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

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Review: All That Makes Life Bright by Josi S. Kilpack


I’ll admit, I had no idea who Harriet Beecher Stowe was before I picked up this book. Thank you, Google, for enlightening me. Once I started reading, I realized that this was not the usual fictional account of her entire life, but more of her life as a mother and wife.

Harriet wanted to be a writer, but when she finds herself a mom of three children under the age of 2, it’s more than she can handle. At first I was a little mad at her for not “stepping up” and being a mom first, but the more I read, the more I realized that she was doing the best she could. And when she could do no more, her body gave up for a while and she was forced to step back and relinquish her duties and recoup. Times were different back then. You were “supposed” to do it all and not complain, but I bet there were many struggling just like her, but were too afraid to do anything about it.

Her marriage was again, just like many marriages at the time. The man expected to walk in and the house be clean and food on the table, but without having to do any of the household duties. As I was reading, I wanted to ring Calvin’s neck for not helping, but then I had to remember the times were different. But, I will say that after a while he stepped up and did what needed to be done, in order to have a healthy wife and a happy family.

This was not my usual romance, in the sense that they were already married. I felt this story was more than about love, it was about life, real life. This touched me very deeply. I, as with many moms out there, struggle with finding a balance being a wife and mother while not losing our own identities. Harriet struggled with that greatly. Watching her was like looking in a mirror. Or better yet, being a fly on my wall, when my children were toddlers.

~Melpomene

Buy All That Makes Life Bright http://amzn.to/2wOBRUZ

Review: The Secret of India Orchid by Nancy Campbell Allen


What a fun story! I was not expecting this at all.

Two years ago Sophia Elliot received a letter from Anthony Blake that changed her whole world. She was stunned and hurt and never thought she’d see him again. But when her travels bring her in the path of Anthony, she tries to keep her heart hardened to him, but it’s just not possible. She loves him and knew he still loved her, so she was always trying to get a rise out at him. It was cute to watch as he suffered so much.

Anthony has regretted leaving Sophia, but he had no choice. He left to protect her and her family. When she shows up on his doorstep, he tries to maintain his cover, but that doesn’t seem to work out as well as he’d hoped. He loved her with all his heart and knew he broke her heart when he left. But when her life is put in danger, he has to solve this investigation and fast, or else she’ll be taken away from him permanently.

I loved Anthony and Sophia. They were the perfect team to solve this. She was determined to help, even thought he wanted her far away from danger. She knew she could help so she jumped right in. Stubborn girl. 🙂

I thought this story would be just a second chance romance, or sorts, but it was so much more. It was filled with lies, intrigue, kidnapping and murder, plus a nice little romance tossed in.

~Melpomene

Buy The Secret of India Orchid: http://amzn.to/2vYKitA

Review: The Vicar’s Daughter by Josi S. Kilpack

Oh, my swooning heart! This book was so sweet and romantic. I swear there were butterflies in my belly the entire time. The Vicar’s Daughter had a very “Emma” feel to it, but with a twist.

Cassie hated the rules her parent’s instilled that only one daughter at a time would be put in society. So in order to speed things along she tries to help her very anxious sister in making a match. But as things began to progress, she starts to get feelings for the man she wanted for her sister. She tried to put her them aside but when push comes to shove, her heart can’t take the pain.

Mr. Glenside is new to society so he’s learning the ins and outs and soon finds himself caught up in a situation that had only one outcome. But in order to be true to his heart he must make the unfortunate decision and cause himself lots of trouble and gossip to be flung his way. Not exactly how he wanted to come out in society, but some things can’t be helped.

I loved Cassie. Her heart was in the right place, but her execution was flawed. Royally flawed It’s was very hard to see her suffer. But as a vicar’s daughter there was no escaping it. SHe was well known,therefore people were going to know what happened. She had me in tears towards the end. Gah!! My heart was invested and was wishing for no more suffering.

As I’ve said before, I love this Proper Romance series. This one had more religious tones than the many of them. Since it was about a vicar’s family, I’m not surprised. If you love historical romances with all feels, then I recommend you grab this one.

~Melpomene

Buy The Vicar’s Daughter HERE

Review: The Lady of the Lakes by Josi S. Kilpack

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“Love comes from the connection of souls.”

This type of story is probably the most difficult for me to read, in the sense that I know it’s fiction, but it’s based on real life. I’ve heard of Sir Walker Scott, but I really don’t know who he is. Does that make sense? When I sat down I braced myself for heartache. Last year I read another story by Josi and was left completely gutted. I knew she was going to do it again, and I was right.

SYNOPSIS
One is his first love.
The other is his best love.
Which will be Walter’s true love?

Walter Scott has three passions: Scotland, poetry, and Mina Stuart. Though she is young and they are from different stations in society, Walter is certain their love is meant to be. For years, he has courted her through love letters. She is the sunshine of his soul.

Though Mina shares Walter’s love of literature and romantic temperament, it’s hard for her to know if she truly loves him or if she has only been dazzled by his flattery. When she meets the handsome and charming William Forbes, her heart is challenged. Who will she choose?

But as every poet knows, “the course of true love never did run smooth,” and on a windy morning in the lake country, Walter meets Charlotte.

At twenty-six, Charlotte Carpenter believes she will never find love. After all, she is a Catholic-born Frenchwoman living in London with a family history shadowed by scandal. Though quiet, practical, and determined to live a life of independence, her heart longs for someone to love her and a place to call home.

Passion and promises collide as Walter, Mina, and Charlotte must each decide the course for their futures. What are they each willing to risk to find love and be loved in return?

Let me tell you, Walter stole my heart. He was so romantic and normally I’m not into mushy gushy romance, but this made me weep with happiness. And of course, sadness and frustration at times.

Walter fell for Mina so fast it made his head spin. I think she was a bit too young to understand what love really was, so she wasn’t fully prepared to open her heart to him. He wanted to be loved by her but she just frustrated him, and me, if I’m being honest. He deserved better. No one should have their hearts ripped out like she did to his.

He deserved Charlotte. Charlotte was simple. She wanted independence. She wanted love and happiness. When she meets Walter she expected them to be just acquaintances or even friends, but no more. After all, they come from two totally different worlds. In her eyes, she could never marry someone like him, or even be welcomed into his family. Walter may not have a ton of money, but he was willing to do what it took to secure himself and a bride, whenever he found one. And he eventually found one in Charlotte.

Walter needed to find a way past his hurt and open his heart to love. While it wasn’t smooth sailing for this couple, love found a way.

I can’t wait to see what story Josi is going to kill me with next.

~Melpomene

Buy The Lady of the Lakes HERE

Review: Christmas Greetings from the Presidents

president As we fly through the holiday season, I like to pick up a few different holiday themed books to keep me in the mood. When I saw this one, I knew it would be something right up my family’s alley. All things political are the theme around here lately, so I figured we could use a dose of the goodness, from a few of the past presidents, to bring a bit of positive back in.

Christmas greetings is a compilation of various Christmas addresses from Coolidge to Obama. Inside you’ll find tidbits about the world at the time, from the Depression to 9/11. It also includes pictures of the National trees and some of the activities that were happening at the White House. My favorite pictures are the family pictures, whether staged or candid. They show the lighter side of the presidents.

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If you have a history buff in your family, or perhaps you have a little Christmas nut, like myself, grab this book.

~Melpomene

Grab Christmas Greetings from the Presidents http://amzn.to/2fZy8bl

Review: Fablehaven Book of Imagination by Brandon Mull

15135731_1299809816725483_7146308628241356337_n This isn’t my usual review. In fact, this was probably my least stressful review ever. A book of activities. No thought required. Easy peasy. Well, some did require thought, but don’t tell my kids. They may yell at me that they’re “learning” something instead of it being all about playing. When I first saw this Book of Imagination, I knew this would be perfect excuse to have fun and learn at the same time.

My kids have wanted fantasy books, that aren’t fill with romance, so when I stumbled upon the Fablehaven series, I knew this would be a hit. So far, I’m right. My daughter is reading book one right now and she is liking it. That’s huge in my house. We struggle to find books that they like, so we don’t have to force them to read.
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If you have tweens, or young teens, and you’re looking for something to give them a little escape from the real world, I recommend this activity book. Even if they haven’t read the series, they can still do activities. So add this to their stockings and make them happy. There’s recipes and activities to cure boredom and make the holidays run smoother. In fact, I brought this book with us when we went out to eat and it made the time pass much faster and there was no fighting. We all worked on a page and it was fun. We did one of the “How many words can you find?” pages and the next thing we knew, our food was arriving. Working your brain makes time fly. 🙂

This is my favorite page, as I was scrolling through. That girl of mine is such a stinker. 🙂
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~Melpomene

Grab the Fablehaven Book of Imagination http://amzn.to/2g7rvr5

Check out Sadie Mull’s video on how to make the wizard’s slime from one of the recipes in the book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruaUdPKNmBY&t=6s

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