This Chick Read: Under Currents by Nora Roberts

Zane and his little sister grow up privileged in a small town. To everyone outside the doors to their house it looks like they have the perfect life. Socialite mom and popular doctor dad. No one would guess at the abuse he and his sister were going through. After one night where that abuse was taken too far Zane and his little sister fight back. With the help of their aunt, a neighbor, and sheriff they can finally have their lives back and the childhood they deserve. Grown up Zane returns to their small town as a lawyer protecting the rights of the underprivileged. Charmed by his small town he may even open up his heart to love.

Under Currents showed up in my Little Library last year and I had been holding onto it until I had a long vacation. Knowing that a good Nora Roberts book would only enhance that feeling of being away from all stresses. Little did I know that this romantic thriller would have me riveted and on the edge of my seat for the entire book! I can honestly say she outdid herself with this story.

This novel takes place during Zane’s childhood and then again when he is an adult. The abuse his parents handed out to he and his sister was truly horrid and I was glad there was a true villain for me to root against. The grown up Zane is finally able to enjoy his family and his life in his hometown. When Darby, a landscape artist extraordinaire moves into town he is immediately hooked. She is the yin to his yang. Of course, Darby is also running from her past. The way their two pasts collide is interesting and thrilling. Their love story gets on a roller coaster and the excitement never subsides!

I guess you can say that I enjoyed this Nora Roberts book alot. Under Currents is the perfect novel to take you away from your own messy life but beware! It enmeshes you into the characters messy lives. It’s no vacation reading this novel but it is the perfect novel to take on your vacation. This is my first 5 star Nora Roberts novel in quite awhile and I highly recommend you read it. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase this novel! Under Currents: A Novel

Copyright 2021 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a cent or two.

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (7/12/21)

HI everyone, happy Monday! This week is going to be a busy one but I always have time to read. I finished three books this weekend, LOL. I have a week between ARC’s and decided to just let my feelings pick a book, or a few books. Here’s what is on my radar for the week.

JUST FINISHED

Kind of a mixed bag, right? LOL I have continued my obsession with audiobooks and I’ve been listening to the Sebastian St. Cyr historical mystery series narrated by the amazing Davina Porter. Each of the books in this series moves the characters forward in their development. Soo good!

Deep is book #4 in the Stage Dive series. This was also an audiobook and one I’ve been putting off listening too. I think Kylie Scott is an awesome writer and I’ve enjoyed this series. Although I’ll admit that I have waited a long time between each novel. Luckily I catch up with the characters pretty quickly. These characters were side notes in other novels and truthfully, not very interesting. However, the author did a great job holding my interest.

Duke of my Heart was an impulse through the library. I really enjoyed the authors more recent novel The Paris Apartment which was not a regency style romance and I thought I’d see how her writing translates to a more traditional historical romance. I was really surprised! The plot was atypical and the characters interesting! It’s the first in a series and I may read the second. Still deciding.

JUST STARTED

I’m trying to do a better job of reading ahead on my ARC’s and Wait for It comes out next month. I just started it yesterday but so far so good!

Now that you know what I’m up to, I’d love to hear what you’re reading too! Please let me know in the comments.

Deb

This Chick Read: Incense and Sensibility (The Rajes #3) by Sonali Dev

India Dashwood has been raised in a family of yoga teachers and is now one of the most sought after stress management coaches. Yash Rajes is the first Indian-American gubernatorial candidate and after is friend and body guard, Abdul, gets shot at a rally he starts having panic attacks and is questioning his life quest. Needing to regain control he seeks out his sister’s friend to help him manage his stress. First on the list is revealing the stress filled things he has buried through his entire night, including a magical night with India 10 years ago. Yash has always been the golden boy, his dream to create change for the people of California but after seeing India again his dreams have changed and include her in them, but their relationship may threaten the thing he wants most.

Another wonderful novel by Sonali Dev! Based loosely upon Jane Austen’s work, Sense and Sensibility, full of color and passion, and I’ll be honest it’s also a bit easier to read. India Dashwood as a very zen Elizabeth Bennett, is the responsible female in her family. Her mother is not annoying like Elizabeth’s own mother was, but she is a bit of a dreamer letting her insurance lapse just as she needs it, so India has filled the family matriarch shoes. Her younger sister China has found love, albeit one that seems requited only when convenient and doomed for heartbreak. India’s duty is to figure out how to pay the bills and keep her family together. When Yash, the man she has loved for the last 10 years, asks for her help, despite her misgivings she does the responsible thing and offers her help. She coaches Yash in yoga practices, helping him get through the pain and guilt of seeing his friend shot. At the same time they both have those same feelings they did so long ago.

I loved how calm and rational India was during every dramatic and heartbreaking scene. She felt so deeply yet carried on without wailing and crying like her younger sister despite having those same feelings inside. She truly was someone to emulate and didn’t get the credit she deserved. It’s no wonder Yash, who outside was the epitome of solidity but inside was a mush pot, needed India’s depth of character as his chosen mate. I could totally see her in the Governor’s mansion giving yoga instruction to her staff at daybreak.

Usually I get impatient for the couple to get together in a romance novel, but for some reason in Incense and Sensibility I had a well of patience. Maybe it was because Yash needed to work through so many different things and India would stay steadfast. I’m not sure. I am glad I had that patience because when he was finally ready his actions had so much more impact. The pace of this novel was absolutely perfect.

If you love this series, then like me, I think this may be your new favorite (I say that after reading every one of them!). Novels are a wonderful peek into different cultures and lifestyles and Sonali Dev packs her novels with a richness of scene as well as character. Your emotions will make you fall in love with the Rajes, India, and the rest of the characters in this story. You may also want to start taking up yoga. Hey, it could happen! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase this book!* Incense and Sensibility: A Novel (The Rajes Series, 3)

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: Death at the Crystal Palace (A Below Stairs Mystery #5) by Jennifer Ashley

While attending an exhibit at the Crystal Palace, cook and amateur investigator, Kat Holloway is approached by the Duchess of Covington who has heard of her reputation for solving crimes. The Duchess believes that someone is poisoning her and she’d like Kat to solve the mystery. As Kat steps in to negotiate, she calls on her friends to help. She sets up her friend Cynthia as a houseguest with Lady Covington to determine the dynamics of the household and receives police information from the beau of her assistant. At the same time she is drawn into another mystery by her friend and almost boyfriend Daniel to help him with a possible terrorist. When does Kat have time to cook?!!

I love these below stairs mysteries. Kat Holloway, although in service as a cook seems to have gained a reputation as a person who can solve crimes in different levels of society. Her place as a respected cook allows her to gain access below stairs while at the same time finding out all manners of things by the people living upstairs. It’s a fascinating look at the different levels of historical London society.

Her relationship with Daniel seems to have evolved emotionally yet Kat, being a single mother, is hesitant to allow anything untoward to happen. She is not the most trusting woman and Daniel’s predilection to going undercover as some sort of spy keeps her from going all in in her relationship with him. He, on the other hand, seems to be head over heels. Isn’t it nice when the man is more involved emotionally than the woman? She can take her time figuring out what she wants to do with her heart.

I’m not sure how this author switches gears from writing shifter romances to historical whodunnit’s but this series is very effective. It has charm, mystery, and a hint of romance that keeps me entertained and coming back for more. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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!* Death at the Crystal Palace (A Below Stairs Mystery)

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: All Rhodes Lead Here by Mariana Zapata

Aurora has been driving around the country searching for the perfect place to land. What she doesn’t realize until she gets there is that the small town in the mountains she grew up in would be the perfect place. Renting an over the garage apartment from the teenage son of a surly silver haired fox is just the start to her homecoming. Getting a job at the outdoors store of her childhood friend may seem like a stretch since she doesn’t know a fishing lure from a fishing hook but she wants to connect and fill the time in her day. He whole life has changed and this is the start of her new one.

When Aurora rents her place she doesn’t realize that teenage Amos did it without his father’s permission and he is NOT pleased at the surprise. Rhodes (the silver haired hotty) is uber protective about his privacy but he gives her a trial run which of course turns into permanent occupancy. Aurora wants to get along with her neighbor but the reason she’s back in these hills is because she wants to retrace her mother’s steps. She had hiked all over these hills and it gives Aurora a connection to her, something she’s needed since her disappearance many years ago. She is also using this connection as a way to hear after her break-up with her long time boyfriend and country music star.

I am a big Mariana Zapata fan and I was ultimately happy with Aurora and Rhodes story. She typically writes pretty surly unapproachable men (Zac being the exception) and her female protagonists are always uber cheerful and determined to be friends. Aurora was maybe a little more cautious than past heroines but she followed the same format that has worked so well for Zapata in the past. What I liked the most about this novel though was Amos and how he really brought out the best in his dad. He was a bridge between Aurora and Rhodes. A bridge that was only used briefly but it worked as a plot point and got their arc moving pretty quickly, thank goodness.

Ultimately I enjoyed All Rhodes Lead Here. I liked all of the characters, especially Amos. I was only a little disappointed that once Aurora’s past was revealed that her talent wasn’t left in the past as much as it was. I’m not the author and don’t know why she would have chosen to give her a talent that she leaves in the past. I would’ve wished for her music to be part of her future more than was written in the ending of this book. Other than that I was ecstatic to have a new Zapata book to read and happy with the characters and story. I’m hoping Amos gets his own future love story, he was my favorite. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* All Rhodes Lead Here

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: The Worst Best Man by Lucy Score

Maid of Honor Franchesca Baranski, with her middle class background and work ethic, may be the only person at this destination wedding who is taking their job seriously. A fish among the shark-like elite Franchesca will make sure that nothing happens to keep her best friend from getting married. Even the groom getting kidnapped. Best Man and billionaire Aidan Kilbourn, is called upon by Franchesca to find and help her rescue the groom so he can make it down the aisle on time. Aidan is fascinated by this woman who has so much loyalty and shocked by things she’ll do to accomplish her task.

Lucy Score strikes again! I don’t normally read billionaire romances, that’s not my fantasy. However, I saw a couple of reviews about how funny this novel is and funny romances, despite their trope, is right up my alley. I loved Franchesca so much and her escapades while rescuing the groom were hysterical. I was laughing out loud and happy to have given this book a chance.

Despite not liking billionaire romances, I couldn’t help but adore Aidan. He was knocked flat by Franchesca and ultimately found her as fascinating as I did. When they return to reality (New York), it’s Aidan who pursues the bewildered Franchesca, until she decides to see if their two worlds can co-exist together. I couldn’t help but root for these two, one who desperately needed to be loved, and the other who strongly needed to be needed. They were a match made in heaven and their story is one I’ll be reading again sometime soon. I may actually purchase the audiobook for my second read so I can listen and laugh while walking the dog. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

Click this link to purchase!* The Worst Best Man

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? (6/28/21)

This is a no-judgement zone right? I mean, a couple of giggles at my reading choices are ok, but sometimes you just have to face the need for a totally mindless novel, and one that actually turned out surprisingly good! To be honest, I was cruising my Twitter feed and saw one of my favorite authors say she had just read this book and enjoyed it and I was curious enough at the title that I had to take a look. Don’t laugh! I am a little bit though.

JUST FINISHED

Yep! I read the above novel and you know what? I enjoyed it! One of my favorite romance authors, Mariana Zapata, tweeted out that she read this novel and liked it and I was curious! It was a sweet story and I think I may have to try some of this authors other books. The sex was a little adventurous but hey, he’s a Lizardman!

JUST STARTED

It will be a hard right turn from lizardman to Incense and Sensibility but I have an ARC that needs to be read and reviewed. Truthfully, I have enjoyed this entire series by Sonali Dev and I’m looking forward to reading it.

What book are you reading today? Share in the comments! And feel free to ask any questions about I Married a Lizardman. I’m an open book!

Deb

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: My Top 5 Most Anticipated Book Releases July’21

When I was looking through the list I saw a lot of top name authors had book releases this month but I’m not always attracted to the same books the general population wants to read. Let’s check my Top 5 against yours.

#5 BOOK RELEASE

Sometimes you just want to read a historical romance. When I’m in that mood, I will usually try to find a Lisa Kleypas novel. I love the way her characters feel so real. This novel is sure to be one of my weekend reads next month.

Synopsis:

Lady Merritt Sterling, a strong-willed young widow who’s running her late husband’s shipping company, knows London society is dying to catch her in a scandal. So far, she’s been too smart to provide them with one. But then she meets Keir MacRae, a rough-and-rugged Scottish whisky distiller, and all her sensible plans vanish like smoke. They couldn’t be more different, but their attraction is powerful, raw and irresistible.

From the moment Keir MacRae arrives in London, he has two goals. One: don’t fall in love with the dazzling Lady Merritt Sterling. Two: avoid being killed.

So far, neither of those is going well.

Keir doesn’t know why someone wants him dead until fate reveals the secret of his mysterious past. His world is thrown into upheaval, and the only one he trusts is Merritt.

Their passion blazes with an intensity Merritt has never known before, making her long for the one thing she can’t have from Keir MacRae: forever. As danger draws closer, she’ll do whatever it takes to save the man she loves . . . even knowing he might be the devil in disguise.

Click the link to purchase this book!* Devil in Disguise (Ravenels)

#4 BOOK RELEASE

I have read the other books in this series and have really enjoyed these characters and their culture. I can’t wait to see Yash fall in love. He always seems so put together!

Synopsis:

Yash Raje, California’s first Indian-American gubernatorial candidate, has always known exactly what he wants—and how to use his privileged background to get it. He attributes his success to a simple mantra: control your feelings and you can control the world. But when a hate crime at a rally critically injures his friend, Yash’s easy life suddenly feels like a lie, his control an illusion. When he tries to get back on the campaign trail, he blacks out with panic.

Desperate to keep Yash’s condition from leaking to the media, his family turns to the one person they trust—his sister’s best friend, India Dashwood, California’s foremost stress management coach. Raised by a family of yoga teachers, India has helped San Francisco’s high strung overachievers for a decade without so much as altering her breath. But this man—with his boundless ambition, simmering intensity, and absolute faith in his political beliefs—is like no other.

Click this link to purchase!* Incense and Sensibility: A Novel (The Rajes Series, 3)

#3 BOOK RELEASE

This novel is set in the same world as the Crown of Shards series which I really enjoyed so I am definitely adding this novel to my TBR.

Synopsis:

Gemma Ripley has a reputation for being a pampered princess who is more interested in pretty gowns, sparkling jewelry, and other frivolous things than learning how to rule the kingdom of Andvari. But her carefully crafted persona is just an act to hide the fact that Gemma is a powerful mind magier—and a spy. 

Gemma is undercover, trying to figure out who is stealing large amounts of tearstone from one of the Ripley royal mines when she encounters Prince Leonidas Morricone of Morta—her mortal enemy. Gemma tries to steer clear of the handsome prince, but when she finds herself behind enemy lines, she reluctantly joins forces with Leo. Also coming to Gemma’s aid is Grimley, her beloved gargoyle.

Despite the fact that Andvari and Morta are old, bitter enemies, a dangerous attraction sparks between Gemma and Leo. Further complicating matters is Leo’s murderous family, especially Queen Maeven Morricone, the mastermind behind the infamous Seven Spire massacre.

The closer Gemma gets to the stolen tearstone, the more deadly plots she uncovers. Everyone is trying to capture the crown, but only one queen can sit on the throne … 

Click this link to purchase!* Capture the Crown (A Gargoyle Queen Novel Book 4)

#2 BOOK RELEASE

Here’s another series I’m totally invested in PLUS it’s a Kristen Callihan novel. She writes some great characters who are flawed yet wonderful. I can’t wait to tear in to this novel too. I’ve already pre-ordered this one.

Synopsis:

Brenna

There are some people in life who know exactly how to push your buttons. For me, it’s Rye Peterson. We can’t spend more than ten minutes together before we’re at each other’s throats, which makes working together that much harder. Rye is the bassist for Kill John, the biggest rock band in the world, and I am his publicist. It doesn’t help that the man is gorgeous, funny, talented, and…never takes anything seriously. Avoidance is key.

But everything changes when he overhears something he shouldn’t: a confession made in a moment of weakness. Now the man I’ve tried so hard to ignore is offering me the greatest temptation of all—him.

Rye

Brenna James is the one. The one I can’t have. The one I can’t get out of my mind. Believe me, I’ve tried; the woman loathes me. I managed well enough—until I heard her say she’s as lonely as I am. That she needed to be touched, held, satisfied. And I could no longer deny the truth: I wanted to be the one to give her what she craved.

I convinced her that it would just be sex, mutual satisfaction with nothing deeper. But the moment I have her, she becomes my world. I’ve never given her a good reason to trust me before. Now, I’ve got to show Brenna that we’re so much better together than we ever were apart.

Things are going to get messy. But getting messy with Brenna is what I do best.

Click this link to purchase!* Exposed (VIP Book 4)

MY MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE FOR JULY 2021

Here is another author that I never miss a new book. I’ve pre-ordered this one too and can’t wait to hear Jackson James’ story. How will she make this kind of bad guy into our hero? I am eager to find out!

synopsis:

One unforgettable night leads to an unlikely shared connection, and unlikely connections never go unnoticed by the good folks in Green Valley, Tennessee. . .

Jackson James follows the rules. He has to. He’s a sheriff’s deputy in a super small town with a super big personality. However, strict adherence to the law during the day has been enjoyably balanced by rakish rules at night. Jackson, typically happy to protect and serve (and serve, and serve), starts questioning the value of wayward evenings when getting laid starts to feel more like being waylaid. Could it be that Green Valley’s most eligible—and notorious—bachelor longs for something (and someone) real?

Mega movie star Raquel Ezra follows only one rule: always leave them wanting more. Studio execs, reporters, audiences, fans, lovers—no one can get enough of the smart, savvy, and sexy bombshell. But when “generous offers” begin to feel more like excessive demands, years of always leaving has the elusive starlet longing for something (and perhaps someone) lasting.

When Raquel abruptly returns to the quirky Tennessee hamlet, her path crosses with the delectable deputy with whom she spent one unforgettable night. Unfortunately, scandal and intrigue soon follow. Raquel and Jackson must decide which is more important: following their rules? Or, at long last, finding something real.

Click this link to purchase!* Totally Folked: A Small Town Romance Folktale retelling (Good Folk: Modern Folktales Book 1)

Just like I said above I know that my top 5 is not necessarily your top 5. Let me know if you have a great book coming out next month on your radar. I’m always adding to my TBR!

Happy Reading!

Deb

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

This Chick Read: Songs in Ursa Major by Emma Brodie

When Jane Quinn and her band the Breakers step in for Jesse Reid at the Bayleen Island Music Fest Jane overcomes disappointed fans and has the night of her life… up to that point. The next night when Jesse’s manager approaches her in the bar where she works and wants to sign the band to a contract Jane’s life changes abruptly. The Breakers become Jesse Reid’s opening act on their tour and he and Jane connect emotionally through their music and beyond. This novel is filled with music and fun, but it will also wrench your soul.

First and foremost this is a novel about music. Jane is a musical prodigy able to pick up any instrument and play. Her mother wrote music and Jane also has this capability, but her lyrics are always personal and at first she doesn’t want to show that much of herself to the world. It takes a tragedy for her to show all of her emotions to the world. It was at this point that Jane had my by in. Her holding back also made me hold back.

Jesse was a conundrum. He had all of this talent yet there were hints of a “troubled past” that weren’t explained until later in the book. Between Jesse and Jan he was the more immediately likable but I’ve always liked an underdog and Jesse started out the book at the top of his game and musically he stayed there. Jane’s journey both musically and emotionally was much greater and it was because of how she handled the ups and downs in this book, and evenly more importantly fought for her music that I cared what happened as much as I did.

I have only one criticism for this author. I was so invested in these characters that I felt betrayed by how she wrapped up the book. Yes, there were a lot of characters and I liked hearing their lives were fulfilled or they found a partner or whatever, but the pages may have been better spent on wrapping up Jane and Jesse’s lives in a different more emotional way. I felt disassociated from those pages like I was reading a newspaper. It was kind of a let down after the emotional ride the author had taken me on through the book up to that point.

I can’t let this review end without saying how much I appreciated how wonderful all of the song lyrics were in Songs in Ursa Major. There was truly some great poetry and songwriting skills made by this author. Even though I couldn’t hear the actual music the lyrics made me feel the emotions the author intended me to feel. Emma Brodie has loads of talent and I hope she writes another book quickly. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase this book!* Songs in Ursa Major: A novel

Copyright 2021 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserve

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

This Chick Read: A Court of Silver Flames (A Court of Thorns and Roses #5) by Sarah J. Maas

Nesta, the once human sister of Feyre, now turned HIgh Fae, is drowning her memories of the Hybern war by drinking to excess, sleeping with men indiscriminately, and living in a hovel. When her sister and her mate Rhys step in it’s to save her from herself. Now living in their old home 5,000 steps above the city she must train by day with Cassian and spend the afternoon working in the library with the Sisters. She abhors the first and decides to tolerate the second. Her relationship with Cassian has always been tumultuous to say the least and the last thing she wants to do is spend time alone with him despite their attraction for each other. Those feelings change when she befriends a priestess named Gwyn and a shopkeeper named Emerie, who together decide to train as Valkyrie’s and create a sisterhood that would give them strength and courage.

I, too, was not a big fan of Nesta’s during Feyre and Rhys’s story. What was there to care about? She was cold, heartless, and didn’t care about our heroine Feyre at all. She was also pretty brutal to Cassian, a warrior who seemed to care for her despite her bad attitude. In fact, it almost seems he cared for her because of it. In A Court of Silver Flames we finally learn what’s going on in Nesta’s head. I had wondered how SJM was going to turn this character around when legions of fans couldn’t stand her, myself included. It wasn’t the love story (if that’s what you call it) between she and Cassian, at least for me. It was the need to help the priestess’s and her friend Emerie overcome the trauma and abuse they’d taken from men. Through that friendship she rebuilt who I thought she was into the person she was meant to be. Yes, part of that person was lover and mate to Cassian, but more importantly it was the inner struggle and discovery of who she was as High Fae, instead of as human woman.

Cassian was an interesting character. He was the General of Rhysand’s army overcoming his own rotten childhood by being the best at what he was and enforcing that message to the Illyrian’s who tortured him as a child. Through this novel we learned a lot about what makes him tick and in large part that is his relationship with his bro’s Rhysand and Ash. Those three, just as Nesta, Gwyn, and Emerie do in this novel. overcome all obstacles to survive and succeed. It put into strong relief the facade that he wears as charmer and brutish warrior and helped me buy into this pairing with Nesta.

As with any of SJM’s novels, there are so many intricacies. Nesta’s powers that she stole from the Cauldron, Ash’s secretive spying, the revolt by Fall, I can go on and on. Each sub-plot adding to the overall story, but also leading us towards the next novel. I won’t go into details because if you’re a fan, you should have this experience on your own. Did I end my journey with this story liking Nesta more than I did when I started? Absolutely! I’ve read some reviews where readers are still holding a grudge and in my opinion I just can’s see how they can. Nesta has more than redeemed herself in my eyes and ok, I guess she too deserves a whole lot of love and Cassian seems to fit her perfectly.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* A Court of Silver Flames (A Court of Thorns and Roses, 5)

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.