Andrea/Cara here. From dragons and demons to cozy country tea shops and literary sleuthing, the Wenches have been enjoying some fascinating reading peregrinations during the month of April, so without further ado, let's take a peek inside the covers!
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson is a lovely leisurely immersion into a contemporary English village. It’s women’s fiction. The protagonist is a retired Major. He’s recently widowed, set in his ways, as is the village and most of his friends and his son. There’s no sex, no violence, just a gradual exposure of human flaws as the Major comes to know a Pakistani shopkeeper and introduces her into his stuffy society. Little by little, he must face his own prejudices and shortcomings until in the end, he becomes a true hero, one much more heroic than the father he worshipped. If you want to just sink into a book and visit another place for a while, give this one a try.
I also enjoyed a couple of contemporaries but didn't have time to write full descriptions: Twenty-nine and Half Reasons by Denise Grover Swank—romantic mystery; fast-paced. The heroine has a right to be innocent, but she’s not helpless. I get a bit tired of the clumsy stupid "heroines" in some cozies, so this one was a fresh outlook. I always like Beth Ciotta's gentle romances, and Beauty and the Biker, Impossible Dream book #1 looks like the start of another great small town romance series.