Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

I have started and stopped this classic about three times. Which is super annoying. Because all of the other Jane Austen books that I’ve read thus far I have absolutely adored. As in I started and finished them in a short period of time and thoroughly enjoyed the adventure. Yet, there is something about this one that I found more difficult. Maybe it was the size. But I actually went to DNF this for a third time. Then I decided to push on. And boy am I glad that I did!

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The Monstrous edited by Ellen Datlow

This collection is brilliant. It is dark, creepy and intense. It is fun. It gave me goose bumps. And it is filled with monsters who come in ALL shapes and sizes. And I mean ALL. A wonderful, fantastic and seriously enjoyable collection filled with the things that go bump in the night. The things that you really hope aren’t hiding under your bed.

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The Perfect Holiday by Sherryl Woods

This is a beautiful, gorgeous and sweet novella. It is fun and light. And one that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. It’s all about finding family and love in the middle of the Christmas time. It’s an incredibly light and generous story. One that transported me to a beautiful, snow-covered fantasy world and all of the things that you imagine a White Christmas to be.

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Laura Nyro at the Wedding by Christos Tsiolkas

I found this short story really sweet. It starts with two men. Happy, in love and comfortable in each other’s presence. And then it begins to make you think. Think about things such as “what constitutes a marriage?” “what shows true love?” “when is forgiveness necessary, or even okay?”. All questions that I frequently ask myself, and were very well answered in this small literary journey.

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Corpsemouth by John Langan

Writing this review, I struggle a little to remember exactly what this short story is about. I remember that I enjoyed this while I read it. That I thought it was fun, dark and enjoyable. But what it was actually about – that I can’t really remember. It’s a bit of a blur there.

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Waiting by Jen Wilde

This was a bit of a first in the Kindred collection – it wasn’t a romance. The lead character was Neurodiverse and LGBTQI. But there was no romance. It wasn’t about finding a romantic connection at all for that matter. Rather, it was all about finding a friendship that works for you. And honestly, it seriously made me think about the friendships we find ourselves in. And what makes them healthy and good. And what makes them toxic.

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Devil Bones by Kathy Reichs

This is probably the least spine-tingling Temperance Brennan book that I’ve read in a while. Which isn’t a bad thing. It’s nice to have a change of pace and not finish one of these novels with goose bumps up my arms and the need to check in every nook and cranny for a predator… it’s refreshing and definitely something I somewhat appreciate. It was nice to finish a crime novel in which you had to find out who the culprit was, and had a few moments of heart-racing action, but not as much as the other stories.

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The Ranger by Zane Grey

I’ve always imagined a ranger / cowboys life as being something dangerous and risky. Particularly when you think of the old-style westerns. And I always imagine it as something that you would want to escape… which this story kind of backs up. It’s a short story that is all about getting out of the life and finding your own happily ever after.

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