It’s Monday, what are you reading? (10/19/2020)

I love fall! The weather has finally gotten a little bit cooler and you can feel that winter is not too far off. It was a weekend that felt somewhat normal running errands, shopping at the store, and hunkering down to read. I finished a book that I’d been reading all week and have started the next on my list. I’m still not reading anything too serious because my mind just isn’t into the struggle of focusing and retaining something more strenuous. Is anyone else still having this problem? It’s frustrating! Anyhow, here’s the lowdown.

This post originated over on Book Date, so thanks for the idea and letting me continue on the discussion about what books I am reading.

JUST FINISHED

A very cute romance set around the food truck scene. I liked the characters a lot and the food sounded delish!

JUST STARTED

I’ve loved the previous novels in this series and am excited to have gotten an ARC for this one! It comes out this week so I need to get a move on!

Tell me, what books have you read or are you reading this week? A cozy mystery? A classic novel? Or are you curled up with an old favorite?

Deb

This Chick Read: Simmer Down by Sarah Smith

Nikki DiMarco and her mom Tiva run a food truck in Maui called Tiva’s Filipina Kusina. It was her father’s dream to run this food truck and after his death Nikki moved to Maui to make that dream come true with her mom. Struggling to make ends meet they finally get a great spot along the beach when another food truck run by Finn and Callum James, tries to hone in on their spot. Nikki and Callum take an instant dislike to each other and become social media famous for their escalating arguments. Does this dislike cover up a hot attraction? You bet!

After reading Sarah Smith’s last novel, Faker, I hadn’t planned on reading another but I’m so glad I did! Unlike Faker, Simmer Down didn’t have any of the awkward descriptors and instead relied on a great plot and plenty of attraction to reel the reader right in. I’ll admit, I’m also a sucker for romance novels where food is the third character. I’m not that familiar with lumpia’s but after reading all about them in Simmer Down I want to run out and try some Filipino food!

Nikki’s heart was broken by her father’s death and she hesitates to let anyone get close. Callum’s disagreeable facial expressions hide his true feelings and when they sit next to each other for 9 hours on a plane Nikki realizes that he’s actually as charming as he is hot and has a hard time keeping her heart out of the relationship. I don’t think it’s a secret that my favorite trope is enemies to lovers and this was a really good one. The only reason why it didn’t get a 5 rating is because the ending seemed a touch too predictable. I did like their characters and the food. OMG! I need to find me some lumpia’s quick! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase!* Simmer Down

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

This Chick Read: The Midnight Bargain by C.L. Polk

In a world similar to Regency England, women with magical power are sold into marriage as a business arrangement between families. Some of whom are looking for that magical boost to their gene pool, and others may receive financial gain. On the day of their marriage these young women are forced to wear a collar that inhibits their powers for fear that the children they bear may be possessed. Beatrice Clayburn is a young sorceress who does not want to get married. She dreams of the day when she can become a Mage and through being a Mage help her family’s finances, instead her father wants to marry her off. Beatrice practices her sorcery in private but at night she attends balls and is under the attention of all of the young men who are on the marriage mart. Determined not to ever marry, one day she meets Ianthe Lavan and is torn between what she needs and what she wants.

I thought it was interesting that this fantasy tale paralleled the paths of young women in Victorian England who may have fought for equal rights during the Suffrage movement. Also forced to marry for business or monetary reasons these women also dreamed of their voices being heard and not smothered by or becoming possessions of their husbands. The collar that Beatrice would have to wear also brings to mind the collared slaves who were at the whim of their masters in the United States. Reading this novel during the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote and while the Black Matters Movement is still being fought certainly made what Beatrice was and would go through very relevant. I can’t imagine the author didn’t intend for the reader’s mind to follow those parallel paths.

Surprisingly I didn’t get tired of Beatrice’s mixed feelings over falling in love with a young man while at the same time as wanting the freedom to pursue her own future. Most authors would have chosen the easier path, but C.L. Polk chose what spoke to her character and that decision read true to me. I will admit to shedding a tear or two for Beatrice and Ianthe in this novel while hoping their rocky path would smooth out.

I could imagine the hardships of not only Beatrice but all of the young women of her time. In a discussion with her mother about never wanting to wear the collar her mother told a story of how she chose to marry for love and how that love deadened over time. Beatrice’s decision for her future couldn’t just be about how much she loved Ianthe or how much she wanted to be a Mage. Her decision was about not letting anyone have control over her body and while I am not making a political statement I can certainly say that I identified with that feeling while reading this novel. So, did I like it? Yes. A lot actually. But was it easy reading? It really wasn’t. It made me think about what was going on in the world right now. Not a bad thing but maybe not exactly what I was looking for when I sat down to read either.

❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase!* The Midnight Bargain

Copyright 2020 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? (10/12/2020)

I am blaming my lack of reading on discovering the program Schitt’s Creek on Netflix. My husband and I have been binge watching and enjoying this hysterical comedy. I can understand why it swept the Emmy’s this year, the show is hilarious! So, I have only read one book this week. Let me catch you up on it!

This post originated over on Book Date, so thanks for the idea and letting me continue on the discussion about what books I am reading.

JUST FINISHED

A fantasy novel that felt both historical and relevant to my time. In this fantasy world Sorceresses are denied their right to their magic, forced to wear a collar that inhibits their abilities when they marry. The fear is that their children will be possessed with horrible consequences to this possession. I can’t help but make comparison’s to so many things. This year’s 100th anniversary of the women’s right to vote and the black lives matter movement immediately come to mind. I was eager to read it and wasn’t disappointed by what I read.

JUST STARTED

I haven’t actually started this on yet, but it’s up next. It’s a rom-com set in the Miami food truck/restaurant world and sounds adorable. Can’t wait!

What are you all going to be reading to get your week off to a great start?

Deb

Mistletoe and Mr. Right (Moose Springs, Alaska #2) by Sarah Morgenthaler

Moose Springs, Alaska has small town charm but with the new resort being built it’s residents aren’t too happy with socialite Lana Montgomery. Lana has been coming to Moose Springs since she was a child and those memories are some of her warmest. Bringing tourism into the town will help it survive and Lana is determined that it would. As the owner of a new condo being developed up the mountain, she’s not looked on too fondly by anyones except bar owner, Rick Harding. His ho-hum life has been turned upside down by this stiletto wearing, Santa Moose stalking, dynamo. He’s see’s right through her business persona to the soft hearted woman beneath and he’s lost at first site.

I love Moose Springs, Alaska! I am a huge fan of the first novel and Zoey and Graham’s story and loved to see these characters evolve. Lana was a fun side character but how was she as the main character in her own story? I actually liked her a lot! I could totally see why Rick fell for her. Her tough exterior surrounded a warm gooey inside. I do wish the author hadn’t given her this one annoying to saying throughout the book. I found it out of character and annoying. Despite that one word, these were two characters that were completely likable and it was a cute romance novel. I will admit it’s always weird to be reading a Christmas themed book in October, but that’s marketing for you!

The best part of this book was the return of all of the town’s characters and having their stories evolve. Graham and Zooey get a small story arc and Ash and Easton’s sarcasm continues to reign. This is a quirky small town that deserves its own show or movie. Hey, if Robyn Carr can do it with Virgin River, my vote goes to Moose Springs getting their own show too! You can only hope! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Please click this link to purchase!* Mistletoe and Mr. Right (Moose Springs, Alaska Book 2)

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

This Chicks Audio Review: Dead Witch Walking (The Hollows #1) by Kim Harrison and Narrated by Marguerite Gavin

One of my new favorite things to do is to revisit previous favorites by listening to them as audiobooks. Kim Harrison’s Hollows series has been one of my favorite urban fantasy series and recently when she came out with a surprise novel in what was a completed series I decided to take a look back and listen to the first novel, Dead Witch Walking. Narrated by Marguerite Gavin, I was pleasantly surprised at how much the main character Rachel Morgan, still resonated with a much older me.

The Hollows series is set in a world just like ours, but where magic and paranormal beings are commonplace ever since “The Turn” when a genetically altered tomato killed a good portion of the human race. Rachel Morgan is a witch, but she’s also an investigator, and Dead Witch Walking is the start of her story and her investigative team of Ivy, a living vampire, and Jenks, a pixy. The three of them live and work out of an old church in the Hollows, the more magical part of Cincinnati. Rachel has a price on her head and in order to pay it off she tries to bring in evidence against mysterious millionaire Trent Kalamack, that shows he’s dealing in Brimstone a street drug. In Dead Witch Walking you get a lot of set up, not only to the world, but also to the characters and Marguerite Gavin does a great job at voicing all of them. My favorite voice being Jenks, who’s a small pixy (picture tinkerbell sized) and his voice somewhat matches that size. It’s too cute.

Rachel Morgan, despite her witchiness, attracts trouble. She’s somewhat of a blunderer but she has great instincts and in this case she’s taken on a bit more than she can chew in Trent Kalamack who exhibits supreme bad guy vibes in this first novel. In the end, Rachel gets what she wants by paying off her debt and getting rid of the price on her head, but it’s not exactly done in the way that she hoped. Dead Witch Walking is a mad-cap adventure story with great characters that develop into true friends and a great investigative team, and also sets the story for many of the things that happen to and for Rachel in the next 15 novels. If you love well done urban fantasy novels and have the patience to see your character grow into the kick a&$ she becomes, please pick this up, listen to it, or plug it directly into your brain in whatever means possible. This book is good, but the series is even better and I’m excited that Marguerite Gavin does such a great job with the narration because I’ll be listening to them for a while to come. (15 books! Sixteen if you count the flashback, The Turn.)

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase the audiobook!* Dead Witch Walking: Hollows, Book 1

Copyright 2020 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 Murderous Relation (Veronica Speedwell #5) by Deanna Raybourn

In 1888, London is being stalked by the notorious Jack the Ripper. At the same time as those gruesome murders Veronica and her friend Stoker are asked by Lady Wellington to step in to recover a diamond gifted to a “friend” of the royal Prince, Veronica’s half brother. Not wanting to be manipulated by a family who has never recognized her, Veronica refuses, until Lady Welly comes down sick and they discover in her notes that she’s afraid the Prince may have something to do with these Jack the Ripper killings.

Veronica and Stoker’s adventurous have something to do with my own recent trend towards reading historical mysteries. It’s intriguing to think that before technology, murders were solved by only acting questions and in Veronica’s case, good instinct. I like the way my brain works to solve these mysteries along with the main characters!

Veronica and Stoker, not hampered by their societal connections have become rather known for solving crimes and despite her misgivings Veronica can’t help but look into the goings on behind giving an enormous diamond gift to a known benefactress or madame. This mystery, like the last novel did for Stoker, allows the reader to connect with Veronica by allowing us to see her interactions with the prince. A brother she’d never met, and one who never knew he had a secret sister. I enjoyed those tender scenes, or as tender as one can be in Victorian England.

The first four novels in this series set the stage and amped up the tension in a will they or won’t they between Veronica and Stoker until this novel, where we’d assume there would be a conclusive union. I’ll admit to a little impatience on that front because the investigation got in the way of my romance, but finally, as the book was ending Veronica and Stoker found the time (my feelings and words) to embrace their future. Finally! I’ll admit I was disappointed that it happened at the end of the book, and again left you with a feeling of ‘now what?’ because I’m not sure where I want to see them go from here. Together, yes, but how? I’m curious to see how the author will settle them into their future. It will be untraditional, of that I’m pretty certain.

Do you like historical mysteries? If so, Deanna Raybourn’s Veronica Speedwell series may be the right books for you. I’ve really enjoyed them and look forward to re-reading them as I’ve purchased every one!

❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* A Murderous Relation (A Veronica Speedwell Mystery)

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (9/28/2020)

Happy Monday! It’s that time when we look towards a new week and what book we are reading that will help us get a quick start!

This post originated over on Book Date, so thanks for the idea and letting me continue on the discussion about what books I am reading.

JUST FINISHED

I re-read this novel by Kristen Ashley. It had been a few years since I’d read it and I wondered if my feelings for it would have changed at all with a second read. Nope! I may write a review for this one, so hang tight!

JUST STARTED

I’ve had this one on my wishlist at the library for awhile and thought this weekend my be a good time for a light hearted romance! So far, I like it! It’s very light and sweet. The perfect start to my week!

What book is giving a kick start to your week?

Deb

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: A second love…

OK, it’s confession time! I have another love in my life besides books. Well, and my husband, dog, cat, and family. Alright, I do have a lot of loves in my life, but I do have another! It’s time for my confession.

I have never been a girly girl. I was a tomboy growing up and I loved to play sports. I wore jeans all the time and didn’t like to wear dresses. My mom despaired of my ever wearing a dress anywhere besides church! So, two years ago when a friend approached me on Facebook and asked me to join her group. I was curious. What is this VIP group? I’ll admit, I’m a cynic so I wondered what she was selling. I have a ton of friends who are in direct sales and I do my due diligence purchasing products in small amounts but this VIP group was a new thing! I joined to support her and found myself among ladies who laughed, played games, and looked at these cute nail strips that came in all these different colors and designs. To support my friend I purchased Color Street’s Buy 3 Get 1 free sale and I was hooked.

I hated painting my nails! BUT these strips were so easy, I just stuck them on, stripped the excess off with my thumb and vôilá! I had chick nails! So, this year in the pandemic this VIP Group became my bright spot. So, I decided, what the heck I’m going to try to sell them! I became a Color Street Independent Stylist and I created my own VIP group. I hope I’m bringing some joy into other ladies lives, like my friend Jennifer did in mine.

If you are on Facebook (USA), please feel free to join. Click the picture below and ask to be invited in! I’ll accept. I don’t discriminate, so if any gents would like to join please feel free, however if you become obnoxious I’ll give you the boot. LOL

Click here to join my VIP Group!

If you would like to check out Color Street nails because you’re curious but don’t want to join my VIP Group I totally understand! Here is that link, please check it out!

https://www.colorstreet.com/DebKehoe/products (also only ships in the USA, sorry!)

So, how does this tie to my love for books? Well, other than I can see my hand in pretty nails holding that book, it really doesn’t. BUT I’m going to tie them together for this very special blog feature! (Oh, and a big shout out to Rachel and Martina who are also Independent Stylists and created these book graphics!)

I thought it would be fun to pair a nail strip set (100% real nail polish dry sets) with an answer to the question in the graphic on the left.

Well, I love romances that take place in tropical islands, but I’ll admit I read a great thriller that was set in the Antarctica and that locale was totally fascinating! I’m going with the exotic!

This one is totally easy! My mom read The Hobbit and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to me at night when I was little. She would voice all of the characters and to this day I love fantasy novels! I tend towards romantic fantasy now like Ilona Andrews, Patricia Briggs, and Anne Bishop.

Well, it’s not Lord of the Flies! LOL. I think a Nancy Drew novel might be fun. At least I wouldn’t be bored because I’d have a mystery to solve!

I like them both, but I’ll admit that as I get older and my eyesight gets worse the light on an e-book helps me read late into the night.

Right now I’m listening to the Jane Yellowrock series by Faith Hunter. They are filled with action, Jane is a strong female lead, and there’s a hot love interest. Khristine Hvam does an amazing job too!

Is that even possible? Hmm. Maybe Lord of the Rings because it wasn’t quite as long? I did love those movies!

I have two favorites, really but when mixed together they are my go-to! Romantic-Fantasy!

What’s not on my TBR pile should be the question! I’m really looking forward to reading Alexa Martin’s new book Snapped! and C.L. Polk’s The Bargain, but I’ve also been delving back into reading some comfort novels. I just finished a Kristen Ashley novel I read years ago called Knight. It was still pretty good!

I absolutely do! There’s nothing I hate more than when the cover doesn’t give credence to the plot in the book. Or makes it seem like a rom-com when it’s actually a pretty dark novel! A couple of my favorites are:

Well, any of the above four to start!

Please don’t ever bend the corner of a page as your bookmark! Tear off a scrap of paper, use a Starbucks sleeve, use an actual bookmark, there are so many pretty ones you can buy and get for free! This is a pet peeve of mine. Also bending back spines, but don’t even get me started on that topic.

Oh boy, I have so many and every time I read a book I gather more favorite couples. So, I’m going to go with a couple who had had longevity. Around 47-48 books I think? Eve and Roarke from J.D. Robb’s In Death series. I don’t know how she does it, but these books are rarely bad. And there are so many of them!

How did I do? I thought this exercise was pretty fun!

Have a great day you all!

Deb

This Chick Read: Smash It! by Francina Simone

Liv is tired of being afraid to take chances and after showing up to a Halloween party in khaki shorts and a hoodie she decides to go for it, have experiences, and change her life! First up is trying out for the school play, a hip-hop version of Othello. Scared to death, her two best friends Dré and Eli, also try out and the drama begins. Having two boys for best friends has led Liv to make the safe choices but when a cute boy in the play asks her out, she risks it all. How will this affect her feelings for her two friends? You’re going to have to read this charming un-putdown-able novel.

I’m not even lying. I stayed up until 1am on a work night reading this book. How Liv feels about herself is so relatable to 90% of the female population. She thinks she’s overweight, has bad hair, and isn’t cute when she’s the complete opposite! She’s fun, funny, a kick butt singer, can dance, is curvy, and should be a self confident young woman. When she tries out for this play and says yes to her first date a whole new world opens before her and her two friends take notice!

What can I say about Eli and Dré? They were totally different from each other, had real problems that added a nice bit of conflict to the story, and both loved Liv to death. Their friendship was one of my favorite things about this book, and despite their lives changing as they got older, they could all rely on each other. To a point. But what would a story be without a little drama, right?

This was a totally fun book, that felt real. I didn’t feel like a middle aged woman reading a teen novel. I felt like these kids anxiety’s are what people of any age feel on a daily basis. Their stories were relatable, their triangle was interesting, and each of their story arc’s read true. Despite your own age, Smash It! is a book that needs to be read. It may make you look differently at your own life, but if not, it will at least entertain you with their’s. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase!* Smash It!

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

* Amazon Associate- if you buy this book through the above link I may make a small stipend.