Review: Shade’s Lady by Joanna Wylde


It feels like it’s been so long since I’ve been in the Reapers’ world. I’ve missed them. I was super excited when I heard that Joanna was contributing to the 1001 Nights series with a short story. This is a fun series. You get a snippet from so many authors and then get to decide if you want to jump into their worlds.

Now on to Shade’s story. He’s the national president of the Reapers. So that means he can get any girl any time he wants. He’s always on the go, so he really doesn’t have time for a relationship. So one night stands are his life. So when Mandy caught his eye he thought that’s all he would need to get her out of his mind. Boy was he wrong.

Mandy works at a local bar where the Reapers frequently visit. So she knows who there are. She’s used to being around bikers, since her boyfriend belongs to a club. But there’s something about Shade that makes her nervous. When her boyfriend makes an absolute idiotic choice, Mandy is caught in the mix and her life is turned upside down.

I love their chemistry. It was electrical, right from the start. Explosive even. But Mandy is still nervous to open her heart again. She is focused on helping her sister and doesn’t have time to get caught up in another possible heartbreaking relationship. But her heart doesn’t always listen to her head. They try to keep it easy, but it ends up being way more than a simple one night stand. In fact, it’s probably the longest one night stand in history.

So much fun! I wish I was a part of the Reapers family.

~Melpomene

Buy Shade’s Lady HERE

Review: Starflight by Melissa Landers

In preparation for Apollycon this month, I was trying to read as many signing authors as I could beforehand. I’ve had it on my shelf for way too long so it was way past due. As soon as I finished, I was immediately kicking myself for waiting as long as I did.

I will say, I did have an ulterior motive for having this on my shelf. I read it for my teens. As you know, I am always on the look out for things that they will read. They are quite picky, so I find myself reading YA books with them in mind, every single time. I’m happy to say that I think they’ll like it. Only one scene that’ll make my anti-romance daughter cringe but I’m okay with that.

SYNOPSIS
Life in the outer realm is a lawless, dirty, hard existence, and Solara Brooks is hungry for it. Just out of the orphanage, she needs a fresh start in a place where nobody cares about the engine grease beneath her fingernails or the felony tattoos across her knuckles. She’s so desperate to reach the realm that she’s willing to indenture herself to Doran Spaulding, the rich and popular quarterback who made her life miserable all through high school, in exchange for passage aboard the spaceliner Zenith.

When a twist of fate lands them instead on the Banshee, a vessel of dubious repute, Doran learns he’s been framed on Earth for conspiracy. As he pursues a set of mysterious coordinates rumored to hold the key to clearing his name, he and Solara must get past their enmity to work together and evade those out for their arrest. Life on the Banshee may be tumultuous, but as Solara and Doran are forced to question everything they once believed about their world—and each other—the ship becomes home, and the eccentric crew family. But what Solara and Doran discover on the mysterious Planet X has the power to not only alter their lives, but the existence of everyone in the universe…

Because this is listed as a #1 in a series, many people, including myself are leery about starting an unfinished series. But fear not, these books are interconnected standalones. Which basically is another reason I’m a dummy for waiting so long. I went in thinking I needed to wait til closer to book two since it was gonna be a cliffy. I was wrong. If you, or someone you know, enjoy action packed fantasy YA books, then grab a copy and pull up a chair.

Very exciting and adventurous. I thoroughly enjoyed all the banter. Some parts had me outright giggling. The friendship bond these characters had was so refreshing. They were a family. I wanted to be a part of it. This ragtag group of fugitives will have your emotions all over the place and loving every moment of it.

At some point during this haphazard journey, she’d fallen in love with a bespectacled kleptomaniac, a star-crossed seducer and his displaced princess, and, most of all, an infuriating blue blood who used to call her Rattail. She learned that home was a fluid thing, and whether on a planet, on a satellite, or on a rusted bucket of a ship, this crew was her home.

~Melpomene

Buy Starflight 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

Review: The Deep End by Kristen Ashley

01-de So many things are running through my head. First off, don’t let that cover fool ya. This may be a Kristen Ashley book, but it’s nothing like you’ve read before. So you’re expecting a nice sweet, and somewhat angst filled, romance, you’re going to be shocked. And if you’re like me, and like your romances a bit on the racy side, then this will be very nice surprise. Very nice. This had all the KA goodness but with a hefty dose of hot sauce.

SYNOPSIS
Enter a decadent sensual world where gorgeous alpha males are pleasure slaves committed to fulfilling a woman’s every desire. At the elite Honey club, no boundary will be left untested, and one’s darkest desires will become a sensual reality.

Olivier isn’t sure what he’s gotten himself into when he joins the Honey Club, only that a dark part of him craves the lifestyle offered by this secret, exclusive club.

When Amèlie invites Olivier to surrender, she pushes him to explore his deepest desires as a submissive. As they grow closer and find themselves falling harder than either of them anticipated, the truth about Olivier’s past could threaten the budding relationship they both long for.

Olly is this super sexy firefighter, who is also a alpha sub. I’ve never heard of those before, so it was rather eye opening. Here’s this super alpha guy needing a woman to decide his fate. I kinda liked that.

“You were searching for me.”

I’ll admit, I love Kristen Ashley something fierce, but when I heard she was writing an erotic series, I was nervous. Not everyone can pull it off without it being over the top extreme. Boy, was I wrong to even question it. This girl can write. The Deep End was hot. Plain and simple. In the beginning, their scenes seemed a little bit forced. They didn’t know each other, so the connection wasn’t there yet. But it didn’t take long for them to find that link, and once they did, there was heat. I’m talking full blown, four alarm fire. I needed to step away a few times. I gotta be honest, I needed to take a cold shower. This book was freaking hot. Now don’t get me wrong, they were’ the perfect couple. They had their flaws. But once they learned what each other truly needed out of this relationship, they found the balance and all was well.

As with all KA stories, the side characters are a whole other story. They bring much needed friendships and experiences to this story. I am looking forward to future Honey stories. I already know who I’m hoping for. I don’t normally review these intense BDSM stories, but this book was so much more than that.

~Melpomene

Preorder The Deep End HERE

Review: Preston’s Honor by Mia Sheridan

01-aa “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.

SYNOPSIS
There were two brothers—identical twins—and though I loved them both, my soul belonged to only one.

Annalia Del Valle has loved Preston Sawyer all her life. The daughter of an impoverished migrant farmworker, she grew up as an outcast in what was no more than a tiny, cooped up shack in California’s Central Valley. But her heart found freedom in the land, in the wide-open spaces of Sawyer Farm, and in the boys who were her only friends.

Preston has yearned for Annalia since he was a boy. But a sense of honor kept him from pursuing her until he’s unable to hold back any longer and their worlds—and bodies—collide one hot summer night. A night that sets off a chain of events that will alter their lives forever.

Now Annalia is back in town after disappearing without a trace for six long months. Determined to reclaim her heart, her life, and the baby she left behind—the son who was created in a moment of lust and love and pent-up yearning.

Preston has survived grief, a ravaging drought, and the despair of heartache, but he’s not sure he can survive Annalia again. And he might be unwilling to try. Will pride and bitterness keep him from the one thing he’s always longed for?

How do you heal what is irreparably broken? How do you forgive that which is unforgivable? How do you discover that real honor comes not from circumstance, but from the place deep in our hearts where truth resides? And how do you move beyond the wounds of the past to discover that some loves are as solid as the ground beneath your feet, and as enduring as the earth itself?

This is not your usual love triangle. Trust me. Read this book with an open mind and open heart and you can thank me later. This is a story about a girl who keeps everything to herself. It’s about not standing up and thinking you need to take what life hands you, without complaint. It’s about not being strong enough to say, “Enough!” Lia represents a lot of people. She thinks she’s all alone and keeps to the sidelines of life. She’s created this wall around her heart so she doesn’t get hurt, but in doing so, this wall is slowly closing in on her and not allowing love to reach her. When you don’t feel love, you can’t give love. She was slowly dying inside but didn’t understand how to fix herself. What she needed to do was break free and let others in. But unfortunately she learned that the hard way.

I loved Preston. He was so strong, even when he thought he was weak, he was strong. He would do anything to keep his family afloat during tragedy after tragedy. There is no better person than him. He loved with a fierceness that even if it cost him everything, he would do what it takes to keep going.

“I vowed to prove to her that her secrets – the tender places inside her – were safe with me. And I promised myself I’d trust her with my tender places, too.”

I made the mistake of starting Preston late one night and read until about 12:30, then cried myself to sleep. I woke up at 6 to finish up. What an absolute beautiful and very thought provoking story. Mia is a word wizard. She created a world that I feel a part of and makes me want to step in and live it. This book and these characters are so very real. You will be moved to tears and your heart will be full. So many emotions.

~Melpomene

Buy Preston’s Honor HERE

Review: The Bourbon Thief by Tiffany Reisz

01-ab “Love what they destroyed.
Destroy what they loved.”

This story is nothing like I’ve read from Ms. Reisz before. NOTHING. In fact, this story has to be one the most insane stories I have ever read. I went in knowing nothing. No spoilers or anything, just a vague idea that it’s about thievery and bourbon. That’s it. But when I finished I sat back and wish I took Dramamine for all the twists and turns this book had. A truly wild ride.

SYNOPSIS
When Cooper McQueen wakes up from a night with a beautiful stranger, it’s to discover he’s been robbed. The only item stolen—a million-dollar bottle of bourbon. The thief, a mysterious woman named Paris, claims the bottle is rightfully hers. After all, the label itself says it’s property of the Maddox family who owned and operated Red Thread Bourbon distillery since the last days of the Civil War until the company went out of business for reasons no one knows… No one except Paris.

In the small hours of a Louisville morning, Paris unspools the lurid tale of Tamara Maddox, heiress to the distillery that became an empire. But the family tree is rooted in tainted soil and has borne rotten fruit. Theirs is a legacy of wealth and power, but also of lies, secrets and sins of omission. The Maddoxes have bourbon in their blood—and blood in their bourbon. Why Paris wants the bottle of Red Thread remains a secret until the truth of her identity is at last revealed, and the century-old vengeance Tamara vowed against her family can finally be completed.

You must go into this story blind to truly appreciate the way the story unwinds itself on the pages. Deception, lies and revenge are the main themes of this tale. And one seriously messed up family. I won’t reveal spoilers, but I will say that you’ll never see the end coming. While some parts in this story will make you squirm, if you just take a deep breath, you’ll be fine.

To be honest, I held off reading this because I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this more, or even as much, as her Original Sinners series. That series is bananas. But I am so glad I took a chance. Tiffany has a writing style that is so addicting, you can’t help but be sucked in. You won’t be disappointed in anything you read from her.

~Melpomene

Buy The Bourbon Thief HERE

Review: Retreat by Jay Crownover

01-a1 I love cowboys. I especially love when they aren’t your traditional Stetson wearing kind.

Fresh mountain air, horses, sexy cowboys and enough suspense to keep you on the edge of your seat.

I loved Leo, even if she had a rough beginning. What started out as a girl’s only week ends up with a life changing discovery that has her realizing she’s stronger then she thinks. She also wasn’t looking for love in these hills, but who knew cowboys could be so sexy?

Leo and Cy had this crazy instant chemistry that sometimes seemed to fast, but they were both looking for each, even if they didn’t realize it. Their connection was hot. Their sexy times were even hotter. Simple flirting turned into much more that neither of them was prepared for. It was a blast to see Cy strip Leo of her prickly outer shell. In the midst of life and death situations, these two managed to find love and peace with each other.

I liked the balance of suspense and comedic moments. I’m not usually a super fan of suspense books, but this one was just right for me. From about halfway through, I was reading as fast as I could, just so I could know what happens.

There were actually a few emotional scenes that will make you need the next book just as much I need it. Whew! Jay sure packs a punch.

What a fabulous start to this new series! I can’t wait to read about the next cowboy!

~Melpomene