Cover Image: Chick Magnet

Chick Magnet

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Member Reviews

what can i say a sad boy veterinarian with a heart of gold but grumpy and depressed about his failing business is my catnip. add in a sparky chicken 'influencer' who's horrid ex gaslit her into stardom, then flung her away for a new, shiny and you've got all the mix-ins for a perfect contemporary romance.

I loved this a whole lot. so much so i'm struggling to put it into words? I have a print arc and i need to sit and soak it all in, again.

Also THIS was an amazing way to include our current world. This is a world where the pandemic is ebbing, but has really ruined someone's tenuous business, and spirit, but Barry does an amazing job stitching it all up into a hopeful, but not falsely positive HEA for all.

ALSO SO SEXY. Chick Nick and those shorts? Go get it.

CW: pandemic references, depression, animals that are hurt/in danger, descriptions of putting animals asleep, animal injuries, grief to animals lost during procedures (all of this is off page, but thought about). Hurt chicken (she lives).

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Finally, another longtime favorite has a new book out: Emma Barry. In CHICK MAGNET (Montlake, 291 pp., paperback. $16.99) she brings us Nic, who’s Instagram-famous for her backyard chicken flock, and Will, the grumpy veterinarian next door who’s struggling to keep his practice from being shuttered.

The town here is weathered and lived-in, but the more significant landscape is the characters’ minds. Nic is mired in her past — haunted, as she says, by the way her narcissistic ex warped her experience of the world. For his part, Will can’t see beyond his own fears of the future: how his friends and family will react when he tells them his practice is going to fail. Together they find ways of existing in the present — a stolen kiss on a porch has a way of healing scars and banishing dread, if only for an instant.

“Chick Magnet” has one of the best epilogues I’ve ever read, and it’s a perfect demonstration of why writers keep going back to small-town settings. Because underneath all the cupcakes and cruel memories, there is one great promise at the heart of a small-town romance: There’s always a first time for second chances.

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What a lovely and hearty Romcom. The story was truly refreshing and I had a few very good and long laughs.Firstly when I started, I thought I picked the wrong book, when reading about dinosaurs but then I got the point and had to laugh at my stupidity.But as far as I could tell this book really brightens your day and its plot is almost real. Due to Covid, Nicole Jones with a bunch of chickens starts videos as an influencer a gives tips on YouTube while her psycho-ex stalks her and gets between her and her best friend, Nic moves to a town, where her grandmother grew up and couldn´t stop talking about. There she meets a grumpy vet Will with a failing business and a heart of gold.What comes out is one amazing book I enjoyed every second of it.

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Thank you NetGalley and publisher for this ARC publication for an honest review.

Chick Magnet
by Emma Barry
Pub Date: 24 Jan 2023

This book has the sunshine heroine and the grumpy next door neighbor trope. The story takes place after Covid has hit. Nic is an influencer who goes by Chick Nic due to her "thing" being all things chicken. Will is the hot veterinarian who is having financial difficulties keeping his small-town clinic afloat. There were plenty of cute, sweet moments (a little too much steam for me!) as well as some frustrating miscommunications and insta-love (which honestly felt like insta-lust)... The writing was fine, but the book didn't give me anything unique other than it mentions a time frame and economy struggles immediately after Covid.

3 stars

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⭐️: 3

I wanted to love this book. And it wasn’t bad or anything, it just didn’t live up to my expectations and it felt like i had to drag myself through it.

Tiktok chicken girl moves in next door to small town vet. It’s a tale as old as time. But with this being set mid/post pandemic, it really dated the book and sort of ruined the escapism for me.

I didn’t find myself connecting with really any of the characters. The side characters weren’t anything too special either.

I did really like the message of her finding out who her friends are and which relationships matter and standing up for herself.

This book is great for learning so much about chickens. The author really did her research and it shows. It just wasn’t the one for me.

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Let me begin with my negatives, because they’re actually wrapped up in a positive. The cover and the title of this book really don’t do this story justice. I was expecting an average rom com love story. Instead I got an emotional story with nuances. The characters had depth that made me feel like they were real. The writing was beautiful, as well. This story tackles the reality of a post pandemic world and how it will leave a lasting imprint on so many lives. This is a story about learning to have the courage to let love in, but most especially to love yourself.

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Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, and author of this book for allowing me to read this book for free in exchange for an honest review. I enjoyed this book. I loved the chickens! And I loved the playful romance and funny moments in this book. The only few things I didn’t like was bringing up Covid, and the dirty language that could have been left out. I get that Covid was part of the storyline, but I’m tired of it. Other than that, the romance between a chicken lover influencer and a hot vet was perfect!

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I DNF’d this at 30%. Unfortunately I just didn’t see any chemistry between the two main characters, and although it’s supposed to be a grumpy sunshine tripe, the guy was just a horrible person. I really didn’t enjoy what I read of this

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I was SO excited to see a new Emma Barry book in the Netgalley offerings, and I was not disappointed upon finishing it! Slow burn between a YouTube chicken influencer coming out of a toxic relationship and a small town vet suffering from depression as a result of not being able to keep up with the bills of his practice. I loved both of the MCs, and it was so much fun to learn about chickens and vet life (even the crummy aspects of it).

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for my thoughts.

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I felt like the synopsis sold this book as more of a rom-com and it wasn't. There were a few funny moments but for the most part I found this book to be despressing. Set during the pandemic (depressing factor #1) as things were opening back up, small town vet Will Lund is facing shutting down his practice due to the downturn and people not having money to pay for animal care. His new neighbor Nicole "Nic" Jones is a social media influencer who fled an abusive relationship (depressing factor #2) and moved cross country to a town where her grandmother once lived. I liked Will's character a lot and honestly was happy to see a male character struggling with depression and feeling like no matter what he does it isn't good enough, you rarely see male characters like this in romance books so that was a good thing. Nic got on my nerves somewhat, but then I'm not a fan of influencers so that's on me, and I did appreciate she changed her stance on that during this book. I didn't hate this book, but it wasn't what I was expecting and it isn't something I truly enjoyed reading.

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This was quite possibly one of the cutest most fun pay off set ups I have ever read. I loved how much banter we had but also tension.

The way this romance built and worked was perfect for me. I loved it so much and I would have never expected to say that about a chicken influencer/vet romance

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Nic is a social media influencer, popular for raising chickens. After being publicly dumped and humiliated by her boyfriend, she moved 1,000 miles from California to her Granny’s home town in Yagerstown, VA. Will is a small town vet who is finding it hard to recover after the economic downturn caused by the pandemic. He thinks he’s a failure and refuses to share his burdens with friends and family, feeling like he’s all alone.

Will and Nic start off with preconceived ideas about the other based on history. Nic had a horrible experience with a vet which lead to one of her chickens dying. Will has seen the downside of recreational backyard chicken raising, made popular by people like Nic. He’s actually a bit mean to Nic; however, she has an inner light and she tends to see the good in people, even after all she’s been through. I love how the author brings up real problems with chicken care without feeling preachy.

Chick Magnet is an amazing romance that left me so warm and fuzzy on the inside. It’s a feel-good, well-written love story from beginning to end. There is humor, pain, forgiveness, and growth. I loved watching the pair find their footing and fall in love. What makes the story wonderful is that each had to find a solid place of their own so they could grow from past pain before they can truly fall in love. They help make the other the best versions of themselves.

The author creates a wonderful balance of self-reflection and relationship building. There are some heavier moments. My heart broke when Nic reaches out to her long-time best friend who distanced herself from Nic because of the ex. I appreciate that Nic needs to mend fences with her friend more than she needs to see her ex fail. Meanwhile, Will suffers from anxiety and depression (he does seek professional help), and he has an unhealthy relationship with members of his family. He sees himself as a failure and not worthy of love. He struggles with his feelings, which causes problems for the pair. I shed a few tears with words such as “She’d already given him everything, and it hadn’t been enough.” There are so many beautifully crafted lines: words that portray genuine moments of raw pain and joy.

Chick Magnet is fun, swoon-worthy, and a must read. It’s an enjoyable journey from start to finish.

My Rating: A

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I would describe this as a sad romance, there is some grief but more of guilt and regret over past actions/mistakes. There are also some funny moments and overall, it was a satisfying mix of both sadness and hopefulness.

It's a character driven story with a strong internal conflict, a lot of pining and self-reflections, exactly the kind of contemporary romance that I enjoy.

The story is told from a dual POV and we get deep into the mindset of both Nic and Will. The grumpy vet and the sunshine chick influencer are that just on the surface. Deep down both are very similar though - somewhat disillusioned, full of guilt of their past, deeply concerned abut the feelings of others.

With Will we get the exploration of male vulnerability which I appreciate, someone dreading what he sees as failure because of the family and social expectations. On the verge of depression but ultimately seeking professional help. He is self-conscious, shy by nature and doesn't want to burden the others with his problems and letting her in was a big step for him. Asking for help both in terms of his mental health and in terms of his business failing was so, so difficult for him.

Loved the small town setting - the sense of community but also lack of opportunities. It all felt real and not idealized.

There is a third act break up which I know many readers don't like but it didn't bother me. I felt it fitting the characters. They needed to figure their issues on their own and then try a relationship.

My only minor complaint was that the ending was too neat, a bit too much. It did take place an year after the events in the book which gives time the relationship to grown and develop but it still felt unnecessary.

In short, I thoroughly enjoyed this contemporary romance. It's character focused, somewhat sad but ultimately hopeful.

CW: depression, manipulative ex, gaslighting, injured pet, internet harassment, toxic family

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Thank you netgalley for giving me an eARC. I’m leaving this honest review voluntarily.

Nicole is a social influencer who keeps chicken. She has a youtube channel and she is moving to a small town where her grandmother lived. She has a neighbor, Will, who happens to be a veterinarian.

If you love enemies to lovers, then this book is for you!

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As the very proud owner of a flock of backyard dinosaurs, I completely adored this book! Chapter one had me crying from laughing so hard. There have been many similar moments here that I'm sure would have the neighbors laughing(they probably are laughing.. I know they have cameras)

Back to the story. Nic is an influencer trying to move on and start fresh after a very public breakup. Will is a vet in a small town trying to stay afloat after the pandemic. A harsh reality for many business owners. They help each other through some difficult moments and face some truths, all while falling for the other.

Emma did such an amazing job with world building. I could clearly see this town and all the people in it as I read. I felt transported right into the town. Will and Nic were both so lovable, a classic grumpy/sunshine type of dynamic that I enjoy so much.

This was my first book from Emma Barry, but it will not be the last.

Thank you Netgalley for the ARC

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Not going to lie, the cover definitely pulled me in. And then I read the synopsis and was instantly intrigued. Even though I had the ARC, I grabbed audio, which I enjoyed immensely.

A couple things I was unsure about was the social media and COVID-19 elements. I've never really been a fan about social media in books, I loathe it. But what made it manageable for me is that the FMC was changing their direction with their content.

Chick Magnet is the first book that I read that heavily mentions COVID and I wasn't sure how to feel about it. I get where the author was trying to bring more attention on how it affected essential workers as well. But there were other details that could have been added in since COVID was a heavy mention. For the most part, I think the author handled it well.

Will was an absolute grump and I quite enjoyed him, but he was so, so sad. It just made want to curl into a ball and cry.

Nic was a ray of sunshine and I truly enjoyed her character. I was so here for the chicken content! But her ex was horrible and he could seriously go suck an egg. This was just me, but I would have dumped her best friend too.

Overall, really enjoyed this one. Topics were written really well especially around mental health. Definitely look forward to more from this author.

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Chick Magnet is the perfect love story for those looking for a fun but sexy romance! A hot veterinarian who's passionate about animals meets a chicken-loving influencer - can you imagine a better couple? Their relationship starts out with sparks flying, but as time passes they both come to appreciate each other's differences. It might sound odd at first, but it's these quirks that bring them closer together in the end!

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Veronica – ☆☆☆☆☆
Nic Jones is a YouTube star who shares her love of chickens with the world. She moves to a small town after a very public break up. She quickly meets hot neighbour Will, who also happens to be the local vet. The first scene in this book, where they meet while trying to catch an escaped chicken, was so fun that I knew I was going to love this story.

The chemistry between Nic and Will was hot but not over the top. It felt natural. The anticipation of ‘will they or won’t they’ was tantalising. While there is a lot of fun and flirting in this story, it also has a bit of a more serious side too. Nic is starting her life over again and trying not to repeat the mistakes of her past, while Will is dealing with a failing business.

CHICK MAGNET was an absolute delight to read. I loved the maturity of this romance and right from the start, Will and Nic felt like they were just meant to be together. I am pleased to say CHICK MAGNET is my first five-star read for 2023..

Mary – ☆☆☆☆
I found this story funny and sad, the funny parts outweigh the sad but you have to have the sad to make the story work.

Nicole Jones, "Chick Nic" as she is known on YouTube, needed to get away from her life. So she takes her chickens and moves to the small town that her grandmother was from. Needless to say, she bought a house next door to the local vet, and he is not happy.

Will Lund is the local vet and he knows all about Chick Nic and her way of telling people how to raise chickens, most of the time she knows what she is talking about. But when she has an emergency, Will can't refuse to help her.

As Nic and Will try to stay away from each other, things keep pushing them together. They can't deny the attraction and maybe they don't want to. Is there something going on or will it be over before it starts?

I found that I really liked this story, but it seemed to drag along at times. As I said, it was funny, sad, cute, original, and catchy. So if you are looking for something funny and cute with a swoony vet, then you should read this one. This is a first for me from this author and I look forward to reading more from her.

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i loved this!!

nic is sunshine and wholesomeness and just love wrapped up in a neat little bow. she's not without her own struggles though and watching her find her strength throughout the book was just beautiful!! i really enjoyed that she was a chicken influencer because it was new and exciting to see <3

sad men really are my kryptonite and emma barry wrote one of the best ones to date!! will was going through it. life was attacking him from all sides and he couldn't understand that the people around him cared for him! as someone with depression it was so great to see such a realistic struggle. <spoiler> i loved that will sought out the help of a therapist </spoiler>

the characters were each so real that when they came together it wasn't just <i> oh we're in love and suddenly were healed and all of our problems have magically gone away </i> they had to take the time to heal on their own before being together.

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In many ways, this book really worked for me, sad and quietly contemplative, with a depressed veterinarian hero named Will, full of self-loathing and so afraid of failing in front of his whole family and a town full of people who he can’t seem to realize love him and care for me, and Nicole, a….chicken influencer. I’ll be honest, part of my curiosity about this book stemmed from the idea of a chicken influencer, I wasn’t sure what that exactly was and was prepared for all manner of chicken related shenanigans. And there certain were some chicken related shenanigans but overall, the chickens were charming as were Will and Nic.

As much as I adored the two characters and their journey of healing and growth and learning to lean on each other and love, not just each other, but also themselves. I do wish the book had made clear exactly how and when these two managed to fall in love. It’s not that I doubt that they are in love, it’s just so much of the book was full of introspection about their own past failings and the choices they had made that had led them to this moment, I wish some more of the book had focused on the why’s and how’s of them actually falling for each other.

Regardless of all that, I did enjoy the book. I loved the attention to familiar and friend relationships, the broken bonds between Nic and her former best friend, and I’m very much looking forward to reading more of Emma Barry’s work.

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