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  • library addict
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    Post count: 221

    Seventeen Magazine(s)! Challenge
    People – Read a romance featuring multiple couples in the same story, like an ensemble cast. Or, read a book from the chick lit genre in which the heroine has one or more relationships before finding “the one”!
    The Maxwell Sisters by Loretta Hill – features romances for all three sisters:
    The main heroine had not told her family she’d separated from her husband or that she’d lost her job. The middle sister was a chef who didn’t know how to say no or stand up for herself. They each had to go home the family winery for the youngest sister’s wedding. The middle heroine was also longtime bffs—and had thought herself in love with—the man who was now her sister’s fiancé. The engaged sister was a teacher and a bit of a Pollyanna, but she was also keeping a big secret. The first three chapters were told in a semi-flashback manner which read like an info dump. Later in the book many of the chapters started with mini-flashbacks which grew to be grating. Each sister had a romantic subplot, but the main focus of the book was on the relationship between the three sisters. There was plenty of relationship and family drama. I enjoyed parts of all three romances, though each could have benefited from professional counseling. Many of the characters were judgmental and too quick to jump to conclusions based on little or no evidence. There were other plot issues, particularly the conclusion to a sudden “suspense” twist toward the end which was ridiculous and exasperating. The book had some nice moments, but overall it was a very uneven read.

    • Seventeen Magazine(s)! Challenge: 16 down, 1 to go …
    • The Alphabet Challenge Variation: 16 down, 1 to go…
    • The Cocktail Challenge: 16 down, 1 to go…
    • Simply Seventeen Challenge (The Whittler) – Novellas: 14 down, 3 to go…
    • Simply Seventeen Challenge (The Whittler) – Replay: 1 down, 16 to go…
    • The 20th Century Challenge: completed!
    • Simply Seventeen Challenge (The Whittler): completed!
    • The Breakfast Cereal Challenge: completed!
    Maggie Boyd
    Keymaster
    Post count: 68

    Can’t find any of my original posts so here goes:

    The Cocktail Challenge:

    1.London Fog -Clare Mackintosh, I Let You Go read January 2017
    2.Hot Toddy – Once Upon A Dream Grace Burrows/Mary Balogh read January 2017
    3.Roman Candle Sky Raiders Michelle Deiner
    4.Witches Brew Petals and Thorns Jennifer Paris
    5.X-Rated Fusion Liqueur A Wanton Woman Vanessa Vale
    6.Hungry Couple Colter’s Women Maya Banks
    7.Shirley Temple Worth the Wait Karen Witemeyer
    8.Four Horsemen Frozen Eve Silver
    9.Harry Potter Mixology The Hating Game Sally Thorne
    10.Churchill The Fire by Night Teresa *Messineo,
    11.Southern Warmer Shattered Lisa Clark O’Neil
    12.Slippery Nipple Dark Tide Elizabeth Hayes
    13.Long Island Iced Tea A Heart Most Certain (Teaville Moral Society) Melissa Jaeger
    14.Bloodhound The Lady and the Lionheart Joanne Bischof
    15.Blue Lagoon Silver Silence Nalini Singh
    16.Salty Dog The Girl in the Gate House Julie Klassen
    17.Savoy Corpse Reviver Reserved for the Cat Mercedes Lackey

    Maggie Boyd
    Keymaster
    Post count: 68

    The Letter Q Challenge

    Queen – married to a member of the nobility. Someone to Love Mary Balogh An Earl remarries for money while his poverty stricken first wife is still alive in the country. His daughter, a teacher at the orphanage where she grew up, then becomes a lady of wealth and marries a duke. It was an okay read but I found the middle class moralizing hard to take at times. I also found it hard to accept that Anna was insistent that the people she displaced were her family.

    Quixotic – exceedingly idealistic; unrealistic and impractical. Read a romance a sci-fi/fantasy romance or a romance that has an unrealistic premise like a Duke marrying the governess. Someone to Hold Mary Balogh Formerly a lady, the daughter of an Earl, Camille Westcott finds herself without a title or without real entree’ into the world that was once hers when her parent’s marriage is pronounced bigamous and she herself is deemed a bastard. Determined to come to terms with her new lot in life she takes a job teaching at an orphanage where she meets Joel Cunningham. The two have an unlikely romance complete with rich unknown relative leaving him a fortune.

    Quest – Read a book that involves a quest or a search of some kind. Can be searching for a child or a criminal etc.White Hot Ilona Andrews Nevada Baylor goes on the hunt for a killer with the help of Connor “Mad” Rogan.

    Quack – medical romance The Serpent’s Shadow Mercedes Lackey Maya Witherspoon has fled to England from India, knowing only that she has a powerful enemy and having no idea of who that is. A doctor with minor magical skills, she heals patients by day, butting heads with the patriarchal system that battles her at every turn. By night, she places small protections about her home to keep herself and her beloved staff safe. Peter Scott is sent by the other magicians of London to check out this newcomer and finds himself becoming a teacher to the powerful young woman who knew so little about her magic. But even as the two find themselves enamored, Maya’s enemy moves ever closer to her target. . . Fun and sweetly romantic with a strong, independent heroine.

    Quaalude – sedative – heroine in a coma, sleep in the title The Gates of Sleep Mercedes Lackey A re-imagining of the Sleeping Beauty tale where the heroine falls in love with the doctor who helps save her from the magically induced coma she is in. Ironically, this was a bit of snooze to read.

    Quiet – read a book about someone who is alone Phoenix and Ashes Mercedes Lackey This is a re-telling of Cinderella. Overall, the story is interesting with heroine Eleanor and hero Reggie being kindhearted, brave, strong and virtuous. Eleanor is bound to the hearth of her step-mothers home by strong magic. People don’t remember she exists and she has no friends or acquaintances. Reggie had been in love with her in the past. He sees past the spell but will they together have the strength to defeat the powerful sorceress? I did get tired of the details of the Tarot world and the villain view point chapters. Other than that, good fantasy story with a sweet romantic thread running through it.

    Quelling Forceful prevention The Jane Austin Project Kathleen Flynn At the age of 33 Rachel agrees to travel back in time to prevent the loss of two important things: The novel “The Watsons” by Jane Austen, as well as Ms. Austen’s letters. Accompanying her on the trip is Liam, a co-worker who wrote a book on Beau Brumell and is thoroughly familiar with the period. Posing as brother and sister they introduce themselves to Henry Austen (shortly before his bank goes under) in order to gain access to his sister.

    Quartz – a stone – Heartstone – Elle Katherine White In a fantasy re-imaging of Pride and Prejudice people become engaged by receiving heartstones from magical beings. In this story Aliza Bentaine clashes with arrogant dragon rider Alastair Daired,as they battle griffons and other assorted monsters.

    Quiz – read a book that involves gambling in some way. A Debt Paid in Marriage Georgie Lee Ah, the troppiness of it all! Laura Townsend, in her role as feisty heroine, confronts Phillip Rathbone by pointing a pistol at him and insisting that he return the inventory to her draper shop that he claimed was collateral for a loan. Dripping wet and naked, he stalks across the room, unfazed by the gun she is pointing at him and shows her the contract signed by her (evil) uncle. Turns out her saintly but misguided deceased father had trusted the uncle with his business and taken no steps to provide for his wife and daughter, who are now living in abject poverty due to that misplaced trust. Laura’s uncle has now lost the business due to gambling debts. Laura leaves disheartened but of course the next day, in the manner of romance heroes everywhere, Phillip proposes. He loves her spunk! Who wouldn’t trust someone whom they met at gunpoint with their one year old?

    Nothing really pulls this tale out of romance novel central except that the characters are working class (not rich cits though Phillip seems to have quite a bit of money but probably what we would call middle class today). Apparently, they had very loose social rules since Laura runs about with Phillip and his band of men with no chaperonage before they are married. She attends dinners as his betrothed, also without chaperonage. I was a bit surprised by this but it didn’t really affect the story line beyond giving it a modern feel. Phillip’s sensibilities regarding women and Laura’s working class attitude had already done that, so it wasn’t a biggie. Not a great book but the author’s prose was smooth and the story while wholly predictable had sufficient romance/chemistry between the leads to make it worth a quick read.

    Quandary – Dragon Springs Road Janie Chang – Jialing moves from one quandary to another as she is abandoned by her mother, the family she loves loses their property and the magic in her life provides as many problems as it does solutions.

    Cocktail Challenge – Complete
    Letter Q – 10 down, 7 to go

    Maggie Boyd
    Keymaster
    Post count: 68

    Quarry – one that is sought or pursued – Death Wears a Mask Ashley Weaver Intrepid detectives Milo and Amory Ames move about London’s glittering set during 1932 solving a murder committed at a masked ball. Their quarry is elusive, clever — and quite determined not to be caught. The main mystery here, though, is the Ames marriage. Milo is endlessly seen with other women, Amory another wise strong willed individual, seemingly helpless to live without him and the scandals he creates. It’s an intriguing look at loving a rake, though I personally think she should simply ditch him.

    Cocktail Challenge – complete
    Letter Q – 11 down, 6 to go

    library addict
    Participant
    Post count: 221

    The Cocktail Challenge
    Vesper Martini – This drink was invented and named by Ian Fleming in the 1953 James Bond novel Casino Royale. Read a book about spies, FBI agents, CIA agents or alphabet letter/secret agencies of any kind.
    Thief’s Mark by Carla Neggers – h/h are both FBI agents:
    The subplot about an art thief-turned-MI5 informant has spanned multiple books in this series. I know we’ve been meant to find his character clever, cheeky, and charming, but much of the time I just thought he was annoying. However, this book managed to make me like him. I enjoyed his secondary romance with a new character and am looking forward to seeing more of her in future books. The mystery revolved around his kidnapping thirty years ago. As usual there was a large cast of characters with multiple POV scenes, but this time around all of the subplots were obviously part of the main mystery from the start. I don’t think this book would work as a stand-alone since so much of the background was given in earlier books. The heroine’s grandfather and their priest friend were up to their usual meddling ways. I love the main h/h and it was nice to catch up with them in their first book as a married couple. I enjoyed the book for the character moments, but found most of the mystery lackluster (can’t really say more without major spoilers).

    Simply Seventeen Challenge (The Whittler) – Replay
    Mess with Me by Nicole Helm:
    The hero had developed hermit-like tendencies since the death of his sister which he blamed himself for. The heroine was the half-sister of his business partners. They hadn’t known she existed and since she refused to talk to either of them, they’d pressed the hero into acting as an intermediary. This included offering her a job at their adventure tours company. The heroine was trying to find herself and work through some issues. I understood why she wanted to take things slow with her newly discovered brothers, but her thoughts and actions very often made her come across as flighty. The hero had been content to wallow in his martyrdom for years, but had started to reassess his life before meeting the heroine. They both would have benefited from professional counseling. I also wished the trainer dynamic had been dealt with on page more as the hero was her boss. The hero wanted to take things slowly for both their sakes. The overprotective brother act from one of the twins as well as her step-brother was a bit OTT. Despite these issues I enjoyed the book. There was a lot of humor. Looking forward to more in this series.

    • Seventeen Magazine(s)! Challenge: 16 down, 1 to go …
    • The Alphabet Challenge Variation: 16 down, 1 to go…
    • Simply Seventeen Challenge (The Whittler) – Novellas: 14 down, 3 to go…
    • Simply Seventeen Challenge (The Whittler) – Replay: 2 down, 15 to go…
    • The 20th Century Challenge: completed!
    • Simply Seventeen Challenge (The Whittler): completed!
    • The Breakfast Cereal Challenge: completed!
    • The Cocktail Challenge: completed!
    Maggie Boyd
    Keymaster
    Post count: 68

    Quote -Read a book with a famous quote or

      song title/song lyrics in the title

    Brown Eyed Girl Lisa Kleypas This book has sat in pristine condition on my TBR shelf for the last few years and will now head to the UBS that way. Feels so good to have it off the shelf! I always enjoy this author’s prose. She has a wonderful way with painting verbal pictures and creating interesting unique characters that make her books a pleasure to read. But I rarely love her romances. In this case what dragged down the story of Avery Crosslin and Joe Travis were two things and both of them circled around the love stories. The first is that I never got why Joe loved Avery and what drew him to her at the beginning. I think the lust/love at first site thing is a writing hack in romances and in this case it certainly felt that way since the vast majority of men would run from someone as insecure and verbally irritating as Avery and rich, handsome Joe Travis should have been one of them. The second one was the secondary romance between Ryan and Bethany was both unneeded, depressing and judgmental. I felt it was thrown in to remind everyone that those without middle class morals can’t be trusted and are just after money. Also, it felt odd that juxtaposition between Joe having oodles of money (but not being spoiled cause he’s a Travis and their daddy made them work hard to prove their worth) and the idea that other people shouldn’t make decisions based on money because that made them crass. The book wound up being a mix to read – frustrating on the romance level, irritating regarding Bethany/Ryan situation but enjoyable when it was just Avery living life.

    Cocktail Challenge – complete
    Letter Q – 12 down, 5 to go

    Sandlynn
    Participant
    Post count: 92

    Finishing up the Cocktail Challenge:

    Tom and Jerry – Read a book about an artist or cartoonist.

    To wrap up this part of the challenge, I decided to read Katherine Reay’s A Portrait of Emily Price, published in 2016. The heroine — Emily Price — is an art restorer for an insurance company who aspires to be a painter herself.

    This book was reviewed by AAR, and so you’ll find a good description of the plot at this link: https://allaboutromance.com/book-review/a-portrait-of-emily-price/ However, I think I would give the story a lower rating than AAR.

    First off, as the review mentions, this story has the hero and heroine falling in love pretty quickly and so their courtship doesn’t involve much conflict. For this reason, I saw it less of a romance-centered story and more of a book about a woman figuring out and finding herself while dealing with fitting in with her new husband’s family. The conflict was mostly internal to the heroine and involved her relationship with supporting characters, surrounding the hero, rather than with the hero. Only towards the end of the book did I wonder if the hero and heroine would remain together and I even felt conflicted about it, which made me realize that I wasn’t very invested in them as a couple. When you’re allegedly reading a romance and you honestly don’t care enough if the main couple remains together, that’s a problem.

    Don’t get me wrong — for what the story is — it’s well written. It does an excellent job of describing Emily’s work, her passion for art, her new life in Italy, trying to figure out her place in a family with secrets that have been long buried. I had no problem with any of that, but I wasn’t totally engaged with it, especially when the romance part of the story almost seemed an after thought. I think I’d give this book a B-.

    By the way, as the AAR review mentions, this book is an inspirational, but I honestly didn’t see many, if any, overt religious messages. There are scenes set in a church, but that’s about it.

    *****


    The Cocktail Challenge – 10 down – complete

    Alphabet Challenge – 10 down (A, B, C, G, H, J, K, M, P, & Q) – complete

    Maggie Boyd
    Keymaster
    Post count: 68

    Quota – a book that just helps meet your quota – Arcana Jessica Leake Headstrong but also empty headed Katherine Sinclair joins the ranks of debutantes vying for suitors in 1905 London. Of course, Katherine doesn’t want a husband or to participate in the “game” Then she meets the Earl of Thornewood, the hottest bachelor in England. Of course they have a feisty relationship while she tries to decide if he or the Baron she just met is the evil behind The Order of the Eternal Sun, people able to feed on arcana with only a touch of the hand. Katherine is concerned that either they will expose her for being a magician and ruin her socially or kill her by draining her magic.

    This was a bad mix of magic and romance.

    Cocktail Challenge – complete
    Letter Q – 13 down, 4 to go

    Maggie Boyd
    Keymaster
    Post count: 68

    Quit – Read a book about a h/h who change in career or are forced to move.Her Hesitant Heart Carla Kelly Susanna Hopkins has had more than her share of trouble in life. Her abusive husband has all but cost her her vision in one eye. Forced to divorce him to save her life, she is shunned by society and has lost custody of her son. In a last ditch effort to survive she has gone to Ft. Laramie to teach.She will be staying with her cousin, who is none too happy to have her. Because the cousin fears retribution should word get out that Susanna is a divorcee, she tells everyone she is a war widow.

    Joe Randolph, military doctor at Ft. Laramie, was sent to pick Susanna up at the train station. He finds himself drawn to the quiet, beautiful woman who has clearly been dealt more than her share of sorrow in life. The two develop a sweet friendship which gets put to the test when Susanna’s big secret is revealed. Joe, a near perfect hero, rises to the occasion and shows how love can change the course of even the worst events of life.

    This is a sweet love story centered around two wonderful protagonists. The slow pace and simple story telling combine to create a truly wonderful tale about the importance of second chances, forgiveness, and community. The only flaw I found was that the happy ending was a tad too happy – life rarely works out so perfectly.
    Cocktail Challenge – complete
    Letter Q – 14 down, 3 to go

    Maggie Boyd
    Keymaster
    Post count: 68

    Hi All,

    Just to add some extra possibilities to the language of flowers/floral challenge here’s a link to a site that offers a ton of flowers and their meanings. http://languageofflowers.com/

    Also, if you need additional cocktail ideas check out pinterest

    library addict
    Participant
    Post count: 221

    Simply Seventeen Challenge (The Whittler) – Replay
    Deacon by Kit Rocha:
    I liked the hero and heroine both individually and as a couple. The heroine was the first female Rider and felt the weight of such high expectations. She didn’t want to become involved because she knew it would lead some people to believe she hadn’t gotten her position based on merit. The hero had to reveal a long kept secret when someone from his past began to make threats. Unlike the first spin-off book at times I felt I was missing something with this second book particularly in regards to the religion in Sector One. Thankfully that was mostly alleviated by the end. The seemingly straight forward plot took some interesting twists. The conflict between the h/h at the end felt forced (not the reason for the conflict, just the time it took to resolve), but their relationship made the book.

    Stone Cold Christmas Ranger by Nicole Helm: This book picked up two years after the events of the earlier books. The heroine was an unlicensed bounty hunter. The hero was a Texas Ranger working on a cold case which hit very close to home for the heroine. She had a dismissive attitude to start, but I came to like her. The hero was my favorite character of the trilogy. Some fun moments and the romance worked better for me than the suspense plot which relied on too many coincidences and left unanswered questions. Despite the issues, it was the best of the trilogy.

    • Seventeen Magazine(s)! Challenge: 16 down, 1 to go …
    • The Alphabet Challenge Variation: 16 down, 1 to go…
    • Simply Seventeen Challenge (The Whittler) – Novellas: 14 down, 3 to go…
    • Simply Seventeen Challenge (The Whittler) – Replay: 4 down, 13 to go…
    • The 20th Century Challenge: completed!
    • Simply Seventeen Challenge (The Whittler): completed!
    • The Breakfast Cereal Challenge: completed!
    • The Cocktail Challenge: completed!
    Maggie Boyd
    Keymaster
    Post count: 68

    Quirky – Read a book with a quirky hero or heroine, such as a Susan Elizabeth Phillips book. Bittersweet Cathy Marie Hake

    Ms. Hake writes humorous Western Inspirational romances with unique characters but in this case, the tale fell quite flat for me.

    Christian theology can be a difficult thing. We have numerous denominations because we interpret and prioritize the teachings of Jesus in different ways. Even seemingly simple issues – such as forgiveness – can be fraught with issues. We can agree that a murderer repenting of his crime is a cause to rejoice however few would argue that such repentance would require that his sentence should then be set aside. Many know that God requires of us that we welcome the alien and sojourner but check any Christian magazine comment section, Facebook page or letters to the editor and you will see there is a hot debate about how the church should respond to illegal aliens in America. Is justice our priority or charity? These are tough questions to be looked at with prayer, discernment and intense study of the scriptures.

    Which is one reason why I tend to be cautious in reading Inspirational fiction. Many authors can not resist the opportunity to sermonize on a favorite theology within their texts and yet many times, that theology winds up being misrepresented or being completely ill thought out. That was the case with this novel. I think the tale was meant to be about forgiveness but it had many cultural undertones and unclear doctrine which made it extremely difficult for me to read.
    Galen O’Sullivan has always treated Laney as his best friends barely to be tolerated kid sister. When it became clear she had a crush on him, he responded with minimal tolerance. His father’s recent death has him working long hours on the farm, so when he finds some drifters on his land he wants to make short shift of them. Christian charity forces him to rethink things and let them stay on his land. The two kids (young adults) prove to be hard workers and he treats them with increasing charity. His mother and brothers do as well and so does Laney’s family. Having the extra help on the farm and the easing of some of his tension allows him to finally see Laney as a real possibility for his wife. Before he can pop the question though, Ivy (one of the squatters), forces Galen to marry her.

    I had had struggles with the text before that. The level of preachiness was high from the beginning, with the author often taking the opportunity to intersperse the story with both the salvation message and numerous points of morality. But this was where my struggles really began. I was angry that Galen’s mother, who had been a whiny, weepy character to that point, turned so quickly on her son and accepted the word of a vagrant who had until recently been aiding and abetting a criminal. I was horrified that she overruled Galen’s decision to remove Ishmael and insisted on essentially giving Ivy the very thing she wanted – a nice home for her family. I was angrier that everyone simply accepted that Ivy’s life-altering actions required reactions of forgiveness and charity from the very people she had wronged. It was theology at its worst – a reenactment of messianic principles with no explanation of the cost of the cross or the price of discipleship. It was what Bonhoeffer termed “cheap grace” in all its beautiful abundance.

    Ms. Hake was one of the first author’s I had read when coming back to Inspirational romance and I enjoyed her novel “Whilwind” enough that I continued to read in the genre. It was a huge disappointment to read this story, which could have been an interesting look at growing up and moving on and finding it to be a jumble of poor theology and poorer plotting. A saccharine ending made a bad situation even worse. I have several other of her books in my TBR and I’m hoping and praying they aren’t as bad as this.

    Cocktail Challenge – complete
    Letter Q – 15 down, 2 to go

    Maggie Boyd
    Keymaster
    Post count: 68

    Quadrille – a book associated with dancing – Unforgettable by Trish Perry

    Rachel Stanhope runs a dance studio in Arglington, VA. When our story begins, she is waiting outside for her assistant to arrive with the keys. The girl had stayed late the night before to practice some moves and it looks like she just might cost Rachel a slew of refunds on her pre-teen dance class if she doesn’t show. While Rachel waits with one of her students, two new pupils show up escorted by their Cary Grant lookalike father. Make that uncle, a fact he makes clear to Rachel right away, along with his opinion that dance is essentially a waste of time.

    Josh Reegan can’t believe his luck. A beautiful single woman is at the dance studio, appropriate for him in every way. Thinking she is associated with the kids rather than the venue he vents his frustrations about the arts and the frivolity they represent only to learn that Rachel is the teacher! But of course she can’t understand that as a former fighter pilot and current investigative journalist his life is all about taking risks and battling corruption wherever he finds it, not cha -chas and foxtrots.

    In spite of this difficult beginning, Rachel and Josh find themselves enjoying running into each other while grocery shopping, eating at local diners and generally running about town. Can they turn this attraction into something more in spite of their differences?

    I loved the light hearted tone of this book, as well as the time period (1951) and the fun world of dance competitions and studios. I struggled a bit with Josh, who remained (imo) self-absorbed and had perhaps an inflated sense of the importance of what he did. Still, compared to the last book this sweet Inspirational restored my faith in the genre.

    Cocktail Challenge – complete
    Letter Q – 16 down, 1 to go

    Maggie Boyd
    Keymaster
    Post count: 68

    Quilt Read an Amish romance or a book about a heroine who is in fashion or sews. Or a book with quilt in the title. The Key in the Quilt Stephanie Grace Whitson

    1876, Nebraska: Jane Prescott is anxious on her trip home from the dance, knowing that a beating awaits her when they reach her husbands ranch. Months later she is in the Nebraska State Prison for killing him. Separated from her beloved daughter Rose, her only hope is to do her time the best she can.

    When Mamie Dawson asked the Lord to use her, she had thought to be sent to the mission field, not to be made matron of a women’s prison in Nebraska. She views the ladies in her charge as “lambs” whom she should lead and prays for them daily. She also prays for herself. Is it too late for her to find love? There is a handsome guard whom she wouldn’t mind having court her, so why is it that the man God seems to put in her way most often is Martin Underwood, the one the other guards call Frankenstein.

    Ellen McKenna dearly loves her husband but that love is put to the test when he accepts a job as a prison warden in Nebraska. Uneasy about living across from violent criminals, her heart begins to change when she meets Jane and some of the other ladies at the facility. Could God be showing her a new path for her life as she befriends these lonely and beleaguered women?

    Three lives are touched by God’s grace in the least likely of places in this sweet story of love and redemption. The tone here is surprisingly lighthearted for such a serious subject and while the plot is predictable the journey is one of familiarity rather than redundancy.

    Cocktail Challenge – complete
    Letter Q –complete!

    library addict
    Participant
    Post count: 221

    Seventeen Magazine(s)! Challenge
    The New Yorker – Read a romance set in New York City or set in any major, international city with a large population. Or, read an Urban Fantasy.
    Secrets in Death by JD Robb – set in NYC:
    The murder victim had been a minor character in the second book of this long-running series. The whodunit seemed obvious from the moment the killer was introduced, but the focus was more on the victim herself and her various blackmail schemes than the killer. The blackmail victims’ stories often hit close to home for Eve. A loose thread from a subplot which was mainly addressed in a book fourteen years ago was finally resolved (to clarify, it’s been fourteen years in real time, in book time it’s been less than two years). This was nice to see as I wasn’t sure the author would ever address it. There was the usual dose of humor and more than one trip down memory lane. While not quite an instant favorite, this book definitely rates in the top half of the series.

    • The Alphabet Challenge Variation: 16 down, 1 to go…
    • Simply Seventeen Challenge (The Whittler) – Novellas: 14 down, 3 to go…
    • Simply Seventeen Challenge (The Whittler) – Replay: 4 down, 13 to go…
    • The 20th Century Challenge: completed!
    • Simply Seventeen Challenge (The Whittler): completed!
    • The Breakfast Cereal Challenge: completed!
    • The Cocktail Challenge: completed!
    • Seventeen Magazine(s)! Challenge: completed!
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