This Chicks Sunday Commentary: My Top 5 Most Anticipated Book Release- June’23

This is a special Memorial Day edition of my Top 5. Thursday is June 01 and I haven’t even looked at the book release lists until now aaahhhhh! Ok, OK, I got this! Accepting the challenge of culling through all of the many books because of course, June is a HUGE summer book release month, I’ve narrowed it down to my top 5. Here goes!


A Jill Shalvis romance is like mac and cheese, fried chicken, or ice cream. The ultimate comfort book reading I reach for her novels knowing that I will love the friendships and ship the romance. This novel is in a series I’ve come to love and I can’t wait to fall in love with these characters!


What makes life sweet?

  • Freshly baked bread
  • A cool lake on a hot summer day
  • The comfort of a cozy bookstore
  • Second chances and new beginnings

When Harper Shaw’s life falls apart, she knows it’s time for a change. She removes everything that doesn’t spark joy—from her soul-sucking job to eating kale to making lists—and sets off for the last place she was happy, Lake Tahoe (who wouldn’t feel good there, right?) to fulfill her dream of opening her own bakery.

With her Sugar Pine Bakery in between a tavern, owned by sexy, grumpy Bodie Campbell, and a bookstore, run by her new BFF, she feels a peace she’s never experienced since…well, forever.. Then she meets Ivy, a teenage runaway, who barrels into her heart. She sees a lot of herself in Ivy and takes her under her wing, but the teenager has secrets…

When those secrets explode, it changes Harper’s new world, and she’ll learn, it’s never too late to start over, it’s never too late to figure out your life, and best of all, it’s never too late to let yourself believe in love.

Click this link to purchase!* The Sweetheart List


If you know me at all you know that any book by Ilona Andrews falls in my top 5. This one is out on June 13th and I can’t wait to carry on with my favorite fantasy characters.


Kate and Curran have just settled into their new home and their ‘low profile,’ when a local businessman approaches them with an offer they can’t refuse. A mysterious evil has spawned in the nearby forest and is holding a defenseless town hostage. The ‘due date’ is rapidly approaching.

It’s exactly the kind of fight the Lennarts can’t resist, not for the prize the town offers, but for the people who will surely die if they ignore it. If they succeed, they’ll be rescuing an entire community and can build a strong new base for their family and the Wilmington Pack. If they fail…well, fail is a four-letter word.

Nothing comes without a price. Now Kate must decide if she has what it takes to pay it.

Click this link to purchase this book!* Magic Claims


I loved Uzma Jalaluddin’s debut novel Ayesha at Last and know that Much Ado About Nada is going to give me a love story unlike any other, culturally rich with a multi-faceted story and great characterizations. This author is a go-to read.

Synopsis: A sparkling second-chance romance inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion…
Nada Syed is stuck. On the cusp of thirty, she’s still living at home with her brothers and parents in the Golden Crescent neighbourhood of Toronto, resolutely ignoring her mother’s unsubtle pleas to get married already. While Nada has a good job as an engineer, it’s a far cry from realizing her start-up dreams for her tech baby, Ask Apa, the app that launched with a whimper instead of a bang because of a double-crossing business partner. Nothing in her life has turned out the way it was supposed to, and Nada feels like a failure. Something needs to change, but the past is holding on too tightly to let her move forward.

Nada’s best friend Haleema is determined to pry her from her shell…and what better place than at the giant annual Muslim conference held downtown, where Nada can finally meet Haleema’s fiancé, Zayn. And did Haleema mention Zayn’s brother Baz will be there?
What Haleema doesn’t know is that Nada and Baz have a past—some of it good, some of it bad and all of it secret.  At the conference, that past all comes hurtling at Nada, bringing new complications and a moment of reckoning. Can Nada truly say goodbye to once was or should she hold tight to her dreams and find their new beginnings?

Click this link to purchase!* Much Ado About Nada

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


I love STEM romances. I like the smart dialog and interesting characters and in this case (I’ve read this one already) I love the flawed but totally likable characters! A fun enemies to lovers romance this is a sure fit for your own TBR.


There is magic in every one of Ashley Poston’s adult romance novels. I loved The Dead Romantics and am saving the ARC I received for my vacation this week. I can’t wait to dive into this book!

What books are sitting in your own top 5? Can’t wait to hear about them.

Happy Reading!


This Chick Read: Throwback by Maurene Goo

High schooler Samantha Kang is coasting through life. Her high school is culturally diverse and she enjoys the anonymity of her high school scene, although being the girlfriend of a popular guy does put her a little more in the limelight than she’d like. Her mother wants her to care more about her prospects for college and thinks her boyfriend is holding her back, so needless to say their relationship is strife with conflict. A pattern that she see’s repeated between her mom and her grandmother. When Sam and her mom have a big blow-up, leaving Same stranded at the mall she calls for a rideshare service to get her to school in time for her first class. What she doesn’t expect is to be dumped back to the 90’s where she comes face to face with an whited out version of her mother whom she befriends. Her mom, Priscilla, has just been nominated for homecoming queen, something that Sam knows she didn’t win. She thinks that by helping her mother win, she will find her way back to the future.

Whereas Sam and her mom Priscilla don’t swap places, I did get a Freaky Friday vibe from Throwback. What sets this novel apart from those other time travel novels is that Sam’s time is spent working towards the goals of someone else instead of securing her own future. Although working for Priscilla will ultimately get her back to her own time so it’s a twofer. Another thing that sets her apart is that there is someone else in this time who is from the future, someone who helps her see her own life back in 2015 clearly, and when she goes back she knows the person she wants to be.

I really enjoyed all of the 90’s references since I was in school during that time and Maurene Goo was spot on with how life was as a teen during that era. Totally clueless when it came to cultural diversity, women’s rights, Black Lives Matter, etc. Life was lived with blinders on regarding impropriety and Sam’s reactions were both funny and poignant. She was a cultural sounding board but no one was listening.

Throwback was a fun read that hid the seriousness of relationship struggles with her mom through humor and some emotional scenes. I really enjoyed her characters emotional growth and especially loved the ending of the book. This novel gets a solid 4.0 rating from me!


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

Click this link to purchase this book!* Throwback

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 Chicks Sunday Commentary: My Top 5 Most Anticipated Book Releases – April’23

I don’t remember April as being such a big book release month, usually that’s saved for June, but wow, there are some great book releases. A LOT more than the five I’ve chosen to highlight below. Please make sure you review your own list because this list is based upon my own reading preferences. Here are my top 5!


I really enjoy Laura Griffin’s style of writing and this romantic suspense series is a lot of fun to read. I can’t wait to get my hands on this novel- it’s sure to be a good one!

Synopsis: An undercover FBI agent and a coffee shop owner who values her independence must team up when a local barista is found dead in their coastal Texas town in this new romantic thriller from New York Times bestselling author Laura Griffin.
With two brothers on the police force, Leyla Breda is well aware of the rising crime in her small beach town, but she never expected it to show up on her doorstep. When Leyla finds one of her employees murdered in the alley behind her coffee shop, she’s deeply shaken, and as a new law enforcement officer in town begins to circle her place of business, her instincts only sharpen.

Sean Moran is on an undercover mission: The seaside community of Lost Beach may look like a picturesque postcard, but his team suspects it’s a point of intersection for several crime syndicates that the FBI has been investigating for years. Even so, when the brash and beautiful Leyla Breda starts bossing him around, he’s immediately intrigued. He knows her brothers want him to back off, but every time he sees her, he feels more of a spark.

Leyla’s connections in the local community and Sean’s skills allow them to go deeper into the case together than they would be able to go alone. But when a single crime spirals into something much darker, Sean’s carefully planned mission takes a deadly turn.

Click this link to purchase this book!* Deep Tide


A fictional novel based upon the life of Esteé Lauder? Sold! This cosmetics icon deserves to have her story told in a way that connects with fiction lovers. I think this novel sounds fabulous!


In New York City, you can disappear into the crowd. At least that’s what Gloria Downing desperately hopes as she tries to reinvent herself after a devastating family scandal. She’s ready for a total life makeover and a friend she can lean on—and into her path walks a young, idealistic woman named Estée. Their chance encounter will change Gloria’s life forever.

Estée dreams of success and becoming a household name like Elizabeth Arden, Helena Rubinstein, and Revlon. Before Gloria knows it, she is swept up in her new friend’s mission and while Estée rolls up her sleeves, Gloria begins to discover her own talents. After landing a job at Saks Fifth Avenue, New York’s finest luxury department store, Gloria finds her voice, which proves instrumental in opening doors for Estée’s insatiable ambitions.

But in a world unaccustomed to women with power, they’ll each have to pay the price that comes with daring to live life on their own terms and refusing to back down.

Click this link to purchase this book!* Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl


I’m a sucker for this young adult writing duo’s novels. They are always fun to read while on vacation or over a much needed break from reality weekend.

Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old volleyball star Kaylee Jordan lives a life of player rankings, constant training, and a carefully curated social media full of followers watching to see if she’ll go pro out of high school like her famous mom. Her one refuge, and the thing she looks forward to every summer? The vacation her family spends in Malibu with the Freeman-Yus. This year, there’s only one problem: Kaylee and their son, Dean, dated for the past three months, and Kaylee just unceremoniously dumped him. Hoping to spare them the worst summer ever, Kaylee comes to Dean with her unconventional solution: she’s going to walk him through her rules for getting over an ex. When Dean grudgingly cooperates, Kaylee’s got her work cut out for her. But helping Dean follow her own rules starts becoming difficult when the pressures of Kaylee’s family legacy and perfect life start to feel less like a plan and more like a prison…and amid warm California nights and stolen laughs, Kaylee feels herself falling for Dean for the same reasons and some new ones. With their trip coming to an end, Kaylee has to make the complicated choice between doing what’s expected and taking a (second) chance on love.

Click this link to purchase this book!* Never Vacation With Your Ex

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase one of these books through a link on this page, I’ll receive a small stipend.


I was lucky enough to get a copy of this novel already and you guys, it is just fabulous! Set in a Saturday Night Live type late night show, this novel gives great behind the scenes scenarios and sets us up for an amazing pandemic romance.

Synopsis: Sally Milz is a sketch writer for The Night Owls, a late-night live comedy show that airs every SaturdayWith a couple of heartbreaks under her belt, she’s long abandoned the search for love, settling instead for the occasional hook-up, career success, and a close relationship with her stepfather to round out a satisfying life.

But when Sally’s friend and fellow writer Danny Horst begins dating Annabel, a glamorous actress who guest-hosted the show, he joins the not-so-exclusive group of talented but average-looking and even dorky men at the show—and in society at large—who’ve gotten romantically involved with incredibly beautiful and accomplished women. Sally channels her annoyance into a sketch called the Danny Horst Rule, poking fun at this phenomenon while underscoring how unlikely it is that the reverse would ever happen for a woman.

Enter Noah Brewster, a pop music sensation with a reputation for dating models, who signed on as both host and musical guest for this week’s show. Dazzled by his charms, Sally hits it off with Noah instantly, and as they collaborate on one sketch after another, she begins to wonder if there might actually be sparks flying. But this isn’t a romantic comedy—it’s real life. And in real life, someone like him would never date someone like her . . . right?

With her keen observations and trademark ability to bring complex women to life on the page, Curtis Sittenfeld explores the neurosis-inducing and heart-fluttering wonder of love, while slyly dissecting the social rituals of romance and gender relations in the modern age.

Click this link to purchase this book!* Romantic Comedy


Emily Henry is one of my favorite authors and I will never fail to read one of her books the week it releases. I am so looking forward to this one!

Synopsis: Harriet and Wyn have been the perfect couple since they met in college—they go together like salt and pepper, honey and tea, lobster and rolls. Except, now—for reasons they’re still not discussing—they don’t.
They broke up five months ago. And still haven’t told their best friends.
Which is how they find themselves sharing a bedroom at the Maine cottage that has been their friend group’s yearly getaway for the last decade. Their annual respite from the world, where for one vibrant, blissful week they leave behind their daily lives; have copious amounts of cheese, wine, and seafood; and soak up the salty coastal air with the people who understand them most.
Only this year, Harriet and Wyn are lying through their teeth while trying not to notice how desperately they still want each other. Because the cottage is for sale and this is the last week they’ll all have together in this place. They can’t stand to break their friends’ hearts, and so they’ll play their parts. Harriet will be the driven surgical resident who never starts a fight, and Wyn will be the laid-back charmer who never lets the cracks show. It’s a flawless plan (if you look at it from a great distance and through a pair of sunscreen-smeared sunglasses). After years of being in love, how hard can it be to fake it for one week…in front of those who know you best?

Click this link to purchase this book!* Happy Place

Have a great time searching out your own book release reading list. There are some amazing books coming soon!

Happy Reading!


This Chick Read: The Renaissance of Gwen Hathaway by Ashley Schumacher

Madeline Hathaway is home-schooled and lives on the road with her parents, traveling from one city to the next on the Renaissance faire circuits. When her mother dies, she and her father soldier on despite her mother being the glue that kept their family talking. She knows her father loves her, but Madeline finds that she’s mostly on her own once they hit a new town. While checking out the changes at one of she and her mom’s favorite fairgrounds she meets Arthur, a lute playing young bard, and son to the King’s of the castle. He talks her into being the Princess of the Faire, and challenges her to be his partner on a few road-trip adventures. She is out of her comfort zone but Madeline (who he insists on calling Gwen) decides to take fate into her own hands learning some things about herself that might change her future.

This was a really sweet young adult novel about two kids who are going through personal struggles while also feeling insecure about how they fit into their teen world. Arthur is a totally sweet boy being raised by two dad’s, and despite their strong parenting he’s insecure about his looks and how he fits into his high school clicque. Madeline, who’s never gone to high school, doesn’t have that same issue, but she does have insecurity about her weight and whether she can ever live up to the beautiful free spirit that was her mother. She is also mourning her mom and struggling to communicate with an also mourning father which adds to her issues. The two of them find each other when they need each other the most and you can’t help but feel charmed by the mystical, fun Renaissance Faire setting.

I like how Madeline has so many sides to her. She is talking to a therapist, trying to hold her family together, keeping her mom’s memory alive, and also trying to be a teen age girl with her first crush- although she fights that almost to the bitter end. Despite all of her issues, her character is strong, opinionated, and funny. She was an easy girl to identify with and like, for sure. Arthur was a little bit more of a caricature, with his two gay dads and his charming personality, but once you read further you realized that despite seeming like he’s got it all he’s kind of a mess as well and you can’t help but hope he and Madi get their act together and realize they can be stronger with each other than without.

I love the whole Renaissance faire vibe. It’s a great setting for a young romance! Turkey legs, costumes, and joust’s oh my! There were moments of absolute delight mixed in with the more serious subjects that gave this story a well-roundedness that made it a delight. If you’re in the mood for a young adult novel with some depth, but is still fun, give this one a try! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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 Renaissance of Gwen Hathaway

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: The Headmaster’s List by Melissa de la Cruz

A high school party that ends in tragedy, one teen dead after a car crashes into a tree. The school is abuzz with rumors that popular, troubled, Ethan was driving recklessly at the wheel that killed one of their own. Spencer Sandoval wishes she could remember that night- also in the accident with her ex, she wakes up in the hospital with a concussion and a broken arm. She tries to get her memories back by investigating what happened that night all while downing pain killers and dealing with PTSD from the crash. With the help of Ethan’s best friend, Spencer navigates the gossip and realities of life while digging through her fragmented memories of that night.

Spencer remembers very little about the night that changed her life, but she does remember that her boyfriend was cheating on her at that party. Which is why she can’t figure out why she’d get in a car with him, along with two other kids that she didn’t know all that well. Fighting PTSD and a new dependency on pain pills, good girl Spencer is struggling to keep up with her grades while also fighting to clear her cheating ex-boyfriend’s name. You heard that right.

I did think it odd that this girl was at that party where she finds her boyfriend cheating yet she is fighting so hard to clear him and has such faith that he wouldn’t have driven recklessly while others were in the car with him. As the facts roll in, her convictions grow stronger that he has been misunderstood. Despite his pleading guilty to the charges. So why does she keep trying to clear him? Melissa de la Cruz writes a dramatic high school mystery that while not very mysterious is pretty thrilling. I enjoyed this glimpse into Spencer’s fractured mind as she tries to piece together the puzzle. The Headmaster’s List was entertaining and easy to read. If you like high school gossip and drama mixed with a little thrill, then this novel may be what you need.


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

Click this link to purchase this book!* The Headmaster’s List

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 Chicks Sunday Commentary: My Top 5 Most Anticipated Book Releases – March’23

In looking at the Goodreads book release list for March I’m realizing there are a LOT of genres releasing books and a LOT of them look great. It was difficult choosing but here are my top 5.


I’m a fan of Lauren Willig’s writing and after reading this synopsis, I’ll admit I’m intrigued- and you know I love a good historical novel!


September 1896: An aspiring archaeologist, Smith College graduate Betsy Hayes travels to Athens, desperate to break into the male-dominated field of excavation. In the midst of the heat and dust of Greece she finds an unlikely ally in Charles, Baron de Robecourt, one of the few men who takes her academic passion seriously. But when a simmering conflict between Greece and Turkey erupts into open warfare, Betsy throws herself into the conflict as a nurse, not knowing that the decision will change her life forever—and cause a deep and painful rift with her oldest friend, Ava.

June 1898: Betsy has sworn off war nursing—but when she gets the word that her estranged friend Ava is headed to Cuba with Clara Barton and the Red Cross to patch up the wounded in the Spanish-American War, Betsy determines to stop her the only way she knows how: by joining in her place. Battling heat, disease, and her own demons, Betsy follows Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders straight to the heart of the fighting, where she is forced to confront her greatest fears to save both old friends and new….

Set during an electrifying era of nation-building, idealism, and upheaval, Two Wars and a Wedding is the tale of two remarkable women striving to make their place in a man’s world—an unforgettable saga of friendship, love, and fighting for what is right.  

Click this link to purchase this book!* Two Wars and a Wedding


Marie Lu writes some amazing young adult novels and her characters always seem to connect with her audience. I didn’t realize she had a new book coming out, but after reading the synopsis, I’m totally looking forward to reading it!


Meet Winter Young – International pop sensation, with a voice like velvet and looks that could kill. His star power has smashed records, selling out stadiums from LA to London. His rabid fans would move heaven and earth for even a glimpse of him – just imagine what they’d do to become his latest fling.

Meet Sydney Cossette – Part of an elite covert ops group, Sydney joined their ranks as their youngest spy with plans to become the best agent they’ve ever had. An ice queen with moves as dangerous as her comebacks, Sydney picks up languages just as quickly as she breaks hearts. She’s fiery, no-nonsense, and has zero time for romance – especially with a shameless flirt more used to serving sass than taking orders.

When a major crime boss gifts his daughter a private concert with Winter for her birthday, Sydney and Winter’s lives suddenly collide. Tasked with infiltrating the crime organization’s inner circle, Sydney is assigned as Winter’s bodyguard with Winter tapped to join her on the mission of a lifetime as a new spy recruit. Sydney may be the only person alive impervious to Winter’s charms, but as their mission brings them closer, she’s forced to admit that there’s more to Winter Young than just a handsome face . . .

Click this link to purchase this book!* Stars and Smoke


I was lucky enough to get an advanced reader copy of this novel and LOVED it! It’s a really sweet and quirky contemporary romance that has hints of rom-com. You guys, it’s sooo good! You must read this one.

Synopsis: One small town, one big prize, one handsome stranger…

Nothing ever changes in Redford, Georgia. That’s what freelance editor Jess Reid loves about her hometown—and part of what keeps her from leaving. Content taking care of her father, a car mechanic who singlehandedly raised her after her mom skipped out, Jess is resigned to a safe, unremarkable existence…until Jasper Wilhelm, the town’s eccentric benefactor, dies suddenly and leaves behind the opportunity of a lifetime.

Financial advisor Carter Barclay has been too busy to visit his grandfather in Redford, but he’s heard countless stories about the town and its zany residents from Jasper. A small, insular town in Georgia is the last place Carter expects to be spending his summer—but it seems his grandfather had one final trick up his sleeve. 

At the funeral, it’s revealed that Jasper has devised a massive, high-stakes game for the people of Redford, with the winning duo taking home his entire fortune. The catch? He’s already taken the liberty of pairing them up. As tensions of all kinds rise between Jess and Carter, and the life-changing prize looms closer, the two must decide what they’re willing to risk to change their lives. A love story full of spirit and hijinks, The Only Game in Town is a funny, quirky homage to the people we get to call home.

Click this link to purchase this book!* The Only Game in Town

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase any of these books through the above links, I’ll receive a small stipend.


This is book #8 in the series featuring Veronica and her companion Stoker. I have loved how their relationship has evolved into romantic partners while still keeping true to their own interests and sleuthing. This is a fun story! (yes, I’ve read this one too)

Synopsis: Veronica’s natural-historian beau, Stoker, has been away in Bavaria for months and their relationship is at an impasse. But when Veronica shows up before him with his brother, Tiberius, Lord Templeton-Vane, he is lured back home by an intriguing job offer: preparing an iguanodon for a very special dinner party.
Tiberius has received a cryptic message—along with the obituaries of two recently deceased members of his old group of friends, the Seven Sinners—that he too should get his affairs in order. Realizing he is in grave danger but not knowing why, he plans a reunion party for the remaining Sinners at his family estate to lure the killer out while Veronica and Stoker investigate.
As the guests arrive and settle in, the evening’s events turn deadly. More clues come to light, leading Veronica, Stoker, and Tiberius to uncover a shared past among the Sinners that has led to the fatal present. But the truth might be far more sinister than what they were prepared for.

Click this link to purchase this book!* A Sinister Revenge


Lynn Painter is such a talented writer. The Love Wager is the second book in the series and these characters were adorable! Another must read novel on my list!

Synopsis: Hallie Piper is turning over a new leaf. After belly-crawling out of a hotel room (hello, rock bottom), she decides it’s time to become a full-on adult. She gets a new apartment, a new haircut, and a new wardrobe, but when she logs onto the dating app that she has determined will find her new love, she sees none other than Jack, the guy whose room she snuck out of. 

After agreeing they are absolutely not interested in each other, Jack and Hallie realize they’re each other’s perfect wing-person in their searches for The One. They text each other about their dates, often scheduling them at the same restaurant so that if things don’t go well, the two of them can get tacos afterward. 

Spoiler: they get a lot of tacos together. 

Discouraged by the lack of prospects, Jack and Hallie make a wager to see who can find true love first, but when they agree to be fake dates for a weekend wedding, all bets are off. As they pretend to be a couple, lines become blurred and they both struggle to remember why the other was a bad idea to begin with.

Click this link to purchase this book!* The Love Wager

Isn’t this a great list of book releases? I’ve read a few and am looking forward to finishing out my top 5.

Happy Reading!


It’s Monday, what are you reading? (2/20/23)

Have any of you tried out Kindle Vella yet? I’ll admit that I’m not sure how I feel about it yet and think I might actually spend more money buying these tokens to read episodes than I would purchasing an entire kindle book. However, I did get totally hooked on this one episodic teen novel, which I’ll tell you about below. So, I guess using the word “hooked” does mean that the format is working. But for me, it will never take the place of purchasing and reading a book all in one go.


Covert Hearts is the novel that I found on Kindle Vella and spent my Saturday reading. It’s a young adult serial, that has some great characters. Each episode, which are chapters, ended in a cliffhanger that just kept me going. There are three books in the series, and the episodes are typically released one week at a time. Or however often the author wants to release them. There are two books released and I’ll admit, they were a lot of fun to read! If you happen to give it a try I’d be interested to know what you think about Kindle Vella.


I just started this audiobook by Penny Reid and am really enjoying the story and narration. This series are written kind of like cozy mysteries, but with characters that started off in romance novels. It’s a lot of fun and pretty easy to follow in an audiobook while I’m driving or (at work, shhhh!).

Have you book hooked by a story this past week? Share the title here!

Have a great Monday and happy reading!


This Chick Read: Begin Again by Emma Lord

Andie Rose transfers to the college of her dreams mid-year to be with her boyfriend Connor but finds out that he transferred back to the community college in their hometown to be with her. Despite this mix-up, Andie is determined to live out her dream at Blue Ridge State, pursuing a degree in psychology and finally getting to walk in the footsteps of her deceased mom, who also went to this school. What she builds is a great group of friends, and a budding crush of her dorms RA, while also determining that her life’s path may not be in the direction she has predetermined.

There was the obvious plot hiccup at the start of the book when Andie got to Blue Ridge State to surprise her boyfriend and he no longer lived there, but I knew at that moment that this wasn’t going to be a book where Andie and her childhood boyfriend went through college together. Andie’s life was on a different trajectory of self-discovery, and the more I found out about her boyfriend the less I liked him for her. Since her mom died, Andie is determined to fix things. She is generous in her heart and with her time, to the detriment of her own wants and needs. Her roommate needs to determine a major and Andie is there to help! Here RA is addicted to very strong coffee and Andie is going to help him cut back. She is fixing all of the problems around her but pretty much ignores her own. As a reader I was both admiring of her need to help and cringing that she wasn’t looking after herself. Luckily her group of friends is there to help her out!

I really liked Milo- as her budding love interest but also because he was a contradictory character. He was a grump who drank too much coffee and didn’t get much sleep, but he always seemed to be there to give sage advice. Their friendship was slow moving until it finally changed to something more. If you like quick romances, this is not the book for you. This was definitely a slow burn romance. They both had a lot of personal angst to work through before they could be there for each other. I kind of liked that though! You really got to know each character and care about where their story arc was moving, allowing the reader to totally buy in to the change in direction.

Begin Again was a sweet, slow moving, coming of age (yet in college) young adult novel. For those of you who want to know the heat level in the romance, this was definitely on the tepid side. It really was more a self-discovery novel with a side of romance. I enjoyed the pace and all of the diverse characters. If you’re in the mood for a slow moving story that is heavy on the sweet, this might be the book for you!


