This Chick Read: Exposed (VIP #4) by Kristen Callihan

Brenna is out with a girlfriend having a drink and makes a confession. What she doesn’t realizes is that someone overheard her, her frenemy Rye, the bass player in the band she manages public relations. Rye approaches her and offers himself as that person who will be available for sex, comfort, and friendship. She is embarrassed and floored. After a little dithering, yes, she takes him up on his offer. This new relationship gives Rye and Brenna the chance to explore why they react to each other so strongly and that those feelings weren’t actually based on hate.

Kristen Callihan writes colorful and flawed characters. I love her novels and look forward to every release. Unfortunately Brenna and Rye, although flawed, don’t have a lot of depth and felt very two dimensional. I think part of the reason is because their union was just based on sex. She needed her itch scratched and he was doing the scratching. Their conflict was built on why they weren’t friendly with each other and well, the reason just wasn’t that interesting.

I can’t help but compare why one novel I can’t relate with and other novels I don’t have any trouble loving. It’s not the sex scenes, although this novel has a ton of them because that’s what the premise is based on so there were certainly a lot of them. I am drawn to characters who have a lot of back story which create depth. I didn’t really feel like that much time was spent on Rye and Brenna relating to each other. There is a miscommunication early on and then they just snipe at each other. Pretty soon, that’s just who they are, until wham, they are sleeping together and then in love. It’s just not enough for me this time. I hate that because I love this author!

Have you read the VIP series? If not, you really should go back and read them. Even though this was not my favorite and I really hate to end the series on a bad note, the other three are very good! Exposed, while not the best book in the world is definitely not the worst book I’ve read either and it did do one thing. It reminded me how much I love the series and want to read them again. ❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Exposed (VIP Book 4)

Copyright 2021 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

This Chick Read: Make It Sweet by Kristen Callihan

Emma is known for her role as Princess Anya on Dark Castle when at the read through for the final episode she finds out she is being killed off. Returning early to her home she finds her boyfriend getting it on with their waitress from the night before. Needless to say, it was a very bad day. Needing something to relax away from the camera’s and attention she decides to stay at the villa of a friend of her grandmother’s. Lucien has a life threatening injury on the ice and is hiding away at his grandmother’s villa when she asks him to pick up her good friend’s granddaughter at the airport. Grumpy about being manipulated into doing something he didn’t want to do when he picks Emma up he is surly especially when Emma (who he has always been a big fan of) doesn’t recognize him in return. Mixing slapstick humor with a really sweet love story Kristen Callihan again gives us flawed characters we can love as well as some amazing food that had me searching the cupboards for anything sweet.

Make It Sweet although a stand alone novel has a couple of characters from Kristen Callihan’s last book Dear Enemy. Macon Saint is Emma’s love interest on the series Dark Castle. He and Delilah’s wedding takes place in Make It Sweet and it’s fun to see the conclusion to their romance. However, if you never read that book they would still be utterly charming and you wouldn’t miss anything by not having read Dear Enemy, so please pick up this book. I feel like I need to explain the series Dark Castle that both Emma and Macon star in. As a comparison think Game of Thrones style violence and sex. So you can see part of Lucien’s aggravation at meeting Emma and she not knowing who he is whereas he is a big fan and has seen her almost completely naked. It makes for some funny scenes where he is aggravated and she’s completely clueless, although in a very smart way. This is no dumb blonde.

Usually it’s the heroine in these stories that I’m more drawn to because, hello, I am a girl and can identify with a woman better. However, Lucien’s trauma was more interesting to me and had more long term affects on him psychologically. How was this pro hockey player going to get past this life altering injury. I won’t ruin the surprise but we find out that Lucien is a man of many talents and this other talent of his is brought out to woo Emma, although I don’t think he knew that was what he was doing at first. I’ll admit to feeling a little woo’d myself and wished my own husband had this same talent. LOL

Make it Sweet is a charming story about two totally likable characters, one sweet and one surly. They are both working through some tough life altering drama’s and despite those hours despairing over their future they decide to let love into their lives. I really liked their message and I loved these two characters, as well as some of the side characters in the story. This one is worth picking up and if you have Kindle Unlimited it’s in your subscription. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

Click this link to purchase!* Make It Sweet

Copyright 2021 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

This Chick Read: Dear Enemy by Kristen Callihan

Receiving a text from who she thinks is her sister Sam, Delilah responds and starts a text conversation from her childhood nemesis Macon Saint. Macon, who teased and tormented her through her formative years. When she discovers that her sister had been working for now mega tv star Macon as his assistant and stole an invaluable piece of jewelry she faces her fears and tries to make amends. Unfortunately her offer is rebuffed and turns into a job as his new assistant and personal chef. Picking up where they left off they re-engage by teasing and tormenting each other except this time it feels very different.

I’m a big fan of Kristen Callihan’s style of writing. It’s so easy to find something to like in her characters. In this case Delilah is sassy, doesn’t have trouble standing up for herself, and is a normal size woman who likes to eat. Macon’s past behavior makes way for this new sexy Macon who disarms her by turning her old nickname Tot into a term of affection. Pretty soon they are developing an affection for each other that makes Delilah uncomfortable and Macon say ‘finally!’.

I love the enemies to lovers trope and this one is handled really well. Clever dialog, serious attraction, and lots of hurry up and wait. This is a slow burn romance so if you like sexy times from the moment they meet again, you have to wait a bit until the heat gets turned up. I like slow burn romances because it gives the characters time to connect and in the case of Delilah and Macon they had a lot of hurt to overcome. Macon caused a lot of trauma for a sensitive teenaged Delilah which scarred her future. I loved how horribly he felt and how hard he worked to make things right.

I’m so glad I got around to reading this because I bought it in March of last year when it came out. The best thing about waiting to read it is that she has another book out now. These aren’t a series, but they live in the same world which can be interesting and I’m looking forward to seeing how the connection plays out. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Dear Enemy

Copyright 2021 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

This Chick Read: 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

This Chick Read: The Hot Shot (Game On #4) by Kristen Callihan

Chess Copper is photographing players from her local pro football team naked for their annual charity calendar. Tough job but someone’s got to do it! When she meets Finn, the QB for the team there is instant chemistry, but a miscommunication gets their relationship off on the wrong foot. As she tries to make him more comfortable with the shoot, she see’s that he’s actually just a bit nervous and through their conversation realizes that behind that pretty face is a really nice guy that she might want to get to know better. There’s one problem. Chess is looking for a relationship and Finn is a no strings attached kind of guy…at first.

I loved the slow build up of Chess and Finn’s friendship. I am a firm believer in being friends before becoming lovers and Kristen Callihan hit that trigger for me. Finn is a self described one night stand man and even though Chess finds him attractive she determinedly put him in the hands off category and Finn has his work cut out for him to make her see him in another light. When tragedy hits and Chess needs a place to stay their close quarters help speed things along from friendship into love.

It’s been a couple of years since I’ve read one of the Game On books, but when a couple of characters showed up in this novel I could easily remember their story. It helped a bit that this novel’s timeline paralleled Dex and Fiona’s from the Game Plan. It was kind of fun to listen to Dex talk about his budding relationship when we already knew how that relationship turned out.

If you are a fan of this series you will like The Hot Shot. Was it my favorite? No, I still like The Game Plan the best. However, I liked Finn and Chess together and really rooted for them to find their happily ever after and was happy when they did.


The Hot Shot

Click this link to purchase! The Hot Shot

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

This Chick Read: Shadowdance (Darkest London #4) by Kristen Callihan

Kristen Callihan, known for her contemporary sports and rocker romances like The VIP and Game On series also writes a paranormal romance series called Darkest London. This series, set in, yes, a very dark Victorian London is part steam punk and part paranormal and this world is filled with all sorts of supernatural beings. Our heroine Mary Chase is a GIM (Ghosts in the Machine), one who has chosen at death to live for eternity as long as that heart keeps whirring. Mary is an agent of the SOS (Society for the Suppression of Supernaturals) and has been paired with shifter Jack Talent to solve some gruesome murders by the Bishop of Charing Cross.

We met Mary and Jack in the previous novel Winterblaze, and they hated each other with a capital H. Determined to do her job, Mary tries her best to investigate with Jack who is an obnoxious beast, literally. As their investigation continues, Mary finds out some disturbing things about both Jack and the investigation. Despite these danger signs she’s somehow drawn to Jack even though he is obnoxious and rude.

I am a huge fan of this series, but Shadowdance is one of my least favorite books so far. The first three books featuring sisters Miranda, Daisy and Poppy were so cohesive, that this book felt like a throwaway. Don’t get me wrong the world building was great and this novel sets the scene for the next book, but when it feels like that’s the raison d’etre, it’s just not as enjoyable. These two characters seriously hated each other and even though I could feel the swing from hate to love, it seemed a little forced on Mary’s part. Jack was just too distraught and disturbed to be “saved” and his love felt too desperate. However, there is an underlining story that runs through these books so don’t skip it! It wasn’t horrible just not as good as the first three books. The set up for the couple in the next book was awesome and is needed to move forward in the series. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

Click the link to purchase! Shadowdance (Darkest London)

Copyright 2017 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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This Chick Read: Managed (VIP #2) by Kristen Callihan

Gabriel Scott became friends with an unruly group of boys in boarding school. When they started a band, he became their manager and helped them become one of the biggest rock bands of their time. When one of the band members tries to commit suicide Gabriel feels responsible. He should’ve seen how Jax was hurting and should’ve been able to prevent it. Instead of acting out, as Killian did in ‘Idol’, Gabriel has shut off all emotions. Continue reading “This Chick Read: Managed (VIP #2) by Kristen Callihan”

This Chick Read: Idol (VIP #1) by Kristen Callihan

Kristen Callihan has written both fantasy and sports romances, and excelled at them.  Idol is her first romance set in the rock world.  Killian, on a break from his band because his best friend and band member tried to commit suicide.  Killian was devastated, blaming himself for not seeing the signs, and also was angry that his friend was hurting so much and he didn’t come to him for help.  He rents a house in the countryside, and on his first night there gets drunk and crashes his vehicle through Libby’s gate and then proceeds to throw up all over her.  Love at first sight.  Well, maybe not! Continue reading “This Chick Read: Idol (VIP #1) by Kristen Callihan”

This Chick Read: Winterblaze (Darkest London Series) by Kristen Callihan

Winterblaze, the third novel in the Darkest London series, is about Poppy, the oldest sister, and her estranged husband Winston Lane.  In the last novel Winston had been mauled while investigating the werewolf who had been stalking Daisy, Poppy’s sister.  Because of that, this whole “other” world had been opened to him, including the role his wife plays in it, unbeknownst to him.  After learning that their 14 years of marriage has been built on lies, he left Poppy and went off to brood.  Three months later, Poppy forces Winston to face her.  While trying to figure out their feelings, they discover a murder, and fall into an investigation that becomes about more than life and death.  It is about saving Winston’s soul. Continue reading “This Chick Read: Winterblaze (Darkest London Series) by Kristen Callihan”

This Chick Read: Moonglow by Kristen Callihan

Forgive me but I’m going to gush for a moment.  Kristen Callihan’s Darkest London series is a fantastically dark, dangerously fun, sexy thrill ride.  I enjoyed Moonglow, the second book in the series, just as much as Firelight, the first.  The characters are not perfect.  They are flawed in the best way possible.  They are interesting, and hold my attention to the extent that I am reading  each page like I eat a piece of chocolate cake, savoring each bite and disappointed when my plate is clean. Continue reading “This Chick Read: Moonglow by Kristen Callihan”