This Chick Read: Well Traveled (Well Met #4) by Jen DeLuca

Louise Malone is a high-powered attorney and in North Carolina to get a witness deposition. The witness is unavailable so Lulu goes to the Renaissance Festival, something she’s done in the past and has enjoyed tremendously. Avoiding calls from her boss and having fun re-connecting with an old friend, Lulu realizes that she’s in a dead end job and hating her life. When her boss calls again she quits and runs away to the Renaissance Faire. For a month anyway. What she doesn’t expect is to re-invent herself while falling in love with a kilted musician.

I’m such a fan of the Well Met series and have run away to the Renaissance Faire, at least in my own mind, every time I pick up one of these novels. I connected so easily to the story in Well Traveled and to Lulu, a character I can really identify with. Lulu has always been driven to make partner and become the success that her parents have always wanted her to be, but all the long hours she’s working at her company isn’t leading to the success that she’s always hope to find. When she gets drunk and quits angrily on a call with her boss, it’s actually the best thing for her. This is something that many of us have dreamed of doing but never seem to find the guts to make happen. It was so fun to dream along with Lulu and read her story while she finds her way in love and life.

Dex, the kilted lead singer of the band Dueling Kilts, has been in the previous books and wasn’t cast in a very good light. He’s the Romeo of the faire circuit, or so it seems. We see a different side to him in Well Traveled. A side that has me liking him for our Lulu. His creative personality is the perfect foil to straight laced Lulu, but is he the type to make a commitment? I’ll admit that I was skeptical but I ended up liking his mellow attitude and subtle ways he sought out Lulu’s company. He lacked the funny quips of previous hero’s but his soulful gaze and man bun more than made up for those laugh out loud moments.

You do not need to read any of the previous novels to enjoy Well Traveled, but reading the third novel would explain a little back story that does come up and explains a couple of characters actions. Other than that, enjoy a fun, light-hearted romance. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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!* Well Traveled

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: Flirting with the Beast (Modern Love #2) by Jane Porter

Widower, Andi McDermott, decides to spend her holidays in Lake Arrowhead after a last minute cancelation by her son-in-law. She hasn’t been there in years because of a feud her husband had with their neighbor, Wolf Enders. Wolf is gruff, ex-military, alpha, and unarguably gorgeous- but all of that should make little difference since she doesn’t plan to see him at all. Until a snow storm hits and she gets trapped on the mountain with no one to turn to but her neighbor. What she finds out is that she needs to add kind to the above list about Wolf, and that he makes her blood sizzle.

I have only just discovered Jane Porter and am thrilled to be reading romances about couples in their fifties! Andi was such a wonderful character and a women who I can only ascribe to be. She was warm, understanding, and used her brain before reacting to uncertain situations. I loved how she handled the more volatile Wolf. He was a loner who didn’t want a woman to upset his solitariness, but he’d always found Andi attractive and their chemistry was too much to ignore. Being ex-military his character was definitely more rigid and he made many missteps in his treatment of Andi. However, she reacted like a mature woman, thinking through her own actions before reacting. While reading through her inner monologue I kept thinking “Wow, I wish I could be more like this!”. Well, she is a fictional character after all and not a real woman but I felt myself liking her so much.

These characters have great backstories which gave them a depth that they needed. Their insecurities and needs turned them from two dimensional to full technicolor and the story was filled with an emotion that felt real and not fabricated. There were moments where I definitely wanted to kick Wolf in the knee and shake him a bit, but he was the perfect foil to Andi’s more calm demeanor. It would’ve been super boring if both partners were too much alike. The conclusion was also satisfying, with Andi showing some fire in fighting for what she wanted.

Flirting with the Beast is a wonderfully mature adult romance. Yes, these characters weren’t perfect, but then, who is? I sped through this book forgetting about all of the other things I needed to do and spent four hours relishing this love story. I hope this book will hit the right note for anyone who picks it up, regardless of their age, but for this older broad, it was sublime. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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!* Flirting with the Beast

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? (11/28/22)

I love long weekends with no agenda. Just relaxing, maybe doing a little Christmas shopping, and definitely reading some of the books. I’ve been mixing genres again switching back and forth from a fantasy series I’m slowly getting through and some romance novels that have piqued my interest. In between, I’m watching a ton of World Cup soccer (go USA!) and eating a ton of leftovers. I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend and are enjoying or maybe have enjoyed the bounty that’s been in your refrigerator for days. Here’s what my brain has been noshing on…

JUST FINISHED

This one has been on my TBR for a couple of years and I finally pulled the trigger and read the first page. I was immediately grabbed by the story and spent a wonderful few hours enmeshed in the characters and story. This was a good one!

JUST STARTED

This book has been in my library wishlist and when I read the synopsis again I immediately remembered why I put it on there. A Reese’s book club pick, with rave reviews, I started it last night and can tell you that I am loving it so far. It is SO well written!

Did you spend your long weekend with a good book or out shopping? I

Happy Monday and happy reading!

Deb

This Chick Read: Heartbreaker (Hell’s Belles #2) by Sarah MacLean

Ex-thief and daughter of one of London’s most notorious gangs, Adelaide Frampton has found herself a peer in society, living on the fringes as a wallflower in the most elite ballrooms. Using skills from her past she now deals in information and as the Matchbreaker she helps women escape from being sold into marriage. The Duke of Clayburn, Henry Carrington, finds himself on the receiving end of the Matchbreakers scheme when she tries to break up the love match between his brother and the woman he loves. They must work together to find the two lovebirds before the bride to be’s father catches up to them.

Adelaide had never been a wallflower in Henry’s eyes. He has noticed her every time their paths have crossed and he has bided his time before making an approach. He never figures that they would be on opposing sides, and works together with her in a race to find the bride and groom. As they spend time with each other, they of course discover an incredible chemistry. Nothing unusual in that except for the fact that Adelaide’s secret also become revealed making her even more interesting to the Duke.

I’m a big fan of Sarah MacLean’s historical romances. I like how she always chooses a subject, in this case how young women were used as chattel and bargaining tools for their families. Marrying them off to better the family but often putting them in the hands of men who abuse them. As a bit of a feminist myself, I find this subject appalling and fascinating and looked forward to reading how her character was fighting this in a unique and interesting way. Usually in a historical romance the plot might revolve around a woman in jeopardy but this was a woman who knew how to fight her own battles leaving Henry to find his place beside her instead of taking the lead. I enjoyed this twist in the plot. Henry had his own back story that was quite interesting and had to re-work his plans on what he had wanted his future to look like. This added a little additional tension to the story and appealed to me quite a bit. I enjoyed the direction this author took with this novel!

❤️❤️❤️❤️


Click this link to purchase this book!* Heartbreaker

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

Surprisingly, I had a tough time coming up with my Top 5 this month. I guess typically I’ve heard of a few authors and am looking forward to their book releases. This month I mined through various lists dedicated to romance, fiction, YA, and mystery to come up with a top five that I feel good about promoting. These are different picks than my usual with the exception of one or two that are pure pleasure reads.

#5 BOOK RELEASE

I have a love-hate relationship with books about the lost Romanovs. This story has a slightly different take as Anastasia’s character, as well as others in this world, have magical abilities. I’m curious to see how this author tells her sad story.

Synopsis:

Anastasia is the princess no one needs: the fourth daughter born to an emperor without a son, and the only royal lacking a magical gift.

Until she collides with a young Cossack rebel, changing both their lives forever.

Damien is taken from everything he knows and raised as a ward of the Romanovs.

Anastasia develops a strange kind of magic shared only by the Black Monk Rasputin.

While her power grows in secret, boosted by forbidden contact with Damien, Anastasia makes a mistake with terrible consequences.

Fate grants her a single chance to set it right… but saving what she lost may cost everything she loves.

Purchase this book through this link!* Anastasia

#4 BOOK RELEASE

I’ll admit the synopsis totally drew me in and made me curious. Sex, voyeurism, and imprisonment in your own home. What?!! This could be really good or go in a direction I’m not expecting at all.

Synopsis: Jane Morgan is a valued member of her law firm—or was, until a prudish neighbor, binoculars poised, observes her having sex on the roof of her NYC apartment building.  Police are summoned, and a punishing judge sentences her to six months of home confinement. With Jane now jobless and rootless, trapped at home, life looks bleak. Yes, her twin sister provides support and advice, but mostly of the unwelcome kind. When a doorman lets slip that Jane isn’t the only resident wearing an ankle monitor, she strikes up a friendship with fellow white-collar felon Perry Salisbury. As she tries to adapt to life within her apartment walls, she discovers she hasn’t heard the end of that tattletale neighbor—whose past isn’t as decorous as her 9-1-1 snitching would suggest. Why are police knocking on Jane’s door again? Can her house arrest have a silver lining? Can two wrongs make a right? In the hands of “an inspired alchemist who converts serious subject into humor” (New York Times Book Review)—yes, delightfully.  

Click this link to purchase this book!* Ms. Demeanor

#3 BOOK RELEASE

I am very, very curious. After traveling to Amsterdam and visiting the office where Anne Frank and her family lived during WWII, I find myself drawn to stories about that time in history. This looks like a very different sort of novel, and the publisher’s comparing it to Like Water for Elephants makes me want to pick it up and hope for that magical moment.

Synopsis: When all is lost, how do you find the courage to keep moving forward?

1938. Lena Papadopoulos has never quite found her place within the circus, even as the daughter of the extraordinary headlining illusionist, Theo. Brilliant and curious, Lena—who uses a wheelchair after a childhood bout with polio—yearns for the real-world magic of science and medicine, her mind stronger than the limitations placed on her by society. Then her unconventional life takes an exciting turn when she rescues Alexandre, an orphan with his own secrets and a mysterious past.

As World War II escalates around them, their friendship blossoms into something deeper while Alexandre trains as the illusionist’s apprentice. But when Theo and Alexandre are arrested and made to perform in a town for Jews set up by the Nazis, Lena is separated from everything she knows. Forced to make her own way, Lena must confront her doubts and dare to believe in the impossible—herself.

Click this link to purchase this book!* Circus Train

#2 BOOK RELEASE

This is book #5 in a romance series that’s set around a Renaissance Faire and I am not tired of the setting yet! Jen DeLuca gives us interesting characters who search to better their lives with a brief time working the Renaissance Faire circuit. I’m intrigued, impressed, and engaged by and with her stories. I’ll admit that I’ve already read this one and thought it charming.

Synopsis: The Renaissance Faire is on the move, and Lulu and Dex are along for the ride, in the next utterly charming rom-com from Jen DeLuca.

A high-powered attorney from a success-oriented family, Louisa “Lulu” Malone lives to work, and everything seems to be going right, until the day she realizes it’s all wrong. Lulu’s cousin Mitch introduced her to the world of Renaissance Faires, and when she spies one at a time just when she needs an escape, she leaps into the welcoming environment of turkey legs, taverns, and tarot readers. The only drawback? Dex MacLean: a guitarist with a killer smile, the Casanova of the Faire… and her traveling companion for the summer.
 
Dex has never had to work for much in his life, and why should he? Touring with his brothers as The Dueling Kilts is going great, and he always finds a woman at every Faire. But when Lulu proves indifferent to his many plaid charms and a shake-up threatens the fate of the band, Dex must confront something he never has before: his future.
 
Forced to spend days and nights together on the road, Lulu’s interest in the kilted bad boy grows as he shows her a side of himself no one else has seen. The stresses of her old lifestyle fade away as she learns to trust her intuition and follow her heart instead of her head. But when her time on the road is over, will Lulu go with her gut, or are she and Dex destined for separate paths?

Click this link to purchase this book!* Well Traveled

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

MY TOP BOOK RELEASE FOR DEC’22

I’ll read any book that Penny Reid releases. Seriously. I did read the first book in this series and I know this book is centered around Cyrus and has a Christmas theme. That’s all I could find out! LOL. No one has a synopsis listed. Despite that, her novels always give me a lift and so she’s got my #1 spot.

Do any of these books make your own list? I’d love to hear what books you’re looking forward to coming out next month.

Happy Sunday!

Deb

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (11/14/22)

Whelp, winter has hit Nashville. What does that mean for me? Cozying up on the couch with a good book and some hot chocolate! This is my favorite time to pick up a good book because I feel like I don’t need to be outside quite as much. No guilt! What genre’s do I like to read in the winter? Oh gosh. It doesn’t matter, as long as it holds my attention and makes me feel. That’s what counts in a good book, right?

JUST FINISHED

I had been putting off reading this one for a bit and I found it to be the perfect hot chocolate and blanket novel. Charming characters and a fun romantic plot.

JUST STARTED

I have really enjoyed this series. All of the stories are centered around a Renaissance Faire, which I find to be an absolute delight. I’ve liked some of the novels better than others and I’m curious to see which side of the romance wheel this one will fall on.

I hope everyone has a fantastic week. Happy Monday and happy reading!

Deb

This Chick Read: Better Than Fiction by Alexa Martin

After her much beloved grandmother dies and leaves her the family books store, the Book Nook, Drew Young wants to honor her memory by running it as she knows her grandmother would like. Putting her life on hold, Drew, a self-proclaimed hater of reading somehow manages to keep the store afloat with the help of a group of elderly ladies who pitch in and give a hand. This same group of ladies set up an author signing with famous romance novelist Jasper Williams. When he shows up his good looks and charm sock Drew in the solar plexus. When he learns of her lack of affinity for books he makes a deal with her. Show him around Denver and he’ll build her a memory for every book she reads on a list he gives her. Jasper woo’s Drew with romance, a shoulder to cry on, and his honest charm making her start to believe that her life might be Better Than Fiction.

There are so many things I liked about this novel. Jasper was #1 on the list because of all the romance and fun, but I also really liked all of the Dirty Birds the old lady group who had Drew’s back, and her best friend Elsie and her sister Daisy. She totally had a great group of people backing her in life and love. There were some challenges she had to face in this book too, so it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows, but every good novel needs some conflict to overcome.

I love how this author has grown from her earlier novels. Don’t get me wrong, those novels were my introduction to Alexa Martin and are a big reason why she is a must-buy for me. Those were also the first novels this author had written and it isn’t weird to me that she is trying new things and working to find her voice. Better Than Fiction has some of the same qualities I loved in the Playbook series. Great friends who will see you through good times and bad, but also solid character development and heros who weren’t perfect but whom you could fall in love with despite their imperfections. I think Better Than Fiction is the best novel Alexa Martin has written to date and I hope she has many more stories inside her soul that need to be released to the world.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

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

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 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.