Posts Tagged With: Valentine’s Day

A Troglodyte Cleric Romance

I often write little essays and sketches of moments that I put away and then find later.  I was sifting through the files the other day, and found this one. It made me laugh, and then I read it to Brian and he cracked up and said I should post it.  I thought, since Valentine’s Day was yesterday, that I would.  So here you go:


Sometimes he’s just so handsome sitting there that I can hardly help myself.  That’s how it was last night, he sinking into the plush couch in our living room, leaning forward, typing on his computer screen.  I have never been able to resist a writer.  He was only writing a new Dungeons and Dragons module, but it didn’t matter.  The greatest urge came over me to rub my face on his face.  There is something so compelling about the way he pushes his hand through his hair and leans back, lithe and deliberate.  When he realized I was watching, he looked up at me with a smile and made a place for me to sit next to him.

I tucked my head under his chin, and he took my glasses off.  He rested them on the pile of books next to him on the couch.

“How are you?” I asked, and then I kissed the underside of his chin.

“The module’s going well, I think,” he said.  He launched into an explanation that I hardly heard.   I could see every blade of stubble on his five-0-clock shadow, his long eyelashes, his deep brown eyes.   His jaw is so perfect, the pointed shape of it that gives him that crescent of a smile when he grins.  I thought about what his hair would feel like through my fingers; soft and stubbly in the back, until I rake a whole fistful of it near his crown, soft and longer.  He will roll his eyes back in sheer bliss if I do it, but I don’t want to interrupt him.

“I have the three main guys all written,” he said.  He held up three fingers.

I smiled, and then I leaned forward and kissed the third finger.

“No, no… you just kissed the Troglodyte cleric,” he said.

I grinned, nodded, and then kissed him near his ear.

“They have a stench, you have to make a fortitude save to get near him.”

I kissed him on his cheek.

“You can’t just go around kissing Troglodyte clerics you know,” he said.

I kissed him on the mouth, and when I pulled away we were both laughing.

“I’m on a roll tonight,” he informed me.

“I know you are,” I said.

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Valentine Reads

It’s that time of year again.  And if it’s anything I’ve learned from all the reading I’ve been doing, it’s what’s good in the romance department.  Looking for a good book with a happily ever after?  Try one of these.



The ones in this category have swoon-worthy romance, but are PG rated:

  • Attachments, by Rainbow Rowell – Lincoln hasn’t got it all figured out. Which is why he moves in with his mom and takes a job reading company emails for suspicious or banned content.  But when witty Beth and Jennifer’s correspondence keeps getting flagged, Lincoln finds himself fascinated and then falling for one of the girls (who don’t know they’re being monitored).  Hijinks ensue, both heartbreaking and hopeful.  I ended up falling as much in love with the book as I did the characters.
  • Dear Mr. Knightly, by Katherine Reay – Sam gets a scholarship to her dream college, practically a miracle for a foster kid in and out of shelters her whole life. The only catch?  She has to write to the donor, addressing him as Mr. Knightly, and tell him about her life.  She befriends a former professor and his wife – both childless and happy to have her around.  She also gets close with charming Alex, an alum of the writing program she’s in.  And then there’s the identity of Mr. Knightley… which all become an amalgamation of a surprise ending.
  • Midnight in Austenland, by Shannon Hale – When Charlotte’s husband leaves her for a woman named Justice, the only thing she wants is to leave her kids with the step-family, her American worries behind, and have a dream vacation in a recreation of Austen’s England. But things aren’t right in Austenland.  There are money problems, and people are disappearing.  Is it part of the ambiance, a planned story line; or is it real?  And what about the cute guy who’s supposed to be her “brother?”



Another bunch of PG reads that are set in history, and not today.

  • Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart – 1940s? 1960s?  Linda takes a job as a governess in a French Chateau and soon learns that there is a plot to end her small charge’s life.  It is impossible to tell who is in it and who is out, and she must put aside her only chance at love amidst a very lonely life to make sure the small boy is safe.  Casinos, fast cars, moonlit balls, beautiful forests, and much Peggity all combine to make this book magical.
  • Persuasion by Jane Austen – This one gets much less attention than some of Austen’s others.  But you have to feel sorry for poor Anne Elliot as she’s attempting to save her crazy family from themselves when she can’t even save herself.  She listened to bad advice, and now she has to watch her one true love court another.  Until an accident proves that they might still be suited to each other, and still in love.  Plus, you know, bonus points for hunky Captain Wentworth.
  • A Tangled Web by L. Montgomery – 1920s. When Aunt Becky leaves her coveted jug to an unnamed person – to be revealed a year after her death – it sets off all sorts of crazy happenings amongst her Dark and Penhallow cousins on Prince Edward Island.  Love stories of the entire clan entwine, untangle, and mix in ways they never would have if that infamous jug hadn’t been at stake.  It’s a little trite, but it’s FULL of hilarious characters, and one of my favorites.



For books that are full of fantasy, but still have happy endings:

  • Carry On, by Rainbow Rowell – Yeah, but she’s my favorite! At a wizard school in England, Simon Snow is trying to find out what happened to his roommate and enemy, Basilton Grimm-Pitch, while also fighting the Insidious Humdrum (who shares Simon’s face) with the help of his friends Penelope Bunce and Agatha Wellbelove.  The dead start to appear, the magicless spots start to spread, and the only thing that’s certain is that Simon and Baz are enemies.  Whether they want to be or not.
  • Stardust, by Neil Gaiman – In the town of Wall, a star falls in the night sky. Tristan tells his true love, Victoria, that he will bring it back for her.  But when he journeys through faerie to find it, he realizes that stars there aren’t at all like stars here, and she’s not a lump of metal but a beautiful woman.  Tristan isn’t the only one who is interested in finding her, though, and together they must escape a band of murderous brothers and an evil witch (among others) to get back to the town of Wall.
  • Sorcery and Cecilia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot, by Caroline Stevermer and Patricia C. Wrede – It’s regency England, and cousins Cecelia and Kate are forced to spend the season alone when Kate goes to London and Cecelia must stay home. But when Kate refuses to take a drink from a chocolate pot at the royal convention of wizards, and the liquid burns through her dress, they’re both suddenly thrust into a scheme in which the life of a powerful magician is at stake.  But with their society debuts coming up, and dresses and beaux on the line, deadly magic is just one of their concerns.  Bonus: it reads like it was a blast to write.



These are the historical romances with all the naughty stuff in.  Most definitely R, and possibly X?  Don’t read unless you can stand growling gentlemen and naïve ladies.

  • A Kiss at Midnight by Eloisa James – When Kate’s stepsister is too unwed and pregnant to go to the prince’s betrothal ball, her stepmother insists that Kate go and pretend to be her sister instead. 3 small rats of a dog, several technicolor wigs, a fairy godmother, some capsized boats, and a hot prince in a tower later, and Kate might just be able to find happily ever after.  If she can get that princess out of the way first.
  • Romancing Mr. Bridgerton by Julia Quinn – One of the Bridgerton books (4, I think?), but you don’t have to have read the rest for this one to be enjoyable. It’s a silly book with a scathing gossip columnist, a heroine who looks like a lemon tart, a CRAZY secret, a beau who is always hungry, and some steamy romance along the way.
  • Much Ado About You by Eloisa James – I know. But just ignore the name for a minute, okay? It’s a book about 4 sisters who, when their father dies, are left as the wards of a man who hardly knew him with nothing but a purebred horse each for a dowry.  The best thing to do, of course, is for Tess to marry well so she can take care of the lot of them.  She’s the oldest, and the Earl of Mayne is interested.  It’s practically her duty to walk down the aisle.  But when Mayne is MIA, who will Tess marry instead?  The whole series is good, and this is the first of them.  Essex sisters for the win!
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Valentine Adventure

Brian and I have the romance thing worked out.  This is how it goes:  One person plans Valentine’s Day and the other person plans our Anniversary.  The person who does not plan gives the planner a gift.  Usually, the destination of the event is also a secret.

For example, Brian planned Valentines Day this year, so I gave him a gift.  In return, he did not tell me where he was taking me at all.

“OK, here is what I know,” I told a friend at work.  ” I know it starts at two, we’re going to have a picnic before-hand, and it’s appropriate for me to wear a dress.”

“That could be ANYWHERE!” she said.

“I KNOW!!” I replied.

But, Brian’s track record for amazingness is pretty good.  I bought him a pocket watch, made him a card, and tried to be patient.

He took me to Graystone Mansion in Beverly Hills.  The gigantic house is surrounded by a maze of well-manicured gardens, although evidently they don’t let you do anything there.  No Picnics, said a gigantic sign, and No Photos either. I took a photo of the no photos sign.  Then, I turned my camera on “stealth mode” and took pictures of everything else.

We wandered the grounds for an hour or so, rambling around with the rambling pathways.  We kept running into faces everywhere – on the walls spitting water, surrounding a fountain, sunk into the walls.  We found our way down hill to a rusting greenhouse, and then climbed a winding brick pathway set into a vast, green lawn.  At 1:30, we went to the front door of the house.

“Music In The Mansion, Viola and Piano Concert” said a sign out front.

“I know what we’re doing!!!” I said to Brian.

“Good job, Sherlock,” he replied, laughing.  “There’s a gigantic sign.  And also, you’re adorable.”

“Do we get to go in?!!” I said.

“Yes, the concert is in the living room.”

And the concert was wonderful, full of modern music that was beautiful and lyrical.  I didn’t want it to end.  They had tea and melt-in-your-mouth cookies afterward in the Card Room.  Black and White marble floors reflected the three gigantic french doors leading out to a terrace that overlooked all of Los Angeles.

The park rangers offered a mini tour of the house, too.  Turns out someone was murdered in the guest bedroom – bonus!!! The real tour is two hours, Brian and I will have to go back.  Everything about that afternoon was wonderful.

That was my Valentine’s day.  Did I mention that we really have this romantic thing down?

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