This Chick Read: Until it Fades by K. A. Tucker

Catherine lives in the small town of Balsam, Pennsylvania working as a waitress in a truck stop while trying to quietly raise her five year old daughter. At twenty-four she has already seen her fair share of press due to her involvement with the son of a prominent Balsam family and she wants to steer clear of anything high profile and just quietly live her life. One night while traveling home from a bad blind date she comes upon a sports car that has crashed against a tree and even though there’s danger from the car catching on fire she saves the life of the passenger of the vehicle. Little does she know that by that one event her life will be put back in the spotlight. She has just saved the life of NHL star Brett Madden.

There were moments in this novel that I really enjoyed. I liked Catherine’s fight against adversity. She had gotten involved with a teacher while in high school and because he was from a prominent family she was black balled and treated horribly as the temptress while the teacher who was thirteen years older got off without a slap of the hand. Reading about that subject from Catherine’s perspective was tough. You feel so bad for her and want her life to be better than it is. You also totally get why she doesn’t want anything to do with Brett and the publicity machine that follows him. Of course, it’s a love story and you know Brett’s going to help her overcome that stigma, but that didn’t make it any easier to read although that contrast did make their love story shine brighter.

Brett was a pretty normal guy for being a pro NHL player and son of a super famous movie star and he was written as the white knight in a way. However, the bulk of the conflict centered around Catherine, her daughter, and the town of Balsam. She had some great friends who added character and humor to the novel and I enjoyed how her true spirit was portrayed and how she finally got the respect she deserved. I found it kind of strange that the romance felt underplayed, but Catherine did have a lot of inner turmoil to work through.

If you like romances where your heroine overcomes adversity, Until it
Fades is the novel for you! I enjoyed the outcome because of what Catherine went through in her past and found she and Brett easy to root for. It did take me a little bit to overcome my uneasiness of her childhood romance with her teacher, I’ll admit, so because of that it gets a three and a half rating. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

” Unfortunately I didn’t love it – it was enjoyable but nothing in the story stood out making it an average read. ” Faith Books and Pixie Dust

Click this link to purchase!* Until It Fades: A Novel

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

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It’s Monday! What are you Reading?

Happy Monday everyone! I ran across this post on Book Date and liked the idea of sharing what I’m currently reading.

JUST FINISHED

Undying: An Unearthed Novel by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

First Sentence Read: The darkness is close and still, and absolute.

CURRENTLY READING

Circle of the Moon (Soulwood #4) by Faith Hunter

First Sentence Read: The night sky was a wash of cerulean blue over the trees and the roofline, with a trace of scarlet and plum on the western horizon.

I can’t wait to curl up on my couch and spend my day reading!

What are you reading?

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: Book-Blogger Mashup!

At work the other day someone described a friends personality as you would describe a fine wine. You know “she’s bold with an undertone of ripe raspberry’s growing on the coast of California, with a hint of salt”. It got me thinking, I have been following many of you for a few years and after reading some of your reviews, can almost provide my own Book-Blogger Mashup.

First, I’ll start with myself. because why the heck not?

THE READING CHICK: She is as inquisitive as an In Death novel, has an undertone of snarky Hating Game dialog, and is rounded out by her From Lukov with Love of romance.

Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricanes: She writes with The Astonishing Color of After drenching the pages, her words throw light in The Dark Vault while her heart screams This is What it Feels Like!

Bree @ In Love & Words: Her writing voice is as smoky as A Week of Mondays while she tries to use Hopeless Magic to Listen to Your Heart and find her next book boyfriend.

Jill @ Jill’s Book Blog: Her book worlds collide in Serious Moonlight with her virtual eyes reflecting Cinder as she is bound by ‘no spoilers’ but wanting to scream “They Both Die at the End”!

That was so much fun! So, ladies (Marie, Bree and Jill) I challenge you to create your own Book-Blogger Mashup!

Here are the rules: 1) You have to Mashup up your own blog, 2) pick three of your fellow bloggers to Mash and please tag them, and 3) tag me because I want to read them too!

Of course, if you don’t want to do the Book-Blogger Mashup, you don’t have to but I thought it was fun and kind of a neat exercise. I really got to know your blogs and reading style’s better!

If I didn’t tag you but you think this sounds like fun, feel free to join in! Please tag me so I can have fun with you and read your own mashups.

Until next Sunday,

Deb

Friday YA: Just for Clicks by Kara McDowell

Claire and Poppy grew up in the social media limelight. Their mother blogging about their lives until the three of them became household names. Now in high school Claire discovers her history isn’t all as it was blogged and as she researches past facts she realizes her life’s ambitions may not be the same as her sister’s. When she meets Rafael and learns his story he helps her realize that her definition of family may not be as pretty as the blog posts but her feelings and ties to her sister are real.

Even though Claire and Poppy were internet stars they had the drama and emotions of normal high school teenagers. Claire was the more introverted of the two sisters and so felt each emotion and comment cut deeper. That sensitivity made her afraid to speak her feelings until they grew so large in her own head they overwhelmed her. I’ll admit I grew frustrated with most of the characters in this novel because a little communication would have allayed so many of their fears, but then I guess we wouldn’t have had much of a novel to read!

Rafael ended up being my favorite character, yet, he too was not 3D. Having lived all over the world with his father with Doctors without Borders should have given him a broader frame to draw his experiences from, yet he never got past the drama and his own teenage insecurities. My expectations may have been set a little high, but I was really looking for a reason to love this novel and instead never got past like.

As a blogger myself, I thought I should have found this plot more interesting. Their life as bloggers was actually kind of fun and I’d have liked to see more of that. Part of the problem was that some of the subject matter, while deep, was written with a lighter touch that seemed to de-emphasize the importance of what was happening in that scene, so the tone of the novel was too light for the drama it was trying to represent. It kept me from connecting with these characters in a way that I needed to do to enjoy their journey. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

I received a free copy of the ARC for my honest review and it was honest.

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

” …read this in a day and enjoyed it SO much. It feels really timely, with how many mommy bloggers and instagrammers there are in the world- it makes you think about their kids and how they might grow up to view everything (including invasion of their privacy).” the bookish beagle

“Overall, this was a fascinating read with an insightful look into the private lives of social influencers and I think it’ll be quite enjoyable to younger readers. I think it’s a great debut attempt which could have done with better execution.” My World of Books

Click this link to purchase!* Just for Clicks

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: Fall (VIP #3) by Kristen Callihan

Fall is the third novel in VIP, a rock star romance series by Kristen Callihan. Having had the story of two previous members in this band (well, #2 was about their Manager but..) we already know Jax Blackwood’s history. He was the catalyst to Killian’s escape from reality in VIP. Jax is the best friend who tried to kill himself and sent the band whirling into despair and confusion. Knowing this, I wondered how Ms. Callihan was going to inject a lightness into this troubled man’s story. That injection came in the form of Stella, a funny “free spirit” who dares to knock down Jax’s mental blockade and make him feel again. She does this through humor, but also provides Jax with someone who needs him emotionally. That is a truly scary thing for a mentally depressed individual, but he is willing to take that chance and be that person for Stella.

We knew all about Jax (or thought we did), but we, the reader, knew nothing about Stella until she meets him over Mint Chip ice cream at the grocery store. A scene that sets the stage for some pretty funny shanigans between these two characters. Stella doesn’t have a clue who Jax is, and Jax loves the independence of being himself instead of being the rock star. When they meet again, she is living next door to him in Killian and Liberty’s apartment, pet sitting for them while they are on vacation overseas. This closeness provides many opportunities for Jax and Stella to interact and get to know each other. Both of them are truly surprised by what they find out.

I loved that Kristen Callihan took on mental illness in this novel. It would be so easy to make Jax the tortured misunderstood hero and Stella be the light that brings him back from the dark. They both are those things, but they are also so much more. After having viewed the effects of Jax’s attempted suicide on his band members, it was really eye opening to hear his viewpoint on what is and was going on in his head. The way this is portrayed is very true to life and only the romance in this novel is lighthearted. The characters have depth that scratches despair, and only by being together, loving each other do they have the strength to face the future. Stella needs this love just as much as Jax, maybe even more.

This was not a lighthearted novel. Yes, I did laugh, but I also cried a bit and stopped to think about how this portrayal could parallel a lot of people’s lives that read it. Not that we’re all rock stars, well at least outside my own head, but the fact that we all have moments of darkness and that dream that being needed and loved can help us overcome despair.

Am I reading too much into this novel? I mean it is a rock star romance and is meant to be fun. I know other people haven’t loved this novel as much as the other two in the series, but I’m going to say this is my favorite so far. Fall had a perfect balance of light and dark, love and hate, despair and hope. To me, that balance made it pretty much perfect. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“I’d say Fall was a great romance that also managed to handle the important topic of mental health and depression with such realism and grace. I would highly recommend this book and I can’t wait to read the other books of the VIP series.” A Lovely Book Affair

“Fall is an intense, emotional, funny, and sexy slow burn. Kristen Callihan created and developed flawed but endearing characters in John and Stella who will keep you engaged throughout their rollercoaster of a relationship.” Harlequin Junkie

Click this link to purchase!* Fall (VIP Book 3)

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

Friday YA: Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Slight Spoilers Ahead.

“Don’t live to please the starfish, especially when their happiness is at the expense of yours. That is not love. That is narcissism. There’s an entire ocean out there, Kiko–swim in it.”

Kiko Himura has a narcissistic mother who has consistently beaten down her self confidence until she can only see herself through her mother’s eyes. Her only escape is through her art, something that she excels at and enjoys. Against her mothers wishes she applies to Prism, an art school, and sets all of her hopes and dreams upon getting in.

Despite her social anxiety Kiko’s best friend Emery talks her into going to a party where she runs into Jamie, the boy who was her best friend from childhood. He and his family had moved to California and their friendship had not survived the distance. Pretty quickly their friendship resumed but Jamie could see that this Kiko was not the same happy, friendly girl he had left behind years ago.

OK, I’ll be honest. This was a really difficult novel for me to read. Knowing a little bit about narcissistic relationships I recognized those signs immediately. However, my own relationship was not desperate and hurtful as Kiko’s was, but I could feel her pain because it easily could have been. It’s hard to read about a subject that is familiar and see that character take a different path than your own. I’ll admit that I was really frustrated with Kiko. I wanted her to be immediately stronger than she was but found the patience to keep reading because I wanted to see if she found her happy ending.

Jamie was just wonderful. As soon as he saw Kiko again he knew they were meant to be together. He was infinitely patient and old beyond his years, but then his household had it’s own difficulties. His treatment of this girl who was obviously fragile was to lend her his strength and the knowledge that despite everything he would be there for her, in whatever manner she desired. That is true love.

Although this was a difficult read for me, I did enjoy how the author slowly gave Kiko strength and through that she found her own self. I loved that.

❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“I think the emotional journey of the characters was the strength of this book; I definitely had a lot of feelings about Kiko and her relationship with her family and her heritage, the latter important because of her mother’s constant undermining of the value of it. I got to the end and was just… emosh. And like I said, I thought the way the romance was handled was really important and sensitive.” Miriam Joy Reads

“I loved the way this story was written, with stunning descriptions that really sparked my imagination. All the descriptions of Kiko’s art actually made me want to start painting again, which I haven’t really done in years. All in all, this book was gripping, emotional, dark, emotional and hopeful. I really liked it, and will definitely be reading future books by this author.” Reading Sanctuary

Click this link to purchase!*Starfish

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: Watcher in the Woods (Casey Duncan #4) by Kelley Armstrong

Investigator Casey Duncan and her boyfriend Rockton Sheriff Eric Dalton again find themselves in the middle of a murder investigation. This time investigating a Federal Marshall who tracked his criminal to their small, hidden town. Rockton, a safe haven for victims and criminals who have paid to hide out is not unfamiliar with mysterious crimes. What is unfamiliar is that as Casey investigates she narrows it down to a surprising person.

In the previous novel, This Fallen Prey, one of their townspeople and leader of their militia, Kenny was shot in the back. Casey and Dalton reach out to her sister April who despite their lack of closeness does agree to come to Rockton with them for a brief time to operate and help Kenny in his recovery. Watcher in the Woods shifts focus from Casey and Dalton’s relationship to Casey and her sister April. What Casey finds out about her sister explains their lack of closeness in the past and this opportunity gives them a chance to part on better terms. I thought this sub plot revealed a lot . about Casey’s character in the past and showed her emotional growth. She was in a place where she could “see” her sister clearly and was able to understand her better. I really enjoyed their interactions and added an emotional punch to an otherwise kind of unemotional mystery.

The mystery of who killed the Marshall was interesting but kind of lackluster for me. I don’t know if it was because he was only introduced and then killed in the first couple of chapters and I really didn’t care? Or because a lot of the book was an exploratory into a few newer characters, but the pages didn’t fly by as much as they have in the previous three books. Kelly Armstrong writes a great mystery and I didn’t guess who had done it, it just took a long time to get to the conclusion. I’m sure my feelings are in the minority on this one, but it is how I felt.

Watcher in the Woods is one of those books in a series that you need to read because it reveals things about characters that you will probably need to know in a future book. Despite it’s slowness, I really did like the sub plot between Casey and her sister and am looking forward to seeing where that leads in future novels but the mystery just didn’t knock it out of the park for me. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

I received a free ARC of this novel for my honest review and it was honest!

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“In the end, Watcher in the Woods is a lovely and intriguing read. It has action, a bit of romance, murder, and quite a few plot twists and reveals. It tightens the overall series arc and sets things up for the final installment, while still developing the characters and keeping the world-building and setting fresh.” Owls Reads

“All of the Rockton tales are action packed and full of secrets, double backs and, yes, romance. That is what makes them so entertaining to read. This one, however, was a bit slow for me in the beginning and I suspect that it was because there was a great deal of minutia laid out for readers who might be joining here at book four rather than at the beginning.” Macsbooks

Click this link to purchase!*Watcher in the Woods: A Rockton Novel (Casey Duncan Novels)

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

Friday YA: The Dead Queens Club by Hannah Capin

The Dead Queens Club takes the historical facts of King Henry VIII and his six wives and translates it into a Contemporary Young Adult novel set in a high school. No, high school Henry is not married to six girls, but he has had six girlfriends in the last two years. Including our main protagonist, Annie Marck “Cleves”, girlfriend number four, and best friend to Henry. When she hears a rumor that Henry is possibly responsible for the deaths of two of his ex-girlfriends, Cleves investigates to help clear his name. Is the most popular boy in school the funny partner in crime she knows? Or is he a guy with anger management issues who takes revenge on his cheating girlfriends?

The Dead Queens Club cleverly names all of it’s characters after their true life namesakes and incorporates familiar places from Tudor history into this small town. I’ll admit to once again using Wikipedia to give myself a quick history lesson on each wife (and if they kept their head or not) and found that I relished watching the mystery unfold more because of that knowledge. Setting Henry VIII’s relationships in a high school certainly had it’s challenges but I thought Hannah Capin did a GREAT job at intertwining and creating original scenarios while still maintaining their historical references. It wasn’t just the names and places that were similar, but each person’s relationship with Henry, down to his advisors who fed him false information to turn him against his wives, were represented in this book. Once you know the history (as I did with my quick Wikipedia exploration) you have a few aha! moments where you stop and admire the machinations and manipulations the author took to make that reference happen.

Lancaster High had all of the drama and gossip you’d imagine from a high school setting and even though the pace was kind of slow I was surprised at how well the political intrigue of the Tudor court translated into the cliques and capers of high school life. Cleves rides on the edge of any clique although her friendship with Henry puts her in the elite circle. She is blinded for a long while by that friendship, his magnetic personality, and his lies, but the other girls, even though catty and mean, help her see the truth.

Even though The Dead Queen’s Club had a contemporary setting I found myself enjoying it like I do historical fiction, yet it was easy to read and didn’t bog down as some historical fiction does. Cleves was probably one of Henry’s least impressive wives, yet in this novel she was the catalyst for the readers emotions to dip and surge. She was so torn between her “best friend” Henry and this other Henry that her friends were trying to make her see. Who was the real boy? Well, if you know your history you know the answer to that question. But there is so much more to this novel than the historical facts. There are emotions, discoveries, and the realization that people just sometimes suck. The story, however, didn’t. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

I received a free copy of this ARC for my honest review and it was honest!

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“If you are like me and are a fan of The Tudors and every scheming person affiliated with them, chances are you will love this book. It kept me wanting more and I just didn’t want to put it down. Hats off to Hannah Capin who was able to make me love these characters even more than I already did. ” TBR and Beyond

” I didn’t enjoy this read as much as I’d hoped, but that’s more me than the book.  I’m not a big fan of Mean Girls and erratic high school drama, but judging by other reviews, many readers thought The Dead Queens Club was fabulous.  This book is scheduled for publication January 29th, 2019.” Books and Such

Click this link to purchase!*The Dead Queens Club

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read- Anton: A Chicago Blaze Hockey Romance by Brenda Rothert

Anton Petrov, Captain of the Chicago Blaze hockey team, is known for his healthy eating habits, great work ethic, and celibate lifestyle. The first two are what he needs to be a great hockey player but the last is because once he met Mia Marceau he was spoiled for anyone else. Unfortunately, Mia is married to one of his teammates. When he fortuitously runs into Mia tending bar he finds out she and his teammate, while still married, are separated. Wanting to be in her life, even if they are only friends, he starts driving her home when she gets off work late at night and ultimately hires her as caretaker to his uncle. Their attraction catches fire yet she is still married and Anton doesn’t want to cross that line.

