Review: All That Makes Life Bright by Josi S. Kilpack


I’ll admit, I had no idea who Harriet Beecher Stowe was before I picked up this book. Thank you, Google, for enlightening me. Once I started reading, I realized that this was not the usual fictional account of her entire life, but more of her life as a mother and wife.

Harriet wanted to be a writer, but when she finds herself a mom of three children under the age of 2, it’s more than she can handle. At first I was a little mad at her for not “stepping up” and being a mom first, but the more I read, the more I realized that she was doing the best she could. And when she could do no more, her body gave up for a while and she was forced to step back and relinquish her duties and recoup. Times were different back then. You were “supposed” to do it all and not complain, but I bet there were many struggling just like her, but were too afraid to do anything about it.

Her marriage was again, just like many marriages at the time. The man expected to walk in and the house be clean and food on the table, but without having to do any of the household duties. As I was reading, I wanted to ring Calvin’s neck for not helping, but then I had to remember the times were different. But, I will say that after a while he stepped up and did what needed to be done, in order to have a healthy wife and a happy family.

This was not my usual romance, in the sense that they were already married. I felt this story was more than about love, it was about life, real life. This touched me very deeply. I, as with many moms out there, struggle with finding a balance being a wife and mother while not losing our own identities. Harriet struggled with that greatly. Watching her was like looking in a mirror. Or better yet, being a fly on my wall, when my children were toddlers.

~Melpomene

Buy All That Makes Life Bright http://amzn.to/2wOBRUZ

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Review: The Secret of India Orchid by Nancy Campbell Allen


What a fun story! I was not expecting this at all.

Two years ago Sophia Elliot received a letter from Anthony Blake that changed her whole world. She was stunned and hurt and never thought she’d see him again. But when her travels bring her in the path of Anthony, she tries to keep her heart hardened to him, but it’s just not possible. She loves him and knew he still loved her, so she was always trying to get a rise out at him. It was cute to watch as he suffered so much.

Anthony has regretted leaving Sophia, but he had no choice. He left to protect her and her family. When she shows up on his doorstep, he tries to maintain his cover, but that doesn’t seem to work out as well as he’d hoped. He loved her with all his heart and knew he broke her heart when he left. But when her life is put in danger, he has to solve this investigation and fast, or else she’ll be taken away from him permanently.

I loved Anthony and Sophia. They were the perfect team to solve this. She was determined to help, even thought he wanted her far away from danger. She knew she could help so she jumped right in. Stubborn girl. ūüôā

I thought this story would be just a second chance romance, or sorts, but it was so much more. It was filled with lies, intrigue, kidnapping and murder, plus a nice little romance tossed in.

~Melpomene

Buy The Secret of India Orchid: http://amzn.to/2vYKitA

Review: The Nazi’s Daughter by Tim Murgatroyd

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Books like this one are right up my alley. ¬†Historical fiction, World War II era, a bit of suspense thrown in…these are the stories that stick with me.

Elise has a promising career as a ballerina. ¬†She lives to dance, allowing herself to escape from the fact that her father is a high-ranking Nazi. ¬†She’s somewhat of a disappointment to her family as she chooses to immerse herself in her career rather than fall in line with their Nazi beliefs. ¬†When an injury forces her to take a break from dancing, she finds refuge on a small island.

It’s here that she meets Pieter. ¬†Instantly attracted to him, she resists for as long as possible. ¬†But when their chemistry becomes impossible to ignore, she finds herself in a precarious position as the daughter of a Nazi. ¬†Pieter, the man she loves, is part of the Resistance. ¬†Will it be possible to keep her two worlds separate?

This is, to me, the best and most compelling part of this story. ¬†There’s more, though. ¬†Fast forward to present day New York City. ¬†Jenni is suddenly and unexpectedly the benefactor of her deceased grandmother’s estate. ¬†Because she didn’t know much about her, and because her own life is in shambles, she immerses herself in grandma Elise’s past. ¬†What secrets will she uncover?

A great story for fans of historical fiction with some romance and a bit of mystery as well.

~Thalia

Buy It Now: ¬†The Nazi’s Daughter

Review: My One True Highlander by Suzanne Enoch

01-a1 This book was so much fun!! The banter. The sexy times. The very sense of family. I loved it all.

I’m glad I read book one immediately beforehand, so it was fresh in my mind what was happening. This pretty much takes place right after Hero in the Highlands ends.

Right from the start, I loved all the brothers. Each had their own quirks and very loud personalities. Not having a woman’s influence on them in eight years makes them a bit rougher and I think that’s why I like them.

The romance was a slow burn. Obviously. Being kidnapped has a way of making that happen. But once Marjorie realizes why the young boys did what they, she knows she must help them, or she risks her life and theirs as well. Their love was a bit of a shock to them. I enjoyed watching it grow. She’s this proper young woman who’s been thrusted into the highlands with a four pack of wild boys.

This is where things get tricky. Graeme saw what happens when your true love is lost. It destroys you. He wants no part of that. But fate has a way giving you exactly what you need before you know you need it.

