This Chick Read: Make It Sweet by Kristen Callihan

Emma is known for her role as Princess Anya on Dark Castle when at the read through for the final episode she finds out she is being killed off. Returning early to her home she finds her boyfriend getting it on with their waitress from the night before. Needless to say, it was a very bad day. Needing something to relax away from the camera’s and attention she decides to stay at the villa of a friend of her grandmother’s. Lucien has a life threatening injury on the ice and is hiding away at his grandmother’s villa when she asks him to pick up her good friend’s granddaughter at the airport. Grumpy about being manipulated into doing something he didn’t want to do when he picks Emma up he is surly especially when Emma (who he has always been a big fan of) doesn’t recognize him in return. Mixing slapstick humor with a really sweet love story Kristen Callihan again gives us flawed characters we can love as well as some amazing food that had me searching the cupboards for anything sweet.

Make It Sweet although a stand alone novel has a couple of characters from Kristen Callihan’s last book Dear Enemy. Macon Saint is Emma’s love interest on the series Dark Castle. He and Delilah’s wedding takes place in Make It Sweet and it’s fun to see the conclusion to their romance. However, if you never read that book they would still be utterly charming and you wouldn’t miss anything by not having read Dear Enemy, so please pick up this book. I feel like I need to explain the series Dark Castle that both Emma and Macon star in. As a comparison think Game of Thrones style violence and sex. So you can see part of Lucien’s aggravation at meeting Emma and she not knowing who he is whereas he is a big fan and has seen her almost completely naked. It makes for some funny scenes where he is aggravated and she’s completely clueless, although in a very smart way. This is no dumb blonde.

Usually it’s the heroine in these stories that I’m more drawn to because, hello, I am a girl and can identify with a woman better. However, Lucien’s trauma was more interesting to me and had more long term affects on him psychologically. How was this pro hockey player going to get past this life altering injury. I won’t ruin the surprise but we find out that Lucien is a man of many talents and this other talent of his is brought out to woo Emma, although I don’t think he knew that was what he was doing at first. I’ll admit to feeling a little woo’d myself and wished my own husband had this same talent. LOL

Make it Sweet is a charming story about two totally likable characters, one sweet and one surly. They are both working through some tough life altering drama’s and despite those hours despairing over their future they decide to let love into their lives. I really liked their message and I loved these two characters, as well as some of the side characters in the story. This one is worth picking up and if you have Kindle Unlimited it’s in your subscription. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

Click this link to purchase!* Make It Sweet

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: Falling in Luck by Mary Ann Marlowe

Mallory Pech thinks she’s cursed by bad luck. Her best friend Benji Chance thinks there is no such thing as bad luck, you make your own. When Jean-Luc Chevalier, the very charming and gorgeous son of her company’s CEO comes to New York on a business trip Mallory crushes hard and is determined to catch his eye. Surprisingly this time she does! When he proposes a marriage of convenience Mallory decides to seize the day and joins him back in Paris for a 30 day trial run. The only problem is that she misses her best friend dreadfully, and Jean-Luc’s family is not like she imagined from their picture on Instagram. Could it be that she was never unlucky at love and her hearts desire was in front of her the whole time?

Despite knowing where this story was going right from the get-go I thought Falling in Luck was a lot of fun. Mallory was funny and sweet, if not a little naivé about a few things, but I over-looked them because I love a good redemption romance and she and Benji were just too cute for words and I wanted their HEA . The only down-side is that Benji spent a lot of the novel on the other side of the pond while Mallory was in over her head in Paris.

It would have been so easy to write this novel so the reader would hate Jean-Luc, but he was French, good looking, and charming and obviously had a soft spot for the terminally klutzy Mallory. I mean I’m surprised this girl didn’t walk in front of a bus in Paris while looking the wrong way! Jean-Luc, while having a lot of his own problems stuck by her and was her savior so I, of course, couldn’t hate him. However, their coupledom was doomed from the start and I’ll admit I was a little antzy to get to the real romance. When was Benji going to come after Mallory? Ultimately he arrived, but I would’ve been a little happier if it had happened sooner.

Ms. Marlowe has always written great characters and I loved Mallory, Benji, and Jean-Luc as well as the other cast of characters in the book. Like I said previously, they were all so easy to like but it was apparent from the start who the hero was going to be in this story despite the two charming men vying for our obtuse, sweet, Mallory. I’m all for self-discovery novels (and boy did Mallory need to find herself) but I was in the mood for romance and there’s no place like Paris for taking that next step towards love. Ah Amour! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

I received a copy of this ARC from the author for my honest review and it was honest!

Click this link to purchase!* Falling in Luck

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.

Friday YA: Love and Olives (Love and Gelato #3) by Jenna Evans Welch

Liv’s father left she and her mother to go back to Greece and search for the lost city of Atlantis. I know, it sounds crazy, right? Well, Live thinks so too. She’s so embarrassed by it that she hardly ever mentions him to her boyfriend. She has dropped the O-L and E from her name and re-invented herself as smooth and chic when underneath she’s rather a geek like her father. When she starts receiving post cards from him out of the blue it’s totally upsetting and she shoves them away physically and emotionally until her mother makes her accept an invitation by her father to visit him in Greece. A father that she hasn’t seen or spoken to in eight years. This unplanned vacation interrupts her plans for the summer and she starts off the trip resentful but she soon discovers life is a journey and sometimes the unexpected trip is the greatest journey of them all.

I have read all of the books in the Love & Gelato series and enjoyed the first two Love & Gelato and Love & Luck. I can say with all seriousness that Love & Olive is by far my favorite of this series. That the teen finding herself trope that this author has stuck with was fine tuned and wonderful making Olive and her father’s reunion an emotional and eye opening book. Her love interest Theo was pretty unexpectedly wonderful too.

First and foremost, yes, there is a great deal of hunting for the lost city of Atlantis. A tale that Olive and her father bonded over in her youth and something that Liv is totally cringing about now. BUT she still remembers all of those facts about this city and she finds herself being drawn into that story again. Her father brought her out to Greece to work on a project with him for National Geographic and as Olive and Theo run around following clues and getting b-roll she can’t help but think her father may be slightly delusional but well, maybe he’s onto something.

The majority of this story takes place on Santorini, and that island and setting are a character unto itself. The white buildings with painted blue roofs, the churches, the blue waters of the ocean surrounding it. In my mind it wasn’t such a bad place to be stuck for 10 days, especially with a father who so obviously loves her and with a charming, cute Greek boy. I think Olive starts to think the same thing. Of course, there is a bit of emotional trauma that rocks the boat, some sour searching Olive must do, but in the end with hard work Olive’s world turns out alright.

You do not have to read any of the previous books in this series before reading this novel, AT ALL. So if you are looking for a quick, fun vacation read please download, purchase the paperback, or borrow it from a friend. This one is charming, fun, and has an emotional kick that will surprise you. In this bloggers opinion Love & Olives is a five star read. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

Click this link to purchase this novel!* Love & Olives

Copyright 2021 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

This Chick Read: Meant to be Immortal (Argeneau #32) by Lynsay Sands

There are a few ways to kill an immortal with fire being one of the quickest. When Mac Argeneau finds himself in the basement of his new home with it on fire and no way out, he immerses himself in the tub until the fire fighters can get him out. Of course, then he has to drink the blood of all of them to recover and wipe their minds when he heals miraculously. Which he does except for investigator CJ Cummings whom he unexpectedly can’t mind read. A sign that she is his life mate, something he though would never find as he’s been alive for 1000 years. Not wanting to lose her he attaches himself to her side and insists she be his body guard and she unwillingly goes along.

I should know better than to jump into a series at book 32. Seriously! However, it was really easy to grasp the concept of these Argeneau’s, all vampire- like immortals who are long-lived through nano’s in their blood stream. Nano’s that require them to drink blood constantly. CJ has been burned by her ex and is not that willing to let Mac charm her but when his whole family arrives she doesn’t really stand a chance. I liked her back story better than his empty charms but this book was easy to read so I didn’t hold my feelings of ambivalence against it.

Mac was a scientist, researching nano’s, I’d guess to help keep his family living easily but that was not ever really explained. I thought it odd that he’d be so smart when it came to research but so dumb when it came to his life mate. CJ was kind of prickly but she wasn’t that hard to understand. It annoyed me a bit that it was like watching a boy get his first crush, bumbling about a bit. I like my hero’s a little more take charge. CJ didn’t seem to mind though.

I have heard of this author, of course, but I don’t usually read paranormal books. I do have friends who are great fans of Lynsay Sands so I was curious and requested the book. I was surprised to find her writing to be a bit simplistic and expected a little more detail to the back story especially since we are on book 32 of the series. Without having read the others I can’t say if this was her normal style or if this was an off book. I can only rate it based on my own experience. Yours may be completely different so please pick it up and give it a chance, after all he does look good in that shower! ❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase!* Meant to Be Immortal (An Argeneau Novel, 32)

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: Dear Enemy by Kristen Callihan

Receiving a text from who she thinks is her sister Sam, Delilah responds and starts a text conversation from her childhood nemesis Macon Saint. Macon, who teased and tormented her through her formative years. When she discovers that her sister had been working for now mega tv star Macon as his assistant and stole an invaluable piece of jewelry she faces her fears and tries to make amends. Unfortunately her offer is rebuffed and turns into a job as his new assistant and personal chef. Picking up where they left off they re-engage by teasing and tormenting each other except this time it feels very different.

I’m a big fan of Kristen Callihan’s style of writing. It’s so easy to find something to like in her characters. In this case Delilah is sassy, doesn’t have trouble standing up for herself, and is a normal size woman who likes to eat. Macon’s past behavior makes way for this new sexy Macon who disarms her by turning her old nickname Tot into a term of affection. Pretty soon they are developing an affection for each other that makes Delilah uncomfortable and Macon say ‘finally!’.

I love the enemies to lovers trope and this one is handled really well. Clever dialog, serious attraction, and lots of hurry up and wait. This is a slow burn romance so if you like sexy times from the moment they meet again, you have to wait a bit until the heat gets turned up. I like slow burn romances because it gives the characters time to connect and in the case of Delilah and Macon they had a lot of hurt to overcome. Macon caused a lot of trauma for a sensitive teenaged Delilah which scarred her future. I loved how horribly he felt and how hard he worked to make things right.

I’m so glad I got around to reading this because I bought it in March of last year when it came out. The best thing about waiting to read it is that she has another book out now. These aren’t a series, but they live in the same world which can be interesting and I’m looking forward to seeing how the connection plays out. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Dear Enemy

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 Paris Apartment by Kelly Bowen

In 2017 Aurelia Leclaire inherits an apartment in Paris from her recently deceased grandmother. Surprised that her grandmother ever lived in Paris, when Lia opens the door it’s as if she stepped into a time machine to 1943, the apartment was untouched, filled with artwork, beautiful cocktail dresses, and elegant antiques. When she finds Nazi paraphernalia she becomes worried that her grandmother may have been a sympathizer and that the artwork may have been stolen. In Paris 1942 Estelle Allard lives in her family’s luxurious apartment in the exclusive Sacré-Coeur neighborhood. Paris is occupied by Nazi’s and their military elite are inhabiting The Ritz. Estelle, a young, beautiful, socialite uses her looks and lifestyle to socialize with the Nazi’s, turning over everything she’s learned to their enemies.

The Paris Apartment is told from two perspectives both Lia’s and her grandmother Estelle. As we read about all of LIa’s fears we are living through Estelle’s worries during WWII. The story unfolds in a way that is emotional and riveting. We live through both women’s stories and we know the answers as to why Estelle’s apartment is found untouched, what the secret apartment was used for, and why she had Nazi paraphernalia where she lived. As Lia was worried, we would find out an answer in Estelle’s storyline. Kelly Bowen did a wonderful job describing life during WWII and all of the horrors that an occupied city faced, but all with a veneer of civility.

I think this is the first time where I’ve read a dual storyline novel where both of the plots were of equal interest to me. LIa had a mystery that she wanted to unravel and had the help of a handsome art restorer to help her do that. The budding love story wasn’t the main plot but it did provide her character with a bit of warmth that I think she might have lacked with out those feelings of attraction and love. As a juxtaposition, Estelle’s story was filled with emotional warmth and also darkness. Living during a time where people you knew were being killed, either in the war or in concentration camps her emotions were all hidden by this face she had to wear to both survive, and collect whatever information she could. The mystery that connected these to timelines was what moved both of their stories forward so effectively.

I was drawn into this novel right from the first page. It was so easy to read I found myself reading the book late into the evening, not wanting to break away from the story. If you like historical novels, I think you’ll enjoy the characters in this book. I’ve read a lot of WWII novels lately but haven’t read one set in Paris so I thought it was unique and the stylization of the time and the ease I had reading it really set it apart from the others. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

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!* The Paris Apartment

Copyright 2021 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive credit for your purchase.

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (4/19/21)

My husband is on a trip back east and I’m holding down the fort at home, so things were a little busier this weekend than they have been the past few weeks. I did still find time to read an ARC and review it before it’s release this week, and have a book on my horizon but haven’t yet started it. Let’s catch up!

JUST FINISHED

I really enjoyed this tale set in two times, current and 1943 occupied Paris. It’s definitely historical and rides the line between a romance and a mystery. Tell me what genre you think it falls in if you’ve read it!

JUST STARTED

This is the next ARC I need to read but I’m not sure I’m going to start it right away. If you have a great book I should jump into before I start this one, please let me know!

What books are you reading? Was your last book worth picking up? Let me know in the comments!

Happy Monday everyone.

Deb

This Chick Read: Hana Khan Carries On by Uzma Jalaluddin

Hana Khan works in her mother’s restaurant Three Sisters Biryani Poutine while she pursues her dream of being a broadcaster telling her stories on the radio. When another halal restaurant opens in the Golden Crescent Hana’s eyes are opened to how her mothers restaurant is struggling. Will it survive against the new competition? When her cousin and Aunt coming visiting from India her world expands outward from the comfort of what’s familiar. Family secrets are revealed and the Golden Crescent is threatened by hate crimes both turning Hana’s life upside down.

It was so hard to give a brief synopsis where I didn’t give away any of this novels fabulous secrets, please don’t let my lackluster paragraph above keep you from picking up this novel. Hana’s struggle between who she is as a young Muslim woman and who she wants to be, a broadcaster who tells stories of her world from her own unique perspective, is challenged by radio managers who are trying to tell her story for her. I loved how this part of the story was handled because it really told the struggle that she felt in a way that I a middle aged white woman could feel.

Hana’s love interest is the very handsome young owner of the competitive restaurant. I found it a little hard to identify with him at first but as his story moved forward I understood him more and grew to like him. However this book really revolves around Hana and this romance was not the most important part of the story. It did end up being kind of a sweet one though.

Hana was fascinating. She was the dutiful daughter, the strong independent woman, and a Muslim woman. With Aydin she showed a different character. First as antagonist, then as surly friend, then as young woman in love. There were so many aspects to this character I never got bored. In fact I sped through this novel. Her world was both beautiful and scary. How Hana reacted to all of these changes didn’t change the core person she was and that was the person I was most interested in reading about.

If you are trying to widen your world view pick up this novel. Also pick up this authors previous novel Ayesha at Last, which was also a very good story. Each separate story line in this novel could have stood on its own and together created a really well fleshed out character and novel. I enjoyed this one very much! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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!* Hana Khan Carries On

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: Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne

Ruthie Midona has worked at Providence Retirement Villa for the last six years and her plan is to never leave. When her boss goes on vacation and leaves her in charge she’s got everything handled until the new owner’s decide to rock the boat by dumping Teddy Prescott on the premises. Teddy, is young, tattooed, hot, and charmed. He’s the owner’s son and needs a place to stay for a couple of months while he earns the money to buy into a partnership on his own tattoo shop. To earn that money Ruthie has him interview with the Perloni sisters, two of Providence’s long time residents, and two of the most difficult. Sharing the space beside her own residence she and Teddy build a friendship that may change one of their long term plans.

Second First Impressions was the follow up novel I have been waiting for from Sally Thorne. As author of the critically acclaimed and beloved The Hating Game I was hugely disappointed in her follow up novel 99 Percent Mine. THIS novel, aptly named Second First Impressions, is my own second first impression of this author and the talent she obviously has to write a story that touches our hearts. Ruthie is the struggling awkward heroine that most of us ladies always felt we were and Teddy is that untouchable guy who seems like he has it all together but actually needs that one person to believe in him to help him overcome his own insecurities. They are my new favorite friendship and I definitely want to read this novel again to see what I missed the first time.

You know when you are reading a novel and the pace, setting, and characters just seem to give off that golden, magical glow? That was this novel for me. Ruthie, despite her uncertainty in how to respond to this gorgeous guy had this persona of certainty in how she responded to his attempts at seduction. Keeping him at arms length when she really wants to wrap him in her arms and hold him for as long as she has him. The way these two gave each other strength was magical and I’ll admit to finding myself reaching for that box of tissue quite a few times as they navigated their way through adulting.

Truly great novels also have a cast of characters that add to the story and help round out our protagonists. Melanie, Ruthie’s office assistant is one of those characters that help add definition and depth. She is the third party in Teddy and Ruthie’s budding friendship adding humor and likability to their small gatherings while also giving Ruthie a reason to stretch her wings by signing her up on a dating site to help her meet people outside the retirement community. The other two awesome characters that add some light-hearted humor to the story are the Perloni sisters. As their assistant, Teddy is put through the wringer of what should be embarrassing errands all of which he handles with aplomb and good humor. Those two ladies rounded out the cast of what is a wonderful novel.

I loved the way Second First Impressions made me feel as I read it. It was magical, made me laugh, cry, and generally I just felt good reading this novel. These characters were able to have their own second first impressions with each other but it also enabled me to give this author another glance and another chance. I am so glad I did. Sally Thorne has some serious writing skills and I am again waiting eagerly for her next novel. After I read this one again, and again, and again.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

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 this book!* Second First Impressions: 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 small stipend.

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (4/12/21)

A stormy Saturday gave me a great reason to sit on my couch and finish listening to an awesome audio book that I will tell you a little bit more about below. I also worked on my side gig (selling Color Street nails) and wrote some blog review posts. All in all it was a nice mix of a weekend and I feel good going into my Monday. So, what book did I pick up to begin my week with? Let’s get to it!

JUST FINISHED

Dark Queen is book #12 in the Jane Yellowrock series. How does this author keep me coming back to a series that has that many books? Her characters keep evolving so I’m learning something new in each novel. The story always has three or four parts that are intertwining, holding my interest and keeping me on my toes. Every time I finish a chapter I immediately start the next one. The action sequences in this series are a-ma-zing. Seriously. Urban Fantasy is my favorite genre and if it has great action scenes and a wonderful female heroine who I like? I’m all in. So, it’s on to book #13 for me!

JUST STARTED

I loved Ayesha at Last and couldn’t wait to start the newest novel by this author. I literally just picked it up but it’s off to a great start!

What books are you reading this week? Did you switch up the genre’s or stick to something you love? I’d love to know, please comment below!

Have a great week and happy reading!

Deb