Friday YA: Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka

Megan is the girl who will be voted Biggest Flirt in the year book, and she’s OK with that. Her last boyfriend dumped her for her best friend, and she’s ok with that too. In fact, every guy she’s ever hooked up with has left her and immediately found THE one. She thinks that’s what her role in life is supposed to be, but then Megan unexpectedly lands the role of Juliet in the school play and she discovers maybe she does have it in her to be the leading lady.

Always Never Yours seemed like a lighthearted romp through a high school romance, but Megan was actually a lot more complex a character than I thought I was getting from reading this synopsis. By having flirtations instead of relationships, Megan was protecting her heart. Her parents split and her father’s new family had done a number on her belief in love and truthfully, her taste in guys was pretty bad, so they were always cementing her belief that love was just not for her.

If it wasn’t for Owen I’d wonder if these authors had never met a teenaged boy who wasn’t driven by their hormones. OK, yeah all teenage boys are driven by their hormones, even Owen, but at least he had a brain as well as some morals. He was inspired by Megan’s being so casual about being “the girl before”. The comparison to Rosalind, Romeo’s “girl before” Juliet, I thought, was inspiring. How does that girl go on to find her own love story? Well, if you read Always Never Yours, you’ll find out.

❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“I guess, in the end, I’d recommend this book if you were a theater kid and you want a nostalgic look back at those days. I don’t know that I’d necessarily recommend it as a romance, but you could certainly do worse if you’re looking for a quick summer read.” The Bibliophagist

“Always Never Yours is a cute YA contemporary story, and while there’s more to this book than meets the eye it is still a little predictable in places. Still this is a perfect read for an afternoon when you have nothing else to do (or read) and Megan is a character you can’t help but root for.” Reading Every Night

Click this link to purchase!* Always Never Yours

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

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This Chick Read: Rogue Wave (Cake Series #5) by J. Bengtsson

Synopsis: A love story that survives the test of time.

Keith McKallister is the king of the stoners. You know the type. Every school has one – the hot, fun, dopey guy beloved by the student body but despised by, well, just about everyone else. He spends his early mornings in the ocean and his days trying to get to class on time. Life is as easy as it gets until one poor choice too many catches up with him and he’s forced to reevaluate his path. 

Samantha Anderson sits in the front row. You know the type. Every school has one – the quiet, faceless, studious girl who fears the taunts of her peers and fades into the background. Life has never been simple for Samantha, and it’s about to get a little more complicated when Keith slides into the seat beside her with a partnership plan designed for his benefit only. But what Keith brings to the table is more than either of them could imagine. 

Sometimes the person you least expect to make a difference will change your life forever. Sometimes the person you love the most might be better off without you.

REVIEW:

Rogue Wave tells the story of Keith and Samantha, but in two parts. The first half taking place in High School before Keith’s brother Jake is kidnapped and has a very young adult feel, and the second half of the novel takes place after Jake’s kidnapping and is most definitely a second chance adult romance novel. The combined story takes the reader on such an emotional journey. We’ve read about the kidnapping from Jake’s view point (Cake), but now we see how it affected Keith and how his choices drew him further from happiness.

I don’t recall ever reading a romance that 1) revolved around a main character who was a stoner and 2) where I really liked him. Even though Keith made bad choice after bad choice, he was so dang likable! Typically, I’m not comfortable with stories that revolve around drugs, drug problems, et. al. However, there was just something about Keith that made me want to see his story to its conclusion and root for him. Another surprising element was that even though Sam was the love of his life, she was not written in the role of savior. That made me like this story even more because it made it so real. Just as in real life, for them to finally be happy Keith would have to find his own way out of addiction and do it for himself. The question was, did I want to read that story? Yes, I really did.

Sam also had a lot of growing up to do. Not quite in the same way as Keith, as she wasn’t fighting an addiction to drugs, but she was fighting insecurity, problems at home, and the sudden suicide of her older brother. Also serious subjects! The fact that they found each other and could see through their outer shells to the good people within was pretty amazing. Sam had a very strong moral compass despite her difficult upbringing and that was a strength Keith needed in his life. Did he always choose to follow the right path? Well, you need to read the book.

There are some really great characters in the Cake series. Obviously Jake and Casey are fan favorites but Keith and Sam have found a special place in my heart. If you haven’t read the previous novels don’t read Rogue Wave until you’ve at least read the first novel, Cake. You need the background story of Jake’s kidnapping even though you get Keith’s side of it in Rogue Wave. I just think the emotional impact is stronger if you’ve read at least that first novel. BUT, if you choose not to pick up Cake I think you’ll enjoy reading about Keith and Sam. If you have triggers for drugs, suicide, mental illness, or kidnappings of small children, avoid this one. It’s a pretty emotional journey, but a very good one. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Goodreads: http://smarturl.it/RogueWaveGR 

Amazon: http://smarturl.it/RogueWaveAmazon 

About the Author

A professional stay-at-home-mom for twenty-one years, Jill started her writing career in 2016 after reading a really bad rockstar romance. Although she had no previous writing experience and no desire to become an author, Jill was convinced she could write a better story.

And so began Cake: A Love Story. She wrote the novel for fun and added every single thing she’d ever wanted to read in a romance. Embarrassed by her newfound hobby, Jill kept her writing a secret from her family.

When the story was complete, she turned to Amazon to get the feedback she desired. Not thinking the book would ever sell, Jill planned to pull Cake off Amazon once it got a review or two but that never happened because, within a week of its release, Cake began to soar up the bestseller charts. Not only was Jill shocked by Cake’s success but now she had a whole new burgeoning career on her hands…and some explaining to do. Needless to say, the news of Jill’s secret book bay came as a complete shock to her husband and three children.

Jill is now a full-time writer.

Website: https://jbengtssonbooks.com/ 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jbengtssonauthor/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CakeALoveStory 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/j._bengtsson/ 

This Chick Read: Gimme Some Sugar (Southern Eclectic #6) by Molly Harper

Recently widowed Lucy Brewer moves back to her hometown of Lake Sackett, Georgia to raise her son Sam. Re-connecting with friends and dealing with her husband’s irritating family makes her decision to open a bakery a need rather than a want. Who wouldn’t want a Death by Chocolate cupcake after an altercation with her in laws? When her childhood best friend Duffy McCready offers to make her some shelves for her store she finds out that he’d always been in love with her and her childhood crush develops into a sweetheart of a romance.

Molly Harper really knows how to write great characters. Lucy doesn’t let her unhappy marriage turn her into a doormat. When her irritating in laws step over the line, she gives as good as she gets, but Lucy isn’t all sass. She’s also a loving mother, smart business owner, and soon to be loving girlfriend. I liked all sides of Lucy, her interactions with her son Sam, and with her suitor Duffy.

Duffy is a character that is familiar to readers of this series. He’s Marianne’s brother, and Frankie’s cousin. Down to earth, laid back, and stress free. He also has an ex wife who he lets into his home a little too often. However, once Lucy hits town he knows what he wants and he fights for her. That laid back attitude actually works for him in winning Lucy’s heart.

Lake Sackett and it’s inhabitants reminds me a little bit of Jill Shalvis’ Lucky Harbor series. The charming “older” crowd add a little seasoning and humor to these stories. I like multi generational tales, even though the romance is between a younger couple. Molly Harper does a great job of making you care for all of the inhabitants of that town and not just the couple in the main storyline. I want to read the next novel to see how Tootie and Bob’s cruise went just as much as I want to read the main story arc. These are stand alone novels, but I think you’d get more out of it if you had read the previous novels in the series and grew invested in all of the Southern Eclectic characters! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“I honestly love this family, and really enjoy when each of their very unique personalities pop into the story and kind of take over. I recommend binging this whole series!” I Read Ergo Sum

“I adore Lucy, her fire, her strength, her mouth, and pure determination.  While I have liked all the couples in the series, I have to say, Lucy and Duffy are far and away my favorites!!  I feel like there could be one more book in the series (Duffy’s momma!) but if there isn’t, Gimme Some Sugar is a great way to end this quirky, fun, HEA filled series.” Rolopolo Book Blog

Click this link to purchase!* Gimme Some Sugar (Southern Eclectic Book 6)

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved.

*Amazon Associate

Friday YA: You’d Be Mine by Erin Hahn

Annie Mathers is the daughter of two country music stars who had a tragic ending. Living outside the stage lights of Nashville, Annie tried to ignore her calling but she was born to write and sing. After she releases a couple of songs on YouTube her star starts rising. Clay Coolidge is one of the country’s hottest young stars, but he’s going down the path her parents took. After another drunk bar fight he’s told that he has to go to Michigan to talk Annie into opening for his summer concert tour. With his record deal on the line, Clay convinces Annie and her band to join them. Even though they are complete opposites, she the good girl and he the bad boy, they strike sparks both on stage and off.

You’d be Mine had a lot of the things I look for in a YA contemporary novel, great character growth, a simmering love story, and a great hook. What I wasn’t expecting was the magical poetry this author wrote for their music lyrics and the gritty feel to the story. Annie was an easy character to like. I’ll admit that she walked a fine line between being a “good girl” and kind of a prude, but it fit her back story and gave her the heart and soul she’d need to sell the reader on her chemistry for leading man Clay.

Clay also had a great back story. A brother who is a fallen war hero and a line of people who want to ride his coattails, making his bad choices pretty realistic. If there was one fault with his part of the story I’d say his demon battling went on just a touch too long. I wanted the story to speed up and it lagged just a tad in the middle. The supporting characters were loyal, funny, and charming and I adored all of their antics and support. Even though this was a story about music and love, at it’s heart it was about family and these characters gave the reader a solid base line on what family should look like.

I mentioned above my love for the poetry in the music lyrics. You could tell this author has a feel for writing lyrically and if she hasn’t done so already, she should think about her own songwriting career! They were pretty special and the story itself? Good, very, very good. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

I was given a free ARC of this book through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest.

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“You’d Be Mine is a cute little contemporary romance that reminded me a bit of the television show Nashville. This has all the ins and outs, the ups and downs and intrigue of the behind the scenes of the music business. The characters were likable and fun to root for and the story felt as if heading right out on tour along with them giving all the emotion of their journey along the way.” Carrie’s Book Reviews

“This was a fun story about the lives of these two talented performers. I am not a big country music fan, but I found myself cheering for these young country stars. I would definitely recommend this young adult book!” Welcome to our Campfire

Click this link to purchase!* You’d Be Mine: A Novel

Copyright Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

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

It’s Monday, What are you Reading? (3/11/19)

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

JUST FINISHED

A Dangerous Collaboration (Veronica Speedwell #4) by Deanna Raybourn

Synopsis:

A bride mysteriously disappears on her wedding day in the newest Veronica Speedwell adventure by the New York Times bestselling author of the Lady Julia Grey series.

Lured by the promise of a rare and elusive butterfly, the intrepid Veronica Speedwell is persuaded by Lord Templeton-Vane, the brother of her colleague Stoker, to pose as his fiancée at a house party on a Cornish isle owned by his oldest friend, Malcolm Romilly.

But Veronica soon learns that one question hangs over the party: What happened to Rosamund? Three years ago, Malcolm Romilly’s bride vanished on their wedding day, and no trace of her has ever been found. Now those who were closest to her have gathered, each a possible suspect in her disappearance. 

From the poison garden kept by Malcolm’s sister to the high towers of the family castle, the island’s atmosphere is full of shadows, and danger lurks around every corner. 

Determined to discover Rosamund’s fate, Veronica and Stoker match wits with a murderer who has already struck once and will not hesitate to kill again.…

LAST SENTENCE READ: I grabbed his hand and raced with him into the westering sun. “Excelsior!”

CURRENTLY READING

You’d be Mine by Erin Hahn

Synopsis:

Annie Mathers is America’s sweetheart and heir to a country music legacy full of all the things her Gran warned her about. Superstar Clay Coolidge is most definitely going to end up one of those things.

But unfortunately for Clay, if he can’t convince Annie to join his summer tour, his music label is going to drop him. That’s what happens when your bad boy image turns into bad boy reality. Annie has been avoiding the spotlight after her parents’ tragic death, except on her skyrocketing YouTube channel. Clay’s label wants to land Annie, and Clay has to make it happen.

Swayed by Clay’s undeniable charm and good looks, Annie and her band agree to join the tour. From the start fans want them to be more than just tour mates, and Annie and Clay can’t help but wonder if the fans are right. But if there’s one part of fame Annie wants nothing to do with, it’s a high-profile relationship. She had a front row seat to her parents’ volatile marriage and isn’t interested in repeating history. If only she could convince her heart that Clay, with his painful past and head over heels inducing tenor, isn’t worth the risk.

Erin Hahn’s thrilling debut, You’d Be Mine, asks: can the right song and the perfect summer on the road make two broken hearts whole?

FIRST SENTENCE READ: If I die, it’s Trina Hamilton’s fault.

I have so many other great books on tap for this week and I can’t wait to read them!

What book are you reading today?

Deb

Friday YA: Undying (Unearthed #2) by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

If you haven’t read Unearthed please know there are slight spoilers for that novel ahead.

At the end of Unearthed Mia and Jules were trapped aboard what was an abandoned alien spacecraft when suddenly it was no longer abandoned. The Undying stepped through a portal filling the ship to capacity. Mia and Jules are still trapped but this time living in the duct system trying to find a way to get off this ship and back home to warn everyone that the Undying were no longer extinct but were on their way to take over Earth.

Similar to Unearthed, Undying was very fast paced, full of action, and the budding romance of Mia and Jules. However, unlike Unearthed I found myself a little less wrapped up in the plot. Although this is a science fiction novel I think when the setting moved back to one I’m familiar with it became a little more mundane. Yes, they were trying to save their planet but instead of the focus being on two teenagers who were trying to survive, the introduction of so many adults to the plot subdued their ability to act immediately. Mia’s jump before you think nature was still in play, but her doubts about their ability to save the earth were tied to the fact that they were so young. When I read YA fantasy and science fiction I immediately throw away the thought that these are kids that have the responsibility to save the world. Kaufman and Spooner chose to make adults a larger part of this plot. By doing that it took me out of my head and made me start to ask those questions again. Why and how are this “kids” going to make everyone believe that the Undying are here already and trying to take over. It wasn’t a huge problem but it did stop me from enmeshing myself fully in the story. I didn’t have that problem in Unearthed. I went along for the crazy ride and really enjoyed it.

Mia and Jules were adorable as a couple. Their feelings were on display to the world and even though they had private moments of doubt their feelings were clear from the start. I also enjoyed the political nature of this novel. You have this other species trying to eradicate the existence of “proto” humans from Earth, but within that species is a faction that disagrees. It gave Dex, one of the Undying, depth and through his actions gave the Undying humanity. If you didn’t have that comparison you wouldn’t have cared at all for their existence.

I did enjoy this novel even though the pace was slower and bogged down in the middle. I think it was a fitting sequel to Unearthed although if I’d had my way they would have kept the action up in that space ship, but that would’ve been a totally different book. LOL. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere.

“Although I did enjoy it, unfortunately, I felt like this one fell a little flat. I mean, it was still enjoyable and I really loved the two main characters, but it was just missing the adventure and the mystery that I loved about the first book. ” The Chronicles of Danielle

“Unfortunately, I didn’t like this book quite as much as the first. I mean, Earth is simply a boring setting when you’ve been to another planet. There was also no thrill of characters falling in love with each other (because, well, they already had).” Brylie and Books

Click this link to purchase!* Undying (An Unearthed Novel)

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: Wild Country (The World of the Others #2) by Anne Bishop

Bennett’s human citizens were wiped out by the terre indigene’s Elders in the purge after the Humans First and Last movement failed. It is being allowed to rebuild with a mix of humans, Intuits, and Terre Indigene who will run the town. When word gets out that it is being re-settled with people who will work a trade and run businesses, there is an influx of people who wish to live there. Will humanity rear it’s ugly head again? Well, this is an Others book, so yes, but the story is fascinating and our group of townspeople band together to eliminate the threat that may live among them.

Wild Country was one of my most anticipated books this year and it did not disappoint! A few characters were familiar from Lakeside, but their world that was shook up from the purge changed things dramatically. Humans are required to prove themselves with hard work and an unselfishness that does not come naturally to some of humanity. Our main characters are the exception and the way they rebuild trust is proof again that not all of humanity is corrupt.

There were so many sub plots running through Wild Country that it’s hard to choose a favorite. I loved human Deputy Jana’s need for approval from her Sheriff Virgil Wolfgard, who does not trust humans after his pack was slaughtered at their hands. When he starts to treat her as pack, and she allows and understands it, my favorite moment of this book is created. Another great sub plot is between Jesse, an older intuit woman who is treated with some honor by the terre indigene, and Tolya Sanguinati mayor of Bennett. Tolya, just like Vlad in the Lakeside Others series, is intrigued by some of the more basic emotions in humans and with Jesse there is a trust that has been developed by working together on this project. I’m not sure where their relationship will lead, but I’ll admit that I too am intrigued and can’t wait to find out. If there’s another book in this series that is!

All of the sub plots in this book eventually intertwine and lead to a final conflict that will again leave the question of how and will the terre indigene allow humanity to exist. Will the good folk in Bennett outweigh the bad? I really liked Lake Silence, the first novel in this new Others series, but Wild Country takes us back to why we love this world so much. Yes, humanity can be just awful, but these novels also shine a light on what makes humanity wonderful too. It’s those moments and contradictions that keep me coming back to this intriguing world. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

I received a copy of this free ARC through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest.

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“It was a pretty fun read, and was hard to put down, so I finished it in just about a day. I said to myself after not liking Lake Silence very much that it was probably just a dud and that I would continue one nonetheless because I love the world of the Others, and I think the terra indigine are brilliant beings to read about. Well, here I am, and I’ll definitely be sticking around here for the next in the series too! But I really hope that the bad guys of Thaisia start getting smarter. ” Superstardrifter

Click this link to purchase!* Wild Country (World of the Others, The)

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? (3/4/19)

JUST FINISHED

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

Wild Country (World of the Others) by Anne Bishop

I really took my time with this one. It is so detailed and the plots intertwine, I didn’t want to miss anything! It’s the only book I read last week and was worth it 100%.

Last Sentence: Never Alone.

CURRENTLY READING

Come Find Me by Megan Miranda

First Sentence: They say the universe is constantly heading toward disorder, and I believe it.

What are you reading today?

Happy reading everyone!

Deb

Friday YA: An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason by Virginia Boecker

The setting is Elizabethan England when it is treasonous to be a practicing Catholic. Lady Katherine’s father is killed right before her eyes when he is discovered harboring a Catholic priest, his secrets revealed. Escaping imprisonment, Lady Katherine travels to London dressed as a young man intent on revenge against those responsible for her father’s death. Intent on killing the Queen of England. Overhearing Shakespeare and his players in a tavern talking about a secret play they will be putting on for a private performance for the Queen, Kit decides to try out and lands one of the leads. Little does she know that she is playing opposite a young man named Toby who is a spy and the mastermind behind the plan to catch those plotting to kill Elizabeth.

In Elizabethan England women’s roles in plays were played by men or boys so when Kit gets cast as Olivia in Twelfth Night the humor of her success at playing a boy playing a girl is remarkable in that no one has figured out that the girl is actually a girl. Our spy Toby who is trying to catch a potential killer finds himself drawn to Kit the boy a fact that is punishable by death and when Kit seems to return his regard? That is when the plot truly becomes interesting. Even as Kit is one of his suspects, are their feelings for each other more important than saving the Queen’s life?

I really enjoyed Kit’s evolution. As Katherine she was restricted to a woman’s life but as Kit so many things were available to her. I think this combined with her feelings for Toby helped her to make the decision revealed at the end of the book. No spoilers here, but the line between life and death was trod very closely and the conclusion was just as dramatic as one of the plots in a Shakespeare play.

I am a fan of historical novels and The Assassin’s Guide was right up my alley. A devious plot and a romantic sub-plot set in a Shakespeare play? It had me asking questions about the era and I used Wikipedia a few times to fact check my own knowledge. I was surprised by many things but nothing as much as how enjoyable I found this novel. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“..although it is unique and not at all a chore to read, there was something missing, the same thing that, if I remember correctly, was missing in The Witch Hunter too. The reason for my inability to give it four stars or more. And that thing is… seriousness.” Hit or Miss Books

“Overall, it was an okay-ish read for me! It was a decent YA historical novel filled with drama, conspiracies, and forbidden romance. I liked the ending part which is why I gave it a three and a half star instead of three stars. ” Dreamy Addictions

Click this link to purchase!* An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate