The Runaway Princess
by Hester Browne is a wonderfully romantic Cinderella-themed romance. I was fascinated by all of the elements that are commonplace in the characters' lives which show glimpses of life in a different country (I have never been to Europe). The diametrically opposite flatmates have found a way to co-exist and complement each other despite the fact that one comes from a privileged background and is self-assured whereas the other is very reticent and uncomfortable around strangers. Who doesn't love the idea of a rich stranger coming in and forming that instant connection? (As is shown by the popularity of a certain kinky trilogy that has turned the publishing world upside down) It was heartwarming to see the awkward interactions and shy progression of the interactions between the hero and heroine and refreshing to read a book that emphasizes the romance and discreetly alludes to intimacies without giving a blow-by-blow description. My Amazon review is at this link.
I bought a box of vanilla caramel truffle tea to add to my
goodie packets in my Christmas cards for the soldiers. The teabags are pyramidal in shape and I am still
trying to figure out how to deal with them since I usually use the
little string to wring out the bag after it steeps but find myself
woefully inept at figuring out how to do this efficiently (the string readily slips off with tightening around the bag and inevitably flops back into the teacup...sigh). The bags
weren't individually wrapped...understandably given the shape of the bags but more of a pain to deal with since I
repackaged them into little baggies that I labeled before adding them to the goodie
bags. Technically, one is not supposed to send one's soldiers anything that isn't prepackaged but I HOPE that they can see that these are the original tea bags (and they have the Lipton tags attached) and will realize that they were separated out but who knows. If not, they will just have to make do with the packages of hot chocolate and the candy that accompanied it.
I, of course, kept one teabag in order to try it out. I generally add honey and cream or half-and-half to my tea so that obviously will change the flavor a bit but I think this is something that I would be willing to try again. I generally drink decaffeinated tea or Earl Grey but I have tried Chai and Lady Grey and like both of those and my friend Kim keeps sending me tropical teas to try so those give me a nice variety. They all make a nice drink to consume on these cold winter days!