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11 in 2011: Two Ways to Play
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Maggie AAR



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 2500

PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Crimson Cipher
Susan Paige Davis
New to you Author
B-

I really enjoyed this WWI story about code breaking and sabotage in the US prior to our enterring the war. My main problem was that the author had simply everyone fall in love with the heroine. Kinda took the joy out of it.

maggie b.


The Whittler Revisited
3 Books that have been in your TBR more than six months.OR 3 books in a series. Done: Julie James: Practice Makes Perfect, Just the Sexiest Man Alive, Something About You
1 Book that was a gift or 1 Impulse Buy Done: Chasing Fire, Nora Roberts
2 Books that are part of a beloved authors back list Done: [/b]1.Any Man of Mine Rachel Gibson 2. Not Another Bad Date Rachel Gibson
2 Books that you got on sale[b] Done:
1. Still the One Robin Wells 2. Dark Road Home, Karen Harper
2 Books that are from an expired line (ie Harlequins Duets or Everlasting Love) or 2 books by an author(s) that hasn’t/haven’t been published recently (ie, her last book came out over a year ago) Done:By My Lady's Honor Joanna McGauran; Alexandra Thorne Seasons of the Heart
1 Book by a new you to author Done:Susan Paige Davis The Crimson Cipher

At The Movies, 11 done, O to go
Whittler 11 done, O to go
Whittler Revisited 11 done, 0 to go
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She is too fond of books and it has turned her brain. - Louisa May Alcott
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library addict



Joined: 06 Dec 2008
Posts: 1559

PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 5:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TBR Pile Challenge: The Whittler (Revisited)
2 Books that are from an expired line:
Right of Possession by Jayne Castle (Candlelight Ecstasy):
This book would have benefited from having the hero’s POV, but I’m not really surprised it didn’t given it was published in 1981. The hero has an often patronizing attitude and the heroine is very wishy-washy. Even though this is far from an example of JAK‘s best work, I’m glad I finally read it. And I liked the twist that SPOILER the hero gives up his career in Houston so the heroine can keep hers in Portland. It was also nice to see a hero who genuinely wanted the heroine to gain weight.

At the Movies Challenge: 11 down, 0 to go…
The Whittler Challenge: 11 down, 0 to go…
The Whittler Challenge (Revisited): 8 down, 3 to go…
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library addict



Joined: 06 Dec 2008
Posts: 1559

PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 2:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TBR Pile Challenge: The Whittler (Revisited)
2 Books that are from an expired line:
Suite Seduction by Leslie Kelly (Harlequin Temptation):
A contrived setup involving switched hotel room keys and the hero having sex with the heroine when he knows full well she’s tipsy and emotionally vulnerable after having been dumped by her boyfriend. He even tells himself he’s a louse for staying when he realizes he’s in the wrong room. Despite the inauspicious beginning, I liked both the h/h. And the main plot actually revolves around the attempted buyout of her family-owned hotel by the chain he works for. Plus the old standby she-wants-kids-and-he-doesn’t factor, though to be fair it’s because his parents put too much responsibility on him caring for his five younger brothers. Despite the flaws with the seemingly everything-and-the-kitchen-sink plot and the heroine having a TSTL moment toward the end, the book was actually a fun read.

At the Movies Challenge: 11 down, 0 to go…
The Whittler Challenge: 11 down, 0 to go…
The Whittler Challenge (Revisited): 9 down, 2 to go…
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karat



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 402

PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TBR Pile Challenge: The Whittler
3 Books that have been in your TBR more than six months

His at Night by Sherry Thomas

From Amazon
Quote:
The marquess of Vere fakes stupidity so no one will suspect he's investigating Edmund Douglas for fraud—and murder. Douglas's niece, Elissande, is thoroughly fooled and plots to snare the marquess and escape her vicious uncle. Through a comedy of accidents involving rats, spicy Victorian parlor games, and sneaking around hallways at night, Elissande tricks Vere into marriage. As attraction grows, she wants to admit her motivations, but Vere shuts his conniving bride out as Douglas swears revenge.

