This Chick Read: The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

Andie is a planner and knows exactly what she’s doing this summer. When those plans get derailed because of her politician father’s scandal, Andie gets the best job she can and notifies her best friends that she’s available for the summer. Walking dogs may be out of her comfort zone but she makes the best of a bad situation and when one of those dogs gets her closer to a cute boy named Clark she realizes this may be just the distraction she needs to distract her from her suddenly housebound dad. The Unexpected Everything is an unexpected pleasure.

Growing up the daughter of a politician, Andi knows that she’s under constant scrutiny. Her actions can’t cause problems for her Congressman father. When his own scandal derails his career and he’s a housebound father after a five year absence they have a hard time adjusting but not unexpectedly, they find a new path together but not without moments of growing pains. I really loved the father-daughter bonding in this young adult novel. Another great aspect to this story were Andie’s friends- Toby, Bri, and Palmer. Their solid friend group seemed perfectly sound until another secret rocks their world and makes them work to recover that bond they’d always had with each other.

Then there was Clark. A couple of years older but millions of years wiser- or so it seemed. A successful author of a best-selling fantasy novel Clark seems to have it all, but as the story unwinds we realize that there is a lot of depth to his character, a depth that makes Andi a little uneasy since she seems to avoid any kind of conflict in her own life. I enjoyed how being with Clark challenged Andie to think in a more mature manner and take a look at how she has been living her own life.

If I had any criticism it would be that I think this story could have been told in fewer words. The novel did seem to drag a bit and I got impatient to reach the conflict that I knew was coming. It could be because this is a young adult novel and those days are long gone, but I would’ve liked the author to get to the point a little bit quicker than she did. I will say the slower pace didn’t stop me from enjoying the story and investing in all of these interesting characters. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

Click this link to purchase this book!* The Unexpected Everything

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This Chick Read: Smoke and Steel (Wild West MC #2) by Kristen Ashley

Hellen Moynihan has goals. She’s strong, independent, and when her boyfriend isn’t showing her the respect she deserves she cuts him loose. Respect is of utmost importance and when she see’s a friend of hers being taking advantage by a man, she speaks up trying to get her friend to respect herself. Dustin “Hardcore” Cutler is a man who has dished out vengeance and in the past to one person who didn’t deserve the treatment. He and his MC brothers are on the path of redemption trying to make up for this past act. When he is put on Hellen’s detail, watching over her as a favor to her brother-in-law, he knows she is exactly the type of woman he’s attracted to, but because of his past acts he thinks he doesn’t deserve happiness. Yet, he somehow allows Hellen into his life and fells the warmth of that redemption soothe his soul.

I don’t typically read MC novels and in fact probably only read them when written by Kristen Ashley. I prefer hero’s to be “good” men, but I’ll admit there is something about a bad man who makes good that is appealing in a fantasy read. Core was just such a man. He and his brothers portrayed a horrible act, one that as a woman is not easily redeemed in a novel, but the fact that he beat himself up so much about what he did shows that he has that kernel of goodness inside his heart. Of course in real life I wouldn’t be so forgiving but since this is a novel I wanted to see where this story would lead. I really kind of liked it.

Core had that mix of gruff and surly mixed with an old world charm. Right from the start he treated Hellen with the respect that she was looking for, opening doors, holding her hand, helping her put on her coat, etc. He was also looking out for her safety. At times that could be difficult because Hellen was determined to help her friend with a man who was stealing from her. She and her girl gang came up with a scheme that would put her in harms way and Core would magically appear to remove them from harm. Classic KA storytelling a la Rock Chicks, which I do like a lot.

The heat level on this romance is sizzling hot, so if you are looking for a tamer storyline between the sheets this may not be the novel you’re looking for. I’ll admit to skimming the romance time to get back to the story, but luckily there were only a couple of more detailed scenes, so easy to avoid if you’re comfort level needs that.

I enjoyed this second novel in the series. Core and Hellen were opposites who when together made a great couple and their story was fun to read. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase this book!* Smoke and Steel

Copyright 2023 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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It’s Monday, what are you reading? (1/9/22)

My first Monday back after a couple of weeks of vacation. I had a nice mixture of down time and travel and read some books on my TBR that I had either purchased or borrowed. I really enjoyed the break! I’ve read 6 books since Jan 1, and I don’t think I really had one that I didn’t like! Here is the last book I finished.

JUST FINISHED

I’m quite a few books behind in this series but was in the mood for re-visiting some of my favorite characters. This mystery wasn’t so mysterious but was a great inter-departmental takedowns of some very bad people and I must say I enjoyed it a lot.

