Review: Dane’s Storm by Mia Sheridan

This is a book about survival, mentally and physically. From the prologue, I was instantly sucked in. I knew this was going to be a doozy of a story. My heart was in my stomach after those couple of pages. Whew!

Dane and Audra’s story is a heartbreaking one. What started out as a whirlwind romance eventually turned into heartbreak and resentment. What they went through, I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. The unimaginable pain they have lived with through the years is more than most can bare. They never imagined they’d get a second chance. But the heart wants what the heart wants.

“You weren’t my just my first love. You were my once-in-a-lifetime.”

When circumstances bring them together, Dane offers to fly them back home to resolve an issue, but no one expected his plane would go down and they would be fighting for their lives. While they’re trying to survive they are forced to come to terms with what made them break all those years ago. I wish it didn’t take a plane crash to bring them to this point, but sometimes fate likes to rattle us.

This story is told from both POVs and in the end, I found myself feeling more for Audra than I initially thought. She tends to be rough and tough and hold things inside, but it’s a defense mechanism. She knows once she opens herself up, all her walls will come crashing down. I am thankful that Dane took initiative and started to chip at her defenses. She wasn’t the only one hurting. Once she realized that her heart could start to heal.

“You must bloom.”

This is a standalone which was released as an audible first, but I’m reviewing the ebook. I haven’t listened to it yet. Not sure if this a fast read, since I’m a speed reader, but all I know is that I couldn’t stop. I needed to know they would be okay. I needed to know they would be healed, inside and out. I needed it. And I’m glad I found out. Mia Sheridan has this way of writing that makes you feel it all. All the pain and sadness, and then the joy. Can you epilogue? My heart is happy.

~Melpomene

Buy Dane’s Storm https://amzn.to/2oEcSib

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Review: When We Found Home by Susan Mallery

Three lovely people grow up -separately- without loving parents, and though they don’t share the same mothers, they do share the same paternal grandfather. This guy might be in the background of the story character-development-wise, but he’s the hub that brings his three grandchildren together. Well, with a little help from a friend.

Susan Mallery wrote a terrific story about a non-traditional family. Malcolm was raised from boyhood by his grandfather. Keira was brought into the family home much later – and at the transitional age of 12 has a hard time feeling like she belongs. Delaney, a woman who works in the same building as Malcolm, helps bridge the brother-sister gap. Meanwhile, a third sibling is found and brought “home.” Callie isn’t sure this new world is for her, but feels a sense of responsibility for Keira.

I’ve read a lot of half-siblings-brought-together stories, but none quite like this. Mallery wrote fresh characters with realistic flaws and shortcomings, characters you can be annoyed with and cry with and laugh with… and sympathize with. And Mallery keeps up the realism all the way to the end, when everyone really has found home, even if it’s not what you’d expect. Terrific story about family, loyalty, and love.

-calliope

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Review: All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover


As with all marriages, there’s ups and downs. But what happens when the downs seems to take over? How do you cope? How do you get up each day and keep going on like everything’s okay? All Your Perfects shows what happens when you do that. When you don’t talk about what ails you, even as your world falls down all around you.

This book was brutal and heart breaking, but in the end, healing. Not all marriages can be saved. But not all marriages need to end. When talking doesn’t work anymore, action is needed.

“…I promise to love you more when you hate me than when you love me…”

My heart was in my stomach for practically this entire book. You should see my % updates. I was a wreck. The pain could be felt through the pages of this story. The struggles between Quinn and Graham were heartbreaking. Plain and simple, this book shook me. It made me question my views. It made me wonder. It also made me want to go to my hubby and hug his neck and never let go.

“…I promise that I will love you more during the storms than I will love you during the perfect days…”

In the end, there is a healing. A healing of the body and soul. Is it wrapped up in a nice little bow? No. In fact, healing comes in different forms and not every form works with every couple. You need to trust that whatever path you take is the one that was meant for you. But I do believe this was the perfect way to end this journey.

Well done, Colleen, on another real story with real feelings and real actions that left me an emotional wreck and useless to my family. I look forward to your next roller coaster manuscript.

~Melpomene

Buy All Your Perfects https://amzn.to/2ySBEmE

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: The Summer Sail by Wendy Francis

Abby, Caroline, and Lee hop on a cruise ship with their guys and their kiddos… to celebrate a 20th wedding anniversary, share some personal news, await a proposal, and straighten out some of life’s twists and turns.

I loved the cruise ship setting. So fun! For an hour or two each night I was whisked away into the land of lounge chairs and umbrella drinks — and hot sunny days. Wendy Francis did a fantastic job making the friendships real and easy. The women were like sisters with each other – just how I’d imagine this trio in real life. And although some of the plot was predictable, Francis developed it in a fresh, engaging way. I was in it for the whole cruise: laughter, tears, and mouth agape. Nicely written, very entertaining!

-calliope

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Review: The Runaway Wife by Dee MacDonald

Oh Connie. Taken for granted by her husband and adult children — and not done a thing about it for years. Finally she and her little car set out find freedom on the open road, but of course they find so. much. more. I can’t really say all of what she finds because that would be giving away the good stuff, but let’s just say she has quite a few adventures and makes some new lovely friends who really appreciate her. Connie also meets up with some old friends who remind her how much they value her.

One big surprise is the ending. I don’t mean the ending ending, but like the last few chapters. I didn’t realize I was going to be reading such heartwarming stuff… but be forewarned and have a tissue ready.

Apart from a little morality misalignment (but that’s just me personally), I really just loved the entire book. Maybe because I sometimes feel taken for granted or ignored, like Connie did, I could truly relate. Or maybe because I’m feeling the itch for a good road trip, I was happy to live vicariously through Connie. And it could even be that I so loved this book because it provides a helpful perspective on seeing people and situations in a hopeful, positive light.

The end of the book mentioned a future sequel, so I’ve now added Dee MacDonald to my “regularly search for this author on NetGalley, Amazon and Overdrive” list.

-calliope

Buy THE RUNAWAY WIFE

Quick Review: Rough Ride by Kristen Ashley


Loved this novella. It had all the action and emotions as a full length book. I was completely sucked in and never wanted it to end.

This book started out INTENSE. I mean gut twisting, deep breathing kind of intense. Horrific. But there’s always a light at the end of every tunnel, if you can just hold on and keep moving forward. That’s exactly what Rosie did. She made a bad call, but for the best reason, and it about cost her everything. I’m so glad Snapper took it upon himself to keep an eye out and help her.

This was a quick romance that was brewing for a while. I liked that. She wasn’t quick to accept it and I think that was the right thing for her. She had a lot of healing to get through before she could move on to find her happiness.

And of course Chaos isn’t always the calmest of people, so there’s always drama and excitement happening. Which is probably why I’m gonna need the next book pretty darn fast.

This novella is a continuation of the Chaos books and if you like MC books as much as I do, then you’ll definitely want to start from the beginning. Kristen Ashley knows how to write series that you don’t mind getting sucked into. They’re addicting and very exciting.

~Melpomene
Grab Rough Ride http://amzn.to/2F9SJry