a romance novel and an essay collection walk into a blog; 10.30.19

Whew. Okay. Tomorrow is Halloween, and my plans as of this moment are pretty much to go to a showing of the 1978 Halloween and ignore everyone. But before that, let’s get into some books!

Fumbled – Alexa Martin

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You may remember how much I loved the first Alexa Martin book I read [Intercepted], so it should come as no surprise that reading the second in her ‘Playbook’ series was an excellent tonic for the onset of the fall blues. This one features Poppy Patterson, a single mom who’s spent the last decade avoiding the man who fathered her child and broke her heart…and is now one of the star players of the Denver football team, TK Moore. But when she runs into him at work the sparks are still there and she’s faced with incorporating TK into their son’s life while figuring out if the two of them can make it work as a couple.

I wasn’t quite as into this one as I was with Intercepted [which, to be fair to Fumbled, was QUITE A LOT]; the love interest was a harder sell for me and for very understandable narrative reasons, the relationship between them took a bit long to get going. That being said, I still liked it a lot! Poppy was a delightful and compelling protagonist, and Martin’s sense of humor is absolutely wonderful. She’s also excellent at filling out her protagonist’s lives with tender and supportive friendships. I also really appreciated that this book dug a little deeper into some of the issues in the football industry — particularly the high-impact injuries players experience which often have long-ranging consequences far past a player’s career trajectory. Martin herself is a former football wife and her characters’ complicated feelings about the sport their loved ones play feel sincere and grounded while not overshadowing the relationships between the characters themselves. The next book in the series, Blitzed, comes out the first week in December and I am COUNTING THE DAYS! [34]

The Pretty One: On Life, Pop Culture, Disability, and Other Reasons to Fall in Love With Me – Keah Brown


I love a book of essays, especially from someone I’ve been following on Twitter and then have the chance to take in their thoughts in long-form. Keah Brown is a disabled Black writer and activist whose essays are both personal reflection and cultural analysis. She writes about her personal love of fashion while critiquing its lack of inclusion, the ways in which jealousy has influenced her relationship with her sister, how society’s rampant ableism makes it difficult for disabled people to love themselves and their bodies, and a wide range of other topics. 

Every single essay in this book is infused with thoughtfulness, warmth, and necessary call-outs on the imperative need for all of us to combat ableism, racism, homophobia, and sexism on both individual and societal levels. Brown’s essays are deeply lifelike, positioning all parts of her life as interconnected and informative of one another; she explains how disability inclusion is often the last item on the agenda and how the inclusion that does happen almost always centers whiteness, right alongside why Paramore is her favorite band. I can’t wait to find out (and read) what she does next!

[tw: suicidal ideation]

That’s all for this week! Stay safe, stay respectful, and eat lots of candy!

freaky time stuff; 10.23.19

Hello hello, look at me, actually doing this one on time! Something not on time was October’s Pop Culture Pen Pals; this month really ate both Hannah and I alive but we got it out yesterday, and friends, it’s pretty good! We wrote about Derry Girls and Hustlers, which you should DEFINITELY watch, as well as our feeling about the decline of Stranger Things. We have some fun stuff in mind for the next few months, so remember to subscribe!

Parallel Worlds: A Journey Through Creation, Higher Dimensions, and the Future of the Cosmos – Michio Kaku

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One of my biggest fears is outer space. So naturally I read and watch as much about outer space as possible. I don’t have any explanation for this — my roommate thinks it’s because I feel like if I learn enough about it I won’t be scared of it, which I do not agree with, because the more I learn about it the more terrifying it becomes. But it’s also SO fascinating, especially when we get into the freaky time stuff, which is exactly what this book is about. 

I picked it up wanting to know more about the parallel worlds theory, which I was bummed to find out was a smaller part of the book than I anticipated. This is partly due to the sheer amount of physics Kaku needs to summarize and explain before even getting there, but even after we got there we moved on pretty quickly. Kaku is an engaging writer who does a good job at explaining extremely complex theories and ideas to non-physics reader, but there were some tangents that didn’t feel quite necessary. Anyway, I’m still glad I read it so that I can tell everyone I see about the idea that millions of years in the future scientists might figure out how to slingshot the earth into a larger orbit in order to avoid being swallowed by the sun. Fun!

Pretending He’s Mine – Mia Sosa


I found this book via the twitter account of a romance-only bookstore called The Ripped Bodice, which is thankfully located in California or I would be spending ALL of my time there. Their account does a ‘Featured Book of the Day,’ which has SIGNIFICANTLY added to my library holds list. Based on the brief description they used, I bumped this one to the top INSTANTLY because ‘close proximity’ is one of my favorite tropes. [Usually leads to ‘one bed,’ which this one definitely did.] The protagonists, Ashley and Julian, have known each other since they were teenagers, and have always been attracted to each other, but are determined not to date [another fantastic trope] because Julian is an agent [Hollywood, not spy] who represents Ashley’s brother [one of the protagonists in the first book in this series, which I haven’t read yet]. However, with Ashley temporarily crashing at Julian’s place and the two of them pretending to date at a wedding [!!!] that determination is quickly cracking.

This book had A LOT of the tropes I love, but I didn’t love the book. Maybe it’s just because I’ve been inadvertently on a slow SLOW burn streak lately, but even though their external reasons for not being together were solid, their internal feelings about it started to feel repetitive. I also wasn’t particularly bought in with either of the protagonists, but we were introduced to the protagonists of the next book in the series Crashing Into Her, which I am pumped to read. [It’s ‘enemies to lovers’!!]

Red at the Bone – Jacqueline Woodson


THIS GODDAMN BOOK!!!! I read one of Woodson’s other books, Another Brooklyn, last year and really enjoyed it, but this knocked my confident anticipation out of the PARK! IN A GOOD WAY! Like Another Brooklyn, this is a short book filled with poetic imagery and language. I know for a lot of people ‘poetic language’ [myself occasionally included] rings a certain “oh this is going to be hard and complicated to read” bell, but this book couldn’t be farther from that. It’s a very quick read — I honestly yelled “OH NO” when I realized I only had 20 pages left and realized how quickly those 20 pages were going to go by. Another “ehhhh” buzzword for me is “intergenerational,” because often those stories get a little sprawling for me, but Jacqueline Woodson is the fcking BEST and is incredible at identifying and arranging the most potent parts of her story to really just mess you all the way up in a short 200 pages.

The book starts at the coming of age ceremony of 16 year old Melody, our first narrator. We then move through her parents and maternal grandparents, each one giving us a slice of the story, working backwards, forwards, and inwards through time. [So in a way….this book is also about freaky time stuff.] I could have read an entire book from any one of these characters’ perspectives but am also so glad I got to read them all next to each other, contextualizing one another like a family does. It’s a lovely, perfect book and I already want to reread it.

See you next week!

snow thank you; 10.16.19

Okay I know I know you didn’t deserve that pun but then again I didn’t deserve witnessing snow in mid-October, so! I mean, it didn’t stick, but honestly what the hell. 

Anyways, before I get into the books, I wanted to share some breaking news, which is that I went to see the movie Alien [1979] last night and, hot take: it’s a good movie! 10/10 recommend!

Lot – Bryan Washington


If you’re not sure if you like short stories but you do love narrative propelled by strong imagery you should definitely read this book. You should probably read this book anyway, as it’s an excellent debut story collection that tenderly celebrates the city of Houston (Washington’s home) while exploring the challenges of gentrification, natural disaster, and racism that the city struggles with. The stories alternate between the continuing narrative of one particular character and a variety of other characters (or, in a few incredibly skillful stories, the point of view of an entire pick up baseball team and neighborhood). These stories carry you along so smoothly that it’s extra-delightful when a particular image or turn of phrase stops you in your tracks. In an ideal world I would have taken either a little more time with this book or read it in one sitting; unfortunately I wasn’t able to do either, but at least that means I can verify it’s still great outside of those ~ideal circumstances~.

Lord Dashwood Missed Out – Tessa Dare

One bed! One bed! This book has one bed!!!


“One bed” is a trope beloved among readers of romance novels and watchers of rom-coms, and this short and sweet novella basically revolves around it. I read it in two quick sittings (I think it literally clocks in at about 100 pages) and would have read much more of it. Print romance novellas are a bit hard to come by, as a lot of the romance genre has shifted to e-reader exclusive, which I think is great in general for the world and annoying for me personally because they make my eyes hurt. So I was particularly delighted to find this quick jaunt by an author I’m already coming to adore, about a lady writer who finds herself thrown together with the man she wrote a fiery screed in response to his scorning. There are a lot of interstitials with characters from one of Dare’s other series, which I probably would have enjoyed more if I’d already read those books, but they were charming nonetheless.

Old In Art School: A Memoir of Starting Over – Nell Painter


After a long and prestigious academic career as a historian, this memoir starts when Painter decides to follow a long-held passion and pursue art. She begins with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and continues into a graduate degree, grappling with her own internal tension between ‘academic’ and ‘artist,’ her simultaneous enthusiasm over growing technical skills and frustration with the many conflicting messages she gets about technique and meaning, and the ways in which her identity as a Black woman in her 60s frequently separates her both from her classmates and the artworld as a whole. I really really enjoyed it; the book is informative and soothing and funny and reflective about craft and the many joys and difficulties of being passionate about making art.

This is one of those books that has been on my ‘to read’ list for so long that I honestly don’t remember how it got there, but it turned out to be exactly what I needed to read write now. I would imagine it might be even richer if you’re a person who knows anything about art (or better yet any sort of visual artistic skill yourself, which even the most cursory glance at this blog will tell you I don’t), but Painter excellently pitches it in a way that an engaged reader can easily understand (or look up) what they need to.

Okay that’s all for now! See you hopefully next week but more likely the week after that!

support millenneagram!!!; 9.30.19

Another unscheduled 2 week break! Fun! Turns out when things are hectic at work, even if they’re less hectic after work, all I want to do is…not more work! And also watch Couples Therapy on Showtime! I really don’t understand my compulsion to marathon this show, as I generally like my TV to be highly scripted and also it’s very stressful to watch! But it was also impossible to stop watching, so here we are! Please watch it and tell me everything/yell with me about how BAD one particular person on the show is.

Also I know it’s not Wednesday but I really wanted to boost a fundraising effort whose last day is TODAY. It’s in the last book, which had to be last because I wanted it to be the preview image and that’s literally the only way I know how to do it on this damned site!

Fleishman is in Trouble – Taffy Brodessor-Akner

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Starting off with the “literary pool read” of the summer!! Brodessor-Akner, known widely for her insightful profiles, has written a book about (among many other things) divorce, middle-age, wealth, New York, parenting, dating, and ambition. I do not have experience with very many of those things! And yet! Once I heard a [non-spoiler] excerpt read on an episode of The Cut On Tuesdays I had to read it, and while I was reading it I was antsy during every break because I needed to get back to it. 

The premise is that Toby Fleishman’s ex-wife disappears, but from there it’s like a russian doll of books!! It just somehow keeps expanding inward, with tiny but wrenching plot twists and characters you want to both want to succeed and also want to sit them down for a Serious Talk About Their Choices. Despite the sound of the premise, it’s really not a thriller — is there a genre for “emotional suspense”?? That would be this book, and soon to be miniseries!

Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much MoreJanet Mock


I haven’t read a memoir in awhile, which means Mock’s memoir got to the top of my library stack at the exact right time! Some of you may know of Mock from her activism and/or television work [most recently she wrote, directed, and produced on Pose, which I’ve heard excellent things about and plan to watch soon], and if you read this book [or just listen to my opinion on it, or both, whatever] you’ll find that she’s also a fantastic memoirist.

The book covers roughly the first 20 years of Mock’s life, growing up in Hawaii, Oakland, and Dallas with a growing certainty that her gender identity did not match what she was assigned at birth. Her writing is gorgeous, with lovely imagery and incredible generosity for everyone in her story. Whenever she pulls back to explain something [like the process of starting hormone replacements or the devastating numbers on trans homelessness], she writes with clarity to a beginner level without watering down her own nuanced perspective. I’m particularly excited to read her second book Surpassing Certainty: What My Twenties Taught Me.

P.S. if you’re looking for a good cause to donate to, consider Trans Lifeline!

[tw: attempted suicide, childhood sexual abuse]

The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkein


So I’ve been on a bit of a Tolkein break since finishing Two Towers in *checks notes* last October. I didn’t feel quite ready to dive into Return of the King, so here we are, the LOTR: Kids Edition, or something like that. What I’ve heard amongst LOTR fans is that feelings on The Hobbit are deeply divided; some like it more than the trilogy, some deeply dislike it, some find it amusing but barely canonical, none find it worthy of three 2+ hour movies that’s for sure.

As for myself, I mildly enjoyed myself! It’s a much faster read than any of the trilogy, and I feel like maybe fewer songs? As with Two Towers, I continued to be deeply delighted whenever Gollum was around and honestly I do think he should have won that riddle game. Bilbo cheated multiple times and that’s my final word on that.

A Duke By DefaultAlyssa Cole


The second in Cole’s ‘Reluctant Royals’ series, this book follows Portia (best friend to Ledi in A Princess in Theory) to Scotland for an internship at an armory. She’s doing her best to set herself on “Operation New Portia,” determined to leave partying, drinking, and — inconveniently for a romance novel — sex behind for the time being as she attempts to prove herself to her parents and herself. Inconveniently for her, the owner of the armory is….alluring. Inconveniently for him, he’s about to learn a whole lot about himself.

This has got to be the literal SLOWEST BURN I have ever encountered in a romance novel. But it was for real and understandable narrative reasons, which were done super thoughtfully. There’s also a lot that Portia’s grappling with emotionally, which Cole handles with such care and nuance. Also, she has a great sense of humor and skillfully reveals each character’s horniness in truly delightful ways.

Millenneagram – Hannah Paasch

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You know in Mary Poppins when Mary Poppins is unpacking her carpetbag for the Banks children, and she pulls that plant out of her bag and says “A thing of beauty is a joy forever”? [I guess John Keats said it first but whatever who cares.] That’s how I feel about this book, both the inside and out.

Disclaimer: Hannah is a friend, so I was extremely well-disposed to like this book before even starting it, but I can promise you that within the introduction alone you’ll be similarly well-disposed! It was Hannah’s work that got me invested in the Enneagram in the first place, translating an ancient system of processing one’s experiences and motivations into a graspable understanding of why I react the way I do to things that happen today.

It’s great for any pre-existing level of Enneagram knowledge, whether that’s none or “I keep Riso and Hudson on my bedside table.” Also! Hannah has a Millenneagram podcast! Which is nearly funded for a second season!! If you’re interested in helping to keep this thing going, check out the Patreon, and if you’re on Twitter you might want to check out the *ahem* inspired fundraising campaign going on there.

Okay bye! See you next week, maybe/hopefully!

busyness quotient and quality books; 9.18.19

Hello and thank you for bearing with me for my unscheduled break! The start of fall has upped my busyness quotient a bit, which leaves me less time both for the reading of books and for the enthusing about them, plus a great deal of my writing energies last week were going towards this month’s Pop Culture Pen Pals, which is pretty great.

Now, into the books!

The Governess Game – Tessa Dare

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So I’m thinking, for the time being, I might eschew the “romance editions” and just talk about the romance novels I’ve been reading in the “normal” posts. When I started regularly reading romance novels, I had no idea how to talk about them in any sort of way, and I’m still figuring it out. Romancelandia is enormous and varied and I still feel like I’ve barely dipped a toe in, but my enthusiasm for it just continues to grow (as for the volume of my reading space that it occupies) so they’ll be here for now!

This one was a lot of fun! Tessa Dare is another cornerstone of the genre, and I understand why. The characters are well-developed in a relatively slim book, the banter is prime, and the heat between the protagonists was…enjoyable. Admittedly, the “reasons” they couldn’t be together felt stretched a bit thin the further into the book I got, but I really appreciated the balance Dare struck between the characters’ navigation of the power dynamic and also giving the readers the sexytimes they showed up for.

Hard As Ice – Raven Scott

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Another romance novel, this one in a subcategory I was new to: thriller romance! The book revolves an art heist, a guarded art curator, and a guarded security expert. It was sufficiently steamy, and the leads had good chemistry, but the heist plot somehow simultaneously took up more of the plot than I wanted and was not built out enough to keep me interested in that part of the story. I’ll probably give some of her other books a try still; I really enjoyed some of the side characters that I could tell probably had their own books and there was a preview of one of them at the back of this one that intrigued me.

[tw: brief discussion of past sexual assault]

[tw: the next two books involve suicide and suicidal ideation]

The Wangs Vs. the World – Jade Chang

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A road trip book! A family drama! A rumination on a particular immigration narrative! There is a LOT in this book, the majority of which is set during the 2008 financial crisis. The formerly wealthy Wang family has just lost it all, and Charles, the patriarch who built their wealth from next to nothing, is insistent that if he hauls his wife and two of his children across the country to his eldest daughters’ home, they’ll all be able to go back to China to reclaim what’s theirs. The story is told from the perspective of everyone in the family, including at times the extremely old car. 

I enjoyed Chang’s writing a lot; she has a knack for lovely description and vivid characters. I did find a couple of the characters a bit tiresome, and at times their various plot threads didn’t seem to quite connect. The eldest daughter, Sana, is separated from the rest of the family for most of the book, and her story felt almost like its own separate book (that I would have gladly read! I really liked her narration and wanted more of it). That being said, the family dynamic was fantastic and I look forward to reading more of Chang’s work in the future.

Mostly Dead Things – Kristen Arnett

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You may already know of my adoration for Kristen Arnett, and if you’re at all tuned in to Book Twitter you’ll know that this is one of the buzziest books of Spring and Summer 2019, and for good reason!! Arnett has frequently described this book as being about taxidermy, Florida, family, and queerness, and oh boy is it ever. It’s also about loss and vulnerability and I know I already said it, but jesus christ the TAXIDERMY. [If you are quite squeamish, this…may not be the book for you. But it’s very very good and if you think there’s any chance you could push past it or let your eyes glaze over occasionally, I would recommend it.] The protagonist, Jessa-Lynn, is trying to keep her family and her family business from falling apart in the wake of her father’s recent suicide, and the less-recent but still deeply painful abandonment of her brother’s wife…who Jessa also happened to be in love with. I don’t even want to say more because if this book appeals to you at all you should GO. READ. IT. RIGHT. NOW. It wrecked me about eleven different ways.

Okay that’s all for me! Until I see you again…watch Derry Girls!

a goodbye to summer; 8.28.19

Has this summer been brutal for *checks notes* everyone? It seems like it has and personally I would like to file a complaint. I find myself welcoming the chill in the air, which normally is abhorrent to me, signaling as it does the soon to be relentless onslaught of Minnesota winter. I spent a great deal of the winter of 2018/2019 thinking “well this is the LAST one and soon I will be MOVING!” and that has not been the case, and so I lie on the floor, appreciating a fall-themed candle, feeling feelings about the finale of Jane the Virgin.

That got way more dramatic than I intended, so let’s just go ahead and jump into those books!

It’s Not Like It’s a Secret – Misa Sugiura

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This sweet YA novel goes down easy and was a nice break from some of the more challenging stuff I’ve been reading lately. I read the majority of it on a quiet Saturday night with chocolate and the cat nearby and the experience was really lovely. Sana is navigating a new school, new friends, and frustrations with her parents, all while trying to figure out if the girl she has a crush on might just like her back. It’s a cute book and I enjoyed reading it, but by the end it mostly just felt ‘meh’ to me. Something about the plot just didn’t quite cohere smoothly and some of the “teen dialogue” felt a bit choppy.

Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty – Dorothy Roberts


A while ago I mentioned that I wanted to read some books about reproductive justice that don’t center white women, and since the internet is a place ripe with book suggestions, I landed here and WOW FUCK IS IT EVER GOOD. Roberts provides an enormous amount of history on the many ways that the reproductive liberty of Black women has been targeted and attacked, from slavery to the eugenics movement to insidious racist policies and attitudes at work today. The book was published in 1997, so it obviously doesn’t come all the way up to today, but the context Roberts provides and framework she puts forward is invaluable. I think I said, “what in the FUCK” at least 7 or 8 times per chapter. The book is much more expansive than just how the modern “reproductive rights movement” frequently outright ignores the needs and activism of Black women [though it certainly goes into that]; it dives deep into the necessity of understanding the many ways that white supremacy and misogynoir have shaped the reproductive conversation and reproductive policies.

tw: sexual assault

The Last Thing He Wanted – Joan Didion

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I thought about starting this section with “Baby’s First Didion!” but that seemed too gross even for me. As a mature human adult speaking of herself would say: this is the first full work of Didion’s that I read, and I really liked it. Hot hot take: Joan Didion is a good writer! Honestly I did not have a great grasp on the actual plot for a lot of the book — it’s about a scammy, shady deal that goes wrong and has a lot to do with political scandals of the 80s which I do not happen to be well-versed in. According to the podcast Little Gold Men, I was not alone in my confusion, but it didn’t really matter to me. The sentences were gorgeous and I was swept away by the tone. Apparently it’s becoming a Netflix movie soon [starring Anne Hathaway!!!], but there’s no trailer yet, so instead I’ll direct you to one of Daniel Ortberg’s excellent Joan Didion/Anna Wintour impressions.

Okay bye for now! I hope your Labor Day has as little labor in it as possible, and if labor is inevitable I hope it’s fulfilling or at least passes quickly!

a mini romance edition; 8.21.19

I no longer know how to start things without sounding like I’m opening an email, so “Hi all,” etc.

I’m in the middle of a lot of different things right now, so I decided to just talk about 2 romance novels I’ve recently finished, both of which I have some level of frustration with (and not the good kind), so….buckle in I guess. Both are written by goddesses of Romancelandia, which I still feel like I’ve barely tipped my toes in, so if you’re a romance aficionado please bear with me!

Devil in Spring – Lisa Kleypas

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Though this is only the second Kleypas book I’ve read, she has a special place in my heart, as Married by Morning was one of the first I read when I started realllllly getting into the genre. Though I feel skeptical about how many upperclass society young ladies in the Regency period (or….ever?) were named Pandora, I had a lot of fun with this book. The whimsically named heroine has set herself firmly against marriage, as she knows it will interfere with her entrepreneurial ambitions. Unfortunately, she’s caught in a compromising misunderstanding with Gabriel, Lord St. Vincent, who just so happens to be an eligible bachelor with a reputation for being a rake (I don’t think I’ve met a single non-rake hero in these books and you know what I am COOL WITH IT.)

There’s a reasonable amount of push-pull between them, helped along by some intense chemistry, but [spoiler] when they do get married about halfway through the book, I felt a bit let down by the way the conflict took a SHARP left turn into action and intrigue. Pandora’s reasoning for not getting married was thoroughly thought-out, and she emphasized that even marrying a really really nice, supportive guy was going to hold her back as a Regency woman in ways that being single wouldn’t, and the second half of the book didn’t really deal with that. All in all though, a fun time was had by me, and that’s what really counts.

The Duke and I – Julia Quinn

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Okay so I was really really prepared to love this book. I EXPECTED to love this book. I bumped it up to the top of my list because it’s the first in Quinn’s 8-part “Bridgerton Series,” which is coming to Netflix as an 8-part adaptation, produced by Shonda Rhimes! Which is very exciting! And I really liked…..a lot of it. But something happens in the last third that threw me so off that I have a sour taste in my mouth about the whole thing.

Trigger warning for discussions of sexual assault ahead.

This is about the 4th Bridgerton child, the eldest girl, Daphne, who’s been having a spot of trouble getting one of her many pleasant and eligible male acquaintances to see her as marriage material. She thinks it’s some combination of her personality (which seems fine to me, but whatever) and her three large brothers (she actually has four brothers, a fact which she mentions, I swear to god, two or three times a chapter, but the fourth is only 11 so he’s not a hurdle here). Enter Duke Simon Hastings, whose stormy relationship with his recently-deceased father has caused him to swear off marriage and children forever, but who is nevertheless besieged by the mothers of the many eligible young women of the ton, including Daphne’s mother. Daphne and Simon decide to work together and pretend to be in a relationship, which of course becomes a relationship and things for the most part work themselves out from there. 

Though the book was enjoyable, I was already a little uneasy about an aspect of the book that seemed to dance on the edge (and perhaps over the edge) of ableism. NOW I get that most people’s attitudes about disabilities in the Regency era were pretty fucking bad, but a lot of people’s attitudes about disabilities TODAY are also pretty fucking bad and if the [able-bodied] author wants to use that card, they should be extremely clear about where their attitudes differ from the time period they’re writing about. 

AND ALSO…….so as I mentioned at the top of this section, there’s an instance in this book that just about made the whole thing fall apart for me. As an attempt to get pregnant despite Simon’s efforts, Daphne takes advantage of him when he’s drunk and half-asleep, which is just! so! not!! okay!!!!! The whole scene I was screaming “NO! WHAT??? NO!!!!” And I mean….later on they address what a “breach of trust” it was, but! it was assault!!! I really really hope the Netflix series goes in a different direction because holy hell. Nope.

Despite all of this…….I probably will read the other books in the series, or at least one more. I’m curious to see how the rest of the family fares, and I’m curious to see how the Netflix adaptation handles this stuff. But like….hopefully in the future I can tell you to go ahead and skip this one and start with book 2 in the series.

Whew okay that went on for way longer than I thought it would and I’m just going to leave it here on that double entendre. Bye!