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Early in the morning I went walking….

Dawn with a Duke Book Cover Dawn with a Duke
12 Dukes of Christmas #9
Erica Ridley
Fiction
Erica Ridley
September 4, 2020
200

From a New York Times bestselling author: Secrets and scandal abound when two delightful, strong-willed opposites are snowbound together in this laugh-out-loud, feel-good romance! As the daughter of a duke, Lady Isabelle’s pristine reputation is paramount. Her high status is how she’ll attract the titled suitor her mother insists she wed. When Belle’s chaperone falls ill en route to a party, she must pose as an independent widow to avoid gossip. Why not have a wee innocent flirtation with a handsome tailor staying at the same inn? She’ll be gone in the morning… A sudden blizzard upends Calvin McAlistair’s plans when he’s snowbound at a posting-house. He has no time to play lady’s maid to the helpless beauty next door, no matter how much he enjoys unbuttoning the straitlaced widow. His future depends on impressing an important investor… who will ruin them both once they realize Calvin has spent a scandalous fortnight with Lady Isabelle! The 12 Dukes of Christmas is a series of heartwarming Regency romps nestled in a picturesque snow-covered village. Twelve delightful romances… and plenty of delicious dukes! THE 12 DUKES OF CHRISTMAS: 1. Once Upon a Duke 2. Kiss of a Duke 3. Wish Upon a Duke 4. Never Say Duke 5. Dukes, Actually 6. The Duke's Bride 7. The Duke's Embrace 8. The Duke's Desire 9. Dawn with a Duke 10. One Night with a Duke 11. Ten Days with a Duke 12. Forever Your Duke

Number 9 in the Dukes of Christmas stories / novellas.

As always in this series a very sweet story with a soupcon of feminine issues in the 19th century. Here we are thinking about the fact that women, especially in higher levels of society, were items for sale or barter. They were to do as they were told in all aspects of their life and their husbands, fathers, brothers or other male relatives were their owners. And mothers and older women reinforced this attitude as they had succumbed to it. Women of the higher ranks must never go anywhere without a female companion not be seen alone with a male. And of course the garments that they wore were not designed to be easily put on and off without help. It wasn’t until 1848 that corsets were made with front lacing so that a person could take them off herself. And whilst coats (pelisse)  might have front frogging fasteners, most upper-class dresses were fastened at the back so as not to spoil the line/effect.

Ready to wear clothing of any style and quality were not available, most people mad either own or employed someone to make them for them.

This story looks at how the first manufactured garments began in the nineteenth century and how ready to wear clothes could be made and sold. In fact ready to wear clothing has a much older history than this -The Short History Garment Industry from Bellatory says that ancient Babylonia shipped and distributed some ready-to-wear garments as early as 1400 BCE (BC). In Ancient Rome, garments were produced in workshops of up to 100 workers to outfit the military. But even in the 19th century, whilst ready to wear was still developing, most garments relied on hand stitching and it wasn’t until the late 1800s that factories were supplying large quantities of clothing.

THE 12 DUKES OF CHRISTMAS:

1. Once Upon a Duke

2. Kiss of a Duke

3. Wish Upon a Duke

4. Never Say Duke

5. Dukes, Actually

6. The Duke’s Bride

7. The Duke’s Embrace

8. The Duke’s Desire

9. Dawn with a Duke

10. One Night with a Duke

11. Ten Days with a Duke

12. Forever Your Duke

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Senatorial?

Memoirs Of The Senator's Wife Book Cover Memoirs Of The Senator's Wife
S. M. Ford
Historical Fiction, Romance
BooksGoSocial, Global Enterprises & Holdings Inc
August 30, 2019
352

The International Best Selling novel, Memoirs Of The Senator's Wife is the saga of a tempestuous forbidden love affair between a beautiful politician's wife, Estella Myrtle- Cyrus, and a sensuous Secret Service agent, Michael Hagar. Set during the '50s to the present-day; their romance spans decades of the most turbulent times in America. Xavier Cyrus meets and marries the impoverished Estella in college during a tumultuous courtship. Being a member of a wealthy prominent political family, Xavier runs for Congress and easily wins. Thrusting his new family into the exciting DC social scene and an Ancient Secret Society's magic sex rituals. However, Xavier's abuse and indiscretions with celebrities quickly destroy their marriage. Due to the responsibilities of motherhood and duty Estella remains in her unhappy marriage but finds love with her kind and gentle protector, Michael. Will Estella abandon her responsibilities to live happily ever after with Michael or will she remain in the glamorous and powerful world of a Senator's wife?

This book starts with something I didn’t realize ever existed, let alone still did, which is the Rape and Marriage laws.

Not that long ago a child (!) of 11 was married in Florida to her rapist, because – get this, she had had a child as a result of the rape. This resultant child  meant that the minimum age for marriage could be ignored!

It appears that even still, the Federal Govt can provide an exception to the minimum age for marriage in the case of a rape.

It is still the case in  a large number of countries, that after a rape, the woman is forced into marriage with the rapist – as rape is not rape within a marriage!

  

There were also some good points made about campaigns for racial and social equality and what would happen if the senators etc found out they were black and that Renee and her daughter were ‘passing’. But this was not enough to redeem the somewhat sludgy writing.

I confess, I did not finsih this book. I got just over half-way through, but the the 2 weird sects and the ‘happenings’ and… I just could not be bothered.

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The Worst Always Happens

Plan for the Worst Book Cover Plan for the Worst
The Chronicles of St Mary's #11
Jodi Taylor
Fiction
Headline
April 14, 2020
512

The eleventh book in the bestselling Chronicles of St Mary's series. If you love Jasper Fforde, Ben Aaronovitch or Doctor Who, you won't be able to resist Jodi Taylor. I would have trusted this man with my life. Until a couple of days ago, anyway. You know what they say - hope for the best, but plan for the worst. Max is quite accustomed to everything going wrong. She's St Mary's, after all. Disaster is her default state. But with her family reunited and a jump to Bronze Age Crete in the works, life is getting back to normal. Well, normal for St Mary's. And then, following one fateful night at the Tower of London, everything Max thought she knew comes crashing down around her. Too late for plans. The worst has happened. And who can Max trust now? Readers love Jodi Taylor: 'Once in a while, I discover an author who changes everything... Jodi Taylor and her protagonista Madeleine "Max" Maxwell have seduced me' 'A great mix of British proper-ness and humour with a large dollop of historical fun' 'Addictive. I wish St Mary's was real and I was a part of it' 'Jodi Taylor has an imagination that gets me completely hooked' 'A tour de force'

So Jodi, I mentioned the yellow puddles to my husband- he wanted to know Why I was giggling_and the answer came back: Liquid dynamics;
pressure flow; pipe diameters and drips. So there you have it.
 I have read every book in this series so the beginning confused me.
I had last read of Matthew being grown, so to have him back as a child was wrong. However, I soon got back into the swing of reading, giggling, and sheer amazement at the characters' behaviour and pickles they find themselves in.
 I should point out though, that the flu pandemic mentioned about Paris, was no doubt COVIDI9.
 Just not recognized in this version of history.
 This is not the book to start the series though, and it really isn't standalone. There are too many characters who appear tangentially and too many past adventures.
 I love this series and the madcap weary disasters and  the strange romances between unusual characters. 
History is explained in a very readable form and thus the books are educational too! And very very funny, but with bathos and pathos, and sadness too.

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Marriage not a la mode

The Potential for Love Book Cover The Potential for Love
A Regency Novel
by Catherine Kullmann
Historical Fiction , Romance
Willow Books BooksGoSocial
(25 Mar. 2020)

When Arabella Malvin sees the figure of an officer silhouetted against the sun, for one interminable moment she thinks he is her brother, against all odds home from Waterloo. But it is Major Thomas Ferraunt, the rector’s son, newly returned from occupied Paris who stands in front of her. For over six years, Thomas’s thoughts have been of war. Now he must ask himself what his place is in this new world and what he wants from it. More and more, his thoughts turn to Miss Malvin, but would Lord Malvin agree to such a mismatch for his daughter, especially when she is being courted by Lord Henry Danlow? As Arabella embarks on her fourth Season, she finds herself more in demand than ever before. But she is tired of the life of a debutante, waiting in the wings for her real life to begin. She is ready to marry. But which of her suitors has the potential for love and who will agree to the type of marriage she wants? As she struggles to make her choice, she is faced with danger from an unexpected quarter while Thomas is stunned by a new challenge. Will these events bring them together or drive them apart?

This was my first novel by Catherine Kullman and although it is set in the same world as Darcy Burke’s and Erica Ridley’s books, ie the Regency period, this writer is very different in style and content.
This is a much more serious Regency romance. 
Set just after the battle of Waterloo with the regiments back in the UK on furlough as no longer on active duty. As a result the younger sons and gentlemen of the Ton were welcomed back in their best regimental finery - which of course was very dashing. Much more so than standard society dress.
However, it was not this that was to be the attraction between our two - Thomas and Bella. It was more the things that her father said were important for marriage. Friendship, companionship, similar interests and so on, and of course having compatible temperaments.  Bella’s father said love would come if the other elements were satisfactory and he should know as he was on wife 2. And again we had a number of women dying as they gave birth. 
He was also someone who believed that women could look after money and that they were sensible enough to own property.
This romance, typical of the genre has its ups and downs, with some excitement and rejected lovers etc etc and unexpected events that turn their expectations of their lives together upside down.
This novel was of a good length and thus Catherine could explore quite a number of elements of the story and make it richer and more diverse. It was also enhanced by the author’s research into the era and the incorporation into the story of true elements of history. Not just the boots described in the fashion magazine but also the way men thought about what happened when they were away in the army. According to them the Bible accepted concubines - or mistresses - and it was acceptable to find one as a companion - such as a widow to ‘provide a refuge from military life’. See also what happens when Muslims go on pilgrimage and are ‘rented’ a wife for their stay. Hey ho - the bible was written by men!
 
I thought the novel was written and thoughtful and enjoyed her take on a Regency Romance.

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Let’s View the past – in contemporary time

Doing Time Book Cover Doing Time
Chronicles of St Mary's
Jodi Taylor
contemporary fantasy, historical fantasy, time travel, steam punk
Headline
(15 Oct. 2020)
paperback

Introducing the Time Police, the brand-new series by international best-selling author Jodi Taylor - an irresistible spinoff from the much-loved Chronicles of St Mary's series. Perfect listening for fans of Doctor Who, Ben Aaronovitch and Jasper Fforde. 

A long time ago in the future, the secret of time travel became known to all. Everyone seized the opportunity - and the world nearly ended. There will always be idiots who want to change history. 

And so, the Time Police were formed. An all-powerful, international organisation tasked with keeping the timeline straight. At all costs.

Their success is legendary, and the Time Wars are over. But now the Time Police must fight to save a very different future - their own.

This is the story of Jane, Luke and Matthew - arguably the worst recruits in Time Police history. Or, very possibly, three young people who might just change everything. 

Why is Nothing ever Simple:

A special Chronicles of St Mary’s Christmas short story

It’s Christmas at St Mary’s and time for the traditional illicit jump. Except this one is perfectly legal. It’s Major Guthrie’s last jump. To the Battle of Bannockburn, no less. An important moment in History for two nations – one that warrants everyone’s full attention.

But Max soon finds herself grappling with a near-lethal game of pooh sticks, another avian incursion and two turbulent teenagers intent on piloting their own illegal jump. And that’s all before they even get near fourteenth-century Scotland.

For this is St Mary’s and nothing is ever simple .

My Review
The series continues.

10 books and some small stories, and still more in the pipeline.

It is some time since I picked up this series but found the 2019 Christmas novella and read it immediately! Bannockburn and the removal of  the King’s   head by The Bruce. But did he do it? Major Guthrie wants to know. Who exactly did remove it is part of what's explored here_ and where was Mikey going with the Teapot? And what might have happened if they did go?

I then found 2 more short stories and a complete book I had missed!

'When Did You Last See Your Father?'

'And Now for Something Completely Different?

========================================

Now for Jodi Taylor. ‘Doing Time’.

She is still working her St Mary’s series, but has branched out to take Matthew back to the Time Police, and is starting a spin-off about him and 2 unlikely colleagues becoming Time Police trainees.

As always it is full of humour as per this funny statement about the business of maintenance finding what small parts always roll around and then are lost into an alternative dimension- just like socks I think.  Speak to any woman and they will tell you about how 2 socks go into the washing machine, but when you go to pair them up, there is only l.

I cannot fault Jodi Taylor. Her ST. M. books always make me giggle.

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