Do You Want to Start a Scandal (Castles Ever After) by Tessa Dare

Charlotte Highwood is blessed with a mother who loves her very much, but that same mother is also determined to see her married well, throwing her into one awkward situation after another. Charlotte is determined that her mother’s newest prospect will not end up being forced to marry her because her mother has maneuvered a “situation”. When Charlotte sneaks away to have a word with Piers Brandon, Lord Granville, and warn him, I and Piers are immediately charmed by her efforts. Charlotte, in her haste to make him aware that she is not trying to trap him, tells him she’d never find him attractive and he’s not her type. He’s intrigued and I’m laughing at the clever dialog and scene that Tessa Dare has written. The scene is not unusual, but she imbues Charlotte with a naive exuberance that you can’t help but find charming, and Piers definitely does.

As I was reading this novel, I realized that I had actually read Say Yes to the Marquess, the sequel to this one where Rafe, Piers’ brother, falls in love with Piers’ fiancee of many years. Say Yes.. was my first Tessa Dare novel in quite awhile and I think it’s fate that another blogger recommended I read Do You Want to Start a Scandal, the next in the series. That moment of recognition, when Piers’ identity is revealed along with the fact that his brother stole his last fiancee, made Piers immediately interesting. Tying those two histories together made his rather cool demeanor have meaning. That demeanor was a mask for his activities, and the fact that he dropped that mask for Charlotte made me like him for her.

This was a fun novel, and the fact that I fell into the plot so easily showed Tessa Dare’s talent for weaving a charming romantic tale. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Do You Want Click this link to purchase! Do You Want to Start a Scandal (Castles Ever After) Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved


This Chick Read: Need You Now (A Mile High Romance #1) by Nicole Helm

The town of Gracely, Colorado has been dying ever since the Evans mining company closed down, decimating the businesses in town. Brandon Evans and his brother Will are trying to atone for their father’s mistakes by running their outdoor company in Gracely, but the townspeople won’t support their efforts, not being able to forgive them for having the Evans name. They hire Lilly Preston as their PR person, hoping she will be able to make inroads with the people in Gracely. Immediately she is able to do what they couldn’t and Brandon has a hard time acknowledging her efforts. As they work together, their acrimonious relationship starts to evolve into attraction.

This is a really tough romance to review because both Brandon and Lilly were so prickly. As I learned why Brandon felt so responsible for the town of Gracely I warmed up to him slightly. Lilly was also a bit standoffish and was obviously out of her element, a city girl living and working for an outdoors company. She had sass, which I loved, but that sass turned into a cold bitchiness that was hard for me to forgive. These two characters had so much to learn about themselves and each other and it was only because of the conflict at the end of the book that they even grew through that difficulty. I loved the scene at the end of the book where they had a heart felt conversation that was just so real… but then their story ended and I felt like I needed to see more of their growth as a couple to fall in love with them.

I’m conflicted. I liked the story up until a certain point in the book and then the conflict hit and my stomach sank. Then there was the most awesome conversation and I felt uplifted. Did I love it for every moment? No. Did I hate it? No. ❤️❤️❤️

Need You Now Click this link to purchase! Need You Now (A Mile High Romance) Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

This Chick Read: Lies Jane Austen Told Me by Julie Wright (Audio review)

Emma seems to have it all. She’s a successful marketing officer for a big name gym and has a gorgeous boyfriend who wants to bring her home to meet his parents. She is also obsessed with Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. So that trip to visit her boyfriends parents turns into a wedding proposal…. in her own head. When that turns out to not be true, she feels betrayed by Jane and the now ex-boyfriend and throws herself into her job 24/7. When her company hires a consultant, she’s dismayed to find out it’s her ex’s brother Lucas. Who turns out to be nothing like his brother. He’s not only handsome but gives away all of his free time to those more unfortunate than he. When Lucas and Emma travel together on business they get to know each other better and she falls a little bit in like with him. But… he keeps trying to get her back together with his brother!

I listened to Lies Jane Austen Told Me, which is narrated by Justine Eyre (and very well done too!). It was the perfect book to listen to while driving to and from work, lighthearted and fun, the narration bringing to life all of the personalities in this love story. Blake, Emma’s ex is rather full of himself. He’s from a wealthy family and doesn’t want to settle down long term. When they break up, he rallies trying to win Emma back, but she has a hard time re-falling in love with him, realizing that maybe they just didn’t suit. When Emma gets to know his brother Lucas, his complete opposite, she is amazed that they were raised by the same parents. When she finds out Lucas’s background she realizes how much they have in common and can’t stop thinking about him. Lucas, however, never stops trying to fix her back up with his brother. 100% loyal, which is nice and all, but kind of annoying when I really wanted him to take a chance a LOT sooner.

Like Mr. Darcy, Lucas seemed too good to be true. Except he wasn’t. He was the real thing. Emma had her work cut out in trying to make him see that they were the perfect fit, even though she started out with the wrong brother. There is a lot of silliness, some seriousness and a lot of heart in this sweet love story. My first by Julie Wright, but not my last.


Lies Jane Austen Told Me Click this link to purchase! Lies Jane Austen Told Me (Proper Romance Contemporary) Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved.

This Chick Read: Love Songs and Other Lies (preview excerpt) by Jessica Pennington

Love Songs and Other Lies is the story of Vee, her best friend Logan, and Cam her love interest. Vee and Logan have been best friends since grade school. With the exception of one summer when they tested the waters as something more before returning to being just friends. When Cam moves to town and starts school with them, he joins Logans band just to meet Vee. Although she didn’t know that.

The story is told through flashbacks that are juxtaposed against current time (a couple years later) when Logan, Cam and their band are on a tour bus being filmed in a battle of the bands type television contest. Logan asks Vee to join them but doesn’t tell her that Cam is traveling with them again. In the first few chapters we realize that Cam and Vee have a history and one that didn’t end well and they are going to hash it out on live television.

This excerpt was fantastic! I totally forgot that I was not reading the entire book and when it cut off I wanted to scream in frustration. I will definitely be looking forward to reading this entire novel when it comes out in the spring.

I was given a copy of this excerpt through NetGalley for my honest opinion and it was honest.

Click this link to purchase! Love Songs & Other Lies: A Novel

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

This Chick Read: A Piece of My Heart (Blessings, Georgia #4) by Sharon Sala

Mercy Dane grew up in the foster system, works as a waitress in a rundown bar and drives a Harley. She also has a rare blood type and is a registered blood donor. When she gets an emergency call from a hospital in Georgia to give blood to an accident victim, she races for her Harley and drives an hour and a half to save a strangers life.  This dichotomy in Mercy’s character immediately gained my interest. She is tough, yet caring at the same time. Reticent by nature, Mercy quietly sits in the waiting room while drinking juice and catches the eyes of the victims family. Her resemblance to Hope, the victim, is commented on and suddenly Mercy is swept into the possibility that her lonely life may have ended.

Ron Pittman, sheriff of Blessings Georgia, catches sight of Mercy in the hospital and flashes back to the one night stand they had in their youth that meant so much to him. The fact that Mercy may have ties to Blessings is a welcome surprise, a surprise he takes immediate  advantage of!

I really enjoyed this novel in the Blessings Georgia series. Mercy’s background made her an easy character to root for, and the fact that this good looking sheriff has thought about her all of these years and has the patience to get through all of her defenses made their love story a great read. I also liked the fact that she got reunited with her long lost sister and thought their reunion was very well written and not overdone. Her sister Hope was sweet, and the humor Sharon Sala wrote into the novel made me laugh and sigh in all the right places. I have not read any of the other novels in this series and except for figuring out that Hope and her husband had their own novel, I don’t feel like I missed anything in reading this as a stand alone and would recommend that to anyone else who doesn’t want to read books 1-3 just to catch up. Although I will say that I liked the characters of Blessings Georgia and will probably go back and look for a previous novel just to relive its sweet charm.❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!  A Piece of My Heart (Blessings, Georgia) Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: The Reasons I Read Romance Novels

How many times have you hidden the cover of the romance novel you are reading from your friends, family, boyfriend and/or husband because you were embarrassed by the shirtless male or couple embracing on the cover of your book? E-books have taken that embarrassment away a bit, but still there’s that stigma. No one has ever said to me, you read romance novels? Me too! Even though I know I am not alone in loving this genre.

When I started my blog 2 1/2 years ago, I’ll admit that I had to have a conversation with my inner romance novel lover and decide to hell with it. My friends, husband, co-workers, mother, and for gods sake – my brother all subscribe to my blog. Get over your inhibitions and just read what you want to read and write what you want to write, right?!! Exactly! Even having come to grips with it myself, there is still a stigma attached that makes me slightly embarrassed still. So let’s discuss what exactly bothers me, you or any man or woman that likes to read romances but remains slightly ashamed.

  • The covers- This is the biggest reason why people make fun of romance novels and I believe, also the biggest reason for the stigma. Throughout the years there have been trends in romance covers. If you read historical novels, you may remember Fabio being famous for gracing the cover of too too many of them. When romance books are mentioned I think this is the first image in everyone’s minds. Regardless of the fact that you may be reading Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, which is also a romance novel. Why is it so horrible to have period couture on couples or a naked male chest on a cover? I know publishers are trying to catch a readers eye and some readers LOVE seeing a handsome man on the cover.  There seems to be a trend away from these types of covers. I know a lot of historical romance novels now only have a woman alone on the cover, or a man. I read an interview with a popular contemporary author who says she doesn’t like to use cover models because she wants people to use their imagination. I like that!

Do You Want Hooking UpFrom Lukov

  • Let’s address the fluff factor. Just as there are many different types of people in this world, there are also many different types of authors. We have various competency levels from horrible to excellent. This goes for any genre. I have read my share of great lighthearted romances as well as very realistic historically accurate romance novels. Yes, some can be cheesy, but those same cheesy romances do their job. What’s their purpose? To create a fantasy for the reader to leave their life behind them and enjoy someone else’s happily ever after. Let’s face it. Life can be really hard and well, sometimes it really sucks! I think there is nothing better than curling up in bed at the end of a tough day with a romance novel. If it’s one of the better authors out there I may even learn something! (get your minds out of the gutter!) Diana Gabaldon has a Ph.D. in Science. Do you really think she didn’t use her knowledge and research skills when writing Outlander? Yes, she is the supreme example, but I’m sure the wonderful Lisa Kleypas puts just as much thought and research into one of her own novels. She just doesn’t give us chapters of descriptive prose and gets to the story pretty quickly. My point is that romance novels gives their reader a break from a reality that involves things like school shootings. Give me a romance novel ANY day over a news story like that…
  • Do women need a man to save them? Can we not save ourselves? Why yes we can Hillary Clinton! I mention Hillary because she said in an interview that ‘men and women gather abusive attitudes from reading romance novels about “women being grabbed and thrown on a horse and ridden off into the distance.”’ Hillary, you are THE woman! But, in this case you are also missing the point, big time! In my everyday life where I am the breadwinner in my family and in the past have managed a team of people with the goal of hitting budgets I need to relieve some stress! So, yes, I do love to read about an Alpha male who takes charge, wants to protect his woman from harm, and not let her pay for anything. That is my fantasy to not be the responsible person. There is no harm in reading about that type of man. Has reading about these types of men made me think I can’t go on without having someone else take charge? Nope.

Heath Ledger

  • Sex or no Sex? Yes, romance novels typically have an abundance of sex. Sometimes, when the mood is right, the sex is good. LOL. Other times, I skim the sex scenes because what I need is to read about a relationship that works. Some authors cater to readers who just want to read the sex scenes. That’s fine, but those aren’t the types of novels I prefer. I love great characters who fall in love. I love the build up of a relationship whether they are enemies and become lovers, or friends to lovers, or strangers to lovers. I like all the tropes that give me great characters who fall in love. Why? It solidifies what I already know. A great relationship brings happiness and fulfillment to your life. The End.

So there you have it. My reasons for reading romance novels. I bet they don’t differ that much from your own!

Do you agree with what I said above? Have your own reasons for reading romance novels that you’d like to share with me? I’d love to hear it!

Until next Sunday,

Deb (but I also read Fantasy, Mysteries, YA, etc…)

This Chick Read: Signs of Attraction by Laura Brown

Carli is a Hard of Hearing college student who wears hearing aids to class. When one of her hearing aids runs out of batteries she meets Reed, a completely deaf student who offers her a spare. Meeting Reed opens her up to a life that she had always lived on the fringe. Learning ASL and hanging out with other deaf and hearing impaired students makes her realize how much of life she had been missing. Reed fills a hole that she hadn’t realized she had, guiding her into this new life as a friend and then boyfriend.

During her journey we learn a lot about Carli’s background. She grew up in a family where excelling was extremely important and falling behind because of a “little hearing problem” was unacceptable. That pressure added to her insecurities and as the novel goes on we find out the basis for Carli’s hearing loss. The tone of the story shifts from a bright excitement at her new life with Reed to a dark undertone of abuse. I’ll admit, this shift caught me by surprise, but it wasn’t an unwelcome change.  Hearing Loss is normal, and this author treated it as something for Carli to learn and explore, but not a major conflict.  They needed a larger obstacle to overcome before finding their happy ending and boy did they get one!

Signs of Attraction was actually filled with a lot of backstory and subplots as Reed had a pretty big sub plot as well. I liked how the author made this story about so much more than that they were deaf and fell in love. Life has all sorts of challenges and sometimes they hit us all at once, just as they did for Carli and Reed in this novel.

I liked both of these characters although I did want to kick each of them a couple of times when they made a decision that I didn’t agree with, but it kept my interest. I wanted to see what path they would take to remain together. This was my first book by Laura Brown and I’m intrigued by the hearing loss subject matter. Hearing Loss is something that a lot of people can relate to and I’m glad she’s bringing attention to the subject and yet keeping it real.


Signs of Attraction Click this link to purchase! Signs of Attraction Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

This Chick Read: Playing to Win (Brits in Manhattan #2) by Laura Carter

Playing to Win quote 1

Izzy is in New York to promote her new diet and fitness book when she crosses paths with gym owner Brooks Adams at his gym. They seem to have nothing in common, from their totally different approaches to fitness and health to their opposite end of the spectrum upbringings. Izzy’s snobby British background rubs Brooks solid middle class Manhattan personality the wrong way and sparks fly. When Izzy attacks him in her blog, they get a lot of press and decide to switch fitness regimes for two weeks to declare whose works the best. Living, eating and working out side by side for two weeks these adversaries start to enjoy the barbs they are throwing at each other and frustration turns to romance.

We got a hint of Brooks’s history in the first Brits in Manhattan novel, Balancing the Scales. Brooks, a single father who fought against the prejudice of his pregnant girlfriends parents as a teenager easily put that same stamp on Izzy’s socialite turned fitness expert. His trust was not easily gained and he was rather hard on Izzy. However, knowing his history made it easier for me to overlook his boorish behavior. Izzy was more two dimensional. She did come across as the Prada wearing fitness princess and even though in her late twenties acted pretty childish towards Brooks. I’ll admit, I got a little impatient with both of their shenanigans until they finally decided to act on their pent up frustrations. When they realized their feelings for each other I enjoyed their game playing a lot more.

Izzy’s insecurity held me back from feeling more empathy for her and I think that hurt how I felt about the two of them as a couple. I liked Brooks’s character and had been looking forward to reading his story. He was a guy that certainly deserved a happily ever after, but I didn’t have complete buy in that Izzy was that person for him. Laura Carter’s writing style is full of sweet charm and British wit which translated well in the writing of Izzy’s personality. Solid writing was a huge part of why I gave this book a three rating. I just wish that sweetness had hit the pages a little sooner so I could’ve loved Izzy a bit more. ❤️❤️❤️

I received an ARC of this novel through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!

Playing to Win cover

Click this link to purchase! Playing to Win (Brits in Manhattan)

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

This Chick Read: The Hookup (Moonlight and Motor Oil #1) by Kristen Ashley

Izzy has had some hard knocks in her life so when she finds out her one night stand is in love with someone else she is ok with taking what he will give her. After all thats probably all she deserves. (Her thoughts not mine!) Johnny’s head is messed up from his previous breakup and when that woman moves back to town, even though he knows he’s not getting back with her, he lets Izzy out of his life. One night he runs into Izzy eating alone at a restaurant and finds out about some of her past troubles and decides immediately to get back involved and make sure she is safe.

Izzy is one of those characters that seems a little unreal but you can’t help but like. She’s all rainbows and butterfly’s, sweet, nice and girly. Her place is shabby chic. Johnny is your typical Kristen Ashley male. Very alpha and masculine but with a warm heart that beats for one woman. What Johnny comes to realize is that that woman is now Eliza and he will do anything to keep her safe and happy. When her sister moves to town, bringing trouble with her too, Johnny opens his arms to Izzy’s family, wading in to insure their safety too. What’s not to like about this guy? Ok, his last name is Gamble. Johnny Gamble is kind of a silly non Alpha sounding name but I got over it pretty quick.

I really enjoyed this novel. It reminded me of the older KA novels like the Burg series or even some of the stand alone novels like Play It Safe. Those are some of my favorites. A good old fashioned romance of boy meets girl, gets to know and love her and wants to be with her forever. There’s a tiny hint of danger thrown in for conflict which hits just the right note keeping the novel from being too sweet. The heat level is not sweet though, it’s very spicy!


DA387576-CC73-4243-AC9C-C62510921CD0 Click this link to purchase! The Hookup (Moonlight and Motor Oil Series Book 1) Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

This Chick Read: Wrong Number Right Guy (The Bourbon Street Boys #1) by Elle Casey

May Wexler receives an urgent text from her sister from a dive bar downtown called Frankie’s. Responding to the urgent nature of the text, she grabs her mini Chihuahua and rushes out the door. Dressed inappropriately for a biker dive bar in her pink espadrilles and Ann Taylor clothes, she braves the biker element in search of her sister and her three kids. Needless to say, her sister isn’t there. The text was sent in error, and before she figures that out, she’s in the middle of a shoot out and a burly bearded gorilla grabs her and hustles her out the door.

This was the first of the fish out of water scenes in Wrong Number Right Guy for May. She was not the brightest bulb in the bunch, however she was plucky! and damned funny actually. There were a couple of scenes where I was laughing out loud and wiping tears from my eyes. Normally I abhor stupid women in books, but there was more to May than met the eye and I can only think that Ozzie saw right through that Ann Taylor facade before I did. Even though he was mostly the strong silent type, he seemed to like her shenanigans and actually gave her credit for having more brains than I’m convinced she had. He was the perfect stoic foil to her beard jokes and took her teasing very well.

The best thing about this novel, besides the humor, was the fact that even though May was kind of nutty, she wasn’t a victim. This girl seemed terrified of everything, but when push came to shove, her instincts were on fire and she’d kick butt. Sometimes by accident, but she didn’t need a man to save her, she always ended up saving herself. This is why this book ranked so high. Well, that and the humor. My god, I laughed! I’m looking forward to reading the other books in the series to see if they are just as funny. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Wrong Number Click this link to purchase! Wrong Number, Right Guy (The Bourbon Street Boys) Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved