It’s Monday, what are you reading? (10/25/21)

I spent the weekend traveling down to Florida to visit my dad with my sister and the hubs and as I a,ways do when traveling I read A LOT!

JUST FINISHED

A hunky movie star wants some private tutoring from our heroine baker so he doesn’t look like a fool when he does a cooking show. It was light, fun, and perfect for a weekend getaway.

JUST STARTED

The first novel in this series was a great story and I received the ARC for the second book. I haven’t started it yet but I’m looking forward to digging in!

Happy Monday everyone! As usually, if you’d like to share what you’re reading, please do!

Deb

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: My Top 5 Book Releases- Nov’21

Ahh November, a month when the weather is finally cooler and I can lounge around in sweats reading books. Swap sweats for leggings and a t-shirt and it could be June! Every month is a good month for me to find some good books coming out in bookstores that I need to read or at least put on my TBR and dream of reading. November has quite a few good ones!

#5 BOOK RELEASE

The fifth book in the series, I am completely invested in seeing if the main character, Rosalind Thorne, improves her circumstances and what mystery she will solve for the ton next.

Synopsis:

Among the ton of Regency London, one breath of scandal can be disastrous. Enter Rosalind Thorne, a young woman adept at helping ladies of quality navigate the most delicate problems—in this charming mystery series inspired by the novels of Jane Austen . . .

It is every mama’s dearest wish that her daughter marries well. But how to ensure that a seemingly earnest suitor is not merely a fortune hunter? Rosalind is involved in just such a case, discreetly investigating a client’s prospective son-in-law, when she is drawn into another predicament shockingly close to home.

Rosalind’s estranged father, Sir Reginald Thorne—a drunkard and forger—has fallen into the hands of the vicious scoundrel Russell Fullerton. Angered by her interference in his blackmail schemes, Fullerton intends to unleash Sir Reginald on society and ruin Rosalind. Before Rosalind’s enemy can act, Sir Reginald is found murdered—and Fullerton is arrested for the crime. He protests his innocence, and Rosalind reluctantly agrees to uncover the truth, suspecting that this mystery may be linked to her other, ongoing cases.

Aided by her sister, Charlotte, and sundry friends and associates—including handsome Bow Street Runner Adam Harkness—Rosalind sets to work. But with political espionage and Napoleon loyalists in the mix, there may be more sinister motives, and far higher stakes, than she ever imagined . . .

Click this link to purchase!*A Counterfeit Suitor (Rosalind Thorne Mystery Book 5)

#4 BOOK RELEASE

I love romance novels that revolve around fate and whether there is someone out there who is meant to be our true life’s partner. I’m not sure if that’s what Just Haven’t Met You Yet is all about but I’m looking forward to finding out!

Synopsis: Hopeless romantic and lifestyle reporter Laura’s business trip to the Channel Islands isn’t off to a great start. After an embarrassing encounter with the most attractive man she’s ever seen in real life, she arrives at her hotel and realizes she’s grabbed the wrong suitcase from the airport. Her only consolation is its irresistible contents, each of which intrigues her more and more. The owner of this suitcase is clearly Laura’s dream man. Now, all she has to do is find him.
 
Besides, what are the odds that she’d find The One on the same island where her parents first met and fell in love, especially as she sets out to write an article about their romance? Commissioning surly cab driver Ted to ferry her around seems like her best bet in both tracking down the mystery suitcase owner and retracing her parents’ footsteps. But as Laura’s mystery man proves difficult to find—and as she uncovers family secrets—she may have to reimagine the life, and love, she always thought she wanted.

Click this link to purchase!* Just Haven’t Met You Yet

#3 BOOK RELEASE

It’s a retro-novel harkening back to this author’s early years. I love romances with a solid crew of female friends! Our two main characters are really fun to read too.

Synopsis: Pepper Hannigan is determined to keep any romance off the table—and out of her bedroom—while her daughter Juno is still young. Sure, a certain handsome commando is thoughtful, funny, and undeniably hot, but Pepper’s had her heart broken before, and she won’t let it happen again. Not to her or her little girl, even if this hero could melt any woman’s resolve.

Augustus “Auggie” Hero can’t deny his attraction to beautiful, warm-hearted Pepper or how much he wants to make a home with her and her little girl, but Pepper’s mixed signals have kept him away. That is, until Juno decides to play matchmaker. Her efforts finally bring Pepper into his arms, but they expose the danger Pepper is in. To protect Pepper and Juno, Auggie will have to live up to his last name and prove happy endings aren’t just for fairy tales. 

Click this link to purchase!* Dream Keeper (Dream Team Book 4)

#2 BOOK RELEASE

hope this book is as sweet as it sounds!

Synopsis:

Jasmine Tran has landed herself behind bars—maple bars that is. With no boyfriend or job prospects, Jasmine returns home to work at her parents’ donut shop. Jasmine quickly loses herself in a cyclical routine of donuts, Netflix, and sleep. She wants to break free from her daily grind, but when a hike in rent threatens the survival of their shop, her parents rely on her more than ever.

he’s also Chinese. He’s everything she should wish for, until a disastrous dinner reveals Alex isn’t as perfect as she thinks. Worse, he doesn’t think she’s perfect either.

With both sets of parents against their relationship, a family legacy about to shut down, and the reappearance of an old high school flame, Jasmine must scheme to find a solution that satisfies her family’s expectations and can get her out of the donut trap once and for all.

Click this link to purchase!* The Donut Trap: A Novel

MY MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE FOR NOV’21

I love new worlds, interesting characters, and VAMPIRES! LOL. No, really, this one sounds truly great and I’m really looking forward to reading it.

Synopsis: Their union is his revenge.

Isolde de Lara considers her wedding day to be her death day. To end a years-long war, she is to marry vampire king Adrian Aleksandr Vasiliev, and kill him.

But her assassination attempt is thwarted, and Adrian threatens that if Isolde tries kill him again, he will raise her as the undead. Faced with the possibility of becoming the thing she hates most, Isolde seeks other ways to defy him and survive the brutal vampire court.

Except it isn’t the court she fears most—it’s Adrian. Despite their undeniable chemistry, she wonders why the king—fierce, savage, merciless—chose her as consort.

The answer will shatter her world.

Click this link to purchase!* King of Battle and Blood (Adrian X Isolde, 1)

I’d love to hear about your own top 5 books you’re looking forward to reading next month! Please let me know in the comments.

Have a great month everyone!

Deb

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase one of these books through the above links, I’ll receive a small stipend.

This Chicks Audio Review: Hammered (Iron Druid Chronicles #3) by Kevin Hearne, narrated by Luke Daniels

Leif Helgerson, vampire, attorney, and friend to druid Atticus O’Sullivan, helped him wipe out an evil coven of witches in the last novel and it’s time for Atticus to return the favor. However, what Leif wants is to kill Norse god of thunder, Thor. Despite being warned by two other gods against killing Thor, he teams up with werewolf Alpha, Gunner, a Russian sorcerer, and some frost Giants and they head to Asgard for an epic battle.

Luke Daniels, as usual, does an amazing job with the narration of the Iron Druid Chronicles. There are so many characters and many different accents, I am amazed with how well he nails it and how much life he puts into these characters. My favorite again is Atticus’s dog Oberon who has a voice more intelligent than Scooby Doo, and it is an admirable sidekick and adds great comic relief.

Hammered has been the most difficult to get into of the three I’ve read in this series so far. When you read a series there are sometimes books that feel like filler or like you’re being set up for future plots. This book feels like one of those. You do learn Gunner and Leif’s back stories and also why all of these characters have a beef against Thor, which is semi-entertaining. I don’t get the feeling that this advanced Attitcus’s character but may in fact set him back a bit. You can’t help but think when Jesus warns you against killing Thor that it might not be a very good idea to do it.

This isn’t the first novel I’ve read that describes Thor as a big bully and not so nice god and I can’t help but think that a certain movie studio may have changed that character to fit female fantasies and sell tickets. When we meet Thor in this novel I did not visualize Chris Hemsworth’s handsome face. Hearne does a great job of wiping away any fantasy vision of Thorne to portray him probably as he was in the original myths, a big jerkwad.

