This Chick Read: Crushing It by Lorelei Parker

Game developer, Sierra Reed, needs to develop more confidence so her boss will send her to a gamecon in Europe to pitch their newest game. How will she overcome her fear? By entering a “most humiliating story” contest at her local pub. Her tale about a huge crush she had in college on a totally hot fellow classmate, Tristan Spencer, was well received, but more so when they announced the next contestant…. Tristan Spencer! What’s it like to come face to face with your college crush after 10 years? Crushing It does a great job delivering all of those feelings of embarrassment, hope, and passion, but are those feelings for Tristan? Or cute pub owner Alfie?

Sierra was such a fun character. A gamer, with a Japanese funky street style is totally cute, but just doesn’t see herself that way at all. Her re-introduction to her college crush goes a long way towards giving her confidence, but really it’s the admiration and friendship of the pub owner, Alfie, that makes her start to view herself differently.

This author really delivered on all of the humiliating stories, I found myself laughing along with the crowded pub, and really enjoyed getting to know the cast of characters. My favorites being the gay couple Zane and Bryce who had just the right amount of supportive snark and raunchy stories to keep the mood light.

Crushing It was a pleasant surprise! I picked this ARC completely based off of the description (and the cute cover!) and didn’t regret my choice at all. If you’re looking for a fun, light, rom-com, I think you’ll enjoy this story and the cast of characters a lot.

❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase!* Crushing It

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

This Chick Read: Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan

VERY SLIGHT SPOILERS AHEAD

Lucie Churchill is in Capri for her cousin’s wedding when she meets George Zao. He is everything she dislikes in a man. Good looking, wealthy, and Chinese. When they have an instant of passion that gets caught on film she is awash in embarrassment and flee’s the scene, only to run into him in the Hampton’s five years later when she’s engaged to someone else.

Kevin Kwan is pretty famous for his over the top, ripe with excess, and really original Crazy Rich Asians. While I didn’t read the book, I did see the movie so I understand the flavor of his intent. Similar to what Candace Bushnell did for WASP’s in Sex and the City, Kevin Kwan does for Asians in the Crazy Rich Asians series. In this novel, Sex and Vanity, you have all of the above, but there’s also an underlining story that is really quite serious. Lucie is embarrassed by being half Chinese. Her father’s side of the family is all WASP, uber wealthy, and despite their good intentions and loving Lucie, racist. Lucie has been cognizant of that fact her entire life and has worked really hard to earn their praise by scrubbing everything asian from her vernacular. Unfortunately, she can’t help the way she looks, despite her beauty. So, when she meets George, and can’t look away, she’s ashamed.

George, too is part Chinese. I think one quarter? His mother is over the top in her excess and Lucie finds her appalling, despite liking her at the same time. So five years later, when George, his mother, and Lucie cross paths again, I’m surprised to find her engaged to someone who is just like what she finds most appalling. It’s no wonder George is a fascination for her, as he is all things calm and reasonable when there’s so little of that in her own life.

This novel is a bit of fun, just like Kevin Kwan’s other novels, but reading Lucie’s angst, pain, and shame over being part asian was really hard to read. Granted, I am a middle aged white woman who can’t put myself in her shoes, but I can feel the feelings the author has intended for me, and I felt myself to be one conflicted mess. Poor Lucie! The cast of characters were displayed as direct contrasts to all of the feelings Lucie had about herself. It was interesting to see those parallels and watch how Lucie unwound herself from those doubts and started living for herself.

Here’s a bit of a spoiler so STOP reading now if you plan to check out this book.

If I could change one thing about this novel, it would be that Lucie would’ve found herself a little sooner. That the book didn’t end with a series of letters that told her story instead of reading through those chapters from Lucie’s POV. I feel like I should’ve been rewarded with a couple of chapter’s of George and Lucie’s romance after having lived through the horror of she and Cecil’s. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase this book!* Sex and Vanity: A Novel

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (6/29/2020)

Even though stuck at home, the time has flown and it will be July this week. Wow! I’ve quite a few upcoming ARC’s that I need to read and review so I’ve really concentrated on finished up a few books. I just finished a great one!

This post originated over on Book Date, so thanks for the idea and letting me continue on the discussion about what books I am reading.

JUST FINISHED

I just finished this book this afternoon and really enjoyed this story! It’s a historical novel that is very easy to read. Some historical novels slog down but not Her Last Flight. It was very good and I totally got caught up in our heroine’s stories.

Click this link to purchase! Her Last Flight: A Novel

JUST STARTED

As with the book above, this novel comes out this week and is next on my list. I haven’t yet started it but it looks really cute.

Click this link to purchase! Crushing It

I’d love to hear what you all are reading this week let me know in the comments.

Happy Reading!

Deb

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: My Top 5 Most Anticipated Book Releases- July’20

I’m a little behind in getting out my thoughts on the book releases I’m looking forward to next month. Sorry! I’ve just scanned through a few of my lists and am surprised by the titles that I need to add to my TBR! One of my favorite authors announced just last week that she’d publish her next book in July. Yay! So without further ado….

#5 MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE

I read the first in this series last year and thought Waiting for Tom Hanks was adorable, so I’m all on board for this one!

Synopsis:

What happens when your life is a rom-com . . . but you don’t even believe in true love?

Chloe Sanderson is an optimist, and not because her life is easy. As the sole caregiver for her father, who has early-onset Alzheimer’s, she’s pretty much responsible for everything. She has no time—or interest—in getting swept up in some dazzling romance. Not like her best friend, Annie, who literally wrote a rom-com that’s about to premiere in theaters across America . . . and happens to be inspired by Chloe and her cute but no-nonsense boss, Nick Velez.

As the buzz for the movie grows, Chloe reads one too many listicles about why Nick is the perfect man, and now she can’t see him as anything but Reason #4: The scruffy-bearded hunk who’s always there when you need him. But unlike the romance Annie has written for them, Chloe isn’t so sure her own story will end in a happily-ever-after.

Click this link to purchase the book! Not Like the Movies

#4 MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE

This YA contemporary sounds as cute as this authors debut novel You’d Be Mine. It also has music as a central theme, which I love. This one’s release date got pushed back due to Covid, so I’m ready for this fun novel now!

Synopsis:

Growing up under his punk rocker dad’s spotlight, eighteen-year-old Luke Greenly knows fame and wants nothing to do with it. His real love isn’t in front of a crowd, it’s on the page. Hiding his gift and secretly hoarding songs in his bedroom at night, he prefers the anonymous comfort of the locally popular podcast he co-hosts with his outgoing and meddling, far-too-jealousy-inspiringly-happy-with-his-long-term-boyfriend twin brother, Cullen. But that’s not Luke’s only secret. He also has a major un-requited crush on music blogger, Vada Carsewell.

Vada’s got a five year plan: secure a job at the Loud Lizard to learn from local legend (and her mom’s boyfriend) Phil Josephs (check), take over Phil’s music blog (double check), get accepted into Berkeley’s prestigious music journalism program (check, check, check), manage Ann Arbor’s summer concert series and secure a Rolling Stone internship. Luke Greenly is most definitely NOT on the list. So what if his self-deprecating charm and out of this world music knowledge makes her dizzy? Or his brother just released a bootleg recording of Luke singing about some mystery girl on their podcast and she really, really wishes it was her?

In More Than Maybe, Erin Hahn’s swooniest book yet, Luke and Vada must decide how deep their feelings run and what it would mean to give love a try.

Click this link to purchase this book! More Than Maybe: A Novel

#3 MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE

Katherine Center’s novels always serve up a lesson. I can’t wait to find out what our characters learn about themselves in this novel. It looks like just what I need to escape today’s world.

Synopsis:

Samantha Casey is a school librarian who loves her job, the kids, and her school family with passion and joy for living.
But she wasn’t always that way.
Duncan Carpenter is the new school principal who lives by rules and regulations, guided by the knowledge that bad things can happen.
But he wasn’t always that way.

And Sam knows it. Because she knew him before—at another school, in a different life. Back then, she loved him—but she was invisible. To him. To everyone. Even to herself. She escaped to a new school, a new job, a new chance at living. But when Duncan, of all people, gets hired as the new principal there, it feels like the best thing that could possibly happen to the school—and the worst thing that could possibly happen to Sam. Until the opposite turns out to be true. The lovable Duncan she’d known is now a suit-and-tie wearing, rule-enforcing tough guy so hell-bent on protecting the school that he’s willing to destroy it.

As the school community spirals into chaos, and danger from all corners looms large, Sam and Duncan must find their way to who they really are, what it means to be brave, and how to take a chance on love—which is the riskiest move of all.

With Katherine Center’s sparkling dialogue, unforgettable characters, heart, hope, and humanity, What You Wish For is the author at her most compelling best.

Click this link to purchase this book! What You Wish For: A Novel

#2 MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE

The Soulwood series was my entreé into Faith Hunter’s urban fantasy world and I’m sooo excited the next novel is out! Great characters, interesting mysteries, and a budding romance. yay!

Synopsis: Nell Ingram faces a dark magic with no known origin in the newest pulse-pounding paranormal procedural in the New York Times bestselling Soulwood series.
 
Nell is a rookie PsyLED agent, using the powers she can channel from deep within the earth to solve paranormal crimes. Together with her team, she’s taken on the direst magic and the most twisted foes. But she’ll need to tap into every ounce of power she has for her newest case.
 
Nell is called to the Tennessee mansion of a country music star and finds a disturbing scene—dead bodies rapidly decaying before everyone’s eyes. The witch on her team, T. Laine, has never seen magic that can steal life forces like this. PsyLED needs to find this lethal killer fast. But when a paranormal-hating FBI agent tries to derail the investigation, and the dark magics begin to spiral out of control, they find themselves under attack from all sides.

THIS CHICKS MOST ANTICIPATED JULY’20 BOOK RELEASE!

If you’re a fan of Mariana Zapata’s then you know… Zac has his own book! One of the characters from my favorite Mariana Zapata novel, The Wall of Winnipeg, got his own novel. I will be putting all books down and picking this one up as soon as I know it’s been released.

Synopsis:

Before he was Big Texas, he was Zac the Snack Pack.

Bianca Brannen knows time—mostly—heals all wounds. Including those your once loved ones might have unintentionally given you. (Those just take longer.)

She thinks she’s ready when a call has her walking back into her old friend’s life. Or at least as prepared as possible to see the starting quarterback in the National Football Organization. Before the lights, the fans, and the millions, he’d been a skinny kid with a heart of gold.

Waltzing out of Zac Travis’s life should be easy. Just as easy as he walked out of hers.

Did I miss any? I’m sure I must’ve! Let me know which books you’re most looking forward to reading next month when they come out.

Happy Reading!

Deb

*Amazon Associate- if you should purchase one of the books their the links above, I’ll receive a small stipend.

The Duke, the Lady, and the Baby (Rogues and Remarkable Women #1) by Vanessa Riley

I was intrigued by the synopsis of the description of a West Indian heiress as a heroine in a regency romance. Patience Jordan is of mixed blood, as is her son, and despite her light skin, that difference has made living in England difficult. Her husband had kept her in the country, trying to protect her from the unkindness she’d receive in “society”, which actually put her and their son in harms way when he died. Left in the hands of his disreputable uncle, Patience was sent away to Bedlam so he could retain control of her son’s fortune. When this story starts with Repington now in charge at her former home, it allows Patience to disguise herself and infiltrate her old household in order to care for her son.

Busick Strathmore, Duke of Repington was a strategist in the war and knows that there’s more to Patience’s story and bides his time in figuring her out. They engage in their own skirmishes and of course, find themselves attracted to each other. However, this isn’t a bodice ripper of a romance. The Duke, the Lady, and the Baby is written in a rather old fashioned style which was kind of refreshing, but also felt a little stodgy. I love slow burn romances where the characters get to know each other, but the old fashioned dialog made these characters feel stilted rather than warm.

I had really high hopes for this novel and the future of this series. There is a league of women who help other women in bad circumstances and future novels will surely tell those stories, but I wanted this novel to deal more with the difficulties of being of mixed blood during this time in history and felt like other than a few comments about her accent and being secreted in the country, it was glossed over. Repington didn’t seem too concerned with his future Duchess’s acceptance into society, but as an analytical man who just wanted to get back to war, I guess there were bigger issues on his mind.

The other thing that was a little out of whack for me was that Repington was portrayed as a “Rake”. Meaning, he’s had no issues with the lady’s in the past, and he certainly seems to think he’s pretty charming despite his injuries that have incapacitated him. That devil may care charm played false to me and I had trouble buying him as a cad, at least at that time in his life. I think if he had been a bit more self deprecating? It just felt kind of sad I guess, and not true to the character.

So, you can see my difficulties with this one. I didn’t hate the story. I don’t read too many romances that involve babies, so the motherly aspect was new and interesting to me. I liked Patience a lot, actually. She was smart, dedicated, sassy, and interesting. So, I guess my problem was with the hero, although I didn’t dislike him, I just didn’t like them together. I did finish the novel despite my misgivings, so I’m giving this one a 3.0 rating for a solid good, but not great. ❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase!* A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby (Rogues and Remarkable Women Book 1)

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

This Chick Read: Head Over Heels by Hannah Orenstein

Avery Abram’s Olympic hopes were derailed in 2012 by a career ending injury. In the years since she fought depression, failing out of school, and most recently a bad break-up with her boyfriend. Returning home to live with her parents and work at the gym where it all started wasn’t quite what she’d planned, but working with an Olympic hopeful with the boy she crushed on as a teenager might fix what was broken. Head Over Heels delivers more than the rom-com promised giving the reader a behind the scenes look at competitive gymnastics and how these young girls handle the high stakes pressure.

Avery’s character was a pretty easy one to like. Showing frailty and uncertainty after her hope’s were dashed, she tries to drown her sorrows in alcohol and clubbing. This seemed a likely scenario for someone who wouldn’t know what to do with all of that energy she was used to expelling on a mat. When she hits bottom and moves back home she grasps at a lifeline of working with a young gymnast and in that job finds her new role in life. Ryan, an ex-Olympian himself understands what she went through and never holds her past against her. I thought that might have white-washed the realism just a tad, but hey, this was also a romance! His role was to be charming, cute, and convenient, and he was all that and more!

Obviously what I liked more in this book was the role between Avery and the young gymnast she was coaching, Hallie. Set during a parallel to real life sexual misconduct scandal, the stress Hallie is under and the physical and mental abuses Avery went through at that same age made for a great comparison and helped the reader care about both of these characters and see positive outcomes to their story. This storyline was the strength in this story and was what gave it a heartbeat.

The author did a great job of detailing the gymnastics in a way that a fan of sports but not gymnastics in general could follow. You could feel the stress and tension in the competitions which helped the story arc and conflict have more impact than it would have otherwise. I really enjoyed those parts of the story and felt the roller coaster emotions that a competitor may have felt as they tried to work their way towards those gold medals.

Ryan as the love interest was just ok. I liked that he and Avery shared a love for what they did, but without giving away the plot it’s hard to describe why I didn’t like him more. I’ll just say that one of the choices he makes for me would have been a deal breaker and I just couldn’t get past that.

I did really like Head Over Heels, and after everything above it won’t come as a big surprise that it was because of the gymnastics and Avery’s self-healing sub-plot. If you like sports themed romances or women’s fiction I think you’ll like this fast paced easy to read summer novel. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase!* Head Over Heels: A Novel

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

This Chick Read: The Proposal (The Wedding Date #2) by Jasmine Guillory

Nikole goes to a Dodger game with her boyfriend of five months and finds herself the center of a jumbotron wedding proposal. Surprise! Not even hesitating to turn him down, Nikole gets abandoned to an angry crowd. Sitting two rows away with his sister, Carlos Ibarra comes to her rescue with a fake story and a ride home. After drinks with her friends he expects to never hear from her again, but gets a surprising thank you email which prompts him to reply in turn.

I have had this book on my bookshelf for what seems like a year and never picked it up. I’m not sure why because I thoroughly enjoyed The Wedding Date and like Jasmine Guillory’s light-hearted rom-com style. It takes a quarantine I guess! This was a right book at the right time scenario for me. I cringed at the proposal and then laughed at the humorous dialog throughout this book.

Nikole had a few self esteem issues from a previous boyfriend and isn’t in a hurry to find herself in a relationship again. Carlos, also, doesn’t want anything serious because he feels like his life is pretty full of all of the women in his family that he needs to take care of. Needless to say, it’s when you don’t want it that love strikes.

I really liked Jasmine Guillory’s deft touch during the lighthearted moments in this story. I do feel like she let me down slightly when the conflict hit. That could just be that she needs to grow a little bit more into those heavier emotions? I couldn’t quite figure it out, but the end of the book went slightly astray for me. However, even saying that, when I look back on my own feelings while reading the book I had fun, laughed quite a few times, and enjoyed myself. So that’s a win on my scoreboard.

If you find yourself needing a more lighthearted book right now, I thought this one was a perfect pick. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* The Proposal

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

This Chick Read: One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Emma Blair meets the love of her life in high school. She and Jesse share the need for adventure and getting out of their hometown and away from the expectations of their parents. Going away to school in California, they never look back, both finding adventure. When they get married, their expectations are the same, to live life to the fullest. When Jesse goes missing after a helicopter crash and is presumed dead, Emma breaks down and moves back home and the support of her family. A few years later, now in her 30’s Emma is finding happiness doing what she thought always thought she didn’t want. Working for her family’s bookstore and loving living in a small town. She meets Sam and allows herself to look forward, instead of always thinking of the past. They get engaged, and Emma gets a phone call from her long lost husband. Which life does Emma now want? The life of adventure with her lost love? Or the solid life of love and responsibility that she now has with Sam?

Having only read Taylor Jenkins Reid’s two bestseller’s The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and Daisy Jones and the Six, I didn’t know what to expect from this kind of normal sounding love story. Albeit one with a bit of a twist. Emma was a heroine that many of us could easily identify with; young and carefree but forced to grow up when tragedy strikes. It’s the choice she has to make between the two men that is different. One that will keep readers turning the pages.

Jesse is that boy that everyone loved in high school, popular, athletic, and effortlessly charming. When he and Emma connected at a young age their path was set. Get out of town and explore what their lives have to offer. Emma views that past life through rose tinted glasses and the question is whether her vision will clear when Jesse returns to her life.

Sam had been in love with Emma in their teens. He worked with her in the bookstore and at one point she had even crushed on him too. When she fell for Jesse, Sam pushed his feelings aside but never quite got over Emma. When they accidentally meet his feelings for her come back. Emma’s also surprised by her feelings for Sam and moves forward hoping Jesse would want her happiness. Is Sam going to be the man she picks for the rest of her life?

I found myself flipping between team Jesse and team Sam. Taylor Jenkins Reid did a great job and letting the reader get to know both of these men and so when Emma waffled, we completely understood! The outcome of this three way triangle was not unexpected but my feelings for it were. I cried my way through the last third of the book!

Not knowing what to expect may have been the best thing for me while reading One True Loves. I actually really liked the characters, Reid deftly handled the storyline, and it had a great ending. Was it on par with her two bestsellers? No. However, it was vastly better than some other romances I’ve read lately! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“I flew through this one in a single afternoon! I really enjoy Taylor Jenkins’ Reid’s writing and will be happily picking up more of her backlist titles!” DG Reads

“I really did love this book, even if it made me cry! For the record, I think all of her books have made me cry. I think one of the things that draws me to Taylor Jenkins Reid’s books are the raw emotions that are so prevalent in her stories.” Faeryreads

Click this link to purchase!* One True Loves: A Novel

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

This Chick Read: Recipe for Persuasion (The Rajes Series #2) by Sonali Dev

Chef Ashna Raje is struggling to keep her restaurant open when her cousin approaches her to fill in as a celebrity chef on a new reality show called Cooking With The Stars. Ashna loves her cousin, but her panic attacks make starring on this show an impossibility. It isn’t until her mother, whom she has a difficult relationship, tries to get her to come to India and Ashna uses the reality show as an excuse that she makes the commitment, for better or worse. The first day of filming is when she meets the celebrity she gets paired with…. her secret high school boyfriend, FIFA winning soccer star, Rico Silva. When their meeting goes viral they become immediate fan favorites and are almost guaranteed a place in the final. Recipe for Persuasion is a rom-com loosely based upon Jane Austen’s novel Persuasion, and as with that original plot, this book has fun dialog, dramatic misunderstandings, and a joyful union.

Recipe for Persuasion is the first novel I’ve read by Sonali Dev and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed her writing style. She enwraps her main character Ashna with the flavors of her culture and boy, all of the dishes they cook really made me want to run out and stock up on my Indian and South American spices. Not only is the story filled with the color and flavor of Ashna and Rico’s cultures but their language and life experiences also helped make this story unique.

The use of flashbacks into Rico and Ash’s love story as well as Ashna’s mother Shobi’s own relationship with Ashna’s father could have been confusing but instead created emotions that really helped tie the two stories together. Not only does the love story play out, but Ashna’s conflicted feelings for her mother and father are explained and when the story concludes, despite previous misgivings, you feel like her character can finally be happy.

As with most Jane Austen re-tellings miscommunication and misdirection play a big part in how the heroine acts and reacts during the story. This novel used those same tools but you really had the feeling that Ashna wanted to work on the why’s and wherefore’s which made me like her character a lot more than I did many of Jane Austen’s. Also, the peak into why her relationship with her mother fell apart was a lot more than Ms. Austen gave her readers and was most likely why I connected with Ashna in a way I couldn’t with Jane Austen’s heroines. If you like your senses overwhelmed by the cultures of other lands and you like your stories filled with emotional growth then I think you should read this novel. Yes, it’s a rom-com, of sorts, but it’s also deftly written and you may be surprised at the emotions the story brings forth as I was. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase!* Recipe for Persuasion: A Novel

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: Top 5 Most Anticipated Book Releases – June 2020

Ahh summer! The season where we look forward to vacations, the beach, and reading a lot of great summer releases. Cue the sound of tires screeching! This year my vacation is delayed, I’m scared of the crowds at the beach, and will probably spend any time off in my own home where I will be living vicariously through the characters I’m reading about. The new normal, at least for a little while longer.

When I was looking at the June releases I was surprised at the number of books I’m interested in reading! I know my ARC schedule is pretty packed but there are even a few more that I didn’t realize were coming out next month that I’ve now added to my TBR. Here are my top 5 most anticipated.

#5 MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE

Penny Reid is giving Cletus and Jennifer from the Winston Brothers series their own mystery series! My hope is that it’s as quirky and fun as the Winston Series. I have a feeling I’m going to be surprised!

Synopsis:

Jennifer Sylvester made her deal with the devil . . . and now they’re engaged!

But all is not well in Green Valley. A chicken choker is on the loose, 61 dead birds most “fowl” need plucking, and no time remains for Jennifer and her devilish fiancé. Desperate to find a spare moment together, Jenn and Cletus’s attempts to reconnect are thwarted by one seemingly coincidental disaster after another. It’s not long before Cletus and Jenn see a pattern emerge and the truth becomes clear.
Sabotage!

Will an undercover mission unmask the culprit? Or are these love-birds totally plucked?

‘Engagement and Espionage’ is the first book in the Solving for Pie: Cletus and Jenn Mysteries series, is a full-length cozy mystery, and is a spin-off of Penny Reid’s Winston Brothers series. This novel is best read after ‘Beard Science,’ Winston Brothers #3.

Click this link to purchase!* Engagement and Espionage (Solving for Pie: Cletus and Jenn Mysteries Book 1)

#4 MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE

A romantic retelling of Jo & Laurie from Little Women’s romance. Wait, what? Yes, if Jo & Laurie had a romance, here is what Margaret Stohl and Melissa De La Cruz have imagined it to be. How can I pass this one up?

Synopsis:

Bestselling authors Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz bring us a romantic retelling of Little Women starring Jo March and her best friend, the boy next door, Theodore “Laurie” Laurence.

1869, Concord, Massachusetts: After the publication of her first novel, Jo March is shocked to discover her book of scribbles has become a bestseller, and her publisher and fans demand a sequel. While pressured into coming up with a story, she goes to New York with her dear friend Laurie for a week of inspiration–museums, operas, and even a once-in-a-lifetime reading by Charles Dickens himself!

But Laurie has romance on his mind, and despite her growing feelings, Jo’s desire to remain independent leads her to turn down his heartfelt marriage proposal and sends the poor boy off to college heartbroken. When Laurie returns to Concord with a sophisticated new girlfriend, will Jo finally communicate her true heart’s desire or lose the love of her life forever?

Click this link to purchase!* Jo & Laurie

#3 MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE

I’m going to let the synopsis speak for itself. It looks so good!

Synopsis:

It’s 2 A.M. on a Saturday night in the spring of 2001, and twenty-eight-year-old Cecily Gardner sits alone in a dive bar in New York’s East Village, questioning her life. Feeling lonesome and homesick for the Midwest, she wonders if she’ll ever make it as a reporter in the big city—and whether she made a terrible mistake in breaking up with her longtime boyfriend, Matthew. 

As Cecily reaches for the phone to call him, she hears a guy on the barstool next to her say, “Don’t do it—you’ll regret it.” Something tells her to listen, and over the next several hours—and shots of tequila—the two forge an unlikely connection. That should be it, they both decide the next morning, as Cecily reminds herself of the perils of a rebound relationship. Moreover, their timing couldn’t be worse—Grant is preparing to quit his job and move overseas. Yet despite all their obstacles, they can’t seem to say goodbye, and for the first time in her carefully constructed life, Cecily follows her heart instead of her head. 

Then Grant disappears in the chaos of 9/11. Fearing the worst, Cecily spots his face on a missing-person poster, and realizes she is not the only one searching for him. Her investigative reporting instincts kick into action as she vows to discover the truth. But the questions pile up fast: How well did she really know Grant? Did he ever really love her? And is it possible to love a man who wasn’t who heseemed to be? 

The Lies That Bind is a mesmerizing and emotionally resonant exploration of the never-ending search for love and truth—in our relationships, our careers, and deep within our own hearts.

Click this link to purchase!* The Lies That Bind: A Novel

#2 MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE

OK, I’ll admit that I’m a sucker for a good sports romance, especially if it’s the girl that’s the athlete. I’ve never read a book by Hannah Orenstein before, but the synopsis caught my interested and I’ll be reading this one sooner rather than later.

Synopsis:

From the author of the Love at First Like and Playing with Matches, an electrifying rom-com set in the high stakes world of competitive gymnastics, full of Hannah Orenstein’s signature “charm, whimsy, and giddy romantic tension” (BuzzFeed).

The past seven years have been hard on Avery Abrams: After training her entire life to make the Olympic gymnastics team, a disastrous performance ended her athletic career for good. Her best friend and teammate, Jasmine, went on to become an Olympic champion, then committed the ultimate betrayal by marrying their emotionally abusive coach, Dimitri.

Now, reeling from a breakup with her football star boyfriend, Avery returns to her Massachusetts hometown, where new coach Ryan asks her to help him train a promising young gymnast with Olympic aspirations. Despite her misgivings and worries about the memories it will evoke, Avery agrees. Back in the gym, she’s surprised to find sparks flying with Ryan. But when a shocking scandal in the gymnastics world breaks, it has shattering effects not only for the sport but also for Avery and her old friend Jasmine.

Perfect for fans of Emily Giffin and Jasmine Guillory, Head Over Heels proves that no one “writes about modern relationships with more humor or insight than Hannah Orenstein” (Dana Schwartz, author of Choose Your Own Disaster).

Click this link to purchase!* Head Over Heels: A Novel

MY MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE

I can’t even tell you how excited I am that we have another book in the Hollows series! I don’t know how she got talked into writing another Rachel Morgan book after the series had been completed, but THANK YOU!

Synopsis:

RACHEL MORGAN IS BACK–AND THE HOLLOWS WILL NEVER BE THE SAME.

What happens after you’ve saved the world? Well, if you’re Rachel Mariana Morgan, witch-born demon, you quickly discover that something might have gone just a little bit wrong. That the very same acts you and your friends took to forge new powers may have released something bound by the old. With a rash of zombies, some strange new murders, and an exceedingly mysterious new demon in town, it will take everything Rachel has to counter this new threat to the world–and it may demand the sacrifice of what she holds most dear.

Click this link to purchase!* American Demon (Hollows Book 14)

These are the books I’m most looking forward to reading when they’re released next month, but gosh, there are so many more than what’s on this list! What June releases are you most looking forward to reading? Let me know!

Happy Reading!

Deb

*Amazon Associate- if you should purchase a book through one of the above links, I’ll receive a small stipend.