The Dickens with Love
Title : The Dickens with Love
Author : Josh Lanyon
Publisher : Samhain (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Contemporary
Length : 100 pages (e-book)
Published : November 4, 2009
Rating : ★★★★★
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 A previously unpublished Christmas book by Charles Dickens has turned up in the hands of an English chemistry professor by the name of Sedgwick Crisparkle.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.
Product Warnings : This book contains an ocelot, songs by America, Stardust martinis, tinsel, long-lost manuscripts, Faith, Hope and…Love.
I own and love this holiday novella and reading it is now a part of my holiday ramp up, like watching “A Christmas Carol, ” trimming my tree and baking cookies. It just has it all, an engaging mystery, the magic of love during the holidays and beautiful, sparkling Stardusts for lovers to toast each other and a plot with depth and references to Charles Dickens. Who could ask for anything more?
James Winter is a book appraiser who until a few years ago loved his life as a successful antique book hunter and he enjoyed a love life to be envied. That ended when James learned his mentor and boss were caught up in forgery and murder. Unfortunately, even though he was not involved, by association James lost his good name, career and his lover.
After the anger and shock James must begin again; however, James now lives a very different, pared down life. He continues to appraise books, but for a shadier class of clientele. One new client, Mr. Stephanopoulos asks James to investigate and authenticate a lost Dickens Christmas book. If it is authentic, he tells James he will pay anything to get his hands on it. There is only one stipulation: James is not to reveal who the buyer is under any circumstances.
James arranges an appointment with Sedgewick Crisparkle, the owner of the lost Dickens book. Sedgewick Crisparkle agrees to the meeting. Once James examines “The Christmas Cake,” he is convinced it is a work by Charles Dickens. James is also intensely aware of Sedgewick, who is not particularly pleased that James is making a before-the-auction offer on the book from a secret buyer.
“The Dickens With Love” is about redemption, trust, having faith and hope. Sedgewick must believe and have faith that James is trustworthy and honorable. James must believe that he is not defined by the incident three years earlier and he must have hope there are good things in his future.
Well, it’s Christmas and after sipping Stardusts in the bar, an encounter with a wayward, wacky ocelot, steamy lovemaking, enveloped in holiday magic, love begins to grow between the two men. I fell in love with James Winter first because he had lost everything and was so unfairly treated by his former boss and lover, but he keeps going because he is a determined survivor. And, then there was the reserved, cool Sedgewicke Crisparkle. I wasn’t as captivated by Crisparkle until he opened up to Winter and I then began to wildly cheer him on.
“The Dickens with Love” is a Christmas keeper, filled with Josh Lanyon’s witty writing, strong holiday themes and the enchantment of unexpected love. What could be a better feel-good, festive celebration? Give yourself this gift and enjoy.
Rated 5 stars by Carli