Even though I felt slightly let down by the pace of this novel, I’m still a big fan of the series and I love the narration by Luke Daniels. I did immediately turn to the next novel, Tricked. This is one addictive bit of fantasy! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase this audiobook!* Hammered: The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book 3

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: Well Matched (Well Met #3) by Jen DeLuca

Single mom April Lane is used to doing things on her own. With her daughter going to college soon she decides to fix up her home to sell and asks her friend Mitch for some help. He says yes, but only if she’ll help him in return. He needs to bring a girlfriend home for a family reunion and her help would really get them off his back. What April doesn’t realize is that such close proximity has consequences and she and Mitch develop a new kind of friendship that makes her re-think her plans to leave Willow Creek.

Mitch is the brawny kilted character during the Renaissance Faire and best friend to Simon, the hero from the first novel in the series. He has always come across as a charming rogue with a twinkle in his eye, but in Well Matched we learn that while he is a pretty happy guy, there is a lot of depth to his character. He is so easy to like it was going to take a special woman to be his match and I wasn’t sure April was that woman. April has also been in the previous two books but she’s always been conservative, and well, kind of boring. Her identity was always tied to being a mom, but in Well Matched that identity was changing. Her daughter is graduating from high school and April realizes that she hasn’t had time to make lots of friends and put down roots. When she finally take a look around, she realizes that without meaning to those roots grew anyway. I really liked seeing April open up to emotions, having fun, and getting a little action! Mitch has such a big personality and is so well liked that it makes sense for his match to be a little older, more mature, and settled.

In Well Met the Renaissance Faire played a large part in my enjoyment of the novel and I was glad to see Jen DeLuca make the faire a central part of the story again. It made a perfect contrast to April’s more conservative nature and in the end worked it’s magic on her too.

❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase this book!* Well Matched

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? (10/18/21)

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. The weather here in Nashville was gorgeous and I did get outside quite a bit, which meant I slowed down on my reading a little. I’ll catch you up real quick.

JUST FINISHED

I am a huge fan of Patricia Brigg’s Mercy Thompson series but have put off listening to these short stories despite having purchased the audiobook. It does include the origin story of Briggs’ Alpha and Omega series and how Charles and Anna first met. I’ve heard that story before and looked forward to hearing it again. There were a couple that weren’t as interesting to me, probably because I couldn’t remember how the characters had interacted with Mercy’s stories but some were quite interesting and I enjoyed them tremendously! All in all a really good book!

JUST STARTED

I’m a huge fan of Kelley Armstrong and after being selected to read the ARC of the second novel in this series I realized I had never read the first! I used an Audible credit and am so enjoying this book! It’s a mystery/time travel/love story and the narrator has done an excellent job giving all of these characters their voices. I’m almost done with it and am looking forward to reading that next novel!

I hope you all had a great weekend! If you’d care to share what book you are reading, please do!

Deb

This Chick Read: Totally Folked (Good Folk: Modern Folktales #1) by Penny Reid

Hollywood actress, Raquel Ezra, is used to being judged by the Hollywood scene so when she meets Sheriff Jackson James while in Green Valley for a wedding she finds his good manners, and lack of being awestruck refreshing. So refreshing that she leaves the wedding early in order to spend some time along with him. Years later, burned out from her fake life, she returns to Green Valley dreaming of finding the same man still waiting. However, despite feeling that same instant attraction, he’s not interested in quick fun. He’s ready to settle down and she doesn’t know if she’s that person. Totally Folked is a totally cute tale about two people who don’t seem to know what they want except to somehow find their way back to each other.

This series is an off-shoot of Reid’s Winston Brothers series and I’ll admit, Jackson James was not my favorite side character. As the sheriff he was always so straight, but seeing what goes inside the mind of that man was really insightful and if I’ll admit, kind of made me sad. His initial connection to Raquel Ezra was a mix of being a gentleman and being slightly naughty. That dichotomy was really confusing, in a good way, and I knew I had to keep reading so I could figure him out. Raquel on the other hand was pretty much what she seemed, albeit much smarter than her persona. A Hollywood ingenue, she was a rising star that was quickly burning out from all that she had to do to make it rise. She didn’t know what she wanted out of life and because of that she fixated on how perfect that one evening was with Jackson James. What bothered me the most out of her character was that when things got difficult she didn’t make a plan and see it through she would start to run. That’s annoying! Luckily, fate seemed to throw the two of them together (as well as some other well meaning characters) and I saw some other sides to Raquel that helped me like her and root for she and Jackson as a couple.

