More DABWAHA Input

I have finished two more books from the DABWAHA list, both of which I had TBR before the lists were announced. I want to get my comments up now, while people are still picking their brackets.

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, by Helen Simonson, is nominated in the cross-over category. It is a lovely novel about an retired British military officer and his unexpected romance with the owner of the village shop, a middle-aged widow of Pakistani descent. It has an almost chick-lit feel to it, light and funny with patches of the serious, but it’s told from the Major’s point of view (third person, not first). There’s a lot of good stuff in this relatively short novel, and I highly recommend it. It’s also a New York Times bestseller. WIN

The Forbidden Rose by Joanna Bourne. We all know from her previous books that this lady can write romantic spy stories that just knock your socks off. Here’s another one. This one is set earlier than her other books (1794, think Robespierre) and takes place exclusively in France. It won the AAR poll for best historical romance not set in England. (I voted for Jo Goodman’s Marry Me, which didn’t even make the DABWAHA cut.) I really enjoyed this book; the romance was special and the historical/political plot was really interesting. There were some excellent twists in the story, and as always Bourne’s characters are distinct and unique, with wonderful secondary characters. I don’t understand the title, though. WIN

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