This Chick Read: Dear Aaron by Mariana Zapata

I have read only a couple of Mariana Zapata novels and I loved them both. When Dear Aaron was released not too long ago I scooped it up hoping for that awesome slow burn romance I’d come to expect. The premise of the story guaranteed that this couple, like most of her others, were going to follow the friends to lovers plotline. Ruby Santos is paired with Aaron Hall through a military organization that organizes pen pals for overseas military. After getting off to a rough start with Aaron not responding to Ruby’s initial emails, they start penning notes to each other and as time goes on, discovering tidbits about each others lives. I actually enjoyed the flow of the book, learning about both Ruby and Aarons lives, however, the depth of emotion was missing, as it would when you are learning about someone through a letter. You learn only what they choose to tell you. This point of view separated the reader and kept me from developing any strong emotional attachment to either Ruby or Aaron for the first half of the book.

When the story advances, Aaron is on leave in the US, and their communication advances to texting and then finally a phone call. Its at this point that the author starts writing in conventional narrative and we get to read from an actual point of view. The Ruby that we saw in email form was only a little different than the Ruby we now know from hearing her thoughts. My problem was that I liked Ruby better in email form. Aaron was solid both in email and in person. I was given a good grasp of his character and it stayed consistent for the entire book. Actually, through Ruby’s eyes he got even more attractive! I think I just found it harder to connect with Ruby because of the email format at the start. I did still enjoy the book, but in comparison with The Wall of Winnipeg and Me and Kulti it paled. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

Click link to purchase! Dear Aaron

Copyright 2017 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.


This Chicks Sunday Commentary: To LOVE or Not to Love..Audio Books

If you have a book blog then your love of all things books is a given. Or is it? Some bloggers hash out their feelings on ebooks versus physical copies of books and usually the physical copy wins. (Although my guess is that many of you have hundreds of ebooks lined up on a kindle or nook!) So, the natural next question would be, how do you, as a blogger, like audiobooks?

 Here are my thoughts!


  • Re-reading series: If you are anything like me, you are trying to balance your ARC commitments with just picking up a book and reading it for pleasure. But what about re-reading? There is nothing better than getting back to that series that you fell in love with while reading it for the first time! Now, years later, you have memories of having loved the series, but there are 20 books and it’s probably not realistic that you’ll ever read them again. But, wait! Do you have a long commute to work? Do you go to the gym or walk in the mornings? If so, then you have found the time to re-read! Kind of. You can now enjoy that morning walk while listening to an old favorite. Believe me, you will get that chance to listen to all 20 in the series.
  • Narrators– When you have found a great narrator, you will follow that narrator to their other books. A great narrator makes you forget that you are listening to a woman speak in your male heroes voice, or a man in a womans voice. But what about if your book has many voices? A great narrator will capture that personality of EACH character. Here are my recommendations on a few. Sample one by clicking the link. 

                Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School) narrated  by Emily Gray! 

              A Gentleman in Moscow: A Novel narrated by Nicholas Guy Smith 
                Outlander narrated by Davina Gray 

      • Inspiration! – Ok, that may be taking this a little far, but if I am in the middle of a really good book I would do anything to keep listening to it! ( and save my marriage by not ignoring my husband on purpose.☺️) Take another walk! Listening to an audiobook while excercising has inspired me to, well, excercise! Lol. 
      • Car Rides– Listening to an audiobook makes my drive go so much quicker! To be honest, I don’t have a very long drive to work and will sometimes sit in the parking lot for five or ten minutes until the scene concludes. However, I am in outside sales and spend a good bit of time driving, so my drive has now become fun!
      • Subscription services– I can support my local bookstore! Yes, you can also get Audiobooks on Amazon’s Audible or even at your local library, but I found, which is a monthly subscription service, just like audible, but it is connected to my local bookstore.  I love supporting my local bookstore and the dollars for the subscription at least in part, goes to them. Yeah!


