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

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

JUST FINISHED

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

JUST STARTED

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

Have a great Monday and happy reading!

Deb

This Chick Read: Seven Days in June by Tia Williams

Genevieve and Shane meet when she gets transferred to his high school. She’d always been a bit of an outcast, moving around with her mom a lot and plagued with debilitating migraines. When Eva meets Shane, she is trying to make a friend, but ends up meeting her soul mate. Over seven days they hide away from everyone, getting to know each other, but also self-medicating. Fast forward to 15 years later with they are both best-selling authors and meet by chance at an author event. Each of them carries a lot of baggage from their past, but from that first moment the strands that connect them become concrete. This novel tells their story from their most painful moments to a time where their being together heals their woes and the word family becomes their world.

I have not read any other novels by Tia Williams, and picked this one up because of two reasons. The cover struck me as gorgeous, and the synopsis called out to me. I always love it when the subject revolves around writing, books, libraries, or authors. This story did have that connection for me, but when I started reading, it wasn’t the fact that Eva and Shane were authors that made me stick around, it was their connection. Their story of loss, love, and perseverance. It was the fact that family was something they strove to hang onto, even though they both didn’t have concrete ideas of what would make a good one. Eva is now a mother, her daughter is by far one of my favorite characters in this book, and Eva is raising her like she would’ve wanted to be raised. To be strong, educated, and without fear. To be a leader among her peers. All of the things that she didn’t have from her own mother, who was went from man to man looking for self-validation.

Shane also didn’t have those strong building blocks, growing up in the foster system. A big guy, he easily got into trouble so he self-medicated until not being drunk or on pills was his norm. As an adult, he is now one of the most sought after authors because of his reclusiveness, but what drives him is to go back to schools like where he and Eva met, and connect with young kids and give them hope that they will overcome their own struggles. I loved this part of Shane. A now sober man who wants to give back. It’s an inspiring part of his character that despite his short-comings makes him easy to like.

When Shane and Eva reconnect, Tia Williams does an amazing job of giving their feelings a sense of urgency and chemistry. I wanted the two of them to make each other their person and when it happened, I sighed with relief, eager for them to get that hea they deserved. Of course, things weren’t that simple for the two of them, but gosh this author knows how to write a scene and make me feel. I felt EVERYTHING… and loved it. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase this book! Seven Days in June

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 Circus Train by Amita Parikh

Lena’s father is a famous illusionist with the traveling circus, which sounds like might be the great makings for a magical childhood, but Lena had polio as a child and is confined to a wheelchair. This separates her from the other children at the circus and her life is only filled with books, her studies, and her doctor and nanny. When a young boy, Alexandre, is found unconscious he is put in the care of the doctor who also cares for Lena. While he recovers they become great friends. Theo, Lena’s father, sees the joy Alexandre has brought to his daughters life and convinces the owner of the circus to let Alexandre become his apprentice, thereby keeping him safe and close to his daughter. As they grow up they become the best of friends and are destined to fall in love. Unfortunately WWII is overtaking the European nation’s their train travels to perform and they become separated, but love is destined to survive their trials and separation, or is it?

There were moments of fabulousness in The Circus Train. The friendship between Lena and Alexandre was certainly one of them. Her sweet relationship with her father was another. Lena herself was a force to be reckoned with, striving to overcome her disability and learning how to walk despite the weakness in her limbs. I just felt like after the author set up this novel with these great characters and setting that she got a little lost with where to take them. Yes, there was a war going on and families were separated- so that wasn’t a stretch, but in the middle of the biggest conflict in the book, to have that separation occur so abruptly and then for all of these characters to be separated? I felt like the portion of the novel that fell after that rift happened in a different book entirely. I had difficulty piecing those two parts together and felt a let down.

It is possible that I read this book at a time when I didn’t have the focus to appreciate the journey this author was trying to take me on. Despite that, I can’t help feeling that the second half of the book wasn’t the book this author had intended to write and because of feeling unsettled I can only give this book a three rating. ❤️❤️❤️

I received a copy of this novel from NetGalley and the publisher for an honest review and it was honest.

