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The Dickens With Love

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  1,360 ratings  ·  192 reviews

A quirky holiday romance about Faith, Hope, and…er…glow-in-the-dark condoms!

Three years ago, a scandal cost antiquarian “book hunter” James Winter everything that mattered to him: his job, his lover and his self-respect. But now the rich and unscrupulous Mr. Stephanopoulos has a proposition. A previously unpublished Christmas book by Charles Dickens has turned up in the

Kindle Edition, 111 pages
Published December 1st 2009 by Samhain (first published 2009)
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make the yuletide gay...

aww, i thought this was such a sweet story.

wildly implausible on so many levels, but it's christmas! forget the unlikelihood of troo love occurring in three days, and the consequences of decisions requiring an unhealthy and absolute faith in the goodness of mankind and the most bizarre choice for love-over-duty this side of bastard out of carolina.

and ocelot??

nah, don't forget the ocelot. this is l.a., after all.

all joking aside, this book was not nearly as ba...more


it's a wee sheet of latex you put over a pussy before you put your mouth on it.

too many extravagantly improbable turns of phrase, up to and including the conflation of fucking with smithing—plus angels, for some reason.

also: way too PC.

can't have it both ways. can't be both escapist romanze fiction and a pamphlet on face-cancer from our fun friends at the US centers for disease control.

and yet—seems like—only people in mm romances and comically undersexed and/or earnestly misinformed teenagers u...more
mark monday
Oct 15, 2012 mark monday rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to mark by: RBRS Assignment #3
This week's Guest Dear Abby is mark monday, a public policy director and "confirmed bachelor" from San Francisco.

Mr. monday will be answering your questions about the yuletide offering from Josh Lanyon entitled
The Dickens with Love.


Dear Abby,

You were assigned to read this and report on your thoughts quite a while ago. Why are you always lagging behind? Your review is overdue.



Dear RBRS,

my apologies. well, here's the review:

i was surprised at how mu...more
Jul 23, 2013 MLE rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: mm, hated


Once again welcome to MLE's negative review of the book everyone else loved. I'm your host MLE.

Let's begin shall we.

I will start with the plot. When I was first reading the synopsis the plot sounded intriguing, and I loved the idea of the disgraced book hunter, and the lost Dickens story, but for some reason it ended up not working for me. I think that sex was introduced too early on, and was a distraction from what I liked about the idea of the book rather than something t...more
Kat Kennedy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
There are dicks in this books. And fucking. A Christmas miracle! Dicks! Fuck! Not a throbbing manhood in sight, no disturbing portrayals of sex as an out-of-body mystical experience, and a blessed absence of euphemisms. Why aren't more sex scenes written in everyday language instead of vulvas-flowering-like-tropical-orchids-purple-prose? I mean, it still wasn't interesting, but at least I didn't laugh myself sick and feel embarrassed for the author. Bonus points for including condoms and a sensi...more
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
**2.5 stars**

This book had a ton of potential for me. I really liked the concept of this story and the kind of nerdy, bookish main characters. I even enjoyed the writing style in all of its over-thesaurused glory. And I love a sappy, lovey holiday story as much as the next gal, so bonus points for sap-a-tude. However, there were a few issues that I had with this one that I can't overlook.

First of all, the sex scenes. What. The. Eff. Cheesiness overload.

That pump and pull was like a hammer strik...more
Emma Sea
That's it: I can read no further Xmas stories this year as that is the most perfect Xmas story ever. Melting true love and sticky waffles.

I say it every time, but godddamn Josh Lanyon can string words together and make something more than the sum of the parts.
To the tune of Adeste Fideles.

O come, all ye book nerds,
All over the bedclothes!
O come ye, O come ye not in James Winter’s bum ;
Come in his colon
But put a hood over the head of your Angel:

O come, all over Him,
O come, all over Him,
O come, all over Him,
James of B&N.

Sedge of Sedge,
James of James,
Lo, he abhors the Virgin's womb;
Very much,
Buggered, not a lady:

Sing, in the shower,
Sing in exultation,
Sing, all ye citizens with fingers in your bums!
Glory to wad
Down the drain-est:

Yea, James, I’...more
I think I did my part to dilute the importance found in underlining meaningful passages on this kindle edition.

For example, click on "Popular Highlights" for this book on kindle and you will find:

"Bravery isn't the absence of fear, it's how you deal with being afraid."

Well. That's very nice. I'm glad so many other people found this line really meaningful to them. But I can get that kind of encouragement from watching a documentary on Patton or something. It's hardly the kind of life lesson...more
RBRS #...lost track

Blessedly short. Surprisingly prosaic plot with a mysterious past, dastardly villain, a misunderstanding, and two hot people hooking up. Instead of a sassy gay friend, there is a dumpy hetero friend. There was a lot stuffed into this small story. Twss, with chocolate creme brulee body cream.

The secksy scenes used some odd metaphors. They were also blessedly brief. TMI, but I was kind of relieved that none of them "worked" for me. Exit only!

This is a text in wish fulfillment an...more
Josh Lanyon is starting to become a pretty safe bet for me now.

This was a wonderfully romantic story. I loved the way everything unfolded. I loved the slight drama towards the end, and I adored the perfect HEA ending lol.

Sedgwick and James were perfectly believable characters for me, as was the nasty Mr. Stephanopoulos.

I enjoyed finally finding out the big secret with Mr. Stephanopoulos and Sedgwick, I especially liked that it was totally in keeping with the image I had of Stephanopoulos.

I do r...more
This was one of the best books I read recently, so simple and yet so wonderfully done I had to read it twice in one go within twenty - four hours. There were so many things I immensely enjoyed. The story is written in a kind, loving tone of voice that fits its theme perfectly well. The author plays with style and language, effectively creating a truely Dickensian feeling, even with using a modern setting and modern language. (By example almost every person's name in the story could have been the...more
Heather C
This was a reread of the first Josh Lanyon story I ever read; so it holds a special place in my heart. It's still a great holiday story even though both of the MCs are assholes. Even assholes deserve a little love sometimes....more
Ilsa Bick
Okay, I’m just stupid, but I had no idea this had anything to do with gay erotica. None. Zip. I didn’t know the author and only downloaded the story because the premise–the discovery of a previously unknown Christmas book by Dickens–interested me. Having always loved Dickens (and been SO disappointed when I got through all his novels and realized there wouldn’t be any more), I’ve toyed off and on with doing something either set in or involving Victorian England for years. So I came to this hones...more
This holiday novella is a total and complete delight, a tender romance with also a tense little mystery underneath. Lanyon here tells the story of James, an antique book hunter who is on a mission to gauge the validity of a newly discovered novel by Charles Dickens. The owner of the book is a professor from England, strikingly handsome but unfortunately cold and aloof, and he seems to take a fast dislike to James. All seems lost on this mission, and James is settling into the gloomy thoughts of...more
Emanuela ~plastic duck~
Lovely! I finished this book with a lonely tear running down my face, perfect!

James, the narrator, is a hardened man. Of all the things he had in his life, only the love for books has remained. When he meets Sedge, James is a paycheck away from the street. To survive he needs to buy the book for his sleazy client, but first his pride and then his attraction for Sedge get in the way. It's James himself that recognizes that he is not probably a model of integrity, but he acts with his own code of...more
Kaje Harper
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I've always wanted to call someone a liar, a cheat, and a whore, all in the same sentence.

This might just be the fluffiest, sweetest Lanyon book I've ever read.
This festive novella is a bit of a roller coaster in terms of the relationship of the heroes, but ends on a lovely sweet note designed to warm the hearts of even the most determined Scrooge. James is a disgraced antiquarian book dealer. A link to a dodgy book dealer in the past has led to him becoming a pariah of the book hunting world so he's forced to work for unpleasant private collectors like Mr Stephanopoulos who has hired him to assess a new, previously unheard of Christmas Story by Charle...more
Ihana! That's "lovely" and "sweet" in Finnish. There really are no other words that better describe this story: Lovely. Sweet. Ihana.

Josh Lanyon simply makes me believe. Whether it is a hostile ocelot in a weird place or a unexpected love story unlikely to happen. He makes it up, he writes it down - and I want to believe it. When it's Lanyon's work it's guaranteed to be charming, clever, extremely well written and simply compelling. This time it is a story with two guys who turned out to be the...more
Angel Martinez
Dickens was once a word from which I cringed. It's probably a crime in some countries to force people to read his work too young, before any understanding of the history and social advocacy could be properly understood. Couple that with the memories of a too-smug, arrogant acquaintance of my youth who lived and breathed Dickens and acted as if no one, but NO ONE could possibly understand them like he could.

Personal issues aside, I re-discovered Dickens later in life and found him not half bad....more
It's Josh Lanyon's with love :). There is no mystery in here, just plain contemporary holiday romance between a book hunter and a British professor -- and a lost manuscript of Dickens. It's a lovely story, it puts smile on my face. Because even if it's a novella, it's well written, with good insight of both characters. It's Christmas ... faith and love to all man kind, right? ^_^
The UHQ Nasanta
The problem I have with novellas, particularly holiday romance novellas, is that as soon as I have started to settle in for the ride, they tell me happily ever after, the end. Nonetheless, I did enjoy this one.

Perhaps it was the 1st person POV of James Winter, or perhaps it was because one cannot help but sympathize with the unfortunates, but whatever the case is, I found him a sympathetic character. Although he stated that he probably deserved the scorn of his former colleagues because of his...more
Macky ~ Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews
This is a lovely novella, quirky, fun, sexy and very romantic, but still tender and poignant in parts. It works perfectly as a seasonal offering, but you could read it any time and still get drawn into this enchanting story about two men who connect ( very sensually!) over an unpublished Dickens Christmas manuscript, and find love -and redemption - unexpectedly because of it. Everything you would want from a christmas story plus some things you wouldn't expect, think Ocelots, glow in the dark 'a...more
Jo * Smut-Dickted *
Feel good romance about a down on his luck bookseller and a tourist selling the rarest of Dickens books. Prose is lovely - smooth, rich, vibrant without being over the top. Hot scenes with Lanyon are always hot and male and no funny strange words or odd moments that were not supposed to be there. I agree with Segwick when he says James is confident about sex - in general that's what comes off in Lanyon's books I've read so far - the scenes are part of the story, an extension of the character and...more
Barb ~rede-2-read~
This was a thoroughly enjoyable holiday story. I'm really coming to appreciate Josh Lanyon more and more as I increase my library of m/m books. He delivers a really nice story in a limited space with this tale of James, a book hunter who's reputation is in shreds after being involved with an unscrupulous collector, and Sedgewick, a sexy English professor who is in town to sell a previously undiscovered Dickens novel.

The two manage to fall in love over the holiday season but their romance does n...more
Very well-done holiday-themed m/m romance about a disgraced book hunter reduced to working for shady and unpleasant clients, one of whom has charged him to secretively and preemptively purchase a newly discovered Dickens’ Christmas story before it goes to auction.
Ije the Devourer of Books
A lovely romantic Christmas novella from Josh Lanyon and just right for a quiet rainy afternoon/evening in London even though it isn't Christmas. So i read this snuggled beneath my duvet and without a care in the world because I have five more weeks of my sabbatical and still have time to devour more books, and indulge myself with lazy afternoons, ginger beer, chocolate and stories from a master storyteller.

This story is about James Winter who is a book hunter. In some ways it is similar to the...more
The Dickens With Love was first brought to my attention by the illustrious karen whose review of it is far, far funnier than mine. Seriously. Her review is here. Go read it.

I laughed so hard when reading this book & was grinning when I finished it. It might be described as so bad it's awful. I mean, who has a contemporary character named Sedgewick Crisparkle? (I say this as a bearer of a bizarre name of my own.) There are also flashing, holiday flavored condoms, glittery cocktails, and a ran...more
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Q&A with Josh...: The Dickens With Love 154 137 Dec 18, 2013 12:37PM  
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A distinct voice in gay fiction, multi-award-winning author JOSH LANYON has been writing gay mystery, adventure and romance for over a decade. In addition to numerous short stories, novellas, and novels, Josh is the author of the critically acclaimed Adrien English series, including The Hell You Say, winner of the 2006 USABookNews awards for GLBT Fiction. Josh is an Eppie Award winner and a three-...more
More about Josh Lanyon...
Fatal Shadows (Adrien English Mystery, #1) The Dark Tide (Adrien English Mystery, #5) A Dangerous Thing (Adrien English Mystery, #2) Fair Game (All's Fair, #1) Death of a Pirate King (Adrien English Mystery, #4)

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“The problem with a life spent reading is you know too much.” 71 likes
“And yet, even as I made these plans, there was a small dismayed corner of my heart. Like those stupid cartoons when you're a kid: little red devil on one shoulder and the little angel in his nightie on the other. My good angel was hiding his eyes.” 5 likes
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