This Chick Read: The Matrimonial Advertisement (Parish Orphans of Devon #1) by Mimi Matthews

When ex-army captain Justin Thornhill advertises for a wife in the paper he expects to receive interviews with homely widows and women of a certain rank. He doesn’t expect the beautiful Helena Reynolds. Despite his misgivings over why an obvious Lady is applying to be his wife he jumps at the chance to have this lady as his wife. It can’t come soon enough for Helena is on the run from a “bad situation” and needs marriage to find her freedom.

I was fascinated with Mimi Matthews writing when I read The Siren of Sussex and knew that I was going to read her entire catalog, starting with this series, and I am not disappointed! Our two protagonists were so interesting! Justin Thornhill was an orphan who grew up in a nearby village and joined the army to become something and earn his fortune. Captured by Indians, he was tortured and bears scars on his body and face, things that only make him more perfect to Helena as she needs a strong hero to save her. She is the daughter and sister of an Earl. Her brother may be dead in India and her cousin has taken over the Earldom. However, her brother left her all of the money. As women are property the only way she can save herself is by marrying someone. Justin Thornhill’s advertisement is the perfect escape.

Mimi Mathews gives us more than great characters in her stories, she provides historical context and facts. She also doesn’t hide from the hard truth. How women were treated, the horrible atrocities for Indians during the British colonialism of India, and more. Her books are historical romances, but they are not light on hard facts and truths, which are a difference maker when it comes to my feelings on a book. In this case, those facts were interesting, provided context, and gave our heroine’s story more conflict providing more enjoyment. I finished this novel and immediately moved on to the next, I liked it so much.

This novel was certainly a romance, so never fear if that is what you are looking for but the romance is specific to the time in history. A kiss can be just as devastating to a scene as intercourse, and be just as exciting. If you are looking for a bodice ripper, this is not that. The Matrimonial Advertisement is storytelling at its best. Great depth of character, romance, and conflict with a hero that is swoon worthy and a heroine who is bright and daring. A five star read from this blogger!

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* The Matrimonial Advertisement (Parish Orphans of Devon)

Copyright 2022 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

This Chick Read: Made In Manhattan by Lauren Layne

Violet was brought up in the privileged upper east side of Manhattan and knows how to navigate that world. When she’s asked to help introduce Cain Stone to society as a possible heir apparent to the family business, she knows she’s going to have to do a little Eliza Doolittle-ing. Cain’s New Orleans joie de vivre is all man, but it’s not an upper east side man. As Violet gets to know Cain she realizes that he is smart, driven, and it shouldn’t matter what he looks like if he’s the right man for the job.

I love opposites attract novels. Violet seems to be all uptight upper east side, and Cain is low-country New Awlins casual and you wouldn’t think those two would bring the heat, but there’s an immediate tension between the two characters that makes their story fun. There is also some depth to these two characters. Violet was orphaned as a child and raised by Cain’s grandmother and wants to belong to a family. Cain never knew his father but built a business and has created his own sense of worth through that success. They are both insecure when it comes to family and that connects them despite their outside differences.

I read Lauren Layne novels because I know I’m going to get characters who I can believe in, an easy to read story, and hidden depth that somehow always surprises me. Made In Manhattan is all of that plus some sizzling tension between our hero and heroine that made me want to keep turning the pages. This is the perfect weekend read, so snuggle into that blanket and check out Violet and Cain’s story. You’ll be hooked from the first page. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase!* Made in Manhattan

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 Family You Make (Sunrise Cove #1) by Jill Shalvis

Levi Cutler has come home to Sunrise Cove for a visit with his family but decides to take the Gondola up the mountain to catch the view from high above. As he is heading to the top a storm sweeps in and the mountain evacuates, including a nurse named Jane. A strong wind snatches the gondola right in front of theirs off the line leaving Levi and Jane clinging to their lives, and each other. Levi’s phone picks up a signal and he calls home to say goodbye but can’t break his mother’s heart. Instead he tells her he has a girlfriend named Jane which he knows will make her ecstatic. Of course, they survive this incident but now they have his family and a fake relationship to navigate. A relationship that Levi would like to make real.

This novel had a real fast start as the first scene is inside the gondola and sets the pace pretty quickly. Our two protagonists are pretty different. Levi is a tech guy who was brought up in an outdoorsman family and Jane is a loner who had been shuffled from family member to family member, never really belonging to anyone. Surprisingly it was easy to see how they were a good fit. Levi also was an outsider within his own family, or at least that was how he saw it. He understands Jane and doesn’t let her standoffishness scare her off. I liked his persistence and loved that she was hesitant but also bold.

I can always count on Jill Shalvis to write in a great group of friends who are quirky and interesting, giving the main characters some relief from having to carry a book. There is a side romance in this novel between Levi and Jane’s best friends that is interesting and cute. I am hoping we get to explore their relationship further in a future book! I am also looking forward to seeing Levi’s sister get her own story as she’s got an interesting arc of her own that needs exploring!

If you’re looking for a good weekend read that won’t take too long to get through, then The Family You Make may be the right book for you. I read it on my vacation and it hit my sweet spot for fun characters that will take me away from the drag of hours of flying, making the time go by quickly. It was a sweet, cute story with some emotional depth for our main characters and the right book at the right time for me!

❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click the link to purchase!* The Family You Make: A Novel (The Sunrise Cove Series, 1)

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 Siren of Sussex (Belles of London #1) by Mimi Matthews

Evelyn Maltravers has traveled from the countryside of Sussex to the social scene in London, needing to make a match so that she and her younger sisters futures will be secure. Although she may not be traditionally beautiful, Evie knows that she needs to set herself apart in order to catch a man’s eye. She thinks her Appalusian stallion and haute couture, along with her superb horsemanship might do just that. When she approaches an Indian tailor, Ahmad Malik, to partner with her in her scheme he decides to attach his rising star to this unique and intriguing woman. What neither of them count on is their unfailing attraction and growing friendship. Can this pair from two different worlds and backgrounds face the bigotry of the upper class and find success so they can be together? This story captured my interest but it was Evie and Ahmad who captured my heart. What a fantastic novel!

I was unprepared for how I would react to a historical romance novel that delved into the history of England’s habitation and conquering of India. The narration has the reader seeing through both Evie’s and Ahmad’s eyes and it is eye opening to see how the heritage is taken for granted without thought to what those people may have gone through. Ahmad’s own background of a mixed heritage Indian man who belonged in neither India or England was interesting, revealing, and inspiring. Evie’s character growth as she comes to care for Ahmad and want to know him, his background, and what it would mean to be in his place in society took this novel to another plane of existence. I felt like what I was reading was relevant and real, not just an interracial romance novel. I actually felt Ahmad’s pain and could see why he chose the path he was on. I think it’s the first time in a long time where I was so interested in a subject that it made me do my own research and want to know more.

Evie was also a different sort of heroine. She was not frivolous or flighty, she had a plan and if it wasn’t for her growing feelings for Ahmad, she would have stuck to it. I enjoyed her own path of discovery she made about herself, her decisions about what was important, and also seeing how she came to that decision. This was not a fluffy novel, the story led our hero and heroine down some dark paths which altered the course of their lives. Sometimes you read a novel at the right time and it hits all of your sweet spots. This was my right time to read The Siren of Sussex.

I have never heard of Mimi Matthews nor read one of her books prior to picking up this novel. You can be certain I am going through her backlog and choosing my next read based upon all of my feelings for The Siren of Sussex and how this author led me down that path. Sometimes the reading gods are looking after us, aren’t they?

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase!* The Siren of Sussex (Belles of London)

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 Becoming (The Dragon Heart Legacy #2) by Nora Roberts

At the end of the previous novel The Awakening, Breen had left her legacy in Talamh to go back home to the US to see her friends and tidy up the life she’ll be leaving behind when she returns. She knows that despite the growth of her powers she still needs training and can’t remain in the US too long while her evil Grandfather is trying to break through to Talamh to conquer and rule. Despite her saying she would return Keegan, the man who leads Talamh, and her lover, can’t take the chance that she won’t return and comes to take her back, and accidentally transfers her best friend Marco as well. Now she and Marco are in Talamh, where fairies, dragons, and mermaids reside to try to help save Talamh.

The uber talented Nora Roberts doesn’t always hit a home run when she writes fantasy novels and The Becoming, for me, follows that theme. I love the world she has created. Talamh is one of those places we’d all like to visit, a veritable fantasy land filled with gorgeous creatures both animal and human. Despite our heroine’s love for her family in this world I just don’t feel a connection between she and Keegan who is her love interest. He seems to have a switch that turns on and off. He wants her, he doesn’t have time for her, he is a taskmaster, and then he is a lover. It may just be that if I were Breen I would’ve looked elsewhere for a partner. Yes, Keegan is their leader, but leading is not always the best qualification for love.

I was so happy that Marco’s story arc expanded. He is so much fun and his own love story gave me what I needed. Romance! It also helps that he is just so likable and seeing Talamh through his eyes is so much fun.

I am looking forward to the third novel in this series because I want to see how the author will tie everything up. Keegan needs to show a little emotion for Breen. How will they end their war with her grandfather? Will Marco and his lover find happiness? There are a lot of pieces that need resolving and Ms. Roberts is very good at capturing all of those loose ends into a fancy bow.

❤️❤️❤️❣️

Copyright 2022 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved.

Click this link to purchase!* The Becoming: The Dragon Heart Legacy, Book 2 (The Dragon Heart Legacy, 2)

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

This Chick Read: Engagement and Espionage (Solving for Pie: Cletus and Jenn mysteries book #1) by Penny Reid

Any book by Penny Reid is on my must read list, but “Engagement and Espionage” came out a year ago last summer. Why did I wait so long to read it? I loved Cletus and Jenn’s romance “Beard Science” and let’s face it, Cletus is one of the greatest side characters in a series, EVER. I think I didn’t really know what to expect. I mean we already read their love story so to now give them a mystery to solve? It just seemed kind of odd, but that shouldn’t have been a turn-off! It wasn’t until I read the synopsis for Beard in Hiding” and saw that it was a story about Jenn’s mom, that I realized I really needed to kick it in and read this book. You know what? I LOVED IT.

This novel takes place after “Beard Science” and before several other novels that I’ve already read. It’s a continuation of Cletus and Jenn’s romance because they are not yet married and Jenn is still buried under banana cake and pie. Her mother is still domineering and Cletus is starting to lose patience with his erstwhile fiancée. When someone starts messing with the farmers who provide Jennifer with her products to make her award-winning cakes and pies Cletus and Jenn investigate. Hijinks prevail but the under lining theme of love and honor between our hero and heroine stands strong.

If you have never listened to one of these novels via audiobook, please do! Chris Brinkley and Joy Nash do a great job of voicing these characters and bringing them to life. As the story moves forward and I’m listening to where each of these characters are in the life of the Winston series I realize how much I love this world that Penny Reid has created. The characters are kind of nutty but the world is filled with love and camaraderie. This is why I keep returning to these books and why I’m smacking myself that I didn’t read this one a little sooner. That’s ok, the second book in this series is already out so that means I don’t have to wait to pick it up! See, bright side! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Engagement and Espionage: A Sexy, Small Town Cozy Mystery (Solving for Pie: Cletus and Jenn Mysteries Book 1)

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 Untold Story (The Invisible Library #8) by Genevieve Cogman

Being a librarian isn’t all about books, sometimes it’s about delving into mysteries and solving puzzles. After finding out that the greatest enemy of the library, Alberich, may be her father, Irene must find out the truth. When the library orders her to kill him, while at the same time he comes forward to sign a truce she must plumb the depths of the library to save her allies and bring light to its origin. The Untold Story is the conclusion to this mystery that all fans have been eagerly anticipating.

The Dark Archive ended with Irene discovering the truth about her relationship to Alberich and that is where The Untold Story starts up. Faced with the daunting task of either killing him or getting him to sign the truce, she realizes that there is a bigger story being left untold. One that Alberich has been trying to dig into since he was a young librarian and is what started him on his journey to being the ultimate bad guy. Never fear, Irene brings along her faithful friends to help her dig and boy do they find a story.

Without giving away what is found out, how, why, and what happens, I will just give a little commentary about our characters. I have come to rely on Irene for her practicality. When this series first started she seemed a little more ordinary but as the series went on her strength and power seemed to grow, or at least she knew how to use them more or was more willing at certain moments. What never changed were her reasons. She has a practical nature that appeals to me the reader and the woman and when she used her librarian powers she was cautious. A great balance to the “ask questions later” style of her partner and lover Kai.

There are some great resolutions in this novel. I don’t know if this means this series is over or if we’ll have a brand new storyline. I’m hoping for the second because I’ve grown to love these stories as well as Irene, Kai, Vale, and Silver. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

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

Click this link to purchase!* The Untold Story (The Invisible Library 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.

Merry Christmas!

My husband and I decided to go on a trip this Christmas instead of buying each other gifts. We landed in Cairo Egypt at 1030pm last night and are spending the day relaxing in a jet lagged fog. Tomorrow we start to explore things beyond the pool and hotel restaurant!

If you are spending this holiday season at home or away please have a joyous day. If you are spending it alone please reach out to a friend or neighbor who may welcome your call or visit. This is the season to embrace each other no matter our similarities or differences. Sending virtual hugs your way!

This Chick Read: Golden Trail (The Burg #3) by Kristen Ashley

Tanner Layne and Raquel Merrick fell in love when they were young. Happiness reigned supreme until Rocky left suddenly without any explanation, moving back in with her family. Heartbroken and drunk, Tanner makes the mistake of sleeping with a woman who then becomes pregnant and doing the right thing, he marries her. They go on to have another boy before he divorces her and moves across country to get away from his memories. After many years he moves back to be close to his kids and becomes shot while undergoing an investigation. This incident brings Rocky back into his life. At first he’s not sure he wants her there, but then he sees her goodness and holds tight. This time, willing to fight her demons with her to keep her in his life.

I am re-reading the Burg series, and recalling why I’m a fan of this author. Tanner and Rocky’s story is good old fashioned Kristen Ashley. Full of emotional angst, drama, romance, laughter, and tears Golden Trail still has the KA sizzle, but it also has a great story intertwined with all of that heat. For a few years this author was trying new things and I’ll admit, they just weren’t for me. Golden Trail reminds me of her more recent books like Still Standing where the men are alphas and their actions were filled with emotions.

Reading a novel like Golden Trail, after not having read it for years was like coming home to one of my favorite stories. I did remember the emotional trauma that filled this story but it didn’t tint my memories with anything but gold. This is a really good book folks and if like me, you haven’t read it for awhile I would recommend picking it up again soon. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase this book!* Golden Trail (The ‘Burg Series Book 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: Fated Blades (Kinsmen #3) by Ilona Andrews

When Ilona Andrews releases a book I eagerly anticipate the drop into my kindle so I can read it right away. Fated Blades is the third novel in an older series called the Kinsmen. I’ve read the first two books a couple of times each but I’ll admit it’s been awhile. Not letting that stop me from reading this one right away I jumped right in. It is novella length so it didn’t take me more than 3-4 hours to read it in its entirety.

Fated Blades takes place on Rada where a few families all with Seca powers reside. This power enables them to become bladed, and as such their history is filled with violence, but currently people have forgotten who dangerous they can be. The Adlers and Baenas are two of the families with these powers and despite living relatively close, they consider each other enemies. When Ramona Adler shows up in Matias Baena’s place of business and tells him that her husband and his wife have run away together, and they both stole their research. The two of them join forces to investigate who is behind this plot and are determined to bring them down. What they haven’t taken into consideration is their immediate attraction and connection, something that the two of them may not be able to live without.

As I do with all Illona Andrews books, I read a book first, and then follow it up with listening to the audiobook pretty quickly after. I think with this one, I’ll need to go back and start at the beginning of the series. Not because this book wasn’t good, it certainly was, but because I feel like there are some details I’m missing that may make my journey with this story even better.

As with the Hidden Legacy series these novels fall into the romantic fantasy genre. My favorite genre and this author duo excels at bringing life to the page and their characters. Fated Blades was no different, and in fact I’d like to see a longer length novel for these characters or at least in this world. If you’re a fan of this author I’m sure you’ll feel no different. If you haven’t read the previous two books, you don’t really need to, but like I said above, a refresher might have been necessary and might enhance your pleasure in this well written novel.

❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase this book!* Fated Blades

Copyright 2021 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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