This Chick Read: If You Only Knew by Kristan Higgins

Jenny Tate is moving her wedding dress store back to her home town for two reasons. The first is to be closer to her sister and her three nieces and the second is to be further removed from her ex-husband, his wife and their new baby. It’s hard to move on with her life when they (Rachel and her ex) are still so involved in each others lives. Rachel is thrilled her sister Jenny is moving back to town, but when it seems her marriage is on the rocks she has difficulty seeing the truth behind the lies. If You Only Knew is the story of two sisters who are navigating through difficulties leaning on each other but also learning their own inner strengths.

Jenny’s marriage slowly falls apart with her husband eventually leaving her saying he just wants something more. He finds that just three months later and then immediately has the baby Jenny had wanted with him. He remains friends with Jenny, calling her his best friend, and she lets him even though it makes her miserable. When she moves the shop to her hometown she moves into a small complex and meets her downstairs neighbor Leo. He is devastatingly gorgeous and closed off keeping her at a distance with a friends with benefits status. Jenny dreams of a relationship with Leo that may never come. The good thing about their story is that she’s finally weaned off from her ex and didn’t really even notice it happening.

Rachel tries so hard for the perfect life and marriage. She deftly raises her three children and when her husband comes home everyone is spotless and lovely for him to kiss goodnight. When she discovers he’s cheated the walls come crumbling down on her perfect life and she wonders why she tried so hard to keep the love and passion in her marriage. If there was one character I hated in this book I’d say it was her husband. He acted entitled and I just loathed him for how he treated Rachel.

The two sisters have a wonderful relationship, so supportive and are each others champion through life. Even with their problems their love for each other was so apparent, it was lovely. If You Only Knew was filled with angst, pain, and rebirth. It was deftly told and at the end the reader is left with a feeling of completion if not happiness for each sister. Their lives may go through good and bad, but I felt like if they had each other in their lives they could pull through almost anything. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* If You Only Knew: A Women’s Fiction Novel (Hqn)

Copyright 2020 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

This Chick Read: Echoes Between Us by Katie McGarry

Veronica is the weird girl at school who is totally confident and doesn’t even try to fit in. Sawyer is the popular golden boy and championship swimmer. They don’t hang with the same crowd but when Sawyer and his family move into the apartment in the downstairs of Veronica’s home, he can’t help but notice her. They partner together on a class project and become close but despite their growing attraction they each have a secret that they are afraid to tell the other. Veronica’s is that she has migraine’s that let her see her dead mother and Sawyer has an adrenaline addiction. He craves the rush that comes from jumping off of high cliffs and endangering his life.

I don’t know if it was too many evenings at home watching Ghost Hunters but this synopsis was too tempting to pass up. Are these ghosts Veronica see’s real? She thinks her house is haunted and has conversations with her dead mother, however these sightings might also be hallucinations from the tumor she has growing in her brain. A tumor that she fears will kill her, just like the one that was responsible for the cancer that killed her mother. However, if she can prove that ghosts do exist she thinks it will make her father feel better if he isn’t alone after she dies. I know, kind of a shaky reason for hiding this secret, but as the story moves forward it kind of makes total sense.

Sawyer has his own problems and dating the weird girl wasn’t what he thought he’d be doing his senior year. He’s starting to get scared that he has a real addiction and that it may just be the death of him. When he meets Veronica and her theories about ghosts he feels the same rush as he does when he jumps off a cliff, but when he starts to fall for her he starts to see through her reasons for picking this topic for their senior thesis.

I was riveted by this story. Katie McGarry did a great job of giving these characters depth and her storytelling was impeccable. She created a creepy mood for some of Veronica’s chapters that added a darkness to the ghost tales that she and Sawyer went out to investigate. Sawyer’s story was also filled with a darkness and despair and it was Veronica that brought light into his life and he clung to that brightness.

I don’t want to give away any of this story because each reveal only entices you to keep reading to find out what happens next. If you like ghost stories and tales of overcoming obstacles to find happiness then you need to crack open the pages of this book. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and would love to talk to you about it! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

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

Click this link to purchase!* Echoes Between Us

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

This Chick Read: Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey

Rosie and Dominic Vega were high school sweethearts and got married when when he enlisted. They’ve always been each others best friend able to talk about anything and their chemistry? It sizzles! Ever since Dominic came back from Afghanistan their relationship has changed. They don’t talk as much, living together as husband and wife but except for their once a week sex-date not interacting. Rosie is heartbroken but wants to move on and start living out her dream and feels like Dominic isn’t going to stand beside her and help her accomplish them. She asks for a divorce and is surprised by how vehemently Dominic wants to make things work. So she comprises by going to last chance couples therapy. Love Her or Lose Her is a love story that puts communication first while still delivering the heat.

I really liked the premise of this novel and after reading Fix Her Up and liking it a lot, was confident Tessa Bailey would deliver a good story. Did she? Well, yes and no. I was really conflicted and my emotions were all over the place.

What I liked: I really liked Rosie. She obviously loved Dominic a lot but wasn’t going to settle for less than what she thought she deserved from her husband. She was confident, sassy, and her cooking sounded amazing. Seriously, I got hungry for cuban food reading this novel! What I also liked about Rosie was that when she realized she should take part of the blame in their failed marriage, she did…and felt horrified by it. I also liked her friends. Georgie was our heroine in Fix Her Up and she was just as charming in this novel, and Bethany, Georgie’s sister, who will star in her own novel next. Their sisterhood and support system were amazing and I had a lot of fun reading about that group.

What I didn’t like: I’m just going to say it.. Dominic. I usually like an alpha male, but this guy had way too much testosterone. Whew! His old fashioned attitude about what makes a good marriage definitely needed to be brought up to date. The heat between the two of them was crazy hot, but the way he spoke to her during those hot moments, for me, was a complete turn off. I hated his moniker for her… gosh, I’ve blacked it out of my mind, I think it was honey girl? Every time he said it, I just cringed. It seemed like the author was trying way too hard. Would such a taciturn guy really start calling her this name only when they had sex? To me, it was just weird.

So, the fact I didn’t care for half the couple wasn’t a good sign. However, I did like how going to therapy made them open up and see things in each other and in themselves. That, and Rosie’s character elevating their coupledom out of the trash heap with her genuine likability? I gave Lover Her or Lose Her a 3 rating, which on my scale is average. I like this author but I think she missed the mark on this couple. ❤️❤️❤️

I received a free copy of this ARC for my honest review and it was honest!

Click this link to purchase!* Love Her or Lose Her: A Novel

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

Ayesha At Last by Uzma Jalaluddin

“Because while it is a truth universally acknowledge that a single Muslim man must be in want of a wife, there’s an even greater truth: To his Indian mother, his own inclinations are of secondary importance.”

Ayesha Shamsi lives with her boisterous Muslim family. Ayesha is in her late twenties and just started a teaching job and has almost given up on her dream of being a spoken word poet. Khalid is a conservative Muslim, dressing and living life according to his faith. When Ayesha and Khalid meet, she thinks he’s arrogant and judgmental and he thinks she’s beautiful and outrageous. As they get to know each other their opinions change, but when suddenly it’s announced he’s been arranged to marry her cousin Hafsa, both Ayesha and Khalid realize some truths about themselves and each other.

I LOVED Ayesha at Last. I was hesitant to read it because of the comparison to Pride and Prejudice and I’ve read some of those that were so poorly done. Ayesha at Last was very loosely based upon Jane Austen’s novel, and it was the differences that stood out. Yes, Khalid was handsome and arrogant, as was Darcy in the original novel, but he was also honorable, decent, and most importantly head over heels for Ayesha. A fact that the author didn’t try to hide at all. Unlike Pride and Prejudice, reading from Khalid’s perspective made all the difference for me. His faith was fascinating and his character growth in seeing beyond and outside of his faith made me swoon (and I don’t swoon!).

I also really liked Ayesha (thank goodness!)! She too was quick to judge and was also true to her faith, although she had a dream of reading and writing poetry- and having it heard. As a woman living in a culture that lacks certain freedom’s for women, speaking words she has written, and expressing that emotion was HUGE for this character. The fact that Khalid see’s her in a “lounge” the first time they meet, and she recites a poem, and thinks he’s judged her for it makes his acceptance and admiration more impactful. As they get to know each other and fall in love the veil is lifted and their belief’s about each other are revealed and explored.

Ayesha at Last has to be the book that’s surprised me the most this year. I was given a free copy at a convention and had put it aside because of my disappointment in some other Pride and Prejudice re-makes. I wish I’d picked it up sooner because I’d have liked to shout my feelings to the world and helped this author sell some copies. Just in case it’s not too late to put this one on your radar, or maybe it is on your radar but you haven’t picked it up to read yet, in this reviewer’s opinion PLEASE do! I hope you’ll like it as much as I have, it was a real game changer for me! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“Rereading Ayesha At Last has made me love the story even more. I appreciated once again the characters that Jalaluddin has created; and smiled, unreservedly, at the subtle references made to Pride and Prejudice. The story is humorous, prods at social norms, and has become one of my favourite rom-coms.” Colline’s Blog

“Uzma Jalaluddin’s Ayesha at Last pays homage to Pride and Prejudice without feeling confined by certain aspects. The characters’ struggles feel more relevant in a modern setting and Jalaluddin’s infuses just enough humor and romance to make this a must for P&P fans.” A Kernal of Nonsense

Click this link to purchase!* Ayesha At Last

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

It’s Monday what are you reading? (1/6/2020)

After nearly two weeks off I am heading back to work today so this is a rather bittersweet Monday. However, I just finished a good book last night and will be starting a new one this afternoon, which turns that bittersweet into, well, semi-sweet at least. Lol. This post originated over on Book Date , so thanks for the idea and letting me join in the discussion!

JUST FINISHED

First Sentence Read: “My funeral begins in an hour.”

NEXT UP!

First Sentence Read: “Rosie Vega: a department store shopper’s worst nightmare.”

What book are you starting your week with?

This Chick Read: Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn

Meg’s gained some acclaim from her hand lettering skills. She’s developed planners, calendars, and wedding invitations that are both beautiful and whimsical. However, when Reid Sutherland shows up at her door claiming she’d hidden a secret message in his wedding invitation stating his wedding was a “mistake” she’s got a little explaining to do. Thus begins the story of Meg and Reid. A young woman who uses letters to portray emotions and characteristics and a young man who is a mathematical genius seeing formula’s in numbers. Their communication is intricate, their budding friendship hesitant, and their emotions fierce. This is a love story unlike any other and that difference made it unputdownable.

Meg is a young woman who looks like she’s got it all going for her. She’s worked hard to make her business grow but all of her personal relationships are a mess. When Reid walks through her door, she doesn’t want any more secrets or polite exchanges, she decides to give him the truth and that truth creates a bond between she and Reid. Meg uses lettering as a descriptor of emotions. She hears people speak in type fonts and exclamations are pointy and sharp. Her inner dialog was fascinating and her attraction to Reid hung on every quirk of his mouth.

Reid was more of a dark horse. Quiet, formidable, and living in a world ruled by numbers. He see’s things in black and white until he starts enjoying NYC through Meg’s eyes. Just as she lived for that quirk of his lips, he also lived for every strand of her hair that connected the two of them together. Underneath their growing friendship were personality quirks that explained their frailties and flaws. Background stories that were heartbreaking and secret tells that hinted at future plot reveals. Each written word of Love Lettering kept me reading, each time Meg thought “swoonshes” made me turn the page.

I do believe that when you find a book to read that hits all of your sweet spots it can be for many reasons. I was in the right mood. This was the right genre. I could identify with one or both of the characters. Whatever the reason, Love Lettering was that book for me. I read well into the night last night, then picked it up to finish with my coffee this morning. Love Lettering was IT for me in Sans Serif, all slashes and exclamation points. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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!* Love Lettering

Copyright 2019 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

This Chick Read: Risk It All (Rocky Mountain Bounty Hunters #2) by Katie Ruggle

Cara Pax is normally a behind the scenes supporter of her family’s Bounty Hunting business doing research as she finishes getting her degree to be a kindergarten teacher. When her mom takes off which their house as collateral on her bounty, the sisters are forced to up their game taking on more dangerous jobs. Cara decides to go off on her own and try to bring in a possible murderer, Henry Kavinski. When she actually comes face to face with him and he doesn’t kill her? She decides he’s innocent and Henry will do everything he can to keep her safe.

This Bounty Hunters series is off to a great start! While Cara is more like a librarian than a bounty hunter she’s been trained in hand to hand combat and has plenty of backbone despite her quiet demeanor. When her kidnapping forces she and Henry together they don’t fight their attraction very long. Despite a predictable ending I did enjoy the sweetness of their love story.

The only thing that bothered me even a little bit was that I couldn’t get a very good picture of Henry in my mind other than that he was a big kind of quiet guy. Cara was vivid and bright, he just kind of paled in comparison. Despite that small thing, I still really liked this couple and this story. If you are in the mood for a quick paced romantic suspense novel pick this one up! Even though there’s an underlying series story I do think this novel could stand on it’s own. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Risk It All (Rocky Mountain Bounty Hunters)

Copyright 2019 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

This Chick Read: The Best Thing by Mariana Zapata

Some things are easily forgiven. Other things… not so much.

Lenny DeMaio made herself a promise: she was done.

Done thinking about him.

Done worrying about him.

Done reaching out to a man who clearly didn’t want to be found. 

Too bad no one gave Jonah Collins the memo.

There is nothing better than a surprise release by Mariana Zapata. It’s like Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day, and your Birthday all wrapped up in tissue paper. When The Best Thing released, I got a call from my usually taciturn sister. “It’s out! Mariana’s new book has been released!” My sister is not much for fangirling, but Ms. Zapata’s books are worth a little squeal or two. I, even though at work, went to my favorite bookseller site and downloaded that puppy. I was mad I had just started a new novel. I hated stopping in the middle of a book!

We met Lenny DeMaio in Zapata’s previous novel Luna and the Lie. Now, I won’t lie, as much as I love Mariana Zapata, Luna was different than her normal romance novel. It was a little darker and although I loved it, I was hoping that The Best Thing would be a little lighter and our heroine more self assured. Lenny was Luna’s best friend and very self assured, with a nice side of sass. I knew I was going to love her story. A few years had gone by in storyville and Lenny was now running the Maio House, the MMA gym her grandfather started. The reader is immediately thrown into the story. Lenny’s pissed about someone named Jonah Hema Collins so we assume he is our hero. The big surprise is that he’s a rugby player! A new sport for a Zapata novel and one I know nothing about… well, except the word scrum. I know what that is! LOL.

When Jonah is finally introduced to the story in person, I immediately notice something different. He’s so polite and nice! I can’t figure out why Lenny isn’t giving him a chance and even though we are given hints (don’t worry, I won’t give anything away!) I want it explained! Even after the explanation and our journey of watching the relationship develop between Lenny and Jonah commences, my feelings for Jonah don’t change, they just get stronger. He is so freaking nice! Really! He’s quiet, kind of shy, but super nice and unlike tons of previous Zapata heroes, completely likable from the first moment. I like it!

There are so many things to love about this novel. Jonah is wonderful, Lenny has sass and strength, but the best theme revolves around family. Lenny’s grandfather raised her and their relationship is so special. You get a hint of it in Luna, but Grandpa Gus is awesome! He’s cranky, also sassy, and he loves Lenny as much as can be humanly possible. The two of them are everything to each other. So family is a HUGE part of this novel, and their story will wring a tear or ten out of you, promise.

If you’re in the mood for a wonderful story about family, finding love, and friendship then you need to purchase The Best Thing. It’s on Kindle Unlimited if you have that plan, but really it’s worth the few dollars spent on purchasing it. I am an avid re-reader of her novels, so it’s already sitting on my virtual shelf, I’m waiting for the paperback in the mail, and I’m eagerly anticipating the audiobook release in a couple of months. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* The Best Thing

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? (12/16/19)

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

When your favorite writing duo posts a note about a wonderful historical romance, when they write romantic fantasy, you just have to give it a try!

FIRST SENTENCE READ: “The trouble began with brandy.”

Click this link to purchase!* A Wicked Kind of Husband

JUST STARTED

FIRST SENTENCE READ: “Cara tried to act casual as she walked along the motel’s cracked, weedy sidewalk, but she knew she looked like what she was: a kindergarten teacher–well, almost–who was scared out of her mind.”

Click this link to purchase!* Risk It All (Rocky Mountain Bounty Hunters)

Now that you know what books I’ve got on my shelf, what are you reading this fine Monday?

Deb

*Amazon associate- I’ll get a small stipend if you should purchase the book through the above links.

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: My 5 Most Anticipated Book Releases- Jan'20

Every month I take a look at the Goodreads most anticipated book list and compile my own. Next month is the first month where I feel like my taste in books must be completely different than the average reader because the first book I picked on their list lands at #16 and that isn’t even my most anticipated book release. Mine is their #111! Well, here’s to bringing more attention to the less anticipated books! Cheers!

MY #5 MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK

A cute sounding rom-com by an author who I’ve recently re-discovered and come to love. Can’t wait to read Love Her or Lose Her.

Synopsis:

Rosie and Dominic Vega are the perfect couple: high school sweethearts, best friends, madly in love. Well, they used to be anyway. Now Rosie’s lucky to get a caveman grunt from the ex-soldier every time she walks in the door. Dom is faithful and a great provider, but the man she fell in love with ten years ago is nowhere to be found. When her girlfriends encourage Rosie to demand more out of life and pursue her dream of opening a restaurant, she decides to demand more out of love, too. Three words: marriage boot camp. 

Never in a million years did Rosie believe her stoic, too-manly-to-emote husband would actually agree to relationship rehab with a weed-smoking hippie. Dom talking about feelings? Sitting on pillows? Communing with nature? Learning love languages? Nope. But to her surprise, he’s all in, and it forces her to admit her own role in their cracked foundation. As they complete one ridiculous—yet surprisingly helpful—assignment after another, their remodeled relationship gets stronger than ever. Except just as they’re getting back on track, Rosie discovers Dom has a secret… and it could demolish everything.

Click this link to purchase!* Love Her or Lose Her: A Novel

#4 MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE

Emma Mills writes quirky YA novels that manage to reach my inner teen every time I read one of her novels. Her books always fall high on my TBR!

Synopsis:

When Nina decides to take a radio broadcasting class her senior year, she expects it to be a walk in the park. Instead, it’s a complete disaster.

The members of Nina’s haphazardly formed radio team have approximately nothing in common. And to maximize the awkwardness her group includes Jamie, a childhood friend she’d hoped to basically avoid for the rest of her life.

The show is a mess, internet rumors threaten to bring the wrath of two fandoms down on their heads, and to top it all off Nina’s family is on the brink of some major upheaval.

Everything feels like it’s spiraling out of control―but maybe control is overrated?

Click this link to purchase!* Lucky Caller

MY #3 MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE

This sounds like a current version of You’ve Got Mail, but in reverse! I can’t wait to read how our protagonists fall in love in real life while battling it out anonymously in the twitterverse.

Synopsis:

Meet Pepper, swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around perfectionist. Her family may be falling apart, but their massive fast-food chain is booming — mainly thanks to Pepper, who is barely managing to juggle real life while secretly running Big League Burger’s massive Twitter account.

Enter Jack, class clown and constant thorn in Pepper’s side. When he isn’t trying to duck out of his obscenely popular twin’s shadow, he’s busy working in his family’s deli. His relationship with the business that holds his future might be love/hate, but when Big League Burger steals his grandma’s iconic grilled cheese recipe, he’ll do whatever it takes to take them down, one tweet at a time.

All’s fair in love and cheese — that is, until Pepper and Jack’s spat turns into a viral Twitter war. Little do they know, while they’re publicly duking it out with snarky memes and retweet battles, they’re also falling for each other in real life — on an anonymous chat app Jack built.

As their relationship deepens and their online shenanigans escalate — people on the internet are shipping them?? — their battle gets more and more personal, until even these two rivals can’t ignore they were destined for the most unexpected, awkward, all-the-feels romance that neither of them

Click this link to purchase!* Tweet Cute

MY #2 MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE

Sounding surprising supernatural and spooky, yet also fielding a bit of a romance? Sold! (I love alliteration :))

Synopsis:

Echoes Between Us is bestselling author Katie McGarry’s breakout teen contemporary novel about a girl with everything to lose and the boy who will do anything to save her.

Veronica sees ghosts―more specifically, her mother’s ghost, thanks to the blinding migraines that consume her whole life and keep Veronica on the fringes. But the haunting afterimages make her wonder if there is something more going on….

Golden boy Sawyer is handsome and popular, a state champion swimmer, but this All-American is hiding an adrenaline addiction that could kill him. Drawn to each other after a chance meeting, can they help each other battle the demons that haunt their every step or will they push their luck too far and risk losing it
all…including their lives?

Click this link to purchase!* Echoes Between Us

MY #1 MOST ANTICIPATED JAN’20 BOOK RELEASE!

My favorite Librarian-spy duo are back! If you haven’t read the Invisible Library series you are missing out! Don’t start with this novel, I think it’s #4 and there’s an underlying plot that you don’t want to spoil between Irene and Kai. I love this series.

Synopsis:

In the latest novel in Genevieve Cogman’s historical fantasy Invisible Library series, Irene and Kai have to team up with an unlikely band of misfits to pull off an amazing art heist, or risk the wrath of a dangerous villain in his secret island lair.

A Librarian spy’s work is never done, and after their latest adventure, Irene is summoned back to the Library. The world where she grew up is in danger of veering into chaos – so she needs to obtain a particular book to stop this happening. And the only copy of the edition they need is in the hands of a notorious Fae broker and trader in rare objects: Mr Nemo.

Irene and Kai make their way to Mr Nemo’s remote Caribbean island, and are invited to dinner – which includes unlikely company. And Mr Nemo has an offer for everyone there. He wants them to form a team to steal a specific painting from a specific world. And he swears that that he will give Irene the book she seeks, if she joins them – but only if he has the painting within the week.

No one can resist the deal he offers. But to get their rewards, they’ll have to work together. And is this really possible when the team includes a dragon techie plus assorted fae – filling the roles of gambler, driver and ‘the muscle’? Their goal? A specific Museum in Vienna, in an early twenty-first-century world. Here, their toughest challenge might be each other.

Click this link to purchase!* The Secret Chapter (The Invisible Library series)

Do your own most anticipated books match up with the Goodreads list? Check it out in the link below!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/popular_by_date/2020/January

Deb