      • Narrators– I don’t want to say anything bad, but when the narration doesn’t click for me I have to dump the book and choose another. What makes a narrator bad? It could be an annoying voice on the main character, or it could be the actual writing of the book didn’t make for a good audiobook. If an audiobook doesn’t grab me, its just like reading a book myself. I struggle, and really, you have to devote A LOT of time to one! I will not spend 12 hours with a narrator I don’t click with.
      • Reviews– This is a great way to spend time reading another book to review. A Gentleman in Moscow (pictured above) is a book that I am currently listening to on my walks. Nicholas Guy Smith’s aristocratic voice is perfectly matched to the main character. I am listening to it in real time, and do NOT speed the audiobook up. I have heard that some bloggers do this, and I think that you can’t get emotionally involved with a narrator that sounds like a chipmunk! That would hurt my enjoyment of the story as well and therefore my review of that book. Bad Bloggers!
      • Time Spent– I am a very quick reader, so its a little frustrating when a narration drags. That is not the narrators fault it’s the writer who wrote all that prose! However, when someone reads it aloud it makes that paragraph seem even longer. Pick your book to your mood. If you are in a descriptive prose kind of mood, great! If you want a lot of dialog or action, be smart and pick that kind of book!
      • Romance– I love to read romance novels. That’s my go to genre when I am feeling down because an HEA picks my mood right back up. However, listening to a 30 page sex scene? NOT MY THING. Especially in a car when the audio all of a sudden seems so loud. I’ll find myself looking at the person on the bus bench next to me to see if they can hear what I’m hearing. Embarassing!  I guess I like my sex scenes to be a little more private.  Lol.  Years ago I was on a road trip with my mom and we had picked an audiobook to listen to. Oh my gosh, when a sex scene came up, we both looked at each other and laughed hysterically! I fast forwarded through the scene! There’s just something about hearing it outloud.  That is still a funny memory that she and I share with people. It makes for a great story, but I NEVER want to do that again. Lol.

      What is your opinion of Audiobooks? Do you have any funny stories to share? Any favorite narrators or books?  Please comment!

      Until next Sunday,


      This Chick Read: All The Light There Is (The Healing Edge #3) by Anise Eden

      The Healing Edge Series is about Cate Duncan’s journey of self discovery, both with her empathic talent, her familial psychic talents, and her feelings for her new boyfriend Ben. All The Light There Is starts up where the previous novel leaves off, with Ben and Cate enjoying their new relationship while on a trip to Washington DC to show off her groups talents in an ancient power circle.  This double kheir enhances each of their talents enabling them to extend their psychic reach. With this power they will be able to increase their healing efforts in those who come to them for help. Unfortunately, evil finds Cate and her friends, wanting to use their talents for commercial gain, and she must “bite the head off the snake”to put an end to this other organization.

      This was, by far, my favorite book in the series. Cate and Ben’s love for each other was not physical, because of rules of celibacy during her training, which really put the focus on their emotions. As an Empath therapist, Cate has helped heal clients by creating portals which allows her to sift through their emotions. With Ben, the portal is shared and when open, their feelings are deeply felt. I have never run across these types of descriptions in a romance novel and really enjoyed how that gave the characters added depth and allowed the reader to share in that connection rather than be a voyeur in the bedroom.

      The other cast of characters in these novels are unusual and likeable. I’ve mentioned before that my mother is a hypnotherapist and some of the techniques described in these books were familiar to me, which made it fun to read. I think that even if you’ve never gone to a psychic for a reading , had Raiki, or your aura cleansed, you will enjoy all of these characters for their lively interaction with each other and their diversity. Cate and Ben’s love story is at the center of these books but the main attraction is the exploration of the psychic arts. Anise Edens talent lies in the intermingling of the two.


      I was given an ARC of this book through NetGalley for an honest review, and it was honest.

      Click on this link to purchase! All the Light There Is: The Healing Edge – Book Three

      Copyright 2017 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

      I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

      This Chick Read: Glass Sword (Red Queen #2) by Victoria Aveyard

      This second installment of the Red Queen series starts quick and never fades. Mare and Cal find themselves in the company of the Red Guard. Cal exchanging one prison for another and Mare discovering her interests may not align exactly with the Red Guards. Going rogue, they set out to find the New Bloods so that they can build their own army to fight Maven, knowing Maven will also be looking for them to kill before they can unite against him.

      The pace of this novel was so much faster than in Red Queen, probably because the scene is set for Mare and Cal to put their plan in motion. The book isn’t as political, although some politics certainly come into play. The thing that struck me the most about Glass Sword was how it was an emotionally charged novel. You see some depths to Mare’s feelings for Maven, Cal and Killorn and are given insight into why she makes some of the choices she makes in this novel. The reader discovers more to her relationships with her siblings that also give power to a couple of plot points in the book tyat I don’t want to spoil if you haven’t read the book.

      My only fault with this book was that it was so dark! Mare was inside her head, pushing away everyone she loved and that was really frustrating for me. However, that being said, I do realize this is the second book and you need to go through angst and pain to hopefully bring this story to a conclusion. I just hope that the next book has a few happy moments and isn’t quite as dreary. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

      Click link to purchase! Glass Sword (Red Queen)

      Copyright 2017 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

      I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

      This Chick Read: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

      When I challenged myself to read The Hating Game in the next 30 days on my blog I pretty much put the kiss of death on the book. I’d glance over at it and think, I have time! If it wasn’t for the fact that I actually gave the book away on that same blog post I probably would’ve procrastinated as I’ve done with other books. At long last I picked it up and read the first chapter. Hmmm, I checked out the cover again. This book seemed to have it all; a catchy title, cute cover and the synopsis was interesting. I read another chapter and the next time I looked up it was 12:30am. Wait, what? I started to read the first paragraph of the next chapter and then slammed the book shut. I must go to bed because I have to go to work tomorrow! The next day, I could not stop thinking about this book and couldn’t wait to get back into it. Needless to say, it was absolutely FABULOUS! Sally Thorne, you wrote one fine book!

      Lucy and Josh are both executive assistants to two co-owners of a publishing company. They sit across a glass and chrome room from each other and snark and stare at each other every day. True competitors they try to out perform each other while maintaining an icy glare. When they both apply for a promotion the game is stepped up. At least Lucy thought so until one evening when Josh pushed her up against the wall of the elevator as they were leaving work and gave her the kiss of her life. Lucy gave back as much as she got and that game of hate became an uncertainty. Was this not hate she felt? Did Josh feel the same way?

      This book is so much more intricate than the premise leads you to believe. The tension is unbelievable and Josh is just YUM. To think that this is Sally Thorne’s first novel is pretty surprising. This book may not have been on your radar and I certainly never heard of it before, but I will definitely be keeping my eyes peeled for a new release from this author. If you love enemies to friend stories-read this book, it is great! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

      Click Link to purchase! The Hating Game: A Novel

      Copyright 2017 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

      I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

      This Chick Read: Storm Gathering (The Scorpius Syndrome #4) by Rebecca Zanetti

      Storm Gathering starts off with our crew of Mercs in post apocalyptic Southern California where we catch up with Greyson and Maureen’s storyline. Their beginning took place in the third novel about Raze and Vinnie. Raze is Maureen’s brother and had been hunting for his sister throughout that novel and he ends up finding her in Grey’s hands Because I’ve read all of the novels in this series, the recap of Greyson and Maureen’s origin story was superfluous, but I know the author included it so that the novel could stand alone. However, there is a lot of back story that would be missing for the other characters who do actually play a large role in the storyline that has been continued from book to book.

      Greyson, as the leader of the mercenaries, or Mercs, is a hard ex soldier. He had captured Maureen because her background in biology was needed by his group. Their attraction for each other was immediate, though they both fought hard against it. Maureen, although a scientist, and uber smart, was one of the less physical heroines in this series. I only point out that fact because Greyson seems to be the most unemotional and physical of them all. Maybe they were attracted to each other because their traits balanced the other half? I don’t know but because he was so stoic, I had a hard time liking him as much as I did some of the other male characters in the series. At times I wanted Moe to just write him off and let her brother Raze take her back to the Vanguard compound. Of course in a post apocalyptic world where the Scorpius virus seems to have created super soldiers, I guess a sensitive man wouldn’t survive for very long.

      This was a good novel, but my least favorite in the series so far. However, I am invested in the overall plot. Will they find the cure to the Scorpius virus? Will the human race die out because pregnancies don’t survive the virus? Will this evil president ever die? There are so many questions unanswered! I’ll just have to read the next book to find out! ❤️❤️❤️

      I was given an ARC of this book for my honest review, and it was honest.

      Click on the link to purchase! Storm Gathering (The Scorpius Syndrome Book 4)

      Copyright 2017 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

      I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

      This Chicks Sunday Commentary: My Five Most Memorable Reads

      I think we can all admit that we read to escape reality. Whether we want an hour’s break from our kids, a small break from poor health, or a story to help forget about our every day problems at work or home.  When we pick up that perfect book, you know, the one that immediately grips you, immersing you in another world and other peoples lives, you savor that world and don’t want that story to end. Now, I am no spring chicken and have read thousands of books in my lifetime. I’ll admit that most I don’t remember, but the books below are books that stuck with me no matter the age I read them. I’d like to share these books with you.

      1) The Hobbit – J. R. R. Tolkien

      I have read this book several times in my teen and young adult years and it is superb. However, this book makes my most memorable list because it was the book my mom chose to read to me when I was a toddler before going to bed. I’ll admit, as an adult I wonder what my mom was thinking because this book is kind of scary for a young kid! But, I can still hear her reading it to me and I hope I always will. This is also where my love of fantasy novels stems from.

      Click this link to purchase this book! The Hobbit

      2) Watchers -Dean Koontz

      I read this novel when I was a teenager and a little more brave in my reading choices. Dean Koontz writes semi-scary fantasy/horror/mystery novels. Truly, each of his novels is in a different genre. Watchers is about a man who finds a golden retriever while taking a hike. This golden retriever is super intelligent and with his help a mystery is solved. I remember LOVING this dog! I don’t remember a lot of the plot but do remember how awesome this book was and how much I like it. In fact, now that I’m thinking about it, I think I need to re-read this one! Have you read this book? What did you think?

      Click this link to purchase! Watchers

      3) Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone- J.K. Rowling

      When I read the first Harry Potter book I was completely blown away by the fact that this was a young adult book. It was my first young adult book read while being an actual adult who wasn’t young. The world building was amazing, the relationships real, and the problems, even if filled with magical adventures, rang true to life. I totally wanted to write after reading this book and kept reading the series as it came out.

      Click the link to purchase! Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

      4) Guilty Pleasures – Laurell K. Hamilton

      This is the first novel in the Anita Blake series. My aunt lent them to my sister and I and I read books 1-5 while on a vacation touring plantations in Virginia and Maryland with my sister and mom. Talk about immersing yourself in a book! I can remember staying up until 2am to finish those novels. Vampires by night, plantations by day. It was hard to keep straight at time! LOL. However, I was addicted. Anita was one kick ass heroine and I still like that character, although the more recent books have become too much about how much sex she has and less about the bad guys she’s fighting. Those first books in the series are great though, and I’d really recommend them to anyone.

      Click the link to purchase! Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter: Book 1)

      5) A Promise of Fire -Amanda Bouchet (The Kingmaker series)

      This is the most recent book I’ve read on the list. It is a totally original historical fantasy/romance novel. I took a greek mythology class in college and have remained fascinated with those gods and their progeny. This series is set in a world where those gods are real and our heroine is fighting against her fate, and finds true love while doing it. This book captured my attention and became my whole world while reading it. I reviewed it and the second book in the series Breath of Fire and gave them both five stars. They are original, have swashbuckling action, and swoonworthy characters. Read them, I promise they will not disappoint! I loved them so much I had the author sign the books and I have them in my library. No, you can’t borrow them!

      Click this link to purchase! A Promise of Fire (The Kingmaker Chronicles)

      There are so many books that have helped me escape the realities of life or that have created amazing memories for me. I haven’t even touched on Outlander by Diana Gabaldon or the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs! Oh, and my most recent discovery, Written in Red by Anne Bishop! See, I could go on and on, but for the sake of time, both yours and mine, I’ll hold it to five.

      What are the books you’ve read that have helped you create a great memory or helped you escape from your life? I’d love to hear about them!

      Until next Sunday!


      This Chick Read: Beard Science (Winston Brothers #3) by Penny Reid

      Why did I wait so long to read this novel??!!  I’ve owned it since December and well, I guess I was worried about Cletus. If you are a fan of these novels, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Cletus makes a great quirky side character, and he was my favorite. How would that quirky weirdness translate into a romance hero? I’ll admit, when the novel first started and he declared that he and a different woman would suit, I had to read the synopsis again.  Wasn’t he supposed to be with Jennifer, the Banana Cake Queen? Yep, that other woman was just a red herring.  When the point of view switched to Jennifer, and I realized her scheme to get Cletus’s help, I knew he had no chance. Jennifer was going to steal his heart.

      Cletus was just as quirky as he was in the first two novels, but the insight into his character showed that the quirkiness was actually a shield that he put up to protect himself. Jennifer, a rather odd duck herself, snuck under his defenses and pretty soon he was determined to win her for his own, forgetting Shelly, the woman he’d thought suited him at the beginning of the novel. Good thing, because Shelly is meant for his brother Beau.

      Jennifer was a heroine you really wanted to root for. Treated horribly by her family and treated as a joke by the town you couldn’t wait to watch her grow into herself. I loved that she was just as unique and quirky as Cletus. They seem to be a perfect match.

      Each time I read a Winston Brothers novel I worry about it not being able to live up to my enjoyment of the novel before, but once again, I didn’t need to worry. Cletus and Jennifer’s story, while different than the first two, was just as great. This family from Tennessee is charming, unusual and all are perfect gentlemen with their ladies. Their courtships are all unique and Penny Reid does a great job of maintaining the originality of the storyline yet catching the correct tone of a Tennessee southern vibe.


      Click link to purchase! Beard Science (Winston Brothers Book 3) (Volume 3)

      Copyright 2017 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

      I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

      This Chick Read: Secrets of the Tulip Sisters by Susan Mallery

      Kelly Murphy is being stalked by the boy she had a crush on in high school. Not stalked in a bad way but in a cute guy is very interested in her way. That would’ve been great but her memories of his rejection in high school are tied to her mothers infidelity and eventual abandonment. So, she’s somewhat disturbed that Griffith is showing signs of interest. However, she gets over those feelings pretty quick.

      Olivia Murphy has been gone from home for years and decides to vacation back home with her sister and father. After running wild in her teens after her mother abandoned she and her sister with their father, she was sent to boarding school at fifteen and never really came back home. Now, she’s back and wants to fix her relationship with her father and sister.

      Jeff Murphy is Kelly and Olivia’s father. He owns the tulip farm that he and Kelly run. When Olivia shows up, he’s overjoyed, but when her crazy mother shows up right after her, he’s a little overwhelmed. He had just started a relationship with Helen, Kelly’s best friend. To say Miriam’s appearance puts a kink in his sex life is putting it mildly.

      As with all of Susan Mallery’s books, this was really well written. BUT, this book had so much going on! Kelly and Griffith’s budding relationship, Olivia starting fresh with her family and her multiple love interests, their fathers relationship with Helen, Helen’s insecurity with the ex wife showing up, an auction, a crazy mother, sheesh! I would’ve been happy with just one love story and the sisters renewing their relationship. Was the book good? Well, sure, but just when I started getting into one storyline, the POV shifted and I was reading from another characters POV. I will say that some of the issues in this book dealing with insecurity with sex, weight, self esteem, etc. were very realistic and I enjoyed seeing how these characters overcame these problems, but the amount of problems and who was sleeping with whom was a bit much. Will I keep reading Susan Mallery? Absolutely, so I guess it didn’t disappoint that much. ❤️❤️❤️❣️


      Secrets of the Tulip Sisters: A Novel Click link to purchase!

      Copyright 2017 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

      This Chick Read: Betrayals (Cainsville #4) by Kelley Armstrong

      When Ricky gets implicated in a crime where someone is killing young women, Olivia starts to investigate. The crimes are tied to she, Gabriel, and Ricky’s relationship to the Cwyn Anwyn and the Fae. Each wanting her paired up with one of the men. During their investigation Olivia uncovers more secrets about her past and becomes more torn between her love for both of them.

      I love how her relationships with both Ricky and Gabriel have evolved in this series. Ricky, as her boyfriend has her best interests at heart and seems to act very unselfishly, at times unrealistically. However, my own fascination with Gabriel, and Olivia’s new focus on him as more than a friend, allows me to overlook Ricky’s choices. I like Ricky and if this were a movie I’d be drooling over his good looks, but give me the strong and tortured hero, and I’ll root for him every time. Gabriel, however seems to be his own worst enemy constantly making mistakes and hurting Olivia. Will she keep giving him another chance? If this were real life, maybe not, but I’m happy she does in this series.

      The mystery in this story is secondary to the movement of the plot about their love triangle, which is why I’m not focusing on it too much in my review. However, as with any book by Kelley Armstrong, it’s well written and does help move the overall plot forward. Was this my favorite book in the series? No. It’s solidly written, but its sole purpose is to set us up for the big finale, Rituals, out August 15, 2017. I can’t wait to get my hands on it as I’m fully invested in seeing how this all plays out.  ❤️❤️❤️❤️

      Click link to purchase! Betrayals: The Cainsville Series

      Copyright 2017 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

      I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.