This Chick Read: Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey

Rosie and Dominic Vega were high school sweethearts and got married when when he enlisted. They’ve always been each others best friend able to talk about anything and their chemistry? It sizzles! Ever since Dominic came back from Afghanistan their relationship has changed. They don’t talk as much, living together as husband and wife but except for their once a week sex-date not interacting. Rosie is heartbroken but wants to move on and start living out her dream and feels like Dominic isn’t going to stand beside her and help her accomplish them. She asks for a divorce and is surprised by how vehemently Dominic wants to make things work. So she comprises by going to last chance couples therapy. Love Her or Lose Her is a love story that puts communication first while still delivering the heat.

I really liked the premise of this novel and after reading Fix Her Up and liking it a lot, was confident Tessa Bailey would deliver a good story. Did she? Well, yes and no. I was really conflicted and my emotions were all over the place.

What I liked: I really liked Rosie. She obviously loved Dominic a lot but wasn’t going to settle for less than what she thought she deserved from her husband. She was confident, sassy, and her cooking sounded amazing. Seriously, I got hungry for cuban food reading this novel! What I also liked about Rosie was that when she realized she should take part of the blame in their failed marriage, she did…and felt horrified by it. I also liked her friends. Georgie was our heroine in Fix Her Up and she was just as charming in this novel, and Bethany, Georgie’s sister, who will star in her own novel next. Their sisterhood and support system were amazing and I had a lot of fun reading about that group.

What I didn’t like: I’m just going to say it.. Dominic. I usually like an alpha male, but this guy had way too much testosterone. Whew! His old fashioned attitude about what makes a good marriage definitely needed to be brought up to date. The heat between the two of them was crazy hot, but the way he spoke to her during those hot moments, for me, was a complete turn off. I hated his moniker for her… gosh, I’ve blacked it out of my mind, I think it was honey girl? Every time he said it, I just cringed. It seemed like the author was trying way too hard. Would such a taciturn guy really start calling her this name only when they had sex? To me, it was just weird.

So, the fact I didn’t care for half the couple wasn’t a good sign. However, I did like how going to therapy made them open up and see things in each other and in themselves. That, and Rosie’s character elevating their coupledom out of the trash heap with her genuine likability? I gave Lover Her or Lose Her a 3 rating, which on my scale is average. I like this author but I think she missed the mark on this couple. ❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase!* Love Her or Lose Her: A Novel

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase through the above link I may receive a small stipend.

This Chick Read: Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn

Meg’s gained some acclaim from her hand lettering skills. She’s developed planners, calendars, and wedding invitations that are both beautiful and whimsical. However, when Reid Sutherland shows up at her door claiming she’d hidden a secret message in his wedding invitation stating his wedding was a “mistake” she’s got a little explaining to do. Thus begins the story of Meg and Reid. A young woman who uses letters to portray emotions and characteristics and a young man who is a mathematical genius seeing formula’s in numbers. Their communication is intricate, their budding friendship hesitant, and their emotions fierce. This is a love story unlike any other and that difference made it unputdownable.

Meg is a young woman who looks like she’s got it all going for her. She’s worked hard to make her business grow but all of her personal relationships are a mess. When Reid walks through her door, she doesn’t want any more secrets or polite exchanges, she decides to give him the truth and that truth creates a bond between she and Reid. Meg uses lettering as a descriptor of emotions. She hears people speak in type fonts and exclamations are pointy and sharp. Her inner dialog was fascinating and her attraction to Reid hung on every quirk of his mouth.

Reid was more of a dark horse. Quiet, formidable, and living in a world ruled by numbers. He see’s things in black and white until he starts enjoying NYC through Meg’s eyes. Just as she lived for that quirk of his lips, he also lived for every strand of her hair that connected the two of them together. Underneath their growing friendship were personality quirks that explained their frailties and flaws. Background stories that were heartbreaking and secret tells that hinted at future plot reveals. Each written word of Love Lettering kept me reading, each time Meg thought “swoonshes” made me turn the page.

I do believe that when you find a book to read that hits all of your sweet spots it can be for many reasons. I was in the right mood. This was the right genre. I could identify with one or both of the characters. Whatever the reason, Love Lettering was that book for me. I read well into the night last night, then picked it up to finish with my coffee this morning. Love Lettering was IT for me in Sans Serif, all slashes and exclamation points. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase!* Love Lettering

Copyright 2019 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

This Chick Read: The Best Thing by Mariana Zapata

Some things are easily forgiven. Other things… not so much.

Lenny DeMaio made herself a promise: she was done.

Done thinking about him.

Done worrying about him.

Done reaching out to a man who clearly didn’t want to be found. 

Too bad no one gave Jonah Collins the memo.

There is nothing better than a surprise release by Mariana Zapata. It’s like Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day, and your Birthday all wrapped up in tissue paper. When The Best Thing released, I got a call from my usually taciturn sister. “It’s out! Mariana’s new book has been released!” My sister is not much for fangirling, but Ms. Zapata’s books are worth a little squeal or two. I, even though at work, went to my favorite bookseller site and downloaded that puppy. I was mad I had just started a new novel. I hated stopping in the middle of a book!

We met Lenny DeMaio in Zapata’s previous novel Luna and the Lie. Now, I won’t lie, as much as I love Mariana Zapata, Luna was different than her normal romance novel. It was a little darker and although I loved it, I was hoping that The Best Thing would be a little lighter and our heroine more self assured. Lenny was Luna’s best friend and very self assured, with a nice side of sass. I knew I was going to love her story. A few years had gone by in storyville and Lenny was now running the Maio House, the MMA gym her grandfather started. The reader is immediately thrown into the story. Lenny’s pissed about someone named Jonah Hema Collins so we assume he is our hero. The big surprise is that he’s a rugby player! A new sport for a Zapata novel and one I know nothing about… well, except the word scrum. I know what that is! LOL.

When Jonah is finally introduced to the story in person, I immediately notice something different. He’s so polite and nice! I can’t figure out why Lenny isn’t giving him a chance and even though we are given hints (don’t worry, I won’t give anything away!) I want it explained! Even after the explanation and our journey of watching the relationship develop between Lenny and Jonah commences, my feelings for Jonah don’t change, they just get stronger. He is so freaking nice! Really! He’s quiet, kind of shy, but super nice and unlike tons of previous Zapata heroes, completely likable from the first moment. I like it!

There are so many things to love about this novel. Jonah is wonderful, Lenny has sass and strength, but the best theme revolves around family. Lenny’s grandfather raised her and their relationship is so special. You get a hint of it in Luna, but Grandpa Gus is awesome! He’s cranky, also sassy, and he loves Lenny as much as can be humanly possible. The two of them are everything to each other. So family is a HUGE part of this novel, and their story will wring a tear or ten out of you, promise.

If you’re in the mood for a wonderful story about family, finding love, and friendship then you need to purchase The Best Thing. It’s on Kindle Unlimited if you have that plan, but really it’s worth the few dollars spent on purchasing it. I am an avid re-reader of her novels, so it’s already sitting on my virtual shelf, I’m waiting for the paperback in the mail, and I’m eagerly anticipating the audiobook release in a couple of months. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* The Best Thing

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams

When Gavin Scott’s marriage is on the rocks he turns to fellow Nashville Legends ballplayers for help. He’s embarrassed that it’s a problem in the bedroom that has let down his marriage but learns that may not actually be the real issue when their ‘Bromance Book Club’ prescribes a historical romance called Courting the Countess to help him with his knowledge of how to re-build his relationship with his wife. He realizes that sometimes the problem on the surface is not the real problem at all and he works really hard to open up and communicate with Thea, but is it too late?

A novel where men get together and read romances in order to help them figure out the inner workings of the female mind? I’m in! The premise of the Bromance Book Club was kind of silly and charming but I was surprised to learn that this story also had a lot of depth. Gavin needs to learn why he and his wife started to change and in the midst of figuring out how to bring the heat back, their characters also came to the realization that their experiences with life in the past may have made an impact on how they are acting towards each other now. I liked the balance of serious and silly and looked forward to reading every page to see how our couple figured things out.

Thea’s past with an absentee father and problematic mother caused all sorts of problems in her marriage that I think readers could identify with and how she slowly accepted Gavin back into her heart was at a pace that helped the situation feel believable and allowed me to buy into their story. The thing that was hard to swallow was how at first she had already written Gavin off and just wanted it to be all over already. She spent a good portion of this book pissed off and when that anger wasn’t directed at Gavin I enjoyed it. I had a little harder time with the balance of anger and forgiveness. I loved Gavin right from the start, but didn’t love her for him. In the end I was glad he got his gal, but I wished she had been a little more likable.

I also wish a little more time was spent with the Bromance Book Club. These guys were pretty funny and I think there almost needed to be a little more humor to balance the serious love story. The next novel revolves around Thea’s sister Liv and Gavin’s teammate and adversary Braden Mack. I think that relationship may provide a little more humor even though Liv may be working through some of the same issues as her sister. She was not a favorite of mine in this book, but I loved Braden Mack. Hopefully there’s a better balance and she let’s the anger go a little sooner than her sister.

This book has been on my radar for quite a few months. While it didn’t knock it out of the park for me it was a solid 4.0 rating and a novel I enjoyed in a series that I can’t help but feel may get better as it goes along.. at least that’s my hope! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“The Bromance, like I mentioned before were a hoot, and there were parts of this story that were entertaining. I loved the scene where Thea finally stands up to the queen bee WAG, and her and Gavin’s daughters were absolutely adorable. While The Bromance Book Club wasn’t a solid winner for me, I am interested in reading the next book in this series. Even if I do loathe myself a bit for it.” Books and Beauty Are My Bag

“The Bromance Book club may be a sweet and entertaining rom-com, but there is certain depth to it, as it is also a very relatable tale of second chances and family dynamics. ” Readingtonic

Click this link to purchase!* The Bromance Book Club

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

This Chick Read: The Dating Charade by Melissa Ferguson

Cassie Everson just wants to find the right guy and settle down but all she seems to find is Mr. Wrong. After trying out a dating app she’s given up on her dream. Her best friend doesn’t give up on that dream and responds to an email on the aforementioned app on Cassie’s behalf and puts her face to face with a guy she went to high school with… a guy she doesn’t remember at all but wants to get to know better. Then life and responsibilities start knocking on her door. Will Cassie make the time for love?

Unlike some other reviewers I had zero expectations for this novel and was really happy with how much I liked it. Yes, the synopsis gives the reader the feeling this might be a lighthearted rom-com, and The Dating Charade really was not that book. However, it really delivered on a solid plot, great characters, and a ton of heart. Cassie and Jett were both such nice people that you couldn’t help but root for them to overcome all obstacles to make their dreams come true. Those obstacles may have been a little deeper than some other readers liked, but this novel packed a lot of emotion into it’s 336 pages! I read it straight through from start to finish.

Cassie works in an after school facility that helps keep teens off the streets and provides a safe environment for them to hang out in. When Star doesn’t show up one day and Cassie goes looking for her she finds Star and her sisters on the border of being thrown into foster care. Cassie dives into the deep end and offers them her home and becomes even more attached to these three girls. I thought this plot was so well written! Cassie is kind of a bleeding heart but Star and her sister’s add something to Cassie’s life that was missing and I thought this really helped bring something extra to Cassie character. Melissa Ferguson could’ve gone down the road so many other authors have tried but she chose to write something with meaning and I support that decision whole heartedly!

This novel was about love, but it wasn’t just about love between two people it was about how love creates a family, not blood. The message was beautiful. The Dating Charade may have been mis-cast by it’s publishers but don’t punish this author by not reading it because of a few mediocre reviews. I always say that you have to be in the right frame of mind to read any book and The Dating Charade was the book I needed to read at the time I read it. I hope you will give it a chance to be that book for you too. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

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

Click this link to purchase!* The Dating Charade

Copyright 2019 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I will receive a small (very small) stipend.

This Chick Read: Blitzed (Playbook #3) by Alexa Martin

Brynn Larson is the owner of the female-centric bar HERS where the Denver Mustangs WAGS hang out to watch their men play. Being on their reality show has brought notoriety and fans to her business and given her a solid group of ladies to call friends. Star player and shy guy Maxwell Lewis, has admired Brynn from the sidelines long enough and has decided to step up his game and make his play, but his past creates mixed signals that gun-shy Brynn has a hard time reading and isn’t sure she wants to open herself up to more betrayal.

Yes, once again I picked up a book in the middle of a series. However, this time instead of feeling a bit confused I was intrigued by all of these strong women and immediately went into my Overdrive app to look up the previous two books and bookmarked them. I haven’t read any previous Alexa Martin books before but I love her style of writing! Brynn had depth but she was also really funny, and her fictional friends were more solid than the RHONY group you see on reality TV, and a LOT more hilarious!

I was really intrigued by the concept of Brynn’s bar HERS. Created for women to hang out and be themselves, make friends, and stop being so harsh with each other is awesome! I wish I had a neighborhood bar like this one! Brynn also had quite a bit of depth in her character. Being abandoned by her mother gave her strong opinions about relationships and what she would and would not put up with and Maxwell was smart enough to see that he’d have to work through her protective shell to win the prize within.

Brynn wasn’t the only one who had some depth, Maxwell also had a secret in his past which isn’t revealed until almost 3/4’s of the way through the book. Surprisingly I didn’t get annoyed at his waffling and instead was intrigued. I think it was because the author did such a great job of making him such a nice, sweet guy. I really bought into his good character. I love these fictional good guys, it seems a rarity in a book world of too many alpha males!

I thought Blitzed was thoroughly enjoyable with just enough meat in the story to make it feel real. Brynn also had a solid group of female friends that were fun, funny, and loving. I’m a sucker for female friendships in romance novels! Since I started this series in book #3, I’m excited to go back and read the first two and re-introduce myself to this group of gals and hear their individual stories. I love finding a new to me author! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase!* Blitzed (Playbook, The)

Copyright The Reading Chick 2019 All Rights Reserved

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

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

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

Synopsis:

Brynn Larson owes a lot to reality television and professional athletes. Her bar hit new heights of success after becoming a local haunt for the Denver Mustangs players and their WAGs. But although she’s grateful, that doesn’t mean she’s crazy. And that’s exactly what she would be to ever consider dating a professional athlete. Even if it’s Maxwell Lewis, whose shy smile makes her wonder what going on behind those beautiful brown eyes. 

Maxwell knew from the moment he met Brynn that she was going to change his life. It was only a matter of time. But when he finally makes a move, fate conspires against him and everything goes wrong. Now he has to show her that their potential is real. Too bad for him, Brynn isn’t fooled by his glamorous NFL life, and when ghosts from both their pasts make a sudden reappearance, she must decide who she can trust. But when the person she’s most afraid of is herself, navigating life’s tackles is harder than anticipated.

Click this link to purchase!* Blitzed (Playbook, The)

JUST STARTED

Synopsis:

Aldrich University is rocked to its core when a hacker dumps 40,000 people’s e-mails—the entire faculty, staff, students, alums—onto an easily searchable database. Rumors and affairs immediately leak, but things turn explosive when Kit Manning’s handsome husband, Dr. Greg Strasser, is found murdered. Kit’s sister, Willa, returns for the funeral, setting foot in a hometown she fled fifteen years ago, after a night she wishes she could forget. As an investigative reporter, Willa knows something isn’t right about the night Greg was killed, and she’s determined to find the truth. What she doesn’t expect is that everyone has something to hide. And with a killer on the loose, Willa and Kit must figure out who killed Greg before someone else is murdered.

Told from multiple points of view, Reputation is full of twists, turns, and shocking reveals. It’s a story of intrigue, sabotage, and the secrets we keep—and how far we go to keep them hidden. Number one bestseller Sara Shepard is at the top of her game in this brand-new adult novel.

Click this link to purchase!* Reputation: A Novel

Both of these books are really good! Look for reviews this week!

What are you reading this Thanksgiving week?

Deb

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