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The 21st Century Challenge
2002 = A Noble Pursuit by Meg Lacey (published Feb 2002): The h/h had a one-night stand before he knew she was related to the man he was investigating. The heroine continued to lie when they met again. When she learned he was an undercover cop, she took umbrage that he was using her conveniently forgetting all of her own lies and the fact she had been using him to have an adventure. The plot was paint-by-numbers and the heroine’s brother got off way too easy. The wrong person did the groveling at the end. A very frustrating read.

2003 = The Street Where She Lives by Jill Shalvis (published Oct 2003): I wanted to like this book, but couldn’t. The heroine had told the hero she didn’t love him and asked him to leave and was mad because he did. Fast forward thirteen years and he came back to town at their daughter’s request to care for the heroine as she recovered from a hit-and-run. There were major issues with the heroine’s unrealistic recovery. The plot had everything and the kitchen sink. The suspense plot had a horribly anticlimactic ending. I can’t list other complaints without major spoilers. I would have thrown the book at the wall if I had been reading a print edition and not digital. The characters and story had so much potential and ended up being such a disappointment.

2004 = Storm of Seduction by Cindy Gerard (published May 2004): The hero started off as a condescending jerk. Thankfully he eventually got over himself. The heroine was a wildlife photographer. The hero was the CEO of a publishing empire. There were issues with the quasi-bear sanctuary plot, but I liked the heroine. I also had a few qualms with the compromise at the end of the story as I thought one of the characters conceded much more than the other. Some enjoyable parts and a lot of humor, but overall an average read.

2005 = Her Good Fortune by Marie Ferrarella (published Feb 2005): The heroine was supposedly very close to her family, yet her mother didn’t know she was an alcoholic. The hero’s fiancée had died nearly twenty years ago while driving drunk, so he’d closed himself off emotionally. He and the heroine started on the wrong foot. I know we were supposed to find his attitude amusing at times, but he had a tendency to be very condescending and made a lot of assumptions which weren’t funny. The author did a good job of making me dislike each of them on the other’s behalf so the idea it was all really love at first sight just didn’t wash. The plot had them often trapped together to force them to interact, everything from a car accident to a blackout which caused the elevator to conveniently stop working. All of which made me doubt they would have a conversation if left to their own devices. But ultimately my main issue with this book was the behavior of the heroine’s mother and the hero’s father. Again we were supposed to find their matchmaking efforts amusing, but I really wanted the h/h to announce they were leaving the country with no forwarding address to get away from their horrible meddling.

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  • The 21st Century Challenge : 5 down, 13to go…