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The 21st Century Challenge
2017 = A Marriage Worth Saving by Therese Beharrie (published June 2017) :
The hero’s father had died and left his share of the winery equally to his son and daughter-in-law if they agreed to work together to plan a party, otherwise it would be auctioned off and the proceeds split. The hero was the one who had initiated their divorce but placed the emotional blame on the heroine since she’d agreed to it. They each had communication issues, but he continued to act like a jerk so I had more sympathy for her character. They both could have benefitted so I wish the idea of couples counselling would have at least been mentioned at some point. Despite these issues this was a likable reunion romance. The heroine made the story work for me.

2018 = Bride for Keeps by Nicole Helm (published Apr 2018): This h/h had been featured in several of the author’s earlier books (each part of different, multi-author series). Their marriage issues were a major subplot in one, so I was happy they finally got a story of their own. They each started out with unconstructive ways of handling their problems. The beginning of the book took place concurrently with the earlier books, so some events were already known. The book could work as a stand-alone, but I would recommend reading the earlier books first. The h/h’s actions and inactions would have been more frustrating to read if I hadn’t known about them from the earlier books. Each felt unworthy of the other. They both had to learn to truly trust and talk about their problems. Overall, a wonderful marriage in trouble story with a good balance of angst and humor.

The Catchphrase Challenge
“Kiss my grits!” Flo (Alice) – Read a romance that takes place in the American south or a book about a waitress/cook/restaurant owner or restaurant worker.
A Passionate Business by Stephanie James – heroine owns a restaurant:
The heroine’s desire to be taken seriously in business could have been written today rather than 1981. The hero believed she was good at business, but we’re supposed to overlook “quirks” like her coming home to discover he’d broken into her house so they could talk, his high-handed announcement that she would marry him as if she had no say in the matter, or the multiple incidences of saying he should beat her. (/sarcasm.) On the plus side the heroine made it clear she wouldn’t put up with such behavior. Most of the conflict would have been avoided if the hero had been more forthcoming. Lots of humor, but very much an old skool romance.

  • Easy Eighteen Challenge (The Whittler) – Novellas: 4 down, 14 to go…
  • The 18 in 18 Phonics Challenge: 5 down, 13 to go…
  • The Alphabet Challenge Variation : 4 down, 14 to go…
  • The Catchphrase Challenge: 4 down, 14 to go…
  • The Shoe Challenge: 4 down, 14 to go…
  • The 21st Century Challenge : completed!