It’s Monday, what are you reading? (4/6/2020)

As we are all hunkered down practicing our social distancing, please take note of the things that are bringing you enjoyment today. Streaming video, broadcast television, playing games with your family, taking long walks with your dog, listening to music, and reading your favorite books. Most of these things with the exception of walking your dog and maybe some games you are playing with your family are provided by people who are out of work, or whose livelihoods are threatened by COVID-19. Not all actors, musicians, lighting techs, makeup artists, ballerina, admin assistants, hair dressers, authors, etc. make millions of dollars. Some make a good living, but just like you are now worried about making their rent. If you have the funds you should think of donating to the arts. Without these folks our entertainment would be sock puppets on the wall.

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

This is the third installment in the series and maybe the last book. I hope not, because I love these characters! This was a series that started out great and just kept getting better. I highly recommend it!

JUST STARTED

An enemies to lovers trope is my favorite and Sarah Hogle has a really easy style of writing. I easily fell into the story and saw the humor right away. This is a fun one!

This is such a strange time, but remember we are all in this together and we will come out stronger on the other side. I hope everyone is isolating at home, practicing safe social distancing in public, and enjoying the time you are spending with your families.

Stay healthy!

Deb

This Chick Read: Sweep With Me (Innkeeper Series #4.5) by Ilona Andrews

During Treaty Stay, Innkeeper’s are not allowed to turn away any guests. Although Dina has been an Innkeeper for a few years, her new boyfriend Sean is just beginning to wear in his Innkeeper’s robes and although in love, they are still feeling out their duties as co-Inkeeper’s. When a Drifan asks to stay during Treaty Stay, Dina must accept and hope that this super magical being is not looking for trouble during their stay. With the addition of a group of Koo-ko, who need a suite to continue their very heated debate, and a Medamoth, a tracker, this Treaty Stay may be a doozy!

Even though Sweep With Me is a novella, I got a real feeling of where Dina is at since the last novel featuring she, Sean, and Gertrude Hunt. Still struggling with the loss of the seedling Inn, Dina is trying to regain her strength and learn to co-partner with Sean in their new relationship. Ilona Andrews does a great job of giving us a full length story in a short form novella and I felt totally satisfied when I ended this novel.

I love it when new species drop in to Gertrude Hunt and this world expands and grows. Hopefully Ilona Andrews has many more stories to tell in this series because I’m not done watching these characters grow and evolve in their relationships. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“It was over way too quickly, and seemed very much just holding material, a way to pass time to get to something better. Don’t get me wrong, it was fun holding material, but the last book was so very good, I guess I really wanted more with a return to Dina’s story.” The North Wind and the Sea

“I know it’s going to be quite some time before we see another Innkeeper novel. Since we know what Ilona Andrews will be working on in the meantime, I’m totally okay with that. But I will admit that I love this series, and will miss it in the meantime. I think I’m going to have to go back and reread the entire series again, to help cope with that bit of loss. But it’ll be worth it!” Quirky Cat’s Fat Stacks

Click this link to purchase!* Sweep with Me (Innkeeper Chronicles)

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: Junkyard Cats (Audible Original) by Faith Hunter

After the Final War, after the appearance of the Bug aliens and their enforced peace, Shining Smith is still alive, still doing business from the old scrapyard bequeathed to her by her father. But Shining is now something more than human. And the scrapyard is no longer just a scrapyard, but a place full of secrets that she has guarded for years.

This life she has built, while empty, is predictable and safe. Until the only friend left from her previous life shows up, dead, in the back of a scrapped Tesla warplane, a note to her clutched in his fingers – a note warning her of a coming attack.

Someone knows who she is. Someone knows what she is guarding. Will she be able to protect the scrapyard? Will she even survive? Or will she have to destroy everything she loves to keep her secrets out of the wrong hands? 

Faith Hunter has put out the first book in the series Junkyard Cats as an Audible Original, narrated by the extremely talented Khristine Hvam who narrates all of this author’s other books. When I read the above synopsis of a woman named Shining Smith who was not quite human who lived in a world where there are bug aliens I was both repelled and excited all at the same time. Shining was everything I’d hoped her to be and although this novel really only sets up the story and world I’m intrigued enough to hope for a full length novel.

If there was a negative it was that there were a LOT of technical/mechanical terms. This novel reads more sci-fi than fantasy, so beware going in that the details may bog the story down a little. The flip side is that you can zone out for those minutes and tune back in when the story progresses and not really miss a thing. 🙂

This sci-fi novel packed in a lot of world building, character development, and story for a 5 hr narration. Faith Hunter’s style is consistent with the other novels of hers that I’ve enjoyed and I’m really excited at the prospect of exploring this new world and new series. If you like sci-fi novels with strong female heroine’s and bugs, you’ve really got to be ok with those too, then you should pick up the audio of this novel. It’s fast paced and fun. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

This Chick Read: Crush the King (Crown of Shards #3) by Jennifer Estep

Queen Everleigh of Bellona and her gladiator friends take on their enemy King Maximus of Morta in a final showdown. When all royals show up to the Regalia games it’s a chance to align forces and look your enemy in the eyes. After several assassination attempts Everleigh now gets to evaluate her enemy in person. What she see’s is what she knows; Maximus is pure evil. How will Everleigh defeat him?

The Crown of Shards series has been a fast paced, fun series. Full of action and heart I’ve come to love these characters and am excited to see how their story concludes but am kind of sad as well. Everleigh’s character has evolved from ignored semi-royal, to warrior woman gladiator, to royalty but her inner strength has been consistent. I’ve always loved a heroine who is loyal, a fighter, and wins friends through her strength of character. Everleigh is just that kind of woman, and she kicks some serious butt too!

Crush the King turns the focus from love to revenge, which is a little bit different for this series. Everleigh has always had her sights set on getting even, but this time there’s a face to the evil she’s been fighting, and Maximus is truthfully awful. Mean, arrogant, and evil, he’s everything readers love to hate and I was easily caught up in Everleigh’s feelings for this man and couldn’t wait for her to defeat him. The story in between their first meeting and the final outcome had a lot of action, but it also had a lot of heart. Maximus’s bastard sister, Maeven, who had been the face of his evil in previous books also appears here, but it’s her son Leonides who steals my heart. How such an innocent lives in the midst of that madness makes him so interesting! I know this is a trilogy, but you hope for a fourth novel just to see a continuation of his story.

If you’re a fan of fantasy novels, as am I, this series is already on your radar. If you haven’t read it yet? You need to move it up on your TBR because it’s seriously good.

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

Click this link to purchase!* Crush the King (A Crown of Shards Novel)

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

This Chick Read: Smoke Bitten (Mercy Thompson #12) by Patricia Briggs

A deadly fae creature escapes Underhill, it’s bite allowing it to take over the host body and wreak havoc, killing everything around them and gaining more power from that chaos. When two people close to Mercy become inhabited it turns personal and Mercy must find a way to kick the host out without getting more people killed.

As with most of the novels in this series, there are a couple of storylines running simultaneously. Not only does Mercy need to figure out the puzzle about how to stop this fae creature, she also needs to find out what’s been bothering her husband, and Alpha, Adam. The last couple of novels have been about Mercy’s evolution and I really loved how Smoke Bitten shifted focus back towards Adam and Mercy’s relationship.

My love for Urban Fantasy is closely followed by my love of a good romance and their union is one of my favorite’s in the Urban Fantasy world. This novel has Mercy and Adam face, as a couple, many of the insecurities and fears that we in our normal lives can identify with, even if theirs take the shape of actual monsters. Sometimes my own inner fears take that shape and reading Adam and Mercy’s story and seeing how they battle those physical monsters makes me feel a little better. Isn’t that why we read fiction? We can slay dragons through the actions of our favorite hero’s and learn things through their words and actions?

Smoke Bitten moves several storylines forward. In addition to Mercy and Adam’s relationship, their relationship to Aidan, Mercy’s place in the pack, and her “friendship” with the fae all take a big step forward. By the end of the book I felt like a lot was accomplished, so not only did I love the story but I had that feeling after you eat a great meal. Full, but not stuffed like I’d overeaten. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

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

Click this link to purchase!* Smoke Bitten (A Mercy Thompson Novel)

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (3/16/2020)

It’s Monday and the world is in the midst of a pandemic. I am working from home and practicing social distancing. Picking up a book is a great way to forget about the stresses of our lives. So, what book will you pick to help you escape? This post originated over on Book Date , so thanks for the idea and letting me continue on the discussion.

JUST FINISHED

Another wonderful installment in the Mercy Thompson series!

JUST STARTED

Yep, another fantasy series that I love! The Crown of Shards series has a great heroine and a lot of action adventure. It’s a lot of fun!

What book are you reading this Monday?

This Chick Read: How to Love Your Elf (Embraced by Magic #1) by Kerrelyn Sparks

Synopsis: Sorcha knew the mission was dangerous. Leaving the safe grounds of her brother’s kingdom and parlaying with the elves across their border . . . well, treachery seemed at least as likely as true peace. But to support her sister, Sorcha would brave far more than the underhanded ways of the elves. Or so she thought, before she was taken hostage.
 
Of course, her captors didn’t count on her particular abilities—or on the help of the Woodsman, the mysterious thief who made his home in the forest. He saw the battle from the trees, saw the soldier attacking against incredible odds to save a comrade—and then saw the valiant fighter revealed as Princess Sorcha of Norveshka. He can’t tell if he wants to kidnap her or kiss her. But despite Sorcha’s stubbornness, his inconvenient honor, and a rebellion on the cusp of full war, something burns between them that neither can let go . . .

REVIEW: The series name Embraced by Magic #1 implies that this book is the first in the series, doesn’t it? Foolish me! As I was reading this novel I quickly realized this was not the first novel. There were clearly a few couples already covered in a previous series which normally would make me mad. I kept reading because I had to, as I was given an ARC of this novel to review. At this point you’re probably thinking that I got lost in the story and soon forgot that the publisher misled me….you’re wrong! I only got more mad because this novel was so poorly written! Even though I’ve never read a Kerrelyn Sparks novel before, I know this is an author who has written a whole bunch of novels and well, this novel felt like it was a first attempt by a high schooler. If it had been? Well, maybe I would be a little less harsh, but it wasn’t. So, how did I feel about this book? Disappointed would be putting it mildly.

I’m not a reviewer that normally writes scathing commentary. It’s not worth my time unless I feel like I need to take a stand on behalf on women for a horrible topic like romanticizing sexism or rape. This novel didn’t have any of those topics, it was a fantasy romance about a bunch of elves in a forest. It should’ve been fun, but was really just bad. That happens. I get it. That’s why I usually just choose to pass on the review. However, I feel like I need to make a point about how putting this novel, which was clearly the third or fourth in a different series and titling it as #1 in a new series clearly misleads the reader. Added to that is that it was just poorly written and juvenile and well, you’ve got one really unhappy reader and I got this book for free!

Setting the publisher’s intentions aside, why didn’t I like this book? This story was in 2-D. The character’s weren’t developed, the love story was contrived, and the sex scenes truly awful. The dialog was pretty comical. Our hero was a wood elf and our heroine Sorcha jokes about his wood-like erection. Yeah, it was really bad and I found myself rolling my eyes and skimming the pages hoping it would get better. It didn’t. So, despite our hero’s wood-like penis, I was left totally unsatisfied.

Maybe this style of writing is what Kerrelyn Sparks is famous for and I’m going to anger a bunch of fans of this author, but I hope it’s just one bad book in her catalog and I just chose the wrong one to test the waters.

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

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved.

This Chick Read: Aurora Blazing (The Consortium Rebellium book #2) by Jessie Mihalik

As the third oldest child in House Von Hasenberg, Bianca has always been the dutiful daughter. Marrying for a political alliance instead of love, now widowed she’s vowed to live life by her own rules. When her house comes under attack and her brother is kidnapped, Bianca’s underground informants give her a lead on his kidnappers. She’s determined to go after them alone, but the Head of Security for her house is fast on her trail and they have to come to an agreement about how to investigate the situation. Action, danger, and romance, all rolled into one, Aurora Blazing was exactly as I’d hoped. Even better than the first novel in the series.

Bianca was so fascinating! A horrible marriage changed her both physically and mentally. A fact that she’s hidden from her family and friends. Ian Bishop knows there’s something different about her but it’s not until they go on the search for her brother together that he’s given the chance to get close and see the consequences her disastrous marriage had on her psyche. He’s determined to protect her from both herself and from her enemies.

I thought Polaris Rising had a lot of promise but it left me feeling a little disappointed. Aurora Blazing lived up to that first book’s promise and then some! The characters were fully fleshed out, the mystery detailed and enthralling, and Bianca and Ian’s relationship was full of tension and burned slow. A Sci-Fi fantasy novel full of heat, heart, and heartache.

I get the feeling as this series moves forward and every little detail of the Von Hasenberg’s are revealed I’m going to love the series even more. Bianca’s back story was pretty horrible and really really interesting. I can’t imagine how any other character could be as interesting but in Aurora Blazing we are given little hints into a couple of future novels that may live up to my expectations. I hope this author is writing fast and furious because I want the next novel out soon! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Aurora Blazing: A Novel (The Consortium Rebellion)

Copyright 2020 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

Friday YA: A Curse So Dark and Lonely (Cursebreakers #1) by Brigid Kemmerer

A Beauty and the Beast re-telling, A Curse so Dark and Lonely is the story of Rhen, Prince and heir of Emberfall who was cursed to re-live each season as first a Prince trying to get a young woman to fall in love with him and then as a beast who has killed his family and destroyed his kingdom. With the help of his Man at Arms, Grey, a girl is stolen from Earth and taken through dimensions to his world so that Rhen can try to break this curse. When Grey kidnaps Harper he has changed the game. Harper is not one of the spoiled girls he’s used to she’s had a tough life watching her brother get involved with a gang to pay off their mothers hospital bills and is also fighting her own weakness Cerebral Palsy. Harper is a fighter who will never give up on the chance to get back home even if her feelings for her captor start to change.

I hesitated to pick up this book because I’m really getting tired of re-tellings but I was surprised how easy it was to fall into this story. Harper was a unique character in that she had cerebral palsy but it only made her more fierce. She had such a strength of character that was wonderful to read and that fierceness and what she did with it moved the plot forward. Rhen was a little bit harder to like. He was jaded from years of turning into a beast and had almost given up. When he finds out this is his last chance at finding love you’d think it would make him more desperate, but he seemed to relax into what was happening. He was more curious about what made Harper tick and took the time to get to know her which is ultimately what made him fall in love.

Grey was the biggest surprise. As Rhen’s only surviving warrior and now his right hand man, he’s had to do some pretty despicable things all in the name of duty. He and Harper actually spend a good bit of time together themselves and when he relaxes his guard we see his strength of character. I’ll be interested in reading the second novel A Heart so Fierce and Broken. I’ve heard mixed things, but I liked this book enough that I’m willing to give it a try.

If you’re not yet tired of Beauty and the Beast re-tellings this is a really good one! This is one book where the words within the book are just as beautiful as the design on the cover. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“This book was rapidly addictive! I was quickly sucked in, and I want more NOW! Definitely one of my favorite reads of 2020. I am soooo glad I don’t have to wait long for the next book!” Our Book Boyfriends

“I like fantasies where there’s one character who goes to another world, and they know it. It adds such an exciting element to the story, and I like to see how a character acts when they’re out of their element. It feels so fantastical, and I love it. ” Books & Beauty are my Bag

Click this link to purchase!* A Curse So Dark and Lonely (The Cursebreaker Series)

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

This Chick Read: The Secret Chapter (Invisible Library #6) by Genevieve Cogman

When the library calls on Irene and Kai to find a book that will help save a world they take on the adventure despite their new roles as Ambassadors. In order to obtain their book they must join a ragtag group in a museum heist. Once that heist is completed the book will be theirs. Of course, not all is as it appears!

The Secret Chapter was a rollicking good time. It had the great heist and humor of Ocean’s Eleven and the fantasy adventure a la Lord of the Rings. Although thank goodness, no Orc’s. Irene and Kai’s relationship has advanced into partner status, but Irene’s experiences bring her into the role of leader. I really enjoyed the cast of characters and how dragon culture and fae storylines are becoming even more intertwined as the series goes forward.

The wonderfully named Mr. Nemo is the ultimate bad guy. His name brought to mind two sea themed movies, Finding Nemo and Capt. Nemo of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, so not surprisingly his hideout is an island and his hitmen an ocean full of sharks.

I like Irene and Kai’s more even status as newly appointed Ambassadors, but I do still get the feeling that Irene is the brains and Kai the beauty and brawn. This is the sixth book in the series so it will be really interesting to see if and how their relationship progresses. Will future books still be about their adventures or will they start to have more relationship meat. Truthfully, I wish for both. I want them to continue their adventures but I think if their relationship doesn’t move into deeper feelings that I may start to tire of book after book of adventures. We’ll see! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase!* The Secret Chapter (The Invisible Library series)

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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