Quick review:Dream Bites Cookbook by Kristen Ashley

Dream Bites was a such a unique reading experience! For those who’ve never read a Kristen Ashley book they don’t realize how many recipes are scattered throughout them. She has some in her website but it’s nice to have some in book form. I also like the super short stories that accompanied each set of recipes. I plan on making a few of them myself as soon as I go grocery shopping for the ingredients.

I love that half of the proceeds of this cookbook go to the Rock Chick Nation Charities. What a great idea!!

It was nice to visit with each Dream Team, even those couples that aren’t officially a couple yet. And one surprise guest made super smiley. I see fun things happening in the future. AND I AM HERE FOR IT.

~Melpomene

Grab a copy here: https://amzn.to/393Gv4W

Review: Brass Carriages and Glass Hearts by Nancy Campbell Allen

This is the 4th book in the Proper Romance Steampunk series. While it’s technically an interconnected standalone, I highly recommend you read the others first to get the full effect. Plus you’ll get to meet some of the current characters.

Emme is all about full rights for everyone, including shifters. Unfortunately there are those who disagree and have made their feelings known, in the way of a death threat. So Inspector Oliver Reed is charged with being her bodyguard. After dealing with the aftermath of her many protests, he is less than thrilled with being forced to be around her even more.

Watching these two together was so fun. They circled around each other for a while. It was bit like enemies to lovers, which is my favorite sub genre of romance. They clearly didn’t feel good and happy thoughts in the beginning. But the more they’re put together the more they come to the realization that they care for each other.

Plenty of butterflies in the belly moments sprinkled with a few heart stopping ones makes this the perfect sweet romance. I really hope we got more from this world!

~Melpomene

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Review: Wild Fire(Chaos #6.5) by Kristen Ashley

It felt so good to be back in the Chaos world.

For being a short book this one sure did pack a lot in. We met Dutch and Jagger a while back so it was nice to be able to see how they turned out.

Dutch made quite an impression on me. He didn’t go off the deep end or anything like that. He seemed even keeled, with a good head on his shoulders. Best part, he’s a reader! Heck, first time we see him he’s at Fortnums then at King’s Shelter. That’s when I knew this was gonna be fun. He’s determined to help a young man out before life grabs hold and pulls him down. What he never planned on was meeting Georgie in the middle of that.

Georgie and Dutch got off on the wrong foot but sometimes that bit of spice it what you need to get things moving in the direction they were meant to.

I loved watching these two together. They were good for each other. When she kept calling this rough and tough biker dude “cute” I giggled. They helped each other out quite a bit and it was nice to see a strong woman doing her thing, and at the same time, letting this alpha dude so his.

I’m a huge fan of Kristen Ashley’s books. I can’t get enough of them. Chaos and Rock Chicks were my favorite series. So when she blessed us with more from those worlds, I am all over that. And I’m excited to see that we’ll be coming for Jagger’s story later. Can’t wait!

~Melpomene


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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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