Review: Promises and Primroses by Josi S. Kilpack

Another Proper Romance to sink your teeth into. I can’t get enough of these. This is the first in the Mayfield Family series. What a way to start. The moment I opened the book, I couldn’t put it down. I was instantly sucked in.

Elliot doesn’t like the direction his family is headed. So he comes up with the idea of a marriage campaign to bring them out of the scandals and to erase the many mistakes they are making. He remembers making the worst mistake of his life and he doesn’t want his nieces and nephews to suffer as he did. He wants them happy and respectable. He’s he’s going to start with his eldest nephew, Peter.

Peter is widower and a father of two young girls. He’s looking for a governess, not a wife. No matter what his uncle is hoping for, her is just happy being a father and a dog breeder. Yes, this book has puppies. YAY! When all his options are taken away, he is stuck with a young lady who, frankly, is too pretty to be a governess. But the crazy thing is, she’s perfect. Julia is really good with his daughters, and they love her and are learning from her. Plus she has the added bonus of being good with dogs, which definitely comes in handy on more than one occasion.

Now everything may look perfect, but when Julia’s mom, Amelia, discovers that her daughter is now a governess in the household of someone related to the man who broke her heart, she is determined to get her away. She doesn’t want what happened to her to happen to Julia.

Not that I condone Amelia’s actions, but I understand why she responded the way she did. She has lived a happy life, even after her husband died, but she’ll never forget the heartache Elliot caused. I feel as their story was a nice little bonus. Two stories for the price of one. It was sweet and sad, but I loved it.

But my favorite was watching Peter slowly come to the realization that he doesn’t need to be alone. He may have loved his wife very much, but that doesn’t mean her can’t find love again. Especially one that fits in his household. He was so adamant that he would be content alone, it was fun to see him fall in love.

Now, I don’t know when we’ll get more of the Mayfield Family, but I hope it’s soon. I love series based on big families. And since the marriage campaign is based on love, I know it’s gonna be sweet.

~Melpomene

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Review: The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo by Kerrigan Byrne

Swoon worthy and romantic with a dash of emotion and excitement!

I went in not knowing what this book was about. It was a Kerrigan Byrne story and that’s all that mattered to me. But as soon as I finished the prologue I had a feeling that this was going to suck me in. And by the end of chapter one, I knew I was right.

I love the secret that is the Rook. And the epicness of a 20 year longing has my heart all squishy. My gosh! I can’t even imagine how that felt! Theirs was a romance that was meant to be. Lorelei has suffered for so long and I was so happy to see that she finally found someone to really care for her and keep her safe.

She was his prayer in the night. His song in the dark. His past and present. His future.

This series is one of my favorites and seeing a few past characters makes this book even more amazing. This series has a way of turning even the most notorious villains into heroes. Who would’ve thought I’d fall in love with so many of them. I won’t say anymore except that if you’re looking for a series that brings out all the feels and makes you appreciate the anti-hero, then this is the series for you.

Now I wanna reread them all.

~Melpomene
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Review: Minding the Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher

I’m so glad I found this Nantucket Legacy series. Fisher has converted me into a historical-Quaker-fiction fan — and I think I was eased into it because I already loved Fisher’s Amish stories.

Minding the Light certainly reflects the hardships in a burgeoning yet still isolated Nantucket community. It also demonstrates the hypocrisy of religion when what we practice doesn’t align with what we preach. Most significantly, it illustrates the many kinds of love we are able to share when push comes to shove.

Despite some tragic plot lines, I really enjoyed the Captain’s story. From his time on the boat to his trust in Abraham to his growing love for his children, the Captain was what we should all strive to be – dignified, respectable, caring, and open to hearing what others think of us.

This novel wasn’t all seriousness and morality lessons, though. There were Patience’s smirks, the children’s fun personalities, some love stories, a maverick business partner, and quite a caricature of a mother in law!

I was entertained, learned more about the Quakers, and enjoyed the oceanfront setting as I await my own vacation to the shore.

-calliope

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Review: Miss Wilton’s Waltz by Josi S. Kilpack


What an heartbreaking and heart healing story. Once I sat down, I couldn’t stop reading. I needed to know that Lenora ended up happy. When we first met her, in The Vicar’s Daughter, I had hoped we’d see more from her. She deserved an HEA, just like her sister, Cassie.

After stepping aside, so her sister could marry her fiance, Lenora leaves town to make a new life for herself. She decides that teaching music, at an all-girls school, is perfect thing for her. She moves in with an aunt and decides that she will no longer wait for marriage but continue on with her life in the hopes of just being happy. Her heart needs healing and she needs a break from all the stares.

But her quiet life is interrupted by a 12 year old girl with a load of attitude. It takes all her power and patience to dig deep and find the cause of it all. But as she deals with all that stress, the girl’s uncle somehow weasels his way into her heart. From a late night mishap to informal conversations about his niece’s schooling, Lenora tries to keep her feelings close to her heart, at the risk of being hurt again. But after an innocent kiss, a secret is revealed, and her life is flipped yet again. She is devastated and doesn’t know how she’ll ever face society again. Her heart can’t take any more.

My heart was shattered right along with her. I felt like crying when she did. Whether it was trying to teach an unruly child or trying to hide feelings for an unobtainable man, Lenora’s pain was pouring off the pages of this book. But you gotta stay strong, just as she did. Life isn’t without drama. But if you’re lucky, true love will find a way into your heart.

As I’ve said many times before, I love these Proper Romances. They are a palette cleanser. A nice and refreshing story filled with sweet love and enough heartache to keep you flipping those pages.

~Melpomene

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Review: A Duke Like No Other by Valerie Bowman

Y’all!! I just finished this book and now have a stupid grin on my face. What a fun story this was. It’s part of the Playful Brides series, so if that’s any indication…

Mark and Nicole haven” seen each other in 10 years. To say they had a bit of a falling out, after they got married, would be an understatement. Lots of hurt feelings and misunderstandings kept them apart. But now, they need each other. Him, for work. In order to get the promotion he’s been working for, they want a family man in the position. So he needs Nicole to come back and play the loving wife. As for her, after 10 years alone, she’ll come and help him, but only if he helps her. And what she wants is a baby. A legitimate baby.

So essentially, they’re already together, but they’re really not. This reconciliation was not without heartache and sorrow, but it had an underlying of love. It was hard, I’ll admit, watching these two circle one another. They both had past hurts, but together they can heal from them.

I’ve only read one other book from this series, but I am definitely going back and reading them. We see a few people pop in, and I’m sure they’re from the series, and I liked the way they interacted with each other. They weren’t just co-workers, they were friends. They made quite an impression on me and I look forward to reading how they found love. I bet it’ll be just has fun.

~Melpomene

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Review: Ashes on the Moor by Sarah M. Eden


Oh, my sweets, this book was so lovely!! Positively lovely.

Evangeline lived a life of luxury, but after the death of her parents and brothers, her younger sister and her are at the mercy of relatives. They make all the decisions for them and they must adhere to it. Women don’t have a lot of choices. If she wants to have access to her small inheritance she must do everything she is ordered to do, and do it perfectly. So she is separated from her sister and forced to be a teacher, even though she has zero experience. She is alone and sad but is determined to do a good job, to get in the good graces of her grandfather, so she can be reunited with her sister. I can’t even imagine how strong she must’ve been.

The part I love most about this was Dermot and Ronan. Dermot was this outsider, trying to make a living so he can care for his boy. Ronan was special. Autistic really. And I loved him. I loved the way he changed little by little under the care and love from Evangeline. She was learning right along with her students and she learned what he needed and how he needed it. I got chocked up at how those changes manifested themselves. Back in those days they didn’t know what autism was and I can only imagine what those poor children went through.

While she still struggled daily, her relationship with Dermot helped ease the loneliness. What started out as neighborly, turned into friendship, which then turned into more. And I loved it!! They had their moments of distress but that’s nothing compared to the love that shown through. He helped her grow and was with her as she got stronger and more independent, took control of her life, and that of her sister’s. They were so sweet to watch. We get both of their points of view, so it was lovely to see his thoughts about her. He wasn’t looking for a woman, but life likes to throw us curve balls every now and then.

As I’ve said before, I love these Proper Romance books. I love the sweetness and romance of it all. They tend to stay with me long after I’m done reading them. And Ashes on the Moor is no exception.

~Melpomene

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Review: Phoebe’s Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher

I’m not usually a historical fiction fan, but this book was terrific, with its focus on Nantucket and the Quaker religious sect. I grew up in Massachusetts, so reading this book put me back in grade school, on fun-filled field trips to Plymouth Rock, the whaling museum in New Bedford, and Sturbridge Village.

Phoebe isn’t your average young lady. She has a plan. The plan involves not hanging out with her poverty stricken dad who can’t finish a plan or a project. The plan involves not playing games with her childhood crush. The plan involves marrying a handsome, rich, prestigious Captain of a whaling boat.

Phoebe makes some headway on her plan, but the childhood crush crashes her party a couple times, and the Captain is much more (or way less) than he appears to be. Lucky for Phoebe, she has her great grandmother’s journal as her personal treasure map, leading Phoebe toward the light, the righteous, and the Divine. Phoebe takes her successes and multiplies them, much to the blessing of the rest of Nantucket.

-calliope

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