It’s Monday, what are you reading? (1/24/22)

With a couple of weeks of reading for pleasure I’ve gotten to re-read and read quite a few great books! It’s funny how if I’ve reserved a book to review mentally I put it in a different mental category, even though they may be books I’ve anticipated reading too. The mind is a tricky thing. LOL. Here are the books that are on my radar.

Again, I’d like to thank Book Date who has started this topic for other bloggers to join in and keep the conversation going.

JUST FINISHED

I love Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, enjoyed the first novel in the series, and it still took me almost two years to read this book. Now that I’ve caught up with Squad 312 I am not letting another two years go by without finishing out the series. This is fast-paced, has a lot of emotional punch, and a great sense of humor. I really do love this writing team.

JUST STARTED

I love great historical mysteries and this series is fantastic. I’m mid-way through and love the direction this plot just took! Book #7 in the series and it’s still fresh and fun.

These are the books that are on my nightstand. What are you reading today?

Happy Monday and happy reading!

Deb

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

Sometimes when I look ahead for my top releases I have trouble coming up with five, which is why January only had three. February does not have that problem at all. Guys, there are a lot of good books coming out next month! A good mixture of genre’s that will keep me turning pages. Here are my top 5!

#5 BOOK RELEASE

I love a great fantasy novel and when you pair that with my love for this author’s book A Queen’s Rising, I know I’m going to pick up this book and read it. Despite the ugly cover.

Synopsis:

Jack Tamerlaine hasn’t stepped foot on Cadence in ten long years, content to study music at the mainland university. But when young girls start disappearing from the isle, Jack is summoned home to help find them. Enchantments run deep on Cadence: gossip is carried by the wind, plaid shawls can be as strong as armor, and the smallest cut of a knife can instill fathomless fear. The capricious spirits that rule the isle by fire, water, earth, and wind find mirth in the lives of the humans who call the land home. Adaira, heiress of the east and Jack’s childhood enemy, knows the spirits only answer to a bard’s music, and she hopes Jack can draw them forth by song, enticing them to return the missing girls.

As Jack and Adaira reluctantly work together, they find they make better allies than rivals as their partnership turns into something more. But with each passing song, it becomes apparent the trouble with the spirits is far more sinister than they first expected, and an older, darker secret about Cadence lurks beneath the surface, threatening to undo them all.

With unforgettable characters, a fast-paced plot, and compelling world building, A River Enchanted is a stirring story of duty, love, and the power of true partnership, and marks Rebecca Ross’s brilliant entry on the adult fantasy stage.

Click this link to purchase this book!* A River Enchanted: A Novel (Elements of Cadence Book 1)

#4 BOOK RELEASE

I’ve actually had the privilege of reading Hunt the Stars already and guys, it’s really good! The first book in a new series, it starts off fast and keeps on moving! This is a science fiction serial and I can’t wait to read the next installment.

Synopsis:

Octavia Zarola would do anything to keep her tiny, close-knit bounty hunting crew together—even if it means accepting a job from Torran Fletcher, a ruthless former general and her sworn enemy. When Torran offers her enough credits to not only keep her crew afloat but also hire someone to fix her ship, Tavi knows that she can’t refuse—no matter how much she’d like to.

With so much money on the line, Torran and his crew insist on joining the hunt. Tavi reluctantly agrees because while the handsome, stoic leader pushes all of her buttons—for both anger and desire—she’s endured worse, and the massive bonus payment he’s promised for a completed job is reason enough to shut up and deal.

But when they uncover a deeper plot that threatens the delicate peace between humans and Valoffs, Tavi suspects that Torran has been using her as the impetus for a new war. With the fate of her crew balanced on a knife’s edge, Tavi must decide where her loyalties lie—with the quiet Valoff who’s been lying to her, or with the human leaders who left her squad to die on the battlefield. And this time, she’s put her heart on the line.

Click this link to purchase this book!* Hunt the Stars: A Novel (Starlight’s Shadow Book 1)

#3 BOOK RELEASE

This series character driven series is at times eery, mysterious, and mystifying. It takes place in the middle of the wilderness in a town called Rockton. A town filled with people who are looking to escape their reality. These people may be hunted or they may be hunters. A mystery always needs to be solved and Detective Casey Duncan and her boyfriend Sheriff Eric Dalton are the only two who can solve them. I love this series! This is book #7.

Synopsis:

It’s not always easy to live in the hidden town of Rockton, something Detective Casey Duncan knows firsthand. Tucked away in the Yukon wilderness, the community survives—and thrives—because the residents’ many secrets stay just that—secret.

But what happens when these secrets start to come out? Overnight, no one is safe. It’s not a question of if your secret will come out—but when.

Casey and her boyfriend, Sheriff Eric Dalton, need to find the culprit while protecting those who have been thrust into the spotlight. For a place built on privacy and new beginnings, Rockton isn’t handling these revelations very well. People are turning on one another, and when one of the loudest complainers turns up barely alive, it’s clear that their trickster is actually a murderer.

The threat of exposure is reaching its breaking point, and no one knows what’s going to happen next.

Click this link to purchase this book!* The Deepest of Secrets: A Rockton Novel (Casey Duncan Novels Book 7)

#2 BOOK RELEASE

This is #7 in a wonderfully written historical mystery series. Each mystery reveals more about our two main characters Veronica and Stoker. I can’t wait to see what new piece of information will be revealed in An Impossible Imposter.

Synopsis: London, 1889. Veronica Speedwell and her natural historian beau Stoker are summoned by Sir Hugo Montgomerie, head of Special Branch. He has a personal request on behalf of his goddaughter, Euphemia Hathaway. After years of traveling the world, her eldest brother, Jonathan, heir to Hathaway Hall, was believed to have been killed in the catastrophic eruption of Krakatoa a few years before.
 
But now a man matching Jonathan’s description and carrying his possessions has arrived at Hathaway Hall with no memory of his identity or where he has been. Could this man truly be Jonathan, back from the dead? Or is he a devious impostor, determined to gain ownership over the family’s most valuable possessions—a legendary parure of priceless Rajasthani jewels? It’s a delicate situation, and Veronica is Sir Hugo’s only hope.
 
Veronica and Stoker agree to go to Hathaway Hall to covertly investigate the mysterious amnesiac. Veronica is soon shocked to find herself face-to-face with a ghost from her past. To help Sir Hugo discover the truth, she must open doors to her own history that she long believed to be shut for good.

Click this link to purchase this book!* An Impossible Impostor (A Veronica Speedwell Mystery Book 7)

MY MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE IN FEB’22!

This book wasn’t even on my radar until I started looking at all of the book releases, but this synopsis hooked me. I have to read this book!

Synopsis:

Jess needs a fresh start. She’s broke and alone, and she’s just left her job under less than ideal circumstances. Her half-brother Ben didn’t sound thrilled when she asked if she could crash with him for a bit, but he didn’t say no, and surely everything will look better from Paris. Only when she shows up – to find a very nice apartment, could Ben really have afforded this? – he’s not there.

The longer Ben stays missing, the more Jess starts to dig into her brother’s situation, and the more questions she has. Ben’s neighbors are an eclectic bunch, and not particularly friendly. Jess may have come to Paris to escape her past, but it’s starting to look like it’s Ben’s future that’s in question.

The socialite – The nice guy – The alcoholic – The girl on the verge – The concierge

Everyone’s a neighbor. Everyone’s a suspect. And everyone knows something they’re not telling.

Click this link to purchase this book!* The Paris Apartment: A Novel

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase a book through one of the above links I’ll receive a small stipend.

What do you think about my top 5 picks? They may be completely different than your own. I am seriously committed to a couple of series and when those books come out they automatically drop into my must read list. I have a couple of those this month. Please share any books that you can’t wait to read that may be released next month. I’d love to get them on my radar!

Happy reading!

Deb

This Chick Read: The Matrimonial Advertisement (Parish Orphans of Devon #1) by Mimi Matthews

When ex-army captain Justin Thornhill advertises for a wife in the paper he expects to receive interviews with homely widows and women of a certain rank. He doesn’t expect the beautiful Helena Reynolds. Despite his misgivings over why an obvious Lady is applying to be his wife he jumps at the chance to have this lady as his wife. It can’t come soon enough for Helena is on the run from a “bad situation” and needs marriage to find her freedom.

I was fascinated with Mimi Matthews writing when I read The Siren of Sussex and knew that I was going to read her entire catalog, starting with this series, and I am not disappointed! Our two protagonists were so interesting! Justin Thornhill was an orphan who grew up in a nearby village and joined the army to become something and earn his fortune. Captured by Indians, he was tortured and bears scars on his body and face, things that only make him more perfect to Helena as she needs a strong hero to save her. She is the daughter and sister of an Earl. Her brother may be dead in India and her cousin has taken over the Earldom. However, her brother left her all of the money. As women are property the only way she can save herself is by marrying someone. Justin Thornhill’s advertisement is the perfect escape.

Mimi Mathews gives us more than great characters in her stories, she provides historical context and facts. She also doesn’t hide from the hard truth. How women were treated, the horrible atrocities for Indians during the British colonialism of India, and more. Her books are historical romances, but they are not light on hard facts and truths, which are a difference maker when it comes to my feelings on a book. In this case, those facts were interesting, provided context, and gave our heroine’s story more conflict providing more enjoyment. I finished this novel and immediately moved on to the next, I liked it so much.

This novel was certainly a romance, so never fear if that is what you are looking for but the romance is specific to the time in history. A kiss can be just as devastating to a scene as intercourse, and be just as exciting. If you are looking for a bodice ripper, this is not that. The Matrimonial Advertisement is storytelling at its best. Great depth of character, romance, and conflict with a hero that is swoon worthy and a heroine who is bright and daring. A five star read from this blogger!

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* The Matrimonial Advertisement (Parish Orphans of Devon)

Copyright 2022 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

This Chick Read: Made In Manhattan by Lauren Layne

Violet was brought up in the privileged upper east side of Manhattan and knows how to navigate that world. When she’s asked to help introduce Cain Stone to society as a possible heir apparent to the family business, she knows she’s going to have to do a little Eliza Doolittle-ing. Cain’s New Orleans joie de vivre is all man, but it’s not an upper east side man. As Violet gets to know Cain she realizes that he is smart, driven, and it shouldn’t matter what he looks like if he’s the right man for the job.

I love opposites attract novels. Violet seems to be all uptight upper east side, and Cain is low-country New Awlins casual and you wouldn’t think those two would bring the heat, but there’s an immediate tension between the two characters that makes their story fun. There is also some depth to these two characters. Violet was orphaned as a child and raised by Cain’s grandmother and wants to belong to a family. Cain never knew his father but built a business and has created his own sense of worth through that success. They are both insecure when it comes to family and that connects them despite their outside differences.

I read Lauren Layne novels because I know I’m going to get characters who I can believe in, an easy to read story, and hidden depth that somehow always surprises me. Made In Manhattan is all of that plus some sizzling tension between our hero and heroine that made me want to keep turning the pages. This is the perfect weekend read, so snuggle into that blanket and check out Violet and Cain’s story. You’ll be hooked from the first page. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase!* Made in Manhattan

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? (1/17/22)

If you had bad weather as the southeast and northeast did in the US you may have spent your weekend curled up with a book. Or streaming some fabulous shows on Netflix or HBO Max. I did a bit of both. I also backed some yummy banana chocolate chip bars with some extra ripe bananas we had in the house. It was a perfect winter weekend. LOL. Here is what I was reading.

Thanks to the Book Date who started this topic on her own blog. It’s a fun way to share what you’re reading on a daily basis.

JUST FINISHED

This book started off quick and it was easy to get hooked to the tension between the two main characters. A fun, fast weekend read!

JUST STARTED

I literally just started this one this morning but my hope is that it’s as good as the hype. I love a good enemies to lovers trope. Fingers crossed!

What book has you wishing you could stay at home curled up on your couch today?

Happy Monday and happy reading!

Deb

This Chick Read: The Family You Make (Sunrise Cove #1) by Jill Shalvis

Levi Cutler has come home to Sunrise Cove for a visit with his family but decides to take the Gondola up the mountain to catch the view from high above. As he is heading to the top a storm sweeps in and the mountain evacuates, including a nurse named Jane. A strong wind snatches the gondola right in front of theirs off the line leaving Levi and Jane clinging to their lives, and each other. Levi’s phone picks up a signal and he calls home to say goodbye but can’t break his mother’s heart. Instead he tells her he has a girlfriend named Jane which he knows will make her ecstatic. Of course, they survive this incident but now they have his family and a fake relationship to navigate. A relationship that Levi would like to make real.