Click this link to purchase this book!* The Circus Train

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- Dec’22

Surprisingly, I had a tough time coming up with my Top 5 this month. I guess typically I’ve heard of a few authors and am looking forward to their book releases. This month I mined through various lists dedicated to romance, fiction, YA, and mystery to come up with a top five that I feel good about promoting. These are different picks than my usual with the exception of one or two that are pure pleasure reads.

#5 BOOK RELEASE

I have a love-hate relationship with books about the lost Romanovs. This story has a slightly different take as Anastasia’s character, as well as others in this world, have magical abilities. I’m curious to see how this author tells her sad story.

Synopsis:

Anastasia is the princess no one needs: the fourth daughter born to an emperor without a son, and the only royal lacking a magical gift.

Until she collides with a young Cossack rebel, changing both their lives forever.

Damien is taken from everything he knows and raised as a ward of the Romanovs.

Anastasia develops a strange kind of magic shared only by the Black Monk Rasputin.

While her power grows in secret, boosted by forbidden contact with Damien, Anastasia makes a mistake with terrible consequences.

Fate grants her a single chance to set it right… but saving what she lost may cost everything she loves.

Purchase this book through this link!* Anastasia

#4 BOOK RELEASE

I’ll admit the synopsis totally drew me in and made me curious. Sex, voyeurism, and imprisonment in your own home. What?!! This could be really good or go in a direction I’m not expecting at all.

Synopsis: Jane Morgan is a valued member of her law firm—or was, until a prudish neighbor, binoculars poised, observes her having sex on the roof of her NYC apartment building.  Police are summoned, and a punishing judge sentences her to six months of home confinement. With Jane now jobless and rootless, trapped at home, life looks bleak. Yes, her twin sister provides support and advice, but mostly of the unwelcome kind. When a doorman lets slip that Jane isn’t the only resident wearing an ankle monitor, she strikes up a friendship with fellow white-collar felon Perry Salisbury. As she tries to adapt to life within her apartment walls, she discovers she hasn’t heard the end of that tattletale neighbor—whose past isn’t as decorous as her 9-1-1 snitching would suggest. Why are police knocking on Jane’s door again? Can her house arrest have a silver lining? Can two wrongs make a right? In the hands of “an inspired alchemist who converts serious subject into humor” (New York Times Book Review)—yes, delightfully.  

Click this link to purchase this book!* Ms. Demeanor

#3 BOOK RELEASE

I am very, very curious. After traveling to Amsterdam and visiting the office where Anne Frank and her family lived during WWII, I find myself drawn to stories about that time in history. This looks like a very different sort of novel, and the publisher’s comparing it to Like Water for Elephants makes me want to pick it up and hope for that magical moment.

Synopsis: When all is lost, how do you find the courage to keep moving forward?

1938. Lena Papadopoulos has never quite found her place within the circus, even as the daughter of the extraordinary headlining illusionist, Theo. Brilliant and curious, Lena—who uses a wheelchair after a childhood bout with polio—yearns for the real-world magic of science and medicine, her mind stronger than the limitations placed on her by society. Then her unconventional life takes an exciting turn when she rescues Alexandre, an orphan with his own secrets and a mysterious past.

As World War II escalates around them, their friendship blossoms into something deeper while Alexandre trains as the illusionist’s apprentice. But when Theo and Alexandre are arrested and made to perform in a town for Jews set up by the Nazis, Lena is separated from everything she knows. Forced to make her own way, Lena must confront her doubts and dare to believe in the impossible—herself.

Click this link to purchase this book!* Circus Train

#2 BOOK RELEASE

This is book #5 in a romance series that’s set around a Renaissance Faire and I am not tired of the setting yet! Jen DeLuca gives us interesting characters who search to better their lives with a brief time working the Renaissance Faire circuit. I’m intrigued, impressed, and engaged by and with her stories. I’ll admit that I’ve already read this one and thought it charming.

Synopsis: The Renaissance Faire is on the move, and Lulu and Dex are along for the ride, in the next utterly charming rom-com from Jen DeLuca.

A high-powered attorney from a success-oriented family, Louisa “Lulu” Malone lives to work, and everything seems to be going right, until the day she realizes it’s all wrong. Lulu’s cousin Mitch introduced her to the world of Renaissance Faires, and when she spies one at a time just when she needs an escape, she leaps into the welcoming environment of turkey legs, taverns, and tarot readers. The only drawback? Dex MacLean: a guitarist with a killer smile, the Casanova of the Faire… and her traveling companion for the summer.
 
Dex has never had to work for much in his life, and why should he? Touring with his brothers as The Dueling Kilts is going great, and he always finds a woman at every Faire. But when Lulu proves indifferent to his many plaid charms and a shake-up threatens the fate of the band, Dex must confront something he never has before: his future.
 
Forced to spend days and nights together on the road, Lulu’s interest in the kilted bad boy grows as he shows her a side of himself no one else has seen. The stresses of her old lifestyle fade away as she learns to trust her intuition and follow her heart instead of her head. But when her time on the road is over, will Lulu go with her gut, or are she and Dex destined for separate paths?

Click this link to purchase this book!* Well Traveled

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

MY TOP BOOK RELEASE FOR DEC’22

I’ll read any book that Penny Reid releases. Seriously. I did read the first book in this series and I know this book is centered around Cyrus and has a Christmas theme. That’s all I could find out! LOL. No one has a synopsis listed. Despite that, her novels always give me a lift and so she’s got my #1 spot.

Do any of these books make your own list? I’d love to hear what books you’re looking forward to coming out next month.

Happy Sunday!

Deb

This Chick’s Audio review: My Dear Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie

I mentioned in an earlier post that I purchased this book when it first came out after meeting Laura Kamoie at a book signing. It sat on my shelf until this last month when I saw Hamilton in the theater and then watched the film (just to see if I could understand the lyrics better. It helped a bit!). Narrated by Cassandra Campbell who did a stand-out job, I found their version of Eliza Hamilton’s relationship with her husband Alexander to be really interesting and well written as well as it all making a hell of a lot more sense than the musical.

My Dear Hamilton is Eliza’s story with the authors using letters of the Hamilton’s as well as other notable people during this time. I’ll admit, I didn’t know that much about her other than what I saw in the musical but according to the words written by these authors she is the reason why Alexander Hamilton is remembered as one of the founding fathers of our country instead of as the man who created the first political sex scandal. Theirs was a great love story, with Eliza falling for Alexander and supporting him through his many campaigns, scandals, and even after his death. She was truly a force of nature during a time when women were no more than chattel or property of their husbands. If this story is true she has earned my admiration for her strength of will but also for her heart.

Alexander was an immigrant who was always trying to better himself, be heard, and through his many writings create a union in this new country. Something that he was obsessed with upholding despite his leadership keeping his family in poverty and reliant on his wife’s family for support and money. For a man that was known for creating our nation’s banking system he was awful at handling his own families money. Through most of this book I believed wholeheartedly in his love for Eliza despite his notorious affair, and flirtations with her own sister. He seemed a man who honor was very important. Affairs and honor seem to be a contradiction I know, but with women being property and brood mares during this time, it seems like his love for her and his actions elsewhere could all exist in the same world.

I’ll admit to being really shocked by some of the reveals in this book. They are all historical fact because I googled them after hearing them in this book but will be silent here so that you too can read or listen to this fabulous book and learn something about one of our founding fathers that I think might be surprising. I have to give kudos again to the narrator Cassandra Campbell for giving voice to a multitude of characters and holding those voices over this quite lengthy book. She did an amazing job and really added to my enjoyment of this novel.

If you love historical novels, are interested in this time in history and are a bit curious if they got it all right in the musical Hamilton, you will really like this book. Written by two history teachers through letters written by Eliza, Alexander and a cadre of people close to them it reads like true history even though they admit to taking artistic license to a few items residing in the book. I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to picking up another one of their books!

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* My Dear Hamilton

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- 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