Friday YA: Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West

Kate Bailey doesn’t really like people. OK, let me clarify. She doesn’t dislike them, she’s just kind of a loner. She’d rather be out on the lake then with a group of people, unless they are lake people. When her best friend Alana talks her into taking a podcast class at school, she agree’s half-heartedly. Their first assignment is to offer one suggestion each for the topic of their class podcast that year. Surprise! Kate’s topic, an advice podcast is the winner and Kate finds herself co-hosting, which is completely at odds with her loner personality. Suprisingly, she finds her caustic sense of humor plays well on air and their podcast becomes a hit and one day a young man calls in asking for advice on a crush….

Our young heroine has a lesson to learn, and in Kate’s it was that there is more out in the world to discover beyond lake life. Even though Kate is kind of loner, she isn’t really because her family is huge. Her parents, aunts and uncles all live on a block together so she’s surrounded by family, cousins et. al at almost all times. So for a loner, she surprisingly is pretty social. When she drives her cousin to her weekly tutoring sessions she gets to know Diego, the boy her best friend is crushing on. As she gets to know him, she develops her own crush. Due to the girl code and first dibs, she doesn’t do anything about it.

I didn’t think this was the best Kasie West novel I’d ever read, but it wasn’t the worst either. I did really enjoy the podcasts, and the supporting characters were energetic and fun. Which was good because Kate was not a ball of energy. She did have a good heart though and in the end, she did learn her life lesson, having fun with the podcast and expanding her horizons. Listen to you Heart was a quick read, so if you have a few hours on a rainy Saturday it will be the perfect book to spend your time.

❤️❤️❤️❤️

LIsten to Your Heart

Click this link to purchase!* Listen to Your Heart

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

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This Chick Read: The Seven 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

You are dropped into the body of a series of seven strangers and told that unless you solve the mystery of who killed Evelyn Hardcastle, you are doomed to relive this day, in these bodies, over and over until you or someone else answers that question. Interesting premise, right? As our hero inhabits each person we learn a little bit more about him, as well as the person he’s inhabiting and how all of the people in this book are connected. It’s a mystery within a mystery and whether our main character solves this mystery or loses his memories to start anew again keeps me reading until the end!

The first couple of characters our hero inhabits and the people he comes in contact with are really interesting. It took me a little while to catch on to what kind of mystery I was reading, but once I realized that every person was a clue, I started to pay more attention to the details of what was not only going on with our hero, but also the other characters in the book. As each person goes to sleep, he pops into another person starting another day seeing through their eyes. I thought one of the most interesting bits about how this mystery played out was that our hero had to dominate the personality of each person he inhabited. Over time, it became easier for the other personality to overcome him making his job of using that character to move forward to solve the mystery more challenging. As the day wore on and the approach of Evelyn’s death was closer, the characters became more demonic and terrifying in personality.

This was a very well thought out mystery! How did the author keep track of all of these characters timelines, intertwine them and still make it all cohesive? Truly, the skill involved was pretty amazing. I will admit a couple of the characters were duds for me, and I sped through their scenes a little quicker than I’d normally like in a mystery novel, I usually savor the details. However, the resolution of this mystery was satisfying, fascinating, and felt true to the characters I’d just spent days reading and getting to know. I’m willing to forgive a little slowness in the middle for that feeling of satisfaction and resolution at the end. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

I was given an ARC of this novel through NetGalley by the publisher for their honest review, and it was honest!

Seven Deaths

Click this link to purchase!* The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: A Murder in Time (Kendra Donovan #1) by Julie McElwain

Our heroine Kendra Donovan is an FBI profiler. She is on the task force that is taking down two drug kingpins when she finds out her team was undermined from the inside, men on her team killed, and one of the criminals goes free.  Kendra goes rogue and decides to take care of this criminal herself. She tracks him down to a castle in England but before she can kill him she gets thrown back in time to the 1800’s where another murder quickly takes place. Is this the reason why she has traveled through time?

Another book blogger wrote about being excited that the third novel is coming out soon and made me curious enough to look this one up. THANK YOU! I’m sorry I can’t remember who you are, but this was a fabulous recommendation! A time traveler mystery is a bit of a stretch but this author set it up so well. Kendra was a child prodigy and is quite young, only in her early 20’s when she gets thrown back in time. Thank goodness because she’s not seen as an old maid. She is briefly thrown by the time traveling, but kind of rolls with it hoping she can find her way home again. It does help that the Duke whose castle she finds herself in was progressive and a scientist of sorts and is fascinated by this brilliant young woman. When the first young woman shows up dead Kendra puts her profiler skills to work and the Duke puts his societal standing behind her giving her gravitas, and allows her to investigate. I love it when a woman enthralls men with her intelligence instead of her beauty!

A Murder in Time is part mystery with a hint of romance. The Duke is not Kendra’s romantic partner, but instead it’s his nephew that she ensnares. The tension between the two of them is intense but really the story revolves around solving the mystery of who among their peers is the killer. This novel held my interest and truly I didn’t want to put it down.

If you love a good mystery and don’t mind a little time traveling, then please pick up this book! I do not think you’ll be disappointed. The great news is that the second is available in book stores and the third is being released soon. Yeah! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

A Murder

Click this link to purchase*! A Murder in Time: A Novel (Kendra Donovan Mysteries)

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: The Hurricane by R.J. Prescott

Emily is working double shifts to make money to finish her education. Waiting tables does not come easy as Emily is so shy she can barely speak to her customers, but one cantankerous old man breaches her silence and they become unlikely friends. Through this friendship he offers her a job as the bookkeeper at his gym. A job that requires her to hold her own among a group of rowdy young men. One of those men is up and coming fighter Cormac “The Hurricane” O’Connell. He has had his eye on this sweet quiet waitress and when she lands in his path he makes every effort to be her friend.

This novel really surprised me. The cover fooled me, making me think this novel would be all “romance”. It was more of a slow burn novel. These characters were from the wrong side of the tracks, so there was some coarse language, but the pace of the novel was slow and easy, just as you’d imagine a guy like O’Connell would have to be to approach a girl like Emily. He eased his way into her heart which made this novel different and kept me engaged.

There was also some seriousness to the reasons why Emily was so gun shy. She came from an abusive background, which made her falling for O’Connell kind of unrealistic, but again, the pace of the story made me overlook that fact. As she began to trust him, I did too. He wasn’t really the hard ass he portrayed himself to be.

Another aspect of this story that I really liked was her relationship to the gym owner Danny. Although a grumpy character he was really the father she always wanted and their little one on one scenes were sweet, really adding to the depth of Emily’s character.

If you are looking for a sports romance with character depth and heart, this is a great fit. I have not read a novel by R.J. Prescott previously and didn’t have any expectations, so I was pleasantly surprised that The Hurricane had the depth and emotional impact of a Kristen Callihan or J.T. Geissinger novel. I really enjoyed this discovery and look forward to reading more. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

The Hurricane

Click this link to purchase! The Hurricane

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

I am an Amazon associate and will receive a small stipend if you purchase this novel through the above link.

Friday YA: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

You know when you have a name that is on the tip of your tongue but you can’t recall the word? The story of Shahrzad was that tale that I knew I had heard before and as I started listening to the audio book I immediately searched for it. The re-telling of that story stays pretty close to the original. However, instead of a husband who has each wife killed as the sun rises to save himself from infidelity, our hero Khalid’s reason is a mystery for most of the book. Don’t worry, I’m not going to give it away here in my review. It is not because he is trying to save himself from the hurt infidelity brings, it’s a more “honorable” reason. If you can call having hundreds of women killed, honorable. When our heroine, Shahrzad volunteers to be the kings next wife, she surprises everyone. Why would you volunteer to die? That reason is what is at the heart of this story, and she and Khalid’s budding relationship is what kept me listening.

Not only is Shahrzad a great storyteller, keeping Khalid hanging on the plot each night, she is the type of heroine that I enjoy reading about. She is strong, willful, smart, and emotional. Shazi’s original intent for volunteering is soon betrayed by her feelings. How can someone fall in love with a man who has had so many women killed? Her internal struggle was riveting.

Taking place in Persia when women were seen behind screens and through wispy bits of fabric, Renee Ahdieh modernized this version allowing Shazi to be bold and adventurous. Her King, Khalid, seemed to actually be more reserved and traditional than she, but as we get to know his reasons for his actions, we see why she would be attracted to him. That reserve was self protecting. I couldn’t really see how this novel could have a happy ending, and just as in one of Shahrzad’s own tales, I was left wanting more.

The narrator for this story, Ariana Delawari, took a more traditional route for her storytelling. She did a straight read, delivering emotion well, but not really changing her voice for the different characters. Once I got used to her style I found that this really fit the pace of the novel. This isn’t a story that you rip through. You need to enjoy the flavors, sights and smells of Persia through this authors words without any special effects to detract from them. I really enjoyed listening to it and will also listen to the sequel too. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

The Wrath

Click this link to purchase!*The Wrath & the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn)

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle

Have you ever been asked “If you could have dinner with any five people, dead or alive, who would you choose?”  The Dinner List is a novel about Sabrina, who sits down to dinner for her 30th birthday with five people, one of whom is Audrey Hepburn. An interesting premise, but as the novel moves forward, we are given hints that there’s a reason these five people have been chosen, and in a few hours Sabrina is able to work out her feelings of regret, sadness, love, and friendship so that by dinner’s end she, and everyone else at the table can move in the direction their lives have taken them.

Even though I didn’t have a clue where this novel was going to take me I quickly found myself wrapped up in the dinner conversation and in Sabrina’s life as told through flashbacks. This dinner list was started when she was in college with her roommate and best friend Jessica. On this list was her father who had left she and her mother when she was a toddler, her college Philosophy professor, her best friend Jessica, Audrey Hepburn, and the boy she had a blind crush on in college. As the novel progresses we see the reasons why each of these people were at the table. As each course is eaten, something new is revealed about Sabrina’s life and the people at the table help her deal with her emotions about that time in her life. These scenes were sometimes sweet, funny, fascinating and sad. However they made me feel, I eagerly ate them up digesting the words as if they were a calorie free all you can eat dessert buffet.

I think the reason why this novel worked so well was because Sabrina was not a perfect woman. She was completely flawed. At times, I didn’t understand her reactions yet I wanted to know so much more about her. In one scene we find out Sabrina is named for Audrey Hepburn’s character in the movie Sabrina because her mom and dad thought that that character was a young woman that knew what she wanted and was determined to get it. A great person to emulate, however this Sabrina was more like Audrey Hepburn’s character in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Holly Golightly. Sabrina was afraid to be alone, wanting to always be connected to others and she let that fear rule her.

This book made me reflect upon my own list of five people I’d like to sit down to dinner, dead or alive. Should I sit Jon BonJovi next to Abraham Lincoln or Margaret Thatcher? Or maybe I should ask Candice Bergen if she’s available? Regardless, I don’t think it would be as interesting as Sabrina’s journey was in this book.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

The Dinner List

Click this link to purchase!* The Dinner List: A Novel

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: August Wrap-Up!

When I look back on August, the first thing I think of is my fabulous vacation in France. I’ll admit, I stop and dream for a bit, then focus myself on writing this post!  When I look back there were a surprising number of good books! Just in case you missed these, I want to highlight the books that had a 5.0 rating.

The Tower by Nicole Campbell

This book deals with friendship, love for your best friend and the difficulties of being different while in high school. The three main characters were enchanting and grew throughout the novel. Oh, and did I mention they are witches?

The Tower

“It is a wonderful story about love and acceptance and I’d wish for each of you to pick this one up and give it a shot.”

To read my full review of The Tower click HERE.

Ghosted by Rosie Walsh

Sarah meets Eddie while on a visit home to England. They hit it off, spend a week together, fall in love and then she never hears from Eddie again. Were their feelings imagined?

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“This novel was part love story, part mystery, and every bit of it fascinating. As I learned more about Sarah’s life, I really wanted this happiness to be real.”

To read my full review of Ghosted click HERE.

Magic Triumphs by Ilona Andrews

Have you ever eagerly anticipated a novel so much that you then didn’t really want to read it? That’s how I was with Magic Triumphs, the 10th and final installment in one of my favorite fantasy series by Ilona Andrew, Kate Daniels. The buildup towards Kate’s final showdown with her father Roland has been HUGE! Ilona Andrews did not disappoint.

Magic Triumphs

“Kate-The reason why I love this heroine so much is because even though she has this incredible power and could do and be pretty much anything she wants, she remains true throughout this series. She wants to have friends, love and have a home with Curran.”

To read my full review of Magic Triumphs click HERE.

I fit in a couple Sunday Commentary posts:

Will These Genre’s Get Me Out of My Book Rut? I’ll admit, I still have not read any of the books in this post, but I did get out of my book rut. How? I read an old favorite by Kristen Ashley called Lady Luck. I knew the story, knew I liked it and was able to enjoy reading again!

Book to Movie- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society– Click this link to read my review of the book and movie. I’ll give a hint. I did like one more than the other but enjoyed them both!

I also interviewed a couple of amazing book bloggers in my Blogger to Blogger series! If you missed those posts, please click their links to read them.

Amanda @Cover2CoverMom

Trang and Lashaan @Bookidote

If you have had the chance to read any of these books did you agree with my 5.0 rating? What did you think of Amanda, Trang and Lashaan’s answers to my questions? Aren’t they great bloggers?

What was your favorite book that you read in August? I’d love to hear about it!

Deb

Friday YA: Hunted by Meagan Spooner

When her father goes bankrupt, Yeva, her father, and her sisters have to sell off all of their wealth and move back in to the rundown hunting cabin he owned prior to marrying their mother. He is determined to build back up their wealth by tracking and hunting the fantastical creatures of the forest he taught Yeva about in her childhood. Instead on of those beasts ends up killing him instead. Yeva, nicknamed beauty by her father, goes off on a hunt of her own finding much more than she’d bargained for.

As you can guess, this is a fairy-tale retelling of the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast- but with a twist. Meagan Spooner sets her Beauty in Russia and fills her tale with Russian folk tales that embodies this tale with life beyond a Beauty falling in love with her Beast in a broken down castle. In her captivity, Yeva keeps herself sane by telling her captor every story she can remember turning her dark and dank cell into multi-hued world, if just for a moment. As she spends more time with her Beast, she see’s through his outer appearance to see the humanity within him, realizing he may be one of her tales turned to life.

I am not sure why it took me so long to read this book other than I had a ton of fairy-tale re-tellings on my list and even though I’d heard this one was very good, I thought I knew the story of Beauty and the Beast. However, the Russian folk stories gave life to this Beauty and the Beast and I really liked the world Meagan Spooner built for the setting. I liked the Beast’s origin story and the journey Yeva had to take, both internal and external, to save him from becoming a true Beast gave more meat to the romantic musical that Disney made popular. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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Click this link to purchase!* Hunted

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: The Air He Breathes by Brittainy Cherry

Elizabeth is still reeling from the loss of her husband a year before. She is trying to keep her sanity intact because she has their young daughter to raise and she doesn’t want her to continue to see her sorrow. Tristan Cole is the loner next door. When Elizabeth arrives back in town after a year away, all she hears is that Tristan is scary, violent, a loser, and not to let him get close, but there’s something in his eyes that calls out to her and draws her in.

Tristan is pretty much what all of her friends say. He, too, is dealing with tragedy, but he has let it break him down. Even when Elizabeth reaches out to him he doesn’t know if he can handle the responsibility without it tearing him apart. So the two of them make an agreement to “use” each other. Their relationship is meant for them to not feel so alone, but it doesn’t help them get over their pain, it actually enhances it. It’s only when they stop that they realize their feelings had changed.

This was one dark and emotional novel and at times I was worried that it wouldn’t ever lighten up. The surprise for me was that it was Tristan who saw the light first and helped Elizabeth find it. I read so many novels where the woman “saves” the man and I think if The Air He Breathes had taken that route I would’ve disliked the novel. Thank goodness Brittainy Cherry took me down a different path. It’s really hard to read a book where your hero and heroine are in so much emotional pain, but Ms. Cherry seems to relish these kinds of stories and she is very good at delivering a satisfying conclusion. If you love hardcore, dark, emotional romances you will love this novel. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

The Air He Breathes

Click this link to purchase! The Air He Breathes (Elements)

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

I am an Amazon Associate and receive a small stipend if you purchase through the above link.

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: Uppercase Box Reveal- Aug’18

I’m a little late getting this post for August, sorry! This subscription usually comes in just a little bit after the 15th, but August is a super busy month! My husband’s birthday and a vacation threw me off my game. So finally (!), here is my Uppercase Box reveal for the month of August.

I get the super deluxe version of this subscription, so get a few bookish items along with my YA book surprise. For those of you who are Harry Potter fans, there was a cute little HP notebook included.

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I always love cute notecards, so the next bookish item was right up my alley!

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Sometimes Uppercase includes a cute jewelry item and this month there was a necklace included that gives a really HUGE clue on the book title for this month… Any guesses?

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Finally the book! As signed copy of Dance of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson.

Synopsis:

A stunning new adventure set in the kingdoms of the Remnant.

A formidable outlaw family that claims to be the first among nations.

A son destined to lead, thrust suddenly into power.

Three fierce young women of the Rahtan, the queen’s premier guard.

A legendary street thief leading a mission, determined to prove herself.

A dark secret that is a threat to the entire continent.

When outlaw leader meets reformed thief, a cat-and-mouse game of false moves ensues, bringing them intimately together in a battle that may cost them their lives—and their hearts.

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I have actually seen a few reviews on this book already and it looks pretty good! I’m looking forward to reading it, and of course, reviewing it too!

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What do you think about this month’s box?

Deb