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  • Caz Owens Caz Owens
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    #66643 |

    Now the boards are back in action, we’re relocating the Challenge back here from the blog. So here’s the place to share your reading progress. Over to you, challengers!

    You can find the original sign up post HERE if you want to want to join in – it’s never to late to start working through that TBR pile.

    Library addict library addict
    Participant
    Post count: 14

    The Cocktail Challenge
    Blue Lagoon – Read a book where the h/h are stranded for some portion of the story.
    Hostage to the Stars by Veronica Scott – h/h are stranded on an enemy planet:
    The ex-special forces hero had been called out of retirement to assist with the rescue of another woman. When he discovered the heroine was also being held, he disobeyed orders to mount a one-man rescue op. The heroine had been unaware she needed kidnap and ransom insurance, but she was resourceful and determined. I liked that the h/h took time to get to know one another and focused on their escape. There was a lot going on in the story and the book often seemed to just skim the surface of various plot twists rather than exploring the ramifications. There were a number of overly convenient occurrences and the ending seemed super rushed, but I liked the h/h both individually and as a couple.

    Simply Seventeen Challenge (The Whittler) – novellas
    Star Cruise: Rescue by Veronica Scott:
    The hero started off rather rude, basically standing the heroine up for their date when waylaid by his ex. Since this happened within sight of the heroine I had much more sympathy for her than him. Thankfully the hero saw the error of his ways. The h/h had a lot of chemistry. However, this was a short story, so their relationship felt underdeveloped. I really hope to see more of them in future books.

    Seventeen Magazine(s)! Challenge
    AARP, The Magazine – Read a romance with a hero and heroine over the age of 40.
    Protection Detail by Julie Miller – hero is in his late 50s:
    The long-awaited resolution to the question of who hired the hitman to shoot the hero’s father at his daughter’s wedding was finally answered. The main baddie seemed obvious early in the book. The heroine’s mysterious past was explained early on. The secondary bad guy was very one-dimensional. The h/h had a lot of chemistry but spent much of the book reluctant to have an honest conversation. I enjoyed their romance but it often took a backseat to the dual mysteries.

    • The Breakfast Cereal Challenge: 11 down, 6 to go…
    • Seventeen Magazine(s)! Challenge: 9 down, 8 to go…
    • The Alphabet Challenge Variation: 11 down, 6 to go…
    • The Cocktail Challenge: 14 down, 3 to go…
    • Simply Seventeen Challenge (The Whittler) – Novellas: 10 down, 7 to go…
    • Simply Seventeen Challenge (The Whittler): 2 down, 15 to go…
    • The 20th Century Challenge: completed!
    Sandlynn Sandlynn
    Participant
    Post count: 9

    Looks like the link to the original post on the blog with all the various 2017 challenges you can try did not make it through, so here’s the link again.

    List of the 2017 Reading Challenges:
    https://allaboutromance.com/welcome-to-the-aar-seventeen-in-17-reading-challenge/

    Sandlynn Sandlynn
    Participant
    Post count: 9

    Returning to the Alphabet Challenge

    For this latest attack on my TBR pile, I decided to read Emma Chase’s Royally Screwed, published in 2016, covering the “C” for Chase.

    I had read, and generally enjoyed, a couple of books from Chase’s earlier series such as Tangled, and Twisted, but I’m not sure her style fits this “Royal” series.

    Royally Screwed concerns the crown prince of the small (fictional) European country of Wessco ruled by a monarch and a parliament. The country appears to be somewhere off of the U.K. The immediate royal family is made up of the Queen and her two adult grandsons, Nicholas and Henry. Henry, being the rascal of the two, has gotten himself into some embarrassing trouble. In fact, he often does. So, the Queen uses that problem to lay down an ultimatum to Nicholas: in the next six months, find someone to marry from the list of nobles provided to you which will ensure the throne’s rather wobbly, political future and distract from your brother’s antics. Nicholas knew this was coming at some point, but having the noose around his neck tighten overwhelms him. To distract himself, Nicholas heads to the U.S. to make some royal appearances and retrieve his brother who has been partying it up in Vegas. Nicholas, himself, is no angel and within days he ends up drunk and staggering into a New York City coffee shop/cafe. There he meets, Olivia Hammond, whose family owns the business and who’s been running it, barely keeping it afloat. Nicholas is immediately attracted and proposes a sexual encounter. Olivia is indignant. She learns, pretty quickly, who Nicholas is and is aware that most women would jump at the chance to share the royal sack, but only when Nicholas sobers up and acts like a gentleman does she see beyond the playboy prince facade. However, although the two of them know that all they might ever have is a memorable affair, can Nicholas tell Olivia about the Queen’s ultimatum and what happens if they fall in love?

    As mentioned earlier, this series has the same general style as Chase’s first series. Through alternating chapters, we get into the heads of both Olivia and Nicholas, so we know what the hero is thinking as much as the heroine. And, of course, the hero is thinking of many raunchy, naughty things which was kind of fun in Chase’s other series, but in this one, with the politics, demands of state, and potential consequences, I just found it a bit of a mismatch. Not that Nicholas needed to be a regal stiff to make this work for me, but I really felt the author could have changed things up a bit to reflect the different circumstances and not just slap the same risqué style onto a story that should’ve had a bit more depth. Instead, the seriousness of the politics was only slapped on here and there and really not fleshed out — no pun intended — when it clearly could’ve been a bigger part of the story. I’d give this book a B-.

    ******


    The Cocktail Challenge – 7 down, 3 to go.

    Alphabet Challenge – 6 down, 4 to go. (B, C, G, H, J, & M)

    Library addict library addict
    Participant
    Post count: 14

    Simply Seventeen Challenge (The Whittler)
    Cavanaugh Encounter by Marie Ferrarella:
    The heroine kept secret that a serial killer’s latest victim was her cousin in order to work the case. The hero started off as a condescending jerk. His attitude was exasperating. The heroine flip-flopped continually. The plot was very paint-by-numbers and not helped by the fact the detectives all acted as if they’d never investigated a case before. I wished the hero’s partner and his wife had more page time as they were the best part. The series can be fun, but this book was a disappointing read.

    The Cocktail Challenge
    Bloodhound – Read a book where the h/h has a dog.
    All I Am by Nicole Helm – hero has six dogs:
    The heroine felt she was a screw up and was too often dismissive of her own abilities. The hero had been injured in the Army and now owned an organic dog biscuit business. I liked that they actively worked on their personal issues and changing behavior. I also appreciated that the hero had had professional therapy. They each made mistakes and the conflicts and setbacks were well-integrated into the story. The book had a slow start, but overall a great mix of humor, angst, and family dynamics.

    • The Breakfast Cereal Challenge: 11 down, 6 to go…
    • Seventeen Magazine(s)! Challenge: 9 down, 8 to go…
    • The Alphabet Challenge Variation: 11 down, 6 to go…
    • The Cocktail Challenge: 15 down, 2 to go…
    • Simply Seventeen Challenge (The Whittler) – Novellas: 10 down, 7 to go…
    • Simply Seventeen Challenge (The Whittler): 3 down, 14 to go…
    • The 20th Century Challenge: completed!
    Library addict library addict
    Participant
    Post count: 14

    Simply Seventeen Challenge (The Whittler)
    Trapped on Talonque by Veronica Scott:
    This was another entry in the authors’ Sectors series which was set mainly on a far off planet rather than in space. The hero and his team had crash landed and were taken prisoner. The heroine had been kept in a healing chamber for thousands of years and was treated as a goddess by the planet’s people. They managed to connect telepathically. There was an element of insta-love, but it worked well for the story. I liked that the hero’s bff was hesitant to believe the hero’s account about conversing with the heroine at first. As with others in the series, the book read like an old Saturday matinee with the intrepid group of good guys getting into one scrape after another. I enjoyed the romance, though it often took a backseat to the action/adventure elements. I hope the hero’s bff eventually gets his own story. Another nice entry for the series.

    Seventeen Magazine(s)! Challenge
    Southern Living – Read a romance set in “the South,” whether the Southern U.S. or the Southern half of the planet, such as Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina, etc.
    The Girl in the Steel-Capped Boots by Loretta Hill – set in Australia:
    The heroine was fresh out of university and adjusting to working as an engineer in a male-dominated field. The characters all tended to jump to conclusions and there were numerous misunderstandings and overreactions, but thankfully they were usually quickly cleared up by actual conversations. The emphasis was mainly on the workplace drama and the heroine’s relationships with her various co-workers, but even though it wasn’t the focus I enjoyed the romance between the h/h. There was plenty of humor and a nice secondary romance as well. I had a few quibbles, but overall a very enjoyable read.

    • The Breakfast Cereal Challenge: 11 down, 6 to go…
    • Seventeen Magazine(s)! Challenge: 10 down, 7 to go…
    • The Alphabet Challenge Variation: 11 down, 6 to go…
    • The Cocktail Challenge: 15 down, 2 to go…
    • Simply Seventeen Challenge (The Whittler) – Novellas: 10 down, 7 to go…
    • Simply Seventeen Challenge (The Whittler): 4 down, 13 to go…
    • The 20th Century Challenge: completed!
    Library addict library addict
    Participant
    Post count: 14

    Simply Seventeen Challenge (The Whittler) – novellas
    Star Cruise: Stowaway by Veronica Scott:
    This novella was part of the Pets in Space anthology. Both pets were introduced earlier in the series. In this story they alert the hero, the ship’s cargo master, to a leaking container. Upon investigating the leak, he’s shocked to discover the heroine inside. The heroine had been kidnapped from her home planet years earlier and sold to an organized crime syndicate. Their romance was a tad rushed, but overall the story felt well-rounded even at novella length. It was nice to see the crew of the ship again.

    The Breakfast Cereal Challenge
    Alpha Bits (1958) = Read a romance where the hero or heroine is involved with education, e.g. teacher, principal, school counselor, etc. Or a romance where the hero or heroine has an occupation involving writing, e.g. author, reporter, editor, etc.
    McKinnon’s Royal Mission by Amelia Autin – heroine is a college professor:
    There was info dumping regarding the unrelated case in the previous book. The heroine was teaching for one year in the US and she also happened to be a princess. The hero started as an arrogant jerk and jumped to conclusions about the heroine. He then proceeded to mockingly call her by a nickname for weeks knowing he was hurting her feelings. Of course, this was all to keep her at a distance as he didn’t want to acknowledge his attraction. Sadly, he never apologized for this behavior and the heroine forgave him much too easily. Even after they admitted their feelings he continued to lie to her. I had issues with the way the heroine was inconsistently written, but felt she deserved better. I had little sympathy for the hero’s “I am unworthy of her” routine. The book improved in the last third, but it remained the heroine who made most of the sacrifices. The disappointing suspense plot unraveled completely in the end. As contradictory as the heroine’s thoughts and actions were, she was by far the best part of the book.

    • The Breakfast Cereal Challenge: 12 down, 5 to go…
    • Seventeen Magazine(s)! Challenge: 10 down, 7 to go…
    • The Alphabet Challenge Variation: 11 down, 6 to go…
    • The Cocktail Challenge: 15 down, 2 to go…
    • Simply Seventeen Challenge (The Whittler) – Novellas: 11 down, 6 to go…
    • Simply Seventeen Challenge (The Whittler): 4 down, 13 to go…
    • The 20th Century Challenge: completed!
    Library addict library addict
    Participant
    Post count: 14

    The Alphabet Challenge Variation
    O = Outlaw Cowboy by Nicole Helm:
    It was nice to see the hero working to turn his life around after seeing him wallow in his misery in the first book. I had sympathy for the heroine, but she acted totally unreasonable at the start. After a frustrating beginning, the book improved in the second half (though the ending was anti-climactic). Ultimately my issues were more with the plot than the characters. There were parts I enjoyed and I liked the h/h as a couple, but overall an uneven read. Still I am looking forward to the youngest sister’s book.

    The Breakfast Cereal Challenge
    Special K (1955) = This cereal is marketed as a way to lose weight. Read a romance in which the hero or heroine undergoes some sort of makeover. Or read a romance where the hero or heroine’s name begins with the letter K.
    Deadly Testimony by Piper J Drake – hero’s name is Kyle:
    The hero was haughty and disdainful of people who bored him. He was a protected witness, but after one attempt on his life he independently hired the heroine as an extra bodyguard, much to the chagrin of the US Marshal and local police on his protection detail. He seemed more interested in exploring his attraction to the heroine than allowing her to do her job. He acknowledged that it was inappropriate, but it didn’t stop him from trying to take advantage at every opportunity. There was a lot of info dumping about food—the hero was a definite foodie snob. The suspense plot took a few unexpected twists. Even though the hero often acted like a jerk he was an intriguing character. I wanted to know more about the heroine since it was the hero’s issues which drove the plot. Despite some quibbles, the book was an entertaining read.

    • The Breakfast Cereal Challenge: 13 down, 4 to go…
    • Seventeen Magazine(s)! Challenge: 10 down, 7 to go…
    • The Alphabet Challenge Variation: 12 down, 5 to go…
    • The Cocktail Challenge: 15 down, 2 to go…
    • Simply Seventeen Challenge (The Whittler) – Novellas: 11 down, 6 to go…
    • Simply Seventeen Challenge (The Whittler): 4 down, 13 to go…
    • The 20th Century Challenge: completed!
    Library addict library addict
    Participant
    Post count: 14

    The Breakfast Cereal Challenge
    Wheaties (1924) = “The Breakfast of Champions.” This cereal features athletes on the box. Read a romance in which the hero or heroine is involved with sports, e.g. athlete, coach, team owner, etc.
    Crossing Hearts by Rebecca Crowley – hero is a professional soccer player:
    The hero had just moved from Chile and spoke no English. The heroine was his interpreter. There was a major subplot dealing with immigration parts of which threw me out of the book because it was so obviously written before the current administration took office. The h/h were both attracted to the other but strived to keep their relationship purely professional to start. This led to a lot of conversations where they were at cross-purposes. At thirty, the heroine wanted a serious relationship. The hero was four years younger and an international sports star, but had a difficult time proving his sincerity to the heroine. Ultimately there were several subplots which were not fully explored (trying not to be spoilerish). I enjoyed the romance for the most part, but overall an uneven read.

    The Alphabet Challenge Variation
    I = Ignite by Nicole Helm:
    The doctor heroine suspected the smokejumper hero was the brother of her bff. Her plan to get him to admit it went awry when she fell for him. They were each working to overcome the scars from their childhoods. Despite their baggage they had fun together, a novel experience for each of them. The set up for the plot was a challenge to get past, but the author managed. The heroine was the sister of the hero from an earlier book and I am still vexed that their eldest brother’s marriage issues—which were a major subplot in the earlier book—were not addressed. Both books were part of different multi-author series, but I do not see where the other brother had his own story. The angst in this book was well-balanced with humor. Overall an enjoyable romance.

    • The Breakfast Cereal Challenge: 14 down, 3 to go…
    • Seventeen Magazine(s)! Challenge: 10 down, 7 to go …
    • The Alphabet Challenge Variation: 13 down, 4 to go…
    • The Cocktail Challenge: 15 down, 2 to go…
    • Simply Seventeen Challenge (The Whittler) – Novellas: 11 down, 6 to go…
    • Simply Seventeen Challenge (The Whittler): 4 down, 13 to go…
    • The 20th Century Challenge: completed!
    Sandlynn Sandlynn
    Participant
    Post count: 9

    Returning to the Alphabet Challenge

    I have a lot of Julia Quinn novels in my TBR pile. So, since I had already read the first in her Bridgerton series, I decided to tackle her second of the series, The Viscount Who Loved Me, published in 2000, covering the “Q” for Quinn.

    I read the first book about four years ago, and I really don’t remember much about it. I gave it a “B” at the time. This second book I think I would give a “B” as well.

    Many of you have already read this book, so I don’t think I need to describe it in too much detail. It focuses on the oldest son of the Bridgerton family who decides it’s time to marry, but has a weird reason for doing so. Anthony Bridgerton, the oldest of eight children, lost his father when the man was in his late 30’s. His uncle died fairly young as well. So, Anthony has this fatalistic belief that he, too, will die early. However, he would like to leave behind an heir. He just doesn’t want to be in love or leave behind a loving, heartbroken, grieving widow. Therefore, Anthony decides to pursue the most desirable young woman of the London season — Edwina Sheffield. She’s beautiful. She’s kind. But, he feels no special spark. His major obstacle, however, is Edwina’s older sister, Kate, who believes Anthony to be an unrepentant rake. She will not allow her beloved sister to accept Anthony’s suit and crosses swords with him at every opportunity. Anthony may not feel sparks with the younger sister, but with Kate he does and she certainly seems to feel something for him. Is he pursuing the right woman? Or would Kate be the wrong woman, since he definitely could feel himself falling in love….

    This was another enjoyable story in this series with two attractive leads. The only problem I had with the story was with Anthony’s reasonings. He recognizes his duty and his mother’s interest in seeing him happily wed, but he certainly doesn’t *have* to get married and procreate for his family’s title to remain in the family. He has three brothers, all of whom are decent human beings. Does he believe that this same fate will befall his brothers? He never mentions this in his thoughts or talks to anyone about these beliefs. Furthermore, what about his poor, hypothetical wife? He may not be seeking love, but if his wife loves him, she would surely be devastated if he died so soon. I don’t know. It just seemed to me that this guy just needed to visit a 19th century psychologist or maybe a grief counselor to deal with his demons and then he could happily pursue the woman of his heart. And, this doesn’t even address our heroine, who has her own demons and should just jump on the shrink’s couch with our hero! (Did I say that! 😉 )

    ******


    The Cocktail Challenge – 7 down, 3 to go.

    Alphabet Challenge – 7 down, 3 to go. (B, C, G, H, J, M, & Q)

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by Sandlynn  .
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    Post count: 14

    Simply Seventeen Challenge (The Whittler)
    Love on Tap by Meg Benjamin:
    The heroine had run a brewery until her ex-boyfriend skipped town leaving their business in the financial lurch. The hero owned a gastropub and wanted to buy her last barrel of a specialty beer. They made a deal where he’d help her get the ingredients to restart the brewery since none of the local suppliers would sell to her any longer. The deal led to the hero completing a series of unexpected tasks for the various suppliers which led to several humorous situations. The heroine was reluctant to get involved with another out-of-towner. The hero was a nice guy who fell hard for the heroine. She had made mistakes not dealing with the fallout from the collapsed business. There was a lot of emphasis on her repairing those relationships. The heroine’s brother irked me. He had a lot of page time, which I hope to see reciprocated in his book, but doubt will happen. There was a lot of information on how to make beer which didn’t interest me, but overall a very enjoyable read.

    Seventeen Magazine(s)! Challenge
    Field and Stream – Read a romance set on a farm, a ranch, or a working estate. Or, read a romance about an outdoorsman/woman.
    Falling for the Rebound Bride by Karen Templeton – set on a ranch:
    The hero was back in town after years away. The heroine was there after calling off her engagement. We were repeatedly told how she wasn’t playing the victim card (she’d discovered her fiancé had been cheating), but it certainly did not feel that way in her internal monologues. They were attracted to one another, but neither wanted to be. Things went in circles for most of the book. There was a clear “small town is better than big city” message and the hero’s meddling relatives’ behavior was annoying. The subplot about the heroine’s mother was surprisingly the best part of the book. I didn’t dislike the h/h, but the story felt very generic and the romance didn’t really work for me. A disappointing read.

    • The Breakfast Cereal Challenge: 14 down, 3 to go…
    • Seventeen Magazine(s)! Challenge: 11 down, 6 to go …
    • The Alphabet Challenge Variation: 13 down, 4 to go…
    • The Cocktail Challenge: 15 down, 2 to go…
    • Simply Seventeen Challenge (The Whittler) – Novellas: 11 down, 6 to go…
    • Simply Seventeen Challenge (The Whittler): 5 down, 12 to go…
    • The 20th Century Challenge: completed!
    Library addict library addict
    Participant
    Post count: 14

    Simply Seventeen Challenge (The Whittler)
    Contingency Plan by Robyn Bachar:
    This book started soon after the events in the first book. The h/h had more questions than answers, but one clue led to another until they were off on another aspect to the mission. The hero had lost an arm in the war and with his prosthetic malfunctioning felt he was more of a hindrance than a help. The heroine had unknowingly betrayed her shipmates due to the implant in her brain. The mystery of her past was intriguing and there were several nice twists. I really liked the h/h, both individually and as a couple, but it was the heroine who made the book for me. As with the first book, the emphasis was often on the action rather than the romance so I wish we’d had more of an epilogue or time spent with the h/h together. But overall another well-matched couple with great chemistry and a very entertaining read. Can’t wait for the final book in the trilogy.

    The Breakfast Cereal Challenge
    Corn Flakes (1907) = Read a romance in which the hero or heroine is a farmer or lives on a farm or ranch.
    All I Want by Nicole Helm – heroine lives on a farm:
    I admit to loving many a small town romance, but the message that the big city = bad, small town = good grew tiresome many, many books ago. After a very bad day for each of them the h/h had a drunken one-night stand neither clearly remembered and she ended up pregnant. The heroine tended to repeatedly jump to conclusions and both of them were too judgmental at times. The book improved in the second half though both the h/h did things seemingly only to extend the conflict. I ended up liking both characters, but overall the book was a very frustrating read. Still a nice wrap up to the Farmers’ Market series.

    • The Breakfast Cereal Challenge: 15 down, 2 to go…
    • Seventeen Magazine(s)! Challenge: 11 down, 6 to go …
    • The Alphabet Challenge Variation: 13 down, 4 to go…
    • The Cocktail Challenge: 15 down, 2 to go…
    • Simply Seventeen Challenge (The Whittler) – Novellas: 11 down, 6 to go…
    • Simply Seventeen Challenge (The Whittler): 6 down, 11 to go…
    • The 20th Century Challenge: completed!
    Sandlynn Sandlynn
    Participant
    Post count: 9

    Continuing with the Alphabet Challenge

    For the letter “A,” I decided to read a book that had been in my TBR pile for many years: Charlotte Vale Allen’s Somebody’s Baby, published in 1995.

    This book is not a romance, although it certainly could’ve had more of a romantic bent without diminishing the story. It’s more of a suspenseful mystery and a character study. The plot involves a 30-31 year old woman who is a photographer in New York City. Suddenly, our heroine — Snow Devane — learns that her mother has had a heart attack and she must rush to a hospital in Rhode Island before it’s too late.

    Snow’s mother was a widow who raised her daughter without a father. She was super protective and although loving, very prim and proper regarding her standards for her daughter. As a result, Snow privately rebelled, running off to do things her mother would be humiliated over, like having affairs with married men while still a teenager. Once an adult, Snow went off to art school and then moved to New York. However, her personal dynamic doesn’t change much and she still has relationships with men who are unavailable.

    Back to her mother’s bedside, Snow reaches her just in time for a death bed confession that rocks her world. Her mother admits that she is not Snow’s true parent but stole her out of a supermarket cart 30 years ago, while her true mother had gone down another aisle to pick up a grocery item. Although in shock, this confession explains so much to Snow, and she and her best friend start a search for who Snow’s actual parents are, who this woman who raised her was, and how this woman attained so much money for which Snow is now the beneficiary.

    This story kept me turning the pages because I couldn’t wait to see if Snow would find her real family, find out who the woman who raised her actually was, and how this woman managed to accumulate such a fortune. Along the way, we get a lot of self analysis by Snow and we come to know some of her friends and new acquaintances who either help her or impact her feelings about it, but when we finally get to the answers, I was disappointed in the time spent on them and the lack of impact. In terms of the big unknowns in this story, I thought they were watered down and handled in a namby-pamby way. Not only that, but the author introduced side stories that really didn’t add much to the central plot-line, including a new romance that I found to be part and parcel of the main character’s previous problems.
    The author built up a terrific story and then just whiffed it! Ugh. I’ll give it a “C.”

    ******

    The Cocktail Challenge – 7 down, 3 to go.

    Alphabet Challenge – 8 down, 2 to go. (A, B, C, G, H, J, M, & Q)

    • This reply was modified 4 days, 8 hours ago by Sandlynn  .
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    Post count: 14

    Simply Seventeen Challenge (The Whittler)
    Star Survivor by Veronica Scott:
    At the end of the first book in this series, this secondary couple seemed to be solidly together. The heroine thought so as well, but the hero had disappeared with no goodbye five years before the start of this story. The truth about why he’d left wasn’t revealed until late in the book, but both the timing of the reveal and his reasons made sense for the plot. It was nice to see the main couple from the first book again. There were a few twists, but no major surprises. The h/h had both matured in the period between books, but retained their chemistry. Their backstories were well-balanced. Overall, an enjoyable reunion romance.

    Seventeen Magazine(s)! Challenge
    Mother Jones/The Weekly Standard – In homage to journals reflecting two sides of the U.S. political spectrum, read a romance in which the hero and heroine are on two sides of an issue whether political, business, environmental, social, or cultural and butt heads over it. Or, read a romance in which the hero and/or heroine are in politics.
    All’s Fair in Love and Politics by Nicole Helm – heroine is running for the state senate:
    This was actually the first book the author published and was meant to be the first in a series. It has been sitting in my TBR pile since shortly after I discovered her (just over three years ago) as I was waiting to see if the other books would be released. The reporter hero was using the heroine to get to her father. Multiple times he ignored what she said which was passed off as “she doesn’t know what she really wants,” but it was a bothersome pattern of behavior. When he said his career was more important than her being able to keep any part of her life private, she agreed with him (I need a rolling eyes smilie). She felt guilty that her father had gotten him fired, but really? Thankfully the book—and his behavior—improved in the second half. The h/h were both wishy-washy at times, but I ended up liking them. The heroine’s father was one-dimensional, but at least there was some resolution to the subplot involving him. I really enjoyed the glimpses we had of the hero’s family. It’s a shame the author never wrote his sisters’ stories.

    • The Breakfast Cereal Challenge: 15 down, 2 to go…
    • Seventeen Magazine(s)! Challenge: 12 down, 5 to go …
    • The Alphabet Challenge Variation: 13 down, 4 to go…
    • The Cocktail Challenge: 15 down, 2 to go…
    • Simply Seventeen Challenge (The Whittler) – Novellas: 11 down, 6 to go…
    • Simply Seventeen Challenge (The Whittler): 7 down, 10 to go…
    • The 20th Century Challenge: completed!
    Library addict library addict
    Participant
    Post count: 14

    The Alphabet Challenge Variation
    G = The Bonus Mom by Jennifer Greene:
    This author has been an autobuy for me since I discovered her back in 1991. She hasn’t published anything new for years, so I’d put off reading her last two “new” full-length books as didn’t want to be done reading her. I read the middle book of this trilogy back in February, so this was the only one left. I wish I would have enjoyed this last book more. The hero’s eleven-year-old twins were extremely self-aware for their age which did not always ring true. There was the usual dose of humor and parts of the romance were fine on the surface. But I had major issues with the way the hero’s deceased wife was portrayed. Not trying to be spoilerish, but the whole “she loved named brand goods and the ballet and opera while the heroine liked making homemade ornaments, didn’t wear makeup, and didn’t shop at expensive stores so she was naturally a better woman” on top of the hero being completely clueless about how his wife had actually treated their daughters made me want to throw the book at the wall (which I resisted since I was reading the digital version). The whole not-like-other-girls vibe and a huge continuity error tarnished the story too much for me. A very disappointing read.

    • The Breakfast Cereal Challenge: 15 down, 2 to go…
    • Seventeen Magazine(s)! Challenge: 12 down, 5 to go …
    • The Alphabet Challenge Variation: 14 down, 3 to go…
    • The Cocktail Challenge: 15 down, 2 to go…
    • Simply Seventeen Challenge (The Whittler) – Novellas: 11 down, 6 to go…
    • Simply Seventeen Challenge (The Whittler): 7 down, 10 to go…
    • The 20th Century Challenge: completed!
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