Anyone who knows me, even just a little, knows I love books. Lots of folks love books, I hear ya, but I really love them. More than you do, don’t argue.
Books are so much more than possessions, they’re my friends, always have been, always will be. Books soothe my soul, they embrace me . . . words come to life and wrap themselves around my heart.
The best gift I can receive is a book. I wouldn’t say no to money though. Or coffee.
So the other day, an unexpected package arrived at my home, it was from a beautiful friend of my mother’s, a woman I’ve admired and respected for many years. I thank God for the friendship between her and my mother. To say I was surprised and excited and oh-so-curious as to what could possibly be in that yellow envelope would be an understatement.
Guess what it was . . . you guessed books, right? Because if you guessed books you were totally right!
Now, this is awesome for several reasons:
#2 No one sends me anything
#3 They were from an amazing human
#4 They are the first books of their kind in my library
I read a lot of books in all kinds of genres except one, romance. I’m not even going to get into it. I kind of, sort of cannot stomach romance novels.
*please, no defense of romance novels needed, if you love them, I think it’s awesome. I like historical biographies and Shakespeare and sci-fi, and those kind of books might not be your thing, but we’re both reading and that’s pretty cool.
Now, guess what these new gems I just got are? Go ahead, guess. Are you thinking romance? If you are, you got it! Romance novels delivered direct to me. But these aren’t romance novels like I’ve ever seen before, these are amazing.
(bet ya didn’t see that coming)
Seriously, the moment I saw them I knew I was going to love them. The covers alone are delightful.
I learned something too, there is a huge, monumental difference in romance novels from the 1920s and 30s and those taking up shelf space today.
There’s an innocence to them most of the world tossed to the wayside long ago. They are lovely and a little cheesy and I am looking forward to stepping inside and reading every wonderful word.
Alimony by Faith Baldwin, copyright 1928
“Must a man pay a woman not to live with him, even though she prefers another man?”
This one is all about love and money and jealousy and the six lives controlled by them.
“Her voice shook a little, but her eyes were gallant enough. Her worst enemy would have pitied her. She had been a fool, a blind, grasping, avaricious fool. She had wanted her cake, and she had eaten it too. But it turned to ashes in her mouth. Now she was paying. But then, she had paid all along – in terror, in cowardice, in the learning of bitter wisdom.”
District Nurse by Faith Baldwin, copyright 1932
“Ellen was cool and impersonal in helping poor girls who had been betrayed – until one of them mentioned her fiancé’s name.”
Ellen Bartlett is a young nurse with a bit of a cynical outlook on love, after all, she tends to young women who have been hurt and betrayed by men. Jim loves her, but then she meets Frank and falls in love with him instead. Ellen’s resolve and her sense of duty is put to the test when she asks one of the girls to name the man who hurt her . . .
“In her room she sat down and regarded herself blindly in the mirror. Here were her eyes, her gray eyes, that wavered and fell before her own regard. Here was the red, shaken mouth which Frank had made his own . . .”
Professional Lover by Maysie Greig copyright 1932
“Rex Brandon, passionate lover on the screen, “turned on the heat” to win the girl in love with the director who had made him famous.”
Starr Thayle, former secretary to an (engaged) movie director she’d fallen in love with, quit her job and became a gossip columnist. That’s when married Rex Brandon, a steamy on-screen lover came into the picture. Ellen hates him, her column on him got her fired. Then more unexpected surprises, her former boss actually falls in love with her, and so does Rex! The other two women in the mix have some surprises of their own.
“Starr fought her breath. Like all other girls share had always dreamt of someday becoming a famous star. But that dream, she thought, was too fantastic. Like a sensible girl she had turned her back on it. But here was Stephen offering her a part of that very dream on a silver platter.”
Now , if you’ll excuse me . . . 886 pages of vintage romance await me.