This Chick Read: Don’t You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane

Fired from her waitressing job and finding her boyfriend in bed with another woman is not the way Georgina saw this day going when she got out of bed that morning. At thirty years old Georgina has struggled to find her place in this world only wanting what anyone wants, the love of a good man, and a job she can feel proud to go to every day. When she lands a job at a pub owned by her ex high school boyfriend she dreams of having a second chance at love, but is hurt when Lucas doesn’t seem to recognize her. Don’t You Forget About Me is the story of how Georgina’s past and present collide, and how, just maybe, things may start to go her way.

There were a lot of things I liked about Georgina, she didn’t take the crap that was dished at her (an inordinate amount of times!), she had a wonderful group of friends, and she was always striving to be better. As this was a slow burn novel I really come to care for Georgina but I’ll admit her struggle with self confidence wore thin for me. If it hadn’t been for a pivotal plot point when she entered a stand up writing competition at the pub where she works, I may have lost patience and put down this novel. It was the story she told that night that caught my attention, and I thought there might just be more to this novel than pining for the ex who doesn’t seem to remember her. We start to get hints of a trauma that may have contributed to how Georgina ended up still waiting tables and hooking up with losers at the age of thirty. Finally, the story flowed and time flew until it was 1am, I was blowing my nose and drying my tears and reflecting on how this story was so well pieced together and where my feelings turned from “meh” to “I really like this!”.

One of the things that I enjoyed throughout the entire novel were Georgina’s group of friends. They were supportive, funny, snarky, and didn’t hold back from letting her know their thoughts about anything and everything. A good group of friends in a novel can help a reader understand their main character better and I really believe that was the case for Georgina. By hearing about Jo’s dissatisfaction with her own relationship the reader could draw a line between a healthy dissatisfaction and the unhealthy boyfriend choices Georgina had made in her past. It also helped the reader really want that healthy relationship for Georgina and Lucas adding to the tension in their story arc.

You’re probably wondering why I haven’t said much about Lucas since he’s the love interest for Georgina and this is a love story. I guess that’s because Lucas was kind of a mystery to me. He was a little stand off-ish, partly because he pretended like he didn’t know her for a good portion of the novel and he was kind of a quiet guy. He was likable, but it wasn’t until the end of the book where he had a defining moment and had probably one of the most romantic dialog’s in a romance I’ve read in quite awhile that I really liked him for Georgina. It was a REALLY good monologue. LOL.

My feelings for this book were kind of all over the place. The first third was a solid three- good but not great. The middle of the book picked up and started to hold my interest. The characters became more interesting and less annoying- a solid four! The last quarter of the novel was riveting, emotional, and un-put-down-able, and I’d give it a five. If you get to the 3/4 mark of this novel and you’re wavering between reading one more chapter or getting a good nights sleep, be warned. You will NOT be able to put this book down so be prepared to be really tired come morning… I was. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“The way the humour is combined with the darker side of relationships and the feeling of failure Georgina tries to hide is really well done. At no time did I think serious issues were being treated too lightly or the story got bogged down in sadness. The plot moved along at a solid pace and always with a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel. ” Sam Still Reading

“If you’re looking for a humorous, heartfelt work of women’s fiction with a good smattering of romance, Don’t You Forget About Me might just do the trick. It will certainly entertain. (And have you humming the Simple Minds’ tune from the 80s that shares a title with this book, which is quoted at the start of the story…)” Harlequin Junkie

Click this link to purchase!* Don’t You Forget About Me: A Novel

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

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This Chicks Sunday Commentary: Aug19 Wrap Up!

I was on vacation the last week of August so am a little late getting to my wrap up post this month. Sorry guys! I vacationed in New York City and went to visit family in Maine. Getting out of the south in August was awesome! We happened to hit a week with temperature’s in the low to mid 70’s and no humidity. Now THAT’s a vacation!