When I first read Not Quite a Husband, my first Sherry Thomas book, I had the impression it ended too soon. Days later, I read the final part again, and realized that the end of the book was not abrupt at all: the reason I had the wrong impression when I first read it was that I had read it too fast - the book was so good I could not put it down. Now, I consider Not Quite a Husband to be one of the best romance books I've read over the past couple of years.
When I finished reading His at Night, I liked it, but did not love it. Remembering my previous experience with a Thomas book, I decided to give it a couple of days to see if my assessment would change. Well, it has not. This is a good, not great, book, in my opinion.
His at Night has great qualities, and the main one is Thomas's superb writing. The first half of the book is an intriguing, fast pace reading, with a combination of funny and poignant moments. You really feel for how lonely Elissande and Vere are, and it is easy to see why they would be great together. However, Vere's treatment of Elissande, ad his reluctancy in opening up for a true relationship started to annoy me at some point.
Overall, it was a nice reading, but a little bit of a disappointment, since my expectations were quite high.
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LouiseM



Joined: 11 Aug 2011
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Being new here, I just discovered this challenge.

2 questions:
- Can I still join the challenge?

and

- After reading the categories in the challenge, I noticed that I have "fulfilled" quite a few requirements (new to me, epic, etc...). Does that count? Or should I start from scratch, since I am only now (hopefully) joining the challenge?

Thanks !
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library addict



Joined: 06 Dec 2008
Posts: 1559

PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 2:43 pm    Post subject: Re: 11 in 2011: Two Ways to Play Reply with quote

Join in and feel free to use books you've already finished as long as they were read in 2011. You can just consider it like a "late" report Laughing

From the "rules" (emphasis in red is mine):
maggie b. wrote:
Addendum: I want the challenge to be fun, so please don't stress too much about the technicalities of things. For example, if you can't find a book set where your mom or dad was born, switch to going for general area -ie- if they were born in Champaigne, Il anywhere in IL would do. Or the Midwest. If they were born in Belgium and you can't find a romance set there, choose somewhere in Europe (not England). This is supposed to be fun, so please have fun with it! Challenge yourself only as much as you want to be challenged.
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LouiseM



Joined: 11 Aug 2011
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 3:13 pm    Post subject: Re: 11 in 2011: Two Ways to Play Reply with quote

library addict wrote:
Join in and feel free to use books you've already finished as long as they were read in 2011. You can just consider it like a "late" report Laughing...........


YAY!!! As for a late report.... ah! shades of my high school days.....

Thanks!
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karat



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 402

PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TBR Pile Challenge: The Whittler
2 Books that you got on sale

Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts

This is the second book in The Bride Quartet series that I have read for the challenges - I also read Vision in White for the "At the Movies" challenge.
The Bride Quartet is about a group of four friends who are partners in a wedding planning business, called Vows.
I liked the first book better than the second one.
First of all, the whole "wedding planning" thing gets old pretty fast. I had fun with that in the first book, but in Bed of Roses, reading about the heroine (Emma Grant, Vows' florist) preparing a corset for the 10th time was really boring.
Second, I did not like the ending at all. Emma's breaking up with the hero (Jack Cooke) was quite an overreaction. And it felt wrong to see him groveling to get her back.
I already have the other two books in the series in my TBR, so I will probably check what happens with the other two friends in the quartet ... after I take a long break from the wedding planning theme!

At the Movies Challenge: 11 down, 0 to go…
The Whittler Challenge: 9 down, 2 to go…
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library addict



Joined: 06 Dec 2008
Posts: 1559

PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TBR Pile Challenge: The Whittler (Revisited)
2 Books that you got on sale
Protecting Plain Jane by Julie Miller:
Most of this author’s books are loosely connected (starting with the Taylor Clan books, and then with the multiple spin-off series). The plot in this one is way over-the-top, but the h/h are both likeable and quirky. While the love story is resolved, the main bad guy/killer has yet to be caught as this is an over-arcing subplot of “The Precinct: SWAT” spin-off series. Not a keeper, but it was an entertaining enough read.

At the Movies Challenge: 11 down, 0 to go…
The Whittler Challenge: 11 down, 0 to go…
The Whittler Challenge (Revisited): 10 down, 1 to go…
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karat



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 402

PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TBR Pile Challenge: The Whittler
2 Books that you got on sale

Charlie All Night by Jennifer Crusie

Allie McGuffey is a radio producer who has recently lost her boyfriend and her position at the radio station's #1 show. She now has to produce the show of a new DJ, Charlie Tenniel, and she wants to make it a success, in spite of Charlie's wish to just lay low an not "make waves".

The attraction between the H/h is immediate, but the best thing in this book is how clearly they like each other, and how good they are together. The dialogue is very funny, and the secondary characters all make a nice contribution to the story. Also, I usually enjoy workplace romances, and this one worked well for me.
Overall, a very good light reading.
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Susanna Kearsley



Joined: 03 Nov 2008
Posts: 85
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I’m still working on this, but here’s my updated progress report, with blank spaces left for the books I still need to read:

Category 1: New Releases (New-to-Me Authors)

1. Goddess of the Hunt by Tessa Dare
“Ever the bold adventuress, Lucy Waltham has decided to go hunting for a husband. But first she needs some target practice. So she turns to her brother’s best friend, Jeremy Trescott, the Earl of Kendall, to hone her seductive wiles on him before setting her sights on another man. But her practice kisses spark a smoldering passion—one that could send all her plans up in smoke…” I came late to the party with this one, as I know a lot of other people have already discovered it, but I really, really enjoyed this. Especially loved the buddy-banter between the male characters.

2. A Bride for Kolovsky by Carol Marinelli
“Zakahr Belinki has clawed his way out of Russia’s gutters to seek revenge on the family that abandoned him. He’ll destroy their pride and joy: their fashion empire, the House of Kolovsky. All that stands in the way is his new secretary, Lavinia. Her flirtatiousness, refreshing honesty and passion for her job make Zakhar’s conscience—and desire—waver…momentarily. It’s not long before the dark knight is crossing the checkered board, ready to take innocent pawn Lavinia…” I have a weakness for Russian heroes that I blame entirely on my reading Dinah Dean’s The Road to Kaluga and Anne Armstrong Thompson’s Message from Absalom in the same year at an impressionable age.

3. The Undoing of De Luca by Kate Hewitt
“In theory, Ellery Dunant is the last woman you’d expect to find on world-renowned playboy Larenz de Luca’s to-bed list. Ellery has met Larenz’s type before. There’s no way a stallion like him would be interested in a plain-Jane housekeeper like her… So why does Larenz find himself risking his cool and dropping his guard to spend the night with her? Just one night…but for Larenz it doesn’t turn out to be enough. Is his unworldly housekeeper going to be his undoing?” Kate is a fellow RNA (the UK’s Romantic Novelists’ Association) member, and it was great fun for me to “hear” her voice in this book.

Category 2: Now Showing (On Location With a Twist)

1. Book from Somewhere I’ve Lived (Korea): The Calligrapher’s Daughter by Eugenia Kim
I’m just going to take this straight from the author’s web site: “In early-twentieth-century Korea, Najin Han, the privileged daughter of a calligrapher, longs to choose her own destiny. Smart and headstrong, she is encouraged by her mother—but her stern father is determined to maintain tradition, especially as the Japanese steadily gain control of his beloved country. When he seeks to marry Najin into an aristocratic family, her mother defies generations of obedient wives and instead sends her to serve in the king’s court as a companion to a young princess. But the king is soon assassinated, and the centuries-old dynastic culture comes to its end. In the shadow of the dying monarchy, Najin begins a journey through increasing oppression that will forever change her world. As she desperately seeks to continue her education, will the unexpected love she finds along the way be enough to sustain her through the violence and subjugation her country continues to face? Spanning thirty years, The Calligrapher’s Daughter is a richly drawn novel in the tradition of Lisa See and Amy Tan about a country torn between ancient customs and modern possibilities, a family ultimately united by love, and a woman who never gives up her search for freedom.” Having spent two years living in South Korea as a teenager, I really loved re-visiting the landscape and the history of a country that will always hold my heart.

2. Ancestral Location Book (London, England): Such Sweet Poison by Anne Mather
“Catherine was wary. After a failed marriage, despite her continued sense of guilt, she’d finally pulled the pieces of her life together. Now, content with her quiet life, in spite of the urging of well-meaning friends, she wasn’t interested in finding a new man. Morgan Lynch – attractive, articulate and clearly haunted by an unhappy past – was a man, however, who intrigued and challenged her. But involvement? Catherine just wasn’t sure.” This is a relatively (1991) early take on military post-traumatic stress disorder and how it affects a relationship, which made it interesting to read in this post-Bosnia/Iraq/Afghanistan world.

3. The Vacay Book (Portugal): Sweet Revenge by Anne Mather
The heroine, Toni, having just lost her position as a governess in Lisbon, runs into former boyfriend Paul and agrees to pretend to be his fiancée while he visits his less-than-welcoming family in Portugal, but his Uncle Raoul has her number. I’ll admit I have a soft spot for Anne Mather’s mistaken-identity plots, and this hero had both a scar AND a “luxury sports car with a speedometer that reached fantastic speeds.” And his name was Raoul. Total bliss.

Category 3: Wildcard (Captain Newman, M.D.)

1. H/H is a doctor: The GP’s Meant-to-be Bride by Jennifer Taylor
“Since GP Ross Mackenzie learned that his wedding had been cancelled the devastatingly handsome doctor’s heart had been well and truly guarded. However, Ross cannot ignore the sparks that flicker between him and practice nurse Gemma Craven—sparks that refuse to diminish… Shy Gemma has learned to hide the scars on her body—especially from powerfully attractive men like Ross. But gradually Ross’s compassion wins the vulnerable nurse’s trust, and when his lips touch hers Gemma feels beautiful for the first time. Before long Ross realises that it is Gemma he wants as his bride…and there just might be a wedding in Dalverston after all!” Double whammy in this one: a doctor for a hero and a nurse for a heroine!

2. H/H is a psychiatrist/psychologist: ?

3. H/H is a nurse, dentist/dental assistant/nutritionist or other medical professional: House of Strangers by Violet Winspear.
The hero of this one, Paul, is an osteopath—I had to look up the definition of that to make sure it qualified! The heroine, Marny, comes to work as a secretary at his clinic, where she has to contend with his jealous and glamorous fiancée and a charmingly flirtatious Irishman on her tortuous road to a happy ending. Like many of the older Harlequin Presents (it was first published in 1963) this one had me in awe of how much story it could pack into 188 pages!

Category 4: Ultimate Challenge (Military Movie)

1. A Town Called Christmas by Carrie Alexander
“It’s Christmas, and Navy pilot Michael Kavanaugh is home from deployment – with a ‘Dear John’ letter in his pocket. In spite of a rather serious case of Bah-Humbug, Mike heads to Christmas, Michigan, to spend the holidays with the York family. But then he meets Merry York, and spending Christmas in Christmas doesn’t seem such a bad idea after all…” This is part of the Harlequin Super Romance “Nine Months Later” line, so there’s a pregnancy involved, for anyone who likes to know that in advance. I read this in January, which helped me to extend that Christmas feeling I look forward to all year…

2. ?

Nearly done! Only two more to go, and I’m halfway through one of them now…
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library addict



Joined: 06 Dec 2008
Posts: 1559

PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 3:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TBR Pile Challenge: The Whittler (Revisited)
2 Books that you got on sale
The Mommy Miracle by Lilian Darcy:
I wanted to like this book as the blurb sounded like a fun twist on the whole secret baby plot (I haven’t read many books where the baby is secret from the mother Razz ). Sadly the first chapter kept pulling me out of the story. I don’t claim to be an expert on healthcare, but have some familiarity with in-home care after a serious injury and I had difficulty believing that the heroine’s way overprotective family would let her go off for a walk by herself when she was so easily worn out and still physically frail from her coma. The story improved somewhat when the heroine and hero were in scenes one-on-one, but they were few and far between until the very end and I could never just sink into the story. And don't even get me started on the heroine's totally obnoxious family Rolling Eyes

At the Movies Challenge: 11 down, 0 to go…
The Whittler Challenge: 11 down, 0 to go…
The Whittler Challenge (Revisited): 11 down, 0 to go

So I’ve read 33 books as part of the challenge this year. I’m thinking there’s enough time left in the year to do another round Laughing
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Maggie AAR



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 2500

PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

library addict wrote:

So I’ve read 33 books as part of the challenge this year. I’m thinking there’s enough time left in the year to do another round Laughing


I may do another too. This time though I am doing YA books. Have about 13 of them in my TBR and really want them GONE.

maggie b.
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She is too fond of books and it has turned her brain. - Louisa May Alcott
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Maggie AAR



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 2500

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Whittler - third times the charm
Three books in a series
Shiver, Linger Forever by Maggie Stievfater


I have been saying for years that I was going to not read series till they were finished. That hasn't worked with any series till this one. I bought the books and put them in my TBR, not to be picked up till the author was done. She finished in June.

Grace has fallen in love with the wolf who haunts the woods behind her home. Sam, a werewolf, has fallen in love with the etheral Grace, a girl he once saved from his brother and sister wolves. It seems they are destined never to meet, boy to girl, until violence rocks their world and fate throws them together. Now each most save the other, with the clock ticking on their happiness the whole time. . .

While Sam and Grace are meant to have a love that matches that of Edward and Bella, I just didn't get into them that much. Cole and Isabell, the other two characters in the series starting in Linger, rocked my world. Cole mixed practicality with brilliance. Isabelle embodied all that has ever been great in the fiesty heroine. In the end I agreed with Grace: I believed in Cole. And that was all that was needed to give both couples an HEA.

At the Movies, 11 down O to go
The Whittler, 11 down to go
The Whittler Revisited, 11 down 0 to go
The Whittler, third times the charm, 3 down, 8 to go

_________________
http://maggiebbooksandteas.blogspot.com
She is too fond of books and it has turned her brain. - Louisa May Alcott
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library addict



Joined: 06 Dec 2008
Posts: 1559

PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TBR Pile Challenge: The Whittler (Take 3)
2 Books that are from an expired line:
Identity Crisis by Kate Donovon (Silhouette Bombshell):
What to say about this book? On the one hand it reads more like a chicklit novel in that 90% of the emphasis of the story is on the heroine’s relationship with her job not the romance, there are plot holes big enough to drive a semi through, and the story starts out on the ridiculous end of the scale and just keeps getting more over the top. But on the other hand I liked the hero (what we saw of him), the heroine (when she wasn’t being to naïve to live), and I kept reading to see what happened next. It’s one of those books that’s entertaining, yet somehow unsatisfying all at the same time. I have the other two books in this series in my TBR pile, but just read the blurb for book 2. The “hero” in it is a character who was such a spineless JERK in this book that I don’t see how the author could possibly redeem him. So I will have to wait long enough to forget many of the details before I even attempt to read it Razz

At the Movies Challenge: 11 down, 0 to go…
The Whittler Challenge: 11 down, 0 to go…
The Whittler Challenge (Revisited): 11 down, 0 to go…
The Whittler Challenge (Take 3): 1 down, 10 to go…
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