This Chick Read: Blood Heir (Aurelia Ryder #1) by Ilona Andrews

Set in the Kate Daniels world Blood Heir is the story of Julie Lennart, Kate’s adopted daughter, 8 years after she followed her Grandmother Erra out of Atlanta. A lot has changed in those 8 years, her magic, her face, and her name. Using the moniker Aurelia Ryder, she finally returns to Atlanta when a legendary evil threatens her adopted mothers life and the only family Julie has known. In fighting this evil she faces not only her own fears, but also people she was close to in the past.

This was a controversial novel for Ilona Andrews to write. Apparently Julie was not a popular character because she always seemed to resent Kate but also because she left Atlanta with out speaking to anyone and there wasn’t any closure. I guess now we know the reason why. I didn’t have these same feelings about her as other Kate Daniels enthusiasts. I eagerly awaited her story hoping that it would answer some questions as well as let me see some of the characters in this world I loved for so long. I got a little bit more of the latter than I did the former. In fact, I have more unanswered questions than I do any unresolved ones. However, I know that Ilona Andrews will eventually check off every one of my questions. Including what happens when she and Derek find each other again.

What I love the most about these novels is how fast paced they are. Although if you need to stop to cook dinner, work, or do some chores, that’s not necessarily a good thing. Right from the first chapter I am intrigued by this character who is so different than the Julie I remember from the past. Of course, she now calls herself Aurelia Ryder, and with the name change comes a who new set of magical skills. Oh, and did I mention the new face? That story needs to be read as it’s really a part of Aurelia’s evolution story and shouldn’t be spoiled by a blogger, but don’t take too long to read it, it’s worth finding out!

As with a lot of first novels in a series, this one sets up a lot of plot lines. Julie is now Aurelia, looks different, and has some uber magical skills that match the new name and face. Some of our other favorites are also different. Ascanio, who was her “friend” or at least cohort in her youth is set up as an adversary of sorts, which is different than I expected. Then, of course, there’s Derek, who like Aurelia, has gone through his own transformation. So, what I expected to find, didn’t end up happening and I found myself just a touch disappointed until I just let go of my issues and let myself get immersed in the story. Will it all make a little more sense in the second novel? This one ends on a cliff hanger so you can only hope the answer to that question is yes.

❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Blood Heir (Kate Daniels World 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: Enjoy the View (Moose Springs #3) by Sarah Morgenthaler

Despite being on the young side of 30 River Lane’s acting career is in trouble. Enough that she has talked two of her friends into heading out to Moose Springs to take her first step behind the camera producing a tourism documentary for the area. What she doesn’t bargain for is a town full of people who don’t want any more tourists in their small town. The permits she signed up for? They go missing. None of the locals will be interviewed for the production and she’s been kicked out of every restaurant in the area. Desperate, she and her team are left filming on the side of the road when she meets mountaineer Easton Lockett. He’s quiet, taciturn, and helplessly attracted to the vivacious River. When she suggests turning their tourism doc into a documentary about climbing their local mountain Mount Vail, it’s Easton who she turns to to get them up the mountain.

This series started off so strong with Graham and Zoey in The Tourist Attraction. I was charmed by the characters and the town, so when I read the second novel, Mistletoe and Mr. Right I had pretty high expectations. I did get a solid rom-com but I felt like their was something missing in my leading man and lady. Not in Enjoy the View. I had always been curious about Easton. He was a quiet guy in the background to both of the main characters in the first two novels. I didn’t know that I would love him so much. It helped that River was sassy, irreverent, and just as attracted to Easton as he was to her. Even more, she was the underdog in this story and just so easy to root for!

The friendships that drew me to love the first novel was a huge part of the attraction in Enjoy the View but surprisingly it was River’s two friends Jessie and Bree who were her biggest support group and also happily led her down the road to silliness. The three of them together were fun and showed how true friendships work. I love when there’s a good girl gang, and even though Jessie was a guy, he’s totally in the girl group in this novel. Easton too had a those friends who were so devastatingly fun in the first couple of novels. Those friends helped the reader see the man beneath the beard and his true nature which was gentle, fun, and loyal. An all around great guy. Of course, that broad chest and build helped elevate that attraction.

