I took over hosting duties in 2011 from Keishon and wow, I can't believe it's been four years already! I host the challenge for several reasons, but the big two are: 1) it forces me to read something out the print pile at least once a month and 2) it's a guaranteed day in Romancelandia where we can kick back and learn/talk/read about "older" books.
I always say the monthly themes are optional, but as hostess I do my best to follow them. Title links will take you to full-length reviews.
January (We Love Short Shorts!) - Dishing It Out by Molly O'Keefe - Grade = B-
- An early category from O'Keefe published under Harlequin's defunct rom/com Flipside line. A nice read, an interesting one for fans.
- Hart's first foray into "general fiction." I was enjoying it, even though I felt like I wasn't the intended audience until...the ending. There's a twist at the end that frankly smacked me as piling on completely unnecessary angst.
- I loved the first book in this trilogy, the second was meh, and this one was borderline dumpster fire.
- Sexy, fun erotic romance featuring a kink that does not feature the letters B, D, S or M. Pretty light on conflict though.
- 20 year old category romance featuring a former Army nurse heroine with PTSD and a couple in their 40s (!). A few, small dated references (hello, car phones!) - but stands the test of time amazingly well.
- A perfectly pleasant and frothy rom/com style read. Biggest quibble was pacing issues and a meet-cute that dragged on a bit too long.
- What started as a perfectly serviceable single title contemporary featuring a wound-tight heroine and an NHL bad boy hero takes an amazing turn in the second half. I didn't read it so much as inhale it in one gulp and stayed up way too late on a "school night" to read it start to finish.
- The less said about this month the better. After four DNFs, I finally settled on a novella I picked up at July's RWA conference in NYC. It wasn't without issues, but I finished it. Which frankly seemed like a small miracle.
- A book that I should have read 10 years ago so I could have given an "A" to it. Well-written, entertaining, but there are some problematic elements that Jaded Wendy Romance Reader couldn't look past.
- Come dine at The Character Trope Smorgasbord, stay to revel in an everything and the kitchen sink plot, and some awkward writing sequences that stopped me cold. Silver lining = it was a quick, fast read. God bless short chapters.
- I found this a bit wordy (which makes sense to the story but still...wordy). Also one of the heroes speaks in the vernacular and that takes some getting used to. Otherwise? I really enjoyed this one. Heartbreaking, emotional, and a great grovel scene at the end.
- Not without some issues, but I really enjoyed this western historical about a heroine who finds out her beloved is a lying snake and ends up falling for his stoic older brother.
I had a great time (once again!) hosting the challenge and it's certainly not too late to consider signing up for the 2016 TBR Challenge! For more information and details on how to sign-up, please check out this blog post.