Review: The Bride Wore Crimson by Adrianne Lee

Well now, I was expecting a girly wedding story… but this wasn’t that! Maybe it’s because I’ve read other Adrianne Lee books that were quirky chick lit. Maybe it’s because I saw the word Wedding. Maybe it’s because I love fluff! Haha. 

Whatever the reason, I was super wrong, folks. This book is a whodunit… and not for the faint of heart.

If you’re into eccentric cozy mysteries, hop on for a ride through Weddingville. You’ll meet the suspicious photographer, the new girl, the off kilter cousin, and the regulars who try to make every bride’s dream come true in their kooky nuptial-destination town. 



Pegasus’ book of the year.

Ahhh… A Little Life!   I smile and grimace whenever I see that book in the shops, or hear that someone has read it for the first time.   The reason for this dichotomy of reactions?  This book will destroy you and heal you at the same time.   Yanagihara takes you on a full throttle journey, covering the the entire range of life and the emotions involved.

A Little Life follows four best friends from when they are roommates at college right through the next 30 or so years.   We have Jude, Malcolm, JB and Willem.   All have different personalities and ways of handling issues.  We explore their lives as they try and deal with revelations, tragedy, happiness, fame, and each other.   However, rest assured, that Yanagihara’s novel isn’t just your standard coming of age drama.  No.  It goes deep into who we are , how much we can endure, and what it means to truly live.  Imagine Nicholas Sparks on steroids but with half the sentiment.

One of my favourite aspects about this novel is the author’s use of language;  It is truly phenomenal.   Having the ability to evoke a sense of horror and shock without being explicit, is a true art form.  The language is raw, yet it never becomes explicit just for the sake of shock value.  It is believable, poetic and realistic all in one.

This isn’t an easy read whatsoever, however, it draws you in and keeps you hooked.   I wouldn’t read this next to a cozy fire with Christmas music playing, but I would definitely recommend that you start the new year with this brilliant read!

A Little Life: A Novel

Review: My Kind of Wonderful (Cedar Ridge) by Jill Shalvis

Bailey and Hud have nothing in common, not even mutual friends, so it’s a little awkward when they meet and feel The Chemistry. Oh, they try to dance around it, but fate plus Hud’s nosy family members equals a giant push toward each other. 

I loved that the more of the mural Bailey paints, the more she really gets to know Hud. And it’s awesome to see a guy love a woman just to love her – not to prove something or fix something or settle for something. 
The ski setting was exciting, the family members lent comfort and familiarity, and Hud missing his brother lent some realistic sorrow to an otherwise pretty idealistic (BTW that’s how I like ’em) story. 

Best part? Hud and Bailey figuring out what they DO have in common: good hearts. 

Excellent addition to the Cedar Ridge series! 

 Sigh. I thought it couldn’t get better than Lucky Harbor… but it does. 



Melpomene’s Top 15 of 2015

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I decided to stick with a top 15 instead of 25 this year. 25 seemed a bit overachieving, so I toned it down a smidge. And I was going to write this long and beautiful post, but then I realized I just can’t write long and beautifully, so you get short and sweet. Here you go.

1. Before We Were Strangers: A Love Story by Renee Carlino

2. November 9: A Novel by Colleen Hoover

3. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

4. Iniquity (The Premonition Series Book 5) by Amy Bartol

5. Breathe (Colorado Mountain Series Book 4) by Kristen Ashley

6. Restless Waters: A Left Drowning Novel (Left Drowning Series Book 2) by Jessica Park

7. The Song of David (The Law of Moses Book 2) by Amy Harmon

8. Kyland by Mia Sheridan

9. The Forgotten Mountain (The Collectors’ Society Book 3) by Heather Lyons

10. The One Thing by Marci Lyn Curtis

11. Where Sea Meets Sky: A Novel by Karina Halle

12. The Air He Breathes by Brittiany C. Cherry

13. Bad Romeo (The Starcrossed Series Book 1) by Leisa Rayven

14. Burned: Fever Series Book 7 by Karen Marie Moning

15. The Shadows (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 13) by J.R. Ward

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The Gamble (Colorado Mountain Series Book 1) by Kristen Ashley

Elude (Eagle Elite Book 6) by Rachel VanDyken

Walk Through Fire (Chaos) by Kristen Ashley

Gus by Kim Holden

The Raven (Florentine series Book 1) by Sylvain Reynard

What were some of your favorites??


Review: Star Wars Little Golden Books


So you may’ve heard about this movie that came out last Friday.  Not a big deal, really. Just a sequel to a little sci fi series…

Combine the epic saga that is Star Wars along with possibly the most nostalgic book medium of many of our childhoods and you get this.  The creators of Little Golden Books, those of The Poky  Little Puppy fame, have put together the perfect gift for Star Wars fans.

This little gem of a set condenses each of the six movies into one neat little golden-spined package.  Each story is accompanied by outstanding retro illustrations, and the scary scenes & violence have been nicely toned down as much as possible without losing the story.

These books will appeal to kids of all ages. Older readers will enjoy the memories from their childhood while at the same time adding another element to their no doubt very large Star Wars collection. And, as I’ve tested these on some very willing seven year olds, I can promise younger readers will devour them as just good books. Guaranteed to become favorites!





Review: The Lake House by Kate Morton

I thought The Lake House would be a little historical fiction with maybe a romance and a mystery thrown in. But the whole is so much more than the sum of its parts. This novel is virtually perfect technically, in its voice, in the way of character and plot development, and most importantly EMOTIONALLY. Though I dislike flashbacks/ decades alternating in the chapters, it was the perfect manner in which to present this tangled web of intrigue, drama, war and peace, family, and love.



Review: Make Me by Lee Child

23664710SO happy with this installment. I’ve felt that the last few have been lacking…hell, to be honest, after reading “Personal” I waited a few days after the release date to read this one….I’ve always read Reacher the day of release! Lee Child has been a long time favourite author of mine…I’ve followed Reacher from the very start…but the last few years have really left me feeling that perhaps Child was more interested in politics, Hollywood deals and easy payouts….

This one however! This is an example of what I loved about Reacher…Child wasn’t trying to invent dialogue and make Reacher more likable. Reacher acted exactly how he wanted to…said and did what he felt like doing, and didn’t much care if others didn’t really approve. They could either go along, or they could walk away….as often is the case, others followed along….I admit, Reacher is a type of person that I often wonder about in real life. I mean, he’s kinda stand-offish…his grooming habits might have a bit to be desired…he often takes the hard road, verses the easy way…and he doesn’t want to talk about, he just wants to bash someone’s head in….I should really be appalled by the man….but I’m not….I absolutely love him….

And if you want to know why….read this book….This is Reacher at his Reacher best…

**Spoiler** as for the all the reviews I am seeing now about Reacher settling down now…I wouldn’t bet on it…he’s had relationships in the past….he’s even crossed the country to meet a woman he was intrigued with….but Reacher isn’t the type to settle down…Hell, having a bank account was a sore subject with him…Does anyone REALLY believe he can stay in one place? Have a toothbrush holder? A favourite coffee mug? Pssssffffttttt….pleaseeeeeeeee…….give me a break…..

Until next time…

Urania xx

Buy it now Make Me by Lee Child

Review: Auntie Claus by Elise Primavera

Auntie_ClausIn the spirit of the holidays, one of my absolute favorite books to share with young children is the delightful story of Auntie Claus.  Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like.  But the youngest readers won’t get it right away, keeping the magic going until almost the very end.

Little Sophie has always adored her glamorous but eccentric aunt. There’s just something not quite right about the woman known as Auntie Claus.  Most intriguing to young Sophie is her aunt’s annual “business trip” right around Christmas every year.  When Sophie’s curiosity gets the best of her, she finds herself in for the trip of her life.  Along the way, though, she discovers more than she bargained for.  Most importantly, she finds out what the true meaning of Christmas is.

Kids will enjoy the magic of the story, and the trip to the North Pole is nothing short of amazing.  Older readers will love the puns and references to Christmas sprinkled throughout the story.   Add this one to your shopping list!


Buy It Now:  Auntie Claus deluxe edition

Audible Review: Restless Waters by Jessica Park

01 aud Just when I thought a book couldn’t get any better… Man, oh man! I just finished listening to the audible version and I’m a puddle on the floor. Since I’ve read the story, I knew what was going to happen. But nothing could prepare me for actually hearing this heartbreaking story. Between the super talented narrator’s voice and the beautiful music that was sung throughout, I was overcome with emotions. I tend to get that way when I read anyways, but this was more. It’s hard to describe, but when you actually hear the words, they have more of an impact. In fact, my husband was laughing at me, as the tears fell down my face, more than once last night. I was a mess.

Arielle DeLisle was fantastic as the narrator. She made me forget everything and drew me in. Her voice brought so much emotion, I could feel Sabin’s torment and pain. It gutted me. And then to add Troy’s music and voice in the mix, I was sunk. Totally sunk. He captured Sabin’s emotions perfectly.

I know that Audible members can get 50% off right now, before the holidays. So if you’re on the fence about getting this, trust me. You want to hear this.


Grab the audible version HERE.

Grab the kindle version HERE. It’s actually free on KU!

Check out my review HERE.

Review: The Ghost of Mistletoe Mary by Sue Ann Jaffarian

Jaffarian’s Ghost of Granny Apples Mystery series is ostensibly cute, but actually delves into some pretty heavy social issues. It’s always nice to have some substance, even when you’re expecting a cozy mystery. 

Jeremiah Jones is a former cop, current private investigator, who uses his extra sensory perception to communicate with spirits of dead people. One of those people is Granny Apples, who acts as a fly on the wall to help him catch bad guys. 

In this episode, Jeremiah tries to find a missing woman while helping the homeless, the down and out, and those trying to turn away from the criminal edge of society. 

You’ll read about a caring agency who helps people get back in their feet, a shootout led by drug dealers, a double-cross that almost seems legit, and the first step in healing for a few key characters. 

I enjoyed this gritty look at Southern California. I appreciate the blessings that people bestow upon those in need. Granny’s ghost provides some much needed comic relief, and lightens up an otherwise dark look at life on the streets.