This Chick Read: A Curse of Queens (Kingmaker Chronicles #4) by Amanda Bouchet

Cat and Griffin are expecting their first child when Cat is cursed with a never-ending pregnancy. Jocasta, Griffin’s sister, sends for all scrolls with a mention of Circe, hoping to find the goddess of plants and herbs so that she can make an elixir to take the curse from Cat. In order to find her Jocasta must go on a journey that she may not come back from. Volunteering to join her is Flynn, the man whom she has loved since she was a young girl. A man who she shared one kiss with when she was 18. A kiss that changed their relationship forever. Now is the chance for the two of them to reconcile their relationship and hopefully find the cure that will save their sister and the land.

I’ve always liked Jocasta. Her love for her family is what drives her and I like how she uses her brain to avoid crazy situations. She seems pretty happy with her herbs and helping the locals medical needs. The one thing that she isn’t happy about is her relationship with Flynn. Her love is unrequited or so she thinks until this journey places them all in danger and those hidden feelings reveal themselves.

As with all Greek mythology, their journey includes several tasks they must complete before it reaches the conclusion they want. With a little help from a couple of gods they stay on the right path. If I had to guess there are two paths to a fifth book in the series. You can only hope!

❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase!* A Curse of Queens

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? (10/3/22)

The weather has been so nice that I’ve been spending a little time outside so I’ll admit I’ve gotten a little behind on my reading. I’m not playing catch-up on a couple of books that are being released this week that I need to read. It’s no hard task though since these were books I wanted to read anyway. It is nice not to have a deadline though! Here is what’s on my TBR.

JUST FINISHED

A fun paranormal romance and book three in a series I’ve enjoyed reading. Traveling through time, romance, and a bit of a mystery? What’s not to like?!

JUST STARTED

I had mixed feelings about picking up this book. I love this series, but 1- we are starting a new spin-off following a different character and 2- I didn’t love book three. BUT, I’m giving this book a chance to stand on its own. I love this Greek mythological world and want to see what else Amanda Bouchet can include to hold my interest.

What were you up to over the last week? Busy? Find time to read? Give me a shout in the comments!

Happy Monday and happy reading!

Deb

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: My Top 5 Most Anticipated Book Releases- Oct’22

Ok, I know it’s Wednesday and I’m a week late getting this post out, but it’s never too late to talk book releases, right??? I know I say this every month, but boy! There are a lot of books coming out next month that I really want to read. Somehow, I’ve narrowed them down to 5.

#5 BOOK RELEASE

I thought Jackie Lau’s book Donut Fall in Love was a cute light-hearted romance and am looking forward to seeing a couple of characters from that novel achieve their hea. This one intrigues me, but I’ll admit it’s not going to be War and Peace. Sometimes you need a light-hearted book to get you through a tough week!

Synopsis: They say to never meet your heroes, but when Vivian Liao’s roommate gets engaged to her favorite actor’s costar, she has no choice but to come face-to-face with Melvin Lee again. He’s just as funny and handsome as he is on-screen…but thinks she is a snob and a sellout. It’s none of his business how she chooses to live her life, no matter how charismatic he is.
 
Mel is used to charming audiences as an actor and stand-up comedian but can’t connect to Vivian. She’s a smart, talented artist—which is why he thinks she’s wasting her life as a corporate finance drone. The only thing uniting them is their goal for the wedding to go off without a hitch.
 
As they collaborate on wedding cake and karaoke parties, Mel realizes he might have seriously misjudged this bridesmaid, while Vivian discovers the best man might just be as dazzling off-screen as he is on. With the wedding underway, maybe more than one happily ever after is in the future.

Click this link to purchase!* The Stand-Up Groomsman

#4 BOOK RELEASE

Sophie Cousens has written some of my favorite more poignant novels over the last couple of years. This book sounds like a little soul-searching and a lot of romance. I hope.

Synopsis:  Head-in-the-stars Audrey is about to marry down-to-earth Josh. Though they are polar opposites, they have a healthy, stable relationship; Josh is just what Audrey needs. But romance should be unpredictable and full of fireworks, and as the big day approaches, Audrey’s found herself wondering if Josh really is “The One.”
 
    So, when Josh’s sister shows up to the rehearsal dinner with Fred, Audrey’s “What If? guy”—the man she met six years ago and had one amazing day with—Audrey finds herself torn. Surely Fred’s appearance the night before she is due to get married can’t be a coincidence. And when everything that could go wrong with the wedding starts to go wrong, Audrey has to ask herself: Is fate trying to stop her from making a huge mistake? Or does destiny just have a really twisty sense of humor?

Click this link to purchase!* Before I Do

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

#3 BOOK RELEASE

I have read several books by Mimi Matthews including the first book in this series. I enjoy the real-ness of her characters. I can’t wait to see how this book surprises me.

Synopsis: A London heiress rides out to the wilds of the English countryside to honor a marriage of convenience with a mysterious and reclusive stranger.

Tall, dark, and dour, the notorious Captain Jasper Blunt was once hailed a military hero, but tales abound of his bastard children and his haunted estate in Yorkshire. What he requires now is a rich wife to ornament his isolated ruin, and he has his sights set on the enchanting Julia Wychwood.
 
For Julia, an incurable romantic cursed with a crippling social anxiety, navigating a London ballroom is absolute torture. The only time Julia feels any degree of confidence is when she’s on her horse. Unfortunately, a young lady can’t spend the whole of her life in the saddle, so Julia makes an impetuous decision to take her future by the reins—she proposes to Captain Blunt.
 
In exchange for her dowry and her hand, Jasper must promise to grant her freedom to do as she pleases. To ride—and to read—as much as she likes without masculine interference. He readily agrees to her conditions, with one provision of his own: Julia is forbidden from going into the tower rooms of his estate and snooping around his affairs. But the more she learns of the beastly former hero, the more intrigued she becomes…

Click this link to purchase!* The Belle of Belgrave Square

#2 BOOK RELEASE

The long-awaited 4th novel in the Kingmaker Chronicles is out this month! I’ve re-read the series, gearing up for Jocasta and Finn’s story. I Can’t Wait!

Synopsis:

THE WAR OF GODS IS JUST BEGINNING

After centuries of conflict, the three kingdoms of Thalyria have finally been reunited. But now the queen has been cursed, the royal lineage has been broken, and no one knows who’s behind the plot to threaten the once-fractured realm’s fragile new peace.

Desperate to help, Jocasta—the king’s younger sister and a gifted healer—hatches a daring plan to find Circe’s Garden, a fabled island where she hopes to discover an antidote. But she can’t do it alone. She needs the strong arm and unflinching bravery of the warrior she’s loved since childhood—her brother’s right-hand-man and captain of the guard, Flynn of Sinta.

Flynn has spent years fighting to deny the desperate longing burning between them, but he cannot allow Jocasta to face this danger alone. He swears he will be her shield, and together they will do the impossible. Yet with old feelings blazing bright and treachery brewing on Mount Olympus, one thing is clear: Thalyria and its new royals are still pawns in an epic game of power—one that might end in a War of Gods.

Click this link to purchase!* A Curse of Queens

MOST ANTICIPATED OCTOBER’22 BOOK RELEASE

Part thriller, all drama, Mad Honey looks like a book that I need to schedule a weekend to read. I know I’m not going to be able to put this one down!

Synopsis: Olivia McAfee knows what it feels like to start over. Her picture-perfect life—living in Boston, married to a brilliant cardiothoracic surgeon, raising their beautiful son, Asher—was upended when her husband revealed a darker side. She never imagined that she would end up back in her sleepy New Hampshire hometown, living in the house she grew up in and taking over her father’s beekeeping business.
 
Lily Campanello is familiar with do-overs, too. When she and her mom relocate to Adams, New Hampshire, for her final year of high school, they both hope it will be a fresh start. 
 
And for just a short while, these new beginnings are exactly what Olivia and Lily need. Their paths cross when Asher falls for the new girl in school, and Lily can’t help but fall for him, too. With Ash, she feels happy for the first time. Yet at times, she wonders if she can trust him completely. . . .
 
Then one day, Olivia receives a phone call: Lily is dead, and Asher is being questioned by the police. Olivia is adamant that her son is innocent. But she would be lying if she didn’t acknowledge the flashes of his father’s temper in Ash, and as the case against him unfolds, she realizes he’s hidden more than he’s shared with her.
 
Mad Honey is a riveting novel of suspense, an unforgettable love story, and a moving and powerful exploration of the secrets we keep and the risks we take in order to become ourselves.

Click this link to purchase* Mad Honey

This Chick Read: A Hunt of Shadows (A Trial of Sorcerers #2) by Elise Kova

Set in the same world as this authors Air Awakens series, this second book continues the story of Eira, a Waterrunner and now Champion of the Soleris kingdom as she travels to a distant land to compete against other empires in a magical tournament. What is supposed to unite these lands together becomes a fight for her life as Eira hunts for the man who killed her brother. Eira becomes a guest of the Court of Shadows, an elite group of magical warriors who are spies for their kingdom, and infiltrates the lethal Pillars whom are harboring the man who killed her brother. Eira learns that she may need the help of her friends in order to remain alive as she becomes a pawn to be used to bring the empire down.

I really enjoyed the first novel in this series and learning of Eira’s birthright as the daughter of a mysterious pirate. That background is touched on in A Hunt of Shadows but this story revolves around her need for vengeance on the man who caused her brothers death. Eira’s plan to infiltrate both the Court of Shadows and the Pillars doesn’t go exactly as planned and her life is threatened repeatedly, yet she is determined and despite advice from people who are more informed than she is, she believes she knows best and goes it alone. I’ll admit that this flying solo bit was a tad tiring and I wished that she’d learned to trust her friends and bring her into the plot a little sooner than was done. Once she had someone watching her back I thought the story moved quicker and I enjoyed that journey more.

Eira has been lied to about her heritage for her entire life and that has definitely given her a chip on her shoulder. She feels like she’s a burden and no one else can be trusted but herself. I get it. After reading the first book and seeing how she was treated by everyone including her own family I can see why she would be so independent but these novels are filled with some other great characters that I wish got more time on the page. Her friendship with Alyss is great and her budding romance with Cullen is a bit mysterious but a much needed break from the dark and dreary revenge plot. I relished those moments when it was Eira leaning a bit on someone other than herself and wished that there were more of them, lightening up a rather dark book.

I’m enjoying getting to know this author and have liked other books she’s written. I think this book is a device to move the plot forward. Eira didn’t really grow as a character and in fact reverted back to her mistrust of everyone by the end of the book. I’d really like to see this character move out of the darkness and into the light by allowing her to trust people a bit more and not wanting to tackle everything by herself. I am looking forward to the third book in the series because it’s my hope that the author will do all of these things for this character. Fingers crossed, but this book for me was just average. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

Click this link to purchase!* A Hunt of Shadows

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? (9/5/22)

If you live in the US, I hope you have a wonderful day off from work, if you were lucky enough to have the day off. I do, and added on to my long weekend with a couple of extra days, so I’m really enjoying the time to relax and read. Here’s what I’ve been spending my time with.

JUST FINISHED

Ruby Fever came out a few weeks ago, and yes, I had already read this book. I love following up my initial read by listening to Ilona Andrews novels because I find that the nuances in hearing someone narrate the story give me more insight and enjoyment, catching variation in the plot that I may have missed when reading the novel. It was definitely the case with Ruby Fever. Listening turned my 4 star review into a 5 for the audiobook.

JUST STARTED

The fifteenth novel in the series is just as action-packed as the first, if not more so! This book has so much going on that you just don’t want to put it down. Beware! You will sit and read this one in one day!

How are you choosing to spend your Monday? I hope it’s a good one!

Deb

This Chick Read: A Trial of Sorcerers by Elise Kova

Eira Landan is a young Waterrunner, an apprentice in the Tower of Sorcerers, living in the shadow of her older brother. After an accident where her powers killed a couple of innocents, Eira has been held out of the spotlight making her an outsider within her own caste. When a competition is announced, her entire family asks her to stay out and let her older brother compete but Eira wants only what is fair, a chance to become the champion Waterrunner and an entry into the Tournament of Five Champions. She is ready to fight and to win, but at what costs?

A Trial of Sorcerers is set in the Air Awakens world where sorcerers have an affinity for the elements. Eira’s affinity is to water but she also hears whisper’s, past voices that live and haunt in the castle. Her family thinks these voices are a kind of psychosis but in reality they are a part of her magic and make her unique. This uniqueness may set her apart, and maybe not in such a great way. Through a lot of this novel Eira is fighting her feelings. She feels like she should honor her parents wishes and allow her brother, whom she loves, to be champion, but she is also tired of being held back. This may be her only chance to show everyone that she can control her powers.

I’m a big fan of Elise Kova’s fantasy novels. She has created an intricate world and seems to be adding to those intricacies. The Air Awakens series centered on characters who could control Air, and in Trial of Sorcerers we are learning a lot about the element of water. In Eira’s case how water can be used as a tool for good, but also can be turned against them. How can a girl of eighteen overcome all odds and become Champion Waterrunner? A Trial of Sorcerers borrows from the thrill of the Hunger Games, and the elemental punch of Jennifer’s Estep’s Elemental Assassins. I love the mix of action and romantic fantasy!

If there was one thing I’d change about this novel it would be the amount of time Eira feel sorry for herself. I love a good underdog and I get the trope, but I really wanted her to show strength before she was in the actual trials. I wanted her to believe in herself, despite that it seemed her family didn’t support her choices. Otherwise, this was a really fun book and I loved being back in the world I grew so fond of in the Air Awakens series. If you love fantasy novels with a female lead, you may want to give this one a go! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* A Trial of Sorcerers

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? (8/29/22)

As you get older the birthday’s that I always looked forward to when I was younger become more daunting. Yesterday was my birthday and I again faced my aging body and face in the mirror. Yes, I’m carrying some extra weight and have started to get lines next to my eyes but I still faced this day celebrating the fact that I’m healthy and have a great life. I enjoyed my celebration with my husband and my family. I also gave myself some time to relax and start a new book. Of course, I did!

JUST FINISHED

I received an ARC of this book and despite the fun premise, I felt a little let down by the writing and the characters. I’ll tell you a bit more in my review.

JUST STARTED

This cover is a little creepy, isn’t it? I usually love Elise Kova’s covers, but this one is not my favorite. Luckily, it’s book 3 in the series and I didn’t need to see the cover to want to read the book. LOL. I just started it but I’m enjoying how unique this story is and am thrilled with the development of the characters.

I hope you all had a great weekend, and happy Monday!

Deb

This Chick Read: Ruby Fever (Hidden Legacy #6) by Ilona Andrews

Catalina is the head of her household and lead investigator of Baylor Investigations. She’s used to solving riddles and being in charge but when she becomes Acting Warden of the State of Texas in addition to the above it just might be more than she can handle. Good thing she has fiancé Alessandro Sagredo by her side… of course he brings his own set of problems as well.

Ruby Fever is the conclusion of Catalina’s three book story arc, and all of the sub plots that have been in play are coming to a head. Arkan is out to destroy Alessandro and her family, and they are under constant attack. She is pursuing an investigation into who has attacked the warden, and Alessandro’s family is still trying to farm him out to save their family name and bring in some much needed dough. There was a LOT going on in this book and looking back on it, the plot is a bit of a jumbled mess in my head. Not that I’m going to spoil your fun in reading this novel but I’m having trouble deciding what to write about without giving anything away.

As with all Ilona Andrews books, I loved jumping back into the world they’ve created and Ruby Fever gave us more peek’s into some of her family’s lives than we’ve gotten in the previous two novels which focused more on Catalina and Alessandro’s love story. That story is a foregone conclusion in Ruby Fever and we are given action sequence after action sequence and good investigative moments for the Baylor family, including Nevada and Rogan. The whole family gets involved in the resolution of all of the problems they face, which is fun. We get a hint of a couple of possible love matches for Arabella which made me eager to read her story, but alas, this book concludes Ilona Andrews deal with their current publisher and we may have to wait until they are in the mood to write and self publish the next novel in the series which could take years to happen, if they do decide to write it. Regardless, Ruby Fever was a fun way to end the series.

❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase!* Ruby Fever

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 Chicks Audio Review: Cast in Courtlight (The Chronicles of Elantra #2) by Michelle Sagara

I originally read Cast in Courtlight when it came out in 2006. I’ve loved this series but have only read through book #12. I thought, why not listen to them and start over? Narrated by one of my favorite voiceover talents, Khristine Hvam, I am currently on book #2 and enjoying this return to Elantra tremendously.

In Cast in Courtlight, 20 year old Kaylin Neya is invited to the Barrani court by her fellow Hawk and Barrani, Teela. The Lord of the March, the son of the Lord of the HIgh Court (think king of the Barrani) is sick and Kaylin’s healing skills may be the only thing to save him. She does indeed save him from a deeper sleep and becomes keyuthe (sp?) or friend to the Lord of the March, giving her status among the Barrani. For being a human, Kaylin has “friends” in high places and this one draws her into a magical political plot that only she can figure out and conquer.

Kaylin considers herself as just a human, but the magic inside of her is transforming her into something “other”. She doesn’t understand it but has great instincts in choosing when and when not to use it, you’d think the people around her like the Lord of the Hawks, Barrani, and Lord Sanabalis a dragon highlord, would give her a little leeway. She hasn’t steered wrong so far. In fact, the only person who seems to trust her completely is her partner Severn, who was her best friend when she was a child and has just re-entered her life as a Hawk.

There are so many intricacies to the plot in this novel and I don’t want to give anything away by accident by my over-enthusiastic regard for both the author and narrator. I will say that my favorite fantasy heroines are usually those who don’t see themselves as anything other than “normal” but who manage to do heroic things almost by accident. Kaylin is that kind of heroine. She is somewhat mouthy but has only the best intentions, but her actions usually find her over stepping boundaries. However, in the case of what is going on in the High Court in this novel, her overstepping ends up saving the day again with she and her friends coming out on top. I’d think that after a few of these kinds of incidents that her friends would start trusting her judgement a little bit more, but they can’t seem to overlook her youthfulness. I think at some point they’ll catch on.

Khristine Hvam does an amazing job narrating these novels. As with any series that I listen to, I can find hints of other favorite characters she’s voiced from other authors, but the story is so different that I quickly forget she was also Jane Yellowrock. Her talent is such that you can quickly immerse yourself in the characterizations and story. If you’re looking for a great fantasy series with an intricately built world, give the Chronicles of Elantra a try. I really enjoy the growth of the characters and the action-filled scenes, I think you will too!

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase this book!* Cast in Courtlight

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 Read: Year One (Chronicles of the One #1) by Nora Roberts

I’m going to admit, I bought this novel in 2018 and let it sit on my shelf. Then the pandemic hit and the last thing I wanted to do was read a novel about a virus that wipes out half of the population of the world. Time has moved on and I thought I might be able to separate the topic from the world I was living in.

This novel starts with the person who was the original spreader of the virus and seeing how it happened made me realize that this novel will be more fantasy than reality and as the book moved on and I read how the world divided between those who survived with change and those who survived still human I was able to even more immerse myself in this novel and the new world it was building. Following a few different story arc’s I came to care for these characters not caring if they were human or enhanced with inhuman traits caring more if they were good people or bad. A natural feeling when you are reading a novel that pits good versus evil.

Nora Roberts follows a formula she’s been very successful with throughout her career, especially when writing fantasy novels. She gives us several story arc’s, and in Year One I learn to love Max and Lana and then again Rachel and Jonah, as well as some other characters who help them survive and build new lives. What surprises me is that this plot is leading us to a hero and heroine who can lead them in the fight against evil, the children that they fight so hard to protect.

While there are elements of love throughout this story this novel is not a typical Nora Roberts romance novel. This is a three book series about a fight to come against good and evil. I am curious enough about where it’s headed to pick up the second book in the series but I will give one bit of criticism, I hope it starts off fast because Year One was a bit on the slow side and I like a quicker pace. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

Click this link to purchase!* Year One

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.