This novel had a real fast start as the first scene is inside the gondola and sets the pace pretty quickly. Our two protagonists are pretty different. Levi is a tech guy who was brought up in an outdoorsman family and Jane is a loner who had been shuffled from family member to family member, never really belonging to anyone. Surprisingly it was easy to see how they were a good fit. Levi also was an outsider within his own family, or at least that was how he saw it. He understands Jane and doesn’t let her standoffishness scare her off. I liked his persistence and loved that she was hesitant but also bold.

I can always count on Jill Shalvis to write in a great group of friends who are quirky and interesting, giving the main characters some relief from having to carry a book. There is a side romance in this novel between Levi and Jane’s best friends that is interesting and cute. I am hoping we get to explore their relationship further in a future book! I am also looking forward to seeing Levi’s sister get her own story as she’s got an interesting arc of her own that needs exploring!

If you’re looking for a good weekend read that won’t take too long to get through, then The Family You Make may be the right book for you. I read it on my vacation and it hit my sweet spot for fun characters that will take me away from the drag of hours of flying, making the time go by quickly. It was a sweet, cute story with some emotional depth for our main characters and the right book at the right time for me!

❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click the link to purchase!* The Family You Make: A Novel (The Sunrise Cove Series, 1)

Copyright 2022 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

This Chick Read: The Siren of Sussex (Belles of London #1) by Mimi Matthews

Evelyn Maltravers has traveled from the countryside of Sussex to the social scene in London, needing to make a match so that she and her younger sisters futures will be secure. Although she may not be traditionally beautiful, Evie knows that she needs to set herself apart in order to catch a man’s eye. She thinks her Appalusian stallion and haute couture, along with her superb horsemanship might do just that. When she approaches an Indian tailor, Ahmad Malik, to partner with her in her scheme he decides to attach his rising star to this unique and intriguing woman. What neither of them count on is their unfailing attraction and growing friendship. Can this pair from two different worlds and backgrounds face the bigotry of the upper class and find success so they can be together? This story captured my interest but it was Evie and Ahmad who captured my heart. What a fantastic novel!

I was unprepared for how I would react to a historical romance novel that delved into the history of England’s habitation and conquering of India. The narration has the reader seeing through both Evie’s and Ahmad’s eyes and it is eye opening to see how the heritage is taken for granted without thought to what those people may have gone through. Ahmad’s own background of a mixed heritage Indian man who belonged in neither India or England was interesting, revealing, and inspiring. Evie’s character growth as she comes to care for Ahmad and want to know him, his background, and what it would mean to be in his place in society took this novel to another plane of existence. I felt like what I was reading was relevant and real, not just an interracial romance novel. I actually felt Ahmad’s pain and could see why he chose the path he was on. I think it’s the first time in a long time where I was so interested in a subject that it made me do my own research and want to know more.

Evie was also a different sort of heroine. She was not frivolous or flighty, she had a plan and if it wasn’t for her growing feelings for Ahmad, she would have stuck to it. I enjoyed her own path of discovery she made about herself, her decisions about what was important, and also seeing how she came to that decision. This was not a fluffy novel, the story led our hero and heroine down some dark paths which altered the course of their lives. Sometimes you read a novel at the right time and it hits all of your sweet spots. This was my right time to read The Siren of Sussex.

I have never heard of Mimi Matthews nor read one of her books prior to picking up this novel. You can be certain I am going through her backlog and choosing my next read based upon all of my feelings for The Siren of Sussex and how this author led me down that path. Sometimes the reading gods are looking after us, aren’t they?

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase!* The Siren of Sussex (Belles of London)

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? (1/10/22)

I have spent the past weekend trying to get over the jet lag from my vacation to Egypt. The flight back got re-routed due to a storm here in Nashville which added a day onto my travels. Another day of reading isn’t normally a bad thing but I’m exhausted! Today I get to go back to work for the first time in two weeks and catch up on the indecent amount of emails I’m sure I have waiting in my inbox. While on vacation I got a chance to read a bunch of books, some of which you’ll see reviewed on my blog. Here’s a brief look into what’s on my kindle.

JUST FINISHED

Made in Manhattan is a fun, lighthearted Eliza Doolittle romance. It was perfect for a vacation because it was easy to follow regardless of how many times I was interrupted and had to put it down. I really enjoyed this one!

JUST STARTED

A new novel in the romantic science fiction genre. I have enjoyed this author’s previous series and this one is off to a very quick start. In fact, I woke up at 430p this morning and started reading it again. LOL

I haven’t checked in with you all in a couple of weeks so I’d love to hear what you have been reading. Let me know in the comments!

Have a great Monday and happy reading!

Deb

This Chick Read: The Becoming (The Dragon Heart Legacy #2) by Nora Roberts

At the end of the previous novel The Awakening, Breen had left her legacy in Talamh to go back home to the US to see her friends and tidy up the life she’ll be leaving behind when she returns. She knows that despite the growth of her powers she still needs training and can’t remain in the US too long while her evil Grandfather is trying to break through to Talamh to conquer and rule. Despite her saying she would return Keegan, the man who leads Talamh, and her lover, can’t take the chance that she won’t return and comes to take her back, and accidentally transfers her best friend Marco as well. Now she and Marco are in Talamh, where fairies, dragons, and mermaids reside to try to help save Talamh.

The uber talented Nora Roberts doesn’t always hit a home run when she writes fantasy novels and The Becoming, for me, follows that theme. I love the world she has created. Talamh is one of those places we’d all like to visit, a veritable fantasy land filled with gorgeous creatures both animal and human. Despite our heroine’s love for her family in this world I just don’t feel a connection between she and Keegan who is her love interest. He seems to have a switch that turns on and off. He wants her, he doesn’t have time for her, he is a taskmaster, and then he is a lover. It may just be that if I were Breen I would’ve looked elsewhere for a partner. Yes, Keegan is their leader, but leading is not always the best qualification for love.

I was so happy that Marco’s story arc expanded. He is so much fun and his own love story gave me what I needed. Romance! It also helps that he is just so likable and seeing Talamh through his eyes is so much fun.

I am looking forward to the third novel in this series because I want to see how the author will tie everything up. Keegan needs to show a little emotion for Breen. How will they end their war with her grandfather? Will Marco and his lover find happiness? There are a lot of pieces that need resolving and Ms. Roberts is very good at capturing all of those loose ends into a fancy bow.

❤️❤️❤️❣️

Copyright 2022 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved.

Click this link to purchase!* The Becoming: The Dragon Heart Legacy, Book 2 (The Dragon Heart Legacy, 2)

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

This Chick Read: Engagement and Espionage (Solving for Pie: Cletus and Jenn mysteries book #1) by Penny Reid

Any book by Penny Reid is on my must read list, but “Engagement and Espionage” came out a year ago last summer. Why did I wait so long to read it? I loved Cletus and Jenn’s romance “Beard Science” and let’s face it, Cletus is one of the greatest side characters in a series, EVER. I think I didn’t really know what to expect. I mean we already read their love story so to now give them a mystery to solve? It just seemed kind of odd, but that shouldn’t have been a turn-off! It wasn’t until I read the synopsis for Beard in Hiding” and saw that it was a story about Jenn’s mom, that I realized I really needed to kick it in and read this book. You know what? I LOVED IT.

This novel takes place after “Beard Science” and before several other novels that I’ve already read. It’s a continuation of Cletus and Jenn’s romance because they are not yet married and Jenn is still buried under banana cake and pie. Her mother is still domineering and Cletus is starting to lose patience with his erstwhile fiancée. When someone starts messing with the farmers who provide Jennifer with her products to make her award-winning cakes and pies Cletus and Jenn investigate. Hijinks prevail but the under lining theme of love and honor between our hero and heroine stands strong.

If you have never listened to one of these novels via audiobook, please do! Chris Brinkley and Joy Nash do a great job of voicing these characters and bringing them to life. As the story moves forward and I’m listening to where each of these characters are in the life of the Winston series I realize how much I love this world that Penny Reid has created. The characters are kind of nutty but the world is filled with love and camaraderie. This is why I keep returning to these books and why I’m smacking myself that I didn’t read this one a little sooner. That’s ok, the second book in this series is already out so that means I don’t have to wait to pick it up! See, bright side! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Engagement and Espionage: A Sexy, Small Town Cozy Mystery (Solving for Pie: Cletus and Jenn Mysteries Book 1)

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.