Review: Bless Her Heart by Sally Kilpatrick 

Some people might rate this book 4 or 5 stars for the authentic southern characters that Kilpatrick introduces with such aplomb you feel like you’ve known these people forever. Some readers might fall in love with “fun Posey” who uses the 7 deadly sins as a guide to make up for 10 sucky years married to a controlling, manipulative jerkhead.  And some readers might call this book a winner for its excellent writing – and easy dialogue among a hippie mom, sisters named after natural elements, and a best friend who literally saves more than one day. 

I’m giving Bless Her Heart a bunch of fat stars because it made me so sufficiently mad at Chad Love, so ticked off that he thought it was okay to treat any human being the way that he treated his wife, and so angered with a patriarchy that thinks “Wives, submit to your husbands” isn’t part of a speech that says “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her … Love your wives like your own bodies,” that now I am taking steps to help some people who are in situations like Posey’s. Sally Kilpatrick, any gratitude that comes my way from women who are tired of being controlled and interrogated and mentally beaten down – that gratitude is due to you. 

-calliope

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Review: A Vicarage Christmas by Kate Hewitt

I knew I couldn’t go wrong when I saw Christmas, Vicarage, and Kate Hewitt all on the same cover. Then to find out there are four sisters in the family… I was delighted! So this first book in a series is Anna’s story. She reluctantly returns home for the holidays – home to the vicarage where her parents live.  When things at home get too overwhelming, Anna’s introverted self traipses down to the local pub to get a moment of respite. She finds some kind of respite alright – on a barstool next to a handsome, witty, sensitive, take charge kinda guy – and from there on in her life has changed. 

Obvi I love the superficial parts of this book, but I also enjoyed the sister dynamics, the push and pull of a long-standing marriage, and the self-discovery of a woman who spent quite a many years avoiding her feelings. And I’m pretty excited to read three more! I think this quadogy or whatever it’s called really works for me: enough of a series to motivate me to get invested, but not too long of a series where storylines seem to repeat after a while. So fun. 

-calliope 

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Review: Christmas in London by Anita Hughes

Anita Hughes writes for the reader who wants to escape. No matter if you’re reading Hughes’ beach vacation novels or her holiday books, you’ll remove yourself from reality, suspend your disbelief, and enjoy a ride through luxury. 

In Christmas in London, baker Louisa gets whisked away to London by television show producer Noah. She and her cinnamon rolls are needed for filming a Christmas special with a handsome, charming, world-famous chef and cookbook writer. 

When I read Hughes, I just latch on to the main character and forget my real life. In London, I got to wake up to the smell of coffee and pastry, buy fancy new clothes, take walks with the cutie pie producer, take cooking classes with the famous chef (and hang out in a mansion with him), and live the tv star life for a week… not to mention get a happily ever after (and watch a new friend get one too).

Not a bad way to spend 288 pages.  

-calliope 

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Review: Most of All you by Mia Sheridan


Mia Sheridan books melt my heart. They really do. And Most Of All You was no exception. From the very first chapter, my heart was in my belly. The pain and sadness was real. Mia brings out all the feels in this beautiful story about being broken and finding the strength to put yourself back together.

Gabriel and Ellie had horrible beginnings. And I do mean horrible. The worst. No matter what I type out, nothing could explain the heartache that these two have felt. But as with all Mia books, the hurt in necessary to get to the healing.

How had it come to be that I was broken and lost, heading home with a man I barely knew, a man I couldn’t begin to understand, a man who both soothed me with his gentle manner and scared me with his knowing eyes? And yet as I lay there, I admitted he was also a man I somehow innately trusted when I trusted no man. Ever.

My goodness.

I love Gabriel. He was pure in his feelings and naive in his actions. He’s lived a half life. In fact some would say he was alive but not living. That is until he met Ellie. He saw something in her and he needed it. Too bad it took her a while to understand what that was. She was too broken to believe that she was good enough to help anyone.

“You have hands for creating beauty.”

“I don’t create beauty, Eloise, I just reveal what’s already there.”

That is what he did. He dusted her off and chipped away at her outer shell until she shone with blinding beauty and realized that she was loved. There’s was a slow burning relationship. That made it all the more sweeter, in my eyes.

“I don’t mind chasing you, Ellie. Just let me catch you once in a while.”

In true Mia fashion, I was crying a few times. Ellie was so strong and yet not. She wanted to be loved, plain and simple. She needed an angel. She needed Gabriel to show her the way to healing.

“I win every time I’m bold in how I love. I want to say I win a hundred times a day, a thousand, by loving the sunrise, and the wind, and the way raindrops sound on my window…

“And you. Most of all, you.”

Read this book.

~Melpomene

Buy Most Of All You http://amzn.to/2zexvVw

Review: Dignity by Jay Crownover

Can I just start off my saying that guys with glasses are sexy? They really are. When I read the dedication, I knew I was going to like this book. I may be a little biased but I don’t care. To me, glasses make the characters more real. I can’t explain it, but they do.

I started Dignity right on the heels of the previous book, Honor, and I’m so thankful I didn’t have to wait. I was rather jittery and anxious and I needed to know what was happening. From the very first chapter, I had this nervousness that I couldn’t shake. Noe and Stark were complete opposites, and yet, they were the perfect match. I needed them together. When we saw their first interaction, in Honor, I knew there was going to be something. But when he told her he wouldn’t help her, I wanted to reach in and shake him. His stone heart needed to be softened and this girl was the perfect girl to do it. And then he realized I was right, but it was too late. Now he has to find her and pray that she’s in one piece, so he can prove to her that he needs her.

I liked Noe. Her life sucked. Completely and totally sucked. Her past has shaped her and made her hard. She is fine on her own. She doesn’t need anyone. But when she asked Stark for help, that took so much out of her. I feared that if she ever got away, she wouldn’t get past that hurt.

Stark has been a robot for quite sometime now. No heart, all business. But when he finds that perfect girl, there is nothing anyone can do to stop him from moving mountains to protect her from harm. I loved seeing these two together. They were hot, I’ll just say that. Their chemistry was off the charts.

I knew what it was like to be hungry, so hungry you thought you might starve. When you finally got a bit, no matter how big or small it was, you inhaled it like you might never eat again.

This world is full of anti heroes, which I find are the best heroes. Noe and Stark set out on a mission to rid the town of utter trash that is infecting their world in a disgusting way. They don’t hold anything back. They will whatever it takes to make the Point into the city they want it to be. With the help of many of The Point’s resident heroes, they will move on from their pasts and create a future that is clear and bright. And in doing so, they find a way to be together and realize that they need each other more than they ever thought. They make a great team.

I find this dark and twisty world fascinating and I am rather intrigued as to what the future holds for them.

~Melpomene

Buy Dignity(The Breaking Point #2) http://amzn.to/2yaJeqa
Buy Honor(The Breaking Point #1) http://amzn.to/2xu9xEc

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: Second Chance Girl by Susan Mallery

Life carries on for the artistic and moody Mitchell brothers.  This story centers on Mathias, who has repressed his creative side for practicality. Until he stumbles upon an unlikely muse – his neighbor Carol’s giraffe. Or maybe it’s his neighbor Carol. 😉

Second Chance Girl is filled with the family dynamics of the Mitchell family as they try to avoid their famous but angry father, and the sweet family dynamics of Carol and her sister Violet. There’s a worthy cause, British humor by a Duke, sparkly buttons, a few art shows, some broken glass, and some broken hearts. For the soft-hearted, there are two well-deserved and well-written romances, a charitable event, and a very cute puppy.  

Happily, Inc is no Fool’s Gold, but it’s still a nice place to visit. 

-calliope

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