This Chick Read: Her Last Flight by Beatriz Williams

Her Last Flight tells the story of two women, wartime photographer Janey Everett, and legendary pilot Irene Foster. Told in current time (1947) and in flashbacks to the mid 1920’s, Janey is hunting down the story of Sam Mallory, Irene’s one time teacher and co-pilot. She travels to Hawaii where she has tracked down Irene and hopes to convince her to tell her story.

Historical novels can often be slow and get bogged down in the details of the era in which the story is told. Her Last Flight, taking place in two timelines does a great job of giving you the flavor of those era’s yet doesn’t take time away from the plot by being over descriptive. Because of this, the pace was quick and I found myself speeding through this fascinating novel of these two women.

Janey is tracking down the story of the famous pilot Sam Mallory which is done through Irene’s memories, yet at the same time we are given flashbacks to Janey’s own life and the people who have influenced who she has become. As we read her story we are given hints that she and Irene’s stories have parallels and I read eagerly to see how or if they might intersect.

Did I have a favorite between the two characters? I’ll admit I leaned a little more towards Irene’s story because it was a little more glamorous, despite her life’s hiccups. Janey as the narrator, didn’t lay all of her cards on the table until the end, but with each reveal about her past you realized her’s was the more difficult life and I ended up pulling for her to find her happiness by the end. So, it was kind of a toss up! I liked them both for different reasons.

As a pilot’s daughter myself I was fascinated to read about the early days of flight and how women became involved in it. Irene’s and Sam’s story took place in the 1920’s when the country was recovering from the Great Depression and flying and air shows were a bit like going to the circus At that time; exciting and dangerous. To read how far flight advanced, even in the 25 years told in this story, was also pretty incredible, a point made by Irene’s love of aviation becoming tainted when she realized the damage in Spain from bombs being dropped from planes. A much more modern view of the capabilities technology brings.

There were quite a bit of twists and turns in Her Last Flight, none of which I want to go into as it would spoil your enjoyment of reading this story on your own. I’ll just say that it was deftly done and despite the turbulents the journey was completely enjoyable. I would recommend this story to everyone who loves this genre, it’s not one to be missed. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

I received a copy of this ARC from the publisher through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!

Click this link to purchase!* Her Last Flight: A Novel

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (6/29/2020)

Even though stuck at home, the time has flown and it will be July this week. Wow! I’ve quite a few upcoming ARC’s that I need to read and review so I’ve really concentrated on finished up a few books. I just finished a great one!

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

JUST FINISHED

I just finished this book this afternoon and really enjoyed this story! It’s a historical novel that is very easy to read. Some historical novels slog down but not Her Last Flight. It was very good and I totally got caught up in our heroine’s stories.

Click this link to purchase! Her Last Flight: A Novel

JUST STARTED

As with the book above, this novel comes out this week and is next on my list. I haven’t yet started it but it looks really cute.

Click this link to purchase! Crushing It

I’d love to hear what you all are reading this week let me know in the comments.

Happy Reading!

Deb

This Chick Read: The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner

Just after the end of WWII in the small village of Chawton, England, a small group of villagers decide to honor one of their past residents by creating the Jane Austen Society. Their dream is to restore the small cottage that resides on the Knight estate where Jane Austen once lived and possibly wrote her final novel. Through their love for Jane Austen this disparate group finds solace, love, and hope.

The publisher has compared this novel to The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, and I definitely see the similarities, although this book stays locked in the post war era. The other similarity is the encapsulated feel of living in a small village, knowing the same people through your entire lives, and having those same people know (or think they know) everything about you. The characters in the Jane Austen Society had quite a few surprises in store not just for the reader, but for each other as well!

There were quite a few stories that ran parallel to the main plot as each character is introduced. Frances Knight, the direct descendant of Jane Austen, who’s home was once Jane’s, is one of the most important. As Frances’ story progresses we see her unmasked. What we and the other villagers see as frailty becomes a quiet strength. On the flip side we see a strong opinionated Adeline reveal a quiet uncertainty in the face of re-starting her life after the death of her unborn child. The contrasts between the characters gave the conflict within their own storylines more impact. This tool was actually used more than once, and quite effectively!

As I read their love for Jane Austen’s novels, and those plots, I realized again how books make such a difference in people’s lives. We each see something of ourselves in the characters we’re reading and these characters saw themselves in Darcy, Elizabeth Bennett, and Emma, just as much as I saw pieces of myself in the characters in The Jane Austen Society. Not only does it bring comfort during difficult times but we see our own past errors in some fictional characters which makes us root for them even more.

The Jane Austen Society quietly snuck up on me. I immediately loved the post WWII era, but it took a little more time for me to find my way with one or two of the characters in this novel. Once I was mid-way through the novel I settled into the plot and enjoyed each moment as it was revealed. If you have the patience to invest yourself in this quietly moving novel, I think you’ll reap the rewards of feeling satisfied at the end of this well written book, and who knows, you may see yourself in one or two of these characters as well! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase!* The Jane Austen Society: A Novel

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

This Chick Read: A Dangerous Collaboration (Veronica Speedwell #4) by Deanna Raybourn

At a house party on a secluded island with her partner Stoker and his brother Lord Templeton-Vane, Veronica and Stoker find themselves enmeshed in the mystery of the vanishing bride of their host Malcolm Romilly. This novel intertwines the electric attraction between Stoker and Veronica with the story behind the disappearance of Rosamund. The building tension as they discover each clue and fight their feelings for each other escalates until I was eagerly flipping pages to reach the climax of this story.

As the fourth novel in the series, A Dangerous Collaboration is on the cusp of finally giving the reader what we’ve been waiting for… the end of Veronica and Stoker dancing around their feelings for each other. Well, at least that’s what I’ve been waiting for! Each novel has also had a great mystery for them to solve, and this one is no different. Adding in the personal element of Stoker’s brother Tiberius’ relationship with both the bride and groom and this made for a great whodunnit. However, I continue to eagerly pick up these novels because of the tension filled dialog between our two main characters. This novel did not disappoint in that regard.

I’ve admired Veronica through this series for her modernity, her pursuit of a career, and her intelligence. I’ll admit to being just a little frustrated with her desire to talk herself out of her feelings for Stoker wanting that aspect of this series to speed up. Especially how the last novel ended with their feelings revealed! BUT, this was such a great follow up and true to Veronica’s personality that I can’t stay mad for too long that I didn’t quite get what I’d been looking for from the two of them… I can only hope that day will come soon!

The supporting characters in this book gave this novel a more Agatha Christie feel to the mystery. Unlike the previous novels which were mostly set in a big city, A Dangerous Collaboration was set in a remote island location and the characters were simpler or more country which added charm to what had been a more urban feeling series. I really enjoyed the change of scene and the Clue-like aspect to the mystery. Was Rosamund killed in the observatory with a candlestick? I’ll never tell! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

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

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“This book’s setting is one of the strongest out of the whole series. It’s nice to get out of London proper and explore this remote island besieged by stormy weather and comprised of eccentric locals. I had as much fun with it as Veronica did. ” Where the Words Take Me

If you haven’t had a chance to read this series yet and you’re a fan of murder mysteries, historical fiction, and slow-burn romances, then please do yourself a favor and pick up the first book! A Dangerous Collaboration is the fourth book of this wonderful, thrilling series and I’m highly anticipating the next (and I believe last) installment! ” Paws and Paperbacks

Click this link to purchase!* A Dangerous Collaboration (A Veronica Speedwell Mystery)

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: A Twist in Time (Kendra Donovan #2) by Julie McElwain

A Twist in Time has our FBI Investigator turned time traveler on the hunt after another murderer. This time she travels to London because the Duke of Aldridge’s nephew, Alec is a suspect in the murder of his ex-mistress Lady Dover. Kendra, the Duke, Bow Street Runner Sam Kelly and her lover, Alec have two weeks until the House of Lords decides to try Alec. More importantly, his reputation is on the line and in 1815, reputations are more deadly than the stiletto used in this murder.

This series is so much fun because we are watching a prodigy investigator use her mental skills to catch a killer instead of technology. Socially inept at best, Kendra has to (somewhat) play by society’s rules. Her roll as the ward of the Duke of Aldridge will only get her so far. Her best means of finding out the facts seem to be pissing people off enough to make mistakes. The fact that Alec and she are new lovers adds a little personal tension that makes the scintillating details of his past affair, well, fun!

The Kendra Donovan series has quickly become one of my favorites. I do love a great historical mystery and a time travel mystery scores this author some bonus points in my eyes! If you haven’t tried out the first novel, A Murder in Time, and you enjoy this genre, please give it a try. You won’t regret the time spent, I promise! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

A Twist

Click this link to purchase!* A Twist in Time: A Novel (Kendra Donovan Mysteries)

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserve

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: Bellewether by Susanna Kearsley

Bellewether tells the story of two women living in different times. Lydia Wilde lives with her family during the war in the colonies between the French and the English. During that time if a battle was lost and soldiers surrendered, they would be billeted in homes until they were exchanged for their own soldiers that were being held. Lydia, her father and two brothers “hosted” two French Lieutenants. Charley is in present time and has been hired as historian and curator of the house Lydia lived in with her family. that will soon be a museum. As Charley unearths historical facts about the family that lived in that house, Lydia’s story is told. When Charley hears about a forbidden love story between Lydia and one of the French Lietenants, she wants to make their story part of the museum.

I loved the back and forth between Charley revealing a new item and Lydia’s history playing out. It was so easy to fall in love with both of these women and watch them live through very similar emotions. Susanna Kearsley writes as a historian. You read the descriptions of the clothing they are wearing and can fell the weave of the cloth running through your own fingers. She has a real talent. Both heroines had stories unfold in a very loving and gentle manner, dealing with grief in different ways. Charley’s story was more humorous as she is helped along by a spirit and Lydia’s a little more stoic as being the only female managing a family of men. What they had in common was heart, each defined by their own circumstances but at their core very similar.

I love the flow of a Susanna Kearsley novel. They’re not something you speed through, but savor slowly. The language unfolds and every sideways look has a meaning. She has a deft hand with description and doesn’t get bogged down with the details in a sewing basket. You are able to enjoy the story without needing to skim through pages. I was enmeshed in the story and actually wanted a few more chapters of Lydia’s story to end the book. That is the sign of a good book! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

I was given an ARC of this book through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!

Bellewether

Click this link to purchase!*

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read : Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Salt to the Sea is an emotionally charged WWII epic drama about a group of people who were fleeing Germany and came together out of chance. Told from four viewpoints, three from this group of travelers, and one from a German soldier, we see the different sides to this war. Continue reading “This Chick Read : Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys”

This Chick Read: Baron (The Knickerbocker Club #2) by Joanna Shupe

Set in New York City during the Industrial Age, Baron tells the story of millionaire Will Sloan and Ava Jones. What set this story apart from other historical romances was the setting, the class structure, and the gritty details of New York during this time in history. Will Sloan was a rather arrogant guy at the beginning of this story. He’s running for office and Ava Jones, a medium, could be the one to stand in his way. Will’s attitude towards people in a lesser class definitely needed adjusting, and through his budding relationship with Ava, he begins to see what the lower classes must do to live. It was refreshing to see the man in a romance learn a life lesson and see the changes he makes to his life because of it. Continue reading “This Chick Read: Baron (The Knickerbocker Club #2) by Joanna Shupe”

This Chick Read: Storm and Silence (Storm and Silence #1) by Robert Thier

In one of my favorite scenes in this book, Lilly Linton, dressed as a man because women do not yet have the right to vote, stops outside a polling place to give advice to a stranger about a house he was thinking of buying in her neighborhood. The man, businessman Rikkard Ambrose, is so impressed with this young man’s willingness to help and give good advice, offers him a job. No, really, he forces the job offer on Lilly.  She takes his card and kind of shrugs it off, after all, she is off to vote! Continue reading “This Chick Read: Storm and Silence (Storm and Silence #1) by Robert Thier”

My Interview with Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie authors of America’s First Daughter


Stephanie and Laura, thank you so much for taking the time to answer a few questions for my blog about yourselves, and your new book America’s First Daughter.

ME: You both have successful careers as authors in a different genre, romance. Where and how did the idea come up to make the leap and collaborate on a historical fiction novel, and how was Patsy Jefferson chosen as the subject matter?

SD/LK: This novel, which explores the life and times of Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph, the eldest daughter of our third president, was years in the making. It started one night when we were having dinner together and discovered a mutual interest in American history. Over burgers at a writing conference, we wondered what Jefferson was like as a father, not just a founding father.

At the time, Laura was a history of professor by day teaching senior seminars on Jefferson at the U.S. Naval Academy as well as a romance author by night, whereas Stephanie split her writing time between romance and historical fiction. We got the crazy brainchild to combine our experiences in co-authoring a book about Jefferson’s eldest daughter, and immediately raced back to the hotel room to research. Frankly, we had no idea the journey we were about to embark upon. We didn’t know that it would take five years, three agents, eighteen thousand letters and a road trip to get this book out.

But we did know, right from that very first night, that we had stumbled upon a great untold American story.

Continue reading “My Interview with Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie authors of America’s First Daughter”