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Books, You Guys!

I read a lot of everything. Mostly fantasy and sci-fi, or speculative fiction or Slipstream or New Weird or whatever we're calling it now, some comics, some literary fiction, mysteries, la dee da. And...well. I do like a kissin' book.
Romancing Mister Bridgerton - Julia Quinn I cannot imagine that this won't be my favorite Bridgerton book. I know I have lots to go, but I really can't imagine it. It's definitely the lightest one so far, with a low stakes mystery and a refreshing lack of angst. Colin is less chauvinistic and, blessedly, far less emo than his predecessors in the series. He's a romantic hero, so of course he's got hang-ups, but they're very relatable and nowhere near as melodramatic as Anthony Bridgerton's death fantasy or, ahem, everything about Simon Hastings. Penelope is a rare and special sort of romantic heroine: a wallflower who still has a strong sense of self and of her own value, and accepts her blessings joyfully when they come instead of spending all her time convincing herself she doesn't deserve them. Even when convinced her hero is ashamed of her, it's him that she's disappointed in, not herself. Lady Danbury is a riot, the Bridgerton clan is as lovable as ever, and the antagonist is plenty nasty without landing in Disney villain territory. And Lady Whistledown, of course! So great. It's got almost everything I like in a Regency.It's not perfect, of course. Like every romance novel ever and historicals in particular, there are plenty of passages that will (or should) make your inner feminist vomit. Quinn's dialogue is often extremely clever but almost never believable, and when the characters aren't quipping (mostly hilariously, it must be said) it's often stiff and cliche. And, sigh, the sex scenes. They're not the worst I've ever read, and I'd even go so far as to say they're the best in the series. But they're totally unimaginative and pretty much interchangeable with the ones in every Julia Quinn book I've read so far. It's like Quinn only wrote three sex scenes, and just cuts and pastes them in a different order in each book. And the dialogue in them is just excruciating.The flaws don't detract much from the fun, though, at least for this reader. I'm calling it a win!