This Chick Read: The Next Best Day by Sharon Sala

Katie thought her life couldn’t get much worse after getting jilted at the altar. Having to face her friends and fellow co-workers and put on a good face is about all she can manage. She loves being a first grade teacher and the kids she has in her class give her joy, pulling her through this tough time. When an active shooter enters the building she hustles her class to safety and goes back for two little boys left behind in the hall, saving their lives and getting her shot. She survives the school shooting but has PTSD and can’t face teaching in that school again. Wanting a clean start she applies to a small school in Tennessee and is excited to get the job. She finds a cute cottage to live in and is pleased that it’s across the street from the local Sheriff and his two small daughters. The Next Best Day is aptly titled as Katie is given that chance for a restart to her life.

It has been a good long while since I’ve read a Sharon Sala novel. I loved her in my 20’s and this synopsis struck a chord. I’ll admit that I got a little bit more than I bargained for as school shootings aren’t my favorite topic but the author gave enough details and insights into Katie’s thoughts without delivering too much blood and gore. I became invested in Katie and wanted to see her succeed and thrive after all of her life’s struggles. What took a little bit of getting used to and I’ll admit, I didn’t love, was the perspective changes. I didn’t care for her ex-fiance’s story line. He was a schmuck and I didn’t need to see where his life’s choices led him. I can’t remember if this is a constant trait of Sharon Sala’s but be warned. If you’re like me and want one perspective, you’ll be reading through the eyes of a few characters in this novel. I didn’t mind so much when it was only Katie and Sam as they are the two main characters.

Despite that change in perspectives, I enjoyed this novel. I found it to be easy to read and as I said above I was invested in Katie finding her happiness. The language was a little old-fashioned and the pacing methodical but once I got used to those quirks I found it charming. Sam’s two six year old girls Evie and Beth were the highlights for me in this book. They were just adorable and their quirky way of speaking added to their uniqueness as twins. If you love small town romances you may want to pick up The Next Best Day. Redemption and happiness are sweet when the road leading to them is so rocky. Katie’s journey was hard but in the end she found her happily-ever-after! ❤️❤️❤️❣️

Triggers: PTSD, school shooting, murder, incest, physical and emotional violence.

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

Click this link to purchase this book!* The Next Best Day

Copyright 2022 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? (11/7/22)

So many great books are coming out this month! I have a lot on my TBR and am excited to dig in as some books are being released. BUT, I’m also reading a new to me author and have been going through her back list Kindle Unlimited. I’m excited to be approaching the holidays because I’ll have a little time off to hopefully read to my heart’s content. Here’s what’s on my nightstand!

JUST FINISHED

I received an advanced reader copy and was excited that I loved it so much. This author is exploring her muse and I love the direction she’s taken recently. Better Than Fiction is her best book yet- in my opinion.

JUST STARTED

This is the only series left from Vanessa Nelson that I haven’t read. All of her books are on Kindle Unlimited so if you’re a member, check her out. Her heroines are action-star worthy and humble. I’m really enjoying reading her back list.

What books are on your next to read?

Happy Monday and happy reading!

Deb

This Chick Read: The Rewind by Allison Winn Scotch

Frankie and Ezra were college sweethearts who had a fireball of a break up, on graduation day, and never spoke to each other again. Ten years later they are brought back together by two friends from college who are getting married. Despite not wanting to run into Ezra, Frankie says yes to becoming a bridesmaid in their wedding, taking a break from her high profile job as an agent to some rock and pop stars. Ezra, too, has plans to be at the wedding. He wants to be there to support his friends but doesn’t want to see Frankie, and in fact hopes to propose to his girlfriend on New Years Eve. Of course, fate has a way of working against your best wishes and pairs them up for a scavenger hunt that the bride and groom has put together. When they wake up in bed together the next day wearing wedding rings and no memory of what happened, they need to work together to figure out what happened.

This story starts with Frankie and Ezra waking up together with no memory of what happened the night before. The reader is along for the ride as they rediscover all of the things they hated and loved about each other. Truthfully, there were more things that they loved about each other but the fallout from their breakup was so great that they spent a long time griping about having to spend time with each other that it took me a long time to figure out why they had even been in love previously. They were both pretty awful and unlikable. But, as the story went on we learned the back stories of both characters, as well as their love story and understood them a bit better. The way the novel was written, the reader is left unsure if these two characters would end the weekend as friends, their language was that tempestuous. Despite that uncertainty I still enjoyed the story and wanted to see where it led me.

The second chance trope has never been one of my favorites, but the author really let us get to know our two main characters and understand why what happened in their past affected their lives so much. They were two people who truly understood each other in their young adulthood and have kind of lost their way. Even though they aren’t happy to see each other, their understanding of each other came through and the reader wanted them to get past the angst and pain and give each other a chance again. Of course, there was a lot standing in their way and that journey towards understanding their future didn’t come without pain. This was a really well told story that I would’ve liked a little bit more if there wasn’t so much snark, but I loved the ending. That ending made it all worth it. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase this book!* The Rewind

Copyright 2022 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: A Very Merry Bromance (Bromance Book Club #5) by Lyssa Kay Adams

Colton Wheeler, a country music superstar, isn’t used to women saying no and when Gretchen Winthrop won’t return his calls he’s not sure how to proceed. When she finally reaches out a year after their one night stand to make a proposal it isn’t the kind of proposition that he was prepared to receive. Be the face of her family’s world-class bourbon. Colton figures this is his best chance to spend time with Gretchen and agrees to hear her proposal, but only if she goes on a few dates with him. As he spends more time with her he realizes he’s in over his head and against his better judgement has his friends in the Bromance Book Club give him advice. Usually Colton isn’t on the receiving end, but the more time he spends with Gretchen the more she comes to mean to him and he’ll take any help he can get to keep her.

I’ve enjoyed this series, but the last couple of books have been good but not great. A Very Merry Bromance has exceeded my expectations and is very close to being my favorite to date. It’s all due to the depth of the main characters. On the outside Colton seems like an aw shucks country charmer, but his family means everything to him and the reason he’s successful is because he wants to be the support they need to live full lives. What a great guy! Gretchen too has reasons for being a distrustful grump. She comes from one of the wealthiest families in Tennessee but her parents ignored her when she was younger and her brothers are selfish bullies. She has rejected everything that they stand for and serves a mission to help immigrants stay with their families, fighting deportation. Yep, there’s a lot more to these two than is noted on the cover of this book!

I will admit that one of my favorite romance tropes is a woman in jeopardy, when it’s done well, anyway. Gretchen isn’t really in jeopardy, but she definitely needs saving. This is a woman who has never had someone fight for her and love her despite her differences. Colton is that man who will fight on behalf of her and by her side. Once the plot got moving these two gave me all the emotions and I was rooting for that happy ending I knew was coming. I must give a shoutout to Gretchen’s Uncle Jack. He was the only redeeming sole in her family and despite not having the power to save her, did love her with all of his heart and you could feel that love leap off the pages. He was a sweetie!

Like I said above, this book has jumped to my #1 spot in this series, which kind of surprised me, truthfully! I think it was the dichotomy of Colton always being so suave and giving all the romantic advise to the other bro’s in the book club. The fact that he floundered and his chosen one was a troubled woman just hit my heart and made me melt. This book was the perfect Christmas feel good story, with a little family drama to rev up the tension. It’s a quick read, so if you have a weekend and would like an good solid story and a sweet romance, this is the one! Cheesy title and all. I loved it. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Copyright 2022 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (10/31/22)

Happy Halloween! Do you find yourself searching for horror books or thrillers this time of year? Scary movies? I’ll admit that I like a good thriller but I’m not into being scared. I stick with my same old genre’s. I do enjoy the candy though!

Here’s what’s on my nightstand currently.

JUST FINISHED

I really enjoyed this novel but it wasn’t what I thought it would be at all. Much more serious than the cover led me to believe, all I’ll say is stick with it until the end. It’s totally worth it!

JUST STARTED

I’ve read two series by this author and really enjoy the world’s she creates and the humanity of her main characters. I really have only read the first chapter but I’m looking forward to digging into the whole story.

Have a wonderful Halloween and happy reading!

Deb

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: My Top 5 Most Anticipated Book Releases- Nov’22

I feel like I say this every month, but wow! November already? This year is flying by so fast. As I was looking through the November book releases I saw a ton of books that I know will be on many readers most anticipated lists. This list is specific to my own wants and needs. I know some of you will disagree, or maybe I’ll point out a book that you didn’t realizes was out already. Yay! That’s what I hope to do. Feel free to chime in with your own top 5. I’d love to hear them!

#5 BOOK RELEASE

Yes, we are already reading Christmas themed books. LOL. I am totally invested in the Bromance Book Club series. These books are pure relief from the stresses of my life and I always love the characters. Colton and Gretchen’s story will be great!

Synopsis: Country music’s golden boy Colton Wheeler felt the most perfect harmony when he was with Gretchen Winthrop. But for her, it was a love him and leave him situation. A year later, Colton is struggling to push his music forward in a new direction. If it weren’t about to be the most magical time of year and the support of the Bromance Book Club, he’d be wallowing in self-pity. 
 
It’s hard for immigration attorney Gretchen not to feel a little Scrooge-ish about the excess of Christmas when her clients are scrambling to afford their rent. So when her estranged, wealthy family reaches out with an offer that will allow her to better serve the community, she’s unable to say no. She just needs to convince Colton to be the new face of her family’s whiskey brand. No big deal…
 
Colton agrees to consider Gretchen’s offer in exchange for three dates before Christmas. With the help of the Bromance Book Club, Colton throws himself into the task of proving to her there’s a spark between them. But Gretchen and Colton will both need to overcome the ghosts of Christmas past to build a future together.

Click this link to purchase this book!* A Very Merry Bromance

#4 BOOK RELEASE

Occasionally I find a book that wasn’t on my radar but peaks my interest. A Thousand Heartbeats is that book this month. A YA romantic fantasy with a plot that is right up my alley. I can’t wait!

Synopsis:

Princess Annika has lived a life of comfort—but no amount of luxuries can change the fact that her life isn’t her own to control. The king, once her loving father, has gone cold, and Annika will soon be forced into a loveless marriage for political gain.

Miles away, small comforts are few and far between for Lennox. He has devoted his life to the Dahrainian army, hoping to one day help them reclaim the throne that was stolen from them. For Lennox, the idea of love is merely a distraction—nothing will stand in the way of fighting for his people.

But when love, against all odds, finds them both, they are bound by its call. They can’t possibly be together—but the irresistible thrum of a thousand heartbeats won’t let them stay apart. 

Kiera Cass brings her signature sparkling romance to this beautiful story of star-crossed lovers and long-held secrets.

Click this link to purchase!* A Thousand Heartbeats

#3 BOOK RELEASE

I love romances with a healthy body image and Olivia Dade’s novels are always spot on for making me feel like my body could be loved too. Ship Wrecked is in the same universe as Spoiler Alert and All the Feels but can be read as a stand alone novel. I’ve read this one and you guys, it is so good! Totally enjoyable, wickedly funny, and super “romantic”.

Synapsis:

Maria’s one-night-stand—the thick-thighed, sexy Viking of a man she left without a word or a note—just reappeared. Apparently, Peter’s her surly Gods of the Gates co-star, and they’re about to spend the next six years filming on a desolate Irish island together. She still wants him…but he now wants nothing to do with her.

Peter knows this role could finally transform him from a forgettable character actor into a leading man. He also knows a failed relationship with Maria could poison the set, and he won’t sabotage his career for a woman who’s already walked away from him once. Given time, maybe they can be cooperative colleagues or friends—possibly even best friends—but not lovers again. No matter how much he aches for her.

For years, they don’t touch off-camera. But on their last night of filming, their mutual restraint finally shatters, and all their pent-up desire explodes into renewed passion. Too bad they still don’t have a future together, since Peter’s going back to Hollywood, while Maria’s returning to her native Sweden. She thinks she needs more than he can give her, but he’s determined to change her mind, and he’s spent the last six years waiting. Watching. Wanting.

His shipwrecked Swede doesn’t stand a chance.

Click this link to purchase this book!* Ship Wrecked

#2 BOOK RELEASE

I think Lindbergh’s story is so interesting and am eager to read Mariah Fredericks take on what the nanny see’s during the whole kidnapping and what happens after. This could be a really good one!

Synopsis:

When the most famous toddler in America, Charles Lindbergh, Jr., is kidnapped from his family home in New Jersey in 1932, the case makes international headlines. Already celebrated for his flight across the Atlantic, his father, Charles, Sr., is the country’s golden boy, with his wealthy, lovely wife, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, by his side. But there’s someone else in their household—Betty Gow, a formerly obscure young woman, now known around the world by another name: the Lindbergh Nanny.

A Scottish immigrant deciphering the rules of her new homeland and its East Coast elite, Betty finds Colonel Lindbergh eccentric and often odd, Mrs. Lindbergh kind yet nervous, and Charlie simply a darling. Far from home and bruised from a love affair gone horribly wrong, Betty finds comfort in caring for the child, and warms to the attentions of handsome sailor Henrik, sometimes known as Red. Then, Charlie disappears.

Suddenly a suspect in the eyes of both the media and the public, Betty must find the truth about what really happened that night, in order to clear her own name—and to find justice for the child she loves.

Click this link to purchase this book!* The Lindbergh Nanny

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

MY MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE- NOV’22

OK, I’m a sucker for novels about bookstores. Combine that with my love of this author’s writing and Better Than Fiction is my top book pick for next month. I can’t wait to read it!

Synopsis:

As a self-proclaimed book hater and a firm believer that the movie is always better, Drew Young didn’t anticipate inheriting her grandma’s bookstore, the Book Nook. She’s in way over her head even before the shop’s resident book club, comprising seven of the naughtiest old ladies ever, begin to do what they do best—meddle.

Bestselling author Jasper Williams is a hopeless romantic. When he meets Drew at his Book Nook signing event, he becomes determined to show her the beauty of reading. He curates a book bucket list in exchange for her help exploring the local Denver scene for his current manuscript. From going river rafting to trying local restaurants, Drew begins to connect with Jasper in a way she only thought happened in fiction.

When messy family ties jeopardize the future of the Book Nook, Drew is caught between a bookshelf and a hard place. She’s reminded that real life isn’t always big dreams and sweeping romance. But Jasper is the plot twist she never saw coming and he’s writing a happily ever after just for them.

Click this link to purchase this book!* Better Than Fiction

This Chick Read: When Gracie Met the Grump by Mariana Zapata

Gracie Castro was raised by her grandparents, always on the run and changing their names. After their death, Gracie is living in a small, nowhere town tutoring ESL to her online students when a man drops out of the sky into her front yard. Not just any man but one of the Trinity. A surly superhero who seems to have lost his powers and needs a place to recoup. Gracie is fascinated and despite knowing she has been living in that small town too long, she stays and helps him gain back his strength. This is their story.

MILD SPOILERS AHEAD

Mariana is an auto-buy for me and after a long drought I was eager to read her new novel. Verdict? I was disappointed. I don’t have a problem with romantic fantasy novels so a superhuman / heroine in jeopardy novel is right up my alley. I had trouble liking either of these characters. Gracie has a mysterious background that isn’t really explained until whoever she is running from finally catches up. I didn’t count the pages but it took a good portion of the novel to get to this point in the story. Prior to that more riveting portion of the novel it was just a grumpy superhero who deigned to grace Gracie with his presence. Other than how handsome he was, and that was brought up quite a lot, almost like the author was trying to persuade us to like him for his looks, there wasn’t a lot to like. Now, I’ve read every single one of MZ’s books multiple times. I own the audiobooks as well as the e-books and I know that she likes a surly man and a down on herself heroine, but there was very little relief up until the above incident where Gracie’s past catches up to her.

When her past finally caught up to her I was like- YAY! This is now going to turn into a thriller with Lexi using his superpowers, coming to the rescue, etc. That is what should’ve happened, but the author just let the whole thing kind of peter out. Yes, Lexi did get them out of there but it was kind of anticlimactic. But I keep reading. I’m thinking that this book just has to get better! I am doomed for disappointment. Despite their close contact their is very little chemistry- other than his good looks, of course, and Gracie is doom and gloom about her future. It’s not until the very end that we get a hint of chemistry, but it’s more like auto-love and I’m really kind of turned off by this point. So disappointing.

This novel had all of the elements of being a great “trying a new genre” MZ novel. She gave hints of what she was trying to accomplish but never went for it. If you’re going to have a superhero character, let’s actually see him in action. Let’s see what makes all of America love this guy besides his looks! Through his actions we could have fallen in like with him, aka Wall of Winnipeg, Luna and the Lie, even Kulti! She didn’t give us a very good look into his character, so I didn’t buy into the romance. I wanted to, but I just really couldn’t talk myself into liking it very much. I do have a hard time giving her a horrible rating though so When Gracie Met the Grump is getting a 3.0 average rating. It’s really more like a 2.5, but I’m going to give her the benefit of the doubt. I will take another look at it when the audiobook comes out. Maybe I’ll like it better the second time around. ❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* When Gracie Met the Grump

Copyright 2022 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: The Stand-Up Groomsman by Jackie Lau

Vivian’s roommate gets engaged and asks her to be a bridesmaid at her wedding. She’s excited at the prospect despite the fact she’ll have to see Mel again, the Grooms best friend and best man. Mel is a stand-up comedian whom she met previously and despite him being funny on stage she found him irritating in person, especially after he insulted what she does for a living. Forced into close contact with Mel during all of the wedding hoopla, she becomes intrigued by the contrast of who she met previously and this kind-hearted man she is around now. This is their love story.

I loved Vivian and Mel! These two were real people with real problems that readers can easily identify with and respect. Both of them are bi and how their sexuality has caused problems for them personally is a bit part of the story and their discovery of who they are, separately, and as a couple. Vivian’s personality is very even. She seems to be more of a watcher of life than a person who is actively participating. Her relationship with her roommate Lindsay was her first step outside the box, and the fact that Lindsay’s fiance is a famous actor has made her deviate from her staid lifestyle. Meeting Mel is a good example of her trying something new. Of course, their first meeting was a disaster but she allows Mel to apologize and become her friend. Mel’s a stand-up comic so his personality is outrageous and funny- he wears bright loud clothing and seems to pursue the clown persona. He is actually very different than that bright shirt he is constantly wearing. He has dark thoughts and self doubts that keep him up at night worrying over his life and happiness. When he meets Vivian it’s like a bright light has shown through that darkness and despite trying, he can’t forget her.

As you can imagine, this book is a great mixture of fun and seriousness. It’s rare that the hero overshadows the heroine for me because as a female I’d normally identify more with a woman. His problems were so present though and I really felt his emotions a lot more than I did Vivian’s even though she was also working through some of her own issues. They were both great characters separately, he just shone more. Together though, they were passion, fire, and constant. I know constant isn’t normally a romantic description but it was something they both needed in the other. They were the yin to the others yang and made a perfect pairing. It made for a great romantic novel and I enjoyed it tremendously.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase this book!* The Stand-Up Groomsman

Copyright 2022 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: Vanishing Hour by Laura Griffin

After the death of her father, Ava Burch moves to the small town of Cuervo from Houston to create a small law practice with a friend. She brings with her Huck, the search and rescue dog that her father had trained. She joined SAR, a volunteer search and rescue and gets sent out on her first search for a lost child. While out she finds an abandoned camp and takes some photos. Her find leads to an investigation into the disappearance of a woman a couple of years ago. As she digs deeper she finds herself the target of random acts of violence making her think she may now be a target.

I really enjoy Laura Griffin’s style of writing a mystery. Granted they are more romantic thrillers than hard driven mysteries but she has now become one of my go-to authors when I need to switch up genre’s. Ava Burch and Investigator Grant Wycoff were an interesting pairing. Ava dresses like she still lives in a big city and drives a smart red sports car and Grant is living in his home town and working for a small police force but they are both attractive, smart, and in fiction land bound to have found each other so I’ll forgive how quickly they become involved and important to each other. Danger does that to a couple, right? Ava, as with Laura Griffin’s other heroine’s, doesn’t stop at turning in her photos and leaving a message for the sheriff, she decides to do some investigating on her own. After all, she’s a lawyer from a big city and her dad used to be a cop. Her instincts tell her something is off, so she moves forward, driving Grant nuts with her ability to find things that were overlooked by his own police force. I can’t help but like that about her!

I won’t give away the mystery in this review but the story leading up to the final reveal was nicely done and fun to read. Not too heavy or bloody, just a woman in danger and her hero who will come to save the day. Just the way I like my romantic thrillers! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase!* Vanishing Hour

Copyright 2022 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? (10/24/22)

What a fabulous week! What can I say, I love pumpkin spice latte’s, fall weather, and the colorful foliage! I also love spending my weekends reading good books and I’ve definitely been taking advantage of that! I’ve been reading ahead to get some of my commitments taken care and some new releases are stacking up in my kindle. Here’s what I’ve been reading.

JUST FINISHED

Wow, what a gorgeous cover! This fantasy novel is the third in The Fallen Empire series and whereas you could pick it up and read it without reading the other two, you would get some context towards these two characters back story if you read the second book in the series. I really enjoyed how the author made me like a character that was pretty reprehensible in the last book. I was wondering how she was going to do that!

JUST STARTED

I find these Bromance Book Club novels charming and am definitely half in love with the hero even before this book started. Colton is an aw shucks heartthrob and he has his work cut out for him with a self confident and cautious Gretchen. I just started it but love these two together already.

I’ll admit, I’m in a light-hearted mood when it comes to books. Are you reading something more serious and interesting? Give that book a shout out in the comments!

Happy Monday and happy reading!

Deb