This Chick’s Audio Review: Hounded (The Iron Druid Chronicles #1) by Kevin Hearne, read by Luke Daniels

Synopsis:

Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old – when in actuality, he’s twenty-one centuries old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer. Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants that sword, and he’s hounded Atticus for centuries. Now the determined deity has tracked him down, and Atticus will need all his power – plus the help of a seductive goddess of death, his vampire and werewolf team of attorneys, a bartender possessed by a Hindu witch, and some good old-fashioned luck of the Irish – to kick some Celtic arse and deliver himself from evil. 

I have never read a book by Kevin Hearne and I really enjoyed his characters sense of humor. Luke Daniels did a great job of imbuing his characters with warmth and that humor shone through. Atticus sounded spoke in the current vernacular, slang included and the contract between what he sounded like versus what he actually was- 21 centuries old, surprised me and kept me engaged. I’ll admit, it seems like I don’t read books written by men, or with male protagonists and I really enjoyed this change. It may help me branch out in my reading choices in the future.

The book reads very simply. Almost as if this were a young adult fantasy novel, which I think helped me get into the story quickly. Boy, that makes me sound bad, but truly, in this pandemic if I can’t get into a novel quickly I give up and move on to the next one pretty quickly, so in this case this is a good thing. I’m somewhat invested in all of these new characters and can see myself making my way through this series. In audio, of course! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Hounded: The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book 1

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.

This Chick Read: Wild Sign (Alpha & Omega #6) by Patricia Briggs

When a “camp town” goes missing in the woods of northern California the FBI delivers the news to the owner of that land, the Marrock’s pack. That land is tied to the origin story of Bran and Leah and that story has always been shrouded in mystery. Bran sends his enforcer and son, Charles, and his mate Anna to investigate, warning them that there is something mystical in those mountains. When they arrive they find that the camp was empty with no signs of struggle but some mysterious carvings lead them to believe that magic was involved in their disappearance.

I have waited a while (3 years!) for another Alpha and Omega novel as Charles and Anna are one of my favorite paranormal couples. Each novel in this series reveals more about this pair that intrigues me and keeps me wanting to find out more. Burn Bright, the last novel in the series, centered around its own mystery but as they were investigating that mystery Anna became more determined to find a way to have a child. As a female werewolf carrying a baby to term wasn’t possible and at the beginning of Wild Sign we find out that Anna and Charles are exploring adoption and Anna is frustrated at the length of the waiting list. This storyline has me looking differently at Anna and Charles individually, or more aptly, as a couple. Anna, as an Omega has a nurturing personality unless she’s backed into a corner, but mostly she’s a peacekeeper and it’s easy to see her as a mother. It’s Charles evolution that is the most interesting to me. As the pack’s enforcer Charles must wade in where others fear to go, often being called upon to kill wolves who may cause danger to their packs or society in general. This conflicts with the thought of Charles as a father, however, through Anna we see Charles the nurturer. Through their relationship he’s had to be very calm and patient with his mate creating a sense of safety for her after her abuse at the hands of her previous pack. As time has passed, now into book #6, we see Charles in a different manner. He’s still the enforcer and is called upon to do the difficult things that need carrying out, but he is also a man who wants to be loved, who wants to nurture, who wants his own family. I love this contrast in his character because it creates so much more meaning when he does react to situations, laying aside that man and giving over to his wolf who is the darker side of himself. Why do I bring all of this up? This theme continues in Wild Sign and becomes a defining factor in the mystery they are trying to solve.

OK, let’s talk about the mystery. Yes, there is a big bad magical being in the woods. One that has been there for eons capturing and captivating the people who happen upon it. Without giving away the details of the book I think I can say that this being is part of the legends of that area and as with most legends you don’t truly believe, the locals also make sure to stay away. So, why did the people of this missing town set up right in the midst of it’s territory? As with any story of this nature, it was hubris.

I like the balance of puzzling out the investigation with the powerful moments of outsmarting the baddies with smarts and brute strength. As with any story involving werewolves, there is a lot of action in this novel, but sometimes the more meaningful moments are when the story is quiet and they are deliberating through the facts. Those quiet moments of reflection often more their characters forward in their own story. As we are in book six if they aren’t moving forward in their relationship I think I would be let down and that’s something Patricia Briggs has not done so far in this series.

Wild Sign was as good as the cover makes it look. Seriously, what a fabulous cover! We find out a lot about some characters who have been a bit of a mystery which was fun, and that ending? Wow, Ms. Briggs, please don’t wait another three years for the next installment in this series. I don’t think I can wait that long! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase!* Wild Sign (Alpha and Omega)

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.

This Chick Read: Threshold of Annihilation (The Firebird Chronicles #3) by T.A. White

Picking up exactly where Age of Deception (book #2) left off, Kira finds herself back on her ship heading towards Jettie and the other children. Instead of being able to get on the planet undetected she finds that it’s the host of the quorum, a sort of Olympic planetary games and you can only be on the planet if you are competing. Having competed before under an Alias, Kira signs up hoping to lie low and avoid the Tuann. Unfortunately they are also planetside and although wanting to remain hidden Kira isn’t very good at flying under the radar. She is wanted by not just the Tuann and Graydon, but also the Haldeel empress and her Tsavitee enemies. This makes for an action packed novel that I really couldn’t not put down once I was enmeshed in this story.

Why are these books so good? Kira is a strong heroine who has a sad background which makes the reader root for her on every level. We want her to find friends, family, love, kick enemy butt, and have her heroism revealed for all because she is just that awesome. T.A. White’s world building is fantastic and once again I’m looking around through Kira’s eyes and soaking it all in. Her writing is very descriptive and despite the alien landscape you can very easily identify and “see” everything. It is so easy to lose yourself in a novel filled with great characters and vibrant worlds.

Kira is still playing cat and mouse with her love interest and fellow Tuann, Graydon. The most awesome thing about their relationship is not their amazing chemistry, it’s that this man allows her to be who she is and although he’s protective he doesn’t try to shelter her from danger. He see’s her for the person she is and although her actions make him nervous he encourages her growth instead of inhibiting it. You can’t help but love a guy like that.

We learn a lot more about Kira’s character and background because of her foster parent role to her “niece” Elena, the daughter of another lost Tuann child. Her role as mother reveals interesting aspects of her character that I really didn’t expect to see. No, she’s not the most nurturing woman but she is loving and shows that through her mentorship and guidance. Seeing that side of her added depth to her character that surprised me again. Be prepared for quite a few surprises to be revealed in this novel, the plot is now moving along pretty quickly and I can’t wait to see where the next book leads us.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Threshold of Annihilation (The Firebird Chronicles Book 3)

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? (2/1/21)

I have my reading mojo back! I’m not sure what triggered it but I have been able to enjoy not only books I’ve read before, but new books and I’m able to concentrate on the plots. yay! Seriously, though it’s been tough these last 8 months. I read about 60 books less in 2020 than in 2019 so it’s nice to be upping my book count again. I will admit, that I’m still reaching for old favorites, but I am reading many more new to me novels as well. Here is what I’ve been reading!

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 love the Fever series, but I had been holding back on reading High Voltage because it focused on Dani who hadn’t been one of my favorite characters. I LOVE Mackenna and Barrons and Dani and Ryodan were just ‘eh’ for me. However, having now read this novel and like them so much more. I understand them more. Are they my favorite characters now? No. I am glad I read their story and a new book in the series is coming out next month so I needed to get this one read!

JUST STARTED

You will definitely be seeing this book on my list for the books I’m looking forward to being released in March. I was lucky enough to get an ARC of this novel and jumped it ahead (which I never do!) because an Urban Fantasy mystery sounded like just what I needed to round out my reading this month. Anna and Charles are fascinating and although I just started this one, it is off to a great start!

I have mixed in some romance novels with the Urban Fantasy books you see above. What am I missing? Let me know what books you’re reading that may or may not need to be added to my TBR?

Happy Monday!

Deb

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: My 5 Most Anticipated Book Releases Feb’21

Next month is one of those months where there are some fabulous fantasy releases and I’ll have trouble finding time to read everything I want to read. I think it’s funny how the genre’s seem to stick together with their book releases. Or maybe it’s just the authors I like all release their books in the same month. Has anyone else noticed this? So, heads up, if you like fantasy novels next month will be a great one for you! LOL. Here are my Top 5.

#5 MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE

I am a sucker for this futuristic detective series, and I know it’s not just me. J.D. Robb (also known as Nora Roberts) is on her 52nd novel in this series and truthfully she makes every single one different and advances all of her characters stories. She’s pretty incredible, as is our hero Eve Dallas and her husband Roarke.

Synopsis:

n the new Eve Dallas police thriller from #1 New York Times-bestselling author J. D. Robb, what looked like a lover’s quarrel turned fatal has larger—and more terrifying—motives behind it…

The scene in the West Village studio appears to be classic crime-of-passion: two wineglasses by the bed, music playing, and a young sculptor named Ariel Byrd with the back of her head bashed in. But when Dallas tracks down the wealthy Upper East Side woman who called 911, the details don’t add up. Gwen Huffman is wealthy, elegant, comforted by her handsome fiancé as she sheds tears over the trauma of finding the body—but why did it take an hour to report it? And why is she lying about little things?

As Eve and her team look into Gwen, her past, and the people around her, they find that the lies are about more than murder. As with sculpture, they need to chip away at the layers of deception to find the shape within—and soon they’re getting the FBI involved in a case that involves a sinister, fanatical group and a stunning criminal conspiracy.

Click this link to purchase!* Faithless in Death: An Eve Dallas Novel (In Death, 52)

#4 MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE

Yep, this is not a fantasy novel, but it sure does look cute!

Synopsis:

The author of The Right Swipe and Girl Gone Viral returns with a story about finding love in all the wrong inboxes…

Beauty expert and influencer Jia Ahmed has her eye on the prize: conquering the internet today, the entire makeup industry tomorrow, and finally, finally proving herself to her big opinionated family. She has little time for love, and even less time for the men in her private messages—until the day a certain international superstar slides into her DMs, and she falls hard and fast.

There’s just one wrinkle: he has no idea who she is.

The son of a powerful Bollywood family, soap opera star Dev Dixit is used to drama, but a strange woman who accuses him of wooing her online, well, that’s a new one. As much as he’d like to focus on his Hollywood fresh start, he can’t get Jia out of his head. Especially once he starts to suspect who might have used his famous name to catfish her…

When paparazzi blast their private business into the public eye, Dev is happy to engage in some friendly fake dating to calm the gossips and to dazzle her family. But as the whole world swoons over their relationship, Jia can’t help but wonder: Can an online romance-turned-offline-fauxmance ever become love in real life? 

Click this link to purchase!* First Comes Like: A Novel (Modern Love)

#3 MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE

This urban fantasy novel is uber sexy and lots of fun. It’s set in Dublin, Ireland- one of my favorite places, and has some kick ass magical women and very alpha males trying to save the world. A fantastic series and one I need to catch up on. I’m one book behind!

Synopsis:

MacKayla Lane faces the ultimate threat when war breaks out between the kingdoms of shadow and light, as the #1 New York Times bestselling Fever series races to an explosive revelation.

From the moment MacKayla Lane arrived in Dublin to hunt her sister’s murderer, she’s had to fight one dangerous battle after the next: to survive, to secure power, to keep her city safe, to protect the people she loves.

The matter of who’s good and who’s evil can be decided by the answer to a single question: Whose side are you on?

Now, as High Queen of the Fae, Mac faces her greatest challenge yet: ruling the very race she was born to hunt and kill—a race that wants her dead yesterday, so they can put a pure-blooded Fae queen on the throne.

But challenges with her subjects are the least of her concerns when an ancient, deadly foe resurfaces, changing not only the rules of the game but the very game itself, initiating a catastrophic sequence of events that have devastating consequences and leave Mac questioning everything she’s ever learned and everyone she’s ever loved. Now begins an epic battle between Mortal and Fae, Seelie and Unseelie, would-be kings and would-be queens, with possession of the Unseelie King’s virtually unlimited power and the fate of humanity at stake.

From the exquisite, deadly gardens of the High Queen’s court, to long-forgotten truths found in the Sacred Grove of Creation, from the erotic bed of her enigmatic, powerful lover to the darkest, seductive reaches of the Unseelie kingdom, Mac’s final journey takes her places no human has been before, and only one human could possibly survive . . .

One who’s willing to sacrifice everything.

Click this link to purchase!* Kingdom of Shadow and Light (Fever Book 11)

#2 MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE

I have to give this novel a look because I loved Kate Clayborn’s last novel Love Lettering. This synopsis looks just as magical.

Synopsis: From Kate Clayborn, the acclaimed author of Love Lettering, comes a sparkling, tender novel about bickering neighbors, surprise reunions, and the mysterious power of love . . .

Sixteen years ago, a teenaged Will Sterling saw—or rather, heard—the girl of his dreams. Standing beneath an apartment building balcony, he shared a perfect moment with a lovely, warm-voiced stranger. It’s a memory that’s never faded, though he’s put so much of his past behind him. Now an unexpected inheritance has brought Will back to that same address, where he plans to offload his new property and get back to his regular life as an overworked doctor. Instead, he encounters a woman, two balconies above, who’s uncannily familiar . . .

No matter how surprised Nora Clarke is by her reaction to handsome, curious Will, or the whispered pre-dawn conversations they share, she won’t let his plans ruin her quirky, close-knit building. Bound by her loyalty to her adored grandmother, she sets out to foil his efforts with a little light sabotage. But beneath the surface of their feud is an undeniable connection. A balcony, a star-crossed couple, a fateful meeting—maybe it’s the kind of story that can’t work out in the end. Or maybe, it’s the perfect second chance . . .

Click this link to purchase!* Love at First

MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE FEB’21!

A Court of Thorns and Roses continues with Nesta and Cassian’s story. I can’t wait to read this novel!

Synopsis:

Sarah J. Maas’s sexy, richly imagined series continues with the journey of Feyre’s fiery sister, Nesta.

Nesta Archeron has always been prickly-proud, swift to anger, and slow to forgive. And ever since being forced into the Cauldron and becoming High Fae against her will, she’s struggled to find a place for herself within the strange, deadly world she inhabits. Worse, she can’t seem to move past the horrors of the war with Hybern and all she lost in it.

The one person who ignites her temper more than any other is Cassian, the battle-scarred warrior whose position in Rhysand and Feyre’s Night Court keeps him constantly in Nesta’s orbit. But her temper isn’t the only thing Cassian ignites. The fire between them is undeniable, and only burns hotter as they are forced into close quarters with each other.

Meanwhile, the treacherous human queens who returned to the Continent during the last war have forged a dangerous new alliance, threatening the fragile peace that has settled over the realms. And the key to halting them might very well rely on Cassian and Nesta facing their haunting pasts.

Against the sweeping backdrop of a world seared by war and plagued with uncertainty, Nesta and Cassian battle monsters from within and without as they search for acceptance-and healing-in each other’s arms.

Click this link to purchase!* A Court of Silver Flames (A Court of Thorns and Roses, 4)

What books are on your own must read list that are being released next month? Anything I should add to my own list? Please feel free to let me know in the comments.

Happy Reading!

Deb

*Amazon Associate- if you should purchase one of these novels through the above links I’ll receive a small stipend.

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (1/25/21)

I haven’t felt well for a couple of days (bad back) so I’ve been listening to an old favorite while trying to sleep and distract myself from my aches and pains. Isn’t it interesting how you can divert your brains attention in another direction? I’m sure there are a ton of medical papers on that but I’ve found that an audiobook will help me fall asleep when my brain won’t shut down, and in this case distract me from the pain I’m feeling. Enough about that, let’s talk about the books that I’ve been reading.

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

Mercy Thompson is one of my favorite female fantasy characters. She’s tough, but doesn’t mind having a soft side. She’s loyal to a fault, but she’s also a lot of fun. If you’re looking for an action packed fantasy series to listen to I do recommend this one.

JUST STARTED

The third book in the Central Park Pact and one I look forward to getting into. I have enjoyed the first two novels and really have gotten to like this author’s style. This is the only series of her’s I’ve read and I’m looking forward to digging into some others.

Happy Monday everyone! What book are you reading to help jump start your week?

Deb

This Chick Read: Blood Heir (Aurelia Ryder #1) by Ilona Andrews

Set in the Kate Daniels world Blood Heir is the story of Julie Lennart, Kate’s adopted daughter, 8 years after she followed her Grandmother Erra out of Atlanta. A lot has changed in those 8 years, her magic, her face, and her name. Using the moniker Aurelia Ryder, she finally returns to Atlanta when a legendary evil threatens her adopted mothers life and the only family Julie has known. In fighting this evil she faces not only her own fears, but also people she was close to in the past.

This was a controversial novel for Ilona Andrews to write. Apparently Julie was not a popular character because she always seemed to resent Kate but also because she left Atlanta with out speaking to anyone and there wasn’t any closure. I guess now we know the reason why. I didn’t have these same feelings about her as other Kate Daniels enthusiasts. I eagerly awaited her story hoping that it would answer some questions as well as let me see some of the characters in this world I loved for so long. I got a little bit more of the latter than I did the former. In fact, I have more unanswered questions than I do any unresolved ones. However, I know that Ilona Andrews will eventually check off every one of my questions. Including what happens when she and Derek find each other again.

What I love the most about these novels is how fast paced they are. Although if you need to stop to cook dinner, work, or do some chores, that’s not necessarily a good thing. Right from the first chapter I am intrigued by this character who is so different than the Julie I remember from the past. Of course, she now calls herself Aurelia Ryder, and with the name change comes a who new set of magical skills. Oh, and did I mention the new face? That story needs to be read as it’s really a part of Aurelia’s evolution story and shouldn’t be spoiled by a blogger, but don’t take too long to read it, it’s worth finding out!

As with a lot of first novels in a series, this one sets up a lot of plot lines. Julie is now Aurelia, looks different, and has some uber magical skills that match the new name and face. Some of our other favorites are also different. Ascanio, who was her “friend” or at least cohort in her youth is set up as an adversary of sorts, which is different than I expected. Then, of course, there’s Derek, who like Aurelia, has gone through his own transformation. So, what I expected to find, didn’t end up happening and I found myself just a touch disappointed until I just let go of my issues and let myself get immersed in the story. Will it all make a little more sense in the second novel? This one ends on a cliff hanger so you can only hope the answer to that question is yes.

❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Blood Heir (Kate Daniels World Book 1)

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.

This Chick Read: The Dark Archive (Invisible Library #7) by Genevieve Cogman

Librarian and spy Irene, her new Fae assistant, friend and Detective Vale, and her lover and dragon Prince Kai have had repeated attempts upon their lives. When those attempts escalate to include kidnapping they must do everything to find out who’s responsible, including unlocking secrets that could change their lives forever.

The above synopsis is a bit short but is the gist of the novel. What it leaves out are all of the murder attempts, escapes, and revealing conversations. The only certain thing for Irene is that she doesn’t want anything to happen to those she cares for and she’ll upend multiple world to keep them from harm.

The Dark Archive is not fluff or filler in the storyline of Irene’s life, instead we find out some of the delicious details that we’ve been dying to know. How is Kai’s standing in his family, does Silver’s niece really want to be a librarian or is this just part of a Fae plot, and who are really Irene’s parents? We have been leading up to some of these answers for quite a while and whereas I like a good adventure as much as the next reader I was getting tired of being led by a carrot through multiple books. In The Dark Archive, we finally find out the answers and unfortunately that leaves me little to talk about in this review. What I can say is that this novel was interesting, it was filled with multiple twists, and Irene and Kai’s relationship seems to include a lot of feelings that Irene may be slightly uncomfortable revealing. After all, she is a spy and needs to keep some things close.

If you’re a fan of this series you’re not going to be felt let down by this novel. Finally, you’ll receive some of the answers you’ve been looking for, but unfortunately this series is not wrapped up yet. Or is that fortunately? Hmmm. In any case, this is not the end for Irene, Kai and her friends. There are more secrets yet to be revealed!

❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase!* The Dark Archive (The Invisible Library Novel)

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: The Awakening (The Dragon Heart Legacy #1) by Nora Roberts

Breen Kelly’s father left she and her mom when she was a little girl, but she remembers the fanciful stories he told about a land filled with magic. When she discovers her mother has been hiding an account in her name filled with millions of dollars she quits the job she hates, unburies herself from her student loans and travels to Ireland, hoping to find the father who left her behind. Instead, she finds a land filled with magic, and a home that she’d always dreamed of having.

Nora Roberts never lets me down. She is consistent, and even when writing fantasy, I enjoy the yarns she spins. The Awakening was no different. In a world where I’m now having difficulty concentrating on a story, I was so happy to be able to immerse myself and step into a land just as Breen steps into her new world.

Let’s talk about these characters. Breen has been overwhelmed by her mother, told she wasn’t good enough, and led to believe that she couldn’t have the things she dreamed of having. Oh, I hate reading about those kinds of mothers! When Breen went off to Ireland she developed a confidence that was fun to read. I enjoyed seeing her gain her strength and a spark of sassiness. Her best friend Marco was a really fun character. He was her strength when she was weak, but became her biggest champion as she found her voice. I’m hoping he is a bigger part of the second novel in the series. He deserves his own story! Keegan, is the leader (I’m not going to try to say the Gaelic or Fey term that Ms. Roberts used and I stupidly didn’t write it down) of the Fey in Talamh (pronounced Tala). He was arrogant and well kind of not nice. I wondered when he would turn into the hero and felt kind of let down by how he was portrayed. His is another character I hope we see flesh out in a more positive manner in the second novel. Especially since he is Breen’s love interest.

I would call this series romantic fantasy, but only in the sense that Ireland, the Fey, Elves, etc. are romantic to read about. I felt a little bit let down in the romance department, but if I threw out any notion that this was supposed to be a romance I would say I enjoyed this fantasy novel. So that is the reason why I’m giving this novel a 4.0 rating. I wasn’t really sure if there was supposed to be a romance between our two main characters. I mean the kind of romance that ends in a happily ever after instead of uncertainty. This novel definitely ended in a cliffhanger, so beware the abrupt ending! I rather liked it because it led me in an unexpected direction, but if cliffhangers are your thing, I thought I’d give the warning. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase! The Awakening: The Dragon Heart Legacy, Book 1 (The Dragon Heart Legacy, 1)

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.

This Chick Read: The Midnight Bargain by C.L. Polk

In a world similar to Regency England, women with magical power are sold into marriage as a business arrangement between families. Some of whom are looking for that magical boost to their gene pool, and others may receive financial gain. On the day of their marriage these young women are forced to wear a collar that inhibits their powers for fear that the children they bear may be possessed. Beatrice Clayburn is a young sorceress who does not want to get married. She dreams of the day when she can become a Mage and through being a Mage help her family’s finances, instead her father wants to marry her off. Beatrice practices her sorcery in private but at night she attends balls and is under the attention of all of the young men who are on the marriage mart. Determined not to ever marry, one day she meets Ianthe Lavan and is torn between what she needs and what she wants.

I thought it was interesting that this fantasy tale paralleled the paths of young women in Victorian England who may have fought for equal rights during the Suffrage movement. Also forced to marry for business or monetary reasons these women also dreamed of their voices being heard and not smothered by or becoming possessions of their husbands. The collar that Beatrice would have to wear also brings to mind the collared slaves who were at the whim of their masters in the United States. Reading this novel during the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote and while the Black Matters Movement is still being fought certainly made what Beatrice was and would go through very relevant. I can’t imagine the author didn’t intend for the reader’s mind to follow those parallel paths.

Surprisingly I didn’t get tired of Beatrice’s mixed feelings over falling in love with a young man while at the same time as wanting the freedom to pursue her own future. Most authors would have chosen the easier path, but C.L. Polk chose what spoke to her character and that decision read true to me. I will admit to shedding a tear or two for Beatrice and Ianthe in this novel while hoping their rocky path would smooth out.

I could imagine the hardships of not only Beatrice but all of the young women of her time. In a discussion with her mother about never wanting to wear the collar her mother told a story of how she chose to marry for love and how that love deadened over time. Beatrice’s decision for her future couldn’t just be about how much she loved Ianthe or how much she wanted to be a Mage. Her decision was about not letting anyone have control over her body and while I am not making a political statement I can certainly say that I identified with that feeling while reading this novel. So, did I like it? Yes. A lot actually. But was it easy reading? It really wasn’t. It made me think about what was going on in the world right now. Not a bad thing but maybe not exactly what I was looking for when I sat down to read either.

❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase!* The Midnight Bargain

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.