This Chick Read: Smash It! by Francina Simone

Liv is tired of being afraid to take chances and after showing up to a Halloween party in khaki shorts and a hoodie she decides to go for it, have experiences, and change her life! First up is trying out for the school play, a hip-hop version of Othello. Scared to death, her two best friends Dré and Eli, also try out and the drama begins. Having two boys for best friends has led Liv to make the safe choices but when a cute boy in the play asks her out, she risks it all. How will this affect her feelings for her two friends? You’re going to have to read this charming un-putdown-able novel.

I’m not even lying. I stayed up until 1am on a work night reading this book. How Liv feels about herself is so relatable to 90% of the female population. She thinks she’s overweight, has bad hair, and isn’t cute when she’s the complete opposite! She’s fun, funny, a kick butt singer, can dance, is curvy, and should be a self confident young woman. When she tries out for this play and says yes to her first date a whole new world opens before her and her two friends take notice!

What can I say about Eli and Dré? They were totally different from each other, had real problems that added a nice bit of conflict to the story, and both loved Liv to death. Their friendship was one of my favorite things about this book, and despite their lives changing as they got older, they could all rely on each other. To a point. But what would a story be without a little drama, right?

This was a totally fun book, that felt real. I didn’t feel like a middle aged woman reading a teen novel. I felt like these kids anxiety’s are what people of any age feel on a daily basis. Their stories were relatable, their triangle was interesting, and each of their story arc’s read true. Despite your own age, Smash It! is a book that needs to be read. It may make you look differently at your own life, but if not, it will at least entertain you with their’s. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase!* Smash It!

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

* Amazon Associate- if you buy this book through the above link I may make a small stipend.

This Chick Read: Kind of a Big Deal (Flirting with Fame #4) by Mary Ann Marlowe

Noah Kennedy and Lucy Griffin were high school sweethearts, best friends, and soul mates. When Noah left for New York to pursue his dream of becoming a rock star he and Lucy tried the long distance thing, but Lucy wanted someone who’d be there every day, not someone who would be on tour all the time. It was too similar to her absentee father who only dropped in when it was convenient to him. So, Lucy broke Noah’s heart. They remained friends, seeing each other only occasionally, but she was always the girl that got away. When Noah finds out that Lucy is now divorced he’s determined to win her for good.

The thing I love about Reading a series where each character in the gang gets their own story, is that by the time their story gets written we’ve heard their back story and have kind of gotten to know the character. Noah was definitely in the other books, but he was always the jerk and because of that I was never drawn to him. Reading his story I now know why he’s a jerk, but knowing that didn’t necessarily make him more likable. The only thing that did was his devout love for Lucy. Then there was Lucy. She’d obviously not had a good father figure and every man was judged against his failures and Noah had too many like comparisons, or at least on the surface. She had a lot of past grievances to overcome and Noah had a big mountain to climb.

The first 40% of this novel was spent catching up on these characters story arc. I’ll be honest, this became problematic for me because I got impatient. I wasn’t very attached to either character and their previous struggles, although eye-opening, didn’t help me care for them. However, once I hit that 40% and they finally re-connected, the story moved forward at a quicker pace and I sped through the remainder of the novel. From that point forward I was rooting for Noah. I’ll admit, I never cared too deeply for Lucy but wanted Noah to finally achieve his own HEA, even if it was with her. I didn’t think she was too deserving.

This was not my favorite book in the series. In that first 40% I kind of felt like their lives were just being told to me and the narration felt distant. I didn’t live their experiences with them. I’m glad to have read Kind of a Big Deal because it wraps up the series (I think!) but my favorite by this author is still her first book Some Kind of Wonderful. If you haven’t read that novel, please give it a try! It’s the first book and if you love it like I did, you will want to hear the rest of these band member’s stories. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

I was given a copy of this novel by the author for my honest review. I lost the copy and purchased the novel because of my love for this series. My review remains unbiased and completely honest.

Click this link to purchase!* Kind of a Big Deal (Flirting with Fame)

Copyright 2020 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? (9/21/2020)

I did get a good bit of reading in this last week despite a crazy work week and some more birthday shenanigans at home. In my family all of my siblings, my husband and my mother’s birthdays are within six weeks of each other so we seem to have a party almost every weekend. (Yes, socially distanced, we all live together!) Let’s catch you up on what I’ve been up to!

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

I’ve read this series but saw the audiobooks up for sale and picked them up. I’ve been enjoying them all again, wrapping up with the third, Wayfarer’s Keep. This author writes so well and keeps me entirely entertained!

JUST STARTED

I love books about young women finding their power. I’m curious to see how she uses her new found confidence! This one is off to a quick start and I like the author’s voice so far!

Now that you know what I’m up to, catch me up on the books on your nightstand!

Happy Monday!

Deb

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: My Top 5 Most Anticipated Book Releases- Oct’20

I love fall! The weather is wonderful and you just want to be outside. Maybe it will be nice enough to read one of these books on my back patio? You can only hope!

#5 MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE

The premise for this series is so great! A group of guys read romance novels to help them figure out their women and improve their love lives. The first one was totally cute, but I’ll admit I was disappointed in the second in the series. Will Crazy Stupid Bromance reel me back in? We’ll see!

Synopsis: A hacktivist and a cat café owner decode the friend zone in this romantic comedy from the author of Undercover Bromance.

Alexis Carlisle and her cat café, ToeBeans, have shot to fame after she came forward as a victim of a celebrity chef’s sexual harassment. When a new customer approaches to confide in her, the last thing Alexis expects is for the woman to claim they’re sisters. Unsure what to do, Alexis turns to the only man she trusts—her best friend, Noah Logan.
 
Computer genius Noah left his rebellious teenage hacker past behind to become a computer security expert. Now he only uses his old skills for the right cause. But Noah’s got a secret: He’s madly in love with Alexis. When she asks for his help, he wonders if the timing will ever be right to confess his crush. 
 
Noah’s pals in The Bromance Book Club are more than willing to share their beloved “manuals” to help him go from bud to boyfriend. But he must decide if telling the truth is worth risking the best friendship he’s ever had.

Click this link to purchase!* Crazy Stupid Bromance (Bromance Book Club)

#4 MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE

It’s certainly not the cover that makes me want to read this book. A very disappointing choice by the publisher. This novel as been buzzing for a couple of months and I’ll admit to wanting to know what all the fuss is about!

Synopsis:


A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever—and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

Click this link to purchase!* The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

#3 MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE

I loved The Tourist Attraction, the first book in this series. Mistletoe and Mr. Right looks to be just as cute and I can’t wait to get started on this one!

Synopsis:

How the moose (almost) stole Christmas.

Lana Montgomery is everything the quirky small town of Moose Springs, Alaska can’t stand: a rich socialite with dreams of changing things for the better. But Lana’s determined to prove that she belongs…even if it means trading her stilettos for snow boots and tracking one of the town’s hairiest Christmas mysteries: the Santa Moose, an antlered Grinch hell-bent on destroying every bit of holiday cheer (and tinsel) it can sink its teeth into.

And really…how hard could it be?

The last few years have been tough on Rick Harding, and it’s not getting any easier now that his dream girl’s back in town. When Lana accidentally tranquilizes him instead of the Santa Moose, it’s clear she needs help, fast…and this could be his chance to finally catch her eye. It’s an all-out Christmas war, but if they can nab that darn moose before it destroys the town, Rick and Lana might finally find a place where they both belong…together.

Click this link to purchase!* Mistletoe and Mr. Right (Moose Springs, Alaska Book 2)

#2 MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE

Love, love, love this series. It’s clever, it’s current, and it’s football season all the time! Alexa Martin strikes the right chord in these funny rom-com’s. I can’t wait to get started!

Synopsis:

With the stakes this high, it’s no longer just a game for the Mustang’s quarterback in this romance by the author of Blitzed.

Elliot Reed is living her best life—or pretending to. She owes it to her dad’s memory to be happy and make the most of her new job as Strategic Communications Manager for the Denver Mustangs. Things are going well until star quarterback Quinton Howard Jr. decides to use the field as his stage and takes a knee during the national anthem.

As the son of a former professional athlete, Quinton knows the good, the bad, and the ugly about football. He’s worked his entire life to gain recognition in the sport, and now that he has it, he’s not about to waste his chance to change the league for better. Not even the brilliant but infuriating Elliot, who the Mustangs assign to manage him, will get Quinton back in line.

A rocky initial meeting leads to more tension between Quinton and Elliot. But as her new job forces them to spend time together, Elliot realizes they may have more in common than she could’ve imagined. With her job and his integrity on the line, this is one coin toss that nobody can win.

Click this link to purchase!* Snapped (Playbook, The)

MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE OF OCT’20

This book sounds amazing. Set in a Regency England type world, a young woman has to pick between becoming a Magus and forgoing a chance at love or picking love and having her magic obliterated for the safety of her future children. It seems especially fitting to read this female empowerment novel during a time when the US is undergoing a political fight to replace a strong woman on the Supreme Court. A choice that could take women back in rights by decades. I can’t wait to see how this fictional character finds the right balance of claiming her own power and not giving up on love.

Synopsis:

Beatrice Clayborn is a sorceress who practices magic in secret, terrified of the day she will be locked into a marital collar that will cut off her powers to protect her unborn children. She dreams of becoming a full-fledged Magus and pursuing magic as her calling as men do, but her family has staked everything to equip her for Bargaining Season, when young men and women of means descend upon the city to negotiate the best marriages. The Clayborns are in severe debt, and only she can save them, by securing an advantageous match before their creditors come calling. 

In a stroke of luck, Beatrice finds a grimoire that contains the key to becoming a Magus, but before she can purchase it, a rival sorceress swindles the book right out of her hands. Beatrice summons a spirit to help her get it back, but her new ally exacts a price: Beatrice’s first kiss . . . with her adversary’s brother, the handsome, compassionate, and fabulously wealthy Ianthe Lavan. 

The more Beatrice is entangled with the Lavan siblings, the harder her decision becomes: If she casts the spell to become a Magus, she will devastate her family and lose the only man to ever see her for who she is; but if she marries—even for love—she will sacrifice her magic, her identity, and her dreams. But how can she choose just one, knowing she will forever regret the path not taken?

Click this link to purchase!* The Midnight Bargain

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

These are some fun sounding books, aren’t they? What books or authors are you looking forward to reading next month? There are a lot of great ones!

Happy reading!

Deb

This Chick Read: Well Played by Jen DeLuca

Stacey has spent the last two years of the Renaissance Fair playing a buxom barmaid by day and hooking up with hot guy and musician Dex by night. When the month long fair ended her two good friends got engaged and Stacey felt dissatisfied with how she was living her life. So, one night after too many drinks she reaches out to Dex on his fan site and opens up about her feelings. Surprisingly he emails back and they spend the next 10 months becoming best friends and falling in love. There was a lot more to her hot hook-up than she thought! Or was there? She’s been played!

I couldn’t help but compare Well Played to Well Met, the first novel in this series. I may be doing this book a disservice because I LOVED Well Met. The setting surprised me and I loved the banter between Emily and Simon. There was a lot to like about Well Played but it just didn’t live up to my expectations.

Here’s what I liked. Stacey was a plus-sized heroine, which let’s face it, most of us are and so we can easily identify with her body self image insecurities. I loved that we still had that Renaissance Fair setting. I actually do wish that more of it had been set at the fair though. I did also like the friendships in this novel. They were all there for each other and had each others backs. If you have a great pack of friends you can survive most everything!

Here’s what weighed against my rating. (I can’t say dislike!) It took too long to get to our hero and heroine being together. There was a LOT of email exchanges and texts and I just didn’t feel all of the emotions I was supposed to feel. I liked our hero, but I didn’t love him. There was one scene that just really bothered me! I can’t get into who he is or what that scene was, so this is kind of lame to even mention but that scene set him up as being weak. I just couldn’t look at him the same after it. Now that I’m putting it on paper, that was really the main issue for me.

So, I liked Well Played, but I was disappointed at the same time. Maybe this is a case of building the book up too much in my head before actually reading it. I don’t know, but my rating reflects my feelings.

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

Click this link to purchase!* Well Played

Copyright 2020 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: On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

Taking place in the same neighborhood as The Hate You Give, wanna be rapper Bri, lives the dream of stardom in the hopes of helping her family’s circumstances. Following in her fathers footsteps in the Garden means walking between two worlds, gang and the Ring. Her father’s life ended early, being shot down by a rival gang but Bri is determined not to live that life despite living her dream of becoming a rapper.

Angie Thomas, through her storytelling again successfully gives the reader a look into two different worlds. Bri, lives in the Garden, her aunt a member of a gang, and her mother a recovering junkie, but the author gives us a contrasting look into what their lives can be. Bri’s brother has a college education and only comes back to live in the Garden to help support his family. Bri, herself, is bussed to a high school in a better area and doesn’t seek a life in the Garden and in fact is working really hard in trying to get her family out of it. The conflict in this novel comes from her being a teenager, and like a lot of teens, she doesn’t make the best choices. Her mouth often gets her into trouble and because of the color of her skin she’s racially profiled and treated pretty harshly by those in power around her.

“No matter where I’m at, keep an eye for police.

If they thinkin’ I’m suspicious, they ain’t trying to listen.

They’ll unload those mags, make me a hashtag.”

The poetry in Bri’s rapping tells a story of what her life is like, what it may look like, and what she hope’s it will look like. The story within this poetry was just as moving and eye opening as the story within the novel.

Bri’s Aunt Pooh, as a member of the GD’s takes on the role of protector and manager to Bri. One a role she’s willing to take on with a gun, the other a role she’s unsure how to maneuver. I thought her story in On The Come Up created the perfect contrast to Bri’s own struggle, as well as being the perfect example of why she wants to get out of that life so desperately.

Once I got into the rhythm of On the Come Up, I really enjoyed this story, and rooted for Bri to find her identity in a way that didn’t alter who she could be and even more importantly would want to be in the future. I loved her choice at the end of this book, it fit her character, and it made me want to read more and see her story continue. That’s the best way to end a book, isn’t it? ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* On the Come Up

Copyright 2020 the Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (9/14/2020)

Another weekend that went by way too quickly! I had a chance to read an Arc and also listen to a book, but would’ve liked to lay on the couch and have a good read. Here’s a quick glance at what I’m 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

I loved the first in this series and couldn’t wait to get started on Well Played. Another romance in a Renaissance Faire setting. Too cute!

JUST STARTED

I love this rock star romance series by Mary Ann Marlowe! I’m late getting to this one as the book came out last week, but am eagerly anticipating a fun story with characters that will surprise me!

It’s Monday! What book are you starting your week reading?

Have a great week!

Deb

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: Finding the Rainbow

Six months in and I find that I have little patience for things that don’t bring me pleasure, uplift my mood, or god, just entertain. When I’m reading a book if it doesn’t immediately grab me, I put it down. If a show on TV isn’t interesting I turn the channel. If food doesn’t taste good I stop eating it. Well, that last one certainly hasn’t been the case! I’ve put on 12 lbs despite my daily exercise. Is anyone else having a tough time just being happy?

When I say happy I don’t mean joyful, exuberant, or laugh out loud. I don’t really know what I mean, but life just still feels so unsettled. Here are the few minor things that have brought me even a modicum of happiness.

My dog- Nash. He’s also the reason I’m exercising every day. 🙂

My sister’s great cooking! Also the reason why I’ve gained weight. This was my bday spread below, it’s not always so fancy.

Audiobooks! For some reason I’m enjoying listening more than reading. My reading has slowed down a LOT.

Today’s audiobook is:

I might as well put Ilona Andrews on the happy list too. I wish I could clone them so they’d put out a book a month!

Growing vegetables this summer! Our biggest harvest came from our tomatoes and cucumbers. We have had so many caprese salad’s it’s not even funny.

Birdhouses, Birds, and Hummingbirds! Who knew I’d become a birdwatcher! We also bought a couple of hummingbird feeders and I’m enjoying watching them fight over their territory. I don’t have a picture of this one, sorry!

Anyway, you can see it’s the very small things that are bringing me pleasure. I can’t wait for our lives to return to normal and for my brain to let me relax but in the meantime, I’ll go enjoy another caprese salad on the back porch while I listen to an audiobook and watch the birdfeeders. 🙂

What’s keeping you sane?

Take Care,

Deb

This Chick Re-Read: Oracle’s Moon (Elder Races #4) by Thea Harrison

When I was choosing my next book I found myself hovering of Oracle’s Moon, a book I’d read back in 2014. I didn’t remember the plot but I did remember that I really enjoyed the story and tried to talk my sister into reading it even though she hadn’t read any others in the series. Thinking about that and wondering if I’d think it was as good as the first time I’d read it I downloaded the book and settled in to read.

With the exception of the first book in the series, Dragon Bound, Oracle’s Moon is my favorite of the Elder Races novels. Grace Andreas finds herself as not only the Oracle of Louisville but new parent to her niece and nephew after the sudden death of her sister and her husband. In her family the Oracle line is passed down from daughter to daughter and her sister’s daughter was too young to inherit the gift so it passed to Grace. What a way to find out your sister is dead! Overwhelmed by the demands of raising the children as well as becoming the Oracle she is struggling to make ends meet. When Drago, the leader of the Elder Races lands on her land (he’s a dragon) to have a “discussion” she comes to the attention of a Djinn, Khalil, who becomes fascinated with the children. He starts popping in for after hours discussions with the kids and Grace has to put her foot down. His fascination quickly changes over to her and he becomes enamored.

The plot doesn’t sound too different from other paranormal romance novels does it? Yet there’s a helplessness to Grace when she finds herself a new parent as well as the Oracle which contrasts with her steely determination to not let this djinn mess with her kids. I became fascinated myself! Combined with the humor from his obtuseness in dealing with her and the human-like need he has to be around them because they remind him of his own child? It’s hard to put across on paper but all of that makes for a wonder novel about magic, humanity, and love. I can’t say it was the right book at the right time because this is my second time reading it and I enjoyed it just as much as I did in 2014! It’s just a good book.

So, if you like paranormal romances this series is a fun read for the first I don’t know maybe 6 books or so? After awhile the newness of this world wears off a bit but Dragon Bound and Oracle’s Moon are definitely worth a read. Give them a shot and then let me know if I steered you wrong! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Oracle’s Moon (Elder Races Book 4)

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (9/7/2020)

Here in the US, today we celebrate Labor Day. A national holiday where we celebrate the contributions and achievements of all American workers. If you live in the US, enjoy your day off, spend it with family, and if you have a spare moment, enjoy that book 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

When I’m feeling stressed and just want to relax with a good book I seem to be turning to historical romances as my way to escape. Daring and the Duke, the third novel in the Bareknuckle Bastards series was entertaining and more importantly because of my busy schedule, didn’t take a lot of time to read. 🙂

JUST STARTEDO

I actually haven’t even started this one yet, but I’m so excited to read it! I loved the first novel, Well Met, and have been eagerly anticipating this release. What’s not to like about a romance set during a Renaissance fair?

I will definitely be diving into the above book because I have LOTS of free time today! yay! What will you be reading today?

Have a great week and happy reading!

Deb