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One Day to Fall

by Therese Beharrie
August 12, 2019 · Carina Press
Contemporary RomanceRomance

Before reading a book, I try to go in with an open mind and without judgments. “Try” being the operative word. Because sometimes, I hear about a premise and my eyes roll to the back of my head. No way, I think, no way in hell is this going to work. I shouldn’t even try to read this book because it won’t succeed and I’ll regret even trying.

And when I heard about the premise for One Day to Fall by Therese Beharrie — a 72,000 word South African-set romance that takes place in one day — my eyes rolled to the back of my head. No way, I thought, no way in hell is this going to work. I shouldn’t even try to read this book because it won’t succeed and I’ll regret even trying.

Ha. Ha. Ha.

Reader, I was wrong. One Day to Fall is a marvel and a feat of extraordinary accomplishment. Every single qualm I had — how will I believe in their HEA if they only interact for one day? How much can possibly happen in one day? — slowly vanished the more I read. Even after finishing the novel, I’m in a state of utter disbelief. How on earth did I love that? I don’t know if I have an answer but I do believe that some of the most wonderful things in life are inexplicable, and this might be one of them.

Before we get to the details of the story, a CW/TW

CW/TW: parental diagnosis of dementia, parental death due to brain tumor, absentee/strained relationship with parent, grief from parental illness/death, discussion of parental alcoholism

The premise is simple: Sophia is waiting impatiently in the hospital with her mother and younger sister Zoey, while her older sister Angie is in labor. She doesn’t want to be there — Angie isn’t even close to giving birth and there are tense family dynamics at play — and is desperate to find an escape. At the same hospital, a doctor informs Parker Jones that his mother, a victim of a recent car accident, has been diagnosed with dementia. Parker listens to the diagnosis and walks out of the room, where he runs — and falls — into Sophia. After snarking and getting off to a bad-tempered start, they run into each other again when Sophia opens the back door of Parker’s off-duty taxi in the parking lot.

It seems like fate’s idea of a joke but she begs him to take her to The Company Garden, setting the events of the novel into play. They both need to escape from their lives desperately, just for one day. To go the gardens. To go to the beach. To be intimate. And so they’ll use each other for a one day distraction and then move on with their lives. Good plan, right? After all, how much can happen in one day?

Hahahaha. These poor fools have no idea what’s coming for them. I’d be more sympathetic, only it was delightfully fun to watch Sophie and Parker crash into feelings. And if you can’t cackle evilly at fictional characters, then who can you cackle at?

I’ve never read a book like One Day to Fall before, but the closest analogy I can come to is a bottle episode in television. Like the “The Box” from Brooklyn 99 or “The One Where No One’s Ready” from Friends, a bottle episode is stripped down to its essentials: one setting (often a small room) and a limited number of characters, which allows the episode to focus on dialogue and characterization. One Day to Fall isn’t exactly like a bottle episode — they do leave the hospital and visit different locations — but it has the same impact as one. There are no unnecessary frills; dialogue and characterization are given the utmost importance. And while I didn’t do a quantitative measurement, it certainly felt like the ratio of “dialogue words: non-dialogue words” was much higher than the ratio in the average romance novel. To be honest, I barely remember where they went (the beach?) because the location isn’t important. They could have been anywhere; what I remember are the words spoken between them.

Therese Beharrie is a stunningly talented writer because at no point during any of this did the book feel wrong. It’s something I’ve never read before, so I was at least expecting to feel some hesitation or discomfort. Nope. I was debating how to categorize this book when it struck me: One Day to Fall is a primordial romance novel. Did I just invent that term? Yep. In my defense, I couldn’t find a proper term so I had to make one up!

To me, a primordial romance novel is a romance stripped down to its core: nothing but protagonists — the most important part of the romance — matter. I’m taking some liberties with this definition with One Day to Fall because clearly some of the other characters do matter. Sophia’s main conflict with her family arises from 1) resentment when her older sister Angie abandons the family after their father dies, causing Sophia to step up and save everything and 2) bitterness that her family views her as meaner/harsher than Angie. Parker is dealing with the aftermath of his mother’s diagnosis and his strained relationship with his father.

Sophia and Parker’s families obviously matter to the book, but those characters aren’t that present in the novel. While they are physically present for a few scenes, their importance is primarily explored through Sophia and Parker’s conversations with each other. They have complicated pasts and relationships with their families, and almost all of it is gleaned through dialogue between Sophia and Parker. Angie, a source of conflict in Sophia’s life, doesn’t even show up until the very end for one scene. It’s this dependence on the two MCs that makes me label One Day to Fall a primordial romance novel (if you think of a better name, let me know! I’m open to workshopping ideas).

Ed. note: I suggest ed“Before Sunrise” romance, though the movie is more ambiguous in its ending, despite the sequels.

The laser focus on the protagonists contributed to my faith that this couple will survive the odds and make their relationship work forever. The premise still seems ridiculous — how can I believe in the HEA/HFN after twenty-four hours? The genius of One Day to Fall is that it doesn’t magically solve all of Sophia and Parker’s conflicts in one day. They still have problems to face: Parker dealing with his mother’s diagnosis, Sophia repairing her relationship with her sisters, and both of them slowly learning to trust and rely on each other. But while the events of the book don’t show the perfect resolution to all these problems, it shows that the protagonists have the emotional maturity and tools to work through anything. Regardless of how difficult things might get in the future, I’m confident that Sophia and Parker have healthy communication patterns and will make the best of it. It also doesn’t hurt that there’s an epilogue showing their happiness after six months!

I could go on and on about all the things I loved about this book. How Sophia’s snarky and sometimes mean (I say “mean” with the highest of compliments) humor made me bend over laughing. How delighted I was with the assurance of a child-free HEA (both Sophia and Parker are emphatic about their desire not to have children). But I want you to stop reading this and one-click this book, so I’ll stop rambling now. One Day to Fall is a delight and a marvel, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a romance novel to escape into.

This HaBO request from Stephanie, who is looking for this historical romance. Content warning for the description below:

The heroine’s name is Maggie. She is poor and lives in a shack, but she’s beautiful. She wears a threadbare gown and her creepy dad secretly lusts after her, but wants her to stay a virgin because a rich guy named John wants to marry her. She doesn’t like John, but he sets fires in her body and soul much to her chagrin. She loves some other milquetoast dude who does not have the courage to spurn his family. She had a grandmother with a cow and, one night after being out with John, she hears the cow mooing and finds the grandma dead. She married John and has two boys: one like John and one who is gentler and her favorite.

Now this is where it gets effed up. There is a storm that causes the area to flood. John, out of love for Maggie, saves the son she likes instead of the other one. Somewhere in this the dumbass figures out John is worth her love.

Effed up indeed.

A Study in Scarlet Women

RECOMMENDED: A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas is $2.99! Both Sarah and Carrie read this book and enjoyed it.

Sarah gave it a B+:  I haven’t shut up about this book since I finished it. My outbound text messages are mostly hollering, squeeing, and long strings of vowels about this book.

I’m so excited this book exists. I’m so excited that I got to read it. I’m so excited there will be more.

Carrie gave it B: I can’t WAIT to find out what Charlotte, Livia, and Mrs. Watson are up to. I hope it involves them being protective of each other, empowering, and smart. The excitement is palpable!

USA Today bestselling author Sherry Thomas turns the story of the renowned Sherlock Holmes upside down…

With her inquisitive mind, Charlotte Holmes has never felt comfortable with the demureness expected of the fairer sex in upper class society.  But even she never thought that she would become a social pariah, an outcast fending for herself on the mean streets of London.

When the city is struck by a trio of unexpected deaths and suspicion falls on her sister and her father, Charlotte is desperate to find the true culprits and clear the family name. She’ll have help from friends new and old—a kind-hearted widow, a police inspector, and a man who has long loved her. But in the end, it will be up to Charlotte, under the assumed name Sherlock Holmes, to challenge society’s expectations and match wits against an unseen mastermind.

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

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Kill the Farm Boy

Kill the Farm Boy by Kevin Hearne and Delilah S. Dawson is $2.99! Readers say that this is a light-hearted, slightly goofy book a la Terry Pratchett, but some found it tried too hard in its silliness. The third book in the series is out this October and I wonder if this is a series that finds its footing as the series progresses.

In an irreverent new series in the tradition of Terry Pratchett novels and The Princess Bride, the New York Times bestselling authors of the Iron Druid Chronicles and Star Wars: Phasmareinvent fantasy, fairy tales, and floridly written feast scenes.

Once upon a time, in a faraway kingdom, a hero, the Chosen One, was born . . . and so begins every fairy tale ever told.

This is not that fairy tale.

There is a Chosen One, but he is unlike any One who has ever been Chosened.

And there is a faraway kingdom, but you have never been to a magical world quite like the land of Pell.

There, a plucky farm boy will find more than he’s bargained for on his quest to awaken the sleeping princess in her cursed tower. First there’s the Dark Lord who wishes for the boy’s untimely death . . . and also very fine cheese. Then there’s a bard without a song in her heart but with a very adorable and fuzzy tail, an assassin who fears not the night but is terrified of chickens, and a mighty fighter more frightened of her sword than of her chain-mail bikini. This journey will lead to sinister umlauts, a trash-talking goat, the Dread Necromancer Steve, and a strange and wondrous journey to the most peculiar “happily ever after” that ever once-upon-a-timed.

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

You can find ordering info for this book here.

 

 

 

The Bashful Bride

The Bashful Bride by Vanessa Riley is 99c! This is a standalone historical romance and the second book in the Advertisements for Love series. The pairing of a shy heiress and famous actor really intrigues me. Readers loved the historical research and accuracy, but found there was a bit of repetition of events.

A friend’s newspaper advertisement for a groom nets the most famous actor in London, Arthur Bex. Shy heiress Ester Croome proposes to elope with the handsome man, who she’s secretly loved for two years, in order to escape an impending engagement arranged by her overbearing family.

Trying to outlive the shadow of his villainous uncle, Bex needs to marry quickly–to a woman of good character. And smart, beautiful Ester fits the bill. But a harrowing trip to Gretna Green and dangerous abolition rallies prove to be a more treacherous stage than either imagined. Infatuation and a mutual love for Shakespeare might not be enough to bind a couple looking to outrun the chains and secrets of family and the past.

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

You can find ordering info for this book here.

 

 

 

The Affair

The Affair by Maya Banks is $1.99! This was released in 2009 under the title The Tycoon’s Secret Affair. In true tycoon-centric category romance form, there is a secret baby. This is the third book in The Anetakis Tycoons series and we’ve featured the other books on sale previously.

The reader favorite story of a boss’s big surprise from #1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Maya Banks, originally published as The Tycoon’s Secret Affair in 2009.

It was only supposed to be a vacation romance: passionate, exciting—and short-lived. But when Jewel Henley arrived for her first day of work at a new job, she realized her exotic lover was in fact Piers Anetakis, her boss. A boss who had a strict rule about not getting involved with his employees. Before she knew it, Jewel found herself without a job…and pregnant.

Now, five months later, Piers finally tracks down his one-night lover. Determined to explain the mistakes he made, he is confronted with an undeniable truth: Jewel is carrying his child. The only honorable solution is to marry. Yet is there more between them than lust? Because attentive as he is, Jewel knows he still doesn’t trust her. And until he does, all they have…is an affair.

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

You can find ordering info for this book here.

 

 

 

  • ¿Quién controla los libros que se venden en Amazon?
  • Cualquiera puede destrozar un clásico sin consecuencias.

Cesto con libros antiguos.

Es difícil saber la cantidad de libros que Amazon tiene a la venta, tanto en versiones digitales como en papel, vendiendo de manera directa o ejerciendo de intermediario entre miles de librerías de todo el mundo. Estamos hablando de cientos de miles de títulos. Quizá más. ¿Alguien controla el contenido de esos libros antes de ponerlos a la venta? Al parecer no. Y una de las primeras víctimas conocidas de esa política de empresa ha sido George Orwell.

Si Orwell atacaba al estalinismo radical en 1984, quién sabe qué habría escrito sobre el ominoso dominio del comercio mundial que está empezando a ejercer Amazon. Sobre todo de saber que muchos de sus títulos se venden con extrañas modificaciones, cambios de textos, mala ortografía y otros tremendos errores de maquetación.

Amazon afirma que le es imposible controlar quién tiene realmente los derechos de un título en cada lugar del mundo donde vende libros, sobre todo teniendo el cuenta el volumen que maneja, por lo que ha decidido confiar en el vendedor y fiarse de que cada libro cumpla la ley. Pero parece que esto ha alentado a muchos falsificadores que venden a precios irrisorios numerosos clásicos literarios. Eso sí, con un resultado final lejos de la excelencia.

En el caso de Orwell, que ha sido documentado, existen numerosas copias publicadas en la India, donde está en el dominio público, a precios muy bajos, pero que tienen numerosos fallos de maquetación. Del mismo modo, existen versiones donde el autor británico ha sido editado… cambiando palabras, frases, o incluso el mismo sentido de lo que quería decir.

En un mundo donde las noticias falsas son cada vez más difíciles de distinguir, esto es justo lo que nos faltaba, que cientos de clásicos puedan ser falseados, editados y vendidos junto con el resto de ediciones correctas, generando no solo una pérdida económica a los verdaderos editores, sino también una enorme confusión acerca del contenido de estos libros.

Sí, se le puede decir a Amazon que una copia es ilegítima, pero para eso hay que darse cuenta, investigar y trasladarle el problema, que luego será revisado hasta encontrar una solución. Evidentemente, un sistema ineficiente y lento. Además, las opiniones de los libros suelen estar agrupadas por título, no por edición, por lo que las quejas sobre estos libros de tercera categoría pueden arruinar la puntuación o el interés sobre los libros originales. Esperemos que Amazon pueda solucionar este problema lo antes posible.

Vía: New York Times

Read anything about Lacan’s life and you will find it punctuated by stories about cars and driving. Both Lacan’s son-in-law Jacques-Alain Miller and his patient and lover Catherine Millot considered Lacan’s way of driving as part of his ethical stance: one had to follow one’s desire and not give way to inhibitions or norms. If one had to stop, make it a choice; do not yield to an anonymous law or the whims of the other’s demand. This is always the story that one encounters about Lacan, part of the mythology of the courageous, disobedient, relentless man. But after 1968, the car completely disappeared from his teaching—and in his late seminars, Lacan’s thinking changed direction.