JUST STARTED

I haven’t really decided what I’ll be reading next but this book is certainly on my radar. A spin-off of the Casey Duncan series, I know this will be an eery, mysterious, romp in the woods. I’m looking forward to reading this one!

Happy Monday and happy reading.

Deb

This Chick Read: Life’s Too Short by Abby Jimenez

Vanessa’s mom and sister didn’t live to 30 so Vanessa has vowed to live every day like it was her last, traveling around the world and blogging about her life. She didn’t expect people to react so positively having followers in the millions. When her sister drops her baby off and never returns Vanessa has to change her life to fit this new little one. Adrian Copeland is a successful trial lawyer with an impeccable reputation and hard work attitude. When the screaming baby wakes him up, he goes over to his neighbor’s see what’s up and ends up babysitting while Vanessa takes a shower. Enjoying her personality, Adrian ends up spending more and more time with she and Grace until they are almost like their own little family unit. But Vanessa is a lifestyle blogger who is used to living life like there’s no tomorrow.

I have read the other two books in this series and they were cute, which is why I picked up the third. I did not expect this book to be so full of heart, have great characters, and leave me with soggy tissues to clean up when I finished reading. Whew! This novel hooked me in and then took me on a journey that I wasn’t sure I wanted, but definitely didn’t want to stop.

Vanessa was kind of a nut. A free spirit, she really fits that lifestyle blogger persona- or at least she seems to. She really has a hidden agenda, raising money for ALS, the disease that killed her sister and that her mother was also showing symptoms of. Vanessa is terrified that she too will die from this disease. That thought has filled her life and every decision she’s made since she realized it. Adrian is completely thrown by this fascinating creature that lives next door. He has been all about work and as he gets to know her he is realizing that there is so much more to life than being a partner in his firm and working 24/7. I loved seeing him blossom out of his work persona.

I can’t let this review end without saying something about Vanessa’s family who played a huge part in this book. As with most families, her’s had their share of issues. What was so nice about Life’s Too Short was how family was at the heart of the story. The ALS storyline, the baby, her father’s hoarding, her sister’s addiction, her brother’s money making schemes. All integral parts to making Vanessa who she was and why this novel worked so well. Loved! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase this book!* Life’s Too Short

Copyright 2023 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: Seven Days in June by Tia Williams

Genevieve and Shane meet when she gets transferred to his high school. She’d always been a bit of an outcast, moving around with her mom a lot and plagued with debilitating migraines. When Eva meets Shane, she is trying to make a friend, but ends up meeting her soul mate. Over seven days they hide away from everyone, getting to know each other, but also self-medicating. Fast forward to 15 years later with they are both best-selling authors and meet by chance at an author event. Each of them carries a lot of baggage from their past, but from that first moment the strands that connect them become concrete. This novel tells their story from their most painful moments to a time where their being together heals their woes and the word family becomes their world.

I have not read any other novels by Tia Williams, and picked this one up because of two reasons. The cover struck me as gorgeous, and the synopsis called out to me. I always love it when the subject revolves around writing, books, libraries, or authors. This story did have that connection for me, but when I started reading, it wasn’t the fact that Eva and Shane were authors that made me stick around, it was their connection. Their story of loss, love, and perseverance. It was the fact that family was something they strove to hang onto, even though they both didn’t have concrete ideas of what would make a good one. Eva is now a mother, her daughter is by far one of my favorite characters in this book, and Eva is raising her like she would’ve wanted to be raised. To be strong, educated, and without fear. To be a leader among her peers. All of the things that she didn’t have from her own mother, who was went from man to man looking for self-validation.

Shane also didn’t have those strong building blocks, growing up in the foster system. A big guy, he easily got into trouble so he self-medicated until not being drunk or on pills was his norm. As an adult, he is now one of the most sought after authors because of his reclusiveness, but what drives him is to go back to schools like where he and Eva met, and connect with young kids and give them hope that they will overcome their own struggles. I loved this part of Shane. A now sober man who wants to give back. It’s an inspiring part of his character that despite his short-comings makes him easy to like.

When Shane and Eva reconnect, Tia Williams does an amazing job of giving their feelings a sense of urgency and chemistry. I wanted the two of them to make each other their person and when it happened, I sighed with relief, eager for them to get that hea they deserved. Of course, things weren’t that simple for the two of them, but gosh this author knows how to write a scene and make me feel. I felt EVERYTHING… and loved it. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase this book! Seven Days in June

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This Chick Read: The Honey-Don’t List by Christina Lauren

Carey Duncan met Melissa and Rusty Tripp when she was sixteen. She applied for a retail job in their store in her small town. When they were discovered by a home design network, Carey continued to work for Melissa as her assistant. She has helped them build their empire, but just as their launching a book tour, their marriage is on the rocks. James McCann was only recently hired by the Tripp’s as an Engineer on their show but has ended up being Rusty’s executive assistant. His career trajectory is reliant upon the Tripp’s making a success of their book and the second season of their new show. When it all starts to plummet, he and Carey team up to try to hold their bosses relationship together, while at the same time starting their own.

This novel came out a couple of years ago and has say on my library wishlist ever since. I’m not sure why I pressed pause because it was such a great romance. OK, yeah, Melissa and Rusty’s relationship was definitely on the skids, but when James and Carey banded together the became each others support system and their own story was sweet and funny. This story was a perfect example of using two relationships to show the contrast in healthy vs unhealthy which skewed the reader to loving James and Carey event more. Boy those Tripp’s were a mess!

I really enjoyed learning about Carey’s disability and how it made her life challenging. Especially when trying to keep designing furniture and other ideas for the Tripp’s. He story especially tugged on your heartstrings. I’ll admit to using Google to learn a little more. One of my favorite moments was James suggestion of using his engineering skills to design her a tool to use to make it easier for her to use her tablet. So sweet! This was a couple that I really rooted for from the start.

There were a lot of hijinks in this novel, just as there are in many of Christina Lauren’s novels. I’m not really fond of watching a marriage implode but I think the contrast of watching a new relationship being built helped provide the positive feeling the reader was left with at the end of the story. Well done! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase this book!* The Honey Don’t List

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: The Happy Ever After Playlist (The Friend Zone #2) by Abby Jimenez

Two years after the sudden death of her fiancé and Sloan Monroe can’t seem to get her life back on track. Once a talented budding artist she is barely making ends meet working for a mass production company painting cat astronaut paintings. On the anniversary of her fiancé’s death she is driving down the road when she finds a stray dog. She takes him home and calls the name and number on his tags. She leaves messages for over two weeks, but in the interim she keeps feeding the dog and taking him out on walks which help her come out of her funk. When the owner finally calls back and says he’s out of the country, she offers to keep watching him, sending him texts and pictures daily. As those texts with Jason turn flirty she finds herself looking forward to the time when they can meet face to face, while at the same time feeling guilty for moving on. When she finds out he’s a famous musician she wonders if she can survive another heartbreak.

I read The Friend Zone when it first came out and even though I liked it I sat on this second novel. Who knows why, because as soon as I started reading it I knew that I was going to love it. It was so easy to read and I really loved both Sloan and Jason. Jason, despite his superstar status was so down to earth, calm, and charming. He knew that what he found in Sloan was something special and he pursued her with a steadiness that was sweet and smooth. Sloan was a bit more of a mess because of her fiancé’s sudden death but then who wouldn’t be? I loved how it was Jason’s dog, Tucker who brought her out of her slump, playing a great wingman for his missing owner. By the time Jason arrived on the scene Sloan’s heart was on the mend and she was more open to a new relationship. Was this book perfect? No. I had issues with the conflict that arose when Sloan joined Jason on tour. It was pretty manufactured but I had trust in the author to get us back on the trail to our happily ever after, and she did.

I seem to be drawn towards books that have solid friendships, and Sloan’s and Kristen’s was pretty much perfect. I can’t say I remember Kristen too much from The Friend Zone since I read it quite a few years ago, but she was a pretty funny foil to Sloan’s more subdued demeanor. Her antics created the perfect comedic foil to push Sloan into action on a few pivotal scenes. I smiled through her craziness and enjoyed their friendship. Every Thelma needs a Louise and that was who Kristen was for Sloan.

If you are in the mood for a quick romance that is surprisingly sweet with characters who have quite a bit of depth, this may be the perfect book for you! I am still wondering why I waited so long to read it, but hey, the third in the series is out already and now I don’t have to wait at all before diving in to another book that I know is going to bring me pleasure. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase this book! The Happy Ever After Playlist

Copyright 2022 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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It’s Monday, what are you reading? (12/26/22)

For all of you who celebrate, Merry Christmas! I hope everyone got a little “me time” in the craziness of the holiday. I got a couple of Colleen Hoover books for Christmas and believe it or not, I’ve never read one of her books before and am looking forward to seeing what all of the hoopla is all about. Yesterday afternoon while my husband was watching football, I finished a book and read a short novella. So I successfully carved that “me time” and let my mind decompress from the holiday madness. Here is what’s on my shelf.

JUST FINISHED

Ilona Andrews releases chapters from the Innkeep series in real time and it is so hard to NOT read it as they write it. FINALLY the entire book was released and I purchased my kindle copy and dug in this weekend. It was sooo good! It moves us closer to finding out what happened to Dina’s parents but the mystery is not yet solved. Whew! I don’t want this series to end!

JUST STARTED

I haven’t started this book yet, but I think I might pick it up and give Colleen Hoover a try. This and the second book in this series was given to me for Christmas. I’ll let you know if I give it a try! If you’ve read it let me know what you think.

Happy Monday and happy reading!

Deb

This Chick Read: The Wedding Crasher by Mia Sosa

Solange Perreira is helping out her wedding planner cousin at an event when she accidently spies the bride in a situation that makes her believe this wedding just isn’t meant to be. When the minister makes the announcement about anyone objecting, Solange finds herself speaking out, saving the groom from a lifetime without love. What she doesn’t know is that Dean Chapman, the groom, didn’t want a loving marriage, he wanted a bride to help him make partner in his law firm. Back at work the next week, Dean finds himself in need of another “partner” and calls on Solange to be his pretend girlfriend. She agree’s, with rules, but those rules are bound for breaking because their chemistry is hard to resist.

I liked this story, but there was something that was holding me back from loving it. I loved Solange, her family, culture, and personality. She was someone who I’d definitely want in my own friend circle and I couldn’t imagine anyone not being bound by her charm. Dean was a little harder to like, which I think was the point of the novel, truthfully. He was driven by his career and wanted a partner in life, but not a love match. Of course, this is a romance novel, so I knew where it would lead me but I got a little frustrated at how hard he fought his feelings for Solange. There was definitely attraction between them, and the book had plenty of heat, but I like a little more buy in from the love interest and I didn’t get that until the end of the book.

I loved, loved, loved Solange’s family and culture. Her Brazilian heritage was warm, wonderful, and family was at the center of her life. I’m not Brazilian but this story and Solange’s character painted such a pretty picture of what family means to that culture, and it made me want to read more. Dean’s white bread lifestyle paled in comparison. That might have been another reason he was harder to warm up to.

The Wedding Crasher had moments of humor and was easy to read but it was the warmth this author brought to Solange’s character and her hilariously vibrant family) are the reasons why I gave this novel a four rating. I was happy that she brought that light to Dean because his character needed a shot of life. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

Click this link to purchase this book! The Wedding Crasher

Copyright 2022 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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This Chick Read: The American Roommate Experiment by Elena Armas

Rosie Graham wrote a startlingly popular romance novel and quit her full-time job to give focus to writing her second novel. Is it going well? No. She has a horrible case of writer’s block. When her apartment ceiling caves in she packs her bags and heads over to her best friend’s empty apartment (The Spanish Love Deceptions heroine, Lina) and tries to not freak out about her bad luck. That bad luck continues when she calls the cops on her friend’s cousin Lucas, who is also there to take advantage of his newly married cousin’s empty apartment. They decide to share the space while they both try to get their lives back together, Lucas offering to help her out of her writer’s block by setting the stage for some “friendly” experimental dates and the sparks fly. Needless to say, it’s not just her writing that catches fire.

Elena Armas debut novel, The Spanish Love Deception, was one of my favorite romances from last year so I was super excited to finally read The American Roommate Experiment. While the previous novel had my favorite enemies to lovers trope, I was certain this novel would be just as cute. I was right and I was wrong. I really liked both of these characters and enjoyed their story. Lucas was completely adorable and while going through his own identity crisis brought the Latin heat to this story. Rosie, also was sweet and her crush on Lucas was adorable to read so I don’t understand why it didn’t hit the same note as The Spanish Love Deception. Maybe if felt slightly safe and was a story that has been told before and this one didn’t differentiate itself from the pack.

What could’ve helped make this novel great? Both characters didn’t open up to each other until the very end, and there wasn’t enough of a journey towards that moment of realization. Lucas was avoiding his own issues while Rosie was trying to face hers so there was a disparity that held them back and that felt a little disjointed. I know this is totally minor and like I said, I liked them both as well as a lot of moments in the story but with a couple of tweaks, I think this could’ve been as great as her first novel, instead of just good. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

Click this link to purchase this book!* The American Roommate Experiment

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.