This Chick Read: First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson #1) by Darynda Jones (audio book review)

First Grave on the Right was first published in 2011, so this is not a new book. However, recently I had another blogger recommend Darynda Jones to me because of my love of paranormal fantasy novels. When I looked up Darynda Jones I saw there were 13 books in this series and I’ll admit I was excited. There’s nothing like finding a great new author and getting to read through a bunch of their novels that are already published. I chose to explore by listening to the audio book narrated by Lorelei King. I’ll be the first to admit that I am just learning to recognize narrators names and I didn’t recognize Lorelei King, but when I heard her voice I knew immediately who she was. Ms. King also narrates Patricia Briggs Mercy Thompson series, one of my favorites, and also a series I am currently listening to. Once I got over the fact that the voice may be the same, but the characters definitely weren’t I really enjoyed the novel.

First Grave on the Right introduces us to Charley Davidson, PI and Grim Reaper. Charley is not the Grim Reaper of horror stories. She doesn’t wear a cape and carry a scythe. She is a person who see’s dead people and helps them cross. The dead people see Charley as a brilliant white light which attracts them to her and to get them to cross she helps solve the problem that’s keeping them in this realm. In this case it is a murder. Charley’s character has such a joie de vivre! Ms. King read’s her with a sense of humor and irreverence that really makes listening to this novel enjoyable. It is part slapstick, romance and mystery; think Stephanie Plumb meets Nancy Drew.

First Grave on the Right is also a paranormal romance novel, but Charley’s lover is not corporeal, he is an entity that at first we’re not sure is a bad guy or good guy. We are only introduced to this character, but he has played an integral part in Charley’s entire life. Moving into future novels his character becomes a bit more fleshed out, but in First Grave on the Right Charley is trying to determine who and what he is, while also solving this other murder.

I really enjoyed Darynda Jones since of humor in writing these characters. It’s a paranormal fantasy so throw away your expectations of reality and just enjoy the ride!

❤️❤️❤️❤️

First Grave

Click this link to purchase the audio book! First Grave on the Right: Charley Davidson, Book 1

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

I am an Amazon Associate and receive a small stipend if you purchase through the above link.

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This Chick Read: Rough Justice (Cainsville #8) by Kelley Armstrong

Rough Justice is a novella revolving around Olivia’s first Hunt as Matilda for the Cwn Annwn. The Hunt provides justice to those who have killed descendents of the fair folk and the Matilda leads that hunt as witness when justice is served.  Olivia’s day job is as an investigator for her boyfriend lawyer Gabriel, so admittedly it’s hard for her to accept their prey’s guilt without proof, and because of that he goes free. Olivia investigates the murder and finds that the solution is not as clear cut as portrayed.

Kelley Armstrong has written another great novel in this series giving us just a taste of being back with our favorite characters. The mystery traversed a path that was unexpected and I enjoyed that journey, however the tension that filled the other novels was missing from this one with only a mild segue into the current status of Gabriel and Olivia’s relationship. Maybe I’m nitpicking but that tension was a big part of why I felt the series was so gripping.

If you need a Cainsville fix this novella will give you one, but I hope she is writing another one quickly because this is just an appetizer and not a whole meal.

❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Rough Justice

Click this link to purchase! Rough Justice

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

I am an Amazon Associate and will receive a small stipend if you purchase this novel through the above link.

This Chick Read: Vampire’s Faith (Dark Protectors #8) by Rebecca Zanetti

Vampire’s Faith is the eighth book in the Dark Protectors series, but is really the first book in it’s own series, also set in the Dark Protectors world. Ronan Kayrs was sacrificed to live in an alternate dimension that was supposed to last for an eternity. His sacrifice was part of a key that would hold the ultimate enemy. When Ronan wakes in a hospital, he realizes his part of the containment has collapsed, and that evil is closer to being released back into this world. However, there is a bright side for Ronan. When he awakes he also sets sight on the woman he has been dreaming of for centuries, his mate Dr. Faith Cooper.

The Dark Protectors series is my favorite of Rebecca Zanetti’s. It uses the time honored theme of good vs evil, but with a paranormal twist. Vampire’s Faith adds another twist in that Ronan is a King from centuries ago. His brothers descendants are the current time Kayrs family who rules their vampire nation and are the heroes of the earlier books in this series. A clever way to tie the stories together and keep this thrilling series alive.

I had a really easy time enjoying Ronan. When he entered the story he was kind of goofy, after all he was dropped into current technology, clothing, etc. He was charming and self deprecating as he wooed his mate. As the story moved forward, he became more demanding and reverted to the “I am male therefore you should listen to me” ways of the past. Luckily Faith was not going along with his program. It made for a tension filled  love story where both of their eyes were being opened to unusual things and they had to rely on each other to be their anchor in an unfamiliar world. The highlight was that the attraction between the two was sizzling and their passion jumped off the pages.

Where I felt the story slow down was when the Kurjans and Cyst were bigger players in a scene. I guess I needed a little more back story for this hidden sect that showed up all of a sudden as the big evil was closer to being released. I’m sure their part in this story will get fleshed out a little more in the next novel, which looks to be a good one. The story set up nicely at the end of this book to tantalize the reader.

If you love paranormal romances this series is great. You can start with book #8 and jump right in, but to get a better picture of this world start at the beginning with Fated. It’s one of my favorites in the series. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Vampire's Faith

Click this link to purchase! Vampire’s Faith

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reseved

I am an Amazon Associate and will receive a small stipend if you purchase through the above link.

This Chick Read: Awakened by Fire (Dragons of Bloodfire #2) by Erin Kellison

Samantha Vine is home to see her grandfather and to be a reluctant bridesmaid in her cousin’s wedding. She hasn’t been home for years because it’s hard for her to hide what she is, and if she gets found out both she and her grandfather’s lives will be forfeit. She is a Tempus, someone who can travel through time. She was saved as an infant by her grandfather who fed her the blood of Warrick Voclain, dragon and Bloodkin Triad member, an act that also created her Tempus status. Samantha’s family has always served the Voclain’s and when she finds out that her grandfather and Warrick are in danger she stays in New York to go back through time to find out who is trying to harm them.

Warrick is a very strong dragon and when Samantha uses her magic in his presence he knows immediately what she has done. It’s against the law, but she has done it to help him which intrigues him.  After putting her own life in danger, he falls prey to the attraction they feel for each other and is willing to lay his life on the line so that she can keep hers.

I read the first novel in this series a couple of years ago and immediately purchased the second intending to read it immediately. Of course, time got away from me but this weekend I saw it on my kindle and picked it up. Wow, it was good! Even though the cover has the whole naked chest thing going on (not my favorite type of cover) this book had a great plot. It was a mystery first and relationship building story second. I loved how the author took her time to let the reader get to know these characters and let the characters get re-acquainted with each other. By the time the two of them became romantic I was all in, rooting for him to forget the fact she was human and her to also give his dragon brooding self a chance. There was a lot of action, fight scenes, and subterfuge with the romance lifting the story to the next level. A very fun weekend read! I will  definitely not wait as long to pick up the third novel in the series.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

Awakened by Fire

Click this link to purchase! Awakened by Fire: Dragons of Bloodfire 2

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

I am an Amazon Associate and receive a small stipend if you purchase through the above link.

This Chick Read: Hot and Badgered (Honey Badger Chronicles #1) by Shelly Laurenston

Shelly Laurenston writes the most irreverent and fun shifter romance novels. Her characters do have the characteristics of the animals they shift into, but unlike other novels in the human shifting into animal paranormal genre, it doesn’t skeeve me out. I always look forward to a new release and I’ve been looking forward to reading Hot and Badgered since I read and featured the Chapter excerpt a few months ago.

If this were a normal novel I’d say that Charlie is the overprotective older sister who has taken it upon herself to protect her two younger sisters their entire lives. However, this is a shifter novel, so that same sentence should actually be, full blooded honey badger, Charlie is the overprotective sister to her half tiger/honey badger genius younger sister, and her psychotic always smiling honey badger middle sister. Sounds like a lot more fun, right? Honey badgers are notorious for not being scared of anything. They will fight a grizzly to the death even though they are bigger and more fierce. These ladies are no different they are death personified, but sweet and funny at the same time.

Berg Dunn meets Charlie when she dives naked out of her hotel bedroom and lands two flights down in his. He helps protect her from the armed men who are chasing her and she runs out the door before he learns her name. When he finds her a few days later he helps them rent a house in his bear neighborhood where they will catch the scent of any non bear who tries to sneak in. This is the start of Berg’s fascination with Charlie, but Charlie doesn’t want to bring solid, dependable Berg into her crazy life. Of course, he does finally wear her down, but not before a lot of blood is shed and food is eaten.

Shelly Laurenston has built a world that is total fantasy and 100% fun. These shifters are fierce and somewhat like their animal namesakes, so reading their reactions to each other is kind of like watching the Discovery Channel but the animals have human emotions to match their animal fierceness. Berg and Charlie were a fun couple and complemented the other. Berg was solid and nice while Charlie was a bit ADHD and a warrior. She was the most normal of the three sisters so I can’t imagine what species could possibly be matched up with either of her two crazy sisters.

If you’ve never read a Shelly Laurenston novel, I’d start with the Pride series the world might make a little more sense, however, this is a stand alone novel and there are only a couple of extraneous characters who show up where you may miss a subtle reference. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Hot

Click this link to purchase! Hot and Badgered (The Honey Badgers)

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

I am an Amazon Associate and receive a small stipend if you purchase through the above link.

This Chick Read: Lachlan (Immortal Highlander #1) by Hazel Hunter

Kinley Chandler is a wounded war veteran languishing in a hospital bed in San Diego fighting to find the will to live. She was in an explosion that embedded shrapnel in her stomache, took her leg and scarred her both physically and mentally. As an excercise in healing her therapist takes her on a car ride to a national park hoping to jump start the fight within her, but only makes Kinley more interested in ending her life. When the therapist steps away to get her phone, Kinley puts the wheels in motion to launch herself down a hillside to hopefully end her life. Instead, she lands in 14th century Scotland in the middle of a fight between some highlanders and Roman soldiers. Her body is whole again and although she’s confused, she jumps in and saves a highlanders life creating an immediate bond between the two of them.

When I read this synopsis I was intrigued by Kinley, a female wounded warrior, wondering how her skills were going to help her out in medieval Scotland. Once she had come to grips with her situation we did see those skills in play. She had been a search and rescue coordinator, so her strategies in finding the Romans who were terrorizing the inhabitants of Skye were ahead of this time. Even better was Lachlan’s acceptance of who she had been and that he took those skills for granted. I was ok with Lachlan’s immortality (yep) but what was hard for me to overlook was that the Roman soldiers were actually Roman vampires. Just to make it really clear, the good vs evil fight was between Immortal Scottish warriors and Roman soldier vampires. There was a lot going on in this novel!

The talent was apparent in the writing because, well, I stuck with it to the end. I just wish she hadn’t thrown the story at the wall to see what stuck. It would’ve been enough for me to have Kinley get thrown back in time her body whole, found a warrior who see’s her worth, comes to love her- maybe throw in a couple of fighting scenes to show off everyone’s skills and then have our happily ever after. The vampire scenes were pretty gross and vivid, so I skimmed and skipped those parts. I really just wanted to get back to what I considered the meat and potatoes, Kinley and Lachlan. However, I can see why other readers gave this novel high reviews. Kinley was an original! The female vet angle was really appealing and in the end her character is why I read this book all the way to the end.

If this plot intrigues you, you’ll be happy to know that there are a LOT of these Immortal Highlander novels. Every highlander apparently has a woman come tumbling through from our world. Lucky them! I haven’t decided yet if I am going to give the second book a chance. The writing was good, but oh those Roman vampires…

❤️❤️❤️❣️

Lachlan

Click this link to purchase!Lachlan (Immortal Highlander Book 1): A Scottish Time Travel Romance

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

I am an Amazon Associate and receive a small stipend if you purchase through the above link.

This Chick Read: Torment (Origin #3) by Scarlett Dawn

In a world where the male population outweigh the females you have only a brief time before you have to make a decision. Join the army or get married and start doing your part to build up the depleted population. When you’re on the run from your psychotic father you don’t have a lot of time to think about your future. Megan is just trying to stay one step ahead and off his radar. After escaping imprisonment in the second book in the series, Transcend, Megan had found a job as a bartender. When the mercenaries that helped free her from captivity show up for a drink, Megan worries that they will lead her father straight to her, however her instant chemistry with Rune Mason pushes those worries to the back burner. For the moment. When she learns Rune is a panther shifter and she is his mate, she’s surprisingly blase about the whole thing. Panther? Cool! Well, cat’s do like to hunt, and he does promise to keep her safe from her father. I can see how that would weigh in his favor.

Origin is a serial where the plot is continuous from one book to the next. Our central couple shifts (pun not intended), however the overall story of these shifters trying to save the world from an evil mastermind continues. When Megan finds out her new beau, Rune, is a panther (also a successful, wealthy businessman) and can help her kill her father she embraces this dangerous world. After all, Rune can keep her safe and give her that princess life she’s always wanted. I’m not sure Rune gets anything out of the bargain except for a mate who is sassy and kind of cunning like he is, but as my mom always said, “there’s someone for everyone” and Megan and Rune are a matched set!

This is my second series by Scarlett Dawn, and I have to say that I really enjoy her style of writing. It’s energetic, fun, and kind of wacky! If you can keep yourself from thinking too hard about the details and how the characters move from point A to point B, then you’ll enjoy reading her books. Torment on it’s own was an enjoyable story. I like Rune, he’s always plotting and playful and I felt that Megan was a great match for his cunning cat. I’m used to this world they live in, so those details don’t take me out of the story, but there was one small detail that made me pause and go “huh”. Megan’s dream, after killing her father and being free to do whatever she wants? To be a princess, I’m guessing in a Disney World type setting (I hope!) and making children smile all day was a little far fetched, but maybe that was my own problem. I’ve never had ball gown and magic wand dreams myself. Pushing that one thing aside, Torment was a lot of fun and once again I found myself enjoying the romp. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Torment

Click this link to purchase! Torment (Origin Book 3)

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: This is Why a New York Times Bestselling Author Changed Her Pen Name to G. L. Carriger: On Pseudonyms, Cover Art & Reader Betrayal (Important for Writers) by Author Gail Carriger

I am a big fan of Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate, Custard Protocol series and her YA series The Finishing School. I have reviewed a few of her books and occassionally read her newsletters to keep up with what she has coming out and is working on. Lo and Behold, tonight I read this fabulous article about why or really what cover art should say about what is in your novel. I totally agree with the importance of portraying what’s inside the book correctly. I think I have mentioned this a time or two… It’s fascinating to hear from the authors viewpoint. She also talks about her slight change in pen name when she writes from genre to genre. Her reasons make total sense when writing a clean YA, steampuk, to a raunchier adult, LGBTQ novel.

Anyways, you can read the article yourself because I have pasted it below.

If you read to the very bottom you will see a quote from THE READING CHICK ( yes ME!) from a review I wrote for Prudence. Color me shocked when I saw that! And VERY pleased!

So please enjoy Ms. Carrigers thoughts, she is a super talented writer, well spoken, and really knows what she’s talking about.

Deb (The Reading Chick)

This is Why a New York Times Bestselling Author Changed Her Pen Name to G. L. Carriger: On Pseudonyms, Cover Art & Reader Betrayal (Important for Writers)

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This Chick Read:  a Chapter Excerpt of Hot and Badgered by Shelly Laurenston

Shelly Laurenstons new novel Hot and Badgered doesn’t come out until March 27th, but when offered the chance to read a chapter in advance of the release, I just couldn’t pass it up! I zipped through this chapter, once again loving the humor, dialog, and action. Her novels are unlike any other shifter novels. 

Here’s the synopsis:

It’s not every day that a beautiful naked woman falls out of the sky and lands face-first on grizzly shifter Berg Dunn’s hotel balcony. Definitely they don’t usually hop up and demand his best gun. Berg gives the lady a grizzly-sized t-shirt and his cell phone, too, just on style points. And then she’s gone, taking his XXXL heart with her. By the time he figures out she’s a honey badger shifter, it’s too late.

 Honey badgers are survivors. Brutal, vicious, ill-tempered survivors. Or maybe Charlie Taylor-MacKilligan is just pissed that her useless father is trying to get them all killed again, and won’t even tell her how. Protecting her little sisters has always been her job, and she’s not about to let some pesky giant grizzly protection specialist with a network of every shifter in Manhattan get in her way. Wait. He’s trying to help? Why would he want to do that? He’s cute enough that she just might let him tag along—that is, if he can keep up . . .

Unfortunately, we have a little while to wait until this fun new novel in The Honey Badgers series comes out. I can’t wait!


Click this link to pre-order! 

Hot and Badgered (The Honey Badgers)

This Chick Read: Rituals (Cainsville #5) by Kelley Armstrong

The final book in the wonderfully weird and paranormally powerful Cainsville series. I couldn’t wait to read it! Olivia Taylor Jones and her boyfriend Ricky broke up at the end of the previous novel because she had feelings she needed to explore with Gabriel. Sounds pretty normal, right? Well, in this series, Olivia, Ricky and Gabriel are re-living the lives of Matilda, Arwyn and Gwynn a love triangle that ended tragically.  Having learned their story, the three of them are determined that they are going to do things differently, with their love and friendship, most improtantly for them to avoid the tragic ending.  Of course, there is another evil force that is blocking their path to happiness. Will they be able to conquer evil and live their happily ever after?

Finally! I have been waiting for Olivia to give Gabriel a chance. Yes, he’s broody, kind of odd and anti social. But he’s also sweet, strong and overbearing. Did I say overbearing was a good thing? Not necessarily, but in his case it is ok. Ricky’s new role as friend, rankles him a bit, which isn’t a surprise. However, he stepped aside gracefully which made me like him more than I already did. He saw the writing on the wall and stepped aside.  The fact there is love and respect between all three of them is something we can all learn something from in our own often tumultuous relationships. I love these three! I love them even more when they are fighting evil together.

I was sorry to see the ending to this series. It’s quickly become one of my favorites just as Kelly Armstrong is one of my favorite authors. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️


Click this link to purchase!  Rituals: The Cainsville Series

Copyrigh 2017 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved