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Maggie Boyd
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The Letter Q Challenge

Queen – married to a member of the nobility. Someone to Love Mary Balogh An Earl remarries for money while his poverty stricken first wife is still alive in the country. His daughter, a teacher at the orphanage where she grew up, then becomes a lady of wealth and marries a duke. It was an okay read but I found the middle class moralizing hard to take at times. I also found it hard to accept that Anna was insistent that the people she displaced were her family.

Quixotic – exceedingly idealistic; unrealistic and impractical. Read a romance a sci-fi/fantasy romance or a romance that has an unrealistic premise like a Duke marrying the governess. Someone to Hold Mary Balogh Formerly a lady, the daughter of an Earl, Camille Westcott finds herself without a title or without real entree’ into the world that was once hers when her parent’s marriage is pronounced bigamous and she herself is deemed a bastard. Determined to come to terms with her new lot in life she takes a job teaching at an orphanage where she meets Joel Cunningham. The two have an unlikely romance complete with rich unknown relative leaving him a fortune.

Quest – Read a book that involves a quest or a search of some kind. Can be searching for a child or a criminal etc.White Hot Ilona Andrews Nevada Baylor goes on the hunt for a killer with the help of Connor “Mad” Rogan.

Quack – medical romance The Serpent’s Shadow Mercedes Lackey Maya Witherspoon has fled to England from India, knowing only that she has a powerful enemy and having no idea of who that is. A doctor with minor magical skills, she heals patients by day, butting heads with the patriarchal system that battles her at every turn. By night, she places small protections about her home to keep herself and her beloved staff safe. Peter Scott is sent by the other magicians of London to check out this newcomer and finds himself becoming a teacher to the powerful young woman who knew so little about her magic. But even as the two find themselves enamored, Maya’s enemy moves ever closer to her target. . . Fun and sweetly romantic with a strong, independent heroine.

Quaalude – sedative – heroine in a coma, sleep in the title The Gates of Sleep Mercedes Lackey A re-imagining of the Sleeping Beauty tale where the heroine falls in love with the doctor who helps save her from the magically induced coma she is in. Ironically, this was a bit of snooze to read.

Quiet – read a book about someone who is alone Phoenix and Ashes Mercedes Lackey This is a re-telling of Cinderella. Overall, the story is interesting with heroine Eleanor and hero Reggie being kindhearted, brave, strong and virtuous. Eleanor is bound to the hearth of her step-mothers home by strong magic. People don’t remember she exists and she has no friends or acquaintances. Reggie had been in love with her in the past. He sees past the spell but will they together have the strength to defeat the powerful sorceress? I did get tired of the details of the Tarot world and the villain view point chapters. Other than that, good fantasy story with a sweet romantic thread running through it.

Quelling Forceful prevention The Jane Austin Project Kathleen Flynn At the age of 33 Rachel agrees to travel back in time to prevent the loss of two important things: The novel “The Watsons” by Jane Austen, as well as Ms. Austen’s letters. Accompanying her on the trip is Liam, a co-worker who wrote a book on Beau Brumell and is thoroughly familiar with the period. Posing as brother and sister they introduce themselves to Henry Austen (shortly before his bank goes under) in order to gain access to his sister.

Quartz – a stone – Heartstone – Elle Katherine White In a fantasy re-imaging of Pride and Prejudice people become engaged by receiving heartstones from magical beings. In this story Aliza Bentaine clashes with arrogant dragon rider Alastair Daired,as they battle griffons and other assorted monsters.

Quiz – read a book that involves gambling in some way. A Debt Paid in Marriage Georgie Lee Ah, the troppiness of it all! Laura Townsend, in her role as feisty heroine, confronts Phillip Rathbone by pointing a pistol at him and insisting that he return the inventory to her draper shop that he claimed was collateral for a loan. Dripping wet and naked, he stalks across the room, unfazed by the gun she is pointing at him and shows her the contract signed by her (evil) uncle. Turns out her saintly but misguided deceased father had trusted the uncle with his business and taken no steps to provide for his wife and daughter, who are now living in abject poverty due to that misplaced trust. Laura’s uncle has now lost the business due to gambling debts. Laura leaves disheartened but of course the next day, in the manner of romance heroes everywhere, Phillip proposes. He loves her spunk! Who wouldn’t trust someone whom they met at gunpoint with their one year old?

Nothing really pulls this tale out of romance novel central except that the characters are working class (not rich cits though Phillip seems to have quite a bit of money but probably what we would call middle class today). Apparently, they had very loose social rules since Laura runs about with Phillip and his band of men with no chaperonage before they are married. She attends dinners as his betrothed, also without chaperonage. I was a bit surprised by this but it didn’t really affect the story line beyond giving it a modern feel. Phillip’s sensibilities regarding women and Laura’s working class attitude had already done that, so it wasn’t a biggie. Not a great book but the author’s prose was smooth and the story while wholly predictable had sufficient romance/chemistry between the leads to make it worth a quick read.

Quandary – Dragon Springs Road Janie Chang – Jialing moves from one quandary to another as she is abandoned by her mother, the family she loves loses their property and the magic in her life provides as many problems as it does solutions.

Cocktail Challenge – Complete
Letter Q – 10 down, 7 to go