What have I been reading…?

It’s a wonderful thing, isn’t it, when books are so good they keep you from the chores you were supposed to do and the appointments you were supposed to keep. They fill the afternoon, and then the evening, until you’re reading late into the night. 

And, when you finish, there’s no guilt, because you haven’t wasted a single minute. Instead, you emerge at the other end not only uplifted but feeling smugly wise. 

Because you’ve learnt something. Experienced something. 

And you’re very subtly changed. 

You’ve turned the last page but the story is under your skin, and you find yourself thinking about it for days afterward.

If you’ve read any of Pam Rosenthal’s historical romances, you’ll know that feeling–because she’s breathtakingly good, and she doesn’t shy away from exploring all that makes us human. 

Her characters are never quite what they seem and her plots (even when they appear simple) have layers upon layers. 

And her sex scenes?

Red-hot and wild, yet beguilingly tender. 

And watch carefully… because those scenes reveal as much about the characters as the delicious banter. 

Which is no surprise when you realise that Pam Rosenthal began her writing career as Molly Weatherfield, writing fabulous erotica

As Pam herself explains: “When I began writing erotica (before I turned to romance), it was from having my mind blown, during the ’80s and ’90s, by a generation of brilliant sex-positive feminists, notably Susie Bright, Carol Queen, and Gayle Rubin. What I got in particular was the need to own my erotic imagination rather than pretend that sex was something that “just came over” me. I wanted to write about sex imaginatively conceived and astutely joined. I got into writing romance, I think, to see if I could apply my erotic writing chops to expressing what it could mean to share one’s life with someone.” 

Some years ago, I read Pam’s ‘Edge of Impropriety’ (winner of The Romance Writers of America’s RITA Award for Best Historical Romance) and I knew then I’d found something special. 

Exquisitely crafted, Pam’s writing is intelligent, complex and bittersweet. The sort you need to devour in a single sitting. 

So, what have I been reading most recently? 

Pam’s ‘A House East of Regent Street’.

Seemingly a simple tale of one man’s ‘last fling’ before settling down; except that the story unfolds in the most unexpected way, as Jack and Cléoturn out not to be the strangers we think… 

As Pam explains: “Often, what first draws people together is attraction — ill-considered, physical, and apt to get them in over their heads — but what keeps them together is understanding, achieved through mutual experience and by learning about oneself and about the other. This is, really, the basic romance form. Sexuality plays many roles in the love arc, while love plays many roles in the sexual arc as well, as characters become braver, more experimental, more emotionally exposed and liable to failure, and more needing of love. As for Cléo and Jack, I wanted to show how deeply she understood him, and how this went beyond sex.” 

If you’d like to read Pam’s works for yourself, explore them on her website: stories “about love and liberty; social convention and its boundaries; sex, sensibility, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Deeply satisfying, emotionally rich and beautifully written, I recommend with the highest of praise. 

And, if you’d like to get in touch with Pam, to receive an email alert when her Bookseller’s Daughter comes back into print, message her via her website, HERE.

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