The Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag 2019

I can’t believe it’s already time (well, kind of past time!) for the Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag! This year I was tagged by Jill at Jill’s Book Blog. If you want to check out Jill’s tag please click the link below.

Jill’s Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag

I really like this tag because I get to take a look back at all of the books I’ve reviewed since January and remind myself of all of the great books I’ve read. Side not is that it also reminds me that time is just flying by and there are so many more books to read and things to do ahead of me!

BEST BOOK OF 2019 (JAN-JUNE)

I am in a Rom-Com phase and couldn’t pick between these two great book’s. Lucy Parker’s London Stage series and Penny Reid’s Knitting in the City series are both wonderful and I’ll be re-reading these over and over.

Pretty Face – “I think I wrote on Goodreads that I am now obsessed with Lucy Parker novels. I really am. Her stories could so easily be fluffy romances, but they aren’t! They are well written, her characters are rock solid and the build up in the romance is riveting to read. Her dialog isn’t too shabby either, it’s actually really fun! ” Pretty Face (London Celebrities)

Love Hacked- “Needless to say, I loved this novel. I had picked it up so many times and put it down. I’m not sure why and am kicking myself for not enjoying their story before now. However, sometimes those novels that surprise you with their strength and your emotional impact to them are read when you need to read them. This was the perfect time for me. ” Love Hacked: A Reluctant Romance (Knitting in the City) (Volume 3)

BEST SEQUEL OF 2019 (JAN-JUNE)

Oh, boy. Sequel implies there are only two books in the series and after looking, I didn’t read any two book series. So, I’m going to interpret this question as Best Book in a Series (2019).

“The mystery was fabulous. I’d imagine if I had kept pace with the Jane Yellowrock series I may have been just a little more informed over Rick’s background but I really didn’t care. I was caught up in the action, the characters, and the resolution of this case. It was great reading and I enjoyed it thoroughly! ” Circle of the Moon (A Soulwood Novel)

FAVORITE NEW RELEASE THAT IS STILL SITTING ON YOUR TBR

It only came out on 7/1/19, so I’m not too far behind. I’ve purchased my copy and still haven’t found the time to read it. Soon! Protect the Prince (A Crown of Shards Novel)

MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE OF THE SECOND HALF OF 2019

OK, I’ll admit, I’ve already read this novel but I can’t wait for the audiobook to be released! This series is one that I read, listen to, repeat. Again and again. Sapphire Flames: A Hidden Legacy Novel

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT OF 2019 SO FAR

This novel was definitely my least favorite of the three. I didn’t hate it but it took too long to get to the conclusion. Then when it got there? I felt like I do after eating that huge piece of chocolate cake I’d been craving. Great anticipation and then a slightly sick feeling after I’d finished. Finale: A Caraval Novel

BIGGEST SURPRISE OF 2019 SO FAR

Surprise! This is a spin off of the Dark Elements Series. No wonder that main character sounded familiar!

FAVORITE NEW AUTHOR

I read these two books not too far apart. They were totally different but the similarity between the two was that they used historical facts built into a fictional novel. I loved that! I’ll be keeping an eye out for new releases from both of these authors.

‘Dead Queens’- “The Dead Queens Club cleverly names all of it’s characters after their true life namesakes and incorporates familiar places from Tudor history into this small town. I’ll admit to once again using Wikipedia to give myself a quick history lesson on each wife (and if they kept their head or not) and found that I relished watching the mystery unfold more because of that knowledge. ” The Dead Queens Club

‘An Assasin’s Guide’- “I really enjoyed Kit’s evolution. As Katherine she was restricted to a woman’s life but as Kit so many things were available to her. I think this combined with her feelings for Toby helped her to make the decision revealed at the end of the book. No spoilers here, but the line between life and death was trod very closely and the conclusion was just as dramatic as one of the plots in a Shakespeare play.” An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason

NEWEST FICTIONAL CRUSH

Alessandro Sagredo. Ummm, Yummy!

NEWEST FAVORITE CHARACTER

“Olive is kind of a beautiful mess, but that mess is mostly in her own head. Written mostly from her POV, we get to see how her adorableness contrasts with how she views herself. That dichotomy really made me root for Olive!” The Unhoneymooners

BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY

The Unhoneymooners for the win, Alex! I laughed my way through this book. It was just awesome.

BOOKS TO READ BY THE END OF THE YEAR

I have pre-ordered both of these items. One comes out this month (July) and the other isn’t until October. Both of these authors are on my auto buy list. I’m really excited about these releases, so they shouldn’t sit too long on the virtual shelf.

FAVORITE POST YOU’VE DONE SO FAR THIS YEAR

AN ODE TO MOM- MOTHER’S DAY 2019

I enjoyed thinking back on what memories I have from childhood about my mother. This one has always stuck with me.

I’m not going to tag anyone to do this Mid Year Freak Out tag because I think I’m one of the last bloggers to do it! LOL. However, if you haven’t looked back at your own year and would like to share, please do! Tag me if you do so I can read your responses.

Thanks and happy reading!

Deb

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This Chicks Sunday Commentary: June’19 Wrap Up!

Once again, another month has flown by and I find myself looking at the start of July. Wow! June weather was actually gorgeous being a little cooler than normal at the start of the month. Despite spending more time outside I got a lot of reading done! I read and listened to a total of 22 books which could be a record! However, some of those reviews are set for future months. Here are my top picks from my reviews in the month of June.

GREAT JUNE READS!

A Question of Holmes (Charlotte Holmes #4) by Brittany Cavallaro

“The conclusion to the mystery was satisfactory and the conclusion to the series although a little confusing, did fit the characters and how they grew throughout the series. Would I change anything if I could? Yes. Do I know what I’d change? Not really. That doesn’t really help does it? LOL. “

Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey

“This novel was one of my most anticipated reads for June. Did it live up to my expectations? It had a great meet cute, subtle humor, solid friendships, kooky best friend, and hot love interest. YEP! I wasn’t disappointed at all. “

Wherever She Goes by Kelley Armstrong

“As I read this novel I realized there were actually a few different mysteries I was trying to unravel. 1) Aubrey’s background 2) the missing child and 3) the reason why her relationship fell apart with her husband. Kelley Armstrong does a great job of intertwining all of these mysteries so that each reveal is intertwined with a personal reflection Aubrey has about her life. I loved how all of those ties bound the novel into one cohesive, solid piece of fiction.”

Dating by the Book by Mary Ann Marlowe

“..for those readers who are fans of a slow burn romance novel, you’re going to love how the relationship between our heroine and hero develops throughout this novel. By the time they get together you are so ready for it, and I mean that in the best way possible.”

THIS CHICKS SUNDAY COMMENTARY/BOOKISH DISCUSSION

I got hooked into a young adult series written by the writing duo Erin Watt called The Royals. Disclaimer time! Yes, I am a middle aged woman who reads YA novels. Sue me! I like them for many reasons, but mostly because they are pure escapism and when I’ve had a rotten day a sweet contemporary romance that’s lighthearted and fun does the trick! Plus I like that I can read them quickly! So, back to my subject. I got hooked into Erin Watt’s series the Royals. Definitely not a sweet romance, but a LOT of fun! It did get me thinking about whether YA readers ever stop and think “WHOA” this is not YA appropriate! Or if I’m just totally out of the loop on what young adults are experiencing nowadays. So I wrote this discussion post. If you haven’t had time to read it, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

What is YA Appropriate?

I also like to look forward into the upcoming month to see what releases I’m really looking forward to, as well as take a look back at what I did in the previous month. Here are those two posts!

My 5 Most Anticipated July’19 Releases

May’19 Wrap Up!

WHAT’S ON TAP FOR JULY!

July is going to be a catch up month for me. I don’t have any ARC’s that need to be read for this month so I’m actually going to be proactive and get some of my August ARC’ read, and I don’t know, maybe get some reviews done in advance? Novel concept, I know! LOL. Actually, I did overextend myself on a few August release dates, so this is a really good thing. What I’m more excited about is that I get to read something because I want to read it. I can catch up on my Kindle Unlimited as well as some books I’ve checked out from the library. Exciting! LOL.

I did get tagged for my Mid Year Book Freak Out and will be writing that post soon and I’m really looking forward to looking back at the first six months. I read soooo many great books!

What am I looking forward to reading the most in July? If you read my 5 most Anticipated releases post you already know.

I’m not sure how it’s even possible that TWO Ilona Andrews books are being released back to back. If you’re a fan, this is book #4 in the series and it’s Maud’s story. I can’t wait!!

Do you have an opinion on my What is YA Appropriate post? I’d love to hear it!

What’s your most anticipated July’19 release? Let me know in the comments below.

Until next month!

Deb

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? (7/1/19)

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

JUST FINISHED

Sapphire Flames: A Hidden Legacy novel by Ilona Andrews

First Sentence Read: “I was swimming through the warm water of the Gulf when someone knocked on the sky.”

JUST STARTED

No More Secrets: A Small Town Love Story (Blue Moon #1) by Lucy Score

First Sentence Read: “Summer Lentz hefted her suitcase and laptop bag into the trunk of her snappy little rental car.”

Sapphire Flames was everything I could’ve imagined and it’s been so hard to choose my next book! Truthfully I started a different book, the second in a series where I loved the first book and it just didn’t feel right, so I put it down. I haven’t started No More Secrets yet, but LOVED the last novel of Lucy Score’s I read so I have high hopes I’ll be able to get into this one!

It’s the start of a new week, What are YOU reading?

Share in the comments below….

Have a great week reading!

Deb

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? (6/17/19)

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

JUST FINISHED

Kingdom of Exiles (Beast Charmer #1) by Maxym M. Martineau

First Sentence Read: “By the time evening fell, three things were certain: the gelatinous chunks of lamb were absolute shit, my beady-eyed client was hankering for more than the beasts in my possession, and someone was watching me.”

JUST STARTED

Rock Bottom Girl by Lucy Score

First Sentence Read: “Downsized, broke, and dumped, 38-year-old Marley sneaks home to her childhood bedroom in the town she couldn’t wait to escape twenty years ago.”

After an epic fantasy my fall back to cleanse the palate is a contemporary romance! I love sports themed romances and soccer was my game. This rom-com looks really cute! I hope it lives up to my expectations!

What are you reading today?

Deb

This Chick Read: Kingdom of Exiles (The Beast Charmer #1) by Maxym M. Martineau

Exiled Beast Charmer Leena Edenfrell was betrayed by her lover and has resulted to selling her beasts, something that is forbidden by death for a Charmer. On the run, she foils an assassination attempt taking the assassin captive in order to strike a deal with the head of the order of assassins. Noc has a deadly secret of his own that he thinks could be tamed by a Beast Charmer. Together they strike a deal and in searching for beasts they find something in the other that fills the void in their hearts.

Kingdom of Exiles has all of the elements of a great romantic fantasy adventure. I loved the newness of the world Maxym M. Martineau developed. I don’t think I’ve read a fantasy novel that had an advanced level of Beast Charmer characters and the little that was revealed in this novel only makes me want more to read. There were elements of magic and a mysteriousness to the Order of Cruor assassins, the way they used shadows to move quickly or jump from place to place was a little bit reminiscent of Christine Feehan’s Shadow Rider series, although this setting is completely different. I liked that the assassins were revived after death but could still get someone pregnant? I definitely wanted to learn how that would be possible!

Kingdom of Exiles also used my favorite romantic trope of enemies to lovers. I L-O-V-E when two adversaries come to admire traits in the other that makes them fall in love, yet, they are resistant to it happening. This novel portrayed that tension really well and kept me reading that “just one more” chapter.

The only negative for me about this novel was that it started so strong but somewhere around 2/3’s of the way through the pace slowed just enough for me to get impatient. I’ll admit to rushing through a couple of chapters until that pace picked back up again towards the end of the book. The ending was great, leaving the reader with a little hint about what direction the next book may take. I just wish this author had the next book coming out soon! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“Overall,I loved Kingdom of Exiles! It was enchanting, magical, unique, and surprisingly sweet. The romance was well-written. It wasn’t too much but engaging enough. I really adore this book.” Discover Elysian

“All in all, this is one of my favorite books that I have read this year. The characters were well developed, and the plot was fun and unique. I loved everything about it. If you like fantasy & romance, this is the book for you.” Caffeinated Fae

Click this link to purchase!* Kingdom of Exiles (The Beast Charmer)

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

Friday YA: Storm and Fury (Harbinger #1) by Jennifer Armentrout

Trinity Marrow is the only human living in a community of Wardens, guardian Gargoyle shifters whose main purpose is to protect humans against a Demon invasion. Trinity’s ability to see ghosts has her stumbling upon a conspiracy that could be tied to her mothers death a year earlier and may be led from inside her own community. But seeing ghosts is not the only secret she’s hiding! Her secret gets revealed when Wardens from the DC community come to visit and she’s forced to use her powers to save her own life.

Storm and Fury was so easy to fall into. Somehow the situations and characters felt familiar and about 1/3 of the way through I had an aha! moment and realized this is a spinoff to a The Dark Elements series I’d read several years ago in which Zayne was featured prominently. In this novel, Zayne’s past experiences with Demons comes in handy as they travel to DC where he and Trinity meet up with some familiar past characters (a few of whom are demons) to investigate the disappearance of her friend.

I liked Trinity’s character a lot. She was an interesting mix of innocence, strength, and stubbornness. As the plot moves forward and her secrets are revealed she becomes even more interesting. Her failing eyesight, a very human frailty, is an interesting contrast to a girl who refuses to admit weakness. In fact, it takes a little while for me to figure out she’s actually almost blind. Read the Afterword about her ailment, Retinitis Pigmentosa, and how that disease has a personal tie to the author.

Zayne was a mystery even though he’d been part of a previous series. I couldn’t figure out his motives right away and I liked him as the love interest, but at the same time I felt he was a little more mature than Trinity. As his life was revealed and I realized all that he’d been through I realized what a great fit he actually was for her, as they had similar tragedies in their background. After I figured out what series and where I read his story before I liked him even more, but if you hadn’t read The Dark Elements Series, I think you can jump right in and not miss a beat in this story. It stands on it’s own.

Jennifer Armentrout does such a great job of writing in this YA fantasy genre. I love her world building and she has a deft hand with giving characters interesting backgrounds and emotional ups and downs. All things that keep me reading and move the plot forward. It’s rare that I get bored and I certainly didn’t with this novel. I relished reading it. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“I absolutely love the way the author writes relationships because they are always the slow burn romances that begins with flirtatious banter and escalates to sexual tension that literally everyone can feel. I loved watching Trinity and Zayne come together and the steaminess of their relationship. I thought that they definitely complimented one another.” The Reading Chemist

“Overall, this book was everything I wanted. If you want action, romance, kick-ass gargoyles, and a girl with an eye condition representing how strong she is this is the book for you.” Classy x Book Reviews

Click this link to purchase!* Storm and Fury (The Harbinger Series)

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

Friday YA: The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black

SLIGHT SPOILERS AHEAD: When your introduction to the fair folk is the gruesome death of your parents by a fearsome fae General named Madoc, your life is going to be turned upside down. Jude, Taryn and their half sister Vivienne were abducted by the above General and raised by him in the High Court of Fairie. Jude and Taryn were full human and each handled their humanity in this magical world differently. Taryn by lying low, dreaming of some day belonging, and Jude by fighting for the right to rise in their ranks as a warrior. All while her nemesis, Prince Cardan, is constantly trying to demean her and beat her down. This is a fantasy filled with intrigue, romance, and betrayal.

Written from Jude’s perspective, the fae court seems filled with beauty and danger. However, Jude’s view is slightly tainted because of her humanity. In this fantasy novel there doesn’t seem to be much good in these fae folk their faces filled with snears, boredom, and yes beauty. Until the tides change and her nemesis Cardan becomes her partner against a palace coup. It’s only after this partnership formed (or so I thought!) that both of their characters showed depth. Jude, finally caring what happens beyond her own needs, and Cardan develops a small hint of humanity in his cold fae heart. Even though late in the book, that depth gave this novel a lift out of the darkness of both of their despair and gave me hope that their characters could be redeemed and I would come to care for one of them, even if only slightly.

The Cruel Prince is certainly aptly named as Cardan is the villain to Jude’s rather grim heroine. The title could just as aptly been named the Cruel Human as both characters showed more dark than light in their characterizations. Even when Jude is given a love interest, there seemed to be something lacking in the telling of that love. The outcome of that romance ending in a pivotal scene that should’ve delivered more impact but because of Jude’s romantic ambivalence towards Locke that scene fell short. The same ambivalence could be said of her relationship with her sister Taryn. I just never felt like Jude cared for anything or anyone beyond how life and those people impacted herself. If she had cared more about her actions impacting her sister’s happiness, then maybe the failure of that relationship would also have delivered a knockout punch. For me, it really didn’t.

SO, I started the book with high hopes, knowing that so many loved this story and fantasy is my favorite genre, after all. The outcome for me? Ho-hum. I wish I had connected with Jude more. There was something lacking in her character that kept me from going all in. What the novel did do right was portray my vision of Fairie really well, where beauty and cruelty hold hands. The vivid scene where Cardan rips a wing off one of the minor fae is cruel in his disinterest. I wasn’t quite THAT disinterested as I read the novel all the way through, but I was a little ambivalent.

❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“the writing was very well done. The main character’s voice is engaging and full of personality. I adored the descriptions, the humour and its quotability…. The only real downside for me was that I wasn’t head over heels for the romance (even if I liked both parties). I mean, it made sense and was logical- I didn’t quite feel the fireworks. Other than that, I thought it was an excellent read.” The Orang-utan Librarian

Click this link to purchase!* The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air)

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: BookLoversCon #BLC19 Finale!

I’m sitting in line at the FedEx store waiting for it to open so I can mail home a box of books. I’ve whittled down the stash so that I am bringing the most anticipated, new to me authors, and swag. Most fit in my two bags but for a little 20 book pile. Oh to have those problems, right? This trip has been so much fun and I probably haven’t taken enough pictures to show but here’s a few.

Heather Graham showed up to the Historical Fiction party in her full Voo Doo regalia. She hosts an evening function with a different theme and kind of combo’d the historical dress with the VooDoo head gear. She was charming, beautiful and very down to earth. I loved this chance to chat briefly with her.

This picture shows the set up for most of the functions with one host per table. Some are themed-this was Entangled’s Candy and Spoons game. Always a very popular one as the winner walks away with a stack of about 15 new books. My sister was a lucky winner and her table got super rowdy! All in good fun but they pass out bandaids for a reason! Lol.

This picture shows my day two of swag. I received a few ARC’s at a Berkley Blogger party that I’m very excited about!

Book Fair! Some authors just show up for this super large signing. I took a couple of snapshots of a few I was excited to see!

Jasmine Guillory!

Susanna Kearsley!

Shannon K. Butcher/aka Anna Argent!

other big names including Kristen Ashley, Christina Lauren, Rebecca Zanetti, and so many more! It was overwhelming and fun!

This morning we end with a brunch which I hope to make but first priority mail those books!

Looking forward to next year when Booklovers Con will be in my city! Nashville!

Deborah

Booklovers Con! #BLC19

The first two days at the Booklovers Con have come and gone and my good intentions to post pictures every day has fallen by the wayside because of my need for sleep. Sorry guys! However, today I’ll give you two days of pics to satisfy your book loving needs!

I’ve met some really great authors and taken a few pictures to share. The first night was the kick off party with a Jazz Fest theme, after all we are all in New Orleans! We paraded into the ballroom to a great jazz marching band.

There were authors stationed around the room and I bee-lined towards Christine Feehan to say hi and take her pic.

Christine Feehan!

I’ll admit that I didn’t want to stand in line for food but there were food trucks galore and the band was fab. My sister and I ducked out to eat at a little Vietnamese place we spotted down the street. Yum!

Thursday was chock full of events. A Harlequin author signing and Indie author soirée were fun! Although the lines…not so much. Lol.

Julia London! (On the right)
Rebecca Zanetti!
Ooohhh my feet!

I really learned a lot from a workshop for bloggers and publishers and will endeavor to meet some new goals!

The evening wrapped up with a pretty amazing Fairy gala with a full dinner. The costumes and decorations were pretty spectacular!

Packaging paper turned into a magnificent dress!

Gorgeous centerpieces!

My sister and I were VIP’s ( we won it in a lottery) and got to sit for dinner at a table with an author. I sat with the wonderful fantasy author C. L. Wilson and she sat with Amanda McIntyre. It was a great hour spent getting to know these authors.

At the end of the day I had a pretty good book haul! Not as much in the past and definitely a smaller amount of swag, but you know what? The experience has been so much better and more intimate!

This is only day 1’s book haul!

I’ll try to get out one more post possibly Sunday from the airport! We are packing in the fun at the BLC19!

Deb

Friday YA: Finale (Caraval #3) by Stephanie Garber

Finale is a story about the meaning of love and how that meaning changes for each of the characters in this story. Tella’s love for Legend is tested by her confusing feelings for Jacks and Scarlett’s love for Julian is never wavering but her definition of love changes when she uncovers some truths about her past. Both of their journeys are tested but eventually love conquers all, and in this novel you can’t take that statement literally.

Stephanie Garber continues with the beautiful prose from the first two novels. Each word is imbued with ribbons of color which seems appropriate to the theme of love that runs through this story. At times though her lyrical style seems to distract rather than draw attention to, and I’ll admit my mind wandered a bit. I found myself scanning back through the pages wondering what had happened since I last tuned in. I still enjoyed the story, but it took a really long time for it to reach a conclusion.

Tella and Legend continued their tale of unrequited love. If an immortal feels the emotions of love it turns them human and Legend fights his fears through most of their storyline. I found Jacks’ emotions the more interesting of the two men, since he gave into his obsession and seemed to turn Tella’s head with his feelings, even though those feelings were rather unhealthy.

Scarlett’s story with Julian remained unchanged, however her character grew a lot more than Tella’s did in this conclusion. She learned a lot about why she could see the color of other people’s emotions and how she dealt with that knowledge uncovered strengths that she previously hadn’t really shown. I cared a lot more for the resolution of her story than I did for her sister’s which seemed a lot more shallow a tale.

Finale was my least favorite book in the series, but part of that was that the newness had dulled slightly. Some new characters (the Fates) were introduced and time was spent allowing us to get to know a few of these characters so that it helped build more of an impact to the conclusion of the story. The end felt a little too pat for all of that prior build up, but I did feel like I got the conclusion that I wanted for these characters and I was left feeling pretty satisfied. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Finale: A Caraval Novel

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate