Review: Second Chance Girl by Susan Mallery

Life carries on for the artistic and moody Mitchell brothers.  This story centers on Mathias, who has repressed his creative side for practicality. Until he stumbles upon an unlikely muse – his neighbor Carol’s giraffe. Or maybe it’s his neighbor Carol. 😉

Second Chance Girl is filled with the family dynamics of the Mitchell family as they try to avoid their famous but angry father, and the sweet family dynamics of Carol and her sister Violet. There’s a worthy cause, British humor by a Duke, sparkly buttons, a few art shows, some broken glass, and some broken hearts. For the soft-hearted, there are two well-deserved and well-written romances, a charitable event, and a very cute puppy.  

Happily, Inc is no Fool’s Gold, but it’s still a nice place to visit. 

-calliope

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Review: The Summer That Made Us by Robyn Carr

This reminded me of Beaches. Yep, the movie. The plot wasn’t the same, but it just had that same kind of feel. 

Sister and cousins all return to a beach house one summer to share memories from their childhood summers, and to spend time with Megan who has cancer. 

The beginning of the book pretty much focuses on Megan and her needs. Then we hear about Charley and her current life problems as they relate to her childhood problems… but Megan kind of fades away in the background. I was like Hey! Don’t forget about that Megan character! 

Sadly, it happened again when we are introduced to Krista, the ex con. Megan is barely mentioned, and Krista totally overshadows the Charley character. I had just gotten invested in Megan and Charley… and they were dropped like a hot potato. 

Carr’s Virgin River series illustrated how to have a developed protagonist as well as an ensemble cast. I was hoping for the same in The Summer That Made Us. Had the character development been more balanced, and had the characters not been such stereotypes, this novel would have an extra star!

I enjoyed the somewhat predictable plot, I appreciated the well-written dialogue, and I was impressed that Robyn Carr still comes up with fresh ideas for new novels. This one just wasn’t for me. 

-calliope

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Review: Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

Epic, emotional and exciting!

This book is a combination of three POVs. Chaol, the recovering ex-captain of the king’s guard, Yrene, the healer we met in The Assassin and the Healer, and Nesryn, the current captain of the king’s guard. It was supposed to be a novella but it turned out quite a bit longer and way more indepth. However, my feelings were all over the place here. I found myself not caring about anything but Yrene for a while. The life she has lead and the reason she is where she is, is just insane. She is truly an amazing healer. My heart wanted a novella, so it was stubborn.

Chaol. What can I say about him. There’s a lot under the surface that he needs to deal with before he can move on and heal properly. And while he’s trying to heal, he must convince the khagan to give them support and deal with the utterly crazy royal family. And I mean crazy in a somewhat good way. Never a dull moment.

Nesryn actually gave me the only scene I teared up in. I didn’t think I was going through care about her storyline but I did. I’m glad she found what she was looking for. I hope nothing happens to her in the next book. I’d be very upset.

This story gives us a few answers to questions we’ve been asking. And also gives us quite a few new discoveries. It makes me rather anxious to get to the final book now. I do wish that there was a little more from Chaol’s past though. We see snippets but not enough, in my opinion. This takes place in the same timeline as Empire of Storms and we do get a few glimpses into what’s happening with Aelin and the rest of the crew.

As for the YA/NA jump, ToD had a few scenes that were definitely not in the young YA world but less than the full on NA. So be prepared. I did block a few parts off since my kids aren’t ready for that.

Now the only thing I have a problem with was the usual changing of the loves. Sarah has a habit of getting us invested in a couple, only to have them break apart a few books later. She does this in both her series. While I love her stories, it hurts to get invested in a storyline, only to have it shattered later on. I need to seriously think about taking another chance in her future series. My heart can’t take this.

~Melpomene

Buy Tower of Dawn http://amzn.to/2jSBlk9

Get caught up with the Throne of glass series:
The Assassin’s Blade http://amzn.to/2xvMuvX
Throne of Glass http://amzn.to/2fHFYJc
Crown of Midnight http://amzn.to/2yxmxL7
Heir of Fire http://amzn.to/2wO3rhy
Queen of Shadows http://amzn.to/2yyCC3l
Empire of Storms http://amzn.to/2y0iU3n

Review: The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom

I won’t go into a long review. I’ll just say that I loved this book. Papa especially broke my heart. I can just feel his warmth coming forth from the pages. I felt his heartbreak and courage time and time again. That’s not to say that I didn’t love everyone in this novel. For I did. I loved them all.

My only wish is that this book had been a thousand pages longer. I hated to leave everyone behind when I finished this novel. However, I’m not so sure I did. I still feel my heart pounding with love for them all.

Finally, I know many people will view Marshall as a villain. I know most will absolutely hate him. However, I still remember the boy at the start of the novel. I know who the real villains of this story are…and I still remember the victims that were left behind and suffered through their abuse.

Yes, my heart aches for Marshall as well….

Until next time…
Urania xx

Buy it now The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom

Review: The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare

I’ve been on a historical romance kick for the past year. To make up for being a late in life reader I am trying to read as many books as I can and these types of books are like crack to me. I’m totally addicted. I can’t get enough. So when my book club girls rave about them, I am quick to jump on my Overdrive and see if they have them and if not I add them to my wishlist and save for them. I need all of them. I really do.

I must say, this is probably one of the most funny historical book, but not in an over the top way. The hero and heroine are positively hilarious together. The banter felt real and not forced. The snark was perfect. The romance was even more perfect. I don’t remember the last time I smiled so much while reading a book.

When a seamstress is made into a duchess, there’s bound to be few mishaps. Emma tried so hard to be a good wife and duchess, but with a prickly husband, she has to work harder than she ever imagined.

The Duke suffered greatly in the war and now wears those scars for all to see. He hides himself away from the world and would rather be in the dark than the sun. But he has no idea that this wife he chose was going to flip his world upside down. Do his scars affect her? Yes, but not in the way he thinks. All he wants is an heir then she’ll be off to another of his homes, but the more they are around each other, the more she can chip away at his shell and show him what real is about.

If the next books are anything like this one, this will be one of my most recommended series. My heart is happy.

~Melpomene

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Review: The Good Widow by Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke

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Twisty.  That’s the best possible way to describe this engaging psychological thriller.

Jacqueline has a pretty good life.  She enjoys her job as a teacher.  And if asked to describe her marriage of eight years, she’d probably say it was pretty good.  All that comes to a screeching halt, however, when two police officers show up at her door with the worst possible news.  Her husband has been killed in a tragic accident.  Well, actually, that’s not the worst part of it.  He wasn’t where he was supposed to be, and he definitely wasn’t supposed to be with the woman who died with him.

Confusion reigns as she tries to make sense of what happened.  So when Nick, the fiance of the mystery woman, persuades her to join him on his quest to find answers she willingly joins him.  But answers lead to more questions, and she finds herself no closer to the truth.

Nice little mystery with a neat little twist at the end.  A great, quick read!

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  The Good Widow

Review: March of Crime by Jess Lourey

I really really love this series of mystery novels set in small town Minnesota. I’ve waited patiently (and by patiently I mean stalking NetGalley and Amazon and the author’s website) for each new release. And I’ve enjoyed every delicious moment of librarian sleuthing, senior citizen joking, boyfriend avoiding, festival attending, and the good guys overall trying to keep out of trouble while helping find the bad guys. 

But this one failed me. Lourey wrote this installment just a little too much on the other side of lewd and bawdy. I’ve gotten to know the main character over the years, and she wouldn’t forget underwear, much less deliberately go without it. I didn’t like the contrived sensuousness at all. 

The mystery was a little macabre for me as well. I just want to go back to the earlier books and enjoy a decent cozy mystery without wincing and scrinching my nose. 

Maybe my tastes are tame compared to yours. Maybe you like when things get a little crazy and you were disappointed with earlier books, waiting for more crazy to happen. If so, read March of Crime, and you’ve got your wish. 

-calliope

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