The announcement first: this blog will be taking a break from reviewing books until at least Nov. 1, and possibly beyond then. I need to rethink what I’ll be reviewing, and it’s possible I won’t be doing any new releases. I won’t be accepting ARCs in the future.
But before I walk away for a rest and reassessment, I really wanted to get my review of Just for Christmas Night up. It’s a great book, the third in a series I’ve been enjoying, and it deserves some love.
Published: 01 December 2014
Reasons I Might Actually Remember This One:The complete lack of slut-shaming. The heroine is no virgin, and she’s not ashamed of her choices, in spite of her own mother’s harshness on the subject.
Disclosure: I received an ARC in return for a fair and honest review.
And about that disclosure: I just want to say in passing that while I don’t know Lisa Marie Perry personally, as an author she has always been pure class. She’s polite and friendly and for what my opinion is worth, she’s someone I feel safe accepting ARCs from and reviewing books for.
That all makes me sound a little crazy, right? Like, WHY WOULD I EVEN NEED TO SAY THAT? Well, in the light of another author’s spectacularly bad life choices and scary behaviour, it just seems worth specifying.
I’ve been waiting for this book, because Martha Blue was my favourite of the Blue sisters even when she was just appearing as a background character in her sisters’ stories. Raised by powerful determined parents (the mother is downright manipulative), she was the most rebellious, unconcerned with the family brand and with “image” and bent on having a good time.
Including, and ths is one of my reasons for loving this book, a good time with men. Martha doesn’t do “dating” but she does do “sex,” and I love non-virgin heroines who own who they are. The author doesn’t do any cop-outs, either: Martha isn’t secretly a virgin, or a virgin-to-one-particular-sex-act. When sex with the hero is special, it’s special because of Martha’s emotions about Joaquin, not because of any “this is the first time I’ve ever done X” thing.
Also, party-girl Martha has been keeping a few secrets from her family, and they’re in the opposite direction from her mother’s expectations. She’s been building her education and is more determined to manage her family’s brand–and more capable of doing so–than anyone has given her credit for. I loved it.
The only aspect I didn’t love is that she rescues a foster child, and I have an aversion to children popping up in romances when I’m not braced for them. But to be fair, her foster daughter isn’t an ordinary plot moppet, so there was no overdose of sweetness, just some reasonable compassion. So it worked better than most “suddenly, a child appears” subplots for me.