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

Buy MINDING THE LIGHT

Advertisements

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

Buy Miss Wilton’s Waltz https://amzn.to/2qxxGIs

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

Buy A Duke Like No Other https://amzn.to/2IfwkcD

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

Buy Ashes on the Moor http://amzn.to/2FOKqSx

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

Buy PHOEBE’S LIGHT

Melpomene’s Top 17 of 2017

I’ve read so many series this year, that many of the books blend into one, but there’s a few books that have stood out against all that. What are some of your favs? Do we have any duplicates? These are in no particular order.


Hunted is probably my top read of the year. This was a Beauty and the Beast retelling, but with a twist. I loved it so much, I read it and listened to the audible. Hunted is the epitome of what the perfect YA fantasy book should be. Engaging from the very beginning, exciting and emotional throughout, and a very climactic ending that leaves you breathless and in tears.
My review is HERE


What can I say about Renegades? Epic, exciting and engaging!! Oh my gosh!

Superheroes are all the rage now. But what if the lines between villains and heroes were blurred? Well, then you’d get Renegades. I was rooting for Nova, and then I wasn’t. And then I was, and then… I’m gonna need the next book ASAP.
Buy Renegades http://amzn.to/2zOo7aJ


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. And twist is definitely what this does to my heart and soul.

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.
My review is HERE


Devil In Spring The 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.
My review is HERE


This book was everything, Everything, EVERYTHING I was hoping it would be!! My heart is overflowing. Exciting, emotional and so very romantic. Ms. Byrne has a way with these flawed and imperfect characters. You can’t help but fall in love with all of them.
My review is HERE


This series is nothing short of fabulous. Romantic and so very swoony. We’ve been waiting so long to get Mary’s story. I love that we get her’s at last. She deserves all the love and family, even if it comes with a fair amount of heartache.
Buy Once Upon a Maiden Lane here: http://amzn.to/2DAv8yi


Oh, how I adore a Kristen Ashley book! The Time In Between was the perfect ending to a fabulous trilogy. Lots of emotion, heartache and love. This book made me swoon and smile, and made my heart race with anticipation. I wanted so many good things for Cady and Coert and I’m so happy that they finally found their happily ever after.
My review is HERE


Time travel and magic…I never knew how much I would love it. It was so fascinated with all the characters. They all had their secrets and personal missions. I had no idea who to trust! I decided to listen to this instead of reading it, so I wasn’t able to highlight any cool quotes, but that didn’t hinder me from fully enjoying it.
Grab a copy here: http://amzn.to/2BUuGKL


Without Merit isn’t a romance story really. It’s a life story. At first I thought Merit wasn’t the “usual” character, but then I got to thinking, “What is the usual character?” She stressed over and struggled with daily life. She feels her family is a bunch of crazies. She wishes for peace in her world but doesn’t know a healthy way of finding it. I don’t know about you, but she sounds pretty “usual” to me.
My review is HERE


My heart has been twisted all around in this book. Kristen is the master of that. I love everything about this story. The romance, the swooning, the family, the friends, and the unexpected cameos from other KA books. Perfect. Just perfect.
Grab a copy here: http://amzn.to/2EiARKk


Jessica’s books have a way of stringing you along, then tearing your heart out and forcing you to take a deep breath before continuing. Angst must be her middle name. If you loved Flat Out Celeste and Left Drowning/Restless Waters, then this book is right up your alley. This story made me take a good long look at my own life and others around me. You never know who might need a little extra patience and love.
My review is HERE.


I spent the final 25% of this book with tears in my eyes. Some scenes had them flowing nonstop, while others had me chocking to hold them in. This book was an epic edition to this series. A full range of emotions. You won’t leave untouched. She makes us work for this ending. Grab a comfy blanket, perhaps a box of tissues and leave the world behind as you escape into the world of the fae. You can thank me later.
My review is HERE.


I read this series but never read these novellas. I don’t like looking back, especially when I know the end result. But I got guilted into it by my daughter, so I finally picked this up, and let me tell you, I was DEVASTATED by the end. Just as I knew I would be. But it does give a little more knowledge into the series and it’s characters. I do recommend you read this…with tissues.
Buy it here: http://amzn.to/2DxUb5e (At time of posting, it’s currently on sale for 99 cents!)


This is a book about love, determination, friendship and family. The Bright Side family is the best family out there. In fact, I wish I was a part of this family. I want people in my life like this. They know when to joke, when to give advice and when to just be there. Gah! This story was filled with the full range of emotions. Plus, I loved seeing Gus and how he’s doing. I love him.
My review is HERE


“Make a fuss.”

The last time I felt this way, after reading a Mia book, was when I read Kyland. This story is about love, forgiveness and honor. It will make you think and make you cry. You will be gutted. But most of all, this book brings attention to a very real issues that many people face in this country. In fact, it brought to my attention another serious issue that many women deal with, but often no one talks about it. I realize that many people read books differently and some won’t even think about this. This story has so many things going on, many real life issues, that this may get glanced over. But to me, it broke my heart. Like the quote up top, make a fuss. Don’t settle. You’re worth fighting for.
My full review is HERE


If you’ve read the Rock Chicks books, you know all about Daisy. The sweet tinkling bell laugh, the Dolly Parton physique and her love of all things sparkly, are the first things you think of. You know some of her past and know that her husband, Marcus, loves her more than life itself, but that’s just the tip of what makes her her.
My review is HERE


I’ve been reading K.A.Tucker’s books for years now. And the past few books have been more of the suspense. So when I read this, it was like coming home. I adore her romance writing and this book was perfect. I hope you give it a shot.
Buy Until it Fades here: http://amzn.to/2CsjENO

I can’t wait to see what next year brings me!

~Melpomene

Review: The Bridgertons by Julia Quinn

As some of you may know, I’ve spent almost this entire year reading historical romances. I can’t get enough. My most recent binged series was The Bridgertons by Julia Quinn. Funny thing was, I had zero intentions about reading them. In fact, since I consider myself a late in life reader, I never even heard of these. But I had a friend who posted some 1-star reviews that claimed there was too much sex in them. Well now, since I love love, I figured it was my duty to see if they were correct in their rants. They weren’t. And I’m a little disappointed in that, if I’m being honest. They were a slow burn type of romance, not that I’m complaining. I don’t know what these people were talking about.

This series is about eight siblings and how they each meet their true loves. This is plenty of heartache and romance and lots and lots of banter. I was pretty much reading with a silly smile on my face the entire time. I’m not even kidding. The banter was spot on. I adore books like these. Love is important in life, but without the funny, it’s rather boring. So, if you were born under a rock, like myself, and never read these books, go and add these to your tbr right.

The one thing you need to know is that each book has a bonus epilogue that was written after the books were all done. So there may be a few minor spoilers, like who the love interests are, of the future couples. It didn’t bother me. It just made me wanna read faster. Which is probably why I had to buy a few of these, since my library was taking too long to give them to me. I was impatient. Man, I really liked these books.

I’m so glad those 1-star whiners were wrong.

~Melpomene

THE DUKE AND I http://amzn.to/2ADB21v
THE VISCOUNT WHO LOVED ME http://amzn.to/2j2qBQH *My favorite*
AN OFFER FROM A GENTLEMAN http://amzn.to/2j3uPHV
ROMANCING MISTER BRIDGERTON http://amzn.to/2j2TtIE
TO SIR PHILLIP, WITH LOVE http://amzn.to/2zYePK5
WHEN HE WAS WICKED http://amzn.to/2ADAEzY
IT’S IN HIS KISS http://amzn.to/2ADUPxw
ON THE WAY TO THE WEDDING http://amzn.to/2j2h2Bn