Review: Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

Once upon a time, in a land long since burned to ash, there lived a young princess who loved her kingdom…

Epic, awesome, emotional roller coaster of a book. The end has come and it’s not without heartache and hope.

My emotions were all over the place. I got chills so many times. I could see these scenes playing out like a movie, the battle soundtrack playing in my ear, the characters going through heartache after heartache, it felt real to me. So many times I had step away and collect myself so I could keep going. This book was an experience like none other. In fact, when I finished, I told my family that I haven’t felt this, “What am I supposed to now?” kinda feeling since I first read Hunger Games. I’m at a loss on what to do.

“You do not yield.”

I still have all kinds of feelings flowing through my veins. Sadness is probably at the top, but not the for the reasons you may think. You see, I was late to this series. I discovered it at Heir of Fire and introduced it to my kids at Queen of Shadows. So for the past few years we’ve talked and experienced these books together. Even my son, who’s an anti reader, enjoyed these. But it’s my daughter who I really had fun with. I had to buy an extra copy for her so we could buddy read. In fact, I gave her the day off of school so we could read it on release day. #HomeschoolPerk We laughed and cried and raged together. This is a memory I’ll always have. So the reason I’m sad is that now we don’t have anything else to look forward to. This was her favorite series and now it’s done.

I bet this is how the Harry Potter parents felt when the last book released. The end of an era. Time to move on and grow up. I don’t think I like this.

Because of all the above, this review is a little bit different. A thank you of sorts. Not to spoilery, but I’d wait to continue on until after you finish the book. Just in case.

Aelin, thank you for rising up and taking the world on your shoulders and doing the best you can to make it better. Should this happen again, don’t keep all your ideas to yourself! Let others help you!

Rowan, thank you for loving Aelin and showing her how to the best person she can be. I’m so happy she found you right at the moment she needed you most.

Chaol, thank you for realizing your mistakes and doing everything in your power to fix them. You’re going to be an amazing helpmate with that kind of heart.

Dorian, thank you for reaching down in your soul and discovering the great king we all knew you could be. I hope you have an epic HEA.

Manon, thank you for being so strong when you kept getting knocked down and showing us how to move on from such overwhelming heartbreak. I grew to love so much more than I did when we first met.

Aedion, thank you for being so steadfast in your love for your queen and cousin. Every family needs a member like you. But when your angry, take a deep breath before you say hurtful words. It’ll save you a lot of groveling later. 😉

Lysandra, thank you for being the best friend Aelin could ever ask for. You are strong and have the biggest heart. I am so happy you found them and they found you. I wish for you a very long and happy life.

I wanna say thank you, Sarah, for giving us this most epic of series. Thank you for this roller coaster ride that has lasted for these eight books. Thank you for giving me memories with my children that some parents don’t get. Thank you sharing this world with us. And I look forward to your next series and I’m anxious to read it.

~Melpomene

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Kingdom of Ash https://amzn.to/2CJqsJr

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Review: All My Life by Prescott Lane

Devlyn has loved Garrett for as long as she can remember. Even when he got another girl pregnant. Even when the mom left him to raise his child alone. Devlyn stood by him and helped him raise his daughter for the past 18 years, all the while he was clueless. He had no idea that his best friend was in love with him. But when he finds out, that’s when his life gets interesting.

I felt bad for Devlyn. I mean over 25 years in love with someone who didn’t “see” you that way. What a life! I don’t know if I could do that. My heart broke for her. I realize that the heart wants what the heart wants but she sure put up with a lot and got nothing in return.

When he finally has the light bulb moment, he acted like a teenager and that only hurts her more. I don’t think his brain wrapped around the idea of her as more than a friend. His life has been so focused on being a dad, and less on him being a man, I just don’t think he was ready for those feelings. It’s like he’s been stuck in a limbo for the past 18 years and didn’t know how to get out.

She always put his needs first. ALWAYS. What drove me crazy about that was she always gave him sex, even if she was upset. That mad me sad. She had all these feelings but never shared them. I wanted to smack their two heads together. But I just had to sit back and be patient.

I will say the romance was hot and sexy. The family times sweet and happy. I’m happy with how it ended but I wish it didn’t take a lifetime to realize what was right in front of you. Love is blind sometimes.

~Melpomene

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Review: Consumed by J.R Ward

Firefighters are hot!

Being a girl in the fire world isn’t easy, especially when your dad and brother both were/are the chief. That’s a lot to take on. And after an accident leaves her out of active fire duty, Anne finds herself as a fire inspector, investigating a series of arson set fires in her area. I feel as though she had a lot going on inside that wasn’t really brought up, or if it was, it was resolved rather quickly. I do hope we get more about her in the next book.

Now Danny… Was he perfect? No. But I do believe he’s working on it. Without saying much, I will say that I’m glad for the choices he made in the end. There’s more to him than we see here also. He has a lot of baggage. I’m glad we see more of him and Anne’s romance. That made my heart happy.

I know this may sound silly, but the part I loved the most was the sense of family. I realize some are actully related, but I’m not talking about them. The fire house is a family. They do things together and help each other out, no matter what. And when one is being a butthead, they all jump up to smack them back around. Silly, I know.

I was torn between 4 and 5 stars. While I LOVE firefighter stories, some parts of this seemed so far fetched. Maybe that’s the firewife in me, but there were a few parts that I found myself saying, “That would never happen!!” So I read it for the drama aspect. And that I liked. I am blaming my hubby for this. We can’t watch a movie or show without him critiquing, I don’t know how I didn’t expect it to leak onto me.

I’m partial to Ward’s BDB series, and not usually a fan of dramas, but I did enjoy this book and I’m curious to see where the next book goes. I have a few firefighters I wanna know more about. For some reason I went in thinking it was going to be a standalone, so I’m very happy it’s not. There’s a few opened ended story lines that I need more from.


On a side note, I was able to meet J.R. Ward this past weekend at Readers on the River. And let me tell you, if I never read her before, I would definitely start. She was the funniest, most gracious person. She even listened to me ramble on about my hubby and my felling about Consumed. I can’t wait till you guys read it.

~Melpomene

Buy Consumed https://amzn.to/2RfchR1

Have you preordered Consumed by J.R.Ward?

Do you love the Black Dagger Brotherhood as much as I do? Are you super excited to read The Savior as much as I am? If you answered yes to both of those questions, then you should preorder Consumed today, before it releases tomorrow. And fill out this form to receive an exclusive excerpt of The Savior. It’s gonna be epic. I can just feel it.

 

I was lucky enough to read Consumed already and I really liked it. As a firewife I am all over firefighter stories. And when I heard J.R. Ward was writing one, I knew I needed to read it! So if you like hot fireman and long hoses, then preorder right now.

 

 

Preorder form http://simonandschusterpublishing.com/consumed/

Also check out this funny 5-second challenge J.R. did about Consumed https://youtu.be/9m0s38v8-Zw

Preorder Consumed https://amzn.to/2RfchR1
~Melpomene

Review: Strong by Kylie Scott

“For a woman with so much pride, Martha, you have a very thin grasp of your worth.”

Let me start out by saying that this book can be read as a standalone. While it features characters from Kylie’s Stage Dive series, you can fully enjoy this without reading those. BUT, and I emphasize that, you really should read them. They’re super fun and have enough emotion weaved throughout them to make me very happy.

This story is ten years in the making. While Sam has always been in the background watching and waiting, Martha has been out front causing mayhem and grief. They are the epitome of opposites attract. I wanted to reach in numerous times and wring her neck. Martha has been watching the Stage Dive guys fall one by one but all the while she’s been watching their super hot bodyguard from the sidelines. She knows she’s all wrong for him, but she can’t stop the wanting.

Sam has been wanting Martha for 10 years. Hard to believe this spoiled, high maintenance girl would ever want him. But he’s not willing to wait any longer and sets his sight on her and slowly reels her in. Of course there are fireworks when this happens, and not just the beautiful, awe inspiring kind. The kind that blow things up and make you take cover.

