It’s Monday, what are you reading? (6/21/21)

I’m going to fess up I have not actually read any books this week. I have listened to one and am listening to another. I’m not sure if anyone is still interested because both books are from Ilona Andrews Kate Daniels series. LOL. Has anyone else found that when they have a stressful work week a previously read book is a great comfort? That’s what I’m going through right now. So, listening to the Kate Daniels series makes me feel good. For what it’s worth here is what’s currently on my shelf.

JUST FINISHED

Technically this book is it’s own series but it falls between book #9 and book #10 in Kate Daniels and it’s content was relevant to the series. This book is the beginning of Hugh’s story and is meant to be read before the final Kate Daniels novel. I think it’s the third time I’ve listened to this novel and it still takes me over half the book to forgive him for what he’s done in the other series. He is one seriously bad dude.

JUST STARTED

After finishing Hugh’s novel I quickly start Magic Triumphs which wraps up the series. It is so good.

What books are you finding comfort reading this week?

Happy Monday!

Deb

This Chick Read: Million Dollar Demon (the Hollows #15) by Kim Harrison

Cincinnati has a new master vampire and she has decided to take control of the city. She is forcing people out of their homes to make room for her crew causing chaos on the streets. She’s also hassling Rachel’s allies and has kicked Rachel out of her temporary home. She wants Rachel out of Cincinnati. Rachel and her pixie pal Jenks head back to the church, their wrecked out home and a slew of homeless inderlanders follow. Everyone expects Rachel to step up and solve the problem of this master vamp who is out of control and completely insane.

Fifteen books in and I am still riveted by Rachel’s episodic life. In Million Dollar Demon Rachel just wants to find a home to live in but everyone expects her to step up and solve one of the biggest problems to hit Cincinnati in years. Candace, the new master vampire leads by making her followers fear her. When Rachel finally meets her she realizes the horrors that await her city of someone doesn’t step up to control the situation. Unfortunately for her she is the one who has to step up. She is dating the Sa’han of the elves, runs a pack of werewolves with the alpha David, and is scion to one of the most powerful living vampires in Cincinnati. Because of these relationships and her status as a demon born witch who helped save the demon realm in a previous novel, Rachel is the go-to to fix this problem.

Rachel has evolved so much through this series. She was just a young witch in the first novel and even though she still seems to stumble into trouble without a scratch despite not wanting the attention her status has totally changed. The one thing that hasn’t is that somehow she still seems slightly unsure of herself yet bullsh(t$ her way through most problems. I like sassy female protagonists and there is no one mouthier than Rachel Morgan.

There wasn’t much I didn’t like about Million Dollar Demon’s plot. There was plenty of action, heroics, and edge of your seat awareness that things might just go wrong to keep me reading rapidly. When I was younger Rachel was one of my favorite characters and I still like her a lot. Every time I read one of these Hollows novels I’m transported to a familiar place and it’s a comfort. I can easily get wrapped up in a story and forget about the outside world. I just wish Rachel had learned some confidence. She’s great at faking it but she’s still the insecure young girl she was in the first book. Maybe that was the one thing keeping it from being a five star read. I want Rachel to finally stand up and say I am here and no one is going to do that in my city, and mean it!

If you like paranormal action books this series is a lot of fun. Start with book one because I think if you haven’t read the previous novels it would be really confusing to start with book fifteen. This is urban fantasy escapism and boy this one’s a wild ride.

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

Click this link to purchase this book!* Million Dollar Demon (Hollows)

Copyright 2021 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: Very Sincerely Yours by Kerry Winfrey

Teddy is almost thirty years old, lives with her doctor boyfriend, and is still trying to find what she wants to do with herself. When her boyfriend dumps her out of the blue her life’s direction or lack of one becomes even more apparent. Working in a toy store may not be the way she wants to spend the rest of her life but what does she want to do? For solace she turns to episodes of her favorite children’s television program hosted by Everett St. James. Everett’s lessons in the show speak to her and on a whim she decides to send him an email.

I swear I’ve compared this author’s voice to Nora Ephron in the past but Very Sincerely Yours definitely feels like a rom-com similar to You’ve Got Mail or While You Were Sleeping. Winfrey’s characters are always every women. As a reader I can identify with pieces of Teddy and as she goes on her journey I hold her close as if she were me. When she and Everett become email pen-pals their dialog is witty, fun, funny, and sweet. They are both quirky characters and really it’s no surprise that they fit each other. (Yes, yes, I know this is not a true story but I am INVESTED!)

