Review: The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell


Exciting and magical and characters you can’t help but root for.

What a wild ride!! I decided to listen to this instead of reading it and I wish I read it first, then listened to it. While loved the narrator and how she made the voices come alive, I wasn’t able to highlight all my quotes, like I usually do. So flipping back and forth, if I got tripped up in all the excitement, wasn’t possible. But I will say that this book was very exciting and kept my attention. I wanted to sit in my room and do nothing but listen. The story had me on the edge of my seat.

Time travel and magic…I never knew how much I would love it. It was so fascinated with all the characters. They all had their secrets and personal missions. I had no idea who to trust!

Esta and Harte were super fun to get to know. The banter between these two, was super fun. Esta reminded me of my daughter, with all her sassiness. I really want her to succeed in her mission. And I look forward to what happens to her in the next book.

I had my teen son read this book when I finished. He’s a very reluctant reader, so I was hoping he would enjoy it. Well, I gave it to him one evening and two days later he handed it back and sorta teased that he can’t handle the stress of endings like that. And then he immediately asked for the next one. That’s a sign of a good book right there.

I had no idea this book was a duology, so by the end, my nerves were shot. I was on the edge of my seat hoping and praying for an ending that didn’t have me crying. What a wild last chapter!! I had to shush my kids as they talked around me. Epic. I may even tensed up for a moment. I need the next book!!

~Melpomene

Buy The Last Magician http://amzn.to/2GXbyyW
Add The Devil’s Thief to your GR shelf https://goo.gl/HxeN9C

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Quick Review: The Beast is an Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale

I’m not one for creepy books but I fell in love with the cover and thought I’d give it a shot. I’m glad I did. Silly me didn’t read the synopsis beforehand though, and thought it was a Beauty and the Beast retelling. Boy, was I wrong. SO WRONG.

I have no idea what to say this book. It was creepy and weird and oddly addicting. I couldn’t put it down and yet I had no idea what I was reading. I did, but I didn’t, ya know? Who wouldn’t like to read about soul eaters and beasts?

Very creeptastic YA that I’m sure all your teens will love. In fact, I described the first few chapters to mine and they both wanted to read it. Goofy kids. They’re excited to be scared and I’m over her hoping I can sleep without hearing any singing.

My daughter just finished reading it this week and absolutely loved it. She’s all about the creep factor. She now wants more books like this. When I told this to Paternelle, she said that she’s working on another dark fairy tale now. Another book!! Much squealing happened when I read that. So now I’m on the hunt to find books that meet up with these creepy standards that TBiaA has set, as I wait for her next book. Wish me luck!

~Melpomene

Buy The Beast is an Animal http://amzn.to/2CwXJ7t

Review and Giveaway: Without Merit by Colleen Hoover

“So many people dream of living in a house with a white picket fence. Little do they know, there’s no such thing as a perfect family, no matter how white the picket fence is.”

I am always so excited when I get to read a new Colleen Hoover book. I’m so anxious to see what she’s going to do to my heart. From the very first sentence I knew I was going to like Merit. From the second one, I knew this family was going to be different. So I orderd pizza for the kids and I settled in to spend the evening reading. Best night of my year.

Without Merit is a story about a girl who keeps all the many secrets of her family. She hates it but she does it. But everyone has their breaking point, and when Merit reaches hers, the Voss family won’t know what hit them.

After the emotional book, It Ends With Us, Colleen switched gears and went back to her Slammed roots and gave us this fabulous story. This is a book that I recommend you read along with your teens. It deals with some tough and very poignant issues that many of them, and us, face today. I personally, will be having my kids read this. In fact, this will be their first CoHo book and I’m rather excited over this fact. While they may not have to deal with many of the issues being faced in this book, they may find that Merit is just like them.

This story is a mass bundle of quirkiness and emotion. I was drawn in by the over the top idiosyncrasies of each member under the Dollar Voss roof. I wish I knew this family. They’re as unique as their names. I don’t wanna say anymore, because you need to just dive in and immerse yourself in this world.

Without Merit isn’t a romance story really. It’s a life story. At first I thought Merit wasn’t the “usual” character, but then I got to thinking, “What is the usual character?” She stressed over and struggled with daily life. She feels her family is a bunch of crazies. She wishes for peace in her world but doesn’t know a healthy way of finding it. I don’t know about you, but she sounds pretty “usual” to me.

“It used to feel like I was on top of the world. Then one day, I noticed that it felt like I was no longer on top. I was just floating around inside of it. And then eventually, it felt like the world was on top of me.”

Colleen, thank you for writing a story that hit me right where I needed to be hit. Thank you for giving me lots to think about in my children’s and my own life. You bury me.

~Melpomene
Enter to win a signed hardcover of Without Merit HERE

Buy Without Merit http://amzn.to/2yB3kqU

Review: Every Dead Thing (Charlie Parker #1) by John Connolly

175242This was a really good book considering it’s was a debut novel. I don’t imagine it was meant to be an ongoing series…I say this because there was just so much going on in this book! It was over 400 pages long and it read more like 600. I’m not saying it was boring. It wasn’t. There was just really too much going on. It easily could have been made for two complete books with two great story lines. With a few twists and a minor changes I dare say it could have made for three. If Connolly had planned on making a series, I do believe he would have broken this up into multiple books….I dare say we would all have been the better if he had….

If you’re wondering what it was all about….in this novel we meet Charlie Parker for the first time. I read the last Charlie Parker, #12 in the series, earlier this year because I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of the novel. It was fantastic (https://randombookmuses.com/2014/10/29/review-the-wolf-in-winter-by-john-connolly/). He’s a police detective. Parker’s family is killed right off in this book and we fast forward to months later. Now Parker has quit the force and is working for himself. He takes a job and in the midst of solving that case he is also solving his family’s murders.

There are a few bits that didn’t make sense with me as far as the time frame went. I’m not sure how Parker got from point A to B at times either. Perhaps I was just too distracted to understand, or perhaps it was just a matter of a debut novel and an author that was coming into his own. At any rate, it was a really good read, and having sampled his current writing style, I can vouch that it will indeed get better. This is a storyline and a cast of characters I truly look forward to getting to know. Parker is very complex. Connolly might be writing detective novels, but don’t let it fool you….he really has a way with words…and some of the depth that he lays out amongst the blood, guts and gunfire really give you a cause to stop and reflect. I’m going to leave this review and let Connolly’s own words convince you that you really need to be reading this series….

For a moment they still lived and I experienced their deaths as a fresh loss with each waking, so that I was unsure whether I was a man waking from a dream of death or a dreamer entering a world of loss, a man dreaming of unhappiness or a man waking to grief.

I believe in evil because I have touched it, and it has touched me.

He sat back in his chair. “But I let it go. In the end, you have to let things go. The things you regret are the things you hold on to.” “So is nothing worth holding on to?” asked Rachel. Angel looked at Louis for a while. “Some things are, yeah, but they ain’t made of gold.

I think I wanted to say more, to try to explain to her what it was like without alcohol, about how I was afraid that, without alcohol, each day would now leave me with nothing to look forward to. Each day would simply be another day without a drink. Sometimes, when I was at my lowest ebb, I wondered if my search for the Traveling Man was just a way to fill my days, a way to keep me from going off the rails.

I don’t believe in the next world, Bird. It’s just a void. This is Hell, Bird, and we are in it. All the pain, all the hurt, all the misery you could ever imagine, you can find it here. It’s a culture of death, the only religion worth following

Until next time…

Urania xx

Buy it now Every Dead Thing by John Connolly

Review: Swear on this Life by Renee Carlino

01 aa Talk about a book fog. Ever since I saw the cover for Swear on this Life I was intrigued. After my mad love for Before We Were Strangers part of me was nervous though. I mean that book was my #1 book for 2015, so that’s mighty big shoes to fill. But let me tell you, Renee totally nailed it. I woke up early on a Saturday morning, and never left the bed until I finished the book. I never stopped. I was pulled in and there was no stopping me.

SYNOPSIS
When a bestselling debut novel from mysterious author J.Colby becomes the literary event of the year, Emiline reads it reluctantly. As an adjunct writing instructor at UC San Diego with her own stalled literary career and a bumpy long-term relationship, Emiline isn’t thrilled to celebrate the accomplishments of a young and gifted writer.

Yet from the very first page, Emiline is entranced by the story of Emerson and Jackson, two childhood best friends who fall in love and dream of a better life beyond the long dirt road that winds through their impoverished town in rural Ohio.

That’s because the novel is patterned on Emiline’s own dark and desperate childhood, which means that “J. Colby” must be Jase: the best friend and first love she hasn’t seen in over a decade. Far from being flattered that he wrote the novel from her perspective, Emiline is furious that he co-opted her painful past and took some dramatic creative liberties with the ending.

The only way she can put her mind at ease is to find and confront “J. Colby,” but is she prepared to learn the truth behind the fiction?

There are so many things one can take away from the books they read. For me, this book makes me think of regret. Emiline had a very rough beginning in life, and to be honest, I fell like she’s been living in a fog for the past few years. Going through the motions, even though she doesn’t think so. When she discovers that J.Colby is none other than her best friend/boyfriend, from when she was younger, and that he has basically written about her life, she is completely blown away. While this book is technically fiction, there’s too much real life to just let it go. As she reads it, slowly, she starts to relive a past in which she has so desperately tried to forget.

When she comes face to face with Jase, all those feelings come fully out. She decides to take a good hard look at her life and decides what she wants out of it. She makes decisions that I don’t believe she could’ve made without this book’s nudging. Em and Jase’s lives were nothing like the fairy tales you wish for. They were raw and gritty and very real. They learned to rely on each other for their sanity basically. I think after reading Jase’s book, Em starts to realize that there’s more to her than she realized.

My heart was racing and quite a few places in this book. I mean legit racing. I wanted a HEA. I needed a HEA. But not everything in life is happy, so I had to hold on tight and hope. If you like second chance romances, with a hefty dose of angst and emotion, then be sure and grab this book. You can thank me later.

~Melpomene

Buy Swear On This Life

Review: The Ghost by Monica McCarty

01 gho Epic and adventurous romance.

So bittersweet to say goodbye to these characters. But I am very glad to see that everyone is right where they should be. Choices were made and the consequences were paid, but in the end, all is well.

SYNOPSIS
Joan Comyn swore allegiance to Robert the Bruce the day she witnessed England’s barbarous king torturing her famous mother, Scot patriot Bella MacDuff. Now the mysterious beauty slips into men’s hearts like a specter and entices England’s most illustrious barons to unwittingly divulge their secrets, then shares them with her king. Known only as the Ghost even among her Highland Guard brethren, Joan has become the most wanted spy in England.

The man determined to uncover her identity poses her biggest threat yet. Alex Seton once stood with Bruce but now fights for the enemy. Though Joan knows she must avoid the handsome warrior or risk discovery, his knightly chivalry touches a place in her long since buried. When his suspicions grow apparent, Joan realizes she must do everything in her power to stop Alex from revealing her mission and convince the powerful fighter to join forces with the Highland Guard once more. But as the ultimate battle in the great war approaches, will Alex chose love or honor?

I am so happy we got to see how Joan turned out. We first meet her in The Viper and it was a little heartbreaking to see her turn her back on her mother and stay on the opposite side. But now we know that she did it for the right reasons.

I love Alex. He is the very model of a noble knight. He is trying to discover who the spy is, but when all the pieces start pointing to Joan, he must decide what to do with this information. Lie and protect her, or tell the truth and lose her. When he left the guard, a few books ago, I so hoping that he would come back or just redeem himself.

So bittersweet to say goodbye to these characters. But I am very glad to see that everyone is right where they should be. Choices were made and the consequences were paid, but in the end, all is well. These characters were so fun to watch and see them grow as individuals and fight with and for each other.

I have completely enjoyed this historical romance series. I wish it could go on forever.

~Melpomene

Buy The Ghost HERE.

Start the series from the beginning and fall in love, just like I did.
The Chief
The Hawk
The Ranger
The Viper
The Saint
The Recruit
The Hunter
The Knight
The Raider
The Arrow
The Striker
The Rock
The Rogue(novella)

Review: Denial by Lisa Renee Jones

01 den IT’S ELLA’S BOOK!!!!!!

Talk about adrenaline pumping!! I had a hunch that Ella wasn’t in for a simple trip overseas. And boy was I right!!

Ella wakes up in a hospital, in Italy, knowing nothing. She doesn’t even remember her own name! All she knows is that there’s a beautiful man watching her and wanting to help her. I can’t even imagine waking up and not knowing who I was or why I’m in a foreign country. But seeing as she’s all alone, Ella has no other choice but to trust him.

With Kayden’s help, bits and pieces of her memory slowly start to come back. But with these memories comes the realization that she has made some very bad choices and befriended some very evil people. The crazy thing is that she feels this insane attraction to Kayden and wants to trust him to help her, but what if he’s one of those people?

My word, just when you think you know what’s going to happen, the rug gets pulled out from under you. Every time Ella had a flashback I was hoping for a some answers, but all we got were more questions. This is a fantastic start to another thrilling and exciting series for Lisa Renee Jones.

Denial can be read without reading the Inside Out series, but I highly recommend you read that series as well. It was also get your blood pumping and your heart racing.

~Melpomene

Read Denial before Demand comes out, in May.