This Chick Read: The Hurricane by R.J. Prescott

Emily is working double shifts to make money to finish her education. Waiting tables does not come easy as Emily is so shy she can barely speak to her customers, but one cantankerous old man breaches her silence and they become unlikely friends. Through this friendship he offers her a job as the bookkeeper at his gym. A job that requires her to hold her own among a group of rowdy young men. One of those men is up and coming fighter Cormac “The Hurricane” O’Connell. He has had his eye on this sweet quiet waitress and when she lands in his path he makes every effort to be her friend.

This novel really surprised me. The cover fooled me, making me think this novel would be all “romance”. It was more of a slow burn novel. These characters were from the wrong side of the tracks, so there was some coarse language, but the pace of the novel was slow and easy, just as you’d imagine a guy like O’Connell would have to be to approach a girl like Emily. He eased his way into her heart which made this novel different and kept me engaged.

There was also some seriousness to the reasons why Emily was so gun shy. She came from an abusive background, which made her falling for O’Connell kind of unrealistic, but again, the pace of the story made me overlook that fact. As she began to trust him, I did too. He wasn’t really the hard ass he portrayed himself to be.

Another aspect of this story that I really liked was her relationship to the gym owner Danny. Although a grumpy character he was really the father she always wanted and their little one on one scenes were sweet, really adding to the depth of Emily’s character.

If you are looking for a sports romance with character depth and heart, this is a great fit. I have not read a novel by R.J. Prescott previously and didn’t have any expectations, so I was pleasantly surprised that The Hurricane had the depth and emotional impact of a Kristen Callihan or J.T. Geissinger novel. I really enjoyed this discovery and look forward to reading more. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

The Hurricane

Click this link to purchase! The Hurricane

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.

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This Chick Read: The Air He Breathes by Brittainy Cherry

Elizabeth is still reeling from the loss of her husband a year before. She is trying to keep her sanity intact because she has their young daughter to raise and she doesn’t want her to continue to see her sorrow. Tristan Cole is the loner next door. When Elizabeth arrives back in town after a year away, all she hears is that Tristan is scary, violent, a loser, and not to let him get close, but there’s something in his eyes that calls out to her and draws her in.

Tristan is pretty much what all of her friends say. He, too, is dealing with tragedy, but he has let it break him down. Even when Elizabeth reaches out to him he doesn’t know if he can handle the responsibility without it tearing him apart. So the two of them make an agreement to “use” each other. Their relationship is meant for them to not feel so alone, but it doesn’t help them get over their pain, it actually enhances it. It’s only when they stop that they realize their feelings had changed.

This was one dark and emotional novel and at times I was worried that it wouldn’t ever lighten up. The surprise for me was that it was Tristan who saw the light first and helped Elizabeth find it. I read so many novels where the woman “saves” the man and I think if The Air He Breathes had taken that route I would’ve disliked the novel. Thank goodness Brittainy Cherry took me down a different path. It’s really hard to read a book where your hero and heroine are in so much emotional pain, but Ms. Cherry seems to relish these kinds of stories and she is very good at delivering a satisfying conclusion. If you love hardcore, dark, emotional romances you will love this novel. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

The Air He Breathes

Click this link to purchase! The Air He Breathes (Elements)

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: Friends Without Benefits (Knitting in the City #2) by Penny Reid

Elizabeth Finney has come a long way since her shy, skinny days in high school. She’s now a well respected doctor in Chicago and her looks are decidedly different. As soon as she see’s Nico Manganiello in her emergency room she slides right back into old bad habits. The two of them grew up together and had always  antagonized each other. Nico was the best friend of the boy she had loved who had died tragically in high school. When she see’s him all of those old feelings come back, including the back and forth bickering. What she doesn’t realize is that Nico has always been in love with her and he’s determined to show he’s worth her love in return.

Most of the Penny Reid novels I’ve read are more relationship building than sex and this novel is no different. The chemistry between these two characters is off the charts and you almost feel like you’ve been reading sex scenes after finishing an emotional exchange between these two characters, it’s that sizzling. Nico is a famous underwear model turned talk show host. He’s hot with a capital H and makes Liz feel small by comparison. Seeing him again drums up old feelings, including Liz feeling bullied by Nico in her youth. His past behavior was the typical tease the girl you love behavior, but Liz never got the message. She is gobsmacked when he reveals he’s always been in love with Liz and reluctant to let him back into her life.

This was not my favorite Penny Reid novel. It did have all of the humor and relationship building I’ve come to expect, but that hint of childhood bullying threw me off Nico a little bit. When Liz finally realizes her love for Nico I went all in on my feelings for them as a couple because I liked her character so much. I just wish I had liked Nico just a little bit more! I still really enjoyed reading this novel and love Penny Reid’s quirky characters and fun dialog. Reading her novels are always worth my time.

❤️❤️❤️❤️

Friends without Benefits

Click this link to purchase! Friends Without Benefits: An Unrequited Romance (Knitting in the City) (Volume 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: The Simplicity of Cider by Amy E. Reichert

Sanna Lund lives on her family’s apple orchard with her father in Wisconsin. She tinkers all day with ingredients to make cider, seeing the flavors as vivid colors in her mind. Her father hires Isaac Banks and his ten year old son Sebastian to help out around the farm for the summer. Sanna isn’t excited to share her space with a child but her blunt straightforwardness and his childlike exuberance are the perfect pairing opening Sanna’s eyes to things outside the box of her farm. When her father has an accident, Isaac’s steadfast assurance and helpful hands enables them to keep the farm running while her father heals. When her brother comes home to help out, he tries to convince them to sell the land to developers and Sanna has to deal with more change in her little world.

Unlike the previous novel of Amy E. Reicherts that I have read, The Coincindence of Coconut Cake, there was a sad undertone to this story that held me back from giving it a 5 rating. Isaac was running away from troubles at home and keeping a huge secret from his son Bass. Their relationship had such a great father son dynamic that I really didn’t look forward to his secret being revealed which made me a little uncomfortable.

Sanna was a very blunt, straightforward young woman and when her world is threatened by developers she got more stubborn, missing some clues that someone was sabotaging her farm. I was a little frustrated that she stuck her head in the sand for so long! However, I also could identify with her need for her world not to change too fast or too much. Change is hard! When she and Isaac started to work together to help the farm move into this century it gave me hope that both of their characters would grow, and they did, but the pace of the novel remained pretty slow which confused me. Those contradictions of pace and plot made me a little hesitant to commit myself to the outcome of their relationship.

The best part of The Simplicity of Cider was how family was such a huge part of both plot points. Isaac’s relationship with his son meant the world to him. He knows the secret he is holding is going to destory his son, and it does, but they are able to overcome his actions through love. Sanna’s family too was at odds, but as the novel went on her family joined together to save their farm. Sanna, too had to forgive and move on, becoming healthier and more ready to accept the changes life may have for her.

If you are looking for a romance novel this may not be the right fit for you. Yes, there is a romance but it takes a back seat to the conflicts in both Isaac’s and Sanna’s families. I will say that after all was said and done I did go grab an apple out of my fruit bowl and relish taking that first bite. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

Simplicity of Cider

Click this link to purchase! The Simplicity of Cider: A Novel

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

This Chick Read: Through the Fire (Rocky Mountain K9 Unit #4) by Katie Ruggle

Kit Jernigan is the newest member of the K9 Unit having arrived in town after the unit’s police department was blown to bits by the previous novel’s bad guy. Needless to say, her male counterparts are a little gun shy to trust the new girl in town. The day she arrives she is called to the scene of a fire with her bloodhound Justice to track a potential killer. When that trail points to a seemingly innocent person, Kit is the only one to believe that her story may not be true. Until Wes comes along. Wes, the local fire-spotter who works for the National Park, did his job and spotted the fire. When Kit goes to interview him, their chemistry sizzles and as they get to know each other, Wes is on hand to help her investigate her suspect.

This is the final book in the Rock Mountain K9 Unit series and it wraps up the series story arc very nicely. It was refreshing to have Kit’s perspective as the only female officer in town. Don’t let that book cover fool you, that should be Kit next to the dog not Wes, since she is the officer in the unit. (The guy on the cover is handsome, but Wes was described as a huge mountain man with a lot of hair and I’m not seeing it at all on that cover!) Kit was smart, and her inner dialog made me like her even more. I also liked how she was attracted to Wes’s personality. It is obvious that he is borderline autistic or at least severely uncomfortable with person to person contact of any sorts. Katie Ruggle wrote his character as if that was totally normal and didn’t explain his peculiarities at all, which was really refreshing in an age where “diverse” characters are celebrated. She didn’t draw attention to it, it was just who he was.

Wes was completely charming! He was a hot mountain man with a brain. He was also willing to face his fears of being around people socially to be a part of Kit’s life. That is romance! My only critique is that she wrote him a little too well? I liked his personality with Kit, but because of his awkwardness the reader may have had to work a little harder to connect with him.

If I had to classify this book’s genre, I would classify it as romantic suspense or an action novel. There was a lot going on and the mystery definitely took center stage. However, I really liked Kit and Wes and was happy with the romance sub plot. This series started off flat but slowly built up steam and I liked Through the Fire the best of the four novels. You definitely must read the other books before reading this one since there is an overlying plot that runs through all four novels, sorry! Reading a Katie Ruggle book isn’t a hardship so even with the slow start I’d recommend reading this series. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

I received an ARC of this book through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest.

Through the Fire

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Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights reserved

*Amazon Associate

Friday YA: The Art of French Kissing by Brianna R. Shrum

Carter’s whole future rely’s on her getting into and winning a cooking competition, a la Top Chef for high schoolers, and getting a full scholarship into cooking school. Carter grew up poor. She learned to cook out of desperation because her parents were just awful at it. Something that was kind of a burden became her joy and she wants to follow her dream to someday open her own restaurant. When she wins entrance into the competition she’s overjoyed and is determined to do anything to win. She meets cute fellow chef Reid Yamada on day one where he chooses to play unfairly in their first competition. They are immediate adversaries, but are they really?

The Art of French Kissing was a really fun, lighthearted novel. The author painted the landscape with diverse characters with varying personalities. I wasn’t sure how Carter and Reid were going to go from enemies to friends, but it seemed to take a natural course and through the pairing in the competitions they soon had to rely on each other to win instead of looking over their shoulder for sabotage. If I had one tiny bit of criticism, I’d say that I wish Carter had been a little more confident and less hateful? I felt like she was the reason they weren’t friends sooner and it irritated me a bit. That was a pretty minor point though and I did move past it.

I really need to mention that even though these are teenagers there are VERY adult topics and the two main characters do have sex. It is not graphic or anything but I was surprised because I didn’t think this story needed to go down that road. If they were in college I don’t think I would have thought twice. I am not the targeted age for YA and am not sure if this is ok or if my feelings are the norm…

I do love a good novel with food and this one definitely had me taking a trip to the kitchen for some snacks. The Art of French Kissing hit all my YA Contemporary buttons, food, fun and friendships so with the exception of that moment of “wha?” I liked this book. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

The Art

Click this link to purchase*! The Art of French Kissing

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

The Kiss Quotient is one of the most talked about contemporary romance novels to date this year. It’s the story of a young woman, Stella Lane, who has Asberger’s, a form of autism that makes it really difficult for her to interact socially. Her mother wants to be able to stop worrying about her living on her own and pushes blind dates on Stella constantly hoping she’ll find a match. This makes Stella feel awkward and a failure, but she really wants to please her mom by finding a boyfriend, and even more she wants to alleviate the feeling of being “different” by doing something so normal. However, her approach is a little abnormal. She hires an escort to teach her how to have sex and be in a normal relationship.

Michael Phan is half asian, half Swedish and 100% gorgeous. Every Friday night he moonlights as an escort, who, yes, sleeps with strange women. Never the same one twice. However, there is something about Stella that draws him in. She is obviously awkward, but they have a chemistry that intrigues him. Stella asks to hire him for a few weeks and he breaks his rule and accepts.

THE LOVE STORY: I really enjoyed their relationship with each other. Stella was charmingly awkward and even though she managed her Asberger’s very well, she had obvious tells; the rhythmic tapping, the affinity for numbers and formulas, and the problem with hearing multiple sounds at the same time, just to name a few. Michael was somewhat oblivious to all of those tells, being too caught up in his surprising feelings for someone who had hired him. He also had his own secrets and issues, but those are a really big turning point in the story and I don’t want to give anything away, but I will say that even though on the outside he seemed to have it all, there was a reason he was hooking. Yes, I am going to call it hooking because if he was a woman that is what he would be called.

MY CONFLICT: It was so hard for me to overlook that Michael slept with other women for money. That’s not a romantic trait. At all. He was charming, sensitive, good looking and very caring towards Stella and that did go a long way towards taking away that hooker taint, but still…

I loved Stella. She was so human with all of our frailty’s and issues. Why did her hero have to be so flawed? Why couldn’t an autistic woman be loved by a “normal” man? These were the thoughts that ran through my mind as I was reading this book. I know I am in the minority on this one, but these were my feelings and those thoughts took me out of the story and lessened my enjoyment.

MY CONCLUSION: I had to sit on this one for a couple of weeks before writing my review and I’m glad I did. Looking back on my feelings I realized that in the end I really did like these two characters and did root for them to fall in love. He was the person she needed and it didn’t bother her one bit that he’d slept with hundreds of women. (just an estimate!) He was IT for her. It’s only a fictional novel, but if this were someone in my family I think I could overlook that for her. So, I gave this novel a four rating. It was very well done and really made me think.

The Kiss Quotient will probably not fulfill most women’s fantasy’s but it is striking a chord for a lot of people who may or may not have eccentricities and character traits that make them different. It was a story well told.

IMG_2531 (1)

Click this link to purchase*! The Kiss Quotient

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: Bellewether by Susanna Kearsley

Bellewether tells the story of two women living in different times. Lydia Wilde lives with her family during the war in the colonies between the French and the English. During that time if a battle was lost and soldiers surrendered, they would be billeted in homes until they were exchanged for their own soldiers that were being held. Lydia, her father and two brothers “hosted” two French Lieutenants. Charley is in present time and has been hired as historian and curator of the house Lydia lived in with her family. that will soon be a museum. As Charley unearths historical facts about the family that lived in that house, Lydia’s story is told. When Charley hears about a forbidden love story between Lydia and one of the French Lietenants, she wants to make their story part of the museum.

I loved the back and forth between Charley revealing a new item and Lydia’s history playing out. It was so easy to fall in love with both of these women and watch them live through very similar emotions. Susanna Kearsley writes as a historian. You read the descriptions of the clothing they are wearing and can fell the weave of the cloth running through your own fingers. She has a real talent. Both heroines had stories unfold in a very loving and gentle manner, dealing with grief in different ways. Charley’s story was more humorous as she is helped along by a spirit and Lydia’s a little more stoic as being the only female managing a family of men. What they had in common was heart, each defined by their own circumstances but at their core very similar.

I love the flow of a Susanna Kearsley novel. They’re not something you speed through, but savor slowly. The language unfolds and every sideways look has a meaning. She has a deft hand with description and doesn’t get bogged down with the details in a sewing basket. You are able to enjoy the story without needing to skim through pages. I was enmeshed in the story and actually wanted a few more chapters of Lydia’s story to end the book. That is the sign of a good book! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

I was given an ARC of this book through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!

Bellewether

Click this link to purchase!*

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: Every Little Kiss (Sequoia Lake #2) by Marina Adair

It’s been two years since the death of her husband and single mom Liv Preston is ready to live again. She does have some challenges, her six year old son hasn’t talked to anyone since he was rescued with his father from a mountain cave. Liv is ready to prove life is worth living to her son, but in order to do that she has to start living it. Up for a promotion at work Liv’s boss gives her a challenge. Show that you are committed to our community and you’ll be considered for this job. Liv jumps in head first and with the help of Search and Rescue leader Ford Jamison takes the first step to proving to her son and herself that life is full of challenges, but also it’s full of rewards.

There’s something about romance novels with children and dogs that always touches my heart. Liv’s son Paxton is so shy and disconnected from everyone, but when the dog that rescued him off the side of a mountain shows back up in town he gains confidence. Those two were a dynamic du0 and a great tool to help the reader connect with this story.

Ford has his own baggage, haunted by not knowing what happens to those he saves. He see’s Liv and Paxton struggling and can’t help stepping in to lend a hand. The attraction he feels for Liv has his head spinning and even though he knows it’s a bad idea he lets their connection deepen. This novel deals so well with the struggle of loss, life and moving on. You can’t help but root for everyone to overcome their sadness, grow and live life to their fullest. Of course, this is a romance novel, so you know it will end happily, but they do have some hills to climb and conflict to overcome. Marina Adair has a deft hand at building characters that really connect with the reader and Every Little Kiss was no different. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Every Little Kiss

Click this link to purchase! Every Little Kiss (Sequoia Lake)

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.

Release Blitz! Young Love by Alyson Santos

Young Love by Alyson Santos IS NOW AVAILABLE!

“I never wanted to come up for air. Alyson Santos is a master at painting the pages with emotions. This one is a must-read!” – Ginger Scott, Bestselling Author

Amazon ➜ https://amzn.to/2LmfOgd
Amazon Universal ➜ mybook.to/YoungLoveAlysonSantos
FREE with #KindleUnlimited

ADD TO YOUR TBR ➜ http://bit.ly/2JABiGj

Sometimes you need to let yourself fall…
Recently divorced Sienna Porter has the life she’s supposed to. A house, career, even a hot young contractor working upstairs to distract her. At thirty-eight, she’s entitled to a little fun (according to her best friend, anyway).

Pain, though— it’s so clever in the way it infects hope and poisons happiness.

Jace Beckett should be flying high. Talented, driven, and disciplined, he’s far beyond his twenty-three years. He’s used to the game, the attention his looks and highly-trained body get from women. Doesn’t mean he likes to play.

Doesn’t mean his own secrets aren’t intent on tearing him down.

It’s just a fling. Sexy. Temporary. It’s not supposed to last. It’s not supposed to transform into love. It’s certainly not supposed to become the air you breathe and everything worth fighting for.

About the Author:
I’m a writer, musician, and cat lover. I also have an alternative music obsession. Seriously, it’s a real problem.
I write what needs to come out, whether it’s pain, tears, or laughter. I write people and relationships, about the beauty and horror of what we do to ourselves and each other. I write Love. Vengeance. Compassion. Cruelty. Trust. Betrayal. Forgiveness. Darkness, and the incredible way humans destroy and heal each other.
I like to eradicate barriers, refusing to be confined by the laws of physics or limitations of reality. I will befriend a vast population of possibilities and introduce them in ways that might surprise you.

Connect with Alyson!
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authoralysonsantos/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorAlySantos
Join her group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/AlysBreakfastClub/
Bookbub: http://bit.ly/2E57FWM