Review: The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden

Vivid, magical and EPIC!! That was the best way to end this most amazing trilogy. My heart was racing all throughout this entire book.

Vasya is determined to save her country by uniting them and showing them that there is way to be together and allow everyone their own religious freedoms. When we thought she was strong in the previous books, this is nothing compared to those.

She lives up to the prophecy. She makes allies with those who wouldn’t normally work together. As it’s said in the book, she’s a bridge between men and chyerti. The magic is failing as those stop believing in spirits. I loved watching her. She has the power to change things and she does.

No spoilers but this book was probably 10 times as exciting as the first two books. I couldn’t put it down. As I type this out, I’m awaiting Urania’s excited reactions. It’s her influence that gave me the nudge to dive into these books. I owe her.

There is a smidgen more of romance in this one but it’s very much on the back burner. I actually find myself not even looking for it. It’s just a bonus. But love, familial or romantic, is definitely a strong motivator to get things accomplished. But I will say that I’ve had my eye on Morozko since the first book and I’m happy to see him live up to my expectations.

“Love is for those who know the griefs of time, for it goes hand in hand with loss. An eternity, so burdened, would be a torment.”

Let the book hangover begin…

~Melpomene
Buy The Winter of the Witch https://amzn.to/2QksNlT

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Quick Review(again): The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Magical, enchanting and fantastical!

I’ve heard lots of people talking about this book since it released last year, especially Urania. And I know it’s already been reviewed, but I just had to shout it’s praises for myself. To be honest, The Bear and the Nightingale didn’t seem like something I’d like, since I mostly read romance, but it was always in the back of my mind. When I decided to start a book club, this book was one of the books I was hoping we’d get to read this winter. So for our December book we chose this. I just finished reading it and I can’t believe I waited so long. Seriously.

“All my life, I have been told to ‘go’ and ‘come’. I am told how I will live, and I am told how I must die. I must be a man’s servant and a mare for his pleasure, or I must hide myself behind walls and surrender my flesh to a cold, silent god. I would walk into the jaws of hell itself, if it were a path of my own choosing. I would rather die tomorrow in the forest than live a hundred years of the life appointed to me.”

That quote pretty much sums up the reason I loved Vasya. She is done waiting and sets out to do something for herself.

I can’t put my finger on why I loved this book. Perhaps it’s the Russian folklore aspect. Or maybe the odd characters. Or it may be that I can tell that there’s more epicness coming and that’s what made it such a page turner. Not sure, but this is definitely in my top 10 of this year. I can’t recommend it enough.

And now I need to read book two. I need to know what happens next!!

~Melpomene

Buy The Bear and the Nightingale https://amzn.to/2L6qBbL

Review: Driven to Distraction by Lori Foster


It seems like I haven’t read a Lori Foster book in forever. But this is just what I needed. So many books lately have shown strong women, to the point that they don’t need or want any help, but I love the books that show strong women who actually need help.

Mary lives her life alone. Her job is everything to her, she has nothing and no one else. But when she meets Brodie, and has to see him multiple times a week, she realizes that she’s been missing something.

Brodie has been raised to be the strong man and take care of those around him who are smaller and weaker. When he meets Mary, his instincts fire up and protection mode kicks in. trouble is that Mary doesn’t want his help, even though she actually needs it.

I loved how Brodie was able to get through to Mary and show her that she isn’t alone and it’s okay to have help from others. The secondary characters were so loving and wonderful. Everyone is a family, even if they’re not blood related. I love homemade families like that. And I’m looking forward to next books in this series.

~Melpomene

Buy Driven to Distraction https://amzn.to/2RPJ2DH

Quick Review: Kiss Me at Christmas by Valerie Bowman

I love Christmas. And when you combine that with historical romance, it’s a match made in heaven.

I loved watching Daffin and Regina. They had this connection, from the first time they met, but never acted on it. And when they meet up again it’s under rather embarrassing circumstances that was awkward to watch. But true love has a way of working through embarrassments and making all things right.

I am fairly new to this series. It’s quite fun that these stories are interconnected standalones. Seeing past characters join in make the stories much more enjoyable. And of course when the men step in, to put things to right, it makes me smile.

I can’t wait to read the next book!

~Melpomene

Buy Kiss Me at Christmas https://amzn.to/2z6kIqz

Review: Calypso by David Sedaris

If you’ve read a Sedaris book and hated it…well…you won’t like this one either…I also have to ask why the hell not? Do you take life too seriously?

Don’t get me wrong, I think Sedaris takes life way too seriously, hence why he is so bitter and so very snarky.

I lost track how many times I laughed out loud during this one. Despite all the laughter there was some serious issues going on in this one. I come from a family that isn’t really what you would call close. I am not so daft as to not realise that the lack of family bonding I’ve had hasn’t affected me a great deal with my “grown up” issues. So whilst reading this, I just have to marvel at all the times Sedaris and his family attempt to be a family, despite the fact that they often don’t seem to feel that closeness…or perhaps that closeness is why they continue to reach out to one another. Don’t get me wrong, it’s obvious that Sedaris has a close bond with some of his siblings, however I often get the feeling that with others, meh, not so much…Maybe because of his age he makes those attempts and I still have a few years to get it right myself…after all, Sedaris also makes it clear that for many years of his youth he was out of touch with everyone on the planet, including himself!

However, I don’t think that’s it. Maybe my wires are completely severed and beyond repair…but alas, Sedaris in all his snark makes it pretty clear to me that it’s a choice I make…just like it’s a choice he makes to continue on…even though both of us might feel like it’s not really a choice at all…

See, I guess this isn’t a review, but it’s just the musings that reading the book has brought me to…

Regardless of all of that, if you love Sedaris even a little bit, you should hurry up and get to this one…

Why? ***Skip to the end if you’re easily offended*** Well, because honestly, now I can’t wait to to tell some to shove their fist up me arse and give my shite a good wanking off…you too, might need this ultimate insult information as well one day…

Honestly, maybe I shouldn’t post this review on my blog now…but dang it, after I picked my jaw up off the floor I almost fell down with the laughter at this ultimate insult..don’t we all need some honest to god outrageous and inappropriate belly laughs such as this from time to time…and Sedaris, as always, is happy to provide them for us…

Until next time…

Urania xx

Buy it here Calypso by David Sedaris

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: Consumed by J.R Ward

Firefighters are hot!

Being a girl in the fire world isn’t easy, especially when your dad and brother both were/are the chief. That’s a lot to take on. And after an accident leaves her out of active fire duty, Anne finds herself as a fire inspector, investigating a series of arson set fires in her area. I feel as though she had a lot going on inside that wasn’t really brought up, or if it was, it was resolved rather quickly. I do hope we get more about her in the next book.

Now Danny… Was he perfect? No. But I do believe he’s working on it. Without saying much, I will say that I’m glad for the choices he made in the end. There’s more to him than we see here also. He has a lot of baggage. I’m glad we see more of him and Anne’s romance. That made my heart happy.

I know this may sound silly, but the part I loved the most was the sense of family. I realize some are actully related, but I’m not talking about them. The fire house is a family. They do things together and help each other out, no matter what. And when one is being a butthead, they all jump up to smack them back around. Silly, I know.

I was torn between 4 and 5 stars. While I LOVE firefighter stories, some parts of this seemed so far fetched. Maybe that’s the firewife in me, but there were a few parts that I found myself saying, “That would never happen!!” So I read it for the drama aspect. And that I liked. I am blaming my hubby for this. We can’t watch a movie or show without him critiquing, I don’t know how I didn’t expect it to leak onto me.

I’m partial to Ward’s BDB series, and not usually a fan of dramas, but I did enjoy this book and I’m curious to see where the next book goes. I have a few firefighters I wanna know more about. For some reason I went in thinking it was going to be a standalone, so I’m very happy it’s not. There’s a few opened ended story lines that I need more from.


On a side note, I was able to meet J.R. Ward this past weekend at Readers on the River. And let me tell you, if I never read her before, I would definitely start. She was the funniest, most gracious person. She even listened to me ramble on about my hubby and my felling about Consumed. I can’t wait till you guys read it.

~Melpomene

Buy Consumed https://amzn.to/2RfchR1