Quick review: To Catch an Earl by Kate Bateman

I love stories like this! They’re not exactly enemies to lovers but more like hero and villain in a sense. She’s a thief and he’s a Bow Street Runner set out to capture her, only he doesn’t know it’s her. When he realizes it is, that’s when things get fun.

Their chemistry was off the charts. But it’s hard to stay on the right side of the law when you’re falling for someone who’s on the wrong side. These two were made for each other. It was so fun watching their game of cat and mouse.

And of course the side characters are always a nice addition. I look forward to their stories as well.

This was book two in a series, but they’re interconnected standalones, so you can read them in any order. But I definitely recommend you read in order. It’s more fun that way.

~Melpomene

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Review: Daring and the Duke by Sarah MacLean


I have been dying for Ewan, the Duke of Marwick, and Grace’s story ever since I read the last book, Brazen and the Beast. There was so much hurt and emotions, you could feel it through the pages.

Ewan’s father was an evil man. He forced Ewan to make decisions that changed Grace and his brothers’ lives forever. So my stomach was in knots most of the time. The Bareknuckle Bastards have created this life for themselves, without the Duke’s help. They don’t need him or want him. They don’t want the heartache again, especially not for Grace. The brothers have protected her from him and they don’t want to see her hurt again.

No matter 20 years or 20 days, being separated from Grace has taken it’s toll on Ewan. He’ll do anything to find her and explain what happened all those years ago.

Grace has learned to live without him. She’s had a lot of experience making due. But she’s merely surviving, not living. She fulfills everyone’s dreams but her own. When the Duke finds her, her world is flipped. Everything she thought she knew about that night long ago, was wrong.

I loved these characters. They grew up together and know when to push each other and when to hold back. Watching them find their HEAs was definitely not easy, but in the end all things worked out.

~Melpomene

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Review: The Marriage Contract by Katee Robert


I’ve never read a Katee Robert book til now. To be honest, I have so many auto buy authors that I rarely try new ones. I just don’t have the time or money to take chances on books that I may not like. But during quarantine I didn’t have anywhere to go so I just a chance, and I’m so happy I did.

I’ve read a few mafia series and really enjoyed them. When I started The Marriage Contract I was pleasantly surprised to see it was mafia and then I knew I was gonna like it.

There was tension and emotion and of course romance. My heart was racing a few times but I couldn’t stop reading. Teague and Callie had some crazy chemistry. When we first see them together you just knew the sparks were about to explode. And I swear every time he calls her Angel, I melt into a puddle on the floor.

With three ruling families there’s bound to be tension around. So this was a nice set up to what the next books will be about. There’s so many siblings running around and I can tell their stories are gonna be fun. E07ecially the next book! Man, talk about sparks!

~Melpomene

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Review: A Dark and Stormy Knight by Kerrigan Byrne


Boy does Kerrigan know how to pack a powerful punch in her prologues!! But we needed to see what motivated Morley to become the man he was today.

I’ve been anxiously waiting for his story since we first met him. He’s been there from the beginning and I wanted him to find his HEA. Morley has lived his life without attachments. Anyone could be used against him so he stayed away from them, but one chance meeting flipped his life upside down.

Prudence has been told what she must do all her life, as women of those times were. But she decided to take one night and choose her own fate. Too bad, fate has a way of messing around with people. Little did she know how much her life would change.

Morley and Pru had an instant attraction. From that fateful day they were destined for each other. I loved watching him fight it because he thought that would be best but the heart wants what the heart wants.

This story had so many swoony moments, I was in heaven. I am extremely happy that after helping others find love, it was Morley’s turn and he found his.

While this could be read as a standalone, it’s better enjoyed if you read the full series. These Victorian Rebels are one of the my favorite historical romance series ever! Filled with anti heroes that you can’t help but fall in love with.

~Melpomene

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Quick review: Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin


A solid 4 star book that borders on the mature YA/NA line. A slow burn romance that made my heart all squishy.

I loved watching Lou and Reid together. She’s a witch that is hiding in plain sight and trying not to get caught. And Reid is a Chasseur, who’s soul job is to hunt down and kill witches. So when they’re caught in a compromising situation and forced to marry, that when things start to get crazy. She must keep her secret from Reid, but spending so much time with him definitely doesn’t make things easier.

I’ll admit for the first quarter I thought it was an okay book. I wasn’t sure about these characters. By the time I made it to the halfway mark I was sitting up and paying close attention. Some parts were kinda silly and a bit of the humor felt forced. But by the time I was done, I wish I waited til closer to the second book’s release cuz I need to know what’s gonna happen next! All in all it really was an enjoyable debut and I look forward to seeing these characters grow and how they handle the secrets that were revealed.

If you’re looking for a good mature YA/NA fantasy with witches and magic, then add this book to your TBR.

~Melpomene

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Review: Where the Lost Wander by Amy Harmon


A beautiful story about life and love on the Oregon Trail.

Now, I’m not usually one to stay up too late reading. My eyes wanna close around 10:30. But when I read Where the Lost Wander, I couldn’t stop reading. I stayed up til almost 1 am anxiously flipping pages and trying to keep my tears from dropping onto them. I don’t remember the last time I read a book with so much overwhelming obstacles that had me glued to each word.

Life in a wagon train is brutal, both the land and people. But the May family set out with a train for a better life. With everything they own they are determined to make a better life from the one they are leaving behind. They knew it would be hard but they didn’t expect this.

Naomi May is a 19 yr old recent widow who is ready for a new life. She wants a family of her own so she sets out with her parents, and four brothers, for what will be a new beginning. She had no idea that traveling on this trail would change her forever. Nothing could prepare her for all the hardship and death she would surrounded by. But among that was also love.

“I worry sometimes that you will get tired of carrying all of us, John.”

“I would carry you to the ends of the earth.”

John Lowry is a man from two worlds. He’s a half Pawnee and half white man trying to balance between them both. But he had no idea when he was signing up for the trail how his life would change forever.

This story was harrowing and heartbreaking and yet so very inspiring. There were parts that had tears pouring down my face and some wishing I could reach in and hug Naomi. Honestly, the suffering was unfathomable. I don’t think I could’ve been as strong as she was. No matter what what thrown at her, she fought, even when she felt like giving up. If you read From Sand and Ash then this is right up your alley. Another story based on real people. These are types of stories I wish more writers would write. Amy Harmon will always be one of my favorites and I will always recommend her books.

~Melpomene

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Review: The Sinner(BDB#18) by J.R. Ward


The Sinner is the book we diehard BDB fans have been waiting for. This is what I would call a bridge book. If you’ve been reading these books from the very beginning, you will be very happy to see how all the things have worked up to this. And if you’re new to the world, J.R. Ward said you could just read Dark Lover, The King and then this one. But really, who would you wanna do that? I would recommend you start from the beginning.

This book is from three POVs. Jo, Syn and Butch. And let me tell you, I liked Butch before. He wasn’t my favorite, but I liked his attitude and snark. While reading this, I discovered a whole new love for him. There’s a lot going on in his head and I’m glad we see this side of him.

Syn and Jo’s relationship is a slow burn that will erupt and honestly made me tear up. Syn’s background is a doozy and I’m so happy he found Jo. She will definitely help him work through it.

Jo’s background is finally announced and will also bring on the tears. She’s been so lonely and I love when she finds out she’ll never be alone again.

For those who read the last page first, DON’T. Please don’t. It’s a build up throughout the entire book and when you get to the end it make you wanna stand up and applause. While wiping away your tears. I just love this series.

~Melpomene

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Review: House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas


Roller coaster ride doesn’t even come close to what this book felt like.

I was so excited to start a new series my Sarah Maas! I’ve loved her Throne of Glass and ACOTAR series so much, I had high hopes for this one. I knew this would give me all the feels, and I was right. Plenty of heart stopping moments mixed with a few teary ones had me at the edge of my seat. I wasn’t expecting to cry so soon in the series, but dang, tears were pouring down my cheeks.

I’ll admit the first 15 chapters, or so, were a struggle for me. I had to force myself to keep going. Sarah dropped a lot of information on us and it just didn’t grab me. I was used to the instant pull of ToG and ACOTAR. This didn’t compare. I didn’t help that I didn’t like Bryce at all in the beginning. Heck, it took me til half the book before she started to grow on me and the last section to actually like her.

That being said, I liked the interaction between Bryce and Hunt. The banter was fun to watch. And seeing them slowly heal and grow together was exactly what I was hoping for. But I wish there was more heat. For an adult book this lacked in that department. We got more f-bombs and adult talk, but this still felt like a NA book. I kept waiting and waiting for more adult situations but was left disappointed. Not that I only read for those but I expected more in an “adult” series. So here’s to hoping book two knocks our socks off. Among other things…😉

She put a hand on her chest. Over her heart. “I was waiting for you—in here.”

The amount of growth these characters went through, from the first page to the last, was enormous. That’s the type of story I like reading about. I was happy to see this first ARC all wrapped up neatly in this book. There was closure on a few things but it also was left opened enough to keep us coming back. I look forward to see what happens in the next chapter of their lives.

~Melpomene

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Review: Finding Him by Rachel VanDyken


Ever since I finished Stealing Her, book one, I’ve been wanting Julian’s story. This did not disappoint.

Waking up from a coma, and finding out the world kept on spinning without you, has a way of changing a person. Julian thought his life would have more of an impact but sadly it didn’t. And then to lose his mom in the way he did, he feels left out and alone now.

Keaton was trying to move on from the death of her true love and somehow found herself in the path of Julian. Definitely not what she was expecting from a quiet week in the mountains.

The chemistry between these two was so very hot. It’s like something clicked and, no matter what they did, their hearts wouldn’t let go. They were each other’s missing piece.

I loved seeing the progression Julian made with Bridge and Isobel also. Waking up the way he did had to have hurt but he grew to realize the mistakes he made and hurt he caused. I am so happy with how these books ended. I’m typing with a big smile on my face.

If you like a romance filled with swoony scenes and so many feels, then I highly recommend you pick up this book and the one before it.

~Melpomene

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Review: Wild at Heart(Wild #2) by K.A. Tucker


I am in the happiest of book fogs now. What a wonderful story. Please don’t read book unless you read The Simple Wild first. This book is a continuation.

I’ll admit I was a wee bit nervous after the beauty that was The Simple Wild. I wanted nothing bad to happen to Jonah and Calla. In my eyes they lived happily ever after. But that’s now how life works now is it?

Wild at Heart was about finding that balance of creating happiness for you and not just with that special someone. Calls learns there’s more to Alaska than just Jonah. I gotta think that many of us would have the same reactions. She loves Jonah so much but she feels like something is missing and until she finds what that is, she won’t find contentment.

I am so happy we got a little bit more form these two. I loved watching them grow together and create their piece of heaven. I loved the new faces and was so happy to see some old ones. I can honestly say that I hope we get more from them. There’s a couple of HEAs I wouldn’t mind reading about.

K.A. Tucker makes Alaska sound so beautiful that I wish I was there. The small town setting where everyone looks out for each other, like a family. *sigh* I loved this book. I hope we get more from these characters and perhaps the side ones as well.

~Melpomene

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