First let’s talk about Teddy. Clueless in life, yes. However, she is not dumb. She’s surprisingly witty and smart. I think she actually surprises herself too. At first she see’s herself through her ex’s eyes, then her friends, and with Everett’s help she finally see’s herself through her own eyes and she likes what she sees. Her “Do 1 Thing You Hate” every day challenge helps her find an identity and not surprisingly that identity is full of color.

Everett is probably that boy in school that you all give the side eye too. From the age of four he knew he wanted to be a puppeteer and that he wanted his own show. His whole life was focused on those things and unsurprisingly he achieved them. Being an older brother to a sister much, much younger than he, he loved how kids thought and spoke and he learned how to speak to them in return. Not surprisingly that voice also speaks to adults like Teddy who were fans of his show. (Hello, adult mom fan club!) When Teddy writes to him he gets a kick out of her and writes back and they find each other’s voices to be fascinating. Unsurprisingly since this is a romance, they find their physical selves fascinating in real life too.

This is a feel good, laugh out loud, teary-eyed romance novel. I love quirky characters and these two hit a chord with me. Admittedly quirkiness may not be loved by all, but Very Sincerely Yours put a smile on my face. My husband even commented on how I was smiling while reading. I shook with laughter too. Teddy was my favorite because her journey was a bit harder but I was secure in knowing that at the end of that journey was the wonderful Everett and so I was patient, not reading ahead as I can do when I’m impatient. I read at the speed that this author intended me to read, not wanting to miss a word because in these words were great lessons but also great heart. In this reviewers humble opinion this is Kerry Winfrey’s best novel yet.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

I received this novel through NetGalley and the publisher for my honest review and it was honest.

Click this link to purchase this book!* Very Sincerely Yours

Copyright 2021 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? (6/14/21)

Ah summer time! The weather changes on a dime in Tennessee. Will it be hot and muggy, rainy, or will we have a break from the heat with an 85 degree day? This weekend was a little bit of all of those things. Thrown into the mix was a birthday dinner with a good friend but I still found time to read a little bit! Here are my recent reading choices.

JUST FINISHED

I am still making my way through this series listening to the audio books and enjoying every second of the journey. Kate Daniels is one of my favorite characters, Ilona Andrews my favorite writing team, and Renee Raudman the penultimate of narrators. The nuances in her voice really bring out the humor in Kate’s internal voice. Such a great series.

JUST STARTED

I’m back in the Hollows with Rachel Morgan, witch-demon. This is book 14 or 15 in this series and I have not gotten tired of it. Thank goodness the author hasn’t either!

I have also mixed in a little contemporary romance but it seems I am on a journey through the fantasy genre lately. Which books do you ultimately keep reading? Any great series with a good narrator? I’m loving my audio books lately. Let me know what you’re enjoying in the comments below.

Happy Monday and happy reading!

Deb

This Chick Read: Shattered Bonds (Jane Yellowrock #13) by Faith Hunter

Jane returns to the Asheville area to recoup after the blood duel between Leo Pelissier MOC of New Orleands and the European vampires. Recovering after the loss of some friends, as well as healing her wounds Jane is lying low when evil finds her. Not at full strength, Jane has to find a way to defeat this ancient enemy to keep her friends and family safe.

In Shattered Bonds we see a Jane Yellowrock that we haven’t seen before. Weak and wounded both mentally and physically Jane isn’t at all prepared to fight the brother of the big bad who had been chained in Leo’s basement for all of those years. This vampire is all powerful and it takes digging deep for Jane to find her fighting form so she can take him on.

Each story in this series we have seen Jane’s power grow so it was really interesting to see her fight the weakness buried inside her body. Shattered Bonds told the story of Jane’s internal struggles as well as giving us those action sequences we have grown to love while reading these novels. I’ll admit this book was harder to read. I don’t like seeing one of my favorite characters weak but after reflecting on it I realized that her sickness made her human. Something that she was starting to lack in the previous novels. She can’t always be powerful and strong, but in fighting through adversity she gains a different kind of strength. Shattered Bonds took Jane back to her Indian roots spiritually, in a way we hadn’t see previously. I still prefer the kick butt heroine, but I can see why the author took Jane on this journey.

I often wonder how long Faith Hunter can keep up the fast, action-packed pace. Selfishly, I hope it’s for a good long while.

❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Shattered Bonds (Jane Yellowrock Book 13)

Copyright 2021 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: Wilder (The Wild Ones #3) by C.M. Owens

When Piper and Reese inherit a cabin in Tomahawk from the grandmother they never knew they decide to take a break from their exhausting family and hide out in Tomahawk and check out this place that their grandmother loved. Reese heads into town and meets Hale Vincent who having no fear and no clue asks her out and is determined to find a friend for her sister if his brother Killian doesn’t want her. In the meantime Piper is at the cabin when she see’s a fawn break through the ice in the lake and she’s determined to save it. Tying a noose around it’s neck she pulls the fawn out but falls through the ice herself. When she wakes up she’s in a cabin with a family talking about who’s going to get naked with her to warm her up. Needles to say, our her Kai Wilder is the lucky winner. Hearing them talk about things like impregnating her Piper is eager to get warm and get out of there. Later when she finds out she’s been set up on a date with this same guy? She’s not eager to get acquainted. Needless to say their first date is different. A dead deer (not the same one that fell in the pond), skinning, and eating that same deer for dinner is a LOT different than what she’s used to and while Reese seems to be going with the flow Piper is not.

I have to admit this was a tough one to give a brief synopsis because it really does not tell the hilarity of that first meeting and the first date. Tomahawk, Washington and these two boys did not disappoint, although Piper and Reese took me a bit to get warmed up to. Haha, get it?

As a reminder, Tomahawk, Washington is run by the Wild Ones, four families that are over the top, well, just over the top. In the two previous novels we got to know the Vincents and the Malones and in this novel we get to finally know Kai Wilder, who seemed to be one of the wilder ones. Although in this novel, he was actually pretty quiet and sweet. He was also pretty clueless.

Piper and her sister Reese come from a wealthy family who’s father will be running for office. Making their living posting on social media, something that is completely alien to the nature loving easy going Kai. I thought their interactions with each other were funny and cute but didn’t seem to really be going anywhere, which was also frustrating. Luckily by the end of the book the author turned it around and gave us a more well rounded character in Piper who we could root to be with our easy going charming Kai.

This book was funny like the first two and I really enjoyed seeing all of the other crazy characters again in Tomahawk but I think because it took me so long to warm up to Piper it was my least favorite of the three so far. Unfortunately this author seems to have taken a hiatus from this series because she set us up for Reese and Hale’s romance as well as Killian and Nela’s (Hale’s brother) but it’s been three years since Wilder has come out and it’s crickets on this series. I will still hold out hope because it’s a rarity to find three books in the same series that make me laugh out loud. Ms. Owens if you read this blog, please, please write another Wild Ones novel. These characters are worth exploring more! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Copyright 2021 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (6/7/21)

I am still all wrapped up in listening to the audio books for the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. When you listen one after another you really catch some of the nuances you missed when reading the books initially. Despite the time sucker of listening to audio books I did finish reading one book. I need to get back on track with my reading this week and have a favorite author that will help me get started.

JUST FINISHED

Despite being lectured by the author through the characters about adults not being the target for ya novels (I am one myself!) I liked this story. I don’t think this was an original story but it was entertaining.

JUST STARTED

Ah Rachel Morgan, I wonder what she will be up to in this novel. I do love my journey into the Hollows.

What books are you reading this week? Or what book do you want to read this week? A good book can make the week go by faster. Have a great Monday!

Deb

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: My Top 5 Most Anticipated Book Releases- Jun’21

Every month I take a look at the ‘Books most frequently added to the Goodreads shelves’ that are being released that next month and curate my own Top 5. My own picks sometimes are not even listed but this month I have quite a few!

#5 MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE

I am all in when it comes to The Hollows series. Kim Harrison had concluded it two books ago and then decided she wasn’t done writing these characters stories. Thank God! This is a fun urban fantasy series if you haven’t read it.

Synopsis:

To save the city, Rachel Morgan will need to show some teeth in the next Hollows novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison.

The new master vampire of Cincinnati has arrived . . . and she wants Rachel Morgan out. No matter where Rachel goes, Constance is there–threatening Rachel’s allies, causing city-wide chaos, and, to add insult to injury, even forcing Rachel out of her current quarters. Ever since Rachel found a way to save the souls of vampires, the old undead’s longtime ascendancy has been broken. Now Constance sees eliminating Rachel as the key to consolidating her own power.

Rachel has no desire to be enthralled or killed–and she’s terrified of what may become of the city if Constance forces a return to the ancient ways. But even a witch-born demon can’t stand against the old undead–at least, not alone. And if Rachel refuses to claim the role of Cincinnati’s master demon, the city will tear itself apart, taking her and all those who stand beside her with it.

Click this link to purchase!* Million Dollar Demon (Hollows)

#4 MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE

This fantasy novel hits all the right notes for me; love, good vs. evil, and saving the world. What more can you put in a fantasy novel? I’m guessing there will be quite a bit more!

Synopsis:

For centuries, witches have maintained the climate, but now their control is faltering as the atmosphere becomes more erratic; the storms, more destructive. All hope lies with Clara, a once-in-a-generation Everwitch whose magic is tied to every season.

In Autumn, Clara wants nothing to do with her power. It’s wild and volatile, and the price of her magic—losing the ones she loves—is too high, despite the need to control the increasingly dangerous weather.

In Winter, the world is on the precipice of disaster. Fires burn, storms rage, and Clara accepts that she’s the only one who can make a difference.

In Spring, she falls for Sang, the witch training her. As her magic grows, so do her feelings, until she’s terrified Sang will be the next one she loses.

In Summer, Clara must choose between her power and her happiness, her duty and the people she loves…before she loses Sang, her magic, and thrusts the world into chaos.

Click this link to purchase!* The Nature of Witches

#3 MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE

I am a sucker for books about bookshops and this one looks like an emotional gem. I do love Susan Wiggs!

Synopsis:

here is a book for everything . . . 

Somewhere in the vast Library of the Universe, as Natalie thought of it, there was a book that embodied exactly the things she was worrying about.

In the wake of a shocking tragedy, Natalie Harper inherits her mother’s charming but financially strapped bookshop in San Francisco. She also becomes caretaker for her ailing grandfather Andrew, her only living relative—not counting her scoundrel father.

But the gruff, deeply kind Andrew has begun displaying signs of decline. Natalie thinks it’s best to move him to an assisted living facility to ensure the care he needs. To pay for it, she plans to close the bookstore and sell the derelict but valuable building on historic Perdita Street, which is in need of constant fixing. There’s only one problem–Grandpa Andrew owns the building and refuses to sell. Natalie adores her grandfather; she’ll do whatever it takes to make his final years happy. Besides, she loves the store and its books provide welcome solace for her overwhelming grief.

After she moves into the small studio apartment above the shop, Natalie carries out her grandfather’s request and hires contractor Peach Gallagher to do the necessary and ongoing repairs. His young daughter, Dorothy, also becomes a regular at the store, and she and Natalie begin reading together while Peach works.

To Natalie’s surprise, her sorrow begins to dissipate as her life becomes an unexpected journey of new connections, discoveries and revelations, from unearthing artifacts hidden in the bookshop’s walls, to discovering the truth about her family, her future, and her own heart.

Click this link to purchase!* The Lost and Found Bookshop: A Novel

#2 MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE

I’ve read her other novels and sometimes they are just magical. I have to give this one a try because, well, ballroom dancing!

Synopsis:

Evie Thomas doesn’t believe in love anymore. Especially after the strangest thing occurs one otherwise ordinary afternoon: She witnesses a couple kiss and is overcome with a vision of how their romance began . . . and how it will end. After all, even the greatest love stories end with a broken heart, eventually.

As Evie tries to understand why this is happening, she finds herself at La Brea Dance Studio, learning to waltz, fox-trot, and tango with a boy named X. X is everything that Evie is not: adventurous, passionate, daring. His philosophy is to say yes to everything–including entering a ballroom dance competition with a girl he’s only just met.

Falling for X is definitely not what Evie had in mind. If her visions of heartbreak have taught her anything, it’s that no one escapes love unscathed. But as she and X dance around and toward each other, Evie is forced to question all she thought she knew about life and love. In the end, is love worth the risk?

Click this link to purchase!* Instructions for Dancing

MY MOST ANTICIPATED JUNE’21 BOOK RELEASE!

I loved Beatriz Williams Her Last Flight and when I read this synopsis I knew I had to read this one! It looks like a great dramatic mystery!

Synopsis:

In the autumn of 1948, Iris Digby vanishes from her London home with her American diplomat husband and their two children. The world is shocked by the family’s sensational disappearance. Were they eliminated by the Soviet intelligence service? Or have the Digbys defected to Moscow with a trove of the West’s most vital secrets?

Four years later, Ruth Macallister receives a postcard from the twin sister she hasn’t seen since their catastrophic parting in Rome in the summer of 1940, as war engulfed the continent and Iris fell desperately in love with an enigmatic United States Embassy official named Sasha Digby. Within days, Ruth is on her way to Moscow, posing as the wife of counterintelligence agent Sumner Fox in a precarious plot to extract the Digbys from behind the Iron Curtain.

But the complex truth behind Iris’s marriage defies Ruth’s understanding, and as the sisters race toward safety, a dogged Soviet KGB officer forces them to make a heartbreaking choice between two irreconcilable loyalties.

Click this link to purchase!* Our Woman in Moscow: A Novel

The June releases have a little bit for everyone and my Top 5 does too! Did I miss your much anticipated release? Let me know in the comments. There were so many to choose from I wouldn’t be surprised!

Happy reading!

Deb

This Chick Read: Dark Queen (Jane Yellowrock #12) by Faith Hunter

When the Master of the City of New Orleans has been issued a blood challenge by the the Emperor of the European vampires Jane has her work cut out for her as enforcer. If Leo loses, the city of New Orleans and all areas under Leo’s rule will belong to the Emperor. Something that Jane doesn’t want to see happen. Preparing for the duel requires all of her focus and it becomes immediately apparent that she can only trust those who are her closest allies. Everyone else has an agenda and skin in the game.

Every time I finish one of the Jane Yellowrock books I think ‘this is the best one yet’ and that was certainly the case with Dark Queen. This novel had everything that appeals to a huge urban fantasy fan who has made it to book 12 still invested in all of these characters and their futures. The past couple of books and all of the mentions of this blood challenge did not prepare me for all that it encompasses. It is like a hunger games where all of the weaker characters are taken out early with the stronger characters outwitting and outlasting their competitors. As the enforcer to Leo’s MOC, Jane is challenged to a LOT of duels, but as the Dark Queen and the master of her own house, she has scion’s who take on those challenges for her. Characters I’ve come to like and love may or may not lose their lives. My heart was totally invested in the outcomes, as was the heart of our queen, Jane. This novel held a powerful emotional punch that I just wasn’t prepared to feel and boy, it rocked my world.

A new character arrives on scene claiming a familial relationship with Jane that opens her character to new emotions helping her character evolve even further. Ayatas’ claim brings on a lot of flashbacks to her earlier life with her tribe and she has to face those feelings again of killing a man at age 5. This sub-plot was one that I had eagerly anticipated having read the Soulwood series alongside and sometimes in advance of the matching time line in Jane’s own books. I knew the truth of their relationship before I read it on these pages but it still held a heck of a punch!

This series has been so great and like I said above my enjoyment has escalated with each book, but none of the past books compare with how this story knocked me flat. It was such a powerful, action-packed, emotionally driven novel. So, so good. If I could give a book a 10 rating this one get’s the prize. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Dark Queen (Jane Yellowrock Book 12)

Copyright 2021 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 Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin

Every century an Everwitch is born who has power over the weather of each season. Clara was born an Everwitch but after her powers killed her parents and her best friend she is afraid to use her powers to her full potential afraid she will lose the people she loves the most. When Sang arrives on campus to help her train his calm Spring powers help give her enough control to try to help repair the climate but as she gains feelings for him she again fears she will bring him harm. Will Clara’s struggles between gaining control of her powers an her feelings for Sang collide?

I have read fantasy novels with witches who control weather but this is the first world where a witches personality is tied to the Season of their powers. As an Everwitch Clara’s personality changes with each season the most difficult transition being from Summer to Autumn. This difference, along with the climate change story really held my interest. I felt for this young girl who wanted to help the world but also just wanted to be “normal” and not accidentally kill her friends.

What I liked the most about this novel was how each season had it’s own magical elements and the descriptions of their magic and emotions during those seasons matching the heat of summer or the coldness of winter made these characters even more interesting. The romantic trials of a bunch of teens who grew giddy during their season could have easily been comical but Rachel Griffin gave them a serious threat to fight which balanced the plot nicely.

I really enjoyed this novel and can only hope for more from this author. I could easily see a series about Clara’s evolution and discovery about her talent and her love for Sang. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase this book!* The Nature of Witches

Copyright 2021 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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