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.

This Chick’s Commentary: I’m not black but I see you…

I am a middle aged white woman. I was raised by two parents who, despite their political differences, believe in equality and raised me to look beyond the color of someone’s skin. To see a person’s value and goodness through their actions, not because of any socio-economic differences or divides. I think I’ve done an admirable job however, despite living with my eyes and mind open, I am not black, and would never be able to put myself in their shoe’s and live their life’s experiences. What has happened to the African American community in our country historically was and still is awful, but I was under the impression that we were moving forward with changes being made for the better. Until the recent police incidents and the video of George Floyd saying those words that I will never forget, “I can’t breathe”. Is it time to speak out and add my own small voice to the voluminous sound of protest? Why did it take me so long to feel this way? I have been educated on the facts regarding slavery, toured the southern plantations, listened to the speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., lived as a young adult in Los Angeles during the Rodney King riots, but in my white privileged life, things always returned to “normal”. It was easy to move on. I say that because I am white, and not too proud of the fact that it was that easy to move on.

Ahmaud Arbery was jogging. Breonna Taylor was sleeping in her own home. George Floyd was intoxicated, but did not resist arrest. And there were so many others. Why is it only now that people like myself are also fed up with the status quo? I can only try to find my own words. The pandemic, the lost jobs, businesses closing, and the one, two, three punch of Ahmaud, Breonna, and George’s deaths. And that video. I can’t get it out of my head.

#BlackLivesMatter.

I would like to go out and physically protest. I still might. But I live in a multi-generational home with my family. My mother is near 80 and is in the high risk population and so I’m very careful with my social distancing. I’ve struggled with my feelings, wanting to join in the protests but would hate myself forever if I brought this virus back into my home and something happened to my mother. If I’m unable to be there physically, I need to self educate. So, I’ve been reading articles, watching the news, and trying to find a way to help, no matter how small. In my search I found a lot of information, some of which I’m going to share below. You may have the same feelings as I do and I hope these help you find your own path.

I saw this great article in Rolling Stones that lists, by state, different groups, bail funds, or legal aid where you can donate money to help those who are less fortunate. I read through quite a few of these and learned a lot just by reading their websites. Even a small dollar amount can make a difference!

Here’s Where You Can Donate to Help Protests Against Police Brutality

If you’re struggling to understand systemic racism and want to self-educate, this resource has some great movie’s and books.

Black Lives Matter: Books and films to help all ages learn about systemic racism

If you would like to show your support by reading and purchasing a book written by black authors, you can search and find many articles. If you are a fan of young adult novels, science fiction, fiction, romance, etc. there are plenty of great books to read! Here are a few articles and blog posts that may help you make a choice.

45 Best Young Adult Novels to Add to your TBR (blog post by Afoma Umesi/All My Beautiful Things)

50 Amazing Books By Black Authors From The Past 5 Years

11 Amazing Science Fiction Books By Black Authors

African American Mystery Writers and Their African American Detectives

Of course, as a book blogger I had to mention some books by black authors that I’ve enjoyed reading. The book blogging community has embraced diversity and with the help and recommendations of some of my fellow bloggers I have broadened my reading landscape including choices from authors who are asian, Muslim, and black. I have discovered some fabulous authors and have included some of my favorite black authors in the list below. My favorite genre’s include romance and YA, but if you’re fans of those genre’s check out these books.

Alexa Martin- Intercepted (The Playbook #1), Fumbled (The Playbook #2), and Blitzed (Playbook #3)

Jasmine Guillory- The Wedding Date and The Proposal

Angie Thomas- The Hate You Give

Nicola Yoon- The Sun is Also a Star and Everything Everything

#BlackLivesMatter

The above is just a drop in the bucket and is geared towards my own reading tastes, experiences, and searching. However, it’s all available at the tap of a finger on your keyboard. Change. The easiest way to start is to change your own vocabulary. I don’t mean the words you use, although for some people that definitely needs to happen. I mean the language of your thoughts, the way you teach your children, how you view the world. It takes big actions and little steps to make change happen. Please take that first step!

Deb

This Chick Read: Dragon Unleashed (Fallen Empire #2) by Grace Draven

In a land where magic is forbidden, earth witch Halani knows she has to be careful with her secret. When her free trader uncle purchases an artifact that’s said to be a bone from a long extinct draga, Halani feels the magic within and knows it will bring them trouble. Malachus has been searching for that same item and needs it to be able to transform from a man into a draga before his magic kills him. Their fate’s are tied together, both holding secrets, yet developing a love that will transform them and help them conquer evil.

Dragon Unleashed is the second novel in the Fallen Empire series, but for those of you who haven’t read Phoenix Unbound, this one can be read as a stand alone. I haven’t read the first novel in the series and except for meeting those characters, they weren’t involved in the plot for Dragon Unleashed so I didn’t feel at all lost. The world, however, is the same where magic is forbidden and just as in Phoenix Unbound Halani wields a magic that could make her an outlaw. It’s through her magic that the conflict for the story arises. Knowing the relic is actually the real deal means that Halani lies to Malachus right from the start. The reader being in on that lie is waiting for the hero to find out, which adds tension to what might have been a rather dull story.

It’s been a while since I’ve read a story with a dragon and I enjoyed his point of view even more than I did Halani’s. Having lived for a long time, Malachus has seen the dark side of humanity, and is pretty cynical about Halani and her people when they first meet. I liked how his view gradually changed, making Halani’s secret lie even more important to this novel. How Malachus overcomes his disdain allows his character to grow which adds impetus to the final conflict in the story. It was really well done. Halani’s POV is more predictable and because of that I found her character a little dull. Malachus definitely did all of the hard lifting in this novel.

I couldn’t end this post without saying something about the cover for this book. It’s absolutely gorgeous and really gives you a feel for the genre, although I pictured Halani a little less beautiful and more round. The author’s descriptions made me envision Malachus as sharply handsome, and Halani as softly pretty. I don’t begrudge the author this beautiful cover though, it will definitely help sell books!

❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase!* Dragon Unleashed (The Fallen Empire Book 2)

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.

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (6/8/2020)

A couple of year’s ago we planted a peach tree and never saw it give more than 2-3 peaches, but this year? It’s quite the harvest! I love peaches and this weekend really felt like summer. We started harvesting the peaches that were ripe and my sister and I made 20 jars of peach jam. It was our first time and if I say so myself the jam turned out great! Despite all of the activity I did sit down and read a book that’s coming out in a couple of weeks and it was really good!

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

Once again I was surprised by what I thought would just be a rom-com and in fact was a story with quite a bit of depth to it. It was also a really fast read. The perfect summer novel.

JUST STARTED

I really like Abbi Waxman’s style of writing and after the hilarity of her first novel The Secret of Small Beginnings, she is now one of my go to authors. I’m hoping this book will make me laugh and think.

Now that you know what I’m up to, please share. What are you reading?

Deb

This Chick Read: One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Emma Blair meets the love of her life in high school. She and Jesse share the need for adventure and getting out of their hometown and away from the expectations of their parents. Going away to school in California, they never look back, both finding adventure. When they get married, their expectations are the same, to live life to the fullest. When Jesse goes missing after a helicopter crash and is presumed dead, Emma breaks down and moves back home and the support of her family. A few years later, now in her 30’s Emma is finding happiness doing what she thought always thought she didn’t want. Working for her family’s bookstore and loving living in a small town. She meets Sam and allows herself to look forward, instead of always thinking of the past. They get engaged, and Emma gets a phone call from her long lost husband. Which life does Emma now want? The life of adventure with her lost love? Or the solid life of love and responsibility that she now has with Sam?

Having only read Taylor Jenkins Reid’s two bestseller’s The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and Daisy Jones and the Six, I didn’t know what to expect from this kind of normal sounding love story. Albeit one with a bit of a twist. Emma was a heroine that many of us could easily identify with; young and carefree but forced to grow up when tragedy strikes. It’s the choice she has to make between the two men that is different. One that will keep readers turning the pages.

Jesse is that boy that everyone loved in high school, popular, athletic, and effortlessly charming. When he and Emma connected at a young age their path was set. Get out of town and explore what their lives have to offer. Emma views that past life through rose tinted glasses and the question is whether her vision will clear when Jesse returns to her life.

Sam had been in love with Emma in their teens. He worked with her in the bookstore and at one point she had even crushed on him too. When she fell for Jesse, Sam pushed his feelings aside but never quite got over Emma. When they accidentally meet his feelings for her come back. Emma’s also surprised by her feelings for Sam and moves forward hoping Jesse would want her happiness. Is Sam going to be the man she picks for the rest of her life?

I found myself flipping between team Jesse and team Sam. Taylor Jenkins Reid did a great job and letting the reader get to know both of these men and so when Emma waffled, we completely understood! The outcome of this three way triangle was not unexpected but my feelings for it were. I cried my way through the last third of the book!

Not knowing what to expect may have been the best thing for me while reading One True Loves. I actually really liked the characters, Reid deftly handled the storyline, and it had a great ending. Was it on par with her two bestsellers? No. However, it was vastly better than some other romances I’ve read lately! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“I flew through this one in a single afternoon! I really enjoy Taylor Jenkins’ Reid’s writing and will be happily picking up more of her backlist titles!” DG Reads

“I really did love this book, even if it made me cry! For the record, I think all of her books have made me cry. I think one of the things that draws me to Taylor Jenkins Reid’s books are the raw emotions that are so prevalent in her stories.” Faeryreads

Click this link to purchase!* One True Loves: A Novel

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

This Chick Read: The Lies That Bind by Emily Giffen

It’s the spring of 2001 and Cecily Gardner and her boyfriend have just broken up. Trying to distract herself from calling him, Cecily takes a walk in New York City and ends up at this small pub. She asks to borrow a phone to give in an call her ex when a man sits down next to her and cautions her not to make that call. Cecily and Grant don’t do much talking that night but they sit next to each other at the bar and when it closes he walks her home. She lets him in and they fall asleep platonically, but it’s the beginning of something, but she’s not sure exactly what.

Cecily and Grant have an instant connection and stay in touch, even when he takes his sick brother to London for the summer for treatment. When he returns, he tells her he loves her, spends the night, and then disappears when two planes hit the World Trade Center on September, 11th. During her search for him she stumbles upon some truths. Truths that change the direction of her life.

I have only ever read one other Emily Giffen novel called The One and Only. In that novel the heroine falls for her best friends father. A disturbing theme that somehow turns out ok and I remember admiring the author for making me feel something even though the topic made me feel kind of uncomfortable. It wasn’t until I was a good way into The Lies That Bind that I realized this was that same author and I had that same feeling again. Cecily’s actions made me feel slightly uncomfortable. Even though she was in love with Grant because of what she found out after 9/11 she ran back into the arms of her ex, Matthew. The she started her own brand of lying. I admired the authors storytelling, but again was reading a plot that was out of my comfort zone. Did I like it? I’m still mulling over that thought. I think I can safely say that I did, although I will admit to skimming over a couple of areas because I needed to read to a point where I started feeling better. I can totally understand if this is confusing to you all because it’s confusing to me too, but without giving away all of the secrets and lies, it leaves me with only that gut feeling to talk about.

Let’s talk characters. I liked Cecily despite disagreeing with a couple of choices that she made in this story. I also liked Grant. Even after hearing the truth. Just as Cecily repeats in the book their love felt so real. It did to me too! The person who honestly drove me crazy was Cecily’s best friend Scottie. His personality was very over the top and he seemed kind of unforgiving? Despite his own sad predicament, he wasn’t a very sympathetic character and Cecily, bless her heart, needing someone to help lead her out of the path she was on. Unfortunately Scottie was not that guy. He was good for a little comic relief though.

Just as in The One and Only, despite how the book made me squirm, I liked the author’s style and her willingness to look at different kinds of behaviors and dig deep into her characters psyche. There were just too many grey areas and my own morals are pretty black and white. I’ll admit, this did slant my rating down just a tad I would have a hard time giving it less than a 4 rating. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

I received a copy of this book through NetHalley for my honest review and it was honest.

Click this link to purchase!* The Lies That Bind: A Novel

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reviewed

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