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And The Award Goes To… Challenge
Chicago (2002) — Since Chicago is a musical, read a romance set in the music industry and/or characters who are musicians; a romance set in the U.S. mid-west; a romance set in the 1920’s; or, a romance in which one or both of the lead characters are involved in or come from a “shady” background, whether grifters, skirting the law, crime families, or confidence men/women.
Bourbon Street Blues by Maureen Child — heroine is a singer:
The h/h originally met when she sang at his wedding ten years prior to the start of the story. She’d never told him about walking in on his bride-to-be having sex with someone not-the-groom before the ceremony. They met again when he saw her singing in a hotel bar. His soon-to-be-ex-wife was a one-dimensional caricature. They’d married as a business arrangement, but the clichéd “my ex is evil so all women are bad” subplot did not reflect well on the hero. I wish we’d met the hero’s sister on page as she was the most intriguing character in the book. I had many issues with the plot, including the hero’s awful behavior at multiple points and the heroine’s decision toward the end (probably too spoilery, but oh well!). So dissatisfying. I wanted my time back.

The 19 in 19 Phonics Challenge
E for extrasensory — Read a paranormal romance.
Toxic Game by Christine Feehan:
The hero was infected with a virus during a rescue mission. He stayed behind in an effort to kill as many of the small-time villains who were holding another village hostage as possible. During one excursion he was shot and rescued by the heroine, who was then exposed to the virus. The story started strong, but then went from point A to point B to point C with no surprises. The very late introduction of a new set of wanna-be big bad guys felt shoe-horned in and lacked any sense of danger. Of course the original villain from book one was also still in play, but his subplot will obviously never end. There were a lot of repetitive phrases and internal monologues. The ending dragged. So despite some positives, overall another disappointing read in this long-running series.

  • The 20th Century Challenge: 2 down, 17 to go…
  • The Alphabet Challenge Variation: 6 down, 13 to go…
  • The 19 in 19 Phonics Challenge: 10 down, 9 to go…
  • The Nonchalant Nineteen Challenge (The Whittler) — novellas: 1 down, 18 to go…
  • And The Award Goes To… Challenge: 10 down, 9 to go…