This Chick Read: The American Roommate Experiment by Elena Armas

Rosie Graham wrote a startlingly popular romance novel and quit her full-time job to give focus to writing her second novel. Is it going well? No. She has a horrible case of writer’s block. When her apartment ceiling caves in she packs her bags and heads over to her best friend’s empty apartment (The Spanish Love Deceptions heroine, Lina) and tries to not freak out about her bad luck. That bad luck continues when she calls the cops on her friend’s cousin Lucas, who is also there to take advantage of his newly married cousin’s empty apartment. They decide to share the space while they both try to get their lives back together, Lucas offering to help her out of her writer’s block by setting the stage for some “friendly” experimental dates and the sparks fly. Needless to say, it’s not just her writing that catches fire.

Elena Armas debut novel, The Spanish Love Deception, was one of my favorite romances from last year so I was super excited to finally read The American Roommate Experiment. While the previous novel had my favorite enemies to lovers trope, I was certain this novel would be just as cute. I was right and I was wrong. I really liked both of these characters and enjoyed their story. Lucas was completely adorable and while going through his own identity crisis brought the Latin heat to this story. Rosie, also was sweet and her crush on Lucas was adorable to read so I don’t understand why it didn’t hit the same note as The Spanish Love Deception. Maybe if felt slightly safe and was a story that has been told before and this one didn’t differentiate itself from the pack.

What could’ve helped make this novel great? Both characters didn’t open up to each other until the very end, and there wasn’t enough of a journey towards that moment of realization. Lucas was avoiding his own issues while Rosie was trying to face hers so there was a disparity that held them back and that felt a little disjointed. I know this is totally minor and like I said, I liked them both as well as a lot of moments in the story but with a couple of tweaks, I think this could’ve been as great as her first novel, instead of just good. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

Click this link to purchase this book!* The American Roommate Experiment

Copyright 2022 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (12/19/22)

It’s only when I’m writing this weekly check-in that I realize that I have or have not been reading. This last week has been a read when you can fit it in kind of week. Yet, I did manage to read. Of course I did! Here is what’s open on my kindle.

JUST FINISHED

I was lucky enough to get an Advanced Reader Copy of this novel. Set on campus at college, our protagonist deals with her past while also figuring out what she wants to do and who she wants to be with. I really enjoyed this novel!

JUST STARTED

The second novel in the Wild West MC series, this novel so far seems to be a classic Kristen Ashley plot, which I will love. I’m not really into her MC series but did really like the first novel so I’m hoping the magic strikes again.

I hope you all have a great Monday! Happy reading!

Deb

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: My Top 5 Most Anticipated Book Releases – Jan’23

If you’re wondering how I find out about book releases, I’ll give you my secret. There isn’t one. Ha! I look at the Goodreads list of January’23 book releases which is based upon people clicking “want to read”. I’ll admit to reading a couple of blog posts as well because some bloggers are genre specific and I’ll find more obscure books by favorite authors who may not be as mainstream, but I generally rely on Goodreads. I’m often amazed by surprise releases that I haven’t heard anything about. I have one or two of those in my top 5 this month. Let me know if you are surprised by any of my picks!

#5 BOOK RELEASE

This is the sequel novella to Rogerson’s A Sorcery of Thorns, which I loved. Despite the short length, I’m excited to see what these characters are up to.

Synopsis:

Elisabeth Scrivener is finally settling into her new life with sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn. Now that their demon companion Silas has returned, so has scrutiny from nosy reporters hungry for gossip about the city’s most powerful sorcerer and the librarian who stole his heart. But something strange is afoot at Thorn Manor: the estate’s wards, which are meant to keep their home safe, are acting up and forcibly trapping the Manor’’ occupants inside. Surely it must be a coincidence that this happened just as Nathaniel and Elisabeth started getting closer to one another…

With no access to the outside world, Elisabeth, Nathaniel, and Silas—along with their new maid Mercy—will have to work together to discover the source of the magic behind the malfunctioning wards before they’re due to host the city’s Midwinter Ball. Not an easy task when the house is filled with unexpected secrets, and all Elisabeth can think about is kissing Nathaniel in peace. But when it becomes clear that the house, influenced by the magic of Nathaniel’s ancestors, requires a price for its obedience, Elisabeth and Nathaniel will have to lean on their connection like never before to set things right.

Click this link to purchase this book!* Mysteries of Thorn Manor

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase any books on this list from an attached link I’ll receive a small stipend.

#4 BOOK RELEASE

I’ve enjoyed Emma Lord’s novels in the past and was excited to get an advanced reader copy of this book. Taking place on a college campus, this story revolves around friendships, heartache, secrets, and love. I enjoyed it!

Synopsis: Filled with a friend group that feels like family, an empowering journey of finding your own way, and a Just Kiss Already! romance, Emma Lord’s Begin Again is an unforgettable YA novel of love and starting again.

As usual, Andie Rose has a plan: Transfer from community college to the hyper competitive Blue Ridge State, major in psychology, and maintain her lifelong goal of becoming an iconic self-help figure despite the nerves that have recently thrown her for a loop. All it will take is ruthless organization, hard work, and her trademark unrelenting enthusiasm to pull it all together.

But the moment Andie arrives, the rest of her plans go off the rails. Her rocky relationship with her boyfriend Connor only gets more complicated when she discovers he transferred out of Blue Ridge to her community college. Her roommate Shay needs a major, and despite Andie’s impressive track record of being The Fixer, she’s stumped on how to help. And Milo, her coffee-guzzling grump of an R.A. with seafoam green eyes, is somehow disrupting all her ideas about love and relationships one sleep-deprived wisecrack at a time.

But sometimes, when all your plans are in rubble at your feet, you find out what you’re made of. And when Andie starts to find the power of her voice as the anonymous Squire on the school’s legendary pirate radio station–the same one her mom founded, years before she passed away–Andie learns that not all the best laid plans are necessarily the right ones.

Click this link to purchase this book!* Begin Again

#3 BOOK RELEASE

Jill Shalvis is my go-to author for feel good novels with great friendships. The Backup Plan is more Women’s Fiction than romance but it certainly checked all of my boxes that make up a great novel.

Synopsis:

When Alice receives a call about an unexpected windfall, she’s stunned to learn the gift is a falling-apart-at-the-seams old Wild West B&B she once considered home—and she’s inherited it along with two strangers. Except they weren’t always strangers. Once upon a time, they were friends. One is her ex-BFF Lauren. The other is Knox, the only guy to ever break her heart, all while never even knowing she existed.

It turns out their lives are unknowingly entangled because they once separately helped the same woman without expecting anything in return. Years later, Alice, Lauren, and Knox are broken in their own way, with their own history—and secrets— causing them to start out on the wrong foot with each other. But according to the will, they must renovate and be partners in the inn for one year or else lose their inheritance.

Stuck together, they make a list of rules to keep the peace—rules that end up doing the opposite, but by some miracle they find what they didn’t even know they were looking for—acceptance, true friendship, and in a case (or two!), true love.

Click this link to purchase this book!* The Backup Plan

#2 BOOK RELEASE

Kate Clayborn writes heartfelt poignant romance novels. The synopsis grabbed me on this one and I can’t wait for a little time off to dig in and spend a day with it.

Synopsis: Longtime personal assistant Georgie Mulcahy has made a career out of putting others before herself. When an unexpected upheaval sends her away from her hectic job in L.A. and back to her hometown, Georgie must confront an uncomfortable truth: her own wants and needs have always been a disconcertingly blank page.  

But then Georgie comes across a forgotten artifact—a “friendfic” diary she wrote as a teenager, filled with possibilities she once imagined. To an overwhelmed Georgie, the diary’s simple, small-scale ideas are a lifeline—a guidebook for getting started on a new path.  

Georgie’s plans hit a snag when she comes face to face with an unexpected roommate—Levi Fanning, onetime town troublemaker and current town hermit. But this quiet, grouchy man is more than just his reputation, and he offers to help Georgie with her quest. As the two make their way through her wishlist, Georgie begins to realize that what she truly wants might not be in the pages of her diary after all, but right by her side—if only they can both find a way to let go of the pasts that hold them back. 

Honest and deeply emotional, Georgie, All Along is a smart, tender must-read for everyone who’s ever wondered about the life that got away . . .

Click this link to purchase this book!* Georgie All Along

MY MOST ANTICIPATE JAN’23 BOOK RELEASE

Ninth House stayed with me for a long while, so I can’t wait to read Hell Bent. It’s hard to describe this series but it’s set in modern day but has elements of supernatural, horror, and mystery. I can’t wait!

Synopsis: Find a gateway to the underworld. Steal a soul out of hell. A simple plan, except people who make this particular journey rarely come back. But Galaxy “Alex” Stern is determined to break Darlington out of purgatory—even if it costs her a future at Lethe and at Yale.

Forbidden from attempting a rescue, Alex and Dawes can’t call on the Ninth House for help, so they assemble a team of dubious allies to save the gentleman of Lethe. Together, they will have to navigate a maze of arcane texts and bizarre artifacts to uncover the societies’ most closely guarded secrets, and break every rule doing it. But when faculty members begin to die off, Alex knows these aren’t just accidents. Something deadly is at work in New Haven, and if she is going to survive, she’ll have to reckon with the monsters of her past and a darkness built into the university’s very walls.

Thick with history and packed with Bardugo’s signature twists, Hell Bent brings to life an intricate world full of magic, violence, and all too real monsters.

Click this link to purchase this book!* Hell Bent

I’m sure my choices might be different than yours, so feel free to shout out a book you’re looking forward to reading after its release next month. OR if you are digging my list, let me know the one you can’t wait to read.

Happy reading!

Deb

This Chick’s Audio Review: Secrets Bound by Sand (Dragon Ridden Chronicles #4) by T.A. White

Tate’s dragon goes on an uncontrolled rampage claiming the emperor’s treasury as her horde and get Tate cast out of Aurelia, if only temporarily, sent on a mission to negotiate a treaty. On her way she is kidnapped twice, each time learning more about her past and the people who claim her as savior. Can she find her way to defeat the big bad that’s still trying to kill off everyone she’s grown to love? Only if she opens her mind and heart to the future, learning from what has happened in her past.

After a great second and third novel in the series, I’ll admit that Secrets Bound by Sand was kind of a convoluted mess. While I still love these characters, all narrated by Natasha Soudek, I’m getting a little restless with the author’s inability to reach a conclusion. You know how some longer series have that book that falls in the middle that just moves the character forward but not much else happens? For me, this was that novel. The only thing new we learned was from Tate’s past and while it was revealing it didn’t really help what was happening in her life today, it just explained how she was sent to sleep thousands of years ago. Interesting but not the conclusion I was looking for out of this novel.

We did learn a bit more about Knight (Night? I’m listening, not reading the book remember!) and his bearcat race. On this journey, Tate, Knight, and Dewdrop meet up with the Vela (sp?), a sentient race who can shift from bearcat to a human-like figure on two legs. This interesting development actually provided more for Knight’s character than the entire book did for Tate!

Did my ho-hum attitude keep me from reading the fifth book? No. I immediately got the audiobook. I’m invested in the series and hope that it reaches its conclusion in this fifth book. I’m over the character insight and want a conclusion so I can move on. Not really what you hope to feel after reading five books from an author you love, but there you have it. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

Click this link to purchase this book!* Secrets Bound by Sand

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’s Audio Review: Destruction’s Ascent (Dragon Ridden #3) by T.A. White

I went back and read my reviews of books one and two and had to chuckle to myself. I lamented the fact that the author had let so much time go by between writing books one and two, and yet book three came out one year after book two, in 2018, and I let four years go by before picking up the series again. Not for lack of liking it because I love this author and I really did like the first two books, but because time just flew by and I had too many other books step in front of this one. Here are my reviews of the first two books if you, like me, need a catch up.

Dragon Ridden

Of Bone and Ruin

Destruction’s Ascent opens with Tate, now in the dragon corps, and going through training. Of course, Tate is not like other dragon ridden since she and her dragon were asleep for generations, but also because she and her dragon speak to each other, something that the others fear lead to insanity. She may be called insane because of the situations she gets in, but Tate’s sanity is pretty normal. Speaking of situations, one arises when Tate touches a mirror in her dragon mentor’s office and an evil creature comes through it and tries to kill everyone in the room. See what I mean about crazy situations? Dragons are as curious as cats, and Tate wants to explore this world on the other side of the mirror. When she finally walks through one, she finds the children who have gone missing throughout Aurelia, and the big bad who have taken them. Destruction’s Ascent is about solving the mystery as well as figuring out a few things about her past.

With a name like Destruction’s Ascent, you better start the story off fast and never stop and that is what T.A. White delivers to its readers. I listened to this book and found myself putting off the more important things in my life (hello job!) and finding moments to keep listening to this story. The narrator is Natasha Soudek, who also narrates the Aileen Travers series, and does a fine job even if the voices she gives the characters aren’t quite what I’d imagine them to sound like in my head. Her characterization of Tate evolves through the story as Tate finds out things about her past but the snarkiness that I love is voiced spot on, so I’ll give her props. She rocked Tate’s voice.

Four years after reading the last book and I’m reminded why I love this author’s novels so much and this series as well. Her heroine’s are always everywomen. Yes, they do heroic and selfless things, but they don’t typically have magical powers. Yes, Tate can turn into a dragon but that is more species related than it is her being magical. The way she processes what’s going on around her and then takes action gives her character a relatability that makes her an easy character to like and root for. If I had one complaint it would be that the novel needs a little more romance between she and Ryu. He is slowly stalking that relationship when is building the tension nicely but I’m ready for some heat, and not of the dragon fire variety.

If you’re a lover of fantasy like I am, please give this series a try. I think, like me, you’ll get into it and won’t want to put it down. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase this book!* Destruction’s Ascent

Copyright 2022 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (12/12/22)

It’s Monday! December’s are always busy but I try to find moments of quiet where I can calm my brain and read a few pages. It was difficult to find that time over the last week, but I did finish one book.

JUST FINISHED

I’m not sure why it took me so long to read this series because I loved The Friend Zone, but I did finally pick up this last book. It was funny, sweet, sad, and satisfying. Loved it.

JUST STARTED

I haven’t actually started this book yet, but it is up next on my list. I’ve enjoyed this author in the past and usually her books are easy to read which would be perfect for my busy schedule and busy brain right now. I’m looking forward to it!

Have a great Monday and happy reading!

Deb

This Chick Read: The Circus Train by Amita Parikh

Lena’s father is a famous illusionist with the traveling circus, which sounds like might be the great makings for a magical childhood, but Lena had polio as a child and is confined to a wheelchair. This separates her from the other children at the circus and her life is only filled with books, her studies, and her doctor and nanny. When a young boy, Alexandre, is found unconscious he is put in the care of the doctor who also cares for Lena. While he recovers they become great friends. Theo, Lena’s father, sees the joy Alexandre has brought to his daughters life and convinces the owner of the circus to let Alexandre become his apprentice, thereby keeping him safe and close to his daughter. As they grow up they become the best of friends and are destined to fall in love. Unfortunately WWII is overtaking the European nation’s their train travels to perform and they become separated, but love is destined to survive their trials and separation, or is it?

There were moments of fabulousness in The Circus Train. The friendship between Lena and Alexandre was certainly one of them. Her sweet relationship with her father was another. Lena herself was a force to be reckoned with, striving to overcome her disability and learning how to walk despite the weakness in her limbs. I just felt like after the author set up this novel with these great characters and setting that she got a little lost with where to take them. Yes, there was a war going on and families were separated- so that wasn’t a stretch, but in the middle of the biggest conflict in the book, to have that separation occur so abruptly and then for all of these characters to be separated? I felt like the portion of the novel that fell after that rift happened in a different book entirely. I had difficulty piecing those two parts together and felt a let down.

It is possible that I read this book at a time when I didn’t have the focus to appreciate the journey this author was trying to take me on. Despite that, I can’t help feeling that the second half of the book wasn’t the book this author had intended to write and because of feeling unsettled I can only give this book a three rating. ❤️❤️❤️

I received a copy of this novel from NetGalley and the publisher for an honest review and it was honest.

Click this link to purchase this book!* The Circus Train

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: Well Traveled (Well Met #4) by Jen DeLuca

Louise Malone is a high-powered attorney and in North Carolina to get a witness deposition. The witness is unavailable so Lulu goes to the Renaissance Festival, something she’s done in the past and has enjoyed tremendously. Avoiding calls from her boss and having fun re-connecting with an old friend, Lulu realizes that she’s in a dead end job and hating her life. When her boss calls again she quits and runs away to the Renaissance Faire. For a month anyway. What she doesn’t expect is to re-invent herself while falling in love with a kilted musician.

I’m such a fan of the Well Met series and have run away to the Renaissance Faire, at least in my own mind, every time I pick up one of these novels. I connected so easily to the story in Well Traveled and to Lulu, a character I can really identify with. Lulu has always been driven to make partner and become the success that her parents have always wanted her to be, but all the long hours she’s working at her company isn’t leading to the success that she’s always hope to find. When she gets drunk and quits angrily on a call with her boss, it’s actually the best thing for her. This is something that many of us have dreamed of doing but never seem to find the guts to make happen. It was so fun to dream along with Lulu and read her story while she finds her way in love and life.

Dex, the kilted lead singer of the band Dueling Kilts, has been in the previous books and wasn’t cast in a very good light. He’s the Romeo of the faire circuit, or so it seems. We see a different side to him in Well Traveled. A side that has me liking him for our Lulu. His creative personality is the perfect foil to straight laced Lulu, but is he the type to make a commitment? I’ll admit that I was skeptical but I ended up liking his mellow attitude and subtle ways he sought out Lulu’s company. He lacked the funny quips of previous hero’s but his soulful gaze and man bun more than made up for those laugh out loud moments.

You do not need to read any of the previous novels to enjoy Well Traveled, but reading the third novel would explain a little back story that does come up and explains a couple of characters actions. Other than that, enjoy a fun, light-hearted romance. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase this book!* Well Traveled

Copyright 2022 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (12/5/22)

I’ll admit that for work I am heading into the busiest time of the year, then when you add in the holidays, parties, and decorating I just didn’t seem to have that much time to read. I did finish a book, and whereas I didn’t hate it, it didn’t grab me either. It has great reviews and I kept wondering what I was missing. So when I was reading, I wasn’t in the right head pace for it. I hate that! Does that ever happen to you? On another note, my husband and I started watching Wednesday on Netflix and OMG, it is so good. That’s probably another reason it was hard to get into this book, it just paled in comparison.

JUST FINISHED

This one was really hard for me to finish. It wasn’t that it was bad, and maybe I was reading it when I was stretched a little thin and didn’t have the time to really enmesh myself into the story, but I just got frustrated with it. A great premise that showed promise and didn’t deliver for me. Bummer!

JUST STARTED

I received the advanced reader copy for this book and it looks like it will be right up my alley. A science fiction space opera with a hint of romance and action-adventure. I can’t wait to get started!

Are your holiday plans getting in the way of your reading? I know how you feel! I hope it gets better!

Happy Monday and happy reading!

Deb

This Chick Read: Ascension Day (Ageless Mysteries #6) by Vanessa Nelson

The final novel in the Ageless Mysteries series, Thea March finds herself investigating another murder, or a series of them. The city is preparing for Ascension Day a day to celebrate the Archon, one of the most powerful beings in the world. As Thea investigates she uncovers a revolt that she and her friends need to stop before the Archon destroys their city.

There are so many things I’ve loved about this series. I love how Thea starts off hating the Ageless and wanting to stay beneath their notice, but then she develops a relationship with her father that makes her see that not all was as she thought, but that ageless came in both good and evil, just as humans did. Thea’s self also evolves. She knows now, that she is an Ageless, as her wings made an appearance in past novels at pivotal moments and in this novel the appearance makes it impossible for her to pretend she is human anymore. This series is not a romantic fantasy, but there are hints of a romance between she and Niath. I’m a sucker for those moments between the two of them. The last thing I like is that this series is a classic trope of good vs. evil. For most of the series the evil is unknown, but in this novel the plot is revealed and it’s quite a doozy.

Ascension Day was everything I wanted from the final book in a great series. The mystery was well-written and the final reveal was awesome and vicious. Our heroine proved herself to be selfless, and honorable. Fighting for the good of others and not for her own self interests. She wasn’t superhuman at all but in the end proved herself to be something pretty special.

If you are looking for a quick reading fantasy series, the Ageless Mysteries are a lot of fun and rewarding to read. Start with the first book because the development of the characters are crucial to your enjoyment of these novels! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

Click this link to purchase this book!* Ascension Day

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.