A quirky holiday romance about Faith, Hope, and…er…glow-in-the-dark condoms!
Three years ago, a scandal cost antiquarian “book hunter” James Winter everything that mattered to him: his job, his lover and his self-respect. But now the rich and unscrupulous Mr. Stephanopoulos has a proposition. A previously unpublished Christmas book by Charles Dickens has turned up in the hands of an English chemistry professor by the name of Sedgwick Crisparkle. Mr. S. wants that book at any price, and he needs James to get it for him. There’s just one catch. James can’t tell the nutty professor who the buyer is.
Actually, two catches. The nutty Professor Crisparkle turns out to be totally gorgeous—and on the prowl. Faster than you can say, “Old Saint Nick,” James is mixing business with pleasure…and in real danger of forgetting that this is just a holiday romance.
Just as they’re well on the way to having their peppermint sticks and eating them too, Sedgwick discovers the truth. James has been a very bad boy. And any chance Santa will bring him what he wants most is disappearing quicker than the Jolly Old Elf’s sleigh
The Dickens With Love – Josh Lanyon
December 1, 2009
Book was received from author
Before you start this book, make sure you have vodka, creme de cocoa and goldschlager on hand – just trust me on that. You know Smexy likes her cocktails, and things that sparkle – put those together and you have a Stardust, and it sounds like it is full of sparkly deliciousness. There is much more to this lovely book than booze though, so let’s get to it.
James Winter is a book appraiser that has fallen on hard times. Three years ago he had the life many envied, a successful antique book hunting career and a steady relationship. All of that came crashing down after James discovered his mentor and boss got mixed up with forgery and murder. Although James was not directly involved, his name was dragged through the mud and his career and relationship are gone.
Now James lives a very lonely, sparse life. He still appraises books, but his clientele has become a bit shady. Mr. Stephanopoulos wants a supposedly lost Dickens Christmas book, and he will pay anything to get it. Sedgewick Crisparkle claims he has this book and is ready to put it up for auction. Mr. Stephanopoulos asks James to verify this book is the orignal, and his only condition is that Sedgewick not disclose it is Mr. Stephanopoulos that is the buyer.
James meets Sedgewick and one look at the book, James is pretty sure this is the real deal. More that that, Sedgewick is very attractive – that is about where his good qualities end, at least on their first meeting. Sedgewick is very flip and serious and putout James is in his hotel room looking at the book. Things begin to change however after an incident with an ocelet (oh yes) and rumors of James’ past are cleared up. Romance at Christmas time, is there anything better?
The Dickens With Love is just what the first sentence of the blurb above states. Sedgewick must have faith that James is not a product of his past, that he is trustworthy and upstanding. James must have hope that his life will not be remembered by the awful incident three years ago and there are good things to come in the future. And what would a Christmas story be without some hot lovin’ with red and green peppermint flavored condoms?
I immediately fell in love with James. The lonely, depressed vibe in a character always appeals to me because when he does find love and happiness it makes it that much sweeter. Sedgewick made me work a little harder to come to like him. At the beginning of the book he is made out to be a very rude, no nonsense man. After he realizes James is better than what his past paints his picture as, he warms up and you get to see much more of his charm. I think it was after he waited two and a half hours in the parking lot for James and refused to let him slip out of his grip that I started rooting for him.
This is just the tale of two guys falling in love and it is witty and told very well. Did I think they confessed absolute love for each other a little too quickly? Yes, but hey, it’s a Christmas story – there needs to be love and happy endings. There was quite a bit of romance scenes in this novella and they were quite steamy. With the backdrop of the lost Dickens story it really brought out the Christmas spirit. Finally, James and Sedgewick love books. When James realizes the Dickens book is an original, his hands shake and he stands there and loses all composure. There is nothing better than a romance book that celebrates books and reading.
I feel like I always repeat myself at this point in a Josh Lanyon review. I need to make a blog button and just insert it at the end of my reviews that says “Smexy likes the way Josh Lanyon writes,” or maybe something more catchy, but you get my drift. Go make yourself a cocktail and snuggle up with The Dickens With Love.
Rating: 4 1/2 stars
Well-Read – Excellent