This Chicks TBT: A book signing with Mariana Zapata and Inn Boonsboro

In looking back over some of my older posts I came upon a trip my sister and I took to Maryland. This trip was centered completely on a book signing Mariana Zapata, one of my favorite romance authors was doing at the Inn Boonsboro, owned by Nora Roberts- also a favorite romance author. At the time, Mariana (I can call her that since we met in person) had just released her novel From Lukov With Love. Even four years later that novel is one of my favorites and at this point I’ve read it multiple times. We had a private meeting with only 15-20 other readers and got to spend one on one time with this author. An experience I will not ever forget. For those of you who haven’t read it, I’ve copied and pasted my post below.

This was posted on 4/15/2018-

A few weeks ago I received a text from my sister saying that she’d put us on a waiting list for an exclusive meet and greet with Mariana Zapata at the Inn Boonsboro in Maryland.  Someone had dropped out and there was one room available. Did I want to take a few days off from work and go? I had just finished Mariana Zapata’s newest novel From Lukov With Love and loved it so I really didn’t have to think that hard. Umm, yeah!  Let’s do it!  This was a twofer! To get the chance to meet with one of my favorite authors and also stay in Nora Roberts Inn Boonsboro? What a treat!

Inn Logo

The Inn Boonsboro is only a little over an hour’s drive from Baltimore, the airport we flew into. On our arrival, we were given a tour of the Inn. A small library filled with bookshelves full of fiction and a couple of arm chairs in front of a fireplace was right around the corner from our room. I knew I was going to be making myself comfortable as there was also a Keurig in the corner where I could make coffee, tea or hot chocolate while looking at all the books on the shelves. There was also a small dining room, with delicious cookies on display, as well as a parlor where we were told our book event with Ms. Zapata would be taking place in another hour. When we were led to our room, we passed themed rooms with plaques identifying which romantic couple that room’s theme portrayed. My sister and I were placed in Eve and Roarke! As a huge fan of J. D. Robb’s In Death series I was thrilled at the decor, a mix of modern and historical pieces really gave it a unique vibe. The picture below shows the outside of the Inn that evening and our room before we totally wrecked the space with our stuff.

Inn Eve & Roarke

I noticed on the desk in the corner a notebook and curious, I opened it up. It was for guests to sign the page and to write their thoughts about their stay in that room. Look who wrote in the first page!

Nora signed

Later that evening I peeked into a couple of the other rooms and took quick photo’s, just so you could see how the themes were so different from each other and really lovely! They spared no expense in the creation of this Inn.

Inn rooms

To see more details about the Inn Boonsboro as well as their upcoming author events titled A Novel Adventure please click on this link to go to their website. Inn Boonsboro

Next up is YA author Cambria Hebert on 6/18. If you live in the area or are a short plane ride away, I really recommend this experience!

Mariana logoMariana Zapata is the author of multiple best selling novels such as Wait For It, Kulti, The Wall of Winnipeg and Me, etc.

At 5pm we were told to gather in the parlor for a two hour cocktail and conversation with Mariana Zapata. I brought my copy of Kulti and my sister had her copy of From Lukov with Love and we entered the parlor, not really sure what to expect. There were drinks, appetizers and a few desserts and only a few people. We saw Michelle, one of the Innkeeper’s and asked her how many people she expected and she said 13 in total. My sister and I looked at each other in shock. Wow! This really was exclusive! Mariana and her assistant Eva were the last two to arrive and the rest of us ladies were seated in chairs around the room.

My first thought was how Mariana was so sweet and young! She was small in stature, but she was outgoing, waving at everyone and asking how we were all doing. She had a purple (kind of orchid in color) rinse on her hair and started up conversation with the people on that end of the room. We were told that she’d sign our novels first and then we’d spend the rest of the time asking questions and she’d answer them willingly. As she signed our books she chatted briefly about where we were from and really I think I talked more about myself, forgetting to ask her any questions! LOL. My sister and I asked if we could have our photo taken, see below!

Mariana and us
Mariana signing

After she finished signing all of our books she sat on an ottoman across from where my sister and I as well as a few other ladies were sitting and naturally started answering our questions. I will admit, I did not take notes, however my sister helped me recreate the questions and conversations and I will try to be as detailed as possible without too much embellishment. (Please take note, this is not a verbatim conversation.)

Q: Where do you get your inspiration with books? For Kulti, her inspiration came from watching a women’s soccer game, for Wait For It she was inspired by American History X, and Sons of Anarchy for Under Locke. Her husband is a musician and Rhythm and Chord was easy for her to write because of that. The group chimed in about Eli and Mason from Rhythm and Chord saying they’d love for them to have their own stories, but Mariana was pretty firm about not wanting to write another book about a guy in a band. I asked her about what inspired her to write Lingus, as romance novel about a porn star. She said she was watching a documentary about people who go to porn conventions and how normal they all looked. The idea intrigued her. Would writing a romance novel about a porn star work?

We also talked about the popularity of Alpha Males in some other authors books. She said she liked an Alpha Male but didn’t want to always write about one. It was really important for her to have each of the men in her novels be different from each other.They were all strong characters, but individual as well.

Q: Why didn’t people react well to her novel Dear Aaron? (If you haven’t read Dear Aaron most of the book is told by letters or emails between the two main characters, Ruby and Aaron). She thought it was because Ruby was not as in your face as Sal from Kulti and Diana from Wait For It. Ruby had her own strength but it was quieter. She still grew as a character, but for some reason readers just didn’t connect as much, she didn’t really understand it.

Q: I bet you hear this all of the time but I have to ask about the Toolbox in Wait For It. Why didn’t you ever resolve that part of the story in the book? Mariana seemed a little confused. She said she felt like she had resolved Dallas’s reaction. (The toolbox was her dead brother Rodrigo’s and her friend Vanessa painted it pink with flowers on it.) She said Dallas was upset when he saw the toolbox because he felt she should have someone who could fix things for her, but he wasn’t in the place where he could be that man for her, yet.

Q: When did Ivan and Jasmine in From Lukov with Love actually fall in love? Mariana actually never answered this question. She said she likes her readers to get what they need from a novel and she doesn’t like to spell things out for them. I mentioned to her that I felt like they fell in love after they became skating partners, but that my sister felt like Ivan had always loved Jasmine and was just waiting for his chance. It’s interesting how reading is so subjective and we can all get something different out of reading the same book. She nodded, seeming pleased at our reactions.

Q: Do you have a writing schedule? She said that yes, she does, but she learned pretty early on that she had to make sure she had a life. Make time to make dinner and eat with her husband, work out, etc. When asked about her next book, she didn’t give a whole lot of details other than that she liked to alternate between fun and serious books. She said Dear Aaron was a fun book, although people didn’t seem to agree. My sister and I tried to map out her books and we think it’s one funny to two serious? If that’s the case, the next one may be a serious novel because Lukov was serious.

Q: How did you start writing slow burn novels? She said that she finds the relationship much more interesting than the sex. If she reads a novel where the characters jump into bed too soon she ends up skimming those scenes and loses interest a bit. How they get to that point is so much more interesting isn’t it?

There were so many other topics of conversation but you can see from the above conversations that they ran the gamut of all of her novels as well as a little bit about her writing habits. She was charming and entertaining and very honest. This was an experience that I won’t forget and will hopefully be able to have again. I’ll be keeping an eye on the Inn Boonsboro’s website for future guests! Here is a group photo- you can see how small the group was!

Group

Oh, one last thing! Did I mention that Nora Roberts lives close by and her husband owns Turn The Page Bookstore across from the Inn? Here are a few photo’s of the bookstore and the Nora Roberts/JD Robb room inside.

bookstore
img_2221
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This was a fun one!

Until next Sunday,

Deb

This Chick Read: Aurora’s End (The Aurora Cycle #3) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

When Aurora Burning, the second novel in the series, ended, it looked like Squad 312 was history. Each story arc had been blasted to kingdom come. As Aurora’s End begins, we find out that each of our characters have survived the annihilation. Zila, Fin, and Scarlett have been thrown back in time to when the Betraskans and Humans were at war with each other. Caught in a time loop, the three of them must find a way out of the loop and back to the future so that they can continue to fight to save humanity. Kal and Auri have been blown into the future where they see what happens when the Ra’haam infect the universe. They meet up with a future Tyler who leads the uninfected in a fight that they have no hope of winning. This final novel in the Aurora Cycle is action packed but also packs an emotional punch as we see the what-if’s and the could-be’s collide.

