It’s Monday, what are you reading? (11/28/22)

I love long weekends with no agenda. Just relaxing, maybe doing a little Christmas shopping, and definitely reading some of the books. I’ve been mixing genres again switching back and forth from a fantasy series I’m slowly getting through and some romance novels that have piqued my interest. In between, I’m watching a ton of World Cup soccer (go USA!) and eating a ton of leftovers. I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend and are enjoying or maybe have enjoyed the bounty that’s been in your refrigerator for days. Here’s what my brain has been noshing on…

JUST FINISHED

This one has been on my TBR for a couple of years and I finally pulled the trigger and read the first page. I was immediately grabbed by the story and spent a wonderful few hours enmeshed in the characters and story. This was a good one!

JUST STARTED

This book has been in my library wishlist and when I read the synopsis again I immediately remembered why I put it on there. A Reese’s book club pick, with rave reviews, I started it last night and can tell you that I am loving it so far. It is SO well written!

Did you spend your long weekend with a good book or out shopping? I

Happy Monday and happy reading!

Deb

This Chick’s Audio Review: The Good, the Bad, and the Undead (Hollows #2) by Kim Harrison, narrated by Marguerite Gavin

One of my all time favorite series, I decided to see if my first impression still stands after eighteen years by slowly listening to the audiobooks, narrated by Marguerite Gavin. In this novel, Rachel is asked to investigate the disappearance of an Ley Line instructor at the local college. While investigating Rachel manages to fight off an amorous roommate, create an unwanted bond with her boyfriend, and piss off the local Master of the City. Just another day in the life of Rachel Morgan!

It’s funny how the mind works. I remember some of these earlier plots but only the cataclysmic or heart-breaking moments, so this book caught me somewhat by surprise. I didn’t really remember anything from the plot, but some of the more important storylines start in this book so it was interesting to see that groundwork laid. She has her first “romantic” moment with Kisten, starts to develop her relationship with the demon who becomes a sort of mentor for her in later books, Al, and goes through her first of many boyfriends- oh and she is of course, fighting to bring Trent Kalamack in on charges that seem pretty flimsy despite her protestations of his guilt. All of these moments are very important to the future roles Rachel plays and to the development of her character. So, it may not have been the most exciting book, it was certainly one of the most important.

Marguerite Gavin, who narrates this series does an excellent job of giving these characters life through her voice acting. Ivy is certainly more sultry than the voice in my head when I was reading, and Jinx is very pixie-like with his rapid fire, high intensity falsetto. Because I read the entire series first it’s been a little distracting that the voice in my head doesn’t match the narrator’s but by the second chapter I found myself immersed in the narrative and managed to stay in the moment and enjoy her interpretation.

One of my favorite moments from this book is when Ivy is goaded into trying to trap Rachel into becoming her psion. A role Rachel has no interest in playing but that her demon scars wants her to take. The chemistry between the two of them, although false become of those scars, is so intense! It’s amazing to me that these two characters were able to overcome their feelings of failure, relief, and horror to become the best friends they do end up becoming. I’m not sure that scene would have the same effect on me if I hadn’t read the future books but it’s definitely a pivotal moment regardless of my inside knowledge.

If you haven’t read this series, the audiobooks may be an enjoyable way to pass the time. The story is action-packed, thrilling, emotional, and fun. The narration matches the scenes, characters, and world. I am enjoying this second peek into the series. I hope I inspire some of you to do the same! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

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.

Happy Thanksgiving!

For those of you that live in the United States, Thanksgiving is a weekend spent with family, an overabundance of food, and maybe a little reflection.

When I look back at the last year I realize that I have so many things to be thankful for. I have a loving relationship with my husband and best friend; my family is healthy and happy; my career while different than it used to be is very fulfilling gives me a good work-life balance; I’m making new friends and enjoying getting out and about in our beautiful city; and my own health is on the upswing. Wow, that’s a lot, right? If you take the time to reflect on your own lives, I bet you’ll find that there are more good things than bad. Focus on those things that make you happy and brush off the regrets. Life is too short to spend your days filled with worry and sorrow. Put a smile on your face, hold the hand of a loved one, kiss your pup on the nose, and enjoy life. I’ve done a good job at doing this over the last year and my goal is to continue on the same path.

Cheers to you all! I am thankful for all of the people who read my blog and have the same love for books that I do.

Have a great weekend.

Deb

This Chick Read: Heartbreaker (Hell’s Belles #2) by Sarah MacLean

Ex-thief and daughter of one of London’s most notorious gangs, Adelaide Frampton has found herself a peer in society, living on the fringes as a wallflower in the most elite ballrooms. Using skills from her past she now deals in information and as the Matchbreaker she helps women escape from being sold into marriage. The Duke of Clayburn, Henry Carrington, finds himself on the receiving end of the Matchbreakers scheme when she tries to break up the love match between his brother and the woman he loves. They must work together to find the two lovebirds before the bride to be’s father catches up to them.

Adelaide had never been a wallflower in Henry’s eyes. He has noticed her every time their paths have crossed and he has bided his time before making an approach. He never figures that they would be on opposing sides, and works together with her in a race to find the bride and groom. As they spend time with each other, they of course discover an incredible chemistry. Nothing unusual in that except for the fact that Adelaide’s secret also become revealed making her even more interesting to the Duke.

I’m a big fan of Sarah MacLean’s historical romances. I like how she always chooses a subject, in this case how young women were used as chattel and bargaining tools for their families. Marrying them off to better the family but often putting them in the hands of men who abuse them. As a bit of a feminist myself, I find this subject appalling and fascinating and looked forward to reading how her character was fighting this in a unique and interesting way. Usually in a historical romance the plot might revolve around a woman in jeopardy but this was a woman who knew how to fight her own battles leaving Henry to find his place beside her instead of taking the lead. I enjoyed this twist in the plot. Henry had his own back story that was quite interesting and had to re-work his plans on what he had wanted his future to look like. This added a little additional tension to the story and appealed to me quite a bit. I enjoyed the direction this author took with this novel!

❤️❤️❤️❤️


Click this link to purchase this book!* Heartbreaker

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? (11/21/22)

I have had such a good run on reading some great books lately! I’m living in the romance genre and wow, have these books been good. Check it out below.

JUST FINISHED

I just finished Flirting with the Beast and if you’re a mature person, you will love these characters! Andi and Wolf are in their late 50’s and finding love like it’s the first time. I loved this story. It had it all, humor, emotion, great characters, and sizzling chemistry. I am 99% sure I’ll be listening to the audiobook for a re-read.

JUST STARTED

I haven’t actually started this one yet but felt like I needed to read another romance with an older couple. This is Kristen Ashley’s most recent novel and I’ve got it waiting for me on my Kindle. I’ve really enjoyed this series and am looking forward to diving in!

We are heading into a long weekend and I always have 3-4 books chosen for the top of my tbr. What books will you be reading?

Happy Monday and happy reading!

Deb

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: My Top 5 Most Anticipated Book Releases- Dec’22

Surprisingly, I had a tough time coming up with my Top 5 this month. I guess typically I’ve heard of a few authors and am looking forward to their book releases. This month I mined through various lists dedicated to romance, fiction, YA, and mystery to come up with a top five that I feel good about promoting. These are different picks than my usual with the exception of one or two that are pure pleasure reads.

#5 BOOK RELEASE

I have a love-hate relationship with books about the lost Romanovs. This story has a slightly different take as Anastasia’s character, as well as others in this world, have magical abilities. I’m curious to see how this author tells her sad story.

Synopsis:

Anastasia is the princess no one needs: the fourth daughter born to an emperor without a son, and the only royal lacking a magical gift.

Until she collides with a young Cossack rebel, changing both their lives forever.

