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

click the pic to buy

Review: Calypso by David Sedaris

If you’ve read a Sedaris book and hated it…well…you won’t like this one either…I also have to ask why the hell not? Do you take life too seriously?

Don’t get me wrong, I think Sedaris takes life way too seriously, hence why he is so bitter and so very snarky.

I lost track how many times I laughed out loud during this one. Despite all the laughter there was some serious issues going on in this one. I come from a family that isn’t really what you would call close. I am not so daft as to not realise that the lack of family bonding I’ve had hasn’t affected me a great deal with my “grown up” issues. So whilst reading this, I just have to marvel at all the times Sedaris and his family attempt to be a family, despite the fact that they often don’t seem to feel that closeness…or perhaps that closeness is why they continue to reach out to one another. Don’t get me wrong, it’s obvious that Sedaris has a close bond with some of his siblings, however I often get the feeling that with others, meh, not so much…Maybe because of his age he makes those attempts and I still have a few years to get it right myself…after all, Sedaris also makes it clear that for many years of his youth he was out of touch with everyone on the planet, including himself!

However, I don’t think that’s it. Maybe my wires are completely severed and beyond repair…but alas, Sedaris in all his snark makes it pretty clear to me that it’s a choice I make…just like it’s a choice he makes to continue on…even though both of us might feel like it’s not really a choice at all…

See, I guess this isn’t a review, but it’s just the musings that reading the book has brought me to…

Regardless of all of that, if you love Sedaris even a little bit, you should hurry up and get to this one…

Why? ***Skip to the end if you’re easily offended*** Well, because honestly, now I can’t wait to to tell some to shove their fist up me arse and give my shite a good wanking off…you too, might need this ultimate insult information as well one day…

Honestly, maybe I shouldn’t post this review on my blog now…but dang it, after I picked my jaw up off the floor I almost fell down with the laughter at this ultimate insult..don’t we all need some honest to god outrageous and inappropriate belly laughs such as this from time to time…and Sedaris, as always, is happy to provide them for us…

Until next time…

Urania xx

Buy it here Calypso by David Sedaris

Review: The Burning Room (Harry Bosch #17) by Michael Connelly

I just don’t know…I loved Harry Bosch years ago before he became a household name. Now, I just don’t have strong feelings for him. I don’t hate the books, but I certainly don’t love them. I’m oftentimes bored. I also feel that it all just fits in together too nicely at times. The detail to the crimes and the whole solving of them just isn’t the same as it used to be. I felt more involved and more present step by step. Now I just feel like an outsider that is watching everything fall into place in a nice neat pattern. It just doesn’t do anything for me. Maybe it’s because it’s cold cases now? I don’t know. I only know that although I will probably eventually get caught up in the series, that I am no great rush to hurry up and start the next book. I’m perfectly fine waiting a year or two to start the next one…and in the past I was always chomping at the bits waiting for release dates.

Harry Bosch used to be a very complex man who fought his inner demons. Now he’s just a mellow guy that’s biding his time…

Until next time…
Urania xx

Review copy provided by Netgalley for an honest review

Buy it now The Burning Room by Michael Connelly

Review: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black


I’m a big fan of the fae. I will read anything that has to do with them. So this book made me a very happy girl. There was intrigue, secrets, romance and adventure. The perfect combination honestly.

Jude was taken into the faerie world when she was young. She’s hated every moment but tried to make the most of it by learning to fight. SInce she can’t be like them, and live forever, perhaps she could be in the army and at least do something beyond living til she dies, which is what mortals do. When she finds herself in the midst of a civil war, she decides to jump in, even if it costs her everything.

I liked her. She was quick on her feet and had tons of spunk. She takes what Prince Cardan, and his minions, dish out at her, and even gives some back. I’ll admit, it was hard to see what she had to take at their hands. He was just plain cruel. Hence, the title name.

She may not have known what was going to happen, but she rolled with the punches and made decisions that would benefit everyone, not just her. Even if it hurt to do that. I am super anxious to see what happens to Jude in the next book. I have some theories…

This is my first Holly Black book and I liked it. All through the story I knew what was going to happen, but it was still very enjoyable. When I say all through, I mean almost all through. I saw everything except the end, when she basically slapped me across the face with a big “HAH!! You thought you were so smart. You never saw THAT coming, did ya?”

So now I sit here waiting for my kids to read this and join in my suffering, as we all wait for book two.

~Melpomene

Buy The Cruel Prince http://amzn.to/2D08krP

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: Seeing Red by Sandra Brown

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Sandra Brown never disappoints me.  While not all of her stories have been five stars for me, they’re all highly worthy of a mention.  Her newest is no exception.

Kerra Bailey’s career as a TV journalist has never been better.  And to top it off, she’s managed to snag the interview that’s eluded all others.  Major Franklin Trapper has shunned all publicity for the last several years.  Now he’s agreed to meet with her, to tell his story as the reluctant hero of a horrific bombing many years ago.  And the shocker for the audience?  Young Kerra was one of the people the Major saved.

But somebody doesn’t want the story told.  Fear of the case being reopened, maybe?  Regardless, both the Major and Kerra find themselves with their lives on the line.  Kerry escapes relatively unscathed, the Major isn’t quite so lucky.  Joining forces with his estranged son plunges her deeper into the mystery of who’s to blame.  And of course, romance happens.  It wouldn’t be a Sandra Brown without steamy love scenes, after all.

This is what she does best, writing about murder and mystery and love.  Another winner from this author!

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  Seeing Red

 

Review: A Place Called Winter by Patrick Gale

winter*Note of interest* The kindle edition of this novel has the acknowledgements in the front of the novel. Those acknowledgements gave away a huge part of this novel. If you’re at all familiar with the synopsis, then it probably won’t give anything away for you…However, I hate to know anything other than the title of a novel before reading it, so I was a wee bit peeved at this oversight of the formatters. The DTB copy that I own has the acknowledgments at the end…WHERE THEY BELONG!!!

This novel…I loved it. I was so fascinated by it that I found myself trying to find out more about PG himself…and of how this story was inspired/loosely based upon his grandfather. Knowing these things…and well…because of the book itself, Harry Cale haunted me.

Other reviewers say PG’s writing is beautiful. I’m sorry…I didn’t see his writing as lyrical or beautiful. If you happen to read this review, Mr Gale, no offense meant! I promise! However, I found Harry Cale beautiful. I could hear the silence of his solitude. My ears were deafened by it. I believe Harry will haunt me for a very long time. I so much want to sit beside him. I want him to know how much I admire his strength and his sense of honor. I want him to know that he is not alone.

Yes, this story is interesting. It’s opened up conversations with me and other people. I just had to tell others about this book. It’s made me think. To try to imagine what society must have been like not so long ago. It has made me sad. It has made me admire. It has made me ponder what all of this meant to PG, the author. Has it shaped the man he was…or shaped the man he is…or is it shaping the man he hopes to become? I spent only several hours reading this novel…but I have spent countless hours thinking about it….

Yes, again, the story itself is wonderful. It’s interesting. No, I’m not going to tell you what the novel is all about…you should know by now that’s not how I do reviews! What I will tell you is that, no matter how wonderful and interesting the story is/was…Harry Cale is even more interesting and wonderful…

I’m telling you…he is going to haunt me for a very long time…

Until next time…

Urania xx

Buy it now A Place Called Winter by Patrick Gale

Review: Under the Eagle (Eagle, #1) by Simon Scarrow

578428I really enjoyed parts of this novel. Other parts kinda bored me. Here we have a young 17-year-old man who joins the Roman army right before an invasion of England. Because of his past (that we do not know about) he is placed second in command under his commander Marco.

My main complaint about the book is that is seems to just go from no relationship between Marco and Cato and then too much more. For me that would have been the best part of the book. Seeing that relationship grow. Watching Cato help Marco learning to read. Watching Marco build up the self-confidence in the boy. We only saw minor glimpses of that happening.

It was obvious to me who the spy was. From the very first mention of their name. I also kind of resent not being told who Cato really is. His history. It will obviously come about and we will eventually know, but I am disappointed that the author didn’t expect anyone to actually ask Cato who his father is…especially when it became apparent that the leaders wife knew him by sight. Obviously someone would have questioned him about his father since it placed him in a position of authority above me twice his age and all the whilst he had no training.

Finally, this book really shone when Cato was at the forefront in battle. When he placed himself in danger to save others without a thought of his own safety. When he would scream a battle cry and not even know where it came from. At times he was very childish, but when he was a man, he was a man to be feared and admired.

I just wish we had seen more of the same from Marco. As it stands in the ending of this novel, he is a very flat character.

I’m not sure if I shall continue this series or not….yes, I want to find out more about Cato, but sadly, I’m just not sure if I’m really willing to invest the time to find out those answers

Until next time…
Urania xx

Buy it now Under the Eagle (Eagle, #1) by Simon Scarrow

Review: The Return of Norah Wells by Virginia Macgregor

3112057424997133(Titled The Astonishing Return of Norah Wells in the UK) ** spoiler alert ** I have to say that I read this book quickly. I really felt compelled to finish it to the end. I had to see how it ended.

Having said that, well….that’s all I can really say…I found the writing style not only distracting, but also confusing. I found many parts of the novel repetitive. I found the children to be the only mature characters in the novel. I understood their confusion. I understood their emotions and feelings going back and forth. The adults however…I just couldn’t relate to. Their constant going back and forth. Their seeming ability to let 6 years go by and every one of them thinking things could/would go back to how it was before.

How does one expect us to feel sorry for the one that left, when she only came back for the reasons she did…I might not agree with her leaving…or why she left…but I could try to relate and understand it somehow…but let’s face it, if she wasn’t facing a life changing situation, she would still be off doing whatever it is that she did the previous 6 years…

The father…don’t even get me started on him. I understand not being perfect. I understand being confused…but he just took it to another level, didn’t he?

The “otherworldliness” stuff…again…I just don’t get it…sure, I understand that the author might have felt she was adding to the story and trying to stick in clever bits of symbolism, but seriously? It just added to the confusion and the not connecting to the story…as did all the strange “prominent but not prominent” twitter cast.

Finally, the different POVs….I don’t mind stories told in different POVs…but when the character in the chapter refers to themselves in 3rd person…it just does my head in…I’ve never before read anything like that…it’s almost like the characters decided to play both character and a narrator and that they couldn’t even keep their roles straight and kept getting confused and that’s why they slipped into 3rd person narratives from time to time…

Honestly, I’m not trying to rip this book to shreds. It was an interesting storyline. People do walk out of their lives. Sometimes they decide to come back. Often for the exact reasons described in this novel. However, I just don’t think many of them come back and expect to pick up exactly where they left off…they come back hoping to mend fences and make amends….not to step right back into the life they walked away from..as if nothing happened….as if they hadn’t been heard from in 6 years…as if time froze and did not move one once they left…and certainly, not one, but several adults expecting that to happen for various different reasons…

When it’s all said and done, am I glad I read this book? Yes. Was I in a hurry to finish so I could see what happened? Yes. Did I SOOOOO wish it was written differently? Hell yes…

Until next time…
Urania xx

Review copy provided by Netgalley for an honest review

Buy it now The Return of Norah Wells by Virginia Macgregor

Review and Giveaway: The Bachelor Auction by Rachel VanDyken

bach I always look forward to Rachel’s releases. When life gets to be a little too serious I can count on her to bring out the funny and make me smile. This newest book is no exception.

Blurb
Jane isn’t entirely sure that Cinderella got such a raw deal. Sure, she had a rough start, but didn’t she eventually land a prince and a happily-ever-after? Meanwhile, Jane is busy waiting on her demanding, entitled sisters, running her cleaning business, and . . . yep, not a prince in sight. Until a party and a broken shoe incident leave Jane wondering if princes—or at least, a certain deliciously hunky billionaire—maybe do exist.

Except Brock Wellington isn’t anyone’s dream guy. Hell, a prince would never agree to be auctioned off in marriage to the highest bidder. Or act like an arrogant jerk—even if it was just a façade. Now, as Brock is waiting for the auction chopping block, he figures it’s karmic retribution that he’s tempted by a sexy, sassy woman he can’t have. But while they can’t have a fairy-tale ending, maybe they can indulge in a little bit of fantasy . .

When I think of Cinderella, I definitely think of Jane. She gives and gives and never receives. This girl can never catch a break. She works tirelessly just to make ends meet, with zero help. I just kept waiting for her prince to come. At first I was irritated with her, for taking so much from her sisters and not giving it back to them, but then I knew there would be a breaking point. I just had to hold on and be patient.

Brock is a complex guy. He has a pain deep inside that he tries to hide. He’s afraid to say no, so he finds himself in a life that wasn’t of his choosing. And now he finds himself being auctioned off like a piece of art. But what he really wants is to take his Cinderella and live happily ever after.

The tension between Brock and Jane was off the charts. I was one very happy girl. And when you toss in Brock’s brothers, this book had everything I like. It had my emotions all over the place. I was happy, then angry, then I was swooning. So many feels. A great way to start this series. I can’t wait to read the brothers’ books.

~Melpomene

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