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

Click this link to purchase this book!* Begin Again

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: The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

Andie is a planner and knows exactly what she’s doing this summer. When those plans get derailed because of her politician father’s scandal, Andie gets the best job she can and notifies her best friends that she’s available for the summer. Walking dogs may be out of her comfort zone but she makes the best of a bad situation and when one of those dogs gets her closer to a cute boy named Clark she realizes this may be just the distraction she needs to distract her from her suddenly housebound dad. The Unexpected Everything is an unexpected pleasure.

Growing up the daughter of a politician, Andi knows that she’s under constant scrutiny. Her actions can’t cause problems for her Congressman father. When his own scandal derails his career and he’s a housebound father after a five year absence they have a hard time adjusting but not unexpectedly, they find a new path together but not without moments of growing pains. I really loved the father-daughter bonding in this young adult novel. Another great aspect to this story were Andie’s friends- Toby, Bri, and Palmer. Their solid friend group seemed perfectly sound until another secret rocks their world and makes them work to recover that bond they’d always had with each other.

Then there was Clark. A couple of years older but millions of years wiser- or so it seemed. A successful author of a best-selling fantasy novel Clark seems to have it all, but as the story unwinds we realize that there is a lot of depth to his character, a depth that makes Andi a little uneasy since she seems to avoid any kind of conflict in her own life. I enjoyed how being with Clark challenged Andie to think in a more mature manner and take a look at how she has been living her own life.

If I had any criticism it would be that I think this story could have been told in fewer words. The novel did seem to drag a bit and I got impatient to reach the conflict that I knew was coming. It could be because this is a young adult novel and those days are long gone, but I would’ve liked the author to get to the point a little bit quicker than she did. I will say the slower pace didn’t stop me from enjoying the story and investing in all of these interesting characters. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

Click this link to purchase this book!* The Unexpected Everything

Copyright 2023 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: My Top 5 Most Anticipated Book Releases – Jan’23

If you’re wondering how I find out about book releases, I’ll give you my secret. There isn’t one. Ha! I look at the Goodreads list of January’23 book releases which is based upon people clicking “want to read”. I’ll admit to reading a couple of blog posts as well because some bloggers are genre specific and I’ll find more obscure books by favorite authors who may not be as mainstream, but I generally rely on Goodreads. I’m often amazed by surprise releases that I haven’t heard anything about. I have one or two of those in my top 5 this month. Let me know if you are surprised by any of my picks!


This is the sequel novella to Rogerson’s A Sorcery of Thorns, which I loved. Despite the short length, I’m excited to see what these characters are up to.


Elisabeth Scrivener is finally settling into her new life with sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn. Now that their demon companion Silas has returned, so has scrutiny from nosy reporters hungry for gossip about the city’s most powerful sorcerer and the librarian who stole his heart. But something strange is afoot at Thorn Manor: the estate’s wards, which are meant to keep their home safe, are acting up and forcibly trapping the Manor’’ occupants inside. Surely it must be a coincidence that this happened just as Nathaniel and Elisabeth started getting closer to one another…

With no access to the outside world, Elisabeth, Nathaniel, and Silas—along with their new maid Mercy—will have to work together to discover the source of the magic behind the malfunctioning wards before they’re due to host the city’s Midwinter Ball. Not an easy task when the house is filled with unexpected secrets, and all Elisabeth can think about is kissing Nathaniel in peace. But when it becomes clear that the house, influenced by the magic of Nathaniel’s ancestors, requires a price for its obedience, Elisabeth and Nathaniel will have to lean on their connection like never before to set things right.

Click this link to purchase this book!* Mysteries of Thorn Manor

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase any books on this list from an attached link I’ll receive a small stipend.


I’ve enjoyed Emma Lord’s novels in the past and was excited to get an advanced reader copy of this book. Taking place on a college campus, this story revolves around friendships, heartache, secrets, and love. I enjoyed it!

Synopsis: Filled with a friend group that feels like family, an empowering journey of finding your own way, and a Just Kiss Already! romance, Emma Lord’s Begin Again is an unforgettable YA novel of love and starting again.

As usual, Andie Rose has a plan: Transfer from community college to the hyper competitive Blue Ridge State, major in psychology, and maintain her lifelong goal of becoming an iconic self-help figure despite the nerves that have recently thrown her for a loop. All it will take is ruthless organization, hard work, and her trademark unrelenting enthusiasm to pull it all together.

But the moment Andie arrives, the rest of her plans go off the rails. Her rocky relationship with her boyfriend Connor only gets more complicated when she discovers he transferred out of Blue Ridge to her community college. Her roommate Shay needs a major, and despite Andie’s impressive track record of being The Fixer, she’s stumped on how to help. And Milo, her coffee-guzzling grump of an R.A. with seafoam green eyes, is somehow disrupting all her ideas about love and relationships one sleep-deprived wisecrack at a time.

But sometimes, when all your plans are in rubble at your feet, you find out what you’re made of. And when Andie starts to find the power of her voice as the anonymous Squire on the school’s legendary pirate radio station–the same one her mom founded, years before she passed away–Andie learns that not all the best laid plans are necessarily the right ones.

Click this link to purchase this book!* Begin Again


Jill Shalvis is my go-to author for feel good novels with great friendships. The Backup Plan is more Women’s Fiction than romance but it certainly checked all of my boxes that make up a great novel.


When Alice receives a call about an unexpected windfall, she’s stunned to learn the gift is a falling-apart-at-the-seams old Wild West B&B she once considered home—and she’s inherited it along with two strangers. Except they weren’t always strangers. Once upon a time, they were friends. One is her ex-BFF Lauren. The other is Knox, the only guy to ever break her heart, all while never even knowing she existed.

It turns out their lives are unknowingly entangled because they once separately helped the same woman without expecting anything in return. Years later, Alice, Lauren, and Knox are broken in their own way, with their own history—and secrets— causing them to start out on the wrong foot with each other. But according to the will, they must renovate and be partners in the inn for one year or else lose their inheritance.

Stuck together, they make a list of rules to keep the peace—rules that end up doing the opposite, but by some miracle they find what they didn’t even know they were looking for—acceptance, true friendship, and in a case (or two!), true love.

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


Kate Clayborn writes heartfelt poignant romance novels. The synopsis grabbed me on this one and I can’t wait for a little time off to dig in and spend a day with it.

Synopsis: Longtime personal assistant Georgie Mulcahy has made a career out of putting others before herself. When an unexpected upheaval sends her away from her hectic job in L.A. and back to her hometown, Georgie must confront an uncomfortable truth: her own wants and needs have always been a disconcertingly blank page.  

But then Georgie comes across a forgotten artifact—a “friendfic” diary she wrote as a teenager, filled with possibilities she once imagined. To an overwhelmed Georgie, the diary’s simple, small-scale ideas are a lifeline—a guidebook for getting started on a new path.  

Georgie’s plans hit a snag when she comes face to face with an unexpected roommate—Levi Fanning, onetime town troublemaker and current town hermit. But this quiet, grouchy man is more than just his reputation, and he offers to help Georgie with her quest. As the two make their way through her wishlist, Georgie begins to realize that what she truly wants might not be in the pages of her diary after all, but right by her side—if only they can both find a way to let go of the pasts that hold them back. 

Honest and deeply emotional, Georgie, All Along is a smart, tender must-read for everyone who’s ever wondered about the life that got away . . .

Click this link to purchase this book!* Georgie All Along


Ninth House stayed with me for a long while, so I can’t wait to read Hell Bent. It’s hard to describe this series but it’s set in modern day but has elements of supernatural, horror, and mystery. I can’t wait!

Synopsis: Find a gateway to the underworld. Steal a soul out of hell. A simple plan, except people who make this particular journey rarely come back. But Galaxy “Alex” Stern is determined to break Darlington out of purgatory—even if it costs her a future at Lethe and at Yale.

Forbidden from attempting a rescue, Alex and Dawes can’t call on the Ninth House for help, so they assemble a team of dubious allies to save the gentleman of Lethe. Together, they will have to navigate a maze of arcane texts and bizarre artifacts to uncover the societies’ most closely guarded secrets, and break every rule doing it. But when faculty members begin to die off, Alex knows these aren’t just accidents. Something deadly is at work in New Haven, and if she is going to survive, she’ll have to reckon with the monsters of her past and a darkness built into the university’s very walls.

Thick with history and packed with Bardugo’s signature twists, Hell Bent brings to life an intricate world full of magic, violence, and all too real monsters.

Click this link to purchase this book!* Hell Bent

I’m sure my choices might be different than yours, so feel free to shout out a book you’re looking forward to reading after its release next month. OR if you are digging my list, let me know the one you can’t wait to read.

Happy reading!