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Entries in Susan Elizabeth Phillips (2)


plane (never plain) reading


With any trip, one of the questions forefront in my mind is What on earth am I going to read on the plane? This is one of the few times that reading quickly does not work in my favor. And with a loooong flight ahead of me, I am more concerned than usual.

Thankfully, some of my very favorite authors are releasing books this month. Imagine my delight when I discovered that Sherry Thomas has not one but two books out, The Hidden Blade and My Beautiful Enemy (released just today--the former is a prequel to the latter) while Courtney Milan has The Suffragette Scandal. Icing on the cake? Susan Elizabeth Phillips has Heroes are My Weakness arriving on August 26th, which will be the perfect thing to unwind to post-trip.

The funny thing is that I don't actually like any of the plots of these books, and I'm not particularly impressed with what I know of the heroines and their leading men. But after long, happy relationships with these writers, I trust that I will fall into the story--and be ridiculously happy doing so--nonetheless.

Now to not touch these books until I actually leave. This is the hardest part!

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grand gestures

Starting my romance novel reading as early as I did (I truly think my mother just got sick of buying me new books every other day and was, like, here, my stash of books! Knock yourself out--it will give me respite for a month!), I have been asked/warned/teased that they would ruin me for real relationships for the rest of my life.

On one level, this is simply not true. Writers like Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Lisa Kleypas delve into the psychology of their characters and how each character really complements and challenges their love interest, making them right for each other not in spite of their flaws but because of them. Julia Quinn's books have taught me that people have different senses of humor, and how it's possible to narrow your choices down to the right one by how often and why you can make each other laugh.

Then there are writers like Judith McNaught who write the most delicious novels that just happen to feed on drama and toss grand gestures in the air like confetti. So-and-so put his wife through an emotional rollercoaster for years, finally opened up to her only to then accuse of her of attempting to murder him, so she then takes a bullet for him, goes into a coma, makes it through, and he lets her go but not without first  giving her a huge ruby pendant rimmed with diamonds and a diamond in the shape of a tear, hence she forgives him, and they live happily ever after. (I am not telling you which one this is because it actually is an amazing read, and you will be sobbing by the time you get to the jewels. PS That dramatic portion is like a teensy tiny fraction of the book, and there is a lot more juiciness before you even get to him being nice to her.) Anyhoo, I am getting off point... The point being that yes, maybe my expectation level has jumped just a tad thanks to Ms. Deveraux and her pal Elizabeth Lowell. (Read To The Ends of The Earth--I swear I have read it over twenty times, no lie, and still cry at the ending each time.)

Of course real life romance can't possibly compare, and my husband, my wonderful, flawed-in-a-way-that-fits-me (and vice versa; yes, I will (reluctantly) admit I have flaws too), surprises-me-with-how-funny-he-is husband is not a grand gesturer. It's simply not in his nature. He does, however, have the knack for doing just the right thing when I need it. Yesterday, after waking up on the wrong side of bed and being grumpy for no reason at all (see? flaws, I tell you!), I moped my way to yoga. During class, I suddenly felt awash in guilt. He had been so nice all day, I thought, and resolved to go home and surprise him with an offer to eat out for dinner, his choice, my treat. So I come home, and I tell him my plan, and he has a huge smile on his face. Then he lets me know that he has drawn me a bath (which means he had to scrub out the tub first because I am phobic about tub germs and only tub germs) with Epsom salt (I think this detail is hilarious for some reason), poured me a glass of white, lit me a candle, and will leave me in wonderful peace and quiet so I can relax and get over my Sunday-itis.

I almost cried. Rubies and tear-shaped diamonds! Pish-posh. Grand gestures are overrated. Thank you, Michael, for ending my weekend on such a wonderful note. And thank you even more for all of the little things you do. I know some of them go unnoticed, but I love you for every single one of them.

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