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text 2017-02-28 22:47
February 2017 Wrap Up
To Defy a Sheikh - Maisey Yates
The Sweetest Thing (Just Desserts) - Deborah Fletcher Mello
Craving Temptation - Deborah Fletcher Mello
Courting His Countess - C.J. Archer
Lighting the Flames: A Hanukkah Story - Sarah Wendell

My NOOK and Kindle got quite a work out this month. I am so glad to have participated in the Romance Bingo, as I was given an incentive to read a lot of books from the very bottom of my TBR.

 

Highlights, Lowlights, and Challenges

Best books of the month: The Just Desserts set from D.F. Mello were great. Highly recommend. Really loved To Defy a Sheikh by Maisey Yates as well.

 

Worst books of the month: Celtic Viking - Danish Celtic Viking having coffee before plundering a barely formed England in 876 AD...and puts the "mis" in "mishistorical romance". His Ring Is Not Enough by Maisey Yates was just a waste of time.

 

Disappointment of the month: Key of Knowledge - Nora why did you put me through that?

 

Romance Bingo: 10/25

Library Love Challenge: 1 - but will be making it up come March

Diseases and Disasters: 0 this month, as I concentrated on bingo

BL/GR Reading Challenge: 32/150

Pop Sugar Challenge: 4 this month

 

Re-cap 

1. To Defy a Sheikh by Maisey Yates (Romance Bingo - Secret Billionaire) - 4 stars

 

2. Dangerous Allies by Renee Ryan (Romance Bingo - Rogue) - 2.5 stars

 

3. His Ring is Not Enough by Maisey Yates (Romance Bingo - Virgin) - 0 stars

 

4. The Sweetest Thing (Just Desserts #1) by Deborah Fletcher Mello (Romance Bingo - Free Space; Pop Sugar Challenge - Author is POC) - 4.5 stars

 

5. Craving Temptation (Just Desserts #2) by Deborah Fletcher Mello (Romance Bingo - Eyeshadow and Bosom; Pop Sugar Challenge - MC is different ethnicity than reader) - 4.5 stars

 

6. Beauty and the Rake by Erica Monroe (Romance Bingo - Fairy Tale Re-telling) - DNF

 

7. Key of Knowledge (Key Trilogy #2) by Nora Roberts (Romance Bingo - Key to the heart; Library Love) - 1.5 stars

 

8. Lighting the Flames by Sarah Wendell (Romance Bingo - Guy/Girl Next Door; Pop Sugar Challenge - holiday setting other than Christmas) - 2.5 stars

 

9. A Lady Dares by Bronwyn Scott (Romance Bingo - Pirates) 2.5 stars

 

10. Celtic Viking by Lexie Timms (Romance Bingo - Man in Kilt) - .5 star

 

11. Courting His Countess by CJ Archer (Romance Bingo - Gothic) - 3 stars

 

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review 2017-02-27 23:54
Review: A Lady Dares by Bronwyn Scott
A Lady Dares - Bronwyn Scott

Romance Bingo - Pirates square

 

This book needed to be about 30 or so pages shorter to really work for me. Elise was a smart heroine up to her starting her affair with Dorian, then the horniness took over her brain and she had more than a couple of TSTL moments. However, I have to give it to the author - she can write a great hero to root for. Dorian was a bad-ass pirate and smart too.

 

It was a little paint-by-numbers storyline, complete with a possible love triangle until over the 75% mark. It was also very loosely based in the historical time/place (London, 1839); bottom line, a contemporary with full-skirted gowns.

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review 2017-02-19 20:29
Review: His Ring Is Not Enough by Maisey Yates
His Ring Is Not Enough - Maisey Yates

Romance Bingo - Virgin square

 

This was Nicki and Paris Hilton fan fiction circa early 2002 with a dash of 50 Shades of Gray thrown in. I see the couple (Nicki Leah and Ajax) divorcing the day after their 5th wedding anniversary (as per the plotline, the two have to be married for five years). Book two in this duology (Paris' turn! Rachel's turn) has a Kim Kardashian plotline/backstory (the early years when the sex tape first came out and she was still buddies with Paris). The virginity fetish displayed by both heroine and hero were of particular grossness. There wasn't anything redeemable about this book. Stay away.

 

First hate read of 2017.

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review 2017-02-14 21:40
Review: Dangerous Allies (WWII book one) by Renee Ryan
Dangerous Allies - Renee Ryan

Romance Bingo - Rogue square

 

Too much religious preaching and repetitive preaching at that. The religious preaching showed up in inopportune or inappropriate times (such as when Jack is having a major conversation with Heinrich Himmler and all he can think about is one-liners from the Bible - dude pay attention to your surroundings). There was one point in the preaching that crossed the line into bigotry; painting all pagans as evil because some Nazis believed in the occult and/or pagan spirituality was a big turn off for me.

 

Aside from the constant preaching, this was a good story about two British spies: Kat (a former Russian princess and now actress in Germany) and Jack (an American naval engineer on loan to the Brits). The conflict was something different than most of the romances I read - how do to spies trust each other with their lives, their hearts,  and the missions? I thought the writing really captured how they went about trusting each other slowly while planning and completing the parts of the mission. There was an intensity to the espionage scenes that kept me engaged in the story. However, the author's note at the end (a substitute for an epilogue) felt sloppily written and as a last minute add-on to turn the HFN ending into a HEA. Personally, I would have preferred the HFN ending.

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review 2017-02-02 21:44
Review: To Defy a Sheikh by Maisey Yates
To Defy a Sheikh - Maisey Yates

Romance Bingo - Secret Billionaire square

 

The Yates magic is back! I was a little leery of reading this sheikh romance because the last one by Yates was a long slog. But not this one - it starts with the heroine attempting to assassinate the hero. Very much an enemies-to-lovers trope. Their back stories was deeply ugly, but that ugliness does bond them to each at first. You can see the evolution of character as both individuals and as a couple, and you really feel the HEA is deserved. Samarah (heroine) was such a bad ass. She understands that her "innocence" is in physical nature only; her life on the streets gave her quite an education that is completely opposite from the typical virgins in the Presents line. I had to break down this square; "Secret" pertains to Samarah's parentage and re-entry into public life, billionaire because the dude is sheikh.

 

 

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