This Chick’s Audio Review: Twilight’s Herald (Aileen Travers #5) by T.A. White

Aileen has come a long way from the vampire she was a few years ago. No longer avoiding the supernatural community Aileen is now the go-to investigator and has created a name for herself despite her being a relatively new vamp. When she takes a job to find a lost bracelet for the harpy’s she comes to the attention of a group of supernatural assassins who seem to be either trying to kill her or kidnap her. Dodging shadows is keeping her on her toes and is making it hard for her to do her job.

I just listened to this entire series over the past week. Narrated by Natasha Soudek, I had trouble getting into the pace of the narration through the first book. I will say that once Aileen started acting more like a vamp in book 2 the pace of the story took off and I forgot how much I was struggling with the narration. I’m not sure it was Natasha Soudek’s fault because I’ve listened to book by this author that she’s narrated and not had a problem and my feeling of ho-hum disappeared by the end of book 2. Twilight’s Herald as the fifth book in the series was one big action-adventure jaunt and really fun verbal snark by our main character, Aileen.

Aileen is now over her predilection of avoiding the vamps and is dating Liam, the enforcer to the Master of the City. While he is very dominant and alpha, Aileen has the tendency to do whatever she wants and sass her way into situations that are way above her pay grade and vampire strength. Each novel has revealed more about Aileen and by Twilight’s Herald we know that despite her youth in the vampire community she has an ability to “see” magic and either count attack it or unwind a spell. This has come in handy as these assassins seem persistent in getting their hands on her.

Another thing that has evolved over this series is her relationship with Liam, now her boyfriend. She has stopped fighting him at every turn and has slightly embraced her friendships with his crew and tolerates her maker, Thomas, the Master of the City. I really enjoyed her new friendship with Connor, Thomas’s son and Liam’s true nephew. He is a slightly odd character and attaches himself to Aileen’s side as her “brother” and has an innocence that is sweet and dangerous. There are plenty of chuckles in this novel and a dodgeball scene that was awesome. Yes, vampires play dodgeball!

Aileen Travers #6 comes out later this year or is it early next year? I can’t remember exactly when but I do know that I will be reading it when it comes out. This was a slow build up but I’m totally invested in these characters now and I want more Aileen! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Twilight’s Herald

Copyright 2022 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I will receive a small stipend

This Chick Read: Artistic License by Elle Pierson

Shy art-student, Sophy James, is sketching a world famous art collection when a man’s face catches her eye. Beautiful to her artist’s eye, she starts sketching him instead when he’s not looking. She makes promising progress when she realizes that she is witness to an art heist. Security expert, Mick Hollister manages to thwart the thief, but manages to mow down a much smaller and asthmatic Sophy down where she is unable to catch her breath and must be taken to the local hospital. When Mick tracks her down she manages to convince him to pose for her which is the start to a beautiful friendship. Artistic License is a beautiful friends to lovers story about two people who’s insecurities keep their hearts safe but taking a chance might bring them a new world of happiness.

Mick is used to most women being attracted to his body but finding his face unappealing, so when gentle and sweet Sophy finds him attractive he wants to take a chance but her shyness holds them both back from being more than friends. I don’t think I’ve ever read a novel where the hero is not described as attractive, yet is made attractive through the eyes of our heroine. I loved Mick’s protective personality, and wanted to nudge Sophy to give him a chance a lot quicker than our author played this story out. However, Sophy had a reason for not wanting to upend her world by taking a chance at romance. Her severe asthma might be the reason they met, but it’s also kept her in an insulated world keeping new discoveries at arms distance. I cheered for them when they finally got together and ended up really enjoying their journey.

I don’t read a lot of books set in New Zealand but loved how this book made me feel like I was learning a new culture, seeing new scenery, and hearing their accents and different patterns of speech. This may be Elle Pierson’s first novel, but she also writes under the name Lucy Parker and that feeling of traveling to a new place is something she brings to all of her novels, be they set in New Zealand or England. I’m a huge fan and was excited to discover this new name to add to my author list on Goodreads and Amazon. Here’s to hoping another book by either author will be out soon.

If you like slow burn love stories, you may want to give Artistic License a try. I really enjoyed the pace, the characters, and the journey to a different country. I found myself really invested in why these two were holding themselves back from being together and when they finally took that leap I felt the satisfaction of a book well written.

❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase this book!* Artistic License

Copyright 2022 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (8/15/22)

OK, funny story. My husband and I are listening to the Innkeeper series by Ilona Andrews while we walk the dog every morning. It’s the graphic audio version which means there are sound effects and a whole cast of voice actors and is advertised as a movie in your mind. It really does sound like a movie and we’re having a great time listening to the series. One morning last week we finally reached a point where our main character, Dina, gets kissed by the man/werewolf she’s fallen in love with, and the sound effects of sucking face was absolutely hilarious. We were dying of laughter while walking the dog and needless to say once they progressed beyond kissing I quickly hit that fast forward button. I don’t need graphic audio sound effects, for those moments, thank you very much. However, I’ll always remember that moment when we looked at each other in horror and then started laughing. 🙂

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I read this book when it first came out and was curious how I’d feel about it on a re-read. I still liked it!

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I’m only about 15% into the book, but I can tell that the author really had fun writing this one. It’s a different type of novel than her usual historical fiction but I can tell that it will be just as well written.

Happy Monday and happy reading!

Deb

This Chick Read: Lucky Stars (Ghosts and Reincarnation #5) by Kristen Ashley

I have been re-reading some books that I’ve read many years ago by favorite authors and recently grabbed this book when it was on sale. Lucky Stars is the last book in the Ghosts and Reincarnation series, written early on in Kristen Ashley’s career. This series has a haunted theme and each book has been fun to re-read and has reminded me why I always give this author a look even after she went deeper towards writing erotica (thank goodness she seems to have backed off of that a bit). Lucky Stars is about Belle Abbot a young woman who is rather shy and normal (but gorgeous) who happens upon a bus that is submerged in water and goes in after all of the children and driver gaining a bit of notoriety that she tries to ignore. She meets James Bennett while on a date with his brother and feels an immediate connection to the point that she does something she has never done, sleeps with him on the night she has met him. That one act starts the two of them on a fated journey, one that they have lived through in a previous life.

There were many things to like in this novel. I loved the premise of the two of them being reincarnated and destined for a future together. What woman doesn’t love the idea that their one true love is written in the stars? Belle, while shy is a lovely, very nice woman and very easy to like. She does have a bit of a run away and hide attitude that made me want to skip pages but I did like her and when you find out the reason for it you understand where she’s coming from. However, it takes a really long time to get to that point. James is this author’s typical alpha male, strong and thinks he knows what’s best for everyone. He is also stubborn and almost misses his chance and gaining his one true love. There are goofy side characters, some of which carry through from other novels in this series. I always enjoy the other characters in KA’s novels and get the sense that she has a ton of fun writing them and figuring out their characters. It comes through on the page.

The reincarnation story is what makes this book both enjoyable and also predictable. They were meant for each other because of something that happened to them in a past life. This story has been done repeatedly and there weren’t too many surprises but I did love reading it anyway. Lucy Stars was just a fun way to spend a weekend. I enjoyed my time reacquainting myself with Belle, James and the gang and seeing them reach for and attain their happily ever after. I think this is why I re-read novels that I can’t quite remember but know I liked. It’s like seeing a best friend from your past and picking right back up again gabbing away like you’ve never stopped talking.

You can read each book in this series separately. Other than a few minor characters who show up in each book but aren’t really integral to the love story itself each novel stands on its own. However, if you’re like me you’ll like it better if you read them in order. They are all a lot of fun. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase this book!* Lucky Stars

Copyright 2022 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

This Chick Read: Ripple Effect (Disaster Flick Romance #2) by J. Bengtsson

SPOILERS AHEAD.

Retired boy bander RJ Contreras is hiding out in a sub-par apartment in LA licking his wounds after his solo career tanked. Living under the name Chad Woodcock he spends his days growing a beard, working out, and playing loud music. Dani is a grade school teacher who loves following the rules and when the guy next door starts getting annoying she doesn’t have a problem dropping hints and leaving post-its about how to be a good neighbor. Chad Woodcock doesn’t care if he’s a good neighbor at all and deliberately antagonizes her, pushing buttons and hoping to make her snap. Until one day when a disaster strikes and all they have is each other.