One of the things I really admire about Penny Reids’s stories besides that they are quirky fun, is that the characters are flawed in a way that strikes an emotional chord. This novel was no different. Both Jackson and Raquel had insecurities that ran deep and formed them into the people they were today. Reid opens up her characters so that the reader can see what drives them and forms that connection with the reader and helps us build empathy. Yes, I thought Raquel needed to face her problems and stop running away but that feeling is driven by my own insecurities, not hers. Which kind of makes my point. By reading about these flawed characters we see things in ourselves that we may identify with or something we find shameful within ourselves that we want to change. The resolution to that character flaw is the reason why I came to care for the characters so much and that was certainly the case in this novel.

Totally Folked was the first novel in a new series and just as with all of Penny Reid’s other novels, they are a must read. This one was sweet, painful, joyful, and funny. All of the things I like from a great novel.

❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase this book!* Totally Folked: A Small Town Romance Folktale retelling (Good Folk: Modern Folktales Book 1)

Copyright 2021 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

This Chick’s Audio Review: Hexed (The Iron Druid Chronicles book #2) by Kevin Hearne, narrated by Luke Daniels

Atticus O’Sullivan, is the last Druid standing, and is much older than his 25 year old appearance, by about 20+ centuries. He doesn’t usually think much of witches but is about to sign a treaty with the local coven when another coven tries to drive stakes into their territory. A witch coven who are breeding with demons. Tempe Arizona seems to be a hotbed of activity lately with a fallen angel eating the local high school population and a horde of Bacchants wreaking havoc at a local concert when I Atticus going to find the time to witch hunt?

I’m late to the party discovering Kevin Hearne’s fun fantasy novels set in current time but I’m certainly not going to let all of these books go to waste! Luke Daniels narration is spot on and imbues humor, wit, and a certainly surfer sang-froid to the main character that is truly enjoyable and his adorable Oberon voice (Atticus’s trusty hound) is enough to keep me coming back for more. However, it’s Kevin Hearne’s writing that has me hooked with new characters popping up in every chapter that keeps me reading to discover what the heck is going to happen next!

There is a lot going on in this novel but the main story regarding the above witch takeover is the most interesting. It opens the dialog to learn little bit about Atticus and the covens actions during WWII which were pretty interesting and bare details that may bring fruit in future novels. At least I hope because it was super interesting. I love it when fantasy authors weave real life into their totally fantastical fiction.

Admittedly, I don’t read a ton of novels by male authors and truly I’m not sure why that is? However, now that Kevin Hearne (and Luke Daniels!) are on my fantasy radar I’m excited to see the backlog of books available that will keep me busy for a couple of years at least!

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase this audiobook!* Hexed: The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book 2

Copyright 2021 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (10/11/21)

Last week was a busy one with three ARC’s (Advanced Reader Copy) due so my reading choices were not my own. Well, technically I did sign up for those reviews, but it’s always nice to read because you feel like reading, not because you have to read something because you said you would. I’m sure you all feel the same way. So without have a clock ticking on my reading habits, what did I do? I read ahead to an ARC that’s due on 10/19. LOL. To be fair this was a book where I like the series and was looking forward to reading the most recent book, so it wasn’t really a hardship. Let’s catch up! Here are the books being checked off my TBR.

JUST FINISHED

I’m drawn to this series because they are lighthearted romances set in a little town that puts on an annual Renaissance festival. Well Met was the first book and I loved it. I’ve gotten to know these characters so I’m pretty invested even though books 2 and 3 have not been quite as good as the first. Well Matched was Mitch’s story and I was curious how it would play out. You’ll have to read my review to find out!

JUST STARTED

This novel was written in 2019 and has been on my library TBR since I saw a blogger write about it. I like to read young adult books occasionally for a change of pace and this story about a deaf high school student who moves across country and has to go to school in a regular school sounded like it might broaden my horizons a little. I, too have a small hearing problem, and while I am not deaf, just hearing impaired, I enjoy reading true representation stories and am curious to see how she learns to navigate high school life with this kind of challenge. I just started it and will add it to my review. Stay tuned!

This week is going to have its own challenges and having a good book waiting for me at home helps me get through the long days. Do you feel the same? Which book is waiting for you to pick it up after a long day at work?

Happy Monday and happy reading!

Deb

This Chick Read: When Night Breaks (Kingdom of Cards #2) by Janella Angeles

Starting up right where “Where Dreams Descend” left off, Kallia has been swallowed into the mirror in her magic performances during the Spectaculor, a magician’s contest. On the other side of the mirror is a whole different world where sunlight is obliterated by “devils”, and magicians duel for power and status. Kallia’s power has been depleted and navigating this new world takes wit, courage, and magic. When Night Breaks shows us a different world, where darkness reigns supreme and only the absolute best magicians survive.

Confession time! I struggled with this novel. It’s only because I liked the first one so much that I was able to stick with it and make myself finish. If it had been any other book I would have put it down and picked up a different novel. Maybe it’s because this is my second fantasy novel in a row where the story was desperately dark, a sign of a writer trying to create during a pandemic. I felt that pain too, but my own pain was in trying to see the light and find something positive to talk about in my review. Here’s what I found.

  1. Jack- Whereas Kallia felt less interesting to me, her nemesis Jack became even more interesting. He was also confusing, but I’ll stick with why I thought he was interesting. Jack was always a dark horse. The magical being who held Kallia captive in “Where Dreams Descend”, and who she had a love hate relationship. She still does, but in this new world, Jack’s back story is revealed and we see why he is what he is, and how he struggled to break out from the hold Roth (a new character in this book) had over him.
  2. Eva- or Vain as she’s named in this novel. The famous Daron DeMarco’s assistant, and sister, who disappeared into a mirror during an act. She is alive and has risen to the top in this new world. She was way more interesting than Kallia and I found myself looking forward to the pages with her story.
  3. World building- The author didn’t do herself any favors by having to create a brand new world in When Night Breaks. As it’s ‘through the looking glass’, it runs parallel to the real world from which Kallia arrived. Dark to the other world’s light, the differences were surprising and kept me reading.

Everything in this book led us toward the big conflict at the end, but that conflict was a confused mess. I had trouble following what was going on and the reasons for why these things were happening. The conflict didn’t feel too different from the rest of the book, and therefore not enough of a conflict for me to feel any sort of resolution for the characters, even with the built-in happily, happily. It was just ho-hum.

Despite my overall feelings of doom and gloom, I couldn’t give the novel lower than a three rating. Yes, if I hadn’t loved the first novel so much I wouldn’t have finished this one, but it’s because I loved that first novel so much that I am giving this an average rating. Please feel free to disagree and read this book and pass your own judgement. My bad 4 days of reading this book may be the best in your life. ❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase!* When Night Breaks (Kingdom of Cards Book 2)

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: Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson

Artemisia is in training to be a Gray Sister, a nun who cleanses the bodies of the deceased so that their souls can pass, but Artemisia also has a special talent…she can discern the different types of spirits in one of the highest orders and this talent changes her future. When possessed soldiers arrive and attack her convent, Artemisia takes up the relic of a fifth order revenant and allows it to possess her in order to save the other nuns. The story of her fight sweeps the countryside and her history is rewritten. Vespertines are priestesses who can wield a high relic, but how they do that has been lost and Artemisia turns to the revenant inside herself for the knowledge to beat the evil that is sweeping the country.

Once again Margaret Rogerson has created a really interesting world. This story is much darker in feeling which is portrayed really well by the cover. Artemisia is a rather dark soul even before a revenant takes residence inside of her body. Possessed by an ashrim, an evil spirit, when she was a child, her parents kept her locked in a shed for years. It was only by burning her hands in a fire that she removed the spirit, but the horrors of her past have left scars, both internal and external. I really liked her evolution from solitary scared girl to a young woman who decides to fight instead of surrender to evil.

Written during the pandemic I drew a parallel between the spirits ravaging Artemisia’s world and the virus which is ravaging our own lives. Artemisia stepped out of her comfort zone, her solitariness, and leaned on the people around her and trusted in others to help her fight her battles. In comparison, I wish our real world chose to fight the virus together instead of skirmishing individually about vaccinations and masks. However, unlike my world and all that’s going on within it, it was nice to see her conquer evil. The way the novel ended I felt like the author may have left the door open for another book? I kind of hope so. I am now invested and would love to see where these characters lead us next. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase this book!* Vespertine

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.