Review: The Proving by Beverly Lewis

I really adore Amish fiction. Beverly Lewis is a pro at delivering believable plot lines, excellent writing, and characters so real that I start mimicking their facial expressions when reading dialogue. 

Mandy is a capable girl who left her Amish community because she was emotionally hurt. I was so glad Mandy ended up with a reason to return to her home – even if it wasn’t her first choice to do so. Though she had some family struggles and some uncertainty with the community and faith she grew up with, Mandy’s sister helped her see the truth about herself and her true home. 

I love all things B&B-related, so I was in my element with Amish baking on the inn’s farm table, sheets drying on the line, and guests who came for respite and left refreshed.  Getting to know the guests is always fun, and the carriage rides aren’t bad either. 

I read The Proving after a slew of September mediocrity, and I was very relieved to be able to effortlessly enjoy the inn, the sisterhood, and the faith of Mandy and her family.  
-calliope

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~~Review: Little Monsters by Kara Thomas

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High school can be brutal.  Even more so when you’re the new girl.  Finding new friends can be a lifesaver.  Or not…

Kacey’s only known the dysfunction of life with her mother.  So when she moves in with her dad, things are shockingly normal. Including her stepmother and step siblings.  She even makes new friends, tops among them being Bailey and Jade.  Amazing how quickly they took her in and made her one of their own.  Maybe a bit too quickly?

When Bailey goes missing, all eyes turn to Kacey.  What does she know about Bailey’s disappearance?  And does it have anything to do with the legend of that creepy ghost lady everyone likes to talk about?  Kacey soon finds out that her new friends aren’t at all what they seem to be.

This is mean girls at its finest. Two’s company, three’s a crowd and all that.  The real thrill, though, comes from the many twists and turns along the way.  It’ll keep you guessing up until the very end.  And after you’re done guessing, you’ll just be shocked.

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  Little Monsters

Review: Completely by Ruthie Knox

After a few weeks of mediocre romances, I was so happy to read the first few pages of COMPLETELY. I knew by the end of the first chapter that I would come to know the main characters as if they were real people. I don’t know how some other authors can describe what a character is wearing and it seems all irrelevant and extraneous, and then Ruthie Knox describes someone’s clothing in a way that paints a picture in my mind and makes me know the character better. Whatever that particular facet of writing talent is, I’m grateful. I really was about to go on a romance hiatus until COMPLETELY came my way. 

So besides the draw of a good romance, COMPLETELY enamored me with complex family dynamics, the intricacies of mountain climbing, and the turmoil of people trying to decide if they’re suppose to continue on their current path or not. Most of the book was about mountain climbing. I learned a ton. But between the lines I also learned that the best figurative mountains to climb are the ones that are the most difficult. 

COMPLETELY has some steamy scenes and a whole lot of fun dates in New York City. It was a bit of a departure from the fluff romances I usually read, and I need to remember to go back and read Knox’s New York books #1&2. 

-calliope

Buy COMPLETELY (it’s only $2.99!)

Review: Merry and Bright by Debbie Macomber 

If you’ve read Debbie Macomber before, consider MERRY AND BRIGHT a typical Macomber Christmas read: sweet, clean, family oriented, and pretty predictable. I happen to like predictable stories, and this one had all the comforts you’d expect from a loving family at Christmastime. 

Merry is a kind, compassionate, maybe overly sensitive homebody who would help a stranger in a New York minute — and more than once, she did. 

Jay is a good guy overwhelmed with work, and taking out his frustrations on his fellow man (and woman). When Jay starts spending more time with Merry and his friend Cooper, his eyes are opened to how his values don’t match up to his behavior. 

So, in between the parts where the characters are getting to know each other and themselves, there’s a little bit of morality teaching – mostly about being compassionate. Sometimes it took me out of the story a little, but it was a nice reminder that kindness doesn’t cost me anything, and that it might mean the world to sometime on the receiving end.  

-calliope

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Review: Honor by Jay Crownover

I am kicking myself for waiting so long to read this book. I’ve read everything Jay’s written and yet, for some insane reason, I held off on this one. I think my brain knew the next book was coming out in October, so it made me wait. Yes, let’s go with that.

When I read the introduction, I was immediately nervous. Will I like Nassir? Will he be too damaged to change? Then I read the prologue. And let me tell you, anyone can change, if they have the right motivation. Is Nassir perfect? Nope. He’s what you’d call an anti-hero. He may make you cringe at his methods of doing things, but he does them for the right reasons. He’s just a little more extreme than most. But when he meets Keelyn “Honor”, everything changes for him.

I loved these two together. After being shot in the previous book, she fought to stay away from Nassir, thinking that’s what was best for her. She had a rough life and wanted peace. But she was so wrong. When she finally accepts him, and what he offers her, there’s no backing away. These two were connected from the very first moment they laid eyes on each other. Rather intense, if you ask me. My heart was racing quite a bit during this book. Intense may actually be a mild for how they are together. Explosive. That’s better.

Nassir and Key may be one of my favorite Crownover couples. I love the crazy love and crazy atmosphere they live in. Definitely kept me on my toes and had me reading slow, so I could savor it all. This world they live in is rough and unkind, but they make it work. I am super excited to read the next one! I bet it’s going to be even crazier. You don’t need to read the previous Point books to fully enjoy this one. But I still recommend you do, since the characters pop up in here and Nassir is in those ones as well.

~Melpomene

Grab Honor HERE

Review: The Scot Beds His Wife by Kerrigan Byrne

This book was everything, Everything, EVERYTHING I was hoping it would be!! My heart is overflowing. Exciting, emotional and so very romantic. Ms. Byrne has a way with these flawed and imperfect characters. You can’t help but fall in love with all of them.

Gavin had my heart from the very beginning. Granted it was rather squeezed a little, since it was a little uncomfortable, but he had it nonetheless. He also wasn’t quite the anti-hero that I thought he was going to be. But I’m very happy about that. While he wasn’t an angel exactly, I totally understood where he was coming from and why he did the things he did.

Samantha has so many secrets, I’m amazed she kept a clear head. But she was the perfect person to heal Gavin. And the same for Gavin healing her. I just loved her.

I loved all the side characters and returning characters. It was quite fun to see them. I’m glad Gavin and Samantha aren’t the only ones who were healed through this experience. I have found my new favorite historical romance series. These Victorian Rebels are so much fun! They’re interconnected standalones, but I recommend you read them all. They’re so good.

I have so many things going around my head. Plus I have some high hopes for the next one. In fact, I’m all a flutter with the thought of it. It would be so grand!

~Melpomene
Grab The Scot Beds His Wife http://amzn.to/2y2bcEu
Start from the beginning:
The Highwayman~ http://amzn.to/2fVNkw6
The Hunter~ http://amzn.to/2fUnetE
The Highlander~ http://amzn.to/2yZHOND
The Duke~ http://amzn.to/2fOHB7F

Review: The Boy Who Could See Demons by Carolyn Jess-Cooke

I’ve finished this novel and am just wondering how in the hell none of my mates have read it. Seriously, I know many that would really like this one!

Second, I listened to this on audio. I admit that I was a bit worried when I started and found out that author was one of the narrators. I have nothing against authors reading their own books, but oftentimes it just doesn’t work for me…It would be the same as any random person trying to narrate a book…it’s not easy to do and not everyone is meant to narrate an audiobook. However, Jess-Cooke did a wonderful job. She absolutely made the book, as did the male narrator, Bruce Mann. I listen to maybe 30 audiobooks a year as I walk back and forth between my home and jobs. I rarely comment on the fact that I listened to the novel…however, again, I absolutely LOVED this audio version!

About half way through this book I figured it would most likely end in one or two ways…and it did. I don’t even care. I really enjoyed this novel. I loved Alex and his story. I loved Ruen. But most of all, I loved Carolyn Jess-Cooke’s storytelling. No, it’s not the be all end all of books. No, it’s not the best thing I’ve ever read. However, I enjoyed the entire experience of this book in so many ways. The audio, the personalities of the narrators, the story, the country of Ireland as a backdrop, Shakespeare, the music, demons, the family bond, the mother, the son, the doctors, teachers and social workers. They all meshed together to create such a wonderful reading experience.

Again, I’m shocked this book isn’t more well known…That other’s haven’t heard of it…I might just have to climb to the top of the highest hill near me here in Wiltshire and whisper the title and hope that the wind carries it near and far so others can enjoy this novel as much as I did…

Until next time…
Urania xx

Buy it now The Boy Who Could See Demons by Carolyn Jess-Cooke