This Chick Read: Until it Fades by K. A. Tucker

Catherine lives in the small town of Balsam, Pennsylvania working as a waitress in a truck stop while trying to quietly raise her five year old daughter. At twenty-four she has already seen her fair share of press due to her involvement with the son of a prominent Balsam family and she wants to steer clear of anything high profile and just quietly live her life. One night while traveling home from a bad blind date she comes upon a sports car that has crashed against a tree and even though there’s danger from the car catching on fire she saves the life of the passenger of the vehicle. Little does she know that by that one event her life will be put back in the spotlight. She has just saved the life of NHL star Brett Madden.

There were moments in this novel that I really enjoyed. I liked Catherine’s fight against adversity. She had gotten involved with a teacher while in high school and because he was from a prominent family she was black balled and treated horribly as the temptress while the teacher who was thirteen years older got off without a slap of the hand. Reading about that subject from Catherine’s perspective was tough. You feel so bad for her and want her life to be better than it is. You also totally get why she doesn’t want anything to do with Brett and the publicity machine that follows him. Of course, it’s a love story and you know Brett’s going to help her overcome that stigma, but that didn’t make it any easier to read although that contrast did make their love story shine brighter.

Brett was a pretty normal guy for being a pro NHL player and son of a super famous movie star and he was written as the white knight in a way. However, the bulk of the conflict centered around Catherine, her daughter, and the town of Balsam. She had some great friends who added character and humor to the novel and I enjoyed how her true spirit was portrayed and how she finally got the respect she deserved. I found it kind of strange that the romance felt underplayed, but Catherine did have a lot of inner turmoil to work through.

If you like romances where your heroine overcomes adversity, Until it
Fades is the novel for you! I enjoyed the outcome because of what Catherine went through in her past and found she and Brett easy to root for. It did take me a little bit to overcome my uneasiness of her childhood romance with her teacher, I’ll admit, so because of that it gets a three and a half rating. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

” Unfortunately I didn’t love it – it was enjoyable but nothing in the story stood out making it an average read. ” Faith Books and Pixie Dust

Click this link to purchase!* Until It Fades: A Novel

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

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This Chicks Sunday Commentary: Book-Blogger Mashup!

At work the other day someone described a friends personality as you would describe a fine wine. You know “she’s bold with an undertone of ripe raspberry’s growing on the coast of California, with a hint of salt”. It got me thinking, I have been following many of you for a few years and after reading some of your reviews, can almost provide my own Book-Blogger Mashup.

First, I’ll start with myself. because why the heck not?

THE READING CHICK: She is as inquisitive as an In Death novel, has an undertone of snarky Hating Game dialog, and is rounded out by her From Lukov with Love of romance.

Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricanes: She writes with The Astonishing Color of After drenching the pages, her words throw light in The Dark Vault while her heart screams This is What it Feels Like!

Bree @ In Love & Words: Her writing voice is as smoky as A Week of Mondays while she tries to use Hopeless Magic to Listen to Your Heart and find her next book boyfriend.

Jill @ Jill’s Book Blog: Her book worlds collide in Serious Moonlight with her virtual eyes reflecting Cinder as she is bound by ‘no spoilers’ but wanting to scream “They Both Die at the End”!

That was so much fun! So, ladies (Marie, Bree and Jill) I challenge you to create your own Book-Blogger Mashup!

Here are the rules: 1) You have to Mashup up your own blog, 2) pick three of your fellow bloggers to Mash and please tag them, and 3) tag me because I want to read them too!

Of course, if you don’t want to do the Book-Blogger Mashup, you don’t have to but I thought it was fun and kind of a neat exercise. I really got to know your blogs and reading style’s better!

If I didn’t tag you but you think this sounds like fun, feel free to join in! Please tag me so I can have fun with you and read your own mashups.

Until next Sunday,

Deb

This Chick Read: Fall (VIP #3) by Kristen Callihan

Fall is the third novel in VIP, a rock star romance series by Kristen Callihan. Having had the story of two previous members in this band (well, #2 was about their Manager but..) we already know Jax Blackwood’s history. He was the catalyst to Killian’s escape from reality in VIP. Jax is the best friend who tried to kill himself and sent the band whirling into despair and confusion. Knowing this, I wondered how Ms. Callihan was going to inject a lightness into this troubled man’s story. That injection came in the form of Stella, a funny “free spirit” who dares to knock down Jax’s mental blockade and make him feel again. She does this through humor, but also provides Jax with someone who needs him emotionally. That is a truly scary thing for a mentally depressed individual, but he is willing to take that chance and be that person for Stella.

We knew all about Jax (or thought we did), but we, the reader, knew nothing about Stella until she meets him over Mint Chip ice cream at the grocery store. A scene that sets the stage for some pretty funny shanigans between these two characters. Stella doesn’t have a clue who Jax is, and Jax loves the independence of being himself instead of being the rock star. When they meet again, she is living next door to him in Killian and Liberty’s apartment, pet sitting for them while they are on vacation overseas. This closeness provides many opportunities for Jax and Stella to interact and get to know each other. Both of them are truly surprised by what they find out.

I loved that Kristen Callihan took on mental illness in this novel. It would be so easy to make Jax the tortured misunderstood hero and Stella be the light that brings him back from the dark. They both are those things, but they are also so much more. After having viewed the effects of Jax’s attempted suicide on his band members, it was really eye opening to hear his viewpoint on what is and was going on in his head. The way this is portrayed is very true to life and only the romance in this novel is lighthearted. The characters have depth that scratches despair, and only by being together, loving each other do they have the strength to face the future. Stella needs this love just as much as Jax, maybe even more.

This was not a lighthearted novel. Yes, I did laugh, but I also cried a bit and stopped to think about how this portrayal could parallel a lot of people’s lives that read it. Not that we’re all rock stars, well at least outside my own head, but the fact that we all have moments of darkness and that dream that being needed and loved can help us overcome despair.

Am I reading too much into this novel? I mean it is a rock star romance and is meant to be fun. I know other people haven’t loved this novel as much as the other two in the series, but I’m going to say this is my favorite so far. Fall had a perfect balance of light and dark, love and hate, despair and hope. To me, that balance made it pretty much perfect. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“I’d say Fall was a great romance that also managed to handle the important topic of mental health and depression with such realism and grace. I would highly recommend this book and I can’t wait to read the other books of the VIP series.” A Lovely Book Affair

“Fall is an intense, emotional, funny, and sexy slow burn. Kristen Callihan created and developed flawed but endearing characters in John and Stella who will keep you engaged throughout their rollercoaster of a relationship.” Harlequin Junkie

Click this link to purchase!* Fall (VIP Book 3)

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read- Anton: A Chicago Blaze Hockey Romance by Brenda Rothert

Anton Petrov, Captain of the Chicago Blaze hockey team, is known for his healthy eating habits, great work ethic, and celibate lifestyle. The first two are what he needs to be a great hockey player but the last is because once he met Mia Marceau he was spoiled for anyone else. Unfortunately, Mia is married to one of his teammates. When he fortuitously runs into Mia tending bar he finds out she and his teammate, while still married, are separated. Wanting to be in her life, even if they are only friends, he starts driving her home when she gets off work late at night and ultimately hires her as caretaker to his uncle. Their attraction catches fire yet she is still married and Anton doesn’t want to cross that line.

Despite the beautiful cover model, Anton is a slow burn novel. Mia’s marriage creates a distance between the two of them and they are both so honorable that until her divorce they remain friends. I loved how their friendship was fully developed before the romance really started. Mia’s marital situation, unsurprisingly has a rather harsh reality so there is plenty of drama in this novel, but it’s balanced really nicely with some humor from Anton’s uncle who is a rather salty old soul.

There were some interesting characters on Anton’s hockey team so if you’re a fan of these romances I think you’ll want to keep track of when the rest of these novels come out. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for you! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

I was given a free ARC of this book for my honest review and it was honest!

BOOK INFORMATION:

**AVAILABLE NOW**  Meet ANTON by Brenda Rothert is now LIVE!
🏒Amazon: https://amzn.to/2zQRnAP🏒Nook: http://bit.ly/2zGlYRg🏒Kobo:  http://bit.ly/2zHRQoz🏒Apple Books: https://apple.co/2APPYtD
Join Brenda’s Reader Group: http://bit.ly/2AZT6UN

Author Bio:

Brenda Rothert is an Illinois native who was a print journalist for nine years. She made the jump from fact to fiction in 2013 and never looked back. From new adult to steamy contemporary romance, Brenda creates fresh characters in every story she tells. She’s a lover of Diet Coke, chocolate, lazy weekends and happily ever afters.

Website: http://brendarothert.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorbrendarothert/Twitter: https://twitter.com/BrendaRothertPinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/brendarothert/Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/user/BrendaRothert
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1TyGXds

Click this link to purchase!*Anton: A Chicago Blaze Hockey Romance

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: Mogul (The Knickerbocker Club #3) by Joanna Shupe

When Lily’s brother goes missing she turns to ex-husband and Media Mogul Calvin Cabot to help her find him. After their marriage was annulled four years ago after a quick elopement they have done a great job of avoiding being in the same vicinity. When Lily kidnaps Calvin to get him to help her out, they find that the chemistry between them is just as fiery, as is Lily’s personality. When Calvin agree’s to help her he tries to keep her safe, but Lily is determined to be in on the action. Her determination to find her brother is matched by Calvin’s desire for Lily to stay out of the action.

The setting for the Knickerbocker Club series is the Industrial age which makes it these books very unique. Even though Lily comes from money it’s nice to see how men in that frame of time built their fortunes. When Lily and Calvin initially meet and marry he is a reporter, but four years later he owns three papers and is on his way to building an empire. Lily also has grown into her place, taking over for her father as the President of their mining company. Something that is not heard of in that time, and probably inaccurate of what women are allowed to do in that time, but it made for a different kind of romance. They are equals with their brains and with their finances. 

The mystery of what happened to Lily’s brother involves a Chinese gang leader and some rather rough characters. You know when you read a piece of fiction and the characters all feel real and not characterizations, you know that the author did their homework. Joanna Shupe did hers and the realistic characters helped me enmesh myself in their story, not stopping to think “yeah, right” as I do in some lighter historical romances.  

This is the third book in the Knickerbocker Club series but you can read these novels as stand alone’s no problem. The other men in the club do show up as supporting characters but you don’t need to know who they are to enjoy this or any of the other stories in the series. If you’re like me and like to start at the beginning, then pick up Magnate, which is book #1. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Mogul (The Knickerbocker Club)

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal

Unmarriageable puts the familiar story of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in an unfamiliar (to me) setting of Pakistan. This mixture of a familiar story in an unfamiliar culture was both fascinating and frustrating. I loved that through reading Alys and Jena Binat’s story I was learning a new culture, but also frustrating because that culture, even in modern times, doesn’t treat women well. In some cases, worse than the Bennett ladies in 1797 England. My emotions fluctuated from fascination to outrage as each scene was revealed yet kept me reading at the same time- pushing for the finish line because I couldn’t wait for the novel to be finished with the happy ending I fully expected.

As with the Bennett family, the Binat family has fallen on hard times and due to their lack of money their social standing in Pakistan society has fallen. The two elder daughters, Alys and Jena, have an honorable position as teachers in an all girls school, but at the same time are dishonored for having to work and bring in an income for their family. Alys our main protagonist is a modern woman. Outspoken, educated and honest she has visions of living her life without being forced to marry. Her mother, however, just wants to see all of her daughters settled, both for their own good but also to help raise their families social standing. Mrs. Binat was a termagant raised in an era where the quality of your marriage defined your life, she harangued, nagged, and spoke down to her daughters so much that it was hard to see the love behind her words and actions.

Unmarriageble mirrored Pride and Prejudice so much that it took away some of the pleasure of reading the novel. The only good distraction was the setting of Pakistan. An area of the world that I am completely unfamiliar with except in news stories or rare visits to a local restaurant or international grocery store. I really enjoyed reading about the clothing, food, and culture of courtship and marriage, even if I disagreed with the ages of the bride and groom in some instances. Knowing arranged marriages still take place in some cultures is one thing, but this novel made that so much more real.

As far as the actual story, I could obviously identify with the more modern Alys and rooted for her love story with Darsee. I would have liked a little more creative license taken with the storyline but Pride and Prejudice is popular for a reason. Alys does finally see Darsee for the grumpy ‘prince’ that he is and falls in love regardless of her misinterpretations of everything he does throughout the novel. The shenanigans of the rest of the Binat girls added more color, but also gave a great sense of the struggles women in Pakistani culture have balancing the modern with tradition.

The setting, food, and colorful scenery balanced out my frustrations with those original plot similarities leaving me with only a slight sense of dissatisfaction. Did I love the novel? Not really. I enjoyed reading about a different culture and I was left with empathy for the struggles women are going through but in the end it was that lack of adding a newness to an already re-told (a million times) plot that left me in that gray area of it wasn’t great but it wasn’t bad either. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

I was given a free ARC of this novel through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“Personally, I wasn’t a massive fan of the writing, unfortunately. It isn’t bad by any means, it just didn’t speak to me. But hey, everyone has different tastes, and I can see a lot of people loving it. My one complaint, however, is that this book just felt overly long. I know Pride and Prejudice is a long book, but I think because this is contemporary, it just seemed like it dragged a bit.” Adventures of a Bibliophile

“Unmarriageable is a smart, evocative retelling of a classic that reads just like a modern classic. Everything about the story is perfection, intriguing, and completely enthralling. It was enjoyable and engaging from start to finish and receives my highest recommendation. ” Jennifer The Tarheel Reader

Click this link to purchase!* Unmarriageable: A Novel

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: Demon’s Mercy (Dark Protector’s #9) by Rebecca Zanetti

The Fae have decided to come out of hiding and save the world from being destroyed when the Seven form and dimensions collide. Mercy O’Malley is supposed to take out Logan Kyllwood, the last man set to join the Seven, but when she gets near him her blood sizzles and her heartbeat quickens. When she decides to kidnap him instead Logan goes along with it trying to figure out this new danger. Needless to say, neither one of them fights against the pull they have for each other even though they are fated to be on opposite sides of this war.

Logan was born a warrior and even though he is the youngest Kyllwood brother he has taken on a significant task of saving their world by joining the mysterious Seven. As with all of the other alpha heroes in this series, Logan is dark and broody but he has an element of fun that is brought out when he meets Mercy. Part of that is that she is Fae, a species he didn’t know was real. He jokingly calls her a fairy through the whole book, a title she begrudgingly accepts. It’s that humor that humanizes the story and makes she and Logan interesting.

I like that a new species has been introduced to this Dark Protector world. The discovery of what is “fae” makes this story interesting and I hope the author delves into that lineage more in future novels. Logan and Mercy were a fun pairing and I enjoyed their story and look forward to getting a glimpse into their future in the next Dark Protector story. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase!*Demon’s Mercy (Dark Protectors Book 9)

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: Hot Winter Nights (Heartbreaker Bay #6) by Jill Shalvis

Molly Malone works for Hunter Investigations but not in the capacity she’d like. We learned a little of Molly’s back story in her brother Joe’s story About that Kiss. Molly’s brother is uber protective because of an episode in their childhood where Molly got hurt and having Molly take on a more active role at work goes against those protector instincts. Lucas Knight, another investigator in the company, has always had a soft spot for Molly. When one of her neighbors asks for her help with a situation at work Lucas is “assigned” to keep watch and make sure Molly stays out of trouble.

The Heartbreaker Bay series is about a group of friends that all work in this small community of buildings. I love how we meet future couples in previous novels so that when their story arrives, you already know something about them and you don’t need half the novel as set up. Hot Winter Nights jumps right in. We know Lucas as an attractive guy who doesn’t like more than one night stands, and Molly as the younger sister of Joe who has a bum leg from a past run in with a gang. A few sentences in and the back story comes immediately to mind and I can easily immerse myself into their story.

I’ll admit the mystery was a little hokey with a Christmas theme with some geriatric elves and a mob like Santa. Even though the mystery was a little silly it did allow for some great scenes between Molly and Lucas that added heat to the themed story. The best thing about Jill Shalvis’ books are the fact that the characters are easy to like and have a lot of heart. I also love that it’s a group of friends who stay connected through love for each other, literally and figuratively. I wish I had a group of friends like this myself and anyone who reads these novels thinks the same thing. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

Heartbreaker Bay is a really fun series, and I especially love the Christmas stories, which encompasses about half the books in this series. This one also has a bit of suspense thrown in, which really helps to keep the pages turning.” Stacey Alesi’s Bookbitch.com

“Hot Winter Nights is a fun and entertaining read with just the right amount of steam, romance, action and suspense. It’s a great book to spend your day getting swept up in and will definitely put you in the holiday spirit.” Once Upon A Book Blog

Hot Winter Nights

Click this link to purchase!* Hot Winter Nights: A Heartbreaker Bay Novel

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chicks Confession- 2019

I CONFESS– I struggled to reach my Goodreads goal for 2018. I set it for 200 and was 7 away with one week ago. I read a bunch of novellas, included two audio re-reads, and ended the year at exactly 200 on 12/31/18. I feel guilty, should I?


So, I only set my 2019 challenge for 170 books this year. Although I’ll have to say, I’m off to a very quick start!

I CONFESS– I stopped accepting review requests on my blog midway through 2018. I do still request ARC’s through NetGalley though…

Well….I will accept reviews from authors I’ve previously read and enjoyed though…so not totally!

I CONFESS– I frequently run out of ideas for posts on my blog. It’s frustrating! I really admire those of you who post with brand new content all the time. How do you do it??? Advice is welcome!

I CONFESS– Sometimes I just want to read a fluffy feel good book! I don’t want to read a book just because it deals with a subject that I’m supposed to want to read because it’s popular. I want romance! I want escapism! I want to quit my job! wait, what??!! LOL

I CONFESS– I got tired and stopped blog hopping. I KNOW! What a lazy bum, right? My husband got me this really cool little laptop for Christmas and makes blog hopping so easy and fun! I’m going to say that dreaded word, but my GOAL (ugh!) is to amp up my hopping activity. I love checking out everyone’s blogs. I just got tired. Then the holidays, and well, I got sick. A couple times. So then, anyway… I will!

That’s me. Bunny, um yeah, blog hopping. LOL

So now that I’m done confessing… I’m just going to get back to it.

I hope 2019 brings you joy, happiness, romance, good luck and GREAT books!

Deb

Blogger to Blogger Series: An Interview with Julie @ A Little Book Problem

Julie’s blog A Little Book Problem is about more than just book reviews. She talks about life, writing, travel, and yes, she also talks about the books she’s read. Aesthetically her blog is beautiful and her voice is crystal clear. If you haven’t been to A Little Book Problem please click the link below, but come back and read the answers to the 10 questions Julie answered!

Julie @ A Little Book Problem

Let’s get to those 10 questions shall we?

Blogging is universal and even though we inhabit the same community, we don’t always live in the same country. What country do you live in?

I live in the UK, in a tiny hamlet seven miles north of Doncaster in South Yorkshire. Our village has only 120 residents, a pub and a post box!

What is the view outside your front door? 

Mostly just fields and a few other houses. A bucolic fantasy for some, and others’ worst nightmare, I guess. 

Most blogs have a fun story of origin. Please share the story behind your blogs name and/or why you started blogging.

At the end of 2016, I started to panic about the size of my TBR and my fear that i’d die before I got to the bottom of it, so I made a resolution that I would buy no new books in 2017 and only read ones I already owned. I started my blog in January 2017 to keep track of my resolution. I chose the name to reflect my addiction. Once I discovered the book blogging community, my blog morphed from what it started out as to more of a review blog, and sadly my TBR is now bigger than when i started, due to all the fabulous recommendations from my fellow bloggers!

Describe where you write your blog. Include a picture if you’d like!

I usually write at my desk with a gorgeous view through the French windows over my back garden and the fields beyond. 

Most of us have a stack of books sitting next to our couch or bed waiting to be read. What books are in your stack?

I used to have a stack next to my bed. my daughter even christened it Mt Bookarus as it was so big. Eventually, it got so tall that it was higher than my mattress and I started banging my face on it in the night so i gave in and bought a bookcase for the bedroom to house it. it has now overflowed into an additional one downstairs in the office too. I really do have a serious book problem! 

If you have had a bad day and want to spend an hour reading a book, what is your go to genre or favorite book that will lift your mood?

I pretty much read anything and what i choose will depend on my mood but I do like a good romantic fiction read to lift my mood. It is a much-maligned, but massively popular genre that I am nor ashamed to say I enjoy and there a lot of great romance writers out there. if it has an overseas setting to indulge my love of travel, even better.

When you aren’t blogging, how do you spend your time? Work, Play, School?

I recently closed down my travel business to focus on a new career, so I am currently training for that. i am also working on my own novel (gulp!) as a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme, plus being a mum to two daughters, step-mum to another three part of the time, looking after three ponies and walking my cocker spaniel, Lola.

What is your favorite blog post you’ve ever written?

The ones I have most response to tend to be personal ones but the one i had most fun writing was this review of Battlestar Suburbia by Chris McCrudden. i think it is still my favourite post. https://alittlebookproblem.co.uk/2018/09/21/battlestar-suburbia-by-chris-mccrudden-bookreview-cmccrudden-farragobooks-netgalley-battlestarsuburbia-netgalley/ 

Have you ever met one of your favorite authors? If so, what did you say to them? Looking back, what do you wish you had said instead?

Since I joined the RNA, I’ve been lucky enough to meet lots of my favourite authors including Jill Mansell, Milly johnson, Rowan Coleman, Julie Cohen, Cathy Bramley, Heidi Swain, Miranda Dickinson and Katie Fforde. I was also lucky enough to spend 4 days staying with Veronica Henry on a writing retreat, which was marvellous. They are all surprisingly normal and have given me great writing advice. When i met Katie Fforde I did say, ‘OMG, Katie Fforde!’ which was slightly idiotic, but she didn’t seem to mind!

If you could sit down with an author for a slice of cake and a question,  who is the author, what kind of cake would you serve, and what is the first question you’d ask?

I really wish I could have met Maeve Binchy before she died. I’d have taken her to Betty’s in York for a cup of their Blue Ceylon tea and a Fat Rascal and asked her how she managed to capture the true nature of ordinary people so perfectly. In her absence, i’ll take Marian Keyes and ask her the same question. My in-laws live quite close to her in Dublin and I keep hoping I’ll ‘accidentally’ bump in to her one day in Dundrum shopping centre!

I’ll admit that I had to look up a Fat Rascal because that name was too precocious to not know what kind of dessert it represented. I do love a good scone and I think that’s what a Fat Rascal is? One of my favorite past times when visiting England is tea and scones. Yum! I can’t imagine a better treat while talking with a favorite author. Thanks Julie for taking part in my series, I loved the peek into your life and through your window!

Thanks to all of you for reading Blogger to Blogger and if you’d like to take part, please give me a shout and I’ll send you the questions.

thanks!

Deb