This Chick Read: Midnight Dunes (The Texas Murder Files #3) by Laura Griffin

Macey Burns has been hired by the Tourism Board of Lost Beach, Texas to film a series of commercials. When she moves into the beach house she’s rented she not only finds that it’s not as advertised but that a woman’s body has been found in the dunes not even a half mile away. As an ex-crime reporter she can’t help but be curious about the scene and the investigation. Especially after she meets Detective Owen Breda and discovers she’s living in the dead woman’s house. As she starts filming the area, she meets people, hears their stories and starts piecing together clues. Old habits are hard to break.

Midnight Dunes was a very quick moving, easy to read romantic thriller. Told from two points of view we very easily feel the connection our main characters feel, as well as all of the other emotions each scene unveils. Macey was a really easy character to like. Smart, independent, and beautiful, it’s no wonder Owen can’t stop thinking of her. He also is an intriguing character. Tall and handsome, he has an instinct for questioning people that helps him get answers he needs. Funny enough, I think he and Macey are pretty similar to each other although she’s outgoing and he doesn’t seem to be. I liked them for each other a lot, so it was easy to root for that side of the story.

The mystery was really good and not too easy to anticipate who did what. I like being surprised and this story had a few that kept me on my toes and reading until the end. I was a little worried about this being the third book in the series but it seems that the series, although connected, has stand alone stories so don’t be afraid of picking this one up, you can jump right in without missing any intricate underlining stories. It was a very fast, fun read.

Click this book to purchase!* MIdnight Dunes

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? (5/23/22)

When you’re out sick for a week you watch a lot of TV and read a LOT of books. I’m still quarantining from my husband who is now sick, so still reading and watching tv. I’m definitely jumping genre’s since I’m getting bored a little easy and trying to find something good that will stick. Here are the most recent books that are landing on my virtual bookshelf.

JUST FINISHED

Kelley Armstrong has written so many great novels I just had to give her new series a try. A time travelling detective? This definitely checks the box for historical mystery, one of my favorite genre’s.

JUST STARTED

A new to me author, I ran across someone talking about this series and thought it sounded really interesting. A group of women who vet future husbands and make sure their future wives have rights and aren’t taken advantage of? Umm, yes please! It’s off to a great start so far and I may have found a new author to look out for!

I’d love to hear what books have caught your interest this week. Share in the comments!

Happy Monday and happy reading!

Deb

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: My Top 5 Book Releases (June’22)

We are heading into my favorite time of the year. When Summer blockbuster movies and vacation book releases are headed on the way to consumers everywhere. In looking towards the June releases, again there are some that I am really looking forward to reading and cross all genres. Here are the books I’m most looking forward to being released in June.

#5 BOOK RELEASE

I’m totally on board with books about books and if our heroine is writing one…even better! This romance, set in a small town during their Shakespeare festival, looks super cute and perfect for taking the reader away from a hard days work.

Synopsis: To go for it or not to go for it? That is the question when two former high school flames return to their Shakespeare-obsessed hometown for a summer of theater and unexpected romance, in a laugh-out-loud rom-com from debut author Jessica Martin.

Literary agent and writer Miranda Barnes rolls into her hometown of Bard’s Rest with one goal in mind: to spend the summer finally finishing her YA novel, the next installment in her bestselling fantasy series. Yet Miranda’s mother, deep in the planning stages for the centennial of the town’s beloved annual Shakespeare festival, has other ideas. 
 
Before you can say “all’s fair in love and war,” Miranda is cornered into directing Twelfth Night—while simultaneously scrambling to finish her book, navigating a family health scare, and doing her best to avoid the guy who broke her heart on prom night.
 
When it comes to Adam, the veterinarian with a talent for set design and an infuriating knack for winning over Miranda’s dog, the lady doth protest too much. As any Shakespeare lovers knows, the course of true love never did run smooth, and soon Miranda realizes she’ll have to decide whether to trust Adam with her heart again.

Click this link to purchase!* For the Love of the Bard

#4 BOOK RELEASE

It’s time to return to the Hollows with my favorite troublemaker heroine, Rachel Morgan. Nothing made me happier than when Kim Harrison decided to continue on with one of my favorite fantasy series. When she releases a Hollows novel it automatically jumps into my TBR.

Synopsis: Rachel Morgan must keep her friends close—and her enemies closer—in the next Hollows novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison.

Rachel Morgan, witch-born demon, has one unspoken rule: take chances, but pay for them yourself. With it, she has turned enemies into allies, found her place with her demon kin, and stepped up as the subrosa of Cincinnati—responsible for keeping the paranormal community at peace and in line.
 
Life is . . . good? Even better, her best friend, Ivy Tamwood, is returning home. Nothing’s simple, though, and Ivy’s not coming alone. The vampires’ ruling council insists she escort one of the long undead, hell-bent on proving that Rachel killed Cincy’s master vampire to take over the city. Which, of course, Rachel totally did not do. She only transformed her a little.
 
With Rachel’s friends distracted by their own lives and problems, she reaches out to a new ally for help—the demon Hodin. But this trickster has his own agenda. In the end, the only way for Rachel to save herself and the city may be to forge a new understanding with her estranged demon teacher, Al. There’s just one problem: Al would sell his own soul to be rid of her. . . .

Click this link to purchase!* Trouble with the Cursed

#3 BOOK RELEASE

Lucy Score has become one of my go to authors for romantic comedy, so I just have to pick this one up and give it a read! The synopsis looks fun and I’m looking forward to a giggle or two while reading.

Synopsis: Can these opposites turn up the heat… without burning down the house?

House-flipping sensation and YouTube star Maggie Nichols can’t wait to dig into her next challenge. Arriving in tiny Kinship, Idaho, with only a cot and a coffeemaker, Maggie is prepared to restore a crumbling Victorian mansion in four months or less. She has her to-do lists, her blueprints, and her team. What she doesn’t have is time for sexy, laid-back landscaper Silas Wright.

The man takes flirtation to a whole new level. And he does it shirtless…sometimes pants-less. He and his service school-dropout dog are impressively persistent. But she’s not interested in putting down roots. Not when fans tune in to watch her travel the country turning dilapidated houses into dream homes. A short-term fling on the other hand could fit nicely into her calendar. After all, Maggie remembers what fun is like. Vaguely.

As their summer gets downright steamy, Silas manages to demolish the emotional walls she’s spent years building, sending Maggie into a panic. He’s the wrench in her carefully constructed plans. With the end of the project looming, she has a decision to make. But how can she stay when her entire career is built on moving on?

Click this link to purchase!* Maggie Moves On

#2 BOOK RELEASE

I love a good historical with hints of mystery and romance and The Last Dress from Paris looks like it has all of that and more. I can’t wait to dive into this luscious historical.

Synopsis: The secret is hidden within a collection of Dior dresses…

London, 2017. There’s no one Lucille adores more than her grandmother. So when her beloved Granny Sylvie asks for Lucille’s assistance with a small matter, she’s happy to help. The next thing she knows, Lucille is on a train to Paris, tasked with retrieving a priceless Dior dress. But not everything is as it seems, and what Lucille finds in a small Parisian apartment will have her scouring the city for answers to a question that could change her entire life.

Paris, 1952. Postwar France is full of glamour and privilege, and Alice Ainsley is in the middle of it all. As the wife to the British ambassador to France, Alice’s job is to see and be seen—even if that wasn’t quite what she signed up for. Her husband showers her with jewels, banquets, and couture Dior dresses, but his affection has become distressingly elusive. As the strain on her marriage grows, Alice’s only comfort is her bond with her trusted lady’s maid, Marianne. But when a new face appears in her drawing room, Alice finds herself yearning to follow her heart…no matter the consequences.

The City of Light comes alive in this lush, evocative tale that explores the ties that bind us together, the truths we hold that make us who we are, and the true meaning of what makes someone family.

Click this link to purchase!* The Last Dress from Paris

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

#1 BOOK RELEASE FOR JUNE’22

There’s something special about Katrina Leno’s stories. They are just magical. This novel looks like it has all of the elements to be another great young adult novel.

Synopsis: From critically acclaimed author Katrina Leno comes a tender love letter to books and summertime, with a touch of magic.

Anna Lucia Bell believes in luck: bad luck. Bad luck made her best friend stop talking to her. Bad luck caused her parents’ divorce. Bad luck is forcing her mother, Miriam, to sell the family’s beloved bookstore. And it is definitely bad luck that Anna seems to be the only person in the world Miriam is unable to recommend a life-changing book.

When Anna finds out that she and her mom are spending two months in a New England seaside town called Rockport, she expects a summer plagued with bad luck too. But Rockport has surprises in store for Anna, including a comet making its first appearance in over twenty years and two new—but familiar—friends.

In what will prove to be the most important summer of her life so far, Anna learns about love, herself, and the magic that an ordinary summer can bring.

Click this link to purchase!* Sometime in Summer

I hope there are some books your anticipating that will launch your summer reading!

Enjoy.

Deb

This Chick Read: Bloomsbury Girls by Natalie Jenner

It’s post WWII England.The town of Bloomsbury is filled with boutique shopping, quiet cafe’s and Bloomsbury Books. Open for 100 years, and owned by Lord Basking, it’s an institution resistant to change, or at least the men who run it are resistant. London is certainly eager to move on from the war. Bloomsbury Girls follows three women who work in the store and who want to make changes in their lives. Vivien is tired of men holding all the power and making all of the decisions. She has a vision for a bookstore that features female authors. Grace is married with two small boys and has taken a job at Bloomsbury Books to get away from a controlling husband and her worsening circumstances. Evie has finished her education at Cambridge but was beaten out for an assistant position in large part due to her being a woman despite better grades and higher intelligence. One night after a successful female author’s event Bloomsbury Books becomes the centerpiece for gathering women and the impetus for change.

While Bloomsbury Books is not the second in a series if you’ve read Jenner’s The Jane Austen Society, you’ll recognize quite a few of the characters. Evie was one of the six in that society in Chawton, England who found and helped evaluate Jane Austen’s library in her home. Now, after graduating, we see an older, yet still slightly naive Evie navigating a large city filled with different cultures and societal expectations. She was certainly the most shy of the three women yet grew the most throughout the novel. I loved her love story, but also how she started the novel naive and learned a little gamesmanship by the end.

Vivien was opinionated, outrageous, and super talented. She was an aspiring writer, but also saw how changes would make their bookstore grow. The men who managed the store were only interested in maintaining things the way that they’d always been done. Vivien was that strong wind of change and her wind was a hurricane gale force.

Grace, like a lot of women of her time found herself in a marriage that no longer gave her what she needed. She and her husband were on different paths and Grace’s journey throughout the book was a voyage of discovery and bravery. Would she or wouldn’t she take that chance to make a change.

Bloomsbury Girls had a methodical pace that allowed the reader to engage with each of the characters in the story and and feel for their circumstances, even if the time we live in has made some inroads into equality on the job and in the household. I really enjoyed the evolution of these characters and loved the conclusion to this novel. It might just be because I’m a woman but it was so satisfying! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase this book!* Bloomsbury Girls

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: Adult Assembly Required by Abbi Waxman

After recovering from a debilitating car accident, Laura Costello moves across family to get away from her over protective family. After barely moving in, her apartment burns down and she gets caught in a downpour outside a bookstore in Larchmont Village, a community located in the heart of Los Angeles. She meets the ladies in the bookstore, Nina, Liz, and Polly, and they take her in. Polly taking her home to live in an available room in the large home she rents in Highland Park, just down the street. There Laura meets Bob, or Impossibly Handsome Bob, as her new friends call him. He’s just as they claim, Impossibly Handsome, but he’s also impossibly awkward, shy, and uncomfortable. In Laura he finds someone with the same interests and who has a calmness that soothes his nervous mind. This novel centers on their story, but also includes the interesting characters who surround them.

Having lived in Los Angeles, I always find Abbi Waxman’s novels nostalgic. I grew up in southern California so there are a lot of little notes that only someone from that area would truly understand. For example, when there’s an earthquake you have an instinct for the score and if it’s lower than a 4.0 it’s nothing of note. You just get on with your life. Laura, our main protagonist is getting over PTSD from a bad car accident and is from the east coast, so an earthquake rock her world a little harder than it does our other characters who may shrug one off if it’s doesn’t really do any lasting damage. Other very LA things like traffic, bad drivers, weather, and thrift shopping make an appearance and make this novel feel very much an LA novel. So, I love that.

You can’t but fall in love with both Laura and Bob. They are very subtle characters who have an ease and calm that is very soothing to a reader. In some books that might be boring, but with all of the outlandish characters surrounding them, their calm interactions were kind of zen moments that brought the entire novel together. The pace of their love story was very fitting to their characterizations as well with the zaniness of what was going on around them, plus other characters self-journeys creating a tension that propelled the book forward allowing us to love Laura and Bob at the pace they needed to be loved.

I’ve read all of Abbi Waxman’s novels and each has been unique. I’ve liked some better than others, but none as much as The Garden of Small Beginnings, her debut novel. However, Adult Assembly Required has had the same ease as this author’s first novel, so I’d rate it my second favorite. Something they both share is one small child, Clare, who has got to be the funniest characterization of a child I’ve ever read. Clare is zany and bright and whenever she’s in a scene I just know I’m going to get a laugh or two. I laughed my way through The Garden of Small Beginnings and she gave me quite a few chuckles in Adult Assembly Required as well. I can only hope that at some point Clare grows up and we get a novel from her perspective because it would be so much fun! In this novel she was the perfect counterpoint to Laura’s assured calmness and made me like Laura even more.

If you like zany characters, great friendships, and quirky romances I think you should give this novel a try. It was great. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

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

Click this link to purchase this book!* Adult Assembly Required

Copyright 2022 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (5/16/22)

My May is full of reading commitments and I’ve been reliably consistent in getting the books read that I’m committed to writing a review. Luckily they have all been excellent and easy to read. Whew! Nothing worse than choosing a book that you don’t feel like reading. I’ve caught the dreaded Covid virus and have been out with a severe cold for a few days now and have been binging shows on Netflix because of brain fog. Thank goodness I was reading ahead! Here is what I’ve had on my nightstand (besides a wad of kleenex and cold medicine!).

JUST FINISHED

This author is still writing these stand alone (but really in a series) novels about these ladies living in Larchmont Village, one of the hidden pockets of loveliness in LA. I really enjoy Abbi Waxman’s quirky writing style and witty dialog. One of my favorite characters, Clare, a little girl with an amazing mind, shows up in this novel and adds just the right note of humor when needed. I hope at some point Clare grows up and gets her own novel because that child is a trip!

I think this cover drew me in. I haven’t read a mystery in a while but this synopsis sounds gripping. It’s the third book in a series that I haven’t read but I’m not really worried about missing out and am in fact hoping that I’ll love the characters and want to go back and start from the beginning.

What books have caught your attention this week? Feel free to share in the comments.

Happy reading and happy Monday!

Deb

This Chicks Audio Reviews: Under One Roof and Stuck With You (The STEMinist Novellas #1 & #2) by Ali Hazelwood

The Love Hypothesis was one of my favorite romance novels of 2021, so when Ali Hazelwood came out with novellas featuring women of STEM (Scientist, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) I had to read them and see if she could repeat her magical formula in short form. Part of what worked for me in The Love Hypothesis was the geeky humor and witty dialog. Also, the complete obtuseness (is that a word?) when it came to attraction and love that our main character betrayed. The STEMinist novella heroines definitely followed this same format. Super bright but when it came to their own love lives, they needed some great advice from their friends. It’s always easier to pick apart your best friends behavior than it is to figure out your own, right? This novella series follows three best friends who are all women of STEM and certainly have an opinion on each other’s love lives but aren’t so great at figuring out their own.

Under One Roof is book one in this short story series. Environmental Engineer, Mara, inherits half a house from her mentor and needs to move in asap. Inhabiting that house is big-oil lawyer Liam. They say opposites attract and you know when that front door opens that this is definitely the case but it takes a while for our duo to put aside their differences and take a chance on each other. It’s not often when I read a novella that feels like a full-length book but Ali Hazelwood does a great job of making that happen in Under One Roof. Mara and Liam fulfill that tension that I love in an enemies to lovers story! This book was narrated by Emma Wilder who did a great job voicing both characters and injecting humor, anger, angst, and attraction into every word. Bravo! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Stuck With You is the second book in the series and is the story of Civil Engineer, Sadie, who is slightly neurotic but ultimately adorable. She meets the hot, tall (to her very short) Viking, Erik at the local coffee shop. She is desperate for her lucky croissant and he just purchased the last one. This absolutely charming novella spends one wonderful day with the two of them as they get to know each other, not bothering to fight their attraction. Of course, it doesn’t all go smoothly but rights itself in the end with a little help from her friends. I’m saying less about this novella but I actually liked it a little bit more. The narration by Meg Sylvan was spot on. Her slight accent for the Dutch-born Erik is just amazing. You totally forget it’s a woman voicing his character! Sadie is a genius, but neurotically superstitious and her quirks made this short story a ton of fun. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

I can’t wait for the third novella, Below Zero, to come out in July! The third and final STEMinist’s story looks to be a charmer. Each of these audiobooks runs just over three hours, so if you have a short car trip or are cooking something complicated on a weekend it’s the perfect amount of time to spend with these characters. The novellas both read like a full-length novel and don’t leave you hanging.

Click these links to purchase! Under One Roof and Stuck With You

Copyright 2022 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase these books through the above links I’ll receive a small stipend.

This Chick Read: Every Summer After by Carley Fortune

Persephone Fraser spent six idyllic summers on the lake at Barry Bay with her next door neighbors Sam and Charlie. Percy was the same age as Sam and as two awkward 13 year olds they formed an immediate bond and friendship. As the years passed their friendship changed but only spending the summers together they each had nine months living their “normal” lives before they were together again. Percy was a horror movie lover and want-to-be writer while Sam wanted to be a doctor after seeing his father pass away at a young age. Despite all obstacles and differences the two of them knew they had each other until one summer when Percy made a life-changing decision that severed their relationship. It’s now 12 years later and Sam’s mom has died of cancer and Percy decides to go to the funeral and face the past, and the boy she once desperately loved.

Every Summer After is the debut novel by Carley Fortune and wow does this novel pack an emotional punch! I am so impressed with the intricacies of the plot and how this author wove flashbacks to their childhood with current time holding the reader captive and in suspense. You know from the synopsis that something huge will happen, and she keeps the reader on the edge of their seat waiting for that explanation. It’s been awhile since I was so captivated by a story that I stayed up reading way past the time I should’ve put the book down. I just had to finish it in one night. Despite my lack of sleep and having to get up and go to work, I am not disappointed in my decision at all.

I loved both Sam and Percy. Meeting as 13 year olds, Percy had just gone through a difficult year at school being cast out of her group of friends and kind of floundering. Sam immediately became the person she could rely on the most. Even when she went back to Toronto, school, and making up with her clique of friends, no one took Sam’s new place in her heart. Sam was an old soul. Having his dad die not only changed the trajectory of his life but also made him super responsible. This sense of responsibility and seriousness drew Percy in but also contributed to their separation. I can’t talk about the characters in this book without mentioning Charlie. He’s Sam’s older brother by two years and is the complete opposite of Sam. He’s a charmer with the ladies, and is the character with one liners who always lightens the mood. Although he’s also Sam’s brother and causes a bit of conflict by association. I loved all three of them!

As I stated before, you know that something happens and since it’s been twelve years since Percy has seen Sam and the story is told through flashbacks, you have to wait awhile to find out what and why. Carley Fortune does a great job of building that relationship up so that the reader is completely invested and wants to see that happily-ever-after that we know is waiting for us on the last page. In this book, I’m not really bothered by the wait because the characters keep me vastly entertained.

This book is coming out just in time for summer vacation and is the PERFECT beach book. My hope is that someone else will read this book, or has read it so that I have someone to talk to about it. So please, put it on your TBR’s, it’s an easy bet that you’ll like this story. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase this book!* Every Summer After

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? (5/9/22)

I hope everyone had a great weekend and spent a little bit of time gearing yourself up for the next work week. I spent the weekend visiting with my mom, as it’s Mother’s Day in the U.S. and I’m fortunate enough to live close. Despite the weather, holiday, and a fun crafts fair in our fun city, I did find a little bit of time to finish a book as well as pick up a new one. Here’s what I’ve been reading.

JUST FINISHED

Set in the 1950’s and in a bookstore in England, this book follows three women who work in that store and how each navigate a world in which men have all the control. I am a big fan of traveling through history by reading a great fiction novel and I thought this one was really good and their journey translates well to some things going on today.

JUST STARTED

I bought this novel when it came out but got distracted away from reading it. I love Penny Reid novels. Her characters are quirky and her voice genuine. The story is off to a great start!

What books are you reading this week? Are you eagerly anticipating an evening at home on the couch finishing your book?

Happy Monday and happy reading!

Deb