This Chick Read: A Murder in Time (Kendra Donovan #1) by Julie McElwain

Our heroine Kendra Donovan is an FBI profiler. She is on the task force that is taking down two drug kingpins when she finds out her team was undermined from the inside, men on her team killed, and one of the criminals goes free.  Kendra goes rogue and decides to take care of this criminal herself. She tracks him down to a castle in England but before she can kill him she gets thrown back in time to the 1800’s where another murder quickly takes place. Is this the reason why she has traveled through time?

Another book blogger wrote about being excited that the third novel is coming out soon and made me curious enough to look this one up. THANK YOU! I’m sorry I can’t remember who you are, but this was a fabulous recommendation! A time traveler mystery is a bit of a stretch but this author set it up so well. Kendra was a child prodigy and is quite young, only in her early 20’s when she gets thrown back in time. Thank goodness because she’s not seen as an old maid. She is briefly thrown by the time traveling, but kind of rolls with it hoping she can find her way home again. It does help that the Duke whose castle she finds herself in was progressive and a scientist of sorts and is fascinated by this brilliant young woman. When the first young woman shows up dead Kendra puts her profiler skills to work and the Duke puts his societal standing behind her giving her gravitas, and allows her to investigate. I love it when a woman enthralls men with her intelligence instead of her beauty!

A Murder in Time is part mystery with a hint of romance. The Duke is not Kendra’s romantic partner, but instead it’s his nephew that she ensnares. The tension between the two of them is intense but really the story revolves around solving the mystery of who among their peers is the killer. This novel held my interest and truly I didn’t want to put it down.

If you love a good mystery and don’t mind a little time traveling, then please pick up this book! I do not think you’ll be disappointed. The great news is that the second is available in book stores and the third is being released soon. Yeah! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

A Murder

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

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*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

Blog Tour and Review! The Daughter of River Valley by Victoria Cornwall

The Daughter of River Valley Full Banner

SYNOPSIS:

The Daughter of River Valley

Beth Jago appears to have the idyllic life, she has a trade to earn a living and a cottage of her own in Cornwall’s beautiful River Valley. Yet appearances can be deceptive …

Beth has a secret. Since inheriting her isolated cottage she has been receiving threats, so when she finds a man in her home she acts on her instincts. One frying pan to the head and she has robbed the handsome stranger of his memory and almost killed him.

Brought together by unknown circumstances, and fearful he may die, she reluctantly nurses the intruder back to health. Yet can she trust the man with no name who has entered her life, or is he as dangerous as his nightmares suggest? As they learn to trust one another, the outside threats worsen. Are they linked to the man with no past? Or is the real danger still outside waiting … and watching them both?

The Daughter of River Valley

REVIEW:

The Daughter of River Valley is a true romantic historical novel. Written with descriptive prose, Victoria Cornwall imbues her characters with the language of Cornwall and the proper spoken language of that historical period. It has been awhile since I have read a true historical novel and once I got used to the flow of her words, I enjoyed the moving story of these two characters.

Beth Jago was an independent woman before independence was allowed for women. The fact that she wanted to work and survive alone without leaning on a man gave her character a modernity that enabled me to identify with her. When she finds an intruder in her home and knocks him over the head she definitely creates a rocky start to their relationship. His lost memory means that he doesn’t know who he is, but his feelings for Beth grow and they soon create a partnership that goes beyond the bounds of border and caretaker. With Beth, he finally finds a happiness he hasn’t felt in a long time, a happiness that he wants to continue.

This novel is not just a sweeping historical drama, there is also a bit of a mystery. It becomes apparent that someone is watching Beth’s cabin and Beth isn’t sure if it has to do with her secret she’s been keeping or if it is someone from the village. This small bit of tension escalates and helps move the plot forward quickly reaching a satisfactory conclusion to both the mystery and their relationship.

