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text 2017-09-29 14:26
Halloween Bingo 2017 | Update #5 -- Mid Game!
 
Halloween Bingo 2017



I think I made pretty good progress this week, finishing three Bingo books, and filling in one column and one row.  My Red Eyes Penni frame around the Bingo Card is filling in, with three squares left, one of which I'm working on right now, and the other two will be forthcoming... hopefully.

No Bingo in sight yet, though I was never really aiming for an early Bingo anyway.  Still, all I need is to wait for the next square to be called and see if it will be the one I need.

 

 

Updated Marked Card:

 


Called Square:  Green Square Border
Read Square:  Red Eyes Penni
Called and Read Square:  Red Eyes Penni in a Green Box

See also the table below for some spreadsheet goodness.

Reviews pending:  Blue Dahlia; Black Rose; The Lotus Palace


Squares/Books/Called Dates/Other Links:


Progress:  13 squares called || 13 books read || 9 squares completed || 0 BINGOs
(on my card only)

Squares called that I do not have:
9/17 - Modern Masters of Horror
9/27 - Terror in a Small Town

Bingo Calls Thread
The Best and Worst of Halloween Bingo 2017

September Group Read | Discussion Thread
October Group Read (link coming soon)

Bingo Square
Called (date)
Title
Author
Read (Date)
How it Fits
             
 
Magical realism
 
Gaiman, Neil
26-Sep
tagged 'magical realism' on GR
 
Classic noir
 
Hammett, Dashiel
17-Sep
hard-boiled, classic noir mystery & group read
Ghost
1-Sep
Blue Dahlia
Roberts, Nora
14-Sep
ghostly Harper Bride
 
Supernatural
 
Arnett, Mindee
7-Sep
supernatural school for magic creatures
Diverse voices
21-Sep
The Lotus Palace
Lin, Jeannie
27-Sep
author is Chinese
             
Cozy mystery
3-Sep
Peters, Elizabeth
7-Sep
tagged 'cozy mystery' on GR
 
Witches
13-Sep
Protecting His Witch
Forward, Zoe
 
female MC is a witch
 
Vampires
 
The Dead Travel Fast
Raybourn, Deanna
 
Transylvania and vampires
 
Country house mystery
 
The Decagon House Murders
Ayatsuji, Yukito
 
closed circle of suspects
Haunted houses
23-Sep
Black Rose
Roberts, Nora
25-Sep
ghostly Harper Bride haunts mansion
             
Aliens
29-Sep
Castle, Jayne
3-Sep
dust bunnies!!
 
Genre: horror
7-Sep
Smoke and Mirrors
Gaiman, Neil
 
tagged 'horror' on GR
 
Free Space
N/A
       
 
Monsters
 
Her Fierce Warrior
Tyler, Paige
 
female MC is an animal shifter
In the dark, dark woods
5-Sep
Holt, Victoria
17-Sep
woods are significant
             
 
Amateur sleuth
 
Just Past Midnight
Stevens, Amanda
 
female MC is a psychologist
 
Werewolves
15-Sep
Jaxson
Woods, Alisa
 
book about wolf shifters
 
Gothic
 
Nine Coaches Waiting
Stewart, Mary
 
tagged 'gothic' on GR
 
Romantic suspense
 
Hit and Run
Brennan, Allison
 
romance + suspense + mystery present
 
Darkest London
 
Quick, Amanda
12-Sep
setting = Victorian London
             
Murder most foul
11-Sep
Cole, Emma
16-Sep
there is a murder and a mystery
Serial/spree killer
25-Sep
Novak, Brenda
20-Sep
summary mentions serial killer
 
Classic horror
       
October Classic horror group read
 
Terrifying women
19-Sep
Red Lily
Roberts, Nora
 
ghostly Harper Bride; haunting; written by a woman
Locked room mystery
9-Sep
Shimada, Soji
10-Sep
death/murder in a locked room

 

 

Currently Reading:

 

 

 

Tentative Bingo Hopefuls:


Magical Realism:  The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Classic Noir:  The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett
Ghost:  Blue Dahlia by Nora Roberts
Supernatural:  The Nightmare Charade by Mindee Arnett
Diverse Voices:  The Lotus Palace by Jeannie Lin

Cozy Mystery:  The Camelot Caper by Elizabeth Peters
Witches:  Protecting His Witch by Zoe Forward
Vampires:  The Dead Travel Fast by Deanna Raybourn
Country House Mystery:  The Decagon House Murders by Yukito Ayatsuji
Haunted House:  Black Rose by Nora Roberts

Aliens:  Canyons of Night by Jayne Castle
Genre: Horror:  Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman
Free Space:
Monsters:  Her Fierce Warrior by Paige Tyler
In the Dark, Dark Woods:  On the Night of the Seventh Moon by Victoria Holt

Amateur Sleuth:  Just Past Midnight by Amanda Stevens
Werewolves:
Gothic:  Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart
Romantic Suspense:  Hit and Run by Allison Brennan and Laura Griffin
Darkest London:  Garden of Lies by Amanda Quick

Murder Most Foul:  Every Secret Thing by Emma Cole (a.k.a. Susanna Kearsley)
Serial/Spree Killer:  Dear Maggie by Brenda Novak
Classic Horror:
Terrifying Women:  Red Lily Nora Roberts
Locked Room Mystery:  The Tokyo Zodiac Murders by Soji Shimada

 

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/09/halloween-bingo-2017-update-5-mid-game.html
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text 2017-09-28 01:50
Halloween Bingo 2017 | Short Book Rambles at Mid-game
Garden of Lies - Amanda Quick
Every Secret Thing - Susanna Kearsley,Emma Cole,Katherine Kellgren
On the Night of the Seventh Moon - Victoria Holt
The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel - Neil Gaiman

 


 


It's closing in on the end of September and our Bingo game is at it's midmark!

For the sake of my own sanity, I've come to a compromise with myself.  I would like to write a review for every book I read for bingo... but we know that sometimes that just doesn't happen.  So I've settled for a short compilation of all the books I didn't get around to formatting a review for.

Instead, you get some random ramblings... which, if we know me by now, always end up becoming short reviews anyway.  But I had this vision of wanting to throw a few books together in one post, make it Halloween Bingo specific, had it all formatted and ready to fill in my opinions for each book I come across that I don't know how to review... and I'm not changing my mind.

Here it is!

 

Garden of Lies by Amanda Quick
audio book narrated by Louisa Jane Underwood
Rating:  3.5 Stars


I love Amanda Quick books, if only because they follow a specific formula, so you always know what you're going to get out of them.  Garden of Lies is the usual Amanda Quick historical mystery and romance, with great characters and fast-paced progression.  And I never have any idea how to review these books, because they are simply just as enjoyable as the last Amanda Quick book I read: witty, fun, entertaining... standard.

It's always a good bet I will enjoy them; though also a greater bet that the story line is the same as others by this author.  Garden of Lies was no different:  Feisty, non-standard, too-modern-for-her-own-good heroine; broody, intensely passionate alpha with some tragic history.  They meet for reasons, they fall in lust at first sight, they fight the lust whilst working together to uncover a mystery, sex happens, feelings happen, cue some kind of last minute danger scene... Happily Ever After™.

Though the overall details of the mystery weren't the usual, the main culprits were fairly predictable, as were a lot of events.  There might have been entirely too much going on in this book... but that's about it.

 Louisa Jane Underwood is a lovely narrator and gave the "reading" experience a nice boost!

I read this book for Halloween Bingo 2017, for the 'Darkest London' square, since the story is set in Victorian London.

This book could also count for:

  • Murder most foul
  • Amateur Sleuth
  • Romantic Suspense
  • Terrifying Women

 


 

audio book narrated by Katherine Kellgren
Rating:  4.0 Stars


This is one of the books that, after beginning, I started having doubts whether or not it would fit the Halloween Bingo square I chose it for.  While there are several deaths, as well as the MC wandering around trying to investigate the chaos that suddenly befalls her life, Every Secret Thing ended up reading more like an espionage thriller than a murder mystery.  I could classify it as suspense, I suppose, and the entire ordeal DOES start with the mention of an old murder, one still deserving justice.

Every Secret Thing wasn't what I'd been expecting when I started listening to the audio, if only because maybe I'd been expecting something a bit darker, or grittier.  Instead, this book gave me an almost old-timey type of story, as we follow Kate Murray's investigations, while simultaneously following some snippets of the now deceased Andrew Deacon's espionage lifestyle.  It was... charming... the entire experience.  At first it felt a bit dragged out, but once you get into the rhythm of it, the flashbacks to Andrew Deacon's story lines aren't so strange, and in fact, kind of intriguing.

I can't say that I one hundred percent enjoyed this book, and the truth is, while I loved Katherine Kellgren's narration, I'm almost wondering if this story wouldn't have been better experienced as a print book.

One thing is for certain though:  Every Secret Thing is beautifully atmospheric, and I loved the descriptions of many of Kate's scenic travels, even as we were constantly moving forward at a rather fast paced stride.  There's an obligatory bittersweet ending when you come to the end of Andrew Deacon's tale, and even though we kind of already know how his life ended up playing out, it still plucks at the heart.

So the truth is, this was more a book about learning Andrew Deacon's story rather than following Kate Murray's investigations.

I may or may not swap this book out for another better suited book for the 'Murder Most Foul' square.  For now, this is just a tentative completion.  I'm seriously contemplating moving this book to either of the following squares:

 


This book could also count for:  Terrifying Women

 


 

Rating:  2.5 Stars


This is my first foray into Victoria Holt, and keeping in mind a few cautions from fellow readers, I read this book with a bit of trepidation.  Certainly, the story and the characters--especially our main heroine--is as I'd been warned.  But even as I became frustrated with the insta-love, the over-dramatics of our heroine, and the fact that none of the characters are very likable, On the Night of the Seventh Moon ended up being somehow addictively engrossing.  Even the frustratingly over-dramatic romance didn't put me off too badly.

For one reason or another, I just couldn't make myself put the book down.  It's got a nice mysterious twist to it that makes you want to keep reading to find out what's going on, even while the story was fairly predictable.  What happened to Helena?  Was it really just a dream, induced by drugs?  Was it real?  If it were real, then why all the theatrics by her cousins?  Why did Maximilian never come back for her?  And what of the baby?

It's hard to say what truly kept me hooked on this book--certainly it wasn't the characters, whom I disliked for many reasons, especially Frau Graben's blasé attitude towards the disgusting behavior exhibited by all the nobility.  She talks about how it's their given right, when either a count or a duke ravishes a girl and then tosses her aside; that the attempted murder or even the deaths were simply a matter of "state affair"; the deceptions of mock marriages, the lies, the betrayals--all simply part of their country's culture...

I get that it's probably part of the culture, which lends some authenticity to a more historical aspect of life... but I don't have to like it.

As I've already said, I didn't find any of the characters likable, except maybe the boy, Fritz.  Or Aunt Matilda--she was amusing, for sure.

It's also kind of irked me that the conclusion wrapped up too easily, in a very tidy, non-confrontational, and unrealistic way.  I like my HEA's, but we should at least follow through the world's logic.  All the concerns and the possible backlash and the possible war scenario that Maxi and Helena worried about if the two of them were to announce their relationship and marriage didn't even surface.  Everything just settled, all was forgiven, Happily Ever After™.

Really, the only amazingly wonderful thing going for this book was the beautiful writing, the imagery, the description, and a lot of the lore and history laid within the book's world.  For this alone, I will definitely give Victoria Holt another read when I get the chance.

(Ahem.  So much for a short ramble, but I'm not changing this, and I regret nothing...)

This book could also count for:

  • Gothic
  • Terrifying Women

 


 

Rating:  3.5 Stars


I felt like Halloween Bingo wouldn't be complete without reading something by Neil Gaiman--last year I read The Graveyard Book and Coraline, both of which were very enjoyable, and one of them ended up being one of my favorites of the year.  Initially, I didn't have a book of his chosen for any of my Bingo squares (Yes, yes, I did; I just forgot I did).  I had originally only chosen a collection of short stories by Neil Gaiman for the 'Genre: Horror' square, which I've been putting off listening to the audio... well, because Horror.

And I was hesitant about starting The Ocean at the End of the Lane... well, because Horror.  But I'm glad I decided to give it a go--if only because you get to revel in Gaiman's wonderful, magical descriptions... and because I found a different book other than Amy Tan's Saving Fish From Drowning for this particular bingo square, because I just wasn't feeling Amy Tan at the moment.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane was a little difficult for me to get into at first; and it is equally difficult for me to figure out how I feel about it.  Outside of that magical, whimsical feel you get from reading a particularly good child's fantasy/adventure, I really can't pinpoint exactly what to say about it.  I've got a sort of bittersweet, wistful void after completing the book, but to be honest, I'm not entirely sure I know what the book was really about.

Certainly, there were a lot of though provoking lines and dialogue.  In the end, it's one of those books  you found enjoyment in, and it stays with you for some time, even as you can't quite pinpoint why.

This book could also count towards:

  • Genre: Horror -- the book is tagged as 'horror' on GR, and certainly, there were a lot of horror elements involved
  • Modern Masters of Horror -- published in 2013
  • Supernatural -- which goes hand in hand with Magical Realism
  • Chilling Children (?) -- I don't think I saw this tagged as YA or MG, but the main time frame of the book takes place when the protagonist is only seven years old
  • Monsters

 

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/09/halloween-bingo-2017-short-book-rambles.html
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text 2017-09-22 23:40
Halloween Bingo 2017 | Update #4 - Week Three Ramblings!
 
Halloween Bingo 2017



Obviously I'm not trying to rush through this Bingo, as half of the squares on my card that have been called have yet to be read for; but I've read five other books for squares that haven't been called.  So much for my initial plan of just following the called squares and reading for them as a guide.

Now, I'm more interested in finishing my Red Eyes Penni Bingo card frame... Although at least two books won't be read until October, so I may end up having a frame with gaps.  On the other hand, I'm considering switching out the book I chose for Amateur Sleuth--the book I chose is also for another reading challenge, the Reading Assignment Challenge, and I can't read it until next month.  But Amanda Stevens' book, Just Past Midnight seems fitting for a Halloween Bingo read... so if I switch out, I'll just have to find another spot for it, I guess.

The other square is Classic Horror, which I was planning on using the October Group Read to fill.

Meanwhile, I'm working on the Haunted House square right now with Nora Roberts' second In the Garden book, Black Rose.  Then I'm thinking of tackling either Magical Realism or Diverse Voices--haven't quite decided which one yet.

And then, instead of reading Red Lily, Nora Roberts' last In the Garden book for the Creepy Raven Free Space, I've moved it to Terrifying Women--with the broader description of this space that now includes mystery, suspense, and supernatural, instead of horror only, it will fit just nicely.  And it will fulfill my need to close up the Penni frame.

Then I moved Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart to the Gothic square, because it seemed more fitting than the Susanna Kearsely book I'd initially chosen.

Meanwhile, I've picked up two other books I've decided to try for the Magical Realism square--I've suddenly lost interest in Amy Tan's Saving Fish From Drowning, so it looks like that book is either going to sit on my shelves for a while longer, or just be given away, unread.  My other two choices right now, are quite different from one another:  The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, or The Dress Shop of Dreams by Mena van Praag.  I felt like trying something a little different instead of just falling back on Sarah Addison Allen as a default magical realism read.

I love how I keep making plans and then totally abolishing them, though, so a lot of what I've been rambling about... probably going to change again next week...  Reading moods, ya know?

 

 

Updated Marked Card:

 



Called Square:  Green Square Border
Read Square:  Red Eyes Penni
Called and Read Square:  Red Eyes Penni in a Green Box

See also the table below for some spreadsheet goodness.

Reviews pending:  Blue DahliaGarden of Lies, On the Night of the Seventh Moon, Every Secret Thing


Squares/Books/Called Dates/Other Links:


Progress:  10 squares called || 10 books read || 5 squares completed || 0 BINGOs

Bingo Calls Thread
The Best and Worst of Halloween Bingo 2017

September Group Read | Discussion Thread
October Group Read (link coming soon)

Bingo Square
Called (date)
Title
Author
Read (Date)
How it Fits
             
 
Magical realism
       
tagged 'magical realism' on GR
 
Classic noir
 
Hammett, Dashiel
17-Sep
hard-boiled, classic noir mystery & group read
Ghost
1-Sep
Blue Dahlia
Roberts, Nora
14-Sep
ghostly Harper Bride
 
Supernatural
 
Arnett, Mindee
7-Sep
supernatural school for magic creatures
 
Diverse voices
21-Sep
The Lotus Palace
Lin, Jeannie
 
author is Chinese
             
Cozy mystery
3-Sep
Peters, Elizabeth
7-Sep
tagged 'cozy mystery' on GR
 
Witches
13-Sep
Protecting His Witch
Forward, Zoe
 
female MC is a witch
 
Vampires
 
The Dead Travel Fast
Raybourn, Deanna
 
Transylvania and vampires
 
Country house mystery
 
The Decagon House Murders
Ayatsuji, Yukito
 
closed circle of suspects
 
Haunted houses
 
Black Rose
Roberts, Nora
 
ghostly Harper Bride haunts mansion
             
 
Aliens
 
Castle, Jayne
3-Sep
dust bunnies!!
 
Genre: horror
7-Sep
Smoke and Mirrors
Gaiman, Neil
 
tagged 'horror' on GR
 
Free Space
N/A
       
 
Monsters
 
Her Fierce Warrior
Tyler, Paige
 
female MC is an animal shifter
In the dark, dark woods
5-Sep
On the Night of the Seventh Moon
Holt, Victoria
17-Sep
woods are significant
             
 
Amateur sleuth
 
Just Past Midnight
Stevens, Amanda
 
female MC is a psychologist
 
Werewolves
15-Sep
Jaxson
Woods, Alisa
 
book about wolf shifters
 
Gothic
 
Nine Coaches Waiting
Stewart, Mary
 
tagged 'gothic' on GR
 
Romantic suspense
 
Hit and Run
Brennan, Allison
 
romance + suspense + mystery present
 
Darkest London
 
Garden of Lies
Quick, Amanda
12-Sep
setting = Victorian London
             
Murder most foul
11-Sep
Every Secret Thing
Cole, Emma
16-Sep
there is a murder and a mystery
 
Serial/spree killer
 
Novak, Brenda
20-Sep
summary mentions serial killer
 
Classic horror
       
October Classic horror group read
 
Terrifying women
19-Sep
Red Lily
Roberts, Nora
 
ghostly Harper Bride; haunting; written by a woman
Locked room mystery
9-Sep
Shimada, Soji
10-Sep
death/murder in a locked room

 

 

Currently Reading:

 

 

 

Tentative Bingo Hopefuls:


Magical Realism:
Classic Noir:  The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett
Ghost:  Blue Dahlia by Nora Roberts
Supernatural:  The Nightmare Charade by Mindee Arnett
Diverse Voices:  The Lotus Palace by Jeannie Lin

Cozy Mystery:  The Camelot Caper by Elizabeth Peters
Witches:  Protecting His Witch by Zoe Forward
Vampires:  The Dead Travel Fast by Deanna Raybourn
Country House Mystery:  The Decagon House Murders by Yukito Ayatsuji
Haunted House:  Black Rose by Nora Roberts

Aliens:  Canyons of Night by Jayne Castle
Genre: Horror:  Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman
Free Space:
Monsters:  Her Fierce Warrior by Paige Tyler
In the Dark, Dark Woods:  On the Night of the Seventh Moon by Victoria Holt

Amateur Sleuth:  Just Past Midnight by Amanda Stevens
Werewolves:
Gothic:  Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart
Romantic Suspense:  Hit and Run by Allison Brennan and Laura Griffin
Darkest London:  Garden of Lies by Amanda Quick

Murder Most Foul:  Every Secret Thing by Emma Cole (a.k.a. Susanna Kearsley)
Serial/Spree Killer:  Dear Maggie by Brenda Novak
Classic Horror:
Terrifying Women:  Red Lily Nora Roberts
Locked Room Mystery:  The Tokyo Zodiac Murders by Soji Shimada

 

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/09/halloween-bingo-2017-update-4-week.html
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review 2017-09-22 12:24
Ramblings from Bad to Meh: Dear Maggie
Dear Maggie - Brenda Novak

Dear Maggie
by Brenda Novak

 

 

Maggie Russell, a police reporter in Sacramento, works the night shift, and she's finally stumbled on the big crime story that will truly establish her career—if it doesn't end her life.  A serial killer who moves from one city to the next.

As if things aren't complicated enough, Nick Sorenson, the paper's new photographer, seems to be taking an unusual interest in this case.  And in her.  Maggie doesn't realize that she's falling in love with a man who's not what he seems to be.  A man whose deceptions may save her life.



I feel like our MC, Maggie, should just take out an advertisement and broadcast everything about her life into public: where she lives, where she works, all of her trade secrets, what she and her son look like, and how best to infiltrate her home--a home she doesn't even bother taking precautions to secure or guard while there's a serial killer running around killing women.

And her reason for not locking her doors or windows at night while she's sleeping, is simply because the house is too hot, there's no central air.  But she says that there's an air conditioner in her bedroom.  She really could lock all the doors and windows at night, then lock herself and her son in her bedroom and sleep with the air conditioner on.  Maybe.

Of course, since she gives no reason as to why she's also being so open about her entire life with "John," her new online potential boyfriend, I suppose her behavior is par for TSTL anyway.  They'd only met all of twice, maybe; he takes her on a cyber date, refuses to send her a picture of himself... so SHE sends him a picture of herself with her son... y'know, just to hint that she'd like to see a picture of him.  She spends a lot of time telling him anything and everything about herself, even some of the confidential stuff she works with as a reporter.

And at that point, she STILL has no idea who this guy really is.

Honestly, if "John" weren't our male MC, playing undercover to try to "get to know" Maggie, and get friendly with her to make it easier to protect her, I foresee Maggie stumbling into some psychotic serial murderer who probably uses the internet to lure unsuspecting lamb to be chopped.  For a single mother who's apparently heard and seen a lot of stuff in her job as a crime reporter, she really doesn't seem to have a grasp about how dangerous strangers can be.

I'm not sure why she figured that she knew and understood "John" so well.  I'm not even sure why she was so quick to trust him.  I suspect this was just part of the plot device to get our hero and heroine into a situation where there would end up being super-angst by the end of the book, because lies and deceit are being tossed around.  I also figure that we might be playing into a bit of the "You've Got Mail" thing (a movie of which I loved, BTW, when it first came out in 1998).

Keeping in mind that this book was written in 2001, when internet was still kind of a newly developing commodity, I suppose I shouldn't give her so much crap about not realizing the dangers of cyber scams and cyber predators.  Maybe.  In present day, people still fall for these things, no matter how many warnings are put out there.  But she is a crime reporter--I figured that, having seen and heard so much about the dangers of the world, she'd have more of a sense of basic security than to trust a strange man she'd never met online before so readily.

Even before the age of computers, you wouldn't just trust a random stranger enough to tell him your whole life's story after just one conversation... right?

Back to the book itself...

I had considered pulling my DNF trigger as each chapter progressed.  Maggie didn't get any less frustrating, and Nick is kind of boring anyway.  There are literally no other characters of any significance in this book.  Maybe Rambo--but he's a dog, and most of the time, animal companions tend to make a difference--except that he wasn't all that present in the book.

But, as it turns out, I was curious enough about the identity of the serial killer than I would have liked.  And also, I don't think I've ever DNF'd a crap book written by Brenda Novak--and there have been some pretty bad ones--if only because there's a certain, attention-grabbing train-wreck quality to her story progressions.  The action keeps moving forward, and you can't seem to find a stopping point because the action keeps moving forward, and the next thing you know, you've read half the book and then some... so you may as well finish the rest of it.  It's only another hundred and fifty pages after all--how long could that take?

Also, at some point in the book, Maggie starts gaining some sense; I think this was after the serial killer starts contacting her by leaving her voice mail messages on her work phone, and implying that he knows what she went shopping for one night, as well as what color panties she owns.  Then she freaks out and starts thinking about the safety of her son, her friends, and herself.  Then she starts locking her doors and windows, agrees to have a police team stationed outside her home to keep her safe, agrees to leave her son at a safer location most of the day while she's at work, agrees to let our main hero move in with her for the sake of not being alone.

It doesn't matter that she barely knows said main hero; she knows only that he's in town for a short while, he's a new photojournalist who is working for her newspaper temporarily... he's been hitting on her and watching her at work...

He's really an undercover FBI agent trying to investigate the serial murders while keeping an eye on Maggie since the last victim was also an investigative reporter who'd had contact with the serial killer.

Of course, Maggie doesn't know this.  Because she doesn't know anything about the men she meets in this book before she lets them live in her home, or learn about her entire life's story.

Anyway...

The crime aspect of the book wasn't entirely engaging, truth be told; and the ending chapters were standard "damsel in distress" scenario.  The romance was lukewarm, and a bit off-putting considering how much lying and secrecy went into the entire relationship since the beginning.

Maggie is your standard, innocent and almost virginal heroine, who's only ever had one sexual relationship with an ex-husband, and is super conservative with her own behavior, even though she readily breaks out of her prudishness for the hero.  Obviously she's had sex, since she has a son, but she certainly acts like it's a new thing to her.

Nick is the standard broody alpha with commitment issues... who lusts after the heroine, but finds that he's ready to settle down and get married and be in love for the long haul after he meets said heroine.  Because of that special "I've never felt this way before" factor.

I can't say I'm a hundred percent fond of Brenda Novak books, but for some reason, I end up finishing them easily, and keep coming back for more.  At the very least, they're not entirely terrible, even if this one DID get really frustrating.


***

 

Halloween Bingo 2017


Other Possible Squares:

  • Murder Most Foul:  For obvious reasons.
  • Amateur Sleuth:  Female MC is a reporter, although the entire investigation is kind of laughable.
  • Romantic Suspense:  There is romance, there is suspense, there is murder and mayhem...
  • Terrifying Women:  Romantic suspense with a murder, written by a woman.

 

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/09/ramblings-from-bad-to-meh-dear-maggie.html
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text 2017-09-19 10:39
Reading Update for Black Rose: Made me laugh
Black Rose - Nora Roberts

Black Rose
by Nora Roberts

Progress:  25 of 355 pages (7%)

 

Just now, it looked as if he hadn't shaved in the past few days, so there was a dark stubble toughening his face.  His bottle-green eyes appeared both tired and harassed.  His hair needed a trim.

He was dressed much like the first time she'd met him, in old jeans and rolled-up shirtsleeves.  Unlike hers, his basket was empty.

"Help me," he said in the tone of a man dangling from a cliff by a sweaty grip on a shaky limb.

"I'm sorry?"

"Six-year-old girl.  Birthday.  Desperation."


I don't know why, but this passage made me laugh out loud.  I probably needed something silly and light-hearted after the chaos that was The Thin Man, and my so far frustrating progress in Dear Maggie.

Looks like Nora Roberts is a great cure-all.

The image of this scholarly professor of genealogy getting overwhelmed by a birthday present for a six-year-old girl was too amusing not to giggle about.  I do believe that he had appeared to us in the last book as an arrogant know-it-all professor who was secretly amused by the Harper household's claim about the authenticity of the Harper Bride--then promptly got schooled when he saw her for himself.

Even though Roz has already met Dr. Carnegie, this felt like an even more adorable "Meet Cute."

 

 

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/09/reading-update-for-black-rose-made-me.html
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