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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Quick preview: Romanov by Nadine Brandes

I remember watching Anastasia when I was younger and totally getting sucked in. Heck, I watched it last year and still remembered all the songs. The idea of a princess surviving, when her family didn’t, gave me chills. The strength she would have to have. WOW. So when I heard that Nadine Brandes was wrote a story about Anastasia, I HAD to read it. And yet I knew it would be hard to read. I always get choked up at the idea of her family’s assassination. I can’t even imagine how terrified she must’ve been. Ugh.

Romanov was a magical twist of the story of an exiled princess. It tugged at my heart numerous times and it gave me hope. I think I loved it even more because it wasn’t all real, there was a bit a magic woven into the story. I was not expecting that at all. But I’m honestly happy it was there. If this was a 100% true account, I would’ve been crying the whole time.

While the story was a retelling, some parts were very real and mildly graphic. If giving this to a younger teen, give them a little heads up about what really happened. I know my stomach dropped while reading. I was prepared, and yet I wasn’t, for the firing squad scene.

This retelling is now one of my favorites. I look forward to what Nadine gives us next.

You definitely should add Romanov to your TBR!
Release date: May 7, 2019

~Melpomene

Click to buy Romanov

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: Annelies by David R. Gilliam

A different take on a familiar story…

We all know the heartbreaking, inspiring story of young Anne Frank. But what if her story had taken a different turn? What if, instead of perishing at Bergen-Belsen, she had made it out alive? This newest tale from David R. Gillam imagines just that.

She would almost certainly reunite with her beloved father who actually did survive. As the sole living members of their family, they’d only have each other. Maybe they’d fall back into their routines, working at the family business. Maybe Anne would pick up where she left off, taking up her writing once again. But it’s just as likely that too many things would have changed, made them all different people.

There are many things to like about this story. It’s full of historical accuracies making it highly believable. It also makes you wonder what might have been…

~Thalia

Buy It Now: Annelies

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: What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon

The wind and water know all the earth’s secrets. They’ve seen and heard all that has ever been said or done. And if you listen, they will tell you all the stories and sing every song.

From the moment I read the prologue I knew this story was going to hit me harder than any other book I’ve read lately. And I was so right. In fact, I’m pretty sure this story was written just for me. There are small details that connect me and I can’t even explain what that feels like. I know it sounds silly, but it’s true.

Without giving away spoilers I will just say this, at 10% I started to cry and I didn’t know why. I was noticing things that had me breathless and speechless. Even as I’m typing now, there are tears in my eyes. The talk of the past and how these people are no longer with us always makes my heart clinch. Anne discovers things that she never knew, but yet, she always knew.

This story is rich in history and romance and I was swept away. What the Wind Knows had an Outlander feel to it, due to the time traveling, but it was so much more than that. This book was so rich in history, I felt like I was there. The people were real, as were their struggles. My heart broke when theirs did.

The romance between Anne and Thomas made me swoon and cry. I’m not even kidding. When I say I was crying, I mean I was CRYING. I woke up one morning at 4:30 to finish it. And by the time I was done, my pillow was soaked and my eyes were red and puffy. I was breathless and overwhelmed by every word I was reading. I may never recover.

“My love is so big and full and brimming that I can’t breathe around it. It’s terrifying to love so much, knowing how fragile our existence really is. You’re going to have to hold on to me, or I’ll burst…or maybe I’ll just float away. Up into the sky, out into the louch.”

~Melpomene

Buy What the Wind Knows https://amzn.to/2SXtmQ4