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review 2017-04-07 22:05
Review: Weddings Under a Western Sky by Various Authors
Weddings Under a Western Sky: The Hand-Me-Down BrideThe Bride Wore BritchesSomething Borrowed, Something True - Lisa Plumley,Elizabeth Lane,Kate Welsh

As Meatloaf would sing "....cause 2 out of 3 ain't bad." 


1. The Hand-Me-Down Bride by Elizabeth Lane - 1 star

    The first story was not well-executed. These characters sucked and the insta-love trope was so "insta" I got whiplash. Arabella comes to Montana to marry her fiancé Charles (they were engaged before he left Boston to settle in Montana and he provided the train ticket for her to come out). Charles slept with Sally, a dim-bulb of a seductress, and got her pregnant. Sally's brother Stewart found out after she started showing and made her marry Charles at gunpoint. Stewart takes an instant liking to Arabella, even though he wants her to leave in order to keep Sally's marriage to Charles from unraveling; after several damsel-in-distress situations that had Stewart rescuing Arabella, they were in love and married within one week.


Yeah, that would be a big nope on me believing either couple's HEA. This anthology is not off to a good start.


2. The Bride Wore Britches by Kate Welsh - 4 stars

    A longer and more fleshed-out story than the first one. Dylan and Rhiannon's story was more realistic and sweet without being too heavy-handed or insta-love. The side characters rounded out the story very well. A very worthy HEA. Since the story is part of a longer series, the mystery isn't solved in the story.


3. Something Borrowed, Something True by Lisa Plumley - 2.5 stars

    This was okay. Very fluffy and more physically affectionate than the two previous stories. A mail-order bride trope with a twist that made the trope feel fresh despite the insta-love. There wasn't much conflict and the HEA went on a little too long, but I rooted for Nellie and Everett. The side characters were the highlight of the story though.

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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



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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