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

When I was looking through the list I saw a lot of top name authors had book releases this month but I’m not always attracted to the same books the general population wants to read. Let’s check my Top 5 against yours.

#5 BOOK RELEASE

Sometimes you just want to read a historical romance. When I’m in that mood, I will usually try to find a Lisa Kleypas novel. I love the way her characters feel so real. This novel is sure to be one of my weekend reads next month.

Synopsis:

Lady Merritt Sterling, a strong-willed young widow who’s running her late husband’s shipping company, knows London society is dying to catch her in a scandal. So far, she’s been too smart to provide them with one. But then she meets Keir MacRae, a rough-and-rugged Scottish whisky distiller, and all her sensible plans vanish like smoke. They couldn’t be more different, but their attraction is powerful, raw and irresistible.

From the moment Keir MacRae arrives in London, he has two goals. One: don’t fall in love with the dazzling Lady Merritt Sterling. Two: avoid being killed.

So far, neither of those is going well.

Keir doesn’t know why someone wants him dead until fate reveals the secret of his mysterious past. His world is thrown into upheaval, and the only one he trusts is Merritt.

Their passion blazes with an intensity Merritt has never known before, making her long for the one thing she can’t have from Keir MacRae: forever. As danger draws closer, she’ll do whatever it takes to save the man she loves . . . even knowing he might be the devil in disguise.

Click the link to purchase this book!* Devil in Disguise (Ravenels)

#4 BOOK RELEASE

I have read the other books in this series and have really enjoyed these characters and their culture. I can’t wait to see Yash fall in love. He always seems so put together!

Synopsis:

Yash Raje, California’s first Indian-American gubernatorial candidate, has always known exactly what he wants—and how to use his privileged background to get it. He attributes his success to a simple mantra: control your feelings and you can control the world. But when a hate crime at a rally critically injures his friend, Yash’s easy life suddenly feels like a lie, his control an illusion. When he tries to get back on the campaign trail, he blacks out with panic.

Desperate to keep Yash’s condition from leaking to the media, his family turns to the one person they trust—his sister’s best friend, India Dashwood, California’s foremost stress management coach. Raised by a family of yoga teachers, India has helped San Francisco’s high strung overachievers for a decade without so much as altering her breath. But this man—with his boundless ambition, simmering intensity, and absolute faith in his political beliefs—is like no other.

Click this link to purchase!* Incense and Sensibility: A Novel (The Rajes Series, 3)

#3 BOOK RELEASE

This novel is set in the same world as the Crown of Shards series which I really enjoyed so I am definitely adding this novel to my TBR.

Synopsis:

Gemma Ripley has a reputation for being a pampered princess who is more interested in pretty gowns, sparkling jewelry, and other frivolous things than learning how to rule the kingdom of Andvari. But her carefully crafted persona is just an act to hide the fact that Gemma is a powerful mind magier—and a spy. 

Gemma is undercover, trying to figure out who is stealing large amounts of tearstone from one of the Ripley royal mines when she encounters Prince Leonidas Morricone of Morta—her mortal enemy. Gemma tries to steer clear of the handsome prince, but when she finds herself behind enemy lines, she reluctantly joins forces with Leo. Also coming to Gemma’s aid is Grimley, her beloved gargoyle.

Despite the fact that Andvari and Morta are old, bitter enemies, a dangerous attraction sparks between Gemma and Leo. Further complicating matters is Leo’s murderous family, especially Queen Maeven Morricone, the mastermind behind the infamous Seven Spire massacre.

The closer Gemma gets to the stolen tearstone, the more deadly plots she uncovers. Everyone is trying to capture the crown, but only one queen can sit on the throne … 

Click this link to purchase!* Capture the Crown (A Gargoyle Queen Novel Book 4)

#2 BOOK RELEASE

Here’s another series I’m totally invested in PLUS it’s a Kristen Callihan novel. She writes some great characters who are flawed yet wonderful. I can’t wait to tear in to this novel too. I’ve already pre-ordered this one.

Synopsis:

Brenna

There are some people in life who know exactly how to push your buttons. For me, it’s Rye Peterson. We can’t spend more than ten minutes together before we’re at each other’s throats, which makes working together that much harder. Rye is the bassist for Kill John, the biggest rock band in the world, and I am his publicist. It doesn’t help that the man is gorgeous, funny, talented, and…never takes anything seriously. Avoidance is key.

But everything changes when he overhears something he shouldn’t: a confession made in a moment of weakness. Now the man I’ve tried so hard to ignore is offering me the greatest temptation of all—him.

Rye

Brenna James is the one. The one I can’t have. The one I can’t get out of my mind. Believe me, I’ve tried; the woman loathes me. I managed well enough—until I heard her say she’s as lonely as I am. That she needed to be touched, held, satisfied. And I could no longer deny the truth: I wanted to be the one to give her what she craved.

I convinced her that it would just be sex, mutual satisfaction with nothing deeper. But the moment I have her, she becomes my world. I’ve never given her a good reason to trust me before. Now, I’ve got to show Brenna that we’re so much better together than we ever were apart.

Things are going to get messy. But getting messy with Brenna is what I do best.

Click this link to purchase!* Exposed (VIP Book 4)

MY MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE FOR JULY 2021

Here is another author that I never miss a new book. I’ve pre-ordered this one too and can’t wait to hear Jackson James’ story. How will she make this kind of bad guy into our hero? I am eager to find out!

synopsis:

One unforgettable night leads to an unlikely shared connection, and unlikely connections never go unnoticed by the good folks in Green Valley, Tennessee. . .

Jackson James follows the rules. He has to. He’s a sheriff’s deputy in a super small town with a super big personality. However, strict adherence to the law during the day has been enjoyably balanced by rakish rules at night. Jackson, typically happy to protect and serve (and serve, and serve), starts questioning the value of wayward evenings when getting laid starts to feel more like being waylaid. Could it be that Green Valley’s most eligible—and notorious—bachelor longs for something (and someone) real?

Mega movie star Raquel Ezra follows only one rule: always leave them wanting more. Studio execs, reporters, audiences, fans, lovers—no one can get enough of the smart, savvy, and sexy bombshell. But when “generous offers” begin to feel more like excessive demands, years of always leaving has the elusive starlet longing for something (and perhaps someone) lasting.

When Raquel abruptly returns to the quirky Tennessee hamlet, her path crosses with the delectable deputy with whom she spent one unforgettable night. Unfortunately, scandal and intrigue soon follow. Raquel and Jackson must decide which is more important: following their rules? Or, at long last, finding something real.

Click this link to purchase!* Totally Folked: A Small Town Romance Folktale retelling (Good Folk: Modern Folktales Book 1)

Just like I said above I know that my top 5 is not necessarily your top 5. Let me know if you have a great book coming out next month on your radar. I’m always adding to my TBR!

Happy Reading!

Deb

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

This Chick Read: A Court of Silver Flames (A Court of Thorns and Roses #5) by Sarah J. Maas

Nesta, the once human sister of Feyre, now turned HIgh Fae, is drowning her memories of the Hybern war by drinking to excess, sleeping with men indiscriminately, and living in a hovel. When her sister and her mate Rhys step in it’s to save her from herself. Now living in their old home 5,000 steps above the city she must train by day with Cassian and spend the afternoon working in the library with the Sisters. She abhors the first and decides to tolerate the second. Her relationship with Cassian has always been tumultuous to say the least and the last thing she wants to do is spend time alone with him despite their attraction for each other. Those feelings change when she befriends a priestess named Gwyn and a shopkeeper named Emerie, who together decide to train as Valkyrie’s and create a sisterhood that would give them strength and courage.

I, too, was not a big fan of Nesta’s during Feyre and Rhys’s story. What was there to care about? She was cold, heartless, and didn’t care about our heroine Feyre at all. She was also pretty brutal to Cassian, a warrior who seemed to care for her despite her bad attitude. In fact, it almost seems he cared for her because of it. In A Court of Silver Flames we finally learn what’s going on in Nesta’s head. I had wondered how SJM was going to turn this character around when legions of fans couldn’t stand her, myself included. It wasn’t the love story (if that’s what you call it) between she and Cassian, at least for me. It was the need to help the priestess’s and her friend Emerie overcome the trauma and abuse they’d taken from men. Through that friendship she rebuilt who I thought she was into the person she was meant to be. Yes, part of that person was lover and mate to Cassian, but more importantly it was the inner struggle and discovery of who she was as High Fae, instead of as human woman.

Cassian was an interesting character. He was the General of Rhysand’s army overcoming his own rotten childhood by being the best at what he was and enforcing that message to the Illyrian’s who tortured him as a child. Through this novel we learned a lot about what makes him tick and in large part that is his relationship with his bro’s Rhysand and Ash. Those three, just as Nesta, Gwyn, and Emerie do in this novel. overcome all obstacles to survive and succeed. It put into strong relief the facade that he wears as charmer and brutish warrior and helped me buy into this pairing with Nesta.

As with any of SJM’s novels, there are so many intricacies. Nesta’s powers that she stole from the Cauldron, Ash’s secretive spying, the revolt by Fall, I can go on and on. Each sub-plot adding to the overall story, but also leading us towards the next novel. I won’t go into details because if you’re a fan, you should have this experience on your own. Did I end my journey with this story liking Nesta more than I did when I started? Absolutely! I’ve read some reviews where readers are still holding a grudge and in my opinion I just can’s see how they can. Nesta has more than redeemed herself in my eyes and ok, I guess she too deserves a whole lot of love and Cassian seems to fit her perfectly.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* A Court of Silver Flames (A Court of Thorns and Roses, 5)

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? (6/21/21)

I’m going to fess up I have not actually read any books this week. I have listened to one and am listening to another. I’m not sure if anyone is still interested because both books are from Ilona Andrews Kate Daniels series. LOL. Has anyone else found that when they have a stressful work week a previously read book is a great comfort? That’s what I’m going through right now. So, listening to the Kate Daniels series makes me feel good. For what it’s worth here is what’s currently on my shelf.

JUST FINISHED

Technically this book is it’s own series but it falls between book #9 and book #10 in Kate Daniels and it’s content was relevant to the series. This book is the beginning of Hugh’s story and is meant to be read before the final Kate Daniels novel. I think it’s the third time I’ve listened to this novel and it still takes me over half the book to forgive him for what he’s done in the other series. He is one seriously bad dude.

JUST STARTED

After finishing Hugh’s novel I quickly start Magic Triumphs which wraps up the series. It is so good.

What books are you finding comfort reading this week?

Happy Monday!

Deb

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (6/14/21)

Ah summer time! The weather changes on a dime in Tennessee. Will it be hot and muggy, rainy, or will we have a break from the heat with an 85 degree day? This weekend was a little bit of all of those things. Thrown into the mix was a birthday dinner with a good friend but I still found time to read a little bit! Here are my recent reading choices.

JUST FINISHED

I am still making my way through this series listening to the audio books and enjoying every second of the journey. Kate Daniels is one of my favorite characters, Ilona Andrews my favorite writing team, and Renee Raudman the penultimate of narrators. The nuances in her voice really bring out the humor in Kate’s internal voice. Such a great series.

JUST STARTED

I’m back in the Hollows with Rachel Morgan, witch-demon. This is book 14 or 15 in this series and I have not gotten tired of it. Thank goodness the author hasn’t either!

I have also mixed in a little contemporary romance but it seems I am on a journey through the fantasy genre lately. Which books do you ultimately keep reading? Any great series with a good narrator? I’m loving my audio books lately. Let me know what you’re enjoying in the comments below.

Happy Monday and happy reading!

Deb

This Chick Read: Shattered Bonds (Jane Yellowrock #13) by Faith Hunter

Jane returns to the Asheville area to recoup after the blood duel between Leo Pelissier MOC of New Orleands and the European vampires. Recovering after the loss of some friends, as well as healing her wounds Jane is lying low when evil finds her. Not at full strength, Jane has to find a way to defeat this ancient enemy to keep her friends and family safe.

In Shattered Bonds we see a Jane Yellowrock that we haven’t seen before. Weak and wounded both mentally and physically Jane isn’t at all prepared to fight the brother of the big bad who had been chained in Leo’s basement for all of those years. This vampire is all powerful and it takes digging deep for Jane to find her fighting form so she can take him on.

Each story in this series we have seen Jane’s power grow so it was really interesting to see her fight the weakness buried inside her body. Shattered Bonds told the story of Jane’s internal struggles as well as giving us those action sequences we have grown to love while reading these novels. I’ll admit this book was harder to read. I don’t like seeing one of my favorite characters weak but after reflecting on it I realized that her sickness made her human. Something that she was starting to lack in the previous novels. She can’t always be powerful and strong, but in fighting through adversity she gains a different kind of strength. Shattered Bonds took Jane back to her Indian roots spiritually, in a way we hadn’t see previously. I still prefer the kick butt heroine, but I can see why the author took Jane on this journey.

I often wonder how long Faith Hunter can keep up the fast, action-packed pace. Selfishly, I hope it’s for a good long while.

❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Shattered Bonds (Jane Yellowrock Book 13)

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: Dark Queen (Jane Yellowrock #12) by Faith Hunter

When the Master of the City of New Orleans has been issued a blood challenge by the the Emperor of the European vampires Jane has her work cut out for her as enforcer. If Leo loses, the city of New Orleans and all areas under Leo’s rule will belong to the Emperor. Something that Jane doesn’t want to see happen. Preparing for the duel requires all of her focus and it becomes immediately apparent that she can only trust those who are her closest allies. Everyone else has an agenda and skin in the game.

Every time I finish one of the Jane Yellowrock books I think ‘this is the best one yet’ and that was certainly the case with Dark Queen. This novel had everything that appeals to a huge urban fantasy fan who has made it to book 12 still invested in all of these characters and their futures. The past couple of books and all of the mentions of this blood challenge did not prepare me for all that it encompasses. It is like a hunger games where all of the weaker characters are taken out early with the stronger characters outwitting and outlasting their competitors. As the enforcer to Leo’s MOC, Jane is challenged to a LOT of duels, but as the Dark Queen and the master of her own house, she has scion’s who take on those challenges for her. Characters I’ve come to like and love may or may not lose their lives. My heart was totally invested in the outcomes, as was the heart of our queen, Jane. This novel held a powerful emotional punch that I just wasn’t prepared to feel and boy, it rocked my world.

A new character arrives on scene claiming a familial relationship with Jane that opens her character to new emotions helping her character evolve even further. Ayatas’ claim brings on a lot of flashbacks to her earlier life with her tribe and she has to face those feelings again of killing a man at age 5. This sub-plot was one that I had eagerly anticipated having read the Soulwood series alongside and sometimes in advance of the matching time line in Jane’s own books. I knew the truth of their relationship before I read it on these pages but it still held a heck of a punch!

This series has been so great and like I said above my enjoyment has escalated with each book, but none of the past books compare with how this story knocked me flat. It was such a powerful, action-packed, emotionally driven novel. So, so good. If I could give a book a 10 rating this one get’s the prize. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Dark Queen (Jane Yellowrock Book 12)

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 Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin

Every century an Everwitch is born who has power over the weather of each season. Clara was born an Everwitch but after her powers killed her parents and her best friend she is afraid to use her powers to her full potential afraid she will lose the people she loves the most. When Sang arrives on campus to help her train his calm Spring powers help give her enough control to try to help repair the climate but as she gains feelings for him she again fears she will bring him harm. Will Clara’s struggles between gaining control of her powers an her feelings for Sang collide?

I have read fantasy novels with witches who control weather but this is the first world where a witches personality is tied to the Season of their powers. As an Everwitch Clara’s personality changes with each season the most difficult transition being from Summer to Autumn. This difference, along with the climate change story really held my interest. I felt for this young girl who wanted to help the world but also just wanted to be “normal” and not accidentally kill her friends.

What I liked the most about this novel was how each season had it’s own magical elements and the descriptions of their magic and emotions during those seasons matching the heat of summer or the coldness of winter made these characters even more interesting. The romantic trials of a bunch of teens who grew giddy during their season could have easily been comical but Rachel Griffin gave them a serious threat to fight which balanced the plot nicely.

I really enjoyed this novel and can only hope for more from this author. I could easily see a series about Clara’s evolution and discovery about her talent and her love for Sang. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase this book!* The Nature of Witches

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? (5/31/21)

If you are reading this and you are in the US, I hope you have a nice day off for Memorial’s Day. Thank you to all of our troops who have served for our country including my own father and grandfather.

I was on vacation last week and took a break from writing posts, but I didn’t take a break from reading books! I have continued to listen to Ilona Andrews Kate Daniels series and I have to say that I read each of these books as they came out but you really see how they tie to each other when you read or listen to them in consecutive order back to back. I am not only listening to these books but am also reading because I have had a couple of ARC’s due that I needed to review. Two from last week! See below to catch up!

JUST FINISHED

This YA historical romance was a fun change from all of the darker urban fantasy novels I’ve been listening to. I really enjoyed this story and the sassy heroine. If you’re looking for a quick, PG-13 rated read, pick this one up. It’s fun, easy to read, and the characters are charming.

JUST STARTED

A witch whose magic is tied to the weather. This book seems to have it all. A fight of good against evil, losing in love, falling in love, and saving the world. What else do you want out of an epic fantasy novel?

Are you spending your time reading today? If so, what book has captured your interest? Do you look for a certain genre or does a cover call out to you? Let me know in the comments below!

Happy Monday!

Deb

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.