Kaufman and Kristoff are among the best when it comes to action packed scenes and there are quite a few note-worthy ones in Aurora’s End. Each character’s story arc leads them to a point where they can all unite to hopefully save their people. I just wish that it hadn’t taken quite so long to reach the conclusion. I was all in after the ending of Aurora Burning, knowing that our characters would be back because, hello, it was a three book series. BUT, for me, there was too much time spent in the time loop where Zila, Fin, and Scarlett were trying to beat the loop and find their way back to the future. Granted, each loop takes time, and there needed to be some emotional moments for all characters during those loops, but still, it took too many pages.

On the flip side, I wish that Tyler’s portion had been a little longer. I thought his character as the leader of the unit, the one who had all of the success or failure placed upon his shoulders, needed more time and reflection. I know, that is kind of nit-picky and is probably my own feelings about which character I liked best and wanted to read about the most, but his part was definitely the most interesting of the three plot arc’s. I think it helped that he was actually in two of the arc’s and that future Tyler helped build a connection to what was riding on his shoulders in the past.

The conclusion to this series was epic, action-packed, and emotional. Everything you’d hope for in a series that took a little while to build. I like a conclusion that doesn’t leave loose ends and what-if’s lying about. This was a fun journey and a fantastic continuation and of a very solid sci-fi series. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Aurora’s End (The Aurora Cycle Book 3)

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? (4/25/22)

I hope everyone has had a wonderful weekend. We had gorgeous 80 degree weather in Nashville and I had to work all weekend. Ugh! Despite missing out on some great outdoor activities, I managed to finish a new book being released next month and started another. I have a backlog of books I need to read and review. There are so many great books coming out next month! Curious? Check out what I’ve been reading.

JUST FINISHED

Dare I say it? I think this was my favorite Jasmine Guillory book yet! Great characters that were easy to relate to and I loved the premise!

JUST STARTED

I literally just turned the first page and haven’t yet gotten a feel for this book, but it’s Kasie West! Her contemporary young adult books consistently deliver and I can’t wait to dig into this one!

Have a great Monday and don’t forget to lose yourself in a great book!

Deb

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

Wow, there are a LOT of great books coming out in May which made picking five really, really difficult. A few authors on this list will come as no surprise if you follow my blog. You’ll have seen them before and know they are among my favorites. Others may be a bit of a surprise. Check out my list below.

#5 BOOK RELEASE

OK, I’m jumping into the middle of this series but it looks fabulous and i LOVE this cover. I don’t often read contemporary mysteries, preferring historical mysteries and the uniqueness of traveling in time but this book’s synopsis has tempted me to jump right in.

Synopsis: When the shocking discovery of a murdered woman’s body disturbs the tranquility of tourist season, the police detective in charge of the puzzling case must work alongside the new filmmaker in town to pursue every lead in the new romantic thriller from New York Times bestselling author Laura Griffin.

After a scandal derails her television reporting career, Macey Burns comes looking for a change of pace in Lost Beach, Texas. She’s ready to focus on her first passion—documentary filmmaking—and has a new job working for the island’s tourism board, shooting footage of the idyllic beachside community. Her plans for a relaxing rebound are dashed when she realizes the cottage she’s renting belonged to the woman whose body was just found in the sand dunes.
 
Detective Owen Breda is under intense pressure to solve this murder. Violent crimes are rising in his small town, and he can’t stand to see anyone else hurt…especially not the beautiful documentarian who keeps showing up at the precinct.
 
With the clock ticking, cameras rolling, and body count climbing, Macey and Owen must use all their resources to find the killer without getting caught in the crosshairs.

Click this link to purchase this book!* Midnight Dunes

#4 BOOK RELEASE

Casey McQuiston’s last novel moved to the top of the bestselling lists and this book looks to do the same. A charming synopsis and irresistible cover means that I’m going to be swooping up this book as soon as it comes out!

Synopsis: Chloe Green is so close to winning. After her moms moved her from SoCal to Alabama for high school, she’s spent the past four years dodging gossipy classmates and the puritanical administration of Willowgrove Christian Academy. The thing that’s kept her going: winning valedictorian. Her only rival: prom queen Shara Wheeler, the principal’s perfect progeny.

But a month before graduation, Shara kisses Chloe and vanishes.

On a furious hunt for answers, Chloe discovers she’s not the only one Shara kissed. There’s also Smith, Shara’s longtime quarterback sweetheart, and Rory, Shara’s bad boy neighbor with a crush. The three have nothing in common except Shara and the annoyingly cryptic notes she left behind, but together they must untangle Shara’s trail of clues and find her. It’ll be worth it, if Chloe can drag Shara back before graduation to beat her fair and square.

Thrown into an unlikely alliance, chasing a ghost through parties, break-ins, puzzles, and secrets revealed on monogrammed stationery, Chloe starts to suspect there might be more to this small town than she thought. And maybe—probably not, but maybe—more to Shara, too.

Fierce, funny, and frank, Casey McQuiston’s I Kissed Shara Wheeler is about breaking the rules, getting messy, and finding love in unexpected places.

Click this link to purchase!* I Kissed Shara Wheeler

#3 BOOK RELEASE

I love a good second chance romance novel. Every Summer After seems to be on everyone’s must-read lists and I scored an ARC! I hope it’s as good as it sounds.

Synopsis: Six summers to fall in love. One moment to fall apart. A weekend to get it right.
 
They say you can never go home again, and for Persephone Fraser, ever since she made the biggest mistake of her life a decade ago, that has felt too true. Instead of glittering summers on the lakeshore of her childhood, she spends them in a stylish apartment in the city, going out with friends, and keeping everyone a safe distance from her heart.

Until she receives the call that sends her racing back to Barry’s Bay and into the orbit of Sam Florek—the man she never thought she’d have to live without.

For six summers, through hazy afternoons on the water and warm summer nights working in his family’s restaurant and curling up together with books—medical textbooks for him and work-in-progress horror short stories for her—Percy and Sam had been inseparable. Eventually that friendship turned into something breathtakingly more, before it fell spectacularly apart.
 
When Percy returns to the lake for Sam’s mother’s funeral, their connection is as undeniable as it had always been. But until Percy can confront the decisions she made and the years she’s spent punishing herself for them, they’ll never know whether their love might be bigger than the biggest mistakes of their past. 

Told over the course of six years and one weekend, Every Summer After is a big, sweeping nostalgic story of love and the people and choices that mark us forever.

Click this link to purchase!* Every Summer After

#2 BOOK RELEASE

Jasmine Guillory has become a must-read author. Her characters are always relatable and the stories charming. By the Book for me is a no-brainer.

Synopsis:

Sometimes to truly know a person, you have to read between the lines.

Isabelle is completely lost. When she first began her career in publishing after college, she did not expect to be twenty-five, still living at home, and one of the few Black employees at her publishing house. Overworked and underpaid, constantly torn between speaking up or stifling herself, Izzy thinks there must be more to this publishing life. So when she overhears her boss complaining about a beastly high-profile author who has failed to deliver his long-awaited manuscript, Isabelle sees an opportunity to prove her worth and finally get the recognition she deserves.

All she has to do is go to the author’s Santa Barbara mansion and give him a quick pep talk or three. How hard could it be?

But Izzy quickly finds out she is in over her head. Beau Towers is not some celebrity lightweight writing a tell-all memoir. He is jaded and withdrawn and—it turns out—just as lost as Izzy. But despite his standoffishness, Izzy needs Beau to deliver, and with her encouragement, his story begins to spill onto the page. They soon discover they have more in common than either of them expected, and as their deadline nears, Izzy and Beau begin to realize there may be something there that wasn’t there before.

Click this link to purchase!* By the Book

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

MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE OF MAY’22

Emily Henry has written one of my favorite Summer novels, Beach Read, and because of my love for that novel I will always eagerly pick up her next novel and this one looks FAB. Can’t wait to read it!

Synopsis: One summer. Two rivals. A plot twist they didn’t see coming…

Nora Stephens’ life is books—she’s read them all—and she is not that type of heroine. Not the plucky one, not the laidback dream girl, and especially not the sweetheart. In fact, the only people Nora is a heroine for are her clients, for whom she lands enormous deals as a cutthroat literary agent, and her beloved little sister Libby.

Which is why she agrees to go to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina for the month of August when Libby begs her for a sisters’ trip away—with visions of a small town transformation for Nora, who she’s convinced needs to become the heroine in her own story. But instead of picnics in meadows, or run-ins with a handsome country doctor or bulging-forearmed bartender, Nora keeps bumping into Charlie Lastra, a bookish brooding editor from back in the city. It would be a meet-cute if not for the fact that they’ve met many times and it’s never been cute.

If Nora knows she’s not an ideal heroine, Charlie knows he’s nobody’s hero, but as they are thrown together again and again—in a series of coincidences no editor worth their salt would allow—what they discover might just unravel the carefully crafted stories they’ve written about themselves.

Click this link to purchase!* Book Lovers

These look pretty good, don’t they? There were so many more books that could’ve made my top five but I’m happy with all of the above. What’s on your own top five? Did any of these make your list?

Happy reading!

Deb

This Chicks Audio Review: Next in Line (Cake #6) by J. Bengtsson

The driving force behind Quinn McCallister, the youngest brother of rock star Jake McCallister, is that he is determined to be better and more famous than his older brother. Kind of hard to do when your older brother was a kidnap victim who escaped after a month of captivity only by killing his captor. Then there’s the fact that he’s uber talented. Quinn grew up in Jake’s limelight, wishing for his attention but not getting it. No surprise because his brother has some horrible trauma to work through. As Next in Line begins, Quinn is a candidate on a singing competition show and despite promises from the producers not to use his family to garner ratings they, of course do. In return Quinn sings a heartbreaking song that goes viral, and walks off and out of their lives. Enter Jess, the uber/Lyft driver who picks him up as he’s being chased down the sidewalk by one of said producers. He gets in the car and her sass immediately gets him out of his own head. Who is this girl who he has told to take him someplace fun, but not too much fun?

I am a big fan of the Cake series. J. Bengtsson’s witty dialog always keeps me reading despite knowing she’s going to make me relive Jake’s torture for the sixth time. Next In LIne, while still dealing with the trauma the McCallister family went through because of what happened to Jake and subsequently them, does seem slightly watered down. Maybe in part this is because Quinn was only six years old when his brother was kidnapped. Just as with the other McCallister kids, they use humor to hide behind and Jess, who also has a difficult childhood does the same. This means I chuckled, laughed, and cried my way through their interactions.

There was one point in the book where I turned to my sister, who had already read the book, and asked if Quinn and Jess’s stories will twine back together again because i was reading this for the romance, not for Quinn’s journey into rock and roll. I did stick it out, but I really wish I’d been reading the book instead of listening to it because I could’ve skipped over some of the less interesting (to me) parts and gotten back to the romance. The narrator’s BTW did an amazing job. Andi Arndt should read all contemporary books and as much as I love Zachary Webber normally, I think she outshone him in her interpretation of the characters, even Quinn’s. She was incredible.

I bet you’re trying to figure out if I liked this book. I’ll admit, I waffled a bit. Yes, I did like it but I wish it was more Quinn and Jess, and less Quinn the rock star. I wish that Jake didn’t have to relive his trauma every time one of his brothers or sisters fell in love. I feel bad for the guy! I also wish that Andi Arndt had more audio time. However, if I break it down, this series is one that I’ll keep coming back to read and listen to again and again. Yes, I do have my favorite books (Kyle’s and Emma’s), and Quinn’s probably falls at the bottom of the list but it was still good. Some Others were just better. I’m sure you have your own favorite too.

❤️❤️❤️❣️

Click this link to purchase the audiobook!* Next in Line: A Cake Series Novel

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 Audio Review: The Paris Secret by Karen Swan

Flora Sykes, a fine arts dealer, is brought in to assess an amazing find. An unopened apartment in Paris filled with antiques and art that haven’t been touched in 70 years. Owned by the wealthy Vermeil family, Flora’s job is to research those antiques and establish provenance. Using this job as an escape from a personal tragedy, Flora immerses herself in the history of this find that includes a rare Renoir. As she gets closer to answers she keeps stumbling upon the brusque Xavier Vermeil the heir to the Vermeil dynasty who seems upset at her involvement, especially when her research turns up a shocking truth that threatens the reputation of his family.

The Paris Secret takes you all over Europe, to London, Paris, New York, and Vienna and the narrator Lucy Price-Lewis does an amazing job moving smoothly from one accent to another. I truly felt like there were multiple people narrating this novel. She did an amazingly seamless job. I’ll definitely be putting her on my must listen list. However, it is the author who deftly wrote a story that I’ve now come across a few times, and made it stand out from the other novels. The Paris Secret did not provide flashbacks as a tool, staying in the 20th Century. An effective tool to show the disparity in wealth that the Vermeil family had and the power that wealth has given them over time. A power that in part came from their love of art.

As Flora was distracting herself with this amazingly interesting find in Paris, her family was going through something powerfully emotional. The author chose to keep the reader in the dark through a great portion of the book only revealing her family secret when it made sense in moving the plot emotionally forward. Her investigation and her own secret rode parallel to each other in the story creating an explosive conflict in the story between she and Xavier. I’ll admit their attraction was confusing, tense, and mysterious. The narration was so, so good, I eagerly anticipated every word.

As there have been a few of these secret Paris apartment stories in the last 5-6 years, I’m sure you can guess the provenance of where the art came from, but as I said above, the way Karen Swan delivered this information, keeping the story contemporary and current, was a different take on the story that I really enjoyed. I also loved the tension-filled scenes between Flora and Xavier, as well as Flora’s investigation across the European continent. She was a strong, intelligent heroine, and I really liked her. I highly recommend this novel and if you have the time please try the audiobook. Lucy Price-Lewis did an amazing job and made me want to travel to France again sometime soon. Ooh-La-La!

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link and purchase this book!* The Paris Secret: A Novel

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? (4/18/22)

Happy Monday! If Easter is a holiday you celebrate, I hope you had a nice day yesterday celebrating with your family. I spent a lot of time in the kitchen, and not as much time reading. Looking forward to the some books I need to review in May I decided to get a head start with an author I just love. I’ll tell you a little bit more about that below. I also picked up a book that I haven’t read in quite a few years enjoying not quite remembering the plot. Here are the books I’ve spent time reading.

JUST FINISHED

This book is a compilation of short stories that Faith Hunter released in various newsletters and short story novels. I was surprised to find that I hadn’t read any of these before and enjoyed quite a few! If you haven’t read the Jane Yellowrock series I think you’d be totally lost, but this author does write a good story so maybe you’d like her shorts too.

JUST STARTED

It’s probably been 7 years since I’ve picked up this book in the Ghosts and Reincarnation series by Kristen Ashley. One of this author’s earlier novels, I was surprised to find out that the romance scenes were cut to dark and not very descriptive, which I’ll admit was kind of refreshing. The characters are early iterations of the surly Alpha and heroine in jeopardy that we’ve come to expect from this author. I’m having a bit of trouble liking the story though.

Do you have an awesome novel you want to share? I’d love to hear it! Please let me know in the comments.

Happy Monday!

Deb

This Chicks Audio Review: Trapped (The Iron Druid Chronicles #5) by Kevin Hearne

Atticus has spent the last twelve years in hiding while training his apprentice Granuaile. Forced to fake their deaths in order to get all the gods off their backs they are surprised to hear that Loki has escaped his realm and is destroying the realms of those who killed his brother Thor, and Earth may well be next. With only the final rites needed for Granuaille’s graduation to a Druid they must travel to Mount Olympus in order to complete that ritual. Unfortunately, it seems that word is out that he is, in fact, alive and they have to avoid gods, dark elves, vampires, and of course Loki to accomplish their task.

I’ll admit, this wasn’t my favorite of the Iron Druid Chronicles series. Luke Daniels still did a stand up job as narrator, but there were times that the story dragged on. Yes, everyone was out to kill them- and I do mean everyone! It’s just that it got a little old. The tattooing of Granuaile’s marks were interrupted three or four times and they had to keep moving or fighting and well, I hate to say this, but boring. I wanted to see how Granuaile would change after becoming a druid and it seemed like it would never happen.

Sometimes in a series there are those books that becomes a bridge between one plot and the next step in the characters journey and Trapped was that type of book. If it weren’t for the humorous musings of Oberon, Leif the vampire and Atticus’s ex-friend showed up again, and the fact that Granuaile finally made Atticus face his feelings for her this book could be a throwaway. I would tell you all to just skip it. It wasn’t horrible it was just, well, a placeholder for the next book, which is I’m sure a great one. BUT, Oberon was pretty charming, and well, feelings were revealed. I guess that made it worthwhile. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

Click this link and purchase this book!* Trapped (Iron Druid Chronicles)

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? (4/11/22)

After my 55 hours of listening to The Fiery Cross, Diana Gabaldon’s fifth book in the Outlander series, I wanted to listen to something fun, lighthearted and quick. My book choices are always completely reliant upon mood unless I have an ARC commitment. I have one of those too and it’s a book that is totally different than what I’ve been reading lately. I hope I like it!

Thanks again to Book Date who started this discussion and asked book bloggers to join the conversation!

JUST FINISHED

From the same author who wrote one of my favorite romances last year, The Love Hypothesis, she continues her women of STEM novels with a few novellas. This was an enemies to lovers romance, one of my favorite tropes and while I wished it had been a full length novel I thought it was fun.

JUST STARTED

This novel is a complete departure from my normal genre. A heist novel with some great characters it has started off quick and is pretty easy to follow. The one hang-up for me is that it’s from every characters point of view. That’s a lot of pov’s!

Give me a shout and let me know what books you’re reading right now!

Happy Monday and happy reading!

Deb

This Chick Read: Taking the Leap (River Rain #3) by Kristen Ashley

Alexandra Sharp knows she has to get over this crush she has on her co-worker “Rix” Hendrix. She stumbles, stutters, and glances away whenever he’s near and he can’t help but notice. However, his own insecurities make him think her discomfort is because of his prosthetics, not because she finds him attractive. Until they are out for drinks one night to celebrate and they get a chance to connect. Alex is never going to take the chance, despite having lied to her sister about her dating Rix and is forced into saying he’ll be her plus one at Blake’s wedding. Rix takes advantage of the situation to get to know Alex the shy, beautiful woman who has feelings for him.

This really was a very simple story arc for Alex and Rix. Co-workers who plan to pretend they are a couple for the purpose of protecting Alex from her socialite and kind of mean sister, and parents. Rix plays all the right angles stating they need to get to know each other in order to get their story straight and feel comfortable. That comfortableness quickly advances into a physical relationship and their pretend status becomes permanent. However, there are emotional subtleties that each character needs to overcome in order to advance their relationship emotionally. Taking the Leap is as straightforward a romance as Kristen Ashley knows how to write and Alex and Rix are characters you can root for and can’t help but like. I did.

For me, the story became energized when Rix and Alex got to New York and were mixing with her high society family. Her sister Blake’s bride-zilla attitude and her mother’s OMG behaviour added relevance as to why Alex was so quiet and shy. Rix’s protective nature came out and you forgot that he was a man with amputated legs. He was all alpha male. Out of all those scenes with her family I especially liked the quiet moments of bonding between Alex and her dad which were sweet and hopeful.

Taking the Leap had moments where Rix and Alex touched on all of the emotions, but it was the wedding scene that struck me as most memorable and man did I laugh! Without giving away any details, I’ll just say that the family bonded over an enemy and the way it went down was all I’d hoped it would be.

I had high hopes for Alex and Rix, and overall I liked them a lot. They were a good pairing and seemed to compliment each others strengths and weaknesses. However, they paled in comparison to the strength and joy in Chloe and Judge’s story. Those two will forever be my favorites in this series, but this book did not disappoint. For those of you who want to jump right in, yes, you can read this as a stand alone, but at least start with Chasing Serenity because the back story will help you with these characters histories and you’ll enjoy your journey a bit more. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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