This Chick Read: People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

Alex and Poppy met in college and struck up a unique friendship. Nothing alike, they balanced each other out and became a support system that they each needed. As they grew older and life moved them further apart they kept up the tradition they started in college of taking a summer vacation together. Summer’s that were the bright spot of their year until something happened two years ago and they haven’t spoken since. Until one night when Poppy texted a message, “Hey”.

Last year’s Beach Read was in my Top 5 best books of the year so I had really high expectations for People We Meet on Vacation. While it didn’t touch the right note that Beach Read hit (right time to read, right mood, etc.) it was still an outstandingly good book and will again be placed in my Top 10 at least so far this year. The awkward nerdy-hot Alex, and the retro-dressed outgoing yet insecure Poppy were both from the same home town and although they didn’t know each other growing up immediately clicked on a long drive home for winter break. Their friendship came fast and solid. Alex was non judgmental about her unique family and she jokingly picked and prodded Alex out of his multiple comfort zones. They had different goals in life and supported each others dreams, to the detriment of their own feelings. When their summer vacation went awry two years ago causing a rift the reader see’s through Poppy’s perspective and feels how deeply disturbed she’s been despite not knowing exactly what happened. By the time she typed ‘Hey’ I was all in on their relationship becoming something more secure and felt the desperation Poppy was feeling that kept me on the emotional edge of my seat wishing for their happiness.

The clever use of flashbacks of Poppy and Alex’s vacations means that we knew Alex just as well by the time that fateful text was made. I was caught hook, line, and sinker and there was no way I wasn’t going to finish this story, needing to know where Poppy and Alex stood at the end. As we lived through what might be their last summer vacation together (after all life moves forward despite our relationships and feelings) I teetered between tears and laughter, caught in their emotional drama. Emily Henry really knows how to craft friendship novels fraught with emotional crisis.

People We Meet on Vacation was just as good as last year’s Beach Read so why did I score it a half rating less? I really think it was the fact that in Beach Read the characters lives before their story started together had the drama whereas in this novel the drama was created by these two characters. It’s a very small detail and truthfully it was used very effectively. I just liked how I felt while reading Beach Read much better than I did while reading People We Meet on Vacation. Reading is all about your own perspective being stamped upon the story you are reading. I was a half rating short of being in the perfect mood to read this book. That’s it. No other reason, it was really just as good. In fact, I’ll probably pick it up in audio to live through their relationship again. If my feelings change about the rating, I’ll let you know!

❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

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

Click this link to purchase this book!* People We Meet on Vacation

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: Falling in Luck by Mary Ann Marlowe

Mallory Pech thinks she’s cursed by bad luck. Her best friend Benji Chance thinks there is no such thing as bad luck, you make your own. When Jean-Luc Chevalier, the very charming and gorgeous son of her company’s CEO comes to New York on a business trip Mallory crushes hard and is determined to catch his eye. Surprisingly this time she does! When he proposes a marriage of convenience Mallory decides to seize the day and joins him back in Paris for a 30 day trial run. The only problem is that she misses her best friend dreadfully, and Jean-Luc’s family is not like she imagined from their picture on Instagram. Could it be that she was never unlucky at love and her hearts desire was in front of her the whole time?

Despite knowing where this story was going right from the get-go I thought Falling in Luck was a lot of fun. Mallory was funny and sweet, if not a little naivé about a few things, but I over-looked them because I love a good redemption romance and she and Benji were just too cute for words and I wanted their HEA . The only down-side is that Benji spent a lot of the novel on the other side of the pond while Mallory was in over her head in Paris.

It would have been so easy to write this novel so the reader would hate Jean-Luc, but he was French, good looking, and charming and obviously had a soft spot for the terminally klutzy Mallory. I mean I’m surprised this girl didn’t walk in front of a bus in Paris while looking the wrong way! Jean-Luc, while having a lot of his own problems stuck by her and was her savior so I, of course, couldn’t hate him. However, their coupledom was doomed from the start and I’ll admit I was a little antzy to get to the real romance. When was Benji going to come after Mallory? Ultimately he arrived, but I would’ve been a little happier if it had happened sooner.

Ms. Marlowe has always written great characters and I loved Mallory, Benji, and Jean-Luc as well as the other cast of characters in the book. Like I said previously, they were all so easy to like but it was apparent from the start who the hero was going to be in this story despite the two charming men vying for our obtuse, sweet, Mallory. I’m all for self-discovery novels (and boy did Mallory need to find herself) but I was in the mood for romance and there’s no place like Paris for taking that next step towards love. Ah Amour! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase!* Falling in Luck

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.

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (5/3/21)

I have been on a listening jag lately, finding it hard, again, to pick up a book and lose myself in a plot. I think in part this is because my husband has been traveling and I find listening to an audiobook to be soothing. I’ll admit to putting in my ear buds and falling asleep to some old favorites. It’s a comfort when I’m tired of hearing myself talk to the dog. Does anyone else do this? 🙂 The book I just finished is an oldie but goodie. However, I do have an ARC deadline this week so I have actually started reading the book so I can get a review out on time.

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

JUST FINISHED

For those of you who have only watched the TV series True Blood, you are truly missing out. I am one of those people who read the books back when they were originally released and couldn’t watch the tv program because it wasn’t anything like the books. This series is narrated by Johanna Parker who does an outstanding job imbuing Sookie with the humor that her narration warrants. That humor was totaling missing from the show which was all glorified sex and blood. I’m so glad I’ve rediscovered this series and I’m slowly using up my Audible credits one book at a time. It’s totally worth it.

JUST STARTED

I met this author many years ago at a book convention. I was just starting out as a book blogger and she gave me her first book to review. Now, years later, I still find myself lucky enough to receive an ARC of all of her releases. I just started this book last night and it comes out on Tuesday. As with her other novels I’m immediately drawn in by the interesting characters. I can’t wait to see where this story takes me!

I hope everyone has a great book on their nightstand that they are looking forward to reading in their downtime. I’d love to hear what book has caught your eye. Please share in the comments below.

Happy Monday and happy reading!

Deb

This Chick Read: Hana Khan Carries On by Uzma Jalaluddin

Hana Khan works in her mother’s restaurant Three Sisters Biryani Poutine while she pursues her dream of being a broadcaster telling her stories on the radio. When another halal restaurant opens in the Golden Crescent Hana’s eyes are opened to how her mothers restaurant is struggling. Will it survive against the new competition? When her cousin and Aunt coming visiting from India her world expands outward from the comfort of what’s familiar. Family secrets are revealed and the Golden Crescent is threatened by hate crimes both turning Hana’s life upside down.

It was so hard to give a brief synopsis where I didn’t give away any of this novels fabulous secrets, please don’t let my lackluster paragraph above keep you from picking up this novel. Hana’s struggle between who she is as a young Muslim woman and who she wants to be, a broadcaster who tells stories of her world from her own unique perspective, is challenged by radio managers who are trying to tell her story for her. I loved how this part of the story was handled because it really told the struggle that she felt in a way that I a middle aged white woman could feel.

Hana’s love interest is the very handsome young owner of the competitive restaurant. I found it a little hard to identify with him at first but as his story moved forward I understood him more and grew to like him. However this book really revolves around Hana and this romance was not the most important part of the story. It did end up being kind of a sweet one though.

Hana was fascinating. She was the dutiful daughter, the strong independent woman, and a Muslim woman. With Aydin she showed a different character. First as antagonist, then as surly friend, then as young woman in love. There were so many aspects to this character I never got bored. In fact I sped through this novel. Her world was both beautiful and scary. How Hana reacted to all of these changes didn’t change the core person she was and that was the person I was most interested in reading about.

If you are trying to widen your world view pick up this novel. Also pick up this authors previous novel Ayesha at Last, which was also a very good story. Each separate story line in this novel could have stood on its own and together created a really well fleshed out character and novel. I enjoyed this one very much! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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!* Hana Khan Carries On

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: Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne

Ruthie Midona has worked at Providence Retirement Villa for the last six years and her plan is to never leave. When her boss goes on vacation and leaves her in charge she’s got everything handled until the new owner’s decide to rock the boat by dumping Teddy Prescott on the premises. Teddy, is young, tattooed, hot, and charmed. He’s the owner’s son and needs a place to stay for a couple of months while he earns the money to buy into a partnership on his own tattoo shop. To earn that money Ruthie has him interview with the Perloni sisters, two of Providence’s long time residents, and two of the most difficult. Sharing the space beside her own residence she and Teddy build a friendship that may change one of their long term plans.

Second First Impressions was the follow up novel I have been waiting for from Sally Thorne. As author of the critically acclaimed and beloved The Hating Game I was hugely disappointed in her follow up novel 99 Percent Mine. THIS novel, aptly named Second First Impressions, is my own second first impression of this author and the talent she obviously has to write a story that touches our hearts. Ruthie is the struggling awkward heroine that most of us ladies always felt we were and Teddy is that untouchable guy who seems like he has it all together but actually needs that one person to believe in him to help him overcome his own insecurities. They are my new favorite friendship and I definitely want to read this novel again to see what I missed the first time.

You know when you are reading a novel and the pace, setting, and characters just seem to give off that golden, magical glow? That was this novel for me. Ruthie, despite her uncertainty in how to respond to this gorgeous guy had this persona of certainty in how she responded to his attempts at seduction. Keeping him at arms length when she really wants to wrap him in her arms and hold him for as long as she has him. The way these two gave each other strength was magical and I’ll admit to finding myself reaching for that box of tissue quite a few times as they navigated their way through adulting.

Truly great novels also have a cast of characters that add to the story and help round out our protagonists. Melanie, Ruthie’s office assistant is one of those characters that help add definition and depth. She is the third party in Teddy and Ruthie’s budding friendship adding humor and likability to their small gatherings while also giving Ruthie a reason to stretch her wings by signing her up on a dating site to help her meet people outside the retirement community. The other two awesome characters that add some light-hearted humor to the story are the Perloni sisters. As their assistant, Teddy is put through the wringer of what should be embarrassing errands all of which he handles with aplomb and good humor. Those two ladies rounded out the cast of what is a wonderful novel.

I loved the way Second First Impressions made me feel as I read it. It was magical, made me laugh, cry, and generally I just felt good reading this novel. These characters were able to have their own second first impressions with each other but it also enabled me to give this author another glance and another chance. I am so glad I did. Sally Thorne has some serious writing skills and I am again waiting eagerly for her next novel. After I read this one again, and again, and again.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

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!* Second First Impressions: A Novel

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: This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens

Minnie Cooper and Quinn Hamilton were both born on New Year’s Day, their mothers going into labor in the same hospital at the same time. Quinn’s mother gives birth first and wins a cash prize for delivering the first child of the year and also names her son the name Minnie’s mother was going to name her, in essence ruining all of her mom’s plans. Her father named her Minnie and her mother blamed her for every bad luck thing that happened making Minnie believe that her birthday was the worst day of the year. When she meets Quinn at a New Year’s Eve party and realizes he is THE Quinn Hamilton that stole her name, she tells him the story and he’s charmed by both the story and her. Over time they run into each other and develop a friendship, each learning a little bit more about each other’s lives. Minnie, who always thought Quinn’s life was charmed realizes that not everything is as it looks and there’s a lot more hidden beneath the surface. This story plumbs the depths of Minnie and Quinn’s lives intertwining them until it seems fate has brought them together for each other.

This novel centers around several relationships. Minnie’s friendship with her best friend, Minnie’s relationship with her mother, Quinn’s relationship with his mother, and then, of course, Minnie and Quinn’s relationship with each other. Besides the story that revolves around our two central characters I really enjoyed their relationships with with their mothers. Minnie’s was especially fraught with tension. Her mother let that one evening overshadow how she raised her daughter making her critical and kind of a complainer. It was neat to see that relationship evolve once she and Quinn met and her mother started evaluating her behavior. Quinn’s own relationship with his mom is loving as he’s a caretaker for his sensitive and kind of unstable mother. He loves her but also knows that she’ll need him to care for her for the rest of her life. That weighs on a person. The story navigates through these relationships with love, humor, and a realness that brought solidity to a story that wasn’t unpredictable.

This Time Next Year is a really funny book. I tried to read it quietly while in the room with my husband and there were several moments where I was holding in my laughter while crying. I love a story that makes me laugh and this one definitely did that. The silly moments were well balanced with tender, emotional moments making this a really well balanced novel. These character were three dimensional making this novel very easy to escape into. I really liked these two characters, in fact I liked every one in this novel. They were quirky, different, difficult, and really interesting, but it was Minnie and Quinn who pulled it all together into one cohesive multi-dimensional group.

I, like a lot of readers this year, have had trouble falling into a book, so when it happens it makes an impact. This Time Next Year was that book for me. I really liked the main characters, the conflict, the resolution, and the humor that they kept through all of the drama. The story was very intricate with each piece fitting together creating a unique story and a fun experience for the reader. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase! This Time Next Year

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

This Chick Read: The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany by Lori Nelson Spielman

Emilia and her cousin Lucy are confused when their estranged great-Aunt Poppy invites them on an all expense paid trip to Italy. All three are second born daughters a fate that means they will never find happiness due to a curse made generations ago. Poppy says that she can break that curse by meeting her true love on the steps of the Ravello Cathedral on the day of her 80th birthday, a date that is fast approaching. Emilia is happy with her life as a single woman but her cousin Lucy’s dreams of love and a family so they anger their family by taking this trip. What they discover while on the trip may change their lives forever.

The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany was the perfect blend of women’s fiction and the magic of romance. Any novel set in Italy has the magic of that land built in but Poppy’s tale of lost love filled me with hope. Emilia and Lucy are the grand-daughters of Poppy’s sister and so are curious about their Aunt whom no one ever speaks. Emilia who never breaks the peace within her own family decides to go on this trip and blows caution to the wind. That one moment of rebelliousness changes her inside and she can no longer go back to the person she was prior to the trip. Lucy on the other hand seeks love from everyone in the hope that someone will fall for her and the curse will be broken so she goes along willingly hoping that Poppy’s promise will come true.

Out of the three ladies, Poppy’s story is the most compelling. Mostly because she had found love, but also because she was 80 and at the end of her life. If she finds love again even the short time she has left is worth all of the heartbreak without. That is the lesson I learned from this novel. Through Emilia and Lucy’s story I learned hope. Which is just as strong an emotion as love but in this case not quite as compelling for me. I did really enjoy their newfound relationship with each other and how the three ladies grew a bond that couldn’t be broken.

If you’re a fan of women’s fiction and Italy, because truly that land was a character in this novel as well, I’d recommend reading The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany. It is sad, beautiful, and hopeful. Emotions that compel a reaction and make you think about your own life and paths still left to us to follow. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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! The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (11/30/2020)

I had the last week off and read three books! I think that’s my record for one week since this pandemic started. It felt good! I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend in the US. It’s back to work for me today! Here’s what I’ll be starting my week off reading.

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

JUST FINISHED

I stayed up too late finishing this book last night. A story about a family who’s roots are in Italy. A generations old curse, and a woman who was determined to find her lost love. This was one of those introspective stories that give a lesson as well as entertain. I liked it. A lot.

JUST STARTED

I haven’t actually started this one yet, but this is next up! Here’s the synopsis:

Their lives began together, but their worlds couldn’t be more different. After thirty years of missed connections, they’re about to meet again…

Minnie Cooper knows two things with certainty: that her New Year’s birthday is unlucky, and that it’s all because of Quinn Hamilton, a man she’s never met. Their mothers gave birth to them at the same hospital just after midnight on New Year’s Day, but Quinn was given the cash prize for being the first baby born in London in 1990–and the name Minnie was meant to have, as well. With luck like that, it’s no wonder each of her birthdays has been more of a disaster than the one before.

When Minnie unexpectedly runs into Quinn at a New Year’s party on their mutual thirtieth birthday, she sees only more evidence that fortune has continued to favor him. The gorgeous, charming business owner truly seems to have it all–while Minnie’s on the brink of losing her pie-making company and her home. But if Quinn and Minnie are from different worlds, why do they keep bumping into each other? And why is it that each fraught encounter leaves them both wanting more?

A moving, joyful love story, This Time Next Year explores the way fate leads us to the people we least expect–no matter what the odds.

Now that you know what I’m starting my week reading, please share your book in the comments!

Happy Monday!

Deb

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (11/16/20)

Happy Monday! We are approaching the Thanksgiving holiday here in the US. People are putting up their tree’s and Christmas lights very early this year and I’ll admit that it’s made me feel a little more cheerful. I love the holidays! This last weekend was beautiful and we took advantage of it with a long walk, some chores outside, and a little hot cocoa next to the fire pit. I also made time to read. As my husband said, he hasn’t seen me immersed in a book this much in months! It felt good! I’ll tell you a little bit about it below.

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

JUST FINISHED

Despite this author’s personal belief’s, I was really looking forward to reading this book because this series has become so good! I was not disappointed at all. The mystery was so well written that it kept me guessing until the end and the main character arc progressed forward just a tad solidifying their great friendship. This was a long one folks, and this type of book requires concentration. I didn’t want to miss a thing.

JUST STARTED

I admit, I haven’t started this one yet, and may change my mind yet. It’s an ARC that I need to read and I’ve been looking forward to it. Originally set to come out last spring the release date was pushed to November so I’ve had this one a little while. Has anyone read it? I’d love to hear what you think.

What book will help get your week kickstarted? Is it a romance? A mystery? Historical? Let me know in the comments.

Happy Reading!

Deb

This Chick Read: What You Wish For by Katherine Center

Samantha Casey is the school librarian at a small school that focuses on diversity, learning, and creativity. She has thrived in this environment and is now completely different than the once mousy woman she was. When their beloved principal passes away the newly hired principal, Duncan Carpenter, resurrects from her past. She had quietly been in love with him and he is in part the reason she left her last job. However, the Duncan that shows up for the first day of school is not the happy go lucky guy she used to know. This Duncan is a suit wearing, straight-laced, security conscious man and he proceeds to turn their lives upside down.

I loved the community of people that surround Sam Casey in this novel. A with previous insecurity and shyness issues, Sam has blossomed in the “safe” environment of this small town in Galveston, Texas. As the novel moves forward we learn more about just how much Sam has changed and why, especially as she faces her past crush and is deeply disappointed at his new demeanor. The old Sam would’ve run away, but this new Sam ends up leading the charge, fighting for their rights while at the same time searching for the man she used to know.

Duncan was pretty easy to understand. Based off Sam’s memories he’d obviously done a bit of growing up, but there was something bigger behind his actions. I loved how Sam picked away at his armor to find that more fun loving man underneath. What You Wish For was the perfect mix of quirkiness, drama, and I especially loved the heart in which this author embued in her characters. From the start of the book I was invested in Sam, and then when Duncan entered the scene and his demeanor was a direct contradiction to how Sam had described him sealed the deal. I along with Sam wanted to solve the mystery and truly enjoyed the journey of finding out all of these characters secrets.

❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

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

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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