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The Dickens With Love - Josh Lanyon WARNING RANT INCOMING:Once again welcome to MLE's negative review of the book everyone else loved. I'm your host MLE.Let's begin shall we.I will start with the plot. When I was first reading the synopsis the plot sounded intriguing, and I loved the idea of the disgraced book hunter, and the lost Dickens story, but for some reason it ended up not working for me. I think that sex was introduced too early on, and was a distraction from what I liked about the idea of the book rather than something that added to the story. I liked James for the most part, and was able to sympathize with his plight. Losing the job he loved, and the security in his world must have been terrible, and, having worked retail, understand how frustrating, exhausting, and dehumanizing that can be. Added to the stress of trying to make ends meet on part time work without any sort of benefits, it's no wonder why he does what he does. Sedgwick, on the other hand, I never developed any affection for. I found him to be blunt to a point beyond simple rudeness, and his excuses seemed liked those of a child rather than a 42 year old man who should be old enough to understand proper behavior, or at least how to make a sincere apology for his words. I found his behavior, after he and James had a falling out, to be almost stalker like, and added to that he seems to almost bully James into hearing him out, and accepting his half hearted apology. He is also described as having a full beard, which is not my thing, and with all the scenes of both men eating had me truly grossed out imagining all the crumbs it must collect (this is not meant as a slight to any of my friends who have or enjoy beards, it’s just not my thing.) For me the worst part of this book was the sex. This book had some of the hands down worst written sex scenes I've ever read, and let me tell you I have read some truly terrible sex scenes. Let's go to the book for some examples shall we."Like a suede glove grabbing me, stroking me..Like a hot black fist."What the hell is that supposed to mean, and why a black fist?"The pump and pull was like a hammer striking the golden frames of angel wings, pounding them into shining, glinting pennons. Perspiration sheened our bodies and our breath grew harsher as we bent our backs and worked the forge, and then the wings began to beat, trying to take flight, moving faster and faster, and we seemed to lift right off the ground, right off the pillows, and bedding, and hang there transfixed as warm, white Halle-fricking-lujah surged through. And then we dropped back to earth, wet, winded and weak. Human again."Seriously what in the name of pink plastic ponies did I just read? I had to look up what a pennon was because I had no idea. Merriam-Webster was kind enough to tell me it "a long usually triangular or swallow-tailed streamer typically attached to the head of a lance as an ensign" which only made the sentence even more of a mystery to me because it sounded like the author was alluding to something that would be forged, like something made out of metal, say a sword, but the word he used meant something made of cloth. Color me confused. It's also some of the sappiest, most awkwardly written sex I've even read, and that's including the het 80's romance I read in high school. Nothing about this works for me on any level, and that's not the only angel reference during sex there is. "It was like landing on a cloud - with an angel on top of me. An angel that tasted like cinnamon and chocolate and stardust."Really, exactly how old are these characters supposed to be because it sounds more like some child's fantasy of sex rather than real, adult sex. Sedgwick has some sort of whipped chocolate crème brulee body cream soufflé that only adds to my impression of them as much younger than they really are. My least favorite of the sex scenes has to be the one I included in my updates, but it bears repeating. "and it was sadly like a hood over the head of an angel, but better safe than sorry.The angel continued to blindly feel its way to the hot, candy-slick center hovering tentatively above it."There is nothing about that I find sexy, and "candy-slick" I guess I don't find candy to be very slick. I think of candy more as sticky which makes this analogy all that less appealing to me.All right it's time for me to stop now. In summary I will say I found the sappy, miracle ending to be the final straw. If things had been toned down quite a bit, and the characters' relationship developed at a more natural pace I might have enjoyed this book. Had the mystery of the Dickens story played a more significant role, and the sex scenes cut back I would have happily given this at least three stars. Alas this was not to be. Thank you any of you who make it to the end of this rant. END OF RANT