Review: The Jackal by J.R.Ward

Face paced and intriguing beginning to this spin off series. I think I’m gonna love where these books are headed.

Now I knew a little bit of what it was about, but not the official blurb, so some of this was a nice surprise. But even with what I knew, there was still a bit that shocked me.

From the moment I picked this book up I felt drawn into the story. Nyx was kick a$$ character! She was ready for anything and everything. Except the Jackal. She was a very determined female and once she had her mind made up there was no changing it. I was rooting for her the entire time.

With the then and now chapters I was crazy curious about the Jackal. He had a bit of mystery surrounding him. He was a strong and fierce male and I loved the way he responded to Nyx. These two together were a strong unit.

The side characters have me really hoping for the future books. I would like to see what happens next in this world and how it merges with the regular BDB world. The BDB is one of my favorite series. I love how ridiculously insane and large it is. She could keep writing about these characters and we’d never get bored.

~Melpomene

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Quick review: To Catch an Earl by Kate Bateman

I love stories like this! They’re not exactly enemies to lovers but more like hero and villain in a sense. She’s a thief and he’s a Bow Street Runner set out to capture her, only he doesn’t know it’s her. When he realizes it is, that’s when things get fun.

Their chemistry was off the charts. But it’s hard to stay on the right side of the law when you’re falling for someone who’s on the wrong side. These two were made for each other. It was so fun watching their game of cat and mouse.

And of course the side characters are always a nice addition. I look forward to their stories as well.

This was book two in a series, but they’re interconnected standalones, so you can read them in any order. But I definitely recommend you read in order. It’s more fun that way.

~Melpomene

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Review: The Faithless Hawk by Margaret Owen


A thrilling and emotional conclusion to this duology!

From the very first line I was riveted. It brought all of the Merciful Crow feelings back. If you haven’t read it, I suggest you stop right now and go rectify that. The Faithless Hawk takes place pretty much right after Crow ends. If you don’t remember everything, I suggest you go back and reread a few chapters at least.

This was another buddy read with Sassy, since she enjoyed TMC so much. So I got her input for part of the review also.

I loved the fact, and I even said this in my last review, that this isn’t your typical “I am a strong and powerful girl and I can do no wrong and everyone must follow me,” YA book. She makes mistakes. HUGE ones. But she also works well with others and knows it’s not about her, it’s about everyone. I love how her crows help her even when she tries to take as much on her shoulders. She even has a few Hawks to help her along the way! She doesn’t give up, even when she can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.

We love Tavin. There were so many OMG parts with him, and not necessarily in a good way, but just hold on for a while. You can’t see the whole board when you’re a piece in the game. Just wait and step back and see the plays. I was going back and forth with him. But I am so happy I held on. I knew there was a reason for everything.

“I’ll never doubt that boy loves you. But loving someone doesn’t make us choose right, for us or for them.”

This book seemed more focused on the relationships surrounding Fie. The banter between the characters made us giggle and smile, a lot. Prince Jasimir was more open with his feelings and it was nice to see that. He was rather standoff-ish in the first book. It was good to see him loosen up a bit. There were a few scenes with him that made us teary. In fact, her and I just sat here for 10 minutes reminiscing about all the hilarious and emotional group scenes and it kinda makes me want to reread it.

This series will definitely be added to my YA rec list! I hope you guys love it as much as we did!

~Melpomene

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Review: Daring and the Duke by Sarah MacLean


I have been dying for Ewan, the Duke of Marwick, and Grace’s story ever since I read the last book, Brazen and the Beast. There was so much hurt and emotions, you could feel it through the pages.

Ewan’s father was an evil man. He forced Ewan to make decisions that changed Grace and his brothers’ lives forever. So my stomach was in knots most of the time. The Bareknuckle Bastards have created this life for themselves, without the Duke’s help. They don’t need him or want him. They don’t want the heartache again, especially not for Grace. The brothers have protected her from him and they don’t want to see her hurt again.

No matter 20 years or 20 days, being separated from Grace has taken it’s toll on Ewan. He’ll do anything to find her and explain what happened all those years ago.

Grace has learned to live without him. She’s had a lot of experience making due. But she’s merely surviving, not living. She fulfills everyone’s dreams but her own. When the Duke finds her, her world is flipped. Everything she thought she knew about that night long ago, was wrong.

I loved these characters. They grew up together and know when to push each other and when to hold back. Watching them find their HEAs was definitely not easy, but in the end all things worked out.

~Melpomene

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Review: The Marriage Contract by Katee Robert


I’ve never read a Katee Robert book til now. To be honest, I have so many auto buy authors that I rarely try new ones. I just don’t have the time or money to take chances on books that I may not like. But during quarantine I didn’t have anywhere to go so I just a chance, and I’m so happy I did.

I’ve read a few mafia series and really enjoyed them. When I started The Marriage Contract I was pleasantly surprised to see it was mafia and then I knew I was gonna like it.

There was tension and emotion and of course romance. My heart was racing a few times but I couldn’t stop reading. Teague and Callie had some crazy chemistry. When we first see them together you just knew the sparks were about to explode. And I swear every time he calls her Angel, I melt into a puddle on the floor.

With three ruling families there’s bound to be tension around. So this was a nice set up to what the next books will be about. There’s so many siblings running around and I can tell their stories are gonna be fun. E07ecially the next book! Man, talk about sparks!

~Melpomene

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Review: A Dark and Stormy Knight by Kerrigan Byrne


Boy does Kerrigan know how to pack a powerful punch in her prologues!! But we needed to see what motivated Morley to become the man he was today.

I’ve been anxiously waiting for his story since we first met him. He’s been there from the beginning and I wanted him to find his HEA. Morley has lived his life without attachments. Anyone could be used against him so he stayed away from them, but one chance meeting flipped his life upside down.

Prudence has been told what she must do all her life, as women of those times were. But she decided to take one night and choose her own fate. Too bad, fate has a way of messing around with people. Little did she know how much her life would change.

Morley and Pru had an instant attraction. From that fateful day they were destined for each other. I loved watching him fight it because he thought that would be best but the heart wants what the heart wants.

This story had so many swoony moments, I was in heaven. I am extremely happy that after helping others find love, it was Morley’s turn and he found his.

While this could be read as a standalone, it’s better enjoyed if you read the full series. These Victorian Rebels are one of the my favorite historical romance series ever! Filled with anti heroes that you can’t help but fall in love with.

~Melpomene

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Quick review: Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin


A solid 4 star book that borders on the mature YA/NA line. A slow burn romance that made my heart all squishy.

I loved watching Lou and Reid together. She’s a witch that is hiding in plain sight and trying not to get caught. And Reid is a Chasseur, who’s soul job is to hunt down and kill witches. So when they’re caught in a compromising situation and forced to marry, that when things start to get crazy. She must keep her secret from Reid, but spending so much time with him definitely doesn’t make things easier.

I’ll admit for the first quarter I thought it was an okay book. I wasn’t sure about these characters. By the time I made it to the halfway mark I was sitting up and paying close attention. Some parts were kinda silly and a bit of the humor felt forced. But by the time I was done, I wish I waited til closer to the second book’s release cuz I need to know what’s gonna happen next! All in all it really was an enjoyable debut and I look forward to seeing these characters grow and how they handle the secrets that were revealed.

If you’re looking for a good mature YA/NA fantasy with witches and magic, then add this book to your TBR.

~Melpomene

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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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Musing: Quarantine reading


How are you guys doing? Have you read anything good lately? Sorry I’ve been distant. It’s been a rough year so far. I’m not my usual crazy self.

Up here in Michigan we’ve been self quarantined for over a month now. Since my hubby is a first responder we’ve been staying home longer than most people. I’ve only left my house to shop twice. So you would think I’d have plenty of time to read. But sadly, I don’t. The stress of the world has brought me down and I find it hard to review, let alone read anything. I also have a senior who now had her year cut short and we’re missing out on all the end of the year activities. So there’s a sense of sadness in the air. But since there’s nothing we can do, we’re trying to move past it.

Because of my lack of concentration I’ve been rereading some old favorites In the midst of the ARCs I’m working my way through. I just need to not think, ya know? And I am usually one who LOVES to cry while reading, but lately I’m struggling and don’t need to added emotions. So I’m sticking with fantasy books that usually have plenty of sass and snark.

I have managed to read a few that I’ve been excited over but they take me longer than usual to finish. There are so many on my TBR but finding the time between cooking, baking and cleaning, has proven a bit difficult. But I will try to post some reviews, even if they’re short, just in case you’re looking for new books to add to your TBR.

~Melpomene