Fanciful Reader

a book blog about romance and more. . .

Month: November, 2010

Late November Library Loot

Library Loot is a weekly meme co-hosted by Marg and Claire to share the books you’ve gotten from the library.

Here’s what I picked up at the library this week. It’s a good mix of new books, fiction, nonfiction, and kids’ books for my preschooler as you can see below:

You only love once by Caroline Linden
Nigella Christmas by Nigella Lawson
Living your yoga : finding the spiritual in everyday life by Judith Lasater
The LEGO book by Daniel Lipkowitz
Dr. Zhivago by Boris Pasternak–this is a new translation by Larisa Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. I’m ashamed that I’ve never read this though of course I’ve seen the 60s movie.
The creative life : true tales of inspiration by Julia Cameron–I loved The Artist’s Way which I’ve attempted to follow several times. I admit that I always get stuck on the week of reading deprivation though.
The Christmas Eve ghost by Shirley Hughes
The body in the bouillon by Katherine Hall Page

I also checked out a couple of ebooks from my local library:
Washington by Rob Chernow
If I stay by Gail Forman

As of yesterday, I have an ereader that will read epub files!. I received in the mail the “Eat Pray Love” special edition of the Sony PRS-300 which I’ll review in a separate post. I’m a dedicated Kindle 3 user but really wanted to be able to read secure epub files on the go–and now I can!

A Christmas Promise by Mary Balogh

A Christmas PromiseA Christmas Promise by Mary Balogh

Weddings are supposed to be joyous occasions—especially when a couple seems as well matched as Randolph Pierce, Earl of Falloden, and his bride-to-be, Eleanor Transome. Ellie brings to the marriage a vast dowry, while Falloden, though distant, is handsome, tremendously desirable, and possessed of a title most young ladies can only dream of sharing.

Yet Ellie is not most young ladies. She knows that she must honor her dear father’s dying wish for her to wed the proud earl, but she dreads a lifetime in a union without love—and how can Falloden claim to love her when he married her only for her fortune? As Christmas descends upon the Falloden manor, the warmth of the season may yet melt away the trappings of duty and wealth, leaving behind only a man and a woman destined for each other’s arms.

A Christmas Promise takes familiar tropes and themes and presents them in a way that feels totally new and unique. I’ve heard Balogh’s books referred to as “high concept” and after reading several of them, I understand why.

A Christmas Promise had a lot more angst than other Christmas-themed romances I’ve read recently. I found that Ellie was more prickly than other “nouveau riche” heroines I’ve encountered. While this meant it took me a long time to warm up to her, in the end it made her seem more of a complete character–I don’t like it as much when such heroines are all sweetness and humility. On the other hand, I found Randolph to be a mostly honorable man from the start–perhaps only with the exception of his treatment of Ellie on their wedding night.

Possible spoiler ahead: I was glad that Balogh didn’t make the love triangle involving Ellie’s former beau Wilfred the focus of the story. Maybe if it had been a longer book this would have been explored in more detail.

This was a very quick read for me that felt a lot more complete and in all, a more satisfying story than any of the Christmas novellas I’ve read. I already have Under the Mistletoe, a collection of Christmas stories by Mary Balogh waiting for me to pick up at the library.

Which holiday themed book are looking forward to reading next?

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