Review: Kat Latham’s THREE NIGHTS BEFORE CHRISTMAS, My True Love Offered Vindication

3_Nights_Before_XmasThree Nights Before Christmas is the second Kat Latham romance Miss Bates read this year. When Miss Bates thoroughly enjoys two romances by the same author, said author enters auto-buy territory. Latham’s work is quirky, interesting; it stands out. It feels special and different, fresh. When you consider Three Nights Before Christmas‘ premise, it’s easy to see why. On Thanksgiving, Lacey Gallagher is released from prison, having completed three of a ten-year sentence. She will serve parole in her Montana hometown, live at home with older brother, Sawyer, and work at the family’s Christmas tree farm. Lacey was convicted of transporting drugs thanks to Dave Dugger, a charming, lying, manipulative ex-boyfriend. The man who arrested and helped put her in prison, nemesis Austin Wilder, letter-of-the-law forest ranger and looker, features in Lacey’s best and worst dreams. But Miss Bates tosses frivolity where she oughtn’t – yet, as serious and painful as it is to witness Lacey’s struggles adjusting to the world outside prison walls, the wit and warmth with which the novel is written and the love with which Austin, Lacey, and everyone around them are rendered, puts a smile on a reader’s face, even during some of the novel’s darkest moments.  Continue reading

REVIEW: Maya Blake’s WHAT THE GREEK’S MONEY CAN’T BUY, or Boardroom and Bedroom

What the Greek's Money Can't BuyMiss Bates is not a fan of the office-romance, even less so of the boss-and-secretary scenario. Nowadays, the secretary is promoted to personal/executive assistant; however, as they exist in HPs, their tasks and challenges are pretty much those of a secretary, which is not to denigrate a position that millions of people, mainly women, have held, hold, and will hold. However, it does not render the romance set-up palatable, given the power inequalities it entails. It’s a rare romance that does it justice by giving the upper hand to the heroine-secretary rather than powerful and wealthy hero. (The only one that comes to mind is  Susan Napier’s so-good In Bed With the Boss, with her signature nut-ball, vain hero and peevishly tough heroine. Read it, it’s great.) As for Blake’s What the Greek’s Money Can’t Buy, cut from boss-secretary cloth, well, Miss Bates wanted to give it a fighting chance. It had some good stuff going for it, including an ex-con heroine (more of that later!) and your standard growl-y Greek billionaire. It had a promising start, but went downhill soon thereafter; the chinks in everything that is wrong with the office-romance and an idiosyncratic and ludicrous use of demotic Greek (yes, this is a point with Miss Bates) ran it aground. Continue reading to find out what sank the ship