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: 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

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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: Stokehurst series by Lisa Kleypas

In my quest to read as many historical romances as I can, I stumbled upon these two books this week. I’ve never heard of them before so I was excited to have zero preconceived ideas about them. I like finding hidden gems such as these.

The first book, Midnight Angel was interesting. I’m not a fan of huge age gap romances, even though they happen a lot in historicals, so that took a bit to work through, but the heroine was quite old in spirit. Her past definitely aged her, so she wasn’t the typical young person that’s a bit flighty and immature. After faking her death she escapes to England under the cover of a governess to a child not much younger than she is. And you can guess what happens next. The father ends up falling for her despite not wanting to grow close to another woman after his wife died.

If you can get past the age thing, which I obviously did, this was a very intriguing story. There’s a bit of magic swirling around, which again, intriguing. I enjoyed watching this timid, yet fierce woman take charge of her life and find her own happy ending.

And that brings us to the next book, Prince of Dreams, which takes place 7 years later. This one is about the daughter and I think this one was my favorite of the two. You kinda knew who it was going to be about at the end of the previous book, so part of me hoped that it would be done in a matter that wouldn’t be too gross. Age gap is one thing, but under age is another. Thankfully it wasn’t like that.

This book had a definite magical feel to it. In fact, dreams were often a glimpse into the past and I was riveted. I couldn’t read fast enough. And by the time I was done, tears was streaming down my face. I can’t explain without spoiling, but this reaction is how I felt when I read books based on real people. Knowing they were real people, had real losses just gets me. This was how Nikolas’ dreams were.

Now about Nikolas. He was definitely NOT perfect. He made horrible choices that I probably wouldn’t forgive, but after those dreams, I can see why he acted the way he did. It’s fiction, so I must move on from it.

This story had a few twists that made it all the more enjoyable and magical. In fact, they were so unexpected I think that’s why I cried a lot. Angst to the max!!

If you’re looking for something different in your historical romances, then I highly recommend you grab these two books. Oldies but goodies.

~Melpomene

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Review: Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman

This was my first TBR star book of the year! I am so happy with choosing this one. I’ve been wanting to read this for a while now. They’ve been sitting on my shelf for way too long.

When you look at the cover of this book you think pirates, right? Since I don’t read descriptions, I assumed pirates. Well, that’s not exactly what this was about…and yet it was.

Blackhearts is about a boy and a girl. It’s about a boy longing to be free of the land around him and live on the sea. It’s about an orphan girl who’s biding her time till she is able to leave and find her mother’s family.

This is definitely more romance than anything. Edward “Teach” Drummond spent the last year living on the sea and returns home a changed man. He’s being forced into a marriage not of his choosing with a girl who is utterly ridiculous in all ways. He tries to make his father listen to him but to avail.

Anne Barrett has been living a half life. She was born for better things but without the funds to make that happen she is stuck as a maid in the Drummond house.

Slowly Anne and Teach are drawn to each other even knowing the cards are stacked against them. But it was sweet watching them try. So many times I thought the worst was going to happen but it didn’t. Everything seemed to be falling into place for them…until the rug was swept out from underneath them.

This book was a breath of fresh air for me. Another book to add to my teen rec list. It was a sweet romance tucked underneath intrigue and excitement. The conclusion had me face palming in a “Now I get it,” type or reaction. I really should read the synopsis sometimes. 🙂

~Melomene

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