Review: The Bridgertons by Julia Quinn

As some of you may know, I’ve spent almost this entire year reading historical romances. I can’t get enough. My most recent binged series was The Bridgertons by Julia Quinn. Funny thing was, I had zero intentions about reading them. In fact, since I consider myself a late in life reader, I never even heard of these. But I had a friend who posted some 1-star reviews that claimed there was too much sex in them. Well now, since I love love, I figured it was my duty to see if they were correct in their rants. They weren’t. And I’m a little disappointed in that, if I’m being honest. They were a slow burn type of romance, not that I’m complaining. I don’t know what these people were talking about.

This series is about eight siblings and how they each meet their true loves. This is plenty of heartache and romance and lots and lots of banter. I was pretty much reading with a silly smile on my face the entire time. I’m not even kidding. The banter was spot on. I adore books like these. Love is important in life, but without the funny, it’s rather boring. So, if you were born under a rock, like myself, and never read these books, go and add these to your tbr right.

The one thing you need to know is that each book has a bonus epilogue that was written after the books were all done. So there may be a few minor spoilers, like who the love interests are, of the future couples. It didn’t bother me. It just made me wanna read faster. Which is probably why I had to buy a few of these, since my library was taking too long to give them to me. I was impatient. Man, I really liked these books.

I’m so glad those 1-star whiners were wrong.

~Melpomene

THE DUKE AND I http://amzn.to/2ADB21v
THE VISCOUNT WHO LOVED ME http://amzn.to/2j2qBQH *My favorite*
AN OFFER FROM A GENTLEMAN http://amzn.to/2j3uPHV
ROMANCING MISTER BRIDGERTON http://amzn.to/2j2TtIE
TO SIR PHILLIP, WITH LOVE http://amzn.to/2zYePK5
WHEN HE WAS WICKED http://amzn.to/2ADAEzY
IT’S IN HIS KISS http://amzn.to/2ADUPxw
ON THE WAY TO THE WEDDING http://amzn.to/2j2h2Bn

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Review: Sweet Tea and Sympathy by Molly Harper

Margot Cary had been curious about her biological dad for a long time, but nothing ever tempted her enough to leave big city life for a pack of estranged relatives and their rural southern lake life. Until a giant embarrassment at work got her fired – and blackballed from the industry. When a McCready relative offered her a job, she reluctantly went for it.

I loved that Margot took her job seriously at the Funeral Home/Bait Shop. I mean, this girl gave 100% every day. She even showed up in heels. I think Harper did a fantastic job with the cousin relationships, making them believable and three-dimensional without casting a shadow over the main events. And the main events? Meeting her dad of course, and … drum roll … a little sweet southern romance. Except the guy is pretty much just as southern as she is. I appreciated that Harper had Margot stay true to her non-southern-belle self!

This book had a little bit of humor (perfect milieu in the funeral home), and a lot of spunk. One liners abounded as Margot tried to take over running a town event. I think I also read a few Bless Your Hearts, and Harper provided some physical humor as well. All that fun was a good respite from the ever serious issue of Margot wanting to repair the relationship with her dad. Margot even used humor herself when uncertain about her romantic situation.

All in all, I loved this slice of southern life, with fresh characters I believed in, a big and loving family to find comfort in, and a couple of city folk who were making lake life their own.

-calliope

Buy SWEET TEA AND SYMPATHY

Murder Over Mochas by Caroline Fardig

Solid, cute, cozy mystery with a dead guy, an amateur sleuth, an ex-fiancé, an ex-boyfriend, a potential boyfriend, and a couple of cops. Oh – and a coffee shop! I’m going to admit, I often choose books based on their covers, and I chose this one for the coffee. #yesidid

The protagonist Juliet is likable and genuine. I liked that I could envision her expressions and feel her exasperation. The police officers and a few other secondary characters were a little bit one dimensional to me, but I didn’t mind, as I was busy trying to solve the mystery before they did. I liked Juliet’s best friend Pete, also. He’s a sturdy, reliable dude – and every cozy mystery needs a Pete.

Fardig did a nice job weaving a creative, fresh mystery with just enough twists and turns to keep it interesting. I was onto the perp before Juliet was, but it still took me a good while to do it, and I had fun from beginning to end.

-calliope

Buy MURDER OVER MOCHAS

Review: Lies Jane Austen Told Me by Julie Wright

Another Proper Romance book that had my heart all fluttery.

I’ll admit that I’ve never read a Jane Austen book. I’ve seen the Kiera Knightley version of Pride and Prejudice though, so I’m hoping that gives me a half point at least. But I still like the idea of Mr. Darcy and of finding your true love.

When I first picked up Lies Jane Austen Told Me, I was rather curious. Was this going to be a retelling of sorts? How will this happen in modern day time? That’s not exactly what happened, and I’m quite happy about that.

Emma wants to be loved, plain and simple. She’s has a bit of baggage she carries around with her, though she doesn’t realize it. She believes Jane Austen is right in all things love related. But when things fall apart she thinks Jane Austen lied and almost gives up. That is until she gets to know Lucas.

Besides the way Emma meets him, which was the most embarrassing moment in her life, I loved these two together. I liked the fact that these two weren’t insta-lovers. It was a slow burn. What started out as friends/co-workers, turned out to be much more. Now it wasn’t easy, nor was is always fun, but it was so worth it in the end. Lucas was quite the guy. He knew the right things to say and when to say them, when it came to Emma. He has his own baggage, you could say. So he isn’t exactly looking for love when he stumbles upon Emma.

Since this a Proper Romance, it’s definitely a clean romance. Super sweet and super swoony and with a bit of angst thrown in. I like Julie’s writing style and look forward to adding more of her titles to my TBR.

~Melpomene

Buy Lies Jane Austen Told Me http://amzn.to/2zpEKNB

Review: Bless Her Heart by Sally Kilpatrick 

Some people might rate this book 4 or 5 stars for the authentic southern characters that Kilpatrick introduces with such aplomb you feel like you’ve known these people forever. Some readers might fall in love with “fun Posey” who uses the 7 deadly sins as a guide to make up for 10 sucky years married to a controlling, manipulative jerkhead.  And some readers might call this book a winner for its excellent writing – and easy dialogue among a hippie mom, sisters named after natural elements, and a best friend who literally saves more than one day. 

I’m giving Bless Her Heart a bunch of fat stars because it made me so sufficiently mad at Chad Love, so ticked off that he thought it was okay to treat any human being the way that he treated his wife, and so angered with a patriarchy that thinks “Wives, submit to your husbands” isn’t part of a speech that says “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her … Love your wives like your own bodies,” that now I am taking steps to help some people who are in situations like Posey’s. Sally Kilpatrick, any gratitude that comes my way from women who are tired of being controlled and interrogated and mentally beaten down – that gratitude is due to you. 

-calliope

Buy BLESS HER HEART

Review: A Vicarage Christmas by Kate Hewitt

I knew I couldn’t go wrong when I saw Christmas, Vicarage, and Kate Hewitt all on the same cover. Then to find out there are four sisters in the family… I was delighted! So this first book in a series is Anna’s story. She reluctantly returns home for the holidays – home to the vicarage where her parents live.  When things at home get too overwhelming, Anna’s introverted self traipses down to the local pub to get a moment of respite. She finds some kind of respite alright – on a barstool next to a handsome, witty, sensitive, take charge kinda guy – and from there on in her life has changed. 

Obvi I love the superficial parts of this book, but I also enjoyed the sister dynamics, the push and pull of a long-standing marriage, and the self-discovery of a woman who spent quite a many years avoiding her feelings. And I’m pretty excited to read three more! I think this quadogy or whatever it’s called really works for me: enough of a series to motivate me to get invested, but not too long of a series where storylines seem to repeat after a while. So fun. 

-calliope 

Buy A VICARAGE CHRISTMAS

Review: Dark Sword series by Donna Grant

I spent last week binge reading this series. For some crazy reason, I read the two series that followed this, Dark Warriors and Dark Kings, but I never read this one. So weird.

The Dark Sword series is about Scottish warriors who have gods living inside of them. The gods come to the strongest in each clan. The men had no idea they had god inside of them until the evil Deirdre took them captive and unbound them. These book are their stories of how they escaped and how they vowed to seek revenge and destroy her.

Each story is filled with action and adventure and, most of all, love. There is the perfect woman for each man. And of course, then men don’t feel worthy, due to there being a god inside of them. They’re afraid of the god taking over and making them evil, so they try to stay away from the women they want. And plus, Deirdre will do anything to hurt them and bring them back under her mountain. She wants their power and will kill anyone that gets in her way.

Since I read the first series last, I saw so many familiar faces. It makes me want to do a massive reread, but I just don’t have the time. *pretend I’m making a sad face* You’ll feel the same way once you read these also.

If you like a world filled with magic and druids and sexy highlanders, then this is the series for you.

~Melpomene

Grab the full series
Dangerous Highlander~ http://amzn.to/2zc8w56
Forbidden Highlander~ http://amzn.to/2x0r7Ax
Wicked Highlander~ http://amzn.to/2xJzy7A
Untamed Highlander~ http://amzn.to/2yrc5qm
Shadow Highlander~ http://amzn.to/2zeN9Qx
Darkest Highlander~ http://amzn.to/2yNU9rA