This Chick Read: Shadows in Death (In Death #51) by J.D. Robb

Eve and Roarke’s evening out is interrupted by a murder in Washington Square Park. While examining the crime scene Roarke spots an enemy from his childhood in the crowd. Lorcan Cobbe, grew up admiring Roarke’s father, working in his organization and moving his way up to paid assassin. Now a wanted man, he jumps immediately to the top of the suspect list and Eve is in hot pursuit. It becomes obvious that Cobbe is taking advantage of running into his enemy and is targeting Roarke and all of those he loves. Eve and her team use every tool they have to gather evidence and hopefully take him down.

I’m a little behind in this series as I believe the 55th book was just released, but ran across this title in my library wishlist and was in the mood for a futuristic investigation with some of my favorite characters. Even though it’s been awhile, when you’ve stuck with a series for 51 books the characters are like good friends. You know when you see one of your best friends from high school after a few years apart and you just jump right back into a previous conversation? The In Death books are exactly like that.

I enjoyed Shadows in Death a lot. Part of it was the comradery of Eve’s team when it becomes clear that Cobbe is targeting Roarke and Eve. Their “family” was going to take down this killer before he had a chance to do anything and how they banded together to investigate, find his mistakes, and then capture him was so emotional because Eve was so awed by their support. Even after all of these years she is surprised that she has a group of friends and I love that insecurity. It really makes you root for her as a character.

There wasn’t a mystery to solve in this plot because we knew the killer in the first chapter but the investigation was fast and personal. Each dip and turn was fraught with tension and each chapter amped up the tension leading to a conclusion that was so, so good! There’s nothing like jumping back into a series with a gripping plot and being reminded why you’ve read all 51 books. When J.D. Robb writes well, her books are excellent. This was one of the really good ones and yes, I’ve already picked up book #52, I hope it’s just as good! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase this book!* Shadows in Death

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: Aurora’s End (The Aurora Cycle #3) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

When Aurora Burning, the second novel in the series, ended, it looked like Squad 312 was history. Each story arc had been blasted to kingdom come. As Aurora’s End begins, we find out that each of our characters have survived the annihilation. Zila, Fin, and Scarlett have been thrown back in time to when the Betraskans and Humans were at war with each other. Caught in a time loop, the three of them must find a way out of the loop and back to the future so that they can continue to fight to save humanity. Kal and Auri have been blown into the future where they see what happens when the Ra’haam infect the universe. They meet up with a future Tyler who leads the uninfected in a fight that they have no hope of winning. This final novel in the Aurora Cycle is action packed but also packs an emotional punch as we see the what-if’s and the could-be’s collide.

Kaufman and Kristoff are among the best when it comes to action packed scenes and there are quite a few note-worthy ones in Aurora’s End. Each character’s story arc leads them to a point where they can all unite to hopefully save their people. I just wish that it hadn’t taken quite so long to reach the conclusion. I was all in after the ending of Aurora Burning, knowing that our characters would be back because, hello, it was a three book series. BUT, for me, there was too much time spent in the time loop where Zila, Fin, and Scarlett were trying to beat the loop and find their way back to the future. Granted, each loop takes time, and there needed to be some emotional moments for all characters during those loops, but still, it took too many pages.

On the flip side, I wish that Tyler’s portion had been a little longer. I thought his character as the leader of the unit, the one who had all of the success or failure placed upon his shoulders, needed more time and reflection. I know, that is kind of nit-picky and is probably my own feelings about which character I liked best and wanted to read about the most, but his part was definitely the most interesting of the three plot arc’s. I think it helped that he was actually in two of the arc’s and that future Tyler helped build a connection to what was riding on his shoulders in the past.

The conclusion to this series was epic, action-packed, and emotional. Everything you’d hope for in a series that took a little while to build. I like a conclusion that doesn’t leave loose ends and what-if’s lying about. This was a fun journey and a fantastic continuation and of a very solid sci-fi series. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Aurora’s End (The Aurora Cycle Book 3)

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: Aurora Burning (Aurora Cycle #2) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Squad 312 has been declared terrorists and everyone in the universe is looking for them. That makes it extra hard to purchase a ship and find the weapon that will put an end to the Ra’Haam who want to send its spores into every crack in the universe and pull people into its hive. Chased by the Hive and Kal’s creepy sister they head back to where it all began. Hadfield is the ship that Aurora was on when she was brought out of stasis, changed. It’s black box may have the answers that they need to complete their mission.

As with the first novel Aurora Rising, this second installment had a fast-paced plot, witty dialog, and some great action. It played out in my head like a movie, which is what I’ve come to expect from this writing duo. All of the Squad 312 characters were so connected and I enjoyed reading about those interconnections so much that their being separated for most of the book threw me. Yeah, I know, they needed to move the plot forward and it was probably easier to do that in separate stories, but I’ll admit that all of those narration changes made my head spin. I’m hoping the third novel completes a few of these stories so that we can concentrate on the main arc instead of all of the side journeys.

Despite the head spins from changing character perspectives every chapter, I did enjoy where they took the story and I’ll admit that in most cases those stories evolved those characters helping readers pick and choose who to root for and identify with. For me, the least interesting was Aurora’s and considering she’s the title character that probably isn’t a good thing. There’s still one more book to see how this plot resolves, and I definitely am not waiting another year to read it.

❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase this book!* Aurora Burning (The Aurora Cycle Book 2)

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: Hunt the Stars (Starlight’s Shadow #1) by Jessie Mihalik

Ex- soldier turned bounty hunter Octavia Zarola is looking for a big pay-off so that she can keep her crew together an hire someone to fix her ship. When an offer of a lifetime comes her way it just had to be from former Valoff soldier General Torran Fletcher. Accepting the job may mean entrusting her crew’s life to the people they were once at war with but the pay is just to good to pass up. When she finds out what they are being paid to find it becomes a job they just can’t turn down.

Tavi and Torran are both hero’s from the Valoff-human war. Tavi is infamous for having completed a mission that killed a large number of Valoff civilians. At least that was the story the human side told. The real story was something else entirely and left Tavi and her crew at odds with their military. The last person she wants to work a bounty with is a Valoff team, one who knows the story her military made up. As they all travel to Valoff the group has the chance to get to know each other and make connections that make them view each other in a different light.

Hunt the Stars had a very quick start, which I loved, not needing a big set up to get character back stories and get the plot moving. It was immediately apparent that Tavi and Torran were going to have a big conflict- bigger than going up against each other in the last war. The feelings they built on the trip to Valoff would be explored but also diverted once Tavi’s team finds out what it is that they’re truly searching for. The arc between these two characters was filled with the tension of attraction but also of an unknown bump in the road that was to come. As with all great character driven novels, the side characters were just as important to the story as the hero and heroine and Hunt the Stars had some great characters. I’m eager to see if the second novel that centers around Kee and Varro is able to continue the fast pace and fun reparteé that Kee delivered in Hunt the Stars. She is by far the most energetic character on the crew.

If you like serial science-fiction novels this series may just fit the bill. The series is off to a better start than Jessie Mihalik’s first and I’m anticipating some fun-filled adventures from this crew in the future.

❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase this book!* Hunt the Stars: A Novel (Starlight’s Shadow Book 1)

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.

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (1/24/22)

With a couple of weeks of reading for pleasure I’ve gotten to re-read and read quite a few great books! It’s funny how if I’ve reserved a book to review mentally I put it in a different mental category, even though they may be books I’ve anticipated reading too. The mind is a tricky thing. LOL. Here are the books that are on my radar.

Again, I’d like to thank Book Date who has started this topic for other bloggers to join in and keep the conversation going.

JUST FINISHED

I love Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, enjoyed the first novel in the series, and it still took me almost two years to read this book. Now that I’ve caught up with Squad 312 I am not letting another two years go by without finishing out the series. This is fast-paced, has a lot of emotional punch, and a great sense of humor. I really do love this writing team.

JUST STARTED

I love great historical mysteries and this series is fantastic. I’m mid-way through and love the direction this plot just took! Book #7 in the series and it’s still fresh and fun.

These are the books that are on my nightstand. What are you reading today?

Happy Monday and happy reading!

Deb

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

Sometimes when I look ahead for my top releases I have trouble coming up with five, which is why January only had three. February does not have that problem at all. Guys, there are a lot of good books coming out next month! A good mixture of genre’s that will keep me turning pages. Here are my top 5!

#5 BOOK RELEASE

I love a great fantasy novel and when you pair that with my love for this author’s book A Queen’s Rising, I know I’m going to pick up this book and read it. Despite the ugly cover.

Synopsis:

Jack Tamerlaine hasn’t stepped foot on Cadence in ten long years, content to study music at the mainland university. But when young girls start disappearing from the isle, Jack is summoned home to help find them. Enchantments run deep on Cadence: gossip is carried by the wind, plaid shawls can be as strong as armor, and the smallest cut of a knife can instill fathomless fear. The capricious spirits that rule the isle by fire, water, earth, and wind find mirth in the lives of the humans who call the land home. Adaira, heiress of the east and Jack’s childhood enemy, knows the spirits only answer to a bard’s music, and she hopes Jack can draw them forth by song, enticing them to return the missing girls.

As Jack and Adaira reluctantly work together, they find they make better allies than rivals as their partnership turns into something more. But with each passing song, it becomes apparent the trouble with the spirits is far more sinister than they first expected, and an older, darker secret about Cadence lurks beneath the surface, threatening to undo them all.

With unforgettable characters, a fast-paced plot, and compelling world building, A River Enchanted is a stirring story of duty, love, and the power of true partnership, and marks Rebecca Ross’s brilliant entry on the adult fantasy stage.

Click this link to purchase this book!* A River Enchanted: A Novel (Elements of Cadence Book 1)

#4 BOOK RELEASE

I’ve actually had the privilege of reading Hunt the Stars already and guys, it’s really good! The first book in a new series, it starts off fast and keeps on moving! This is a science fiction serial and I can’t wait to read the next installment.

Synopsis:

Octavia Zarola would do anything to keep her tiny, close-knit bounty hunting crew together—even if it means accepting a job from Torran Fletcher, a ruthless former general and her sworn enemy. When Torran offers her enough credits to not only keep her crew afloat but also hire someone to fix her ship, Tavi knows that she can’t refuse—no matter how much she’d like to.

With so much money on the line, Torran and his crew insist on joining the hunt. Tavi reluctantly agrees because while the handsome, stoic leader pushes all of her buttons—for both anger and desire—she’s endured worse, and the massive bonus payment he’s promised for a completed job is reason enough to shut up and deal.

But when they uncover a deeper plot that threatens the delicate peace between humans and Valoffs, Tavi suspects that Torran has been using her as the impetus for a new war. With the fate of her crew balanced on a knife’s edge, Tavi must decide where her loyalties lie—with the quiet Valoff who’s been lying to her, or with the human leaders who left her squad to die on the battlefield. And this time, she’s put her heart on the line.

Click this link to purchase this book!* Hunt the Stars: A Novel (Starlight’s Shadow Book 1)

#3 BOOK RELEASE

This series character driven series is at times eery, mysterious, and mystifying. It takes place in the middle of the wilderness in a town called Rockton. A town filled with people who are looking to escape their reality. These people may be hunted or they may be hunters. A mystery always needs to be solved and Detective Casey Duncan and her boyfriend Sheriff Eric Dalton are the only two who can solve them. I love this series! This is book #7.

Synopsis:

It’s not always easy to live in the hidden town of Rockton, something Detective Casey Duncan knows firsthand. Tucked away in the Yukon wilderness, the community survives—and thrives—because the residents’ many secrets stay just that—secret.

But what happens when these secrets start to come out? Overnight, no one is safe. It’s not a question of if your secret will come out—but when.

Casey and her boyfriend, Sheriff Eric Dalton, need to find the culprit while protecting those who have been thrust into the spotlight. For a place built on privacy and new beginnings, Rockton isn’t handling these revelations very well. People are turning on one another, and when one of the loudest complainers turns up barely alive, it’s clear that their trickster is actually a murderer.

The threat of exposure is reaching its breaking point, and no one knows what’s going to happen next.

Click this link to purchase this book!* The Deepest of Secrets: A Rockton Novel (Casey Duncan Novels Book 7)

#2 BOOK RELEASE

This is #7 in a wonderfully written historical mystery series. Each mystery reveals more about our two main characters Veronica and Stoker. I can’t wait to see what new piece of information will be revealed in An Impossible Imposter.

Synopsis: London, 1889. Veronica Speedwell and her natural historian beau Stoker are summoned by Sir Hugo Montgomerie, head of Special Branch. He has a personal request on behalf of his goddaughter, Euphemia Hathaway. After years of traveling the world, her eldest brother, Jonathan, heir to Hathaway Hall, was believed to have been killed in the catastrophic eruption of Krakatoa a few years before.
 
But now a man matching Jonathan’s description and carrying his possessions has arrived at Hathaway Hall with no memory of his identity or where he has been. Could this man truly be Jonathan, back from the dead? Or is he a devious impostor, determined to gain ownership over the family’s most valuable possessions—a legendary parure of priceless Rajasthani jewels? It’s a delicate situation, and Veronica is Sir Hugo’s only hope.
 
Veronica and Stoker agree to go to Hathaway Hall to covertly investigate the mysterious amnesiac. Veronica is soon shocked to find herself face-to-face with a ghost from her past. To help Sir Hugo discover the truth, she must open doors to her own history that she long believed to be shut for good.

Click this link to purchase this book!* An Impossible Impostor (A Veronica Speedwell Mystery Book 7)

MY MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE IN FEB’22!

This book wasn’t even on my radar until I started looking at all of the book releases, but this synopsis hooked me. I have to read this book!

Synopsis:

Jess needs a fresh start. She’s broke and alone, and she’s just left her job under less than ideal circumstances. Her half-brother Ben didn’t sound thrilled when she asked if she could crash with him for a bit, but he didn’t say no, and surely everything will look better from Paris. Only when she shows up – to find a very nice apartment, could Ben really have afforded this? – he’s not there.

The longer Ben stays missing, the more Jess starts to dig into her brother’s situation, and the more questions she has. Ben’s neighbors are an eclectic bunch, and not particularly friendly. Jess may have come to Paris to escape her past, but it’s starting to look like it’s Ben’s future that’s in question.

The socialite – The nice guy – The alcoholic – The girl on the verge – The concierge

Everyone’s a neighbor. Everyone’s a suspect. And everyone knows something they’re not telling.

Click this link to purchase this book!* The Paris Apartment: A Novel

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

What do you think about my top 5 picks? They may be completely different than your own. I am seriously committed to a couple of series and when those books come out they automatically drop into my must read list. I have a couple of those this month. Please share any books that you can’t wait to read that may be released next month. I’d love to get them on my radar!

Happy reading!

Deb

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (1/17/22)

If you had bad weather as the southeast and northeast did in the US you may have spent your weekend curled up with a book. Or streaming some fabulous shows on Netflix or HBO Max. I did a bit of both. I also backed some yummy banana chocolate chip bars with some extra ripe bananas we had in the house. It was a perfect winter weekend. LOL. Here is what I was reading.

Thanks to the Book Date who started this topic on her own blog. It’s a fun way to share what you’re reading on a daily basis.

JUST FINISHED

This book started off quick and it was easy to get hooked to the tension between the two main characters. A fun, fast weekend read!

JUST STARTED

I literally just started this one this morning but my hope is that it’s as good as the hype. I love a good enemies to lovers trope. Fingers crossed!

What book has you wishing you could stay at home curled up on your couch today?

Happy Monday and happy reading!

Deb

This Chick Read: Ice Planet Barbarians by Ruby Dixon

Kidnapped out of her bed while sleeping, Georgie wakes up to find herself in her pj’s on an alien spaceship. In a hold with the other human female cattle on the way to god knows where. Their captors do not treat them like guests but like hostages and they don’t handle them with care. When their ship needs to get rid of excess weight they drop their cargo bay on a habitable planet. The least hurt by their crash landing, Georgie suits up and climbs out into the snowy landscape to try to find help. What she finds is a race of blue horned alien men whose species is dying from a lack of women and this particular alien claims Georgie. Luckily for her he will do everything he can to ensure his tribes survival. Starting with saving the women in the hold of their space ship.

I’ve been on a little bit of a sci-fi romance kick lately and I’ll admit that when I saw this advanced reader copy I thought it sounded like a lot of fun. What I didn’t know is that it’s a re-release of the first book in a series of like 22 books and I’d get sucked in by the humor and read through 7 in one weekend. Ice Planet Barbarians was by far my favorite because Georgie was such a funny narrator. She was everything I like in a heroine, sassy, bold, and adventurous. Her alien mate, Vektal, while an alpha male, he was super gentle and sweet and wanted to do everything for Georgie which made their interactions really sweet and as they didn’t speak the same language for a good portion of the book, extremely funny.

Here’s my R rated warning. This book (and the series!) is filled with sex. Vektal, while humanoid, does not have a human body and his equipment while similar, does have some differences. If you can’t appreciate those differences you may not enjoy all of those scenes and truthfully, they were some of the most humorous so it was hard to skim. So, I gave in and embraced the weird alien sex so I could appreciate Georgie and Vektal’s story.

If you’re interested in a different type of sci-fi novel and don’t mind a LOT of sex, then this is the series for you! I will say, sex aside, the story was unique, the characters were fun and lovely to get to know, and I loved all of the ladies that crash landed in that cargo hold. I knew by the middle of the book that I was going to keep reading this series. These books are quick reading and a bit addictive.

❤️❤️❤️❤️

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 this book!* Ice Planet Barbarians

Copyright 2021 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 V’Dan (First Salik War #2) by Jean Johnson

Grand Ambassador of the Terran Motherworld, Jacaranda Makenzie, has arrived with her Gestalt partner, Prince, and Captain of the V’Dan space force, Li’eth, to his home world to introduce his people to their human cousins the Terrans. Jackie brings with her technology that will help the V’Dan fight and possibly win a war against the Salik, a non-human species who is terrorizing the universe. She and Li’eth as Gestalt partners need to be close to each other as their powers grow. Prophesied to bring peace to the universe there is a lot riding on their success in uniting their two races.

It’s been a couple of years since I read the first novel in this series, Terrans, where we were introduced to Jackie and Li’eth but in a Terran setting. Li’eth was welcomed onto their planet and treated honorably. When Jackie and her crew escort Li’eth to V’Dan, the similarities between their own people are only separated by a discoloration on the skin of the V’Dan’s called jungen, which all V’Dan receive when they reach puberty. Terrans don’t have these marks, and because of that the V’Dan’s treat them as children disrespecting their people. As their leader, Jackie is faced with a cultural and racial insensitivity that her people have not seen in over 100 years.

This book, written prior to the Black Lives Matter movement uses the V’Dan’s skin discoloration to make some interesting parallels to the struggles we’ve faced to eliminate degradation due to skin color. It was interesting to read a science-fiction novel that chose that subject (among others) to take a stand and I relished every time Jackie as Grand Ambassador struck down this insensitivity and prejudice. I wish it were that easy today.

The V’Dan as a lot of sci-fi is, can be very technology heavy and there were pages that I skimmed to the plot to move forward a bit quicker but when the story called for action the plot moved along quite quickly. In addition to the technology-laden paragraphs there were a lot of politic-speak between the different alien races who were in an Alliance together. That too, made for slow points but ultimately picked up when Jackie got to kick-butt and smack down some furry or many-eyed creature for viewing her as a child. I admit, I did get a kick out of those moments.

I really enjoyed the more psychic moments in the book. Li’eth and Jackie were a solid pairing and I liked their hidden conversations, spoken mind to mind as they could talk freely where no one could hear them and those conversations gave insights into the actions going on around them. Theirs was not the only emotional connections but certainly as the main character theirs was the most prevalent.

If you like sci-fi and don’t mind techo-jargon then you may enjoy this series. I immediately picked up the third and last book in the series because I liked this book so much and would recommend it to anyone who thinks they may like a story that while a little older, runs parallel to the story lines of today. Granted, I do hope there aren’t some tentacled species out there hoping to inhabit our planet, breed humans so that they can eat us, so there is that. 🙂 ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* The V’Dan (First Salik War)

Copyright 2021 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: Rules of Redemption and Age of Deception (The Firebird Chronicles books 1 and 2) by T.A. White

Ex war hero, Kira Forrest lives a solitary life with her robotic pal Jin as they scavenge the star system for parts to sell. While on planet, hoping to make that sale she saves the lives of two Tuann children which brings her in the path of their warrior leader Graydon. He immediately identifies her as one of their lost children and makes a political play with the human military to take her home to her Tuann family. Kira begrudgingly goes to Tuann with the intent to escape quickly and find her way back to her ship.

Ok, the above synopsis does not even begin to tell the nuances and emotions that fill this novel. Kira is an unlikely heroine. She see’s herself as a freak because of her skills during the war, and her military pals also have trouble seeing her as human which sets her apart from the rest of the human characters in this story. As she learns more about the Tuann people she realizes that her “traits” are inherited and not totally uncommon. This insight helps her self confidence, but she still fights against finding a home among those people. After all, she was raised as human.

Kira is one of those characters who is altruistic, always jumping in either with her mouth or with her body, and it’s hard to dislike sass and heroism. Graydon, see’s that same likability, and doesn’t have a human upbringing to compare her actions, like she does to herself. He just see’s her as bad@$$ and bides his time before making his move. He reminded me a bit of Curran in Ilona Andrews Kate Daniels series, and I hadn’t realized how much I’d missed that humor/alpha combo.

Rules of Redemption sets the scene with such skill. The world building is detailed and yet extremely easy to follow, the characters are varied from friends, to possible enemies, to possible mentor like relationships. Underneath it all is a great plot where we get to follow Kira as she explores her new culture in a way that allows her to be aggressive, show her street smarts, and reveal her level of problem solving skills. A true action fantasy novel!

The second novel, Age of Deception, continues where Rules of Redemption left off. Kira leaves her first Tuann family and travels to Roake to meet her fathers side. Here she decides to take a warrior’s path by undertaking the Trial of the Broken. A warrior like boot camp that only a few survive. This novel follows the same action adventure style, yet we get to see Kira grow as a character. Two of her military (ex) teammates travel with her and through their interactions we understand why she has separated herself from her friends. That loyalty gives her character depth and makes her budding relationship with Graydon real. This is a girl who is unerringly loyal, but doesn’t lean towards trust. He has his work cut out for him!

If you’re a fan of romantic fantasy a la Ilona Andrews, you will eat these books up and will rip through the rest of T.A. White’s novels as well. Once you finish these, check out her Pathfinder series!

Rules of Redemption ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

Age of Deception ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click these links to purchase! * Rules of Redemption (The Firebird Chronicles Book 1) and Age of Deception (The Firebird Chronicles Book 2)

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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