In New York we crammed in some fun things like a day at the US Open and got to see Djokovik play, saw Jeff Daniels in To Kill a Mockingbird on Broadway, and traveled to the Top of the Rock for the view of Manhattan at sunset, went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the Play it Loud exhibit, and we ate SO MUCH FOOD! LOL. My vacations are all about eating, especially in NYC! Here’s some highlights in pic form.

We drove up to Maine and had a great time visiting family and again lucked out on the weather. It was great!

I may have mentioned last month that I signed up to do way too many reviews in the month of August and Sept. So my vacation also spent some time getting caught up on my reading. I scheduled a lot of reviews and even wrote some posts from the road. Here’s what you may have missed on the Reading Chick last month.

AUGUST- BEST READS

“Since this is a trilogy, we are given peeks at the depths of their feelings for each other. There are two more books in this series for all of their mysteries to be revealed and I will be one of the millions that is eagerly awaiting the next installment! ”

Click this link to purchase!* Sapphire Flames: A Hidden Legacy Novel

“I can’t really think of anything I disliked about this novel. Yes, there was a miscommunication that went on a little too long, but i understood how that helped establish why these two characters needed each other. Maybe it was my own memories of a Renaissance Faire that made me like this so much? Who knows! I just know that I read it at the right time, it hit my sweet spot, and I really enjoyed the journey. You can’t ask for more than that!”

Click this link to purchase!* Well Met

“The Bride Test is a unique romance novel in that its main characters are not perfect at the end of the book. You get the feeling that both Khai and Esme have a long journey of self discovery ahead but they will do it hand in hand.”

Click this link to purchase!* The Bride Test

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

THIS CHICKS SUNDAY COMMENTARY

Beyond my July’19 Wrap Up post and My Most Anticipated Releases for August, I did write an editorial asking if Author’s ever wanted to provide a do over because their opinions on a subject may have changed or even a subject that was considered normal (ex: women not being treated equal to men) has now changed. If you missed any of these posts, please click the links below and join in on the discussions!

July’19 Wrap Up!

My 5 Most Anticipated August Releases

Should Author’s ever take a Do-Over?

WHAT’S ON TAP FOR SEPTEMBER?

It’s already 9/8, so I’m into the month of September and trying to stay on track with my blogging. I am only committed to 4 reviews, so I’ll get those out of the way starting this week. I’d really like to spend my reading time actually picking out a book that may take me a little longer to read and make me think a little bit! A nice historical, or even a political thriller. Both of those genre’s require paying attention to what I’m reading, otherwise I’ll be re-reading sections when I can’t figure out what’s going on!

I never did get out a Giveaway post last month, so I may try to compile some goodies to give away to a blogger. Hopefully, I can do that in the next week!

If you’ve read down this far, thanks! I’d like to ask what’s on tap on your own blog next month? I need to do some hopping! Let me know!

Until next Sunday!

Deb

This Chick Read: On the Corner of Love and Hate by Nina Bocci

Emmanuelle Peroni and Cooper Endicott grew up as best friends having a lot in common. He was the son of the Governor and her father had been Mayor of Hope Lake, Pennsylvania for 30+ years. Over the years their friendship has been strained as she’s fought feelings for him and been hurt by his lothario ways. When her father announces his retirement as Mayor he plans to groom Cooper to run in his place. However, Cooper’s single status and charming charisma starts to work against him giving his running mate a lot of material to expose. When he asks Emma to help him by running his campaign she balks, not wanting to give him anymore time than her vote. However, he’s her best shot at maintaining the status quo in both her job and personal life. As they work together she starts to have feelings again but will Cooper give her more of his heart than he had in the past?

On the Corner of Love and Hate was kind of an enemies to lovers romance. I say kind of because they weren’t really enemies since they considered each other a best friend, but there was an anger on Emma’s side that was lacking on Cooper’s. The first half of the book explained Emma’s side, their past, and Cooper’s somewhat smarmy present. I had a bit of trouble liking either of these characters until the second half of the book. Emma complained too much and Cooper’s charm rubbed me the wrong way. Also the introduction of a past girlfriend into the story threw me and truthfully kind of pissed me off. What was he thinking?

Emma’s acceptance to run his mayoral campaign helped to show each of these characters strengths. Cooper’s charm was less smarmy and more appealing while Emma’s whiny workaholic tendencies worked very well towards pushing Cooper to be his best. Also, pitting him against a sleezy running mate helped Cooper look less sleazy. Boy, reading this makes me look like I didn’t enjoy the book at all, doesn’t it? I did actually like it more as I read on and liked the ending a lot. It just took me a bit to get there.

❤️❤️❤️❣️

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

Click this link to purchase!* On the Corner of Love and Hate (Hopeless Romantics)

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights REserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: Dating by the Book by Mary Ann Marlowe

Maddie Hanson was jilted at the altar six months ago. Living in her hometown of Orion surrounded by her friends, she is spending her time trying to bring her bookstore to life while at the same time waiting for her first book to be released. When her publisher sends out ARC’s of her book, she reads a not so nice review by a blogger named “Silver Fox” and retaliates in anger at his questioning her lack of romantic experience. This comment spurs Maddie to look at her past decisions and the men surrounding her to try to find her own real life romance hero.

Dating By The Book is a trip down memory lane of several novels that I and other bibliophiles love. Each man in Maddie’s life representing a hero in one of the novels her book club is reading. A club that is in fact filled with men; her high school boyfriend Dylan, lifelong friend Max, and dependable customer Charlie. Each of whom could be a romantic interest in the likes of Rhett from Gone with the Wind, Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, and Rochester from Jane Eyre. Let’s not forget about the mysterious Silver Fox who develops into an email pal giving solid advice about life, love, and plot points in her novel. I couldn’t help but picture Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan from You’ve Got Mail each time her mail chimed!

Maddie’s journey to find passion and love was intertwined with her need to get her second book finished in time. Each lesson she learns about herself is written into her book, reminding me that each author puts her heart and soul into their novel, regardless of how well that novel is received. Luckily, that’s not a problem with Dating By the Book. Even if it didn’t have all of the literary references to hold my interest the story itself made sense and took me on a journey. It’s one of those books that can be taken as a life lesson to the person who reads it, or it can be tossed into a bag for their summer vacation. Both to be revered and enjoyed.

If you have read Mary Ann Marlowe’s two previous novels, Some Kind of Magic and Crazy Kind of Love you will be happy to hear that she does also have a rock star in this book. Is he the man of Maddie’s dreams? Well, he has a lot of competition, that’s for sure! Even with that familiarity, I was happy to see the author try something a little different in this novel which reads more as a Women’s Fiction novel than a Contemporary Romance. Also, for those readers who are fans of a slow burn romance novel, you’re going to love how the relationship between our heroine and hero develops throughout this novel. By the time they get together you are so ready for it, and I mean that in the best way possible.

It’s summertime and there are so many good books out there to read and not enough time to get to all of them. My recommendation is that Dating by the Book is worth moving up on your TBR pile, putting in your bag when you hit the beach, or digging out of your purse sitting on the train to work in the morning. It’s fun, but it also makes you think about your own choices in life, love and literature.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

I received a free copy of this book from the author for my honest review and it was honest!

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“What didn’t really jive with me was the overall chaotic feeling of the characters and storyline. There was just a bit too much going on for my taste. I never fully connected with the main character or any of her love interests and, because of that, there was no one I was rooting for her to end up with.” The Oxford Comma Momma

“…I felt this book in my soul.” A Scholar Review

Click this link to purchase!* Dating by the Book

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

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

Booklovers Con! #BLC19

The first two days at the Booklovers Con have come and gone and my good intentions to post pictures every day has fallen by the wayside because of my need for sleep. Sorry guys! However, today I’ll give you two days of pics to satisfy your book loving needs!

I’ve met some really great authors and taken a few pictures to share. The first night was the kick off party with a Jazz Fest theme, after all we are all in New Orleans! We paraded into the ballroom to a great jazz marching band.

There were authors stationed around the room and I bee-lined towards Christine Feehan to say hi and take her pic.

Christine Feehan!

I’ll admit that I didn’t want to stand in line for food but there were food trucks galore and the band was fab. My sister and I ducked out to eat at a little Vietnamese place we spotted down the street. Yum!

Thursday was chock full of events. A Harlequin author signing and Indie author soirée were fun! Although the lines…not so much. Lol.

Julia London! (On the right)
Rebecca Zanetti!
Ooohhh my feet!

I really learned a lot from a workshop for bloggers and publishers and will endeavor to meet some new goals!

The evening wrapped up with a pretty amazing Fairy gala with a full dinner. The costumes and decorations were pretty spectacular!

Packaging paper turned into a magnificent dress!

Gorgeous centerpieces!

My sister and I were VIP’s ( we won it in a lottery) and got to sit for dinner at a table with an author. I sat with the wonderful fantasy author C. L. Wilson and she sat with Amanda McIntyre. It was a great hour spent getting to know these authors.

At the end of the day I had a pretty good book haul! Not as much in the past and definitely a smaller amount of swag, but you know what? The experience has been so much better and more intimate!

This is only day 1’s book haul!

I’ll try to get out one more post possibly Sunday from the airport! We are packing in the fun at the BLC19!

Deb

Happy Easter from The Reading Chick!

Spring is here, the flowers are blooming and even though today was 50° and I am wearing a sweater you can tell by the smiles on everyone’s faces that winter is over. Unless you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, then Winter is Coming. I couldn’t resist, sorry!

For those of us who celebrate this time of year for religious reasons, may you have a blessed holiday!

For those of us who are looking forward to seeing what kind of candy is in our Easter baskets… what number from the graphic below is your favorite Easter candy? Feel free to share your favorite from your own country if these aren’t familiar!

I am a Cadbury mini eggs gal myself!

May your Easter basket be filled with the blessings of your season, and chocolate! Happy Easter from the Reading Chick!

Deb

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: Happy International Women’s Day!

I am always on the lookout for articles on this month’s best of list in genre’s I love to read, aren’t you? It’s hard to not click the link to see if I’ve read any of the books on the list or to discover a book that hadn’t been on my radar but looks too irresistible to overlook.

I’ve liked the Bookish page on Facebook and will admit to getting lost in their articles, must read lists and book giveaways. Did you know Friday March 8th was International Women’s Day? A day to celebrate women, a group I am proud to be one of, and I didn’t even know about it! I think women should always be celebrated but I guess I’m biased. Bookish created this very cool, empowered graphic to honor literary bookish women. I wanted to share it with all of my fellow book bloggers.

I may be a few days late, but as I said above, women should be celebrated every day! Happy International Women’s Day!

Deb

This Chick Read: Rosie’s Travelling Teashop by Rebecca Raisin

Rosie’s worked hard to become a Michelin starred sous chef and thought she and her also chef husband were happy in their marriage when she comes home to find him moving out and asking for a divorce. It seems he’s found someone else, someone less rigid and more carefree. Heart broken, Rosie gives it all up to travel the festival circuit in her fuchsia pink travelling teashop named Poppy. She learns to live in the moment, build friendships, and yes, finds love again.

I thought Rosie’s Travelling Teashop was sweet, romantic and surprisingly thought provoking. What would it be like to give up a successful career and start all over on a new venture? Rosie had to let go of over planning every stage of her life and when she did that she found a peace that had been missing. I found it really easy to identify with Rosie and I’d imagine a lot of other readers who feel they are plodding away in a job where they are no longer happy will too. I found this escape from my own life through Rosie’s adventures a fun way to spend the afternoon.

Max, Rosie’s love interest was just delicious! If there was a Max at the end of a life change I think there would be a lot more women willing to make this kind of move! LOL. It was fun to read he and Rosie’s verbal sparring and also see how he opened Rosie’s life to a world outside of the one she was used to living in. There was only one minor flaw in this novel regarding a sub plot with another male character. I thought it wasn’t needed and was frustrated with how that plot was resolved. I just wanted to scratch it from the story entirely, but overlooking that one minor thing, I really did enjoy this book. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

I received a free ARC of this book for my honest review and it was honest.

Click this link to purchase!* Rosie’s Travelling Tea Shop: An absolutely perfect laugh out loud romantic comedy

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal

Unmarriageable puts the familiar story of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in an unfamiliar (to me) setting of Pakistan. This mixture of a familiar story in an unfamiliar culture was both fascinating and frustrating. I loved that through reading Alys and Jena Binat’s story I was learning a new culture, but also frustrating because that culture, even in modern times, doesn’t treat women well. In some cases, worse than the Bennett ladies in 1797 England. My emotions fluctuated from fascination to outrage as each scene was revealed yet kept me reading at the same time- pushing for the finish line because I couldn’t wait for the novel to be finished with the happy ending I fully expected.

As with the Bennett family, the Binat family has fallen on hard times and due to their lack of money their social standing in Pakistan society has fallen. The two elder daughters, Alys and Jena, have an honorable position as teachers in an all girls school, but at the same time are dishonored for having to work and bring in an income for their family. Alys our main protagonist is a modern woman. Outspoken, educated and honest she has visions of living her life without being forced to marry. Her mother, however, just wants to see all of her daughters settled, both for their own good but also to help raise their families social standing. Mrs. Binat was a termagant raised in an era where the quality of your marriage defined your life, she harangued, nagged, and spoke down to her daughters so much that it was hard to see the love behind her words and actions.

Unmarriageble mirrored Pride and Prejudice so much that it took away some of the pleasure of reading the novel. The only good distraction was the setting of Pakistan. An area of the world that I am completely unfamiliar with except in news stories or rare visits to a local restaurant or international grocery store. I really enjoyed reading about the clothing, food, and culture of courtship and marriage, even if I disagreed with the ages of the bride and groom in some instances. Knowing arranged marriages still take place in some cultures is one thing, but this novel made that so much more real.

As far as the actual story, I could obviously identify with the more modern Alys and rooted for her love story with Darsee. I would have liked a little more creative license taken with the storyline but Pride and Prejudice is popular for a reason. Alys does finally see Darsee for the grumpy ‘prince’ that he is and falls in love regardless of her misinterpretations of everything he does throughout the novel. The shenanigans of the rest of the Binat girls added more color, but also gave a great sense of the struggles women in Pakistani culture have balancing the modern with tradition.

The setting, food, and colorful scenery balanced out my frustrations with those original plot similarities leaving me with only a slight sense of dissatisfaction. Did I love the novel? Not really. I enjoyed reading about a different culture and I was left with empathy for the struggles women are going through but in the end it was that lack of adding a newness to an already re-told (a million times) plot that left me in that gray area of it wasn’t great but it wasn’t bad either. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

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

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“Personally, I wasn’t a massive fan of the writing, unfortunately. It isn’t bad by any means, it just didn’t speak to me. But hey, everyone has different tastes, and I can see a lot of people loving it. My one complaint, however, is that this book just felt overly long. I know Pride and Prejudice is a long book, but I think because this is contemporary, it just seemed like it dragged a bit.” Adventures of a Bibliophile

“Unmarriageable is a smart, evocative retelling of a classic that reads just like a modern classic. Everything about the story is perfection, intriguing, and completely enthralling. It was enjoyable and engaging from start to finish and receives my highest recommendation. ” Jennifer The Tarheel Reader

Click this link to purchase!* Unmarriageable: A Novel

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate