This Chick Read: Beard in Mind (Winston Brothers #4) by Penny Reid

I have been waiting for Beau Winston’s story. Twin to Duane, Beau is his complete opposite, charming, handsome, funny and loved by everyone.  We saw just a hint of Beau’s turmoil of his new co-worker Shelly in Cletus’s story in Beard Science. Shelly, who is drop dead gorgeous but is socially inept. Beau loves her at first site, but then hates her when he realizes how rude she is, but it’s that kind of hate that rides the line of love and in Beard in Mind we see Beau cross that line into love and we are given insight into why Shelly is rude and impervious to Beau’s charm.

Shelly was a fascinating character. She was seriously flawed, in therapy, and very infatuated with Beau. When Beau finally see’s past the fact that Shelly didn’t fall at his feet, he opens his eyes to why she is the way she is and he is all in. No hesitation. I loved that about him. Shelly has some serious issues, she is OCD to a level I’ve never read before and she needs Beau with a capital N, and Beau needs her back in just the same way. This was a LOVE story full of trepidation, self awareness, and charm. It had a sweetness that was different than the other stories in this series. It didn’t have Duane and Jess’s sizzle, Jethro and Sienna’s humor, and Cletus and Jennifer’s oddity. It was singular in it’s own uniqueness and I enjoyed it a lot.

In addition to the love story between Shelly and Beau, we also had a story filled with the Winston family dynamic. I want to adopt myself into this family. Even though they are a strange bunch, they love each other infinitely. How nice is that? ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Beard in MInd

Click this link to purchase! Beard in Mind (Winston Brothers Book 4)

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

Advertisements

This Chick Read: About That Kiss (Heartbreaker Bay #5) by Jill Shalvis

Jill Shalvis is my go to author for funny and sweet romances. As with the Lucky Harbor series, Heartbreaker Bay revolves around a group of friends who work within the same complex of buildings circling a magical fountain. In each of the previous books, a wish for true love was made and that wish was granted. In About That Kiss, neither Kylie nor Joe actually makes that wish. It is made for them by someone else. Thank goodness, because these two both have a ton of baggage. It seemed to take that mystical push to get them to admit to any feelings for each other, and a ton of chemistry that they couldn’t keep ignoring.

Joe seemed like a good guy to have around in a crisis and Kylie has a crisis that needs handling. Joe is the last person she wants to ask for help because, well, after that one kiss they shared he never called her back! However, this crisis is emotionally daunting and Kylie overlooks her own feelings in favor of getting something back that has been stolen from her.

I enjoyed this book because like I said above, Jill Shalvis writes great light hearted romances. I think the heart part of light hearted was a little lacking because both of these characters had walls a mile high! It took chemistry and being forced together by Kylie’s problem to make either of them act on it. About that Kiss doesn’t land in my top 5 Jill Shalvis novels, but it was a quick read and in the end I got the Happily Ever After I was looking for. Oh! I also got to look in on the rest of the gang in Heartbreaker Bay and see how they were doing. I do love the friendships in these books. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

About That Kiss

Click this link to purchase! About That Kiss: A Heartbreaker Bay Novel

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved.

This Chick’s Sunday Commentary: An Exclusive Book Signing with Mariana Zapata at the Inn Boonsboro

A few weeks ago I received a text from my sister saying that she’d put us on a waiting list for an exclusive meet and greet with Mariana Zapata at the Inn Boonsboro in Maryland.  Someone had dropped out and there was one room available. Did I want to take a few days off from work and go? I had just finished Mariana Zapata’s newest novel From Lukov With Love and loved it so I really didn’t have to think that hard. Umm, yeah!  Let’s do it!  This was a twofer! To get the chance to meet with one of my favorite authors and also stay in Nora Roberts Inn Boonsboro? What a treat!

Inn Logo

The Inn Boonsboro is only a little over an hour’s drive from Baltimore, the airport we flew into. On our arrival, we were given a tour of the Inn. A small library filled with bookshelves full of fiction and a couple of arm chairs in front of a fireplace was right around the corner from our room. I knew I was going to be making myself comfortable as there was also a Keurig in the corner where I could make coffee, tea or hot chocolate while looking at all the books on the shelves. There was also a small dining room, with delicious cookies on display, as well as a parlor where we were told our book event with Ms. Zapata would be taking place in another hour. When we were led to our room, we passed themed rooms with plaques identifying which romantic couple that room’s theme portrayed. My sister and I were placed in Eve and Roarke! As a huge fan of J. D. Robb’s In Death series I was thrilled at the decor, a mix of modern and historical pieces really gave it a unique vibe. The picture below shows the outside of the Inn that evening and our room before we totally wrecked the space with our stuff.

Inn Eve & Roarke

I noticed on the desk in the corner a notebook and curious, I opened it up. It was for guests to sign the page and to write their thoughts about their stay in that room. Look who wrote in the first page!

Nora signed

Later that evening I peeked into a couple of the other rooms and took quick photo’s, just so you could see how the themes were so different from each other and really lovely! They spared no expense in the creation of this Inn.

Inn rooms

To see more details about the Inn Boonsboro as well as their upcoming author events titled A Novel Adventure please click on this link to go to their website. Inn Boonsboro

Next up is YA author Cambria Hebert on 6/18. If you live in the area or are a short plane ride away, I really recommend this experience!

Mariana logoMariana Zapata is the author of multiple best selling novels such as Wait For It, Kulti, The Wall of Winnipeg and Me, etc.

At 5pm we were told to gather in the parlor for a two hour cocktail and conversation with Mariana Zapata. I brought my copy of Kulti and my sister had her copy of From Lukov with Love and we entered the parlor, not really sure what to expect. There were drinks, appetizers and a few desserts and only a few people. We saw Michelle, one of the Innkeeper’s and asked her how many people she expected and she said 13 in total. My sister and I looked at each other in shock. Wow! This really was exclusive! Mariana and her assistant Eva were the last two to arrive and the rest of us ladies were seated in chairs around the room.

My first thought was how Mariana was so sweet and young! She was small in stature, but she was outgoing, waving at everyone and asking how we were all doing. She had a purple (kind of orchid in color) rinse on her hair and started up conversation with the people on that end of the room. We were told that she’d sign our novels first and then we’d spend the rest of the time asking questions and she’d answer them willingly. As she signed our books she chatted briefly about where we were from and really I think I talked more about myself, forgetting to ask her any questions! LOL. My sister and I asked if we could have our photo taken, see below!

Mariana and us

After she finished signing all of our books she sat on an ottoman across from where my sister and I as well as a few other ladies were sitting Mariana signingand naturally started answering our questions. I will admit, I did not take notes, however my sister helped me recreate the questions and conversations and I will try to be as detailed as possible without too much embellishment. (Please take note, this is not a verbatim conversation.)

Q: Where do you get your inspiration with books? For Kulti, her inspiration came from watching a women’s soccer game, for Wait For It she was inspired by American History X, and Sons of Anarchy for Under Locke. Her husband is a musician and Rhythm and Chord was easy for her to write because of that. The group chimed in about Eli and Mason from Rhythm and Chord saying they’d love for them to have their own stories, but Mariana was pretty firm about not wanting to write another book about a guy in a band. I asked her about what inspired her to write Lingus, as romance novel about a porn star. She said she was watching a documentary about people who go to porn conventions and how normal they all looked. The idea intrigued her. Would writing a romance novel about a porn star work?

We also talked about the popularity of Alpha Males in some other authors books. She said she liked an Alpha Male but didn’t want to always write about one. It was really important for her to have each of the men in her novels be different from each other.They were all strong characters, but individual as well.

Q: Why didn’t people react well to her novel Dear Aaron? (If you haven’t read Dear Aaron most of the book is told by letters or emails between the two main characters, Ruby and Aaron). She thought it was because Ruby was not as in your face as Sal from Kulti and Diana from Wait For It. Ruby had her own strength but it was quieter. She still grew as a character, but for some reason readers just didn’t connect as much, she didn’t really understand it.

Q: I bet you hear this all of the time but I have to ask about the Toolbox in Wait For It. Why didn’t you ever resolve that part of the story in the book? Mariana seemed a little confused. She said she felt like she had resolved Dallas’s reaction. (The toolbox was her dead brother Rodrigo’s and her friend Vanessa painted it pink with flowers on it.) She said Dallas was upset when he saw the toolbox because he felt she should have someone who could fix things for her, but he wasn’t in the place where he could be that man for her, yet.

Q: When did Ivan and Jasmine in From Lukov with Love actually fall in love? Mariana actually never answered this question. She said she likes her readers to get what they need from a novel and she doesn’t like to spell things out for them. I mentioned to her that I felt like they fell in love after they became skating partners, but that my sister felt like Ivan had always loved Jasmine and was just waiting for his chance. It’s interesting how reading is so subjective and we can all get something different out of reading the same book. She nodded, seeming pleased at our reactions.

Q: Do you have a writing schedule? She said that yes, she does, but she learned pretty early on that she had to make sure she had a life. Make time to make dinner and eat with her husband, work out, etc. When asked about her next book, she didn’t give a whole lot of details other than that she liked to alternate between fun and serious books. She said Dear Aaron was a fun book, although people didn’t seem to agree. My sister and I tried to map out her books and we think it’s one funny to two serious? If that’s the case, the next one may be a serious novel because Lukov was serious.

Q: How did you start writing slow burn novels? She said that she finds the relationship much more interesting than the sex. If she reads a novel where the characters jump into bed too soon she ends up skimming those scenes and loses interest a bit. How they get to that point is so much more interesting isn’t it?

There were so many other topics of conversation but you can see from the above conversations that they ran the gamut of all of her novels as well as a little bit about her writing habits. She was charming and entertaining and very honest. This was an experience that I won’t forget and will hopefully be able to have again. I’ll be keeping an eye on the Inn Boonsboro’s website for future guests! Here is a group photo- you can see how small the group was!

Group

Oh, one last thing! Did I mention that Nora Roberts lives close by and her husband owns Turn The Page Bookstore across from the Inn? Here are a few photo’s of the bookstore and the Nora Roberts/JD Robb room inside.

bookstore

img_2221  img_2220

This was a fun one!

Until next Sunday,

Deb

This Chick Read: The Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross

The Queen’s Rising is a fantasy novel that has an old world European feel. Brienne has been at the Marigald estate since she was ten studying for her passion, an affinity for Art, Music, Knowledge, Wit and Dramatics. The trouble is, Brienne didn’t go into this school with an affinity for any of these, she dabbled a bit with each before settling on knowledge with only three years left to study. The opening to this novel felt a little bit like Kiera Cass’s Selection series, however at the end of their schooling, instead of getting picked to marry a prince, they find a patron. A job interview of sorts, where they sign a contract and move on with their life. At least that’s what’s supposed to happen.

Although this novel starts with a bunch of girls at school, it’s actually very political. Brienne may have trouble figuring out her passion, but when memories surface of a past relative that may have implications that could change a monarchy, she doesn’t hesitate to get involved. Brienne learns that her heritage may be the key to making change to a monarchy.

There was quite a lot to love in this novel. I loved the world building. It was easy to enmesh myself as a reader because it was not that dissimilar to our world politically. It was a fantasy novel, so no planes, trains and automobiles, instead there were carriages, castles and candles. I felt like I was reading a historical novel, but more in the vein of King Arthur’s realm. It was easy to like Brienne. She seemed very young and insecure in the beginning but as the story went on she overcame those insecurities and found an inner strength. I liked her Master (teacher) Cartier. They had a forbidden attraction that added some tension to help move the plot forward and added emotion to the story.

This was Rebecca Ross’s debut novel and boy did she deliver! Put The Queen’s Rising on your TBR folks, this one is a winner! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase! Queen’s Rising

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

This Chick Read: Mist’s Edge (The Broken Lands #2) by T. A. White

Mist’s Edge continues the story of Shea, a Pathfinder, who falls in love with a Trateri Warlord and has to reinvent herself. Her identity has always been tied to what she could do as a Pathfinder, but now as Telroi, she struggles with what that that title makes her instead of what she can accomplish. I first read and reviewed Pathfinder back in 2016 and loved how this woman was kick ass, not for some special super power, but because she was gifted at what she’d learned how to do. In Mist’s Edge, I am still enamored with the Shea who was accomplished, but now I have fallen in love with the Shea who is going through self discovery, trying to find her place among the Trateri and in her relationship with Fallon, her Warlord.

The relationship between Fallon and Shea is heated and passionate. They feel so much for each other, but Shea is still dissatisfied with her new place as Telroi. The beginning of this novel has Shea doing a lot of soul searching, so it starts off kind of slow, however, when a fellow Pathfinder finds their way into camp, the threat of Shea leaving makes the plot really move. Fallon feels threatened  because he knows she hasn’t yet settled into her role. A role which is kind of confusing, not just to Shea but also the reader. Telroi seems to be somewhere between a wife and a mistress, but women don’t seem to have leadership roles within Trateri society, so other than being attached to the Warlord, she doesn’t have much to do. It would be hard to go from a leadership role to the plus one, even if you are with the man you love.

After Reece, the other Pathfinder, shows up the plot moves along, the conflict heating up and giving both Shea and Fallon purpose together. I like it best when they are working together towards a resolution, so the second half of the book was great and the conclusion was very satisfying. Book three will hopefully not be two years out because I’m looking forward to seeing them face their final task together, each of them getting what they need. Fallon, world domination (seriously, he’s a conqueror) and Shea a place in his world that satisfies her need for respect and love. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

To read my review of Pathfinder click HERE. MIst's Edge Click this link to purchase! Mist’s Edge (The Broken Lands Book 2) Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

This Chick Read: Shiver by Suzanne Wright

Shiver is one of the most surprising novels I’ve read this year. The main character, Kensey Lyons, has one of the most original background stories I’ve read in a long while. When Kensey was a small child, her mother wrote to and married a serial killer on death row. Raised going to the prison to visit her step father, Kensey has mixed feelings about the man she loved as a child and the man she knows killed 30+ women. Working as a waitress in a bar owned by her godmother, Kensey retreats from reality by writing horror fiction under a pen name. When Blake buys out a silent owner and meets Kensey for the first time he makes a terrible impression. He insults her intelligence, calls her a drug addict and believes every lie her enemies have told him. He needs a long ladder to climb out of the big hole he dug when he realizes that he wants and has to have Kensey for his own. She’s not stupid, even though she’s incredibly attracted to him, she doesn’t want anything to do with him and makes his chase very difficult.

I have read a couple of Suzanne Wright’s Phoenix pack shifter series and really enjoy her style of writing. Blake reminds me of an Alpha in a pack. A bit he-man but cares for and wants to take care of his woman. Kensey is not your usual woman. She has a ton of baggage and is also being stalked by a man who thinks he is her step father’s son and wants her out of the way. A story that is just as much a mystery as a romance, Shiver is deftly written and I applaud the author for intermixing the two plots so well.

I found it really interesting being inside of Kensey’s head and watching/listening to her manage her feelings about her mother and step father. When she needs her step fathers insight into who may be stalking her, those scenes are very chilling, the flip between loving father and psychopath like a switch turning on and off. I have to admit, I favored the mystery plot line a bit more than the romance. Blake was a little controlling, although I did like how their relationship progressed to trust and love. They both had a lot of baggage and seemed to be a match made in heaven.

If you are looking for a dark and sexy novel then you must read Shiver. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Shiver

Click this link to purchase! Shiver

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: Does the Weather Outside Affect Your Book Choice?

It’s April, but a lot of the US is still feeling the effects of winter. Luckily in Nashville the temperatures may be cold, but we are not seeing the snow the Midwest and Northeast are getting. Nashville is just getting a ton of rain. I hope wherever you live, you are seeing a true spring, instead of the bi polar temperatures we have been seeing in our country!

The wonderful thing about reading a book is that it is enjoyable in any type of weather! So hunker down under a blanket, or enjoy that beach you are laying on and start the next chapter. This is a great segway into what I want to talk about today.

Does a change in weather affect our book reviews? Or at least the books we pick to review? My first inclination is to say yes. After all, our moods are affected by a long winter, right? Those of you getting snowstorms on April 8th are probably about to be the star of your own mystery novel right about now!  But seriously, are we more apt to love mysteries in the winter and romance novels in the summer? Or do we like to read summertime romances in the winter and dark mysteries in the summer? Of course, it’s all subjective because every reader is different. I can only tell you my own habits, and unfortunately they aren’t that clear cut!

I love the lighthearted vacation books that come out in the summer. Yeah, yeah, I’m generalizing. Of course, serious bestselling novels are also released for those who may have time to read while on their vacation, but I like getting away from reality and love a get away novel with a hero and heroine I can root to find their HEA. I don’t want to read a 500 page family saga. I like the feeling of completion you get when you can read a 350 page novel in a few days.

In the winter I have more patience because I’m at home in the evenings hunkering down with my mug of hot chocolate. I have the attention span to read a mystery or longer fantasy novel, maybe even that bestselling fiction novel everyone is talking about. (OK probably not, but I wanted to make myself sound more intellectual…) Do publishers take all of these feelings into account when they plan a release? I really don’t know, but I would think so!

Now that you know what types of books I like to read at a certain time of year, has this made you think of your own habits? We book bloggers can be moody as hell. Is that in some part due to the weather?

What do you like to read in the winter, spring, summer and fall? Does it matter? Does the weather make you pick a certain book to read? Please share your comments below, I really would like to know!

Until next Sunday,

Deb

This Chick Read: Future Lost (Future Shock #3) by Elizabeth Briggs

Elena and Adam have traveled to the future several times, initially as part of a team hired by a tech firm, Aether Corporation. Each time they have traveled, they have seen different visions of what their future would be like, and those future’s keep getting more and more grim. After things went wrong in the previous novel, Future Threat, Elena and Adam and their friends are determined to never make that trip to the future again, but Adams search for the cure to cancer becomes and obsession. When he disappears one day, Elena finds out that he took a trip back to the future again, alone.

Future Lost does a great job of subtly recapping the previous two novels into the plot, so I could quickly become engrossed in the plot and root for Elena to finally find security and happiness in her life. When Adam goes missing I knew where he went and eagerly looked forward to seeing what their future world looked like now. Without getting into the intricacies of the plot, I’ll just say “Apocalyptic” would be a good description.

Elena is an easy character to root for. She’s led a tough life and has found happiness with Adam and seen a future that she is willing to fight towards. Hope is one of Elena’s greatest characteristics, but unfortunately she has to set it aside and go back to a darker place using some of her darker skills to fight the Aether Corporation and save her future. Adam starts off this novel in a darker place than Elena and it’s interesting to see how her initial hopefulness and his desperation to find the cure for cancer seem to run on a parallel path to each other, only meeting when her hope turns to desperation and his desperation to hope.

Future Lost was the darkest of the three novels but that glimmer of hope ran through the story like a grain of gold waiting to be mined. The plot took me on a journey of feelings, despair, desperation, sadness, love and most importantly that hope. On any other novel I may have felt the conclusion was a little too perfectly wrapped, but I think the feeling of calmness I felt was a kind of conviction that the characters finally found themselves in the right place, at the right time. Their happily ever after stretching out in front of them. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

To read my review of Future Shock click HERE and Future Threat click HERE

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

Future Lost

Click this link to purchase! Future Lost (Future Shock)

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

This Chick Read: Out of the Ordinary (Apart from the Crowd #2) by Jen Turano

Gertrude Cadawalder and Harrison Sinclair were introduced in Behind the Scenes, Jen Turano’s first book in the Apart from the Crowd series. Gertrude is a paid companion to Mrs. Davenport, who has a horrible habit of stealing trinkets from hostesses, leaving Gertrude to find a way to return them without that theft becoming known. A job that is way above her pay grade! Mrs. Davenport also thinks herself something of a clothing designer using Gertrude as her runway model and unfortunately making her unpopular with society’s upper crust. This lack of being dressed to society’s standards is something Harrison shares with Gertrude as he is somewhat color blind, always pairing the most unfortunate colors and patterns. However, his wealth and overall good looks more than make up for the fact that he dresses like a clown.

When Harrison throws their good friends an engagement party and invites Mrs. Davenport her nimble fingers unfortunately go to work and she steals a few of his sisters belongings. Gertrude, when returning those items gets caught and his mother throws her into jail. While defending her to his mother, Harrison finally begins to see Gertrude as more than a friendly aquaintance.

Jen Turano writes with such warmth and humor that it makes enjoying her novels very easy. As an Inspirational Romance writer she deftly ties faith into the story so that it pairs naturally with what is happening in that moment, and except for the innocent nature of the “romance” I wouldn’t know I was reading an inspirational novel. I have really enjoyed this series and if you are looking for a fun, witty novel that is light in nature but not in plot, you need to pick up one of her novels. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

This Chick Read: Other People’s Houses by Abbi Waxman

Other People’s Houses looks behind the curtain into all of the relationships in a block of houses in the Larchmount neighborhood of Los Angeles. Frances Bloom, as the volunteer driver of all of the neighbors children, she gets an eyeful into the lives of her next door neighbor that makes everyone take a second look into their own marriage.

Although the point of view changes from character to character I mostly identified with Frances, the mother of four, slightly overweight stay at home wife who spends her days making other peoples lives easier. Not to say that I make people’s lives easy, but she was more the “everyman” character in this book, so seeing through her eyes was easier and her point of view was very clear. When she catches one of her neighbors in infidelity she keeps her mouth shut, but her knowing creates a cause and effect that builds into a tsunami that breaks over that neighborhood, changing the lives of not only the adults but all of the children as well.

I LOVED Abbi Waxman’s first novel The Garden of Small Beginnings. It too dealt with a difficult subject as the main character, widower and mother of two, Lili, was still trying to get over the death of her husband. It was a story of letting go and moving forward told through humor. The infidelity in Other People’s Houses was also hard to read, but more so because of how it affected all of the children. There was still a bit of humor but I cried more than I laughed in this book. The funny commentary between mothers and children were present but it was almost bittersweet because of the lesson they were all learning from someone else’s mistake.

Other People’s Houses needs to stand on it’s own and not be compared to The Garden of Small Beginnings, and I think I did it a disservice at first for being so eager to look for a laugh. I was disappointed when I didn’t get it until further into the book. Abbi Waxman still did an amazing job creating credible, real, emotional characters. I really liked these people so was able to get involved in their stories, but it did take me a little bit to understand that this was not going down the road I had wanted to take and my journey was going to be a lot more emotional. If you enjoy reading books about heartbreaking relationships with an occasional laugh then you will really like this book. If you read The Garden of Small Beginnings, be warned, you are not getting the same uplifting novel with Other People’s Houses, but you will still be enthralled with the story. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Other People's

Click this link to purchase! Other People’s Houses

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved