This Chick Read: The Comeback Summer by Ali Brady

Sisters Hannah and Libby inherit the PR agency their beloved grandmother built and are struggling to keep the doors open. Fired by clients, they can barely pay the bills when they are approached by self- help aficionado and author of the “Crush Your Comfort Zone” program who dangles her business in front of them with one caveat. They must complete her program in the next twelve weeks. Determined to win this client Hannah must go on twelve dates in twelve weeks and Libby must compete with her sister in a team obstacle course race. Determined to help each other succeed these two sisters spend the summer learning a lot about each other and their own selves.

More fiction than romance, The Comeback Summer is the story about overcoming insecurities, learning how to get outside your comfort zone, and fight for what you want in life. Libby is the older sister who has always suffered from body self-esteem issues, so going from couch potato to obstacle race runner is a big step but her sister helps her step by step. On the flip side, Hannah had the same boyfriend for eight years and has trouble putting herself out into the dating world. She still has trauma from being in a secure relationship to not understanding why she was dumped. Knowing this will be hard for her sister Libby steps in to help with the matchmaking apps, finding and setting up her sister on some safe dates. At the beginning of the book you really see how these sisters are there for each other, but it’s when the conflict enters their lives in the form of Hannah’s old boyfriend coming back to town, and Libby falling for one of the men on the app she is monitoring for her sister that we see that their relationship may need some work.

The romances in this book were secondary to the relationship between Hannah and Libby. A big romance fan, I thought I’d struggle with this but I actually liked how the sisters were what drove the story. Not to say there wasn’t any romance because both sisters found some and those scenes were sizzling, but there was purpose behind the timing of those scenes that moved Hannah and Libby’s characters forward towards crushing their comfort zone’s.

If you’re looking for a strong sister story, look no further than The Comeback Summer. I liked these two ladies and was happy to read about their journey of self discovery over this one summer. Yes, they also found love but the stronger plot was the familial story between Hannah and Libby. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley and the publisher for an honest review and it was honest.

Click this link to purchase this book!* The Comeback Summer

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This Chick Read: Meet Me At the Lake by Carley Fortune

Fern’s life is not what or where she thought it would be, back where she grew up, running her mother’s lakefront resort. Her dreams of opening up her own coffee shop left behind in Toronto, along with her memories of a 24 hours she spent with Will Baxter. A 24 hours that had changed her life. Both of them young, and the timing wrong, they spend a day exploring Toronto together and agree to meet one year later at her mother’s resort. A meeting that does not end up happening until 9 years later. Will shows up at her door offering her the help she desperately needs, to fix this failing resort that her mother had loved so much.

After having read her debut novel, Every Summer After, I knew that if Carley Fortune kept writing I would keep reading her books. Her style of writing is deep, emotional, yet also has a lightness that reflects the settings that she keeps choosing- the lake. In this novel, Fern’s life has imploded with her mother’s death and her being left the resort to run. A resort that is failing and needs a new life, one that Fern isn’t sure she has to give. Until Will shows up. This 9 years older Will is much different than the artist that she fell in love with long ago. He now wears suits and runs a company, and seems to have given up his own dreams. Despite these differences their feelings for each other still lie beneath the surface waiting to be explored.

Meet Me At the Lake is one of those sneaky novels that has layers of emotions that are revealed slowly one chapter at a time. Sometimes I feel impatient when reading a slow moving novel but Carley Fortune sets a smooth pace that feels exactly right, each emotion and particular about a character revealed when it should for the utmost impact. Fern and Will’s reconnection built slowly towards that moment when they gave in to these feelings, but giving in didn’t solve all of their problems and the story didn’t end. I loved that! There were more reveals awaiting the reader and more emotions to be explored.

I’m reading this book in March but it definitely has that vacation beach vibe feel. It is the perfect novel to read when you can occasionally glance up to check the view of the ocean (or lake!) in front of you and then delve back into these fantastic characters who were meant to be together. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

I was given a copy of this book through NetGalley and the publisher for an honest review and it was honest!

