Review: Healing Hearts by Sarah M. Eden

What a wild and intense story! I mean seriously. This poor girl jumps off a stagecoach and is immediately swept up and taken to her wedding, but she had no idea! She thought she was coming to Savage Wells to be a nurse, not a wife. Talk about miscommunication.

Gideon is plain tuckered out. He’s the only doctor for Savage Wells and all the towns around it. He has no one to help him so that’s why he requested a mail ordered bride, who is also a nurse. But somehow wires were crossed and only the nurse was delivered.

Miriam is hiding a secret. One that I never even thought of! But it’s not a surprise how people treated others back in those days. I loved her. She was so strong, even in the face of everything she’s had to endure. So when she’s allowed to stay on as a nurse instead of a wife, she thinks things are starting to look up. But when her secret is discovered, she must face her greatest fear head on. But luckily she’s not alone anymore.

As I’ve said numerous times before, I love these Proper Romances. They’re super sweet and innocent and they make the story the most important part, not the romance. That being said, I adored watching these two dance around each other. Shyness turned to jokes, which turned to soft touches and then BAM. A perfect sweet romance. On a side note, I am hoping for a certain US Marshal to get his own story. There just HAS to be a perfect girl for him!

~Melpomene

Buy Healing Hearts https://amzn.to/2sAUl8b

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Review: What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon

The wind and water know all the earth’s secrets. They’ve seen and heard all that has ever been said or done. And if you listen, they will tell you all the stories and sing every song.

From the moment I read the prologue I knew this story was going to hit me harder than any other book I’ve read lately. And I was so right. In fact, I’m pretty sure this story was written just for me. There are small details that connect me and I can’t even explain what that feels like. I know it sounds silly, but it’s true.

Without giving away spoilers I will just say this, at 10% I started to cry and I didn’t know why. I was noticing things that had me breathless and speechless. Even as I’m typing now, there are tears in my eyes. The talk of the past and how these people are no longer with us always makes my heart clinch. Anne discovers things that she never knew, but yet, she always knew.

This story is rich in history and romance and I was swept away. What the Wind Knows had an Outlander feel to it, due to the time traveling, but it was so much more than that. This book was so rich in history, I felt like I was there. The people were real, as were their struggles. My heart broke when theirs did.

The romance between Anne and Thomas made me swoon and cry. I’m not even kidding. When I say I was crying, I mean I was CRYING. I woke up one morning at 4:30 to finish it. And by the time I was done, my pillow was soaked and my eyes were red and puffy. I was breathless and overwhelmed by every word I was reading. I may never recover.

“My love is so big and full and brimming that I can’t breathe around it. It’s terrifying to love so much, knowing how fragile our existence really is. You’re going to have to hold on to me, or I’ll burst…or maybe I’ll just float away. Up into the sky, out into the louch.”

~Melpomene

Buy What the Wind Knows https://amzn.to/2SXtmQ4

Review: Free by Kristen Ashley


It’s done. It’s over. There’s no more Chaos books. I don’t know how I feel about that. Heck, yeah I do. I feel sad. I love these characters.

We’ve watched Rush grow up these past years and it’s been great. After watching his dad finally find the perfect woman, I knew he was destined to be the same. While the Chaos was attempting to finally move on from the evil that seems to have hounded them from the beginning, he was finding himself falling in love.

He learned a lot from his dad.
One of those things was, you find a redhead who did it for you, even if it was early in the relationship, if you knew in your gut that it was right, you didn’t let go.
So yeah.
He’d made his decision.
He was keeping her.

I loved Rebel. Even her name shows how awesome she is! I loved the fact that she would do anything to solve the murder of her dearest friend, even if it was stupid. And believe me, it was. But, Rush knew how to help her and she knew how to let him. That’s how strong she was. She knew when to back down and let her man take care of her. That’s what I love about KA heroines.

“I’m keeping you,” he said against my lips.
He was keeping me.
I was going to belong to somebody.
And that someone was Rush Allen.

Chaos is one of my most favorite KA series. These books are about family, and not just the blood kind. The brothers will do whatever it takes to take care of their women and protect each other’s backs. They support and encourage each other. I wish more families were this way. This final battle has been years in the making. We see past allies and enemies come together to for a strong front line. I’ll admit, every time a known and beloved character from another series popped up, I got a little dreamy. KA has a way of intertwining her series and story lines to make each book more enjoyable than the last. It’s rather bittersweet to come to the end. Tack is my favorite KA hero so I’m quite sad that this will be the end of an era. But I’m so happy they’re free now…

~Melpomene

Release date: January 29, 2019

Buy Free https://amzn.to/2Rlee1i

Start from the beginning:
Own the Wind https://amzn.to/2CFCQtk
Fire Inside https://amzn.to/2QZF3J1
Ride Steady https://amzn.to/2RqtOsc
Walk Through Fire https://amzn.to/2AkxCSk
Rough Ride (4.5) https://amzn.to/2VhXIhF
Wild like the Wind https://amzn.to/2Vkm1f0

Review:The Cold is in Her Bones by Peternelle van Arsdale

Don’t let that gorgeous cover fool you. This a super creepy and crazy book. But in all good ways. After my daughter and I read The Beast is an Animal, we knew that whatever Peternelle wrote we wanted to read it. So when I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of The Cold is in Her Bones I was through the roof with excitement. And to find out it has a Medusa feel, well then SIGN ME UP.

