It’s Monday! What are you Reading? (6/24/19)

Happy Monday everyone! I ran across this post on Book Date and liked the idea of sharing what I’m currently reading, so here goes!

JUST FINISHED

Alpha’s Promise (Dark Protector’s #10) by Rebecca Zanetti

First Sentence Read: “Across the windy cemetery, beyond the rows of gravestones, a man leaned against a pine tree and watched her.”

JUST STARTED

Every Last Breath (Final Hour #1) by Juno Rushdan

First Sentence Read: “No need to waste a bullet.”

I was disappointed in Zanetti’s novel so I picked up this new-ish Juno Rushdan novel. It’s a romantic thriller and started out F-A-S-T. I’m enjoying it so far! I have to admit, that first sentence is kind of dull though…

A new week means a new book! What are you reading this week?

Have a great week reading!

Deb

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This Chicks Sunday Commentary: My 5 Most Anticipated July’19 Releases

Recently I was looking at my NetGalley ARC’s trying to map out my reading schedule and realized I didn’t have any books I had to read for a July release. What?!! Immediately I wondered if I missed any and Googled Goodreads most popular list of July releases to just double check. There are some good ones on the list but surprisingly only a few that were on my radar. Don’t get me wrong, there are a ton being releases but I like certain genre’s and there are only a few that hit my sweet spot.

It’s kind of nice to know I can read for pleasure and maybe get a head start on my August ARC’s, cause you know, I over-requested for that month. Sooo many August releases this year! Anywho… here are some July releases that I’ve added to my TBR, and got in line for a few of them at my local library.

DEB’S TOP 5 RELEASES FOR JULY

5) Protect the Prince (A Crown of Shards #2) by Jennifer Estep

Release Date: 7/2/2019

Publisher: Harper Voyager (Harper Collins)

Genre: Romantic Fantasy

I loved the first novel in this series and can’t wait to dive into Protect the Prince!

Synopsis:

Everleigh Blair might be the new gladiator queen of Bellona, but her problems are far from over.

First, Evie has to deal with a court full of arrogant, demanding nobles, all of whom want to get their greedy hands on her crown. As if that wasn’t bad enough, an assassin tries to kill Evie in her own throne room.

Despite the dangers, Evie goes ahead with a scheduled trip to the neighboring kingdom of Andvari in order to secure a desperately needed alliance. But complicating matters is the stubborn Andvarian king, who wants to punish Evie for the deaths of his countrymen during the Seven Spire massacre.

Dark forces are also at work inside the Andvarian palace, and Evie soon realizes that no one is safe. Worse, her immunity to magic starts acting in strange, unexpected ways, which makes Evie wonder whether she is truly strong enough to be a Winter Queen.

Evie’s magic, life, and crown aren’t the only things in danger—so is her heart, thanks to Lucas Sullivan, the Andvarian king’s bastard son and Evie’s … well, Evie isn’t quite sure what Sullivan is to her.

Only one thing is certain—protecting a prince might be even harder than killing a queen…

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

4) Under Currents by Nora Roberts

Release Date: 7/9/19

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Genre: Thriller

Nora Roberts is sometimes hit or miss, but I do like her Romantic Thriller’s, and well she is Nora Roberts and always hits my TBR.

Synopsis:

For both Zane and Darby, their small town roots hold a terrible secret. Now, decades later, they’ve come together to build a new life. But will the past set them free or pull them under?

Zane Bigelow grew up in a beautiful, perfectly kept house in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Strangers and even Zane’s own aunt across the lake see his parents as a successful surgeon and his stylish wife, making appearances at their children’s ballet recitals and baseball games. Only Zane and his sister know the truth, until one brutal night finally reveals cracks in the facade, and Zane escapes for college without a thought of looking back…

Years later, Zane returns to his hometown determined to reconnect with the place and people that mean so much to him, despite the painful memories. As he resumes life in the colorful town, he meets a gifted landscape artist named Darby, who is on the run from ghosts of her own.

Together they will have to teach each other what it means to face the past, and stand up for the ones they love.

Click this link to purchase! Under Currents

3) Maybe This Time by Kasie West

Release Date: 7/9/19

Publisher: Scholastic Trade Publisher

Genre: YA Contemporary

Not sure how I missed this one because I really like this author and this looks so cute! If you like YA, you need to check this one out.

Synopsis: One year. Nine events. Nine chances to . . . fall in love?

Weddings. Funerals. Barbecues. New Year’s Eve parties. Name the occasion, and Sophie Evans will be there. Well, she has to be there. Sophie works for the local florist, so she can be found at every big event in her small hometown, arranging bouquets and managing family dramas.

Enter Andrew Hart. The son of the fancy new chef in town, Andrew is suddenly required to attend all the same events as Sophie. Entitled, arrogant, preppy Andrew. Sophie just wants to get her job done and finish up her sketches so she can apply to design school. But every time she turns around, there is Andrew, getting in her way and making her life more complicated. Until one day she wonders if maybe complicated isn’t so bad after all . . .

Told over the course of one year and following Sophie from event to event, this delightful novel from master of romantic comedy Kasie West shows how love can blossom in unexpected places.

Click this link to purchase! Maybe This Time

2) The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman

Release Date: 7/9/19

Publisher: Berkley

Genre: Women’s Fiction

I actually did ask for an ARC of this novel and got rejected… BOO! I love Berkley books but for some reason I only get about 50% of the books I request. Regardless, this author wrote one of my top funniest books The Garden of Small Beginnings, and I hope for a repeat every time and so she lands on my TBR again…

Synopsis: Meet Nina Hill: A young woman supremely confident in her own…shell.

The only child of a single mother, Nina has her life just as she wants it: a job in a bookstore, a kick-butt trivia team, a world-class planner and a cat named Phil. If she sometimes suspects there might be more to life than reading, she just shrugs and picks up a new book. 

When the father Nina never knew existed suddenly dies, leaving behind innumerable sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews, Nina is horrified. They all live close by! They’re all—or mostly all—excited to meet her! She’ll have to Speak. To. Strangers. It’s a disaster! And as if that wasn’t enough, Tom, her trivia nemesis, has turned out to be cute, funny, and deeply interested in getting to know her. Doesn’t he realize what a terrible idea that is?

Nina considers her options.
1. Completely change her name and appearance. (Too drastic, plus she likes her hair.) 
2. Flee to a deserted island. (Hard pass, see: coffee). 
3. Hide in a corner of her apartment and rock back and forth. (Already doing it.)

It’s time for Nina to come out of her comfortable shell, but she isn’t convinced real life could ever live up to fiction. It’s going to take a brand-new family, a persistent suitor, and the combined effects of ice cream and trivia to make her turn her own fresh page.

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

1)Sweep of the Blade (Innkeeper Series #4) by Ilona Andrews

Release Date: 7/16/19

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Romantic Fantasy

It is not a secret that I’m having a secret love affair with the writing team called Ilona Andrews. LOVE this series, and really any series they write. This date just dropped this week and I AM SO EXCITED! They release each chapter for free on their website, but I always wait for the entire book to release to read it.

Synopsis: Maud Demille is a daughter of Innkeepers—a special group who provide ‘lodging’ to other-planetary visitors—so she knows that a simple life isn’t in the cards. But even Maud could never have anticipated what Fate would throw at her.

Once a wife to a powerful vampire knight, Maud and her young daughter, Helen, were exiled with him for his treachery to the desolate, savage planet of Karhari. Karhari killed her husband, and Maud—completely abandoned by his family—has spent over a year avenging his debts. Rescued by her sister Dina, she’s sworn off all things vampire.

Except… In helping Dina save the world, she met Arland, the Marshal of House Krahr, one of the most powerful vampire houses. One thing led to another and he asked for her hand in marriage. She declined. Arland is not used to hearing the word ‘no;’ and try as she might, Maud can’t just walk away from Arland. It doesn’t help that being human is a lot harder for Maud than being a vampire.

To sort it all out, she accepts his invitation to visit his home planet. House Krahr is extremely influential and Maud knows that a woman—a human, with a very questionable past—who’s turned down a proposal from its most beloved son won’t get a warm reception. Maybe she’s not sure about marrying Arland, but House Krahr isn’t going to decide for her. Maud Demille has never run from a fight, and House Krahr will soon discover that there’s a lot more to Maud than they’re expecting.

Click this link to purchase! Sweep of the Blade (Innkeeper Chronicles Book 4)

Whelp, those are my Top 5 releases in July. I’m sure yours are different than mine, so…

What books are you really eager to read that are being released next month?

Until next Sunday!

Deb

This Chick Read: Grave Secrets by Skye Jordan

Grave Secrets is the first novel in the romantic suspense Manhunters series. The Manhunters are a group of ex military warriors who investigate undercover on behalf of the government (or sometimes not). Ian arrives in Hazard County to investigate the suspicious death of one of their agents and comes to the aid of Savannah. She’s been separated from her husband for three years and with the divorce final, is trying to get out from under his controlling influence as Sheriff. Sparks fly immediately between Ian and Savannah and his undercover job starts to get personal.

It’s hard for me to hear the name Hazard County and not think of the Dukes of Hazard, especially when there’s a jerk sheriff involved. However, the mystery that surrounds the death of Ian’s fellow investigator quickly removes that campy show from my mind. These characters were not caricatures but well developed with a lot of depth. I easily got lost in the interaction between Ian, Savannah and her son and the action involved in the story line.

I usually have a hard time reading stories where the female lead is a victim, so I’ll give props to Skye Jordan for creating a character that was kind of a victim, but who was sassy and trying to get out of her circumstances. She didn’t use Ian for his obvious brawn, and their relationship felt stronger for he trying to help her out of her circumstances by using their brains rather than shooting themselves out of a corner as most other heroes would have done. Not to say there wasn’t action, because there was! It seemed to work within the plot instead of the plot working for the action, if that makes sense.

If you like romantic suspense novels then I think you should give Grave Secrets a try. It’s the first in the series, so you can choose if you’d like to move forward with the other characters introduced in this novel. I liked them, so I’m choosing to, as soon as the author releases the next book! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“Grave Secrets draws you in from the first page, when Zane’s first surveillance assignment for his new company nearly goes very, very badly. The reader immediately needs to know the answers to a whole bunch of questions…” Becky on books…and Quilts

Grave Secrets

Click this link to purchase!* Grave Secrets (A Manhunters Novel)

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

It’s Monday, What are you Reading? (5/27/19)

Happy Monday everyone! I ran across this post on Book Date and liked the idea of sharing what I’m currently reading, so here goes!

Today is Memorial Day and I’d like to thank all of our men and women who serve our country and help make the US a great place to live!

JUST FINISHED!

Death in Kew Gardens (A Below Stairs Mystery #3) by Jennifer Ashley

First Sentence Read: “The Chinese gentleman ran from between the carriages packed the length of Mount Street and straight into my path.”

JUST STARTED

Turn the Tide (A Heart Pounding Romantic Suspense Anthology) with stories by Katie Ruggle, Adriana Anders, Connie Mann, and Juno Rushdan

First Sentence Read: ‘”I hate the mall.” Molly Said’

I’m a big fan of Katie Ruggle and I’m looking forward to reading the prequel short story to her new series about sisters who are bounty hunters. I also love finding new authors and I think an anthology is a great way to discover if you like an authors style of writing. Will they grab my attention? I’ll let you know!

Now you know what I’ll be doing on my day off, what will you be reading?

Deb

This Chick Read: Cliff’s Edge (Solace Island Series #2) by Meg Tilly

When Eve’s sister Maggie goes on her honeymoon, Eve is ready to house sit and enjoy the peace and quiet painting on their property. When she comes home one day to hot movie star Rhys Thomas making himself at home in their kitchen she hog ties him with a toaster cord. Seriously! When it turns out Maggie’s husband is playing matchmaker they decide to co-habitate. Their chemistry isn’t the only thing sizzling! Rhys turns out to be pretty handy in the kitchen and pitches in and plays chef at her restaurant, helping her keep it afloat while Maggie is away. When some strange things start happening to Eve, Rhys’ senses go on high alert and he turns all Alpha determined to keep Eve safe. The tension ratches up a notch when it turns out she’s come to the attention of a serial killer.

Cliff’s Edge falls into the romantic suspense genre but really feels more like a romance with a side of mystery. I really enjoyed the almost lighthearted romance between Eve and Rhys. He seems to have a really level head for a top billing movie star and she is pretty clueless as to how popular he is. There are a couple of funny scenes where the locals figure out he’s somewhere nearby. That doesn’t phase either of them at all. What does is all of the strange incidents that begins to befall Eve. When the POV switches to the killer’s it creates a stark contrast to the lighter love story building the tension very effectively.

The mystery was pretty straightforward and I’ll admit even though I wasn’t sure of the name of the stalker, I guessed his identity pretty early on. That didn’t take away from my enjoyment in reading up to the climactic ending. I don’t want to give anything away, but let’s just say that Eve is no fainting heart. I love a strong heroine and Cliff’s Edge does not let me down in that regard at all.

If you love romantic thriller’s then you should pick up Cliff’s Edge. It’s the second novel in the series but it stands on it’s own and can be read without having read the first novel. I did and it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the novel at all. In fact, now I’m curious about Solace Island and am going to put it on my TBR! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“This book was everything that I wanted in a romantic suspense. I loved watching the development of Eve and Rhys’s relationship because both of these characters have a background filled with betrayal and heartbreak and neither one trusts easily.” The Reading Chemist

Click this link to purchase!* Cliff’s Edge (Solace Island Series Book 2)

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights reserved

*Amazon Associate

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? (4/29/19)

Happy Monday everyone! I ran across this post on Book Date and liked the idea of sharing what I’m currently reading, so here goes!

JUST FINISHED

In Her Sights (Rocky Mountain Bounty Hunters #1) by Katie Ruggle

First Sentence: “I’m headed to the park,” Molly said as she let the screen door slam behind her.

JUST STARTED

Romanov by Nadine Brandes

First Sentence Read: My blood is my crime.

I’ll admit, I’m a huge fan of Katie Ruggle. Her new novel came out last month and I had pre-purchased it and it got lost on my kindle. It’s a really cute romance, this time the leads are all sisters which I love!

Another topic I love is the Russian revolution. Did Anastasia really die? It’s always a fabulous fantasy and to mix magic into the tale? Perfection! I can’t wait to immerse myself in it.

Don’t you love starting a new book? It’s better than starting a new work week! What are you reading this fine Monday?

Deb

This Chick Read: Because I’m Watching (Virtue Falls #3) by Christina Dodd

She was known as Mad Maddie in her neighborhood because of her past. She was the lone survivor of a stalker/murderer in her college dorm which resulted in a nervous breakdown and internment into a mental facility. As she moves on with her life, her fiance is murdered in their home while she is upstairs. Due to her background she was a suspect. Now, living in a new neighborhood in Virtue Falls, Maddie meets her neighbor Jacob by driving her car into the living room of his home. Jacob survives the incident and continues to live in his demolished home where he can see and hear clearly the goings on across the street. Not everything is as it looks…

This novel had me hooked right from the first scene! There was something about Maddie and Jacob that drew me in. Whereas she was nicknamed Mad Maddie by her neighbors, Jacob was actually crazier than she. He was an ex-soldier with PTSD who had delusions of death. He was actually mad that Maddie had missed him with her car! Watching the two of them navigate into a friendship, or really a co-dependency, was really interesting. Seeing this mystery play out was even more so.

I have read all of the Virtue Falls novels, including the Woman Who Couldn’t Scream which follows this novel in the series. I’ve enjoyed them, liking the continuing story of the town and it’s inhabitants. There are subplots in each novel that moves the town’s story forward. Even though I read the fourth book before the third, I don’t think I messed up the story’s sequence too much.  This novel was still my favorite so far. Each piece came together in the perfect package of psychosis, mystery, and romance.  Well done, Ms. Dodd! May I have another? ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Watching

Click this link to purchase!*Because I’m Watching: A Novel (The Virtue Falls Series)

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: What Doesn’t Kill Her (Cape Charade #2) by Christina Dodd

The second novel in the Cape Charade series, What Doesn’t Kill Her continues the story of our heroine Kellen Adams. After finding out she’d had a daughter while in a coma, Kellen, Max and Rae are trying to ease into a family unit. Suffering from PTSD after her years in Afghanistan, Kellen is having the tougher time bonding with her new daughter. Needing a break, she takes a side job delivering an archeological find to a recluse in the wilderness with a man she doesn’t know. On the way, the man tries to kill her, Kellen evades the kill, and finds out her new seven year old daughter Rae has hidden in the back of the van in the hopes of bonding with her mother. Escaping into the wilderness, Kellen and her pink sparkly daughter find out that they are being hunted by two teams of men. One is out to collect the valuable item they are carrying, and the other is out to kill Kellen. This quick trip has suddenly turned into the run for their lives.

Kellen started off so out of her element as a mom, but as she and her daughter evaded capture Kellen found that she did in fact care deeply for this little girl. Kellen’s maternal instincts are slightly skewed from the traumatic events in her past but she does teach Rae some invaluable lessons in self defense that were dramatic and sweet at the same time. Imagine trying to relay to a seven year old girl that they were being hunted by people who were trying to hurt them without scaring the crap out of her. There were some seriously funny conversations between these two that really added a lot of maternal warmth to Kellen’s character. For Kellen, this trip was a boot camp to motherhood.

I really liked Max in Dead Girl Running and he was even more likable as a dad and love interest to Kellen in this novel. He was alpha male enough to want to sweep in and keep his girls safe, but smart enough to let Kellen use her skills and provide her own safety. That’s not to say that he didn’t want to kick ass and take prisoners, but this was a woman who took charge of her own life and didn’t wait for anyone to save her. The two of them were very well balanced and I really enjoyed watching their relationship grow into a romantic one.

What Doesn’t Kill Her was even better than Dead Girl Running, and I loved that novel! There was some great dialog between Rae and Kellen that provided comic relief to what would’ve been a non stop action novel. Those moments of warmth between mother and daughter allowed the reader to build a deeper connection with Kellen, and I cared even more when she and Max reunited as a couple. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next Cape Charade book, Stranger She knows. It can’t come soon enough for me! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“What makes this book a fun read is, for the most part, the non-stop action and diversity of settings: As the plot progresses, readers witness lots of action, near-misses, and pursuers, and assassins in exciting locations such as vineyards, resorts, and mountain-top lodges – and the chase is always on.” Mystery Tribune

Click this link to purchase!* What Doesn’t Kill Her (Cape Charade)

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: The Royal Runaway by Lindsay Emory

Being jilted at the altar would, well, suck. Being jilted at the altar when you are a princess and your wedding is going to be aired on live TV? I don’t think there’s a word that describes how Princess Theodora of Dreiden feels. After hiding away for a few months following the disappearance of her groom, she arrives back in Dreiden ready to put a good face on a bad situation. When she sneaks out one night to have a drink incognito at the local pub she meets dark and dangerous Scot, Nick who see’s right through her disguise and convinces her to look into why her fiance disappeared. As they investigate their attraction becomes a force that Thea can’t ignore. What she and Nick find out changes her future, but is that future with Nick? Or without him?

This novel wasn’t at all what I expected and I mean that in the best way possible! When you pick up a romance where princesses are involved, I don’t expect much more than a fun fantasy romance, but this story had a lot of meat and emotion! Thea was not your usual princess. Yes, she was dutiful, but she also rebelled against her princesshood by sneaking out and escaping the confines of her service. In this case she got more than she bargained for. She had thought she’d been jilted at the altar but as she and Nick start looking for her ex, the book adds in some intrigue, making this book a bit more romantic suspense than rom-com. I liked that twist!

Nick was ex military and very cryptic about who and why he was also hunting for her ex fiance. Surprisingly, Nick fought against his attraction to Thea. He was really focused, but she was nothing like he’d imagined she’d be. Nick, I found her surprising too! Those little surprise character traits were why I liked Thea so much and really rooted for her to find happiness. Even if it was with somewhat surly and slightly hesitant Nick. He was a man that didn’t like his agenda messed with, and Thea kind of rocked to the beat of her own drum.

If you’re looking for a romance with a little more depth, I think this one actually hits that nail on the head. I mean it’s no Jason Bourne meets Anne Hathaway from the Princess Diaries, but it does have a nice mix of action, emotion, and heat. Actually, I could see Matt Damon in the role of Nick, but I’m not sure he’s do a very good Scottish accent. Hmmm, maybe Gerard Butler? Anywho, pick this one up. I think you’ll be surprised and really like it too! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“I loved reading about an empowering female character; sure, she fell apart at first when she was left at the altar, but she picked herself right up and then did what it took to protect her country and her people and learns to walk a line between her royal duties and having freedom for herself. And this is a romance!!” Stephanie’s Novel Fiction

“I really enjoyed The Royal Runaway — it is the perfect escape for cold autumn nights! Whether you’re a longtime romance reader or looking for something new, I’d recommend picking this one up. This was my first book by Lindsay Emory and it certainly wont be the last.” I Should Read That

Royal

Click this link to purchase!* The Royal Runaway

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

* Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: Through the Fire (Rocky Mountain K9 Unit #4) by Katie Ruggle

Kit Jernigan is the newest member of the K9 Unit having arrived in town after the unit’s police department was blown to bits by the previous novel’s bad guy. Needless to say, her male counterparts are a little gun shy to trust the new girl in town. The day she arrives she is called to the scene of a fire with her bloodhound Justice to track a potential killer. When that trail points to a seemingly innocent person, Kit is the only one to believe that her story may not be true. Until Wes comes along. Wes, the local fire-spotter who works for the National Park, did his job and spotted the fire. When Kit goes to interview him, their chemistry sizzles and as they get to know each other, Wes is on hand to help her investigate her suspect.

This is the final book in the Rock Mountain K9 Unit series and it wraps up the series story arc very nicely. It was refreshing to have Kit’s perspective as the only female officer in town. Don’t let that book cover fool you, that should be Kit next to the dog not Wes, since she is the officer in the unit. (The guy on the cover is handsome, but Wes was described as a huge mountain man with a lot of hair and I’m not seeing it at all on that cover!) Kit was smart, and her inner dialog made me like her even more. I also liked how she was attracted to Wes’s personality. It is obvious that he is borderline autistic or at least severely uncomfortable with person to person contact of any sorts. Katie Ruggle wrote his character as if that was totally normal and didn’t explain his peculiarities at all, which was really refreshing in an age where “diverse” characters are celebrated. She didn’t draw attention to it, it was just who he was.

Wes was completely charming! He was a hot mountain man with a brain. He was also willing to face his fears of being around people socially to be a part of Kit’s life. That is romance! My only critique is that she wrote him a little too well? I liked his personality with Kit, but because of his awkwardness the reader may have had to work a little harder to connect with him.

If I had to classify this book’s genre, I would classify it as romantic suspense or an action novel. There was a lot going on and the mystery definitely took center stage. However, I really liked Kit and Wes and was happy with the romance sub plot. This series started off flat but slowly built up steam and I liked Through the Fire the best of the four novels. You definitely must read the other books before reading this one since there is an overlying plot that runs through all four novels, sorry! Reading a Katie Ruggle book isn’t a hardship so even with the slow start I’d recommend reading this series. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Through the Fire

Click this link to purchase!* Through the Fire (Rocky Mountain K9 Unit)

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights reserved

*Amazon Associate