Review: Deacon by Kristen Ashley

01 a0 How does Kristen Ashley manage to write about the most sexy men on the planet?? They may not be perfect men, but they are perfect to the women that claim them. And Deacon is most definitely that man. He hasn’t made the best choices in his life, but when he meets Cassie, he realizes that he can’t keep doing what he’s doing if he wants a girl like her.

SYNOPSIS
Deacon has an ugly history, a history that broke him, leaving him a ghost of a man. Out of necessity, he left the normal world to descend into the criminal world and found he fit. So he stayed. Cold as ice and living off the grid, Deacon has no intention to connect, not with anyone.

Then he returns to some remote cabins in the Colorado Mountains and finds they have new owners. One of them is Cassidy Swallow, a young woman willing to work hard to live her quiet dream in a house by a river surrounded by aspen and pine.

Suddenly, Deacon finds he’s at war. Cassidy’s pull for him to connect is strong. He fights it, but he loses, always coming back for more. But when he does, he gives her nothing.

From the first time she sees him, Cassidy knows Deacon is dead inside. She knows he’s the kind of man who could destroy a woman. But one night when Deacon’s control slips, Cassidy takes a chance.

He might break her. He also might be her dream come true.

Cassie knows he’s dangerous. She knows she should stay away. But there’s this pull that can’t be explained, and all it takes is one little slip and she’ll be lost in him forever.

I loved Deacon’s mysterious side. He kept coming back year after year. He barely ever spoke to her, but that didn’t change the fact that they were drawn to each other.

This book was so hot. I mean, whoa. I was rereading and taking notes. Their connection was off the charts. One minute they were sweet, and the next there was no stopping them. The was Deacon spoke to Cassie was so sweet and saucy, I was swooning.

Another 5 star K.A. book. In all reality, you can’t go wrong with a K.A. book. She write about real women and real situations. No cookie cutter books. Perfection.

~Melpomene

Buy Deacon (The Unfinished Heroes Series Book 4)

Review: The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher

  I have no idea how this book got on my kindle, but I’m glad it did. If you gifted it to me, or anyone, THANK YOU, because it’s truly wonderful. 

The Shell Seekers is a family saga, replete with cultural, historical and generational contrast. You’ve got love, war, births, deaths, eating, laughing, painting, celebrating, mourning, and the satisfaction of unvarnished truth. 

In the countryside and beside the sea, through the world of art and artists, and across five decades including wartime in England, the novel illustrates how love carries people through pain and disappointment. 

Olivia and Penelope seemed to me to be the central characters, though you might have your own ideas. They were full of matriarch Sophie’s love, and spread it around the best they could despite their own wounded hearts. 

Pilcher amused me with military characters, wartime rations, long walks home, and the laughter of love. I could feel the bit of ease in an otherwise structured general’s day, the cool juice of canned peaches, the tired thighs covered by a thin dress. And I could very well see the sparkle in the eyes of Sophie, Penelope and Antonia… and the men they loved. 

The Shell Seekers also comments on family – disloyalty through selfishness, the effects of nurture vs. nature, and the rewards given to those who make life a little lighter for another. Do we all give ourselves to the people who need and appreciate it most? 

At first it was difficult for my linear self to get into Pilcher’s rhythm of occasional flashbacks, but once I fell in love with the characters, I also fell into the rhythm.  The novel was also on the long side as far as pleasure reading goes (can’t give five stars because some pages were pure skippable description without moving the plot forward). However, I was glad for every character, every kiss, every seaside gaze. I relished the daydreaminess of Sophia and Penelope… and then occasional bouts by Olivia.  And despite deaths and some residual bitterness, the family pretty much lives happily ever after, leaving me with a satisfied smile and a full heart. 

If you’re looking for a substantial, long, hearty, uplifting read, look no further. It may be available at your library, or click the title here to find it on Amazon: The Shell Seekers.

-calliope

Review (Revisited): Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum

IMG_3330Okay….so now I need to figure out how to review a book that I didn’t even read….

So yes, this isn’t really a review, but it does contain some of my thoughts about this book….

I was very excited to start this book….I’ve recently moved from the only country I’ve ever known to another country to be with my (now) husband. So I thought in many ways that this book would speak to me. That there would be parts that I could relate to. Also it’s has such a beautiful cover. I try not to judge a book based upon it’s cover, but I admit to being a sucker for one that is as beautiful as this one. Plus, when I glanced over the description (I try not to read full descriptions) it looked like exactly the type of book I enjoy….

So I started it….I will say I finally gave up at 25%…I did scan a few later chapters and I did read the last chapter….with the ending, it’s really a shame that I couldn’t get into this novel…because endings like this book don’t put me off….they don’t make me angry….they enrich my enjoyment of a novel because they are more real to life than some neatly wrapped up pretty package of an ending….

But back to why I just couldn’t read more of this novel…I just couldn’t relate to Anna at all. It’s not that I didn’t like her….or couldn’t understand her….she was just….errrr…lifeless….perhaps that was intentional, I don’t know…I’ve met people who were lifeless I suppose….I guess it would even make sense if it was intentional…as if Anna was only existing, and not actually living….hell, I said I looked forward to this book because I could relate….it wasn’t just moving to another country I spoke of….I’ve merely existed as well….but….I don’t know….Anna just felt flat to me….

I will say that from what I read this wasn’t a marriage/family thing…this is how Anna was long before she moved to another country….before she got married…and before she had children….and I understand to some extent what the author was trying to do here….Perhaps she is trying to paint the world that I was reading to mimic the world that Anna was actually in….

But on a personal level…I’ve been there…..and I have no desire to revisit that bleakness again….so maybe I am wrong in saying that I could not connect with Anna…perhaps I did…and wanted no part of it….

The way that the book was written was very confusing to me as well….I’ve read a few books that jumped from current time, to future conversations, to past conversations without warning and not had issues with it. It suited the book….I didn’t feel it suited this novel though..the more the jumps happened…well the more and more I felt that it was just another factor that was determined to prevent me from relating to Anna and her story….It was just another barrier that I couldn’t overcome….let’s be clear….It’s not that I didn’t like Anna….or that I hated Anna….heck, I confess to loving some books that I absolutely hated ALL the characters. I will even admit that some books have annoyed me to no end by the behaviours of the main character….but the writing and all the *stuff* going on in the novel….well….there was nothing to do but to read on and marvel at the writing…the feelings this novel inspired (which were few) did not inspire me to read on…I wanted to give up much earlier than I did, but I hate to give up on a book!

Again….this novel…it just fell flat for me 😦 I hate that it did. I really wanted to fall in love….but sometimes we just have to make due with the fact that not every book speaks to us…and we can’t love every one we read…..

Until next time…

Urania xx

Review copy provided by Netgalley for an honest review

and please….don’t bother committing on this review and telling me I shouldn’t rate it if I didn’t finish it…I can take a bite from a sandwich and know it’s not for me…I shouldn’t be forced to eat the whole thing before I’m allowed my opinion….I know after 25% that this writing style would never be for me….and I’m entitled to my opinion and yes, I’m allowed to rate it based on my feelings…don’t like it? Well…..get over it….oh….and have a nice day….x

Buy it now Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum

Review: The Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll

luckiest-girl-alive-9781476789637Most of the time, when I finish a book I’m able to talk about it right away. But every now and then a book comes along that makes me hesitate, sit back and think about it a bit. This debut novel by Jessica Knoll is one of those books.

Meet Ani. She’s a young women living in New York, not yet thirty and already an established contributor to The Women’s Magazine. She’s the epitome of success. Ani knows how to dress, how to walk and talk, how to order at a restaurant. And she’s engaged. Not just any average Joe will do. Luke comes from old money, a well-to-do and highly respected family. He’s her ticket to security. Does she love him? Does it even matter?

But Ani is hiding a secret from most of the world. Something from her past has come back to tarnish the image she’s worked so hard to cultivate. Everyone thinks they know what happened when she was a student at the prestigious Bradley School, but now it’s time for Ani to tell her side of the story.

I’m the first to admit, it took me more than my typical 10% to get into this story. Even after 20%, I was still skeptical. But I knew, just felt even, that something was going to happen to make it worth my while. So I stuck with it. And I’m glad I did. Because it paid off.

This is a dark, sarcastic, humorous, witty story. There’s a depressing sadness that comes from finally hearing what happened to Ani. But at the same time, she’s not always a very likable character. She’s kind of mean, biting, cruel even. Once you hear her story, however, you understand. And you find yourself pulling for her, even cheering her on as the story reaches its ending. It’s a story that I think will leave people pondering for a bit, wondering about what they just read. And it’s a book that I believe people will recommend to others, just like I’m now recommending it to you!

~Thalia

Buy It Now:Luckiest Girl Alive: A Novel

Review: Fury by Fisher Amelie

01 a1 WOW!!! I am speechless and crying. This book….How does Fisher do this to me in every book she writes?! This book will make you feel. This book will change your life. This book will bring to light, that the world has some very bad and scary parts to it. And the further you get sucked in, the more fury will take hold and pull you in deeper.

