Category

Womans Fiction

Daintree – Annie Seaton

Daintree – Annie Seaton (The Porter Sisters #2)

Daintree

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

 Another quality rural romance by Australian author Annie Seaton! Around this time last year the first of the Porter sisters novels was released “Kakadu Sunset” and I fell in love with the writing, the romance, and the setting. It wasn’t until after my review was up, and I had a chat with the author that I discovered she actually lived in the same town as me when I was growing up, and actually taught at my high school! Small world!

In this instalment, Emma Porter is living up in the Daintree rain forest. She is an emergency doctor who is happily living her life working and taking care of the community, when new doctor Jeremy enters the scene. He is an old flame and their relationship had ended abruptly and confusingly. As well as the old romance, Emma is trying to deal with some strange events that are occurring in the rain forest, ones which have put her life in danger.

Firstly, can we just take a moment to appreciate the cover of this book. Absolutely beautiful! Great choice! I think it was a perfect cover for the atmosphere of this book. The setting was fabulous! I thought Emma was a great character and I really enjoyed the mystery and adventure. And of course, the romance was lovely.

There are not may negatives! The only things were I felt that a few things in Daintree were a tiny bit rushed, and I was a bit disappointed about the way it went with Jeremy’s family. It felt a bit unresolved to me. I also figured out the final twist and the identity of the bad guys very early on, but that didn’t stop me from thoroughly enjoying the thoroughly wonderful story! So much more positive than negative! I thought it was just wonderful!

Would I recommend Daintree?

Absolutely! For any romance fan, and who doesn’t love an Aussie rural romance to get away from life for a few hours! I can’t wait to read the next one!

Many thanks to author Annie Seaton and Pan Macmillan Australia for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

REVIEW of Kakadu Sunset | Q&A with Author

PURCHASE:

PAN MACMILLAN AUS | KINDLE US | KINDLE AU


If you enjoy Daintree, you may enjoy:

Kakadu Sunset - Annie Seaton   The Peppercorn Project

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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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PURCHASE:

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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Promise – Sarah Armstrong – Review and Q&A

Promise – Sarah Armstrong

Summary:

How farPromise would you go to protect a child in danger?

When a new family moves in next door, it takes Anna just two days to realise something is very wrong. She can hear their five-year-old daughter Charlie crying, then sees injuries on the little girl which cannot be ignored. Anna reports the family to the police and social services but when no one comes to Charlie’s aid, Anna understands that she is alone with her fears for the child’s life.

So when Charlie comes to her door asking for help, the only thing Anna can think to do is take the girl and run.

Raising delicate but deeply felt questions about our individual responsibility for the children around us, Promise is a novel that obliges the reader to ask: if Charlie were my neighbour, what would I do?


Promise is a new novel by journalist Sarah Armstrong. I must admit I was excited to read this book, but also apprehensive. Almost every day we hear terrible stories of children being treated badly, neglected, abused and even murdered. Every story upsets me, brings tears to my eyes for a short time, brings up anger, sadness and frustration. But then the news story changes. These children are soon forgotten, replaced with other stories.

I knew some of the emotions this book was going to bring up in me. I am a mother and a nurse. My first instinct is to care. I was apprehensive to get out of my comfort zone and voluntarily read about this subject matter, knowing that it will upset me.

But we NEED to be upset if anything is ever going to be done about this problem. Sarah has written an insightful, and at times disturbing portrayal of a child in danger and one woman’s frustration with the system as she takes matters into her own hands. While obviously kidnapping a child in danger is probably not the best idea to help the problem, Armstrong has brought us a good reminder that these things happen EVERY DAY! Perhaps even next door to YOU!

SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE!

 Q&A with Sarah Armstrong

Hi Sarah, thanks for joining me at Books Babies Being!

Were you reporting on family violence stories in your career as a journalist? Was this what inspired you to write Promise?

I didn’t report on family voilence when I was a journalist. That may partly be because it was less often in the news then. Societey wide – not just in the media – I think that family violence often – somehow – wasn’t regarded as real violence, or a real crime.

I was inspired to write Promise many years after leaving journalism and the ABC, after i’d moved to the north coast of NSW. It was one specific story that inspired me – one story in a long line of stories about children killed in their homes by a parent or step parent. A two-year-old boy died, and his mother was charged with his murder. In one of the television stories, neighbours said they’d been concerned about him and had reported him to community services. I put myself in the shoes of those neighbours; they’d done their best to get him to the attention of authorities, they’d called several times, and yet, the boy died. I wondered – if I were them – if I might have wished that I’d just picked him up one day and put him in my car and driven away. That thought became the premise of the novel.

I think one reason the story captured my attention is that since my daughter was born in 2010, I’ve been so much more aware of the vulnerability of children. Coming up with a character who takes decisive action was perhaps a way for me to have a conversation with myself (and then, once published, with others) about how far our individual responsibility for other children extends, and about whether there are ever occasions when it is right to break the law.

And I must say that even though this is a story with a difficult premise, it’s really a love story between a woman and a child. And an exploration of many aspects of motherhood: mothering a child not your own, being motherless, childlessness, and what makes a good mother.

The extremely heart-wrenching story of Rosie Batty in 2014 brought significant public attention in Australia to family violence. Did Rosie’s work change the way that the media reports on domestic violence? Did this event influence your book?

 Luke Batty’s murder and Rosie Batty’s response to his death and her subsequent campaigning seem – as far as i can tell – to have created a shift in the public conversation about family violence and in the media coverage of family violence. Rosie Batty spoke so calmly, with such clarity and dignity (but not without anger and outrage), that she seemed to tap into something in the community. I have the sense that change has been brewing for a while but she seemed to nudge the conversation forward. Luke’s sad death did not influence my writing of Promise, as I’d already started work on it. It’s more that as I was writing it, the public conversation about family violence happened to be gaining momentum.

How did writing Promise impact you as a mother?

I suspect that Promise affected me as a mother less than being a mother had an impact on how I wrote Promise. My partner Alan and I had our daughter Amelia in 2010, after trying for quite a while, and resorting to IVF. Having a newborn baby to look after, and realising all babies’ complete reliance on the adults around them, really brought home to me how vulnerable babies are. And I also felt incredibly vulnerable in the face of my love for my baby girl. It just made me think deeply about the profound responsibility of being a parent, about what makes a good parent, and what we can do as a society to support both parents who are struggling, and children who are at risk.

 What would you recommend people do if they are in a situation like Anna’s?

First I should say that I am no expert on child protection. But I do know that community services in each state have helplines you can call (anonymously if you wish) to report a child at risk. And I think it’s really important to call if you know a child is being abused; the child may have no other advocate. You might be it. Community services are so understaffed that just one report of a child being at risk is most unlikely to prompt a caseworker to visit a family, anyway. It usually takes several, if not many, notifications.

If the sitiation is immediately dangerous, then call the police. I remember watching a panel discussion on family violence on the ABC and a senior NSW police officer said that if we hear any family violence, then we should call the police. Just call the police. Violence is violence.

But in situations that are less acute – and unlikely to warrant intervention by community services – I think that offering support to the parents and support to the child(ren) is appropriate. Being a parent is hard, and harder still if you add exhaustion, financial pressures, ill health and stress to the picture. There are many instances where support for the parent and child may be what’s most helpful.

If I see a parent smacking and screaming at a child in a supermarket, I would hope that I’d offer the parent support and say something like, ‘Can I help? You look like you’re having a hard time’. Support for that struggling parent is support for the child.

I’m not actually advocating people abduct an abused child, like my character, Anna, does (although I understand why she did it, and have been grappling with the question of whether it’s sometimes appropriate to break the law).

What can we do to help, even if we are not exposed to family violence?

I’d like to see members of the community put pressure on State Governments to increase funding to combat and deal with family violence, including violence against children.

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer these questions Sarah.

My pleasure, Mel.

If you need assistance with family violence, NEVER ALONE has a comprehensive list of resources.

MY REVIEW OF PROMISE

I must admit I was expecting Promise to be a heavy read from the start. I was bracing myself for the emotion, and there indeed were a few disturbing gut-wrenching moments. However instead of being heavy and depressing like I was somewhat expecting, I found the book to be extremely readable. The emotive scenes were powerful, but also done with a respectful tactfulness that I found quite refreshing.

I found the characters to be quite well developed and well written. Anna had quite a lot of baggage that she didn’t realise was there, and it was satisfying to watch her move through some of her issues as everything was unfolding. I did have a bit of a problem relating to Anna though, as I found some of her decisions were just so far from my reality. I think I felt this way because thankfully I have never been in that sort of situation myself. I have no idea how I would react if I was witnessing what she did and the system wasn’t doing anything. Perhaps its not so far from reality after all.

There were a few parts of the book that moved a bit slower than others, but I enjoyed the overall pace. I liked the atmosphere of the novel and the city to rural backdrop. There was lots of tension with the threat of being discovered vs the pressure to turn herself in.

I enjoyed the ending, I don’t know why, but I was expecting something different.

Would I recommend Promise?

Absolutely! It was a great read that will no doubt bring some much needed attention to the problem of family violence in Australia.

Many thanks to author Sarah Armstrong via Pan Macmillan for a copy of Promise in exchange for my honest review, and for joining me for the Q&A!

4 Stars (4 / 5)

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Promise is published by Macmillan Australia and is now available at all good bookstores and online

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

I grew up in a family with no television, which meant I was a voracious (if fairly indiscriminate) reader, and I was determined, from an early age, to be a writer. This led me to study journalism, and I joined ABC Radio Current Affairs where, in 1993, I won a Walkley Award for a story on diggers returning to Gallipoli. Later I became a researcher and field producer on ABC TV’s ‘Foreign Correspondent’ program.image

What most satisfied me as a journalist was meeting people and telling stories which explored the emotional and moral complexities of life, but what I really wanted to do was to use fiction to explore this messy and beautiful business of being human. In 1997 I resigned from the ABC and moved to the hills outside Byron Bay to devote myself to writing fiction.

The week I moved into a rustic cabin in the forested valley, it started raining and rained for three months. That rain found its way into my writing. My first novel Salt Rain was published (Allen & Unwin) in 2004. It was shortlisted for the 2005 Miles Franklin Award, the Queensland Premier’s Literary Prize and the Dobbie Literary Award. Salt Rain was published in the United States by MacAdam/Cage.

My second novel His Other House was published in March 2015 by Pan Macmillan and will be published in Germany in August 2015.

Promise was released on the 28th June, 2016 and is available now.

I live in sub-tropical northern New South Wales with the writer, Alan Close, and our young daughter.

Authors Website   Authors Goodreads   Authors Facebook


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Maternity Leave – Julie Halpern

Maternity Leave – Julie Halpern

Maternity Leave

4 Stars (4 / 5)

I think any new mother would appreciate this entertaining, relatively accurate (in my experience anyway) portrayal of early motherhood.

This story commences when Annie is in labour. She has a little baby boy they call Sam, and thus begins her journey, day by day through the first few months of motherhood. The highs and lows, the grossness and the laughter..

I really enjoyed the format of this book. It is journal entries along with Facebook statuses and email correspondences between Anna and her family and friends. This made it extremely entertaining and easy to read. The chapters are set out in days, and they are quite short so its easy to put it down and pick it up again later (great for when you are busy with the kids!)

It had some extremely funny moments and I could really relate to most of it (except for the part where she gets her husband to squirt her bottom with water while she poops on the loo whilst breastfeeding her baby at the same time – I can’t say I could relate to that!). But it really had a lot of other moments where I would go “YES!!! THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT IT WAS LIKE!”.

I related to Annie SO MUCH! I felt we would have been good friends! We had such similar experiences! I too have an older cat who has shared a big chunk of my life with me. I also love Buffy and Battlestar Galactica is my FAVOURITE SERIES! I am a complete nerd too!

I have read some reviews of this book describing how it doesn’t describe motherhood accurately, and portrays Annie as borderline depressed. I don’t necessarily agree with this. Annie’s experience was so similar to my own, and I would not have classed myself as depressed. It’s hard work suddenly having a tiny person to be totally and utterly responsible for. A total culture shock, and I was not one of these magical mothers who took to it straight away. It took me MONTHS before I had a bond with my son. It is not unusual to not have an instant connection the child you suddenly have in your arms and sucking on your boobs!

The first few months are HARD. They are filled with amazing highs but incredible lows, and sleep deprivation… I enjoyed that this book didn’t skirt around this issue like others do. And the humerous approach was really refreshing. I only wish I had read this 2.5 years ago, when I was up at 3am trying to get my screaming son to latch onto my boob whilst crying my eyes out, wondering if things ever get better.

Would I recommend Maternity Leave?

Yes, I would recommend it to any new mother, and any mother-to-be, who wants a pretty accurate portrayal of some of the difficulties of having a newborn. I would actually say its good for the new dads and dads-to-be to have a read through also, to gain some understanding of just how difficult it is to be a new mother when they go back to work. Overall an enjoyable and entertaining read!

Many thanks to Pan Macmillian and author Julie Halpern for a copy of Maternity Leave to read in exchange for my honest review.

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PURCHASE:

Pan Macmillan | AMAZON | AMAZON AU


If you enjoy Maternity Leave, you may enjoy:

 Mindfulness for Mothers

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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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Deadly Obsession – Nigel May

Deadly Obsession – Nigel May

Deadly Obsession

4 Stars (4 / 5)

Oh Bookouture… Have you ever published a bad book? If you have, I haven’t read it yet… Yet another great read!

Amy and Riley Hart have it all. A fabulous marriage, and bucket loads of cash. But when one fateful night changes everything, Amy is left without her husband and also her beloved best friend. Six months later she receives a letter in the mail… From Riley… But how could this be? She watched him die… Or did she? The chase is on for Amy to find a murderer, and the truth about her seemingly perfect life.

What a delightful, fun and HOT story! Yes ladies and gentlemen, this book is not for the under 18’s. Its full of scandal and lots of sweaty romps between the sheets… Also add a bit of violence and suspense and a hell of a mystery and it was quite the page turner.

It was quite a ride – kept me guessing, almost until the very end. I figured out part of the picture towards the end, but the complexity of it still took me by surprise.

The format was slightly difficult to get used to. There was a lot of chopping and changing back and forth in time, to sometimes seemingly random points in time before and after the fateful night. But I soon got used to the format. I quite like books that do this when they are done well.

I really enjoyed Amy’s quest to find out who “tried” to murder her husband. There were lots of twists and turns, lots of sordid secrets and you couldn’t help but get into the story. There were perhaps a few too many characters and a bit too much going on for me to enjoy it to its fullest potential, at times it dragged on a bit for me. But overall it was a really good read. Even though the barrage of characters got on my nerves a bit, it was great that you literally had so many potential bad guys to choose from, all with their own motives.

Would I recommend Deadly Obsession?

Yes, who doesn’t like a good bit of drama, intrigue, sex, money, power and violence. I will have to check out more books by Nigel May, and It was another hit from the ever impressive Bookouture.

Many thanks to author Nigel May and my favourite publisher Bookouture via NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

ADD TO GOODREADS

PURCHASE

AMAZON | AMAZON AU


If you enjoy Deadly Obsession, you may enjoy:

White Hot   mirror image   after the night

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Like I Can Love – Kim Lock

Like I Can Love – Kim Lock

Like I Can Love

4.25 Stars (4.25 / 5)

I have been getting really sick of series lately. It seems every book I read is the first in a series. Sometimes its good to curl up with a good stand alone novel. Thankfully this was a fabulous one! I really enjoyed Like I Can Love. Another Aussie author to look out for!

The story revolves around the present day Fairley, and her childhood best friend Jenna, whose story is told in flashbacks. Jenna was found in her house after committing suicide. She appeared to have a perfect life, with a devoted husband and gorgeous young son. But lots of secrets lay beneath the surface. Fairley must figure out what brought her best friend to do this. The story is also told through letters from Jenna’s mother to Jenna, divulging a huge life-changing secret.

I loved the way this book was set out. I really enjoyed the changes between past, present and the letter from Jenna’s mother. It was super easy to follow and flowed really well. I found it quite a quick read because I was so immersed in the story.

I really enjoyed Jenna’s story. From the first whirlwind of love with her and her husband, to reading about the absolute horrific emotional and physical abuse that he put her through. It made my blood boil and created such an angry response in me as I was reading it. In a good way! Totally lost in the story! I hated him so much! It was so well written. At first you think what a great guy he is and then you begin to see things change. Completely believable also, and I am sure it is a familiar story to a LOT of women out there who have experienced similar things.

Jenna’s experience with her new baby resonated a lot with me, apart from the terrible husband thankfully… Although I didn’t have post natal depression, that first year was HARD. Harder than I ever imagined. Some of the scenes with her son Henry really took me back!

Oh and what a twist! Totally didn’t see that coming at all! Really well done and super clever! Thought it was fantastic!

Would I recommend Like I Can Love?

Absolutely for any drama/women’s fiction/family saga fan. Great story, fantastic characters and really well written and engaging!

Many thanks to the publisher Pan Macmillan for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

ADD TO GOODREADS

PURCHASE:

Pan Macmillan | AMAZON US | AMAZON AU


If you enjoy Like I Can Love, you may enjoy:

The Sun In Her Eyes   The Secret Years

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The Sun In Her Eyes – Paige Toon

The sun in her eyes

4.25 Stars (4.25 / 5)

I enjoy women’s fiction, but it is not my favourite genre. Its not often I get totally engrossed in it. But today, I couldn’t put this book down. Every second that my son had his eyes closed today, my eyes were buried in this novel. Thank goodness he still has a day nap! When he was awake and we were going about our day, I was still thinking about it, and I picked it up again as soon as he went to bed tonight to finish it! I thought it was great.

Amber is 29 and living in London with her husband Ned and their relationship has been going through a turbulent time. She gets a phone call from her fathers girlfriend telling Amber that her father has had a stroke and she needs to come home to Adelaide, Australia. In the same morning she had just been made redundant, and with no work commitments, she hurries on a plane, alone. When she reaches Adelaide she has to confront her father’s condition, her wicked step mother, and the man she has been in love with since she was eight years old. Amber is forced to evaluate her life and discover if the grass really is greener on the other side..?

Now I didn’t particularly like the main character Amber. I thought some (ok most) of her decisions were stupid and there was more than one occasion that I wanted to slap her across the face and scream “WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?”. But she was so READABLE! Even though I didn’t like her, I was totally hooked and immersed in her life! I was FORCED to like her by the author DAMMIT! I really didn’t want to!

The beauty in this novel is the way it is written. The way the flawed characters pulled at the heartstrings and how the relationships twist and turn. I have read novels with similar themes and premises that just fell totally flat in comparison. I am so excited to take a look at the authors other novels which I have heard are as good, if not superior to this one.

The interactions between the characters and the budding chemistry and humour was so enjoyable, however at times it dragged a little bit for me. But don’t let that turn you off this book, I am a thriller junkie so I think I get frustrated at a slower pace than most people would, especially big fans of women’s fiction.

Overall I thought it was fantastic.

Would I recommend it?

Absolutely for any romance/womens fiction fan. I think you will really enjoy the superb writing and extremely likeable characters.

Thanks to Paige Toon via NetGalley for a copy of The Sun In Her Eyes to read and review!

If you enjoy The Sun In Her Eyes, you may enjoy:

Romance 50's Style    image

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Romance, 50’s Style – Margaret Lynette Sharp

Romance 50's Style

4 Stars (4 / 5)

Ah the 50’s… What an era! Even though it was set 30 years before I was born, I still appreciated this story of Romance, 50’s Style!

The novel is comprised of two stories, Whatever it Takes and Sisters and Rivals. Whatever it Takes is a story of Lisa, who goes back to Australia from London for the wedding of her father to his secretary. She has left behind her boyfriend Liam who she was starting to get serious with. There she runs into an old flame, and has to ultimately decide her future. Sisters and Rivals is the story of Linda. Linda has started dating Harry, whom she adores. However her sister Tessa has a history of stealing her boyfriends. Even though she is engaged to one of Linda’s exes, can Linda trust Harry not to fall for Tessa’s charms?

Loved all the characters! I found Linda to be a bit of a bore though. I guess at that time it was less common to stand up for yourself, and it just wasn’t her personality. However I felt utterly sorry for her situation. It made me appreciate that I am an only child and don’t have a horrid sister!

The thing that I kept thinking about when I read this book was just how different things are now. I guess its up to interpretation to decide if this is a good thing or bad thing, but personally I am glad I am from this generation. I appreciate the different style of “courting” that we have now. It was much simpler back then, or superficially so anyway. Life is different now. Multiple marriages in a life is beginning to be a norm, social values are so totally different, and of course we all have huge flat screen televisions now 😉

I enjoyed the writing style of this book, it was light but interesting and I enjoyed the characters and the dialogue between the different characters. Sharp did a great job recreating the era and the mood of the 50’s with her writing.

I enjoyed the setting of the 50’s in Australia, specifically my home town Sydney. It was interesting reading about places I have been and love, from such a different time perspective.

Would I recommend it?

Yes, for all fans of a little bit of romance and a bit of fun.

Many thanks to author Margaret Lynette Sharp for a copy of this book to review.

If you enjoyed this book you may enjoy:

taking leaps and finding ghosts     piece by piece - Cathie Whitmore    The Secret Years    the mine

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