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review 2016-07-24 22:21
Review: A Season for Love (Box Set) by Shannon Stacey
The Season for Love: A Shannon Stacey Holiday Box Set: Holiday SparksMistletoe and MargaritasSnowbound with the CEO - Shannon Stacey

2/3 stories did not work for me (as shown by the ratings). Shannon Stacey uses sex as both a plotline and for characterizations. However, her over use of sex in such short length works left this reader rolling her eyes and making the reading a slog-fest. I won't be reading any more from this author.


1. Holiday Sparks - .5 star

Chloe was Clint's high school crush; Sophie didn't know Clint was alive. Ten-ish years after high school, they meet up again and get horny for each other. Clint always seem to be living out his high school fantasies without getting to know the Chloe as she was now, so the HFN/HEA was completely unbelievable. As par for the course with Harlequins, the woman gives up her life in the big city for small town life with hero - this is a trope I am really starting to hate.


2. Mistletoe and Margaritas - .5 star

Claire was the widow of Justin's best friend. He has been in love with her since she was dating her now deceased husband. Claire if finally out from under her grief and decides to use Justin to re-introduce herself to the dating world. Friends to lovers trope usually works for me, but not in this story. Justin was just too emo for my taste and Claire just wanted sex, so I didn't believe the HFN/HEA.


3. Snowbound with the CEO - 3 stars

Rachel is Adrian's executive assistant. This is so stereotypical Harlequin type of story, but out of the 3, this one works. I actually believed these grown ups actually had a good chemistry beyond the bedroom. Definitely agreed with the HEA.

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text 2016-07-23 20:56
#24in48 Readathon Update #1
The Season for Love: A Shannon Stacey Holiday Box Set: Holiday SparksMistletoe and MargaritasSnowbound with the CEO - Shannon Stacey

One book down. Review was written as each story was read, so I have less reviewing to do come Monday.


Second book started. Or so I thought until I opened the box set and realized the 3 book set is really a set of 3 short stories. So now I am just going to read all three shorts and count them as one book.


I'm only into this readathon for a few hours and already read one complete book. Feeling pretty productive.

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review 2016-07-23 20:50
Review: Harlequin Holiday Collection by Various Authors
Harlequin Holiday Collection: Four Classic Seasonal Novellas - Marta Perry,Debra Webb,Merline Lovelace,Leslie Kelly

This was a NOOK freebie.


1. And a Dead Guy in a Pear Tree by Leslie Kelly - 0 star

Horrible plot and badly drawn characters left me feeling cold. I now remember that I read another Kelly story in another anthology (about baseball players) and didn't like that one either. There was no suspense or tension at all in this book.


2. Seduced by the Season by Merline Lovelace - 4 stars

Exact 180 from the first story. The most charming, but not too sweet, story about two smart, kind people set in dreamy Dublin. The cute meet was actually realistic, there was a perfect amount of back story for each of them, the sex was hot but overly done, and their first date was watching the sunrise at Newgrange on the Winter Solstice. I want to read a lot more from this author.


3. Evidence of Desire by Debra Webb - 4 stars

I really liked this story except for the heavy-handed way the author compared the heroine's traditional feminine looks to the hero's former lover more practical, less girly style. The balance between suspense plot and romance was perfect; a bit surprised at who the villain was at the end. I would read more from this author.


4. Season of Wonder by Marta Perry - 1 star

I couldn't connect with the heroine and their were a few plot holes in her story. The kid was okay and so was the hero. The best part of this story was the South Carolina island vibe mixed with the Christmas season. This was not a romantic suspense story but an inspirational contemporary romance. Could have done without the nosy family members. Not interested in reading more from this author. 


 I can't give this book as a whole a rating due to the wildly different qualities these stories possess.

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text 2016-07-21 19:05
#24in48 Readathon Reading List
Sleigh Bells in the Snow - Sarah Morgan
Snowbound with the CEO - Shannon Stacey
Harlequin Holiday Collection: Four Classic Seasonal Novellas - Marta Perry,Debra Webb,Merline Lovelace,Leslie Kelly
Her Holiday Family (Texas Grooms (Love Inspired Historical)) - Winnie Griggs

My reading list for this weekend's read-a-thon has a few themes:

Christmas in July


New to Me Authors

Giving Contemporary Romance A Chance Yet Again


1. Sleigh Bells in the Snow by Sarah Morgan (trade paperback)

    I have been wanting to try Sarah Morgan's books since I heard her interview with Sarah Wendell on the Smart Podcast, Trashy Books podcast. Maybe Morgan can help renew my interest in contemporary romance (fingers crossed). I am reading a print version with the UK cover since I picked it up at a charity shop on base. I like the UK version better (glitter!) than the US one (shown here). One final reason for picking this book was that I could read it while my NOOK and my phone recharges.


2. Snowbound with the CEO by Shannon Stacey (ebook)

    Another author I have been wanting to try out, as her books are constantly recommended. I picked up this book as part of a 3 book bundle that was on sale last December. Another set of fingers crossed that I can find a contemporary romance author to read.


3. Harlequin Holiday Collection (Anthology) by Various Authors (ebook)

    All new to me authors in a handy anthology. I wanted a short story collection in my list so that I can easily put down the book when the kids need me and not lose momentum in the story. Toes crossed that this leads me to new contemporary romance books.


4. Her Holiday Family (Texas Grooms) by Winnie Griggs (ebook)

    Just in case contemporary romance fails me (as usual), I am keeping this inspirational historical romance as a designated hitter. I have enjoyed Griggs' work in the past; she does the religious aspects of inspirational romance with a light but realistic touch. Since I tend to tear up at her HEAs, this one won't be read in public.


If in the strange circumstance of actually getting through these books, I will just continue with the other books in the Shannon Stacey box set. Considering the kids and I have a long bus ride to Brighton and back on Sunday, I may actually get more than my average two books read in this read-a-thon. I'll do a wrap up post on Monday, but probably won't update during the read-a-thon.



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text 2016-07-20 21:17
Another Read-a-thon

This weekend I will be participating in the #24in48 read-a-thon. Basically, this read-a-thon is based on busy lives of readers who can't just drop their schedules and read for the standard 24 read-a-thons. So the reader is given two days to read 24 hours, broken up in a way that suits the reader and his/her life. This really helps me out; as an epileptic and a mom of two young children, I can't intentionally go without sleep (I do naturally get bouts of insomnia that triggers an episode or makes me a really grumpy mommy). For the 24 in 48, I am going to try to knock out some holiday-set Harlequins, in a quick nod to Christmas in July. And this read-a-thon will help bolster my COYER challenge.



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