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.”

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Review: All My Life by Prescott Lane

Devlyn has loved Garrett for as long as she can remember. Even when he got another girl pregnant. Even when the mom left him to raise his child alone. Devlyn stood by him and helped him raise his daughter for the past 18 years, all the while he was clueless. He had no idea that his best friend was in love with him. But when he finds out, that’s when his life gets interesting.

I felt bad for Devlyn. I mean over 25 years in love with someone who didn’t “see” you that way. What a life! I don’t know if I could do that. My heart broke for her. I realize that the heart wants what the heart wants but she sure put up with a lot and got nothing in return.

When he finally has the light bulb moment, he acted like a teenager and that only hurts her more. I don’t think his brain wrapped around the idea of her as more than a friend. His life has been so focused on being a dad, and less on him being a man, I just don’t think he was ready for those feelings. It’s like he’s been stuck in a limbo for the past 18 years and didn’t know how to get out.

She always put his needs first. ALWAYS. What drove me crazy about that was she always gave him sex, even if she was upset. That mad me sad. She had all these feelings but never shared them. I wanted to smack their two heads together. But I just had to sit back and be patient.

I will say the romance was hot and sexy. The family times sweet and happy. I’m happy with how it ended but I wish it didn’t take a lifetime to realize what was right in front of you. Love is blind sometimes.

~Melpomene

Buy All My Life https://amzn.to/2pNhvqD

Review: Strong by Kylie Scott

“For a woman with so much pride, Martha, you have a very thin grasp of your worth.”

Let me start out by saying that this book can be read as a standalone. While it features characters from Kylie’s Stage Dive series, you can fully enjoy this without reading those. BUT, and I emphasize that, you really should read them. They’re super fun and have enough emotion weaved throughout them to make me very happy.

This story is ten years in the making. While Sam has always been in the background watching and waiting, Martha has been out front causing mayhem and grief. They are the epitome of opposites attract. I wanted to reach in numerous times and wring her neck. Martha has been watching the Stage Dive guys fall one by one but all the while she’s been watching their super hot bodyguard from the sidelines. She knows she’s all wrong for him, but she can’t stop the wanting.

Sam has been wanting Martha for 10 years. Hard to believe this spoiled, high maintenance girl would ever want him. But he’s not willing to wait any longer and sets his sight on her and slowly reels her in. Of course there are fireworks when this happens, and not just the beautiful, awe inspiring kind. The kind that blow things up and make you take cover.

Sam has the patience of a saint. Martha definitely didn’t make it easy but it was fun to watch. I’m glad that things worked out, and not just between her and Sam. She isn’t the most liked character and it’s been a long time coming and growing up, on her part. It was also fun to see the past characters join in the party and come together. love when series end like this.

~Melpomene

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Review: Promises and Primroses by Josi S. Kilpack

Another Proper Romance to sink your teeth into. I can’t get enough of these. This is the first in the Mayfield Family series. What a way to start. The moment I opened the book, I couldn’t put it down. I was instantly sucked in.

Elliot doesn’t like the direction his family is headed. So he comes up with the idea of a marriage campaign to bring them out of the scandals and to erase the many mistakes they are making. He remembers making the worst mistake of his life and he doesn’t want his nieces and nephews to suffer as he did. He wants them happy and respectable. He’s he’s going to start with his eldest nephew, Peter.

Peter is widower and a father of two young girls. He’s looking for a governess, not a wife. No matter what his uncle is hoping for, her is just happy being a father and a dog breeder. Yes, this book has puppies. YAY! When all his options are taken away, he is stuck with a young lady who, frankly, is too pretty to be a governess. But the crazy thing is, she’s perfect. Julia is really good with his daughters, and they love her and are learning from her. Plus she has the added bonus of being good with dogs, which definitely comes in handy on more than one occasion.

Now everything may look perfect, but when Julia’s mom, Amelia, discovers that her daughter is now a governess in the household of someone related to the man who broke her heart, she is determined to get her away. She doesn’t want what happened to her to happen to Julia.

Not that I condone Amelia’s actions, but I understand why she responded the way she did. She has lived a happy life, even after her husband died, but she’ll never forget the heartache Elliot caused. I feel as their story was a nice little bonus. Two stories for the price of one. It was sweet and sad, but I loved it.

But my favorite was watching Peter slowly come to the realization that he doesn’t need to be alone. He may have loved his wife very much, but that doesn’t mean her can’t find love again. Especially one that fits in his household. He was so adamant that he would be content alone, it was fun to see him fall in love.

Now, I don’t know when we’ll get more of the Mayfield Family, but I hope it’s soon. I love series based on big families. And since the marriage campaign is based on love, I know it’s gonna be sweet.

~Melpomene

Buy Promises and Primroses https://amzn.to/2MpWhMF

Preview: Wedding from Hell part 3 by J.R.Ward


Here’s the final part of the FREE 3-part prequel to Consumed. It’s actually an excerpt from Consumed. I don’t know about you, but I’m even more excited to dive into it now that we got a glimpse into this world. As a firewife, I’m all about firefighter books, so I’m a very happy girl.

Here’s the synopsis:
About the Book:
From the creator of the #1 New York Times bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood series, get ready for a new band of brothers. And a firestorm.

Anne Ashburn is a woman consumed…

By her bitter family legacy, by her scorched career as a firefighter, by her obsession with department bad-boy Danny McGuire, and by a new case that pits her against a fiery killer.

Strong-willed Anne was fearless and loved the thrill of fighting fires, pushing herself to be the best. But when one risky decision at a warehouse blaze changes her life forever, Anne must reinvent not only her job, but her whole self.

Shattered and demoralized, Anne finds her new career as an arson investigator a pale substitute for the adrenaline-fueled life she left behind. She doesn’t believe she will ever feel that same all-consuming passion for her job again—until she encounters a string of suspicious fires setting her beloved city ablaze.

Danny McGuire is a premiere fireman, best in the commonwealth, but in the midst of a personal meltdown. Danny is taking risks like never before and seems to have a death wish until he teams up with Anne to find the fire starter. But Danny may be more than a distraction, and as Anne narrows in on her target, the arsonist begins to target her.

And here’s your final excerpt:
Excerpt:

Harbor Street and Eighteenth Avenue
Old Downtown, New Brunswick, Massachusetts

Box alarm. One-niner-four-seven. Two engines and a ladder from the 499, responding.

Or, put another way, Anne Ashburn’s Friday night date had showed up on time and was taking her to a show. Granted, “on time” was the precise moment she had sat down for a meal at the stationhouse with her crew, and the “show” was a warehouse fire they were going to have to chorus-line for. But if you judged the health of a relationship on its constancy and whether it brought purpose and meaning to your life?

Then this firefighting gig was the best damn partner a woman could ask for.

As Engine Co. 17 turned the corner onto Harbor with siren and lights going, Anne glanced around the shallow seating area of the apparatus. There were four jump seats behind the cab, two forward- facing, two rear-, the pairs separated by an aisle of gear. Emilio “Amy” Chavez and Patrick “Duff” Duffy were on one side. She and Daniel “Dannyboy” Maguire were on the other. Up in front, Deshaun “Doc” Lewis, the engineer, was behind the wheel, and Captain Christopher “Chip” Baker, the incident commander, was shotgun.

Her nickname was “Sister.” Which was what happened when you were the sibling of the great Fire Chief Thomas Ashburn Jr., and the daughter of the revered—falsely as it turned out— Thomas Ashburn, Sr.

Not everybody called her that, though.

She focused on Danny. He was staring out the open window, the cold November wind blowing his black hair back, his exhausted blue eyes focused on nothing. In their bulky turnouts, their knees brushed every time the engine bumped over sewer access panels, potholes, manholes, intersections.

Okay, okay, she wanted to say to fate. I know he’s there. You don’t have to keep reminding me.

The hardheaded bastard was a lot of things, most of which carried terms you couldn’t use around your grandmother, but he knew she hated the “Sister” thing, so to him, she was Ashburn.

He’d also called her Anne—once. Late at night about three weeks ago.

Yes, they had been naked at the time. Oh, God . . . had they finally done that?

“I’m gonna beat you at pong,” he said without looking at her. “Soon as we get back.”

“No chance.” She hated that he knew she’d been staring at him. “All talk, Dannyboy.”

“Fine.” He turned to face her. “I’ll let you win, how about that?”

His smile was slow, knowing, evil. And her temper answered the phone on the first ring.

“The hell you will.” Anne leaned forward. “I won’t play with you if you cheat.”

“Even if it benefits you?”

“That’s not winning.”

“Huh. Well, you’ll have to explain to me the ins and outs of it when we’re back at the house. While I’m beating you.”

Anne shook her head and glared out the open window.

The first tap on her leg she ascribed to a bump in the road. The second, third, and fourth were obviously—

She looked back at Danny. “Stop it.”

“What?”

“Are you twelve?” As he started to smile, she knew exactly where his mind had gone. “Not inches. Age.”

“I’m pretty sure I peak more like at sixteen.” He lowered his voice. “What do you think?”

Between the sirens and the open windows, no one else could hear them—and Danny never pulled the double entendre if there was a risk of that. But yes, Anne now knew intimately all of his heavily muscled and tattooed anatomy. Granted, it had been only that once.

Then again, unforgettable only had to happen one time.

“I think you’re out of your mind,” she muttered.

And then they were at the scene. The old 1900s-era warehouse was a shell of its former useful self, sixty-five thousand square feet of broken glass panes, rotting beams, and blown-off roof panels. The outer walls were brick, but based on the age, the floors and any room dividers inside were going to be wood. The blaze was in the northeast corner on the second floor, billowing smoke wafting up into the forty-degree night air before being carried away by a southerly wind.

As Anne’s boots hit the ground, she pulled the top half of her turnouts closed. Her ponytail was up high on the back of her head, and she stripped out the band, reorganized the shoulder length, and cranked things tight at her nape. The brown was still streaked with blond from the summer, but she needed to get it trimmed—so all that lightness was on the chopping block.

Of course, if she were a woman “who took care of herself,” she’d get it highlighted through the winter months. Or so her mother liked to tell her. But who the hell had time for that?

“Sister, you sweep the place with Amy for addicts,” Captain Baker commanded. “Stay away from that corner. Danny and Duff, run those lines!”

As Captain Baker continued to bark orders out, she turned away. She had her assignment. Until she completed it, or there was an insurmountable obstacle or change of order, she was required to execute that directive and no other.

“Be safe in there, Ashburn.”

The words were soft and low, meant for her ears alone. And as she glanced over her shoulder, Danny’s Irish eyes were not smiling.

A ripple of premonition made her rub the back of her neck. “Yeah, you, too, Maguire.”

“Piece’a cake. We’ll be back at pong before ten.” They walked away from each other at the same time, Danny going around to the stacks of hoses in the back, her linking up with Chavez…

Be sure and grab this final part before you dive into Consumed.
Wedding from Hell
Part 1 https://amzn.to/2BDpL58
Part 2 https://amzn.to/2LeCF9t
Part 3 https://amzn.to/2PoZ3A6

Preorder Consumed so you can have it ready to read on release day, Oct 2
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Review: The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo by Kerrigan Byrne

Swoon worthy and romantic with a dash of emotion and excitement!

I went in not knowing what this book was about. It was a Kerrigan Byrne story and that’s all that mattered to me. But as soon as I finished the prologue I had a feeling that this was going to suck me in. And by the end of chapter one, I knew I was right.

I love the secret that is the Rook. And the epicness of a 20 year longing has my heart all squishy. My gosh! I can’t even imagine how that felt! Theirs was a romance that was meant to be. Lorelei has suffered for so long and I was so happy to see that she finally found someone to really care for her and keep her safe.

She was his prayer in the night. His song in the dark. His past and present. His future.

This series is one of my favorites and seeing a few past characters makes this book even more amazing. This series has a way of turning even the most notorious villains into heroes. Who would’ve thought I’d fall in love with so many of them. I won’t say anymore except that if you’re looking for a series that brings out all the feels and makes you appreciate the anti-hero, then this is the series for you.

Now I wanna reread them all.

~Melpomene
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Review: Kiss of the Spindle by Nancy Campbell Allen

I adore fairy tale retellings and Kiss of the Spindle fit the bill. This had everything that made me happy. Witches, shifters, curses and swoony men. Can’t go wrong with that.

Isla Cooper has been put under a spell and she must do everything in her power to find the witch that cast it, even if it means blackmailing her way onto an airship. She basically sleeps like the dead every night. She’s running out of time. Soon the curse will be permanent. Her calling as a shifter empath has put her in the sights of a few who would like her to fail in her endeavor. So she must call upon her fellow airship occupants to help her, even though she’s used to doing things alone.

Captain Daniel Pickett was mot amused into being blackmailed. He’s a mission and he doesn’t have time to be messed around with. He has no idea what’s in store for him. Just when he’s content with his life, Isla brings a spark into it and draws him into her. He falls hard. But when he find out what’s happening to her each night, he does everything in his power to help her.

I love the slow burn of this romance. It kept me turning the pages. I was so excited to see where this was headed. I’m glad we got to see Daniel’s story. We met him in the previous story, Beauty and the Clockwork Beast. But this is a standalone, so don’t worry about missing anything.

I’m still fairly new to the world of steampunk. I’ve read less than a handful of them. But I gotta admit, they intrigue me. They’re like historical, and yet not. Kiss was no exception. I just have to reset my mind and jump into a world of gadgets and gizmos. I hope we get more in this series.

~Melpomene
Buy Kiss of the Spindle https://amzn.to/2tt4mUW