Despite the beautiful cover model, Anton is a slow burn novel. Mia’s marriage creates a distance between the two of them and they are both so honorable that until her divorce they remain friends. I loved how their friendship was fully developed before the romance really started. Mia’s marital situation, unsurprisingly has a rather harsh reality so there is plenty of drama in this novel, but it’s balanced really nicely with some humor from Anton’s uncle who is a rather salty old soul.

There were some interesting characters on Anton’s hockey team so if you’re a fan of these romances I think you’ll want to keep track of when the rest of these novels come out. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for you! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

I was given a free ARC of this book for my honest review and it was honest!

BOOK INFORMATION:

**AVAILABLE NOW**  Meet ANTON by Brenda Rothert is now LIVE!
🏒Amazon: https://amzn.to/2zQRnAP🏒Nook: http://bit.ly/2zGlYRg🏒Kobo:  http://bit.ly/2zHRQoz🏒Apple Books: https://apple.co/2APPYtD
Join Brenda’s Reader Group: http://bit.ly/2AZT6UN

Author Bio:

Brenda Rothert is an Illinois native who was a print journalist for nine years. She made the jump from fact to fiction in 2013 and never looked back. From new adult to steamy contemporary romance, Brenda creates fresh characters in every story she tells. She’s a lover of Diet Coke, chocolate, lazy weekends and happily ever afters.

Website: http://brendarothert.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorbrendarothert/Twitter: https://twitter.com/BrendaRothertPinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/brendarothert/Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/user/BrendaRothert
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1TyGXds

Click this link to purchase!*Anton: A Chicago Blaze Hockey Romance

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: What Doesn’t Kill Her (Cape Charade #2) by Christina Dodd

The second novel in the Cape Charade series, What Doesn’t Kill Her continues the story of our heroine Kellen Adams. After finding out she’d had a daughter while in a coma, Kellen, Max and Rae are trying to ease into a family unit. Suffering from PTSD after her years in Afghanistan, Kellen is having the tougher time bonding with her new daughter. Needing a break, she takes a side job delivering an archeological find to a recluse in the wilderness with a man she doesn’t know. On the way, the man tries to kill her, Kellen evades the kill, and finds out her new seven year old daughter Rae has hidden in the back of the van in the hopes of bonding with her mother. Escaping into the wilderness, Kellen and her pink sparkly daughter find out that they are being hunted by two teams of men. One is out to collect the valuable item they are carrying, and the other is out to kill Kellen. This quick trip has suddenly turned into the run for their lives.

Kellen started off so out of her element as a mom, but as she and her daughter evaded capture Kellen found that she did in fact care deeply for this little girl. Kellen’s maternal instincts are slightly skewed from the traumatic events in her past but she does teach Rae some invaluable lessons in self defense that were dramatic and sweet at the same time. Imagine trying to relay to a seven year old girl that they were being hunted by people who were trying to hurt them without scaring the crap out of her. There were some seriously funny conversations between these two that really added a lot of maternal warmth to Kellen’s character. For Kellen, this trip was a boot camp to motherhood.

I really liked Max in Dead Girl Running and he was even more likable as a dad and love interest to Kellen in this novel. He was alpha male enough to want to sweep in and keep his girls safe, but smart enough to let Kellen use her skills and provide her own safety. That’s not to say that he didn’t want to kick ass and take prisoners, but this was a woman who took charge of her own life and didn’t wait for anyone to save her. The two of them were very well balanced and I really enjoyed watching their relationship grow into a romantic one.

What Doesn’t Kill Her was even better than Dead Girl Running, and I loved that novel! There was some great dialog between Rae and Kellen that provided comic relief to what would’ve been a non stop action novel. Those moments of warmth between mother and daughter allowed the reader to build a deeper connection with Kellen, and I cared even more when she and Max reunited as a couple. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next Cape Charade book, Stranger She knows. It can’t come soon enough for me! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

I was given a free ARC of this book for an honest review and it was honest!

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“What makes this book a fun read is, for the most part, the non-stop action and diversity of settings: As the plot progresses, readers witness lots of action, near-misses, and pursuers, and assassins in exciting locations such as vineyards, resorts, and mountain-top lodges – and the chase is always on.” Mystery Tribune

Click this link to purchase!* What Doesn’t Kill Her (Cape Charade)

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate