilcher

I read this book nearly every year in the weeks leading up to Christmas. I have loved Rosamund Pilcher's sagas since I picked up The Shell Seekers at a Barnes and Noble somewhere around 20 years ago. I passed it onto my mother, who fell in love with her writing.

 

I don't know if Winter Solstice is my favorite Pilcher, but it is such a comfortable read for me that I can't give it less than 5 stars. I love all of the characters, and I love the theme of the book, which really acknowledges that sometimes your most important family is the family that you create. The relationship that grows between the lonely Lucy, whose self-centered parents are wrapped up too deeply into their own lives to give her the attention she deserves and Elfrida, her great-aunt, a former actress who never had children, but whose peripatetic life was endlessly fulfilling, is perfect. 

 

This is one of those books that I can't see clearly, because it has become a part of my bookish DNA. I've read it probably dozens of times, and each time I pick it up, it's like saying hello to a group of old friends that I've not seen for a while. The best kind of comfort read.

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