Quick review: Daisies and Devotion by Josi S. Kilpack


I love this troupe. Friends to lovers have some of the sweetest moments.

In Daises and Devotion, Timothy and Maryann play matchmaker to each other. Maryann wants to find someone who wants her, not her money. And since Timothy’s uncle surprised him with an inheritance, he is now able to search for the “perfect” woman, not just a wealthy woman.

As their searches go on, Maryann gets more and more discouraged. I think part of her always thought that Timothy didn’t look at her for her money, so therefore he would be a good match for her. As he continues with his list, her feelings about herself grow more and more self conscience. But she won’t say anything except to be his loyal friend and confidant.

These two were so sweet in their own heads. They wanted to want someone else but hey kept thinking back on each other. Maryann didn’t fit Timothy’s list at all, but then why couldn’t he stop thinking about her? And why couldn’t Maryann be happy with any of the men that wanted to court her? Why was she always watching Timothy?

This is another Proper Romance that’s the second in a series, but it can totally be a standalone. In fact, we get a glimpse of what I’m hoping is the next story. I’m keeping my eyes opened for that one.

~Melpomene

Dive into this sweet series.

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Review and giveaway: The Slow Burn by Kristen Ashley

True to KA form this book had all the feels and I loved every moment of it! I cried, I laughed, I swooned. The perfect story.

There’s something about a duology that just works. You don’t have to commit to years of rereads to try and remember what happened. These rank right up there after the standalone. And the Gamble brothers definitely deserved more than a standalone.

“You got soft leather and smooth whiskey and I got goose down and kitten fur. But under what we got, it’s granite and steel. Daphne made that. That’s her legacy. That’s what she gave us, what our kids will get…”

We met Toby in the first book, The Hookup, so we get a glimpse on his personality but we don’t fully get to know him til this one. I love everything about him. His actions scream perfection. From the first time he meets Adeline I just knew he was gonna make an impression. And all throughout this book he wanted nothing more than to take care of her, even if she wanted to do everything on her own.

Adeline is a single mom trying to make ends meet, and doing it alone. She is deeply independent, like her mom was, and it’s starting to take it’s toll on her. Toby made an impression on her, but he’s off limits. Or is he?

While there was an instant connection between these two, they tried to fight it, hence The Slow Burn. I love books like this. You could see from both of their POVs how they felt. When they finally connected, it was explosive and romantic. He was made to care for a woman and the woman he wants to care for is Addie.

“I’ll agree, Gamble Men are the best. But Forrester Women are better.”

Kristen Ashley knows how to write an alpha man. Which is probably why I reread her books quite often. There’s something about a guy who takes charge and protects his woman’s body and heart. While Toby was an alpha, he was sensitive to her heart and didn’t attach from all ends. He cared for her in a way that gave her the independence she needed while still taking care of her needs.

And don’t get me started on that epilogue. Those always kill me.

~Melpomene

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Quick review and giveaway: When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton

Can I just say that I fell in love with the cover before I even read the book? I had no idea what the book was even about when I started reading. I was pleasantly surprised.

Beatriz Perez and her family were forced to leave their country in order to survive. But Beatriz wants nothing more than to bring down Castro and go back home. So she joins the CIA to infiltrate Castro’s inner circle to find a way. She never thought she’d find romance along the way. But she must choose between her heart and her home.

My heart was practically in my stomach the entire time. Many of her decisions could’ve gotten her or her family killed. I was stressing. And I do believe at a point or two, I cried. Not just from emotions, but from the stress as well. She was willing to risk her life and love for her country. I never read Next Year in Havana, so these characters were new to me, but in no way did I enjoy the book any less.

I have quite a few friends who will be receiving this book as a gift this year. Books rich in history like this are some of my favorites. I am definitely bumping up Havana in my TBR and I look forward to reading whatever Chanel brings to us.

~Melpomene

Buy When We Left Cuba https://amzn.to/2D14bGj

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway HERE

Review: A Song for the Stars by Ilima Todd

“But she is in the stars I try to read. She’s in the wind of our sails and in the water that surrounds us. I’ve discovered the problem with learning to observe everything in nature—it means I am aware of her, always, because she is in all of it.”

There’s something about a story that says “Inspired by a true story” that makes my heart clench. While I was reading A Song for the Stars I could feel it happening quite often. Imagine living in the Hawaiian Islands in 1779. Your world is small. You only know what’s on your island. When new people come bringing their traditions and unfamiliar wares, your world gets even smaller.

Maile and John meet under very heartbreaking circumstances. She is told to train him in their ways, so he can navigate and find his way home. But the more time they spend together learning and sharing, the more time their hearts soften to each other.

I loved watching them interact. She was so angry and devastated in the beginning, my heart broke for her. She starts out leery of him but, then John’s openness and eagerness to learn about her makes her question what she originally thought. Soon she realizes that her heart may find healing after all.

This story was beautifully written I could see and feel the world around me. And knowing that these are the author’s ancestors, makes this story all the more real.

Melpomene

Buy A Song for the Stars https://amzn.to/2UutgTK

Review: Healing Hearts by Sarah M. Eden

What a wild and intense story! I mean seriously. This poor girl jumps off a stagecoach and is immediately swept up and taken to her wedding, but she had no idea! She thought she was coming to Savage Wells to be a nurse, not a wife. Talk about miscommunication.

Gideon is plain tuckered out. He’s the only doctor for Savage Wells and all the towns around it. He has no one to help him so that’s why he requested a mail ordered bride, who is also a nurse. But somehow wires were crossed and only the nurse was delivered.

Miriam is hiding a secret. One that I never even thought of! But it’s not a surprise how people treated others back in those days. I loved her. She was so strong, even in the face of everything she’s had to endure. So when she’s allowed to stay on as a nurse instead of a wife, she thinks things are starting to look up. But when her secret is discovered, she must face her greatest fear head on. But luckily she’s not alone anymore.

As I’ve said numerous times before, I love these Proper Romances. They’re super sweet and innocent and they make the story the most important part, not the romance. That being said, I adored watching these two dance around each other. Shyness turned to jokes, which turned to soft touches and then BAM. A perfect sweet romance. On a side note, I am hoping for a certain US Marshal to get his own story. There just HAS to be a perfect girl for him!

~Melpomene

Buy Healing Hearts https://amzn.to/2sAUl8b

Review: Free by Kristen Ashley


It’s done. It’s over. There’s no more Chaos books. I don’t know how I feel about that. Heck, yeah I do. I feel sad. I love these characters.

We’ve watched Rush grow up these past years and it’s been great. After watching his dad finally find the perfect woman, I knew he was destined to be the same. While the Chaos was attempting to finally move on from the evil that seems to have hounded them from the beginning, he was finding himself falling in love.

He learned a lot from his dad.
One of those things was, you find a redhead who did it for you, even if it was early in the relationship, if you knew in your gut that it was right, you didn’t let go.
So yeah.
He’d made his decision.
He was keeping her.

I loved Rebel. Even her name shows how awesome she is! I loved the fact that she would do anything to solve the murder of her dearest friend, even if it was stupid. And believe me, it was. But, Rush knew how to help her and she knew how to let him. That’s how strong she was. She knew when to back down and let her man take care of her. That’s what I love about KA heroines.

“I’m keeping you,” he said against my lips.
He was keeping me.
I was going to belong to somebody.
And that someone was Rush Allen.

Chaos is one of my most favorite KA series. These books are about family, and not just the blood kind. The brothers will do whatever it takes to take care of their women and protect each other’s backs. They support and encourage each other. I wish more families were this way. This final battle has been years in the making. We see past allies and enemies come together to for a strong front line. I’ll admit, every time a known and beloved character from another series popped up, I got a little dreamy. KA has a way of intertwining her series and story lines to make each book more enjoyable than the last. It’s rather bittersweet to come to the end. Tack is my favorite KA hero so I’m quite sad that this will be the end of an era. But I’m so happy they’re free now…

~Melpomene

Release date: January 29, 2019

Buy Free https://amzn.to/2Rlee1i

Start from the beginning:
Own the Wind https://amzn.to/2CFCQtk
Fire Inside https://amzn.to/2QZF3J1
Ride Steady https://amzn.to/2RqtOsc
Walk Through Fire https://amzn.to/2AkxCSk
Rough Ride (4.5) https://amzn.to/2VhXIhF
Wild like the Wind https://amzn.to/2Vkm1f0

Review: Prisoner of Night by J.R.Ward


Whenever we get a book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood world, I am very excited. Even if these characters aren’t known to us, there’s more happening in the BDB world than with just the Brothers. Prisoner of Night will give us a tiny smidgen of the BDB world as we wait for The Savior to come out in April.

Druan has been imprisoned for years and biding his time to escape. But he has no idea his plans are about to take a crazy turn. When Ahmare walks into his prison something flairs up inside him and gives him the shock of his lifetime. There’s something about this female that has him questioning everything.

Ahmare’s brother has been captured and in order to free him she must use the “weapon” she’s provided with to retrieve something of value to his captor. What she wasn’t planning on was this weapon being a huge scary male with decades of pent up anger and hurt.

“I don’t want it to be like I never existed.”

These two characters go on a journey to places they never imagined, into a world they wish never existed. No matter what happened to Duran, these past decades, he was still a male who’s been raised to protect females, so he will do what it takes to get the job done and to find his revenge. What he doesn’t plan on is falling for this female almost instantly. But in the BDB world, that’s the way things happen. When they know, they KNOW.

I liked Ahmare. She kept a cool head all the while making choices that would affect her forever, all for the sake of her brother. I loved watching her discover that no matter what happened in the past, she is finally able to move forward, if she has the right male beside her.

“Funny, how a male could tell you, you’re beautiful without a word”

Prisoner of Night is a shorter story filled with the darkness and excitement we’ve come to know from the BDB books. This is a good way to wet your feet a little in this world without having to diving head first into this epic series. But really, why wouldn’t you wanna do that? The Black Dagger Brotherhood are one of my most favorite series. I wish everyone would dive into these books. I hope this series never ends.

~Melpomene

Buy Prisoner of Night https://amzn.to/2LQtaz6

Excerpt:

Twenty-One Years, Three Months, Six Days Ago . .

“Where is it! Goddamn you, where’s it at!”

Duran spit blood out of his mouth and spoke over the ringing in his ears. “I’ll never tell you—”

Chalen the Conqueror swung his open palm again, nailing Duran’s lacerated face like a bat hitting a fastball. But it didn’t hurt as much as the other shit they’d been doing to him in this castle’s great room. They’d already pulled out his fingernails, broken all of his toes, and whipped his back until strips of his own flesh flapped against his ribs. At the moment, he didn’t have the strength to keep himself on his feet, but no worries there—two guards, with grips locked under his pits, were holding him up off the floor.

As his head flopped back into its lolling hang, he shook it to get the sweat and blood out of his eyes. In the hissing, kicking light of the hearth, the male in front of him was stocky of build and ugly of feature, an oak stump with a bulldog’s muzzle and a hungry bear’s bad fucking attitude.

“You are going to tell me the location.” Chalen took Duran by the throat with one of his meat hands. “And you’re going to do it now.”

“Sorry, not . . . a big talker—”

The conqueror grabbed onto the lower half of Duran’s face, squeezing so hard his jaw split and the inside of his mouth was forced between the hard-and-sharp of his molars. More blood welled, spilled, fell on his bare chest.

“Why are you protecting the male who put you here?” Chalen’s opaque eyes searched Duran’s expression as if he were trying to extrapolate a map of Maryland in the features. “All you need to do is tell me where that facility is.”

Duran waited for that grip to release. When it did, he spit more blood out. “I’m not . . . protecting him.”

“Then what are you doing?”

“Making sure you don’t cheat me of what’s mine.” Duran smiled, aware he must look deranged. “You kill him . . . I don’t get to.”

Chalen crossed his strong-man arms over his barrel chest. He was dressed in weapons, whatever clothes he had on underneath the holsters of guns and knives largely hidden by metal. No daggers, though. He’d never been Black Dagger Brotherhood material and not just because he was a mutt according to his lineage: Even among black market thieves, there was a code of conduct.

Not for Chalen. He had no code. Not in the Old Country, and not during his last century here in the New World.

There was only one male who was worse.

“I will break you,” Chalen said in a low voice. “And I will enjoy it.”

Duran laughed in a wheeze. “You have no idea what I’ve already been through—”

Chalen swung that palm wide again, the crack so heavy Duran lost his vision, everything going checkerboard. And then there was a drop in blood pressure, his brain emptying of oxygen, floaty disassociation riding in, a foggy savior buffering the suffering.

The sound of chains moving and gears shifting brought him back to reality. A section of the sweaty stone wall rose by inches, the great weight ascending like a gate, revealing a corridor . . .

Revealing a male who was naked but for a black hood that covered his head.

“I will make you pray for death,” Chalen said. “And when you give me what I need, you will think back to this moment. When you could have saved yourself from so much.”

Duran exhaled in a gurgle. His body was on fire, the pain burning through his veins, turning him into a semi-living, kind-of-breathing, sort-of-conscious incubator for agony.

But fuck Chalen.

“Do what you will,” he mumbled. “I’m not going to give you a goddamn thing.”

“I will make you wish you were never born.”

As the hooded male came forward, Duran was dragged over and slammed face-first down onto a table, his torso bent parallel to the floor. Turning his face to the side, he smelled the spoiled meat and rancid fat embedded in the fibers of the planks.

“Already there, asshole.”