Review: Stokehurst series by Lisa Kleypas

In my quest to read as many historical romances as I can, I stumbled upon these two books this week. I’ve never heard of them before so I was excited to have zero preconceived ideas about them. I like finding hidden gems such as these.

The first book, Midnight Angel was interesting. I’m not a fan of huge age gap romances, even though they happen a lot in historicals, so that took a bit to work through, but the heroine was quite old in spirit. Her past definitely aged her, so she wasn’t the typical young person that’s a bit flighty and immature. After faking her death she escapes to England under the cover of a governess to a child not much younger than she is. And you can guess what happens next. The father ends up falling for her despite not wanting to grow close to another woman after his wife died.

If you can get past the age thing, which I obviously did, this was a very intriguing story. There’s a bit of magic swirling around, which again, intriguing. I enjoyed watching this timid, yet fierce woman take charge of her life and find her own happy ending.

And that brings us to the next book, Prince of Dreams, which takes place 7 years later. This one is about the daughter and I think this one was my favorite of the two. You kinda knew who it was going to be about at the end of the previous book, so part of me hoped that it would be done in a matter that wouldn’t be too gross. Age gap is one thing, but under age is another. Thankfully it wasn’t like that.

This book had a definite magical feel to it. In fact, dreams were often a glimpse into the past and I was riveted. I couldn’t read fast enough. And by the time I was done, tears was streaming down my face. I can’t explain without spoiling, but this reaction is how I felt when I read books based on real people. Knowing they were real people, had real losses just gets me. This was how Nikolas’ dreams were.

Now about Nikolas. He was definitely NOT perfect. He made horrible choices that I probably wouldn’t forgive, but after those dreams, I can see why he acted the way he did. It’s fiction, so I must move on from it.

This story had a few twists that made it all the more enjoyable and magical. In fact, they were so unexpected I think that’s why I cried a lot. Angst to the max!!

If you’re looking for something different in your historical romances, then I highly recommend you grab these two books. Oldies but goodies.

~Melpomene

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Review: The Lady and the Highwayman by Sarah M. Eden

As a headmistress of an all girls school, Elizabeth Black wrote in her spare time. She’s know for her “silver fork” novels. And being a woman, this was acceptable. But what they didn’t know was that she also wrote “penny dreadfuls” under the name of Mr. King. If people knew she wrote those, her school would be ruined and so would she. So she kept it secret and used all the funds to help out her school.

Now the men who normally write those were part of a secret society who used their wages to help those in need. So when Mr. King starts to worm his way into their earnings, they take it upon themselves to discover who it is. They can’t risk not having the funds when they need to plan rescues and such. So their leader, Fletcher Walker asks Elizabeth for help. As a fellow author he hopes that she’ll know things he doesn’t.

I enjoyed watching these two. They both were doing things for the right reasons, but neither one could let their secrets be known. And while working together they grew closer. Amid all the mysteries and suspense, romance was blooming. And it was sweet.

This is another Proper Romance that I adore. I can’t get enough of these. They’re a nice breath of fresh air in the midst of the stress of life.

~Melpomene

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Review: How to Love a Duke in Ten Days by Kerrigan Byrne

It’s a new series by Kerrigan Byrne!!! And what a beginning this was. When I first found out she was writing a new series I was thrilled. I love her Victorian Rebels series, so I was dying to dive into this new one.

This author is another auto buy for me, and one that I don’t read the blurbs beforehand. I like to go in blind. So when I read the inscription, I wondered if this book was going to give me all the feels. And the I read the prologue. Not for the faint of heart. Gripping and heart racing beginning.

Alexandra Lane has held onto this secret for 10 years. Guilt, shame and fear have been her constant companions. My heart broke for her. Having to live like that, I wanted to reach in the pages and give her a hug. She was so strong but yet she needed someone stronger to set her free.

I adored Piers. SO MUCH. He needs to find a bride, and have an heir, in order seek revenge on his cousin. When he agrees to marry Alexandra, he had no idea what he was getting himself into. Secrets threaten to keep them from his ultimate goal but he’s determined to win her and succeed.

The chemistry was sizzling between these two. I was loving their interactions. She’s used to being surrounded by men so she has a strong wit that keeps him engaged. Their passion was off the charts. Piers was made for her. He was strong and determined to help discover her secrets and help her move past them.

The side characters are a riot! I am so looking forward to their stories. The friendship bond these girls have is strong and I know they will be there for each other till their dying breaths.

I need the next book!!

~Melpomene

Grab book one in this series here: https://amzn.to/2F49d5I

Quick review: Brazen and the Beast by Sarah MacLean

I am loving this series!!

Beast was a fun character to read about. He’s very protective of those he loves, even if it means sending them away. Hearing his full backstory made my heart squeeze. Hattie was definitely made for him. She knew what he needed and how to care for him.

Hattie was the strongest girl ever. I loved her determination although I was saddened by her self esteem at times. She made me wanna reach in and hug her. She gave up on dreams and resigned to being alone so she created this outer shell of strength, but we could see straight through to the hurt. Beast was definitely the guy to crack that shell and show her that she’s perfect just the way she is.

I am so flipping excited for the next book, I almost can’t stand it. Ewan was so bad, but at the same time you could tell he was just broken. I need Grace and his story like RIGHT NOW. So now I wait….

~Melpomene
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Quick review: Daisies and Devotion by Josi S. Kilpack


I love this troupe. Friends to lovers have some of the sweetest moments.

In Daises and Devotion, Timothy and Maryann play matchmaker to each other. Maryann wants to find someone who wants her, not her money. And since Timothy’s uncle surprised him with an inheritance, he is now able to search for the “perfect” woman, not just a wealthy woman.

As their searches go on, Maryann gets more and more discouraged. I think part of her always thought that Timothy didn’t look at her for her money, so therefore he would be a good match for her. As he continues with his list, her feelings about herself grow more and more self conscience. But she won’t say anything except to be his loyal friend and confidant.

These two were so sweet in their own heads. They wanted to want someone else but hey kept thinking back on each other. Maryann didn’t fit Timothy’s list at all, but then why couldn’t he stop thinking about her? And why couldn’t Maryann be happy with any of the men that wanted to court her? Why was she always watching Timothy?

This is another Proper Romance that’s the second in a series, but it can totally be a standalone. In fact, we get a glimpse of what I’m hoping is the next story. I’m keeping my eyes opened for that one.

~Melpomene

Dive into this sweet series.

Quick review and giveaway: When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton

Can I just say that I fell in love with the cover before I even read the book? I had no idea what the book was even about when I started reading. I was pleasantly surprised.

Beatriz Perez and her family were forced to leave their country in order to survive. But Beatriz wants nothing more than to bring down Castro and go back home. So she joins the CIA to infiltrate Castro’s inner circle to find a way. She never thought she’d find romance along the way. But she must choose between her heart and her home.

My heart was practically in my stomach the entire time. Many of her decisions could’ve gotten her or her family killed. I was stressing. And I do believe at a point or two, I cried. Not just from emotions, but from the stress as well. She was willing to risk her life and love for her country. I never read Next Year in Havana, so these characters were new to me, but in no way did I enjoy the book any less.

I have quite a few friends who will be receiving this book as a gift this year. Books rich in history like this are some of my favorites. I am definitely bumping up Havana in my TBR and I look forward to reading whatever Chanel brings to us.

~Melpomene

Buy When We Left Cuba https://amzn.to/2D14bGj

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway HERE

Review: A Song for the Stars by Ilima Todd

“But she is in the stars I try to read. She’s in the wind of our sails and in the water that surrounds us. I’ve discovered the problem with learning to observe everything in nature—it means I am aware of her, always, because she is in all of it.”

There’s something about a story that says “Inspired by a true story” that makes my heart clench. While I was reading A Song for the Stars I could feel it happening quite often. Imagine living in the Hawaiian Islands in 1779. Your world is small. You only know what’s on your island. When new people come bringing their traditions and unfamiliar wares, your world gets even smaller.

Maile and John meet under very heartbreaking circumstances. She is told to train him in their ways, so he can navigate and find his way home. But the more time they spend together learning and sharing, the more time their hearts soften to each other.

I loved watching them interact. She was so angry and devastated in the beginning, my heart broke for her. She starts out leery of him but, then John’s openness and eagerness to learn about her makes her question what she originally thought. Soon she realizes that her heart may find healing after all.

This story was beautifully written I could see and feel the world around me. And knowing that these are the author’s ancestors, makes this story all the more real.

Melpomene

Buy A Song for the Stars https://amzn.to/2UutgTK