The Duke, the Lady, and the Baby (Rogues and Remarkable Women #1) by Vanessa Riley

I was intrigued by the synopsis of the description of a West Indian heiress as a heroine in a regency romance. Patience Jordan is of mixed blood, as is her son, and despite her light skin, that difference has made living in England difficult. Her husband had kept her in the country, trying to protect her from the unkindness she’d receive in “society”, which actually put her and their son in harms way when he died. Left in the hands of his disreputable uncle, Patience was sent away to Bedlam so he could retain control of her son’s fortune. When this story starts with Repington now in charge at her former home, it allows Patience to disguise herself and infiltrate her old household in order to care for her son.

Busick Strathmore, Duke of Repington was a strategist in the war and knows that there’s more to Patience’s story and bides his time in figuring her out. They engage in their own skirmishes and of course, find themselves attracted to each other. However, this isn’t a bodice ripper of a romance. The Duke, the Lady, and the Baby is written in a rather old fashioned style which was kind of refreshing, but also felt a little stodgy. I love slow burn romances where the characters get to know each other, but the old fashioned dialog made these characters feel stilted rather than warm.

I had really high hopes for this novel and the future of this series. There is a league of women who help other women in bad circumstances and future novels will surely tell those stories, but I wanted this novel to deal more with the difficulties of being of mixed blood during this time in history and felt like other than a few comments about her accent and being secreted in the country, it was glossed over. Repington didn’t seem too concerned with his future Duchess’s acceptance into society, but as an analytical man who just wanted to get back to war, I guess there were bigger issues on his mind.

The other thing that was a little out of whack for me was that Repington was portrayed as a “Rake”. Meaning, he’s had no issues with the lady’s in the past, and he certainly seems to think he’s pretty charming despite his injuries that have incapacitated him. That devil may care charm played false to me and I had trouble buying him as a cad, at least at that time in his life. I think if he had been a bit more self deprecating? It just felt kind of sad I guess, and not true to the character.

So, you can see my difficulties with this one. I didn’t hate the story. I don’t read too many romances that involve babies, so the motherly aspect was new and interesting to me. I liked Patience a lot, actually. She was smart, dedicated, sassy, and interesting. So, I guess my problem was with the hero, although I didn’t dislike him, I just didn’t like them together. I did finish the novel despite my misgivings, so I’m giving this one a 3.0 rating for a solid good, but not great. ❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase!* A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby (Rogues and Remarkable Women Book 1)

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.

This Chick Read: Wayfarer’s Keep (The Broken Lands #3) by T.A. White

Shea is back in her homeland among the Pathfinders with Fallon her Trateri warlord by her side. Her fathers request for help coincides with Fallon’s need to keep conquering lands and he sees this as his chance to win over her people. When they arrive at the keep they find that there are factions who are unhappy with the previous regime, factions who have joined with an evil force that is threatening their people. Can Shea and Fallon cast out the evil among the Pathfinder’s? Well, you’ll have to read the book to find out!

I happened upon this series years ago and for some reason hadn’t gotten around to read this third installment which came out in 2018. The author easily caught me up with what had happened previously so that I immediately fell down the reading rabbit hole remembering how much I love Shea and Fallon’s story.

Shea is a Pathfinder, a combination of explorer and hunter. She finds clues in the land that helps guide her people on an easier path, yet typically her own path isn’t that easy. I love her character because she’s an everywoman. She doesn’t have any superpowers, she’s just a woman with a strong moral code and some skills that make her invaluable to her warlord Fallon. In this novel we get to see the people who made Shea who she is, her parents. It’s a fascinating look into her background and helps us gain some understanding into some of her past conduct. I loved these insights and also really enjoyed seeing her parents through her younger self’s eyes and then again as an adult.

Even though this is another installment in Shea and Fallon’s love story, that takes a back seat to who is behind the creatures wreaking havoc across their land. As always, T.A. White writes some great action scenes and this book like the others, does not disappoint. If you are into epic fantasy tales you need to add this series to your TBR. The journey these characters take you on is so rewarding you will want to pick up the next novel just to keep that adrenaline addiction fed. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Wayfarer’s Keep (The Broken Lands Book 3)

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

This Chick Read: Head Over Heels by Hannah Orenstein

Avery Abram’s Olympic hopes were derailed in 2012 by a career ending injury. In the years since she fought depression, failing out of school, and most recently a bad break-up with her boyfriend. Returning home to live with her parents and work at the gym where it all started wasn’t quite what she’d planned, but working with an Olympic hopeful with the boy she crushed on as a teenager might fix what was broken. Head Over Heels delivers more than the rom-com promised giving the reader a behind the scenes look at competitive gymnastics and how these young girls handle the high stakes pressure.

Avery’s character was a pretty easy one to like. Showing frailty and uncertainty after her hope’s were dashed, she tries to drown her sorrows in alcohol and clubbing. This seemed a likely scenario for someone who wouldn’t know what to do with all of that energy she was used to expelling on a mat. When she hits bottom and moves back home she grasps at a lifeline of working with a young gymnast and in that job finds her new role in life. Ryan, an ex-Olympian himself understands what she went through and never holds her past against her. I thought that might have white-washed the realism just a tad, but hey, this was also a romance! His role was to be charming, cute, and convenient, and he was all that and more!

Obviously what I liked more in this book was the role between Avery and the young gymnast she was coaching, Hallie. Set during a parallel to real life sexual misconduct scandal, the stress Hallie is under and the physical and mental abuses Avery went through at that same age made for a great comparison and helped the reader care about both of these characters and see positive outcomes to their story. This storyline was the strength in this story and was what gave it a heartbeat.

The author did a great job of detailing the gymnastics in a way that a fan of sports but not gymnastics in general could follow. You could feel the stress and tension in the competitions which helped the story arc and conflict have more impact than it would have otherwise. I really enjoyed those parts of the story and felt the roller coaster emotions that a competitor may have felt as they tried to work their way towards those gold medals.

Ryan as the love interest was just ok. I liked that he and Avery shared a love for what they did, but without giving away the plot it’s hard to describe why I didn’t like him more. I’ll just say that one of the choices he makes for me would have been a deal breaker and I just couldn’t get past that.

I did really like Head Over Heels, and after everything above it won’t come as a big surprise that it was because of the gymnastics and Avery’s self-healing sub-plot. If you like sports themed romances or women’s fiction I think you’ll like this fast paced easy to read summer novel. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase!* Head Over Heels: A Novel

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? (6/22/2020)

I am now starting the return trip across country with my husband, having achieved our goal of visiting my dad in California. It’s been a fun trip seeing the country, but also exhausting as it is a looonnnggg drive! Our return home will be much more direct, but we’ll still be enjoying the trip and each other. Surprisingly I haven’t done a lot of reading as I’ve kept my eye on the scenery, but here’s where I’m at with my reading.

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

One of my most anticipated releases and boy was it worth the time it took for me to read it. I loved being back with some of my favorite characters. I hadn’t realized how much I had missed them!

Click this link to purchase!* American Demon (Hollows)

JUST STARTED

I brought one paperback on my trip with me and chose this Nora Roberts book that was published in 2018. I thought it would be easy to get into, and it totally is, but hadn’t anticipated how dark it would be. It’s a good one, despite the dark topic.

Click this link to purchase!* Shelter in Place

I’m sure we’ll start up another audiobook on our return trip also. Are there any you’d recommend that are good for a husband and wife traveling together?

Let me know!

Deb

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

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: Road Trips, Audiobooks, and Scenic Routes

My husband and I found ourselves with two weeks without jobs. He was laid off and I was put on a furlough for two weeks. For those of you that don’t know a furlough is where you are not paid for the time you’re out, can file for unemployment, and are guaranteed a re-entry into your old job. In my case two weeks. Instead of sitting on our butts at home and playing it safe, we decided to play it as safe as possible on the road. We are visiting a bunch of National Parks and site’s that we’ve always wanted to see, but never had the time. What does this have to do with books? Well, not a whole hell of a lot except we’ve listened to a couple audiobooks, visited a cool mural in Kansas City, and been inspired to write about the gorgeous scenery we are seeing in the great U.S. of A.

Honestly, we’ve seen so much in the past week that it’s hard to put it all down on paper, but I’ll give you some highlights, and of course show you some photo’s. Consider this our generations slideshow that when I was a kid we’d make visitors sit through when we returned from our vacation.

First night- Kansas City! Honestly this was just a stop on the road after driving for 8 hours from Nashville, but I knew I wanted to eat BBQ and take a picture in front of their library.

Our goal was to drive through South Dakota to get to Mt. Rushmore. A national monument I’d always wanted to see and a state I was supremely curious about. I fell in LOVE. What a beautiful state! Now, granted, we were seeing it in June and the weather was pleasant. This is an area that gets a TON of snow. I think we came at the right time of the year.

We passed Laura Ingalls Wilder’s home as we listened to an audiobook about the History of Bourbon. Yes, I know it’s not my normal reading, but I knew it would be something my husband would be interested in hearing. It was a little dry, but a really interesting topic!

While listening to this book I looked at this scenery. Truly glorious, isn’t it?

Maybe I was silly, but the grass was blowing and it was just enchanting.

Can you imagine viewing this prairie and thinking about pioneer’s, wagon trains, and whether you yourself would have the fortitude to make that trip? In a car it took us 11 hours to make the drive from Kansas City to Rapid City, SD. That would equate to what, a couple of weeks, months? So no. Definitely not.

We did make a stop in the Badlands where we saw our fist buffalo, some amazing scenery and a prairie dog.

We did finally get to Mt. Rushmore, and it was splendid. In fact, after visiting that park we went to Custer National Park and on the drive there, you could see Mt. Rushmore from many different vista’s. Here’s my favorite, and yes, we wore masks the WHOLE time! I wish I could say the same for everyone else.

Because we were making things up as we went along, we stopped at a geological site and saw some Mammoth skeleton’s, went to Vail Colorado for lunch, and again enjoyed all of the different scenic vista’s of the country we were driving through. As we entered Utah and the desert, I popped in a new book that I thought my husband might enjoy. It was Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology. There was actually quite a bit of humor in these tales and even though I imagined Chris Hemsworth as Thor, every time his stories were told I grew less enthralled with that character. He was really not a very bright god! In the end my imagination took me from Chris Hemsworth to a more fit (and more hair) Homer Simpson. I much prefer the movie version, but it passed the time and my husband enjoyed the stories.

We went through Arches National Park in Utah and drove down through Monument Valley on our way to the Grand Canyon, where I am right now. I haven’t seen it yet, but will let you know my thoughts! Here are a few photo’s of the previous places mentioned. I would totally recommend Arches National Park, and even the drive through Monument Valley, although I’d wait until post COVID. It was hard to find a pit stop because the Navajo and Indian nation’s have been hit pretty hard and most store’s/restaurants were closed.

Arches National Park
Monument Valley
The Arizona Highway

One last thing! We got to Tusayan tonight and as we were heading out to dinner say this visitor walking towards us on the street. Freaked me out! It’s an elk, by the way, not a moose, and yes that is my commentary. Like I said. I was freaked!

This was our first six days on the road. I did leave some photo’s out, but gave you quite a few to ruminate over! I hope you enjoyed my slideshow, 2020 style!

Have a great Sunday! I know I will. I’ll be in California Visiting my Dad for Father’s Day. 🙂

Deb

This Chick Read: American Demon (The Hollows #14) by Kim Harrison

What do you do when your favorite series (that ended with The Witch With No Name in 2016) all of a sudden has a revival? You hit the request button on NetGalley as quickly as possible and squeal in pleasure when you’re granted that book to review. Seriously guys, this was a biggee for me.

American Demon takes place where The Witch With No Name leaves off (before the epilogue that takes them into the latter years). Trent and Rachel are outted as an item, the demons are outted into the world, and the elves magic is all screwy. When a zombie gets dropped into Rachel’s back yard it starts a chain of events that finds Rachel at the center of a Baka possession. A Baka who eats away at your soul until that person does what it wants you to do. Rachel has to avoid sleep, navigate her relationship with Trent, and find the culprit and take him down. God, it’s good to be back in the Hollows!

It’s interesting to read a book when you’ve already read the final chapter and the epilogue that foretells the future. American Demon does a great job of amping up the tension between Rachel and Trent, making you think all is not going smoothly in their relationship, even though you know they end up together in the far future. I kind of liked the security of knowing while at the same time biting my nails over whether Rachel’s insecurities about Trent were actually truth, or all in her head. Ellasbeth, Trent’s almost wife who did bear his only child, makes a big appearance and puts all of Rachels’s doubts about herself into play. Despite Trent’s actions staying true to the future storyline.

Because I hadn’t re-read all 13 of the previous novels before reading American Demon, there were some small plot points that I feel I missed. Ivy saved Nina’s soul and they seem to be a couple, but then Glenn seems to have re-entered their lives and did they have a past together? I wish I knew all of the little in’s and out’s of these characters and it hadn’t been 6 years since I read The Witch With No Name. I know I’m going to go back and re-read them now that I’ve gotten re-hooked into the series.

Not to give anything away, but it does seem as if Kim Harrison is going to continue on because she leaves a couple of leads hanging in the wind that need to be tied up. I hope she doesn’t wait 6 years to write the next one! Although by that point I may have read through all of the previous novels and would hopefully be caught up.

American Demon was all that I’d hoped and everything I never knew I wanted. I’m so happy I had this chance to jump back into this series. I hadn’t realized how much I’d missed these characters and am ready for another 13 to look forward to! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase!* American Demon (Hollows)

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.

This Chick Read: The Proposal (The Wedding Date #2) by Jasmine Guillory

Nikole goes to a Dodger game with her boyfriend of five months and finds herself the center of a jumbotron wedding proposal. Surprise! Not even hesitating to turn him down, Nikole gets abandoned to an angry crowd. Sitting two rows away with his sister, Carlos Ibarra comes to her rescue with a fake story and a ride home. After drinks with her friends he expects to never hear from her again, but gets a surprising thank you email which prompts him to reply in turn.

I have had this book on my bookshelf for what seems like a year and never picked it up. I’m not sure why because I thoroughly enjoyed The Wedding Date and like Jasmine Guillory’s light-hearted rom-com style. It takes a quarantine I guess! This was a right book at the right time scenario for me. I cringed at the proposal and then laughed at the humorous dialog throughout this book.

Nikole had a few self esteem issues from a previous boyfriend and isn’t in a hurry to find herself in a relationship again. Carlos, also, doesn’t want anything serious because he feels like his life is pretty full of all of the women in his family that he needs to take care of. Needless to say, it’s when you don’t want it that love strikes.

I really liked Jasmine Guillory’s deft touch during the lighthearted moments in this story. I do feel like she let me down slightly when the conflict hit. That could just be that she needs to grow a little bit more into those heavier emotions? I couldn’t quite figure it out, but the end of the book went slightly astray for me. However, even saying that, when I look back on my own feelings while reading the book I had fun, laughed quite a few times, and enjoyed myself. So that’s a win on my scoreboard.

If you find yourself needing a more lighthearted book right now, I thought this one was a perfect pick. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* The Proposal

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? (6/15/2020)

HI! I’m writing to your from a cross country road trip with my husband. We had a couple of weeks off and decided to explore some areas of the US we haven’t seen before. It’s a LOT of driving, and fortunately I’ve had some time to read. This is what I’m currently reading.

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

Driving in the car with my husband I chose something I thought he’d be interested in. What I didn’t realize is that it’s read like a college course, although the teacher was very animated. I thought it was pretty interesting!

JUST STARTED

The Hollows series is one of my favorites and I was happy when this author decided to re-visit these characters. Since Kim Harrison had written the finale to the series already and this book takes place before the epilogue of that tale it’s a little weird because it’s like I can foretell their future, but I’m still really interested in Rachel and her inner demon.

Let me know what book is going to help you get through the next week!

Deb

This Chick Read: Black Arts (Jane Yellowrock #7) by Faith Hunter

Evan Trueblood arrives in New Orleans with the fury of a man on the hunt for his wayward wife. When he finds out Molly isn’t staying with Jane, he, Angie, and little Evan camp out at Jane’s while she investigates Molly’s disappearance. At the same time Jane, as Leo Pellissier’s enforcer, finds out there are strange vampire’s in town, one of whom is a vampire-witch hybrid. Can these two things be connected? I’ve learned in a Jane Yellowrock novel that there are no coincidences, just plots that intertwine into one cohesive soul burning conclusion. This most recent novel, Black Arts, is no different.

The reason for Molly’s appearance in New Orleans is not just to make peace with Jane or take a break from her marriage. She’s gotten mixed up with these new vamps and it’s up to Jane to find her before she steps even further over a line that will be hard to recover. This plot has roots in the previous two to three novels and I love how this author plays with the present and the past to keep the reader invested in how the future will play out.

As a reader and fan of the Soulwood novels, I finally get the facts behind Rick and Jane’s falling out, with the introduction of Pakka, the were leopard from Africa who has created a divide between the two lovers. Their relationship never gelled for me and this novel answered some of my questions about why I didn’t feel as connected with Rick in this series as I do in the Soulwood novels. Maybe Jane isn’t meant to be with Rick and her sizzling chemistry with George (aka Bruiser) or Leo, the Master of the City is where her future lies? I’ll just have to keep reading this series to find out.

I loved so many things about this novel. Jane’s reunion with Angie and little Evan was tender, her relationship with Evan continues to get better, her partnership with Eli and Alex turns into an emotional bond, and her reunion and eventual healing of her relationship with Molly brought it all home. This novel hit all of the high points in my love for this series that I couldn’t help but feel refreshed and ready for Jane to move forward into whatever the future may hold. I can’t wait.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Black Arts (Jane Yellowrock Book 7)

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

This Chick Read: I Was Told It Would Get Easier by Abbi Waxman

Mother-daughter duo Jessica and Emily Burnstein are about to spend a week touring east coast colleges. It’s Emily’s chance to make a decision on her future and for her mother, Jessica, it’s the chance to get closer to the daughter she loves. On the tour are other parental-kid units, including another mother and daughter whom both Jessica and Emily loathe. Will Emily and Jessica get along? Grow closer? Or become further apart than they ever were?

Abbi Waxman is one of my go to author’s since her hilarious debut A Garden of Small Beginnings. I’ll admit to being slightly disappointed by her last two novels that although good were not as funny as the first. I Was Told It Would Get Easier came through with both funny scenes but also quite tender ones that had heart and made me really like these characters.

Now, I’ll admit, when I was the age of Emily Burnstein my parents didn’t take me on a college tour, they were just excited I got accepted to any! I did find the relationship between Jessica and Emily quite familiar, as I’m sure a lot of reader’s will. Emily was a typical 16 year old girl with all the sass and hormones, and a mother who was bewildered by how to bond with her daughter. I really liked both of their characters and how over the course of a week they managed to find common ground and even ended up understanding each other a little bit better.

The love interests! Yes, there was a cute boy on the trip who Emily crushed on and their budding relationship was sweet and also pretty funny. Did Jessica have a love interest? Well, there was this one scene with an ex from college that was too hilarious. We all look back on those guys fondly, don’t we? Jessica had her hands full with this one, but thankfully Emily was there to keep her on the straight and narrow.

There were a lot of fun characters in this novel, some of whom you will recognize if you’re like me and have read all of the previous novels by this author. It’s not just a mother-daughter bonding book, there were kooky happenings, drunk mom dancing, and even a bit of crime solving! I really enjoyed all of the hijinks, but even more I loved the heart. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

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

Click this link to purchase!* I Was Told It Would Get Easier

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.