This Chick Read: Enjoy the View (Moose Springs #3) by Sarah Morgenthaler

Despite being on the young side of 30 River Lane’s acting career is in trouble. Enough that she has talked two of her friends into heading out to Moose Springs to take her first step behind the camera producing a tourism documentary for the area. What she doesn’t bargain for is a town full of people who don’t want any more tourists in their small town. The permits she signed up for? They go missing. None of the locals will be interviewed for the production and she’s been kicked out of every restaurant in the area. Desperate, she and her team are left filming on the side of the road when she meets mountaineer Easton Lockett. He’s quiet, taciturn, and helplessly attracted to the vivacious River. When she suggests turning their tourism doc into a documentary about climbing their local mountain Mount Vail, it’s Easton who she turns to to get them up the mountain.

This series started off so strong with Graham and Zoey in The Tourist Attraction. I was charmed by the characters and the town, so when I read the second novel, Mistletoe and Mr. Right I had pretty high expectations. I did get a solid rom-com but I felt like their was something missing in my leading man and lady. Not in Enjoy the View. I had always been curious about Easton. He was a quiet guy in the background to both of the main characters in the first two novels. I didn’t know that I would love him so much. It helped that River was sassy, irreverent, and just as attracted to Easton as he was to her. Even more, she was the underdog in this story and just so easy to root for!

The friendships that drew me to love the first novel was a huge part of the attraction in Enjoy the View but surprisingly it was River’s two friends Jessie and Bree who were her biggest support group and also happily led her down the road to silliness. The three of them together were fun and showed how true friendships work. I love when there’s a good girl gang, and even though Jessie was a guy, he’s totally in the girl group in this novel. Easton too had a those friends who were so devastatingly fun in the first couple of novels. Those friends helped the reader see the man beneath the beard and his true nature which was gentle, fun, and loyal. An all around great guy. Of course, that broad chest and build helped elevate that attraction.

The thing I loved most about this story was that River, a woman who seemed to have it all, was really finding herself in Moose Springs, Alaska. In climbing her way to the top of this mountain, she falls in love, but she also learns a lot about herself and who she wants to continue to be. That self revelation is thought provoking, charming, and in the midst of a dangerous climb up a mountain, exhilarating. That she did it with Easton at her side was the frosting on the cake.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase!* Enjoy the View (Moose Springs, Alaska, 3)

Copyright 2021 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

This Chick Read: The Forever Girl (Wildstone #6) by Jill Shalvis

Maze heads back to Wildstone for the wedding of her BRR, Cat, and a reunion with her estranged gang of friends. Expecting them to hate her for her absence, instead she’s embraced back into their hearts. Uneasy about facing Walker, the man she once loved and left, she finds that their chemistry is just as fiery and hard to resist. Maze’s past has taught her to guard her heart but these friends are formidable and she learns she is stronger with them by her side than she is alone.

I have to talk about how much I loved Maze. Sure, I’ve read many books where the heroine is flawed, but there was something about Maze that made me care about her. Usually, I get tired of the self castigation, but Jill Shalvis walked that fine line of being too sorry for yourself, and allowing yourself to move past her issues. Maze blamed herself for something big that happened when they were all kids, but she allowed herself to be loved and to accept their judgement (which was no judgement). For me, Cat was actually the character I got impatient with because of her neediness. She needed her friends to be back together and she needed her fianceé to be something other than what he was. However, her wedding was the incident that brought this group back together so I understood her purpose.

Walker was a different story. Sure, he also had his issues. I mean, they were foster kids so that comes with a lot of baggage, but he was just so solid. I liked him from the get go and once I figured out I adored Maze, I totally rooted for them and eagerly read their reunion and all that followed. He was just all that.

I have read a couple of the other Wildstone novels but The Forever Girl doesn’t reference any of the characters in the past and can be read as a stand alone novel, so don’t be fearful of that #6 after the title. If you’re a fan of Jill Shalvis novels as I am, please pick up The Forever Girl. It’s the perfect story about lost friends and found love which really hits the right note during this pandemic. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

I received a copy of this ARC through Net Galley for my honest review and it was honest.

Click this link to purchase!* The Forever Girl: A Novel (The Wildstone Series, 6)

Copyright 2021 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? (1/4/21)

I finally managed to get a good bit of reading in during my break from work over the last 10 days. I did also stream some shows with my husband. I know last week I talked about Bridgerton, but over New Years my husband and I streamed Ted Lasso on Apple TV. Such a funny and heart warming show. If you have that service you should give it a try. Now back to my reading materials.

This post originated over on Book Date, so thanks for the idea and letting me continue on the discussion about what books I am reading.

JUST FINISHED

I read Motion, Space, and Time back to back over two days. The first two books being cliffhangers. I have been reading some books I’ve had stored on my kindle and Motion was one of those. Luckily I was able to find Space and Time at the library and didn’t have to wait to borrow the e-books. This was a really good series! Technically she has them listed as books 4,5,6 in the Hypothesis series, but these can be read separately from books 1-3 which have different characters. I love how her characters are flawed and real rather than being these perfect individuals that none of us can dream of being. These were good and I totally recommend them.

JUST STARTED

I’m about half way through this novel and it’s really good! It’s rare when you can’t count on Nora Roberts to deliver a good story. Her pace and pattern of the story is familiar but I’m enjoying it a lot and can’t wait to get back to it.

What book did you read over the holiday and what will you be reading as we head into our new week? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

Happy New Year and have a great Monday!

Deb

This Chick Read: Dream Chaser (Dream Team #2) by Kristen Ashley

After Lottie successfully set up their friend Evie and Mag, the rest of the Dream Team has been shying away from their hook-ups. Ryn Jansen doesn’t have any interest in Boone Sadler despite their obvious attraction to each other. She’s been let down by men before and isn’t willing to trust that he’ll be any different. When he shows up with information that her ex sister-in-law has been conning her out of money she’s upset for two reasons. She got conned by her family, but also Boone butted into her business! Despite his good reasons, Ryn is not happy but this time he isn’t giving up. When a bad guy kidnaps her for info, Boone becomes all alpha male claiming her as his, determined to get to the bottom of her kidnapping and to protect her with his life.

I did not read the first book in this series, Dream Maker, before I read Dream Chaser, but I certainly went to my kindle and downloaded it immediately upon finishing this novel. It was so much fun! The Dream Team series is a spin off of the Rock Chick series, one of my favorites. These novels were about fun, friends, and yes their alpha men, but the heart in these books make them easy to read and love. Dream Team was exactly the same, a return to the hay day of Kristen Ashley writing. Or at least when I liked her writing more.

What can I say about these characters? The Dream Team are strippers but like Julie Roberts in Pretty Woman, these strippers are only doing it for the money, not because they enjoy stripping. Like the Rock Chicks before them, there is an underlying plot running between the novels, so while I didn’t read Dream Maker first, if you have that chance, I’d read them in order. Also, I liked Dream Maker even more than I did Dream Chaser. Ryn has a family who takes advantage of her, taking her money, keeping her from pursuing her own dreams. Boone with his direct approach helps her come to terms with them.

As with KA’s more recent novels, Dream Chaser has some hard core sex scenes, but you know what? She did a lot of fade aways in this series too. It was a good blend of showing some action and not giving too much. Or at least it was to me. I like a story with my romance and I found it in this novel. In fact, this is why I started reading Dream Maker immediately upon finishing. This book took me back to why I had initially liked Kristen Ashley so much. Let’s hope she continues in this vein, or at least that there are a LOT of books in this series.

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


Click this link to purchase! Dream Chaser (Dream Team, 2)

Copyright 2020 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: Knight (Unfinished Hero #1) by Kristen Ashley

Some Spoilers Ahead!

Anya is going to night school while working a 9-5 job by day AND she fills in the extra hours building up her manicure clientele for the business she wants to open some day. Needless to say she doesn’t have a lot of free time on her hands, but when one of her girlfriends gets in a mood and wants to go out, Anya dresses up and goes to support her friend. She ends up at a private residence at a party held by this guy who is NOT a good guy. Done with the party she didn’t want to be at anyway she searches for the bag and jacket she left in a bedroom and reaches for the phone she see’s on the nightstand to call an Uber when she meets Knight, brother of the jerk throwing the party and kind of a jerk too. He does offer to drive her home, asks her a few questions about her life, and the next thing she knows her life starts to get a little easier.

I read this book when it first came out and because I read so many books a year I couldn’t remember anything other than I didn’t care for it that much. I decided to re-read it to see if my opinion had changed over time. Knight is the first novel in one of Kristen Ashley’s older series called Unfinished Hero’s. She shares in her prologue that this series is about that kernel of goodness in some not so very nice guys. The idea intrigued me. Yes, not everyone is 100% good, but you don’t usually see a romance novel where the hero makes choices the reader wouldn’t agree with and still ends up with his heroine, but in Unfinished Hero this is what happens. Knight is a nightclub owner but there is a lot of mystery about how he went from nothing to having the money to open the most prestigious and talked about club in their town. Anya has very good intuition and knows he’s not 100% good, but she’s had a really tough life where she’s had to make choices and understands that there are shades of bad and Knight is not the darkest shade.

OK, so we know Knight has some kind of mysterious source that got him to the point he could open this amazing nightclub, and KA drags out the anticipation so that Anya can fall for him completely. When his nefarious brother arranges for her to find out what else Knight is involved with she chooses to believe in the good in him and not get scared away. Now, I do believe there are shades of good and bad, but I would have a really hard time overlooking the fact that he owned a stable of women. Now, this isn’t the first time someone has glorified hookers, think Pretty Woman. I mean, who wouldn’t love the hooker with a heart of gold. But the man who runs the group of them? It is still hard for me to think he’s a hero. I’m sorry. There were moments that I really liked in this book. I loved that he wanted to take care of Anya and see her do well. I guess that’s pretty much what I liked about him. He wasn’t the most emotional guy in the world, he was a control freak (in and out of the bedroom), and there wasn’t a traditional HEA in Anya’s future. He wasn’t ever going to marry her. When you’re reading it it seems like it all makes sense, but when you’re done reading and thinking back on everything the fantasy falls kind of flat.

If you like reading books about not so nice guys and their women, then this is probably the series for you, and in the right frame of mind, I may like it as well. Re-reading this one during a pandemic with a political environment like we’ve been in may not have been the best time for me to pick this one up again. ❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase! Knight (Unfinished Heroes) (Volume 1)

Copyright 2020 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? (10/26/2020)

The leaves are changing, the weather is so nice, and I didn’t read that much this last week. I did finish one audiobook and one novel. That’s a little slow for me! The romance novel I did finish was excellent and I recommend it to everyone who likes sports romances and current events. My review went out Sunday if you’d like to read about my thoughts.

JUST FINISHED

When your star quarterback decides to take a stance on racism and poor treatment of NFL players by kneeling for his first game with the team, Strategic Communications Manager, Elliott Reed, is thrown into the deep end on her first day of work. I liked this one a lot.

JUST STARTED

The premise to this series is that a men’s book club read romance novels to understand women and help them in their relationships. Totally cute premise and the first novel in the series was pretty good. I’ll admit that I’ve been a little disappointed but am hoping this will be the book that will knock it out of the park!

Yep, it’s still light-hearted romances for me. What are you reading this fine Monday?

Deb

This Chick Read: Snapped (The Playbook #4) by Alexa Martin

Elliott Reed has found her dream job as the Strategic Communications Manager for the Denver Mustangs when their brand new star quarterback Quinton Howard Jr. slaps a piece of black tape on the football logo on his jersey and kneels during the national anthem of their opening football game. When Elliott is given the task of “handling” him she finds herself battling her feelings of respect for the cause he’s fighting and her need to keep her new job. The job that she feels her dead father would have loved for his daughter.

Alexa Martin’s forward states that this is very loosely based upon her own experiences as the wife of a player in the NFL but is also influenced by Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling for the national anthem that started that protesting movement, but that the relationship story is all fiction. I thought she did a GREAT job relaying the story and describing the feelings that her characters, and people of color feel at being treated in the way they were treated in this book. I could never put myself in their shoes, but I felt the hurt, confusion, and anger these characters felt at their treatment and that goes a long way towards helping me understand. I appreciated and welcomed that lesson even if it was just in a fictional romance novel.

Elliott’s mother was black and died when she was a baby. She was raised by her white father and so had conflicted feelings about race, how she should feel and react in certain situations. She has always hidden her feelings and just tried to fit in so when Quinton’s stance made her face her own tendencies to brush things under the rug, it was eye opening and upsetting for her. The fact that she so admired him for what he was doing and was even helping him set up his foundation while at the same time feeling uncomfortable at bringing her feelings out into the open was, I thought, very realistic for how a lot of people may be feeling towards the Black Matter movement and protesting that is ongoing today. It made the point this author was making more relevant and real for me to have her main character so conflicted in the beginning.

With such a serious subject at the center of the love story as a reader you can’t help but feel that the romance took a back seat to the stance on racial inequality and how football players from before 1993 are being mistreated with a lack of benefits and healthcare. You know what? I didn’t miss the romance at all. I still felt the sizzling attraction and the pain of difficult conversations that helped move the relationship forward. The story had a more serious tone than the previous novels but with the help of her friends also brought touches of light and funny. At the end I felt totally satisfied and when I looked back on the book realized how much I enjoyed the story and their romance.

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

Click this link to purchase! Snapped (Playbook, The)

Copyright 2020 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: Simmer Down by Sarah Smith

Nikki DiMarco and her mom Tiva run a food truck in Maui called Tiva’s Filipina Kusina. It was her father’s dream to run this food truck and after his death Nikki moved to Maui to make that dream come true with her mom. Struggling to make ends meet they finally get a great spot along the beach when another food truck run by Finn and Callum James, tries to hone in on their spot. Nikki and Callum take an instant dislike to each other and become social media famous for their escalating arguments. Does this dislike cover up a hot attraction? You bet!

After reading Sarah Smith’s last novel, Faker, I hadn’t planned on reading another but I’m so glad I did! Unlike Faker, Simmer Down didn’t have any of the awkward descriptors and instead relied on a great plot and plenty of attraction to reel the reader right in. I’ll admit, I’m also a sucker for romance novels where food is the third character. I’m not that familiar with lumpia’s but after reading all about them in Simmer Down I want to run out and try some Filipino food!

Nikki’s heart was broken by her father’s death and she hesitates to let anyone get close. Callum’s disagreeable facial expressions hide his true feelings and when they sit next to each other for 9 hours on a plane Nikki realizes that he’s actually as charming as he is hot and has a hard time keeping her heart out of the relationship. I don’t think it’s a secret that my favorite trope is enemies to lovers and this was a really good one. The only reason why it didn’t get a 5 rating is because the ending seemed a touch too predictable. I did like their characters and the food. OMG! I need to find me some lumpia’s quick! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase!* Simmer Down

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (10/12/2020)

I am blaming my lack of reading on discovering the program Schitt’s Creek on Netflix. My husband and I have been binge watching and enjoying this hysterical comedy. I can understand why it swept the Emmy’s this year, the show is hilarious! So, I have only read one book this week. Let me catch you up on it!

This post originated over on Book Date, so thanks for the idea and letting me continue on the discussion about what books I am reading.

JUST FINISHED

A fantasy novel that felt both historical and relevant to my time. In this fantasy world Sorceresses are denied their right to their magic, forced to wear a collar that inhibits their abilities when they marry. The fear is that their children will be possessed with horrible consequences to this possession. I can’t help but make comparison’s to so many things. This year’s 100th anniversary of the women’s right to vote and the black lives matter movement immediately come to mind. I was eager to read it and wasn’t disappointed by what I read.

JUST STARTED

I haven’t actually started this on yet, but it’s up next. It’s a rom-com set in the Miami food truck/restaurant world and sounds adorable. Can’t wait!

What are you all going to be reading to get your week off to a great start?

Deb

This Chick Read: Kind of a Big Deal (Flirting with Fame #4) by Mary Ann Marlowe

Noah Kennedy and Lucy Griffin were high school sweethearts, best friends, and soul mates. When Noah left for New York to pursue his dream of becoming a rock star he and Lucy tried the long distance thing, but Lucy wanted someone who’d be there every day, not someone who would be on tour all the time. It was too similar to her absentee father who only dropped in when it was convenient to him. So, Lucy broke Noah’s heart. They remained friends, seeing each other only occasionally, but she was always the girl that got away. When Noah finds out that Lucy is now divorced he’s determined to win her for good.

The thing I love about Reading a series where each character in the gang gets their own story, is that by the time their story gets written we’ve heard their back story and have kind of gotten to know the character. Noah was definitely in the other books, but he was always the jerk and because of that I was never drawn to him. Reading his story I now know why he’s a jerk, but knowing that didn’t necessarily make him more likable. The only thing that did was his devout love for Lucy. Then there was Lucy. She’d obviously not had a good father figure and every man was judged against his failures and Noah had too many like comparisons, or at least on the surface. She had a lot of past grievances to overcome and Noah had a big mountain to climb.

The first 40% of this novel was spent catching up on these characters story arc. I’ll be honest, this became problematic for me because I got impatient. I wasn’t very attached to either character and their previous struggles, although eye-opening, didn’t help me care for them. However, once I hit that 40% and they finally re-connected, the story moved forward at a quicker pace and I sped through the remainder of the novel. From that point forward I was rooting for Noah. I’ll admit, I never cared too deeply for Lucy but wanted Noah to finally achieve his own HEA, even if it was with her. I didn’t think she was too deserving.

This was not my favorite book in the series. In that first 40% I kind of felt like their lives were just being told to me and the narration felt distant. I didn’t live their experiences with them. I’m glad to have read Kind of a Big Deal because it wraps up the series (I think!) but my favorite by this author is still her first book Some Kind of Wonderful. If you haven’t read that novel, please give it a try! It’s the first book and if you love it like I did, you will want to hear the rest of these band member’s stories. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

I was given a copy of this novel by the author for my honest review. I lost the copy and purchased the novel because of my love for this series. My review remains unbiased and completely honest.

Click this link to purchase!* Kind of a Big Deal (Flirting with Fame)

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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