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.

This Chick Read: Mom Jeans and Other Mistakes by Alexa Martin

Jude and Lauren have been best friends since the third grade and despite their differences they are always there to support the other when times get rough. Usually they both don’t hit rock bottom at the same time. After Lauren’s fiancé leaves her and their daughter, Lauren’s confidence takes a hit, but she stays strong for her daughter Adelaide wanting to show her that a strong woman can achieve anything. Jude is also going through some family issues. Since her father died her mom has gone off the deep end and Jude’s been floating her money, not knowing how to deal with this new situation. Needing each other’s strength, Lauren (and Adelaide!) and Jude move in together. Together they start a podcast about being single, raising a daughter, and dating building a brand that strikes a chord with their listeners. They just wish that real life were as funny as their podcast portrays, but despite life’s challenges the strength of their friendship will help pull them through it all.

A novel about friendship, love, and family? Sold! I’m a huge fan Alexa Martin’s NFL romance series, Playbook, and while this novel is not a romance there is plenty of love to be had on its pages. The friendship between Jude and Lauren is the kind of friendship that women dream of and probably rarely ever get. It defies all of life’s changes, marriage, and children. Jude is Lauren’s biggest fan and the feeling is absolutely returned. Of course, there is a lot of conflict in this novel as well, but just as in a romance, these ladies do get their happily ever after.

Who is my favorite character in this novel? Adelaide, of course! This five year old little girl has an old soul and enough sass to fill a swimming pool! Her character was such fun to read and added some much needed humor to the drama. I totally want Adelaide to star in her own young adult, new adult, and adult contemporary novels. She was a hoot!

I love how Alexa Martin shares her perspective through her characters. Her romance novel couples were of mixed race, and this lady friendship is between a white woman and black woman and Jude’s character speaks to the things she’s learned about racial inequality and how her best friend Lauren has been treated in her life. Jude is a mouthy white woman who doesn’t have a problem calling out injustices on behalf of her friend, despite Lauren not wanting to bring attention to them herself. This is a fictional novel but that doesn’t mean that the reader can’t learn by what the characters go through. Mom Jeans and Other Mistakes had many such moments.

If, like me, you are a fan of Alexa Martin’s you’ll probably pick up this novel. If you’ve never heard of Alexa Martin I think you will enjoy reading this story about overcoming obstacles while having a good friend by your side. These characters were easy to identify with, root for and love, plus there’s Adelaide, the star of the book. LOL!

❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase!* Mom Jeans and Other Mistakes

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 Last Chance Library by Freya Sampson

June Jones is content working as a library’s assistant in her villages local branch when it’s threatened with being shuttered. Although the funds have been dwindling and it’s a bit shabby, this library is the home away from home not just for June but also for other villagers who need a place to gather. Never having left the small boundaries of her village June is distraught on behalf of the village but mostly on behalf of herself, who’s memories of her own mother are tied to the books in this building. The shy June must decide what’s more important, living with her mothers memories, or fighting this shut down and making new memories of her own.

Set in a quiet English village, June seems to be your typical quiet librarian. More at peace with books than with people. As this novel moves forward the reader see’s June as the villagers see her, the tie that binds her villagers together. I was pleasantly surprised by how moved I was by this novel. I thought I knew what I would be reading but as June dared to live outside the quiet comforts she knew the pages filled with color and emotion.

If this novel were only about June it may have been a typical story about a girl who likes to escape through a good book. Instead it was about June’s relationships with the people in her village and how her kindness helped them through their own trials throughout the years. Giving book advice, tutoring a high school student, teaching an older man to read, there were many facets of June that we don’t initially see. Each new light shone through a different character that was introduced and I have to admit there were some pretty outstanding characters that helped June shine so bright.

The Last Chance Library’s pace started off slow but as I got immersed in the story it quickly quickened. I found that sleepy English villages can be pretty exciting, or at least they can when the villagers decide to rise up. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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!* The Last Chance Library

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: When Falcons Fall (Sebastian St. Cyr #11) by C.S. Harris

Sebastian, Viscount Devlin, and his wife Hero are in an idyllic Shropshire village to pay homage to a dead friend when the the new magistrate of that same village asks for his help. A visiting young woman was found dead in a field and having heard of Sebastian’s investigations in London the magistrate wants to make sure they do well by her. As Sebastian and Hero look into the days leading up to Emma Chance’s death they discover that her murder is not the first. As with other St. Cyr novels there are also political implications at play as Lucien Bonaparte, the estranged brother of the famed General Napolean Bonaparte is in residence at a nearby hall. Does his presence have anything to do with Emma Chance’s death?

It’s been a little while since I listened to the previous Sebastian St. Cyr novel and had forgotten how the narrator, Davina Porter, gives life to each character in the story. She imbues them with life and personality and the listener is engrossed with the implications of each character and how they are tied to the plot. This novel is no different and I found myself listening to it when I probably should’ve been doing other things. These are not light hearted novels and the mystery’s are very intricate so I like to really pay attention to each detail so I don’t miss a thing.

The reason for Sebastian and Hero being in the village was to look up the family of Sebastian’s half brother Jamie, who died in the last novel because of his similarity in looks to Sebastion. In When Falcons Fall, we learn a little bit more about who may have fathered Sebastian, as well as meeting Jamie’s twin sister and his grandmother. These glimpses towards who Sebastian may really be tied to are few and far between but oh so interesting! I know as I get closer to the truth that our journey may soon be over.

It is hard to talk about the plot in these novels because each tidbit is a reveal towards the underlying stories and not just the mystery that plays out in this book itself. I will say that the Bonaparte connection was truly interesting and as with past books where we meet famous characters (Ben Franklin) the pages bring life to what they may have been like even if in this novel it’s based only in fiction and not fact.

If you haven’t read any of the novels in this series I’d recommend starting at the beginning. Yes, each mystery is a stand alone but there are so many plot points that tie to earlier novels. I think your experience will be enhanced by how much each character has grown through the series rather than what actually happens on these pages. This novel was enjoyable on it’s own but when you think of how you feel about these characters on the whole it makes the novel go from good to great. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase this book!* When Falcons Fall (Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery)

Copyright The Reading Chick 2021 All Rights Reserved

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

This Chick Read: Songs in Ursa Major by Emma Brodie

When Jane Quinn and her band the Breakers step in for Jesse Reid at the Bayleen Island Music Fest Jane overcomes disappointed fans and has the night of her life… up to that point. The next night when Jesse’s manager approaches her in the bar where she works and wants to sign the band to a contract Jane’s life changes abruptly. The Breakers become Jesse Reid’s opening act on their tour and he and Jane connect emotionally through their music and beyond. This novel is filled with music and fun, but it will also wrench your soul.

First and foremost this is a novel about music. Jane is a musical prodigy able to pick up any instrument and play. Her mother wrote music and Jane also has this capability, but her lyrics are always personal and at first she doesn’t want to show that much of herself to the world. It takes a tragedy for her to show all of her emotions to the world. It was at this point that Jane had my by in. Her holding back also made me hold back.

Jesse was a conundrum. He had all of this talent yet there were hints of a “troubled past” that weren’t explained until later in the book. Between Jesse and Jan he was the more immediately likable but I’ve always liked an underdog and Jesse started out the book at the top of his game and musically he stayed there. Jane’s journey both musically and emotionally was much greater and it was because of how she handled the ups and downs in this book, and evenly more importantly fought for her music that I cared what happened as much as I did.

I have only one criticism for this author. I was so invested in these characters that I felt betrayed by how she wrapped up the book. Yes, there were a lot of characters and I liked hearing their lives were fulfilled or they found a partner or whatever, but the pages may have been better spent on wrapping up Jane and Jesse’s lives in a different more emotional way. I felt disassociated from those pages like I was reading a newspaper. It was kind of a let down after the emotional ride the author had taken me on through the book up to that point.

I can’t let this review end without saying how much I appreciated how wonderful all of the song lyrics were in Songs in Ursa Major. There was truly some great poetry and songwriting skills made by this author. Even though I couldn’t hear the actual music the lyrics made me feel the emotions the author intended me to feel. Emma Brodie has loads of talent and I hope she writes another book quickly. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase this book!* Songs in Ursa Major: A novel

Copyright 2021 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserve

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

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (5/3/21)

I have been on a listening jag lately, finding it hard, again, to pick up a book and lose myself in a plot. I think in part this is because my husband has been traveling and I find listening to an audiobook to be soothing. I’ll admit to putting in my ear buds and falling asleep to some old favorites. It’s a comfort when I’m tired of hearing myself talk to the dog. Does anyone else do this? 🙂 The book I just finished is an oldie but goodie. However, I do have an ARC deadline this week so I have actually started reading the book so I can get a review out on time.

This post originated over on Book Date, so thanks for the idea and letting me continue on the discussion about what books I am reading.

JUST FINISHED

For those of you who have only watched the TV series True Blood, you are truly missing out. I am one of those people who read the books back when they were originally released and couldn’t watch the tv program because it wasn’t anything like the books. This series is narrated by Johanna Parker who does an outstanding job imbuing Sookie with the humor that her narration warrants. That humor was totaling missing from the show which was all glorified sex and blood. I’m so glad I’ve rediscovered this series and I’m slowly using up my Audible credits one book at a time. It’s totally worth it.

JUST STARTED

I met this author many years ago at a book convention. I was just starting out as a book blogger and she gave me her first book to review. Now, years later, I still find myself lucky enough to receive an ARC of all of her releases. I just started this book last night and it comes out on Tuesday. As with her other novels I’m immediately drawn in by the interesting characters. I can’t wait to see where this story takes me!

I hope everyone has a great book on their nightstand that they are looking forward to reading in their downtime. I’d love to hear what book has caught your eye. Please share in the comments below.

Happy Monday and happy reading!

Deb