Sunday, November 29, 2020

November Reflections

Books Reviewed at Becky's Book Reviews

133. The Rules Have Changed. Lesley Choyce. 2021. [January] 120 pages. [Source: Review copy]

134. Wench. Maxine Kaplan. 2021. [January] 400 pages. [Source: Review copy]

135. Harrison Ranch and Macgregor's Mail Order Bride. Susan Payne. 2019. 320 pages. [Source: Review copy]

136. A Midwife for Sweetwater and A New Face in Town. Susan Payne. 2020. 274 pages. [Source: Review copy]

137. Three Sisters. Susan Payne. 2020. 155 pages. [Source: Review copy]

138. Zanna's Gift. Orson Scott Card. 2020. [November] Originally published in 2004? 250 pages. [Source: Review copy] 

139. A Regency Christmas Anthology. Susan Payne. 2020. Wild Rose Press. 212 pages. [Source: Review copy]

140. A Husband for Christmas. Nancy Pirri. 2020. 189 pages. [Source: Review copy] 

141. All I Want for Christmas. Wendy Loggia. 2020. 240 pages. [Source: Review copy]

142. Kisses for Christmas. Dana Volney. 2020. COMPLETE GUESS 250? pages. [Source: Review copy]

143. Talent. B. Lynn Goodwin. 2020. [November] 226 pages. [Source: Review copy]

144. Holiday Hearts. Dana Volney. 2020. 242 pages. [Source: Review copy]

145.  The Little Christmas Shop on Nutcracker Lane. Jaimie Admans. 2020. 311 pages. [Source: Review copy]

146. Rock of Freedom: The Story of the Plymouth Colony. Noel Gerson. 1964/2020. 167 pages. [Source: Review copy]


Books Reviewed at Young Readers

109. Go to Bed, Monster! Natasha Wing. Illustrated by Sylvie Wickstrom. 2007. 40 pages. [Source: Review copy]

110. Noisy Nora. Rosemary Wells. 1973. 32 pages. [Source: Bought] 

111. Ann Likes Red. Dorothy Z. Seymour. Illustrated by Nancy Meyeroff. 1965. 28 pages. [Source: Bought]

112. Are You My Mother? P.D. Eastman. 1962. 64 pages. [Source: Bought] 

113. Stranger on the Home Front. Maya Chhabra. 2021. [January] 160 pages. [Source: Review copy]

114. Ballerina Bess. Dorothy Jane Mills and Dorothy Z. Seymour. 1965. 25 pages. [Source: Bought]

115. Anne's School Days. Kallie George. Illustrated by Abigail Halpin. 2021. [July] 72 pages. [Source: Review copy] 

116.  Snail and Worm: Three Stories About Two Friends. Tina Kugler. 2016. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]

117. Snail and Worm Again (Snail & Worm #2) Tina Kugler. 2017. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]


Books Reviewed at Operation Actually Read Bible

91. 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon. (Thru the Bible #50) J. Vernon McGee. 1978. 192 pages. [Source: Bought]
92. Welcome to the Journey. A Baptism gift. Bob Hartman. Illustrated by Raffaella Ligi. 2021. [March] Lion Hudson LTD. 40 pages. [guess on my part, but there are at least 36; since most picture books are either 32 or 40, I went with 40] [Source: Review copy]
93. Psalms 42-89 (Thru the Bible #18) J. Vernon McGee. 1997 (really earlier). 192 pages. [Source: Bought]
94. Hebrews 1-7 (Thru the Bible #51) J. Vernon McGee. 1978/1996. 152 pages. [Source: Bought]
95. Hebrews 8-13 (Thru the Bible #52) J. Vernon McGee. 1978. 168 pages. [Source: Bought]
96. James. Thru the Bible #53 J. Vernon McGee. 1975. 120 pages. [Source: Bought]

Bibles Reviewed at Operation Actually Read Bible

none in November, but should be three in December!

5 Star Books

Go to Bed, Monster! Natasha Wing. Illustrated by Sylvie Wickstrom. 2007. 40 pages. [Source: Review copy]

1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon. (Thru the Bible #50) J. Vernon McGee. 1978. 192 pages. [Source: Bought]

Zanna's Gift. Orson Scott Card. 2020. [November] Originally published in 2004? 250 pages. [Source: Review copy]

Ann Likes Red. Dorothy Z. Seymour. Illustrated by Nancy Meyeroff. 1965. 28 pages. [Source: Bought]

Noisy Nora. Rosemary Wells. 1973. 32 pages. [Source: Bought]

Are You My Mother? P.D. Eastman. 1962. 64 pages. [Source: Bought]

Psalms 42-89 (Thru the Bible #18) J. Vernon McGee. 1997 (really earlier). 192 pages. [Source: Bought]

Anne's School Days. Kallie George. Illustrated by Abigail Halpin. 2021. [July] 72 pages. [Source: Review copy]

Hebrews 1-7 (Thru the Bible #51) J. Vernon McGee. 1978/1996. 152 pages. [Source: Bought]

Hebrews 8-13 (Thru the Bible #52) J. Vernon McGee. 1978. 168 pages. [Source: Bought]

James. Thru the Bible #53 J. Vernon McGee. 1975. 120 pages. [Source: Bought]

November totals

November Totals



Yearly Totals


2020 Totals

© 2020 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

Saturday, November 28, 2020

1945 Hits Archive

Mom and I finished listening to the 1945 Hits Archive available via the78prof's YouTube channel. We were both a little disappointed with this year's offerings. Especially early on in the alphabet. (The playlist is arranged alphabetically by song title.) But the year did have some great songs.

For your reference:
List of Billboard number one singles of 1945


Don't Fence Me In -- Sammy Kaye (Billy Williams Vocal); Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters;

I'm Beginning to See the Light -- Kitty Kallen (Harry James Orchestra);  

It Might as Well Be Spring -- Margaret Whiting & Paul Weston Orchestra; Dick Haymes; Sammy Kaye (Billy Williams, vocal).

It's Been A Long, Long Time -- Harry James (Kitty Kallen); Bing Crosby

Sentimental Journey -- Doris Day

That's For Me -- Dick Haymes

Till the End of Time -- Perry Como

© 2020 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

Thursday, November 26, 2020

1946 Hits Archive

Mom and I finished the 1946 Hits Archive earlier today posted at the78prof's YouTube channel. Overall, it was a solidly good year! (I think it was 1948 that was a bit more "interesting" and "taste-specific.") 

For your reference: Billboard year-end top singles of 1946 and Billboard number-one singles of 1946.


All Through the Day -- Perry Como

Boogie Blues -- Gene Krupa (Anita O'Day vocal) 

Bumble Boogie Freddy Martin and His Orchestra with Jack Fina on Piano.

Buzz Me -- Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five

Cement Mixer (Put-ti Put-ti) Alvino Rey (Rocky Coluccio vocal)

Choo Choo ch'Boogie Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five

The Christmas Song -- Nat King Cole/ The King Cole Trio

Dig You Later -- Perry Como

Give Me the Simple Life -- Benny Goodman and His Orchestra 

Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Vaughn Monroe & Orchestra

Oh! What It Seemed To Be -- Frank Sinatra; Frankie Carle & His Orchestra, Marjorie Hughes vocals; Dick Haymes & Helen Forrest; Charlie Spivak, Jimmy Saunders Vocal.

Day by Day -- Frank Sinatra

One-Zy Two-Zy Phil Harris & Orchestra (he's singing with his daughter) 

Route 66 King Cole Trio/ Nat King Cole

Winter Wonderland -- Perry Como

There were many, many songs from Annie Get Your Gun. 


© 2020 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

146. Rock of Freedom

Rock of Freedom: The Story of the Plymouth Colony. Noel Gerson. 1964/2020. 167 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: There was no sound in the vast, black expanse of wilderness but the faint, steady drip of raindrops falling from pines and birches, cedars and poplars and firs. Gradually the dark clouds hovering over the crescent of land on which Plymouth Colony was built began to roll away.

Premise/plot: Rock of Freedom is nonfiction narrative--an account of the first two to four years of the Plymouth Colony. The framework of the story is the arrival of Anne and Little James in 1623. This is where the story opens and closes. In between is the story of how the Separatists--and other would-be colonists--together sailed to the New World (on the Mayflower) and settled in what would become New England. It focuses primarily on three or four leaders; not every colonist was mentioned and received attention. It is a story of strength and weaknesses, successes and failures. It is grim and gritty--for life was hard, unimaginably hard. 

The book was originally written in 1964 at a time when political correctness was not reigning supreme--for better or worse. Know this going in that perhaps if an author was writing today that he/she might phrase things a bit differently in hopes of reaching the widest audience possible. I am not ever suggesting that facts should be manipulated or twisted--revised or corrected long, long after the fact. Facts are facts are facts; they can be interpreted differently with each generation, with each reader. Researchers should stick to facts and if at all possible show their work--their research. Modern writers don't necessarily need to "rescue" or "save" historical figures--by justifying every word, every act. Nor do modern writers "need" to crucify those that lived in the past and vilify everyone and everything. Present the facts and let readers decide for themselves. In the case of the pilgrims, it's not an either/or. They are neither saints nor sinners. I don't need perfect heroes to idolize. 

This book definitely presents the pilgrims as an incredible group of people--a bit idealistic at times perhaps. But then again they do stick to the first few years of the colony.

My thoughts: Rock of Freedom is READABLE. Sadly not all books about the pilgrims are. I have read several adult books this year on the subject of the Mayflower and Pilgrims, etc. Some of them are a CHORE. One of them I'm almost ready to give up on completely. A dryer book has never been penned. And that book in particular seeks to strip all the pilgrims of any good attributes or nature. Again, I don't need my pilgrims to be saints--but human nature is always such a mixing of the good and bad, the right and wrong; no one is purely good or purely evil. So it was refreshing that this book was READABLE.

It does include a lot of dialogue. I'm not sure this much dialogue would pass as nonfiction in 2020, but, in a way it's delightful. I take dialogue in nonfiction with a grain of salt. I know that the writer might be putting words in someone's mouth that may or may not in any way whatsoever be true and legit. Maybe those words reflect his or her interpretation of written facts in primary or secondary sources. 

I definitely enjoyed reading it.

© 2020 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

1947 Hits Archive

Mom and I finished the 1947 Hits Archive on the78prof's YouTube channel. For your reference, Billboard number one singles 1947; Billboard year-end top singles of 1947


Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens by Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five. He writes, " Composed by the husband-wife team of Alex Kramer & Joan Whitney, this novelty spent a whopping 17 weeks atop the R&B charts, reaching #6 on the pop juke box listings." I just have to say I LOVE this one so much. I listened to it three or four times in a row!

Almost Like Being In Love -- Frank Sinatra. I'm so used to this being "Frank's" song that I didn't realize it was from a musical--Brigadoon.

There were 4 Anniversary Songs. The first by Al Jolson. "Among 1947’s top ballads, “Anniversary Song” was a new lyrical adaptation of the 1880 composition “Waves Of The Danube” by Ivanovici and was the #1 tune on “Your Hit Parade” for six consecutive weeks. Popularized through its appearance in the box office hit “The Jolson Story,” five different versions of the tune reached the top-5 on Billboard’s weekly best-sellers charts. Jolson’s own studio version led the pack, spending six weeks at #2 (blocked from the top spot by Ted Weems’ “Heartaches”). The other four versions in the collection are by Dinah Shore, Tex Beneke, Guy Lombardo and Andy Russell."

There were two An Apple Blossom Weddings. Eddy Howard. Don Cornell, vocal Sammy Kaye orchestra.

Babalu -- Desi Arnaz 

Here Comes Santa Claus Gene Autry

I Believe -- Frank Sinatra

For Sentimental Reasons Nat King Cole. There were four other versions also in 1947. "Not yet including “Nat” in his professional name, King Cole and his jazz trio enjoyed their first #1 ‘pop’ best-seller with this memorable 1946-47 ballad. The song itself spent 7 weeks atop Your Hit Parade and spawned several other successful recorded versions: Dinah Shore, Ella Fitzgerald, Eddy Howard and Charlie Spivak are also posted."

