It’s Monday, what are you reading? (10/4/21)

This weekend I read a romance, a fantasy, and listened to one of my all time favorite women’s fiction novels. What a great weekend of reading! Let’s get down to it!

JUST FINISHED

I love Margaret Rogerson’s novels and while this one started a bit slower and was a LOT darker, I really loved the unlikely heroine that Artemisia ended up being. I wish I knew who the cover artist is so I could throw out a big kudos. This cover got the feeling of the novel, spot on!

JUST STARTED

This is the second novel in the Kingdom of Cards series and it’s just as magical as the first. It starts off quickly and I’m not having trouble picking up where the story leaves off.

If Monday is your favorite day of the week, kudos to you! I hate Mondays because most of the time I’m in the middle of reading a book and I’d much rather stay on the couch finishing up that novel. What book is pulling your attention away from work today?

Happy Monday!

Deb

This Chick Read: Hollen the Soulless (Dokiri Brides #1) by Denali Day

The Dokiri guard the mountains on their dragons and make sure that those within don’t make their way down to the lowlands to wreck havoc and kill. They are a race that bears only men and so they have to get their brides by stealing them from the lowlands. Hollen is the leader and when he see’s the Lady Joselyn riding her horse he knew she was the wife for him. Unfortunately Joselyn was on her way to her wedding and is furious to be taken, despite fearing the man she was to marry, she is a dutiful daughter and her marriage was to keep her people safe. She’s determined to escape and bides her time until she has the chance to make it off the mountain.

This was a really interesting book! Definitely a romantic fantasy but there were some very dark themes. One of which is that the Dokiri carve a brand into their chosen brides, the day they meet. You can see how that might put a woman off the romance of the whole thing! Hollen is determined that over time Joselyn will come to love him and will stop making her attempts to leave. Despite starting out branding her he does not make a move to complete their union wanting her to choose him herself. If I were Hollen I may have gotten tired of Joselyn’s shenanigans. He had so much patience, much more so than I.

I couldn’t help but make comparisons to Kristen Ashley’s Golden Dynasty novel which was also romantic fantasy. The Dokiri went around bare chested and scarred themselves for every significant life event. KA’s Dax Lahn were barbarian-like and chose their wives by chasing them and raping them. (Yep, very disturbing). Hollen, as a comparison wanted Joselyn to choose her fate and come to him, so not rape, thank goodness. Branding was bad enough.

There was so much more to this novel than the whole bride thing but that was certainly at the heart of the story. As with any great fantasy novel there was a lot of world-building and character building as well. The other people in the Dokiri tribe were interesting and Joselyn made a couple of friends who also put up with her questionable behavior. I guess the good thing about bride-stealing is that there are normally a lot of bad behavior until everyone settles into their place in the tribe.

So what did I think?? I actually liked it! I did get tired of Joselyn pushing back but couldn’t really blame her at the same time. I am very interested in Hollen’s brothers. They are all so different and I want to see their stories. I loved Hollen. He was just a guy that wanted to be loved. Who could blame him? I am totally reading book #2, I just don’t know when! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Hollen the Soulless: A Fantasy Romance (Dokiri Brides)

Copyright 2021 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: A Lady Compromised (Rosalind Thorne Mystery #4) by Darcie Wilde

Rosalind is invited to her friend Louisa’s home to help her prepare for her wedding. Louisa is the sister of Rosalind’s one time beau Devon, now the Duke of Casselmaine, and despite her circumstances she’s happy to spend time with their family again. Once almost betrothed to Devon, prior to her family’s misfortune, Rosalind now spends her time helping members of the peerage with tasks, as a companion, in return for their financial support. This invitation may be her chance to see if she and Devon could once again regain the relationship they’d once had, but she needs to remove herself from any untoward situations….like murder.

This novel moves Rosalind and Devon’s relationship forward from the will they or won’t they status that they’ve inhabited for a long while. Unfortunately, Rosalind is unable to avoid being approached for her help in finding out whether one of Louisa’s friends brother died at the hands of that woman’s fianceé. Rosalind tries to stay removed but the mystery seems to unravel despite her protests and what is revealed helps Rosalind determine the direction her own future may take.

Sometimes I get frustrated with the slower pace in these historical mysteries but A Lady Compromised moved at a pretty quick pace and I think the change in scenery may have helped the plot along. You would think being removed to a country estate for a wedding would slow things down but the number of characters involved seemed to inhabit the Duke’s estate quite frequently. This change of scene also allows Rosalind to see a different side of Devon than she sees in the city and what she sees decides her future course.

A Lady Compromised lived up to its promise. The mystery was solid and our main character made a decision that I agree with whole-heartedly and can’t wait to see her implement in the fifth installment of this series, A Counterfeit Suitor, out this November. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* A Lady Compromised (Rosalind Thorne Mystery Book 4)

Copyright 2021 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? (9/27/21)

It was a busy weekend with another family members birthday and lots of time spent in the kitchen making food for the celebration. It was my job to make a couple of pies. I’ll have to admit I enjoyed the quiet time, put in my ear buds and listened to a good book. I love it when I have a couple of hours where I can be in the book zone. When my minds split between two things it’s better to listen to something I’ve already read, so I got a copy of The Love Hypothesis. My pick for the best romance I’ve read yet this year. Narrated by Callie Dalton, it is fab-u- lous. What else have I been reading? See below!

JUST FINISHED

Luke Daniels is the narrator for this audiobook series and he voices Atticus, his dog Oberon, and all of the other characters in these books, perfectly. The mix of Kevin Hearne’s fluid plots, humor, and great world building with Daniels take on what these characters should sound like is book listening gold. I really enjoyed Tricked, the fourth novel in the series and highly recommend these if you are an urban fantasy fan.

JUST STARTED

I have a soft spot for historical mysteries and The Vanished Days is pushing all of the right buttons. Set during the Jacobite rebellion in the 1700’s I’m immediately swept away by the characters, setting, and yes, the mystery. If you are also a fan of this genre this book is out on Oct. 13, 2021.

As you can tell from all three of the books I’ve talked about in this post I’m all over the place when it comes to my reading tastes! What genre of book has you hooked?

Happy Monday and happy reading!

Deb

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: My Top 5 Book Releases- October’21

I thought I did a great job of picking a mix of books from my favorite genre’s; Contemporary romances, young adult, and fantasy. I have to admit that I had to reach pretty deep into Goodreads most popular books list to find five books. Only one YA but it looks to be a good one! Here are the books that made my list.

#5 BOOK RELEASE

I love romances that include baked goods. It’s a great way to avoid calories. Well, now that I think about it maybe not because I usually want to bake after reading one. This book looks very cute. I like the premise and am looking forward to seeing how these characters connect. Jackie Lau is a new author for me and I’m hoping for great things!

Synopsis:

Actor Ryan Kwok is back in Toronto after the promotional tour for his latest film, a rom-com that is getting less-than-stellar reviews. After years of constant work and the sudden death of his mother, Ryan is taking some much-needed time off. But as he tries to be supportive to his family, he struggles with his loss and doesn’t know how to talk to his dad—who now trolls him on Twitter instead of meeting him for dim sum.

Innovative baker Lindsay McLeod meets Ryan when he knocks over two dozen specialty donuts at her bakery. Their relationship is off to a messy start, but there’s no denying their immediate attraction. When Ryan signs up for a celebrity episode of Baking Fail, he asks Lindsay to teach him how to bake and she agrees.

As Lindsay and Ryan spend time together, bonding over grief and bubble tea, it starts to feel like they’re cooking up something sweeter than cupcakes in the kitchen.

Click this link to purchase!* Donut Fall in Love

#4 BOOK RELEASE

This young adult novel is a Lambda Award winner and the premise sounds like there may be a surprise twist. I look forward to seeing if that’s the case. The synopsis totally grabbed me. What do you think?

Synopsis:

In rural Kentucky, a sixteen-year-old boy with a love of quilting, cooking and Dolly Parton helps his grandma care for his opioid-addicted mother, until the discovery of a family secret upends everything he has ever believed.

While other sixteen-year-old boys in Morgan, Kentucky, love hunting and football, Kody prefers to spend his time quilting with his grandmother (“Nanny”), watching Golden Girls reruns, and listening to old Dolly Parton albums. Nanny is Kody’s main caregiver, but it takes both Nanny and Kody to take care of Kody’s mother, whose drug problem is spinning out of control. Between looking after Mommy and trying to survive in a place that doesn’t look kindly on feminine boys, Kody already has a hard time making sense of his life. But then he uncovers a family secret that will change everything in his life.

Click this link to purchase!* Needlework

#3 BOOK RELEASE

I read the first novel in this series about a magician competition. This book picks up right where the first left off with a mystery. Our main character disappeared into a mirror? Is she ok? Will our hero find her?

Synopsis:

In Janella Angeles’s When Night Breaks, the dramatic last act of the Kingdom of Cards duology, the stage is set, the spectacle awaits… and the show must finally come to an end.

The competition has come to a disastrous end, and Daron Demarco’s fall from grace is front-page news. But little matters to him beyond Kallia, the contestant he fell for who is now missing and in the hands of a dangerous magician. Daron is willing to do whatever it takes to find her. Even if it means unearthing secrets that lead him on a treacherous journey, risking more than his life and with no promise of return.

After falling through the mirror, Kallia has never felt more lost, mourning everything she left behind and the boy she can’t seem to forget. Only Jack, the magician who has all the answers but can’t be trusted, remains at her side. Together, they must navigate a dazzling world where mirrors show memories and illusions shadow every corner, ruled by a powerful showman who’s been waiting for Kallia to finally cross his stage. But beneath the glamour of dueling headliners and never-ending revelry, a sinister force falls like night over everyone, with the dark promise of more—more power beyond Kallia’s wildest imagination, and at a devastating cost.

The truth will come out, a kingdom must fall, hearts will collide.

And the show must finally come to an end.

Click this link to purchase!* When Night Breaks (Kingdom of Cards Book 2)

#2 BOOK RELEASE

There’s always a surprise or two when I got through the list and this month, Well Matched, is my surprise book. I’ve read the first two in the series and didn’t know this one was coming out this month. This renaissance faire themed series has been great to date. I’m expecting great things from this novel!

Synopsis:

A pretend relationship gives two friends more than they bargained for in a Renaissance Faire rom com filled with flower crowns, kilts, corsets, and sword fights.

Single mother April Parker has lived in Willow Creek for twelve years with a wall around her heart. On the verge of being an empty nester, she’s decided to move on from her quaint little town, and asks her friend Mitch for his help with some home improvement projects to get her house ready to sell. 

Mitch Malone is known for being the life of every party, but mostly for the attire he wears to the local Renaissance Faire—a kilt (and not much else) that shows off his muscled form to perfection. While he agrees to help April, he needs a favor too: she’ll pretend to be his girlfriend at an upcoming family dinner, so that he can avoid the lectures about settling down and having a more “serious” career than high school coach and gym teacher. April reluctantly agrees, but when dinner turns into a weekend trip, it becomes hard to tell what’s real and what’s been just for show. But when the weekend ends, so must their fake relationship. 

As summer begins, Faire returns to Willow Creek, and April volunteers for the first time. When Mitch’s family shows up unexpectedly, April pretends to be Mitch’s girlfriend again…and it doesn’t feel so fake anymore. Despite their obvious connection, April insists they’ve just been putting on an act. But when there’s the chance for something real, she has to decide whether to change her plans—and open her heart—for the kilt-wearing hunk who might just be the love of her life.

Click this link to purchase!* Well Matched

MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE!

Margaret Rogerson has a beautiful style of writing and I’m eagerly anticipating picking up what sounds to be a little bit of a darker themed novel. As usual her cover is gorgeous and it certainly makes you want to pick it up and read the synopsis doesn’t it? The past two novels had a hint of romance which I’m hoping this does as well!

Synopsis:

The dead of Loraille do not rest.

Artemisia is training to be a Gray Sister, a nun who cleanses the bodies of the deceased so that their souls can pass on; otherwise, they will rise as spirits with a ravenous hunger for the living. She would rather deal with the dead than the living, who trade whispers about her scarred hands and troubled past.

When her convent is attacked by possessed soldiers, Artemisia defends it by awakening an ancient spirit bound to a saint’s relic. It is a revenant, a malevolent being that threatens to possess her the moment she drops her guard. Wielding its extraordinary power almost consumes her—but death has come to Loraille, and only a vespertine, a priestess trained to wield a high relic, has any chance of stopping it. With all knowledge of vespertines lost to time, Artemisia turns to the last remaining expert for help: the revenant itself.

As she unravels a sinister mystery of saints, secrets, and dark magic, her bond with the revenant grows. And when a hidden evil begins to surface, she discovers that facing this enemy might require her to betray everything she has been taught to believe—if the revenant doesn’t betray her first.

Click this link to purchase!* Vespertine

What did you think about my picks this month? Are there any titles you’re also surprised by? What did I miss? Please let me know in the comments.

Have a great month of reading everyone!

Deb

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

This Chick Read: After the Climb by Kristen Ashley

Duncan, Imogen, and Corey were childhood best friends. A friendship that lasted into adulthood. Duncan and Imogen took that friendship one step further building a love that burned hot and seemed as if it would last forever. Until it didn’t. When Corey died he left Duncan and Imogen a box that his will stated they must open together, so Genny brought the box to Duncan and what they found inside incinerated everything they’d once believed to be true. Duncan is determined to start over but will Genny let him close after his betrayal? Considering this is a romance novel, yes she does.

Duncan is now an activist billionaire outdoorsman having made his money building an outdoor retail empire and Genny is a famous A-list actor beloved by everyone. When they find out the doozy of a lie their best friend Corey told that separated the two of them they are destroyed and Genny isn’t sure she has the strength to build something again but Duncan has no qualms. He immediately makes his move but Genny doesn’t want to go through that pain again. Having both married and had kids the two of them are now in their 50’s and if it wasn’t for Genny’s daughter Chloe stepping in and setting a plan in motion to bring them together she may not ever have opened that door again.

I actually really liked Duncan and Genny but for me the kids stole the show in this novel. When her daughters and his sons enter the story the pages were filled with color, humor, and fun. Chloe with her stylish take no prisoners personality is the complete opposite of Sasha’s hippie sunshine smile and yet they make that family work. Duncan’s sons were also fun, and this novel made the combined family as cool as the Brady Bunch, with Genny’s ex filling an extra seat at the table.

This novel was written during the pandemic with the author polling her fans on Facebook for plot points, character names, etc. It was offered up free as a balm during the pandemic to those of us who are big Kristen Ashley fans. I think it did what it was meant to do, offer a light bandaid to a wounded world. It’s not the meatiest story but it did introduce some fun characters that will be used as the protagonists in some future novels. I’ve read better KA novels, but I’ve also read worse and enjoyed the few hours it took for me to read this novel. A job well done! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* After the Climb Special Edition (A River Rain Novel Book 1)

Copyright 2021 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: Air Awakens by Elise Kova

Seventeen year old Vhalla Yarl works quietly as a library apprentice shelving and reading books all day unless required to research a project. When her crown prince becomes poisoned, she and the other apprentices work night and day trying to identify that poison and the notes Vhalla takes finds its way into his hands. What she doesn’t ever imagine is that that Prince Aldrik would seek her out wanting to meet the young apprentice who helped him get well. What he finds is a girl with a unique talent of sorcery, a magic that hasn’t been seen in a long while and is feared by many, but may help them win the war they’re fighting. It’s Vhalla’s choice to embrace her sorcery or eradicate it and live as a normal human, but that decision may be taken out of her hands.

The first novel in the Air Awakens series, this story is all about the awakening of Vhalla’s talent and her growing friendship with Aldrik one of the greatest sorcerer’s in their kingdom. Aldrik has his own agenda, of course, wanting to use her talents to help them end the war but knows that not everyone will be as happy as he is to find Vhalla in their midst, for her kind were thought to have been eradicated in the past. As Vhalla researches her own kind, she discovers hatred and bigotry which makes her nervous to embrace her magic. She also has to face how what she has become changes the way her friends view her and how she is treated.

I was intrigued by Vhalla and the world she inhabits. The parallels of her world’s magical inequality, genocide, and bigotry by using sorcery in place of race or religion was interesting and as a reader you can’t help but draw similarities between what goes on in the real world and in this made up place. Vhalla was treated pretty harshly, even by those she called friends and I can’t help but think she will get her revenge in future novels. As a young seventeen year old, her ideals seem so young. Some of the things she goes through in this novel make her grow up pretty quickly and I’m curious to see how it shapes her character in the books to come.

I can’t end this review without saying something about the cover art for Air Awakens. It is eye-catchingly beautiful and is definitely the reason why I gave this new to me author a chance. I feel strongly enough about this story that I immediately purchase the second book in the series and can’t wait to get started on Vhalla’s next step of her journey! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase this book!* Air Awakens (Air Awakens Series)

Copyright 2021 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? (9/20/21)

I love it when I have a couple or weeks between ARC’s and I can read any book I want with no restrictions. I’ll sometimes read the strangest things just because I was curious. I read Regine Abel’s 2nd novel in the science fiction Prime Mating Agency. It was a little out there with the alien race being snake humanoid’s and guys it was a romance. Kind of wild! LOL. I also read an older Jill Shalvis novel that has been on my TBR. What else did I read? Check it out, below!

JUST FINISHED

The second novel in the River Rain series. This book just came out at the beginning of the month and as I do almost all of her books, I pre-ordered it. I really enjoyed the heroine and this story. Sometimes you don’t know what you’re going to get with a Kristen Ashley novel. Well, let me re-phrase. You know you’ll get sex scenes but you don’t know if you’ll get a good story to go with them. Chasing Serenity had a great story too! yay!

JUST STARTED

I just realized I didn’t read the pre-quel novel to this one. Stop the presses! I have started this book but I’m going to put it down and pick up Just Folking Around. How did I miss this one?

Penny Reid writes the most charming novels so really no-harm no foul.

What books are you reading? Anything you’d like to share?

Have a great Monday!

Deb

This Chick Read: The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

Third year PhD candidate, Olive Smith needs to convince her best friend Anh that she should ask out her ex boyfriend on a date. Yes, Olive’s ex not Anh’s. As both of them are scientists, Anh needs irrevocable proof that it will not bother Olive so Olive kisses the first guy she finds (in front of Anh). That guy just happens to be professor Dr. Adam Carlsen, hot shot scientist and total @$$. Totally flummoxed by this kind of good kiss, he lets Olive drag him into a fake relationship that consists of meeting for coffee once a week and slowly getting to know each other until they develop a friendship. The problem with these two scientists is that neither of them know how to go after more. The Love Hypothesis is the first novel by Ali Hazelwood, and it is a potent formula of intellect, heat, and humor. A combination I can’t seem to resist.

What can I say, apparently I have a love for geeky science love stories! Although truthfully, neither of these characters are geeky but they do seem to be overly patient and sometimes clueless. I love grumpy hunks and Dr. Adam Carlsen is definitely more than a lab coat. When Olive locks lips with him he engages albeit very subtly. I can’t really blame Olive for being clueless that he’s attracted to her because he barely makes a move. Olive needs him to hit her over the head with his lack of subtlety before she catches on that they just might have feelings for each other. I loved each indecisive humor-filled moment. I was also shocked at the heat that I (the reader) felt at each very slight touch. When they finally got together? Holy Moly!!! They were on fire and those love scenes, were written so well.

Although I am not a PhD candidate this novel feels very authentic. I loved that the premise was so simple yet the silly plot was being portrayed by super smart characters. I loved the juxtaposition that just because you are brilliant in life doesn’t mean your choices are always spot on. I also really liked how all of the characters with their multi-ethnicities, gay, bi, whatever, were so natural. There wasn’t a big deal being made about their representation. It was refreshing!

What I liked the most though was the romance between Adam and Olive. It was a true slow burn romance and just before I got to the point of wanting to kick them into motion, they did it themselves. Whew! I felt relief, overjoyed, and overly emotional. It was truly Fab-u-lous.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase this book!* The Love Hypothesis

Copyright 2021 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: True Dead (Jane Yellowrock #14) by Faith Hunter

Jane’s secondary home base of Asheville, North Carolina may be home but it’s not where the Dark Queen should be living if she wants to keep her people safe. A threat to her empire has come to NOLA and Jane and her crew fly in to hunker down, hold the fort, and kick some vamp butt. Jane’s past is as vampire hunter and enforcer for the ex- Master of the City in New Orleans, but now that he’s gone Jane is keeping her people safe the only way she knows how. Investigating the threat and killing offer her enemies. This time there are some surprise in store.

I love that Jane is back in New Orleans, the place where it all began. Wrassler and the police LT. Jodie are getting married at HQ and Jane needs to make sure their wedding goes off without a hitch. Unfortunately there are enemies in the city who have other ideas over what needs to happen. Constantly under attack, Jane still managers to investigate the past, put pieces into a puzzle that she has been working on for awhile, a puzzle that will explain who the big bad is that is in town.

I have loved the evolution of enforcer to Dark Queen. I’ll admit that my head was spinning after Leo died, Jane got cancer, based herself out of a winery in Asheville, and healed. I hated leaving the Tequila Boys, and everyone at HQ behind, so when I saw the synopsis of this novel that Jane and her gang was headed back to New Orleans I was so excited to get the book and start reading. It was everything I wanted it to be. Although Jane is now the big boss as the Dark Queen, to these people that she knows so well she is still “Legs” and finds relief in being treated the same by her friends. At least in private.

There are some evolutions to Jane’s relationship with Beast that are best found out as you read the novel, but they bring an interesting twist to each dangerous escapade that keeps you on the edge of your seat and your heart pumping if you see if Jane will come out of this most recent war intact. As with all the novels, she has her two chosen brothers, Eli and Alex by her side, but her true brother Ayatas Firewind plays a bigger role in this book and their familial relationship advances adding another element to who Jane is and was.

I can’t end this review without talking about Jane’s relationship with her love Bruiser. He has his own bit of discovery and evolution in True Dead. Despite both of their characters learning and evolving never fear, they are truly bonded and together.

You’ve heard me say this before (now, 14 times!) but I have to repeat it. If you haven’t read this series please start with book #1. Admittedly that book is the worst of the series because all of these characters grow so much over every book and are a little flat in the first novel. The books just get better and better after that first novel. You can’t jump in at book #14. You wouldn’t understand the nuances in the story or characters so I wouldn’t even try but if you give book #1 a chance you will be in for a really fun, riotously fanciful, dark and thrilling urban fantasy series. You won’t regret the time it takes for you to catch up, I promise!

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase!* True Dead (Jane Yellowrock Book 14)

Copyright 2021 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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