“I didnae want to meet a lass who could twist me up inside. I didnae want my heart to pound or my breath to catch when a particular lass entered a room.”

This is my first experience with Suzanne Enoch’s books, I know it won’t be my last.

~Melpomene

Buy My One True Highlander HERE

Review: The Vicar’s Daughter by Josi S. Kilpack

Oh, my swooning heart! This book was so sweet and romantic. I swear there were butterflies in my belly the entire time. The Vicar’s Daughter had a very “Emma” feel to it, but with a twist.

Cassie hated the rules her parent’s instilled that only one daughter at a time would be put in society. So in order to speed things along she tries to help her very anxious sister in making a match. But as things began to progress, she starts to get feelings for the man she wanted for her sister. She tried to put her them aside but when push comes to shove, her heart can’t take the pain.

Mr. Glenside is new to society so he’s learning the ins and outs and soon finds himself caught up in a situation that had only one outcome. But in order to be true to his heart he must make the unfortunate decision and cause himself lots of trouble and gossip to be flung his way. Not exactly how he wanted to come out in society, but some things can’t be helped.

I loved Cassie. Her heart was in the right place, but her execution was flawed. Royally flawed It’s was very hard to see her suffer. But as a vicar’s daughter there was no escaping it. SHe was well known,therefore people were going to know what happened. She had me in tears towards the end. Gah!! My heart was invested and was wishing for no more suffering.

As I’ve said before, I love this Proper Romance series. This one had more religious tones than the many of them. Since it was about a vicar’s family, I’m not surprised. If you love historical romances with all feels, then I recommend you grab this one.

~Melpomene

Buy The Vicar’s Daughter HERE

Review: The Night Mark by Tiffany Reisz

01ab1 ~Everyone deserves light~

This book…

If you read Tiffany’s The Bourbon Thief, then you’ll recognize a few names and places in this one, but it’s not connected. This story is in a whole other world. The Night Mark has a bit of an Diana Gabaldon feel with a Tiffany twist. Twist is definitely what this does to my heart and soul.

Because the synopsis doesn’t say too much, I won’t say much either. What I will say is that Tiffany Reisz has jumped up another notch in my eyes. This story was pure magic. She creates a world like no other.

I realize time travel isn’t possible, but what if it was? If you were hurting so much would you make the choice to leave this world behind? I was so brokenhearted hearing about Faye’s suffering. There’s been one thing after another with her. I’m surprised she’s still standing. When she discovers a way to be happy, but it’s not in this life, she’s willing to do anything in order to find it and keep it.

This book is about love. This book is about pain. This book is about letting the light in and praying that it heals the soul. If you’re in the mood for an epic romance that will have you twisting in your seat as you read, then I think this book will make you happy. Go in with an open mind and an open heart. And don’t read any spoilers. ūüôā In fact, I think this book will be in my Top 10 of 2017. It was that magical and beautiful.

“You know a man by his heart. You know a lighthouse by its beacon.”

~Melpomene

Buy The Night Mark HERE

Review: Devil in Spring by Lisa Kleypas

01-aThe Wallflowers was my first introduction to Lisa Kleypas, then I went on to The Ravenels. Without saying any spoilers, I will say that I highly recommend you reading those before you take a dive into this book. You’ll feel such a stronger connection once you realize who the story is about. Very exciting. She’s a fairly new to me author, so I haven’t had to wait long for this book, but I was no less excited for this story.

The main thing I like about this book was how different Pandora was. She’s not the usual swooning maiden who’s perfect in all things. She wanted to continue to be who she is and not have it all taken away if she got married. She wanted to maintain her identity and not have it stripped from her. Plus without sounding mean, she was less than “perfect” physically. She there were parts of her that just made her more human in my eyes. Again, there is no perfect person, I hope you understand what I’m trying to say.

Gabriel was major swoon worthy in my eyes. He was smitten almost immediately and was willing to step up to the plate and be the man he needed to be, even if he never wanted this. He was trying to be the honorable man. I love seeing couples in the courting stages. It’s rather sweet. And let me tell you, Gabriel has all the right moves.

“You’re the reason the earth turns and morning follows night. You’re the meaning of primroses and why kissing was invented. You’re the reason my heart beats. God help me, I’m not strong enough to survive without you.”

I LOVED seeing Sebastian St. Vincent. He was just as amazing as he was in his own book. He still loves Evie, even after 30 years together, and it’s a great example for Gabriel. While he hasn’t always made the right decisions, he’s shown him what’s it like to be a good husband and protector. Plus he knows what to say when it’s needed.

“Dangerous creatures, wallflowers. Approach them with the utmost caution. They sit quietly in corners, appearing abandoned and forlorn, when in truth they’re sirens who lure men to their downfall. You won’t even notice the moment she steals the heart right out of your body-and then it’s hers for good. A wallflower never gives your heart back.”

I read that part three times with a silly grin on my face. Truer words never spoken.

And by the way, if the next book is going where I think it’s going, I’ll be barricading myself in my room all release day, just so I can get transported into this magical world that Lisa has created. I recommend you do the same.

~Melpomene

Buy Devil in Spring HERE