If you enjoy true historical’s then you should pick up The Daughter of River Valley. It’s sweeping tale will take your imagination on an adventurous journey to the Cornwall countryside. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

I received a copy of this book for my honest review and it was honest.

To purchase this book, please click the link:

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Daughter-River-Valley-Cornish-Tales-ebook/dp/B07DHWTH5T

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Victoria Cornwall. Profile Picture JPG (1)

Victoria Cornwall can trace her Cornish roots as far back as the 18th century and it is this background and heritage which is the inspiration for her Cornish based novels.

Victoria’s writing has been shortlisted for the New Talent Award at the Festival of Romantic Fiction and her debut novel reached the final for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Joan Hessayon Award.

Victoria likes to read and write historical fiction with a strong background story, but at its heart is the unmistakable emotion, even pain, of loving someone.

She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

Social Media Links –

Website: http://victoriacornwall.com/

Blog: http://victoriacornwall.com/news-blog-2/

Facebook (Author Page if you have one): https://www.facebook.com/victoriacornwall.author/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/VickieCornwall

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16069968.Victoria_Cornwall

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/vickiecornwall/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/victoria_cornwallx/

This Chick Read: Hello Stranger (The Ravenels #4) by Lisa Kleypas

Lisa Kleypas continues to deliver unusual but extremely likable main characters who may be different than main stream society but have a real-ness that readers can relate to and root for. Dr. Garrett Gibson is the first female physician in England. She works for my favorite Welsh department store owner Rhys Winterbourne and has doctored some of our past heroines, so is a familiar sideline character. In Hello Stranger, Garrett gets rocked out of her steady clinical world when Ethan Ransom, ex-Scotland Yard investigator, steps in to help her fight some men hassling her as she’s walking home through a bad neighborhood after work. His offer to help train her in self defense puts them at close quarters and of course their chemistry sizzles. However, Ethan is in the middle of an investigation and doesn’t want to endanger Garrett so tries to leave her be, but fate keeps throwing her in his path.

I love how this authors heroines are unusual for their time. Always smart and in this instance an educated doctor, not your typical society miss. Garrett is a bit stoic and cool, not used to the more passionate emotions but she is so well balanced by Ethan! He has got to be the most romantic historical male I’ve read in quite a long while. As it turns out, he has Irish roots and I don’t know if the author was trying to portray his Irish-ness with a poetic side, but wow. I’m married to an Irishman and I wish he spoke so poetically to me about his feelings! Ethan was a man’s man, yet was definitely not afraid of showing how he felt. If I were Garrett, he would’ve rocked my world too.

This was another fun novel by Lisa Kleypas. Was it my favorite of hers? No. Though I did enjoy these characters and learning about the difficulties Garrett had as a female doctor in a man’s world, even if learning about it in a historical romance, was eye opening.

I can’t wait for West Ravenels book. He was very present in Hello Stranger and he was hilarious! His romance is going to be worth the wait. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

Hello

Click this link to purchase! Hello Stranger: The Ravenels, Book 4

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved.

This Chick Read: The Laird (Castle Blackstone #1) by Sandy Blair

Duncan MacDougall, Laird of Castle Blackstone was cursed to haunt the castle until he finds a woman that he could love and make her fall in love with him in his own time. When Beth Pudding inherits Castle Blackstone and finds it haunted she doesn’t shrink away. Raised in foster care, this is the first home she has had that is her own. If it’s haunted she’ll just get to know the ghost and hopefully they can live together companionably. As she proves her mettle Duncan thinks she may be the one to break him from his curse and slides his family ring onto her finger. She travels back in time until she finds herself the bride of Duncan in his own time.

There were several things I liked about this novel. First is our heroine Beth. She has never been loved. She has serious self esteem issues from her years in foster care. She was always passed over for adoption and one of her foster parents made her feel bad about her looks. She was not the beautiful heroine who gets transported back in time and because of her beauty is loved by all. This was a girl who had to work for everything. She worked hard at her job and rose up through the ranks in catering because of that hard work. Duncan saw those attributes in modern time, but when she transported back it was her looks that people talked about, until she started to prove herself again through hard work. I liked Beth a lot. The second thing I liked was that it was a time travel novel. Those are fun! If the characters are bright, they take their knowledge from modern times and use them to better their surroundings. Beth did this and it made everyone love her. The third thing I liked was Duncan. It didn’t take him long to see her for her worth. He was also a handsome Scottish guy in a kilt which doesn’t hurt a romance at all!

I love discovering older books that have several novels in the series out. This book was written in 2016 so now that I know I like the writing I get to play catch up with the series, yay!

❤️❤️❤️❤️

The Laird

Click this link to purchase! The Laird (Castle Blackstone) (Volume 1)

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

This Chick Read: Out of the Ordinary (Apart from the Crowd #2) by Jen Turano

Gertrude Cadawalder and Harrison Sinclair were introduced in Behind the Scenes, Jen Turano’s first book in the Apart from the Crowd series. Gertrude is a paid companion to Mrs. Davenport, who has a horrible habit of stealing trinkets from hostesses, leaving Gertrude to find a way to return them without that theft becoming known. A job that is way above her pay grade! Mrs. Davenport also thinks herself something of a clothing designer using Gertrude as her runway model and unfortunately making her unpopular with society’s upper crust. This lack of being dressed to society’s standards is something Harrison shares with Gertrude as he is somewhat color blind, always pairing the most unfortunate colors and patterns. However, his wealth and overall good looks more than make up for the fact that he dresses like a clown.

When Harrison throws their good friends an engagement party and invites Mrs. Davenport her nimble fingers unfortunately go to work and she steals a few of his sisters belongings. Gertrude, when returning those items gets caught and his mother throws her into jail. While defending her to his mother, Harrison finally begins to see Gertrude as more than a friendly aquaintance.

Jen Turano writes with such warmth and humor that it makes enjoying her novels very easy. As an Inspirational Romance writer she deftly ties faith into the story so that it pairs naturally with what is happening in that moment, and except for the innocent nature of the “romance” I wouldn’t know I was reading an inspirational novel. I have really enjoyed this series and if you are looking for a fun, witty novel that is light in nature but not in plot, you need to pick up one of her novels. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Out of the Ordinary Click this link to purchase! Out of the Ordinary (Apart From the Crowd) Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

This Chick Read: His Wicked Charm (The Mad Morelands #6) by Candace Camp

What do you get when you combine a conservative young woman in regency dress with a charming scamp? A lively and fun historical romance novel by Candace Camp! Constantine Moreland is handsome and almost too charming for his own good. His flirtatious personality makes him very well liked by the ladies, with the exception of Lila Norcutt. However, his twin brother just married her best friend so they are paired together more than she’d like. When his mother and sisters end up being kidnapped while at a suffragette rally, Lila joins Con in the hunt to rescue them and ends up loosening up her corset strings and actually having fun with the man she professes to hate.

I found His Wicked Charm to be a lot of fun to read. It wasn’t a very serious historical romance (thank god!) and I was able to just relax and read it in an afternoon. Although Con’s personality annoyed Lila at the outset of this novel, he was the perfect remedy for a gloomy Saturday afternoon. Luckily Lila changed her tune and started to relish the chemistry that she and Con had and their romps through the countryside turned into a different kind of romp altogether!

I have not read any of the other books in this series but the characters do all seem to be a bit mad, or at least different for the time period. It seems that they each have a different psychic gift which may make their romantic pairings a bit more interesting. I liked this novel and am willing to give another Mad Moreland a try! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

His Wicked Charm

Click this link to purchase! His Wicked Charm (The Mad Morelands)

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

Do You Want to Start a Scandal (Castles Ever After) by Tessa Dare

Charlotte Highwood is blessed with a mother who loves her very much, but that same mother is also determined to see her married well, throwing her into one awkward situation after another. Charlotte is determined that her mother’s newest prospect will not end up being forced to marry her because her mother has maneuvered a “situation”. When Charlotte sneaks away to have a word with Piers Brandon, Lord Granville, and warn him, I and Piers are immediately charmed by her efforts. Charlotte, in her haste to make him aware that she is not trying to trap him, tells him she’d never find him attractive and he’s not her type. He’s intrigued and I’m laughing at the clever dialog and scene that Tessa Dare has written. The scene is not unusual, but she imbues Charlotte with a naive exuberance that you can’t help but find charming, and Piers definitely does.

As I was reading this novel, I realized that I had actually read Say Yes to the Marquess, the sequel to this one where Rafe, Piers’ brother, falls in love with Piers’ fiancee of many years. Say Yes.. was my first Tessa Dare novel in quite awhile and I think it’s fate that another blogger recommended I read Do You Want to Start a Scandal, the next in the series. That moment of recognition, when Piers’ identity is revealed along with the fact that his brother stole his last fiancee, made Piers immediately interesting. Tying those two histories together made his rather cool demeanor have meaning. That demeanor was a mask for his activities, and the fact that he dropped that mask for Charlotte made me like him for her.

This was a fun novel, and the fact that I fell into the plot so easily showed Tessa Dare’s talent for weaving a charming romantic tale. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Do You Want Click this link to purchase! Do You Want to Start a Scandal (Castles Ever After) Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: The Reasons I Read Romance Novels

How many times have you hidden the cover of the romance novel you are reading from your friends, family, boyfriend and/or husband because you were embarrassed by the shirtless male or couple embracing on the cover of your book? E-books have taken that embarrassment away a bit, but still there’s that stigma. No one has ever said to me, you read romance novels? Me too! Even though I know I am not alone in loving this genre.

When I started my blog 2 1/2 years ago, I’ll admit that I had to have a conversation with my inner romance novel lover and decide to hell with it. My friends, husband, co-workers, mother, and for gods sake – my brother all subscribe to my blog. Get over your inhibitions and just read what you want to read and write what you want to write, right?!! Exactly! Even having come to grips with it myself, there is still a stigma attached that makes me slightly embarrassed still. So let’s discuss what exactly bothers me, you or any man or woman that likes to read romances but remains slightly ashamed.

  • The covers- This is the biggest reason why people make fun of romance novels and I believe, also the biggest reason for the stigma. Throughout the years there have been trends in romance covers. If you read historical novels, you may remember Fabio being famous for gracing the cover of too too many of them. When romance books are mentioned I think this is the first image in everyone’s minds. Regardless of the fact that you may be reading Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, which is also a romance novel. Why is it so horrible to have period couture on couples or a naked male chest on a cover? I know publishers are trying to catch a readers eye and some readers LOVE seeing a handsome man on the cover.  There seems to be a trend away from these types of covers. I know a lot of historical romance novels now only have a woman alone on the cover, or a man. I read an interview with a popular contemporary author who says she doesn’t like to use cover models because she wants people to use their imagination. I like that!

Do You Want Hooking UpFrom Lukov

  • Let’s address the fluff factor. Just as there are many different types of people in this world, there are also many different types of authors. We have various competency levels from horrible to excellent. This goes for any genre. I have read my share of great lighthearted romances as well as very realistic historically accurate romance novels. Yes, some can be cheesy, but those same cheesy romances do their job. What’s their purpose? To create a fantasy for the reader to leave their life behind them and enjoy someone else’s happily ever after. Let’s face it. Life can be really hard and well, sometimes it really sucks! I think there is nothing better than curling up in bed at the end of a tough day with a romance novel. If it’s one of the better authors out there I may even learn something! (get your minds out of the gutter!) Diana Gabaldon has a Ph.D. in Science. Do you really think she didn’t use her knowledge and research skills when writing Outlander? Yes, she is the supreme example, but I’m sure the wonderful Lisa Kleypas puts just as much thought and research into one of her own novels. She just doesn’t give us chapters of descriptive prose and gets to the story pretty quickly. My point is that romance novels gives their reader a break from a reality that involves things like school shootings. Give me a romance novel ANY day over a news story like that…
  • Do women need a man to save them? Can we not save ourselves? Why yes we can Hillary Clinton! I mention Hillary because she said in an interview that ‘men and women gather abusive attitudes from reading romance novels about “women being grabbed and thrown on a horse and ridden off into the distance.”’ Hillary, you are THE woman! But, in this case you are also missing the point, big time! In my everyday life where I am the breadwinner in my family and in the past have managed a team of people with the goal of hitting budgets I need to relieve some stress! So, yes, I do love to read about an Alpha male who takes charge, wants to protect his woman from harm, and not let her pay for anything. That is my fantasy to not be the responsible person. There is no harm in reading about that type of man. Has reading about these types of men made me think I can’t go on without having someone else take charge? Nope.

Heath Ledger

  • Sex or no Sex? Yes, romance novels typically have an abundance of sex. Sometimes, when the mood is right, the sex is good. LOL. Other times, I skim the sex scenes because what I need is to read about a relationship that works. Some authors cater to readers who just want to read the sex scenes. That’s fine, but those aren’t the types of novels I prefer. I love great characters who fall in love. I love the build up of a relationship whether they are enemies and become lovers, or friends to lovers, or strangers to lovers. I like all the tropes that give me great characters who fall in love. Why? It solidifies what I already know. A great relationship brings happiness and fulfillment to your life. The End.

So there you have it. My reasons for reading romance novels. I bet they don’t differ that much from your own!

Do you agree with what I said above? Have your own reasons for reading romance novels that you’d like to share with me? I’d love to hear it!

Until next Sunday,

Deb (but I also read Fantasy, Mysteries, YA, etc…)

This Chick Read: A Treacherous Curse (Veronica Speedwell #3) by Deanna Raybourn

When a previous expedition partner of Stoker’s goes missing details from his past threaten to make headlines again, stoking those old flames of gossip. Veronica Speedwell is determined to investigate this mystery and keep Stoker’s name and heart from being dragged through the mud again. As they traverse the Egyptian curse that seems to have followed the Ankheset exhibition to London they unravel not only the mystery, but also the intricacy of their friendship.

There are many reasons why the Veronica Speedwell series strikes a chord with me. Even though set in Victorian times, a somewhat prudish era where women are still entrapped by societies rules and station, Veronica is a modern woman. She and Stoker are business partners in life as well as in their investigations. She is outspoken and loves to shock Stoker with pithy statements and fantasies about the male form, and has great wit, charm and a dry sense of humor. She is a woman that I really enjoy reading about. As she and Stoker investigate the disappearance of his previous partner and the curse of the Egyptian exhibition that he had been traveling with (that has now come to London), Veronica’s inner lioness comes out as protector to Stoker’s fallen hero. A Treacherous Curse is a very fine tooled mystery but also we are given insight into the feelings Veronica and Stoker have for each other in a couple of very emotionally moving scenes that I honestly didn’t know these two characters had inside them.

A Treacherous Curse, although set in Victorian London, is uniquely flavored with all things Egyptian. When finding a tomb can mean instant fortune, and also fame for those who uncover those treasures. Although a different era, I had visions of Indiana Jones running through my head while getting to know some of these new over the top adventurers, which was tremendous fun. The pace of the story seemed a little quicker than the previous two novels only slowing down to a simmer for the introspective thoughts Veronica had regarding Stoker. This was my favorite novel of the three so far, and I truly liked the other two! A perfect mix of action, adventure and yes, a glimmer of  a future romance. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

A Treacherous Curse Click this link to purchase! A Treacherous Curse (A Veronica Speedwell Mystery) Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved