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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 2017-02-02 21:55
Review: Lighting the Flames by Sarah Wendell
Lighting the Flames: A Hanukkah Story - Sarah Wendell

Romance Bingo - Guy/Girl Next Door square

 

I liked everything about this book except for the romance. There is a strong sense of community and it was wonderful to read about people who only get together once or twice a year picking up friendships right where it left off. I also learned so much about Hanukkah, especially the rituals. Gen was a decent female character, but she sometimes was too horny to act smart; she also had this weird fetish with the summer camp and not wanting to know about people when they are outside of the camp. Jeremy was a better character, showing a love of life and laughter but also being a serious grown up when needed. There is no sex scenes, but it did have a NA feel.

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text 2017-02-01 18:37
February 2017 Reading List
To Defy a Sheikh (Harlequin Presents) - Maisey Yates
Dangerous Allies - Renee Ryan
The Sweetest Thing (Just Desserts) - Deborah Fletcher Mello
Beauty and the Rake (The Rookery Rogues Book 3) - Erica Monroe
Lighting the Flames: A Hanukkah Story - Sarah Wendell
Celtic Viking: Historical Romance (Heart of the Battle Series Book 1) - Lexy Timms
Courting His Countess - C.J. Archer
Craving Temptation - Deborah Fletcher Mello
The Johnstown Flood (Paperback) - David McCullough (Author)
By Starlight - Dorothy Garlock

Halfway through Romance Bingo and I am behind in my goal to black out the card. Time to prioritize romance over any other challenge until the card is complete. Luckily, some romance will satisfy other challenges, so I can kill birds with not as many stones.

 

1. The Johnstown Flood by David McCullough (Diseases and Disasters challenge)

 

2. To Defy a Sheikh by Maisey Yates (Romance Bingo - Secret Billionaire)

 

3. Dangerous Allies by Renee Ryan (Romance Bingo - Rogue)

 

4. By Starlight by Dorothy Garlock (physical TBR)

 

5. His Ring is Not Enough by Maisey Yates (Romance Bingo - Virgin)

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

11. A Lady Dares by Bronwyn Scott (Romance Bingo - Pirates)

 

12. Celtic Viking by Lexie Timms (Romance Bingo - Man in Kilt)

 

13. Courting His Countess by CJ Archer (Romance Bingo - Gothic)

 

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text 2016-12-08 04:24
Task the Sixth: The Hanukkah

 

- Make a traditional Hanukkah food like doughnuts or potato latkes. Post a picture, or tell us how they turned out!

 

I, obviously, went the doughnut route :)

 

Hanukkah Bimuelo Fritters 

 

 

 

Trying to make cute little ball shapes quickly went out the window for me, especially when I burnt myself (when I pulled the spoon out, I fumbled it, and when I went to catch it, I grabbed the part that had sunk into the hot oil. I was not pleased. 

 

 

I'm a baked, not fried, kind of gal. I think I didn't have the oil hot enough at first and the first couple came out more soft instead of the nice crispy shell.

 

 

I was a little disappointed in how, ummm, alien splat? they were turning out to look and the bf helpfully, said they had nice "wing" handles to hold onto for dipping purposes :/

 

 

 

The recipe provides a chocolate sauce one, a very sweet one the bf enjoyed, but I put warmed honey on mine. 

They were a great late night snack :)

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review 2016-12-03 19:52
Sweet stories
Regency Christmas Spirits - Nancy Butler,Emma Jensen,Andrea Pickens,Barbara Metzger,Edith Layton

 

Task the Sixth:  The Hanukkah:

- Let the dreidel choose a book for you: create a list of four books, and assign a dreidel symbol to each one (Nun=miracle; Gimel=great; He=happened; Shin=there, i.e. Israel). Google "spin the dreidel," and a dreidel comes up for you to spin. Give it a spin and read the book that the dreidel chooses!

 

 

Not to sound all "get off my lawn!" but reading older published stories (they have their problems too) is sometimes very refreshing; it's amazing how much story can be created in favor of just hurriedly working to get the leads into bed. I like my sexy times but purpose and dialogue, y'all. These were all short, sweet, and nothing beyond kissing regency holiday stories.

 

“The Merry Wanderer” by Nancy Butler

 

3 stars

 

But as often as he'd willingly played the fool for his master or his mistress, he had never yet played the fool for love.

 

This one had a magical feel to it with Robin Goodfellow, Merlin, faeries, and an Arthur sighting. The heroine's family guards a very important faerie book and Robin visits to make sure the heroine is up to the task of guarding it. It was a bit slow moving but fairy tale fun.

 

 

“The Wexford Carol” by Emma Jensen 

 

3.5 stars

 

"Is that what you will wish for, then? My speedy demise?"

"Goodness. A jest. Very good, Captain."

As he watched, surprised, charmed, and increasingly warm, she removed another sprig of holly from her pocket, tucked it into a buttonhole on his coat, and briskly patted his chest.

"As you could easily guess, I will make a wish for Hollymore."

With that, she stepped back, draped an arm around the cherub, and surveyed her handiwork on Rhys's coat. She gave a satisfied nod. In that brief moment, Rhys was enchanted to his toes.

 

This was a super sweet and funny story but was little bit lacking in the showing the relationship build between leads (these were all pretty short stories). The hero and heroine spend a week together with the hero's cheeky nephew, mistaken identities, semi-villain relatives and a house with more character than stable walls. It was lovely and being set in Ireland, gave it a beautiful Irish Christmas spirit.

 

“High Spirits” by Edith Layton

 

4 stars

 

He'd never be thought of as handsome, except in a certain light and at certain moments, when anyone could see he was much more than that.

 

My favorite from the series because the author was able to build and create a relationship between the leads in the short amount of time allotted. The heroine is having her season but super nervous so her brother advises her to imbibe a bit for Dutch courage. Hero is sent by his sister and aunt to call on heroine to warn her away from his cousin who they want to marry someone else. Hero is charmed by her and calls on her during the day, falling love. At night he is shocked by her flirty different attitude at balls, figures out she is drinking, takes her to a pub to show her alcoholics, and gives her a come to Jesus talk. It sounds preachy but the heroine's shyness and the hero's melting stoicism makes this a very sweet story.

 

“The Christmas Curse” by Barbara Metzger

 

 

2 stars

 

" 'Til Death do you part, lad?" he said with a  smile and a wink for his own beloved. "That's not the half of it."

 

This one has ghosts for "spirits" with a medieval couple haunting a castle, able to actually affect things during the week of Christmas, because the husband in a jealous act jousted someone but died and the wife had made curse that if he didn't return her ring to the castle they would never rest. Their heir and hero is a battle scarred war hero and our heroine is a widow with a horrible aunt. There's guilt, shame, anger, fear, and love but the characters and story all felt a bit disjointed. We get great flushed out backstories for the heroine and hero but current scenes with them together were missing, I wanted to see them fall in love.

 

“A Gathering of Gifts” by Andrea Pickens

 

3.5 stars

 

Indeed, the more they spoke, the more intriguing she became.

 

This involved a Duke's daughter who started off a total spoiled brat and an ex-soldier who wouldn't give into her whims. Heroine injured her ankle so has to stay at the hero's manor, where they bicker and snark themselves into falling in love. The hero's sister, nephew, heroine's cousin, and others gave this a great fun cast of characters. I really liked how it was shown how the hero and heroine caused each other to grow and become better, very charming story.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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