This Chick Read: The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez

Kristen Peterson is one of those girls that is effortlessly beautiful, sarcastically funny, and everyone’s best friend. The moment Josh Copeland meets her he knows she’s the woman for him. With her boyfriend on deployment, Kristen has plenty of time to hang with her best friend helping her plan her wedding. As the maid of honor to Josh’s best man, they are thrown together on many occasions and develop an easy friendship that could turn into so much more, except for two things. Her boyfriend and the fact that she has a medical condition that will make her unable to have children.

This was one of those books that is a delight to read at least for the first half of the book. I loved Kristen’s personality. She was so freaking funny but also had so much heart. She and Josh together were really effortless and the tension that built between them as she fought to keep that wall up was extreme! As the second half of the book rolled along I’ll admit to moments where I wanted to kick her in the shins to just make her get over herself and give him a chance. Thankfully the tender moments outweighed the frustrating, but I did seriously question my resolve to finish this book.

With the exception of a lack of communication skills, Josh was the perfect guy. Handsome, had a great job, and a good personality. The fact he was so nice was kind of unreal but knowing I was reading a fantasy filled romance novel I let myself enjoy his wonderfulness. There were a couple of tense emotion filled scenes where he just shone and I again wanted to kick Kristen in the shins because her reactions just didn’t make sense! LOL! Who wouldn’t want to do everything in their power to be with this guy?

Thankfully, knowing this is a romance and a happy ending is pretty much guaranteed I chose to enjoy the ride and not question things too much. The ending was happy just as I’d hoped and this amazing couple fought through adversity and then some… to finally get that happy ending. The Friend Zone had moments of hilarity mixed with tension filled heartbreak. I hit all points on the emotional spectrum and still enjoyed the novel. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“What I expected upon picking up The Friend Zone was a light-hearted, fluffy contemporary romance perfect for summer. And while the book delivered with the romance, angst, and humor, it also contained a layer of emotional complexity that was unexpected in the best way.” Paws and Paperbacks

The Friend Zone in three words: Witty, Relatable and EmotionalNovel Gossip

Click this link to purchase!* The Friend Zone

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren

Tate Jones and Sam Brandis meet and fall in love while on a two week vacation in London. He was her first lover and confidant and ultimately broke her heart. 14 years later Tate is an actress who shows up for a role of a lifetime and finds out the screenwriter is none other than Sam. This reconnection brings up all of her past hurts. Will they take advantage of this second chance?

OK, boy, this story was so much more than the brief synopsis above. Another huge plot point is the fact that Tate’s father is this huge actor and is cast in a supporting role in the movie. Tate has always wanted to have a better relationship with her father and her journey towards the discovery of who they both are is at times heartbreaking and is such a great sub plot to this novel! I really feel that without that additional conflict the story would have fallen a little flat. I’m always a sucker for daddy issues and boy, this daddy has issues!

I loved Sam right from the start and was just as heartbroken as Tate when their relationship couldn’t get past their first big conflict. However, it was Tate and her family/friends that held this story together. Her Nana and mom were awesome and her best friend Charlie was funny and ferocious.

I recently read Christina Lauren’s Unhoneymooners and that novel was hilarious and fun. This novel had more heart and depth. There was some humor from the cast of characters but there was a lot of emotional turmoil in Tate’s heart and it was that emotion that drew me in. I feel like this novel was different than their other books because of how adult the topics and the maturity of the characters. If you look for those heart tugging moments in the books you read then you need to pick this one up! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Twice in a Blue Moon

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- (if you click the link and purchase the book I’ll receive a small stipend)

It’s Monday! What are you reading? (10/21/19)

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

First Sentence Read: “Nana turned to inspect the hotel room.”

JUST STARTED

First Sentence Read: “Just when Caleb Stuckey thought it couldn’t get any worse his mom walked in.”

I feel a little guilty for reading two romances back to back because I usually switch up my genre’s, keeping the choices fresh. However it took me a week to read Lady Rogue, a historical fantasy of sorts and I just wanted to catch up. Romances are typically a quick read and Parental Guidance was next on my list from the library. It looks cute!

Now that you know I’m on a romance jag, what are you reading this fine Monday?

Deb

This Chick Read: Rock Bottom Girl by Lucy Score

Moving back to your home town is never easy but when you’ve lost your job, been dumped, and don’t have a penny to your name it’s a necessity. 38 year old Marley is back in her childhood bedroom living with her parents when her mom gets her a new job as the high school girls soccer coach and gym teacher. Marley couldn’t wait to leave town after high school and now she’s right back in the midst of teenage angst, cliques, and raging hormones- oh wait, those raging hormones are hers! High school crush Jake Weston is a teacher at school and when Marley ends up in the principal’s office she finds herself in a fake relationship signing an ethics contract! She has definitely hit Rock Bottom… or has she?

Rock Bottom Girl nailed all of my sweet spots; down on your luck heroine, girls soccer (I played in high school), hunky high school crush, and humor with a capital H! Marley was the type of heroine who doesn’t believe in herself but at the same time manages to rise to every occasion albeit sometimes accidentally. Her hijinks had me laughing out loud and reaching for the tissues. Not because I was crying from the emotion but because I was laughing so hard my eyes were streaming.

Jake Weston was the perfect hero. A little too good to be true, actually, but I’m going to overlook that perfection. He was the perfect foil to Marley’s imperfect life. Despite her flaws, he falls for her hook line and sinker, as do I. She was a tough heroine to dislike!

This was my first novel by Lucy Score. I stumbled upon it by accident and am thankful for whoever it was that recommended it. It’s a slow burn romance and there’s plenty of build up to the relationship and when our two main characters get together? Oh my! After finishing Rock Bottom Girl I immediately jumped on Amazon to see which novel I’d read next. I hope they’re all as good as this one!

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Rock Bottom Girl: A Small Town Romantic Comedy

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read (Audio Review): Like the Wind by J. Bengtsson

Bohdi Beckett is pretty laissez faire for being a pop star in one of the biggest boy bands in the world. One night after a show he receives a letter from a woman claiming to be his mother. One problem, his dad told him his mother was dead. Feeling betrayed good guy Bohdi goes off the deep end getting drunk publicly and flashing the Paps. His father rents him a home in the Southern California hills, hoping he’ll cool off. Little does he know the heat is about to get turned up. Literally! It’s fire season in Southern CA and Bohdi’s house is right in the path of a large fire. Breeze is pet sitting in those same hills when she’s told to evacuate. She can’t leave behind her charges, so she packs up, gets the dogs on leashes, the fish out of the tank, and the cat in the cat carrier and hauls off the property in her car. When a falling tree blindsides her she and her crew are rescued. By pop star Bohdi Beckett.

I grew up in So CA myself and am very familiar with their change of seasons. This author painted a very accurate picture of the hillsides burning around Bohdi and Breeze as they tried to escape. I thought the real setting was a great contrast to Bohdi’s stage persona and Breeze’s casual lifestyle making their experience seem even more dangerous and real. When Breeze offers up her place for Bodhi to stay it’s their chemistry that catches fire but when they lean on each other for support, the story really gets going and I’m all in.

There were a lot of emotional ups and downs in this book. The revelation that Bodhi’s mom wasn’t dead, the fire, pop star mania, Breeze’s crazy ex boyfriend situation? A LOT was going on! Somehow it all tied together for a really good book. I will admit that Callie Dalton and Zachary Webber are two of my favorite narrators and their characterizations seemed spot on. They imbued Breeze and Bodhi with life making it really hard to dislike these characters.

I’m a fan of J. Bengtsson’s dialog and Like the Wind had some really humorous moments mixed in with the serious. She gives her characters such depth that I was lost in the story, forgetting that I actually had to stop listening and get back to work. Like the Wind is a stand alone novel so there is nothing to stop you from picking up this book and starting your journey with Bodhi and Breeze.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“A pop star, a quirky pet sitter and a wildfire made for one the best listens I have all year when combined with Callie Dalton and Zachary Webber’s amazing narration.” The Red Hatter Book Blog

Click this link to purchase!* Like the Wind

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: Wrapped Up in you (Heartbreak Bay) by Jill Shalvis

After years of moving from town to town, not making friends or planting roots, Ivy finally settles down in San Francisco’s Heartbreak Bay, purchasing and running the local taco truck. Despite her own code of honor, she’s always been shy of the law. When she meets cowboy and sheriff Kel O’Donnell she’s immediately attracted and wisely wary of this newcomer to her group of friends. Thrown into his company by a break in at her truck, Ivy and Kel fight their instinct to stay away from each other and instead start to rely on their unlikely friendship.

I liked Ivy’s back story of a troubled family that requires them to move always staying one step ahead of whoever may be trying to find them. Ivy keeps a wall up, even with her group of friends, so it’s not surprising she’d be especially wary of a man who asks too many questions and tries to delve to deeply into her past. Kel has his own demons with a mother who he felt abandoned he and his sister, which makes him less likely to trust than most. The two of them together seemed an unlikely pair, neither of them too willing to trust. Despite the tentative trust factor I liked them for each other and easily rooted them on.

Wrapped Up in You was about friendship and love overcoming all obstacles. The story wasn’t too deep and didn’t require my complete immersion into the plot to keep up, but it was enjoyable and totally lived up to my expectations of an easy to read romance. Something I’ve come to expect from a Jill Shalvis novel. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase!* Wrapped Up in You: A Heartbreaker Bay Novel

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

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.

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