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And The Award Goes To… Challenge
The Departed (2006) — Read a romance in which a main character has gone undercover or has taken on an identity not their own; a romance involving characters who are FBI agents; a romance set in New England; Or, inspired by the title of the movie, read a romance involving a loved one dying or in which one of the main characters leaves their home to live elsewhere.
Dream Images by Amalia James — set in Vermont:
The heroine was working on her master’s degree. She was in town to film a children’s documentary about maple sugaring. The hero owned an outdoors company and had had several photography books published. The hero started off as patronizing, but the heroine refused to put up with his condescending attitude. The info-dumping about maple sugaring was cleverly used as snarky dialogue between the h/h which they acknowledged was unnecessary research since they both already knew about it. The reformed workaholic hero’s overly-controlling behavior toward the end, even when his heart was in the right place, may have seemed normal when the book published in 1983, but in this day and age came off as a huge red flag. Despite this issue and a few other quibbles, overall I liked the book due to the heroine.

The 19 in 19 Phonics Challenge
L for law — Read a romance in which the heroine and/or hero is involved with the law, e.g. lawyer, judge, police, politician, etc.
Do-or-Die Bridesmaid by Julie Miller – hero is a police detective:
The hero’s ex-fiancée had started seeing his bff after she’d dumped him. Despite knowing it wasn’t true, he felt they’d both betrayed him so was reluctant to attend their wedding. The h/h left the wedding and discovered her bff’s body. There was some unnecessary confusion with the timeline which could’ve easily been cleared up with a line or two or dialogue. It was irksome that the heroine acted foolishly simply to forward the plot. Despite viable suspects her harasser was obvious from the start so the mystery fell flat. The heroine was the hero’s ex’s younger sister. She’d always had a crush on him. The romance felt super rushed. Mostly I was left with the feeling they all would have benefited from counseling. A very disappointing read.

  • The 20th Century Challenge: 2 down, 17 to go…
  • The Alphabet Challenge Variation: 2 down, 17 to go…
  • The 19 in 19 Phonics Challenge: 6 down, 13 to go…
  • The Nonchalant Nineteen Challenge (The Whittler) — novellas: 1 down, 18 to go…
  • And The Award Goes To… Challenge: 4 down, 15 to go…