It’s Monday! What are you Reading? (3/25/19)

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

JUST FINISHED

Polaris Rising (The Consortium Rebellion #1) by Jessie Mihalik

Last Sentence: “Tomorrow I would endeavor to win a war I wanted no part of, bur for right now, in this one perfect moment, I was exactly where I wanted to be.”

JUST STARTED

When Summer Ends by Jessica Pennington

First Sentence: “I’ve been stabbed in the chest.”

Now that you know what I’m reading, what are you reading this fine Monday? Let me know in the comments below!

Deb

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Friday YA: Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka

Megan is the girl who will be voted Biggest Flirt in the year book, and she’s OK with that. Her last boyfriend dumped her for her best friend, and she’s ok with that too. In fact, every guy she’s ever hooked up with has left her and immediately found THE one. She thinks that’s what her role in life is supposed to be, but then Megan unexpectedly lands the role of Juliet in the school play and she discovers maybe she does have it in her to be the leading lady.

Always Never Yours seemed like a lighthearted romp through a high school romance, but Megan was actually a lot more complex a character than I thought I was getting from reading this synopsis. By having flirtations instead of relationships, Megan was protecting her heart. Her parents split and her father’s new family had done a number on her belief in love and truthfully, her taste in guys was pretty bad, so they were always cementing her belief that love was just not for her.

If it wasn’t for Owen I’d wonder if these authors had never met a teenaged boy who wasn’t driven by their hormones. OK, yeah all teenage boys are driven by their hormones, even Owen, but at least he had a brain as well as some morals. He was inspired by Megan’s being so casual about being “the girl before”. The comparison to Rosalind, Romeo’s “girl before” Juliet, I thought, was inspiring. How does that girl go on to find her own love story? Well, if you read Always Never Yours, you’ll find out.

❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“I guess, in the end, I’d recommend this book if you were a theater kid and you want a nostalgic look back at those days. I don’t know that I’d necessarily recommend it as a romance, but you could certainly do worse if you’re looking for a quick summer read.” The Bibliophagist

“Always Never Yours is a cute YA contemporary story, and while there’s more to this book than meets the eye it is still a little predictable in places. Still this is a perfect read for an afternoon when you have nothing else to do (or read) and Megan is a character you can’t help but root for.” Reading Every Night

Click this link to purchase!* Always Never Yours

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: Rogue Wave (Cake Series #5) by J. Bengtsson

Synopsis: A love story that survives the test of time.

Keith McKallister is the king of the stoners. You know the type. Every school has one – the hot, fun, dopey guy beloved by the student body but despised by, well, just about everyone else. He spends his early mornings in the ocean and his days trying to get to class on time. Life is as easy as it gets until one poor choice too many catches up with him and he’s forced to reevaluate his path. 

Samantha Anderson sits in the front row. You know the type. Every school has one – the quiet, faceless, studious girl who fears the taunts of her peers and fades into the background. Life has never been simple for Samantha, and it’s about to get a little more complicated when Keith slides into the seat beside her with a partnership plan designed for his benefit only. But what Keith brings to the table is more than either of them could imagine. 

Sometimes the person you least expect to make a difference will change your life forever. Sometimes the person you love the most might be better off without you.

REVIEW:

Rogue Wave tells the story of Keith and Samantha, but in two parts. The first half taking place in High School before Keith’s brother Jake is kidnapped and has a very young adult feel, and the second half of the novel takes place after Jake’s kidnapping and is most definitely a second chance adult romance novel. The combined story takes the reader on such an emotional journey. We’ve read about the kidnapping from Jake’s view point (Cake), but now we see how it affected Keith and how his choices drew him further from happiness.

I don’t recall ever reading a romance that 1) revolved around a main character who was a stoner and 2) where I really liked him. Even though Keith made bad choice after bad choice, he was so dang likable! Typically, I’m not comfortable with stories that revolve around drugs, drug problems, et. al. However, there was just something about Keith that made me want to see his story to its conclusion and root for him. Another surprising element was that even though Sam was the love of his life, she was not written in the role of savior. That made me like this story even more because it made it so real. Just as in real life, for them to finally be happy Keith would have to find his own way out of addiction and do it for himself. The question was, did I want to read that story? Yes, I really did.

Sam also had a lot of growing up to do. Not quite in the same way as Keith, as she wasn’t fighting an addiction to drugs, but she was fighting insecurity, problems at home, and the sudden suicide of her older brother. Also serious subjects! The fact that they found each other and could see through their outer shells to the good people within was pretty amazing. Sam had a very strong moral compass despite her difficult upbringing and that was a strength Keith needed in his life. Did he always choose to follow the right path? Well, you need to read the book.

There are some really great characters in the Cake series. Obviously Jake and Casey are fan favorites but Keith and Sam have found a special place in my heart. If you haven’t read the previous novels don’t read Rogue Wave until you’ve at least read the first novel, Cake. You need the background story of Jake’s kidnapping even though you get Keith’s side of it in Rogue Wave. I just think the emotional impact is stronger if you’ve read at least that first novel. BUT, if you choose not to pick up Cake I think you’ll enjoy reading about Keith and Sam. If you have triggers for drugs, suicide, mental illness, or kidnappings of small children, avoid this one. It’s a pretty emotional journey, but a very good one. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Goodreads: http://smarturl.it/RogueWaveGR 

Amazon: http://smarturl.it/RogueWaveAmazon 

About the Author

A professional stay-at-home-mom for twenty-one years, Jill started her writing career in 2016 after reading a really bad rockstar romance. Although she had no previous writing experience and no desire to become an author, Jill was convinced she could write a better story.

And so began Cake: A Love Story. She wrote the novel for fun and added every single thing she’d ever wanted to read in a romance. Embarrassed by her newfound hobby, Jill kept her writing a secret from her family.

When the story was complete, she turned to Amazon to get the feedback she desired. Not thinking the book would ever sell, Jill planned to pull Cake off Amazon once it got a review or two but that never happened because, within a week of its release, Cake began to soar up the bestseller charts. Not only was Jill shocked by Cake’s success but now she had a whole new burgeoning career on her hands…and some explaining to do. Needless to say, the news of Jill’s secret book bay came as a complete shock to her husband and three children.

Jill is now a full-time writer.

Website: https://jbengtssonbooks.com/ 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jbengtssonauthor/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CakeALoveStory 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/j._bengtsson/ 

Friday YA: You’d Be Mine by Erin Hahn

Annie Mathers is the daughter of two country music stars who had a tragic ending. Living outside the stage lights of Nashville, Annie tried to ignore her calling but she was born to write and sing. After she releases a couple of songs on YouTube her star starts rising. Clay Coolidge is one of the country’s hottest young stars, but he’s going down the path her parents took. After another drunk bar fight he’s told that he has to go to Michigan to talk Annie into opening for his summer concert tour. With his record deal on the line, Clay convinces Annie and her band to join them. Even though they are complete opposites, she the good girl and he the bad boy, they strike sparks both on stage and off.

You’d be Mine had a lot of the things I look for in a YA contemporary novel, great character growth, a simmering love story, and a great hook. What I wasn’t expecting was the magical poetry this author wrote for their music lyrics and the gritty feel to the story. Annie was an easy character to like. I’ll admit that she walked a fine line between being a “good girl” and kind of a prude, but it fit her back story and gave her the heart and soul she’d need to sell the reader on her chemistry for leading man Clay.

Clay also had a great back story. A brother who is a fallen war hero and a line of people who want to ride his coattails, making his bad choices pretty realistic. If there was one fault with his part of the story I’d say his demon battling went on just a touch too long. I wanted the story to speed up and it lagged just a tad in the middle. The supporting characters were loyal, funny, and charming and I adored all of their antics and support. Even though this was a story about music and love, at it’s heart it was about family and these characters gave the reader a solid base line on what family should look like.

I mentioned above my love for the poetry in the music lyrics. You could tell this author has a feel for writing lyrically and if she hasn’t done so already, she should think about her own songwriting career! They were pretty special and the story itself? Good, very, very good. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

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

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“You’d Be Mine is a cute little contemporary romance that reminded me a bit of the television show Nashville. This has all the ins and outs, the ups and downs and intrigue of the behind the scenes of the music business. The characters were likable and fun to root for and the story felt as if heading right out on tour along with them giving all the emotion of their journey along the way.” Carrie’s Book Reviews

“This was a fun story about the lives of these two talented performers. I am not a big country music fan, but I found myself cheering for these young country stars. I would definitely recommend this young adult book!” Welcome to our Campfire

Click this link to purchase!* You’d Be Mine: A Novel

Copyright Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

It’s Monday, What are you Reading? (3/11/19)

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

JUST FINISHED

A Dangerous Collaboration (Veronica Speedwell #4) by Deanna Raybourn

Synopsis:

A bride mysteriously disappears on her wedding day in the newest Veronica Speedwell adventure by the New York Times bestselling author of the Lady Julia Grey series.

Lured by the promise of a rare and elusive butterfly, the intrepid Veronica Speedwell is persuaded by Lord Templeton-Vane, the brother of her colleague Stoker, to pose as his fiancée at a house party on a Cornish isle owned by his oldest friend, Malcolm Romilly.

But Veronica soon learns that one question hangs over the party: What happened to Rosamund? Three years ago, Malcolm Romilly’s bride vanished on their wedding day, and no trace of her has ever been found. Now those who were closest to her have gathered, each a possible suspect in her disappearance. 

From the poison garden kept by Malcolm’s sister to the high towers of the family castle, the island’s atmosphere is full of shadows, and danger lurks around every corner. 

Determined to discover Rosamund’s fate, Veronica and Stoker match wits with a murderer who has already struck once and will not hesitate to kill again.…

LAST SENTENCE READ: I grabbed his hand and raced with him into the westering sun. “Excelsior!”

CURRENTLY READING

You’d be Mine by Erin Hahn

Synopsis:

Annie Mathers is America’s sweetheart and heir to a country music legacy full of all the things her Gran warned her about. Superstar Clay Coolidge is most definitely going to end up one of those things.

But unfortunately for Clay, if he can’t convince Annie to join his summer tour, his music label is going to drop him. That’s what happens when your bad boy image turns into bad boy reality. Annie has been avoiding the spotlight after her parents’ tragic death, except on her skyrocketing YouTube channel. Clay’s label wants to land Annie, and Clay has to make it happen.

Swayed by Clay’s undeniable charm and good looks, Annie and her band agree to join the tour. From the start fans want them to be more than just tour mates, and Annie and Clay can’t help but wonder if the fans are right. But if there’s one part of fame Annie wants nothing to do with, it’s a high-profile relationship. She had a front row seat to her parents’ volatile marriage and isn’t interested in repeating history. If only she could convince her heart that Clay, with his painful past and head over heels inducing tenor, isn’t worth the risk.

Erin Hahn’s thrilling debut, You’d Be Mine, asks: can the right song and the perfect summer on the road make two broken hearts whole?

FIRST SENTENCE READ: If I die, it’s Trina Hamilton’s fault.

I have so many other great books on tap for this week and I can’t wait to read them!

What book are you reading today?

Deb

Friday YA: Undying (Unearthed #2) by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

If you haven’t read Unearthed please know there are slight spoilers for that novel ahead.

At the end of Unearthed Mia and Jules were trapped aboard what was an abandoned alien spacecraft when suddenly it was no longer abandoned. The Undying stepped through a portal filling the ship to capacity. Mia and Jules are still trapped but this time living in the duct system trying to find a way to get off this ship and back home to warn everyone that the Undying were no longer extinct but were on their way to take over Earth.

Similar to Unearthed, Undying was very fast paced, full of action, and the budding romance of Mia and Jules. However, unlike Unearthed I found myself a little less wrapped up in the plot. Although this is a science fiction novel I think when the setting moved back to one I’m familiar with it became a little more mundane. Yes, they were trying to save their planet but instead of the focus being on two teenagers who were trying to survive, the introduction of so many adults to the plot subdued their ability to act immediately. Mia’s jump before you think nature was still in play, but her doubts about their ability to save the earth were tied to the fact that they were so young. When I read YA fantasy and science fiction I immediately throw away the thought that these are kids that have the responsibility to save the world. Kaufman and Spooner chose to make adults a larger part of this plot. By doing that it took me out of my head and made me start to ask those questions again. Why and how are this “kids” going to make everyone believe that the Undying are here already and trying to take over. It wasn’t a huge problem but it did stop me from enmeshing myself fully in the story. I didn’t have that problem in Unearthed. I went along for the crazy ride and really enjoyed it.

Mia and Jules were adorable as a couple. Their feelings were on display to the world and even though they had private moments of doubt their feelings were clear from the start. I also enjoyed the political nature of this novel. You have this other species trying to eradicate the existence of “proto” humans from Earth, but within that species is a faction that disagrees. It gave Dex, one of the Undying, depth and through his actions gave the Undying humanity. If you didn’t have that comparison you wouldn’t have cared at all for their existence.

I did enjoy this novel even though the pace was slower and bogged down in the middle. I think it was a fitting sequel to Unearthed although if I’d had my way they would have kept the action up in that space ship, but that would’ve been a totally different book. LOL. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere.

“Although I did enjoy it, unfortunately, I felt like this one fell a little flat. I mean, it was still enjoyable and I really loved the two main characters, but it was just missing the adventure and the mystery that I loved about the first book. ” The Chronicles of Danielle

“Unfortunately, I didn’t like this book quite as much as the first. I mean, Earth is simply a boring setting when you’ve been to another planet. There was also no thrill of characters falling in love with each other (because, well, they already had).” Brylie and Books

Click this link to purchase!* Undying (An Unearthed Novel)

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: February ’19 Wrap Up!

It was a short month but I still managed to read 16 books. Some of them were audio books that I listened to while driving or working out and yes, I am counting those too! Not all of them were talked about on my blog in February and some of them are posts scheduled for the future release dates.

What happened on my blog in February? Here’s a recap!

GREAT FEBRUARY READS!

Fall (VIP #3) by Kristen Callihan

“This was not a lighthearted novel. Yes, I did laugh, but I also cried a bit and stopped to think about how this portrayal could parallel a lot of people’s lives that read it. Not that we’re all rock stars, well at least outside my own head, but the fact that we all have moments of darkness and that dream that being needed and loved can help us overcome despair.”

On Thin Ice (Juniper Falls #3) by Julie Cross

“On Thin Ice explores a lot of tough subjects; bullying, depression, and suicide but the novel does a great job of putting a spotlight on these problems and allowing it’s characters to work their way to a solution in a very real, unforced way. “

Circle of the Moon (Soulwood#4) by Faith Hunter

“Circle of the Moon advances Nell’s journey away from her Churchwoman background towards a “city” life. Her magic gets stronger and she has to constantly fight the urge to kill for her land, Soulwood, but she is also in a more maternal role with becoming the guardian of her younger sister Mud, who also has earth magic tendencies similar to Nell’s. Her tentative feelings for Occam resolve into want and his feelings for Nell into love.”

BLOGGER TO BLOGGER SERIES

If you missed learning a little bit more about these two book bloggers, here’s your chance! They are both wonderful and very different from each other.. Click the link to take a look.

Jill @ Jill’s Book Blog

Rachel @ Rae Reads

THIS CHICKS SUNDAY COMMENTARY

If you missed my January Wrap Up post you can see that yes, I did read my most anticipated book. LOL

January ’19 Wrap Up!

If you know what a Mash-Up is then you probably understood my other post in this category. A Mash-up in music is when you combine two different genre’s to create an original flavor of music. What I was shooting for in this next post was to describe a book blogger using the books they had read recently on their blog. If you missed this one click the link and let me know if I missed the mark or not.

Book-Blogger Mash-up!

I have started to contribute to a weekly Meme called It’s Monday, What are you Reading? I’ve always liked reading what my fellow bloggers are reading because I’m nosy and curious. My taste in books varies so much that I thought you may enjoy seeing what I’m reading each week. I created this graphic, so when you see it, come visit and let me know what you think about my book choices!

ELIMINATING MY TBR

I only read one of the books I listed in this category last month. Since I’m a mood reader it’s really hard to set a list and stick with it. Here are a couple I’m looking forward to reading in March.

A Dangerous Collaboration (A Veronica Speedway novel) by Deanna Raybourn

Synopsis:

A bride mysteriously disappears on her wedding day in the newest Veronica Speedwell adventure by the New York Times bestselling author of the Lady Julia Grey series.

Lured by the promise of a rare and elusive butterfly, the intrepid Veronica Speedwell is persuaded by Lord Templeton-Vane, the brother of her colleague Stoker, to pose as his fiancée at a house party on a Cornish isle owned by his oldest friend, Malcolm Romilly.

But Veronica soon learns that one question hangs over the party: What happened to Rosamund? Three years ago, Malcolm Romilly’s bride vanished on their wedding day, and no trace of her has ever been found. Now those who were closest to her have gathered, each a possible suspect in her disappearance. 

From the poison garden kept by Malcolm’s sister to the high towers of the family castle, the island’s atmosphere is full of shadows, and danger lurks around every corner. 

Determined to discover Rosamund’s fate, Veronica and Stoker match wits with a murderer who has already struck once and will not hesitate to kill again.…

The Last Woman in the Forest by Diane Les Becquets

Synopsis:

From the national bestselling author of Breaking Wild, here is a riveting and powerful thriller about a woman whose greatest threat could be the man she loves.…

Marian Engström has found her true calling: working with rescue dogs to help protect endangered wildlife. Her first assignment takes her to northern Alberta, where she falls in love with her mentor, the daring and brilliant Tate. After they’re separated from each other on another assignment, Marian is shattered to learn of Tate’s tragic death. Worse still is the aftermath in which Marian discovers disturbing inconsistencies about Tate’s life, and begins to wonder if the man she loved could have been responsible for the unsolved murders of at least four women.

Hoping to clear Tate’s name, Marian reaches out to a retired forensic profiler who’s haunted by the open cases. But as Marian relives her relationship with Tate and circles ever closer to the truth, evil stalks her every move.…

OK, I may be cheating a bit because both of these are ARC’s so I MUST read them! LOL. We’ll see if the month gets away from me again.

Enjoy your March everyone and Happy Reading!

Deb

Friday YA: An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason by Virginia Boecker

The setting is Elizabethan England when it is treasonous to be a practicing Catholic. Lady Katherine’s father is killed right before her eyes when he is discovered harboring a Catholic priest, his secrets revealed. Escaping imprisonment, Lady Katherine travels to London dressed as a young man intent on revenge against those responsible for her father’s death. Intent on killing the Queen of England. Overhearing Shakespeare and his players in a tavern talking about a secret play they will be putting on for a private performance for the Queen, Kit decides to try out and lands one of the leads. Little does she know that she is playing opposite a young man named Toby who is a spy and the mastermind behind the plan to catch those plotting to kill Elizabeth.

In Elizabethan England women’s roles in plays were played by men or boys so when Kit gets cast as Olivia in Twelfth Night the humor of her success at playing a boy playing a girl is remarkable in that no one has figured out that the girl is actually a girl. Our spy Toby who is trying to catch a potential killer finds himself drawn to Kit the boy a fact that is punishable by death and when Kit seems to return his regard? That is when the plot truly becomes interesting. Even as Kit is one of his suspects, are their feelings for each other more important than saving the Queen’s life?

I really enjoyed Kit’s evolution. As Katherine she was restricted to a woman’s life but as Kit so many things were available to her. I think this combined with her feelings for Toby helped her to make the decision revealed at the end of the book. No spoilers here, but the line between life and death was trod very closely and the conclusion was just as dramatic as one of the plots in a Shakespeare play.

I am a fan of historical novels and The Assassin’s Guide was right up my alley. A devious plot and a romantic sub-plot set in a Shakespeare play? It had me asking questions about the era and I used Wikipedia a few times to fact check my own knowledge. I was surprised by many things but nothing as much as how enjoyable I found this novel. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“..although it is unique and not at all a chore to read, there was something missing, the same thing that, if I remember correctly, was missing in The Witch Hunter too. The reason for my inability to give it four stars or more. And that thing is… seriousness.” Hit or Miss Books

“Overall, it was an okay-ish read for me! It was a decent YA historical novel filled with drama, conspiracies, and forbidden romance. I liked the ending part which is why I gave it a three and a half star instead of three stars. ” Dreamy Addictions

Click this link to purchase!* An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

Friday YA: On Thin Ice (Juniper Falls #3) by Julie Cross

In the city of Juniper Falls hockey reigns supreme. When Brooke Parker’s father goes to jail, she and her mother return to her mom’s home town to live with her grandmother. With her mother’s downward spiral into depression Brooke turns to hockey to take her mind of her troubles and joins the brand new girls hockey team. Jake Hammond, captain of the Varsity boys hockey team, finds himself on the wrong side of the law when a 100 year old hockey tradition goes wrong. As punishment he has to be the assistant coach to the girls hockey team and finds himself drawn to Brooke, a girl who has obviously never played hockey but has some serious talent.

On Thin Ice explores a lot of tough subjects; bullying, depression, and suicide but the novel does a great job of putting a spotlight on these problems and allowing it’s characters to work their way to a solution in a very real, unforced way. Brooke’s family has gone through some really tough times and her life has been turned upside down, including moving to a small town. When she meets Jake after witnessing his teams traditional pre-season hazing she fights an attraction to him and who wouldn’t? Jake is also immediately curious about the “new” girl and when he finds himself her coach they take the time to explore a new friendship but also to help each other work their way through a land mine of adult responsibilities and feelings. Julie Cross did a great job of portraying these scenarios and as an adult myself I forgot I was reading a teen romance. The emotional impact was that good.

If you like sports novels/romances, this is a great one! There’s a good bit of hockey being played and those sports scenes were very well written. I could picture the action and feel the tension in those on the ice moments. Sports action scenes are not easy to portray and it really felt like Julie Cross had either played the game or was a huge fan. It was that good!

I highly recommend this novel if you are looking for a YA contemporary romance. It has some serious subject matter but an uplifting ending. Even though this is the third book in the series, you don’t need to read the first two. I didn’t, but I’m definitely going back to read them now. I’ve found a new author to love, yeah! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“Cross ties all the pieces (the romance, the hazing, parent issues) together to make a story that was both sizzly and heartfelt and left me hoping that this is not the last time that we get to visit Juniper Falls.” Bickering Book Reviews

“Overall, I just really loved On Thin Ice. I enjoyed the characters, the friendships, the romance, and the addictive writing. I really never wanted to put this one down. I recommend this one to fans of YA Contemporaries.” Stephanie’s Book Reviews

Click this link to purchase!* On Thin Ice (Juniper Falls)

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

It’s Monday! What are you Reading?

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

JUST FINISHED

Undying: An Unearthed Novel by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

First Sentence Read: The darkness is close and still, and absolute.

CURRENTLY READING

Circle of the Moon (Soulwood #4) by Faith Hunter

First Sentence Read: The night sky was a wash of cerulean blue over the trees and the roofline, with a trace of scarlet and plum on the western horizon.

I can’t wait to curl up on my couch and spend my day reading!

What are you reading?