This Chick Read: Protect the Prince (Crown of Shards #2) by Jennifer Estep

As the new queen of Bellona, Everleigh Blair wants to bring peace to her country despite the grumblings of her own noble families. When an assassin tries to kill her in her own throne room, Everleigh plans a trip to the neighboring country of Andvari to sign a treaty and stand up against the dark forces who would try to overthrow their kingdoms. With the help of her gladiator friends she faces the family of her love, bastard prince Lucas Sullivan. In Andvari she learns what it means to be a Winter Queen, in an emotional journey. What will she do? Choose what’s right for her country or the man she is coming to love.

Protect the Prince brought all of the action that I loved in Kill the Queen but added an emotional depth to our main character, Everleigh. She and Lucas have a connection that shouldn’t be acted upon as she is now queen and Lucas is the bastard son of the Andvari king. Knowing their love is futile, frustratingly, they spend a good majority of this novel apart. I hated that! I love a little romance in my action fantasy novels. However, when Everleigh finds a plot to bring down the Andvari house and goes undercover (so to speak) the plot thickens and became interesting enough for me to overlook the fact they were not together…yet.

I loved both Everleigh and Lucas’s strength of character in Kill the Queen, but felt like Lucas could’ve fought a little bit more for what he wanted, and Everleigh could’ve let him in on a few of her secret plots so he didn’t spend a good portion of the novel hurting. I hated the lack of communication! I know, it’s just a book, but I like it when my characters are on the same page. Aargh! LOL. Both Everleigh and Lucas’s characters get a little more back story which explains some of their character traits. Through flashbacks we learn about the death of Everleigh’s parents and the part the Bastard Brigade played. This explains Everleigh’s determination to bring an end to that group. We also learn about a past love of Lucas’s that ended poorly and explains why he continues to do what is right instead of what he wants. Both of these things slow the novels down only slightly but help me care more for their characters and the outcome of their relationship.

As with the first novel there was some great politically charged action scenes with our bad guys somehow always staying one step ahead of our heroes. The conclusion to those political machinations had a couple of surprise twists that left me feeling like I MUST read the next novel! I just wish it were coming out a little sooner than next year!

❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“In addition to political shenanigans, there is plenty of action in Protect the Prince as well as subterfuge, betrayal, and some rather swoony moments. I loved reading this story and I am completely looking forward to what is next in this series!!” The Genre Minx Book Reviews

“The series so far is still littered with all kinds of fantasy tropes, but surprisingly, I don’t have a problem with it. The truth is, it gives these books a certain kind of charm, and I love being able to kick back with something light and fun. I also have a feeling Estep is working on the bigger picture, building towards something even better. I look forward to reading the next book.” The Bibliosanctum

Click this link to purchase!* Protect the Prince (A Crown of Shards Novel)

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: The Dating Charade by Melissa Ferguson

Cassie Everson just wants to find the right guy and settle down but all she seems to find is Mr. Wrong. After trying out a dating app she’s given up on her dream. Her best friend doesn’t give up on that dream and responds to an email on the aforementioned app on Cassie’s behalf and puts her face to face with a guy she went to high school with… a guy she doesn’t remember at all but wants to get to know better. Then life and responsibilities start knocking on her door. Will Cassie make the time for love?

Unlike some other reviewers I had zero expectations for this novel and was really happy with how much I liked it. Yes, the synopsis gives the reader the feeling this might be a lighthearted rom-com, and The Dating Charade really was not that book. However, it really delivered on a solid plot, great characters, and a ton of heart. Cassie and Jett were both such nice people that you couldn’t help but root for them to overcome all obstacles to make their dreams come true. Those obstacles may have been a little deeper than some other readers liked, but this novel packed a lot of emotion into it’s 336 pages! I read it straight through from start to finish.

Cassie works in an after school facility that helps keep teens off the streets and provides a safe environment for them to hang out in. When Star doesn’t show up one day and Cassie goes looking for her she finds Star and her sisters on the border of being thrown into foster care. Cassie dives into the deep end and offers them her home and becomes even more attached to these three girls. I thought this plot was so well written! Cassie is kind of a bleeding heart but Star and her sister’s add something to Cassie’s life that was missing and I thought this really helped bring something extra to Cassie character. Melissa Ferguson could’ve gone down the road so many other authors have tried but she chose to write something with meaning and I support that decision whole heartedly!

This novel was about love, but it wasn’t just about love between two people it was about how love creates a family, not blood. The message was beautiful. The Dating Charade may have been mis-cast by it’s publishers but don’t punish this author by not reading it because of a few mediocre reviews. I always say that you have to be in the right frame of mind to read any book and The Dating Charade was the book I needed to read at the time I read it. I hope you will give it a chance to be that book for you too. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

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

Click this link to purchase!* The Dating Charade

Copyright 2019 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I will receive a small (very small) stipend.

This Chick Read: Blitzed (Playbook #3) by Alexa Martin

Brynn Larson is the owner of the female-centric bar HERS where the Denver Mustangs WAGS hang out to watch their men play. Being on their reality show has brought notoriety and fans to her business and given her a solid group of ladies to call friends. Star player and shy guy Maxwell Lewis, has admired Brynn from the sidelines long enough and has decided to step up his game and make his play, but his past creates mixed signals that gun-shy Brynn has a hard time reading and isn’t sure she wants to open herself up to more betrayal.

Yes, once again I picked up a book in the middle of a series. However, this time instead of feeling a bit confused I was intrigued by all of these strong women and immediately went into my Overdrive app to look up the previous two books and bookmarked them. I haven’t read any previous Alexa Martin books before but I love her style of writing! Brynn had depth but she was also really funny, and her fictional friends were more solid than the RHONY group you see on reality TV, and a LOT more hilarious!

I was really intrigued by the concept of Brynn’s bar HERS. Created for women to hang out and be themselves, make friends, and stop being so harsh with each other is awesome! I wish I had a neighborhood bar like this one! Brynn also had quite a bit of depth in her character. Being abandoned by her mother gave her strong opinions about relationships and what she would and would not put up with and Maxwell was smart enough to see that he’d have to work through her protective shell to win the prize within.

Brynn wasn’t the only one who had some depth, Maxwell also had a secret in his past which isn’t revealed until almost 3/4’s of the way through the book. Surprisingly I didn’t get annoyed at his waffling and instead was intrigued. I think it was because the author did such a great job of making him such a nice, sweet guy. I really bought into his good character. I love these fictional good guys, it seems a rarity in a book world of too many alpha males!

I thought Blitzed was thoroughly enjoyable with just enough meat in the story to make it feel real. Brynn also had a solid group of female friends that were fun, funny, and loving. I’m a sucker for female friendships in romance novels! Since I started this series in book #3, I’m excited to go back and read the first two and re-introduce myself to this group of gals and hear their individual stories. I love finding a new to me author! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase!* Blitzed (Playbook, The)

Copyright The Reading Chick 2019 All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

Happy Monday everyone! I ran across this post on Book Date and liked the idea of sharing what I’m currently reading, and hopefully hearing about what you’ve picked up off your shelf. So here goes!

JUST FINISHED

Synopsis:

Brynn Larson owes a lot to reality television and professional athletes. Her bar hit new heights of success after becoming a local haunt for the Denver Mustangs players and their WAGs. But although she’s grateful, that doesn’t mean she’s crazy. And that’s exactly what she would be to ever consider dating a professional athlete. Even if it’s Maxwell Lewis, whose shy smile makes her wonder what going on behind those beautiful brown eyes. 

Maxwell knew from the moment he met Brynn that she was going to change his life. It was only a matter of time. But when he finally makes a move, fate conspires against him and everything goes wrong. Now he has to show her that their potential is real. Too bad for him, Brynn isn’t fooled by his glamorous NFL life, and when ghosts from both their pasts make a sudden reappearance, she must decide who she can trust. But when the person she’s most afraid of is herself, navigating life’s tackles is harder than anticipated.

Click this link to purchase!* Blitzed (Playbook, The)

JUST STARTED

Synopsis:

Aldrich University is rocked to its core when a hacker dumps 40,000 people’s e-mails—the entire faculty, staff, students, alums—onto an easily searchable database. Rumors and affairs immediately leak, but things turn explosive when Kit Manning’s handsome husband, Dr. Greg Strasser, is found murdered. Kit’s sister, Willa, returns for the funeral, setting foot in a hometown she fled fifteen years ago, after a night she wishes she could forget. As an investigative reporter, Willa knows something isn’t right about the night Greg was killed, and she’s determined to find the truth. What she doesn’t expect is that everyone has something to hide. And with a killer on the loose, Willa and Kit must figure out who killed Greg before someone else is murdered.

Told from multiple points of view, Reputation is full of twists, turns, and shocking reveals. It’s a story of intrigue, sabotage, and the secrets we keep—and how far we go to keep them hidden. Number one bestseller Sara Shepard is at the top of her game in this brand-new adult novel.

Click this link to purchase!* Reputation: A Novel

Both of these books are really good! Look for reviews this week!

What are you reading this Thanksgiving week?

Deb

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: My 5 Most Anticipated Book Releases- Dec’19

Thanksgiving is this week which means the month of November is almost over. Time is still flying by and even though I’ve been in a small reading slump I’m still looking forward to some exciting new book releases for December. I’ve actually got quite a few ARC’s, so let’s hope I get over this slump…. Fast!

#5 MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK

I’m fascinated with the fact that Nalini Singh is switching genre’s and can’t wait to see how well she writes a mystery/thriller.

Synopsis:

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh welcomes you to a remote town on the edge of the world where even the blinding brightness of the sun can’t mask the darkness that lies deep within a killer.…

On the rugged West Coast of New Zealand, Golden Cove is more than just a town where people live. The adults are more than neighbors; the children, more than schoolmates. 

That is until one fateful summer—and several vanished bodies—shatters the trust holding Golden Cove together. All that’s left are whispers behind closed doors, broken friendships, and a silent agreement to not look back. But they can’t run from the past forever. 

Eight years later, a beautiful young woman disappears without a trace, and the residents of Golden Cove wonder if their home shelters something far more dangerous than an unforgiving landscape.  

It’s not long before the dark past collides with the haunting present and deadly secrets come to light.

Click this link to purchase!* A Madness of Sunshine

#4 MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE

I’ll admit, I received a preview of this novel and so far am loving it! I didn’t know it was the third book in the series, but love the heroine’s gang of friends so I’m betting books #1 and #2 get added to my TBR this weekend.

Synopsis:

Maxwell Lewis has to make the play of his life in order to breach the woman of his dream’s defenses in this new football romance from the author of Fumbled

Brynn Larson owes a lot to reality television and professional athletes. Her bar hit new heights of success after becoming a local haunt for the Denver Mustangs players and their WAGs. But although she’s grateful, that doesn’t mean she’s crazy. And that’s exactly what she would be to ever consider dating a professional athlete. Even if it’s Maxwell Lewis, whose shy smile makes her wonder what going on behind those beautiful brown eyes. 

Maxwell knew from the moment he met Brynn that she was going to change his life. It was only a matter of time. But when he finally makes a move, fate conspires against him and everything goes wrong. Now he has to show her that their potential is real. Too bad for him, Brynn isn’t fooled by his glamorous NFL life, and when ghosts from both their pasts make a sudden reappearance, she must decide who she can trust. But when the person she’s most afraid of is herself, navigating life’s tackles is harder than anticipated.

Click this link to purchase!* Blitzed (Playbook, The)

#3 MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE

This is the girl who got creeped out trying to read Recursion by Blake Crouch, so even though I love the synopsis, I’m kind of afraid of being a little too chicken to read it. It does sound really good though!

Synopsis:

A supernatural thriller in the vein of A Head Full of Ghosts about two young girls, a scary story that becomes far too real, and the tragic–and terrifying–consequences that follow one of them into adulthood.

Red Lady, Red Lady, show us your face…

In 1991, Heather Cole and her friends were members of the Dead Girls Club. Obsessed with the macabre, the girls exchanged stories about serial killers and imaginary monsters, like the Red Lady, the spirit of a vengeful witch killed centuries before. Heather knew the stories were just that, until her best friend Becca began insisting the Red Lady was real–and she could prove it.

That belief got Becca killed.

It’s been nearly thirty years, but Heather has never told anyone what really happened that night–that Becca was right and the Red Lady was real. She’s done her best to put that fateful summer, Becca, and the Red Lady, behind her. Until a familiar necklace arrives in the mail, a necklace Heather hasn’t seen since the night Becca died.

The night Heather killed her.

Now, someone else knows what she did…and they’re determined to make Heather pay.

Click this link to purchase! The Dead Girls Club: A Novel

#2 MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE

It has been two years since the second book in this series, so I may be a little rusty on the characters but I do remember loving the mysteries! I’ve been on a big historical mystery kick lately and this novel is right in my sweet spot.

Synopsis: When the ladies of the ton of Regency London need discreet assistance, they turn to Rosalind Thorne—in these mysteries inspired by the novels of Jane Austen . . .
 
Trust is a delicate thing, and no one knows that better than Rosalind Thorne. Lady Melbourne has entrusted her with recovering a packet of highly sensitive private letters stolen from her desk. The contents of these letters hold great interest for the famous poet Lord Byron, who had carried on a notorious public affair with Lady Melbourne’s daughter-in-law, the inconveniently unstable Lady Caroline Lamb. Rosalind is to take up residence in Melbourne House, posing as Lady Melbourne’s confidential secretary. There, she must discover the thief and regain possession of the letters before any further scandal erupts.
 
However, Lady Melbourne omits a crucial detail. Rosalind learns from the Bow Street runner, Adam Harkness, that an unidentified woman was found dead in the courtyard of Melbourne House. The coroner has determined she was poisoned. Adam urges Rosalind to use her new position in the household to help solve the murder. As she begins to untangle a web of secrets and blackmail, Rosalind finds she must risk her own life to bring the desperate business to an end . . .

Click this link to purchase! And Dangerous to Know (Rosalind Thorne Mystery)

MY MOST ANTICIPATED DEC’19 BOOK RELEASE!

I try not to pay attention to the hype but the synopsis on this romance has really drawn me in. I hope it’s as good as it sounds!

Synopsis:

In this warm and witty romance from acclaimed author Kate Clayborn, one little word puts a woman’s business—and her heart—in jeopardy . . .

Meg Mackworth’s hand-lettering skill has made her famous as the Planner of Park Slope, designing custom journals for her New York City clientele. She has another skill too: reading signs that other people miss. Knowing the upcoming marriage of Reid Sutherland and his polished fiancée was doomed to fail is one thing, but weaving a secret word of warning into their wedding program is another. Meg may have thought no one would spot it, but she hadn’t counted on sharp-eyed, pattern-obsessed Reid.

A year later, Reid has tracked Meg down to find out how she knew that his meticulously planned future was about to implode. But with a looming deadline and a bad case of creative block, Meg doesn’t have time for Reid’s questions—unless he can help her find her missing inspiration. As they gradually open up to each other, both try to ignore a deepening connection between them. But the signs are there—irresistible, indisputable, urging Meg to heed the messages Reid is sending her, before it’s too late . . .  

Click this link to purchase!* Love Lettering

I realize the not everyone may be anticipating the same books I am. If there’s a book you can’t wait to read next month, please let me know about it! I may not have it on my radar and am always looking for a great book to read.

thanks!

Deb

This Chick Read: The Princess Plan (A Royal Wedding) by Julia London

When Eliza Tricklebank receives an anonymous tip about who murdered the secretary of the visiting Prince Sebastian of Alucia she doesn’t hesitate to print it in her gazette. When Sebastian shows up on her door wanting to follow up on that tip Eliza doesn’t act deferential, instead treating him like an ordinary man, and sends him on his way after chastising him for his rude behavior. This doesn’t deter Sebastian, in fact, it intrigues him. When he shows up again to apologize they decide to pursue the investigation together, the tension between them quickly turning from irritation to friendship.

When I read the synopsis for The Princess Plan for some reason I thought it was a modern romance. So, imagine my surprise when I realized this was a historical. Our heroine, Eliza is not your typical historical woman. She’s “on the shelf” at 29 and because of that status doesn’t give a hoot how she’s perceived in society. This gives her character a modern edge that makes her extremely likable. I couldn’t help rooting for her to become his future bride.

The murder takes place at the start of the book and the intrigue and investigation set a fast pace for this romance. Our prince is not just in London for fun, he’s actually trying to complete a trade negotiation as well as find a bride to bring back home to Alucia. The murder of his closest friend allows the reader to see the lonely life of this prince. The contrast to Eliza’s “normal” upbringing, as well as her cheekiness, makes her an irresistible candidate but they of course have obstacles to overcome. I won’t spoil how this is accomplished, but it makes for a fun novel to read! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase!* The Princess Plan (A Royal Wedding)

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

What Are You Reading Wednesday

I found myself in a reading slump and have quite a few books I need to read and review. One genre that always helps me get out of a slump is historical romance. It’s a genre that I love and this book in particular looked fun. Part mystery, part historical romance, and so far it is engaging and has captured my interest!

The one thing I don’t love? This cover!

Synopsis:

Nothing gets the tongues of London’s high society wagging like a good scandal. And when the personal secretary of the visiting Prince Sebastian of Alucia is found murdered, it’s all anyone can talk about, including Eliza Tricklebank. Her unapologetic gossip gazette has benefited from an anonymous tip about the crime, prompting Sebastian to take an interest in playing detective—and an even greater interest in Eliza.

With a trade deal on the line and mounting pressure to secure a noble bride, there’s nothing more salacious than a prince dallying with a commoner. Sebastian finds Eliza’s contrary manner as frustrating as it is seductive, but they’ll have to work together if they’re going to catch the culprit. And when things heat up behind closed doors, it’s the prince who’ll have to decide what comes first—his country or his heart.

What are you reading today?

This Chick Read: The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman

Nina Hill is perfectly happy with her quiet life working in a book store and occasionally hearing from her famous photographer mother. She runs several book clubs and meets her friends for their weekly trivia night at local bars. When a lawyer calls out of the blue telling her that her father died she finds out that she has brothers and sisters that live only a few blocks away her life gets turned upside down.

Since her hilarious debut with The Garden of Small Beginnings Abbi Waxman novels jump to the top of my TBR. The Bookish Life of Nina Hill had the same quirky characters and funny one liners I’ve come to love, but in Nina Hill there was a vulnerability that her other characters didn’t have. Nina was a very complex woman. Raised by a nanny, Nina never had the love of a parent or any siblings. Her life was pretty solitary and change made her anxiety skyrocket.

I loved the cast of characters in this novel! Her trivia friends, and love interest/arch nemesis Tom added depth and fun to her somewhat melancholy character. Her brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces- each added a different emotion for Nina to either embrace or overcome. Connection isn’t easy for a woman whose life has been purposely quiet and structured. All of these people force her to move and live outside her comfort zone, which I think a lot of readers could identify with. I identified with Nina’s love for books, her overstuffed bookshelves, and her need for a quiet night of reading. 🙂

If you’re a fan of quirky novels with a hint of a love story and a lot of family drama, then I think you should give the Bookish Life of Nina Hill a try. If you’ve read Abbi Waxman’s previous novels, you’ll enjoy seeing a few familiar characters again, and will like getting to know some new ones. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“I could go on and on about all the things I loved about this story but will end my review by saying Abbi Waxman has set the bar here for me by creating such a compelling, introvert, giving her conflicts, adding layers of depth to her and then letting her grow. I can’t recommend it enough!” Two Sisters Lost in a Coulee Reading

“The Bookish Life of Nina Hill is a delightful read. It’s funny, at times relatable as only bookish people would “get,” and it’s smoothly written. There’s so much to love about Nina and infinitely more to love about this story. ” Jennifer-Tar Heel Reader

Click this link to purchase!* The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

Friday YA: Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

When one of the most dangerous grimoire’s in Austermeer seeks to escape the Great Library, foundling apprentice, Elisabeth, finds herself blocking it’s path. She must keep it from reaching the village where it could wreak havoc and kill many. Despite her humanity, Elisabeth manages the impossible, yet what should have been a victory turns her into a suspect and she’s sent off in the hands of sorcerer Nathanial Thorn and his demon servant, Silas. They soon discover that that’s not the only grimoire to be set free and they must find out who is behind these treacherous acts, or die trying.

I loved Enchantment of Ravens, Margaret Rogerson’s previous novel. It was as gorgeous on the inside as it was on the outside. I did like Sorcery of Thorns but it felt like it was trying to hard to be as good as the first. Elisabeth was a fun character. She was smart, energetic, and fearless. Growing up as a foundling of a Great Library she has a love for books and specifically the grimoire’s rustling voices. Hearing those voices is as supernatural as Elisabeth gets, she’s more smart than magical. She is wary of Nathanial at first because of all of the horror stories she was told as a child about all of the sorcerer families, but as she enlists his help to find who is releasing the grimoire’s there’s an undeniable attraction. I’m not really sure why because he seems pretty arrogant, but growing up an orphan in a library she doesn’t have a lot to compare him to and is dazzled.

I like their interaction with each other and as Nathanial’s back story is introduced it helps him become a little more sympathetic, but for me the more interesting relationship is Nathanial with his demon servant Silas. Nathanial’s parents die when he’s just entering his teen’s and it’s Silas who essentially raises him. A demon is not supposed to have feelings for a human and that relationship has more depth and emotion than the one between Nathanial and Elisabeth.

Sorcery of Thorns is a fun action adventure novel with just a hint of romance. A complete fantasy, it was easy to get lost in the characters and see where the story was leading. I enjoyed myself reading this novel, but didn’t quite enjoy it as much as Enchantment of Ravens. Sorry, I couldn’t help but compare the two! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Sorcery of Thorns

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase the book through the above link, I receive a small stipend.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

Happy Monday everyone! I ran across this post on Book Date and liked the idea of sharing what I’m currently reading, and hopefully hearing about what you’ve picked up off your shelf. So here goes!

JUST FINISHED

First Sentence Read: “Just as Emma Castle’s plane landed in Scotland, she pulled out her phone and viewed the incriminating evidence once again.”

This was a cute, lighthearted women’s fiction novel, but I found myself wanting to slap all of these characters silly. Do people really dither about, messing with each other’s lives like this? Super frustrating! Yet… I did read the whole thing. LOL

JUST STARTED

First Sentence Read: “It was late winter in Northern Rus’, the air sullen with wet that was neither rain nor snow.”

I have heard so many great things about this book, but I’m having trouble getting into it! I may need to skip it and pick up a different book. I’ll try one more chapter…

Now that you know my struggles and frustrations with the books I’m reading, what book are you reading this fine Monday?

Deb