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 Chick Read: Well Traveled (Well Met #4) by Jen DeLuca

Louise Malone is a high-powered attorney and in North Carolina to get a witness deposition. The witness is unavailable so Lulu goes to the Renaissance Festival, something she’s done in the past and has enjoyed tremendously. Avoiding calls from her boss and having fun re-connecting with an old friend, Lulu realizes that she’s in a dead end job and hating her life. When her boss calls again she quits and runs away to the Renaissance Faire. For a month anyway. What she doesn’t expect is to re-invent herself while falling in love with a kilted musician.

I’m such a fan of the Well Met series and have run away to the Renaissance Faire, at least in my own mind, every time I pick up one of these novels. I connected so easily to the story in Well Traveled and to Lulu, a character I can really identify with. Lulu has always been driven to make partner and become the success that her parents have always wanted her to be, but all the long hours she’s working at her company isn’t leading to the success that she’s always hope to find. When she gets drunk and quits angrily on a call with her boss, it’s actually the best thing for her. This is something that many of us have dreamed of doing but never seem to find the guts to make happen. It was so fun to dream along with Lulu and read her story while she finds her way in love and life.

Dex, the kilted lead singer of the band Dueling Kilts, has been in the previous books and wasn’t cast in a very good light. He’s the Romeo of the faire circuit, or so it seems. We see a different side to him in Well Traveled. A side that has me liking him for our Lulu. His creative personality is the perfect foil to straight laced Lulu, but is he the type to make a commitment? I’ll admit that I was skeptical but I ended up liking his mellow attitude and subtle ways he sought out Lulu’s company. He lacked the funny quips of previous hero’s but his soulful gaze and man bun more than made up for those laugh out loud moments.

You do not need to read any of the previous novels to enjoy Well Traveled, but reading the third novel would explain a little back story that does come up and explains a couple of characters actions. Other than that, enjoy a fun, light-hearted romance. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase this book!* Well Traveled

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.

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (12/5/22)

I’ll admit that for work I am heading into the busiest time of the year, then when you add in the holidays, parties, and decorating I just didn’t seem to have that much time to read. I did finish a book, and whereas I didn’t hate it, it didn’t grab me either. It has great reviews and I kept wondering what I was missing. So when I was reading, I wasn’t in the right head pace for it. I hate that! Does that ever happen to you? On another note, my husband and I started watching Wednesday on Netflix and OMG, it is so good. That’s probably another reason it was hard to get into this book, it just paled in comparison.

JUST FINISHED

This one was really hard for me to finish. It wasn’t that it was bad, and maybe I was reading it when I was stretched a little thin and didn’t have the time to really enmesh myself into the story, but I just got frustrated with it. A great premise that showed promise and didn’t deliver for me. Bummer!

JUST STARTED

I received the advanced reader copy for this book and it looks like it will be right up my alley. A science fiction space opera with a hint of romance and action-adventure. I can’t wait to get started!

Are your holiday plans getting in the way of your reading? I know how you feel! I hope it gets better!

Happy Monday and happy reading!

Deb

This Chick Read: Ascension Day (Ageless Mysteries #6) by Vanessa Nelson

The final novel in the Ageless Mysteries series, Thea March finds herself investigating another murder, or a series of them. The city is preparing for Ascension Day a day to celebrate the Archon, one of the most powerful beings in the world. As Thea investigates she uncovers a revolt that she and her friends need to stop before the Archon destroys their city.

There are so many things I’ve loved about this series. I love how Thea starts off hating the Ageless and wanting to stay beneath their notice, but then she develops a relationship with her father that makes her see that not all was as she thought, but that ageless came in both good and evil, just as humans did. Thea’s self also evolves. She knows now, that she is an Ageless, as her wings made an appearance in past novels at pivotal moments and in this novel the appearance makes it impossible for her to pretend she is human anymore. This series is not a romantic fantasy, but there are hints of a romance between she and Niath. I’m a sucker for those moments between the two of them. The last thing I like is that this series is a classic trope of good vs. evil. For most of the series the evil is unknown, but in this novel the plot is revealed and it’s quite a doozy.

Ascension Day was everything I wanted from the final book in a great series. The mystery was well-written and the final reveal was awesome and vicious. Our heroine proved herself to be selfless, and honorable. Fighting for the good of others and not for her own self interests. She wasn’t superhuman at all but in the end proved herself to be something pretty special.

If you are looking for a quick reading fantasy series, the Ageless Mysteries are a lot of fun and rewarding to read. Start with the first book because the development of the characters are crucial to your enjoyment of these novels! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

Click this link to purchase this book!* Ascension Day

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: Flirting with the Beast (Modern Love #2) by Jane Porter

Widower, Andi McDermott, decides to spend her holidays in Lake Arrowhead after a last minute cancelation by her son-in-law. She hasn’t been there in years because of a feud her husband had with their neighbor, Wolf Enders. Wolf is gruff, ex-military, alpha, and unarguably gorgeous- but all of that should make little difference since she doesn’t plan to see him at all. Until a snow storm hits and she gets trapped on the mountain with no one to turn to but her neighbor. What she finds out is that she needs to add kind to the above list about Wolf, and that he makes her blood sizzle.

I have only just discovered Jane Porter and am thrilled to be reading romances about couples in their fifties! Andi was such a wonderful character and a women who I can only ascribe to be. She was warm, understanding, and used her brain before reacting to uncertain situations. I loved how she handled the more volatile Wolf. He was a loner who didn’t want a woman to upset his solitariness, but he’d always found Andi attractive and their chemistry was too much to ignore. Being ex-military his character was definitely more rigid and he made many missteps in his treatment of Andi. However, she reacted like a mature woman, thinking through her own actions before reacting. While reading through her inner monologue I kept thinking “Wow, I wish I could be more like this!”. Well, she is a fictional character after all and not a real woman but I felt myself liking her so much.

These characters have great backstories which gave them a depth that they needed. Their insecurities and needs turned them from two dimensional to full technicolor and the story was filled with an emotion that felt real and not fabricated. There were moments where I definitely wanted to kick Wolf in the knee and shake him a bit, but he was the perfect foil to Andi’s more calm demeanor. It would’ve been super boring if both partners were too much alike. The conclusion was also satisfying, with Andi showing some fire in fighting for what she wanted.

Flirting with the Beast is a wonderfully mature adult romance. Yes, these characters weren’t perfect, but then, who is? I sped through this book forgetting about all of the other things I needed to do and spent four hours relishing this love story. I hope this book will hit the right note for anyone who picks it up, regardless of their age, but for this older broad, it was sublime. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase this book!* Flirting with the Beast

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.

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (11/28/22)

I love long weekends with no agenda. Just relaxing, maybe doing a little Christmas shopping, and definitely reading some of the books. I’ve been mixing genres again switching back and forth from a fantasy series I’m slowly getting through and some romance novels that have piqued my interest. In between, I’m watching a ton of World Cup soccer (go USA!) and eating a ton of leftovers. I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend and are enjoying or maybe have enjoyed the bounty that’s been in your refrigerator for days. Here’s what my brain has been noshing on…

JUST FINISHED

This one has been on my TBR for a couple of years and I finally pulled the trigger and read the first page. I was immediately grabbed by the story and spent a wonderful few hours enmeshed in the characters and story. This was a good one!

JUST STARTED

This book has been in my library wishlist and when I read the synopsis again I immediately remembered why I put it on there. A Reese’s book club pick, with rave reviews, I started it last night and can tell you that I am loving it so far. It is SO well written!

Did you spend your long weekend with a good book or out shopping? I

Happy Monday and happy reading!

Deb

This Chick’s Audio Review: The Good, the Bad, and the Undead (Hollows #2) by Kim Harrison, narrated by Marguerite Gavin

One of my all time favorite series, I decided to see if my first impression still stands after eighteen years by slowly listening to the audiobooks, narrated by Marguerite Gavin. In this novel, Rachel is asked to investigate the disappearance of an Ley Line instructor at the local college. While investigating Rachel manages to fight off an amorous roommate, create an unwanted bond with her boyfriend, and piss off the local Master of the City. Just another day in the life of Rachel Morgan!

It’s funny how the mind works. I remember some of these earlier plots but only the cataclysmic or heart-breaking moments, so this book caught me somewhat by surprise. I didn’t really remember anything from the plot, but some of the more important storylines start in this book so it was interesting to see that groundwork laid. She has her first “romantic” moment with Kisten, starts to develop her relationship with the demon who becomes a sort of mentor for her in later books, Al, and goes through her first of many boyfriends- oh and she is of course, fighting to bring Trent Kalamack in on charges that seem pretty flimsy despite her protestations of his guilt. All of these moments are very important to the future roles Rachel plays and to the development of her character. So, it may not have been the most exciting book, it was certainly one of the most important.

Marguerite Gavin, who narrates this series does an excellent job of giving these characters life through her voice acting. Ivy is certainly more sultry than the voice in my head when I was reading, and Jinx is very pixie-like with his rapid fire, high intensity falsetto. Because I read the entire series first it’s been a little distracting that the voice in my head doesn’t match the narrator’s but by the second chapter I found myself immersed in the narrative and managed to stay in the moment and enjoy her interpretation.

One of my favorite moments from this book is when Ivy is goaded into trying to trap Rachel into becoming her psion. A role Rachel has no interest in playing but that her demon scars wants her to take. The chemistry between the two of them, although false become of those scars, is so intense! It’s amazing to me that these two characters were able to overcome their feelings of failure, relief, and horror to become the best friends they do end up becoming. I’m not sure that scene would have the same effect on me if I hadn’t read the future books but it’s definitely a pivotal moment regardless of my inside knowledge.

If you haven’t read this series, the audiobooks may be an enjoyable way to pass the time. The story is action-packed, thrilling, emotional, and fun. The narration matches the scenes, characters, and world. I am enjoying this second peek into the series. I hope I inspire some of you to do the same! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

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: Heartbreaker (Hell’s Belles #2) by Sarah MacLean

Ex-thief and daughter of one of London’s most notorious gangs, Adelaide Frampton has found herself a peer in society, living on the fringes as a wallflower in the most elite ballrooms. Using skills from her past she now deals in information and as the Matchbreaker she helps women escape from being sold into marriage. The Duke of Clayburn, Henry Carrington, finds himself on the receiving end of the Matchbreakers scheme when she tries to break up the love match between his brother and the woman he loves. They must work together to find the two lovebirds before the bride to be’s father catches up to them.

Adelaide had never been a wallflower in Henry’s eyes. He has noticed her every time their paths have crossed and he has bided his time before making an approach. He never figures that they would be on opposing sides, and works together with her in a race to find the bride and groom. As they spend time with each other, they of course discover an incredible chemistry. Nothing unusual in that except for the fact that Adelaide’s secret also become revealed making her even more interesting to the Duke.

I’m a big fan of Sarah MacLean’s historical romances. I like how she always chooses a subject, in this case how young women were used as chattel and bargaining tools for their families. Marrying them off to better the family but often putting them in the hands of men who abuse them. As a bit of a feminist myself, I find this subject appalling and fascinating and looked forward to reading how her character was fighting this in a unique and interesting way. Usually in a historical romance the plot might revolve around a woman in jeopardy but this was a woman who knew how to fight her own battles leaving Henry to find his place beside her instead of taking the lead. I enjoyed this twist in the plot. Henry had his own back story that was quite interesting and had to re-work his plans on what he had wanted his future to look like. This added a little additional tension to the story and appealed to me quite a bit. I enjoyed the direction this author took with this novel!

❤️❤️❤️❤️


Click this link to purchase this book!* Heartbreaker

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.

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (11/21/22)

I have had such a good run on reading some great books lately! I’m living in the romance genre and wow, have these books been good. Check it out below.

JUST FINISHED

I just finished Flirting with the Beast and if you’re a mature person, you will love these characters! Andi and Wolf are in their late 50’s and finding love like it’s the first time. I loved this story. It had it all, humor, emotion, great characters, and sizzling chemistry. I am 99% sure I’ll be listening to the audiobook for a re-read.

JUST STARTED

I haven’t actually started this one yet but felt like I needed to read another romance with an older couple. This is Kristen Ashley’s most recent novel and I’ve got it waiting for me on my Kindle. I’ve really enjoyed this series and am looking forward to diving in!

We are heading into a long weekend and I always have 3-4 books chosen for the top of my tbr. What books will you be reading?

Happy Monday and happy reading!

Deb

This Chick Read: Only Bad Options: A Galactic Bonds book by Jennifer Estep

Vesper Quill works as a lab rat in the powerful Kent Corp. fixing electronic items and creating designs for goods that never get made. When she’s assigned to investigate the cause of a crash her’s is the only voice that states it’s a design flaw instead of pilot error. Kyrion Calderan is the leader of the Arrows, an elite fighting squad. When he and Vesper they find that they have a mystical bond that should be heavenly but may actually cause their death. They have a decision to make- break the bond, or die a slow death.

Only Bad Options is a science fiction novel in a new series by Jennifer Estep, an author who’s known for her exciting action sequences and interesting characters. She delivers both of these things in this novel, creating a unique world and unusually interesting characters. Vesper Quill is down on her luck. Abandoned by her mother and raised by a family friend, she has minimal psychic talent. Enough to make her great at building electronic goods and gaining her a job at an elite corporation who makes weapons for the wealthy Regals. She’s an easy character to like despite her ‘woe is me’ attitude always getting herself out of one scrap to find herself in the middle of another. She’s smart and uses her brains to outthink her enemies. She’s not sure what to think of Kyrion. He’s known as a cold-blooded killer and is an elite Regal but despite those differences they are bonded and are drawn to each other. I really liked the tension filled scenes broken only by action sequences that helped drain that tension. I found myself having fun and rooting for Vesper to outsmart anyone who would try to hold her down.

As the first book in the series, I can only imagine that their relationship will build in the second book. In this novel they are wary of each other and despite being drawn to each other they focus on the need protect themselves and battle an enemy. I think this is where Kyrion’s personality excels so hopefully we’ll learn a little more about him in the future. I got a pretty good feel for who Vesper is in this novel and even if Kyrion were to never be in another novel, she interests me enough to read the next book.

If you like action-adventure science fiction I think you’ll enjoy Only Bad Options. The author doesn’t bog the reader down in technical explanations and lets us enjoy the world and the wild ride the characters take us on. I can’t wait to pick up the second novel and hopes the author doesn’t take too long to write it! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase this book!* Only Bad Options

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.