This Chick Read: Welcome to the Pine Away Motel and Cabins by Katarina Bivald

Henny just had the most wonderful weekend with the man she’s always been in love with…until she gets hit by a car walking back to the Pine Creek Motel where she works. Henny’s untimely death doesn’t end with her following the light into heaven, instead Henny finds herself still among her friends and family and feels that there must be a reason that she hasn’t passed to the other side.

As she watches her friends lives go on she travels around town and see’s Proposition 9, a proposal for a law against LGBTQ’s in Oregon is fought again, 15 years after it’s inception. Through Henny’s flashbacks we re-live the original opposition and also the day her friend Mackenzie revealed she was gay. The parallels to what is happening in her town today are apparent but the difference is in how her group of friends deal with that opposition today. Welcome to the Pine Away Motel and Cabins is a look inside a small community while they are grieving, loving, fighting for a cause, and finally moving on from their grief.

Bivald pits Henny’s diverse group of friends against the ultra conservative Baptist community who are trying to convince their town that evil things are going on at the rundown motel. It’s run by homosexuals and their guests are the town rejects (and Henny’s dad), gasp! As we get to know these people we see how banding together against a common enemy helps them deal with their grief for Henny. I loved the diverse cast of characters and how Bivald showed that despite people’s differences on the outside, inside they have the same depth of feeling.

If I had one criticism it would be that I felt Henny’s personal story was left a little unresolved. That’s it. I can’t say anymore because I’m afraid I’ll give the story away. I will say that this story touched me and made me jealous of the wonderful friendships portrayed in this novel and I cried quite a few times. So, keep some tissues close at hand!

❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase!* Welcome to the Pine Away Motel and Cabins

Copyright 2020 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: Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn

Meg’s gained some acclaim from her hand lettering skills. She’s developed planners, calendars, and wedding invitations that are both beautiful and whimsical. However, when Reid Sutherland shows up at her door claiming she’d hidden a secret message in his wedding invitation stating his wedding was a “mistake” she’s got a little explaining to do. Thus begins the story of Meg and Reid. A young woman who uses letters to portray emotions and characteristics and a young man who is a mathematical genius seeing formula’s in numbers. Their communication is intricate, their budding friendship hesitant, and their emotions fierce. This is a love story unlike any other and that difference made it unputdownable.

Meg is a young woman who looks like she’s got it all going for her. She’s worked hard to make her business grow but all of her personal relationships are a mess. When Reid walks through her door, she doesn’t want any more secrets or polite exchanges, she decides to give him the truth and that truth creates a bond between she and Reid. Meg uses lettering as a descriptor of emotions. She hears people speak in type fonts and exclamations are pointy and sharp. Her inner dialog was fascinating and her attraction to Reid hung on every quirk of his mouth.

Reid was more of a dark horse. Quiet, formidable, and living in a world ruled by numbers. He see’s things in black and white until he starts enjoying NYC through Meg’s eyes. Just as she lived for that quirk of his lips, he also lived for every strand of her hair that connected the two of them together. Underneath their growing friendship were personality quirks that explained their frailties and flaws. Background stories that were heartbreaking and secret tells that hinted at future plot reveals. Each written word of Love Lettering kept me reading, each time Meg thought “swoonshes” made me turn the page.

I do believe that when you find a book to read that hits all of your sweet spots it can be for many reasons. I was in the right mood. This was the right genre. I could identify with one or both of the characters. Whatever the reason, Love Lettering was that book for me. I read well into the night last night, then picked it up to finish with my coffee this morning. Love Lettering was IT for me in Sans Serif, all slashes and exclamation points. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase!* Love Lettering

Copyright 2019 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

This Chick Read: Blindsighted (Grant County Thriller #1) by Karin Slaughter

A couple years ago I was at a book convention awards show and Karin Slaughter was the keynote speaker. She was this small, blonde, pretty woman with a terrific wit and had me rolling in my chair. I had heard of her but had never read one of her novels. We were given a copy of Blindsighted in our bag of goodies and I’ve been meaning to read it ever since. Would her novel hold the same charm for me as did the author? Yes, but in a darker, more gruesome manner.

Blindsighted was published in 2001. I know, right? That was such a long time ago, however there was only one line in the novel that had me checking the publication date. “Lena took the cassette tape out of it’s case.” Other than that exception there was a timelessness to this novel. These atrocities are still on the news today, happening anywhere and everywhere.

Sara Linton is both a pediatrician and coroner. When she meets her sister for lunch in their small town diner, she gets up to use the restroom and finds a young woman brutally raped and murdered on the toilet. A woman she knows. The brutality of the murder suggests a serial murderer and Sara calls in the local sheriff, her ex-husband Jeffrey Tolliver. Together they investigate the murder(s) giving the reader insights into their history together, feelings for each other, and secrets are revealed. I found this novel riveting and read it’s 448 pages in one day. Totally unputdownable.

I will admit that even though her last name is Slaughter, I didn’t admit that same funny, bright, lovely woman had this kind of grit and darkness in her soul. I do know she’s got many novels under her belt, a few more even in this series, and despite the gruesomeness I think I need to see where Sara Linton’s path lies and which direction she’ll take. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“The story takes you through major twists and turns, thrills and spills. It grabs you by the hand and doesn’t let up until the final word. In other words, my kind of story. I can’t honestly say there is a single book I’ve read by Karin Slaughter that I thought was mediocre, let alone awful.” Michael D. Turashoff

Click this link to purchase!* Blindsighted: The First Grant County Thriller (Grant County Thrillers)

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: Reputation by Sara Shepard

Reputation relays the consequences of a communities secrets being revealed when their server is hacked. Told from multiple point of views but centered around one marriage’s downfall we discover that many things are hidden beneath a facade of happiness and the results of their secrets being revealed can lead to murder.

I don’t typically read novels that revolve around gossip and scandal but there was something about the synopsis of Reputation that drew me in. As I started reading it my reservations quickly faded and I got caught up in the lives of these characters and how they were all so danged unhappy. Just as we see only the good on our friends social media feeds, the characters in Reputation outwardly showed bliss, but as their secrets became cannon fodder for gossip their masks were ripped off. When they all became suspects in a murder they each showed culpability and I was kept in ignorance until the end.

The hardest part about reading this novel was that the characters were all unlikable. I felt sorry for many of them but really couldn’t find any sympathy for the predicaments they found themselves in. Even Willa, the main characters sister who was introduced later in the book and became the catalyst in investigating the murder was a tentative character built on uncertainty and fear. Her background was the most interesting to be revealed but even though she had the gumption to investigate to prove her sisters innocence, I still felt ambivalent. I really wanted to root for someone to either be innocent or guilty but I had trouble getting beyond that feeling of wanting the story to end. With that being said, I did have enough interest that I read it all the way through, but I’ll admit to skimming a few chapters to get to the conclusion a little quicker.

I’ve never read a book that Sara Shepard has written but have heard good things about her style of writing. Like I said above, there were twists and turns, suprises and reveals that kept me reading and I truly didn’t guess the whodunnit before the final couple of chapters. I can say honestly that she’s got skills, I just wish I had liked these characters a little bit more. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

I received a copy of this novel through NetGalley and it’s publisher for my honest review and it was honest!

Click this link to purchase!* Reputation: A Novel

Copyright 2019 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase through the above link I receive a tiny stipend.

This Chick Read (Audio Review): Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The story of the meteoric rise of a rock band and the demise of that same band. Set in the 70’s, Daisy Jones and the Six unveils a story of sex, drugs, and rock and roll, but told documentary style. The band takes the reader on a voyeuristic journey through the experiences of everyone involved. The two leads narrated by Jennifer Beals, Pable Schreiber, Benjamin Bratt and more, I was riveted by the characters, awestruck by the casualness of the era towards sex and drugs, and hopeful that the resolution would give me a happy ending for the characters I had come to love.

I’ve read that the story is based loosely on the rise of Fleetwood Mack but in my mind Daisy Jones was more of a Goldie Hawn than a Stevie Nicks. Daisy was just so carefree and sweet although her choices were self destructive to the extreme. When she finally gets her big chance, paired up with a rock band called The Six, her steely ambition contrasts interestingly with that sweet demeanor. As Jennifer Beals voices the character, those two traits come across so strongly, but in this soft easy voice. She did an outstanding job of making Daisy someone we could love, even though her addictions get worse and her actions are painful

Billy and Graham Dunne along with four other members of their band are on a slow rise towards fame when that rise gets a boost by their hit performed with Daisy. When a Rolling Stone writer points out their sizzling chemistry it’s decided that Daisy will join the band. Pablo Schreiber who narrates Billy Dunne’s character gives voice to Billy’s pragmatic character and was fantastic in his portrayal. Benjamin Bratt narrates the voice for Graham Dunne and tells an emotional journey of love between he and pianist Karen Karen that is heartbreakingly real. I’ll admit to driving through the mountains and balling my eyes out towards the end of this novel. Graham and Karen’s story was amazing.

If you loved the movie Almost Famous, I think you will enjoy Daisy Jones and the Six. Listening to it was like listening to an ensemble cast from a movie. I can’t name all of the narrators, but believe me when I say they did a hell of a job and I can’t imagine not listening to it again and again. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“If you love a gripping yarn, stories about real people and their struggles and a plot that is entertaining and exciting, look no further than Daisy Jones And The Six. Believe the hype, it’s real.” Bibliobeth

“I do not think that you necessarily need to be a music lover to enjoy this book, but it will certainly help.  I found the scenes that involved writing lyrics completely fascinating and I loved that the book gives the reader an inside look in to the music industry.” Kristin Kraves Books

Click this link to purchase!* Daisy Jones & The Six: A Novel

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

The Bride Test is the stand alone sequel to Helen Hoang’s wildly acclaimed The Kiss Quotient. Khai Diep is introduced to the reader as unfeeling and incapable of love. Despairing of ever having grandchildren, his mother goes back to Thailand to find Khai a wife. In the bathroom of a large hotel she meets Esme, the house maid of that hotel. Enjoying Esme’s lack of artifice and her practical manner, she issues the invitation to Esme to come to America for the summer, meet Khai and see if they’d be a good match. All expenses paid, with a job waiting tables at her restaurant waiting on the other side. Down on her luck Esme takes advantage of this opportunity and takes her first plane trip to the US, where she proceeds to charm Khai with her lack of feminine wiles.

I had a few issues with the Kiss Quotient. I had such a hard time overcoming the fact that FINALLY a book was written about an autistic woman falling in love, yet that love was a hooker. So many people overlooked his profession but for some reason (I don’t know, sanity?) that was a line I just couldn’t cross. Thankfully, The Bride Test had none of those issues. Khai, too was autistic. However, his self proclaimed issues were his emotions, not his lack of sexual prowess as was Stella’s in The Kiss Quotient. I loved learning about Khai’s difficulty’s trusting himself to let go and feel. I learned a lot about autism reading from his POV. Funny enough, Esme seemed to have plenty of self worth issues herself but hers came from her social standing. Their character growth ran parallel to each others and I relished seeing how this country girl taught Khai how to learn to love.

This novel had plenty of humorous moments and titillating scenes that fans of The Kiss Quotient will be happy to hear about. Esme is a fish out of water in the US and she makes plenty of social gaffe’s, however she’s so sweet and charming that you are laughing with her instead of at her. Khai’s confused attachment to her grows and he becomes her biggest champion, albeit in a way that shows he’s absolutely clueless about how to navigate a romantic relationship. They really were the perfect couple.

The Bride Test is a unique romance novel in that its main characters are not perfect at the end of the book. You get the feeling that both Khai and Esme have a long journey of self discovery ahead but they will do it hand in hand. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“These two weren’t perfect people, but they were perfect for each other. I loved how she wanted Khai’s consent before she did things that would trigger him. How she asked him to show her how he liked things and how he wanted to be touched.” Books and Blends

“Overall, I adored this book.  There are some things that happened near the end that felt rushed and far-fetched but not enough to truly bother me.  I breezed through this one and it even brought tears to my eyes.  That does not happen to me that often with a romance!” Kristin Kraves Books

Click this link to purchase!* The Bride Test

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: Dating-ish (Knitting in the City #6) by Penny Reid- Audio Review

I am in love with the Knitting in the City series! Each time I read a book, I think ‘this is my favorite’! Until I read the next book in the series, which quickly surpasses the previous and becomes my favorite book in the series. This time, instead of reading, I decided to try out my new Romance Audible package on Amazon and listen to Dating-ish, narrated by Joy Nash. Boy was that a delight!

Marie, our heroine, is just about to cancel her subscription to an online dating service when she gets a notification that she has a PERFECT match! Excited at the prospect of meeting her perfect match, Marie eagerly meets this date at a local coffee house and proceeds to have the most confusing and weird first date she’s ever had before in her life! This strange man is her perfect match? After doing a dump and run, Marie runs into him again when her knitting group next meets. It’s a surprise to find that he’s the next door neighbor and childhood friend of her knitting buddy Fiona, but even more surprising is the fact that their date was part of a research project on what women want in a man. As it turns out, Matt is a scientist and is working on a project to create an compassionate AI (artificial intelligence) that will provide a person with all of the emotions they need from a mate. Marie is upset, horrified and angered that her perfect match was a fake! To get even, she blackmails Matt into letting her read his research for an article she’s going to write about how there are services available to facilitate emotional fulfillment. Think professional cuddlers, not hookers!

As Marie and Matt hang around each other, an undeniable chemistry is sparked, but as this is a slow burn novel, the two of them have plenty of hilarious emotional hijinks before their feelings become their reality. In typical Penny Reid fashion, these two odd ducks have found their perfect match, but they really have to work at the happy in their ending.

Part of the reason I love this series is because these characters are not new to us when we start the novel. Marie, as part of the knitting group is known as the level headed, organized friend. In fact, as a professional journalist, she can compartmentalize with the best of them, and we’ve seen her do this in the past. Matt, as Fiona’s neighbor, is also a familiar character. Although I didn’t quite realize how much of an emotional oddball he really was from our previous interactions. Joy Nash reads his character so well! Kind of aloof and very sciency in a nerd-voice. You’d have to listen to it to figure out what i’m talking about, but she does a great job! Marie’s narration is also spot on, and Joy Nash acts out the narration so that I feel as if I’m listening to a movie rather than someone reading from a book. She is seriously good!

Each book in the Knitting in the City series can be read as a stand alone. Be warned though, previous characters sometimes have big parts in our main characters romance, so it may be better to start at the beginning so that you don’t miss out on any subtle character arc’s. Although Marie and Matt’s romance is brilliant enough on its own merit. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“I would have never thought a book about robots would be sexy but Penny Reid makes being smart sexy! Matt and Marie have an amazing love story. It is defiantly a slow burn kind of love story and it is so much fun to read. ” Cup of Tea Book Blog

“The book is full of computer and AI jokes and banter that should make you laugh. Marie and Matt are both complex characters with their own issues to deal with. And the cast of secondary characters, which has grown as the series has progressed, is charming as usual. ” Kat Vinson

Click this link to purchase!* Dating-ish (Knitting in the City) (Volume 6)

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: Dating by the Book by Mary Ann Marlowe

Maddie Hanson was jilted at the altar six months ago. Living in her hometown of Orion surrounded by her friends, she is spending her time trying to bring her bookstore to life while at the same time waiting for her first book to be released. When her publisher sends out ARC’s of her book, she reads a not so nice review by a blogger named “Silver Fox” and retaliates in anger at his questioning her lack of romantic experience. This comment spurs Maddie to look at her past decisions and the men surrounding her to try to find her own real life romance hero.

Dating By The Book is a trip down memory lane of several novels that I and other bibliophiles love. Each man in Maddie’s life representing a hero in one of the novels her book club is reading. A club that is in fact filled with men; her high school boyfriend Dylan, lifelong friend Max, and dependable customer Charlie. Each of whom could be a romantic interest in the likes of Rhett from Gone with the Wind, Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, and Rochester from Jane Eyre. Let’s not forget about the mysterious Silver Fox who develops into an email pal giving solid advice about life, love, and plot points in her novel. I couldn’t help but picture Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan from You’ve Got Mail each time her mail chimed!

Maddie’s journey to find passion and love was intertwined with her need to get her second book finished in time. Each lesson she learns about herself is written into her book, reminding me that each author puts her heart and soul into their novel, regardless of how well that novel is received. Luckily, that’s not a problem with Dating By the Book. Even if it didn’t have all of the literary references to hold my interest the story itself made sense and took me on a journey. It’s one of those books that can be taken as a life lesson to the person who reads it, or it can be tossed into a bag for their summer vacation. Both to be revered and enjoyed.

If you have read Mary Ann Marlowe’s two previous novels, Some Kind of Magic and Crazy Kind of Love you will be happy to hear that she does also have a rock star in this book. Is he the man of Maddie’s dreams? Well, he has a lot of competition, that’s for sure! Even with that familiarity, I was happy to see the author try something a little different in this novel which reads more as a Women’s Fiction novel than a Contemporary Romance. Also, for those readers who are fans of a slow burn romance novel, you’re going to love how the relationship between our heroine and hero develops throughout this novel. By the time they get together you are so ready for it, and I mean that in the best way possible.

It’s summertime and there are so many good books out there to read and not enough time to get to all of them. My recommendation is that Dating by the Book is worth moving up on your TBR pile, putting in your bag when you hit the beach, or digging out of your purse sitting on the train to work in the morning. It’s fun, but it also makes you think about your own choices in life, love and literature.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

I received a free copy of this book from the author for my honest review and it was honest!

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“What didn’t really jive with me was the overall chaotic feeling of the characters and storyline. There was just a bit too much going on for my taste. I never fully connected with the main character or any of her love interests and, because of that, there was no one I was rooting for her to end up with.” The Oxford Comma Momma

“…I felt this book in my soul.” A Scholar Review

Click this link to purchase!* Dating by the Book

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: Wherever She Goes by Kelley Armstrong

When Aubrey Finch is running at the park she see’s what appears to be a child kidnapping, a little boy pulled into a car against his will. She reports it to the police but when no one reports a child missing they treat her like she’s delusional and ignore her report.As a mother herself, Aubrey can’t let this crime go and starts to investigate on her own. Her investigation starts to reveal pieces of her past that she’s tried desperately to keep hidden from her estranged husband and brings her to the attention of some dangerous suspects.

Wherever She Goes combines action and psychological thriller making this a very easy, gripping, read. Aubrey’s character and background is part of the mystery. How does this mom have the skills to investigate a crime that even the police think is a waste of time? Each reveal about her past makes her more fascinating and as she unravels the mystery. As a mom she often second guesses her own decisions making the contrast of diving into a dangerous investigation even more compelling. Who is this woman and why has she settled for what has become of her life? That’s an even greater mystery and one that I relished discovering the reasons why.

As I read this novel I realized there were actually a few different mysteries I was trying to unravel. 1) Aubrey’s background 2) the missing child and 3) the reason why her relationship fell apart with her husband. Kelley Armstrong does a great job of intertwining all of these mysteries so that each reveal is intertwined with a personal reflection Aubrey has about her life. I loved how all of those ties bound the novel into one cohesive, solid piece of fiction. This was a story that didn’t get bogged down in descriptions, but was told through the eyes of a woman going through some big emotional revelations. The only negative was that the ending didn’t quite give me that happy glow, but after mulling it over for a bit I realized it was pretty realistic.

Wherever She goes was easy to read and really interesting! I’d totally recommend it to anyone who loves a fast moving mystery.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher (St. Martin’s Press) for my honest review and it was honest!

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“Overall, Wherever She Goes is a nice read with good writing and great characters. The premise is intriguing and the fast pace keeps you reading, but the plot could have been a little more fleshed out. The ending is also a bit underwhelming, but it does lend a hopeful tone to Aubrey’s story that makes it a nice conclusion to the book.” Owls Reads

Click this link to purchase!* Wherever She Goes: A Novel

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

Friday YA- Audio Review: A Question of Holmes (Charlotte Holmes #4) by Brittany Cavallaro

Charlotte and Jamie are on the same coast, both enrolled for some pre-college courses at Oxford. It seems like it’s finally their time to find out if they will work as a couple. However Charlotte is approached to help solve a disappearing person case from a year ago and finds herself the understudy for the roll of Ophelia – and Jamie is cast in the roll of blinded by love boyfriend.

I am a big fan of this Holmes and Watson series. As a fan of mysteries it’s been great fun to be given a behind the scenes look at the screwed up Holmes family. In A Question of Holmes, Charlotte is coming off of rehab and living with her uncle in England, the most normal family life she’s ever had. Written from Charlotte’s POV we are given her insights into not only the mystery but also her true feelings about family, life, and her love for Jamie. At times these vignettes were difficult to listen to, but overall I feel like the author was very true to who Charlotte was, and also realistic in who the future Charlotte was to become. Her voice was narrated by Julia Whelan who did a fabulous job giving her that upper posh British accent, but also gave her a hint of vulnerability that we saw for the first time in this novel.

I have listened to this whole series, which is normally told from Jamie’s perspective (read amazingly well by Graham Halstead) with a final chapter from Charlotte. I really liked the switch in this final novel because Jamie’s character has been revealed to the reader through the previous three novels. We know exactly who he is, but not how he fits into Charlotte’s life. Is he just her sidekick? Or her one true love? What is she really thinking? We discover all of these things in A Question of Holmes.

The mystery in this novel had a few twists and turns that fed some tension into our two main characters relationship but I’m going to avoid talking plot points because I don’t want to run the risk of giving anything away. I will say that it’s deftly done and there is a big reveal in the latter half of the book that creates a path that I didn’t see coming. The conclusion to the mystery was satisfactory and the conclusion to the series although a little confusing, did fit the characters and how they grew throughout the series. Would I change anything if I could? Yes. Do I know what I’d change? Not really. That doesn’t really help does it? LOL. My overall recommendation is that if you’ve read this series A Question of Holmes is a solid conclusion with nothing left unsaid, yet I feel like their story was just not finished. I wish we had one more novel. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“Now, the ending. I’m not going to spoil it for you, but it was very ambiguous. It felt like a close to the story while it was still very open for more books if the author decided to revisit it. …Definitely an impressive “retelling” that has earned a spot on my Holmes-focused bookshelf!” BW Reviews

“This story was, in my opinion, way better than the third book in the series, has some surprises to it that might shock you, has a nice mystery to it and of course – most importantly – Jamie and Charlotte.” Blogger Books

Click this link to purchase!* A Question of Holmes (Charlotte Holmes Novel)

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate