This Chick Read: Judgment Road (Torpedo Ink #1) by Christine Feehan

Anya Rafferty has taken a job as bartender in the bar owned by MC Club Torpedo Ink. She’s trying to fly under the radar, friendly but not flirtatious with the bikers and customers, but her beauty gets her noticed. Reaper is the enforcer for Torpedo Ink. His first job is to protect their President, Czar, but he can’t keep his eyes off Anya. He tries to scare her off but she’s broke and doesn’t have anywhere to go. When they go head to head their chemistry is fierce and against his better judgment he decides to make her his own.

I don’t normally read MC biker romances. I don’t have anything against them, they just aren’t my thing. However, when Christine Feehan writes well,her books are really, really good. This book had elements of greatness. Judgment Road and those bikers in Torpedo Ink had a background that was different and drew me in. Stolen when children in Russia, they were abused, trained, and raised to be assassins. When they escaped Russia they stayed together forming this club and using their skills to help others who have been victimized. I liked that theme, but wow, this was a pretty dark book. If you have triggers about rape, abuse, etc. this will be a difficult read. I don’t have those triggers and at times I cringed in horror.

Anya and Reaper were kind of typical of a biker and his babe. He was totally Alpha and she was sassy and sweet. There was a ton of smoking hot sex (a little too much at times) but they had a lot of past trauma to get over, on both their sides to get to their happily ever after. Anya was on the run from a group that wanted her dead and without giving away the story, Torpedo Ink ended up saving women who were brutalized by this same group. I wish Judgment Road was a little less sex and a lot more of that story because it was a really good romantic suspense tale and got me totally hooked. If Reaper hadn’t had trauma in his own background that he and Anya worked through with sex, passages that were important, I would’ve skimmed a lot more than I did.

This series is an offshoot of the Sea Haven series, if any of you are fans. Viktor (Czar) and his wife Bythe were the last book in that series. There is a mystical element to the Torpedo Ink members, just as there was in the Sea Haven series, with each biker having a trait that was kind of magical and mysterious. This magical element gave the series a little boost into the unreal, but made it a lot more fun to read.

Judgment Road was a pretty dark, grueling start to this series, but there were some other members that I found pretty fascinating. I think I’ll need to keep an eye out for the next one, but am hopeful it will be a little lighter read. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Judgment Road Click this link to purchase! Judgment Road (Torpedo Ink) Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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This Chicks Uppercase Box Reveal- Jan18

It’s a new year and just to switch things up a little I’m going to start including a monthly post called This Chicks Uppercase Box Reveal.  I subscribe to a Young Adult book of the month club called Uppercase Box. Yes, I am a little outside the demographic but I got the subscription when I was writing a young adult novel and have kept it because I got addicted to the fun monthly surprise in a box, and a book pick that was not usually on my radar. In addition to some book themed goodies, what makes this subscription so unique is that each novel comes with keywords that you can use to sign in online and interact with other readers, view videos from the author and read tidbits about what the author was thinking when they wrote a certain portion of the book. Behind the scenes insight which makes the reading experience even more enjoyable!  If you’d like more information go to uppercasebox.com and read their blurb.

Now, for the big reveal! When I first open the package, I see an Uppercase Box bag filled with goodies.

Conspiracy bag

There were a few things inside the bag besides the book:  A magnet with a quote from the book- No One Knows But We Will , a typewriter sticker (a little young and sweet for my taste, but great to pass along to a fellow reader), and wooden rocket bookmark. There is a couple of hints in this photo below that reveals a little bit about the book…

Conspiracy bookmark

Conspiracy- Jane Austen card

The above card would be great framed wouldn’t it? It has a nice quote from Jane Austen that reads “I Declare After All There Is No Enjoyment Like Reading”. Amen sister! This is definitely true in my household!

Now for the January 12018 Uppercase Box Book, drumroll……..

A signed copy of A Conspiracy of Stars by Olivia A Cole

Synopsis: 

Octavia has always dreamed of becoming a whitecoat, one of the prestigious N’Terra scientists who study the natural wonders of Faloiv. So when the once-secretive labs are suddenly opened to students, she leaps at the chance to see what happens behind their closed doors.

However, she quickly discovers that all is not what it seems on Faloiv, and the experiments the whitecoats have been doing run the risk of upsetting the humans’ fragile peace with the Faloii, Faloiv’s indigenous people.

As secret after disturbing secret comes to light, Octavia finds herself on a collision course with the charismatic and extremist new leader of N’Terra’s ruling council. But by uncovering the mysteries behind the history she’s been taught, the science she’s lived by, and the truth about her family, she threatens to be the catalyst for an all-out war.

This is a recent release and I haven’t heard of this book. However, I really enjoy Science Fiction books and think this one sounds pretty good!

Have any of you read this book yet? If so, let me know if you liked it!

When I get it read, you will definitely see my review on The Reading Chick!

Happy Reading!

Deb

This Chick Read: Survive the Night (Rocky Mountain K9 Unit #3) by Katie Ruggle

Survive the Night is the third installment in the Rocky Mountain K9 Unit series and Sarah is my favorite heroine of the three. Sister to a wanna be mob boss she has been locked behind doors and abused for her whole life. That may sound like Sarah would be a victim but she has a bit of steel in her spine. After escaping her brother she moves in with Jules and Grace (heroines from books one and two)and starts to practice what she has been internally preaching…she wants to live a normal life. When she sets eyes on K9 cop Otto she isn’t scared by his size, she is captured by his sweetness watching as he rescues animals and rehabilitates them with a soft touch.

Of course, this is a Katie Ruggle novel so you know trouble is coming and Sarah needs to gear up for a fight. Sure enough, when her brother tracks her down it affects Grace too as their reasons for being in Monroe are tied together. There are some great action scenes that really drive the story. Sarah, separated from her friends when the trouble starts does not hide until its all over. She takes the bull by the horns and seeks out her friends showing she has spunk and is a fighter even after being beaten down for years.

If there was one thing missing for me it was with Otto. He was a big sweet lug who loved animals and took in strays. He was pretty one dimensional and I would’ve liked to have made more of a connection with him. After all he was in the previous two novels, unlike Sarah so I should’ve felt more for him than I did. His purpose was to be there to help save the day and win his girl. He got to do both in a very satisfying way. I enjoyed reading this book on an overcast Saturday afternoon and it hit the spot. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase! Survive the Night (Rocky Mountain K9 Unit) Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved.

This Chick Read: When It’s Real by Erin Watt

When Vaughn Bennett meets pop star and teen idol Oakley Ford she is totally unimpressed. He’s late, rude and well, a bit stuck up. She used to be a big fan of his music, but that attitude! Vaughn unfortunately has to suck it up because she’s been hired to be his fake girlfriend to help improve his image.

It took Vaughn and Oakley a long time to warm up to each other, so the first two thirds of the book was all about the tension between the two of them. Oakley was also used to getting everything he wanted, so his lack of courtesy towards Vaughn really made him out to be a jerk. That lack of courtesy wasn’t just one sided though, Vaughn was also not very nice to Oakley for that same period of time. This may have been why I had a hard time with these two characters. I’ll admit that when they finally learned how to be friends with each other I grew to like them more and had an easier time with their transition to love.

I thought it interesting that Vaughn and Oakley were both so independent. Vaughn because her parents died in an accident leaving she and her older sister to raise their younger brothers. Oakley was raised by actor parents and had emancipated himself at 15 from them so he could make his own decisions about his career. His parents pretty much dropped out of his life at that point leaving him to raise himself. Vaughn and Oakley’s history should’ve given them a commonality, and it was certainly used, but not until much later in the book when they stopped antagonizing each other and became friendly. Once they did, those similarities did provide that bond, but I wanted it much sooner!

This was a book that should’ve been easier to like. I thought the plot was interesting, and the characters back stories made them human and sympathetic. When they finally really became a couple I really did enjoy the story, I just wanted them to get there a little sooner than they did. However, once they got over that hump I found that I easily forgave them for taking so long to get there, and Erin Watt really does craft a good story. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

When Its Real Click this link to purchase! When It’s Real (Harlequin Teen) Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

This Chick Read: A Treacherous Curse (Veronica Speedwell #3) by Deanna Raybourn

When a previous expedition partner of Stoker’s goes missing details from his past threaten to make headlines again, stoking those old flames of gossip. Veronica Speedwell is determined to investigate this mystery and keep Stoker’s name and heart from being dragged through the mud again. As they traverse the Egyptian curse that seems to have followed the Ankheset exhibition to London they unravel not only the mystery, but also the intricacy of their friendship.

There are many reasons why the Veronica Speedwell series strikes a chord with me. Even though set in Victorian times, a somewhat prudish era where women are still entrapped by societies rules and station, Veronica is a modern woman. She and Stoker are business partners in life as well as in their investigations. She is outspoken and loves to shock Stoker with pithy statements and fantasies about the male form, and has great wit, charm and a dry sense of humor. She is a woman that I really enjoy reading about. As she and Stoker investigate the disappearance of his previous partner and the curse of the Egyptian exhibition that he had been traveling with (that has now come to London), Veronica’s inner lioness comes out as protector to Stoker’s fallen hero. A Treacherous Curse is a very fine tooled mystery but also we are given insight into the feelings Veronica and Stoker have for each other in a couple of very emotionally moving scenes that I honestly didn’t know these two characters had inside them.

A Treacherous Curse, although set in Victorian London, is uniquely flavored with all things Egyptian. When finding a tomb can mean instant fortune, and also fame for those who uncover those treasures. Although a different era, I had visions of Indiana Jones running through my head while getting to know some of these new over the top adventurers, which was tremendous fun. The pace of the story seemed a little quicker than the previous two novels only slowing down to a simmer for the introspective thoughts Veronica had regarding Stoker. This was my favorite novel of the three so far, and I truly liked the other two! A perfect mix of action, adventure and yes, a glimmer of  a future romance. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

I was given an ARC of this novel through NetGalley for my honest review, and it was honest!

A Treacherous Curse Click this link to purchase! A Treacherous Curse (A Veronica Speedwell Mystery) Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: This is Why a New York Times Bestselling Author Changed Her Pen Name to G. L. Carriger: On Pseudonyms, Cover Art & Reader Betrayal (Important for Writers) by Author Gail Carriger

I am a big fan of Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate, Custard Protocol series and her YA series The Finishing School. I have reviewed a few of her books and occassionally read her newsletters to keep up with what she has coming out and is working on. Lo and Behold, tonight I read this fabulous article about why or really what cover art should say about what is in your novel. I totally agree with the importance of portraying what’s inside the book correctly. I think I have mentioned this a time or two… It’s fascinating to hear from the authors viewpoint. She also talks about her slight change in pen name when she writes from genre to genre. Her reasons make total sense when writing a clean YA, steampuk, to a raunchier adult, LGBTQ novel.

Anyways, you can read the article yourself because I have pasted it below.

If you read to the very bottom you will see a quote from THE READING CHICK ( yes ME!) from a review I wrote for Prudence. Color me shocked when I saw that! And VERY pleased!

So please enjoy Ms. Carrigers thoughts, she is a super talented writer, well spoken, and really knows what she’s talking about.

Deb (The Reading Chick)

This is Why a New York Times Bestselling Author Changed Her Pen Name to G. L. Carriger: On Pseudonyms, Cover Art & Reader Betrayal (Important for Writers)

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This Chick Read: Behind the Scenes (Apart from the Crowd #1) by Jen Turano

Ms. Permilia Griswold is a wallflower. For those of you who don’t read historical romances a wallflower is a lady designated odd, old, or just unpopular who sits on the sidelines at societies balls, her dance card empty, always. Asher Rutherford is considered one of the most eligible bachelors despite being in trade as the owner of a very successful department store. The fact he comes from a good family lets gold digging mothers overlook his businessman title. Permilia is a very attractive young lady, but she was brought up by a single father who taught her to speak her mind, forgetting that one day she’d have to find a husband. Oh, the good old days!

Permilia uses her title of wallflower by writing a gossip column, using her position in society to give details about dress styles and behind the scenes home decorations. Pretty banal, but it subsidizes her pocket money which she uses to support a home for underprivileged women. While snooping about a ball, Permilia overhears a couple of men talk about killing Asher Rutherford. She is determined to warn him and when he ignores her warnings she follows him around town undercover in order to help save his life. There is a little slapstick comedy in these scenes which is old fashioned but fits perfectly into the mood of this novel.

I really enjoyed Permilia’s spirit! She has a good head on her shoulders, uses her place in privileged society to help women below her in rank learn a trade so they can find jobs. She is honorable in her reporting, only giving details that wouldn’t hurt anyone and not using names. She is outspoken, but not rude, well at least not to strangers. When she and Asher meet he is fascinated by her. He shouldn’t have been because she’s not the usual young miss that is thrown his way. He keeps trying to treat her as such and she just steamrolls right over his good manners and breeding with a matter of fact charm and good humor.

The two of them have great chemistry, but even more important you could see them as being great friends. Jen Turano’s dialog paints a picture of a suffrage woman and a rather old fashioned young gentleman matching wits, while being charmed by each other. I couldn’t help but be charmed as well.  If you like historicals, you’ll want to add this book to your TBR. This is a PG rated historical romance appropriate for any age reader. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

Click this link to purchase! Behind the Scenes (Apart From the Crowd) Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

This Chick Read: Light Years by Emily Ziff Griffin

Luisa Ochoa-Jones see’s the world in landscapes of color, smelling emotions and tasting sounds. Sometimes she gets lost in the colors and has to ground herself by tapping her foot three times or digging her naked feet into an image of a sandy beach. When the world gets rocked by a virus killing thousands it’s these same sensory visions that could end up saving the world.

The author’s bio states that she’s in film and in fact along with Philip Seymour Hoffman produced the Academy Award winning film Capote. Light Years was written with a very visual theme and the language she uses could easily be transported into a movie. I’ll give you an example:

” The sound of the city dissolves into a hum. I stare up at the gleaming glass tower and a torrent of blue pours down. The building’s edges blur against the cloudless sky–nature and the man-made becoming one. Blue always tastes like chocolate when I’m nervous, and I’m nervous.”

I was fascinated by this use of color and tastes to portray emotions and thought Luisa totally unique. However, I also felt that her inability to feel emotions like we do held the reader back from being able to feel for her as a character. As the story evolved, Luisa’s fate became intertwined with the virus running its course and those bursts of color ended up having little impact on my own emotions making the climax of the novel ho hum. I was disappointed!

The story had such potential. An apocalyptic virus, a love story, and a heroine who journeyed to self discovery while dealing with personal loss. All very emotional themes that just lacked the emotion to give the book impact. ❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase! Light Years Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

This Chick Read: The Lost Plot (The Invisible Library #4) by Genevieve Cogman

Irene and Kai are drawn into the middle of dragon politics when The Library requests that they search and find a young Librarian who may have crossed a forbidden line. The Library is a neutral entity not getting drawn into choosing sides between the dragons and Fae. This young Librarian, Evariste, seems to have been hired by a dragon to find a book for his Queen. However, when Irene and Kai reach 1920’s New York they realize that all is not as it seems and they may need to help Evariste get out of the situation he has been drawn into.

I have loved the different settings that past Invisible LIbrary books have been set, but I’ll admit, 1920’s New York created more drama, intrigue and romance than any of the other worlds. Granted, it is a world that is familiar. Prohibition,mobsters, flappers and fedoras ruled the day and watching Irene and Kai familiarize themselves with the era was fun  and at times frivolous. Frivolity wouldn’t be a word I’d use to discuss any of the previous plots, so it seems the author had fun with this setting as much as I did reading about it. As soon as Kai and Irene stepped through the doors into this era the story moved at a quick clip and I was enthralled.

Irene and Kai’s relationship has slowly evolved over the four books. Yes, he is still her apprentice, but you can tell that they care for each other more than teacher and student. As this plot revolves around dragon politics, something that Kai can’t get involved in because that would shift their relationship away from the safety of teacher / student and would also endanger the neutrality of the Library, there was more of a sense of urgency to the plot.  They are always facing danger and making difficult choices but the possibility of a shift to a different kind of relationship was exciting and something I had been looking forward to but thought would never happen.

The Lost Plot has been my favorite in the series so far. The 1920’s setting gave the story more humor and fun, the political nature of the story line made the drama more intense and the conclusion to the plot was very well played out and satisfying. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

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

The Lost Plot Click this link to purchase! The Lost Plot (The Invisible Library Novel) Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: My Top 10 Reviewed Young Adult Novels of 2017

As I sifted through my reviews from 2017 for last Sunday’s Commentary of my Top 5 Reviewed Novels of 2017 in the Adult fiction category I realized that I had read a large number of great Young Adult novels too. Because it would’ve turned my list into a Top 25 instead of a Top 5 I decided to create a separate list for Young Adult novels. I will admit that even though I read quickly I know there are several HUGE titles that I didn’t read last year like The Hate You Give, which were highly reviewed. I am only one person and still have a huge list of books I’d like to read and it keeps getting longer!  I do have it sitting on my shelf, as well as many others… I read and reviewed these books in 2017 regardless of the publishing date.

If you’d like to read my entire review of each book, please click the link of the title.

When by Victoria Laurie

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“There were many things I loved about this book. I loved how the author put everyone’s death date next to their name when they were introduced into the storyline. I loved her best friend Stubby (although hated his nickname), and his eternal optimism, even through some pretty horrible circumstances. I loved that Maddie, even against all odds-bullied, picked on and beat up, NEVER stopped going to school. I loved that the people who didn’t believe in her ended up caring for her…”

Warcross by Marie Lu

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“I do not play video games and was worried that I wouldn’t be able to get into this book because of that but I shouldn’t have worried. The world Marie Lu created was vivid, had amazing energy, and painted a 3-D picture for me to visualize and engage with. The games themselves were exciting, the action well written and Emika’s thought process as she deconstructed play exciting. I loved the game!”

Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller

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“This was a great YA fantasy novel. The plot was original and the characters fascinating. All of the men and women who were auditioning as the next Opal wore masks and were given numbers as names creating gender ambiguity. So, even though they were men and women, they became five, four, and in Sal’s case, twenty-three…I liked this unique aspect of the story and started paying more attention to the plot based on the person. Not the sex of them.”

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

After reading Strange the Dreamer I was curious about this older series of Laini Taylor’s and boy was this first novel great!

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“I loved the mythology of this world, the city of Prague is magical in nature and was the perfect setting, and I fell immediately in love with Karou. Her story was pure fantasy and her love for Akiva overflowed. Their’s is a story I will read to the end.”

Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

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“This was a beautiful book to read and very easy to go all in emotionally. Who doesn’t want to root for a girl to be honored for her intellect, find true love and fight the bad guys? Right on!”

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Salt to the Sea

“This book deserved all of the accolades and great reviews. At times the subject matter was horrifying and difficult to read, but there were a lot of great stories about everyday heroes too, and for me that made it a really well balanced book. If you like historical fiction, this is definitely worth your time.”

A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3) by Sarah J Maas

A Court of Wings Ruins

“It was hard to not read all of the reviews of this book before actually reading it myself. They were everywhere! All of my fellow bloggers gushed and sighed, exclaiming over Feyre and Rhys’s love story. Oh those Tamlin fans quickly became Tamlin haters, much preferring Feyre and Rhys. I don’t disagree, Tamlin has some serious control and anger issues, but I was happy to see that in A Court of Wings and Ruin, he was able to redeem himself, if only slightly. Rhys as Prince Charming is almost too good to be true, but the fairy tale prince continues his reign and can do no wrong in this book.”

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Illuminae

“I first listened to the audio book of Illuminae, and I have to say it was one of the best audio books I’ve ever heard. It was produced like a movie with different actors for all of the characters, mood music, sound effects, everything!  It was awesome!… Then I picked up the book. Illuminae takes reading a novel to the next level. It is part book, part graphic novel, and all fun! The story of Kady Grant and Ezra Mason is told through a series of emails, military diaries, memos and narrated videos. Don’t miss out on this one!”

A Study in Charlotte (Charlotte Holmes #1) by Brittany Cavallaro

A Study in Charlotte

“This book stayed true to the original Holmes and Watson formula. Two people who couldn’t be more different and become great friends, trusting each other over every other person in their lives. This series looks to do the same thing, but with a possible romantic twist. It was incredibly entertaining and at times laugh out loud funny, but at the same time made my heart twang with emotion. This novel hit all of my hot buttons and I loved it.”

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

The Sun is Also

“Yes this book was sweet, thoughtful, funny and full of the innocence of young love, but there was a lot of weight to this book too. As an adult, I loved the hope and joy this book made me feel because at times I feel jaded and skeptical, but it also made me appreciate where I am in my own life and happy I am past the struggles of youth although I do still like reading about them.”

I didn’t put numbers next to these books because as I read them I thought, “This is the Best one Yet!” How can you rank each moment next to another?

Have you read any of these novels? Which one was your favorite? Did I miss a great one (Besides the Hate you Give!) that I need to put on my TBR? Let me know!

I’m looking forward to many more fabulous books in 2018!

Keep Reading, Happy New Year!

Deb