Review: The Family Gathering by Robyn Carr

The Family Gathering is book 3 in the Sullivan’s Crossing series, where I loved book 1, but had some reservations about book 2 (quirky wanderer gave me pause). I’m feeling the love again for this installment.

Dakota needs time to decompress after serving his country, so he visits his sister and brother in Sullivan’s Crossing. Besides building a relationship with his siblings and their families, Dakota starts to build a life in town (he sees it as temporary but come on now).

I very much enjoyed Carr’s customary secondary plot lines that reference past books but don’t depend on them. I also liked that she focused so much on family — because Dakota’s family totally had some issues to resolve! And of course the romance…. well, it’s obvious Sid would be a tough nut to crack. Question is, is Dakota the guy to do it…

As for my favorite part of most books: I won’t tell the hows and whys and wherefores, but after some work, Dakota and his family experience some pretty nice happily ever afters.

-calliope

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Review: Rome’s Chance by Joanna Wylde

While this is a novella, I in no way felt gypped. I’ve read this entire series and, even if I didn’t, this can be read as a standalone. Rome’s Chance gives you a glimpse into the world of the Reapers and the reason they’re a family.

Randi has come home to take care of her brother and sister, and the last thing she wants or needs is to be caught up in Rome’s web again. She has enough on her plate without getting pulled away in a romance. A romance that left her heartbroken in the past. But the more time she spends here the more time she’s presented with the possibility of Rome.

This second chance romance was sweet in all the right places. Watching Rome and Randi circle each other was right up my alley. He knew she was the forever girl in his life, but she needed a little convincing. So while we get some heartaches and some sexy times, he pulls out all the stops in making Randi realize what his heart already knows.

I love the 1,001 Dark Nights series, in that they give yo a taste and let you decide if you want to jump into a series. This book was the perfect jumping point. If you lie MC books, then give this story a chance. You can thank me later.

~Melpomene

Buy Rome’s Chance https://amzn.to/2F6MseM

Review: The Recipe Box by Viola Shipman

This is a charming story about Samantha moving back home to small town Michigan from her temporary pastry chef stint in NYC. Though her big city boss was a total jerk, Samantha did leave behind good friends and big dreams.

She didn’t realize that her dreams could be fulfilled in Michigan if she’d only give it a chance. Back at her family’s orchard, Samantha spent time with her mom and grandmother, finding out little by little just how special the family recipe box was. I loved how her two worlds collided via the recipe box, giving Samantha the opportunity of a lifetime – if she decided to take it.

I loved the orchard setting, the convivial relationships among the women, persistent Angelo, and that awesome recipe box. I couldn’t quite identify with Samantha’s personal struggles, and the story was fairly predictable, but in the end I was satisfied — much like I am when hearing the expected crunch of an apple. All good stuff.

-calliope

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Review: Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella

Sylvie and Dan try to spice up their marriage when it hits them that they have decades more of life together. In the midst of Dan working longer hours, Sylvie trying to save her employer from closing shop, and Sylvie still grieving for her late father, spicing up a marriage seems to be a tall order.

Kinsella brings to the forefront quirky characters (and I didn’t always understand their motivations until a scene was laid out for me, truth be told), family secrets, and the myriad ways people love each other. Cute, fun rom-com that was light on character development but full of charm.

-calliope

But SURPRISE ME

Review: Still Me by Jojo Moyes

Louisa makes a go at being on her own in New York City! Moyes shows us that Lou is still a teensy bit not quite over the whole Will thing — and thankfully her city crush gets checked by reality before she gets too smitten. Caring for Agnes proves to be a struggle, kind of like it was with Will, but Moyes uses it as Louisa’s segue to better things.

By the end, Lou balances her natural talent for taking care of people with taking care of herself. Lou takes the opportunity to explore her passions, make new friends – shout out to Mrs DeWitt, the coolest building-mate ever – and grow up a little.

I don’t know what could be in store for a book four – maybe a year in the life of Lou and Sam – but I’m up for it!

-calliope

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Review: The Smallest Part by Amy Harmon


“Sometimes it’s the smallest part that steals the show.”

Emotional, devastating, healing, and magical. This book will bring all the feels. So go find a quiet place to read and react.

From the prologue, I knew this was going to put my heart through the ringer. I was right. Good grief, did it hurt. So bad. But it was a healing hurt. I was sucked in a felt everything. I won’t tell you too much, you must just go into this blind.

We met Dr. Noah Andelin in The Law of Moses. To be honest, it’s been so long since I read that, that I forgot who he was. But then it clicked and I was super happy to get his story.

This book is about family. Family isn’t always blood. In fact the best type of family is the one you choose. Blood doesn’t matter. Only the heart does. Cora, Noah and Mercedes were the three Musketeers. No matter what happens in life, they will always be there for each other.

Mercedes was the glue to her family. She would do everything and anything for them. Even stepping away from her true love, so her best friend could find happiness. She isn’t a martyr though. She genuinely wants everyone to be happy and is willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish that. I loved her. She was so real to me, that as I’m typing this out, I have tears in my eyes. The sacrifices she made for her family will shock you. But her heart is so big, she can’t help but to help.

I love Noah. He could do anything as long as he knew his best friend was there for him. And let me tell you, life sure tested this. Him and Mercedes were always close, and this book shows that. From a young age, through life’s ups and downs, they were always there. And when life decided to toss them a few curveballs, they stood strong and held on tight. To have a friend like that is inspiring.

“You may not be where you want to be in your life, Mer. But I’m so glad you’re in my life. Your birthday is one of my favorite days, because it means you exist, and I’m so grateful for that.”

I will say no more, except that you just need to read this. I don’t wanna say anything spoilerish, so I’ll leave you with this. The Smallest Part is a story that will break your heart and mend it at the same time.

Love can be found in the craziest of places if you only open your eyes, and heart, to it.

~Melpomene

Buy The Smallest Part http://amzn.to/2BXF4km

Review: The Single Girl’s Calendar by Erin Green

Cute rom-com featuring Esmé who turns her life around from cheated-on-and-dependent to determined-and-independent. Loved the escapades while she shared the flat with four guys (and learned a little about herself in the process). Adored the neighbor lady and the relationship that was able to grow there. Was suitably annoyed by Esme’s brother – as anyone would be, even and especially Esmé! Green could’ve written better girl-friendships, and maybe had more memorable calendar ideas, but I enjoyed the read. Entertaining!

-calliope

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