This Chick Read: Love on Lexington Avenue (The Central Park Pact #2) by Lauren Layne

When Claire finds out at her husbands funeral that he left behind not only a wife, but also a girlfriend and a mistress she decides to rid herself of everything her husband owned and hires a contractor to re-do her Upper East Side brownstone. Scott Turner is surly, tells it like it is, and fills out his flannel shirt like no other. Claire is intrigued. Maybe her brownstone isn’t the only change she needs to make!

I found it fascinating that the three women Claire’s husband conned all became fast friends. Their unique friendship is a fun aspect to this series and that history makes it easy for the reader to root for each of them to find their love match. Claire is very practical and kind of reminded me of myself, so of course I loved her! LOL. I also like surly alpha men so loved Scott immediately. I liked how they talked straight with each other and that their attraction was a slow burn. He might’ve thought she was attractive right from the get go, but it wasn’t until she started to “see” him that way that their thoughts became actions.

I liked Lauren Layne’s style of writing a lot. This was my first novel of hers and I’m definitely going to read the first in this series. I fell in love with all three of these women, but even more I liked the heat level on the romance. They became friends first and the love scenes were more of a fade to black. It was a nice change of pace and reminded me how much I love sweet romances! I’m going to be checking out Layne’s other novels and maybe refreshing my browser to “sweet” instead of “Stanky” on heat level. 🙂 ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase!* Love on Lexington Avenue (2) (The Central Park Pact)

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you buy it, I get a small stipend.

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This Chick Read: Don’t You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane

Fired from her waitressing job and finding her boyfriend in bed with another woman is not the way Georgina saw this day going when she got out of bed that morning. At thirty years old Georgina has struggled to find her place in this world only wanting what anyone wants, the love of a good man, and a job she can feel proud to go to every day. When she lands a job at a pub owned by her ex high school boyfriend she dreams of having a second chance at love, but is hurt when Lucas doesn’t seem to recognize her. Don’t You Forget About Me is the story of how Georgina’s past and present collide, and how, just maybe, things may start to go her way.

There were a lot of things I liked about Georgina, she didn’t take the crap that was dished at her (an inordinate amount of times!), she had a wonderful group of friends, and she was always striving to be better. As this was a slow burn novel I really come to care for Georgina but I’ll admit her struggle with self confidence wore thin for me. If it hadn’t been for a pivotal plot point when she entered a stand up writing competition at the pub where she works, I may have lost patience and put down this novel. It was the story she told that night that caught my attention, and I thought there might just be more to this novel than pining for the ex who doesn’t seem to remember her. We start to get hints of a trauma that may have contributed to how Georgina ended up still waiting tables and hooking up with losers at the age of thirty. Finally, the story flowed and time flew until it was 1am, I was blowing my nose and drying my tears and reflecting on how this story was so well pieced together and where my feelings turned from “meh” to “I really like this!”.

One of the things that I enjoyed throughout the entire novel were Georgina’s group of friends. They were supportive, funny, snarky, and didn’t hold back from letting her know their thoughts about anything and everything. A good group of friends in a novel can help a reader understand their main character better and I really believe that was the case for Georgina. By hearing about Jo’s dissatisfaction with her own relationship the reader could draw a line between a healthy dissatisfaction and the unhealthy boyfriend choices Georgina had made in her past. It also helped the reader really want that healthy relationship for Georgina and Lucas adding to the tension in their story arc.

You’re probably wondering why I haven’t said much about Lucas since he’s the love interest for Georgina and this is a love story. I guess that’s because Lucas was kind of a mystery to me. He was a little stand off-ish, partly because he pretended like he didn’t know her for a good portion of the novel and he was kind of a quiet guy. He was likable, but it wasn’t until the end of the book where he had a defining moment and had probably one of the most romantic dialog’s in a romance I’ve read in quite awhile that I really liked him for Georgina. It was a REALLY good monologue. LOL.

My feelings for this book were kind of all over the place. The first third was a solid three- good but not great. The middle of the book picked up and started to hold my interest. The characters became more interesting and less annoying- a solid four! The last quarter of the novel was riveting, emotional, and un-put-down-able, and I’d give it a five. If you get to the 3/4 mark of this novel and you’re wavering between reading one more chapter or getting a good nights sleep, be warned. You will NOT be able to put this book down so be prepared to be really tired come morning… I was. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“The way the humour is combined with the darker side of relationships and the feeling of failure Georgina tries to hide is really well done. At no time did I think serious issues were being treated too lightly or the story got bogged down in sadness. The plot moved along at a solid pace and always with a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel. ” Sam Still Reading

“If you’re looking for a humorous, heartfelt work of women’s fiction with a good smattering of romance, Don’t You Forget About Me might just do the trick. It will certainly entertain. (And have you humming the Simple Minds’ tune from the 80s that shares a title with this book, which is quoted at the start of the story…)” Harlequin Junkie

Click this link to purchase!* Don’t You Forget About Me: A Novel

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: Well Met by Jen DeLuca

Emily moved in with her sister and niece in order to help her sister recover from a bad car accident. Part of that help is squiring around her teenage niece Caitlin to audition for a part in Willow Creek’s hometown Renaissance Faire. What she didn’t know was that her under age niece needs an adult to sign up with her. Guess what? Emily will be playing Bar Wench for the summer. When she meets high school English teacher, and man in charge of the Faire, Simon, they immediately butt heads. He’s a know it all with a stick up his butt and Emily has just had it with “that” kind of man! Well Met is a rom-com where two people go from enemies who don’t think they have anything in common to confidants and lovers. I laughed out loud and sniffled away a couple of tears. My favorite kind of romance!

Emily just got dumped and admittedly has a chip on her shoulder for men who think they know everything. Simon’s definitely got an attitude that pushes all of her buttons. I’m a sucker for this trope and loved the Renaissance Faire set up. I can remember going to one of these Faire’s with my mom and aunt when I was a kid and remember how the actor’s really got into playing their parts. This book gave you a behind the scenes look into putting on one of these events and really brought back some fun memories!

Simon’s character had an interesting mix of vulnerability and bravado. I loved the way the author contrasted Simon with the pirate Captain he played in the Faire. It allowed him to act on some of his fantasies through the Captain’s antics. This sped the plot along while also creating conflicting emotions that made this a lot more interesting than it might have been. Emily’s confusion at what were real feelings and what weren’t added tension as well as a little comic relief.

This novel also had a great supporting cast. Mitch the brawny, kilt wearing hunk, her friend Stacey who helped strap her into her bar wench costume, and her sister April who’s injuries gave Emily a sense of purpose. All of these characters helped add comic relief, but also depth to Emily’s character making her more 3-D and not so two dimensional.

I can’t really think of anything I disliked about this novel. Yes, there was a miscommunication that went on a little too long, but i understood how that helped establish why these two characters needed each other. Maybe it was my own memories of a Renaissance Faire that made me like this so much? Who knows! I just know that I read it at the right time, it hit my sweet spot, and I really enjoyed the journey. You can’t ask for more than that!

♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️

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

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“Overall this is one of my favorite romances of the summer! I absolutely plan to read everything that Jen Deluca writes in the future! If you’re looking for one final, swoon-worthy romance before the cool weather hits, definitely pick this one up!” Paperbacks and Planners

“Emily was adorable and totally relatable, her hesitation about the Faire at the start of the book rivaled my own, so I knew she was my kind of people. Simon may as well be called Swoonworthy Simon, my lord this man knows how to woo a lady. Throw in a supporting cast of characters that are just as lovable, sizzling chemistry between Em and Simon and an absolutely adorable and heartwarming story and I’m done” Novel Gossip

Click this link to purchase!* Well Met

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: Handle With Care (Veteran Movers #3) by Marie Harte

When Evan Griffith quits his accounting job to work full time with his cousin’s in the moving business he’s part owner in, he meets Kenzie Sykes. He’s immediately attracted but her protective little brother tries to throw him off by painting her crazy. Unfortunately for Daniel, Evan isn’t thrown off by that and gently starts pursuing the reluctant Kenzie.

Handle with Care is a little different than the first two novels in the series. Although it continues the underlying story of the Griffith family and the mysterious Smith who looks and acts exactly like Evan’s cousin. Evan is not quite as alpha as his two cousin’s who starred in the first two books in the series. Which was great! It paints a more accurate picture of men coming in all shapes, sizes, and demeanors. Evan is sensitive, gentle, and a little eager to please. It was interesting to hear his inner thoughts on how his personality sometimes scares off the ladies. I thought his insecurities were really attractive!

I think I might have found this story a little lackluster if it hadn’t been for both Evan and Kenzie’s amazing friends and family. Lila and Hector’s romance, her little brother Daniel’s mischievousness and need for a male role model, and even Smith’s introduction into the family helped hold my interest. I hope we get a spin-off series of some sort because I want to learn more about these other characters lives and interests! If I had to guess, though, I think Smith’s novel will be the last, as he is the only remaining Griffith whose story has gone untold to date.

If you like real romances about normal people and great stories about how families come in all shapes and sizes, then this series should be on your radar. The movers are all ex-Vets and create their own family, but each couple’s story has unfolded with a unique angle on what and how their version of family has enriched their lives. I like that angle a lot! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase!* Handle with Care (Veteran Movers)

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: Sidelined by Suzanne Baltsar

Charlotte “Charlie” Gibb the daughter of a famous football coach grew up around the sport her whole life. Growing up playing, then coaching football she’s always struggled against being a woman in a man’s world. When she lands the head coaching job at a high school in Minnesota she hopes to make a new start and gain acceptance. Beating out assistant coach Connor McGuire for his dream job sets them off on the wrong foot. Underneath their antagonistic words is a common goal that turns their feelings from hate to love.

I love sports romances especially when it’s the woman who plays the sport! Charlie was totally unique! She had a bit of a chip on her shoulder from the years of fighting for equality in her field, yet she was still feminine and attractive. I really enjoyed watching her find that balance between being in charge and allowing herself to feel attraction and then love for someone who challenged her mind and body.

Connor started off pretty hateful but grudgingly came around to seeing the how knowledgeable Charlie was as a coach. He was a pretty quiet guy though and I wish that his personality was allowed to shine a little bit more.

I didn’t love how this novel ended. I would have liked to see them work through their challenges a little bit more so I could’ve really rooted for Charlie and Connor a little bit more. I liked the first half of the novel a lot but the ending left me feeling a little bit let down because it wrapped up so simply. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

I received a free copy of this ARC through NetGalley and the publisher for my honest review and it was honest!

Click this link to purchase!* Sidelined

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: On the Corner of Love and Hate by Nina Bocci

Emmanuelle Peroni and Cooper Endicott grew up as best friends having a lot in common. He was the son of the Governor and her father had been Mayor of Hope Lake, Pennsylvania for 30+ years. Over the years their friendship has been strained as she’s fought feelings for him and been hurt by his lothario ways. When her father announces his retirement as Mayor he plans to groom Cooper to run in his place. However, Cooper’s single status and charming charisma starts to work against him giving his running mate a lot of material to expose. When he asks Emma to help him by running his campaign she balks, not wanting to give him anymore time than her vote. However, he’s her best shot at maintaining the status quo in both her job and personal life. As they work together she starts to have feelings again but will Cooper give her more of his heart than he had in the past?

On the Corner of Love and Hate was kind of an enemies to lovers romance. I say kind of because they weren’t really enemies since they considered each other a best friend, but there was an anger on Emma’s side that was lacking on Cooper’s. The first half of the book explained Emma’s side, their past, and Cooper’s somewhat smarmy present. I had a bit of trouble liking either of these characters until the second half of the book. Emma complained too much and Cooper’s charm rubbed me the wrong way. Also the introduction of a past girlfriend into the story threw me and truthfully kind of pissed me off. What was he thinking?

Emma’s acceptance to run his mayoral campaign helped to show each of these characters strengths. Cooper’s charm was less smarmy and more appealing while Emma’s whiny workaholic tendencies worked very well towards pushing Cooper to be his best. Also, pitting him against a sleezy running mate helped Cooper look less sleazy. Boy, reading this makes me look like I didn’t enjoy the book at all, doesn’t it? I did actually like it more as I read on and liked the ending a lot. It just took me a bit to get there.

❤️❤️❤️❣️

I received a free copy of this ARC through NetGalley and the publisher for my honest review and it was honest!

Click this link to purchase!* On the Corner of Love and Hate (Hopeless Romantics)

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights REserved

*Amazon Associate

Blog Tour Stop! Review: Quiet Man (Dream Man #4.5) by Kristen Ashley

We are celebrating the most recent release from Kristen Ashley by participating in the blog tour! QUIET MAN is part of her Dream Man series and it is releasing as part of 1001 Dark Nights. It just went live! Check out the book trailer from the title below. Click here to grab your copy now

Purchase your copy of QUIET MAN today!

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  |  Amazon CA  |  Amazon AU

 

About QUIET MAN: 

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristen Ashley comes a new story in her Dream Man series… Charlotte “Lottie” McAlister is in the zone. She’s ready to take on the next chapter of her life, and since she doesn’t have a man, she’ll do what she’s done all along. She’ll take care of business on her own. Even if that business means starting a family. The problem is, Lottie has a stalker. The really bad kind. The kind that means she needs a bodyguard. Enter Mo Morrison. Enormous. Scary. Quiet. Mo doesn’t say much, and Lottie’s used to getting attention. And she wants Mo’s attention. Badly. But Mo has a strict rule. If he’s guarding your body, that’s all he’s doing with it. However, the longer Mo has to keep Lottie safe, the faster he falls for the beautiful blonde who has it so together, she might even be able to tackle the demons he’s got in his head that just won’t die. But in the end, Lottie and Mo don’t only have to find some way to keep hands off until the threat is over, they have to negotiate the overprotective Hot Bunch, Lottie’s crazy stepdad, Tex, Mo’s crew of frat-boy commandos, not to mention his nutty sisters. All before Lottie finally gets her Dream Man. And Mo can lay claim to his Dream Girl. **Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.**  

Add QUIET MAN to your Goodreads TBR here!

Purchase your copy of QUIET MAN today!

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  |  Amazon CA  |  Amazon AU

REVIEW:

Kristen Ashley has been going back to her roots, recently writing novella’s in both her Rock Chick series and now the Dream Man series. Both series were early favorites of mine. In Quiet Man, Lottie Jet’s (Rock Chick) extremely talented stripper sister gets her own Dream Man in the form of Mo Morrison, one of Hawk’s commando’s. When Mo steps in as her private security after Lottie gets a disturbing letter from a stalker they each know immediately that the other is their chance at love.

Each Rock Chick and Dream Man story have elements of danger, fun, and heated tension between our two main characters. Even though Mo is not very chatty he gets his point across with a grunt or nod and Lottie doesn’t seem to think his lack of voice is a reflection on his character. A character we learn pretty quickly has plenty of depth and a back story that’s easy to like. Since I’d already liked Lottie and felt like I knew who she was, I was surprised by the few new things I found out. These surprises kept me happily interested and reading until the end.

It’s hard to write novella where your readers connect easily with the main characters. Usually there are too few pages and the author tries to jump immediately into the story and something gets lost in the translation. Quiet Man, for me, didn’t have those same problems. In part because I already knew these characters and the jump into the story fit well with my memory of both Mo and Lottie. It was also a nice return trip to some of my favorite characters in KA’s very large list of novels. I had fun with this novella and I think if you’re a fan, you will too. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

I received a free copy of this ARC for my honest review and it was honest!

“OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!! I FREAKING LOVED IT!!!!!!!! LOVE LOVE LOVED IT!!! This was pure Old School Vintage KA GOLD!!!” ~Aestas Book Blog

“[Kristen] Ashley captivates.” ~Publisher’s Weekly “There is something about them [Ashley’s books] that I find crackalicious.” ~DearAuthor.com, Kati Brown


 

About KRISTEN ASHLEY:

Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA and nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorize and she hadn’t taken her first breath!). Her mother said they took Kristen away, put her Mom back in her room, her mother looked out the window, and Gary was on fire (Dr. King had been assassinated four days before). Kristen’s Mom remembered thinking it was the end of the world. Quite the dramatic beginning. Nothing’s changed. Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana and has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus, she’s blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her family was (is) loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write. They all lived together on a very small farm in a small farm town in the heartland. She grew up with Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched). Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up. And as she keeps growing, it keeps getting better.   Connect With Her: Website  |  Facebook  |  Instagram |  Goodreads   |  Twitter  |  Bookbub

It’s Monday! What are you reading? (8/19/19)

Happy Monday everyone! I ran across this post on Book Date and liked the idea of sharing what I’m currently reading, and hopefully hearing about what you’ve picked up off your shelf. So here goes!

JUST FINISHED

Quiet Man (Dream Man novella #4.5) by Kristen Ashley

First Sentence Read: “I’m getting a breast reduction.”

JUST STARTED

A Dress for the Wicked by Autumn Krause

First Sentence Read: “When I was growing up, the rector of our parish told me, “Don’t judge the people by the way they dress. There can be angels in rags and demons in silk.”

One is a little sexier than the other, but then I did need a change in pace! LOL. I’m actually really enjoying the start to A Dress for the Wicked, a YA novel that feels to be a little Hunger Games meets the Selection, with a little Project Runway thrown in! We’ll see if it can keep up the fun pace!

It’s the start to a new week. What are you reading this fine Monday?

Deb

This Chick Read: The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

The Bride Test is the stand alone sequel to Helen Hoang’s wildly acclaimed The Kiss Quotient. Khai Diep is introduced to the reader as unfeeling and incapable of love. Despairing of ever having grandchildren, his mother goes back to Thailand to find Khai a wife. In the bathroom of a large hotel she meets Esme, the house maid of that hotel. Enjoying Esme’s lack of artifice and her practical manner, she issues the invitation to Esme to come to America for the summer, meet Khai and see if they’d be a good match. All expenses paid, with a job waiting tables at her restaurant waiting on the other side. Down on her luck Esme takes advantage of this opportunity and takes her first plane trip to the US, where she proceeds to charm Khai with her lack of feminine wiles.

I had a few issues with the Kiss Quotient. I had such a hard time overcoming the fact that FINALLY a book was written about an autistic woman falling in love, yet that love was a hooker. So many people overlooked his profession but for some reason (I don’t know, sanity?) that was a line I just couldn’t cross. Thankfully, The Bride Test had none of those issues. Khai, too was autistic. However, his self proclaimed issues were his emotions, not his lack of sexual prowess as was Stella’s in The Kiss Quotient. I loved learning about Khai’s difficulty’s trusting himself to let go and feel. I learned a lot about autism reading from his POV. Funny enough, Esme seemed to have plenty of self worth issues herself but hers came from her social standing. Their character growth ran parallel to each others and I relished seeing how this country girl taught Khai how to learn to love.

This novel had plenty of humorous moments and titillating scenes that fans of The Kiss Quotient will be happy to hear about. Esme is a fish out of water in the US and she makes plenty of social gaffe’s, however she’s so sweet and charming that you are laughing with her instead of at her. Khai’s confused attachment to her grows and he becomes her biggest champion, albeit in a way that shows he’s absolutely clueless about how to navigate a romantic relationship. They really were the perfect couple.

The Bride Test is a unique romance novel in that its main characters are not perfect at the end of the book. You get the feeling that both Khai and Esme have a long journey of self discovery ahead but they will do it hand in hand. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“These two weren’t perfect people, but they were perfect for each other. I loved how she wanted Khai’s consent before she did things that would trigger him. How she asked him to show her how he liked things and how he wanted to be touched.” Books and Blends

“Overall, I adored this book.  There are some things that happened near the end that felt rushed and far-fetched but not enough to truly bother me.  I breezed through this one and it even brought tears to my eyes.  That does not happen to me that often with a romance!” Kristin Kraves Books

Click this link to purchase!* The Bride Test

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

It’s Monday! What are you reading? (8/12/19)

Happy Monday everyone! I ran across this post on Book Date and liked the idea of sharing what I’m currently reading, so here goes!

JUST FINISHED

The Best Thing by Mariana Zapata

First Sentence Read: “I knew it was a shitty idea to click on the link on my home screen.”

JUST STARTED

The Blacksmith Queen by G.A. Aiken

First Sentence Read: “The great king had barely taken his last breath before one brother took the head of another.”

Mariana Zapata’s book came out this weekend and I had to drop everything else and read The Best Thing. It was very different than her previous novel,sweet, gentle, and so funny! Loved it! I started The Blacksmith Queen as a change in pace and boy was it off to a bloody start! G.A. Aiken writes with such a tongue in cheek irreverence. I’m enjoying it so far!

What are you reading this fine Monday?

Deb