SYNOPSIS
Revenge is an euphoric thing. Trust me on this. Nothing compares to the release you get when you ruin someone’s life. When they’ve stolen important things. Things that didn’t belong to them. Things I revel in making them pay for.

What? Have I offended you? I’m not here to appeal to your delicate senses. I have no intention of placating your wishes or living within your personal belief system nor do I care if you hate me. And you will hate me. Because I’m a brutal, savage, cold-blooded murderer and I’m here for my revenge.

I’m Ethan Moonsong…And this is the story about how I went from the world’s most sacrificing man to the most feared and why I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

Ethan is angry. After all we went through for his ex girlfriend. He wanted to be forever with her, but she changed and now he can’t stand these feelings anymore. Until one day, he stumbles upon and old friend from high school, and his life slowly turns around.

She made me forget my night. Just like that. Finley was the calm after the storm.

Finley doesn’t realize that she may just save Ethan from making a decision that would change his life. And in doing so, Ethan turns around and chances her life.

Their story is very sad, but it’s also very beautiful. It brings to light a very sad and scary part of this world, that many turn a blind eye to. I was moved to tears many times. My heart was breaking. I was a wreck.

If you can find your way to push anger out of your heart, you can find a way to be happy. But no one said it would be easy.

~Melpomene

Buy FURY: The Seven Deadly Series Standalone #3 during release week, for only $1.99!!

While Fury can be read as a standalone, I highly recommend reading the first two books in the Seven Deadly Series.
VAIN: Series Standalone 1
GREED: Series Standalone 2

Review: All Played Out by Cora Carmack

01all In science, every action might have an equal and opposite reaction, but not in life. Life is unbalanced. Life is complicated.

This series keeps getting better and better. The football aspect is even starting to grow on me. These books have just the right amount of emotion and heart. Nothing too sappy, but the perfect amount of realness. And Mateo’s story is just that. It made me want to crawl in and join that group of friends.

SYNOPSIS
First person in her family to go to college? CHECK.
Straight A’s? CHECK.
On track to graduate early? CHECK.
Social life? …..yeah, about that….

With just a few weeks until she graduates, Antonella DeLuca’s beginning to worry that maybe she hasn’t had the full college experience. (Okay… Scratch that. She knows she hasn’t had the full college experience).

So Nell does what a smart, dedicated girl like herself does best. She makes a “to do” list of normal college activities.

Item #1? Hook up with a jock.

Rusk University wide receiver Mateo Torres practically wrote the playbook for normal college living. When he’s not on the field, he excels at partying, girls, and more partying. As long as he keeps things light and easy, it’s impossible to get hurt… again. But something about the quiet, shy, sexy-as-hell Nell gets under his skin, and when he learns about her list, he makes it his mission to help her complete it.

Torres is the definition of confident (And sexy. And wild), and he opens up a side of Nell that she’s never known. But as they begin to check off each crazy, exciting, normal item, Nell finds that her frivolous list leads to something more serious than she bargained for. And while Torres is used to taking risks on the field, he has to decide if he’s willing to take the chance when it’s more than just a game.

Together they will have to decide if what they have is just part of the experiment or a chance at something real.

I totally connected with this story, since I was a very sheltered and school driven myself. I never really experienced the “usual college activities.” So I enjoyed Nell’s list making and the checking off of the items. I wish I did that, when I was younger. Work is important, yes, but if that’s all you have, you’re going to live a half life. So, I was glad to see Nell attempt to take control and change it for the better.

Mateo was the best kind of guy. No, scratch that. He was the best kind of guy, for Nell. His joking and flirting, around his friends, hid his true feelings. But Nell saw right through those and was able to help him move past them. He was the comic relief that was needed. Everyone group of friends need a Mateo.

I also enjoyed their smoking chemistry. To have that kind of instant attraction, is the best, when it is well written and not over the top insta-lust. And that is exactly what this was. The perfect balance.

Somewhere between my chest and my stomach there’s a knot that twists every time I see her. And I’m starting to enjoy it, the strange pleasure pain of wanting her.

I enjoyed seeing the other characters, and how they’re slowly dropping in the coupledom. We also see a glimpse of what’s to come in the next book. I’ve been waiting for that one. I’m very excited.

~Melpomene

Buy All Played Out: A Rusk University Novel

Review – A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley.

41193I first read this when I was around 17, doing a comparative literature course on Shakespeare and contemporary writers. This was my first time reading anything by Jane Smiley, and to be honest, the Pulitizer didn’t mean a whole lot to me! Now, I love King Lear – in fact, it is my favourite of Shakespeare’s published plays. Reading Shakespeare at 17, especially one of the less “famous” ones, was quite daunting, but reading Smiley’s interpretation alongside it, made it not only easier, but it gave me a better appreciation of it.
If you don’t know the plot, here is a very simplified version: Smiley presents us with a family that owns a 1000 acre farm in 1970’s Iowa. We have Larry, Caroline, Ginny and Rose who are obviously representing Lear, Goneril, Regan and Cordelia. Larry, who is getting on in years, decides to transfer ownership of his farm between his 3 daughters, with Caroline not agreeing. This begins a journey in which none of the characters fare very well.
Much like Shakespeare’s play, Smiley gives us a rich novel full of varying themes. However, it is also simple and honest. I say simple not as an insult, but indeed a compliment. Smiley is able portray common tragedies and instances of abhorrence and turn them into a multi-faceted series of events that propel the actions and growth of the characters.
I’m not going to go on and on about this book because sometimes, less is more!

If you haven’t read this novel, do yourself a favour and pick up a copy today!

Pegasus.

A Thousand Acres: A Novel

Cover reveal: The Forbidden Mountain by Heather Lyons

We are so excited to bring you the Cover Reveal for Heather Lyons’ THE FORGOTTEN MOUNTAIN! THE FORGOTTEN MOUNTAIN is an Adult Fantasy and the third book in Heather’s The Collector’s Society Series!

Heather Lyons is known for writing epic, heartfelt love stories often with a fantastical twist. From Young Adult to New Adult to Adult novels — one commonality in all her books is the touching, and sometimes heartwrenching, romance. And this book is absolutely no different! The Collectors’ Society’s adventures continue in ways you would have never imagined on June 25th! Join them as you step into this adult fairytale with some of your favorite characters.

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 Heather worked with Victoria Faye from Whit and Ware for the design of this fabulous cover!

Add THE FORGOTTEN MOUNTAIN on Goodreads!!

 

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About THE FORGOTTEN MOUNTAIN:

After years spent in Wonderland, Alice Reeve learned the impossible was quite possible after all. She thought she left such fantastical realities behind when she finally returned to England.

Now Alice has become a member of the clandestine Collectors’ Society, and the impossible has found her again in the form of an elusive villain set on erasing entire worlds. As she and the rest of the Society race to bring this mysterious murderer to justice, the fight becomes painfully personal.

Lives are being lost. Loved ones are shattered or irrevocably altered. Each step closer Alice gets to the shadowy man she hunts, the more secrets she unravels, only to reveal chilling truths. If she wants to win this war and save millions of lives, Alice must once more embrace the impossible and make the unimaginable, imaginable.

Sometimes, the rabbit hole leads to terrifying places.

 

Don’t miss the first books in this The Collectors’ Society Series!

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THE COLLECTORS’ SOCIETY

Amazon ** Barnes and Noble ** iBooks ** Kobo

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THE HIDDEN LIBRARY

Amazon ** Amazon UK ** Barnes and Noble ** iBooks ** Kobo

Author PhotoAbout Heather Lyons:

Heather Lyons writes epic, heartfelt love stories and has always had a thing for words. In addition to writing, she’s also been an archaeologist and a teacher. She and her husband and children live in sunny Southern California and are currently working their way through every cupcakery she can find.

 

 

 

 

Website ** Author Goodreads ** Twitter ** Facebook ** THE FORGOTTEN MOUNTAIN Goodreads

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Review: Making Your Mind Up by Jill Mansell

 Jill Mansell writes satisfying stories. Here it is a week after I finished Making Your Mind Up, and I’m sighing with satisfaction at this complete, thoroughly developed, fun piece of fiction.  

So Lottie lives in a little cottage with her two children (when they aren’t with their nice-enough but childish father). She feels chemistry with her new boss Tyler, but her children aren’t having it. They behave badly around him, and speak badly of him. So after a failed attempt at dating, Lottie moves on to ever charming Seb… who isn’t all that he seems to be. I KNEW there was something odd about that guy! 

In the end, love prevails, as do family and loyalty and reason. 

So besides phenomenal characters and a happily ever after, Making Your Mind Up illustrates the strength of family love. Most of Mansell’s novels are fun and flirty, but this one adds the dimension of children – truth-telling, tiring, joyful parts of us that keep us forever in love. 

-calliope

Buy MAKING YOUR MIND UP