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Originally published in 1990, Mrs McVinnie’s London Season tells the story of a young, Scottish war widow who, rather like a Regency Mary Poppins, joins the household of a troubled family and, with her very individual blend of kindness, practicality and backbone, improves the lot of each of its members.


I picked up Slave Girl, set in the Roman Empire, as part of my ongoing quest to try new settings. The setting was adequately developed, mixing authentic Roman elements with some supernatural Celtic fantasy. The characters were acceptable but not great, and the writing is technically sound. The problem, though, was really in the erotica element. You know the euphemism “Whatever floats your boat?” Well, these sex scenes were to my boat like the iceberg was to the Titanic , and the last thing you want from erotica is a cold, sinking feeling.


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