This Chicks Sunday Commentary: My Top 5 Reviewed Novels of 2017 by Genre (Adult)

Reading through all of my fellow bloggers 2017 In Review blogs inspired me to create my own. However, looking back through all of my reviews for 2017 and picking the top books is almost an impossibility! I decided to try for a more organized approach hoping it would help me narrow things down a bit. I chose to separate by genre. I had to! There were too many great books!

Here are my Top 5 books of 2017 by Genre. Please click each title to read my review!

Contemporary Romance:

Some Kind of Magic by Mary Ann Marlowe

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I picked out this book because of a fun cover, and got so much more! Depth, emotion, story, and characters I genuinely liked. I cared for these characters and rooted for them to find happiness, and when they did, It Was Some Kind of Magic!”

Kulti by Mariana Zapata

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“Sal was so surprised at their relationship, and the fact that this man wanted to be her friend that she wore blinders to the fact that he was deeply in love with her. Totally clueless and I loved her for that.  And him. After a rough start Rey ended up being my dream guy too.’

The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman

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“I couldn’t believe this was Abbi Waxman’s debut novel. Lili’s voice was solid, funny, exasperating, sad and sarcastic. I laughed out loud multiple times and also cried softly as Lili struggled to find her way after the loss of her husband in a tragic accident. The fact that Lili finds that path while taking a gardening class is a great analogy for how each moment in life starts with a seed.”

Lost and Found Sisters by Jill Shalvis

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“I loved this novel. Allowing Quinn to work through her emotions about her sister Beth’s death while finding a new sister who would not replace but help bring out those feelings of love and belonging again was balanced so well. Added to the slow pace of her growing feelings for Mick complemented the other half of the plot. Well, it all just struck a perfect note for me.”

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

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“This book is so much more intricate than the premise leads you to believe. The tension is unbelievable and Josh is just YUM. To think that this is Sally Thorne’s first novel is pretty surprising. This book may not have been on your radar and I certainly never heard of it before, but I will definitely be keeping my eyes peeled for a new release from this author. If you love enemies to friend stories-read this book, it is great! “

FANTASY- (adult)My favorite genre to read, and I read some awesome fantasy books this year. It’s so hard to narrow down my favorites, but here goes! Continue reading “This Chicks Sunday Commentary: My Top 5 Reviewed Novels of 2017 by Genre (Adult)”

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This Chick Read: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Amor Towles has written an elegantly worded story about Alexander Rostov, an aristocrat who was sentenced to house arrest in the grand Metropol hotel in Moscow. Set in 1922 when being an aristocrat was considered dangerous to the new Bolshevik regime, this fascinating glimpse into life at that time captured my heart, as did Alexander Rostov. 

You may think Alexander’s life would be encapsulated, and in some ways it was. He couldn’t leave the Metropol, but as it was located across the street from the Kremlin, everyone at some point passed through its doors. Alexander, used to living in the upper eschelon of society, did have to make changes. Gone were the large room of suites he had inhabited before his sentence. He was now relegated to life in a room the size of a closet. However, his life was really lived outside of his rooms. He dined in the beautiful restaurants in the hotel and his family became the people who worked and stayed in the hotel. His culture and charm are completely alien to the age we live in now, but the wording was so descriptive that I could easily visualize it, although I’ll admit to seeing it’s scenes in black and white, with Cary Grant cast as Alexander.

The true heart in this story were in the relationships he built with the people around him. Nina, a young girl of six at the beginning of this book was his adventurous friend who led him on a journey of secret passageways and scientific experiments. His friend Mischa, who came and went from the hotel bringing news about the outside world and the political changes Russia was going through. Anna, an actress that he builds a longstanding relationship with, Marina, the seamstress and friend, and his evolving relationship with the Maitre’d and chef at the restaurant who eventually become his best friends. Sophia, however was the relationship that helped Alexander evolve beyond a gentleman into a father. Their relationship at times touched and broke my heart.

I listened to the audio for this book and while it was long, Nicholas Guy Smith’s voice wove this tale and did justice to the beautiful prose. The story of Russia’s growth from a monarchy to communism was a part of history that I wasn’t that familiar but became enraptured. I will definitely be looking for more books from this era.  ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️


Click the link to purchase this book!  A Gentleman in Moscow: A Novel

Copyright 2017 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

This Chick Read: Why Do Dukes Fall in Love? (Dukes Behaving Badly #4) by Megan Frampton

Indeed, why does anyone fall in love? Michael, the Duke of Hadlow is way too busy being Duke-ish to concentrate on his love life. He is determined to not rest on his Duke-ish laurels and spends most of his time in business pursuits. He doesn’t have patience for small talk or common courtesies, so going to a ball and meeting a woman isn’t high on his list. Lucky for him, a woman, in the guise of a much needed secretary falls in his lap. Edwina, recently widowed and needing to support she and her daughter Gertrude, interview for the position of the Duke of Hadlow’s secretary. Edwina, having invested her previous husbands money successfully before her brother in law mis-managed and lost it all, is very bright. A trait that the Duke finds extremely attractive. Of course, the fact that she is gorgeous doesn’t work against her either. To give the Duke credit though, it is her mind he is the most attracted to and the fact that she isn’t offended by his discourteous disposition.

I’m sure the names Edwina and Gertrude were common names historically, however, it did seem odd to me that their names seemed old fashioned yet, the Duke’s name was the more current and very common Michael. Ok, does this have anything to do with the plot or whether I liked or disliked the book? Not really, other than it was jarring to hear the name Michael in concert with the names Edwina and Gertrude. But, I’m letting myself get sidetracked… I liked quite a few things about this novel.

  1. Edwina, although gorgeous, was liked because she had a brain. Very unusual for this time!
  2. Gertrude at six, had quite a few things in common with the Duke. They were both impolite, asked too many questions, and weren’t concerned with how others perceived them.
  3. I loved how when Edwina would teach Gertrude how to be polite, use please and thank you, consider how she would like to be treated as how she should treat others… The Duke was learning at the same time. Kind of a reverse pygmalion.
  4. Edwina, decided to give in to her widowy (word?) rights. You betcha. She was going to sleep with the Duke!

There was a bit of humor in the telling of Edwina and Michael’s ( don’t their names sound funny?) story.  There was a LOT of passion. The Duke, although insensitive, did learn and get less insensitive. He also (finally) saw Edwina’s worth and fought for her. As the hero should in all historical romances! This was my first novel by Megan Frampton and I liked her writing style! I also love a happy ending, and by the end of the book, I definitely knew why this particular Duke fell in love. ❤️❤️❤️


Click the link to purchase!  Why Do Dukes Fall in Love?: A Dukes Behaving Badly Novel

Copyright 2017 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: Has Anyone Read…?

Don’t you just hate when you have read a great book and the ending was so controversial or confusingand you just want to talk about it with someone and NO ONE HAS READ IT? I know, it’s happened to all of us. In fact, this is one of the reasons I became a blogger! However, in my reviews I rarely give away the ending or talk about a twist. So, how do we talk about anything and everything in a book?

 In the comments section of a book discussion post. 

I will occassionally write a post that is intended to be a discussion about a book that I hope someone else has read and had the same questions, or has had different questions and has been dying to discuss with someone! These will fall on Sundays and I’ll title them Has Anyone Read… because I just need to discuss this book! 

Has anyone read A Gentleman from Moscow? I loved this book and will also be posting a review but wanted to talk about it with people. There were so many things that made me think! FYI- I will be talking about the ending of this book so if you haven’t read this wonderful novel please don’t spoil it for yourself. STOP HERE!

  1. Alexander Rostov- a Count by birth and up to the start of this book had a privileged upbringing, wrote a poem that was political in nature, and was put under house arrest in a hotel in Moscow for the rest of his life. Harsh!  Here’s my first question. Alexander seemed to accept this punishment as his due. He never fought it or tried to just wander out the door for an adventure. If you were imprisoned in a hotel would you react as he did? 
  2. He befriends a female child while she and her father were living in the hotel. Nina appears briefly as a teenager then a young adult. Suddenly, she appears and drops off her daughter Sophia at the hotel to live with Alexander. Then she drops off the face of the earth. We never hear what happened to her? Did I miss something? Did she die? Did she just abandon her daughter? 
  3. I loved how Anna came into Alexander’s life again and again. Why did he never reveal his relationship with her? He was a gentleman so did he think he was protecting her? After all, in that age (1920-late1940’s) society probably wouldn’t look very favorably on her for involving herself with an unmarried man confined to a hotel. 
  4. I loved the ending of this book. I loved the comparisons to Casablanca and how the Count outmaneuvered everyone so that Sophia could ask for asylum from the US embassy while in Paris. But then what happened to her? Are we to assume that she never saw the Count again? That she would give up her papa? I didn’t see that one coming! What do you think happened to her?
  5. Who was the woman at the end of the book? I’m assuming it was Anna who stood up from the chair, but it also could’ve been Sophia? It could have been the very absent Nina too. But I think it was Anna. Oh, what a great ending, I just wish it had been more definitive!

Has anyone else read this book? Do you have any thoughts about what I wrote above? Do you have any topics that you’d like to discuss about A Gentleman From Moscow? Speak up! Let’s discuss this fabulous book! 

Until next Sunday,

Deb


 Click this link to purchase!  A Gentleman in Moscow: A Novel

This Chick Read: A Purely Private Matter (Rosalind Thorne Mysteries #2) by Darcie Wilde

Rosalind Thorne was brought up a young lady comfortable living in the upper eschelon of English Society. However, due to some unfortunate circumstances (her father swindled money and ran away) she is left living on the edge of society, still accepted but only as a companion. She makes her living giving advice and investigating matters for women, using her connections to maneuver through somewhat murky circumstances. In A Purely Private Matter, a friend introduces a woman to her whose husband is suing her for having an affair, one that she says she didn’t have. Rosalind, while investigating her claim finds herself in the center of an unsavory murder mystery and a partner of sorts to  Bow Street runner Adam Harkness.

I am really enjoying this series. It’s a little slower paced than I’m used to, however, the intricacies of society are fascinating. Rosalind, having been brought up comfortably, is adept at using her influence and is skilled at asking questions and putting all of the pieces together. She is paired up again with runner Adam Harkness, and we are given some insight into his hesitations at taking their relationship further because of the differences in their background. Her childhood sweatheart Devon, the Duke of something or other (I can’t remember, sorry!) is also still in the picture and Rosalind is torn between the two men. She is also almost single handedly figuring out the puzzle of who is the murderer. This novel has a slow wit and charm and the characters are unique and interesting. I’m definitely interested in reading the third novel.  ❤️❤️❤️❤️


Click link to purchase! A Purely Private Matter (Rosalind Thorne Mystery, A)

Copyright 2017 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

This Chick Read: The Irish Warrior by Kris Kennedy

The Irish Warrior is a historical romance with a smart and sassy heroine named Senna. Senna was a modern woman born in the wrong era.  When her father starts gambling away their money Senna starts a business breeding sheep to create a strain of very durable wool.  She is just able to keep up with the debtors demands with her lucrative business but wants to take it to the next level, which is unusual in a time when women weren’t more than chattel. Senna reaches out to Lord Rardove, in Ireland, seeking a business partner for her sheep venture. When she arrives in Ireland, she finds an evil man who plans to take her hostage and marry her because she is the daughter of the last Wishme dye master. A dye that creates a beautiful blue color, but also when in powder form creates an explosive. He plans to use that explosive to defeat the Irish and gain favor with his king.  Senna is no shy miss and is determined to not fall prey to his plans. She meets eyes across the room with an Irish Rebel captive, Finian o’Melaghlin, chief councilor to the O’Fail king, and determines that she will help him escape if he will help her get back to England. Finian accepts her help, but has a plan of his own.

This book started off quick, the characters easy to define as good or evil, and Senna and Finian had an instant connection and were very easy to like. Senna was a lady, and Finian treated her as one, but also treated her as an equal partner in crime. This was no bodice ripper, but a historical romance with a slow building relationship. Kris Kennedy filled the pages with clever dialogue and two characters who had a rapport that jumped off the pages. This time in history told from an Irish perspective, was particularly fascinating. Whether Senna could or couldn’t make the Wishme dye, the fate of Ireland, and  Senna and Finian’s relationship all contributed to an exciting storyline that I stayed up reading from start to finish.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

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Click link to purchase! The Irish Warrior

Copyright 2017 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

This Chick’s Sunday #Giveaway #3! 

Today we are traveling home from our vacation. It was fun being away, but we are ready to be at home, missing our dog Nash, and our cat Sam. Did they survive with our pet sitters? I’m sure everything went fine! Tomorrow we are back at work and going back to our normal routine, but wait! I have one last celebratory giveaway? Lets take a look at what’s in this last box.

BOOKS:

Love Between the Lines– Adult Coloring book for book lovers


Fall in love all over again with this adult coloring book featuring 45 hand-drawn illustrations inspired by romance novels from bestselling writers Colleen Hoover, Anna Todd, S.C. Stephens, Abbi Glines, K. Bromberg, Jodi Ellen Malpas and more. Sit back, grab your pens and markers, and get ready to explore LOVE BETWEEN THE LINES.

In the pages of this book you will find:
· Designs to help you relax and reduce stress

· Hidden images and book quotes

· Each design printed on a separate page

· Elaborate drawings as well as quickie pages for when you just have a few minutes to color

Illustrations inspired by the works of:
Anna Todd, Jodi Ellen Malpas, Colleen Hoover, S.C. Stephens, Abbi Glines, K. Bromberg, Claire Contreras, Jillian Dodd, Amy Harmon, Tiffany King, R.K. Lilley, Molly McAdams, Tara Sivec, Alessandra Torre, Mia Sheridan, J. Sterling, Katy Evans, Emma Chase, S.L. Jennings, K.A. Linde, Beth Ehemann, Tarryn Fisher, Karina Halle, Helena Hunting, Leisa Rayven, Madeline Sheehan, Harper Sloan, and K. A. Tucker
A Sky Full of Stars by Samantha Chase


He’s always looked to the stars

Now she’s the brightest light in his universe.

Brilliant astrophysicist Dr. Owen Shaughnessy feels more connected to the cosmos than to people. He’s great with calculations, but when he leads a team of scientists to study a famous meteor shower, he doesn’t factor in his free-spirited artist assistant Brooke Matthews.
Polar opposites in personality, the friction between Owen and Brooke threatens to derail the project. But the beauty and mystery of the night sky draw them together—and she’s going to surprise him in ways the stars never could.
The Spinster’s Guide to Scandalous Behavior by Jennifer McQuiston


Free-spirited Lucy Westmore isn’t yet a spinster, although she fully intends to be. Fortunately, an eccentric aunt has left her both a diary detailing the secrets to spinsterhood and a cottage in Cornwall. Unfortunately, an insufferable marquess is angling for her prize! Turning Lord Thomas Branston down flat should be easy. So why does this man who won’t take no for an answer make Lucy’s body and soul sigh yes?

Thomas knows the real value of Heathmore Cottage, and he has no intention of letting some silly Society miss get her hands on it. He’ll simply have to charm Lucy into selling. But the clever young woman he encounters, first in London, then en route to Cornwall, stands stubbornly on her own two (quite lovely) feet. And now, Thomas can think only of sweeping her off them.

Sealed with a Kiss by Caitlyn O’Leary


Relationship Advice from Six Navy Seals?

When Billy Anderson decided to ask Rebecca Barnes to the Valentine’s Day Dance, he had no idea that he would be getting relationship advice from six Navy SEALs. While these guys have the looks do they really have a clue to how to get Rebecca out of the friend zone and into the girl friend zone?

A Girl In Need
There is more going on with Rebecca than she is willing to share. She needs help. As much as she wants to go out with Billy she just can’t. There is just too much going on in her life that she doesn’t think she can share, nor does she think she can ask for help.

A White Knight in the Making
When Billy realizes the situation Rebecca is in, he’ll stop at nothing to help her, this includes calling in the men of Midnight Delta. He knows Drake, Mason, Darius, Finn, Clint and Jack will go above and beyond the call of duty to help the young woman he cares for. But will it be enough to ensure that Rebecca is safe and happy? And will he and Rebecca ever make it to that dance?

Behind the Scenes by Jen Turano


Miss Permilia Griswold may have been given the opportunity of a debut into New York high society, but no one warned her she wasn’t guaranteed to “take.” After spending the last six years banished to the wallflower section of the ballroom, she’s finally putting her status on the fringes of society to good use by penning anonymous society gossip columns under the pseudonym “Miss Quill.”
Mr. Asher Rutherford has managed to maintain his status as a reputable gentleman of society despite opening his own department store. While pretending it’s simply a lark to fill his time, he has quite legitimate reasons for needing to make his store the most successful in the country.
When Permilia overhears a threat against the estimable Mr. Rutherford, she’s determined to find and warn the man. Disgruntled at a first meeting that goes quite poorly and results in Asher not believing her, she decides to take matters into her own hands, never realizing she’ll end up at risk as well.

As Asher and Permilia are forced to work together and spend time away from the spotlight of society, perhaps there’s more going on behind the scenes than they ever could have anticipated.

Edge of Truth by Brynn Kelly (Hardback!)


Tensions sizzle in this electrifying novel guaranteed to capture your heart and take your breath away. Fans of Julie Garwood, Suzanne Brockmann and Jayne Ann Krentz will devour this action-packed, emotionally stunning tour de force, where every page reveals another damning secret and another daring gamble.

Rotting in an African dungeon is the last place journalist Tess Newell expected to find herself. Held hostage by the terrorist group she’s been investigating, Tess’s salvation—and temptation—arrives in the form of another prisoner. A French Foreign Legionnaire with a sinful smile and too many secrets to be anything but dangerous. Yet she knows he’s her only hope of surviving.
The Legion is the only family Flynn has. His sanctuary and his purgatory, after years spent in hell. When a mission goes south and Flynn is captured, it’s not the enemy that worries him, but rather the brazen, alluring reporter whose prying questions threaten to bring down his world—and the walls he’s built around his heart.
Yet after a daring escape, Flynn must risk it all and go on the run with Tess to retrieve the evidence she needs. The chemistry between them threatens to detonate but, with the enemy fast closing in, time is running out to unravel the truth from the lies in this deadly conspiracy…

And the SWAG!

One beautiful handmaid jeweled book ark from Julie Johnstone

One Filthy Rich mouse pad from Raine Miller

One swag bag from Hildie McQueen

One eyeglass cloth from Nikki Sloane

One bag of swag from Kimberly Griffiths Little

One lip balm

One pink Naughty and Nice bag.

For entry into this giveaway please click on the link below. US only, sorry!

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This Chick Read: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer

I listened to this audio book and was immediately immersed in all of these characters individual stories. Told through a series of letters, we really get a feel for the era, post World War II, and the city of London. The inhabitants of that city struggling to begin their lives again after living through the atrocities of war. Juliet, who the novel revolves around, is a writer and had a very successful column in the paper under a pen name, about a soldier at the front. As she begins her life after the war, she is struggling to find a subject to write about when she receives a letter from a man on the island of Guernsey in the Channel Islands, off the coast of England. This letter starts a pen pal relationship with him and his impromptu book club named the Guernsey Literary Potatoe Peel Pie Society and ultimately an idea for a novel. Continue reading “This Chick Read: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer”

This Chick Read: The Night Mark by Tiffany Reisz #Giveaway

Faye Barlow has lived in agony since the death of her beloved husband Will four years ago. Faye takes a photography job in Beaufort, South Carolina as a refuge from a failed marriage to Will’s best friend and to continue to grieve Will. As she travels around Beaufort taking pictures of landmarks, she see’s a wrecked lighthouse and is intrigued by its story. When she goes to the library to research it, she notices a picture of its caretaker who is the mirror image of her husband Will. She learns of the story about Bride Island Lighthouse, the legend of the Lady of the Light and the inhabitants who lived on the island. She goes out to the lighthouse for a closer look and has her feet swept out from under her by a wave, and comes out of the water in 1921 face to face with what looks to be her husband.

This was a lovingly told story of a woman who survives loss and finds love again in 1921. An era that was pre World War II, pre depression, during prohibition, before pre Civil Rights, and before women have the right to vote. Women are only slightly better than property to their husbands and modern day Faye is an anomaly in that time. The fish out of water parts of this book were both eye opening and fun to read, but her struggles to milk a goat paled in comparison to her education of how black people were treated at that time.

Her growing feelings for Carrick were clouded by his looking like her dead husband. In addition to overcoming that obstacle, Faye is Faith, a runaway abused wife of one of Carricks Navy buddies. There were a lot of obstacles to this love story and intricacies to the plot that made the ending very satisfactory and moving.  ❤️❤️❤️❤️

GIVEAWAY- Win a signed copy of The Night Mark! (US only) EXPIRES 5/25/17

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Click the link to purchase! The Night Mark: A Novel

Copyright 2017 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

This Chick Read: Like a River Glorious (Gold Seer Trilogy #2) by Rae Carson

Lee Westfall, the heroine of the Gold Seer Trilogy, has settled with the folks she’d journeyed cross country in a settlement called Glorious. Her best friend Jefferson is still by her side trying to win her heart. This book tells the story of a much more empowered young woman than we saw in Walk on Earth a Stranger. Continue reading “This Chick Read: Like a River Glorious (Gold Seer Trilogy #2) by Rae Carson”