Here are my favorite reads of 2017! I gave ’em five stars each on Goodreads, and they are written by some wonderful authors. If you have time in 2018, pick one up… Enjoy!

The Thing About Love by Julie James (link to buy)

First Star I See Tonight by Susan Elizabeth Phillips (link to buy)

The Bookshop on The Corner by Jenny Colgan (my review)

On Second Thought by Kristan Higgins (my review)

Happy New Year!



Melpomene’s Top 17 of 2017

I’ve read so many series this year, that many of the books blend into one, but there’s a few books that have stood out against all that. What are some of your favs? Do we have any duplicates? These are in no particular order.

Hunted is probably my top read of the year. This was a Beauty and the Beast retelling, but with a twist. I loved it so much, I read it and listened to the audible. Hunted is the epitome of what the perfect YA fantasy book should be. Engaging from the very beginning, exciting and emotional throughout, and a very climactic ending that leaves you breathless and in tears.
My review is HERE

What can I say about Renegades? Epic, exciting and engaging!! Oh my gosh!

Superheroes are all the rage now. But what if the lines between villains and heroes were blurred? Well, then you’d get Renegades. I was rooting for Nova, and then I wasn’t. And then I was, and then… I’m gonna need the next book ASAP.
Buy Renegades

If you read Tiffany’s The Bourbon Thief, then you’ll recognize a few names and places in this one, but it’s not connected. This story is in a whole other world. The Night Mark has a bit of an Diana Gabaldon feel with a Tiffany twist. And twist is definitely what this does to my heart and soul.

This book is about love. This book is about pain. This book is about letting the light in and praying that it heals the soul. If you’re in the mood for an epic romance that will have you twisting in your seat as you read, then I think this book will make you happy. Go in with an open mind and an open heart. And don’t read any spoilers.
My review is HERE

Devil In Spring The Wallflowers was my first introduction to Lisa Kleypas, then I went on to The Ravenels. Without saying any spoilers, I will say that I highly recommend you reading those before you take a dive into this book. You’ll feel such a stronger connection once you realize who the story is about. Very exciting. She’s a fairly new to me author, so I haven’t had to wait long for this book, but I was no less excited for this story.

The main thing I like about this book was how different Pandora was. She’s not the usual swooning maiden who’s perfect in all things. She wanted to continue to be who she is and not have it all taken away if she got married. She wanted to maintain her identity and not have it stripped from her. Plus without sounding mean, she was less than “perfect” physically. She there were parts of her that just made her more human in my eyes. Again, there is no perfect person, I hope you understand what I’m trying to say.
My review is HERE

This book was everything, Everything, EVERYTHING I was hoping it would be!! My heart is overflowing. Exciting, emotional and so very romantic. Ms. Byrne has a way with these flawed and imperfect characters. You can’t help but fall in love with all of them.
My review is HERE

This series is nothing short of fabulous. Romantic and so very swoony. We’ve been waiting so long to get Mary’s story. I love that we get her’s at last. She deserves all the love and family, even if it comes with a fair amount of heartache.
Buy Once Upon a Maiden Lane here:

Oh, how I adore a Kristen Ashley book! The Time In Between was the perfect ending to a fabulous trilogy. Lots of emotion, heartache and love. This book made me swoon and smile, and made my heart race with anticipation. I wanted so many good things for Cady and Coert and I’m so happy that they finally found their happily ever after.
My review is HERE

Time travel and magic…I never knew how much I would love it. It was so fascinated with all the characters. They all had their secrets and personal missions. I had no idea who to trust! I decided to listen to this instead of reading it, so I wasn’t able to highlight any cool quotes, but that didn’t hinder me from fully enjoying it.
Grab a copy here:

Without Merit isn’t a romance story really. It’s a life story. At first I thought Merit wasn’t the “usual” character, but then I got to thinking, “What is the usual character?” She stressed over and struggled with daily life. She feels her family is a bunch of crazies. She wishes for peace in her world but doesn’t know a healthy way of finding it. I don’t know about you, but she sounds pretty “usual” to me.
My review is HERE

My heart has been twisted all around in this book. Kristen is the master of that. I love everything about this story. The romance, the swooning, the family, the friends, and the unexpected cameos from other KA books. Perfect. Just perfect.
Grab a copy here:

Jessica’s books have a way of stringing you along, then tearing your heart out and forcing you to take a deep breath before continuing. Angst must be her middle name. If you loved Flat Out Celeste and Left Drowning/Restless Waters, then this book is right up your alley. This story made me take a good long look at my own life and others around me. You never know who might need a little extra patience and love.
My review is HERE.

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.
My review is HERE.

I read this series but never read these novellas. I don’t like looking back, especially when I know the end result. But I got guilted into it by my daughter, so I finally picked this up, and let me tell you, I was DEVASTATED by the end. Just as I knew I would be. But it does give a little more knowledge into the series and it’s characters. I do recommend you read this…with tissues.
Buy it here: (At time of posting, it’s currently on sale for 99 cents!)

This is a book about love, determination, friendship and family. The Bright Side family is the best family out there. In fact, I wish I was a part of this family. I want people in my life like this. They know when to joke, when to give advice and when to just be there. Gah! This story was filled with the full range of emotions. Plus, I loved seeing Gus and how he’s doing. I love him.
My review is HERE

“Make a fuss.”

The last time I felt this way, after reading a Mia book, was when I read Kyland. This story is about love, forgiveness and honor. It will make you think and make you cry. You will be gutted. But most of all, this book brings attention to a very real issues that many people face in this country. In fact, it brought to my attention another serious issue that many women deal with, but often no one talks about it. I realize that many people read books differently and some won’t even think about this. This story has so many things going on, many real life issues, that this may get glanced over. But to me, it broke my heart. Like the quote up top, make a fuss. Don’t settle. You’re worth fighting for.
My full review is HERE

If you’ve read the Rock Chicks books, you know all about Daisy. The sweet tinkling bell laugh, the Dolly Parton physique and her love of all things sparkly, are the first things you think of. You know some of her past and know that her husband, Marcus, loves her more than life itself, but that’s just the tip of what makes her her.
My review is HERE

I’ve been reading K.A.Tucker’s books for years now. And the past few books have been more of the suspense. So when I read this, it was like coming home. I adore her romance writing and this book was perfect. I hope you give it a shot.
Buy Until it Fades here:

I can’t wait to see what next year brings me!


Review: An Engagement in Seattle by Debbie Macomber

I like a hokey, predictable romance once in a while, but this one left a lot to be desired. I liked the Lesley-Chase meet cute. I didn’t like the pretense and forced feel of the romance that followed. I liked Chase – until he got just too smarmy for me. And I liked Lesley until I realized that I wasn’t going to see any depth later in the book, because character development stalled at 30-40%. What truly disappointed me was the chauvinism in this book. I have very traditional values, but that doesn’t mean I expect women to be viewed as objects, as I felt the women in this book were portrayed.

If you can overlook those things – and you’re in the mood for a clean, sweet romance, this might be for you.



Review: Now That You Mention It by Kristan Higgins

Kristan Higgins knows how to write the sweet women’s fiction/chick lit/romance. It’s not my usual type of book, but I love Kristan’s books so I had to read this. And I’m so glad I did.

This story is about family and friendship. While there is romance, that’s not what the story is about. From the first page, I was sucked in. I stayed up late and woke up early, because I needed to see how Nora was going to handle everything that life has thrown at her.

Nora finds herself back at her hometown, trying to move forward, but every day she’s reminded of the past. I liked her attitude. She has this spunk about her. I want to be her friend. She is determined to live the life she wants and if she has to beat in a few heads along the way, she will. She doesn’t give up on the ones she loves.

While she plans on only staying for the summer, before she goes back to Boston for work, the more time she spends on the island, the more time these people get their hooks into her. Sometimes she gets hurt by those hooks, but she’s strong enough to take it.

Like I said, this was more about friendship and family. She struggled with making her family open up to her, but she wasn’t giving up. She loved them and wanted it in return. My heart felt for her. Especially with her niece. With a mom in jail, she is very bitter and doesn’t open up. But I appreciated how much Nora worked at her. But honestly, Nora was easy to love. She has a good heart and has plenty of room in it for those around her. Since the romance was more of a side story, it wasn’t overpowering and very smooth.

If you’re looking for a sweet standalone that will make your heart happy, then this book is for you.


Buy Now That You Mention It

Review: Fat Chance by Nick Spalding

I enjoyed the story. I also found myself laughing out loud more than once at the diary entries. I might have even gotten a wee bit emotional at the running race.

However, I found myself getting a bit wound up more than once over the body shaming and name calling. I mean, Zoe and Greg faced discrimination daily. Faced judgement based solely on the size of their clothing. Yet they didn’t seem to mind doing the same type things to people they knew who were overweight or those that weren’t “perceived” as attractive.

Perhaps some might say I am being too politically correct. I don’t care. Body shaming and any other shaming (be it how someone dresses or looks) really bothers me. More and more each day it seems. I don’t want to lighten up over it. I don’t care if you’re making a joke about it. Or you’re just being judgemental amongst yourselves. I don’t think it’s right.

I think it’s a bit hypocritical to have two characters that are trying to change their lives because they are sickened by being judged or ashamed of how they look and feel and then have them turn around and do the same thing. Personally, it really turned me off and bothered me.

This would have been a great book for me if the main characters could have had a wake up moment of realising that their size doesn’t determine their worth…or that how someone dresses doesn’t make them crazy. Or so many other things that bothered me here…but as it is, it was just okay for me… #sorrynotsorry

Until next time…
Urania xx

Buy it now Fat Chance by Nick Spalding

Review and Giveaway: Shelter by Jay Crownover

Y’all!! This book will grab your heart and squeeze it TIGHT.

All his broken pieces made mine seem less jagged.

To say that Sutton and Emrys were broken is an understatement. These two lived through something absolutely horrific and it will take time to them to be back to normal. Or at least a new normal. This can be read as an interconnected standalone, but to fully understand where they’re coming from, you should read Retreat first. Trust me.

I liked Em. She had spunk. She was so much stronger than I probably would ever be, in her situation. But it’s been six months of her trying to heal on her own, when she realizes she needs some closure before she can truly heal. When she shows up on Sutton’s doorstep, it’s the last thing he needs. Well, at least that’s what he thinks. But he soon realizes that she is the only person who can help him move forward and change the path he’s currently on.

“I like all your pieces, Sutton. I keep finding new ones to add to the collection. You keep dropping them and I keep picking them up. Once i have them all, I’m going to give them back to you and you can put them all together whichever way you want. They don’t have to fit they did before. You can shape yourself into someone else.”

I am completely in love with this series. These characters seem very real to me. I love the sense of family and all the love they show to each other. In fact, I’m a wee bit jealous of that also. 🙂 And of course the passion between Sutton and Em is flaming. Absolutely hot. Jay nailed it, with this one. My heart is happy. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book!


Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!!


I’d been fooled once by the promise of quiet nights and serene days in the sunshine. I believed the brochure when it said I could leave my worries at home and escape to a simpler, quieter kind of life. I let myself be lured in by the picturesque landscape and stunning mountains. I foolishly fell prey to the temptation of leaving my current set of troubles behind in San Francisco while I hid away in the middle-of-nowhere Wyoming.

I now knew firsthand the glossy brochure that brought me to Wyoming the first time was nothing more than a bunch of pretty, packaged lies. I knew the bar brawl erupting in front of me was hardly the worst thing that could happen here. In fact, the level of bloodshed and violence was child’s play compared to what I’d witnessed the last time I’d stepped foot in this small, quaint town. Well, I hadn’t really been in Sheridan last time I was here. I’d spent most of my time in the backwoods that surrounded the Warner brothers’ ranch, which was still a good forty-five minutes outside of this tiny town. The ranch was where I was currently trying to get to so I could see my best friend.

When I left Wyoming, I told myself I would never come back.


I told myself there was nothing here for me but bad memories and heartache. I was a pro at lying to myself, at telling myself exactly what I needed to hear to justify my actions. I could convince myself of anything, like it was okay that my last boyfriend stole my grandmother’s silver when I kicked him out because he needed it more than I did. I had no problem believing that pulling Leo out of the city was the only way to heal her broken heart even though she didn’t want to go. It was easier to distract her than it was to watch her wallow. I persuaded myself into believing what I needed to heal was space and solitude. I held onto that until time passed and I was still a mess. I was sick of my own company and of hiding from everything I was feeling. I was the one who always went out of my way to fix everyone else around me, it wasn’t exactly a shock to learn I didn’t have the skills to repair myself. I spent my days helping others focus on their goals, on doing better and achieving more, so I didn’t have to think about the lack of any ambition of my own. I turned thirty at the end of the year and I was still trying to figure out what and who I wanted to be when I grew up. I’d been aimless for a long time; the only direction in my life come from the fact I knew all the way down to my bones that I had to go back to Wyoming and face off with Sutton Warner.

Retreat is on sale for only 99 cents:
Escape(Jan 30, 2018):

About Jay Crownover:

Jay Crownover is the international and multiple New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men Series, The Saints of Denver Series, the Point Series, the Breaking Point Series, and the Getaway Series. Her books can be found translated in many different languages all around the world. She is a tattooed, crazy haired Colorado native who lives at the base of the Rockies with her awesome dogs. This is where she can frequently be found enjoying a cold beer and Taco Tuesdays. Jay is a self-declared music snob and outspoken book lover who is always looking for her next adventure, between the pages and on the road.


Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads



Review: When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

Won’t lie, parts of this short novel were a bit hard. My father died of cancer. Cancer that started in the lungs and metastasis to the brain. When I read Kalanithi’s words about fatalities of that type of brain cancer…well…it was a like a punch to my stomach.

I was a bit gobsmacked at times reading this. I mean, when we are talking about brain surgery a mm can mean life or death, functional or nonfunctional. I just can’t even imagine the skill it must take. I found most fascinating Kalanithi’s reasons for choosing this field. The concept of our minds and actions just being a byproduct of our brains…well, that might seem simple in concept but I still find the entire concept too all-encompassing to grasp.

I hate what happened to Kalanithi and his family. What they went through, I mean, how could anyone not? I would have loved to read a b by book by Kalanithi that wasn’t sure to end the way it did. I found his subject matter and how he discussed his cases and brain surgery fascinating. I wonder if he would have been a different type of writer had he not had cancer. Was his writing style and his reflections modified because of his diagnosis? Did his future make him more humane? Please, understand, I’m not trying to imply that he was anything but compassionate before…I…well…maybe I am kinda wondering if he was less compassionate before….not by a conscious meaning to be…but just by the circumstances of that type of work. Of any type of work really.

If any of us were to sit down and write about ourselves and our current path, wouldn’t it be different from the words we were to write if we knew our death was imminent.

I’m glad I read this book. It gave me so much to think about. It offered insights I’m not sure I’ve had before…but I would have loved to read a different type of book by Paul Kalanithi as well…for so many various reasons…

Until next time…
Urania xx

Review copy provided by Netgalley for an honest review

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi