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Episode 56 - Banner O'Brien by Linda Lael Miller

Banner O'Brien is the worst possible lady doctor in 19th century Washington State, which I guess also makes her the best lady doctor around (but no, she is not good at this doctoring thing.)  Adam Corbin is the biggest assholes in 19th century Washington State and he does have plenty of competition.  They yell.  They slap.  They do it, a lot.  They keep truly amazing secrets from each other.  It's a ride! This book has some pretty serious content warnings - a pretty awful abusive relationship in the past, lots of slapping, disciplinary spanking, racist language and portrayals of racist attitudes towards indigenous and Asian people (the book doesn't condone it but does use some ill-considered words.)  Family gaslighting!  Secret leprosy!  (Yes I did say secret leprosy, keep up.)  It's got a lot going on, but it's one of those "turned up to 11" books where none of this seems particularly realistic.

Episode 2: "The Ivory Key"



WHO YOU GONNA CALL?!  Buckle your sheet belts for this special Halloween treat as we read Rita Estrada’s 1987 Harlequin novel “The Ivory Key”, a book about finding incontrovertible proof of an afterlife and immediately boning it. If you’ve got it, haunt it!  A photojournalist recovering from a traumatic experience under profoundly vague circumstances retreats to her own private Minnesota island, which turns out to be infested by a spectral Frenchman. She discovers she’s a dead ringer for his 18th century beloved and promptly raises his spirits. If you know what I mean. This may have been the first actual paranormal romance!

The sex in this book is all completely consensual and there’s no gross racist content – it does have wraith-ism, though.

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