Damien is taken from everything he knows and raised as a ward of the Romanovs.

Anastasia develops a strange kind of magic shared only by the Black Monk Rasputin.

While her power grows in secret, boosted by forbidden contact with Damien, Anastasia makes a mistake with terrible consequences.

Fate grants her a single chance to set it right… but saving what she lost may cost everything she loves.

Purchase this book through this link!* Anastasia

#4 BOOK RELEASE

I’ll admit the synopsis totally drew me in and made me curious. Sex, voyeurism, and imprisonment in your own home. What?!! This could be really good or go in a direction I’m not expecting at all.

Synopsis: Jane Morgan is a valued member of her law firm—or was, until a prudish neighbor, binoculars poised, observes her having sex on the roof of her NYC apartment building.  Police are summoned, and a punishing judge sentences her to six months of home confinement. With Jane now jobless and rootless, trapped at home, life looks bleak. Yes, her twin sister provides support and advice, but mostly of the unwelcome kind. When a doorman lets slip that Jane isn’t the only resident wearing an ankle monitor, she strikes up a friendship with fellow white-collar felon Perry Salisbury. As she tries to adapt to life within her apartment walls, she discovers she hasn’t heard the end of that tattletale neighbor—whose past isn’t as decorous as her 9-1-1 snitching would suggest. Why are police knocking on Jane’s door again? Can her house arrest have a silver lining? Can two wrongs make a right? In the hands of “an inspired alchemist who converts serious subject into humor” (New York Times Book Review)—yes, delightfully.  

Click this link to purchase this book!* Ms. Demeanor

#3 BOOK RELEASE

I am very, very curious. After traveling to Amsterdam and visiting the office where Anne Frank and her family lived during WWII, I find myself drawn to stories about that time in history. This looks like a very different sort of novel, and the publisher’s comparing it to Like Water for Elephants makes me want to pick it up and hope for that magical moment.

Synopsis: When all is lost, how do you find the courage to keep moving forward?

1938. Lena Papadopoulos has never quite found her place within the circus, even as the daughter of the extraordinary headlining illusionist, Theo. Brilliant and curious, Lena—who uses a wheelchair after a childhood bout with polio—yearns for the real-world magic of science and medicine, her mind stronger than the limitations placed on her by society. Then her unconventional life takes an exciting turn when she rescues Alexandre, an orphan with his own secrets and a mysterious past.

As World War II escalates around them, their friendship blossoms into something deeper while Alexandre trains as the illusionist’s apprentice. But when Theo and Alexandre are arrested and made to perform in a town for Jews set up by the Nazis, Lena is separated from everything she knows. Forced to make her own way, Lena must confront her doubts and dare to believe in the impossible—herself.

Click this link to purchase this book!* Circus Train

#2 BOOK RELEASE

This is book #5 in a romance series that’s set around a Renaissance Faire and I am not tired of the setting yet! Jen DeLuca gives us interesting characters who search to better their lives with a brief time working the Renaissance Faire circuit. I’m intrigued, impressed, and engaged by and with her stories. I’ll admit that I’ve already read this one and thought it charming.

Synopsis: The Renaissance Faire is on the move, and Lulu and Dex are along for the ride, in the next utterly charming rom-com from Jen DeLuca.

A high-powered attorney from a success-oriented family, Louisa “Lulu” Malone lives to work, and everything seems to be going right, until the day she realizes it’s all wrong. Lulu’s cousin Mitch introduced her to the world of Renaissance Faires, and when she spies one at a time just when she needs an escape, she leaps into the welcoming environment of turkey legs, taverns, and tarot readers. The only drawback? Dex MacLean: a guitarist with a killer smile, the Casanova of the Faire… and her traveling companion for the summer.
 
Dex has never had to work for much in his life, and why should he? Touring with his brothers as The Dueling Kilts is going great, and he always finds a woman at every Faire. But when Lulu proves indifferent to his many plaid charms and a shake-up threatens the fate of the band, Dex must confront something he never has before: his future.
 
Forced to spend days and nights together on the road, Lulu’s interest in the kilted bad boy grows as he shows her a side of himself no one else has seen. The stresses of her old lifestyle fade away as she learns to trust her intuition and follow her heart instead of her head. But when her time on the road is over, will Lulu go with her gut, or are she and Dex destined for separate paths?

Click this link to purchase this book!* Well Traveled

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase one of these books through an above link, I’ll receive a small stipend.

MY TOP BOOK RELEASE FOR DEC’22

I’ll read any book that Penny Reid releases. Seriously. I did read the first book in this series and I know this book is centered around Cyrus and has a Christmas theme. That’s all I could find out! LOL. No one has a synopsis listed. Despite that, her novels always give me a lift and so she’s got my #1 spot.

Do any of these books make your own list? I’d love to hear what books you’re looking forward to coming out next month.

Happy Sunday!

Deb

This Chick Read: Only Bad Options: A Galactic Bonds book by Jennifer Estep

Vesper Quill works as a lab rat in the powerful Kent Corp. fixing electronic items and creating designs for goods that never get made. When she’s assigned to investigate the cause of a crash her’s is the only voice that states it’s a design flaw instead of pilot error. Kyrion Calderan is the leader of the Arrows, an elite fighting squad. When he and Vesper they find that they have a mystical bond that should be heavenly but may actually cause their death. They have a decision to make- break the bond, or die a slow death.

Only Bad Options is a science fiction novel in a new series by Jennifer Estep, an author who’s known for her exciting action sequences and interesting characters. She delivers both of these things in this novel, creating a unique world and unusually interesting characters. Vesper Quill is down on her luck. Abandoned by her mother and raised by a family friend, she has minimal psychic talent. Enough to make her great at building electronic goods and gaining her a job at an elite corporation who makes weapons for the wealthy Regals. She’s an easy character to like despite her ‘woe is me’ attitude always getting herself out of one scrap to find herself in the middle of another. She’s smart and uses her brains to outthink her enemies. She’s not sure what to think of Kyrion. He’s known as a cold-blooded killer and is an elite Regal but despite those differences they are bonded and are drawn to each other. I really liked the tension filled scenes broken only by action sequences that helped drain that tension. I found myself having fun and rooting for Vesper to outsmart anyone who would try to hold her down.

As the first book in the series, I can only imagine that their relationship will build in the second book. In this novel they are wary of each other and despite being drawn to each other they focus on the need protect themselves and battle an enemy. I think this is where Kyrion’s personality excels so hopefully we’ll learn a little more about him in the future. I got a pretty good feel for who Vesper is in this novel and even if Kyrion were to never be in another novel, she interests me enough to read the next book.

If you like action-adventure science fiction I think you’ll enjoy Only Bad Options. The author doesn’t bog the reader down in technical explanations and lets us enjoy the world and the wild ride the characters take us on. I can’t wait to pick up the second novel and hopes the author doesn’t take too long to write it! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase this book!* Only Bad Options

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: Ship Wrecked (Spoiler Alert #3) by Olivia Dade

Gods of the Gates co-stars Maria and Peter don’t have a meet-cute they have a meet-heat, destroying each other in bed in a one night stand. Maria leaves Peter while he sleeps not knowing that she would see him at the audition the next day. Battling abandonment issues and hurt pride, Peter is definitely cool to his new co-star not wanting to get too close and ruin his chances at a once in a lifetime opportunity but six years on a very small Irish island makes it hard to stay mad and Maria works very hard on making her new work family gel. How can they survive for six long years without re-igniting their fiery chemistry?

These Spoiler Alert books are not only funny and hot, but the main characters are real people with real issues. Well, they aren’t really real, of course, but when you’re reading these novels you totally identify. Peter and Maria were no different than Spoiler Alert’s Marcus and April and All the Feels Alex and Lauren. They aren’t perfect people, but characters with real people’s problems and I loved them all. Peter and Maria definitely had a hot start to their relationship. Whew! After that first chapter though, the book slowed down to more of a slow burn novel with their engaging banter and friendship driving up the anticipation. I felt like one of the Gods of the Gates fans who desperately wanted their tv characters to get together, I did too! Peter and Maria were the darlings of their show and very sweet in real book life, although they had real issues that each of them had to work through. It was totally worth it to have them finally get together.

I wish this Gods of the Gates show was real. A mix of Games of Thrones and author Amanda Bouchet’s Kingmaker Chronicles, it sounds right up my alley, fantasy meets Greek mythology. How fun! Olivia Dade’s writing helped me visualize all of the scenery on that Irish shoreline and those fun fan fic chapter openings were laugh out loud funny. I’m so glad that we got to have a bit of fun with the other characters as well. This was a fun book all around and I’m looking forward to listening to it soon. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase!* Ship Wrecked

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? (11/14/22)

Whelp, winter has hit Nashville. What does that mean for me? Cozying up on the couch with a good book and some hot chocolate! This is my favorite time to pick up a good book because I feel like I don’t need to be outside quite as much. No guilt! What genre’s do I like to read in the winter? Oh gosh. It doesn’t matter, as long as it holds my attention and makes me feel. That’s what counts in a good book, right?

JUST FINISHED

I had been putting off reading this one for a bit and I found it to be the perfect hot chocolate and blanket novel. Charming characters and a fun romantic plot.

JUST STARTED

I have really enjoyed this series. All of the stories are centered around a Renaissance Faire, which I find to be an absolute delight. I’ve liked some of the novels better than others and I’m curious to see which side of the romance wheel this one will fall on.

I hope everyone has a fantastic week. Happy Monday and happy reading!

Deb

This Chick Read: Raven Unveiled (The Fallen Empire #3) by Grace Draven

Siora is on the run from Gharek, an assassin who has sworn an oath of revenge against her because she betrayed he and his disabled daughter. Overcome by his anger, Gharek can’t see beyond the outcome of his chase, grabbing her just as they are both discovered by the enemy and held captive. Siora uses her abilities to speak with the dead and Gharek his knowledge of the castle to become valuable to this new threat who wants to conquer the throne. Together Siora and Gharek must find the tool to a magical power.

I’ll admit, it had been a little while since I had read Dragon Unleashed, but as I read this book it all came back to me pretty quickly. that’s when I became fascinated with how the author was portraying Gharek, who was the bad guy in the previous novel, turning him into someone we could admire. I thought she did a great job of portraying him as a dedicated father, laying all of his past evils into the column of having done them to protect his disabled daughter. Life isn’t quite so black and white as that, but I did find his reasons believable, as well as his regret at the things he had done. I also could be lieve that Siora could overlook his hunting of her as his love for his daughter and her betrayal making him unhinged. Well, it is a fantasy novel after all, so I chose to believe in the reasons and moved on from that slight hiccup in the plot.

Siora was a really interesting character. She saw ghosts and could communicate with them. Her skills actually evolved throughout this novel, not in a sudden “magical” way but through the need to survive and protect. Her love for her father, one of the ghosts, and for Estred, Gharek’s daughter gave her character impetus to look beyond her own needs. She was a little self-sacrificing, true, but it was a non-romantic love that drove her actions. I kind of liked that! Of course, a romantic love between she and Gharek grew as well but that love didn’t really drive her actions.

Sometimes fantasy novels get bogged down by an epic journey, detailed landscapes, and traveling companions, but this one was light on all three of those plot points. The world had already been established so the reader was just dropped right in, the journey was shortened by alternate universe-type paths, and Gharek was the only new traveling companion that we had to learn and learn to like. Grace Draven made it pretty easy for this reader to slide right in and enjoy the story and I certainly didn’t have any trouble doing that. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase!* Raven Unveiled

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.