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: House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas


Roller coaster ride doesn’t even come close to what this book felt like.

I was so excited to start a new series my Sarah Maas! I’ve loved her Throne of Glass and ACOTAR series so much, I had high hopes for this one. I knew this would give me all the feels, and I was right. Plenty of heart stopping moments mixed with a few teary ones had me at the edge of my seat. I wasn’t expecting to cry so soon in the series, but dang, tears were pouring down my cheeks.

I’ll admit the first 15 chapters, or so, were a struggle for me. I had to force myself to keep going. Sarah dropped a lot of information on us and it just didn’t grab me. I was used to the instant pull of ToG and ACOTAR. This didn’t compare. I didn’t help that I didn’t like Bryce at all in the beginning. Heck, it took me til half the book before she started to grow on me and the last section to actually like her.

That being said, I liked the interaction between Bryce and Hunt. The banter was fun to watch. And seeing them slowly heal and grow together was exactly what I was hoping for. But I wish there was more heat. For an adult book this lacked in that department. We got more f-bombs and adult talk, but this still felt like a NA book. I kept waiting and waiting for more adult situations but was left disappointed. Not that I only read for those but I expected more in an “adult” series. So here’s to hoping book two knocks our socks off. Among other things…😉

She put a hand on her chest. Over her heart. “I was waiting for you—in here.”

The amount of growth these characters went through, from the first page to the last, was enormous. That’s the type of story I like reading about. I was happy to see this first ARC all wrapped up neatly in this book. There was closure on a few things but it also was left opened enough to keep us coming back. I look forward to see what happens in the next chapter of their lives.

~Melpomene

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Review: Finding Him by Rachel VanDyken


Ever since I finished Stealing Her, book one, I’ve been wanting Julian’s story. This did not disappoint.

Waking up from a coma, and finding out the world kept on spinning without you, has a way of changing a person. Julian thought his life would have more of an impact but sadly it didn’t. And then to lose his mom in the way he did, he feels left out and alone now.

Keaton was trying to move on from the death of her true love and somehow found herself in the path of Julian. Definitely not what she was expecting from a quiet week in the mountains.

The chemistry between these two was so very hot. It’s like something clicked and, no matter what they did, their hearts wouldn’t let go. They were each other’s missing piece.

I loved seeing the progression Julian made with Bridge and Isobel also. Waking up the way he did had to have hurt but he grew to realize the mistakes he made and hurt he caused. I am so happy with how these books ended. I’m typing with a big smile on my face.

If you like a romance filled with swoony scenes and so many feels, then I highly recommend you pick up this book and the one before it.

~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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Quick Review: The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller

It’s been said that this book is a Slytherin romance. At first I didn’t understand that. I’m a Slytherin, you see, and I’m a nice girl. So I went in this with an open mind. It didn’t take me long realize why it was called such.

Alessandra isn’t your typical lady. She’s ready to get married and she has her sights set on the king. Too bad she plans on killing him once she has him.

Honestly, I spent most of book hating her on one hand and hoping she changes on the other. It was rather stressful. I loved the king. I wanted nothing more than to see him happy but at what cost?

This book wasn’t over the top fantastic but it was good. The women’s empowerment message was practically drilled into our heads, so that was a bit much and there were a few predictable moments, but all in all it was enjoyable. I would add it to my teen rec list.

~Melpomene

Release day Feb 25

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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: 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

Review: Where Winter Finds You by J.R. Ward


Blessed are those who believe in all that two hearts aligned achieve. For once united, no matter where winter finds them, they will always be warm.

After the emotional distress of The Shadows, I was ready, and yet not, for this story. I saw it coming for a few books now but I was not fully prepared for what this book was gonna bring. When I finished chapter one with tears in my eyes I just KNEW that this was gonna be a doozy. And I couldn’t wait. So I grabbed a box of tissues, got comfortable and dove right in.

Everyone seemed to get their HEA but not Trez. He’s been floating in and out for a while now. The pain so great. He avoids everyone because his pain seems to bring them all down to his level and he doesn’t wanna do that. When he first met Therese and she was the spitting image of his Chosen, he couldn’t get her out of his mind. It was an instant shock to his system. Come to find out, it was the same with as well.

Therese is trying to make a life for herself and doesn’t need any handouts or distractions. But there’s just something about Trez that she can’t put her finger on. There’s more to the Shadow than she thinks. But while she tries to distance herself, the fates have another thing in mind.

I needed this book. Diehard fans need this. I am so happy that J.R. Ward gave us what we wanted. There were so many scenes that tugged at my heart and had me reaching for those tissues. Family is the theme all throughout this book. An unbreakable familial bond, weaved together with love. My heart is truly happy. If you believe in happily ever afters, then you definitely need to pick up a copy of Where Winter Finds You.

~Melpomene

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