Review: Brass Carriages and Glass Hearts by Nancy Campbell Allen

This is the 4th book in the Proper Romance Steampunk series. While it’s technically an interconnected standalone, I highly recommend you read the others first to get the full effect. Plus you’ll get to meet some of the current characters.

Emme is all about full rights for everyone, including shifters. Unfortunately there are those who disagree and have made their feelings known, in the way of a death threat. So Inspector Oliver Reed is charged with being her bodyguard. After dealing with the aftermath of her many protests, he is less than thrilled with being forced to be around her even more.

Watching these two together was so fun. They circled around each other for a while. It was bit like enemies to lovers, which is my favorite sub genre of romance. They clearly didn’t feel good and happy thoughts in the beginning. But the more they’re put together the more they come to the realization that they care for each other.

Plenty of butterflies in the belly moments sprinkled with a few heart stopping ones makes this the perfect sweet romance. I really hope we got more from this world!

~Melpomene

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Review: Wild Fire(Chaos #6.5) by Kristen Ashley

It felt so good to be back in the Chaos world.

For being a short book this one sure did pack a lot in. We met Dutch and Jagger a while back so it was nice to be able to see how they turned out.

Dutch made quite an impression on me. He didn’t go off the deep end or anything like that. He seemed even keeled, with a good head on his shoulders. Best part, he’s a reader! Heck, first time we see him he’s at Fortnums then at King’s Shelter. That’s when I knew this was gonna be fun. He’s determined to help a young man out before life grabs hold and pulls him down. What he never planned on was meeting Georgie in the middle of that.

Georgie and Dutch got off on the wrong foot but sometimes that bit of spice it what you need to get things moving in the direction they were meant to.

I loved watching these two together. They were good for each other. When she kept calling this rough and tough biker dude “cute” I giggled. They helped each other out quite a bit and it was nice to see a strong woman doing her thing, and at the same time, letting this alpha dude so his.

I’m a huge fan of Kristen Ashley’s books. I can’t get enough of them. Chaos and Rock Chicks were my favorite series. So when she blessed us with more from those worlds, I am all over that. And I’m excited to see that we’ll be coming for Jagger’s story later. Can’t wait!

~Melpomene


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Review: A Dark and Stormy Knight by Kerrigan Byrne


Boy does Kerrigan know how to pack a powerful punch in her prologues!! But we needed to see what motivated Morley to become the man he was today.

I’ve been anxiously waiting for his story since we first met him. He’s been there from the beginning and I wanted him to find his HEA. Morley has lived his life without attachments. Anyone could be used against him so he stayed away from them, but one chance meeting flipped his life upside down.

Prudence has been told what she must do all her life, as women of those times were. But she decided to take one night and choose her own fate. Too bad, fate has a way of messing around with people. Little did she know how much her life would change.

Morley and Pru had an instant attraction. From that fateful day they were destined for each other. I loved watching him fight it because he thought that would be best but the heart wants what the heart wants.

This story had so many swoony moments, I was in heaven. I am extremely happy that after helping others find love, it was Morley’s turn and he found his.

While this could be read as a standalone, it’s better enjoyed if you read the full series. These Victorian Rebels are one of the my favorite historical romance series ever! Filled with anti heroes that you can’t help but fall in love with.

~Melpomene

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Review: The Sinner(BDB#18) by J.R. Ward


The Sinner is the book we diehard BDB fans have been waiting for. This is what I would call a bridge book. If you’ve been reading these books from the very beginning, you will be very happy to see how all the things have worked up to this. And if you’re new to the world, J.R. Ward said you could just read Dark Lover, The King and then this one. But really, who would you wanna do that? I would recommend you start from the beginning.

This book is from three POVs. Jo, Syn and Butch. And let me tell you, I liked Butch before. He wasn’t my favorite, but I liked his attitude and snark. While reading this, I discovered a whole new love for him. There’s a lot going on in his head and I’m glad we see this side of him.

Syn and Jo’s relationship is a slow burn that will erupt and honestly made me tear up. Syn’s background is a doozy and I’m so happy he found Jo. She will definitely help him work through it.

Jo’s background is finally announced and will also bring on the tears. She’s been so lonely and I love when she finds out she’ll never be alone again.

For those who read the last page first, DON’T. Please don’t. It’s a build up throughout the entire book and when you get to the end it make you wanna stand up and applause. While wiping away your tears. I just love this series.

~Melpomene

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Review: Regretting You by Colleen Hoover


I tried something new with this review. I asked my daughter, we’ll call her Sassy, to buddy read it with me. She’s 17 and hates romance but because of the mother daughter relationship I wanted her to try it. Her reactions are italicized. This is the second CoHo book I’ve given to her. Her first was Slammed and she was so mad at the main character for being so immature and not thinking of the hero and his circumstances. So I was super excited to see how she’d react with these two. Sassy usually reads fantasy that has a minor focus on romance. So watching her read a straight up romance makes me smile. I’m waiting for the day she comes to me and asks to read another of my books. But I won’t hold my breath.

Regretting You was written from both the mother and the daughter’s points of views. This intrigued me. And seeing that the girl is a newly 17 year old, I was curious if her actions would be something Sassy would agree with, or not. I went in without reading the blurb and I’ve very glad I didn’t. And because of that, I felt all the emotions had a quite a few gut kicks. Mothers and daughters aren’t without their dramas and this had plenty. This gave me Slammed feelings all over the place. Both had to deal with feelings they never anticipated on having and I felt EVERYTHING. Moms protecting their daughters from hurt is the right thing to do but they shouldn’t lie. That makes things worse and brings more hurt. However, daughters should also not make things harder for the moms in trying situations.

If you have an older teen daughter, then I recommend you buddy read this with her. I had Sassy stop after a few chapters and give me her first impressions. Let me preface by saying that Sassy is a very independent girl. She’s never been boy crazy and won’t change for one. What you see is what you get with her. She is very straight forward and has no patience for shenanigans. So saying that her reactions were quite funny would be an understatement. She’d come out and yell at me for the behavior of characters I had no control over. I’m like, “Blame Colleen! I didn’t create them!”

My favorite was when she came out after the first sex scene, which was mild, and said, “That was the most disgusting thing I’ve ever read.” I died. I don’t even know how she handled everything else. But I’m guessing she skipped some parts, since she never said anything.

She was mad and disappointed in Clara’s behavior quite often. “No amount of guilt justifies those actions.” As a mom, I’m happy about that because I’d to think if she were faced with distressing circumstances that she would react differently. She’d be more level headed.

First impressions:
-It was better than Slammed.
-Clara was stupid teenager.
-I can see Colleen’s sarcasm in each character’s personalities. She was probably like that as a teenager.
-I like how she writes the boys. I like them more than the girls. Just like Slammed, I liked Will more than Lake.
-Morgan made silly mistakes but all in all she did the best she could with the circumstances she was dealt with.
-How could a mom of boys write a mother/daughter relationship so well?!
-The end(no spoilers) was super cute and sweet.
-I’d totally wear an orange prom dress.
-When is she writing that fantasy? I’m still waiting. I’d read that in a heartbeat.

Thank you, Colleen, for writing a book that I could share with my daughter. Thank you for giving us new topics to talk about.

~Melpomene and Sassy

Don’t forget to grab a copy! It’a also FREE on KU! https://amzn.to/38tJQr1

Review: Where Winter Finds You by J.R. Ward


Blessed are those who believe in all that two hearts aligned achieve. For once united, no matter where winter finds them, they will always be warm.

After the emotional distress of The Shadows, I was ready, and yet not, for this story. I saw it coming for a few books now but I was not fully prepared for what this book was gonna bring. When I finished chapter one with tears in my eyes I just KNEW that this was gonna be a doozy. And I couldn’t wait. So I grabbed a box of tissues, got comfortable and dove right in.

Everyone seemed to get their HEA but not Trez. He’s been floating in and out for a while now. The pain so great. He avoids everyone because his pain seems to bring them all down to his level and he doesn’t wanna do that. When he first met Therese and she was the spitting image of his Chosen, he couldn’t get her out of his mind. It was an instant shock to his system. Come to find out, it was the same with as well.

Therese is trying to make a life for herself and doesn’t need any handouts or distractions. But there’s just something about Trez that she can’t put her finger on. There’s more to the Shadow than she thinks. But while she tries to distance herself, the fates have another thing in mind.

I needed this book. Diehard fans need this. I am so happy that J.R. Ward gave us what we wanted. There were so many scenes that tugged at my heart and had me reaching for those tissues. Family is the theme all throughout this book. An unbreakable familial bond, weaved together with love. My heart is truly happy. If you believe in happily ever afters, then you definitely need to pick up a copy of Where Winter Finds You.

~Melpomene

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Review: Fast Lane by Kristen Ashley

For those who don’t know me, I love Kristen Ashley. HARD. When I hear she has a book coming out, I clear my schedule and get ready. And when the book arrives, whether ARC or release day, everything gets dropped and my family can eat cereal for all I care. Luckily my hubby loves her almost as much as I do, so he totally understands.

Fast Lane was written in a way I don’t think I’ve ever read before. She said she was inspired by Daisy Jones & The Six. While I’ve not read that, I was unsure for what I getting myself into. I’ll admit it took a little bit to find my groove but once I did, I couldn’t put it down.

Lyla and Preacher’s romance spanned decades and I loved every heartbreaking moment. In typical rock ‘n roll fashion, there was a lot going on, but in the midst was their love. It was all encompassing. Preacher’s world revolved around Lyla’s and vice versa. Theirs was a love that hit you in the gut. Listening to her tell their story, I could feel how much she loved him. They made bad decisions, but they made them together. What’s life without a little drama, right?

This book was a true roller coaster of emotions. I had faith that Kristen wouldn’t do me wrong, but I’ll admit it got a little tense a few times. And I can remember the moment. You know what I’m talking about? The moment just when you think all is lost, something happens, and you lose your freaking mind. Let’s just say I’m glad no one was home when I read that part.

In true Kristen Ashley form she brings you up, down, and all around, till you’re a puddle of goo on the floor. I really hope this gets put in audible form. I do believe hearing the voices and all the pain will hit ever harder than just reading. Thank you, Kristen, for going with your gut and giving us a story that is different than what we’re used to, and yet still the same emotional romance.

~Melpomene

Buy Fast Lane https://amzn.to/2nP0krt

Review: The Lady and the Highwayman by Sarah M. Eden

As a headmistress of an all girls school, Elizabeth Black wrote in her spare time. She’s know for her “silver fork” novels. And being a woman, this was acceptable. But what they didn’t know was that she also wrote “penny dreadfuls” under the name of Mr. King. If people knew she wrote those, her school would be ruined and so would she. So she kept it secret and used all the funds to help out her school.

Now the men who normally write those were part of a secret society who used their wages to help those in need. So when Mr. King starts to worm his way into their earnings, they take it upon themselves to discover who it is. They can’t risk not having the funds when they need to plan rescues and such. So their leader, Fletcher Walker asks Elizabeth for help. As a fellow author he hopes that she’ll know things he doesn’t.

I enjoyed watching these two. They both were doing things for the right reasons, but neither one could let their secrets be known. And while working together they grew closer. Amid all the mysteries and suspense, romance was blooming. And it was sweet.

This is another Proper Romance that I adore. I can’t get enough of these. They’re a nice breath of fresh air in the midst of the stress of life.

~Melpomene

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Review: How to Love a Duke in Ten Days by Kerrigan Byrne

It’s a new series by Kerrigan Byrne!!! And what a beginning this was. When I first found out she was writing a new series I was thrilled. I love her Victorian Rebels series, so I was dying to dive into this new one.

This author is another auto buy for me, and one that I don’t read the blurbs beforehand. I like to go in blind. So when I read the inscription, I wondered if this book was going to give me all the feels. And the I read the prologue. Not for the faint of heart. Gripping and heart racing beginning.

Alexandra Lane has held onto this secret for 10 years. Guilt, shame and fear have been her constant companions. My heart broke for her. Having to live like that, I wanted to reach in the pages and give her a hug. She was so strong but yet she needed someone stronger to set her free.

I adored Piers. SO MUCH. He needs to find a bride, and have an heir, in order seek revenge on his cousin. When he agrees to marry Alexandra, he had no idea what he was getting himself into. Secrets threaten to keep them from his ultimate goal but he’s determined to win her and succeed.

The chemistry was sizzling between these two. I was loving their interactions. She’s used to being surrounded by men so she has a strong wit that keeps him engaged. Their passion was off the charts. Piers was made for her. He was strong and determined to help discover her secrets and help her move past them.

The side characters are a riot! I am so looking forward to their stories. The friendship bond these girls have is strong and I know they will be there for each other till their dying breaths.

I need the next book!!

~Melpomene

Grab book one in this series here: https://amzn.to/2F49d5I

Review: Quiet Man by Kristen Ashley


Novellas are always hard to rate. They’re usually too short to be too emotionally awesome. Now a KA novella, those are in a league of their own. Definitely worth the five stars.

Mo and Lottie’s sorry was short and sexy and just the right length. I am so happy she got her dream man. She deserved happiness just like the rest of the Rock Chicks. It was so fun to see Lottie take center stage and not get swallowed up by the craziness of those girls. She gets lost in the shuffle sometimes. She was due to have her own HEA.

Mo was the perfect man for her. It’s like he was made for her. I love everything about him. He was strong and yet insecure at times. I like that in a hero, his realness. I liked being in his head. He was definitely a riot at times.

And can we talk about his buds? They are gonna be so fun to watch! The way they all responded to her and accepted her made my heart squeeze. They all have their quirks and she knows exactly how to work with them. She now has more “brothers” than she knows what to do with. I am happy for her.

And of course the epilogue was amazing as ever. Kristen Ashley is the queen of the epilogue so there was never any doubt.

So I didn’t get a Hot Bunch Guy.
I got my Dream Man.
And the best of all that…
My Dream Man got his Dream Girl.

This is the start of a new spin off of sorts and I can’t WAIT to get more!! I love these new guys!

~Melpomene

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