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text 2017-08-31 07:30
August 2017 Wrap Up
Falling for the Enemy - Naomi Rawlings
Homicide in High Heels - Gemma Halliday
Her Holiday Family (Texas Grooms (Love Inspired Historical)) - Winnie Griggs
Mission of Hope (Love Inspired Historical) - Allie Pleiter
The Dragon and the Pearl - Jeannie Lin

 I am burning out on COYER. I need something other than Harlequin romance. Bring on Halloween Bingo!

 

Challenges:

BL/GR: 128/150; 85% completed

Pop Sugar: 2; 42/52 prompts filled

Library Love Challenge: 2; 42/36 for the year

COYER: 12; 82% of list read from June-August

 

1. Falling for the Enemy by Naomi Rawlings (COYER) (Pop Sugar) - 5 stars

 

2. Homicide in High Heels (High Heels #8) by Gemma Halliday (COYER) (Library Love) - 4 stars

 

3. Chaucer's Major Tales by Michael Hoy and Michael Stevens (Pop Sugar) (COYER) (Library Love) - 2.5 stars

 

4. Her Holiday Family by Winnie Griggs (COYER) - 4 stars

 

5. Mission of Hope by Allie Pleiter (COYER) - 4.5 stars

 

6. The Baby Barter by Patty Smith Hall (COYER) - 3 stars

 

7. Emma and the Outlaw by Linda Lael Miller (COYER) - 1.5 stars

 

8. The Bootlegger's Daughter by Lauri Robinson (COYER) - 1 star

 

9. Love, Special Delivery by Melinda Curtis (COYER) - 2 stars

 

10. Butterfly Swords by Jeannie Lin (COYER) - .5 star

 

11. The Dragon and the Pearl by Jeannie Lin (COYER) - 4 stars

 

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text 2017-08-31 07:25
COYER Summer 2017 Wrap Up
A Lady for Lord Randall (Brides of Waterloo) - Sarah Mallory
A Mistress for Major Bartlett - Annie Burrows
The Bull Rider's Homecoming (Blue Thorn Ranch) - Allie Pleiter
Mission of Hope (Love Inspired Historical) - Allie Pleiter
Homefront Hero - Allie Pleiter
The Doctor's Undoing (Love Inspired Historical) - Allie Pleiter
Persepolis I & II - Marjane Satrapi
Falling for the Enemy - Naomi Rawlings

 

I am cutting COYER short to make room for Halloween Bingo. Between IRL obligations and running this beehive, my reading time is shorter than it was in the beginning of summer. So here is my wrap up post.

 

I chose the reading list option for this challenge, which helped a lot because I didn't spend so much time choosing which book to read next - it was already done for me. I tried to pick books that were languishing on the TBR for a long time. I only read 2 books not on my list.

 

When it came to the quality of what I read, there are some highlights: book one and two of the Brides of Waterloo trilogy, all of Allie Pleiter's books, Falling for the Enemy, and The Complete Persepolis. Some lowlights include the Midnight Breed novella, Butterfly Swords, and a few books I received at RT that failed to impress.

 

I completed a trilogy in the first read-a-thon of the challenge (Brides of Waterloo). I got ahead of a few series as well. The first two read-a-thons went well, the last one I tanked hard. I also did BL-opoly for a little while and did two outside read-a-thons (#24in48 and BoB Cycle 20). I also got a few more prompts from the Pop Sugar challenge filled.

 

For the most part, I kept up on reviews and participated in the FB group most days. The Instagram challenge went well for the first 18 days, then I completely lost the will to keep going - this is still MUCH more than I usually do, so I am happy. I won during one of the Twitter chat parties, so I just have to pick out my prize.

 

Overall, I am happy with my work in this challenge and look forward to the winter edition. For the winter edition: sign ups start November 18th, challenge starts December 18th (not as long as the summer one). The title of the winter edition is Winter Switch, and there is hints at having another list option and new rules to play by. Stay tuned.

 

Stats:

45 books total on the list (30 original and 15 additions)

37 books read

     .5 star - 2 books

     1 star - 4 books

     1.5 stars - 2 books

     2 stars - 10 books

     2.5 stars - 1 books

     3 stars - 3 books

     3.5 stars - 3 books

     4 stars - 4 books

     4.5 stars - 3 books

     5 stars - 3 books

6 books sent back to the TBR pile

2 books DNF'd

6 books from the library, everything else was from my personal library

3 non-fiction books

 

 

 

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review 2017-08-13 22:55
Review: The Baby Barter by Patty Smith Hall
The Baby Barter (Love Inspired Historical) - Patty Smith Hall

I read one other book by this author and that was a DNF. I picked up this book during Harlequin's October sale, so that was prior to the DNF. I struggled at times to get through this book, but it was a decent inspirational romance.

 

Sheriff Mack Worthington is trying to handle the changing times in his small town of Marietta, Georgia while also trying to adopt a baby girl named Sarah. Sarah was born with a mouth deformity (read to me like it was a cleft palate). The changing nature of his small town was due to the war ending (sending GIs home) and the bomber plant cutting jobs (mostly women employees). The judge for the adoption is not looking favorably on Mack's lack of marriage prospects. Lucky for Mack, his high school friend/crush has come home from the war along with the GIs.

 

Thea was an Army nurse during the European campaign and is home only to help out her dysfunctional family. Thea left Marietta eight years ago (for nursing school, then the Army) and her presence has the whole town buzzing. Thea's goal is to find her recently deceased sister's baby and raise it as her own. Her high school friend/crush just so happens to be trying to adopt the baby.

 

There was a lot to like about this story. Mack and Thea had a history that was based on friendship and honesty. Thea was a capable nurse and had a wonderful bed side manner. Ms. Aurora Adair is an angel and the confident both Thea and Mack needed individually. She was my favorite character in the book. The pacing was slow in the first half of the book, but picked up when Thea agreed to a marriage of convenience to Mack.

 

There were some lackluster parts to the story. For one, all the answers to the question of Sarah's birth parents can be found in Ms. Williams' letter that neither Mack or Thea ever opened or read. That was the major plotline behind the stalled adoption and it was never resolved. Mack's cousins and his lawyer were cloying and annoying, especially Beau (Mack's conversations with Beau is what I struggled with). For a book that took place mere weeks after the end of WWII, there was hardly any world building or period details. The religious tone and actions/words from the characters felt very performative and shoe-horned in and not natural to the story or the characters.

 

I am glad I kept reading this book, but I don't think I want to read anything more from this author. I just wasn't "Wow"ed by the writing.

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text 2017-08-11 11:32
Friday Reads - August 11, 2017
Christian Seaton Duke of Danger - Carole Mortimer
Secret Agent Under Fire (Silver Valley P.D.) - Geri Krotow
The Baby Barter (Love Inspired Historical) - Patty Smith Hall
A Promise by Daylight (Hqn) - Alison DeLaine

Haven't done a Friday Reads post in a while. Today is the last day of my library's summer reading program; Tuesday is the awards party.

 

The only plans I have this weekend aside from reading is going to a Food Truck Rally and Party on base tonight (food, bouncy castles, DJ, and mom not having to cook!) and working on finalizing some PTO stuff. Our first event is on the 17th and then it is a whirlwind until winter break.

 

Here is what I want to get done this weekend and next week:

1. Christian Seaton: Duke of Danger (Dangerous Dukes #6) by Carole Mortimer - at 20% read, the heroine is a little too innocent and naïve for my taste. And there is a lot of party in his pants feelings from the hero. Down boy, you got a spy job to take care of.

 

2. Secret Agent Under Fire by Geri Krotow  - 10% read; the heroine is a little too bitchy towards the hero for no good reason but the plot centers on finding a religious cult using arson to terrorize a small Pennsylvania town and I am here for it.

 

3. The Baby Barter by Patty Smith Hall - only at 10%, but so far so good.

 

4. A Promise by Daylight by Alison DeLaine - heroine dresses like a man so she can pursue her work as a doctor; hero needs medical care after a carriage accident...but his eyes are working just fine.

 

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review 2017-08-10 20:38
Review: Mission of Hope by Allie Pleiter
Mission of Hope (Love Inspired Historical) - Allie Pleiter

Allie Pleiter wrote another wonderful, engaging historical romance that was also a page turner. Ms. Pleiter takes readers to some of the hardest times in American history and delivers inspiring, loving stories - she has such a gift.

 

The book begins 3 months after the April 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire that destroyed the growing port city. Nora is the daughter of the post master; her well to do family lost their home in the disaster as well as Nora's cousin Annette. Nora and her parents are living in her grieving aunt and uncle's house in a different part of the city. I had no sympathy for any of Nora's family; snobbish, weak assholes all of them. But Nora (and to a smaller extent, the memory of Annette) was already becoming a modern, independent woman. Living in the aftermath of the disaster only sped up the maturing process.

 

Quinn found a locket in the rubble of the city and fixed it up with the intention of finding the owner of the locket and giving it back. The locket held a picture of Nora and Annette, so Quinn identified Nora via her picture; it was Nora's gift to Annette for her cousin's birthday and the last remaining piece of Annette. The cute meet was what sucked me in the story, and I rooted for Quinn and Nora from that moment. Their love story is one of overcoming class differences and keeping the faith that in the worst of times, one needs hope and joy wherever they can find it. Quinn and Nora do so much good work for the people of the "unofficial" camp (aka the shanty town that sheltered the poor people of the city) and through their good work grew a strong bond and eventually love.

 

Reverend Baurs was a delight to read and his manipulations (all for the glory of God and to help the disaster's poor refugees) made him seem more like an impish angel than a stuffed shirt. Baurs had skills no ordinary pastor should have, but those skills came in handy when disaster strikes. I don't think Major Simon was a true villain, but I also wouldn't want to read about him as a hero in another book - he is too untrustworthy after reading this book.

 

Overall, an exciting and great romance. 

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