This Chick Read: Sweep of the Heart (Innkeeper Series #6) by Ilona Andrews

Sean’s werewolf mentor is captured and the only way Dina and Sean can get to the planet where he is being hidden is to use a portal held by the Dominion. To get permission they have to hold the Dominion’s spouse search in Gertrude Hunt, their Inn. Expanding their Inn to provide comfort, safety, and food to multiple species is all in a day’s work for Innkeeper’s Dina and Sean, but when an assassination plot is thrown into the mix their skills are stretched to the breaking point- and this is all before they can save Sean’s mentor. Life as an Innkeeper is never boring!

This series has all the things that make you love reading fantasy novels. Interesting characters, vibrant world-building, great action sequences, and heart. Dina is the heart of these novels and it’s her actions that drive the story. When she and Sean agree to host the spouse search in return for gaining access to the portals to the world where Wilmos is being held, she goes all in on making this project for the Dominion’s ruler a success. The comfort and safety of all of her guests is of utmost importance to an Innkeeper and managing each species while not killing anyone, or having anyone be killed is a challenge, but this team is up to the task. The descriptions and needs of each species are so varied and interesting, it’s amazing to me that these authors can make a tree species come to life in a way that makes the reader react with feelings of like or dislike is amazing. To steal from Paul Hollywood’s Great British Baking Show – their writing is not style over substance, it’s an amazing balance of the two.

Sweep of the Heart’s spouse search is political machinations at its best. Each species receives an ask for taking part in this competition. If they get sent home without winning, their minor ask is received by the Dominion who chooses to either grant that request or deny it. If they win, their major ask is given and granted. All of these are puzzles pieces on a large playing board that will affect the balance of all of their lives as well as their planets. As a reader we are just along for the ride, and it’s so much fun. I can’t imagine being the author who must put it all together so that it’s cohesive and makes sense! Sweep of the Heart was definitely a master class in writing.

The underlying story that runs through the Innkeeper series- the mystery of the disappearance of Dina’s parents and their Inn, does move forward in the culminating chapter in this book. I know it will wrap up in the next novel which might be the end of this series, which will break my heart, but I do think it’s time for us to know the answer to that storyline. Given the cliff-hanger I hope that the authors don’t wait two years to write the next novel. Of course, if they do I’ll have read and re-read (and listened!) to this book multiple times, so I’ll be ready. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase this book!* Sweep of the Heart

Copyright 2023 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? (1/30/23)

I’ll admit that I haven’t picked up my next book yet and am going back and forth between a few. I have started re-listening to one of my all time favorite series and have pretty much been spending my time with my earbuds in my ears and being anti-social. It’s funny how each time I listen to this series it’s like it’s the first time. I find something new every time. I’ll tell you a little more about it below.

JUST FINISHED

One of my favorite books in this series. Why? Kate and Curran finally decide what to do with their relationship, plus theirs some kick @$$ action! As much as I love the paranormal romance aspects of this series it’s really the mystery and action scenes that keep me coming back for more. Oh, and for Kate as well. She is one bad mother!! LOVE her.

JUST STARTED

Just started #5. I know it won’t disappoint because I’ve picked it up and read it a million times before. Sometimes you just need the comfort of a much loved series. This is my comfort read.

Enjoy your Monday and happy reading!

Deb

Happy Release Day! The Gorgon Agenda (SPI Files #8) by Lisa Shearin

Have you, like me, been waiting on the next release in the SPI Files series? Wait no more! The Gorgon Agenda came out on January 24th on Kindle and in paperback. Here’s a quick peek.

THE GORGON AGENDA

Lisa Shearin

A planet-killing weapon, sinister sisters, and immortal monsters.

All in a day’s work for the agents of SPI.

I’m Makenna Fraser, seer for SPI (Supernatural Protection & Investigations). I knew SPI

protected some of the world’s most dangerous relics, but I didn’t know our draconic founder,

Vivienne Sagadraco, kept them in a vault deep below Manhattan.

Until the most lethal relic of all was stolen.

The Aegis is the shield once wielded by Athena, the goddess of wisdom and war. The center of

the Aegis contains the head of Medusa, making it the ultimate weapon. All who look on it or its

reflection are instantly turned to stone.

Old enemies and new adversaries have descended on New York—and one of them now has the

Aegis:

Tiamat—Babylonian goddess of chaos, and Vivienne Sagadraco’s sister

Stheno and Euryale—Eight-foot-tall, snake-haired gorgons, granddaughters of the

Titans, and Medusa’s sisters

The Sisterhood of Medusa—An ancient gorgon military order

The Cabal—A supernatural terrorist organization

Those behind the theft have declared war on humanity, with a hatred that was millennia in the

making, and a heist that was centuries in the planning.

Our mission is simple yet impossible: Retrieve the Aegis and save the world. But we can’t do it

alone. We’ll need our friends, family, and some unexpected new allies if we’re to stop this

ancient evil once and for all.

Click this link to purchase on Amazon!* The Gorgon Files

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (1/23/23)

What happened to the last week? Time flew by and despite all of the things on my calendar I still managed to have a little down time and complete a book. I look forward to that hour of reading every night. It helps my mind relax and release the stresses of the day. Here are the books on my virtual nightstand.

JUST FINISHED

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher and I have to say that it really surprised me. I am not familiar with this author and didn’t really know what to expect but the characters were well developed and the plot was absolutely fun. Truly this one was a great weekend read.

JUST STARTED

This is book eight in the series so if you haven’t read the other novels, run out and borrow, buy, or well, borrow or buy these books! A Sinister Revenge picks up in the middle of Veronica and Stoker’s separation, but when his brother asks for their help they jump at the chance to investigate together again. I love these books and this one is especially well written.

Have a great Monday and happy reading!

Deb

This Chick Read: Mysteries of Thorn Manor by Margaret Rogerson

A sequel novella to the best-selling A Sorcery of Thorns, Mysteries of Thorn Manor gives us a peek into the manor, er courtship, between Elisabeth and Nathaniel. Thorn Manor’s wards seems to be under a magical attack and Elisabeth and Nathaniel must solve the problem before they’re due to host the city’s Midwinter Ball. Investigating this mysterious manor reveals all sorts of secrets of current and past inhabitants and when they find out it’s those inhabitants who are creating the problem their relationship takes a turn.

The beautiful cover perfectly matches this author’s fantastical style of writing. It’s been a little while since I read A Sorcery of Thorns, but it all came rushing back in the first few pages. The author weaves a tale between Elisabeth, Nathaniel, and Silas that leaves me feeling like Elisabeth may have more than one beau. What that just my imagination? There seems to be a lot of hand kissing and declarations of affection. If so, then Elisabeth will have one busy future! I will admit, once my brain went in that direction I did start to question things. Regardless, it was certainly interesting!

Just in case you were unaware, a novella is a short story. This one was about 188 print pages or 105 on my kindle, which is quite short. The story didn’t feel short though, it was very well rounded and quite complete. I just took a look at it on Amazon and I do feel like the kindle price may be a bit expensive for what you get though. This is a light-hearted bit of fun and unless you’re a super-fan, you may want to wait until it goes on sale.

If you are that super-fan and have been jonesing for another Margaret Rogerson story then jump on this one. It will give you a quick fix that will leave you wanting more. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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 this book!* Mysteries of Thorn Manor

Copyright 2023 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (12/26/22)

For all of you who celebrate, Merry Christmas! I hope everyone got a little “me time” in the craziness of the holiday. I got a couple of Colleen Hoover books for Christmas and believe it or not, I’ve never read one of her books before and am looking forward to seeing what all of the hoopla is all about. Yesterday afternoon while my husband was watching football, I finished a book and read a short novella. So I successfully carved that “me time” and let my mind decompress from the holiday madness. Here is what’s on my shelf.

JUST FINISHED

Ilona Andrews releases chapters from the Innkeep series in real time and it is so hard to NOT read it as they write it. FINALLY the entire book was released and I purchased my kindle copy and dug in this weekend. It was sooo good! It moves us closer to finding out what happened to Dina’s parents but the mystery is not yet solved. Whew! I don’t want this series to end!

JUST STARTED

I haven’t started this book yet, but I think I might pick it up and give Colleen Hoover a try. This and the second book in this series was given to me for Christmas. I’ll let you know if I give it a try! If you’ve read it let me know what you think.

Happy Monday and happy reading!

Deb

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: My Top 5 Most Anticipated Book Releases – Jan’23

If you’re wondering how I find out about book releases, I’ll give you my secret. There isn’t one. Ha! I look at the Goodreads list of January’23 book releases which is based upon people clicking “want to read”. I’ll admit to reading a couple of blog posts as well because some bloggers are genre specific and I’ll find more obscure books by favorite authors who may not be as mainstream, but I generally rely on Goodreads. I’m often amazed by surprise releases that I haven’t heard anything about. I have one or two of those in my top 5 this month. Let me know if you are surprised by any of my picks!

#5 BOOK RELEASE

This is the sequel novella to Rogerson’s A Sorcery of Thorns, which I loved. Despite the short length, I’m excited to see what these characters are up to.

Synopsis:

Elisabeth Scrivener is finally settling into her new life with sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn. Now that their demon companion Silas has returned, so has scrutiny from nosy reporters hungry for gossip about the city’s most powerful sorcerer and the librarian who stole his heart. But something strange is afoot at Thorn Manor: the estate’s wards, which are meant to keep their home safe, are acting up and forcibly trapping the Manor’’ occupants inside. Surely it must be a coincidence that this happened just as Nathaniel and Elisabeth started getting closer to one another…

With no access to the outside world, Elisabeth, Nathaniel, and Silas—along with their new maid Mercy—will have to work together to discover the source of the magic behind the malfunctioning wards before they’re due to host the city’s Midwinter Ball. Not an easy task when the house is filled with unexpected secrets, and all Elisabeth can think about is kissing Nathaniel in peace. But when it becomes clear that the house, influenced by the magic of Nathaniel’s ancestors, requires a price for its obedience, Elisabeth and Nathaniel will have to lean on their connection like never before to set things right.

Click this link to purchase this book!* Mysteries of Thorn Manor

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase any books on this list from an attached link I’ll receive a small stipend.

#4 BOOK RELEASE

I’ve enjoyed Emma Lord’s novels in the past and was excited to get an advanced reader copy of this book. Taking place on a college campus, this story revolves around friendships, heartache, secrets, and love. I enjoyed it!

Synopsis: Filled with a friend group that feels like family, an empowering journey of finding your own way, and a Just Kiss Already! romance, Emma Lord’s Begin Again is an unforgettable YA novel of love and starting again.

As usual, Andie Rose has a plan: Transfer from community college to the hyper competitive Blue Ridge State, major in psychology, and maintain her lifelong goal of becoming an iconic self-help figure despite the nerves that have recently thrown her for a loop. All it will take is ruthless organization, hard work, and her trademark unrelenting enthusiasm to pull it all together.

But the moment Andie arrives, the rest of her plans go off the rails. Her rocky relationship with her boyfriend Connor only gets more complicated when she discovers he transferred out of Blue Ridge to her community college. Her roommate Shay needs a major, and despite Andie’s impressive track record of being The Fixer, she’s stumped on how to help. And Milo, her coffee-guzzling grump of an R.A. with seafoam green eyes, is somehow disrupting all her ideas about love and relationships one sleep-deprived wisecrack at a time.

But sometimes, when all your plans are in rubble at your feet, you find out what you’re made of. And when Andie starts to find the power of her voice as the anonymous Squire on the school’s legendary pirate radio station–the same one her mom founded, years before she passed away–Andie learns that not all the best laid plans are necessarily the right ones.

Click this link to purchase this book!* Begin Again

#3 BOOK RELEASE

Jill Shalvis is my go-to author for feel good novels with great friendships. The Backup Plan is more Women’s Fiction than romance but it certainly checked all of my boxes that make up a great novel.

Synopsis:

When Alice receives a call about an unexpected windfall, she’s stunned to learn the gift is a falling-apart-at-the-seams old Wild West B&B she once considered home—and she’s inherited it along with two strangers. Except they weren’t always strangers. Once upon a time, they were friends. One is her ex-BFF Lauren. The other is Knox, the only guy to ever break her heart, all while never even knowing she existed.

It turns out their lives are unknowingly entangled because they once separately helped the same woman without expecting anything in return. Years later, Alice, Lauren, and Knox are broken in their own way, with their own history—and secrets— causing them to start out on the wrong foot with each other. But according to the will, they must renovate and be partners in the inn for one year or else lose their inheritance.

Stuck together, they make a list of rules to keep the peace—rules that end up doing the opposite, but by some miracle they find what they didn’t even know they were looking for—acceptance, true friendship, and in a case (or two!), true love.

Click this link to purchase this book!* The Backup Plan

#2 BOOK RELEASE

Kate Clayborn writes heartfelt poignant romance novels. The synopsis grabbed me on this one and I can’t wait for a little time off to dig in and spend a day with it.

Synopsis: Longtime personal assistant Georgie Mulcahy has made a career out of putting others before herself. When an unexpected upheaval sends her away from her hectic job in L.A. and back to her hometown, Georgie must confront an uncomfortable truth: her own wants and needs have always been a disconcertingly blank page.  

But then Georgie comes across a forgotten artifact—a “friendfic” diary she wrote as a teenager, filled with possibilities she once imagined. To an overwhelmed Georgie, the diary’s simple, small-scale ideas are a lifeline—a guidebook for getting started on a new path.  

Georgie’s plans hit a snag when she comes face to face with an unexpected roommate—Levi Fanning, onetime town troublemaker and current town hermit. But this quiet, grouchy man is more than just his reputation, and he offers to help Georgie with her quest. As the two make their way through her wishlist, Georgie begins to realize that what she truly wants might not be in the pages of her diary after all, but right by her side—if only they can both find a way to let go of the pasts that hold them back. 

Honest and deeply emotional, Georgie, All Along is a smart, tender must-read for everyone who’s ever wondered about the life that got away . . .

Click this link to purchase this book!* Georgie All Along

MY MOST ANTICIPATE JAN’23 BOOK RELEASE

Ninth House stayed with me for a long while, so I can’t wait to read Hell Bent. It’s hard to describe this series but it’s set in modern day but has elements of supernatural, horror, and mystery. I can’t wait!

Synopsis: Find a gateway to the underworld. Steal a soul out of hell. A simple plan, except people who make this particular journey rarely come back. But Galaxy “Alex” Stern is determined to break Darlington out of purgatory—even if it costs her a future at Lethe and at Yale.

Forbidden from attempting a rescue, Alex and Dawes can’t call on the Ninth House for help, so they assemble a team of dubious allies to save the gentleman of Lethe. Together, they will have to navigate a maze of arcane texts and bizarre artifacts to uncover the societies’ most closely guarded secrets, and break every rule doing it. But when faculty members begin to die off, Alex knows these aren’t just accidents. Something deadly is at work in New Haven, and if she is going to survive, she’ll have to reckon with the monsters of her past and a darkness built into the university’s very walls.

Thick with history and packed with Bardugo’s signature twists, Hell Bent brings to life an intricate world full of magic, violence, and all too real monsters.

Click this link to purchase this book!* Hell Bent

I’m sure my choices might be different than yours, so feel free to shout out a book you’re looking forward to reading after its release next month. OR if you are digging my list, let me know the one you can’t wait to read.

Happy reading!

Deb

This Chick’s Audio Review: Secrets Bound by Sand (Dragon Ridden Chronicles #4) by T.A. White

Tate’s dragon goes on an uncontrolled rampage claiming the emperor’s treasury as her horde and get Tate cast out of Aurelia, if only temporarily, sent on a mission to negotiate a treaty. On her way she is kidnapped twice, each time learning more about her past and the people who claim her as savior. Can she find her way to defeat the big bad that’s still trying to kill off everyone she’s grown to love? Only if she opens her mind and heart to the future, learning from what has happened in her past.

After a great second and third novel in the series, I’ll admit that Secrets Bound by Sand was kind of a convoluted mess. While I still love these characters, all narrated by Natasha Soudek, I’m getting a little restless with the author’s inability to reach a conclusion. You know how some longer series have that book that falls in the middle that just moves the character forward but not much else happens? For me, this was that novel. The only thing new we learned was from Tate’s past and while it was revealing it didn’t really help what was happening in her life today, it just explained how she was sent to sleep thousands of years ago. Interesting but not the conclusion I was looking for out of this novel.

We did learn a bit more about Knight (Night? I’m listening, not reading the book remember!) and his bearcat race. On this journey, Tate, Knight, and Dewdrop meet up with the Vela (sp?), a sentient race who can shift from bearcat to a human-like figure on two legs. This interesting development actually provided more for Knight’s character than the entire book did for Tate!

Did my ho-hum attitude keep me from reading the fifth book? No. I immediately got the audiobook. I’m invested in the series and hope that it reaches its conclusion in this fifth book. I’m over the character insight and want a conclusion so I can move on. Not really what you hope to feel after reading five books from an author you love, but there you have it. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

Click this link to purchase this book!* Secrets Bound by Sand

Copyright 2022 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’s Audio Review: Destruction’s Ascent (Dragon Ridden #3) by T.A. White

I went back and read my reviews of books one and two and had to chuckle to myself. I lamented the fact that the author had let so much time go by between writing books one and two, and yet book three came out one year after book two, in 2018, and I let four years go by before picking up the series again. Not for lack of liking it because I love this author and I really did like the first two books, but because time just flew by and I had too many other books step in front of this one. Here are my reviews of the first two books if you, like me, need a catch up.

Dragon Ridden

Of Bone and Ruin

Destruction’s Ascent opens with Tate, now in the dragon corps, and going through training. Of course, Tate is not like other dragon ridden since she and her dragon were asleep for generations, but also because she and her dragon speak to each other, something that the others fear lead to insanity. She may be called insane because of the situations she gets in, but Tate’s sanity is pretty normal. Speaking of situations, one arises when Tate touches a mirror in her dragon mentor’s office and an evil creature comes through it and tries to kill everyone in the room. See what I mean about crazy situations? Dragons are as curious as cats, and Tate wants to explore this world on the other side of the mirror. When she finally walks through one, she finds the children who have gone missing throughout Aurelia, and the big bad who have taken them. Destruction’s Ascent is about solving the mystery as well as figuring out a few things about her past.

With a name like Destruction’s Ascent, you better start the story off fast and never stop and that is what T.A. White delivers to its readers. I listened to this book and found myself putting off the more important things in my life (hello job!) and finding moments to keep listening to this story. The narrator is Natasha Soudek, who also narrates the Aileen Travers series, and does a fine job even if the voices she gives the characters aren’t quite what I’d imagine them to sound like in my head. Her characterization of Tate evolves through the story as Tate finds out things about her past but the snarkiness that I love is voiced spot on, so I’ll give her props. She rocked Tate’s voice.

Four years after reading the last book and I’m reminded why I love this author’s novels so much and this series as well. Her heroine’s are always everywomen. Yes, they do heroic and selfless things, but they don’t typically have magical powers. Yes, Tate can turn into a dragon but that is more species related than it is her being magical. The way she processes what’s going on around her and then takes action gives her character a relatability that makes her an easy character to like and root for. If I had one complaint it would be that the novel needs a little more romance between she and Ryu. He is slowly stalking that relationship when is building the tension nicely but I’m ready for some heat, and not of the dragon fire variety.

If you’re a lover of fantasy like I am, please give this series a try. I think, like me, you’ll get into it and won’t want to put it down. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase this book!* Destruction’s Ascent

Copyright 2022 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? (12/5/22)

I’ll admit that for work I am heading into the busiest time of the year, then when you add in the holidays, parties, and decorating I just didn’t seem to have that much time to read. I did finish a book, and whereas I didn’t hate it, it didn’t grab me either. It has great reviews and I kept wondering what I was missing. So when I was reading, I wasn’t in the right head pace for it. I hate that! Does that ever happen to you? On another note, my husband and I started watching Wednesday on Netflix and OMG, it is so good. That’s probably another reason it was hard to get into this book, it just paled in comparison.

JUST FINISHED

This one was really hard for me to finish. It wasn’t that it was bad, and maybe I was reading it when I was stretched a little thin and didn’t have the time to really enmesh myself into the story, but I just got frustrated with it. A great premise that showed promise and didn’t deliver for me. Bummer!

JUST STARTED

I received the advanced reader copy for this book and it looks like it will be right up my alley. A science fiction space opera with a hint of romance and action-adventure. I can’t wait to get started!

Are your holiday plans getting in the way of your reading? I know how you feel! I hope it gets better!

Happy Monday and happy reading!

Deb