I tend to auto-buy books by my favorite authors and then forget about those books for a little while until I’m in the right mood to pick it up. Generally I do this without re-reading the synopsis, which is what happened with Ripple Effect. Guys, I had no clue this book was going to take me into a natural disaster romance! I know, it says it in the title, and this author doesn’t shy away from difficult subject matter, but wow was I surprised!

The author and I have something in common. We are both from Southern California, and in fact I grew up in the town where she now lives, so I love to catch “California-isms” in her novels. Even if it’s just small things like the weather, or a SoCal/NoCal reference. Ripple Effect draws on a topic that all Californians are familiar with… earthquakes. When you grow up with them you learn to gage the strength of one and decide instinctively if you need to get up and move or if you are good hanging on your couch through the trembler. The earthquake in this novel took me completely by surprise. Again, yes I know it’s a disaster flick romance novel, but I wasn’t expecting to flashback to my own experiences with the Northridge quake, which I can only think Ms. Bengtsson drew from for this novel. Without giving too much away, I’ll just say that our two main characters get trapped in their complex and need to rely on each other to get out.

Life-changing moments like a natural disaster create a bond and needless to say, our two main characters who started off hating each other ended up together. This seems like a fait accompli, but through witty dialog, snarky humor, and heartbreaking moments, the transition from enemies to friends seemed seemless. A truly huge feat when you take all of the angst and pain that are built into this story. The funny moments were a great balance for the more emotionally charged which made this a really great novel. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Ripple Effect

Copyright 2022 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (8/8/22)

It’s that time of the week where I share the books that I’ve been reading and hope for you all to chime in with your own fabulous titles. I’m currently in the midst of a fantasy mystery series that’s listed on Kindle Unlimited and I’ll admit that I’m enjoying the characters and this world the author created. Have you ever read the same genre 2-3 books in a row and feel that buzz or need for a change in genre? I’m feeling that right now, so my next book will definitely switch things up. I don’t want to bore everyone so I’m going to give you the title I read prior to me starting this series, but between you and me, I’ve read all the books before the one I list below. 🙂

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I’m a fan of Lucy Score’s small town romance novels and this one was really cute. It has a great premise and the characters are funny, cute, and charming. What more do you want out of a lighthearted read?

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The cover makes the main character look like she’s a character in Robin Hood but she’s actually an investigator for what passes for their police force. It’s a fun and fast- moving series.

What books have gotten their hooks in your mind recently?

Happy Monday and happy reading!

Deb

This Chick Read: The Stars Between Us by Cristin Terrill

Vika Hale longs for a different life than the one she has as a bartender on a struggling planet. When a billionaire dies Vika finds herself the ward of his heirs and living a glamorous life on a high society planet. A series of bombs endangers the lives of the heirs and she finds herself asking for help from other person that crosses both of her worlds, Sky Foster, assistant to the heirs that she lives with. While investigating, she takes a serious look at her life and whether all of the money in the world is worth the unhappiness and danger she now faces.

Vika’s life was certainly grim prior to her good fortune of becoming a ward to the heirs of a billionaire, but quickly starts to wonder if all of that money is worth the changes it makes to your person and your life? As Vika starts to navigate her new world she quickly gets caught up in the empty social cues and moré’s that have built that society. During these chapters I found myself not liking Vika too much, especially in the way she treats Sky Foster. Of course, that doesn’t last too long but I really struggled through those first few chapters because I found her pretty unlikable. Luckily, she pairs up with Sky and becomes a more likable character.

Other than not connecting quickly with the main character, I thought the world-building was well done and enjoyed the mystery solving. Sky Foster was a good foil for Vika’s more outrageous personality, but I didn’t really feel like they connected as a romantic pairing. Sky’s inst-love for Vika, a woman who treats him really horribly, is unbelievable, but I do see a change in her character by the end of the book so I gave them a pass on those earlier plot issues.

I usually love reading science fiction space operas and despite feeling a little let down by these characters, I still think others may like to give it a try. Especially if you’re a fan of this genre. ❤️❤️❤️

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for an honest review and it was honest!

Click this link to purchase!* The Stars Between Us

Copyright 2022 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

This Chick Read: The Secret of Bow Lane (A Below Stairs Mystery #6) by Jennifer Ashley

Kat comes face to face with her husband’s first wife when she comes to her place of employment and asks for Kat’s help in finding some money that she claims Joe may have had. Against her better judgement Kat starts digging around with the help of her friends and love interest Daniel McAdams. She learns many things about the man that she was once married to and must decide whether she should keep the information to herself or turn it in to the police.

We have slowly learned things about Kat’s past, like her “husband” was actually already married to someone else when he married her, but in The Secret of Bow Lane Kat is able to finally able to not only face her past but put it behind her and hopefully move forward with Daniel. Who is this woman who was married to her husband and how did her own “marriage” differ, or were they both treated horribly by the same man. All questions that are answered by solving the mystery of whether Joe had hidden some money away prior to his death.

Daniel and Kat’s own relationship also seems to be at determination point. Will Kat never learn to trust in another man or will her feelings for Daniel override her uncertainties. Some of Daniel’s secrets are also revealed and Kat can finally make a choice on whether she will trust Daniel not to be the same kind of man as Joe.

The mystery was a foil for all of the reveals made propelling the characters forward. I do think they rather needed a little shove and that’s what The Secret of Bow Lane was, a nudge towards a different future. What will those future books look like? I know what I want from these characters but who knows if Ms. Ashley will give that future to me. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for an honest review and it was honest.

Click this link to purchase!* The Secret of Bow Lane

Copyright 2022 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you should purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

This Chick Read: Just Another Love Song by Kerry Winfrey

When they were teenagers Sandy MacIntosh and Hank Tillman were high school sweethearts. Completely in love, both wanted to experience the world outside their small town, Hank through his music and Sandy painting the landscapes where they’d travel. Sandy’s dream unraveled when her scholarship to college got pulled and she remained at home going to the local community college. Not wanting to hold Hank back, Sandy made the difficult decision to break up with him so he could carry out his dream. 15 years later Hank is back in town, divorced, and with a son. Can Sandy live through another heartbreak of Hank leaving her again?

I’m a fan of Kerry Winfrey’s and knew that I was going to read this book as soon as I saw that she had a new release. She’s a clever writer, building great characters and snappy dialog. Just Another Love Song was exactly what I expected to read yet also a complete surprise. Almost from the moment Sandy lays eyes on Hank again, I was teary-eyed and reaching for the kleenex. This novel was not only funny, but it was also thoroughly romantic using flashbacks to tell Sandy and Hank’s teenage love story and their reunion in current time. I feel in love with both of these characters, but Sandy tugged at my heart in a way a character hasn’t in quite awhile. Her mix of nostalgia, uncertainty, and hope created a wonderfully emotional (and funny!) character. Hank too was brilliantly written, but he had parts of his dream come true and Sandy’s journey was really just beginning.

Another thing I really like about Kerry Winfrey is that she gives her heroine’s a wonderful group of friends to lean on. Her best friend Honey was the friend that all of us want to have, supportive, generous, and brutally honest with truths that may be hard to face. There were so many great characters who added moments of humor and warmth. Just Another Love Song struck all the right chords, fun, romantic, and characters who felt real. If an audiobook comes out I’ll definitely be using a credit for a re-read. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest.

Click this link to purchase this book!* Just Another Love Song

Copyright 2022 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (8/1/22)

I’ve been traveling over the last week, on vacation with my family. Sometimes it’s hard to find time to read while on vacation but thankfully this one had that time built it. It was great! I read some really good books and relaxed and I feel refreshed. That’s the best kind of vacation, isn’t it? Let me catch you up on what I’ve been reading.

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I was fortunate enough to get an ARC of this novel and was saving it up for my vacation. Ali Hazelwood wrote one of my favorite books, The Love Hypotheses, and Love on the Brain was just as good. I love her women of STEM romance novels. She has a gift for writing great dialog and characters that are different than any others I’ve read. This one was fun folks!

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Mercy Thompson is one of my favorite female protagonists and I felt really fortunate to have the ARC to read on my vacation. I’m not yet finished, but this book is great up to this point!

August has some great book releases, and I have a couple of others that I’m eager to read still. I need to schedule another vacation!

Happy Monday and happy reading!

Deb