This Chick Read: Flight (The Texas Murder Files #2) by Laura Griffin

Former forensic investigator Miranda Rhodes is taking a break from murder in the small town of Lost Beach taking wildlife photos when she finds a murdered couple in a canoe on a river. She instinctively snaps photos before heading back to shore to call it in to the local police. As the person who discovered the bodies she is interviewed by the police but ultimately its her skills and a forensic investigator that lands her in the middle of this murder investigation, as one of the team. When Miranda becomes the center of the murderers attention Detective Joel Breda, the lead investigator on the case finds himself becoming very protective of Miranda.

I read book 3 in the series first but liked it enough to go back and read the first two as well. I really enjoy Laura Griffin’s style. Her mysteries have a hint of romance and don’t have the gritty feel that some thrillers have, it’s easy reading and good characters. Two things I can always get behind. Miranda was an interesting character. She was burnt out from her previous job which contrasted nicely with her taking wildlife photos. I liked that aspect of balance in her character. Of course, when she becomes and integral piece of the murder investigation her character becomes even more interesting. As the lead detective on the case Joel Breda’s character was more straightforward alpha male. He was interested in Miranda right from the start but had these horrible murders happening in his hometown. He wanted to solve the crimes and protect the woman he was coming to care about. Very straightforward and no surprises. These two characters fit very well together and the romance and mystery kept me turning the pages.

There were only a handful of people the reader was introduced to who could be committing these crimes so I won’t say the murder was that big of a mystery but it was well thought out and had some gripping moments. All in all, I enjoyed this book and would recommend this book and the series to anyone who likes a lighter feel to their mystery novel reading. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Flight

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

Ok, I know it’s Wednesday and I’m a week late getting this post out, but it’s never too late to talk book releases, right??? I know I say this every month, but boy! There are a lot of books coming out next month that I really want to read. Somehow, I’ve narrowed them down to 5.

#5 BOOK RELEASE

I thought Jackie Lau’s book Donut Fall in Love was a cute light-hearted romance and am looking forward to seeing a couple of characters from that novel achieve their hea. This one intrigues me, but I’ll admit it’s not going to be War and Peace. Sometimes you need a light-hearted book to get you through a tough week!

Synopsis: They say to never meet your heroes, but when Vivian Liao’s roommate gets engaged to her favorite actor’s costar, she has no choice but to come face-to-face with Melvin Lee again. He’s just as funny and handsome as he is on-screen…but thinks she is a snob and a sellout. It’s none of his business how she chooses to live her life, no matter how charismatic he is.
 
Mel is used to charming audiences as an actor and stand-up comedian but can’t connect to Vivian. She’s a smart, talented artist—which is why he thinks she’s wasting her life as a corporate finance drone. The only thing uniting them is their goal for the wedding to go off without a hitch.
 
As they collaborate on wedding cake and karaoke parties, Mel realizes he might have seriously misjudged this bridesmaid, while Vivian discovers the best man might just be as dazzling off-screen as he is on. With the wedding underway, maybe more than one happily ever after is in the future.

Click this link to purchase!* The Stand-Up Groomsman

#4 BOOK RELEASE

Sophie Cousens has written some of my favorite more poignant novels over the last couple of years. This book sounds like a little soul-searching and a lot of romance. I hope.

Synopsis:  Head-in-the-stars Audrey is about to marry down-to-earth Josh. Though they are polar opposites, they have a healthy, stable relationship; Josh is just what Audrey needs. But romance should be unpredictable and full of fireworks, and as the big day approaches, Audrey’s found herself wondering if Josh really is “The One.”
 
    So, when Josh’s sister shows up to the rehearsal dinner with Fred, Audrey’s “What If? guy”—the man she met six years ago and had one amazing day with—Audrey finds herself torn. Surely Fred’s appearance the night before she is due to get married can’t be a coincidence. And when everything that could go wrong with the wedding starts to go wrong, Audrey has to ask herself: Is fate trying to stop her from making a huge mistake? Or does destiny just have a really twisty sense of humor?

Click this link to purchase!* Before I Do

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

#3 BOOK RELEASE

I have read several books by Mimi Matthews including the first book in this series. I enjoy the real-ness of her characters. I can’t wait to see how this book surprises me.

Synopsis: A London heiress rides out to the wilds of the English countryside to honor a marriage of convenience with a mysterious and reclusive stranger.

Tall, dark, and dour, the notorious Captain Jasper Blunt was once hailed a military hero, but tales abound of his bastard children and his haunted estate in Yorkshire. What he requires now is a rich wife to ornament his isolated ruin, and he has his sights set on the enchanting Julia Wychwood.
 
For Julia, an incurable romantic cursed with a crippling social anxiety, navigating a London ballroom is absolute torture. The only time Julia feels any degree of confidence is when she’s on her horse. Unfortunately, a young lady can’t spend the whole of her life in the saddle, so Julia makes an impetuous decision to take her future by the reins—she proposes to Captain Blunt.
 
In exchange for her dowry and her hand, Jasper must promise to grant her freedom to do as she pleases. To ride—and to read—as much as she likes without masculine interference. He readily agrees to her conditions, with one provision of his own: Julia is forbidden from going into the tower rooms of his estate and snooping around his affairs. But the more she learns of the beastly former hero, the more intrigued she becomes…

Click this link to purchase!* The Belle of Belgrave Square

#2 BOOK RELEASE

The long-awaited 4th novel in the Kingmaker Chronicles is out this month! I’ve re-read the series, gearing up for Jocasta and Finn’s story. I Can’t Wait!

Synopsis:

THE WAR OF GODS IS JUST BEGINNING

After centuries of conflict, the three kingdoms of Thalyria have finally been reunited. But now the queen has been cursed, the royal lineage has been broken, and no one knows who’s behind the plot to threaten the once-fractured realm’s fragile new peace.

Desperate to help, Jocasta—the king’s younger sister and a gifted healer—hatches a daring plan to find Circe’s Garden, a fabled island where she hopes to discover an antidote. But she can’t do it alone. She needs the strong arm and unflinching bravery of the warrior she’s loved since childhood—her brother’s right-hand-man and captain of the guard, Flynn of Sinta.

Flynn has spent years fighting to deny the desperate longing burning between them, but he cannot allow Jocasta to face this danger alone. He swears he will be her shield, and together they will do the impossible. Yet with old feelings blazing bright and treachery brewing on Mount Olympus, one thing is clear: Thalyria and its new royals are still pawns in an epic game of power—one that might end in a War of Gods.

Click this link to purchase!* A Curse of Queens

MOST ANTICIPATED OCTOBER’22 BOOK RELEASE

Part thriller, all drama, Mad Honey looks like a book that I need to schedule a weekend to read. I know I’m not going to be able to put this one down!

Synopsis: Olivia McAfee knows what it feels like to start over. Her picture-perfect life—living in Boston, married to a brilliant cardiothoracic surgeon, raising their beautiful son, Asher—was upended when her husband revealed a darker side. She never imagined that she would end up back in her sleepy New Hampshire hometown, living in the house she grew up in and taking over her father’s beekeeping business.
 
Lily Campanello is familiar with do-overs, too. When she and her mom relocate to Adams, New Hampshire, for her final year of high school, they both hope it will be a fresh start. 
 
And for just a short while, these new beginnings are exactly what Olivia and Lily need. Their paths cross when Asher falls for the new girl in school, and Lily can’t help but fall for him, too. With Ash, she feels happy for the first time. Yet at times, she wonders if she can trust him completely. . . .
 
Then one day, Olivia receives a phone call: Lily is dead, and Asher is being questioned by the police. Olivia is adamant that her son is innocent. But she would be lying if she didn’t acknowledge the flashes of his father’s temper in Ash, and as the case against him unfolds, she realizes he’s hidden more than he’s shared with her.
 
Mad Honey is a riveting novel of suspense, an unforgettable love story, and a moving and powerful exploration of the secrets we keep and the risks we take in order to become ourselves.

Click this link to purchase* Mad Honey

This Chick Read: Maggie Moves On by Lucy Score

YouTube star Maggie Nichols flips houses and films them for her channel, earning a million followers with her charm and talent. When she finds her next house in Kinship, Idaho, she immediately starts interviewing the local contractors to help her get this Victorian mansion ready for re-sale. When she meets hot landscaper guy, Silas, and his sweet dog she feels a clinch in her.. heart, a feeling that Silas definitely returns. Has she finally found a place she can call home?

Maggie Moves On is sweet, funny, and tugs on your heartstrings and if she hadn’t let Silas finally “catch” her, I would’ve written myself into this story and captured him myself. This was one romance novel where the hero is actually someone I could see myself also falling for, and his dog was the icing on the cake.

I loved Maggie and Silas together, but I also loved all of the characters that made up this sweet story. If Kinship Idaho were a real town, this book would have people moving there in droves. I loved the sense of community, the quirky characters, and the love everyone feels for each other. When someone faces adversity the whole town shows up to help them get through that difficult time. Ahhh, I love romance novels and the small towns where their stories reside.

It’s hard to pick out a favorite moment in a book that is filled with great moments, but I’d have to say that when Maggie and Silas meet is probably a meet cute that I will never forget. I won’t spoil it for you all, but if if you’re even going to crack this book open, you need to at least read through their first meeting. I bet if you get that far, you’ll keep turning the pages. This story and these characters are pretty irresistible. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase this book!* Maggie Moves On

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? (9/26/22)

I finished an audiobook this week that really got me thinking about our country’s revolution. My Dear Hamilton is the story of Eliza Hamilton and her husband Alexander, made famous in the musical Hamilton. Although really he was one of the founding fathers of our country and should be famous for that, but hey at least the musical has us talking about it all again. I have had this book For-ev-er. I have met Laura Kamoie, one of it’s authors, years ago and purchased the book when it came out in 2016. Then it sat on my audible shelf until I watched Hamilton for the third time and thought, you know what? I want to know more than what this version of Hamilton’s story is telling me. Wow, I learned a lot and it was so interesting! Don’t be surprised if you see me reading more from the Revolutionary War era. It’s fascinating, really! Let’s catch up on the books I’ve been reading lately!

JUST FINISHED

This book was so, so long! It’s funny but when you are reading books on your kindle and it takes forever for your % to move forward you know the book must be a behemoth. Did I like it? Review to come. I did and I didn’t.

JUST STARTED

I haven’t really started this book yet but it’s certainly high up on my TBR. I’ve got it checked out from the library and am eagerly anticipating how good it will be after I loved Elena Armas’s The Spanish Love Deception. I’ll let you know what I think!

Have you read any good books lately?

Happy reading and happy Monday!

Deb

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: Can you compartmentalize your feelings for an author from the book’s they have written?

My entire last week was spent reading the same book. A 900+ behemoth and the sixth book in a series, The Ink Black Heart by Robert Galbraith aka J. K. Rowling. I love this series, but I’ll admit I too have mixed feelings about reading a book written by an author who has made transphobic remarks. I don’t agree with her remarks at all and knowing her feelings, it’s hard not to read one of her books without keeping an eye out towards any hidden agendas or feelings.

J. K. Rowling known for the uber popular Harry Potter novels in my eyes ruined her rep as a beloved novelist a couple of years ago and despite my anger towards her beliefs did not wait to pick up the most recent novel in the Cormoran Strike series. Do I feel bad about supporting this author by reading her novels? Yeah. How do I rationalize it to myself? I really don’t do much rationalizing although I didn’t purchase the book but borrowed a copy through the library, so I can feel kind of good about that. Why do I keep reading her books? I feel like I’ve developed a relationship with these characters and it’s hard to not read their story to its conclusion. I’m invested. Just like I”m invested in Harry Potter and the Fantastic Beasts movie franchise. But, I do feel like I should be shouting out my pro-trans and LGBTQ+ feelings just to disassociate myself from someone who uses her power for ill.

Here’s a question, are you better at separating yourself from authors, actors, politician’s, whomever! Do you sit quietly and stew? Join protest marches? Don’t buy their books and go to movies? How evil does someone have to get before it causes a reaction from you? I’ll admit, during a political season I will get off my couch and vote to try to keep someone I disagree with intensely from holding office but an author who lives a continent away? I am disenchanted, yes. I still picked up the book and read it- although I didn’t buy it. I will also be writing a review which is a way of supporting sales for that book, or not depending on what I thought of it. I wouldn’t vote her into our government, that’s for sure.

I use J. K. Rowling as an example because I’ve just finished this book, but there are many popular figures that this thought could be applied to. I obviously have mixed feelings and so I thought I’d just open this thought up for discussion, if any of you should like to make a comment and let me know your thoughts.

Deb

This Chick Read: The Will (The Magdalene Series #1) by Kristen Ashley

I own almost all of this author’s novels and lately I’ve been re-reading some of them and writing small reviews, which I didn’t do when I initially read the books. I purchased The Will in 2015 when it came out and funny enough, didn’t remember it all other than a general sense that I’d liked it. It turns out I was correct, although I saw a few things this time that I didn’t note when I first read it.

The premise is that Josephine Malone had a beloved grandmother who lived in an awesome house in a small town. Josephine would spend summers with her and as an adult would come to town and visit with her frequently. When her grandmother dies, Josephine inherits the house and comes back to town for the funeral and to go through her grandmothers things. She has spent her adult life as an admin assistant for a famous photographer, collecting knowledge about clothes, fashion, music, and famous people which makes her very interesting to read about. Anyway, when its time for the will to be read, Josey and ex boxer, strip club owner, Jake Spear are the only two people at the will. Apparently Jake and Lydia were great friends, something that was news to Josephine but she shrugged it off. What couldn’t be shrugged off was that Lydia gave Josephine to Jake in the will. Of course, you can’t give one person to another, but it did open the door to the two of them getting to know each other better, which was the point. The Will is their story.

What I really liked about this story is that these two very different people over-looked all of their differences to just be together. Isn’t that what love is all about? Josephine became Josey, despite her upper class dialect and well, Jake didn’t change very much at all, but he did find all that was Josey cute and wonderful which was good enough for me. He was a father to three children, something that KA writes about frequently, and Josey becomes inseparable from those kids, enmeshed in their lives almost immediately. I liked the family dynamic, but I also loved the story between Josey and Jake.

I won’t say this was the most original book that Kristen Ashley has ever written. She has a formula that works for her and this story followed that formula. It didn’t really hold any surprises for me, but I enjoyed reading the story and getting to know these characters again. I spent the afternoon (and evening because boy her books can be lengthy!) with old friends and they made me feel good! That’s what a good romance novel is supposed to do for it’s reader, isn’t it?

❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase this book!* The Will

Copyright 2022 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

This Chick’s Mini review: Below Zero by Ali Hazelwood

This final book in Ali Hazelwood’s mini series about three best friends. This book follows NASA aerospace engineer, Hannah. In grad school Hanna needs to interview someone for an assignment and her best friend Mara hooks her up with her cousin Ian who is in the same industry and who was on the team that sent the last rover to Mars and they have instant heat but years later they are arch-rivals.

Out of the three Women of STEM books, this one was the book that I’d have liked to see as full length. There was obvious chemistry between Hannah and Ian and I would’ve liked to have explored each character a little more fully to develop that chemistry into full fledged heat. Hannah had a really interesting back story that begged to be told and I would’ve liked to have known a bit more about Ian’s personality that wasn’t just limited to young genius.

What I liked the best about this novel was how each of these characters were so strong and independent but they needed each other and were better together than by themselves. At least they were in my mind. LOL.

I love all of Ali Hazelwood’s novels. The characters are interesting, funny, and smart. The dialog is sassy and you just want to be their friends in real life. (I also wouldn’t mind taken home my own Ian…)

❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Below Zero

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: Deadly Night (Ageless Mysteries #1) by Vanessa Nelson

Vanessa Nelson has created a truly unique world and set our main character in the midst of a gruesome murder investigation, pitting her against the ruling elite. With the help of a prominent mage assigned to helping her find the killer by the Archon herself, newly promoted Watch officer Thea March uses her instinct and skills to find the killer.

I should’ve remembered that once you pick up a novel by Vanessa Nelson you are addicted to reaching for the conclusion to the underlying story. I zipped through all five of the novels in this series and am eagerly anticipating the sixth out this November. In this first novel, I learned a lot about this world that our heroine inhabits. Thea March is not one of the elite, but as a March officer, a police officer of sorts, she holds a little status among the residents of the city she lives in. However, she, just like all of her fellow city-dwellers, are minions in comparison with the beings who inhabit the skies and the city where the Archon, or ruler, lives.

Each of these novels in the series gives us more insight in to Thea and I became fascinated with her story. As with all of my favorite fantasy novels, Thea seems to be just like those who surround her, but her actions show a bravery and hint of something “other”. I’m totally interested in finding out who and what she is while at the same time enjoying these really great mysteries that she must solve. Each mystery solved moves her character forward and the reader becomes more invested in her story. This first novel gives us the first hints of Thea’s personality and backstory and I think if you read this first novel you, like me, will be sucked into these fantastic fantasy novels.

❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase this book!* Deadly Night

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: A Hunt of Shadows (A Trial of Sorcerers #2) by Elise Kova

Set in the same world as this authors Air Awakens series, this second book continues the story of Eira, a Waterrunner and now Champion of the Soleris kingdom as she travels to a distant land to compete against other empires in a magical tournament. What is supposed to unite these lands together becomes a fight for her life as Eira hunts for the man who killed her brother. Eira becomes a guest of the Court of Shadows, an elite group of magical warriors who are spies for their kingdom, and infiltrates the lethal Pillars whom are harboring the man who killed her brother. Eira learns that she may need the help of her friends in order to remain alive as she becomes a pawn to be used to bring the empire down.

I really enjoyed the first novel in this series and learning of Eira’s birthright as the daughter of a mysterious pirate. That background is touched on in A Hunt of Shadows but this story revolves around her need for vengeance on the man who caused her brothers death. Eira’s plan to infiltrate both the Court of Shadows and the Pillars doesn’t go exactly as planned and her life is threatened repeatedly, yet she is determined and despite advice from people who are more informed than she is, she believes she knows best and goes it alone. I’ll admit that this flying solo bit was a tad tiring and I wished that she’d learned to trust her friends and bring her into the plot a little sooner than was done. Once she had someone watching her back I thought the story moved quicker and I enjoyed that journey more.

Eira has been lied to about her heritage for her entire life and that has definitely given her a chip on her shoulder. She feels like she’s a burden and no one else can be trusted but herself. I get it. After reading the first book and seeing how she was treated by everyone including her own family I can see why she would be so independent but these novels are filled with some other great characters that I wish got more time on the page. Her friendship with Alyss is great and her budding romance with Cullen is a bit mysterious but a much needed break from the dark and dreary revenge plot. I relished those moments when it was Eira leaning a bit on someone other than herself and wished that there were more of them, lightening up a rather dark book.

I’m enjoying getting to know this author and have liked other books she’s written. I think this book is a device to move the plot forward. Eira didn’t really grow as a character and in fact reverted back to her mistrust of everyone by the end of the book. I’d really like to see this character move out of the darkness and into the light by allowing her to trust people a bit more and not wanting to tackle everything by herself. I am looking forward to the third book in the series because it’s my hope that the author will do all of these things for this character. Fingers crossed, but this book for me was just average. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

Click this link to purchase!* A Hunt of Shadows

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? (9/12/22)

Who out there reads multiple books at one time? I’ll admit that I usually am listening to an audiobook and reading a book or two simultaneously. I usually only physically read two books at once if one of them just hasn’t grabbed me and I’m committed to reviewing it. Otherwise I just put it down and never pick it up again. I listen to books all the time; while walking in the morning, driving in my car, and even if I’m doing something that doesn’t require thinking while at work. I’ll admit that doesn’t happen as often as I’d like though! LOL. Here are the books that have been on my nightstand recently.

JUST FINISHED

There were moments in this book that I really liked and moments where I just went “huh”. It was definitely different than I’d expected!

JUST STARTED

I’m pretty methodical in my reading and when I get a book to read and review I usually wait a little closer to the release date to read but I love this series by Olivia Dade and immediately cracked it open. I’m not disappointed so far!

Have you read any good books lately?

Have a great Monday and happy reading.

Deb