Review: Fable by Adrienne Young


If you’ve read Adrienne Young’s books then you’ll know what kind of worlds she creates. With her words she transforms you into the scenes and you feel like you’re experiencing everything right along with them. I fell in love with the cover and I knew I would love the story. Honestly, I didn’t read the blurb til I finished the book.

Fable was abandoned by her father four years ago. She makes it her goal to somehow escape the island he left her at and find him in order to get what she’s owed. What she didn’t plan on was falling into a crew of throwaways and eventually becoming one of them.

I adored this book and couldn’t put it down. It’s been a long time since I felt like this while reading. There’s a very slow burn romance, which was written perfectly, which I was hoping for. There’s a sense of family, which made this story magnificent. I pretty much fell in love with everyone. To see all these guys and gals working together and willing to risk their lives for each other, it’s a beautiful thing.

I can’t wait to read book two!!

This is definitely in my top 10 of 2020.

~Melpomene

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Review: The Faithless Hawk by Margaret Owen


A thrilling and emotional conclusion to this duology!

From the very first line I was riveted. It brought all of the Merciful Crow feelings back. If you haven’t read it, I suggest you stop right now and go rectify that. The Faithless Hawk takes place pretty much right after Crow ends. If you don’t remember everything, I suggest you go back and reread a few chapters at least.

This was another buddy read with Sassy, since she enjoyed TMC so much. So I got her input for part of the review also.

I loved the fact, and I even said this in my last review, that this isn’t your typical “I am a strong and powerful girl and I can do no wrong and everyone must follow me,” YA book. She makes mistakes. HUGE ones. But she also works well with others and knows it’s not about her, it’s about everyone. I love how her crows help her even when she tries to take as much on her shoulders. She even has a few Hawks to help her along the way! She doesn’t give up, even when she can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.

We love Tavin. There were so many OMG parts with him, and not necessarily in a good way, but just hold on for a while. You can’t see the whole board when you’re a piece in the game. Just wait and step back and see the plays. I was going back and forth with him. But I am so happy I held on. I knew there was a reason for everything.

“I’ll never doubt that boy loves you. But loving someone doesn’t make us choose right, for us or for them.”

This book seemed more focused on the relationships surrounding Fie. The banter between the characters made us giggle and smile, a lot. Prince Jasimir was more open with his feelings and it was nice to see that. He was rather standoff-ish in the first book. It was good to see him loosen up a bit. There were a few scenes with him that made us teary. In fact, her and I just sat here for 10 minutes reminiscing about all the hilarious and emotional group scenes and it kinda makes me want to reread it.

This series will definitely be added to my YA rec list! I hope you guys love it as much as we did!

~Melpomene

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Review: The Marriage Contract by Katee Robert


I’ve never read a Katee Robert book til now. To be honest, I have so many auto buy authors that I rarely try new ones. I just don’t have the time or money to take chances on books that I may not like. But during quarantine I didn’t have anywhere to go so I just a chance, and I’m so happy I did.

I’ve read a few mafia series and really enjoyed them. When I started The Marriage Contract I was pleasantly surprised to see it was mafia and then I knew I was gonna like it.

There was tension and emotion and of course romance. My heart was racing a few times but I couldn’t stop reading. Teague and Callie had some crazy chemistry. When we first see them together you just knew the sparks were about to explode. And I swear every time he calls her Angel, I melt into a puddle on the floor.

With three ruling families there’s bound to be tension around. So this was a nice set up to what the next books will be about. There’s so many siblings running around and I can tell their stories are gonna be fun. E07ecially the next book! Man, talk about sparks!

~Melpomene

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Review: Where the Lost Wander by Amy Harmon


A beautiful story about life and love on the Oregon Trail.

Now, I’m not usually one to stay up too late reading. My eyes wanna close around 10:30. But when I read Where the Lost Wander, I couldn’t stop reading. I stayed up til almost 1 am anxiously flipping pages and trying to keep my tears from dropping onto them. I don’t remember the last time I read a book with so much overwhelming obstacles that had me glued to each word.

Life in a wagon train is brutal, both the land and people. But the May family set out with a train for a better life. With everything they own they are determined to make a better life from the one they are leaving behind. They knew it would be hard but they didn’t expect this.

Naomi May is a 19 yr old recent widow who is ready for a new life. She wants a family of her own so she sets out with her parents, and four brothers, for what will be a new beginning. She had no idea that traveling on this trail would change her forever. Nothing could prepare her for all the hardship and death she would surrounded by. But among that was also love.

“I worry sometimes that you will get tired of carrying all of us, John.”

“I would carry you to the ends of the earth.”

John Lowry is a man from two worlds. He’s a half Pawnee and half white man trying to balance between them both. But he had no idea when he was signing up for the trail how his life would change forever.

This story was harrowing and heartbreaking and yet so very inspiring. There were parts that had tears pouring down my face and some wishing I could reach in and hug Naomi. Honestly, the suffering was unfathomable. I don’t think I could’ve been as strong as she was. No matter what what thrown at her, she fought, even when she felt like giving up. If you read From Sand and Ash then this is right up your alley. Another story based on real people. These are types of stories I wish more writers would write. Amy Harmon will always be one of my favorites and I will always recommend her books.

~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: Wild at Heart(Wild #2) by K.A. Tucker


I am in the happiest of book fogs now. What a wonderful story. Please don’t read book unless you read The Simple Wild first. This book is a continuation.

I’ll admit I was a wee bit nervous after the beauty that was The Simple Wild. I wanted nothing bad to happen to Jonah and Calla. In my eyes they lived happily ever after. But that’s now how life works now is it?

Wild at Heart was about finding that balance of creating happiness for you and not just with that special someone. Calls learns there’s more to Alaska than just Jonah. I gotta think that many of us would have the same reactions. She loves Jonah so much but she feels like something is missing and until she finds what that is, she won’t find contentment.

I am so happy we got a little bit more form these two. I loved watching them grow together and create their piece of heaven. I loved the new faces and was so happy to see some old ones. I can honestly say that I hope we get more from them. There’s a couple of HEAs I wouldn’t mind reading about.

K.A. Tucker makes Alaska sound so beautiful that I wish I was there. The small town setting where everyone looks out for each other, like a family. *sigh* I loved this book. I hope we get more from these characters and perhaps the side ones as well.

~Melpomene

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Review: Chasing Cassandra by Lisa Kleypas


Ya’ll. You know I love me some historical romances. And I definitely love historical romances written by Lisa Kleypas. Her Ravenel series is one of my favorites. The family of characters are so much fun to watch! Chasing Cassandra was probably the sweetest by far.

After the wedding of her sister, Cassandra starts to worry that she’ll never have a marriage based on love, which is what she wants. She’s received numerous proposals but no one gave her butteries in her belly. That is until she set her eye upon Tom Severin.

Tom is a peculiar fellow. I loved him. His scenes were some of the sweetest one from the book. Practically every scenes with Bazzle/Basil had me melting. He claims that he doesn’t feel love but the more he sees Cassandra the more he realizes he might be wrong. She makes him think of things he never would’ve before. She brings ideas about his life that he didn’t think would happen to him.

When she’s caught up in a scandal, that was not her fault, Tom steps in in the hopes that he can help her by being a friend. But he has no idea what’s headed his way. Friendship is only the beginning.

I loved watching these two together. She was a bit self conscious and he made her feel beautiful inside and out. He truly was the best man for her.

While their connection was explosive and it would catch both of them off guard, it was a bit of a slow burn as well. Lisa made us wait til we were chomping at the bit. And honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

~Melpomene

Release day Feb 18, 2020
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Review: Scot Under the Covers by Suzanne Enoch

Sexy highlanders are a bit hit in my eyes. And these men definitely had my heart squishing. They don’t wanna be there but in order to save their home they must find wives that their mother approves of.

I really enjoyed the first book, It’s Getting Scot in Here, so I was anxiously waiting for this book. Aden wants nothing to do with finding a wife. But when he meets Miranda, he starts to sway a bit. Because of her brother’s gambling problem, she’s been blackmailed into marrying an evil man. And when I say evil, I mean EVIL. Every time I read his scenes my stomach got all twisty. So when she asks Aden to help her, he goes full force and his heart slowly falls.

Watching them slowly fall was so sweet and I am so happy to see these men taken down by society women. It looks like their mom knew what she was doing after all. It was also very sweet to see them slowly grow closer to her, in spite being abandoned by her when they were younger. Forgiveness and family is the theme here. I am definitely going to continue with this series.

~Melpomene

Grab the first two books to get started!
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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: 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