It’s Monday, what are you reading? (8/2/21)

I know this has happened to all of us and it’s fun when it does. I’ve discovered a fun new author that has a LOT of books already written and I’ve gotten sucked into a fantasy series that is on Kindle Unlimited and I’m jumping from one book to the next pretty quickly. If you don’t like fantasy novels, you may not like my post this week. I’ll jump right into it!

JUST FINISHED

This is book #3 in the Air Awakens series by Elise Kova, a new author to me but one I think I’m going to be reading a lot of in the future. Our heroine Vhalla, has fought to win the heart of her Prince, uses her powers for her country, and seems to be disappointed a lot by what happens around her. I love fantasy novels with a strong heroine and while Vhalla didn’t start that way, by book #3 she was a rock. If you’re looking for a fast series, this one if full of action and great characters.

JUST STARTED

Book #4 in the Air Awakens series and one I’ll be cracking open as soon as I stop writing this post. LOL. The perfect Sunday is one where you can lose yourself to some great characters and I MUST find out where Vhalla Yarl’s journey takes her.

What books are you journeying with this week? I’d love to hear about the books you’re reading in the comments.

Happy Monday and happy reading!

Deb

This Chick Read: The Invitation by Vi Keeland

When Stella’s roommate sticks her with two months back rent, sneaks out in the middle of the night, AND takes her favorite pairs of shoes she doesn’t think twice about pretending to be her and going to a ritzy wedding in her place. She is having a blast and has met the most handsome man! Unfortunately, things take a turn when that man turns out to be the bride’s brother and the person who has paid for this elegant and expensive wedding. Running out before she gets kicked out seems the right choice until she realizes she left her phone behind on the table and she has to contact Hudson to get her phone back.

Stella is NOT the type of person who gets run out of weddings. She is smart, hard-working, and is strictly by the book. This wedding farce ends up changing her life. She meets the bride, a woman who becomes her biggest supporter and friend, gets a loan for her business start-up, and faces off against Hudson the most handsome man she’s ever met and the man who holds all the cards in her new business. What she doesn’t expect is that all of her dreams will come true.

It’s been awhile since I’ve read a Vi Keeland novel and I honestly can’t remember why I ever stopped. The Invitation was such fun! Part of what I loved was the start up of Stella’s perfume business. The fact that Hudson took part in creating that success gave their characters reasons to be together beyond just attraction. I didn’t expect that depth to their characters and enjoyed that interaction as well as the initial attraction between them. Another aspect of this novel that I really enjoyed was Stella’s addiction to purchasing and reading other people’s diaries. How interesting! I didn’t even know this was a thing and have to admit to being curious over whether these books are really out there being sold. It was also a kind of cool tie-in to the conflict in the story.

If you are looking for a fun novel with some hidden depth give The Invitation a look. I enjoyed the characters, their romance, and the story that surrounded it. It’s not often a romance surprises me and this one really did. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase this book!* The Invitation

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: Pause by Kylie Scott

Anna wakes up from a coma after a horrifying accident and finds out that her entire life has changed. In a coma for quite a long while she finds out her husband has cheated on her with her best friend and her job at that best friends hotel is not longer available. She had been replaced in that position too. Living back at home at her parents while going through physical therapy is a necessity but not a long term goal. When she searches out one of the other accident victims Leif, he suggests an alternative. She can live in his spare room while she gets her life back on track.

I can’t imagine waking up to find my life changed irrevocably as Anna does but she doesn’t have any choices open to her. She needs to learn to walk again, so she goes to therapy. She won’t put up with a cheater, so she moves in with her parents temporarily. She can’t really work while getting her strength back but when she can what will she do? When she shows up on Leif’s doorstep she doesn’t know that he sat by her bedside reading to her. When she finds out this long-haired, tattoo artist spend his free time with her she is surprised, but when she gets to know him she finds out that he’s a great guy. His offer of a place to live may be a bad idea but she wants out of her parents place and so she takes him up on it. Of course, eventually they become more than just roommates but what she learns about his character is a juxtaposition to his hot outward appearance.

This story is an easy read and both Anna and Leif are totally likable characters. I’ve always enjoyed the opposites attract love stories and this one checked that box. Anna was a country club, straight laced character. Leif’s artistic tattoo artist was not, obviously. The thing they had in common meant that they understood each other on a granular level and I liked that. He was not a he-man, my way or the highway kind of guy. He was a humorous, gentle contradiction which made him interesting to me as a reader. Add in a LOT of conflict from Anna’s ex and you get a solid love story! I bought into the two of them as a couple and Kylie Scott did a great job in the delivery. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Pause

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 Chicks Sunday Commentary: My Top 5 Most Anticipated Book Releases Aug’21

I’m barely getting my Top 5 list in before the end of the month….again. Now that I’m looking, oh boy are there a lot of great books coming out next month. My choices fall into several genres and you may find a new book that may not have been on your radar! Here are my Top 5 most anticipated book releases for next month.

#5 BOOK RELEASE

I haven’t read a Karina Halle book recently but from what I remember she writes fun and angsty romance novels. A perfect read to end my summer. This book looks cute!

Synopsis:

An ordinary summer goes royally awry when a prince and princess move next door, bringing their handsome bodyguard with them, from New York Times bestselling author Karina Halle.

Piper Evans: elementary school teacher by day–avid romance reader and anonymous podcaster by night. She has a quiet, reclusive life, taking care of her mother, who lives with mental illness, avoiding her regrettable ex, who bartends in town, and trying to make inroads in the tight-knit island community that still sees her, five years in, as an outsider.
And she’s happy with how things are–really–until British royals rent the property next to hers and their brooding bodyguard decides she’s a security threat. Piper quickly realizes that one person’s fairy tale is an ordinary woman’s nightmare as a media frenzy takes over the island and each run-in with Harrison Cole is hotter and more confusing than the last. But beneath Harrison’s no-nonsense exterior lies a soft heart, one that could tempt a woman who’s sworn off attachments into believing in white knights.

But when Piper finds herself smack in the middle of a royal scandal that rocks the island she’ll need more than Harrison’s strong arms to shield her–she’ll have to do a little rescuing herself. With careers, hearts, and friendships on the line, Piper and Harrison will have to decide what they’re willing to give up for a chance at their own happily ever after.

Click this link to purchase! The Royals Next Door

#4 BOOK RELEASE

I love a good romantic fantasy novel and boy this cover sure drew me in. Despite this being book 2 the publisher assures us this is a stand alone novel and one that I’m not going to wait to read. The plot looks as wonderful as that cover promises!

Synopsis:

She knew her hand in marriage would be sold. She had no idea a fae prince was the buyer.

Katria swore she’d never fall in love. She’s seen what “love” means through the cruelty of her family. So when she’s married off to the mysterious Lord Fenwood for a handsome price, all Katria wants is a better life than the one she’s leaving. Feelings are off the table.

But her new husband makes not falling in love difficult.

As their attraction begins to grow, so too do the oddities within her new life: strange rules, screams in the night, and attacks by fae that Katria never thought were real. When she witnesses a ritual not meant for human eyes, Katria finds herself spirited away to the land of Midscape.

Surviving the fae wilds as a human is hard enough. Katria must survive as a human who accidently pilfered the magic of ancient kings – magic a bloodthirsty king is ready to kill her for in order to keep his stolen throne – and her new husband is the rightful heir in hiding.

The power to save the fae is in her hands. But who will save her from a love she vowed never to feel?

Click this link to purchase! A Dance with the Fae Prince (Married to Magic)

#3 BOOK RELEASE

I am a sucker for a novel about shy women who are impelled to break out of their shell by saving their local library. What can I say? I’m love the underdog!

Synopsis:

Lonely librarian June Jones has never left the sleepy English village where she grew up. Shy and reclusive, the thirty-year-old would rather spend her time buried in books than venture out into the world. But when her library is threatened with closure, June is forced to emerge from behind the shelves to save the heart of her community and the place that holds the dearest memories of her mother.

Joining a band of eccentric yet dedicated locals in a campaign to keep the library, June opens herself up to other people for the first time since her mother died. It just so happens that her old school friend Alex Chen is back in town and willing to lend a helping hand. The kindhearted lawyer’s feelings for her are obvious to everyone but June, who won’t believe that anyone could ever care for her in that way.

To save the place and the books that mean so much to her, June must finally make some changes to her life. For once, she’s determined not to go down without a fight. And maybe, in fighting for her cherished library, June can save herself, too.

Click this link to purchase! The Last Chance Library

#2 BOOK RELEASE

Full disclosure. I have already read this book and if I hadn’t it would be in my #1 spot. I love Lucy Parker. Her books never disappoint and are a fun break from the stress of real life. Battle Royal hit all of my sweet spots. Two bakery chefs meet on a cooking show a la The British Baking Championship where one is a judge and the other a contestant. They go on to become adversaries in real life but when paired as the judges on that same baking show they become frenemies and then something more. This book was FABULOUS. I loved it and will be purchasing it in audio as well as on my kindle.

Synopsis:

Ready…

Four years ago, Sylvie Fairchild charmed the world as a contestant on the hit baking show, Operation Cake. Her ingenious, creations captivated viewers and intrigued all but one of the judges, Dominic De Vere. When Sylvie’s unicorn cake went spectacularly sideways, Dominic was quick to vote her off the show. Since then, Sylvie has used her fame to fulfill her dream of opening a bakery. The toast of Instagram, Sugar Fair has captured the attention of the Operation Cake producers…and a princess.

Set…

Dominic is His Majesty the King’s favorite baker and a veritable British institution. He’s brilliant, talented, hard-working. And an icy, starchy grouch. Learning that Sylvie will be joining him on the Operation Cake judging panel is enough to make the famously dour baker even more grim. Her fantastical baking is only slightly more troublesome than the fact that he can’t stop thinking about her pink-streaked hair and irrepressible dimple.

Match…

When Dominic and Sylvie learn they will be fighting for the once in a lifetime opportunity to bake a cake for the upcoming wedding of Princess Rose, the flour begins to fly as they fight to come out on top.

The bride adores Sylvie’s quirky style. The palace wants Dominic’s classic perfection.

In this royal battle, can there be room for two?

Click this link to purchase! Battle Royal: A Novel

MY MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK- AUG’21

I have mixed feelings about putting this book in the #1 spot because I have both liked and loathed this author’s novels. It’s because they get a reaction that I am looking forward to reading the newest addition to her list. This one does have a good synopsis!

Synopsis:

A woman struggling with burnout learns to embrace the unexpected—and the man she enlists to help her—in this heartfelt new romance by USA Today bestselling author Helen Hoang.

When violinist Anna Sun accidentally achieves career success with a viral YouTube video, she finds herself incapacitated and burned out from her attempts to replicate that moment. And when her longtime boyfriend announces he wants an open relationship before making a final commitment, a hurt and angry Anna decides that if he wants an open relationship, then she does, too. Translation: She’s going to embark on a string of one-night stands. The more unacceptable the men, the better.

That’s where tattooed, motorcycle-riding Quan Diep comes in. Their first attempt at a one-night stand fails, as does their second, and their third, because being with Quan is more than sex—he accepts Anna on an unconditional level that she herself has just started to understand. However, when tragedy strikes Anna’s family she takes on a role that she is ill-suited for, until the burden of expectations threatens to destroy her. Anna and Quan have to fight for their chance at love, but to do that, they also have to fight for themselves.

Click this link to purchase! The Heart Principle

Thanks for checking out my Top 5 books being released next month. I know that all lists are subjective and what I like others do not. If I missed your favorite I’d love to hear about it. Please let me know in the comments.

Happy Sunday!

Deb

I’m an Amazon Associate and if you purchase any of the above books through the links provided I’ll receive a small stipend.

Friday YA: Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon

When Evie’s dad left her mom for another woman she stopped believing in love. When one day when dropping all of her romances at a Free Little Library she develops a special power of being able to see a couple kissing and “see” their story it only seemed to confirm what she already believed. Love doesn’t last, so why put yourself in the way of heartbreak? There has to be a reason she has this power, right? Searching for it she picks up the book she took out of the library. It has a return to sender stamp which is just around the corner from her house. Taking the book to this dance studio might make these powers go away. Instead she finds herself signed up for a dance contest with a partner named X. A partner who makes her smile and her fingers tingle. But she doesn’t believe in love, right?

At first glance this story felt like it was going to be a magical bit of fun, and in a way it was, but it also pulled quite a punch! Evie was pretty cynical about love and she had good reason after all, but after she met the two elderly owners of the dance studio who were so obviously in love I thought she’d snap out of her cynicism. It i mathematically impossible for 100% of all couples to end in heart break. Underlying her cynicism was a deep resentment towards her father for how things ended with her mom, and the fact that he was obviously very much in love with his new lady. When she meets X and feels this connection she gives him such a hard time but they have to spend time together to build a connection for their dance competition that his spirit seeps into her soul.

Despite Evie’s heartbreak and anger I did like her, but out of the two X was the smooth charmer and easier to fall for. You could see how as they got closer she really wanted to believe love could last and people could be true to each other. Setting their romance in a story where ballroom dance was the power that bound them read so true. My husband and I took ballroom dance lessons many moons ago and to this day I still remember how connected I felt to him. You have to pay attention to your partners body to know where to step next. Knowing this I could see how X broke down Evie’s defenses. Add good looks and charm to the mechanics of learning the tango? Whew! She didn’t stand a chance.

I’ve liked all of the Nicola Yoon novels I’ve read. This reads slightly lighter than her others but I think if she wrote it during the pandemic she may have needed a subject matter that would be fun to write and for the readers magical to read. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Instructions for Dancing

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: Isn’t it Bromantic? (Bromance Book Club #4) by Lyssa Kay Adams

Super-sensitive pro-hockey player Vladimir Konnikov has been waiting eagerly for his childhood friend, and wife, Elena to finish her college education. His plans go awry when she tells him she wants a divorce instead of wanting to stay with him as his wife. Reeling, he lets her go. It takes his being injured during a game for Elena to commit to staying and taking care of him for them to have the time together that he wanted. But, he needs help from his bromance book club to help him figure out why they are not connecting.

Vlad was always one of my favorite side characters. The empathetic friend who makes everyone face their own issues in their relationships. It’s fun to hear his back story and face his comeuppance. Just as the other men had to face their fears, Vlad too needs to face his in order to learn how to win his wife back to him. We learn a lot about this couple that is surprising and once again miscommunication seems to be their enemy.

There were two sub plots in this novel that made it so interesting. One provides introspection into Vlad’s character and reveals his insecurities, and the other is the dangerous path Elena has chosen to follow that makes her face her past. Without both of these I think I would’ve scanned the novel and moved on. Instead through these plot devices I became more involved in both characters which made me enjoy the novel so much more.

If you haven’t read the previous novels in this series you may want to pick them up. However, I don’t think you have to read them in order to enjoy the story it may just help you understand what this group of guys are all about. If not, I think Vlad and Elena’s story can stand on their own. I do think if you read this one first you’ll go back and read the others. You’ll be too curious about this Bromance Book Club to deny yourselves the fun in reading their stories too. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase!* Isn’t It Bromantic? (Bromance Book Club)

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? (7/19/21)

Yesterday I seemed to have spent most of my time in the kitchen, baking a bit and then cooking for the family. I spent most of the time by myself and finished up an audiobook I’d been listening to, and blew through an Arc by Evie Dunsmore that was entertaining. I stayed up way to late reading it. Let’s just get down to it.

JUST FINISHED

I am in serious infatuation with this series. These books are technically historical romances but because they are set during the Women’s Suffrage Movement the author has enriched each story with the hardships each woman faces. In this case, Hattie was seen leaning into her Scotsman and showing interest in having a kiss. Something that tarnishes her reputation and can only be fixed by her marrying him. While her new husband now has wealth, he grew up in a coal mine town and his rise to good fortune is due to his need for revenge against the man who sired him. There is so much to this book, and I know I’ll be reading it again soon.

JUST STARTED

I am re-listening to a series that I’ve read before but not in awhile. I’ve been doing that a lot with Ilona Andrews books lately. Some of these series are tied together by characters and its fascinating to find those intertwining moments. This series has connections to their Innkeeper series, which is one of my favorites.

What books are you reading? Are they an old favorite like mine or something brand new? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

Happy Monday!

Deb

Friday YA: What I Like About You by Marisa Kanter

Halle has two personalities. Well, not really, but she does have two persona’s. She is everyday Halle who is going to start another new high school, this time while staying with her grandfather in Connecticut. She is also Kels who runs an online blog where she pairs cupcakes with book covers. Kels is much more bold and doesn’t have trouble expressing her thoughts and opinions and has a ton of online friends, including her best friend Nash. When Halle and her brother move in with her gramps and get ready to start school Halle comes face to face with her friend Nash except she doesn’t tell him that she’s Kels. She has every class with him and gets invited to sit with he and his friends at lunch and she’s terrified he will find out and be mad. Is it possible to have a love triangle when two of the people are yourself?

As a book blogger I thought One True Pastry and it’s concept totally cute. I loved the underlying story about the loss of her grandmother and how differently people handle grief. I thought Nash was adorable but thought Halle’s constant rejection of him painful. Of course, I was supposed to feel this way but if I were him I wouldn’t given up on her a long time ago. I loved her brother and his confused bi-sexuality and how to her he was just her brother regardless of how he identified. I liked Halle more than Kels because she had depth and wasn’t one dimensional like Kels. What I hated was the bashing back and forth of who should read YA. This one genre, of them all seems to have a reader identity crisis and this author tied into that. I thought it an interesting dialog within what should have been just another teen contemporary romance. It’s a dialog without a conclusion in real life, but it ran its course on these pages.

There is a reason to read ya novels, especially in the contemporary romance sub-genre. They are a quick escape from whatever is bothering you and typically contain very little depth. I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of depth I found in What I Like About You. It held my interest and made me slow down and think. Think about loss, recovery, faith, best friends, love, friendship and family. What I Like About You was particularly insightful and despite my age being outside the target demo (come on, I had to say it!) I enjoyed it very much.

❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* What I Like About You

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: Incense and Sensibility (The Rajes #3) by Sonali Dev

India Dashwood has been raised in a family of yoga teachers and is now one of the most sought after stress management coaches. Yash Rajes is the first Indian-American gubernatorial candidate and after is friend and body guard, Abdul, gets shot at a rally he starts having panic attacks and is questioning his life quest. Needing to regain control he seeks out his sister’s friend to help him manage his stress. First on the list is revealing the stress filled things he has buried through his entire night, including a magical night with India 10 years ago. Yash has always been the golden boy, his dream to create change for the people of California but after seeing India again his dreams have changed and include her in them, but their relationship may threaten the thing he wants most.

Another wonderful novel by Sonali Dev! Based loosely upon Jane Austen’s work, Sense and Sensibility, full of color and passion, and I’ll be honest it’s also a bit easier to read. India Dashwood as a very zen Elizabeth Bennett, is the responsible female in her family. Her mother is not annoying like Elizabeth’s own mother was, but she is a bit of a dreamer letting her insurance lapse just as she needs it, so India has filled the family matriarch shoes. Her younger sister China has found love, albeit one that seems requited only when convenient and doomed for heartbreak. India’s duty is to figure out how to pay the bills and keep her family together. When Yash, the man she has loved for the last 10 years, asks for her help, despite her misgivings she does the responsible thing and offers her help. She coaches Yash in yoga practices, helping him get through the pain and guilt of seeing his friend shot. At the same time they both have those same feelings they did so long ago.

I loved how calm and rational India was during every dramatic and heartbreaking scene. She felt so deeply yet carried on without wailing and crying like her younger sister despite having those same feelings inside. She truly was someone to emulate and didn’t get the credit she deserved. It’s no wonder Yash, who outside was the epitome of solidity but inside was a mush pot, needed India’s depth of character as his chosen mate. I could totally see her in the Governor’s mansion giving yoga instruction to her staff at daybreak.

Usually I get impatient for the couple to get together in a romance novel, but for some reason in Incense and Sensibility I had a well of patience. Maybe it was because Yash needed to work through so many different things and India would stay steadfast. I’m not sure. I am glad I had that patience because when he was finally ready his actions had so much more impact. The pace of this novel was absolutely perfect.

If you love this series, then like me, I think this may be your new favorite (I say that after reading every one of them!). Novels are a wonderful peek into different cultures and lifestyles and Sonali Dev packs her novels with a richness of scene as well as character. Your emotions will make you fall in love with the Rajes, India, and the rest of the characters in this story. You may also want to start taking up yoga. Hey, it could happen! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase this book!* Incense and Sensibility: A Novel (The Rajes Series, 3)

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: Death at the Crystal Palace (A Below Stairs Mystery #5) by Jennifer Ashley

While attending an exhibit at the Crystal Palace, cook and amateur investigator, Kat Holloway is approached by the Duchess of Covington who has heard of her reputation for solving crimes. The Duchess believes that someone is poisoning her and she’d like Kat to solve the mystery. As Kat steps in to negotiate, she calls on her friends to help. She sets up her friend Cynthia as a houseguest with Lady Covington to determine the dynamics of the household and receives police information from the beau of her assistant. At the same time she is drawn into another mystery by her friend and almost boyfriend Daniel to help him with a possible terrorist. When does Kat have time to cook?!!

I love these below stairs mysteries. Kat Holloway, although in service as a cook seems to have gained a reputation as a person who can solve crimes in different levels of society. Her place as a respected cook allows her to gain access below stairs while at the same time finding out all manners of things by the people living upstairs. It’s a fascinating look at the different levels of historical London society.

Her relationship with Daniel seems to have evolved emotionally yet Kat, being a single mother, is hesitant to allow anything untoward to happen. She is not the most trusting woman and Daniel’s predilection to going undercover as some sort of spy keeps her from going all in in her relationship with him. He, on the other hand, seems to be head over heels. Isn’t it nice when the man is more involved emotionally than the woman? She can take her time figuring out what she wants to do with her heart.

I’m not sure how this author switches gears from writing shifter romances to historical whodunnit’s but this series is very effective. It has charm, mystery, and a hint of romance that keeps me entertained and coming back for more. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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!* Death at the Crystal Palace (A Below Stairs Mystery)

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.