Click this link to purchase this book!* Meet Me At the Lake

Copyright 2023 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: Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

It’s the early 1960’s and chemist Elizabeth Zott has fought her way into a position at the Hastings Research Institute on an all male research team. Needless to say, she is faced with sexism and misogyny every day. When she meets brilliant fellow scientist Calvin Evans they strike up a very non-traditional (for its day) relationship, having a romantic relationship and living together without being married. They each work on their own projects and Calvin supports Elizabeth in everything she strives to be. Several years later Elizabeth is “discovered” by a television producer and she launches a new role as the reluctant star of ‘Supper at Six’, where she teaches housewives how to use chemistry to cook and opens their eyes to the possibility of life beyond the doors of their home.

Lessons in Chemistry is a very clever novel about a woman’s struggle in an age of inequality, to be seen as an equal. That just because she was born a woman doesn’t mean that her life’s purpose is to serve men. Elizabeth is much too clever to let misogyny and gender create her identity. Reading this novel, I realized how fortunate I was that my entry into the workplace wasn’t filled with men who were trying to hold me down, and that I lived in an age, while not equal was at least not filled with illegal actions. In Elizabeth Gott’s world she wasn’t quite as fortunate.

I was so interested in Elizabeth’s persona. She wasn’t your average woman, in fact her intellect was way above average, a fact that her boyfriend and lover Calvin Evans found very attractive. I found her fight for independence and equality interesting despite that fight putting her at odds with happiness in love. Poor Calvin was ecstatic to have this amazing, beautiful woman as his, yet she was so untraditional that she’d never let him put a ring on her finger. It made for a really interesting reading! When she was cast as the chef on tv, her life views horrified her bosses, yet found an audience with the women of America. She was such an interesting character!

This novel had a little bit of everything. There was a hint of romance, but it was Elizabeth’s fighting spirit that drew me to keep turning the pages. Elizabeth’s voice was strange and wonderful, and despite my living in a world where equality is much closer to reality, I looked forward to reading how Elizabeth would out smart and out fight the men who lived in the world around her. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase this book!* Lessons in Chemistry

Copyright 2023 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: How to Walk Away by Katherine Center

Margaret Jacobsen seems to have it all. Promising new job, adoring boyfriend, and a brand new condo- her life is stretched out in front of her and her future is bright. Until an accident finds her in the hospital- no job, a boyfriend who has fallen apart, and a new world that is filled with physical therapy and building a new life with her new body. This was not the life that Margaret thought she’d be living. Faced with new limitations, Margaret’s life revolves around the next 5 weeks in the hospital and gaining the mental and physical strength to live her new life. She meets Ian, a physical therapist who is brutal in his regard, and unfriendly in attitude. Despite all that’s going on in her life, Margaret does everything she can to bring him out of his shell and while working with him, builds a connection.

First of all, wow. At first I had a really hard time reading Margaret’s story. What happened was so brutal and her boyfriend/fiancé was an absolute turd. Her mother seemed to be a controlling nightmare too and I was ready to give up-but then her sister Kit showed up and the sisterly support propped me up until I saw beyond everyone else’s issues and Margaret’s strength became the heart of the story. Kit was a godsend, not just to poor Margaret, but also me who was looking for something to love about this story that was so hard to read. Don’t get me wrong, it was well written, but it was also pretty brutal. Kit added some much needed humor. Then there was Ian- he seemed to be a bit of a jerk, but underneath that gruff exterior he was solid gold.

This story had so much strength and heart. Yes, it was sometimes hard to read but each page I turned showed a different side to this kind of crazy family that I started to look forward to seeing what else was going to be revealed. This family had skeletons, hard feelings, and lots and lots of love. Family drama at its best.

The one thing I was slightly disappointed in was the love story aspect between Ian and Margaret. Ian was pretty closed off for most of the book and I just wish that the reader could’ve made a bigger connection with him. I loved him for Margaret (I can still hear him calling her Maggie in his Scottish accent), but the ending would’ve had a greater impact if I liked him as much as I did Margaret. Although, it was humdinger of an ending. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase this book!* How To Walk Away

Copyright 2023 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: No Life for a Lady by Hannah Dolby

Twenty-eight year old Violet Hamilton is perfectly fine remaining unmarried and an old maid. Her father, however, has other ideas introducing Violet to what seems to be the entire population of Hastings. What Violet wants is to find her mother who disappeared 10 years ago without a word. It’s 1896 and detective work is ‘No Life For a Lady’ so she hires a detective, but he begins to uncover things that could threaten Violet’s reputation. The only thing to do is to solve the mystery herself.

When I first started this novel it wasn’t what I was expecting. It took me a little while to get used to the pace of the novel as well as the author’s writing style but as soon as I settled in, I truly enjoyed this quirky novel. Violet is a determined, single minded young woman but she’s also naive and somewhat misguided. She has not had a mother to ask questions about life and her father is unemotional and doesn’t want much to do with Violet because she reminds him of her mother. Although he does seem to want her to marry well, if only to get her out of his house. As Violet finds out things about her mother, it taints her view of the world and men in general. She goes out of her way to dissuade her beau’s from falling for her and is actually quite comical in her excuses to get away. This rather endears her character to me at the same time as making me shrink away in embarrassment for her.

It’s when Violet tries to hire the “other” detective in town that I begin to understand her motives a little bit better. This young woman, without a mother, is trying to find herself. She is a boat without a rudder and is spinning in circles. The only thing she thinks she knows is that she doesn’t want to get married because from what her mother told her it sounds awful. Benjamin, brings some stability to her life. He doesn’t try to hold her back, he in fact helps her with her detective work, giving sound advice and giving her life a little direction. Of course, he’s a man who she must not mislead- so there’s a little misdirection on her part to hold him at a distance.

No Life for a Lady was entertaining once I understood that I wasn’t reading a romance, but a coming of age story- despite the young woman being twenty-eight. It was also a mystery, but the disappearance of her mother tied into why Violet behaved so bizarrely. As a woman in the modern world, it is always interesting to see how women were subjugated and held back. The men in Violet’s life treated her pretty abominably which was why Benjamin was so refreshing. The author was very clever in giving us a lot of disreputable male characters to contrast and cast him in such a good light.

If you decide to read this book, give it a few chapters to find the pace and discover the humor and quirkiness in Violet’s character. She is truly an original and even though this book was pretty light-hearted what she went through made me think about her and women in her situation in the hours following my finishing the book. The mystery was secondary to a story that was entirely character driven but once it was solved it did explain quite a few things about the mystery that was Violet. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for an honest review and it was honest.

Click this link to purchase this book!*<a href=”http://<a href=”; target=”_blank”><img border=”0″ src=”//” ></a>"" No Life for a Lady

Copyright 2023 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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This Chick Read: It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

I think I must be the only person who has never read a Colleen Hoover novel before, or at least that’s the way I feel. It Ends With Us has been on the bestseller list since it was released in 2016 and now that it’s been announced that a movie will be made starring Blake Lively as our heroine Lily it is back at the top again. I received this book and it’s sequel, It Starts With Us as a Christmas present from my mother. A good choice because I had looked at this book over and over again, but hadn’t yet picked it up. Why? Well, it looked like it would be a drama filled piece of fiction and that’s not usually the kind of book I like to read. However, I have been trying to broaden my comfort zone so I was determined to give it a go.

There may be a few spoilers, so please read at your own risk.

Lily Kincaid had a tough childhood. Her family life was rough and she protected herself by not building relationships with anyone at school so she was a pretty solitary child. One night when she’s looking out over her back yard from her upstairs window she sees a boy (Atlas) she goes to school with entering the abandoned house behind hers. After watching for a couple of days she realizes that he’s living in that home. She leaves him food and a friendship is started. Years later she is living in Boston, dating a gorgeous neurosurgeon (Ryle), when she bumps into Atlas at a restaurant while Ryle is meeting her mother for the first time. All of the things from her childhood come to the surface and her happy life implodes. It was at this moment that I realized how difficult it was going to be to read this book and not be totally invested in these characters.

Colleen Hoover was genius at building Lily’s character. We knew exactly who she was because we had her childhood as a reference. We knew she was smart and had fortitude, wanting to build and achieve her dreams. We also know life sometimes throws things in the path that makes achieving those dreams difficult. When the reader is introduced to Ryle, he is everything you’d hope for Lily. As we get to know him, we see that there’s something holding him back but we want him for Lily so much. He seems just perfect, but of course, he is also one of the obstacles in Lily’s way to happiness. It’s amazing how well this author made us believe in that happiness, and even made us feel bad for him as well as her when it all fell apart. That’s talent!

Atlas was more of a romance novel leading man. He was all big, handsome, and alpha in a protector kind of way. Once he and Lily reconnect, he does let her live her life- but he’s there when it all falls apart. I’m curious to see what’s behind this alpha male wall that will make him different and also as beloved as Ryle once was. That’s in the next novel though. In It Ends With Us, he is relegated to catalyst for everything that happens between Lily and Ryle, but he also steps back and waits- allowing Lily to decide what direction her life will take. I admired that about his character. It was a smart choice by the author because I’m now more than invested in their future story.

As I stated in the first paragraph, this was not my usual choice for a quiet evening read. There was a lot of love, angst, and pain in Lily and Ryle’s story. It was not easy to read, yet the story was interesting and kept me hooked. I think this is the type of novel that is subjective to what the reader’s own experiences are and have been- that will determine if they like or don’t like the novel. I enjoyed it but I don’t think this is a story that I would go back and re-read. I’m debating whether I’ll even see the movie. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

Click this link to purchase this book!* It Ends With Us

Copyright 2023 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? (2/5/23)

This post is all about sharing what I’ve been reading and starting a conversation about all of the great books that are out there and how little time we have to actually read them. I love it when I get a comment from one of you where my post has reminded you of a favorite authors most recent book, or even an old book that I’ve just gotten around to reading or re-reading. I have even gotten recommendations from you all about what books are on your radar, what’s worth your time, or what to skip. So, please keep the comments coming!


This novel was a departure from my normal reading and I really enjoyed it! Elizabeth Zott is a chemist in the 50’s and strives towards equality in the laboratory despite men treating women like all they are good for is popping out babies and keeping their home clean. I’ll admit that at times I found her trials frustrating, but I admired her fortitude, friendships, and her little girl Mad. This was an interesting piece of fiction!


I listened to Julia Whelan’s most recent novel ‘Thank You for Listening’ while on vacation and was blown away by her writing and narration. This novel is actually the first she’s written, but not the first she’s narrated. She has around 400 books in her narration backlist. So far, I’m again, impressed by her writing and really enjoying the story. I can’t wait for the journey!

Have you read any great books lately? I’d love to hear about them. Please feel free to share in the comments.

Happy Monday and happy reading!


This Chick Read: The Backup Plan (Sunrise Cove #3) by Jill Shalvis

Alice, Lauren, and Knox are childhood friends who all inherit an old Wild West B&B owned by Lauren’s great-aunt Eleanor, a woman who had a hand in raising both Alice and Knox, but who never chose to get to know her great-niece Lauren. Alice and Lauren used to be BFF’s until Alice’s brother died in a car wreck when she was a teenager, and Lauren seemed to blame her for his death. Knox’s mom used to work for Eleanor and he did odd jobs around her house learning bits of a trade that he would later turn into a career. When all three of them need to work together to fix up the old B&B they also have to face their pasts and learn how to make their futures.

I love a great Jill Shalvis novel and The Backup Plan has all of the fixin’s for a true heartbreaker of a novel. Alice has been on her own since she was 18 never settling down in one place and afraid to make a commitment in a job or relationship. When she sees Knox again she’s reminded of the huge crush she had on him in her youth. She is also reminded of her great love for her old friend Lauren and how it all went wrong. Alice has a tough time facing her past, especially when it counts.

Lauren has buried the secret of the night Will died and let her relationship with Alice falter in order to keep her secret, but she’s out of a job and the B&B can make all of her dreams come true and help her connect with her great-aunt whom she now realizes she may have always misunderstood.

Knox has avoided his hometown and gone on to build a successful eco-friendly construction business, won awards and done all of the big things he always wanted to do. When he sees Alice again and gets to know her sassy self, he calmly decides that he would like to stay and build a future. Will Alice buy into that same vision?

The Backup Plan has all of the emotional depth we look for in Women’s Fiction, and the great characters we expect from a Jill Shalvis novel. I loved reading about these characters and cared how they connected with each other again, rebuilding and falling in love. The best kinds of novels have a future written for their characters and in this novel that future is stamped in the lifeblood of each movement and word. I relished reading this novel and enjoyed the message and love found on every page. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

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

Click this link to purchase this book!* The Backup Plan

Copyright 2023 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: Seven Days in June by Tia Williams

Genevieve and Shane meet when she gets transferred to his high school. She’d always been a bit of an outcast, moving around with her mom a lot and plagued with debilitating migraines. When Eva meets Shane, she is trying to make a friend, but ends up meeting her soul mate. Over seven days they hide away from everyone, getting to know each other, but also self-medicating. Fast forward to 15 years later with they are both best-selling authors and meet by chance at an author event. Each of them carries a lot of baggage from their past, but from that first moment the strands that connect them become concrete. This novel tells their story from their most painful moments to a time where their being together heals their woes and the word family becomes their world.

I have not read any other novels by Tia Williams, and picked this one up because of two reasons. The cover struck me as gorgeous, and the synopsis called out to me. I always love it when the subject revolves around writing, books, libraries, or authors. This story did have that connection for me, but when I started reading, it wasn’t the fact that Eva and Shane were authors that made me stick around, it was their connection. Their story of loss, love, and perseverance. It was the fact that family was something they strove to hang onto, even though they both didn’t have concrete ideas of what would make a good one. Eva is now a mother, her daughter is by far one of my favorite characters in this book, and Eva is raising her like she would’ve wanted to be raised. To be strong, educated, and without fear. To be a leader among her peers. All of the things that she didn’t have from her own mother, who was went from man to man looking for self-validation.

Shane also didn’t have those strong building blocks, growing up in the foster system. A big guy, he easily got into trouble so he self-medicated until not being drunk or on pills was his norm. As an adult, he is now one of the most sought after authors because of his reclusiveness, but what drives him is to go back to schools like where he and Eva met, and connect with young kids and give them hope that they will overcome their own struggles. I loved this part of Shane. A now sober man who wants to give back. It’s an inspiring part of his character that despite his short-comings makes him easy to like.

When Shane and Eva reconnect, Tia Williams does an amazing job of giving their feelings a sense of urgency and chemistry. I wanted the two of them to make each other their person and when it happened, I sighed with relief, eager for them to get that hea they deserved. Of course, things weren’t that simple for the two of them, but gosh this author knows how to write a scene and make me feel. I felt EVERYTHING… and loved it. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase this book! Seven Days in June

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

This Chick Read: The Circus Train by Amita Parikh

Lena’s father is a famous illusionist with the traveling circus, which sounds like might be the great makings for a magical childhood, but Lena had polio as a child and is confined to a wheelchair. This separates her from the other children at the circus and her life is only filled with books, her studies, and her doctor and nanny. When a young boy, Alexandre, is found unconscious he is put in the care of the doctor who also cares for Lena. While he recovers they become great friends. Theo, Lena’s father, sees the joy Alexandre has brought to his daughters life and convinces the owner of the circus to let Alexandre become his apprentice, thereby keeping him safe and close to his daughter. As they grow up they become the best of friends and are destined to fall in love. Unfortunately WWII is overtaking the European nation’s their train travels to perform and they become separated, but love is destined to survive their trials and separation, or is it?

There were moments of fabulousness in The Circus Train. The friendship between Lena and Alexandre was certainly one of them. Her sweet relationship with her father was another. Lena herself was a force to be reckoned with, striving to overcome her disability and learning how to walk despite the weakness in her limbs. I just felt like after the author set up this novel with these great characters and setting that she got a little lost with where to take them. Yes, there was a war going on and families were separated- so that wasn’t a stretch, but in the middle of the biggest conflict in the book, to have that separation occur so abruptly and then for all of these characters to be separated? I felt like the portion of the novel that fell after that rift happened in a different book entirely. I had difficulty piecing those two parts together and felt a let down.

It is possible that I read this book at a time when I didn’t have the focus to appreciate the journey this author was trying to take me on. Despite that, I can’t help feeling that the second half of the book wasn’t the book this author had intended to write and because of feeling unsettled I can only give this book a three rating. ❤️❤️❤️

I received a copy of this novel from NetGalley and the publisher for an honest review and it was honest.

Click this link to purchase this book!* The Circus Train

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.