The thing I loved most about this story was that River, a woman who seemed to have it all, was really finding herself in Moose Springs, Alaska. In climbing her way to the top of this mountain, she falls in love, but she also learns a lot about herself and who she wants to continue to be. That self revelation is thought provoking, charming, and in the midst of a dangerous climb up a mountain, exhilarating. That she did it with Easton at her side was the frosting on the cake.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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!* Enjoy the View (Moose Springs, Alaska, 3)

Copyright 2021 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (1/18/21)

A wonderful weekend where I actually did find time to curl up and read a couple of books. What did it take to get me there? Ilona Andrews released a book last week! For those of you who know me well, you know I’ll drop everything to read one of their books. It seemed to jump start my reading because then I picked up another. Maybe I’ve gotten my reading mojo back?

This post originated over on Book Date, so thanks for the idea and letting me continue on the discussion about what books I am reading.

JUST FINISHED

Set in the Kate Daniels world, this is Julie’s book. A lot has happened in the eight years since she left home and Julie is not the same person anymore. Turns out, no one else is the same either. The only negative thing I can say is that it ended in a cliff hanger and I just hate those.

JUST STARTED

I am back in Moose Springs, Alaska with my new favorite cast of characters. Didn’t the second book just come out? This is a pretty speedy release, but that’s ok because these are totally cute. I’ve just gotten started but it looks like another fun book with a sassy heroine. And guess what? I have tomorrow off. I think I might spend it reading.

What book are you reading this fine Monday?

Have a great week!

Deb

This Chick Read: You Have a Match by Emma Lord

When Abby sends her DNA in to one of those services to support her friend Leo who’s trying to find his family she doesn’t expect to get anything back but the normal ancestry results. Instead she unexpectedly finds out that she has a full blooded sister and she only lives across town. When she meets up with Savvy, she’s talked into heading off to summer camp to get to know this older sister she never knew she had and find out the story of how her parents gave up their first child.

After having read the ultra sweet first novel by Emma Lord titled Tweet Cute, I knew I’d read You Have a Match. This author’s style is very readable and her characters very identifiable. Abby is easily the girl next door whom we can all see a little bit of ourselves in, but this situation is something we’d only read in, well, a novel. Savvy’s personality is the complete opposite of Abby, an Instagram blogger with a huge following, Savvy is constantly looking for the best shot. Abby, too is looking for the best shot, but she takes pictures of wild life, and her best friend Leo has created an Instagram account and logged all of her best shots. She’s never even opened it up to take a look.

Abby had all of the usual high school problems including that one incident with her best friend Leo that turns their friendship into almost something more. That tension between them hangs over their heads through the entire novel in a will they or won’t they that didn’t get too tiring because of the larger story between Abby and Savvy. Ultimately, the romance was interrupted by a family drama that was oh so much more interesting. I liked how these kids handled their “adult” issues. Their actions didn’t seem so out of the norm for a normal teenager, yet was youthful enough where I didn’t feel like I was reading about adults in 16 year old bodies which was refreshing.

You Have a Match was not quite as cute as Tweet Cute but was a solid second novel. I’ll have to keep Emma Lord on my must read if she keeps putting out stories like her first two novels. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase! You Have a Match: 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.

This Chick Read: Hideaway by Nora Roberts

Caitlyn Sullivan comes from a long line of Hollywood royalty. When her grandfather dies when she’s a small girl her family gets together to celebrate his life and Cate is kidnapped and held for ransom. Managing to escape Cate finds her way to the Cooper farm where a young boy, Dillon Cooper finds Cate hiding out in his kitchen. Whisked away to Ireland to be brought up outside the limelight, Cate comes back to the US to try her hand at the family business and to find herself. What she ends up finding is harassment and danger that has followed her throughout her life. Moving back to the town where the kidnapping took place Cate and Dillon find each other again and strike up a friendship that soon turns to something more.

When you pick up a Nora Roberts novel it’s expected that the story will take you away and Hideaway definitely lived up to my expectations. Caitlyn was a wonderful heroine. Despite living her life with threats hanging over her hear the only think she fears is to let someone love her because she’s afraid for their lives. She is always willing to step up and fight for herself. Her family, with the exception of her mother, was a dream family. Sure, they were all famous actors, but wow we could all hope to have such support and love in our lives. I also liked how Dillon and Cait were on the peripheral of each others lives up until they were adults. They knew each other, had that fearful experience from their childhood in common, and a solid friendship before they took it to another level. It was a really nice progression of their relationship.

Hideaway is not just a romance. It’s the story of Cate’s life and the different aspects to her learning who she is and what she wants her journey to be about. The story has four parts. Her childhood, her young acting career, her life in NY and exploring what she wants for the future, and her life as an adult with a career once she lives in northern California. Danger exists in each of these moments or times of her life so the escalation when she hits California doesn’t come out of left field. We know who the culprit is but not how they will strike again which keeps the reader on the edge of their seat, not able to relax into the romantic aspect of the story.

If you are a fan of romantic suspense, and Nora Roberts, Hideaway is right up your alley. I thought it was the perfect escapism novel. The story was far away from my pedantic life yet somehow I could envision myself in Cate’s shoes. It definitely did a great job of giving me an adrenaline rush at the end! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!*Hideaway: A Novel

Copyright 2021 The Reading Chick all rights reserved

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

This Chick Read: The Forever Girl (Wildstone #6) by Jill Shalvis

Maze heads back to Wildstone for the wedding of her BRR, Cat, and a reunion with her estranged gang of friends. Expecting them to hate her for her absence, instead she’s embraced back into their hearts. Uneasy about facing Walker, the man she once loved and left, she finds that their chemistry is just as fiery and hard to resist. Maze’s past has taught her to guard her heart but these friends are formidable and she learns she is stronger with them by her side than she is alone.

I have to talk about how much I loved Maze. Sure, I’ve read many books where the heroine is flawed, but there was something about Maze that made me care about her. Usually, I get tired of the self castigation, but Jill Shalvis walked that fine line of being too sorry for yourself, and allowing yourself to move past her issues. Maze blamed herself for something big that happened when they were all kids, but she allowed herself to be loved and to accept their judgement (which was no judgement). For me, Cat was actually the character I got impatient with because of her neediness. She needed her friends to be back together and she needed her fianceé to be something other than what he was. However, her wedding was the incident that brought this group back together so I understood her purpose.

Walker was a different story. Sure, he also had his issues. I mean, they were foster kids so that comes with a lot of baggage, but he was just so solid. I liked him from the get go and once I figured out I adored Maze, I totally rooted for them and eagerly read their reunion and all that followed. He was just all that.

I have read a couple of the other Wildstone novels but The Forever Girl doesn’t reference any of the characters in the past and can be read as a stand alone novel, so don’t be fearful of that #6 after the title. If you’re a fan of Jill Shalvis novels as I am, please pick up The Forever Girl. It’s the perfect story about lost friends and found love which really hits the right note during this pandemic. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

I received a copy of this ARC through Net Galley for my honest review and it was honest.

Click this link to purchase!* The Forever Girl: A Novel (The Wildstone Series, 6)

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’s Audio Review: Who Buries the Dead (Sebastian St. Cyr #10) by C.S. Harris

When a peer of the realm is found beheaded at Bloody Bridge Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin is compelled to investigate. When this murder has ties to an enemy of Sebastian’s the memories dredged up make it difficult for Devlin to separate his wanting to pin this murder on Lord Oliphant and the truth behind who is the murderer. C.S. Harris weaves an intricate mystery to create a story that is very hard to put down.

I read the first few books in this series initially but then used a credit to pick up the audio book and never turned back. Narrated by Davina Porter whom some of you may know from narrating the Outlander books, she brings an award worthy performance to the reading of these mysteries. Fluidly voicing multiple characters she makes it easy for the reader to immerse themselves in the story.

Yes, the mysteries are thrilling but what really sets these novels apart is how the reader gets to know Sebastian, Hero and the other characters inhabiting these novels. The Sebastian from book 1 is not the same man as the first time father and husband to hero in book 10 and those nuances of his character and depth of feeling makes every clue revealed to have hidden meaning to both the reader and how what he finds out may reflect on his character. I, like Hero, find myself falling in love with this character. He’s flawed, but as with most great fictional characters, those flaws make the man.

One interesting thing of note in this novel is the introduction of Jane Austen and her brother as central characters in the mystery. Society is a twitter reading Jane’s anonymous novel at the same time as Sebastian is seeing similarities between her characters and the people he is investigating for this grisly murder. It adds an element of humor and interest to this very somber tale. It’s the first time this author has created this type of hook, and I really enjoyed how different it made the story feel.

This has been a series that I’ve slowly listened to over the past couple of years and I still have quite a few of these novels to go as there is currently 16 books in the series. I recommend them whole-heartedly but believe that in order to really enjoy the nuances of the story and these characters the reader would benefit from reading them from the start and in order. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (1/4/21)

I finally managed to get a good bit of reading in during my break from work over the last 10 days. I did also stream some shows with my husband. I know last week I talked about Bridgerton, but over New Years my husband and I streamed Ted Lasso on Apple TV. Such a funny and heart warming show. If you have that service you should give it a try. Now back to my reading materials.

This post originated over on Book Date, so thanks for the idea and letting me continue on the discussion about what books I am reading.

JUST FINISHED

I read Motion, Space, and Time back to back over two days. The first two books being cliffhangers. I have been reading some books I’ve had stored on my kindle and Motion was one of those. Luckily I was able to find Space and Time at the library and didn’t have to wait to borrow the e-books. This was a really good series! Technically she has them listed as books 4,5,6 in the Hypothesis series, but these can be read separately from books 1-3 which have different characters. I love how her characters are flawed and real rather than being these perfect individuals that none of us can dream of being. These were good and I totally recommend them.

JUST STARTED

I’m about half way through this novel and it’s really good! It’s rare when you can’t count on Nora Roberts to deliver a good story. Her pace and pattern of the story is familiar but I’m enjoying it a lot and can’t wait to get back to it.

What book did you read over the holiday and what will you be reading as we head into our new week? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

Happy New Year and have a great Monday!

Deb

The 2020 Book Tag: The Reading Chick

I can’t wait for this year to be over, but it wasn’t all bad. I read some great books, but then I also read some that just missed the mark. So, when I was tagged by this young teen from Manchester, England who writes the blog Hundreds & Thousands of Books I thought this tag would be a good way to celebrate some great books and not so great books in a truly awful year. BTW if you haven’t checked out Hundreds & Thousands of Books and you’re a YA fan, you need to get over there and check her out!

Now, I do need to give props to the creator of this tag.

As with most of these, there are rules to follow. I only mention them in case you want to join in and answer these questions yourself!

  • Link back to the original creator, Phoenix @Books With Wings
  • Thank the person who tagged you
  • Answer all the questions 
  • Tag at least 4 people- ( I am going to actually break this rule and open it up to anyone who would like to join in!)

PART ONE: THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR 2020

Name a book you were really excited to read:

I had received this book at a book convention and was curious. Nalini Singh writes paranormal romances but A Madness of Sunshine was said to be a straightforward mystery. How would this author change genre’s? Would she do it well? Let’s just say that I was not disappointed but then I wasn’t overly excited by it either. If you’d like to read my review, click HERE.

Name a book that started out really well and then….

What happens when you’re introduced to the heroine and you really like her but when you meet the hero you just go “huh”. Well, I really, really didn’t like the hero Dominic in this novel and had a tough time getting past that feeling.

If you’d like to read my full review click HERE.

PART TWO: THE WORLD GOES ON HOLD

My world went on hold the second week in March when I got sent home to work from home and well, I’ve never gone back. I’m still working from home.

Name a book that had an unexpected plot twist.

I had enjoyed this author’s previous novel The Dinner List but it had in no way prepared me for the emotional turmoil I’d be in reading In Five Years. Talk about twists and turns. Read my review for a short insight into this novel but I still don’t give away any secrets, except to say that I did like this book. Click HERE to read that review.

Name a book that felt like nothing happened.

This novel actually had a lot of things going on, but since it centered around an old folks home it had a very slow pace. There were a LOT of emotional traps in this slow pace so it’s not that nothing happened it just moved a little more slowly than my usual books. I also really enjoyed the change in fictional scenery. Click HERE to read my review.

Name a book where two main characters were separated.

Considering I read a lot of romance novels and Urban Fantasy this was a tough one to answer. I had to go with interpreting this question as two characters who were emotionally distant and came up with this novel. These two characters were married and where having difficulties. They separated briefly, but of course, resolved everything and got back together. I liked this novel too! LOL. If you’d like to read my review please click HERE.

PART THREE: THE WORLD TRIES TO REOPEN AND BEGINS THE SECOND WAVE…

Name a book where the characters made a bad decision.

This novel just had all sorts of problems for me. Most of all was our heroine pretending to be the “nanny” to stay with her child and the hero a stodgy Duke. I just really didn’t care for how this novel was written. If you’d care to read my review please click HERE.

Name a book with an impatient, overly eager character.

I really struggled with this one and finally settled on this novel. It’s the political intrigue that created a feeling of impatience though, not really the character.

Click HERE to read my review of this novel.

PART FOUR: THE WORLD ADJUSTS (SORT OF)

Name a book in which the character’s goals change midway.

Our main character Josie is pretty self-centered. She wants to make it big in musical theater, but when she takes a chance on it life throws her a curve and she has to adjust her priorities. This was a very different sort of coming of age novel. Not my favorite of the year, but it was interesting. If you’d like to read my review please click HERE.

PART FIVE: THE END & LOOKING FORWARD

Name a book whose sequel you really anticipated or are anticipating.

I LOVED the first book in this series and whereas I still liked this one, it didn’t live up to the original. Read my review HERE.

Name a book whose sequel was better than the original.

I read a LOT of series and I’m going back through last year and I can’t come up with a sequel better than the original. However, in some series a book #3 or #4 may be better than the first because the characters are more developed and I’m more all in on where the author has taken that character. This novel was that for me.

Every book in this series is better than the book before. This is an all time favorite series of mine to date. Click HERE to read my review.

Name a book you read just to finish it despite your dislike of the novel.

I am trying so hard to pick authors that I like to read because this year I’ve really struggled to immerse myself in a story. I did recently re-read a novel because I was hoping I’d like it more the second time. I didn’t. I do really like the author but she’s hit or miss for me now.

This is an older novel of this author’s and to be fair I’ve read two of her’s recently that I really liked. Then read a third and disliked it too, so there’s that. 🙂 If you’d like to read my review of this novel click HERE.

Now, I’m supposed to tag 4 other bloggers, but instead of putting someone on the hook I’ll leave the choice up to you. If you’d like to do this tag, please feel free! I would like to be tagged in your post so I can read through your own answers.

Happy New Year Y’all!

Deb

New Years Day 2021

Everyone is saying that they can’t wait for 2020 to be over and I’ll admit, I feel the same. The bad certainly outweighed the good. If I dig deep there are some good that also came out of 2020. Really.

  1. Working from home- I know, I miss people from work too. That personal interaction is great but my quality of life has improved. I spend more time with my family, helping to cook in the evening instead of eating whatever has been cooked. I feel more involved in their lives.
  2. Not spending as much money- We didn’t go on expensive vacations. I didn’t have to update my wardrobe although I did buy more sweats, shorts, and nice t’s. Our food bill did go up because we were eating every meal at home so that may have balanced the lack of expensive vacations and clothes.
  3. Decorating early for every holiday. Our block has a lot of spirit! Who knew that we had that many Halloween enthusiasts or that everyone actually owned an American flag? All of the decorations certain uplifted our spirits.
  4. Spending time with our pets- It’s so nice to be able to walk the dog when it’s light out then just jump into the shower and check emails and answer messages while getting ready in the morning.
  5. Getting an extra half hour of sleep- again not having to dress up for work saves time in the morning for other things like drinking coffee, walking the dog, or having conversations with the hubby. It’s nice. It feels a little slower and less rushed.

There are many more positive things like having a bigger world view, paying more attention to local politics, making decisions that don’t just affect me but other people as well. All of these thing happened this year. Not all of them were good, but I want to be optimistic and hope that some of the things we’ve learned we’ll take with us when we can return to some kind of normalcy. Even if it’s not what life used to look like.

I wish for all of us that 2021 will bring with it good health, happiness, and good fortune for everyone.

Happy New Year everyone!

Deborah