Friday YA: This Chick Read: Ignite the Stars by Maura Milan

For those of you who love swashbuckling action, you’ll LOVE Ignite the Stars! Ia Cocha is the scourge of the stars. Fighting against the Olympus Commonwealth, Ia is part terrorist, part Robin Hood. When the story starts she is trapped on a Tawny ship and is being taken captive. When it is found out that she is just a 17 year old girl and not an adult man, it’s determined that it would be better to bury her in an Academy of students in an unknown location than to put her on trial and kill her. That would look bad, I guess? When she gets to the Academy she is a prisoner of sorts, but able to roam free. She is kept from flying but her mind is always looking for an escape.

Brinn, Ia’s roommate, has a secret. One that she is desperate to keep, but Ia figures her out pretty quickly and blackmails her into doing something for her. Through the sharing of this secret Ia and Brinn develop a friendship of sorts. Brinn, who is kind of prickly because she doesn’t let herself get close to anyone, can let Ia close because she knows her secret. It is this friendship that drives the book. We learn that no one is who we think they are. Ia the terrorist actually has empathy and fights for the underdogs and Brinn the loner comes face to face with her heritage and embraces it. When it finally happens, these two are a powerful team.

There are a whole other cast of characters in this novel. Heroic figures and villainous ones fill the classrooms. Flight Master Knives, just out of school himself, is Ia’s jailer and love interest. Not as gruesome as that sounds, I swear! He has his own issues with the Olympus Commonwealth, most notably his father who is an Admiral and a not so nice character. This love connection between he and Ia is PG rated, but it does allow both of their characters to show another side. 

I love a fast moving plot and Ignite the Stars was quick, emotional, and fun. It’s hard to believe this was Maura Milan’s debut novel. It seemed like every character had their own hidden battle they were fighting. I’ll admit that Brinn was probably my favorite character, but Ia was a close second. They were both underdogs, and I do like to root for the underdog. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“I’ve been looking for a book to appease by craving for more sci-fi adventure after I finished Obsidio, and let me tell you that Ignite the Stars did the trick! You’re dropped right into the action, and it doesn’t stop until the very end. I fell absolutely in love with our cast of characters and adored how each had their own unique story that eventually intertwined.” A Myriad of Books

“For all its shortcomings, Ignite the Stars was a decent, easy read. Knives and Brinn are strong deuteragonists, and Maura Milan has a good deal of fun with the supporting cast. As socially conscious YA, the story integrates a timely if heavy-handed political message on the refugee crisis. As a space opera…eh.” Serendipitous Reads

Click this link to purchase!* Ignite the Stars

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

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This Chick Read: Demon’s Mercy (Dark Protector’s #9) by Rebecca Zanetti

The Fae have decided to come out of hiding and save the world from being destroyed when the Seven form and dimensions collide. Mercy O’Malley is supposed to take out Logan Kyllwood, the last man set to join the Seven, but when she gets near him her blood sizzles and her heartbeat quickens. When she decides to kidnap him instead Logan goes along with it trying to figure out this new danger. Needless to say, neither one of them fights against the pull they have for each other even though they are fated to be on opposite sides of this war.

Logan was born a warrior and even though he is the youngest Kyllwood brother he has taken on a significant task of saving their world by joining the mysterious Seven. As with all of the other alpha heroes in this series, Logan is dark and broody but he has an element of fun that is brought out when he meets Mercy. Part of that is that she is Fae, a species he didn’t know was real. He jokingly calls her a fairy through the whole book, a title she begrudgingly accepts. It’s that humor that humanizes the story and makes she and Logan interesting.

I like that a new species has been introduced to this Dark Protector world. The discovery of what is “fae” makes this story interesting and I hope the author delves into that lineage more in future novels. Logan and Mercy were a fun pairing and I enjoyed their story and look forward to getting a glimpse into their future in the next Dark Protector story. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

I was given an ARC of this novel through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!

Click this link to purchase!*Demon’s Mercy (Dark Protectors Book 9)

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

Friday YA: Song of the Current by Sarah Tolcser

Caroline Oresteia’s life changes drastically when she and her father arrive on their boat to a town where all the boats have been burned in the harbor. Caro’s father is taken prisoner and Caro is blackmailed into signing papers to ferry a crate by herself to a faraway town. She is not to open this crate, but of course she does. What she finds changes her path away from the river she’s always known into a world filled with politics and danger.

Caro was an easy character to understand and like. Her family has always let the river God guide them but Caro has never heard his voice. Desperate to “find” herself she leaps into accepting this challenge, only in part because they are holding her father hostage. She is really relishing the chance to prove herself and this trip while scary also pushes her outside of her comfort zone allowing her to grow.

Caro’s love interest started off an enemy but soon became a reliable friend and then more. I liked how that relationship developed and that Caro wasn’t the only character to show growth through the story. Song of the Current was also an action adventure tale along the lines of a Robin Hood or a swashbuckling tale. As Caro’s confidence builds her character becomes more pirate like and even heroic. It was a lot of fun to read and the story flew by very quickly.

I love YA action novels and Song of the Current hit the right note for me. It did start off a little slow but that was to be expected as the characters and world building needed explanation. As soon as she pushed off down the river and opened that crate the story took off and the adventure began. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

Song of the Current is an interesting book. There were two things that I had predicted, and they came true, BUT! I’m not even upset about that. The Song of the Current is that good.” Adele is Reading

“This is one of the few reads this year that has been a solid, true five stars, and I’m so eager to get my hands on Whisper of the Tide. It’s got a pretty cover, for starters, and I’m READY to see what Caro and Markos have gotten themselves into next. I’m invested and delighted and well and truly in love with this book in a way I’m not sure I have been with any particular series for a long time. If you haven’t read this book yet, I highly recommend that you hop to it, because it was well worth the time!” The Words Gremlin

Song of the Current

Click this link to purchase!* Song of the Current

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: Hot Winter Nights (Heartbreaker Bay #6) by Jill Shalvis

Molly Malone works for Hunter Investigations but not in the capacity she’d like. We learned a little of Molly’s back story in her brother Joe’s story About that Kiss. Molly’s brother is uber protective because of an episode in their childhood where Molly got hurt and having Molly take on a more active role at work goes against those protector instincts. Lucas Knight, another investigator in the company, has always had a soft spot for Molly. When one of her neighbors asks for her help with a situation at work Lucas is “assigned” to keep watch and make sure Molly stays out of trouble.

The Heartbreaker Bay series is about a group of friends that all work in this small community of buildings. I love how we meet future couples in previous novels so that when their story arrives, you already know something about them and you don’t need half the novel as set up. Hot Winter Nights jumps right in. We know Lucas as an attractive guy who doesn’t like more than one night stands, and Molly as the younger sister of Joe who has a bum leg from a past run in with a gang. A few sentences in and the back story comes immediately to mind and I can easily immerse myself into their story.

I’ll admit the mystery was a little hokey with a Christmas theme with some geriatric elves and a mob like Santa. Even though the mystery was a little silly it did allow for some great scenes between Molly and Lucas that added heat to the themed story. The best thing about Jill Shalvis’ books are the fact that the characters are easy to like and have a lot of heart. I also love that it’s a group of friends who stay connected through love for each other, literally and figuratively. I wish I had a group of friends like this myself and anyone who reads these novels thinks the same thing. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

Heartbreaker Bay is a really fun series, and I especially love the Christmas stories, which encompasses about half the books in this series. This one also has a bit of suspense thrown in, which really helps to keep the pages turning.” Stacey Alesi’s Bookbitch.com

“Hot Winter Nights is a fun and entertaining read with just the right amount of steam, romance, action and suspense. It’s a great book to spend your day getting swept up in and will definitely put you in the holiday spirit.” Once Upon A Book Blog

Hot Winter Nights

Click this link to purchase!* Hot Winter Nights: A Heartbreaker Bay Novel

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chicks Confession- 2019

I CONFESS– I struggled to reach my Goodreads goal for 2018. I set it for 200 and was 7 away with one week ago. I read a bunch of novellas, included two audio re-reads, and ended the year at exactly 200 on 12/31/18. I feel guilty, should I?


So, I only set my 2019 challenge for 170 books this year. Although I’ll have to say, I’m off to a very quick start!

I CONFESS– I stopped accepting review requests on my blog midway through 2018. I do still request ARC’s through NetGalley though…

Well….I will accept reviews from authors I’ve previously read and enjoyed though…so not totally!

I CONFESS– I frequently run out of ideas for posts on my blog. It’s frustrating! I really admire those of you who post with brand new content all the time. How do you do it??? Advice is welcome!

I CONFESS– Sometimes I just want to read a fluffy feel good book! I don’t want to read a book just because it deals with a subject that I’m supposed to want to read because it’s popular. I want romance! I want escapism! I want to quit my job! wait, what??!! LOL

I CONFESS– I got tired and stopped blog hopping. I KNOW! What a lazy bum, right? My husband got me this really cool little laptop for Christmas and makes blog hopping so easy and fun! I’m going to say that dreaded word, but my GOAL (ugh!) is to amp up my hopping activity. I love checking out everyone’s blogs. I just got tired. Then the holidays, and well, I got sick. A couple times. So then, anyway… I will!

That’s me. Bunny, um yeah, blog hopping. LOL

So now that I’m done confessing… I’m just going to get back to it.

I hope 2019 brings you joy, happiness, romance, good luck and GREAT books!

Deb

Blogger to Blogger Series: An Interview with Julie @ A Little Book Problem

Julie’s blog A Little Book Problem is about more than just book reviews. She talks about life, writing, travel, and yes, she also talks about the books she’s read. Aesthetically her blog is beautiful and her voice is crystal clear. If you haven’t been to A Little Book Problem please click the link below, but come back and read the answers to the 10 questions Julie answered!

Julie @ A Little Book Problem

Let’s get to those 10 questions shall we?

Blogging is universal and even though we inhabit the same community, we don’t always live in the same country. What country do you live in?

I live in the UK, in a tiny hamlet seven miles north of Doncaster in South Yorkshire. Our village has only 120 residents, a pub and a post box!

What is the view outside your front door? 

Mostly just fields and a few other houses. A bucolic fantasy for some, and others’ worst nightmare, I guess. 

Most blogs have a fun story of origin. Please share the story behind your blogs name and/or why you started blogging.

At the end of 2016, I started to panic about the size of my TBR and my fear that i’d die before I got to the bottom of it, so I made a resolution that I would buy no new books in 2017 and only read ones I already owned. I started my blog in January 2017 to keep track of my resolution. I chose the name to reflect my addiction. Once I discovered the book blogging community, my blog morphed from what it started out as to more of a review blog, and sadly my TBR is now bigger than when i started, due to all the fabulous recommendations from my fellow bloggers!

Describe where you write your blog. Include a picture if you’d like!

I usually write at my desk with a gorgeous view through the French windows over my back garden and the fields beyond. 

Most of us have a stack of books sitting next to our couch or bed waiting to be read. What books are in your stack?

I used to have a stack next to my bed. my daughter even christened it Mt Bookarus as it was so big. Eventually, it got so tall that it was higher than my mattress and I started banging my face on it in the night so i gave in and bought a bookcase for the bedroom to house it. it has now overflowed into an additional one downstairs in the office too. I really do have a serious book problem! 

If you have had a bad day and want to spend an hour reading a book, what is your go to genre or favorite book that will lift your mood?

I pretty much read anything and what i choose will depend on my mood but I do like a good romantic fiction read to lift my mood. It is a much-maligned, but massively popular genre that I am nor ashamed to say I enjoy and there a lot of great romance writers out there. if it has an overseas setting to indulge my love of travel, even better.

When you aren’t blogging, how do you spend your time? Work, Play, School?

I recently closed down my travel business to focus on a new career, so I am currently training for that. i am also working on my own novel (gulp!) as a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme, plus being a mum to two daughters, step-mum to another three part of the time, looking after three ponies and walking my cocker spaniel, Lola.

What is your favorite blog post you’ve ever written?

The ones I have most response to tend to be personal ones but the one i had most fun writing was this review of Battlestar Suburbia by Chris McCrudden. i think it is still my favourite post. https://alittlebookproblem.co.uk/2018/09/21/battlestar-suburbia-by-chris-mccrudden-bookreview-cmccrudden-farragobooks-netgalley-battlestarsuburbia-netgalley/ 

Have you ever met one of your favorite authors? If so, what did you say to them? Looking back, what do you wish you had said instead?

Since I joined the RNA, I’ve been lucky enough to meet lots of my favourite authors including Jill Mansell, Milly johnson, Rowan Coleman, Julie Cohen, Cathy Bramley, Heidi Swain, Miranda Dickinson and Katie Fforde. I was also lucky enough to spend 4 days staying with Veronica Henry on a writing retreat, which was marvellous. They are all surprisingly normal and have given me great writing advice. When i met Katie Fforde I did say, ‘OMG, Katie Fforde!’ which was slightly idiotic, but she didn’t seem to mind!

If you could sit down with an author for a slice of cake and a question,  who is the author, what kind of cake would you serve, and what is the first question you’d ask?

I really wish I could have met Maeve Binchy before she died. I’d have taken her to Betty’s in York for a cup of their Blue Ceylon tea and a Fat Rascal and asked her how she managed to capture the true nature of ordinary people so perfectly. In her absence, i’ll take Marian Keyes and ask her the same question. My in-laws live quite close to her in Dublin and I keep hoping I’ll ‘accidentally’ bump in to her one day in Dundrum shopping centre!

I’ll admit that I had to look up a Fat Rascal because that name was too precocious to not know what kind of dessert it represented. I do love a good scone and I think that’s what a Fat Rascal is? One of my favorite past times when visiting England is tea and scones. Yum! I can’t imagine a better treat while talking with a favorite author. Thanks Julie for taking part in my series, I loved the peek into your life and through your window!

Thanks to all of you for reading Blogger to Blogger and if you’d like to take part, please give me a shout and I’ll send you the questions.

thanks!

Deb

Friday YA: The Devil You Know by Trish Doller

The Devil You Know is a three year old novel that I’d never heard of before, but when I read the synopsis I was intrigued. Small town girl Arcadia has had to grow up fast when her mom dies and she ends up taking care of her father and little brother. She meets two cousins at a campfire party and she and a friend decide to take off with them on a camping trip into southern Florida. Of course, things start to go wrong and Cadie ends up fighting for her life.

This one was a thrill ride! At 257 pages it definitely wasn’t a long book, but I think I read it in two or three hours? I sat down to start it and didn’t get up until I finished. I liked Cadie, even though I couldn’t identify with her at all. Yes, she was a burned out 16 year old having to take care of her family at a young age. Yes, she just wanted to have fun for once. But, who leaves for a camping trip with a couple of strangers? When her friend doesn’t end up going, she still goes! Not something I would’ve done at that age, so I kept reading. LOL.

This is a thriller and it was definitely creepy, which makes this review a little hard to write. I don’t want to give away anything. I will say that there were a few surprises, and I liked how Cadie got herself out of this mess. Other than that, I’m just going to say that if you are looking for a quick read that may be a few years old, I think this one was fun! It’s not Pride and Prejudice or anything, but it was an escape from reality and I enjoyed it! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“I had this on my shelf for ages & I regret not picking it up sooner! I liked this book a lot. It was definitely one of my favorite types of books, which is why I bought it in the first place, but I didn’t expect that much from it. Instead, it blew me away with how suspenseful and creepy it was. Even though I had already guessed the ending, I still loved it. I loved every second of this book & will pick up anything else this author writes, without hesitation.” Book Addicts Ahoy

YA Thriller

Click this link to purchase!*The Devil You Know

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: Ache for You (Slow Burn #3) by J.T. Geissinger

Kimber DiSanto is having a really rough week. She is publicly humiliated when her fiancee dumps her at the alter and then she finds out her father is in the hospital in Italy and doesn’t have a lot of time left to live. Waiting in an airline lounge she spots a man who is superhumanly beautiful and she hates him on sight. She doesn’t particularly like men right now and it appears this one thinks he’s god’s gift. A feeling that’s confirmed when he hits on her very blatantly. When she arrives at her gate to find that her flight is oversold and she’s been bumped, that same man gives her his first class seat in exchange for a sketch pad he saw her drawing in while she was sitting in the lounge. Desperate, she gives it to him. Little does she know that he is Matteo Moretti a famous fashion designer, her step brother, and soon to be the bane of her existence. For a little while anyway….

This is a very sexy slow burn novel. Kimber and Matteo’s chemistry is off the charts but because they are adversaries it’s set on a slow simmer through most of the book. I’ll admit that I love slow burn stories and love the engagement of the characters leading up to the big moment usually more than that big sex scene. Although in this book, that also was pretty great. Ache For You uses the enemies to lovers trope to tease the readers into submission. Kimber needs to work out her hatred for her ex and men in general before she’ll give Matteo a chance and their shenanigans are delicious.

The reader is given a chance to view things through Matteo’s eyes as the POV shifts back and forth, which works for this story. We know that he actually is trying to win her love having immediately fallen for her in that airport lounge, so it’s really easy to route for him. Plus he is so sexy we are eager to finally see the two of them resolve their issues and be in love.

I have enjoyed J. T. Geissinger’s novels but I think this Slow Burn series is my favorite so far. If you haven’t had a chance to read them they are loosely based on fairy tales. In this case so loosely I had to have a friend remind me which one it was based on. Cinderella in this case, her ugly stepsisters are actually dogs so yes, it’s a very loose translation. LOL. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

” I love this series of books loosely based on fairy tales. Each book is a well-written stand-alone. I enjoyed this one a lot and stayed up late on a week night to finish it. It was well worth it. ” Heron There and Everywhere

” I really enjoyed this book, it had everything you could want, an infuriating H, a difficult h, lots of witty banter, laugh out loud moments, romance with scenes that melt your kindle and twists and turns that you don’t see coming. I enjoyed the light Cinderella reference, another fabulous read from this author.  4.5 Stars! ” Sweet and Spicy Reads

Click this link to purchase!* Ache for You (Slow Burn Book 3)

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: The Similars by Rebecca Hanover

Emma is going back to Darkwood Academy for her junior year without her best friend Oliver who committed suicide over the summer. It’s hard to get excited about the current gossip about six clones or “Similars” being enrolled at Darkwood, but when one of them is the clone of Oliver it’s hard to ignore. As she gets to know Levi and the other Similars she realizes that even though they have the same DNA they have individual personalities and aren’t exact copies of the original. As pro and con Cloning groups spring up on campus and around the nation Emma is enmeshed in an investigation into how her friend Oliver’s death was tied to the man who developed and raised the six Similars.

The Similars had such a great premise! Can you imagine showing up for school and finding your face on a cloned classmate? It’s not like high school isn’t difficult enough, right? Then there are the political and moral ambiguities of whether cloning should be accepted or not? These are all details that helped create this finely crafted novel that played out as more of a political intrigue then a YA fantasy novel. What struck me the most is that the hate and bigotry in this novel is not necessarily determined by color or societal hierarchy, in this case bigotry comes in the form of originals and copies. A subject that is topical in today’s world as much as in a fantasy novel. Although not quite yet to human copies. At least I don’t think so?

Emma was a wonderful heroine. She never sat back and just watched, she was always asking just one more question. That one last question always seemed to be slightly over the line but would give her the answers she’d need to make a decision to move forward in her thinking or to fall back on her upbringing. I really admired her fortitude. She never gave up on her friends, and never stopped looking into the Why’s and Who’s.

The Similars, even with all of their mysterious backgrounds and “special powers” seemed more real and fleshed out than their human counterparts. This definitely made it easier to like them but truly the humans were portrayed as pretty awful. You’d be inhuman to like the hateful attributes that were portrayed as “human”.

It took me a little while to warm up to Levi’s character. Emma was so distraught over Oliver’s death that you really felt her anguish over seeing his face on another guy. When she gets to know Levi and realizes they are really nothing alike he still keeps his distance until, well, he doesn’t. It’s really hard to talk about these characters without giving away a lot of the plot. I’ll just say that there is a reason that he keeps himself aloof, but Emma’s investigation makes him get involved and he goes all in emotionally at that point too.

The Similars was a very fast paced novel. Rebecca Hanover filled the story with enough moral, political, and personal subplots that my mind didn’t stop to chew before swallowing this novel whole. When you get ready to read it have your snacks and a coke at your side because you will NOT want to put it down! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

I received an ARC of this book through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“I don’t know why it happens that I always end up reviewing books I don’t like. Maybe I need to read different books? Or not read books that I am not extremely excited about in the first place? I don’t know. But either way, this book was very disappointing, awkward, and did not live up to my hopes for it. Alas.” A Word and a Whisper

“Overall, this is an intriguing book that held my attention from the first page, and I fully intend on continuing with the series.  If you’re a fan of layers upon layers of secrets, sci-fi, thrillers, and mystery, add The Similars to your TBR.” Books and Such

Click this link to purchase!* The Similars

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

Friday YA: First & Then by Emma Mills

Only child Devon Tennyson has had her world changed. Her cousin Foster has come to live with she and her parents and now she has the little brother she never wanted. Her safe world has turned upside down and changes are on the horizon, her safe crush on her best friend Cas is pushed to the back burner by first, her cousin Foster, and second by all star quarterback Ezra. Being teamed with both of them in her P.E. class starts a chain of events that changes her world.

I have read one other Emma Mills story, Foolish Hearts. Whereas that novel was different than this one, there was one similarity that I enjoyed seeing adapted again. Both of the female main characters were plodding along and their young worlds got shook up. In First & Then the catalyst is her cousin Foster. His childhood circumstances were heartbreaking and whereas Devon was empathetic, it took Ezra befriending Foster for her to see the big picture and open her heart to enfold Foster into her life.

Devon’s love for Jane Austen is mentioned quite a few times in this novel and you can’t help but make Pride & Prejudice comparisons. Especially between Ezra and Darcy. Her view of Ezra as a snobby standoffish jock was similar to Elizabeth’s of Darcy. As with Pride and Prejudice, when Devon’s crush Cas is actually falling for another girl, it is Ezra who quietly steps in to make her feel good about herself. Albeit in a quiet, non communicative way. I really couldn’t wait until they got past all of the miscommunications and red herrings that were thrown into their path. A sign of a good story and the reader being invested in the relationships for sure!

If you enjoy YA contemporary’s with a hint of romance this novel is the perfect fit for you. Devon is a great leading heroine, but beware, Foster steals the show in this one. He is adorkably cute. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions From around the Blogosphere

This is a story of love and loss, friendship and family, the high school experience. It’s also about a town and it’s love for football and tradition. It’s about the effects of drunk driving and addiction on the lives of those left behind. It’s a beautiful story of a girl who becomes less judgemental, more assertive and finds love.” My World of Books

“First & Then is a very cute, lovely, heartwarming, funny story about friendship and family, and figuring out what you want in life, and I would recommend it to anyone who loves contemporary YA, especially if they’re a bit sick of the large doses of romance in that genre.” The Reading Hobbit

Click this link to purchase!* First & Then

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate