Review: Retreat by Jay Crownover

01-a1 I love cowboys. I especially love when they aren’t your traditional Stetson wearing kind.

Fresh mountain air, horses, sexy cowboys and enough suspense to keep you on the edge of your seat.

I loved Leo, even if she had a rough beginning. What started out as a girl’s only week ends up with a life changing discovery that has her realizing she’s stronger then she thinks. She also wasn’t looking for love in these hills, but who knew cowboys could be so sexy?

Leo and Cy had this crazy instant chemistry that sometimes seemed to fast, but they were both looking for each, even if they didn’t realize it. Their connection was hot. Their sexy times were even hotter. Simple flirting turned into much more that neither of them was prepared for. It was a blast to see Cy strip Leo of her prickly outer shell. In the midst of life and death situations, these two managed to find love and peace with each other.

I liked the balance of suspense and comedic moments. I’m not usually a super fan of suspense books, but this one was just right for me. From about halfway through, I was reading as fast as I could, just so I could know what happens.

There were actually a few emotional scenes that will make you need the next book just as much I need it. Whew! Jay sure packs a punch.

What a fabulous start to this new series! I can’t wait to read about the next cowboy!

~Melpomene

Review: I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

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There are those books that, while good enough to keep you reading, aren’t necessarily in the “can’t put it down until I finish it” category.  And as voracious readers, we understand that.  Not every story can be a page turner of epic proportions.  That’s what I was thinking as I worked my way through the first half of this one.  But then, oh boy.

The loss of a child is unimaginable for most of us, thankfully.  So it’s impossible to truly understand how we might react.  Would you find the strength to go on?  Or would you curl up in a ball and simply wither away?  Jacob’s mother is faced with just this dilemma when his young life is tragically ended on a rainy street.  To make matters worse, the driver just keeps on going.  Justice is not served, she’s left without a child and a purpose, and a killer runs free.  So she leaves town, presumably hoping for a fresh start elsewhere.

The detectives on the case, however, can’t let it go.  Lead after lead is exhausted, and still they plow on, hoping for that big break.  And finally it comes.  But it’s not what they expected.  Actually, it’s not what anyone expected.  And this is where I’ll stop.

Told in differing viewpoints alternating between past and present, this story is unforgettable.  Seems like a simple detective novel at first, but ends up being so much more.  So much more that I did not move from my couch as I raced through the last half.  Get it, read it, and enjoy!

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  I Let You Go

Review: Long Way Home by Katie McGarry

01lon There’s something about a Katie McGarry book that makes me wanna buy 10 copies and pass them out to all the teens I know. She is the queen of the ‘coming of age’ genre. I hope my daughter will start to like romance so I can pass all of these along to her.

Ever since Violet’s dad died, she’s wanted to leave the MC world and move on in peace, but she’s stuck. Her mom won’t leave, so she’s has to stay and try and protect her brother, and her heart, from the world that stole her dad from them.

Chevy has loved Violet for as long as he can remember but this life isn’t what she wants. Heck, this life stole his dad from him also, so he’s not sure if this is the life him either. When he’s 18 he needs to make a formal decision, but he’s not sure what to do. But when he and Violet get threatened, he must make a choice, even if it changes everything. His life will never be the same, no matter what. He loves her so much, but if she needs to walk away, he has to let her, even if it kills him.

Violet has always been my best friend, but it’s more than that. She’s always been a piece of me, and without her the world was cold, a bitter freeze that cut to the bone.

I loved Violet. She was willing to give up the boy she loved, in order to not have him choose. But when the past catches up with her, she must make some very hard decision about this “family” of hers, in order to protect them. She stood up to the men who, in her eyes, got her dad killed, and that had to be terrifying for her. But she was done and I commend her. She didn’t take crap from any of them, even if it scared her to death.

I love seeing Chevy, Violet, Oz and Razor together. They grew up together and they may not be blood but they’re family. I love these characters. They’re not perfect, but, to each other, they are.

Violet and Chevy must look inside themselves to find the right path. The decision will not be easy, and will make them question everything they thought they knew about who their family is and why things happened the way they did. So many new revelations that I didn’t see coming. But in the end they both have to make tough calls in the name of love and hope they make the right ones.

~Melpomene

Release date Jan 31, 2017
Preorder Long Way Home HERE

Review: One Distant Summer by Serena Clarke

What a cool book! Jacinda Scott goes to New Zealand to take time off from the pressures of LA life. She doesn’t bank on staying next door to Liam Ward, cute younger brother of her decade-old teenage fling. 

One Distant Summer isn’t a simple story. Author Serena Clarke does a phenomenal job giving us something more than just unrequited love or “I fell for the wrong guy.”  Jacinda has her own life with fun and loyal friends. She focuses on a successful career, but not to the detriment of her own welfare. She’s a whole person… who just happens to fall into Liam’s neighborhood. Subplots abound — always in support of the main storyline. 

Without too much angst, Liam and Jacinda fall in and out of like and lust, trying to determine what will hurt the least. There are lots of gatherings with friends, sandy beach talks, and stolen moments with guitars, as the couple journeys to find a resolution. Serena Clarke successfully takes the reader on that journey — the characters feeling like my own friends, and New Zealand feeling home.  

-calliope

Buy ONE DISTANT SUMMER

Review: Night School by Lee Child

night-schoolQuickly…This Reacher book has lots of players in it. At times, I thought maybe a few too many. But Child has made it work. Many times in the past when Reacher is part of a team, it ends up being a book I am not a big fan of, however, I really enjoyed this book.

I was a bit disturbed by the ending. I didn’t dislike it, but it bothers me. The bit of fact layered in with the fiction has me unsettled. It’s gave me too much to think about really. One more reason to stay up late at night worrying about things I can’t possibly change. The choice that Reacher makes at the end….well…uffta….I won’t go into that…again, so many implications…

Finally, I need to say, I’ve been reading Reacher from the start. Nearly 20 years I’ve been waiting month after month, year after year, for new installments. A few of the later ones have…well…they haven’t exactly lived up to my high expectations.

When I started reading this one, at one point, I was like, “wow, this is like a modern-day marriage” I have felt like just walking away recently from Reacher. I’ve stayed out of loyalty to the past. At one point, I saw a glimpse of the man I used to love so much.

I feel like I’ve known all of Reacher’s habits, bad and good, that I’ve taken them for granted….and perhaps even been a bit annoyed with them.

Isn’t this what happens in long-term (hey!!! ALMOST 20 YEARS!!!! REMEMBER???) People change…they get bored…I’ve changed…and Reacher hasn’t…but that’s my side of the story. There are always two sides. Reacher has changed as well. And we’ve both remained the same…

So I really enjoyed this book…but now I question everything. Did I hate some of the others because I was in a dull spot in our relationship? Did I love this one because I’ve missed our relationship?

Yea, I know…I’ve went way off base here and tangents galore…but bottom line is, I’m glad I’ve stuck with Reacher…and I don’t plan on bailing ship anytime soon…I’m in it for the long run…even if sometimes I get bored…and annoyed…and I question his motives…I trust at the end of the day, Reacher is Reacher and just doing the things he does to provide his sort of justice…

Until next time…

Urania xx

Buy it now Night School by Lee Child

Review: Feversong by Karen Marie Moning

01-a The most critical, defining battles we wage in life, we wage alone.

It has taken me almost a week to collect my thoughts on this book. I’m still reeling. Let me start out by saying that this isn’t the final book in the Fever series, but the final one in the Mac/Barrons story line. So savor it and read it slowly. Trust me.

When we left Feverborn, we left screaming. Mac opened herself up to the Sinsar Dubh and we weren’t sure how, or if, she would be able to get out. In Feversong, Mac must take back control and destroy the book, find the Song of Making to also destroy these black holes that seem to be slowly eating up our world, and do all this without getting lost inside herself again. It is an ongoing battle that only she can do. She must forget about her past actions and focus on the future with a clear head.

In the midst of Mac’s issues we have Dani and her quest to find a balance between Jada and Dani. She is there to help destroy the book, of course, but the five year she spent alone in the silvers has changed her, and not for the better. On the outside Dani is hard and uncaring, but if you chip away her layers, you see that she is soft and just wants love. She will fight to the death for it. Watching her grow into herself was beautiful, devastatingly so. I can’t remember watching a character go through so much and come out stronger for it. I am looking forward to see what happens to her. She has had enough heartache to choke on and I know she deserves a happily ever after.

“I love you more eternal than pi.”

As I said this is the final book about Mac and Barrons. Their story comes full circle and it’s crazy when I look back at when they first met. She was so sad and naive, but by the end she knew who she was and was stronger for it. They had their battles but, through it all, their love was the stuff faerie tales. Truly.

“Fire to his ice.
Frost to my flame.
Forever.”

I spent the final 25% of this book with tears in my eyes. Some scenes had them flowing nonstop, while others had me chocking to hold them in. This book was an epic edition to this series. A full range of emotions. You won’t leave untouched. She makes us work for this ending. Grab a comfy blanket, perhaps a box of tissues and leave the world behind as you escape into the world of the fae. You can thank me later.

~Melpomene

Buy Feversong HERE

Review: This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel

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This book made me feel everything at once.  And then it did it all over again.  Sadness.  Confusion. Happiness.  Grief.  Empathy.  You name it, I felt it.  And I almost, note the use of the word ALMOST, cried.  I never cry over books.

Imagine having a child.  Not too much of a stretch for most of us.  But then imagine that child not being what you expected it to be.  Again, not so far off the mark for most parents.  Go deeper, though.  You thought you were getting another boy.  But then…

Rosie and Penn are the best parents.  With four boys, they’ve learned to accept whatever is thrown at them.  Quirks, idiosyncrasies, unusual hobbies and outfits-they’ve seen them all. When Claude comes along, however, they’re faced with something a bit different.  Because while Claude was born a boy, he felt different from a very young age.  He didn’t like typical “boy” things, preferring instead to wear dresses and pretending to be a princess.

So Claude’s parents handle it as they’ve handled everything else their kids have thrown at them, with acceptance.  Claude becomes Poppy.  Sadly, everyone isn’t as accepting as Rosie and Penn and Poppy’s four older brothers.  Secrets are kept and then unkept.  Change begins and then can’t be undone.  Along the way everyone struggles with who Claude/Poppy truly is and will be.

This is such an important book.  Rosie and Penn are the parents I’d want to have, especially if I were just a bit (or even a lot) different from what society expected me to be.  They’re not without faults, but everything they do stems from absolute love.  Their story is a reminder that the world is not a safe place for everyone.  And it’s our job to stand up for the Poppys of the world.

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  This Is How It Always Is