This Chick Read: Second Chance Girl (Happily Inc. #2) by Susan Mallery

Happily Inc. is a wedding destination town where most people who live there have something to do with putting on a wedding. Caterer, baker, event coordinator, etc. Carol Lund is a gamekeeper and doesn’t have anything to do with weddings. Matthias, our hero, also doesn’t have a wedding themed job. The only thing he has to do with weddings is, well, the bridesmaids. He is a no strings attached kind of guy.. definitely not Carol’s usual, but for some reason she is attracted to him. Although that’s not a stretch, he is fabulous looking and very charming. Matthias is an artist, making glass creations alongside his brothers in a family business. He wakes up every morning, sips his coffee and sketches while watching Carol walk the preserve with her solitary giraffe, Millie. Something about this morning ritual appeals to him and inspires his creativity.  Their relationship has never gone beyond friendship, until one nigh when they have a little too much to drink.

Luckily, we didn’t see Matthias hit on too many bridesmaids because that would’ve been hard to overlook. The Matthias we meet is fun, charming, and too good looking, but he also has this inner pain about his father that humanizes him. As he and Carols friendship grows, I think that humanity also appeals to Carol. She on the other hand has always focused on her animals, to the exclusion of having a personal life. The fact that she was a khakis and t-shirt kind of gal made her so not Matthias’ type, but that one night changes how they see each other forever.

I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would from the synopsis. The zoo element was a really different setting for a romance! This series is a spinoff of Mallery’s Fools Gold seies that is so poular and I think it is just a good. There is a side romance between Carol’s sister and a visiting Duke that is really cute and made me laugh. All in all this was a great lighthearted romance.


Click this link to purchase.  Second Chance Girl: A Modern Fairy Tale Romance (Happily Inc)

Copyright 2017 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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This Chick Read: Forget Tomorrow (Forget Tomorrow #1) by Pintip Dunn

Forget Tomorrow is set in a world where on your seventeenth birthday you are given one of your future memories. This memory is supposed to give you an idea of what your life will be and what you will do for a living. Callie has been training to be a Chef. Well, they call it something different, but in essence that is what she thinks her memory will show her. If it does, it means she will be put into training for that job and her future is secure. However, there is a very small percentage of people whose memory shows them perpetrating a crime. In that case their lives would be forfeit until that memory is reality and they will be charged for their crime. Yeah, you can see where this one is going, right?

This was a totally original tale and I found myself caught up in this alternate world very easily. Callie was an average teenager and this memory completely blindsided her and freaked her out. She is the last one you’d think would be a criminal and Callie is positive this memory will not come true. She then takes measures to make certain it doesn’t with the help of a boy, Logan, that she has grown up with. Logan used to be a good friend of hers but hasn’t spoken to her in five years after his brother was taken away for exhibiting psychic behavior. Something the authorities in this world want to study and basically jail anyone who shows signs of a psychic gift.

There were a lot of twists and turns in this novel and I definitely don’t want to give any of the surprises away in my review. I will say that the ending took me completely off guard. Iwasn’t entirely   pleased with it, but as this is the first in a series I am going to hold out hope that what happens gets resolved in a future storyline! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase! Forget Tomorrow Copyright 2017 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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This Chicks Sunday Brunch Book Tag

Good Morning everyone!  I have gotten a little behind on writing my weekly Sunday Commentary. So, I’m sitting in my chair, laptop on my lap, dreaming of a big breakfast (that someone else would cook) and mulling over some books I have recently read when I thought Breakfast… Books… Breakfast…. Books. Wait, those two things go together splendidly! There’s nothing I like better than reading a book while eating breakfast. The next time you find yourself eating one of these meals, try doing it while reading these books or one of your own.

The American Classic- Eggs, Bacon and Toast

eggs-bacon-toastCome Sundown What matches up perfectly with our American Grand Slam breakfast? Come Sundown by Nora Roberts. Bodine Longbow is running the resort side of her family’s business. She is not looking for love but she definitely finds it when Cal Skinner moves back home. Their love story is the perfect silky fried egg that you eat with toast. That piece of crisp bacon is the family drama that sideswipes your emotions taking this novel beyond a normal romance. Perfection is often what you can easily grab out of your refrigerator and make. Yep, that’s Nora Roberts to a tee!

Cinnamon Roll– An oooey, gooey wrapped up bundle of goodness. OMG….

Cinnamon-Rollimage-1 Really any Kristen Ashley novel is a guilty pleasure. It’s like that cinnamon roll that sits on the plate in front of you. You gaze at it longingly knowing that once you start eating it you won’t be able to put it down until you have licked the last bit of frosting off the plate. For me, that’s a Kristen Ashley novel. I stared at The Time In Between on my kindle and waited until I knew I had the time to read it straight through to the finish. It did not disappoint, just as that cinnamon roll never has… I wish I had one of each right now!

The Denver Omelet- with Cheese please!

Denver OMeletimg_1155  Penny Reid has written a wonderfully charming series about the Winston Brothers. These novels are quirky, fun, and have a ton of heart, just like a Denver Omelet. You have a hearty omelet filled with crunchy peppers and onion, and oh those bits of ham provide that bit of decadence and fun. In my world, I always add cheese, because well, cheese makes everything better. In the Winston Brothers world, Cletus is the cheese. If you’ve read these books, you know what I mean…

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes- 

Fluffy-Pumpkin-Pancakes-with-Butter-1img_0746 Who doesn’t love a stack of fluffy, buttery, dripped in syrup pancakes? I love them! This year I discovered the Others series by Anne Bishop. You may wonder how an urban fantasy series matches up with a stack of spicy pumpkin pancakes? Well, just as with this stack, you look at it and see pancakes. Yes, the butter is melting on the top of the stack, and the syrup is dripping off the sides. You think you know what you’re going to get. Then you take that first bite, and pow! The cinnamon and pumpkin flavor hit your taste buds. Surprise! Then you dig in and gobble up that stack. That’s exactly how I felt about this series. I had seen it and thought someday… Then when I actually picked it up and took that first bite? Wow…

The Egg Cup-

egg cupimg_1211-1 The egg cup. Oh so very civil and proper. You tap it with your spoon until you crack through the top and then eat the insides out of the shell. Alexander Rostov, the gentleman in A Gentleman in Moscow is the epitomy of civilized. Even though he is under house arrest in the grand Metropol hotel he is always elegant, cultured and charming. He and this egg in a cup had a lot in common. Smooth veneer, but with a little work you would taste that silky goodness that resides inside. All in a very civilized manner, of course!

This breakfast tag was so much fun to put together!  Warning though, if you choose to take part in this tag you will crave a massive breakfast at the end of it!

I am going to tag a few of my blogger friends. If you don’t feel like partaking, don’t worry about it!  If you do, pls tag me so I can read your breakfast match ups…

Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books

any of the ladies at Thrice Read

James @ This is My Truth Now

Eva@ Novel Deelights

Kristin @ Kristin Kraves Books

Have fun with it!  Until next Sunday, (I’m off to make breakfast now!)

Deb

 

 

This Chick Read: Warcross (Warcross #1) by Marie Lu

Set in a futuristic world where video games and real life interface, Emika, a seventeen year old bounty hunter, faces a moment of temptation that will change her life forever.  During the Warcross World Championships Emika hacks the game in a way that shows her face to the world and she goes from on the edge of homeless to world famous and a wild card entry into the Championships.

Hideo Tanaka is the child genius who invented glasses that interfaces his Warcross video game with real life. When Emika hacks his game he offers her a job as bounty hunter and gives her entrance into the Championships to work as his spy.

I do not play video games and was worried that I wouldn’t be able to get into this book because of that but I shouldn’t have worried. The world Marie Lu created was vivid, had amazing energy, and painted a 3-D picture for me to visualize and engage with. The games themselves were exciting, the action well written and Emika’s thought process as she deconstructed play exciting. I loved the game!

There was plenty of action to keep this book moving along at a fast pace, and when the action slowed down Emika’s relationship with Hideo painted the page with soft brush strokes. I didn’t know if I liked the fast paced gaming or the slower paced relationship better.

The only negative I had was about the ending to this book. However, I will have to trust that Marie Lu will manage to pull it all together in the next novel.  ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

Click this link to purchase!   Warcross Copyright 2017 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

This Chick Read: Chasing Christmas Eve (Heartbreaker Bay #4) by Jill Shalvis

I have been intrigued by Spencer throughout this series and was excited to finally be able to read his story! He has always been somewhat of a mystery. He is a millionaire, owns a businees and invents things, but in the previous novels we’ve only learned as much as those characters story arc’s brought us in contact him, and that was usually as supportive friend and sometimes troublemaker. In Chasing Christmas Eve we finally get the skinny on Spence, his background, how he made his money, and why he seems to be kind of a loner. 

Colbie Albright is new to Heartbreaker Bay and happens upon their charming courtyard fountain and is about to make a wish into it when she gets pushed into it by a wayward dog. Spencer comes to her rescue and is immediately charmed by her and feels that tug of interest. The chemistry between these two is explosive and pretty soon it makes Spencer forget his reasons for holding back from relationships. Colbie, although running away from her problems seems to find her muse, and true love in Spence. 

I love these Heartbreaker Bay novels. I mentioned before that as each story is written and we learn a little bit more about this group of friends, they become our friends. I’m totally invested in living through each of their stories and building that relationship with them even more. 

❤️❤️❤️❤️


Click this link to purchase!  Chasing Christmas Eve: A Heartbreaker Bay Novel

Copyright 2017 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

This Chick Read: Balancing the Scales (Brits in Manhattan #1) by Laura Carter

Becky Fletcher is a patisserie chef in a hot Manhattan restaurant when she meets hotshot lawyer Drew Harrington at a bagel cart. He is immediately drawn to her looks and is attracted by that fresh British accent. Becky is a bit standoffish until Drew shows up at her work and starts to charm her with his cocky American humor. She is not interested in a relationship or hookup and despite their attraction and Drew’s busy schedule they agree to be “just friends”.

Of course, laws of attraction, and the rule romance books dictates that their just friends rule, will turn into a friends with benefits situation. As they get to know each other, they come to care for each other and that title of friend starts to not be enough. What Drew doesn’t know, and the reader finds out slowly, is that Becky left some baggage behind in England that she needs to clean up.

Drew and Becky at first glance don’t seem to be the right fit. He’s trying to make partner at his law firm and she works bakers hours. Yet somehow the two of them find a connection that works. I liked Becky’s sweet personality and once I learned her back story admired her for taking a stand and walking away from a bad relationship. Separately they each needed to grow, and together they gave each other the strength and support required to do it. A couple to root for and feel good about!

If you are a fan of Laura Carter’s you may miss the romantic suspense from her other novels, but you won’t be disappointed. This is a sweet love story with heart and a fun Saturday afternoon read. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

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

Click this link to purchase! Balancing the Scales (Brits in Manhattan)

Copyright 2017 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: My book review guidelines…

I follow my own set of book review rules. I mean, they aren’t set in stone, but I do try to be consistent with how I write my review, my ratings system, and well, I try to be honorable. I try to respect the amount of work that goes into producing a book. Most of the time.

I thought I’d share my book review process. It’s not set in stone or anything, but this is generally how I craft my review.

  1. READ A BOOK: This one is pretty easy! I have to admit that I don’t stretch my reading boundaries a whole lot. I like Romances, YA, Fantasy, Sci-Fi and a little Mystery, though typically my type of mystery is romantic suspense and not a cop procedural. I do like to watch Law & Order, but I don’t like to read about it. So, I stay in my wheelhouse. I find if I go outside a genre I enjoy, then my rating for the book suffers. It may be a great book! It’s just not a book I usually like to read. So, I don’t.
  2. CHARACTER GROWTH: I am a reviewer that likes to identify and feel something for a character. I talk about the hero, heroine, villain etc. If I don’t see growth from my main characters through the novel the rating suffers. I like to feel a connection and more importantly, I like the characters to connect with each other.
  3. PLOT DEVELOPMENT: This one seems pretty obvious to me, but there must be some sort of conflict that the characters are trying to overcome in order for there to be a resolution and an end to the novel. I’m sure you’d all agree that you hate wasting time on a book that doesn’t go anywhere!  I hate those cliffhanger novels where I have to read 3-5 books just to get to the resolution of the main conflict. AARGGHH!!! Kill me now!
  4. FEELINGS: Humor, passion, anger, pain, hell- even hunger!  Let’s pack that novel full of emotions. Please, please, make me FEEL something. If you can make me laugh, cry, fall in love, then most likely you’ll get at least a three rating from me. If the feelings are not there I probably won’t like the book. Don’t like? Don’t review.
  5. RATINGS: I don’t think I’ve ever given a one star- or heart actually, since I give hearts not stars. However, I have given out a couple of two ratings. I will only give out a two or two and a half rating and review it if I was upset by something in the story line or was sickened by the direction an author has taken and want to make a statement against that plot point. I can think of one off hand where I gave the book a two and a half rating and ranted about the hero in the novel. He was a stalker yet they created a romance out of it. I wanted to ask about why women find that attractive. So I reviewed the book. Normally I would respect the authors efforts and just not review the book.
  6. FUDGING: This is kind of a side note, but do you ever give a book a five rating and then re-read the book and ask why you gave it that rating, when it was really only a four? I’ve done that, I think everyone has! I have some authors that I just love, love, love. Maybe I give them a half point higher than the book deserves because I just love the author that much. I’m in the moment, I’ve finished the book and am in the haze of that world while writing the review. Maybe I should’ve sat on it for a week. Oh well, I’m not going to lose sleep on it, I doubt anyone will fault me for it. Will you?
  7. REQUESTS: I have received a TON of book review requests from independent authors lately. I love that! However, I am one person writing on my blog and only have so much time in a week to read and write. So, unfortunately I have to limit my requests to just an occasional newbie. When I do read a brand new author’s book, I try to read it with the same eye for character development, plot growth and feelings I mentioned above. Every writer is equal in my eyes. (Unless you’re a favorite, HA!) I have read quite a few brand new (to me at least) authors this year and have been pleased to add them to my list of must reads.

I’ve seen a lot of book review bloggers write about trying to read outside their comfort zone, but I have to ask why?  OK, sure, every once in awhile I read a best seller that I normally wouldn’t have picked up. I’ll admit to feeling pretty good about myself for making that effort. However, if I love to read in a certain genre, and I write 3-4 reviews a week, shouldn’t I spend more time reading what I love so my writing will be a reflection of those feelings?

Do you read outside your favorite genres because you are bending to peer pressure?

How do you handle reading your favorite authors novels? Are you fair?

Do you ever make a statement with your review? Should a reviewer make a statement?

What are your book review rules???

I’d love to have a discussion and learn about you!

Until next Sunday,

Deb

This Chick Read:  a Chapter Excerpt of Hot and Badgered by Shelly Laurenston

Shelly Laurenstons new novel Hot and Badgered doesn’t come out until March 27th, but when offered the chance to read a chapter in advance of the release, I just couldn’t pass it up! I zipped through this chapter, once again loving the humor, dialog, and action. Her novels are unlike any other shifter novels. 

Here’s the synopsis:

It’s not every day that a beautiful naked woman falls out of the sky and lands face-first on grizzly shifter Berg Dunn’s hotel balcony. Definitely they don’t usually hop up and demand his best gun. Berg gives the lady a grizzly-sized t-shirt and his cell phone, too, just on style points. And then she’s gone, taking his XXXL heart with her. By the time he figures out she’s a honey badger shifter, it’s too late.

 Honey badgers are survivors. Brutal, vicious, ill-tempered survivors. Or maybe Charlie Taylor-MacKilligan is just pissed that her useless father is trying to get them all killed again, and won’t even tell her how. Protecting her little sisters has always been her job, and she’s not about to let some pesky giant grizzly protection specialist with a network of every shifter in Manhattan get in her way. Wait. He’s trying to help? Why would he want to do that? He’s cute enough that she just might let him tag along—that is, if he can keep up . . .

Unfortunately, we have a little while to wait until this fun new novel in The Honey Badgers series comes out. I can’t wait!


Click this link to pre-order! 

Hot and Badgered (The Honey Badgers)

This Chick Read: Sweet Tea and Sympathy (Southern Eclectic book 1) by Molly Harper

Margot Cary’s career as an event planner in Chicago ends with the biggest splash in Chicago’s elite society and her name becomes synonymous with failure. What she needs is some time off for people to forget what happened, and for her to dust off her resume and find a new job. Out of the blue, her great Aunt gives her a call and asks her to come help run the family business, The McCreary Family Funeral Home and Bait Shop. Yep, you wouldn’t think the two would have anything to do with each other, and no, they did not use someone’s toes as bait. Margot is skeptical about the job and doesn’t know anything about her father or his side of the family, but desperation and the need for a job makes her accept the job, at least temporarily. However, along with the job comes a family that she never knew she wanted, and a father who she thought didn’t want her.

This novel is a little bit family saga and a little bit romance. Don’t let that hint of romance fool you, this novel is about a girl who never knew she was lost, until she was found.  I loved the contrast of Margot’s fish out of water city girl attitude and the kookiness of her small town family. They had a ton of heart and the way they melted Margot’s endeared them to me and made me relish those scenes.

When Margot and Kyle meet, Margot is drawn to his sweet sadness. I don’t want to say their love story was lackluster, but it was certainly secondary to her need to learn about this new family and get to know a father that she felt abandoned her as a child and that didn’t disappoint me at all. Kyle was certainly wonderful, but he had a lot going on in his head too. I liked how the gentle Southern pace of their romance allowed the reader to focus on the other more central story line about family and roots and also made Kyle’s journey of acceptance of this new relationship feel real.

The name of this book, Sweet Tea and Sympathy was certainly apropos both to the southern roots of Margot’s family and also some of the challenges that needed to be overcome by both Margot and Kyle before finding happiness. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Sweet Tea

Click this link to purchase!  Sweet Tea and Sympathy (Southern Eclectic Book 1)

Copyright 2017 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

This Chick Read: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Amor Towles has written an elegantly worded story about Alexander Rostov, an aristocrat who was sentenced to house arrest in the grand Metropol hotel in Moscow. Set in 1922 when being an aristocrat was considered dangerous to the new Bolshevik regime, this fascinating glimpse into life at that time captured my heart, as did Alexander Rostov. 

You may think Alexander’s life would be encapsulated, and in some ways it was. He couldn’t leave the Metropol, but as it was located across the street from the Kremlin, everyone at some point passed through its doors. Alexander, used to living in the upper eschelon of society, did have to make changes. Gone were the large room of suites he had inhabited before his sentence. He was now relegated to life in a room the size of a closet. However, his life was really lived outside of his rooms. He dined in the beautiful restaurants in the hotel and his family became the people who worked and stayed in the hotel. His culture and charm are completely alien to the age we live in now, but the wording was so descriptive that I could easily visualize it, although I’ll admit to seeing it’s scenes in black and white, with Cary Grant cast as Alexander.

The true heart in this story were in the relationships he built with the people around him. Nina, a young girl of six at the beginning of this book was his adventurous friend who led him on a journey of secret passageways and scientific experiments. His friend Mischa, who came and went from the hotel bringing news about the outside world and the political changes Russia was going through. Anna, an actress that he builds a longstanding relationship with, Marina, the seamstress and friend, and his evolving relationship with the Maitre’d and chef at the restaurant who eventually become his best friends. Sophia, however was the relationship that helped Alexander evolve beyond a gentleman into a father. Their relationship at times touched and broke my heart.

I listened to the audio for this book and while it was long, Nicholas Guy Smith’s voice wove this tale and did justice to the beautiful prose. The story of Russia’s growth from a monarchy to communism was a part of history that I wasn’t that familiar but became enraptured. I will definitely be looking for more books from this era.  ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️


Click the link to purchase this book!  A Gentleman in Moscow: A Novel

Copyright 2017 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved