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The Shoe Challenge
Platforms – A stage is a fancy platform. Read a book where the h/h are actors or performers (singers, magicians, musicians etc.) of some kind.
Cut and Run by Carla Neggers – heroine is a concert pianist:
The heroine was tired of her touring and recording schedule as a classical pianist so “moonlighted” in disguise at a jazz club. The hero was an award-winning journalist and Vietnam vet now working for a DC tabloid. The mystery involved a four-hundred-year-old uncut diamond, a corrupt senator, his blackmailer, murder, and secrets from the heroine’s family’s past during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. My favorite relationship was the reluctant friendship between the hero and his editor. I wish she’d had more page time. I also liked the heroine’s aunt. The romance took place mostly in the background with the mystery as the focus. The idea that so many villains would believe in the existence of the diamond with no proof seemed far-fetched. There were parts I enjoyed, but overall a middle-of-the-road read.

The 18 in 18 Phonics Challenge
T for time — Read a futuristic or time-travel romance.
Darik by Veronica Scott – futuristic:
The overarching plot of this series took an even darker turn with the introduction of a different, secret lab and the cruel scientist in charge. The multiple sets of alien bad guys were the usual proverbial mustache-twirling evil, but there were some interesting twists and turns and we learned quite a bit about them. The resolution to one of the major subplots occurred off page (we’re literally only told about it). The h/h were well-matched though their romance felt rushed. But overall a solid entry in the series.

  • Easy Eighteen Challenge (The Whittler) – Novellas: 7 down, 11 to go…
  • The 18 in 18 Phonics Challenge: 12 down, 6 to go…
  • The Alphabet Challenge Variation : 15 down, 3 to go…
  • The Catchphrase Challenge: 11 down, 7 to go…
  • The Shoe Challenge: 8 down, 10 to go…
  • The 21st Century Challenge : completed!