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Fifty Shames of Earl Grey

Hello, and welcome back! Our summer has been very conducive to lots of reading, since it's so hot and sticky in our region. I have missed sitting outside with my books, though, and it hasn't been nice enough--ie, cool enough--this summer to do that much. At least the herbs and vegetables are happy, though I'm going to have an awful lot of tomatoes ripe all at the same time. Gazpacho, anyone?

This time out, I have something a little different to share with you. A lot of people who don't normally read romance novels have jumped onto the erotica or erotic romance bandwagons in recent months. If you gave that trilogy a try and found it lacking, perhaps it's because you prefer a little levity with your romance. Fifty Shames of Earl Grey (DaCapo Press, received from publisher) by Fanny Merkin, aka Andrew Shaffer, will give you a whole lot of laughs in addition to your romance, all while skewering that uber-popular erotica trilogy. Young Anna Steal goes to interview hot CEO Earl Grey when her roommate is too hungover to make her scheduled appointment. Anna doesn't expect to fall in lust with the sexy young businessman, but she can't stop thinking about him. Or running into him, when he shows up at her job, at her home, at her favorite bar when she's out with friends. Anna is hilariously sheltered while still up on her pop culture. Earl is arrogant and mysterious-- including fifty things he's ashamed of--and he's determined to have the innocent Anna. This book was waiting for me one night when I got home from work, and I could hardly wait to start reading, though perhaps I should have waited at least until the next day, as it was quite late and the rest of my household was sleeping and not very happy with me laughing so much and so loudly in the middle of the night. So I put it away till the next day in order to appease the cranky, sleepy people here. But this book is absolutely laugh-out-loud funny, with its outrageous characters and situations. Some of the situations Merkin/Shaffer puts these two characters in are completely hysterical, sometimes bawdy, sometimes just plain funny. I loved it and had added this one to my keeper shelf. And, to be very honest, I've reread it when I needed some cheering up. Some days you just need a laugh, and this book is a guaranteed way to get one. Or a hundred, depending on how much you read in one sitting. Every bit of purple prose you can imagine, every silly word play, every euphemism of body parts ever invented (and then some)...those are just some of the things you'll find in this one to keep you laughing your way through the pages. While it's not your traditional romance, it is still a romance, and I'm borrowing four of Cupid's five arrows for this one. It is awesome!

Until next time, happy reading!

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Fanny Merkin

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