Milla has been raised in a far off house, away from the towns. She’s not allowed to go anywhere and is raised to be a helper of those who are older than her. She always seemed to do the wrong things and upsetting her parents. When a new girl arrives at a neighbors house she finds hope. Hope of a friend and maybe even a sister. But Iris is keeping a secret from Milla, in the hopes that will keep her safe.

But of course that doesn’t last.

The towns that Milla has been forbidden to go to, have been plagued by demons. Demons possess the girls so Iris and Milla were assumed to be safe since they were far. You know what they say about assuming…

When Iris is “infected” and is sent away, Milla is determined to find her and bring her back home. Her journey is one of self discovery. She isn’t as safe from the demon as she hoped, but for the love of her sister of her heart she is willing to travel far and wide and find a way to save them both. Friendship and familial love was a thread woven throughout this story. Milla broke free from what was expected from her in order to find her own way and take charge of her own life. There were trials and struggles but for love you’d go through anything. Even face a demon.

Girls who run from what frightens them don’t get what they want.

As I was reading this, I kept thinking of my own daughter. She’s the strongest girl I know. She won’t let anyone control her or hold her back. She wants to try everything and if mistakes are made, she owns them and learns from them. And since she LOVED The Beast is an Animal, I know she will love this as well. I can’t wait for her to read it!

~Melpomene

Buy The Cold is in Her Bones https://amzn.to/2BMziUv

Review: The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden

Vivid, magical and EPIC!! That was the best way to end this most amazing trilogy. My heart was racing all throughout this entire book.

Vasya is determined to save her country by uniting them and showing them that there is way to be together and allow everyone their own religious freedoms. When we thought she was strong in the previous books, this is nothing compared to those.

She lives up to the prophecy. She makes allies with those who wouldn’t normally work together. As it’s said in the book, she’s a bridge between men and chyerti. The magic is failing as those stop believing in spirits. I loved watching her. She has the power to change things and she does.

No spoilers but this book was probably 10 times as exciting as the first two books. I couldn’t put it down. As I type this out, I’m awaiting Urania’s excited reactions. It’s her influence that gave me the nudge to dive into these books. I owe her.

There is a smidgen more of romance in this one but it’s very much on the back burner. I actually find myself not even looking for it. It’s just a bonus. But love, familial or romantic, is definitely a strong motivator to get things accomplished. But I will say that I’ve had my eye on Morozko since the first book and I’m happy to see him live up to my expectations.

“Love is for those who know the griefs of time, for it goes hand in hand with loss. An eternity, so burdened, would be a torment.”

Let the book hangover begin…

~Melpomene
Buy The Winter of the Witch https://amzn.to/2QksNlT

Review: Prisoner of Night by J.R.Ward


Whenever we get a book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood world, I am very excited. Even if these characters aren’t known to us, there’s more happening in the BDB world than with just the Brothers. Prisoner of Night will give us a tiny smidgen of the BDB world as we wait for The Savior to come out in April.

Druan has been imprisoned for years and biding his time to escape. But he has no idea his plans are about to take a crazy turn. When Ahmare walks into his prison something flairs up inside him and gives him the shock of his lifetime. There’s something about this female that has him questioning everything.

Ahmare’s brother has been captured and in order to free him she must use the “weapon” she’s provided with to retrieve something of value to his captor. What she wasn’t planning on was this weapon being a huge scary male with decades of pent up anger and hurt.

“I don’t want it to be like I never existed.”

These two characters go on a journey to places they never imagined, into a world they wish never existed. No matter what happened to Duran, these past decades, he was still a male who’s been raised to protect females, so he will do what it takes to get the job done and to find his revenge. What he doesn’t plan on is falling for this female almost instantly. But in the BDB world, that’s the way things happen. When they know, they KNOW.

I liked Ahmare. She kept a cool head all the while making choices that would affect her forever, all for the sake of her brother. I loved watching her discover that no matter what happened in the past, she is finally able to move forward, if she has the right male beside her.

“Funny, how a male could tell you, you’re beautiful without a word”

Prisoner of Night is a shorter story filled with the darkness and excitement we’ve come to know from the BDB books. This is a good way to wet your feet a little in this world without having to diving head first into this epic series. But really, why wouldn’t you wanna do that? The Black Dagger Brotherhood are one of my most favorite series. I wish everyone would dive into these books. I hope this series never ends.

~Melpomene

Buy Prisoner of Night https://amzn.to/2LQtaz6

Excerpt:

Twenty-One Years, Three Months, Six Days Ago . .

“Where is it! Goddamn you, where’s it at!”

Duran spit blood out of his mouth and spoke over the ringing in his ears. “I’ll never tell you—”

Chalen the Conqueror swung his open palm again, nailing Duran’s lacerated face like a bat hitting a fastball. But it didn’t hurt as much as the other shit they’d been doing to him in this castle’s great room. They’d already pulled out his fingernails, broken all of his toes, and whipped his back until strips of his own flesh flapped against his ribs. At the moment, he didn’t have the strength to keep himself on his feet, but no worries there—two guards, with grips locked under his pits, were holding him up off the floor.

As his head flopped back into its lolling hang, he shook it to get the sweat and blood out of his eyes. In the hissing, kicking light of the hearth, the male in front of him was stocky of build and ugly of feature, an oak stump with a bulldog’s muzzle and a hungry bear’s bad fucking attitude.

“You are going to tell me the location.” Chalen took Duran by the throat with one of his meat hands. “And you’re going to do it now.”

“Sorry, not . . . a big talker—”

The conqueror grabbed onto the lower half of Duran’s face, squeezing so hard his jaw split and the inside of his mouth was forced between the hard-and-sharp of his molars. More blood welled, spilled, fell on his bare chest.

“Why are you protecting the male who put you here?” Chalen’s opaque eyes searched Duran’s expression as if he were trying to extrapolate a map of Maryland in the features. “All you need to do is tell me where that facility is.”

Duran waited for that grip to release. When it did, he spit more blood out. “I’m not . . . protecting him.”

“Then what are you doing?”

“Making sure you don’t cheat me of what’s mine.” Duran smiled, aware he must look deranged. “You kill him . . . I don’t get to.”

Chalen crossed his strong-man arms over his barrel chest. He was dressed in weapons, whatever clothes he had on underneath the holsters of guns and knives largely hidden by metal. No daggers, though. He’d never been Black Dagger Brotherhood material and not just because he was a mutt according to his lineage: Even among black market thieves, there was a code of conduct.

Not for Chalen. He had no code. Not in the Old Country, and not during his last century here in the New World.

There was only one male who was worse.

“I will break you,” Chalen said in a low voice. “And I will enjoy it.”

Duran laughed in a wheeze. “You have no idea what I’ve already been through—”

Chalen swung that palm wide again, the crack so heavy Duran lost his vision, everything going checkerboard. And then there was a drop in blood pressure, his brain emptying of oxygen, floaty disassociation riding in, a foggy savior buffering the suffering.

The sound of chains moving and gears shifting brought him back to reality. A section of the sweaty stone wall rose by inches, the great weight ascending like a gate, revealing a corridor . . .

Revealing a male who was naked but for a black hood that covered his head.

“I will make you pray for death,” Chalen said. “And when you give me what I need, you will think back to this moment. When you could have saved yourself from so much.”

Duran exhaled in a gurgle. His body was on fire, the pain burning through his veins, turning him into a semi-living, kind-of-breathing, sort-of-conscious incubator for agony.

But fuck Chalen.

“Do what you will,” he mumbled. “I’m not going to give you a goddamn thing.”

“I will make you wish you were never born.”

As the hooded male came forward, Duran was dragged over and slammed face-first down onto a table, his torso bent parallel to the floor. Turning his face to the side, he smelled the spoiled meat and rancid fat embedded in the fibers of the planks.

“Already there, asshole.”

Quick Review(again): The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Magical, enchanting and fantastical!

I’ve heard lots of people talking about this book since it released last year, especially Urania. And I know it’s already been reviewed, but I just had to shout it’s praises for myself. To be honest, The Bear and the Nightingale didn’t seem like something I’d like, since I mostly read romance, but it was always in the back of my mind. When I decided to start a book club, this book was one of the books I was hoping we’d get to read this winter. So for our December book we chose this. I just finished reading it and I can’t believe I waited so long. Seriously.

“All my life, I have been told to ‘go’ and ‘come’. I am told how I will live, and I am told how I must die. I must be a man’s servant and a mare for his pleasure, or I must hide myself behind walls and surrender my flesh to a cold, silent god. I would walk into the jaws of hell itself, if it were a path of my own choosing. I would rather die tomorrow in the forest than live a hundred years of the life appointed to me.”

That quote pretty much sums up the reason I loved Vasya. She is done waiting and sets out to do something for herself.

I can’t put my finger on why I loved this book. Perhaps it’s the Russian folklore aspect. Or maybe the odd characters. Or it may be that I can tell that there’s more epicness coming and that’s what made it such a page turner. Not sure, but this is definitely in my top 10 of this year. I can’t recommend it enough.

And now I need to read book two. I need to know what happens next!!

~Melpomene

Buy The Bear and the Nightingale https://amzn.to/2L6qBbL