Friday YA: Heartache and Hope (Heartache Duet #1) by Jay McLean

Ava Diaz needs saving.
She just doesn’t know it yet.
Just like she doesn’t know a thing about the boy she sits next to on the first day of senior year.
He thinks she’s a brat.
She thinks he’s entitled.
Maybe first impressions don’t always last… 
Because Connor Ledger’s about to save her.
He just doesn’t know why.

When Connor starts at his new school and gets seated next to Ava in Psych class he immediately wants to get to know her. Unfortunately, Ava’s checked out. Her mother’s home from Afghanistan with a severe injury and Ava is trying to hold it all together. She doesn’t have time to care anymore about friends, boys, or any social niceties. Connor breaks through her barriers and becomes the person she doesn’t want to need, but needs too much.

Connor is struggling to keep all of his own responsibilities in line. Moving to this new school with the purpose of getting noticed by college scouts is his father’s main concern. He’s not too thrilled with Connor’s infatuation with Ava, and when he hears about all of her problems? His son doesn’t have the time for a girl with all of that baggage.

Heartache and Hope had an interesting premise and two main characters who had really interesting, conflicting back stories. I was curious to see how all of their drama would fit into a high school setting. Ava’s situation with a mother who has PTSD was so adult and yet her love story with Connor was kind of youthful it provided an interesting contrast in her character. Connor was also struggling with adult decisions about his future that when he acted out as a normal teenager it was a little jarring. I had to remind myself that this is actually a YA novel.

I can’t say I was riveted to every page in this novel, but it did have moments that captured my interest and kept me reading. If I’d known it ended in a cliffhanger I don’t think I’d have picked it up at all because now I’ve been left a little dissatisfied. Luckily I don’t have to wait very long for the next novel because it comes out only three weeks after the first novel. This bait and switch seems to be a kind of new way to entrap readers to continue on with the series and gains the author a couple extra bucks. However, in this case I’m not sure if I will remember these two characters and give them four or five more hours of my valuable reading time. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“At the end of Heartache and Hope, readers will absolutely be emotionally drained because while the hope is still hanging on in the final pages of book one, the heartache seems far more overreaching and far more tangible…” Fairest of All Book Reviews

“This book packs that punch. Connor has been through something awful, Ava is pretty much living her own personal nightmare, but somehow they manage to find peace within each other. There’s something so beautiful and powerful about that.” Romance Book Binge

Click this link to purchase* Heartache and Hope: Heartache Duet Book One

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

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This Chick Read: Polaris Rising (The Consortium Rebellion #1) by Jessie Mihalik

Ada Von Hasenburg is on the run from the political machinations of the Royal Consortium and an arranged marriage into House Rockhurst. When she is captured by some bounty hunters she finds herself locked in a room with Marcus Loch, the Devil of Fornax. When an opportunity comes to escape they join forces and a rollicking fun space pirate adventure begins.

When a book is recommended by one of your favorite fantasy authors you just really can’t pass up the opportunity to read it can you? I love a great science fiction romance novel and this one had all of the characteristics of a great story.

Ada and Marcus were complete opposites. Ada came from one of their planets elite houses. Growing up privileged, yet struggled against playing a role against her will. Marcus joined their armed forces as a teen and was turned into a super soldier. They seemed an unlikely pair at the start of the novel but you soon saw that each gave the other person what had been missing in their lives up to that point a partner that would put the other first before all others.

The highlight of this novel is the antagonist or villain Richard Rockhurst, Ada’s erstwhile fiance who is a not so very nice guy. I really liked the history between Ada and Richard, a man who was actually a friend from childhood who turned into a very different man as an adult. That history added conflict to a much needed romance between Ada and Marcus. A common enemy for them to fight. Without that character the story would have been a little stale.

I thought this novel started out so great so quickly! I easily bought into the potential of the story and romance and eagerly read through each page. The middle of the novel did slow down but it would be really hard to keep that fast pace through the whole novel. Both characters needed to show growth and the story needed to slow down just a little to give them an emotional conflict to overcome. It did and they did and the pace sped back up for a quick ending.

Luckily this is the first novel in the series because I’m not ready to let this couple go yet and the political plot is just ramping up! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“Overall, I enjoyed this book but it’s not my favorite. So, will I pick up the next book in the series? Definitely! The next book is about Ada’s eldest sister Bianca and I  really want to read her story.” Dreamy Addictions

“Overall, I had a really good time with Polaris Rising. Admittedly, the romance genre is still not something I can take in large doses, but I love throwing a book like this into my reading repertoire whenever I feel like I need a change. Like a rich, fluffy, decadent dessert, I can only read these types of novels once in a while, but whenever I do, it’s always oh so satisfying and delicious.” The Bibliosanctum

Click this link to purchase!* Polaris Rising: A Novel (The Consortium Rebellion)

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? (7/15/19)

Happy Monday everyone! I ran across this post on Book Date and liked the idea of sharing what I’m currently reading, so here goes!

JUST FINISHED

Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore

First Sentence: “Absolutely not. What an utterly harebrained idea, Annabelle.”

JUST STARTED

The Queen’s Gambit by Jessie Mihalik

First Sentence Read: “I lowered my spaceship’s cargo ramp and slipped in the night with the ease of long practice.”

I went for a mood changer with the switch from historical romance to romantic sci-fi. Bringing Down the Duke was so fabulous that I had to switch it up to try to carry that great book glow into the next novel. I haven’t gotten too far into The Queen’s Gambit to decide if this was the right choice. I’ll let you know!

Now that you know what I’m reading, feel free to catch me up! It’s Monday! What are you Reading?

Thanks!

Deb

The Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag 2019

I can’t believe it’s already time (well, kind of past time!) for the Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag! This year I was tagged by Jill at Jill’s Book Blog. If you want to check out Jill’s tag please click the link below.

Jill’s Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag

I really like this tag because I get to take a look back at all of the books I’ve reviewed since January and remind myself of all of the great books I’ve read. Side not is that it also reminds me that time is just flying by and there are so many more books to read and things to do ahead of me!

BEST BOOK OF 2019 (JAN-JUNE)

I am in a Rom-Com phase and couldn’t pick between these two great book’s. Lucy Parker’s London Stage series and Penny Reid’s Knitting in the City series are both wonderful and I’ll be re-reading these over and over.

Pretty Face – “I think I wrote on Goodreads that I am now obsessed with Lucy Parker novels. I really am. Her stories could so easily be fluffy romances, but they aren’t! They are well written, her characters are rock solid and the build up in the romance is riveting to read. Her dialog isn’t too shabby either, it’s actually really fun! ” Pretty Face (London Celebrities)

Love Hacked- “Needless to say, I loved this novel. I had picked it up so many times and put it down. I’m not sure why and am kicking myself for not enjoying their story before now. However, sometimes those novels that surprise you with their strength and your emotional impact to them are read when you need to read them. This was the perfect time for me. ” Love Hacked: A Reluctant Romance (Knitting in the City) (Volume 3)

BEST SEQUEL OF 2019 (JAN-JUNE)

Oh, boy. Sequel implies there are only two books in the series and after looking, I didn’t read any two book series. So, I’m going to interpret this question as Best Book in a Series (2019).

“The mystery was fabulous. I’d imagine if I had kept pace with the Jane Yellowrock series I may have been just a little more informed over Rick’s background but I really didn’t care. I was caught up in the action, the characters, and the resolution of this case. It was great reading and I enjoyed it thoroughly! ” Circle of the Moon (A Soulwood Novel)

FAVORITE NEW RELEASE THAT IS STILL SITTING ON YOUR TBR

It only came out on 7/1/19, so I’m not too far behind. I’ve purchased my copy and still haven’t found the time to read it. Soon! Protect the Prince (A Crown of Shards Novel)

MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE OF THE SECOND HALF OF 2019

OK, I’ll admit, I’ve already read this novel but I can’t wait for the audiobook to be released! This series is one that I read, listen to, repeat. Again and again. Sapphire Flames: A Hidden Legacy Novel

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT OF 2019 SO FAR

This novel was definitely my least favorite of the three. I didn’t hate it but it took too long to get to the conclusion. Then when it got there? I felt like I do after eating that huge piece of chocolate cake I’d been craving. Great anticipation and then a slightly sick feeling after I’d finished. Finale: A Caraval Novel

BIGGEST SURPRISE OF 2019 SO FAR

Surprise! This is a spin off of the Dark Elements Series. No wonder that main character sounded familiar!

FAVORITE NEW AUTHOR

I read these two books not too far apart. They were totally different but the similarity between the two was that they used historical facts built into a fictional novel. I loved that! I’ll be keeping an eye out for new releases from both of these authors.

‘Dead Queens’- “The Dead Queens Club cleverly names all of it’s characters after their true life namesakes and incorporates familiar places from Tudor history into this small town. I’ll admit to once again using Wikipedia to give myself a quick history lesson on each wife (and if they kept their head or not) and found that I relished watching the mystery unfold more because of that knowledge. ” The Dead Queens Club

‘An Assasin’s Guide’- “I really enjoyed Kit’s evolution. As Katherine she was restricted to a woman’s life but as Kit so many things were available to her. I think this combined with her feelings for Toby helped her to make the decision revealed at the end of the book. No spoilers here, but the line between life and death was trod very closely and the conclusion was just as dramatic as one of the plots in a Shakespeare play.” An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason

NEWEST FICTIONAL CRUSH

Alessandro Sagredo. Ummm, Yummy!

NEWEST FAVORITE CHARACTER

“Olive is kind of a beautiful mess, but that mess is mostly in her own head. Written mostly from her POV, we get to see how her adorableness contrasts with how she views herself. That dichotomy really made me root for Olive!” The Unhoneymooners

BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY

The Unhoneymooners for the win, Alex! I laughed my way through this book. It was just awesome.

BOOKS TO READ BY THE END OF THE YEAR

I have pre-ordered both of these items. One comes out this month (July) and the other isn’t until October. Both of these authors are on my auto buy list. I’m really excited about these releases, so they shouldn’t sit too long on the virtual shelf.

FAVORITE POST YOU’VE DONE SO FAR THIS YEAR

AN ODE TO MOM- MOTHER’S DAY 2019

I enjoyed thinking back on what memories I have from childhood about my mother. This one has always stuck with me.

I’m not going to tag anyone to do this Mid Year Freak Out tag because I think I’m one of the last bloggers to do it! LOL. However, if you haven’t looked back at your own year and would like to share, please do! Tag me if you do so I can read your responses.

Thanks and happy reading!

Deb

Friday YA: Twisted Palace (The Royals #3) by Erin Watt

SPOILERS AHEAD

Finally back together, Ella and Reed can be happy. Wait, what? No of course they can’t! Book 3 and the final episode of the love story of Ella and Reed has so many more obstacles to overcome.

Living in the same house doesn’t seem to create any challenges for Ella and Reed. The biggest surprise is that Ella has retained her virginity. Yep, you heard it right! I’ve informed you of all of the sexually explicit scenes, and boy, there certainly are some doozy’s, but Ella and Reed have not done the actual deed itself. Kind of a nice surprise, right? But a good part of this book seems to be about how they will go about solving that problem and where. The more interesting part of that scenario is that Ella’s returned from the dead father does not want her dating Reed and creates all sorts of obstacles for them- one of them being moving her out of the Royal house. Ah the good old days of out smarting your parents. Fun!

Reed’s brutal nature of getting into fights down at the wharf and keeping the kids at school in line comes back to bite him in the butt. Despite having tons of money, Reed seems to be going down for the fall of a murder he may not have committed although he certainly wanted to at times! Ella, desperately trying to keep him out of jail investigates on her own and what she finds out is pretty shocking and makes for some great reading and a rather remarkable ending.

I really enjoyed these first three books in The Royals series. Paper Princess was still my favorite, but Twisted Palace did a good job of wrapping up some loose ends. I know the series continues but it shifts focus to Easton in book 4 which I’m really looking forward to. Hopefully his story matches his funny personality and is a little lighter. So far it’s been a pretty dark, drama filled ride!

If you haven’t read these books, be warned! There are some very sexually explicit scenes that I think aren’t appropriate for some YA readers. If you’re a mature reader, love soap opera’s, and romance- you will have a ton of fun reading these books! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Twisted Palace: A Novel (The Royals)

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey

Working as a clown at children’s parties brings her a joy she doesn’t find elsewhere, but Georgie is often overlooked by the adults and is still sitting at the kids table. When her older brother’s best friend Travis Ford retires early from the pro’s due to an injury and comes back home, Georgie knows two things. One, she’s not going to allow her childhood crush to sit and stew about his failures, and two she’s going to start being viewed as an adult and follow her life’s passions. One of which is Travis Ford.

Georgie is a really fun heroine. She’s witty, fun, and serious about being taken seriously. When she throws and old carton of ice cream on Travis’s MLB worthy behind I knew I was going to like this girl! She is the only person in town who isn’t afraid of telling it like it is and Travis needs that slap upside the head to get out of bed and start finding a new focus in his life. Pretty quickly, Georgie becomes that focus.

The brothers best friend trope is always tension filled. That hint of forbidden fruit in finding your best friends little sister sexy adds a dangerous element to their romance that is super fun to read. Stephen, Georgie’s older brother, is surprisingly stoic about the whole thing, especially since his buddy Travis is known for being a man-whore. His nickname is two bats for Pete’s sake! However, Travis has hints of vulnerability that help us connect with him beyond his hot exterior.

I love the current trend in cartoonish romance novel covers but I think they may misrepresent the adult nature of some more ‘romantic’ novels. Georgie and Travis’s sexy fun times are very adult and at times kind of naughty. Be warned I’d rate this heat index 10+! Sometimes a super sexy scene might annoy me by distracting from the story, but these scenes actually added to the growth of the characters (no pun intended!) and moved the story forward. Georgie was finding her independence and self confidence and Travis was showing a vulnerability (even while being kind of domineering).

If you hadn’t guessed, I really enjoyed Fix Her Up. I’m a sucker for women finding their inner power and Georgie was right in my wheelhouse. Her growing relationship with Travis was hot, but I also really liked how sweet he was with her and how he learned that needing people, and Georgie particularly, wasn’t a weakness it was a strength. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Fix Her Up: A Novel

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: The Smallest Part by Amy Harmon

Mercedes, Cora, and Noah were best friends since they were kids, but before Nora came there were just Mercedes and Noah. They had a special bond, but when they got older and Cora asked Mercedes if she were in love with Noah, Mercedes lied. She only lied because it was Cora that asked the question and because of that lie Mercedes had to step aside until the day it was up to her to pick up all the pieces.

If you are a fan of slow burn romance novels then you must read The Smallest Part. I read another blogger’s review and decided I’d give it a chance. I’d never read an Amy Harmon novel and I wasn’t sure if this synopsis appealed to me but I am so glad I picked up this book. It wasn’t at all what I expected and I really enjoyed how the story unfolded.

Cora was always troubled. She had a father who came home wounded from the war and committed suicide. Cora found the body and it left a lasting impression on her young mind. She always felt like she wasn’t enough and had very low self esteem. Even though she had two great best friends in Noah and Mercedes.

Noah was that male best friend that you always knew you loved. He was sweet, gentle and just an all around nice guy. He truly cared for both Cora and Mercedes and it wasn’t until he was older that his innocent feelings changed to something much more.

Mercedes was a hard worker, loyal friend, and was the backbone of their friendship. She would never betray a friend which is why she stepped aside when Cora declared her feelings for Noah. This book starts with Cora’s death and through flashbacks we see how their feelings were intertwined. How Mercedes and Noah always had just a little more feelings for each other and how that one moment deflected Noah towards Cora instead of Mercedes. It kind of killed me emotionally, but this was a really good book! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

Click this link to purchase!* The Smallest Part

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? (7/8/19)

Happy Monday everyone! I ran across this post on Book Date and liked the idea of sharing what I’m currently reading, so here goes!

JUST FINISHED

Heartache and Hope (Heartache Duet #1) by Jay McLean

First Sentence Read: “One minute you’re sipping on your first beer at your first bonfire party, wearing a hoody provided by a boy you’ve been crushing on for months.”

JUST STARTED

The Lemon Sisters by Jill Shalvis

First Sentence Read: Without warning, the helicopter dipped sharply, and Brooke Lemon’s stomach went along with it.”

Both of those first sentences were pretty thrilling, right? Now that you know what books I’ve been reading, share…

It’s Monday, what are you reading?

Thanks!

Deb

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: June’19 Wrap Up!

Once again, another month has flown by and I find myself looking at the start of July. Wow! June weather was actually gorgeous being a little cooler than normal at the start of the month. Despite spending more time outside I got a lot of reading done! I read and listened to a total of 22 books which could be a record! However, some of those reviews are set for future months. Here are my top picks from my reviews in the month of June.

GREAT JUNE READS!

A Question of Holmes (Charlotte Holmes #4) by Brittany Cavallaro

“The conclusion to the mystery was satisfactory and the conclusion to the series although a little confusing, did fit the characters and how they grew throughout the series. Would I change anything if I could? Yes. Do I know what I’d change? Not really. That doesn’t really help does it? LOL. “

Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey

“This novel was one of my most anticipated reads for June. Did it live up to my expectations? It had a great meet cute, subtle humor, solid friendships, kooky best friend, and hot love interest. YEP! I wasn’t disappointed at all. “

Wherever She Goes by Kelley Armstrong

“As I read this novel I realized there were actually a few different mysteries I was trying to unravel. 1) Aubrey’s background 2) the missing child and 3) the reason why her relationship fell apart with her husband. Kelley Armstrong does a great job of intertwining all of these mysteries so that each reveal is intertwined with a personal reflection Aubrey has about her life. I loved how all of those ties bound the novel into one cohesive, solid piece of fiction.”

Dating by the Book by Mary Ann Marlowe

“..for those readers who are fans of a slow burn romance novel, you’re going to love how the relationship between our heroine and hero develops throughout this novel. By the time they get together you are so ready for it, and I mean that in the best way possible.”

THIS CHICKS SUNDAY COMMENTARY/BOOKISH DISCUSSION

I got hooked into a young adult series written by the writing duo Erin Watt called The Royals. Disclaimer time! Yes, I am a middle aged woman who reads YA novels. Sue me! I like them for many reasons, but mostly because they are pure escapism and when I’ve had a rotten day a sweet contemporary romance that’s lighthearted and fun does the trick! Plus I like that I can read them quickly! So, back to my subject. I got hooked into Erin Watt’s series the Royals. Definitely not a sweet romance, but a LOT of fun! It did get me thinking about whether YA readers ever stop and think “WHOA” this is not YA appropriate! Or if I’m just totally out of the loop on what young adults are experiencing nowadays. So I wrote this discussion post. If you haven’t had time to read it, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

What is YA Appropriate?

I also like to look forward into the upcoming month to see what releases I’m really looking forward to, as well as take a look back at what I did in the previous month. Here are those two posts!

My 5 Most Anticipated July’19 Releases

May’19 Wrap Up!

WHAT’S ON TAP FOR JULY!

July is going to be a catch up month for me. I don’t have any ARC’s that need to be read for this month so I’m actually going to be proactive and get some of my August ARC’ read, and I don’t know, maybe get some reviews done in advance? Novel concept, I know! LOL. Actually, I did overextend myself on a few August release dates, so this is a really good thing. What I’m more excited about is that I get to read something because I want to read it. I can catch up on my Kindle Unlimited as well as some books I’ve checked out from the library. Exciting! LOL.

I did get tagged for my Mid Year Book Freak Out and will be writing that post soon and I’m really looking forward to looking back at the first six months. I read soooo many great books!

What am I looking forward to reading the most in July? If you read my 5 most Anticipated releases post you already know.

I’m not sure how it’s even possible that TWO Ilona Andrews books are being released back to back. If you’re a fan, this is book #4 in the series and it’s Maud’s story. I can’t wait!!

Do you have an opinion on my What is YA Appropriate post? I’d love to hear it!

What’s your most anticipated July’19 release? Let me know in the comments below.

Until next month!

Deb

Friday YA: Broken Prince (The Royals #2) by Erin Watt

After the Paper Princess cliffhanger Broken Prince starts right up with Ella on the run again. When she’s found and brought back home things have changed. Reed takes all the blame for Ella’s disappearance, his family no longer sticks by him, and his life is out of control. He does not give up on getting Ella back but she no longer trusts him and he’s got a long road ahead.

Broken Prince is just as riveting as Paper Princess, but the tone is a little more desperate. Because Reed no longer gives a damn his high school peers start to spin out of control. Normally a nasty bunch, they are downright evil now. Easton doesn’t have it in him to be in charge as he’s one of the kids spiraling downward, his only interest getting drunk and laid. The sexual activity in this book amps up to another level adding to the dark tone of the novel.

I really do like Reed as the hero. He’s doesn’t have the humor and charm of Easton being a guy who fixes things with his fists. His alpha male-ness gives his actions conviction and his single mindedness in winning Ella back struck a chord. I liked that the two of them were brutally honest with no gray areas. It fit the style of this billionaire high school novel. Even though none of it was very realistic (at least I hope not!) I found the book really hard to put down.

Did I like Broken Prince as well as Paper Princess? No, but only because I liked Ella’s POV as the poor girl who gets found and is thrown into the rich life. It didn’t change who she was and I liked that honesty in her. Reed is honest too, but he’s more brutal and is better in smaller doses. Really, the Royal who steals the show is Easton, every time, but I haven’t gotten to his books yet. I like knowing his story is out there and will be reading them soon.

The Royals series has a LOT of adult situations and sexually explicit scenes. The covers of these novels make you think you’re reading Disney princess books, but The Royals series is on the opposite end of that princess spectrum. Be warned! However, once you pick one of these novels up? You won’t be able to put them down until you are finished. They are action packed and like any good soap opera they leave you wanting more. Yep, another cliffhanger! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“Lots to love about this book, and definitely will carry on to the next. Um, how can I not with the two bombs… yes, that’s right… TWO bombs dropped on us right at the end. Wowza!” Nerding Out With Nicky

Click this link to purchase!* Broken Prince: A Novel (The Royals)

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate