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: The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult

Dawn Edelstein’s plane is going down and her life is flashing before her eyes but it isn’t the life with her husband and daughter, instead she sees the face of the man she was in love with in Egypt when she was 20 years old, Wyatt. She survives the crash landing, gets checked out by a doctor, and is given a plane ticket to anywhere in the world she’d like to go. She chooses to go to Egypt where she knows Wyatt is working on a dig. As the story unfolds Dawn is shown following two different, parallel life paths facing past decisions and mistakes and tries to determine if she’s lived life as she should.

I read several reviews of The Book of Two Ways and it seems that readers either liked it or thought it delved to deeply into Egyptology. Last December I traveled to Egypt and went to several of the ruins mentioned in this book and remembered the stories of these kings and gods that were told in this novel. I was among the readers who embraced the Egyptology in the novel, however it didn’t make the story any less confusing due to the two parallel timelines we were following.

As a young woman Dawn studied Egyptology and was working on her thesis about The Book of Two Ways while on a dig in Egypt. This is where she meets Wyatt, her nemesis, lover, and soul mate. She is abruptly called home because her mother is dying of cancer and Dawn chooses to never goes back to Egypt because she needs to raise her little brother. She also finds out that she’s pregnant by Brian, a man she met while her mother is in hospice and slept with because she needed to feel better about herself and what was happening to her life. Dawn switches her career path and eventually becomes a death doula, someone who helps a terminally ill patient leave this life feeling like they have lived a life well lived. While working with a woman name Win, Dawn starts questioning her own life and if she’s lived her own life well. She has a good marriage and a daughter, now 14, but she has started thinking about Wyatt and whether if she had stayed with him if her life would have been better. When she takes that plane back to Egypt she wants to see whether she will have that revelation and to also pursue the subject of her thesis, The Book of Two Ways.

I’ll admit that despite knowing the Egyptian stories that filled a lot of pages, I still skimmed and pursued the underlying story trying to figure out Dawn’s path. The two parallel stories got a bit confusing and I did feel like I was missing some signifiers to tell me which path I was following in which chapter. It was only when I was done reading the book that I could figure out that path. I was fascinated by Dawn’s death doula job, something that I’ve never heard of but that seemed fitting for a woman who’s early life was filled with trying to understand the Egyptian stories of life and death. It made sense. What frustrated me was Dawn’s meandering between Brian and Wyatt. She wasn’t unhappy with Brian she just didn’t seem to be as full of life as she was with Wyatt. I think we can all identify with this feeling of searching for happiness but it took a really long time for Dawn’s story to play out and I liked both of these men who Dawn spent her life loving.

This is the first story I’ve read by Jodi Picoult. I enjoyed her writing and thought this story was interesting but I’m just going to say it, I was so disappointed with the ending. Maybe Jodi wants the reader to make our own revelation? I don’t know but I finished the novel right before going to bed and the non-ending kept me awake that night. Is that good or bad? I was definitely mulling over the whole book in my head trying to determine what happened at the end and a week later I’m still telling people about this book. Because it has really stuck with me, I would definitely say that this book was thought provoking and I enjoyed multiple moments. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase this book!* The Book of Two Ways

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 Sunday Commentary: My Top 5 Most Anticipated Book Releases – Aug’22

I’m gearing up to go on vacation at the end of July and am not only putting together this post but also deciding what books I’ll be reading on my trip. I still haven’t read all of my Top 5 from July, so I’ll definitely start there, but this book list making got me thinking about what’s coming out in August. After taking a gander at various lists, here are my Top 5.

#5 BOOK RELEASE

I am loving me some women of STEM romances! Ali Hazelwood wrote one of my favorite romances last year and I can’t wait to read this one on my vacation. I was lucky enough to receive an ARC. Yay!

Synopsis: Like an avenging, purple-haired Jedi bringing balance to the mansplained universe, Bee Königswasser lives by a simple code: What would Marie Curie do? If NASA offered her the lead on a neuroengineering project—a literal dream come true after years scraping by on the crumbs of academia—Marie would accept without hesitation. Duh. But the mother of modern physics never had to co-lead with Levi Ward.
 
Sure, Levi is attractive in a tall, dark, and piercing-eyes kind of way. And sure, he caught her in his powerfully corded arms like a romance novel hero when she accidentally damseled in distress on her first day in the lab. But Levi made his feelings toward Bee very clear in grad school—archenemies work best employed in their own galaxies far, far away.
 
Now, her equipment is missing, the staff is ignoring her, and Bee finds her floundering career in somewhat of a pickle. Perhaps it’s her occipital cortex playing tricks on her, but Bee could swear she can see Levi softening into an ally, backing her plays, seconding her ideas…devouring her with those eyes. And the possibilities have all her neurons firing. But when it comes time to actually make a move and put her heart on the line, there’s only one question that matters: What will Bee Königswasser do?

Click this link to purchase this book!* Love on the Brain

#4 BOOK RELEASE

This release caught me totally by surprise and I’m so excited it’s coming out next month! I am all in on these thrilling mysteries and can’t see where Robin and Cormoran’s partnership takes them…

Synopsis: When frantic, disheveled Edie Ledwell appears in the office begging to speak to her, private detective Robin Ellacott doesn’t know quite what to make of the situation. The cocreator of a popular cartoon, The Ink Black Heart, Edie is being persecuted by a mysterious online figure who goes by the pseudonym of Anomie. Edie is desperate to uncover Anomie’s true identity.

Robin decides that the agency can’t help with this—and thinks nothing more of it until a few days later, when she reads the shocking news that Edie has been tasered and then murdered in Highgate Cemetery, the location of The Ink Black Heart.

Robin and her business partner, Cormoran Strike, become drawn into the quest to uncover Anomie’s true identity. But with a complex web of online aliases, business interests and family conflicts to navigate, Strike and Robin find themselves embroiled in a case that stretches their powers of deduction to the limits – and which threatens them in new and horrifying ways . . .

Click this link to purchase this book!* The Ink Black Heart

#3 BOOK RELEASE

This young adult sci-fi novel seems like a lot of fun. I’ve never heard of this author before but romantic sci-fi is in my zone, so I’m going for it and giving her a try. Anyone else excited about this novel?

Synopsis:

Vika Hale longs for a better life than that of a barmaid on a struggling planet, but her dreams have always seemed out of reach despite the mysterious benefactor who bankrolled her education. When the elusive billionaire dies and names Vika in his will, she’s whisked away to a glittering and glamorous new world as the ward of his heir. Suddenly, her wildest dreams don’t seem so impossible.

But when someone targets the will’s heirs in a series of terrifying bombings, Vika’s new life is thrown into uncertainty. Knowing that she may be next, Vika teams up with the one person she’d rather keep at arm’s length—her guardian’s mysterious new assistant, Sky Foster. She doesn’t trust Sky, but he may be the only one who can help her discover the bomber’s identity before she becomes the next victim. As Vika grows closer to Sky, she realizes she may not escape these new threats unscathed. Sky is keeping a secret and it’s one that could unravel everything.

Click this link to purchase this book!* The Stars Between Us

#2 BOOK RELEASE

I’ve been looking forward to another book by Elena Armas ever since reading The Spanish Love Deception last year. I was late to the table with that book and it landed in my top 10 romance novels for 2021. Will this one hit the right note? It looks just as fun and emotional so I have high hopes.

Synopsis:

Rosie Graham has a problem. A few, actually. She just quit her well paid job to focus on her secret career as a romance writer. She hasn’t told her family and now has terrible writer’s block. Then, the ceiling of her New York apartment literally crumbles on her. Luckily she has her best friend Lina’s spare key while she’s out of town. But Rosie doesn’t know that Lina has already lent her apartment to her cousin Lucas, who Rosie has been stalking—for lack of a better word—on Instagram for the last few months. Lucas seems intent on coming to her rescue like a Spanish knight in shining armor. Only this one strolls around the place in a towel, has a distracting grin, and an irresistible accent. Oh, and he cooks.

Lucas offers to let Rosie stay with him, at least until she can find some affordable temporary housing. And then he proposes an outrageous experiment to bring back her literary muse and meet her deadline: He’ll take her on a series of experimental dates meant to jump-start her romantic inspiration. Rosie has nothing to lose. Her silly, online crush is totally under control—but Lucas’s time in New York has an expiration date, and six weeks may not be enough, for either her or her deadline.

Click this link to purchase this book!* The American Roommate Experiment

MY TOP BOOK RELEASE FOR AUGUST 2022

This won’t win an award for best cover of the year but it may win for the novel most likely to get ex-athletes to read, this comeback athlete plot sure has me pumped to grab my tennis racket and see what I can achieve. cough, cough. 🙂 Seriously, though, Taylor Jenkins Reid is so talented and I can’t wait to see whether I will love Carrie Soto or hate her.

Synopsis:

Carrie Soto is fierce, and her determination to win at any cost has not made her popular. But by the time she retires from tennis, she is the best player the world has ever seen. She has shattered every record and claimed twenty Grand Slam titles. And if you ask Carrie, she is entitled to every one. She sacrificed nearly everything to become the best, with her father, Javier, as her coach. A former champion himself, Javier has trained her since the age of two.

But six years after her retirement, Carrie finds herself sitting in the stands of the 1994 US Open, watching her record be taken from her by a brutal, stunning player named Nicki Chan.

At thirty-seven years old, Carrie makes the monumental decision to come out of retirement and be coached by her father for one last year in an attempt to reclaim her record. Even if the sports media says that they never liked “the Battle-Axe” anyway. Even if her body doesn’t move as fast as it did. And even if it means swallowing her pride to train with a man she once almost opened her heart to: Bowe Huntley. Like her, he has something to prove before he gives up the game forever.

In spite of it all, Carrie Soto is back, for one epic final season. In this riveting and unforgettable novel, Taylor Jenkins Reid tells her most vulnerable, emotional story yet.

Click this link to purchase this book!* Carrie Soto is Back

What books have made your top 5 for August?

Happy reading!

Deb

This Chick Read: The Last Dress From Paris by Jade Beer

When Lucille’s Granny Sylvie asks for her help in collecting a dress in Paris from an old friend she gladly takes on this errand. When she arrives in Paris she finds not one but eight dresses, each with a written note card and a quote, but the one dress she is expecting to find is missing. With the help of two new friends she visits each place noted on the cards to try to discover the mystery of why her granny has sent her on this mission. This story follows both Lucille’s journey and flashes back to the 1950’s where a woman named Alice wears each dress.

Alice’s story is the more dramatic of the two storylines but Lucille’s introspection and self-discovery is the raison d’être that binds the two stories together. Her new friendship with Veronique, the daughter of the woman who was holding the dresses for Sylvie, provides a parallel for Lucille to view her own life and the impetus for her to change her path. Her flirtation with Leon provides fun and joy, and a comparison to Alice’s story as it unfolds. I loved how all three of these characters interacted and the friendships they made.

Alice’s story told through her wearing each of these fabulous Dior gowns was a fascinating look into the political social scene during the 1950’s. Her job as the wife of the British Ambassador to France was to provide a setting where their peers would gather and gossip. That life sounded romantic and glamorous but as the story unfolds we see how structured and trapped that life would be. The mystery of each note card and quote tells a story that holds romance and sadness. I’ll admit to shedding a few tears and hoping for a happy outcome.

The Last Dress From Paris did what my favorite historical novels do, it took me away from my own world and dropped me into another setting in a fascinating place and allowed me to play voyeur. Like I said above I found Alice’s story more riveting but it was a great comparison to Lucille’s current day life and the journey that she herself could possibly take. The mystery of why her granny Sylvie sent her to find these dresses is the greatest story of them all and one that each reader should unwind on their own by reading this story. I would hate to unwrap this present and reveal anything that would spoil your own enjoyment of this story. It’s a good one! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Please click this link to purchase!* The Last Dress From Paris

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 Sunday Commentary: My Top 5 Book Releases- July’22

Usually I’d say, ‘Wow, I can’t believe July is creeping in already’ but after the heat we’ve had in Nashville I can totally believe we are already in the middle of summer. There are several books that are coming out in July, several were on my radar, but a couple of them were not. Here are my top 5 out of the list on Goodreads.

#5 BOOK RELEASE

This young adult novel sounds adorable! I love a fish out of water novel and can see some fun hijinx and awkward situations that might tug at my heartstrings or make me laugh a little. I can’t wait to read this one.

Synopsis: In Serena Kaylor’s sparkling debut, a homeschooled math genius finds herself out of her element at a theater summer camp and learns that life—and love—can’t be lived by the (text)book.


Growing up homeschooled in Berkeley, California, Beatrice Quinn has always dreamed of discovering new mathematical challenges at Oxford University. She always thought the hardest part would be getting in, not convincing her parents to let her go. But while math has always made sense to Beatrice, making friends is a problem she hasn’t been able to solve. Before her parents will send her halfway across the world, she has to prove she won’t spend the next four years hiding in the library. The compromise: the Connecticut Shakespearean Summer Academy and a detailed list of teenage milestones to check off. If Beatrice wants to live out her Oxford dream, she has to survive six weeks in the role of “normal teenager” first.

Unfortunately, hearts and hormones don’t follow any equations. When she’s adopted by a group of eclectic theater kids, and immediately makes an enemy of the popular—and annoyingly gorgeous—British son of the camp’s founders, Beatrice quickly learns that relationships are trickier than calculus. With her future on the line, this girl genius stumbles through illicit parties, double dog dares, and more than her fair share of Shakespeare. But before the final curtain falls, will Beatrice realize there’s more to life than what she can find in the pages of a book?

Click this link to purchase this book!* Long Story Short

#4 BOOK RELEASE

I’ll admit, I got an advanced reader copy of this novel and have already read it. This is this author’s second series and I like it’s quick start, the complicated characters, and learning this new world. PLUS there is a bit of a romance! Science Fiction novels are fun and this series is a good one.

Synopsis:

Kee Ildez has been many things: hacker, soldier, bounty hunter. She never expected to be a hero, but when a shadowy group of traitors starts trying to goad the galaxy’s two superpowers into instigating an interstellar war, Kee throws herself into the search to find out who is responsible—and stop them.

Digging up hidden information is her job, so hunting traitors should be a piece of cake, but the primary suspect spent years in the military, and someone powerful is still covering his tracks. Disrupting their plans will require the help of her entire team, including Varro Runkow, a Valovian weapons expert who makes her pulse race.

Quiet, grumpy, and incredibly handsome, Varro watches her with hot eyes but ignores all of her flirting, so Kee silently vows to keep her feelings strictly platonic. But that vow will be put to the test when she and Varro are forced to leave the safety of their ship and venture into enemy territory alone.

Cut off from the rest of their team, they must figure out how to work together—and fast—because a single misstep will cost thousands of lives.

Click this link to purchase!* Eclipse the Moon

#3 BOOK RELEASE

Katherine Center’s novels always touch my heart! A conflicted bodyguard who is faking a romance with the man she’s guarding looks like a an entertaining story. I’m all in on this one!

Synopsis: She’s got his back.
Hannah Brooks looks more like a kindergarten teacher than somebody who could kill you with a wine bottle opener. Or a ballpoint pen. Or a dinner napkin. But the truth is, she’s an Executive Protection Agent (aka “bodyguard”), and she just got hired to protect superstar actor Jack Stapleton from his middle-aged, corgi-breeding stalker.

He’s got her heart.
Jack Stapleton’s a household name—captured by paparazzi on beaches the world over, famous for, among other things, rising out of the waves in all manner of clingy board shorts and glistening like a Roman deity. But a few years back, in the wake of a family tragedy, he dropped from the public eye and went off the grid.

They’ve got a secret.
When Jack’s mom gets sick, he comes home to the family’s Texas ranch to help out. Only one catch: He doesn’t want his family to know about his stalker. Or the bodyguard thing. And so Hannah—against her will and her better judgment—finds herself pretending to be Jack’s girlfriend as a cover. Even though her ex, like a jerk, says no one will believe it.

What could possibly go wrong???
Hannah hardly believes it, herself. But the more time she spends with Jack, the more real it all starts to seem. And there lies the heartbreak. Because it’s easy for Hannah to protect Jack. But protecting her own, long-neglected heart? That’s the hardest thing she’s ever done.

Click this link to purchase!* The Bodyguard

#2 BOOK RELEASE

Blake Crouch writes riveting novels. Different, slightly spooky or eery and just really fun to read. This one looks like a mix of sci-fi, mystery, and straight fiction. I didn’t know it was coming out but it’s definitely landed on my TBR.

Synopsis: “You are the next step in human evolution.”

At first, Logan Ramsay isn’t sure if anything’s different. He just feels a little . . . sharper. Better able to concentrate. Better at multitasking. Reading a bit faster, memorizing better, needing less sleep.

But before long, he can’t deny it: Something’s happening to his brain. To his body. He’s starting to see the world, and those around him—even those he loves most—in whole new ways.

The truth is, Logan’s genome has been hacked. And there’s a reason he’s been targeted for this upgrade. A reason that goes back decades to the darkest part of his past, and a horrific family legacy.

Worse still, what’s happening to him is just the first step in a much larger plan, one that will inflict the same changes on humanity at large—at a terrifying cost.

Because of his new abilities, Logan’s the one person in the world capable of stopping what’s been set in motion. But to have a chance at winning this war, he’ll have to become something other than himself. Maybe even something other than human.

And even as he’s fighting, he can’t help wondering: what if humanity’s only hope for a future really does lie in engineering our own evolution?

Intimate in scale yet epic in scope, Upgrade is an intricately plotted, lightning-fast tale that charts one man’s thrilling transformation, even as it asks us to ponder the limits of our humanity—and our boundless potential.

Click this link to purchase!* Upgrade

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

TOP BOOK RELEASE FOR JULY’22

Ruth Ware write great stories. The It Girl looks like an unputdownable book doesn’t it? Mystery’s don’t usually make my top 5 but this month this book take the #1 prize. You can’t tell me after reading this synopsis below that you don’t want to pick it up?

Synopsis: April Clarke-Cliveden was the first person Hannah Jones met at Oxford.

Vivacious, bright, occasionally vicious, and the ultimate It girl, she quickly pulled Hannah into her dazzling orbit. Together, they developed a group of devoted and inseparable friends—Will, Hugh, Ryan, and Emily—during their first term. By the end of the year, April was dead.

Now, a decade later, Hannah and Will are expecting their first child, and the man convicted of killing April, former Oxford porter John Neville, has died in prison. Relieved to have finally put the past behind her, Hannah’s world is rocked when a young journalist comes knocking and presents new evidence that Neville may have been innocent. As Hannah reconnects with old friends and delves deeper into the mystery of April’s death, she realizes that the friends she thought she knew all have something to hide…including a murder.

“The Agatha Christie of our generation” (David Baldacci, #1 New York Times bestselling author) proves once again that she is “as ingenious and indefatigable as the Queen of Crime” (The Washington Post) with this propulsive murder mystery that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Click this link to purchase!* The It Girl

Did any of the books on my list surprise you? I can tell you that #2 and #1 were out of the ordinary for me so I surprised myself! What books have made your top 5?

Happy reading!

Deb

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: My Top 5 Book Releases- April’22

For me, April is a pretty light month for books released that I’d like to read. Although I’ll admit if I actually read the synopsis of each book release I could probably add 25 books to my TBR, but I’m trying to avoid that at the moment. I took at look at the Goodreads list and came up with the five I’m most likely to read according to my own taste. Here’s my list!

#5 BOOK RELEASE

Kylie Scott writes great rock star romances so I’m always curious when the first book in a new series comes out. This one sounds good! The guy next door in a small town is a rock star and Ani Bennett is none too pleased (despite being a fan).

Synopsis:

What chance does a small-town girl have with a world-famous rock star?

Two years after his wife’s death, rock star Garrett Hayes hasn’t moved on. But he has moved out of L.A. Where better to escape his past than a small town in the northern California mountains? If only he could get the townsfolk of Wildwood to leave him the hell alone.

Ani Bennet returned to her hometown for some much-needed serenity. The last thing she needs is a grumpy, too hot for his own good, rich and famous rock star living next door—and rent-free in her brain.

She set her fangirl tendencies aside and deleted his photo from her cell when they became neighbors. But when Garrett asks for help, she can’t say no. The problem is, spending time together is making those fangirl feelings resurface—and bringing them to a whole new level.

What chance does a small-town girl have with world-famous rock star? It’s time for Ani to set her fears aside and find out.

Click HERE to purchase!

#4 BOOK RELEASE

This is a debut novel by Sonya Singh about a young woman whose parents were raised in India but raised her to be “All-American” and her identity crisis and re-discovering her South Asian roots. This is described as a rom-com and after reading several South Asian romance novels in the past year I’m eager to read this new author!

Synopsis:

Manny Dogra is the beautiful young CEO of Breakup, a highly successful company that helps people manage their relationship breakups. As preoccupied as she is with her business, she’s also planning her wedding to handsome architect Adam Jamieson while dealing with the loss of her beloved parents.

For reasons Manny has never understood, her mother and father, who were both born in India, always wanted her to become an “All-American” girl. So that’s what she did. She knows next to nothing about her South Asian heritage, and that’s never been a problem—until her parents are no longer around, and an image of Manny that’s been Photoshopped to make her skin look more white appears on a major magazine cover. Suddenly, the woman who built an empire encouraging people to be true to themselves is having her own identity crisis.

But when an irritating client named Sammy Patel approaches Manny with an odd breakup request, the perfect solution presents itself: If they both agree to certain terms, he’ll give her a crash course in being “Indian” at his brother’s wedding.

What follows is days of dancing and dal, masala and mehndi as Manny meets the lovable, if endlessly interfering, aunties and uncles of the Patel family, and, along the way, discovers much more than she could ever have anticipated.

Click HERE to purchase!*

#3 BOOK RELEASE

I’m not usually drawn to books that have several protagonists, but for some reason this one sounds cute. Maybe it’s the girlfriend group? Not sure, but Beth O’Leary is a bestselling author for a reason and I bet this novel is cute.

Synopsis:

Three women who seemingly have nothing in common find that they’re involved with the same man in this smart new rom-com by Beth O’Leary, bestselling author of The Flatshare.

Siobhan is a quick-tempered life coach with way too much on her plate. Miranda is a tree surgeon used to being treated as just one of the guys on the job. Jane is a soft-spoken volunteer for the local charity shop with zero sense of self-worth.

These three women are strangers who have only one thing in common: they’ve all been stood up on the same day, the very worst day to be stood up—Valentine’s Day. And, unbeknownst to them, they’ve all been stood up by the same man.

Once they’ve each forgiven him for standing them up, they are all in serious danger of falling in love with a man who may have not just one or two but three women on the go….

Is there more to him than meets the eye? Where was he on Valentine’s Day? And will they each untangle the truth before they all get their hearts broken?

Click HERE to purchase!*

#2 BOOK RELEASE

As soon as I saw the description using a comparison to Ocean’s Eleven my interest was peaked! I have never read a novel by this author so I hope it grabs me from the start.

Synopsis:

Ocean’s Eleven meets The Farewell in Portrait of a Thief, a lush, lyrical heist novel inspired by the true story of Chinese art vanishing from Western museums; about diaspora, the colonization of art, and the complexity of the Chinese American identity.

History is told by the conquerors. Across the Western world, museums display the spoils of war, of conquest, of colonialism: priceless pieces of art looted from other countries, kept even now. 

Will Chen plans to steal them back.

A senior at Harvard, Will fits comfortably in his carefully curated roles: a perfect student, an art history major and sometimes artist, the eldest son who has always been his parents’ American Dream. But when a mysterious Chinese benefactor reaches out with an impossible—and illegal—job offer, Will finds himself something else as well: the leader of a heist to steal back five priceless Chinese sculptures, looted from Beijing centuries ago. 

His crew is every heist archetype one can imag­ine—or at least, the closest he can get. A con artist: Irene Chen, a public policy major at Duke who can talk her way out of anything. A thief: Daniel Liang, a premed student with steady hands just as capable of lockpicking as suturing. A getaway driver: Lily Wu, an engineering major who races cars in her free time. A hacker: Alex Huang, an MIT dropout turned Silicon Valley software engineer. Each member of his crew has their own complicated relationship with China and the identity they’ve cultivated as Chinese Americans, but when Will asks, none of them can turn him down. 

Because if they succeed? They earn fifty million dollars—and a chance to make history. But if they fail, it will mean not just the loss of everything they’ve dreamed for themselves but yet another thwarted at­tempt to take back what colonialism has stolen.

Click HERE to purchase!*

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

MY MOST ANTICIPATED APRIL’22 BOOK RELEASE

When a book comes out by Penny Reid it gets added to my TBR immediately. I love her writing style and her characters are always quirky and fun. I can’t wait to finally read this novel!

Synopsis:

Winnifred Gobaldi and Byron Visser are not best friends.

Yes, they’ve known each other for years, but they’re not even friendly. Winnie considers them more like casual, distant acquaintances who find each other barely tolerable, especially when he’s being condescending (which is all the time).

The truth is, they have nothing in common. She’s a public school science teacher with stars in her eyes, and he’s a pretentious, joyless double PhD turned world-famous bestselling fiction author. She loves sharing her passion for promulgating women in STEM careers and building community via social media, and he eschews all socialization, virtual or otherwise. She’s looking for a side hustle to help pay down a mountain of student debt, and his financial portfolio is the stuff of fiduciary wet dreams. So why are they faking a #bestfriend relationship for millions of online spectators?

When a simple case of tit-for-tat trends between nonfriends leads to a wholly unexpected kind of pretend, nothing is simple. Sometimes, it takes a public audience to reveal the truth of private feelings, and rarely—very rarely—you should believe what you see online.

Click HERE to purchase!*

What do you think? Do you agree with my top 5? Do you have your own that you want to shout out to the world? Please feel free to let me know about a book that’s on your own top 5 list.

Happy reading!

Deb

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (3/21/22)

Isn’t it awesome when you have a bunch of free time and can read just any ol’ thing you want? I’ve been going through my library wishlist and checking out what sounds good as well as taking a look at what’s been on my Kindle and have read through a few great books over the last week. It’s been so fun!

Thanks again to Book Date for starting this conversation and allowing us all to share what we’re reading.

JUST FINISHED

I saw this book on a Goodreads list about great romances of 2022 and thought I’d give this author a try. It’s the third book in the series but I didn’t miss not reading books 1 and 2. It was a different kind of historical novel that I actually really liked. I may go back and read the other two books!

JUST STARTED

This book has been on my Kindle for over three years. I didn’t read it during the Pandemic because it’s about a virus that kills off a majority of the world’s population but I picked it up yesterday to give it another try. It is very Nora Roberts in writing style and it was easy to get interested. I’ll admit, it’s kind of weird reading about a deadly virus but I’m going to power through and see where this book leads me. I know it’s a three book series so I’ll make my decision later on whether I continue reading the other books.

Have you read either of these books? What did you think? If they aren’t books you’d see yourself reading, please share what’s on your coffee table.

Happy Monday and happy reading!

Deb

This Chick Read: An Impossible Imposter (Veronica Speedwell #7) by Deanna Raybourn

When Veronica and Stoker are approached by Sir Hugo Montgomerie, head of special branch, to look into the reappearance of a missing heir Veronica knew she was going to be facing a phantom from her past. She once knew Jonathon Hathaway but had thought him dead in a volcano eruption in Krakatoa six years ago. It’s up to her to identify him for the family but things are never as simple as they appear. If he is the missing heir he would gain access to an incredible fortune in jewels and Veronica is their only hope. During this investigation Veronica must come face to face with a ghost from her past and reveal her secrets to Stoker, the man she now loves.

An Impossible Imposter had the same drama and adventure as previous Veronica Speedwell novels, but what intrigued me and kept me reading was again her relationship with her partner and lover, Stoker. We have gotten to know the two of them over these seven novels but I feel like it’s always Stoker’s secrets that are revealed. This time Veronica’s own past comes back to haunt her making her fearful of what he will think if her past is revealed. This added a fine bit of tension that is sometimes missing from the more personal aspects of these novels.

In addition to the mystery of Jonathan Hathaway and if he is or isn’t the heir to Hathaway Hall is only the tip of the mystery iceberg. The background behind the fortune in jewels becomes the center of the story adding some historical relevance to the fictional story by taking the story briefly back to the past when England occupied India. This background added color to an already lurid mystery making this story a page turner.

If you’re a fan of this series you MUST pick up this novel. There is plenty of angst and passion between our two main characters and the mystery while not very mysterious, had all the drama of a good soap opera. I keep expecting this series to taper off, but this author is skilled at making me want to read the next installment. Unfortunately I know I’ll have to wait another year for the next one to appear.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

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

Click this link to purchase this book!* An Impossible Impostor (A Veronica Speedwell Mystery Book 7)

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: The Roughest Draft by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka

This novel is on a TON of must read lists and after reading it I can totally see why. Katrina and Nathan wrote a best selling romance together three years ago but haven’t talked since. They are contracted to write one more book together, something that Nathan really needs since his solo novel isn’t doing well. Katrina had retired from writing but agrees to write this last novel. Through flashbacks we learn what happened three years ago at the same time as they are working on their current book and the reader can’t help but root for these two best friends who had lost their way and may (or may not) find the path back to each other.

Normally flashbacks drive me crazy. I’m a person who likes to be in the hear and now and I like the same thing from the stories I read. However, the use of the flashbacks parallel where the characters are in the story and help drive both the characters and readers feelings back and forth. It was deftly done, and being manipulated has never felt so good. I honestly wasn’t sure if Katrina and Nathan would ever have anything but another great book written by the two of them.

One of the things I liked the most about this novel was the back and forth between tension filled scenes in current time, then a flashback to explain where the two characters were in their relationship during the writing of their last book. I also loved how despite the tension, they were awed equally by each others talent, and they read each other’s moves and reactions so well. It was fascinating to see their love story being written…twice.

I’m a big fan of this writing duo and am glad that they’re branching out into the adult genre. Their talent is in giving their characters thought-provoking feelings and then acting on them, sometimes to the detriment of themselves. Something we all do in real life. Kat and Nathan were no different than you and I in how they’ve made mistakes and either ignored or fixed them. This relatability is a big reason why the story works so well. There is something in both of them that I can see in myself, and I don’t think I’ll be the only reader to think this. Don’t let 2022 go by without reading The Roughest Draft, I have a feeling that it will land on my best of 2022 list, and it’s only January.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase!* The Roughest Draft

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: The Becoming (The Dragon Heart Legacy #2) by Nora Roberts

At the end of the previous novel The Awakening, Breen had left her legacy in Talamh to go back home to the US to see her friends and tidy up the life she’ll be leaving behind when she returns. She knows that despite the growth of her powers she still needs training and can’t remain in the US too long while her evil Grandfather is trying to break through to Talamh to conquer and rule. Despite her saying she would return Keegan, the man who leads Talamh, and her lover, can’t take the chance that she won’t return and comes to take her back, and accidentally transfers her best friend Marco as well. Now she and Marco are in Talamh, where fairies, dragons, and mermaids reside to try to help save Talamh.

The uber talented Nora Roberts doesn’t always hit a home run when she writes fantasy novels and The Becoming, for me, follows that theme. I love the world she has created. Talamh is one of those places we’d all like to visit, a veritable fantasy land filled with gorgeous creatures both animal and human. Despite our heroine’s love for her family in this world I just don’t feel a connection between she and Keegan who is her love interest. He seems to have a switch that turns on and off. He wants her, he doesn’t have time for her, he is a taskmaster, and then he is a lover. It may just be that if I were Breen I would’ve looked elsewhere for a partner. Yes, Keegan is their leader, but leading is not always the best qualification for love.

I was so happy that Marco’s story arc expanded. He is so much fun and his own love story gave me what I needed. Romance! It also helps that he is just so likable and seeing Talamh through his eyes is so much fun.

I am looking forward to the third novel in this series because I want to see how the author will tie everything up. Keegan needs to show a little emotion for Breen. How will they end their war with her grandfather? Will Marco and his lover find happiness? There are a lot of pieces that need resolving and Ms. Roberts is very good at capturing all of those loose ends into a fancy bow.

❤️❤️❤️❣️

Copyright 2022 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved.

Click this link to purchase!* The Becoming: The Dragon Heart Legacy, Book 2 (The Dragon Heart Legacy, 2)

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