This Chick Read: Sometime in Summer by Katrina Leno

Anna Bell has just turned fourteen, leaving her most unlucky year behind. After a fight with her best friend and her parents separating she’s happy to be starting fresh. Taking a trip with her mom to the east coast for two months might be stretching it but once Anna arrives in Rockport she feels immediately refreshed and the once in a lifetime meteor shower makes this visit seem magical. Anna meets two new friends who help her navigate her parents split and the loneliness she feels being away from home.

Katrina Leno’s novels are always super easy to read with characters that are easy to identify with and Sometime in Summer is no different. Anna reminded me of all of those anxious moments from my own childhood, meeting new friends, starting my period, and navigating the emotions of my parents split. The Kit-Hale meteor shower definitely adds an unreal atmosphere for her time spent in this beach town. Anna is a girl who is at that awkward stage where she feels everything deeply but doesn’t show her emotions, hiding all of her troubles from parents who are going through their own issues.

I loved the unexplained moments that this author shared in this book. Slightly magical and definitely supernatural they added an air of mystery and hope that I just couldn’t help but love. Katrina Leno definitely knows how to create magical moments in her novels. There were moments that were just lovely.

If you love young adult novels that send you back in time to your own youth and also has elements of mysticism I think you’ll love this novel, please give it a try! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase this book!* Sometime in Summer

Copyright 2022 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: The Last Dress From Paris by Jade Beer

When Lucille’s Granny Sylvie asks for her help in collecting a dress in Paris from an old friend she gladly takes on this errand. When she arrives in Paris she finds not one but eight dresses, each with a written note card and a quote, but the one dress she is expecting to find is missing. With the help of two new friends she visits each place noted on the cards to try to discover the mystery of why her granny has sent her on this mission. This story follows both Lucille’s journey and flashes back to the 1950’s where a woman named Alice wears each dress.

Alice’s story is the more dramatic of the two storylines but Lucille’s introspection and self-discovery is the raison d’être that binds the two stories together. Her new friendship with Veronique, the daughter of the woman who was holding the dresses for Sylvie, provides a parallel for Lucille to view her own life and the impetus for her to change her path. Her flirtation with Leon provides fun and joy, and a comparison to Alice’s story as it unfolds. I loved how all three of these characters interacted and the friendships they made.

Alice’s story told through her wearing each of these fabulous Dior gowns was a fascinating look into the political social scene during the 1950’s. Her job as the wife of the British Ambassador to France was to provide a setting where their peers would gather and gossip. That life sounded romantic and glamorous but as the story unfolds we see how structured and trapped that life would be. The mystery of each note card and quote tells a story that holds romance and sadness. I’ll admit to shedding a few tears and hoping for a happy outcome.

The Last Dress From Paris did what my favorite historical novels do, it took me away from my own world and dropped me into another setting in a fascinating place and allowed me to play voyeur. Like I said above I found Alice’s story more riveting but it was a great comparison to Lucille’s current day life and the journey that she herself could possibly take. The mystery of why her granny Sylvie sent her to find these dresses is the greatest story of them all and one that each reader should unwind on their own by reading this story. I would hate to unwrap this present and reveal anything that would spoil your own enjoyment of this story. It’s a good one! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Please click this link to purchase!* The Last Dress From Paris

Copyright 2022 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: For the Love of the Bard by Jessica Martin

Literary agent and YA novel author, Miranda Barnes, heads home to Bard’s Rest for a much needed break and hopefully find some inspiration to finish her third book against an upcoming deadline. When she arrives home she finds the town bustling for the upcoming Shakespeare-themed festival spearheaded by her own mother. Where she hopes to be a spectator, she suddenly finds herself directing one of the plays alongside her childhood heartbreak Adam. Facing the hurt from long-ago and partaking in a festival she loves creates plenty of drama and inspiration, her days filled with Shakespeare and her nights with writing that long elusive story. This romantic rom-com has all you want from a Shakespearean farce, and more!

I love themed rom-com’s and Bard’s Rest was a great set-up for the drama of past love reunited, but the town was also filled with some great characters who added a bit of fun to some tense situations. Miranda was very easy to like and I relished hearing how and why Adam chose to do what he did back when they were in high school. There was a lot of lead-up to the grand reveal, which was a little tiring, but you could feel their connection many years later. It was hard not to like Adam, he was so easy going and sweet.

As with many stories that take place in a small town, there was a lot of family filled moments as well as back stories for many characters. Sometimes these seques to other stories bother me, but For the Love of the Bard was very cohesive and smooth, these small stories adding to Mirandas story rather than taking away from it. I was really happy with the transitions and interested in every character.

You don’t have to have a love of Shakespeare to appreciate the characters and stories in this novel, but I’ll admit it would certainly help! The author very cheekily casts some of the townspeople in roles that were familiar to me and some of them paralleled real life, which was clever and fun to read. However if you aren’t familiar with the plays you will not miss out on the fun and cheekiness despite that lack of knowledge, and the love story is very satisfying too!

❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase this book!* For the Love of the Bard

Copyright 2022 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? (6/27/22)

I have been trapped by an audiobook series. Not a bad thing because I was totally engrossed after the third book and really enjoying the new urban fantasy world. But, it did put me behind on my commitments. Oops!! I also spent a bit of time working this weekend at our local Pride Fest and want to make sure to say to all of you in the LGBTQ+ community, happy Pride month! It was a lot of fun hanging out and representing Nashville Ballet with this very creative and engaging crowd. They were sparkly, colorful, and really nice! I wish I could say the same about the weather, it was bright and hot at over 100 degrees F. We all had pink cheeks and a healthy glow. I hope you spent your weekend doing something fun too! Let’s catch up on what I’ve been reading.

JUST FINISHED

I have loved this author’s books, all of them. For some reason I had avoided this series. It’s about a girl that becomes a vampire and I thought that it wouldn’t be anything that I hadn’t read before. I think I’d picked up the first book a few times and couldn’t every get past the first few chapters but my sister said to try the audiobooks and to hang in there to book three. Quite a commitment but one that paid off. By the end of book 2 I was engaged and then the series really picked up. This novel is the most recent and was really good!

JUST STARTED

This book came out last week and I was supposed to have it reviewed by now but the above series totally stood in its way. I’m now halfway through and am seriously enjoying this half contemporary, half historical novel. Our two characters are really engaging and I love the way the plot follows a series of Dior dresses. How different and wonderful! Look for a review on this one this week.

Happy Monday and have a great week reading.

Deb

This Chick Read: Flirting with Fifty by Jane Porter

Paige Newson is comfortable with her life. She’s a divorced mom to three grown daughters and has a fabulous job as a professor at a Southern California college. Her comfortable life gets upended when she is paired with Professor Jack King to teach a brand new course that pairs math and biology. The catch? She knows Jack King, or at least she did when she was 20 years old. She had a short fling with him when she was a student in England for a semester. Something that affected her deeply and changed the course of her life. Will Paige allow Jack to challenge her comfortable world?

There aren’t too many romance novels written for characters in their 50’s, so I was a bit curious about how this author was going to portray the journey of Paige and Jack. I wasn’t disappointed at all to find that this was a slow burn romance. It made sense to me because at 50 you have lived a lot and have expectations for your life. I know I have and I’m 54. So, I wasn’t at all disappointed that Paige may have to work through the hangups she has from a failed marriage, her children still needing their mom although they are all grown up, and the fact that she is uncomfortable with her body. Unless you still have the body of your 20 year old self, of course you would be. Also, Jack is somewhat intimidating. She found him so attractive when she was 20 but she lacked confidence in herself at that age. Does she now have that confidence at 50?

Jack was wonderful. He was charming, charismatic,and felt real instead of like a caricature which he could so easily have been. He was also still as attracted to Paige at 50 as he was when he was in his mid 20’s. He has a surprising amount of patience for someone that is so active and is always on the go. However, in this case, opposites do make the best partners and I could easily see why these two would be so good for each other. It made it easy to buy into their love story.

At times this novel felt a little bit like a christian romance. I don’t think it’s actually classified that way, but if you like a tamer romance story then this may be a great fit for you. I find that I like both cool and warm temps when it comes to romance novels so I didn’t have any issues with the pace, or heat level of this novel. It was just right. So, how did this 54 year old like a romance about 50 somethings reconnecting? I enjoyed it a lot! It’s nice to not be reading about 20 or 30 somethings living in a world I’ve already lived. I found myself eager to read more!

❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase this book!* Flirting with Fifty

Copyright 2022 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

This Chick Read: A Thousand Miles by Bridget Morrissey

Dee Matthews is used to airing her personal laundry on the podcast she co-hosts, well everything except what happened between she and her best friend who she has nicknamed Name Redacted. She references him all the time but hasn’t talked to him at all in a decade. When Ben Porter shows up outside her apartment door asking her to go on a roadtrip to his Gam’s he bases the impulse on a promise he made to her ten years ago, after their last road trip. In ten years time they would take the same road trip to visit his Gam, but in this case it’s to clean out her house because she’s died. Despite Ben leaving a gaping hole in her life, Dee agree’s. Ben wants his best friend Dee back in his life and Dee wants something much more, to find out the truth about why they never spoke again after that fateful trip.

A Thousand Miles had clever characters, a wonderful premise of regaining a lost friendship, and beautifully written dialog. Dee Matthews brought life to these pages with her will to say and be what Ben needed despite having huge feelings over the ending of their best-friend status in high school. Ben’s grandmother dying and a secret she revealed to him is the impetus behind him asking Dee to go on this trip with him. She was his most supportive person, the one that was always there for him despite her quirkiness and anti-social personality. He was the staid, steady popular kid that was drawn to this bright person from early childhood. Not to say that their relationship was one-sided, that steadiness was something that Dee was drawn to as well. Her childhood was filled with uncertainty, no money, and low social status. When he shows up at her door, she doesn’t really even think twice about it, she packs a bag and agrees to go. You’ve got to admire that ability to make a hard choice based on a thread of hope that they would find their way back together.

Despite their fun adventures and the moments of giddiness, this was kind of a hard book for me to read. There were just so many feelings! Dee’s feelings of abandonment, Ben’s realization that he never takes chances, their lost ten years. Aargh! I just wanted to skip through the discovery and get to the why! I was really impatient with this novel through no faults of it’s own. I just really wanted to see if this author was going to take me where I wanted this plot to go. I reigned myself in and vowed patience. I would allow this story to unfold at the pace it was meant to be read, and I was so happy that I allowed myself to do that. Dee and Ben’s trip was funny, fun, sad, and again, made me feel everything I was meant to feel.

A large part of this novel is about Dee’s podcast. Ben, as Name Redacted, is an integral character that Dee references all the time. Each chapter starts with an episode of a podcast where we get to know Dee but we also get to know Ben, or at least her underlying feelings for him. Some of these podcasts were hilarious and her co-host Javi is a guy I’d love to know in real life. Anyway, these episodes are a great tool for the reader to learn her feelings without seeing her go through all of the emotions. It’s also integral to her personality and character. Even with Ben she speaks as if she’s recording an episode. I found it really interesting to see her journey on her show at the same time as the journey they were taking in the car. Well done!

Despite my own awkward feelings while reading this novel, I thought it was great. There was humor, drama, and love that practically made my chest explode with feelings. All of the qualifications of a good romance novel, isn’t it? ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase this book!* A Thousand Miles

Copyright 2022 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 Taellaneth Series by Vanessa Nelson

This series was recommended to me but I could never remember the author in order to look it up. It just so happened that it was recommended to me AGAIN and I was getting ready to look for my next book. It’s a Kindle Unlimited series, which I do subscribe to, so I thought “no harm no foul” if I don’t like it I’ll just close the book and send it back. Little did I know that I would read non-stop, with only breaks to go to work, eagerly reading this fun series until I turned that last page in book #5.

Our hero Arrow is half human and half Erith, a race that is magical with elf-like physical traits. Having been determined to have magical talent at a young age she is entered into an Academy where she overcomes the odds and becomes a war mage despite all sorts of discrimination from the Erith for her half-human blood. As we get to know Arrow she is oath-bound to the Taellen to solve any task she is given. In the first novel she is given the task of investigating the death of the mate of the highest ranked shape-shifter, traveling to human lands to complete her task.

In Concealed, Arrow eventually solves the mystery but reveals an even bigger dilemma that all three races need to work together to solve, each book leading to Arrow becoming a stronger mage, important ally of the shifters, and eventually free from her ties to the Taellen- the committee of law-makers among the Erith. Her identity is also revealed in stages that keep the reader fascinated and the plot draws you in deeper until you have to read until the end to see how Arrow and the mystery resolves.

If you, like I, have never heard of this author then you are in for a treat! This series is fantasy-candy. There is only a hint of romance, it is pretty much straight up magical-fantasy. There are some very likable characters and you’ll certainly have your pick of who you want to follow but there is no better than our heroine Arrow. Misguided, misunderstood, and straight-up bad-@$$. I loved her to death and hope that this author’s other series are just as addictive. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

Click this link to purchase the first book!* Concealed

Copyright 2022 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: Trouble with the Cursed (The Hollows #16) by Kim Harrison

Synopsis:

Rachel Morgan, witch-born demon, has one unspoken rule: take chances, but pay for them yourself. With it, she has turned enemies into allies, found her place with her demon kin, and stepped up as the subrosa of Cincinnati—responsible for keeping the paranormal community at peace and in line. Life is . . . good? Even better, her best friend, Ivy Tamwood, is returning home. Nothing’s simple, though, and Ivy’s not coming alone. The vampires’ ruling council insists she escort one of the long undead, hell-bent on proving that Rachel killed Cincy’s master vampire to take over the city. Which, of course, Rachel totally did not do. She only transformed her a little. With Rachel’s friends distracted by their own lives and problems, she reaches out to a new ally for help—the demon Hodin. But this trickster has his own agenda. In the end, the only way for Rachel to save herself and the city may be to forge a new understanding with her estranged demon teacher, Al. There’s just one problem: Al would sell his own soul to be rid of her. . . .

I was mulling over how to write up my own short synopsis without giving away every intricacy in the plot and decided ‘the hell with it’ and quoted it off the back of the book. Trouble with the Cursed is the sixteenth novel in the Hollows series with my favorite heroine and witch-born demon, Rachel Morgan. Rachel is back living in the church with Jenks, but that’s the only thing that seems slightly normal. Her roommates are the demon Hodin, and her friend Stef. Hodin has driven a wedge in between Rachel and the demons, a wedge that gets more complicated as this story unfolds. Rachel, as the sub-rosa for the demons, has the tough job of keeping the peace in Cincinnati. Something that she’s been able to do with the help of vampire scion Pike, but it all seems to be getting out of hand. The demons are in disarray, her boyfriend Trent’s business deal has gone awry, and Jenks is developing feelings for a new pixie. Plus Ivy is headed back to town with a DC vamp named Finnis who needs to be convinced that Cincinnati’s master vampire, Constance is still alive (she is but she’s now a mouse). Rachel is a people pleaser and wants everyone to be happy, but she may have bitten off more than she could chew with this one!

Trouble with the Cursed ties up a LOT of loose ends and I’m wondering where Kim Harrison is going to take my favorite heroine next? The “is he or isn’t he” on Rachels side when it comes to the much maligned demon Hodin comes to a head and everything quite literally hits the fan in the most wondrous and fascinating way. Rachel’s version of “I’ve got this!” does not follow a straight line and the fireworks that follow light up the city and paranormal world. This book ends with a big bang and I can’t help but think that the world as our heroine knows it will be much different in the next novel. The only things that I’m completely confident in is that Rachel’s friends have her back and she would absolutely die for them as well. I can’t wait to find out what happens next. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase this book!* Trouble with the Cursed

Copyright 2022 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: Ten Trends to Seduce Your Bestfriend by Penny Reid

Public school science teacher, Winnifred Gobaldi, loves to spend her free time on her blog helping women see how cool science can be and has achieved a modest following. Her roommate’s work just received a grant that would provide dollars to bloggers who help promulgate women in STEM and she thinks Winnie would be the perfect candidate if she only had a few hundred thousand more followers. She comes up with an idea for Winnie to diversify her blog with other topics, such as makeup tutorials and trendy blog topics. She convinces Winnie to do a #bestfriend challenge with one of their male friends. Byron Visser is a bestselling author and eschews all things social media. He’s antisocial, abrupt, and is always giving an unwanted opinion. When an accidental visit on Winnie’s blog goes viral they find themselves faking a #bestfriend challenge and makes them face the truth about their feelings for each other.

I’m not sure why I was surprised by this book, because Penny Reid surprises me so often but Ten Trends to Seduce Your Bestfriend was not the book I was expecting to read. I mean this in the best way possible! It was a wonderful surprise. Winnie and Byron were such interesting characters. There was great thought and depth to their actions and as each insight was revealed it was an aha moment not just for the character but also for the reader. I felt like I was truly on the journey of discovery with the both of them.

Winnie was a fun character. She was smart, dedicated to her science and students, and also beautiful and into clothes and makeup. I thought she was an interesting mix of surface and down-deep beauty. Byron was gorgeous and surly. He had no verbal boundaries and didn’t think twice about giving his opinions, thinking he was being helpful, but instead being taken as having a superiority complex. Once Winnie started doing this challenge with Byron she had to speak up and tell him how his thoughts made her feel and his reactions gave her and us insights into Byron. He was completely clueless that that was how his words were being taken, but we also saw how much he tried to address his problems and work on speaking to Winnie the way she needed to be spoken to. Winnie herself, had issues in how she communicated as well, and we saw her character evolve in a somewhat similar way as the story went on.

I thought Ten Trends was a totally unique love story. The new trend of women in STEM romance novels is very appealing. Why wouldn’t smart women also be attractive and fall in love??? It wasn’t only the STEM portion of this book that was unique however, Byron’s character and personality issues were also not something you’d usually find in a romance novel. The two together made this novel original and very interesting. I loved their story! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase this book! Ten Trends to Seduce Your Bestfriend

Copyright 2022 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: Beard in Hiding (Winston Brothers #4.5) by Penny Reid

Diane Bonner, business woman and upstanding citizen of Green Valley, is tired of living life by the rules. Newly divorced, she wants to take chances and live on the edge. This is why she decks herself out and heads to the local biker bar, where she meets dangerous criminal and biker, “Reaper”. Wanting to keep her out of worse danger Jason “Reaper” Doe, takes her back to his room and gives her a night to remember. One night may not be enough for either of them.

I have grown to love Penny Reid’s novels. Her characters are quirky but sometimes her motives for writing about certain ones are mysterious. Truthfully, I wasn’t sure I wanted to read a romance novel about two such hated characters. Even if Diane has just started redeeming herself in Cletus and Jennifer’s story, she still didn’t treat her daughter very well, and well Reaper is a criminal. Even if seeing things from their side leads me down the path to enlightenment, I just couldn’t see how it could happen. What did I learn? Never doubt the talent of Penny Reid.

Seeing through Diane and Reaper’s eyes was very enlightening. I could forgive Diane because she was married to a really bad guy who twisted her thoughts until she believed his bull pucky. I felt bad for her, but did I feel bad enough to care about her story? I guess the same could be said of Jason. He was ready to move on from his gang and the path to evil they were taking. If it wasn’t for his daughter living in the area he’d of left long ago. I don’t think there was anyone else in the city of Green Valley who could’ve been written in as his matched pair, except someone who was also hated but trying to find her way back to the light.

Full disclosure, I did not care for how this story ended. It’s the only one of her novels that didn’t reach a conclusion that I’ve liked. I also don’t see how else she could’ve ended the book, so there is that as well. LOL. All of this back and forth is probably making you wonder if I actually liked this novel. Well, I did and I didn’t. I think Penny Reid did a good job of making two despicable characters likeable enough for me to finish the novel. That’s not saying a lot because I’ve finished a lot of novels I didn’t care for but I will give this author props, she did make me care a little. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

Click this link to purchase this book!* Beard in Hiding

Copyright 2022 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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