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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 54 - The Lady's Tutor by Robin Schone

Welcome to Robin Schone's The Lady's Tutor.  She's a wealthy Victorian politician's wife, proper in every way.  He's a halfbreed bastard... oh god I can't with this racist-ass book, I just can't.  It's about a woman who asks for sex lessons with no lab component, and then she realizes her husband sucks and opts for the lab after all.  


This is one Sara had very fond memories of that... did not necessarily hold up.  It has some major content warnings - it's got Evil Gays complete with political pederasty ring.  It's a sheik book with a eunuch in it.  It's got literal gaslighting (they threaten to have her institutionalized and when the threats don't work they try to murder her by blowing the gas lamp out.)  It's the first book we've read that's obsessed with penis size.  It's got some genuinely strange sex scenes in it.  (Pro tip to any aspiring romance writers - the word "cervix" is never sexy.)  It's got some seriously nasty body shaming directed at the heroine from her awful husband.  It's got attempted murder by Spanish fly.  It's a whole ass mess.


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