Sam has the patience of a saint. Martha definitely didn’t make it easy but it was fun to watch. I’m glad that things worked out, and not just between her and Sam. She isn’t the most liked character and it’s been a long time coming and growing up, on her part. It was also fun to see the past characters join in the party and come together. love when series end like this.

~Melpomene

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Review: Dane’s Storm by Mia Sheridan

This is a book about survival, mentally and physically. From the prologue, I was instantly sucked in. I knew this was going to be a doozy of a story. My heart was in my stomach after those couple of pages. Whew!

Dane and Audra’s story is a heartbreaking one. What started out as a whirlwind romance eventually turned into heartbreak and resentment. What they went through, I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. The unimaginable pain they have lived with through the years is more than most can bare. They never imagined they’d get a second chance. But the heart wants what the heart wants.

“You weren’t my just my first love. You were my once-in-a-lifetime.”

When circumstances bring them together, Dane offers to fly them back home to resolve an issue, but no one expected his plane would go down and they would be fighting for their lives. While they’re trying to survive they are forced to come to terms with what made them break all those years ago. I wish it didn’t take a plane crash to bring them to this point, but sometimes fate likes to rattle us.

This story is told from both POVs and in the end, I found myself feeling more for Audra than I initially thought. She tends to be rough and tough and hold things inside, but it’s a defense mechanism. She knows once she opens herself up, all her walls will come crashing down. I am thankful that Dane took initiative and started to chip at her defenses. She wasn’t the only one hurting. Once she realized that her heart could start to heal.

“You must bloom.”

This is a standalone which was released as an audible first, but I’m reviewing the ebook. I haven’t listened to it yet. Not sure if this a fast read, since I’m a speed reader, but all I know is that I couldn’t stop. I needed to know they would be okay. I needed to know they would be healed, inside and out. I needed it. And I’m glad I found out. Mia Sheridan has this way of writing that makes you feel it all. All the pain and sadness, and then the joy. Can you epilogue? My heart is happy.

~Melpomene

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Review: Promises and Primroses by Josi S. Kilpack

Another Proper Romance to sink your teeth into. I can’t get enough of these. This is the first in the Mayfield Family series. What a way to start. The moment I opened the book, I couldn’t put it down. I was instantly sucked in.

Elliot doesn’t like the direction his family is headed. So he comes up with the idea of a marriage campaign to bring them out of the scandals and to erase the many mistakes they are making. He remembers making the worst mistake of his life and he doesn’t want his nieces and nephews to suffer as he did. He wants them happy and respectable. He’s he’s going to start with his eldest nephew, Peter.

Peter is widower and a father of two young girls. He’s looking for a governess, not a wife. No matter what his uncle is hoping for, her is just happy being a father and a dog breeder. Yes, this book has puppies. YAY! When all his options are taken away, he is stuck with a young lady who, frankly, is too pretty to be a governess. But the crazy thing is, she’s perfect. Julia is really good with his daughters, and they love her and are learning from her. Plus she has the added bonus of being good with dogs, which definitely comes in handy on more than one occasion.

Now everything may look perfect, but when Julia’s mom, Amelia, discovers that her daughter is now a governess in the household of someone related to the man who broke her heart, she is determined to get her away. She doesn’t want what happened to her to happen to Julia.

Not that I condone Amelia’s actions, but I understand why she responded the way she did. She has lived a happy life, even after her husband died, but she’ll never forget the heartache Elliot caused. I feel as their story was a nice little bonus. Two stories for the price of one. It was sweet and sad, but I loved it.

But my favorite was watching Peter slowly come to the realization that he doesn’t need to be alone. He may have loved his wife very much, but that doesn’t mean her can’t find love again. Especially one that fits in his household. He was so adamant that he would be content alone, it was fun to see him fall in love.

Now, I don’t know when we’ll get more of the Mayfield Family, but I hope it’s soon. I love series based on big families. And since the marriage campaign is based on love, I know it’s gonna be sweet.

~Melpomene

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