There is something about a BPD (British Period Drama) that is sometimes what we need at a specific moment. It is not just the narrative itself, it is the ability for us to be taken out of our daily lives for a short time.
The trailer for the new film, Mr. Malcolm’s List, was released last week. Based on the book by Suzanne Allain, the epymonous Mr. Jeremy Malcolm, (Sope Dirisu) is the most wanted bachelor of the season. Every eligible young lady and her matchmaking mama have set their cap at him.
In response, he has created a list of qualities that his future wife must-have. They seem so impossible that no woman would ever fit the bill. Enter Selina Dalton (Freida Pinto). She checks off all of the boxes and then some. But she has a secret that could derail this marriage before he can pop the question.
I am very excited about this film. I loved the book, which owes a great deal to Jane Austen, and I loved the short film that was released a few years ago.
I can only hope that the full-length feature lives up to its promise and the book it is based on.
Mr. Malcolm’s List will be in theaters starting on July 1st, 2022.
Love sometimes comes when we least expect it. It also comes from the one person who we do not see coming.
A Prince on Paper, by Alyssa Cole, is the third book in the Reluctant Royals series. Published in 2019, it follows the love story of Nya Jerami and Johan von Braustein. After a family scandal, Nya left home for New York City. Returning for a wedding, she discovers that she is not the only passenger on the plane. Johan, whose stepfather is the King of Liechtienbourg does not exactly have the cleanest of reputations. Johan’s best friend is the groom and Nya’s cousin is the bride. Their first meeting does not go well.
In order to protect his country and his younger half-brother’s future as King, Johan fake proposes to Nya. She accepts, knowing that it is nothing more than a ruse. But as they spend time together, the engagement becomes real, as do their feelings. The question is, are they bold enough to reveal what is in their heart or will they walk away?
On a scale of 1-10, the hotness factor is a six, whereas the previous books in the series were a nine or ten. However, Cole’s writing is so easy to read that it made that number not seem so bad. I appreciated that both Nya and Johan came with emotional baggage, which made their relationship seem real and fraught with enough complications that I needed to read on.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
A Prince on Paper is available wherever books are sold.
P.S. I love that Johan is a redhead. It’s about time that redheaded men got some love.
The hate-to-love narrative within the romance genre is a delicious one for both the writer(s) and the audience. It has the potential to set the story on fire and bring the audience along for a roller coaster of a ride.
Rachel Lynn Solomon‘s novel, The Ex Talk, was published in early 2021. Shay Goldstein has spent the last ten years climbing up the career ladder at her local NPR station in Portland, Oregon. Dominic Yun is fresh out of grad school and throwing his degree around as if it were a frisbee. Their initial relationship is as compatible as oil and water.
When the station manager announces layoffs due to a downturn in revenue, Shay comes up with an idea to save the station and everyone’s jobs. Her boss quickly gives the go-ahead. The new program is called The Ex Talk. Two people who are no longer together will give advice about life and love. Instead of choosing two real-life exes, Shay and Dominic pretend that they were once a couple. In spite of their mutual dislike, they agree to the deception.
The podcast soon becomes a hit. As Shay and Dominic go along with the story, they start to understand and fall for one another. But there is a growing suspicion that it is nothing more than an act. When the other shoe falls, where will Shay and Dominic land?
I loved this book. It is cute, charming, and gets the heart fluttering. Solomon’s writing is easy to read and quickly engrosses the reader. I found myself swept away on a tidal wave of a story that was is absolutely one of the best romance novels I’ve read in a long time.
Not everyone is born with the knowledge of what they want to do with their lives. Some travel on a figurative winding path before making this discovery.
The 2018 romance novelA Duke by Default, by Alyssa Cole, is the second book in the Reluctant Royals Series. At the age of thirty, New York City Socialite Portia Hobbs has yet to settle down, in both the professional and romantic sense. Feeling like she is a disappointment to everyone around her, Portia applies and is accepted for an apprenticeship with a struggling swordmaker in Scotland.
Tavish McKenzie does not help running his armory, especially from a woman like Portia. Even if she is willing to get her hands figuratively dirty in running the business. His first response is to give Portia busy work while fighting his attraction to her. Their relationship, both in and out of the office shifts when she discovers that Tavish is the heir to a dukedom.
Turning Tavish into a gentleman is the easy part. Dealing with the media onslaught and their burgeoning romance is another thing entirely.
I enjoyed this book. Cole writes in a way that combines the natural elements of the genre and modern narrative that does not feel predictable. Obviously, the reader knows how the story is going to end. Tavish and Portia are such interesting characters that I was immediately hooked. I also appreciated that Portia is not just looking for love, she just found it along the way of finding herself.
Do I recommend it? Yes
A Duke by Default is avaliable wherever books are sold.
*The schedule for the Character Review posts will be changing to Friday (or Saturday at the latest from now on).
*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the movie A League of Their Own. Read at your own risk if you have not watched the movie. There is something to be said about a well-written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.
There is and has been, for all of human history, a double-edged sword for female sexuality. We know that without it, life would not continue on. But, at the same time, it has been demonized (by men mostly) as the evil to end all evils. It has also been one of the only ways to be independent and earn a living in a world in which marriage is the only acceptable outcome.
In A League of Their Own, Mae Mordabito (Madonna) has up to this point, brought home the bacon by working at a gentleman’s club. Best friends with Doris Murphy (Rosie O’Donnell), both have found a new opportunity via the AAGPBL. Known as “All The Way Mae” on the ballfield, she has an interesting duality. When not in uniform, she is known for not being without a date. Mae is also not heartless. She teaches a teammate to read via a romance novel. It’s not the most traditional way to learn, but it’s the thought that counts.
To sum it up: Then, as now, a woman’s use of her physical form as she wished to was a controversial topic. But Mae owns who she is and what she does. Like the actress who plays her, that is a subject that is still unfortunately timely and not without it’s detractors.
Which is why she is a memorable character.
P.S. One of my favorite scenes in the movie is at the roadhouse.
P.P.S. The theme song from the movie, This Used to be My Playground is one of my favorite songs of hers.
We all get those emails that claim to come from an unknown foreign royal promising a fortune. Logic dictates that it is a scam and should be ignored. But what happens when the email is legit?
The 2018 romance novel, A Princess in Theory, is the first of three novels in the Reluctant Royals Series. Written by Alyssa Cole, the narrative starts off with this kind of email. When Naledi Smith starts receiving emails stating that she is betrothed to an African Prince, she writes it off as junk. As soon as she disregards it, it comes back to her, again and again. Raised in foster care, she learned early that the only person she can rely on is herself. Between grad school and her part-time job as a waitress, the last thing she has time for is a boyfriend.
Prince Thabiso will one day inherit the crown of the fictional African country of Thesolo. Now that he is a man, the next thing he must do is marry. The young lady who was chosen as his future Queen disappeared years ago. Using the information that he has, Thabiso finds her in New York City. Knowing that Naledi has no memory of him or their planned future, he pretends to be “Jamal”, wanting to experience life on his own terms and be loved for his person and not his title.
The attraction and chemistry are instant, but Thabiso knows that he will have to come clean eventually. Will Naledi accept the truth and his true self or will she walk away?
The best way to describe the narrative is Coming to America meets the Prince and Me with a pinch of Black Panther. I don’t normally read this genre But this one is totally worth the time. It is romantic, sexy, and oh so hot. As the female lead, Naledi is everything I would want in a protagonist. She is smart, driven, capable, but also willing to open to the idea of love when it comes around.
Do I recommend it? Absolutely.
A Princess in Theory is available wherever books are sold.