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Easy Eighteen Challenge (The Whittler) – Novellas
A Cowboy Wedding for Christmas by Nicole Helm:
The h/h had been high school sweethearts but she’d felt the need to escape their small town so had left for college. She had issues with the fact her family had always treated her as the flighty baby of the family. The hero had abandonment issues from his mother’s leaving as well as the fact his father was a belligerent alcoholic. His father had recently emptied their savings account and raided his younger sister’s college fund to pay for a world cruise for his third wife. The h/h met again when she returned for her eldest brother’s wedding. I liked that they’d each tried to move on with their lives and neither had spent the previous six years pining away. He was the first person she told about her decision to move back. While he claimed to now hate her, he was never cruel, simply caught up in his own grief and anger. The heroine knew leaving had been the right thing to do so couldn’t regret it, but did regret the way she’d handled things. Her mother was too treacly and I wish there had been more time to explore a few of the plot threads. There was a lot of angst, but overall a wonderful reunion romance.

The Mate by Abigail Owen: This introductory novella was set in an alternate reality with dragon shifters. The h/h had met before, but he’d believed she was human. When it’s discovered she had the dragon mark, she was asked to pick a mate from a select group. The fire inspector heroine was dealing with reality being turned upside down. She wondered why the hero had cut off contact if he was truly supposed to be her destiny. He knew he’d screwed up but took a while to get a clue and talk with her rather than making assumptions. I enjoyed the romance even though it felt pushed aside for the political intrigue in the second half. The world building was intriguing but not as well developed as it could have been.

  • Easy Eighteen Challenge (The Whittler) – Novellas: 13 down, 5 to go…
  • The Catchphrase Challenge: 15 down, 3 to go…
  • Easy Eighteen Challenge (The Whittler): 9 down, 9 to go…
  • The 18 in 18 Phonics Challenge: completed!
  • The Alphabet Challenge Variation: completed!
  • The Shoe Challenge: completed!
  • The 21st Century Challenge: completed!