Category

Contemporary

Truly Madly Guilty – Liane Moriarty

Truly Madly Guilty – Liane Moriarty

Truly Madly Guilty

4 Stars (4 / 5)

Alright, before I begin my review of this book I need to admit something. A secret shame. This is my very first Liane Moriarty book! Yes I know, I know! I can hear you SHARPLY GASP! Her books seem right up my alley, how could I have not read Big Little Lies, or The Husband’s Secret? “SHAME ON YOU MELISSA!” I hear you yell! “She is one of Australia’s most loved authors!!” I have heard such good things, but guiltily have never had the chance or inclination to read them before. However, this means that I came into reading Truly Madly Guilty with an unbiased perspective, and will hopefully give you a run down about what I liked and didn’t like about it as a Moriarty novice!

Something happened at the BBQ that day. Clementine didn’t even want to go, and a major life-changing event occurred. Something that will change all of their lives. This is the story of three marriages, friendship, and the fateful events of one seemingly ordinary afternoon that will become extraordinary in their memories.

Now, if you are after a light, feel good read then look elsewhere. This story is gritty, raw and deep.

Moriarty creates an amazingly charged atmosphere in the first half of the book without actually revealing what happened at the BBQ! I found this SO FRUSTRATING! But not in a bad way! I was DESPERATE to know what happened. So desperate that when it did happen I felt slightly let down, as it went in a different direction than I was expecting. But I assume that’s the point.

I enjoyed the way it switched back and forth in time and from each different characters perspective. It was an extremely character driven novel which I can only assume is a Moriarty trademark by reading reviews of her other work. It was done masterfully. Each character was so inherently unique and imperfect. I was quickly sucked into their lives and relationships.

It touched on SO MANY themes! Friendship, love, lust, family, parenting, childlessness, IVF, marriage, and mental illness just to name a few. However, with so much going on I found it dragged on a little bit for me. I was willing it at times to just get to the BBQ. However once it did get to the BBQ, I found the pace improved, even if it went in a direction I was not entirely anticipating. And there were a few excellent twists that I never saw coming, and that’s always a big plus for me!

Would I recommend Truly Madly Guilty?

Absolutely worth the read! I will be definitely checking out her other books! I can’t believe I have waited so long!

Many thanks to Pan Macmillan for a pre release copy of Truly Madly Guilty in exchange for my honest review.

Truly Madly Guilty will be released on the 20th July.

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Pan Macmillan | AMAZON AU | AMAZON

It will also be available at all good bookstores.


If you enjoy Truly Madly Guilty, you may enjoy:

Running Against The Tide   Like I Can Love   Beside Myself

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The Family Man – Kelly Eadon – GIVEAWAY

The Family Man – Kelly Eadon

 The Family Man

4 Stars (4 / 5)

I really enjoyed this feel-good romance by the author of “The Wedding Date” Kelly Eadon. It is the second story of the lovely group of friends from the beach town of Belmont USA.

Beth is moving forward from some bad business mistakes and has found happiness selling a small amount of baked goods, teaching kids theatre, and fixing up the odd dress for a bit of money. She has been secretly crushing over Griffin, the owner of a coffee shop that she sells some of her muffins to twice a week. When it becomes clear that the crush isn’t exactly one sided, she soon discovers that Griffin has some baggage of his own. He has a 4 year old daughter and has had custody battles with the grandparents. He is trying to be a good dad to his daughter. Will he be able to let Beth into his heart too? Or will it all be too much for them both?

I thought this book was very sweet. It had some delightful moments and I really enjoyed their saga.

I thought the characters were well written, I enjoyed the continuation of the story of the group of friends from The Wedding Date. Although it focuses on the same group of friends, it doesn’t matter in which order you read them in. They are all individual stand-alone stories.

Loved the romance and there were some very cute and some very HOT moments! (Not for readers under 18!).

The characters frustrated me at times, with all the drama and indecision’s, and at times I just wanted to shake them both and say “WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?”. But the journey was fun and the conclusion was ultimately satisfying. And I really want muffins now after reading it!

Would I recommend The Family Man?

Yes for any fans of cute romances, with a bit of tension and a lot of heat! A good way to spend a lazy reading afternoon!

Many thanks to author Kelly Eadon and NetGalley for an advanced copy of The Family Man in exchange for my honest review.

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If you enjoy The Family Man, you may enjoy:

The Wedding Date   Going all the way   Welcome to Temptation   image

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Summer’s Child – Diane Chamberlain

Summer’s Child – Diane Chamberlain

Summer's Child

4 Stars (4 / 5)

I purchased this audiobook on Audible.com as it was a special of the day and looked interesting. I had heard of Diane Chamberlain, but have never read one of her books before. After purchasing it I looked at some of my friends reviews on GoodReads, and was disappointed to see that all but one of my friends who read it gave it 2 stars or less! By that stage though, I had already started listening to it and was enjoying it, so I thought I would see how long I could hold out. Well, so glad I didn’t listen to my friends reviews! I thought it was a great book!

On her 11th birthday, Daria goes out to the beach next to her home and discovers a newborn baby near some rocks by the water. When the authorities cannot find who the mother is, Daria’s family adopt the little girl and name her Shelly. Twenty years Shelly is now an adult, and has contacted a friend from Daria’s childhood, Rory Taylor. He is a TV presenter who works solving mysteries and Shelly wants him to help find her biological mother. Thus begins Rory’s investigation into what happened all those years ago, who is Shelly’s mother? And what other secrets is he going to unveil along the way?

I was immediately swept in by this book. I found it to be captivating and interesting. Sure, it had some slow parts and dragged on at times, but I was quite happy going along for the ride.

I found the characters to be great, they all had their secrets and it was extremely entertaining listening to it all come gradually together.

The narrator wasn’t the best I had ever heard, she was slightly dull in her portrayal of the characters and overall narration, however it was still enjoyable and easy to listen to. It didn’t take much away from the story for me.

The romance was sweet, and there was heaps of romantic tension! Fabulous!

There were so many twists and turns and revelations, I love it when I can’t see where something is going, and when the final reveal occurred, I was a bit floored! I actually thought of one part of the correct twist towards the beginning, but dismissed my idea because there were so many other things happening to distract me. Well played Ms Chamberlain, well played.

Would I recommend Summer’s Child?

Yes, absolutely for any fan of sweet romances, and family secrets! I thought it was a great read and am looking forward to reading others from Diane Chamberlain. I have heard this is not one of her best so I would LOVE to see what her best is like!


If you enjoy Summer’s Child, you may enjoy:

Like I Can Love    Running Against The Tide    Romance 50's Style

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The Peppercorn Project – Nicki Edwards – BLOG TOUR

The Peppercorn Project – Nicki Edwards

 

SUMMARY:

One heartbroken woman. One bitter cop. One community to save them.

After the tragic death of her husband, single mum Isabelle Cassidy is bereft and broke. When she hears about The Peppercorn Project – a scheme that offers affordable rent in the tiny but vibrant town of Stony Creek – Issie sees it as her family’s best chance at a fresh start.

Newly singleThe Peppercorn Project police officer Matt Robertson moved to Stony Creek to lick his wounds after a bitter divorce. Wanting only peace and quiet, Matt is against the Project, seeing it as a threat to the peace he’s found in the country town – until he meets Issie. Despite himself, Matt is drawn to the widow and feels inexplicably protective of her fragile family.

Just when Issie begins to imagine a future with Matt, an accident proves how far she has to go before she can move beyond her grief. But the citizens of Stony Creek won’t rest until they see these two broken souls find a new beginning, together.

Can Issie move beyond the pain of her past and entrust Matt with her family, and her heart?

A gorgeous rural romance for fans of Fiona McArthur, Rachael Johns and Fiona McCallum.

 

MY REVIEW OF THE PEPPERCORN PROJECT

This book was JUST WHAT I NEEDED today! I had a few child-free hours to kill (an extremely rare occurrence), so I curled up on the couch with a blanket and The Peppercorn Project and I DEVOURED it in one sitting! It left me in a fabulous mood!

Isabelle and her two kids travel to Stony Creek in an attempt to win one of four houses in the peppercorn project, an initiative to offer struggling families cheap rent for a year in an effort to bring some new people to the town. Following a rocky start, Isabelle and her children begin to settle into life in Stony Creek, albeit with some teething problems. But grief is a difficult process, and when she starts to develop feelings for the local police officer Matt, it brings some difficult things to the surface.

I just thought this book was fabulous. I love a good romance, and this one hit the spot for me. It was written extremely well and had enough drama and enough going on to keep it interesting throughout. It didn’t slow down.

Sure, it was a little corny in parts, but I haven’t read a romance that isn’t! It’s the point! I loved the characters and the people in Stony Creek. The premise was great and it actually had me shedding a few tears at times.

Author Nicki Edwards is a critical care nurse like myself so I can’t believe I haven’t read any of her books before this one! It helped me connect with the main character, and was able to avoid my number one pet peeve – Medical inaccuracies! Woohoo! I must read her other books, especially in the “escape to the country” series.

Would I recommend The Peppercorn Project?

Absolutely! For any Aussie rural romance/drama fan. It was a fabulous read!

Many thanks to Pan Macmillan for a copy of The Peppercorn Project in exchange for my honest review, and for having me on this blog tour!

5 Stars (5 / 5)

The Peppercorn Project is published by Pan Macmillan Australia and is available HERE

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicki Edwards is a city girl with a country heart. Growing up on a small family acreage on the outskirts of Geelong, she spent her formative years riding horses and pretending the neighbour’s farm was her own.
Nicki Edwards
After spending three years in a regional city in New South Wales, her love of small country towns was further developed. One day she plans to escape to the country with her husband Tim and live on land, surrounded by horses, dogs, cows and sheep. Until then she lives vicariously through the lives of the characters in the rural romance novels she loves to read.

In 2006, when Nicki’s youngest child started school, she returned to university, juggling full time study, part time work and raising four small children, to achieve her dream of becoming a nurse. Always a voracious reader, Nicki’s other dream was to be an author.
Nicki writes medical rural romances, and when she isn’t reading, writing or dreaming about rural life and medical emergencies, she can be found working as a Critical Care Nurse in a busy Intensive Care Unit, where many of her stories and characters are imagined.

Nicki and Tim reside in Geelong, Victoria with their four teenage/young adult children. Life is busy, fun and at times exhausting, but Nicki wouldn’t change it for anything.

Her debut novel, “Intensive Care” was released in January 2015 with Momentum, the digital imprint of Pan Macmillan Australia. Her second novel, “Emergency Response” came out in October 2015. The third and fourth books in the ‘Escape to the Country’ series, “Life Support” and “Critical Condition” are available now.

Authors Website   Authors Twitter   Authors Goodreads   Authors Facebook


If you enjoyed The Peppercorn Project, you may enjoy:

Kakadu Sunset - Annie Seaton    image   The Secret Years    the saddler boys

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Paris is Always a Good Idea – Nicolas Barreau

Paris is Always a Good Idea – Nicolas Barreau

Paris Is Always A Good Idea

4 Stars (4 / 5)

I really enjoyed this cute little book! And yes, It did make me yearn for Paris in a serious way! It is indeed a VERY good idea!

Rosalie has a quiet life in the beautiful French city, running little postcard shop. She is dating a personal trainer, with whom she has little in common, and has grand ambitions of being an artist. She is approached by an old man at her shop, who just so happens to be a famous children’s author. He wants Rosalie to illustrate his new children’s book and she does so happily. However, fate brings her a chance encounter with an arrogant American who accuses her and Max of plagiarism. What secrets will Rosalie uncover from her friend Max and this handsome, annoying American? And will she find the true love she has always wanted?

This book was just what the doctor ordered! It was a quick read, full of humour and cuteness!

I loved the main story of the book and the quest to discover who really wrote it and what the secrets were. I figured out the twist extremely early in the book, and that is usually a pet peeve for me, however I was so swept up in the cute, light atmosphere of the novel, that it didn’t matter at all!

I absolutely loved the writing style. It had a really wonderful light and fluffy feel to it. The whole book reminded me of days wandering around the streets of Paris, turning left, turning right, finding new buildings, new places to eat and beautiful things to see! The author moved backwards a few times in this novel in a way that wouldn’t work normally in traditional novels as it felt a bit disjointed. However in this book it worked well, lots of reflections and memories that all merged together to the present moment and gave the book an extremely different and enjoyable feel to it.

All of the main characters had a nice depth to them and they were all extremely likeable. And the romance! Super sweet, with just the right amount of drama! Thought it was fantastic! There were a few moments where I had butterflies!

Would I recommend Paris is Always a Good Idea?

Yes, for contemporary G-rated romance fans, or fans of cute stories. It was light, didn’t have negative drama and almost no violence. A great escape for a couple of hours! And now I want to go back to Paris for a third time, be surrounded by that beautiful language, and find a little postcard shop.

Many thanks to Pan Macmillan and the author for a copy of Paris Is Always A Good Idea in exchange for my honest review.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicolas Barreau was born in Paris, the son of a French father and a German mother. He studied romance languages and literature at the Sorbonne and worked in a bookshop on the Rive Gauche in Paris but is far from an inexperienced bookworm. With the success of his previous novels, The Ingredients of Love, The Woman of My Life and You’ll Find Me at the End of the World, he has gained a devoted international audience.


If you enjoy Paris is Always a Good Idea, you may enjoy:

the saddler boys   followed by frost  Practice makes Perfect - Julie James   image

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The Wedding Date – Kelly Eadon

The Wedding Date – Kelly Eadon

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The Wedding Date

Summary from GoodReads:

A LITTLE FAKE RELATIONSHIP NEVER HURT ANYONE . . .

Kate Massie has big dreams-they just haven’t worked out. Yet. In the meantime, she spends her days clerking for a judge and her nights fantasizing about her tall, dark, and sexy gym crush. So when she runs into him one night, she’s shocked to realize he was her shy, nerdy junior-prom date. But that isn’t where the surprises end . . .

James Abell needs a date to his sister’s wedding. So when Kate agrees, he’s relieved . . . until one little lie turns their wedding date into a full-blown fake relationship. Only it doesn’t feel fake-not the toe-curling kisses and definitely not the electricity. Neither of them is looking for something real . . . but they just might fall for their own little white lie.

 

My Review Of The Wedding Date

This book was just what I needed! What a fabulous feel-good, sexy romance that I just got lost in, and finished in one fabulous sitting!

Kate runs into James at the gym and doesn’t recognise him as the young shy guy who took her to junior prom. He has changed… Now a buff sexy hunk, Kate has trouble holding herself together in his presence. When a mutual friend sets them up on a fake date for James’ sisters wedding, James and Kate must pretend to be a couple… But how long can they keep pretending??

What a wonderful little escape this book was! It was sweet, sexy, funny and lovely. Yes, the story has been done before, but that didn’t matter at all because I still loved it!

The characters were great, they all had quite a bit of depth, the romance was sweet, and the hot moments were pretty hot! I loved all the secondary characters also, especially all of James family! I really liked Kate too!

Would I recommend The Wedding Date?

Absolutely for anyone (who is over 18) and who wants a cute romantic escape. I laughed, I swooned, I loved it!

Many thanks to the author Kelly Eadon and the publisher via Xpresso Book Tours for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

4 Stars (4 / 5)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kelly Eadon is a romance writer living in Richmond, Virginia with her husband and a house full ofkelly eadon rescue animals, aka “the kraken”. She swears like a sailor and says whatever pops into her head. In order to counteract her big mouth, she wears high heels whenever possible. In her spare time she spins, kick boxes and attempts to renovate her farmhouse. She hates sanding drywall, loves to cook, drinks lots of wine, gets scary competitive at trivia, and enjoys time spent exploring with her rescued beagle mixes. –

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If you enjoy The Wedding Date, you may enjoy:

image   Practice makes Perfect - Julie James

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Running Against The Tide – Amanda Ortlepp

Running Against The Tide – Amanda Ortlepp

Running Against The Tide

4 Stars (4 / 5)

Really enjoyed this suspenseful tale set near Adelaide. Amanda Ortlepp is certainly yet another talented Australian author to look out for!

With her two teenage sons, Erin moves away from her life in Sydney, to down to her childhood home near the Eyre Peninsula not far from Adelaide. Mallee Bay is an oyster town, many of the locals making a living from hard work at the oyster farms. But did Erin really leave her past behind her? Strange things begin to happen and Erin feel she is in danger. But from who? And what can she do about it?

I thought this book was great. I really enjoyed all the characters, especially the ones who live in the town. Jono and his wife Helen, and Puff were fabulous characters. I didn’t warm to Erin as much as I was expecting to. I thought some of her decisions were a bit silly and I really didn’t like how she dealt with her difficult son Ryan at times. But I enjoyed her character a lot more by the end.

I really appreciated that the main characters were older. I enjoy reading about characters with a bit of life experience behind them. It seems a lot of novels I have read lately have been filled with young characters so it was refreshing to read about older people for a change. Having said that, Mike and Ryan were the youngest characters in the novel yet they still had quite a depth to them, especially Ryan.

Loved the twists and turns throughout the book. However I figured out the main twist well before it happened so that was slightly disappointing. However it didn’t stop me turning the pages.

Would I recommend Running Against The Tide?

Yes, it was a good story, had some suspenseful moments and I ate it up! Womens fiction fans as well as romantic suspense fans will appreciate this one. As well as fans of books in Aussie settings by talented Aussie writers!

Many thanks to the author Amada Ortlepp and publisher Simon and Schuster Australia via NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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AMAZON AU | AMAZON | PUBLISHER


If you enjoy Running Against The Tide, you may enjoy:

Kakadu Sunset - Annie Seaton   the red door   The Secret Years

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Desert Flame – Janine Grey

Desert Flame

Desert Flame

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

I enjoyed this book set in Outback New South Wales, Australia. Opal country!

Eliza’s father passes away and she is forced to take over his failing business. The last client requires her to track down his estranged family member, Fin McLeod, and bring him to Sydney. Fin is an opal miner in outback New South Wales, and is searching for a rare opal. He has no intention of going to Sydney with Eliza, even though they are instantly attracted to each other… But Fin is being watched. Someone wants his mine, and will stop at nothing to get it.

Will firstly lets just say this book is for ADULTS only. I had already downloaded this book when I read a few reviews saying that it has way too many unnecessary sex scenes, and I tend to agree. It wasn’t the amount of them, because there weren’t that many really, but it often felt like they were just put in the story needlessly – sometimes totally out of place. All of a sudden the story goes from a well written interesting read, to suddenly being totally raunchy. It felt inconsistent and almost felt like they were different characters!

The love story itself was lacking something for me. Tension or excitement perhaps. I didn’t really connect with either Fin or Eliza’s characters, so it was hard to buy into the romance. I found it to move quite slowly at the beginning.

What I did enjoy about the story was the last quarter. It became very exciting and I really enjoyed the twists and turns in the final chapters. Really salvaged the story and the characters for me.

I also really like the cover – As well as the handsome man, the colours and the landscape are really pretty!

Overall it was written really well. I enjoyed the outback setting and minor characters in the book.

Would I recommend Desert Flame?

Yes, despite the things I have mentioned above, it was a solid 3.5 Stars. Extremely well written and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to someone who likes the outback settings… However I will warn them about the raunchy content!

Many thanks to author Janine Grey and Penguin books via NetGalley for a copy of Desert Flame in exchange for my honest review.

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Welcome to Temptation – Jennifer Crusie

Welcome to Temptation

4 Stars (4 / 5)

Welcome to Temptation was SO MUCH FUN! Romance is one of my guilty pleasures to read… Predominantly a thriller fan at heart, I still admittedly LOVE a good romance novel. This one was just great! Totally over the top and corny, but such good escapism!

Sophie and her sister Amy travel to the small town of Temptation to film a movie for a hollywood star Clea, who  grew up there. On the way they crash into another car, and that is the beginning of their troubles. There is way too much to go into in detail, but Sophie soon starts falling for the town mayor Phin, her sister starts falling for the town cop, her delinquient brother shows up, Cleo’s ex husband shows up causing trouble, someone shows up dead, Sophie inadvertently ends up making a porn film, and on top of all that, someone is trying to kill her!

I’m surprised I enjoyed this so much. I have read only one other book by Crusie, Bet Me, and I must have been one of the only people on the planet who read that and was less than impressed! But I liked the premise of this one, and it shows up on peoples favourite romance lists all around the world so it was about time I read it.

I couldn’t source a copy (reasonably priced that is) so ended up opting to use up a credit on audible. Glad I did, the audio version was great! At first I didn’t like AAsne Vigesaa’s seemingly monotone voice, however I’m not sure if it was her voice or my annoyance that shifted, but soon I was absolutely hooked! I loved her rendition of all the characters, especially Clea!

I think it is the quirkiness that got me in this book. All of these over the top, out of control situations had me laughing out loud! I just loved the witty dialogue between the characters. I loved Sophie, and the tension between her and Phin. I also enjoyed reading about the town. Temptation felt like a character of its own with all its fun residents and events. Don’t think I would have wanted to live there though.

I do have criticisms, it was a little long, and I had a bit of a problem with the male lead Phin and his attitude, but I was easily able to just forget about the things that were annoying me, and just enjoy the fun!

Would I recommend it?

Yes for the ADULT romance fans! This book ain’t for the youngins!! Quite a few steamy scenes!

If you enjoyed Welcome to Temptation, you may enjoy:

Spotless    Beating Ruby

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