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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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review 2017-08-30 21:42
Review: The Dragon and the Pearl by Jeannie Lin
The Dragon and the Pearl - Jeannie Lin

Probably the best full length book in the series. Li Tao and Ling Suyin were a great couple and great individual characters (both got a raw deal character development wise in the first book). The plotline was filled with action and political intrigue. Best part, you don't have to read the first book to understand the characters or plot line in this book. One of the best examples of using flashbacks to tell the MCs back stories, like peeling back an onion. Such a great balance between the sexy times and the emotional intimacy times. Diplomacy and negotiations were dicey in Tang Dynasty China but the MCs didn't rise from poor kids in Luoyang to the Emperors' inner circles without gaining skills and reputation to use as capital during such dangerous times.

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text 2017-08-28 12:00
#boutofbooks Cycle 20 End of the Week Update

Bout of Books

 

Reading Progress

Thursday:

Didn't read at all. Too tired from working PTO stuff

 

Friday:

Still too tired from more working PTO stuff

 

Saturday:

Continued reading The Dragon and the Pearl by Jeannie Lin - got maybe 20 pages done while doing laundry. Spent most of my day being caught up in two rage-inducing traffic jams on the M25 going to and from Heathrow. Hubby is home!

 

Sunday:

Continued reading The Dragon and the Pearl

 

Challenges Completed

Thursday:

Skipped

 

Friday:

Pretty easy to do. I copied/pasted my reviews for The Bootlegger's Daughter by Lauri Robinson and Butterfly Swords by Jeannie Lin to GR. I refuse to review at Amazon. However, I am not really into this guilt-tripping/challenge of "helping" an author's career by posting reviews everywhere (Amazon, GR, NOOK store, Kobo, etc).

 

Saturday:

Skipped

 

Sunday:

No challenge provided today so as to give participants more time to read.

 

Comments:

PTO stuff is a huge time and energy suck towards the end of the read-a-thon. I need a nap. The Dragon and the Pearl is MUCH better than the previous book (may end up liking it more than My Fair Concubine), so it is not the book's fault I am slow to finish it.

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text 2017-08-24 08:54
#boutofbooks Cycle 20 Mid Week Update
The Bootlegger's Daughter (Daughters of the Roaring Twenties) - Lauri Robinson
[(Butterfly Swords)] [By (author) Jeannie Lin] published on (October, 2010) - Jeannie Lin
The Dragon and the Pearl - Jeannie Lin

Bout of Books

 

 

Reading Progress

Monday:

Finished The Bootlegger's Daughter by Lauri Robinson

Continued to read Butterfly Swords by Jeannie Lin

 

Tuesday:

Finished Butterfly Swords by Jeannie Lin

Started The Dragon and the Pearl by Jeannie Lin - 10% read

 

Wednesday:

Continued with The Dragon and the Pearl by Jeannie Lin (40% read) - so far, it is a much better story than Butterfly Swords

 

Challenges Completed

Monday:

Describe yourself in six words - I posted via Twitter https://twitter.com/tea_rain_book/status/899554770326892544

 

Tuesday:

Skipped

 

Wednesday:

Rainbow spine pic posted to IG https://www.instagram.com/p/BXm9lPTBN_U/?taken-by=tearainbook

 

Comments

Reading progress going okay. Challenges are okay. Can't do the Twitter chats due to time zones (2am is either for sleeping or reading). Getting more reading done than I thought I would with the few PTO events I have to prep and go to.

 

 

 

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review 2017-08-22 08:44
Review: Butterfly Swords by Jeannie Lin
[(Butterfly Swords)] [By (author) Jeannie Lin] published on (October, 2010) - Jeannie Lin

This is Lin's first book. If I had read this before reading the other books or novellas in the series, I would have never read another book from her. This was a rough slog reading. At the 85% mark, I basically skimmed multiple paragraphs at a time just to get to the end.

 

This is the story of An Li, only daughter to Emperor Shen. She ran from her arranged marriage prior to the wedding because she had reason to believe her husband to be killed her brother. An Li thinks she is a badass, but she comes across as a complete dumbass. She is also an impulsive, immature spoiled brat known to throw down some temper tantrums and had the worst mood swings. She is supposedly skilled with swords, but there were more times she was a loser in a fight and needing rescuing. She escaped a lot of dicey situations in the first half of the book by throwing money around; when she lost her money she was basically useless. She was also very vaguely drawn; it wasn't until the second half of the book we get a detail about her eye color.

 

The hero of this mess is Ryam (no last name, which speaks volumes about the attention to detail the book gives the character development). Ryam is a "barbarian" wandering around the wrong side of the empire and is starting to make his way back home on the western frontier just beyond the empire when he encounters An Li, dressed as a boy traveling with a group of men. Of course, Ryam senses that An Li is really a female due to her curves...sure. An Li requests Ryam's help in getting her back to Changan, capital of the empire, and to her family so she can reveal her groom's nasty dealings to the court. For no reason whatsoever, Ryam agrees to help.

 

There is a lot of walking in the woods and talk about the empire in the first half of the book. I guess this is to established the bond between An Li and Ryam, but it was so boring and repetitive. Once in Changan, a mere 3 days is used to isolate An Li from her family (that she talked about So Much during the walking in the woods) and raise some political intrigue. Ryam did his duty and he left the city after collecting his pay. This lasts for approximately 10% of the book, then An Li runs away again, this time for her family's home in Longyou. Along the way she meets Ryam again and he agrees to accompany her on her trip home. At least this time they took horses.

 

At home in Longyou, An Li and Ryam act on their pants feelings for each other and the reader gets treated to long repetitive "is this love what I am feeling" monologues. An Li's groom is not happy with her dismissal and he tracks the couple throughout the book without being actually anywhere near them. He is mentioned about 25000 times and how he is a "bad man." An Li does not get the warm welcome home she expected by her brother (who remained in the mountain home to take on a job), so she and Ryam run away, AGAIN, to Ryam's home on the frontier. It is here in Yumen Guan (Jade Gate) that groom finds bride and lots of fighting begins, along with a kidnapping. Ryam goes after An Li and her kidnappers and we get a long, boring bloody showdown between groom and hero. In the end, the groom decides to let An Li go because she is not worth all this damn trouble. Emperor Shen, who witnessed the showdown and experienced An Li's constant running away, decides she is not worth the trouble either and gives Ryam the job being occupied by the brother and the couple gets the mountain home. Ryam also gets to use Shen for a last name. Emperor Shen doesn't care, he just wants An Li out of his hair.

 

So the "bad man" groom is the hero in the next book which tells you everything. Paper tiger fed by An Li's hysterics.

 

 

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