Review: The Gambers of Craven’s series by Lisa Kleypas

Last week I stumbled upon this new to me short series. It’s really is two main books and two novellas. Something about the gaming halls in historical romances intrigue me. Especially the men that own them.

Now I know the first book isn’t all about Derek Craven but I couldn’t help but fall for him right away. I knew he was trying to make himself into a better man while trying not to fall in love with Lily. He just had to be patient and wait his turn. And let me tell you, when love struck him, he fought it with everything he had. And I loved every minute of it.

The first book didn’t wow me as much as I’d hoped but it was still a good story. It laid the groundwork for future stories and I was okay with that.

Now the second is where my heart went crazy. Sara is an author doing research in Craven’s gambling house and he tried to stay away from the sweet girl. But it’s hard when she seems to be everywhere and talking to everyone. She was kind to each person she met, whether cook or working girl. She grew to care for the man even if he put up a fight against his own feelings.

The novellas were nice to keep the happiness going. Since they’re in separate anthologies I only read those stories, not the others. So I have no idea if the others were good. I was on a mission to read only the Craven’s stories.

If you’re looking for a short historical romance series to sink your teeth into, then I recommend you grab The Gamblers of Craven’s and enjoy!

~Melpomene

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Review: Stokehurst series by Lisa Kleypas

In my quest to read as many historical romances as I can, I stumbled upon these two books this week. I’ve never heard of them before so I was excited to have zero preconceived ideas about them. I like finding hidden gems such as these.

The first book, Midnight Angel was interesting. I’m not a fan of huge age gap romances, even though they happen a lot in historicals, so that took a bit to work through, but the heroine was quite old in spirit. Her past definitely aged her, so she wasn’t the typical young person that’s a bit flighty and immature. After faking her death she escapes to England under the cover of a governess to a child not much younger than she is. And you can guess what happens next. The father ends up falling for her despite not wanting to grow close to another woman after his wife died.

If you can get past the age thing, which I obviously did, this was a very intriguing story. There’s a bit of magic swirling around, which again, intriguing. I enjoyed watching this timid, yet fierce woman take charge of her life and find her own happy ending.

And that brings us to the next book, Prince of Dreams, which takes place 7 years later. This one is about the daughter and I think this one was my favorite of the two. You kinda knew who it was going to be about at the end of the previous book, so part of me hoped that it would be done in a matter that wouldn’t be too gross. Age gap is one thing, but under age is another. Thankfully it wasn’t like that.

This book had a definite magical feel to it. In fact, dreams were often a glimpse into the past and I was riveted. I couldn’t read fast enough. And by the time I was done, tears was streaming down my face. I can’t explain without spoiling, but this reaction is how I felt when I read books based on real people. Knowing they were real people, had real losses just gets me. This was how Nikolas’ dreams were.

Now about Nikolas. He was definitely NOT perfect. He made horrible choices that I probably wouldn’t forgive, but after those dreams, I can see why he acted the way he did. It’s fiction, so I must move on from it.

This story had a few twists that made it all the more enjoyable and magical. In fact, they were so unexpected I think that’s why I cried a lot. Angst to the max!!

If you’re looking for something different in your historical romances, then I highly recommend you grab these two books. Oldies but goodies.

~Melpomene

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Quick review: Supernova by Marissa Meyer


Supernova has been one of my most anticipated reads. After the way we were left in Archenemies I was dying to know what happens to Nova and Adrian. And after I finished, let’s just say I was surprised, and yet I wasn’t.

This was an exciting conclusion to the series and I’m happy I read it. Battle scene after battle scene had me flipping pages quickly. That being said, there were quite a few parts that seemed to drag a bit, and I found myself skimming. That’s never a good sign. I was hoping for one direction and this completely went in another. I’m still not sure how I feel about that. It almost feels like nothing was accomplished.

Nova’s big secret if finally revealed and she must pay for the lies and hurt that resulted. Again, I don’t wanna focus on the negative, but her and Adrian almost felt too perfect. Her lies were no small white ones. They were HUGE flaming red ones. And yet, when the truth came out it almost felt too easily forgiven. I wanted some groveling at least.

If you like heroes vs. villains then you will enjoy this series. It’s not over the top “Oh my gosh, fantastic,” but it’s still a fun series to read.

~Melpomene

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Review: Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman

This was my first TBR star book of the year! I am so happy with choosing this one. I’ve been wanting to read this for a while now. They’ve been sitting on my shelf for way too long.

When you look at the cover of this book you think pirates, right? Since I don’t read descriptions, I assumed pirates. Well, that’s not exactly what this was about…and yet it was.

Blackhearts is about a boy and a girl. It’s about a boy longing to be free of the land around him and live on the sea. It’s about an orphan girl who’s biding her time till she is able to leave and find her mother’s family.

This is definitely more romance than anything. Edward “Teach” Drummond spent the last year living on the sea and returns home a changed man. He’s being forced into a marriage not of his choosing with a girl who is utterly ridiculous in all ways. He tries to make his father listen to him but to avail.

Anne Barrett has been living a half life. She was born for better things but without the funds to make that happen she is stuck as a maid in the Drummond house.

Slowly Anne and Teach are drawn to each other even knowing the cards are stacked against them. But it was sweet watching them try. So many times I thought the worst was going to happen but it didn’t. Everything seemed to be falling into place for them…until the rug was swept out from underneath them.

This book was a breath of fresh air for me. Another book to add to my teen rec list. It was a sweet romance tucked underneath intrigue and excitement. The conclusion had me face palming in a “Now I get it,” type or reaction. I really should read the synopsis sometimes. 🙂

~Melomene

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Happy New Year!!!


Happy New Year!! Let me start out by saying that personally last year sucked. With all the medical issues floating around my family, I’m lucky I was able to even focus on reading. But the reviewing is where I fell down at. A few of the Muses moved on to bigger and better things and I fully expected myself to pick up the open places. But then life hit me with a 2×4. So I apologize for not. My family and me sanity came first. But 2020 is looking to be a fun year so I’m crossing my fingers I can fall back into this smoothly. So bare with me, please.

I spent New Year’s Day going through my Goodreads Want To Read shelf and got rid of 100s of extra books that I know in my heart I will never read. Then I proceeded to make a TBR jar of stars to help with what was left. I’m going to read a lot of backlisted books that I’ve been wanting to read, and I can’t wait! Of course I will still read new ones and review them as well, even if it’s just a quick paragraph or two. Baby steps, right?

I also connected my Instagram page to the FB page, so when I post bookstagram pics, I’ll share them so you guys can see them also. Taking pictures was my escape last year and I hope to continue it for quite a while.

My 2020 word of the year is Joy. I wanna find joy in all things, especially in my reading. So I’m excited to get back into things. Lots of YA fantasy will be coming up this year. I may even sprinkle a few fiction and non-fiction, just to keep you on your toes.

Thanks for sticking it out last year and I promise to try my best this year.

~Melpomene