This Chick Read: Raven Unveiled (The Fallen Empire #3) by Grace Draven

Siora is on the run from Gharek, an assassin who has sworn an oath of revenge against her because she betrayed he and his disabled daughter. Overcome by his anger, Gharek can’t see beyond the outcome of his chase, grabbing her just as they are both discovered by the enemy and held captive. Siora uses her abilities to speak with the dead and Gharek his knowledge of the castle to become valuable to this new threat who wants to conquer the throne. Together Siora and Gharek must find the tool to a magical power.

I’ll admit, it had been a little while since I had read Dragon Unleashed, but as I read this book it all came back to me pretty quickly. that’s when I became fascinated with how the author was portraying Gharek, who was the bad guy in the previous novel, turning him into someone we could admire. I thought she did a great job of portraying him as a dedicated father, laying all of his past evils into the column of having done them to protect his disabled daughter. Life isn’t quite so black and white as that, but I did find his reasons believable, as well as his regret at the things he had done. I also could be lieve that Siora could overlook his hunting of her as his love for his daughter and her betrayal making him unhinged. Well, it is a fantasy novel after all, so I chose to believe in the reasons and moved on from that slight hiccup in the plot.

Siora was a really interesting character. She saw ghosts and could communicate with them. Her skills actually evolved throughout this novel, not in a sudden “magical” way but through the need to survive and protect. Her love for her father, one of the ghosts, and for Estred, Gharek’s daughter gave her character impetus to look beyond her own needs. She was a little self-sacrificing, true, but it was a non-romantic love that drove her actions. I kind of liked that! Of course, a romantic love between she and Gharek grew as well but that love didn’t really drive her actions.

Sometimes fantasy novels get bogged down by an epic journey, detailed landscapes, and traveling companions, but this one was light on all three of those plot points. The world had already been established so the reader was just dropped right in, the journey was shortened by alternate universe-type paths, and Gharek was the only new traveling companion that we had to learn and learn to like. Grace Draven made it pretty easy for this reader to slide right in and enjoy the story and I certainly didn’t have any trouble doing that. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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!* Raven Unveiled

Copyright 2022 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: My Top 5 Most Anticipated Book Releases- Nov’22

I feel like I say this every month, but wow! November already? This year is flying by so fast. As I was looking through the November book releases I saw a ton of books that I know will be on many readers most anticipated lists. This list is specific to my own wants and needs. I know some of you will disagree, or maybe I’ll point out a book that you didn’t realizes was out already. Yay! That’s what I hope to do. Feel free to chime in with your own top 5. I’d love to hear them!

#5 BOOK RELEASE

Yes, we are already reading Christmas themed books. LOL. I am totally invested in the Bromance Book Club series. These books are pure relief from the stresses of my life and I always love the characters. Colton and Gretchen’s story will be great!

Synopsis: Country music’s golden boy Colton Wheeler felt the most perfect harmony when he was with Gretchen Winthrop. But for her, it was a love him and leave him situation. A year later, Colton is struggling to push his music forward in a new direction. If it weren’t about to be the most magical time of year and the support of the Bromance Book Club, he’d be wallowing in self-pity. 
 
It’s hard for immigration attorney Gretchen not to feel a little Scrooge-ish about the excess of Christmas when her clients are scrambling to afford their rent. So when her estranged, wealthy family reaches out with an offer that will allow her to better serve the community, she’s unable to say no. She just needs to convince Colton to be the new face of her family’s whiskey brand. No big deal…
 
Colton agrees to consider Gretchen’s offer in exchange for three dates before Christmas. With the help of the Bromance Book Club, Colton throws himself into the task of proving to her there’s a spark between them. But Gretchen and Colton will both need to overcome the ghosts of Christmas past to build a future together.

Click this link to purchase this book!* A Very Merry Bromance

#4 BOOK RELEASE

Occasionally I find a book that wasn’t on my radar but peaks my interest. A Thousand Heartbeats is that book this month. A YA romantic fantasy with a plot that is right up my alley. I can’t wait!

Synopsis:

Princess Annika has lived a life of comfort—but no amount of luxuries can change the fact that her life isn’t her own to control. The king, once her loving father, has gone cold, and Annika will soon be forced into a loveless marriage for political gain.

Miles away, small comforts are few and far between for Lennox. He has devoted his life to the Dahrainian army, hoping to one day help them reclaim the throne that was stolen from them. For Lennox, the idea of love is merely a distraction—nothing will stand in the way of fighting for his people.

But when love, against all odds, finds them both, they are bound by its call. They can’t possibly be together—but the irresistible thrum of a thousand heartbeats won’t let them stay apart. 

Kiera Cass brings her signature sparkling romance to this beautiful story of star-crossed lovers and long-held secrets.

Click this link to purchase!* A Thousand Heartbeats

#3 BOOK RELEASE

I love romances with a healthy body image and Olivia Dade’s novels are always spot on for making me feel like my body could be loved too. Ship Wrecked is in the same universe as Spoiler Alert and All the Feels but can be read as a stand alone novel. I’ve read this one and you guys, it is so good! Totally enjoyable, wickedly funny, and super “romantic”.

Synapsis:

Maria’s one-night-stand—the thick-thighed, sexy Viking of a man she left without a word or a note—just reappeared. Apparently, Peter’s her surly Gods of the Gates co-star, and they’re about to spend the next six years filming on a desolate Irish island together. She still wants him…but he now wants nothing to do with her.

Peter knows this role could finally transform him from a forgettable character actor into a leading man. He also knows a failed relationship with Maria could poison the set, and he won’t sabotage his career for a woman who’s already walked away from him once. Given time, maybe they can be cooperative colleagues or friends—possibly even best friends—but not lovers again. No matter how much he aches for her.

For years, they don’t touch off-camera. But on their last night of filming, their mutual restraint finally shatters, and all their pent-up desire explodes into renewed passion. Too bad they still don’t have a future together, since Peter’s going back to Hollywood, while Maria’s returning to her native Sweden. She thinks she needs more than he can give her, but he’s determined to change her mind, and he’s spent the last six years waiting. Watching. Wanting.

His shipwrecked Swede doesn’t stand a chance.

Click this link to purchase this book!* Ship Wrecked

#2 BOOK RELEASE

I think Lindbergh’s story is so interesting and am eager to read Mariah Fredericks take on what the nanny see’s during the whole kidnapping and what happens after. This could be a really good one!

Synopsis:

When the most famous toddler in America, Charles Lindbergh, Jr., is kidnapped from his family home in New Jersey in 1932, the case makes international headlines. Already celebrated for his flight across the Atlantic, his father, Charles, Sr., is the country’s golden boy, with his wealthy, lovely wife, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, by his side. But there’s someone else in their household—Betty Gow, a formerly obscure young woman, now known around the world by another name: the Lindbergh Nanny.

A Scottish immigrant deciphering the rules of her new homeland and its East Coast elite, Betty finds Colonel Lindbergh eccentric and often odd, Mrs. Lindbergh kind yet nervous, and Charlie simply a darling. Far from home and bruised from a love affair gone horribly wrong, Betty finds comfort in caring for the child, and warms to the attentions of handsome sailor Henrik, sometimes known as Red. Then, Charlie disappears.

Suddenly a suspect in the eyes of both the media and the public, Betty must find the truth about what really happened that night, in order to clear her own name—and to find justice for the child she loves.

Click this link to purchase this book!* The Lindbergh Nanny

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

MY MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE- NOV’22

OK, I’m a sucker for novels about bookstores. Combine that with my love of this author’s writing and Better Than Fiction is my top book pick for next month. I can’t wait to read it!

Synopsis:

As a self-proclaimed book hater and a firm believer that the movie is always better, Drew Young didn’t anticipate inheriting her grandma’s bookstore, the Book Nook. She’s in way over her head even before the shop’s resident book club, comprising seven of the naughtiest old ladies ever, begin to do what they do best—meddle.

Bestselling author Jasper Williams is a hopeless romantic. When he meets Drew at his Book Nook signing event, he becomes determined to show her the beauty of reading. He curates a book bucket list in exchange for her help exploring the local Denver scene for his current manuscript. From going river rafting to trying local restaurants, Drew begins to connect with Jasper in a way she only thought happened in fiction.

When messy family ties jeopardize the future of the Book Nook, Drew is caught between a bookshelf and a hard place. She’s reminded that real life isn’t always big dreams and sweeping romance. But Jasper is the plot twist she never saw coming and he’s writing a happily ever after just for them.

Click this link to purchase this book!* Better Than Fiction

This Chick Read: A Duel with the Vampire Lord (Married to Magic series) by Elise Kova

Technically, A Duel with the Vampire Lord is the third book in the Married to Magic series, but as each of these books are stand alone novels, they can be read independently, without having to read the others in the series first.

Floriane is the Forge Maiden in Hunter’s Hamlet. It’s her job to forge all of the silver blades that will be used to hopefully slay the Vampire Lord when he arrives with the Blood Moon to try to gain access to Hunter’s Hamlet and kill them all. Floriane’s twin brother will fight for the first time and as he has been secretly training Floriane, she will stay behind and protect their mother. When the evening arrives, her brother brings her a magical draft and tells her to drink it that night as it will give her strength in case a vampire breaks through their forces. When the time comes and Floriane drinks the draft it gives her super powers, including increased hearing and she can hear her brother scream. She runs to the front lines and comes face to face with the Vampire Lord.

I’m a big fan of Elise Kova’s and love the way she crafts her fantasy novels. For me, this is the first one that I had trouble buying into. I loved the set-up with Floriane’s heritage as the Forge Maiden, and Ruvan’s inheritance of the title Vampire Lord. The lore surrounding the “curse” on each side of the battle tells the same story- a curse was wrought unto the vampires/humans that they must kill the vampire lord/Chief hunter in order for the other species to survive. Without giving away that important aspect to this story, it took way too long for everyone to figure out that there was a problem with the story behind that curse. Way too long. I usually read a couple of novels at the same time and will admit that I picked up other books rather than making my way through this story because I got a little bored with the set-up. That is not a normal habit for me with this author at all. I just didn’t find that portion of their story or the romance between Ruvan and Floriane to be all that interesting. As an aside, the cover also threw me off a bit. It’s the first where I found myself really disliking how the characters looks were interpreted. I usually fall in love with the cover first!

I’m used to Elisa Kova’s novels having the heroine go through fierce battles, personality conflicts, and passionate feelings but Floriane’s character was fiercely stubborn in her beliefs about the vampire/human conflict and that stubbornness didn’t redeem her in my eyes, despite her actions in the last third of the novel. I feel like I’m kind of being hard on her, but that’s just how I feel about her and those feelings are reflected in how much I liked the book. Ugh. I hate that because again, I’m a big fan of this authors.

What did I like about the book? I loved Ruvan and his buddies. What a great cast of characters and their backstories filled with drama and gloom only made me love their bickering and friendships even more. These vampir were not the scary beings of childhood nightmares but normal folk who loved and lost. Actually that contrast between Hunter’s Hamlet residents and the vampir were very striking and probably caused my feelings of “blah-ness” I felt towards Floriane. She paled in comparison with these interesting people.

If you’re like me and you are a fan of Elise Kova’s fantasy novels, please do read this one and decide for yourselves whether you feel the same as I. Reading is like artwork in that it’s all relative to the person reading/viewing the piece. You may fall in love with Floriane and not have the same issues I had with this novel. In fact I hope that’s the case. I’m almost positive you’ll feel the same way I do about the cover though. LOL. ❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* A Duel with the Vampire Lord

Copyright 2022 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: My Top 5 Most Anticipated Book Releases- Oct’22

Ok, I know it’s Wednesday and I’m a week late getting this post out, but it’s never too late to talk book releases, right??? I know I say this every month, but boy! There are a lot of books coming out next month that I really want to read. Somehow, I’ve narrowed them down to 5.

#5 BOOK RELEASE

I thought Jackie Lau’s book Donut Fall in Love was a cute light-hearted romance and am looking forward to seeing a couple of characters from that novel achieve their hea. This one intrigues me, but I’ll admit it’s not going to be War and Peace. Sometimes you need a light-hearted book to get you through a tough week!

Synopsis: They say to never meet your heroes, but when Vivian Liao’s roommate gets engaged to her favorite actor’s costar, she has no choice but to come face-to-face with Melvin Lee again. He’s just as funny and handsome as he is on-screen…but thinks she is a snob and a sellout. It’s none of his business how she chooses to live her life, no matter how charismatic he is.
 
Mel is used to charming audiences as an actor and stand-up comedian but can’t connect to Vivian. She’s a smart, talented artist—which is why he thinks she’s wasting her life as a corporate finance drone. The only thing uniting them is their goal for the wedding to go off without a hitch.
 
As they collaborate on wedding cake and karaoke parties, Mel realizes he might have seriously misjudged this bridesmaid, while Vivian discovers the best man might just be as dazzling off-screen as he is on. With the wedding underway, maybe more than one happily ever after is in the future.

Click this link to purchase!* The Stand-Up Groomsman

#4 BOOK RELEASE

Sophie Cousens has written some of my favorite more poignant novels over the last couple of years. This book sounds like a little soul-searching and a lot of romance. I hope.

Synopsis:  Head-in-the-stars Audrey is about to marry down-to-earth Josh. Though they are polar opposites, they have a healthy, stable relationship; Josh is just what Audrey needs. But romance should be unpredictable and full of fireworks, and as the big day approaches, Audrey’s found herself wondering if Josh really is “The One.”
 
    So, when Josh’s sister shows up to the rehearsal dinner with Fred, Audrey’s “What If? guy”—the man she met six years ago and had one amazing day with—Audrey finds herself torn. Surely Fred’s appearance the night before she is due to get married can’t be a coincidence. And when everything that could go wrong with the wedding starts to go wrong, Audrey has to ask herself: Is fate trying to stop her from making a huge mistake? Or does destiny just have a really twisty sense of humor?

Click this link to purchase!* Before I Do

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

#3 BOOK RELEASE

I have read several books by Mimi Matthews including the first book in this series. I enjoy the real-ness of her characters. I can’t wait to see how this book surprises me.

Synopsis: A London heiress rides out to the wilds of the English countryside to honor a marriage of convenience with a mysterious and reclusive stranger.

Tall, dark, and dour, the notorious Captain Jasper Blunt was once hailed a military hero, but tales abound of his bastard children and his haunted estate in Yorkshire. What he requires now is a rich wife to ornament his isolated ruin, and he has his sights set on the enchanting Julia Wychwood.
 
For Julia, an incurable romantic cursed with a crippling social anxiety, navigating a London ballroom is absolute torture. The only time Julia feels any degree of confidence is when she’s on her horse. Unfortunately, a young lady can’t spend the whole of her life in the saddle, so Julia makes an impetuous decision to take her future by the reins—she proposes to Captain Blunt.
 
In exchange for her dowry and her hand, Jasper must promise to grant her freedom to do as she pleases. To ride—and to read—as much as she likes without masculine interference. He readily agrees to her conditions, with one provision of his own: Julia is forbidden from going into the tower rooms of his estate and snooping around his affairs. But the more she learns of the beastly former hero, the more intrigued she becomes…

Click this link to purchase!* The Belle of Belgrave Square

#2 BOOK RELEASE

The long-awaited 4th novel in the Kingmaker Chronicles is out this month! I’ve re-read the series, gearing up for Jocasta and Finn’s story. I Can’t Wait!

Synopsis:

THE WAR OF GODS IS JUST BEGINNING

After centuries of conflict, the three kingdoms of Thalyria have finally been reunited. But now the queen has been cursed, the royal lineage has been broken, and no one knows who’s behind the plot to threaten the once-fractured realm’s fragile new peace.

Desperate to help, Jocasta—the king’s younger sister and a gifted healer—hatches a daring plan to find Circe’s Garden, a fabled island where she hopes to discover an antidote. But she can’t do it alone. She needs the strong arm and unflinching bravery of the warrior she’s loved since childhood—her brother’s right-hand-man and captain of the guard, Flynn of Sinta.

Flynn has spent years fighting to deny the desperate longing burning between them, but he cannot allow Jocasta to face this danger alone. He swears he will be her shield, and together they will do the impossible. Yet with old feelings blazing bright and treachery brewing on Mount Olympus, one thing is clear: Thalyria and its new royals are still pawns in an epic game of power—one that might end in a War of Gods.

Click this link to purchase!* A Curse of Queens

MOST ANTICIPATED OCTOBER’22 BOOK RELEASE

Part thriller, all drama, Mad Honey looks like a book that I need to schedule a weekend to read. I know I’m not going to be able to put this one down!

Synopsis: Olivia McAfee knows what it feels like to start over. Her picture-perfect life—living in Boston, married to a brilliant cardiothoracic surgeon, raising their beautiful son, Asher—was upended when her husband revealed a darker side. She never imagined that she would end up back in her sleepy New Hampshire hometown, living in the house she grew up in and taking over her father’s beekeeping business.
 
Lily Campanello is familiar with do-overs, too. When she and her mom relocate to Adams, New Hampshire, for her final year of high school, they both hope it will be a fresh start. 
 
And for just a short while, these new beginnings are exactly what Olivia and Lily need. Their paths cross when Asher falls for the new girl in school, and Lily can’t help but fall for him, too. With Ash, she feels happy for the first time. Yet at times, she wonders if she can trust him completely. . . .
 
Then one day, Olivia receives a phone call: Lily is dead, and Asher is being questioned by the police. Olivia is adamant that her son is innocent. But she would be lying if she didn’t acknowledge the flashes of his father’s temper in Ash, and as the case against him unfolds, she realizes he’s hidden more than he’s shared with her.
 
Mad Honey is a riveting novel of suspense, an unforgettable love story, and a moving and powerful exploration of the secrets we keep and the risks we take in order to become ourselves.

Click this link to purchase* Mad Honey

This Chick Read: A Hunt of Shadows (A Trial of Sorcerers #2) by Elise Kova

Set in the same world as this authors Air Awakens series, this second book continues the story of Eira, a Waterrunner and now Champion of the Soleris kingdom as she travels to a distant land to compete against other empires in a magical tournament. What is supposed to unite these lands together becomes a fight for her life as Eira hunts for the man who killed her brother. Eira becomes a guest of the Court of Shadows, an elite group of magical warriors who are spies for their kingdom, and infiltrates the lethal Pillars whom are harboring the man who killed her brother. Eira learns that she may need the help of her friends in order to remain alive as she becomes a pawn to be used to bring the empire down.

I really enjoyed the first novel in this series and learning of Eira’s birthright as the daughter of a mysterious pirate. That background is touched on in A Hunt of Shadows but this story revolves around her need for vengeance on the man who caused her brothers death. Eira’s plan to infiltrate both the Court of Shadows and the Pillars doesn’t go exactly as planned and her life is threatened repeatedly, yet she is determined and despite advice from people who are more informed than she is, she believes she knows best and goes it alone. I’ll admit that this flying solo bit was a tad tiring and I wished that she’d learned to trust her friends and bring her into the plot a little sooner than was done. Once she had someone watching her back I thought the story moved quicker and I enjoyed that journey more.

Eira has been lied to about her heritage for her entire life and that has definitely given her a chip on her shoulder. She feels like she’s a burden and no one else can be trusted but herself. I get it. After reading the first book and seeing how she was treated by everyone including her own family I can see why she would be so independent but these novels are filled with some other great characters that I wish got more time on the page. Her friendship with Alyss is great and her budding romance with Cullen is a bit mysterious but a much needed break from the dark and dreary revenge plot. I relished those moments when it was Eira leaning a bit on someone other than herself and wished that there were more of them, lightening up a rather dark book.

I’m enjoying getting to know this author and have liked other books she’s written. I think this book is a device to move the plot forward. Eira didn’t really grow as a character and in fact reverted back to her mistrust of everyone by the end of the book. I’d really like to see this character move out of the darkness and into the light by allowing her to trust people a bit more and not wanting to tackle everything by herself. I am looking forward to the third book in the series because it’s my hope that the author will do all of these things for this character. Fingers crossed, but this book for me was just average. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

Click this link to purchase!* A Hunt of Shadows

Copyright 2022 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: A Trial of Sorcerers by Elise Kova

Eira Landan is a young Waterrunner, an apprentice in the Tower of Sorcerers, living in the shadow of her older brother. After an accident where her powers killed a couple of innocents, Eira has been held out of the spotlight making her an outsider within her own caste. When a competition is announced, her entire family asks her to stay out and let her older brother compete but Eira wants only what is fair, a chance to become the champion Waterrunner and an entry into the Tournament of Five Champions. She is ready to fight and to win, but at what costs?

A Trial of Sorcerers is set in the Air Awakens world where sorcerers have an affinity for the elements. Eira’s affinity is to water but she also hears whisper’s, past voices that live and haunt in the castle. Her family thinks these voices are a kind of psychosis but in reality they are a part of her magic and make her unique. This uniqueness may set her apart, and maybe not in such a great way. Through a lot of this novel Eira is fighting her feelings. She feels like she should honor her parents wishes and allow her brother, whom she loves, to be champion, but she is also tired of being held back. This may be her only chance to show everyone that she can control her powers.

I’m a big fan of Elise Kova’s fantasy novels. She has created an intricate world and seems to be adding to those intricacies. The Air Awakens series centered on characters who could control Air, and in Trial of Sorcerers we are learning a lot about the element of water. In Eira’s case how water can be used as a tool for good, but also can be turned against them. How can a girl of eighteen overcome all odds and become Champion Waterrunner? A Trial of Sorcerers borrows from the thrill of the Hunger Games, and the elemental punch of Jennifer’s Estep’s Elemental Assassins. I love the mix of action and romantic fantasy!

If there was one thing I’d change about this novel it would be the amount of time Eira feel sorry for herself. I love a good underdog and I get the trope, but I really wanted her to show strength before she was in the actual trials. I wanted her to believe in herself, despite that it seemed her family didn’t support her choices. Otherwise, this was a really fun book and I loved being back in the world I grew so fond of in the Air Awakens series. If you love fantasy novels with a female lead, you may want to give this one a go! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* A Trial of Sorcerers

Copyright 2022 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: Ruby Fever (Hidden Legacy #6) by Ilona Andrews

Catalina is the head of her household and lead investigator of Baylor Investigations. She’s used to solving riddles and being in charge but when she becomes Acting Warden of the State of Texas in addition to the above it just might be more than she can handle. Good thing she has fiancé Alessandro Sagredo by her side… of course he brings his own set of problems as well.

Ruby Fever is the conclusion of Catalina’s three book story arc, and all of the sub plots that have been in play are coming to a head. Arkan is out to destroy Alessandro and her family, and they are under constant attack. She is pursuing an investigation into who has attacked the warden, and Alessandro’s family is still trying to farm him out to save their family name and bring in some much needed dough. There was a LOT going on in this book and looking back on it, the plot is a bit of a jumbled mess in my head. Not that I’m going to spoil your fun in reading this novel but I’m having trouble deciding what to write about without giving anything away.

As with all Ilona Andrews books, I loved jumping back into the world they’ve created and Ruby Fever gave us more peek’s into some of her family’s lives than we’ve gotten in the previous two novels which focused more on Catalina and Alessandro’s love story. That story is a foregone conclusion in Ruby Fever and we are given action sequence after action sequence and good investigative moments for the Baylor family, including Nevada and Rogan. The whole family gets involved in the resolution of all of the problems they face, which is fun. We get a hint of a couple of possible love matches for Arabella which made me eager to read her story, but alas, this book concludes Ilona Andrews deal with their current publisher and we may have to wait until they are in the mood to write and self publish the next novel in the series which could take years to happen, if they do decide to write it. Regardless, Ruby Fever was a fun way to end the series.

❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase!* Ruby Fever

Copyright 2022 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: Year One (Chronicles of the One #1) by Nora Roberts

I’m going to admit, I bought this novel in 2018 and let it sit on my shelf. Then the pandemic hit and the last thing I wanted to do was read a novel about a virus that wipes out half of the population of the world. Time has moved on and I thought I might be able to separate the topic from the world I was living in.

This novel starts with the person who was the original spreader of the virus and seeing how it happened made me realize that this novel will be more fantasy than reality and as the book moved on and I read how the world divided between those who survived with change and those who survived still human I was able to even more immerse myself in this novel and the new world it was building. Following a few different story arc’s I came to care for these characters not caring if they were human or enhanced with inhuman traits caring more if they were good people or bad. A natural feeling when you are reading a novel that pits good versus evil.

Nora Roberts follows a formula she’s been very successful with throughout her career, especially when writing fantasy novels. She gives us several story arc’s, and in Year One I learn to love Max and Lana and then again Rachel and Jonah, as well as some other characters who help them survive and build new lives. What surprises me is that this plot is leading us to a hero and heroine who can lead them in the fight against evil, the children that they fight so hard to protect.

While there are elements of love throughout this story this novel is not a typical Nora Roberts romance novel. This is a three book series about a fight to come against good and evil. I am curious enough about where it’s headed to pick up the second book in the series but I will give one bit of criticism, I hope it starts off fast because Year One was a bit on the slow side and I like a quicker pace. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

Click this link to purchase!* Year One

Copyright 2022 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: Gossamer in the Darkness(Fantasyland #5.5) by Kristen Ashley

The Count of Derryman has a secret. His daughter, who has been betrothed since birth to the handsome and powerful Marquess of Remington, fell and hit her head when she was six and has the mental acuity of a child. Not wanting to give up that association with such a powerful house, the Count of Derryman hears of an alternate universe that twins this universe. Determined to find his daughters twin and bring her over he hires a witch, who succeeds. What the Count doesn’t realize is that this Maxine is no pushover.

The Fantasyland series is one of my favorites by this author so when I heard she was writing a novella set in that world I was excited to get my hands on it. This fairytale proves that every woman can find her prince and the modern Maxine wishes Loren could be hers. It wouldn’t be a true fairytale without an evil character and the Count certainly fits the bill. Holding her mother and “twin” sister hostage in order to make Maxine do as he pleases the author didn’t take long to resolve that short conflict. Which was great because we got to spend the rest of the book with fun characters who were falling in love, learning their new world, and spreading the joy of living in a world full of color.

What I love about Kristen Ashley’s novellas is that they are the length of a short full length novel. Her real novels are very long. You’d think she’d have a tough time get the full story arc in this short length novel but she really does a great job of developing the characters, letting the reader in on the storyline quickly, and cut down on some of the descriptions that make her regular novels so lengthy. I really enjoyed this novella a lot and didn’t feel like I was missing anything that would lead to that overall enjoyment.

Now, if you have never read a Fantasyland novel, you may have some difficulty falling into a world where cats and birds speak to women, but if you have an open mind you may find yourself totally enjoying the experience. You’ll never know unless you pick it up and give it a shot. It is very different than her contemporary romances in the best way possible, but you’ll find similar character types that will help get you settled into another amazing KA story. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase this novel!* Gossamer in the Darkness

Copyright 2022 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: The Taellaneth Series by Vanessa Nelson

This series was recommended to me but I could never remember the author in order to look it up. It just so happened that it was recommended to me AGAIN and I was getting ready to look for my next book. It’s a Kindle Unlimited series, which I do subscribe to, so I thought “no harm no foul” if I don’t like it I’ll just close the book and send it back. Little did I know that I would read non-stop, with only breaks to go to work, eagerly reading this fun series until I turned that last page in book #5.

Our hero Arrow is half human and half Erith, a race that is magical with elf-like physical traits. Having been determined to have magical talent at a young age she is entered into an Academy where she overcomes the odds and becomes a war mage despite all sorts of discrimination from the Erith for her half-human blood. As we get to know Arrow she is oath-bound to the Taellen to solve any task she is given. In the first novel she is given the task of investigating the death of the mate of the highest ranked shape-shifter, traveling to human lands to complete her task.

In Concealed, Arrow eventually solves the mystery but reveals an even bigger dilemma that all three races need to work together to solve, each book leading to Arrow becoming a stronger mage, important ally of the shifters, and eventually free from her ties to the Taellen- the committee of law-makers among the Erith. Her identity is also revealed in stages that keep the reader fascinated and the plot draws you in deeper until you have to read until the end to see how Arrow and the mystery resolves.

If you, like I, have never heard of this author then you are in for a treat! This series is fantasy-candy. There is only a hint of romance, it is pretty much straight up magical-fantasy. There are some very likable characters and you’ll certainly have your pick of who you want to follow but there is no better than our heroine Arrow. Misguided, misunderstood, and straight-up bad-@$$. I loved her to death and hope that this author’s other series are just as addictive. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

Click this link to purchase the first book!* Concealed

Copyright 2022 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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