I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now -- Perry Como 

Open the Door, Richard -- Count Basie; All five posted versions of this short-lived novelty sensation made it into the top-10 on both the pop and R&B Billboard weekly record charts: Count Basie (#1 pop), Dusty Fletcher, Jack McVea, Louis Jordan and The Three Flames

Ragtime Cowboy Joe -- Eddy Howard

Smoke, Smoke, Smoke (That Cigarette) Phil Harris

That's My Desire -- Frankie Laine

White Christmas -- Bing Crosby

Zip-a-dee-doo-dah JOhnny Mercer

© 2020 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

Monday, November 23, 2020

1948 Hits Archive

Mom and I finished listening to the 1948 Hits Archive on the 78prof's YouTube channel. This year had its ups and downs--possibly explained in part by the 1948 Recording Ban. But also some years are just like that. I asked mom to describe the year and she said monotonous because it wasn't just a handful of repeating songs--but many, many. And some of the repeats weren't even all that good. This year had multiple Spike Jones' numbers to contend with as well--never a good thing.

For your reference: Billboard number one singles of 1948; Billboard Year-End Top Singles of 1948.

Anytime -- Eddy Arnold and his Tennessee Plowboys; Just A Little Lovin'

Ballerina Buddy Clark; Bing Crosby; Vaughn Monroe

Buttons and Bows -- Dinah Shore and Her Happy Valley Boys; Dinning Sisters & Art Van Damme; Evelyn Knight; Betty Rhodes.

Confess -- Doris Day and Buddy Clark; Patti Page singing with Patti Page. "With no singing partner available for the session, Patti recorded both vocal parts, resulting in the first such multi-voice-tracked commercial hit (Les Paul was already doing his guitar overdubs, but the multi-voiced Les & Mary creations were yet to come)."

Good Rockin' Tonight -- Wynonie Harris 

Guitar Boogie -- Arthur Smith

Hair of Gold, Eyes of Blue -- Gordon MacRae and the Starlighters. He writes, "A 1948 ‘recording ban’ hit, performed a cappella (no musical instruments).* Not counting several good-sized duet hits with Jo Stafford, “Hair Of Gold turned out to be the only single of MacRae’s entire solo career that ever made it into the top 10 of Billboard’s weekly best-sellers chart. This Sunny Skylar tune was featured in the 1948 musical western film “Singin’ Spurs” from Columbia Pictures. See also the Harmonicats version of the song. * During the nearly year-long strike by James C. Petrillo’s American Federation of Musicians, new vocal recordings for commercial release could be produced only as a cappella (all instruments) or using such lesser, ‘union-approved’ tools as harmonicas, ukuleles and toy xylophones."

I'm Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover -- Art Mooney Russ Morgan and His Orchestra (Ames Brothers as background singers)

I'm My Own Grandpaw -- Guy Lombardo, Lombardo Trio

I've Got A Crush On You -- Frank Sinatra

It's Magic -- Doris Day; Tony Martin; Dick Haymes; Sarah Vaughan; Gordon MacRae

Just Because -- Frankie Yankovic 

Life Gits Tee-Jus Don't It -- Carson Robison 

Little White Lies -- Dick Haymes 

Love Somebody -- Doris Day & Buddy Clark

Manana -- Peggy Lee 

Nature Boy -- Nat King Cole (his original #1 version); Dick Haymes a cappella (A 1948 ‘recording ban’ hit, performed a cappella (no musical instruments).* Haymes reached #11 on the national jukebox listings with his competing version of Nat King Cole’s chart-topper. Frank Sinatra’s all-vocal effort is also included here. Other Dick Haymes tunes in this 1948 collection include “Little White Lies” “It’s Magic” and “You Can’t Be True, Dear.” * During the nearly year-long strike by James C. Petrillo’s American Federation of Musicians, new vocal recordings for commercial release could be produced only as a cappella (all instruments) or using such lesser, ‘union-approved’ tools as harmonicas, ukuleles and toy xylophones.) Frank Sinatra a cappella

Now Is the Hour -- Bing Crosby  

Sabre Dance -- Woody Herman

Toolie Oolie Doolie (The Yodel Polka) Vaughn Horton; The Sportsmen; Andrews Sisters

Twelfth Street Rag -- Pee Wee Hunt


I Can't Give You Anything But Love -- Rose Murphy

 The Maharajah of Magador -- Vaughn Monroe, Ziggy Talent vocal

Slap 'Er Down Agin Paw -- Arthur Godfrey

William Tell Overture (Feetlebaum!) Spike Jones

You Can't Be True, Dear -- Sportsmen


© 2020 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

145. The Little Christmas Shop on Nutcracker Lane

The Little Christmas Shop on Nutcracker Lane. Jaimie Admans. 2020. 311 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: My phone beeps with a text message and I look up from the nutcracker bunting I’m painting. Hopefully the guy I’m seeing telling me he’s missing me and he’s sorry I’ve got to work late again. It’s not serious yet, but maybe it could be one day. 

Premise/plot: Nia Maddison, the heroine, is super-super thrilled to be opening her Christmas shop on Nutcracker Lane. She's been working towards this dream for years--if not decades. Nutcracker Lane is MAGICAL at Christmas time--well, it used to be years and years ago. Her best friend, Stacey, makes jewelry and she makes Christmas-y knick knacks. Together they are setting up shop. But this first year might be the last year because a 'Scrooge' business owner is threatening to get rid of Nutcracker Lane altogether. He's been cutting the budget and changing practices for quite a few years now--but could this year really be the last year???

Nia makes a wish on a GIANT nutcracker at the opening of the story...and when she meets another shop owner, James, could it be her wish come to life???? Maybe. Maybe not. Does she believe in magic really???

James, our hero, HATES, HATES, HATES Christmas. But he's falling hard and fast for Nia and her enthusiasm for Christmas might be just the medicine he needs to cure his ills and worries. But will she be a willing teacher? Can he be un-Scrooged? Will Nia do the work of four ghosts/spirits???

My thoughts: I really enjoyed this one!!! It was just a delight to read. It would make a LOVELY movie. I could easily add such a movie to my yearly traditions. I just have a weakness for Christmas-y romantic comedies. Even if romantic comedy isn't my normal "thing" the rest of the year. Somehow all the sappy predictability is just perfect in a Christmas read. Is the book predictable? YES, a thousand times yes. Did I mind? Not one little bit. I wouldn't have it any other way. 

I really LOVED that it was a clean read.   


© 2020 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn (Broadway Musical)

So I saw this on PBS on Friday night. I really miss the days when anyone could watch a program again on PBS within a week or two of broadcast. I'd watch it again again. Just to firm up some of my thoughts on it. It doesn't seem to be available to purchase either. Though it can be streamed on one of Amazon's prime channels--Broadway HD. I am hoping that maybe it will replay on PBS again before Christmas.

What should you know? Well. It is quite different from the original movie. Not great different. Not bad different. Just different-different. 

Once you accept the fact that NO actor can ever replace Fred Astaire or Bing Crosby, you can enjoy it for what it is. 

The tone is quite different. The musical is very much a COMEDY. It was written to get a lot of laughs--and they are well-deserved laughs and not pity laughs. Perhaps because they knew that these actors would need something extra since they are not Crosby and Astaire. (Though I will say that the movie has its funny moments too! Its quotable moments). 

It fleshes out the characters and the storytelling. (There are no quick montages to get you from year to year.) I really LOVED how they changed Linda Mason's character. She stole the show--in my opinion. I loved that she was a school teacher. I loved that she wasn't really smitten with show business or seeking the spotlight in any way whatsoever. I loved that she wasn't fame-hungry and ever seeking to make it big. I loved that she was comfortable right where she was--and she was very much interested in HIM for him. 

They changed some motivations and intentions. For example, instead of Jim plotting to keep Linda away from the Hollywood talent agents--it was someone else--and he was actually just as clueless as can be. 

They also sidestepped some of the problematic imagery. While the film probably wasn't seen in a negative, offensive way by the majority of the original audience, the film hasn't aged flawlessly.  That being said, I really do love the original movie--and if there are scenes that make me cringe a bit--they are easily skipped. 

The ending of the movie was MAGICAL. (Especially the Hollywood movie set, but also the big dance number ending as Holiday Inn reopens.) But the ending of the musical was REALLY good. I loved, loved, loved....













seeing the WEDDING of Jim and Linda. It was GLORIOUS to see these two get married. And Cheek to Cheek has always been one of my favorite, favorite, favorite songs.


© 2020 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1949 Hits Archive

Mom and I finished the 1949 Hits Archive this morning. It is one of the many, many, many playlists available at the78prof's YouTube channel. The prof writes, "This is a playlist of commercial recordings and songs that proved popular during the calendar year 1949 (some were recorded in 1948) via sales, juke box play, and radio exposure.…plus some others that have gained increased recognition or have been shown to have had an impact during the decades that followed."

For your reference: Billboard year-end top 30 singles of 1949; Billboard number one singles of 1949.

'A' You're Adorable -- Perry Como; the prof writes, "1949 was a standout year for Perry Como the recording artist (11 of his titles are included in this collection). He and the Fontanes perform this #1 radio airplay hit in a steady and serious manner, in contrast to the casual treatment it received in the also-posted top-5 version by Jo Stafford and Gordon MacRae." 

There were FIVE "Again"s. Gordon Jenkins. Vic Damone. Doris Day. Mel Torme. Art Mooney.

There were FOUR "Baby, It's Cold Outside"s. Margaret Whiting & Johnny Mercer; Dinah Shore and Buddy Clark. Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Jordan. Don Cornell & Laura Leslie

TWO "Blue Moon"s: Mel Torme; Billy Eckstine

Blueberry Hill. Louis Armstrong and Gordon Jenkins & His Orchestra. 

Clancy Lowered the Boom -- Dennis Day. 

Cruising Down the River -- Russ Morgan "Music in the Morgan Manner"  There were two other versions as well: Blue Barron and Jack Smith and the Clark Sisters. 

A Dreamer's Holiday -- Perry Como & The Fontane Sisters;  Buddy Clark. Of Clark's version, he writes, "Perry Como’s version may have risen higher on the charts, but there is special poignancy regarding this top-15 record by Buddy Clark. It was his final hit....released following his October 1st death in a California airplane accident at age 37. Issued shortly thereafter was Buddy’s two-sided holiday 78 of “Winter Wonderland” & “Merry Christmas Waltz,” both tunes also available on this channel."

There were 3 Far Away Places. Bing Crosby. Margaret Whiting. Perry Como

There were FOUR "Forever and Ever"s. Russ Morgan; Dinah Shore. Perry Como. Margaret Whiting.

Hop Scotch Polka. Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians. 

I Can Dream Can't I -- Andrews Sisters. 

I Wanna Go Home With You -- Perry Como & Fontane Sisters (78 single version not the one on CD releases). 

I've Got A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts -- Merv Griffin

I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm Les Brown and Mills Brothers

Mule Train Tennessee Ernie Ford 

The Pussy Cat Song (Nyow! Nyot Nyo!) Patty Andrews & Bob Crosby

Riders in the Sky Vaughn Monroe. Peggy Lee. Of Lee's version, "Radio DJ’s who wanted to give their listeners a break from the repeated plays of Vaughn Monroe’s humongous hit seemed especially fond of this Peggy Lee version, spinning it up to #2 on Billboard’s radio airplay chart." Bing Crosby

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer -- Gene Autry. 

Saturday Night Fish Fry -- Louis Jordan. "Twelve(!) weeks at #1 on the R&B charts for this famous Jordan crossover hit...among his most lastingly popular singles, issued as a Part 1/Part 2 two-sider."

Sleigh Ride -- Boston Pops. The prof writes, "Before Leroy Anderson was awarded his own recording contract in 1950, Fiedler's Boston Pops had the honor of introducing all of Anderson's orchestral pop instrumentals to the record-buying public. This wintery standard-to-be, issued on RCA Victor’s Red Seal series, first landed in the stores in late 1949, reaching #24 on Billboard’s sales chart. On the B-side was the debut of Anderson’s beautiful “Serenata,” also posted to this collection. Anderson, himself, first recorded “Sleigh Ride” in 1950 (mono) and again in 1959 (stereo)."

4 versions of SOME ENCHANTED EVENING. Ezio Pinza. Perry Como. Jo Stafford. Bing Crosby

Sweet Georgia Brown. Brother Bones and His Shadows. 

You're Breaking My Heart Vic Damone. Buddy Clark.

© 2020 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

Saturday, November 21, 2020

1950 Hits Archive

Mom and I just finished listening to the 1950 Hits Archive. Discovering his three channels-- the45prof, the78prof, and anotherprof--has been quite the treat. Here is what he has to say about 1950, "This is a playlist of commercial recordings and songs that proved popular during the calendar year 1950 (some were recorded in 1949) via sales, juke box play, and radio exposure.…plus some others that have gained increased recognition or have been shown to have had an impact during the decades that followed."

For context and reference: Billboard Number One Singles of 1950; Billboard year-end top 30 Singles of 1950

There are 4 "All My Love"s. Patti Page. Percy Faith with vocal chorus. Guy Lombardo with Bill Flanagan, vocal. Bing Crosby. By the third and fourth time you are almost singing along--especially on the chorus.

Are You Lonesome Tonight -- Bobby Beers vocal, narration by John McCormick, Blue Barron and His Orchestra. Perhaps Elvis' version is a bit faster tempo, but, otherwise, I don't know that Elvis added anything "new" to the arrangement or style of this one. Even the narrated bit is word for word. The prof adds, that "The song dates back to the 1920s and was recorded over the years sometimes as a straight waltz ballad and sometimes including a variation of the spoken interlude heard here and on the famous Elvis version of 1960."

There were 4 "Bewitched"s. According to the prof, there were eight different recorded versions releasing in 1950! But he only included 4. (I wish he'd list the others so I can look them up!) Mel Torme. Doris Day.

Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo PERRY COMO. This is PURE MAGIC. I've decided that the original Barbie (1959) DEFINITELY had this record as a child--as she would have been the perfect age to go to the theatre to see the Disney movie when it released. 

Bushel and a Peck -- Perry Como & Betty Hutton. 

Bye Bye Baby -- Tony Martin. He writes, "Though “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend” is today the most famous of the Leo Robin-Jule Styne tunes from “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” Bye Bye Baby” was the show’s most popularly heard song during the initial months of its Broadway run and a top-20 hit on the Cash Box record charts."

 Can Anyone Explain? The Ames Brothers

Candy and Cake -- Mindy Carson

C'est Si Bon -- Johnny Desmond

Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy -- Red Foley

Christmas in Killarney -- Dennis Day

Count Every Star -- Dick Haymes & Artie Shaw. I told Mom I deserved bonus points for knowing Dick Haymes was in State Fair.

Frosty the Snowman -- Gene Autry  

Hoop-Dee-Doo Perry Como and the Fontane Sisters; Doris Day's version.

I Said My Pajamas (and Put ON My Prayers) Tony Martin & Fran Warren.

I Wanna Be Loved -- The Andrews Sisters and Billy Eckstine's version.

I'll Always Love You -- Dean Martin; the78prof writes, "Though a couple of his previous recordings had received some radio airplay, this movie song resulted in Dean’s first-ever appearance on Billboard’s best-sellers chart. The film, a Marie Wilson vehicle “My Friend Irma Goes West,” was the second feature film appearance for the Dean Martin-Jerry Lewis team."

La Vie En Rose... Edith Piaf 1947 version released in US in 1950. Paul Weston, instrumental. Tony Martin. He writes, "The song spent 17 weeks on “Your Hit Parade” (peaking at #1); and of the seven nationally charted record versions, Tony Martin’s top-10 entry came out the winner. If you’ve spent much time collecting 78s, though, you’ve probably also come across many copies of Piaf’s classic French-language version (also posted)."

My own digging: Bing Crosby 1950 La Vie En Rose; Ralph Flanagan and His Orchestra 1950 La Vie En Rose; Victor Young; Louis Armstrong

Lucky, Lucky, Lucky Me -- Evelyn Knight. If you're thinking the TUNE is super familiar but you've not heard the song's an "adaptation" of an Italian folk melody

A Marshmallow World -- Bing Crosby

Mona Lisa -- Nat King Cole. 

Music! Music! Music! Teresa Brewer; Merv Griffin & the Martin Men; Carmen Cavallaro (Bob Lido & group, vocal).

My Foolish Heart -- Billy Eckstine.  

There were 4 of Nevertheless. Ray Anthony. Paul Weston & The Norman Luboff Choir. The Mills Brothers. Ralph Flanagan, Harry Prime vocal. By the third time I was LOVING it...

Peter Cottontail -- Gene Autry. 

Silver Bells -- Margaret Whiting & Jammy Wakely. 

There's No Tomorrow -- Tony Martin. The prof writes, "here’s No Tomorrow (Hoffman-Corday-Carr) by Tony Martin, orchestra conducted by Henri Rene “O Sole Mio” “It’s Now Or Never” “There’s No Tomorrow” Following his more than a decade of only moderate success, this versatile Neapolitan tune of 1898 provided singer Tony Martin with the type of blockbuster hit record that would help define the rest of his lengthy performing career. The million-seller reached #2 nationally and--most unusually for a popular ballad hit--not a single competing version even showed its face on the record charts."

Three versions of Tzena Tzena Tzena. Weavers. Vic Damone. Mitch Miller.

© 2020 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

Friday, November 20, 2020

1966 Hits Archive

Mom and I finished listening to the 1966 Hits Archive on the45prof's YouTube channel. I listened alphabetically by song title. I felt this was very very much a hit or miss year. I tended to have strong positive or strong negative opinions on most songs. And it felt like whole letters of the alphabet would go by where I just disliked just about everything. And then there'd be a string of songs in a row that I liked. So I can't say it was "bad" overall. I wonder if listening by artist would help??? 

The songs were definitely reflective of the many many cultures and subcultures of the 60s. 

Barbara Ann by the Beach Boys;

Born Free by Roger Williams

Bus Stop -- The Hollies

California Dreamin' The Mamas and the Papas. I Saw Her Again. Monday Monday.

Cherry Cherry -- Neil Diamond

Daydream The Lovin' Spoonful

GLORIA Shadows of Knight

God Only Knows -- The Beach Boys

Good Lovin' The Young Rascals

Good Vibrations The Beach Boys. Wouldn't It Be Nice.

I Am A Rock -- Simon & Garfunkel; Sounds of Silence.

I've Got You Under My Skin -- 4 Seasons; Opus 17; Working My Way Back To You

The Impossible Dream -- Jack Jones

Last Train to Clarksville The Monkees

19th Nervous Breakdown -- The Rolling Stones

Paperback Writer -- The Beatles; Yellow Submarine.

Somewhere My Love -- Ray Conniff & The Singers

Strangers in the Night -- Frank Sinatra; Summer Wind.

Sweet Talkin' Guy -- Chiffons

These Boots Are Made for Walkin' Nancy Sinatra

This Door Swings Both Ways -- Herman's Hermits

You Keep Me Hangin' On The Supremes


© 2020 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

144. Holiday Hearts

Holiday Hearts. Dana Volney. 2020. 242 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence of The December Deal: Lilia Carrigan set her cup down on the small table in the coffee shop and took her seat in the corner with a view of the mountains. There had to be something she could do to raise money quickly. She opened her laptop and slouched in the hard wooden chair. 

Premise/plot: Lilia Carrigan needs a LOT of money--and quickly. Her father has been diagnosed with cancer and his insurance won't cover the experimental treatments that might save his life--or prolong it. When she overhears a conversation at the bar, well, she's brash and bold. Vincent Morgenstern needs a wife by New Year's Day if he's to keep his inheritance--his father's business. This is something he very much wants, but, he always dreamed of marrying for love and only love. Should he accept the bold offer of a stranger? Should Lilia and Vincent marry--for a year--to both get what they want???? Or will this marriage of convenience turn MESSY and UGLY?

My thoughts: I really love marriage of convenience stories. I do. This one was a solidly good read, anyone who enjoys that type of story will most likely enjoy it just as much as I did.

First sentence of A Heart for the Holidays:  “He doesn’t want a new heart?” Silver Morgenstern snapped her head up from her emails, which were piling up by the second. No one on the National Organ Transplant List ever turned down an organ. Or purposefully removed themselves from the list. 

Premise/plot: Silver (the sister of Vincent) Morgenstern, a former surgeon, manages the regional National Organ Transplant List. She notices that the man at the top or near the top of the heart transplant list has just submitted paperwork to remove himself from the list. WHY?????? She's tempted to take matters into her own hands. She decides to visit Fisher Tibbs and find out WHY he no longer wants a new heart. Can she convince him to change his mind? Will these two inspire hope and joy in each other? 

My thoughts: I really loved this story. Maybe I didn't find it perfectly perfectly magically wonderful. But it was SO GOOD. I really enjoyed all the characters and just the story itself.

First sentence of The December Deception: Lorelei Sullivan sat statue still, waiting for the verdict. The file folders were neatly stacked on the wooden table in the high-ceilinged courtroom and her navy leather-bound notebook was closed. She’d argued Shelia Monroe’s case of wrongful termination well, and she lacked only the words “we side with the plaintiff” from the jury foreperson followed by a hefty dollar figure for the win to be recorded legally.

 Premise/plot: Lorelei Sullivan has decided that if she isn't offered a partnership in the law firm, she'll give her notice and look for a job elsewhere. Her boss, whom we first met in A Heart for the Holidays, Henry Hale has no intentions of offering anyone a partnership. But he doesn't want to lose Lorelei--she's an amazing lawyer that brings in a lot of money. Can he keep her satisfied? Will more time together be his doing or undoing? 

My thoughts: I really liked the character of Henry Hale in A Heart for the Holidays. I wanted to love this story just as much as the other two. And it is good--solidly good. I liked both Lorelei and Henry. I liked meeting BOTH their families. 

Overall thoughts: I greatly enjoyed these THREE novellas newly published together. I would recommend to anyone looking for clean romance. OH. You should know this book and Kisses for Christmas are set in Casper, Wyoming. Through six novellas we are really getting to know the community--and time is passing so we get updates on previous couples as life goes on in town.


© 2020 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

Thursday, November 19, 2020

1962 Hits Archive

Mom and I finished listening to the 1962 Hits Archive on the45prof's YouTube channel. For context and reference:

Let the rambling begin... 

Al Di La -- Emilio Pericoli (Italian song)

Alley Cat -- Bent Fabric  

Baby Elephant Walk -- Lawrence Welk 

Big Girls Don't Cry -- 4 Seasons

Breaking UP Is Hard To Do -- Neil Sedaka 

Bring It On Home To Me Sam Cooke; and an answer song by Carla Thomas

B'wa Nina (Pretty Girl) Tokens

Cajun Queen -- Jimmy Dean

Can't Help Fallin In Love -- Elvis 

Comin' Home Baby -- Mel Torme; Did Michael Buble cover this or did I imagine it??? Why is so familiar to me???

Coney Island Baby -- Excellents

Conscience -- James Darren; I don't know why but this song has become my new semi-obsession. I've listened to it about a dozen times in two days!!! (Her Royal Majesty; Mary's Little Lamb) When I heard Mary's Little Lamb...I was like he must have listened to his CONSCIENCE. 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

Cotton Fields -- The Highwaymen; Mom tells a story about her baby sister dancing to this one when she was two-ish. I much prefer Creedance...but this isn't bad.

Cry To Me -- Solomon Burke; who doesn't know this one from Dirty Dancing????

Diddle Dee Dum (What Happens When You Fall In Love) Belmonts

Do You Love Me -- Contours

Don't Ask Me To Be Friends -- The Everly Brothers; I am loving this one. 

Don't Play That Song -- Ben E. King

Duke of Earl -- Gene Chandler 

Eso Beso (That Kiss!) Paul Anka 

Flying Circle (Hava Nagila) -- Frank Slay

Having a Party -- Sam Cooke 

Hey Baby -- Bruce Channel

If A Man Answers -- Bobby Darin; if you want me to start gushing ask me about how much I adore IF A MAN ANSWERS THE MOVIE.

Mom made up a dance for this one. I Don't Love You No More Jimmy Norman.

So bad it's good????? Don't know. I Wish That We Were Married. Ronnie & the Hi-Lites. "Sobbing 12 year-old Ronnie Goodson is featured on this ballad."

If I Had a Hammer-- one of mom's favorite songs by Peter, Paul, and Mary. Me...not so much. 

Irresistible You -- Bobby Darin. (Multiplication)

Lemon Tree -- Peter, Paul, and Mary. MY FAVORITE, FAVORITE, FAVORITE Peter, Paul, and Mary song. 

Let's Dance -- Chris Montez

Lollipops and Roses -- Jack Jones; got a good conversation going...we both agreed that there were better things to be sending than barbecue sandwiches.

Love Me Warm and Tender -- Paul Anka seems to sing every single line with MELODRAMA that is unnecessary. That being said, when I love him, I tend to LOVE him...and when I don't...I really don't. This isn't a favorite or best. 

Monster Mash -- Bobby Pickett and Monsters' Holiday

Most People Get Married -- Patti Page. 

My Own True Love -- Duprees; AWFUL or WONDERFUL???? 

Nothing Can Change This Love -- Sam Cooke

Nut Rocker -- B. Bumble & The Stingers; a boogied up version of a song from the Nutcracker. 

Palisades Park -- Freddy Cannon

Return to Sender -- Elvis Presley

Santa Claus is Coming to Town -- 4 Seasons

Santa Claus is Watching You -- Ray Stevens

She Can't Find Her Keys -- Paul Petersen; novelty???

She's Got You -- Patsy Cline 

Sherry -- 4 Seasons 

Shout! Shout! Knock Yourself Out -- Ernie Maresca; I think this made it on a Jive Bunny tune???

Soldier Boy -- Shirelles 

Stop the Wedding -- Etta James; melodrama at its finest????? 

Why are surfers stomping???? Surfers Stomp by Marketts

Surfin' Safari -- Beach Boys

Teach Me Tonight -- George Maharis 

That's Old Fashioned -- Everly Brothers

Things -- Bobby Darin

Twistin' the Night Away -- Sam Cooke

Venus in Blue Jeans -- Jimmy Clanton

Side Note: TWISTIN MANIA????

© 2020 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

1952 Hits Archive

Mom and I finished listening to the 1952 Hits Archive at the78prof's YouTube channel. He writes, "This is a playlist of commercial recordings and songs that proved popular during the calendar year 1952 (some were recorded in 1951) via sales, juke box play, and radio exposure.…plus some others that have gained increased recognition or have been shown to have had an impact during the decades that followed." 

For context, here's a list of Billboard number one singles of 1952 and Billboard year-end top 30 singles of 1952.  

Not my favorite--by a long stretch--but I was SURPRISED that there was a Wimoweh song with so much of what will become The Lion Sleeps Tonight (1961). And it was an adaptation of Mbube from 1939


A Kiss to Build A Dream On -- Louis Armstrong 

When I Fall In Love Doris Day

There were 4 "Blue Tango"s. I preferred Leroy Anderson's version--which is only fair since he wrote it

Bunny Hop -- Ray Anthony, with Tommy Mercer and Marcie Miller doing vocals.

A Christmas Festival -- Leroy Anderson.  "This first recording of it by Anderson was released over two sides of a single 78rpm and 45rpm record in time for the 1952 holiday season. His more commonly-reissued stereo version of “A Christmas Festival’ was not recorded until 1959, but this post is from the original 1952 mono single."

Plink Plank Plunk! Leroy Anderson 

A Guy is a Guy -- Doris Day  

No Two People -- Doris Day Donald O'Connor; I knew this song from watching Petticoat Junction; it's one of the songs that Steve and Betty Jo sing. 

Singin' in the Rain -- Gene Kelly

It Takes Two To Tango -- Pearl Bailey

Walkin' My Baby Back Home -- Nat King Cole. (Others Somewhere Along the Way, Because You're Mine, Funny.

You Belong To Me Dean Martin

Kiss of Fire -- Georgia Gibbs and Kiss of Fire Tony Martin and Kiss of Fire Billy Eckstine

Botch-a-Me Rosemary Clooney; Half As Much Rosemary Clooney

Too Old To Cut the Mustard -- Rosemary Clooney & Marlene Dietrich

Feet Up (Pat Him On the Po-Po) Guy Mitchell

The Glow Worm Mills Brothers

String Along.  I Wanna Love You; My Favorite Song. All three by the Ames Brothers

Perfidia -- Four Aces; Should I -- Four Aces

Patti Page

 Lady of Spain Les Paul 

Jambalaya -- Hank Williams


© 2020 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

143. Talent

Talent. B. Lynn Goodwin. 2020. [November] 226 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: THIS IS THE DAY that could change my life. I’ve been living in the shadow of my big brother, Brian Mason, all of my life, but in five more minutes, I’m going to audition for San Ramos High’s spring production of Oklahoma! I’m reading for Ado Annie, who sings and dances and flirts, but if I don’t get it, maybe I can play Gertie or Ellen or somebody else with lines. 

Premise/plot: Sandee Mason stars in Talent a coming of age YA novel written by B. Lynn Goodwin. Sandee is in an in-between place when the novel opens. Her brother, Brian, is missing in action in Afghanistan. Her parents' attention is hit or miss. Especially her mother's. She misses him too. Every. Single. Day. Not a day goes by when she doesn't want him BACK. But is not knowing better than knowing if the knowing means the worst has happened? That's one of the questions explored in this one.

If you're not super drawn to books about missing soldiers, perhaps you'll be drawn to a secondary aspect of this YA novel: Sandee's interest and participation in HIGH SCHOOL DRAMA. Their school is doing a production of the musical OKLAHOMA. Will Sandee get a role? Or will she be part of the crew? Will the show go on when obstacles come up?

My thoughts: Talent is an interesting read. I can't say it's "enjoyable" because it's about some dark subjects. (Her missing brother, her friend's comatose sister (also a soldier), teen alcoholism, potentially unhealthy relationships). But I cared about Sandee and her problems. It is definitely a "problem novel." 

My least favorite part was her visit with the psychic. But that was minor overall. 

 I believe this one was first published in 2015 by Eternal Press. I'm not sure how widely available it was.  The page counts do differ, so perhaps this newly published version has been edited and isn't exactly the same?


© 2020 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1964 Hits Archive

Mom and I finished listening to the45prof's 1964 Hits Archive on his YouTube channel. There are 392 songs on this playlist. There are some GREAT titles. And there are some MESSES. I definitely found myself skipping a LOT. But then again there were songs that I could listen to again and again and again. I think perhaps the diversity of "sounds" or "styles" is one reason why. As we progress through the 1960s instead of there being say three or four main styles to mainstream music, there are dozens and dozens. And the playlist is definitely losing some of its flow.

For your context: Billboard Year End Hot 100 Singles 1964, Billboard Hot 100 Number Ones of 1964, Billboard Hot 100 Top 10 Singles of 1964.

The House of the Rising Sun -- The Animals 

There are 3 Louis Armstrong songs in 1964! Including Hello Dolly!

There are 6 songs by The Beach Boys including my personal favorite Don't Worry Baby and Mom's favorite Fun, Fun, Fun. Others include I Get Around; Dance, Dance, Dance; When I Grow Up To Be A Man; and Wendy.

 There are TWENTY-THREE songs starring The Beatles. Some are better than others. My personal favorite is TWIST AND SHOUT. Or maybe I Saw Her Standing There? Or I Should Have Known Better? Let's just be honest there are only two or three out of those twenty-three that I don't enjoy. 

There were 4 by Chuck Berry. My favorite is probably You Never Can Tell

There were at least 2 songs that were later covered by David Cassidy and/or The Partridge Family. Oh No Not My Baby and Walking in the Rain. 

There were two Johnny Cash songs. One borrows the tune and theme from Don't Think Twice, It's All Right. Understand Your Man. It's a FRANKLY MY DEAR if I ever heard one. It Ain't Me Babe. It was hard to hear Cash singing this after knowing and loving The Turtles version. 

A Summer Song by Chad and Jeremy was LOVELY. Original Barbie DEFINITELY had this song. 

My Heart Cries for You -- Ray Charles. It was nice to see this one reappear. It was covered a lot, I think, in 1950/1951.

There were several Sam Cooke songs. Good Times. Good News. Cousin of Mine. Tennessee Waltz.

There were seven songs by the Dave Clark Five. Including Glad All Over. Because

Dale & Gale's Stop and Think It Over

Gonna Get Along Without You Now -- Skeeter Davis; I remember the Patience and Prudence version. 

Is this 1964's Red Solo Cup??? Hey Jean, Hey Dean (Let's Have A Party) by Dean and Jean. 

Chapel of Love -- Dixie Cups. I really enjoyed YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN THE WAY HE LOOKED AT ME

The Shoop Shoop Song (It's In His Kiss) Betty Everett. 

Let It Be Me Betty Everett & Jerry Butler. I LOVE this song.

There were SEVEN songs by the 4 Seasons. Dawn. Stay. Ronnie. Alone. Rag Doll. Save It For Me. Big Man In Town

Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying Gerry and the Pacemakers.

You Don't Own Me Lesley Gore 

I'm Into Something Good -- Hermans Hermits

Little Honda -- Hondells 

Little Old Lady from Pasadena -- Jan & Dean

Come A Little Bit Closer -- Jay & the Americans

You Really Got Me -- Kinks

Goin' Out of My Head -- Little Anthony & The Imperials

Do Wah Diddy Diddy by Manfred Mann

Everybody Loves Somebody -- Dean Martin

3 songs by Roger Miller: Dang Me, Chug-a-lug, Do-whacka-do

Popsicles and Icicles Murmaids 

A World Without Love -- Peter and Gordon

California Sun -- The Rivieras

Time Is On My Side -- Rolling Stones

4 Songs by The Ronettes: Baby I Love You; Walking in the Rain; Do I Love You? Best Part of Breaking Up

Softly As I Leave You -- Frank Sinatra

Dusty Springfield -- Wishin' and Hopin' and I Only Want To Be With You

The Supremes -- Where Did Our Love Go? Baby Love. Come See About Me.

She's Not There -- The Zombies

© 2020 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

Monday, November 16, 2020

142. Kisses for Christmas

Kisses for Christmas. Dana Volney. 2020. COMPLETE GUESS 250? pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence of Holiday Hoopla: Halle Adams leaned against the counter and propped herself up on her elbows. She stared at the pink, bottlebrush Christmas tree on the jewelry case. The glittered star shimmered in the Christmas lights. So simple. So pretty. So… She sighed. 

Premise/plot: Halle Adams, our heroine, and Blake Ellison, our hero, agree to "date" one another for the holiday season. He needs someone to attend ALL the holiday functions and help him schmooze. She needs a loan from the bank to help save her business. Will this business arrangement be complicated by attraction and feels? 

My thoughts: I really enjoyed this mostly clean--if not entirely clean--holiday-themed romance novella. I enjoyed seeing these two fall for one another and while the attraction was instant the relationship was not. I don't like instant relationships--not in comparison to those that are actually crafted and developed over many pages.

First sentence of Christmas Clash: Luke Carrigan crumpled the unwanted letter in his hand and swung open the glass door to the flower shop with the other. Silver chimes cheerily flickered above him, and if he could’ve turned around and karate chopped them down, he would’ve. 

Premise/plot: Christmas Clash is set in the same small town of Casper, Wyoming. It actually stars--for its heroine--the sister of the hero in Holiday Hoopla. Candace Ellison, our heroine, owns a flower shop. Luke Carrigan, our hero, owns a bar. Both businesses are in danger from the City Council's upcoming plans to build a convention center. These two have a history of clashing--going back to elementary school--but it will take team work to save the day. Can these two overcome their obstacles?

My thoughts: I really enjoyed this one. I did. It was probably my favorite of the three. Maybe. It was just a treat to read. Again, it was mostly--if not entirely--clean. There is a LOT of attraction going on--thinking, daydreaming, etc. 

First sentence Candlelight Conspiracy: Sophie Graystone stepped out of the shower as steam burst past her, filling the tiny bathroom. Her achy muscles finally relaxed after a day spent working at Kiss From A Rose flower shop and playing a full set at the Bombay Club. 

Premise/plot: Sophie is a character introduced in Christmas Clash. She works part time at the flower shop Candace owns and part time as a musician in a band. She's a singer/songwriter too. She has a super-cute but super-unfriendly neighbor, Marc Sizzo. He's a chef. When the lights go out--and they often do--these two neighbors get together for some friendly chats--that go deep--and some meals. But what both of them really want is a physical relationship without complications....

My thoughts: Since the first two novellas were on the cleaner side of romance, I wasn't expecting all the smut to be piled into one little novella!!! It almost overwhelms the poor little story. If you are looking for adult content, then this may be for you. Especially if stories about strangers connecting during power outages is your thing. But if you are looking for clean, sweet romances without so much smut...well...this last story might be worth skipping?  The story wasn't poorly written--for the record.

© 2020 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews