This Chick Read: Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne

Ruthie Midona has worked at Providence Retirement Villa for the last six years and her plan is to never leave. When her boss goes on vacation and leaves her in charge she’s got everything handled until the new owner’s decide to rock the boat by dumping Teddy Prescott on the premises. Teddy, is young, tattooed, hot, and charmed. He’s the owner’s son and needs a place to stay for a couple of months while he earns the money to buy into a partnership on his own tattoo shop. To earn that money Ruthie has him interview with the Perloni sisters, two of Providence’s long time residents, and two of the most difficult. Sharing the space beside her own residence she and Teddy build a friendship that may change one of their long term plans.

Second First Impressions was the follow up novel I have been waiting for from Sally Thorne. As author of the critically acclaimed and beloved The Hating Game I was hugely disappointed in her follow up novel 99 Percent Mine. THIS novel, aptly named Second First Impressions, is my own second first impression of this author and the talent she obviously has to write a story that touches our hearts. Ruthie is the struggling awkward heroine that most of us ladies always felt we were and Teddy is that untouchable guy who seems like he has it all together but actually needs that one person to believe in him to help him overcome his own insecurities. They are my new favorite friendship and I definitely want to read this novel again to see what I missed the first time.

You know when you are reading a novel and the pace, setting, and characters just seem to give off that golden, magical glow? That was this novel for me. Ruthie, despite her uncertainty in how to respond to this gorgeous guy had this persona of certainty in how she responded to his attempts at seduction. Keeping him at arms length when she really wants to wrap him in her arms and hold him for as long as she has him. The way these two gave each other strength was magical and I’ll admit to finding myself reaching for that box of tissue quite a few times as they navigated their way through adulting.

Truly great novels also have a cast of characters that add to the story and help round out our protagonists. Melanie, Ruthie’s office assistant is one of those characters that help add definition and depth. She is the third party in Teddy and Ruthie’s budding friendship adding humor and likability to their small gatherings while also giving Ruthie a reason to stretch her wings by signing her up on a dating site to help her meet people outside the retirement community. The other two awesome characters that add some light-hearted humor to the story are the Perloni sisters. As their assistant, Teddy is put through the wringer of what should be embarrassing errands all of which he handles with aplomb and good humor. Those two ladies rounded out the cast of what is a wonderful novel.

I loved the way Second First Impressions made me feel as I read it. It was magical, made me laugh, cry, and generally I just felt good reading this novel. These characters were able to have their own second first impressions with each other but it also enabled me to give this author another glance and another chance. I am so glad I did. Sally Thorne has some serious writing skills and I am again waiting eagerly for her next novel. After I read this one again, and again, and again.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

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

Click this link to purchase this book!* Second First Impressions: A Novel

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.

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (4/12/21)

A stormy Saturday gave me a great reason to sit on my couch and finish listening to an awesome audio book that I will tell you a little bit more about below. I also worked on my side gig (selling Color Street nails) and wrote some blog review posts. All in all it was a nice mix of a weekend and I feel good going into my Monday. So, what book did I pick up to begin my week with? Let’s get to it!

JUST FINISHED

Dark Queen is book #12 in the Jane Yellowrock series. How does this author keep me coming back to a series that has that many books? Her characters keep evolving so I’m learning something new in each novel. The story always has three or four parts that are intertwining, holding my interest and keeping me on my toes. Every time I finish a chapter I immediately start the next one. The action sequences in this series are a-ma-zing. Seriously. Urban Fantasy is my favorite genre and if it has great action scenes and a wonderful female heroine who I like? I’m all in. So, it’s on to book #13 for me!

JUST STARTED

I loved Ayesha at Last and couldn’t wait to start the newest novel by this author. I literally just picked it up but it’s off to a great start!

What books are you reading this week? Did you switch up the genre’s or stick to something you love? I’d love to know, please comment below!

Have a great week and happy reading!

Deb

This Chick Read: Wild Fire and Wild Wind (Chaos #6.5 and #6.6) by Kristen Ashley

Wild Fire and Wild Wind are both novellas released under the 1001 Dark Nights umbrella. I’ve read a few other authors 1001 Dark Nights novellas and I will say that Kristen Ashley delivers the most complete story arc’s in her novellas leaving the reader satisfied as if they’d read an entire story. In fact, in Kristen Ashley’s case, I actually prefer a more succinct story as her longer novels sometimes get too wrapped up in descriptions of outfits and rooms on the way to finally telling the story. These two stories were short, but wrapped up the storyline of their father who died long ago. A father who was much loved by his Chaos MC brothers, leaving a legacy behind that both boys, now men have had to live up to. These two brothers, Dutch and Jaggar, have dealt with the death of their father in different ways and through meeting their ladies finally are able to deal with his death and his legacy as a Chaos MC brother.

WILD FIRE

Part of the legacy their father left behind was his love for his wife, Keely, and how he set eyes on her and she him and the rest was history. They were together from that moment on. Dutch follows in his fathers footsteps. Despite Georgie’s bad attitude when they first meet he’s undeniably drawn to her and once she drops that attitude he finds her kookiness “cute”. I wish I could say that I found her kookiness cute too, but unfortunately it wore a little thin for me. At first it was different, but as I kept reading I just couldn’t see why, other than their looks, these two totally different types of characters would be drawn to each other. I did like how she helped him deal with the emotions from his father’s legacy, so that redeemed her a small bit.

I did enjoy the story. Dutch was trying to help a troubled kid deal with the murder of his father. In true KA style, she brings in a bunch of characters from other novels to help. Of course, the Chaos MC brothers, his step-father Hound, but also Eddie and Hank from the Rock Chick series. I enjoyed how everyone rallied and that story arc was completed. One other thing that I loved about this novel is that it was more story than love scenes. In the past couple of years you never knew what kind of KA novel you were going to get. Hard core love scenes or a novel with a great story. In this novella you get more of the second than the first. I applaud that choice! ❤️❤️❤️❣️

Jaggar is the younger brother of Dutch, and his story feels different than his brothers. He, too has lived with the legacy of his father but he was just a tot when his father died and doesn’t remember him at all and had dealt with those emotions in a different way. He is a party guy, not taking anything seriously and running through women indiscriminately. However, he has a much deeper back story to his romance with the heroine, Archie that gives his story more gravitas.

A teenage Jaggar was visiting his father’s grave when he see’s a funeral going on at a grave nearby. He notices the teenage girl sitting in front of the grave and their eyes connect. He leaves a note on the headstone letting her know that although she is sad now, that things will get better, life will move forward. Over the next 10 years they connect briefly until they get to now when he see’s her chasing down the street after a young kid and decides to help out. He decides the timing is right for the two of them, but she is done. She feels betrayed that he’s stayed away over the years and that the promise in his note wasn’t kept. Archie is why this story is so good and as it goes on you want to know her even more. Unlike Georgie, Archie is serious and seriously cool.

The story arc in Wild Wind is focused around Archie and the kids she supports. These are latch-key kids who don’t have anywhere to go for a few hours before their parents get home. There is one kid in particular that Jaggar is drawn to, and he moves in to help when he realizes this kid is in trouble. Through helping him, he is able to deal with his feelings over his fathers death and with Archie’s help breaks through the emotional roadblock he has put up to avoid those feelings. For me, this was handled well and it helped me connect with Jaggar and Archie much more so than the story in Wild Fire did for Dutch and Georgie.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

If you have read these Chaos MC novels and know the story of John Black, how he died, and how that death affected the Chaos characters, I think you’ll enjoy these novellas. They feel very different than each other which is good because Jaggar and Dutch despite being brothers are nothing alike. Neither are Georgie and Archie. I did enjoy one book more than the other but I do think both of these were good solid stories and the romances made sense for the characters.

Copyright 2021 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

What are you reading Wednesday?

Yep, what with the holiday this weekend I totally forgot to write my post for Monday, but that’s ok I can tell you what I’m reading anytime, right? First things first. For those of you who celebrated Easter this past weekend I hope you got to do it with your family or a loved one. We were excited to have one of my Uncle’s over, as well as a close friend because we have all received our vaccine’s. yay! It was nice to have a little social with my meal.

Let’s talk about books!

JUST FINISHED

When Mariana Zapata drops a book we are all left totally gobsmacked and unprepared. I saw her post on Friday that this was an early Easter present to her fans. All Rhodes Lead Here is slow burn, really sweet, and just what I needed from this author. I finished it last night and sat thinking about it for a bit. When you do that you know it’s good.

JUST STARTED

I just got notification that I received this ARC and I’m really excited and kind of nervous. Will it be more like The Hating Game than 99 Percent Mine? We shall see! I’ll be starting it later this evening.

What books are you’re reading this week and what are you looking forward to reading this weekend? Let me know in the comments please.

Happy reading!

Deb

This Chick Read: To Love and to Loathe (The Regency Vows #2) by Martha Waters

Diana, Lady Templeton and Jeremy, the Marquess of Willingham have known each other forever. He’s a school friend of her brother’s and has been tormenting her for years. Their constant bickering hiding a mutual attraction that neither has acted on since Jeremy’s half-hearted proposal during her first season. Diana, turned him down and married not long after. Now that she is widowed his quick wit and biting sarcasm and directed her way again. One day Jeremy calls on her at an indecent hour and proposes a union of a different sort. He has recently ended a relationship with another lady who gave him bad reviews and he wants to ease his mind by having a brief affair with Diana during his two week house party, knowing she’ll tell him the truth. Having her own motives, Diana agree’s and finds that she might feel more than she bargained for.

I will admit that I wasn’t a big fan of this author’s first novel in this series, To Have and to Hoax. I am, however, thankful for having read it because her friends, including Violet the heroine from that novel, are again a big part of the plot in To Love and to Loathe. Unlike the fake illness Violet undertook to reel her husband back into their marriage, in this story Diana, is carrying on an affair while trying to win a bet by marrying him off before the year is done. You know how that’s going to turn out! I did really like the sense of humor written into these characters. They were a lot more fun to read about and I found myself a little bit more invested in the outcome. Of course, I wasn’t afraid the book would end without their falling in love, but the story was engaging and the antics of the house guests kept me turning the pages.

One of the more interesting side notes to this story were the societal mores that the ladies and gents of this time lived. Jeremy was known as a cad for all of his affairs. As a Marquess, and even in his younger days, the son of a Marquess, things came easily to him. Women threw themselves at him and when he was rated poorly by his previous lady love it was Diana who pointed out that women may have been faking it all along just because of who and what he was. An opinion that was eye opening and fun to read. Diana, as a widow could reveal to someone that she might be willing to have a liaison and in fact hoped that having one with Jeremy would go towards helping her gain more experience in that endeavor. However, if she became talked about then despite her being a “Lady” her reputation wouldn’t recover. It wasn’t a huge part of the story but a scene that stuck with me.

I wouldn’t call this novel a historical romance rom-com but it was more spirited than I expected and I did laugh a couple of times. If you are looking for a historical romance with a small twist give this one a try. I think you can read it without reading the previous novel so never fear! Purchase away! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

I receive a copy of this novel through NetGalley and the publisher for my honest review and it was honest.

Click this link to purchase!* To Love and to Loathe: A Novel (2) (The Regency Vows)

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’s Audio Review: Hounded (The Iron Druid Chronicles #1) by Kevin Hearne, read by Luke Daniels

Synopsis:

Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old – when in actuality, he’s twenty-one centuries old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer. Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants that sword, and he’s hounded Atticus for centuries. Now the determined deity has tracked him down, and Atticus will need all his power – plus the help of a seductive goddess of death, his vampire and werewolf team of attorneys, a bartender possessed by a Hindu witch, and some good old-fashioned luck of the Irish – to kick some Celtic arse and deliver himself from evil. 

I have never read a book by Kevin Hearne and I really enjoyed his characters sense of humor. Luke Daniels did a great job of imbuing his characters with warmth and that humor shone through. Atticus sounded spoke in the current vernacular, slang included and the contract between what he sounded like versus what he actually was- 21 centuries old, surprised me and kept me engaged. I’ll admit, it seems like I don’t read books written by men, or with male protagonists and I really enjoyed this change. It may help me branch out in my reading choices in the future.

The book reads very simply. Almost as if this were a young adult fantasy novel, which I think helped me get into the story quickly. Boy, that makes me sound bad, but truly, in this pandemic if I can’t get into a novel quickly I give up and move on to the next one pretty quickly, so in this case this is a good thing. I’m somewhat invested in all of these new characters and can see myself making my way through this series. In audio, of course! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Hounded: The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book 1

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: Marriage on Madison Avenue (The Central Park Pact #3) by Lauren Layne

Audrey Tate and Clarke West have been best friends since they were kids. They’ve watched been the third wheel in each other’s romances and despite two fake engagements have never had a romantic entanglement. When Clarke’s mom starts to matchmake again and tries to set him up with an ex-girlfriend he turns to Audrey for help again asking for fake engagement #3. However, this time they have to fake a few kisses and the engagement goes on longer than it ever has before. Audrey starts to see Clarke differently and those feelings are returned. How can they go back to being best friends after these feelings have been released?

The third novel in The Central Park Pact, Audrey was for me, the least interesting out of the three friends who made a pact to save each other when they were headed for trouble with the wrong man. She always seemed a little flighty but in this novel I got to see that she had a little more depth than I’d given her credit. She is a social influencer and has a huge following. When she is attacked online for her most recent break-up she agree’s to Clarke’s fake engagement to help her get this blogger off her back. What she doesn’t count on is her followers going gaga over her bridal posts. She gets caught up in the fun, trying on dresses and eating cake and lets the lie propagate. All while starting to have feelings for her best friend. These feelings aren’t one-sided Clarke is also starting to see her as a beautiful woman, not just his beautiful friend.

This was the least surprising book of the three in The Central Park Pact series. Audrey and Clarke were totally likable and their friendship was always on solid ground. There weren’t any hidden feelings and insecurities that they had to work through they just had to decide do we or don’t we? I enjoyed following along on their marriage preparations but would have liked a little more conflict, but it was an enjoyable read.

❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Marriage on Madison Avenue (3) (The Central Park Pact)

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: Still Standing (Wild West MC #1) by Kristen Ashley

Clara was married to who she thought of as the man of her dreams when the rug was pulled out from under her. He was arrested for embezzling life savings from the elderly to pay for her home and in a gated community and the Mercedes she drove. Duped by her husband and castigated by the general public, Clara retreated to a slum-like apartment trusting only her childhood friend. Except for that friend was married to a low-level gangster. Good intentions went bad when Clara agree’s to run errands for her friend’s husband, bringing her to the attention of some rather unsavory low-life’s. Which is how she meets Buck, President of the Aces High MC. He takes one look at Clara and decides it’s the beginning of them. Clara somehow misses that message until she runs into trouble again and Buck and his MC bail her out.

I feel like I’m on a roll with Kristen Ashley novels. I’m really enjoying them lately. Still Standing is a woman in jeopardy trope, which Kristen Ashley in her earlier novels did so well. Clara is a good girl that just doesn’t understand how and why she got herself into this position. Buck, as the president of an MC, is not the man she ever thought she’d end up with, but then look how her last husband turned out. On the surface he was bright, shiny, and clean but underneath he was dirty. Buck is kind of the reverse. On the surface he is rough and dirty, but he actually lives by a code and that code is brotherhood and honor. Clara see’s that and wants to be good enough for him. Unfortunately, she feels dirty and doesn’t see herself as being good enough for him. It’s a really interesting twist on the usual MC novel. I’ll admit I liked this pair as a couple. I also liked the way Kristen Ashley told the story. It really reminded me of what I loved so much about Mystery Man, Tyra and Tack’s story from long ago. Also, one of my favorite KA novels. Another good girl with a slightly unsavory MC President. This one not quite so clean as Buck and his brothers, but just as fascinating.

I have really high hopes for this newest MC series. There was some great physicality, but there was also a lot of story packed into this novel as well. It had a nice even balance and I didn’t find myself skimming through sex scenes to get to the plot. If you want to read a Kristen Ashley series from the start, I’d read this novel. As I said above, it has the feel of the Chaos novels, and if you like it you have 8 of those to go back and read. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Still Standing (Wild West MC Series Book 1)

Copyright 2021 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

This Chick Read: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Beth Fremont and her friend Jennifer work in the newsroom of a newspaper. They know that their emails are being monitored by corporate but they still conduct private conversations that might be thought to be inappropriate to the powers that be. Normally and email is sent to the writers if they are misusing their emails, but they never receive one, so they continue their discussions thinking that maybe that “monitoring” isn’t actually happening. Lincoln O’Neill is the guy whose job it is to monitor those emails. Every night when he gets to work he goes through the notification file and see’s Beth and Jennifer have again been tagged. The problem is that their emails are just so interesting!

The majority of this novel are the email exchanges between Beth and Jennifer. They talk about everything under the sun. What’s going on in their lives, marriages, relationships, etc. Their exchanges are engaging, funny, and insightful. If I were Lincoln, I’d want to keep reading them too. The problem is that Lincoln starts to fall for one of them. They are both in relationships, Jennifer is married and Beth has a long term boyfriend. Lincoln is dying to see what they look like but most of the time they work during the day and he works at night, but he can see pictures on their desks. Beth’s boyfriend is a good looking guy who is in a band and Lincoln through their emails knows that it’s not the perfect relationship and he gets his hopes up.

This novel is the perfect mix of voyeurism and hilarity. You learn a lot about these characters through their writing but you also learn a lot about Lincoln. He is a big part of the story. I was surprised by how invested I got in both of the girls stories because I really on learned about them through emails. This was a very different kind of love story but I enjoyed it a lot. It was actually quite funny and I can see why Lincoln didn’t want to stop reading those emails, for the most part they were really funny!

This is not a new novel, it was released in 2011 and takes place in 1999 as the year is turning to 2000. Technology is a small part of the story because Lincoln is essentially in the IT department and in 2000 everyone was worried what would happen to their technology when that year turned over. As I lived through all of that I found it funny to remember how we were all so worried and then nothing happened. That added to the humor for me in this novel. If you are in the mood for a slow burn romance that is truly different, I’d give Attachments a chance. It’s more story than romance and I loved the humanity in these characters. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

Click this link to purchase!* Attachments: A Novel

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.

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (3/22/21)

The weather was beautiful this weekend, I got my first vaccination shot, and I read a couple of good books! All is right in the world, LOL. I hope you had a wonderful weekend too. Mondays are always tough to get through but sometimes knowing you have a good book waiting to read at the end of the day helps. I’d love to know what you’re reading!

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

JUST FINISHED

Sometimes your in the mood to read a regency novel and this one hit the spot. An frenemies to loves story, I thought this novel had an interesting twist. I also liked that I’d read the first novel in the series and knew the back story of the other characters, I think otherwise I would’ve found them annoying. The two main protagonists were fun though!

JUST STARTED

I haven’t started a book yet. However, I do have these two books checked out from the library so I’m leaning towards picking up one of these. Has anyone read one of them? Love & Olives is a YA novel and I’ve read the other books in this series. I haven’t read any Alex Brown novels but this premise looks pretty good.

Thanks for the help! Now, let’s hear what books are on your nightstand!

Happy Monday and happy reading!

Deb