Friday, December 14, 2018

The Billionaire Scrooge (DC Billionaires #2), by Eliza Ellis

Eliza Ellis, December 2018

Fredericka Jones is about to break ground on the shelter for single mothers and their children that she promised her own mother, before her death, she would open. Then Charles Larenski swoops in, derailing her permits with shady methods and a plan to build a big, luxury hotel.

Freddie and Charles went to high school together. He was a top jock at their privileged private school. Freddie was a hardworking, nerdy student determined to justify every penny her hardworking mother was spending on sending her there to give Freddie a better start in life than her mother had.

Charles made sure the whole school called her Freaky Freddie.

But Freddie has university degrees, her own charitable foundation, and drop-dead gorgeous looks, now. When she shows up in his office hoping that she can make him understand that the shelter is important, he's not going to change his mind, but does think it's worth seducing her to try to change hers.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

The Christmas Hirelings, by Mary Elizabeth Braddon (author), Richard Armitage (narrator)

Audible Audio, December 2018 (original publication 1894)

This is a Victorian Christmas tale, and it's a good one.

Sir John Penlyon is spending Christmas with his niece, Adela, and his friend Thomas Danby, a makeshift family for the aging man with no closer family left to him. Long widowed, his older daughter died just a few years after her own marriage, with no children. His younger daughter married a penniless curate, in defiance of her father, and was of course disowned.

Adela mentions how dull a Christmas with no children is, and Sir John, a bit of a curmudgeon, says Christmas is pointless for a household without children. In short order, Danby has persuaded Sir john to agree to his scheme to hire some suitable young children to enliven their holiday.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Christmas Eve 1914, by Charles Olivier (author), Damon Herriman (narrator), Cameron Daddo (narrator), Xander Berkeley (narrator), James Scott (narrator), Lance Guest (narrator), Nate Jones (narrator), Cody Fern (narrator), John Beck (narrator), Gabe Greenspan (narrator), Heiko Obermoeller (narrator)

Audible Audio, December 2014

This short audiobook from Audible is about a British unit being rotated to the front lines just in time for Christmas Eve, 1914.

This unit has recently lost their captain, and the lieutenants are waiting for one of them to be promoted. Two are each convinced that he is the obviously correct candidate; two others are less concerned or interested. One of the ambitious ones also has a special addition to his pot of tea--one that's not illegal in 1914, but would certainly cause, at a minimum, raised eyebrows, and perhaps block promotion of an otherwise-capable officer. A new subaltern arrives, with a divine singing voice, and singing Silent Night, a cherished Christmas song of German origin, produces some misplaced hostility. The anticipated Christmas tins do not arrive, their shipping space taken by a Vickers machine gun, which will likely make this unit a particular target.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Love & Trust (The Summer Sisters #3), by Jean Oram (author), Vanessa Moyen (narrator)

Oram Productions, ISBN 9781928198529, June 2018 (original publication December 2014)

The development happening across from Nymph Island is becoming more obtrusive--and now the developers have made an offer for Nymph Island. The Summer sisters don't plan to sell, but these people are accustomed to getting what they want, and they don't plan to lose to four young women struggling to pay the taxes on their cottage.

It's Melanie, third sister, and a lawyer, who takes the lead this time, and Conor's friend, Tristen Bell, former developer who has taken an early retirement to Muskoka, is her possible partner in taking on his own former business rivals. Unfortunately, Tristen is determined not to be That Guy anymore, the ruthless, cutthroat developer who actually knows how to stop these people.

Monday, December 10, 2018

The Christmas Spirit (Christmas Spirit #1), by Susan Buchanan

Susan Buchanan, November 2013

It's December 2013, and the Christmas Spirit has some work to do.

Jacob has a university degree, but despite determined efforts, no job. He's sick of living on public benefits, but sees no prospect of that changing soon.

Stanley's wife died earlier in the year. His son is dead, and his grandson lives in Canada. He's alone, with Christmas bearing down on him.

Rebecca has just been dumped by her boyfriend, and adding insult to injury, he's being a jerk about their joint possessions, which include their flat. She also has a job with a lovely boss, but low pay and no prospects for career advancement.

Meredith is a workaholic business owner with no desire to do anything for Christmas but stay home with a takeout meal and a DVD.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Best Man for the Wedding Planner (Marrying a Millionaire #1), by Donna Alward

Harlequin Romance, ISBN 9781488089855, December 2018

Some years ago, in their early twenties, Adele Hawthorne and Dan Brimicombe were in love, and looking forward to a family together. Then Adele was diagnosed with cervical cancer. It had spread to her uterus, and she needed a hysterectomy. No children, ever.

Dan had a large, happy family, and looked forward, like his siblings, to raising his own large, happy family. Instead of telling Dan about her diagnosis, and letting him support her through her treatment and make his own decision about whether he wanted to stick with her despite the loss of any prospect of children together, she decided for him. Convinced that he couldn't be happy without children, and that he would nevertheless try to do the right thing and might persuade her, she tells him her feelings have changed, and breaks it off.

They're both heartbroken, but since they no longer have any contact, neither knows how the other feels.

Now, with thirty closing in on both of them, they meet again.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

#Herofail (Superheroes Anonymous #4), by Lexie Dunne

Harper Voyager Impulse, ISBN 9780062696236, November 2018

Once, Gail Godwin was Hostage Girl--not a superhero, but the girlfriend of a superhero, more or less continually being kidnapped and held hostage to influence her boyfriend, Blaze. Or, mundanely, Guy Bookman. But Blaze is now retired, Guy is working to become a chef, and due to events in previous books, Gail now has superpowers, and is Raptorlet--the apprentice Raptor, in training to take over when the current Raptor, Jessie, retires.

And of course, all heck is about to break loose.

Eddie Davenport, head of the Davenport Corporation for which all superheroes work, has decided it is time to promote his niece, Kiki, to a more prominent position with the goal of positioning her to be the next CEO when he retires. This is controversial for many reasons, but the big problem for Gail turns out to be that supervillain Tamara Diesel has planned a major attack on the gala where the announcement is formally made. In the course of this, Gail is forced to appear in the full Raptor armor to confront the attackers--and briefly winds up on her butt, arms and legs in the air. Someone snaps a picture, and it winds up trending on social media, #HeroFail.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

When Never Comes, by Barbara Davis (author), Shannon McManus (narrator)

Brilliance Audio, May 2018

Christy-Lynn Parker was the daughter of an addict, who coped as best she could, until finally her mother went to jail, and Christy-Lynn went to foster care.

When that was worse, she ran away.

But she worked and pursued her own goals as she always had. Working as an editor, she met, and married, crime fiction writer Stephen Ludlow. It was, or seemed, a safe haven, until the night Stephen skidded off a bridge into Echo Bay, with a half-naked young woman in the car with him.

Christine Ludlow needs to remake her life again. In Sweetwater, Virginia, she makes a start.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

The Billionaire Bodyguard (DC Billionaires #1), by Eliza Ellis

Eliza Ellis, November 2018

Zuri Msongo is a leader of pro-democracy revolutionaries in the fictional African nation of Bendola. The head of their movement is her father, and she's frustrated that he seems  to think her safety is just as important as his. He's the one who will hopefully be the first freely elected President of Bendola in twenty years, after all. She's David (Bendolan mother, American father), persuades her father to hire his old US Army buddy, Daemon Knight, to be her bodyguard. Especially when Knight recommends postponing the meeting they've scheduled with representatives from western governments, seeking support for the rebels.

The meeting goes ahead, and of course Knight was right about the security leak. The meeting takes place, successfully, but then the Msongos and their top people are attacked while attempting to leave. Daemon Knight gets her out, but her father is killed.

From this point on, it's a battle of wills, and a battle of cool judgment vs. passionate dedication and patriotism.