Book Bingo Round 16 and Book Review: Summer at Urchin’s Bluff by Eliza Bennetts


Last week I posted I was reading Summer at Urchin’s Bluff by Eliza Bennetts and asked people which square of Book Bingo they thought I might cross off with this book. Both Theresa and Melanie had a guess, both of which could have been right. It was a hard choice between Book with a place in the title or Book set on the Australian coast. I am currently reading the prefect book for the first guess, so I’m going with crossing off Book set on the Australian coast.IMG_20190803_082942 For having a guess both will be receiving a cool bookmark I bought back all the way from Morocco last year.


IMG_20190722_200913Summer at Urchin’s Bluff was a fabulous read. I loved this book! It was such an enjoyable read, a story about taking chances on life, living for what you need and taking a chance on love, of choosing to live life in a way that makes you happy. 

At the sight of the twinkling, crystal ocean her worries slid away, slipping from her shoulders like fine-spun silk.

This is just how the ocean makes me feel, so I was immediately drawn to the town of Urchin’s Bluff.

When Emma and her son Lincoln head to Urchin’s Bluff to stay with her friends, it’s just for a break from her marriage breaking down. Lincoln and Emma find peace and much more than they were expecting.

It was quiet but for the birds, and not for the first time Cole was struck by deep and resounding loneliness—an emptiness that was so pathetic it got on his nerves. Sometimes he worried the only thing that kept him from nose-diving into full-fledged depression was Bess, the border collie who danced at his feet.

I immediately felt drawn to Cole after this introduction to him, I know exactly how he feels at times. Cole is a firefighter who is drawn to Emma despite thinking its a bad idea. There are challenges ahead for both of them and Emma will have to make some big decisions about what sort of life she wants to live and what is best for her and Lincoln.

Emma’s friends are great secondary characters and for the most part they have Emma’s back. They do make one or two decisions or comments that influence Emma in the wrong way, but even best friends aren’t infallible.

I loved how Lincoln was drawn out of himself by the new men around him and by surfing, surfing seems to be a great way to overcome all sorts of issues.

Emma’s ex-husband is an a***ole who doesn’t deserve to have Lincoln as his son, or Emma as his ex-wife. When he enters the scene to cause some trouble, I wanted to smack him and smack Emma for even entertaining some of the thoughts she has.

Urchin’s Bluff is a small town I’d be more than happy to spend my days in, with great characters and a holiday feel, just like where I live used to be before progress happened. A great read, I can’t wait for Eliza Bennetts next book.

Thanks to Eliza Bennetts for providing me with a copy of this book in return for an honest review.



Book Bingo Round 15 and New Release Book Review: Mercenary Royal: Dead Suns by Shona Husk


It is definitely starting to get harder now and I’m going to have to start purposefully reading books for specific squares rather than hoping one will just fit. This fortnight I’ve chosen to cross off the square (luckily I read a book just last week that fits) Themes of science fiction.

I read a new release by Aussie author Shona Husk called Mercenary Royal: Dead Suns. This is book #6 in The Obsidian Rim series, but book #1 in the Dead Suns series. I thoroughly enjoyed this book set in space when resources have been used up and mercenaries are everywhere as well as ultra rich people determined yet again to be powerful despite everything.

Screenshot_20190720_213521This novel plunged me into a dangerous adventure in a previously unknown location. Nyssa, our heronine has a seriously bad situation to escape from, and for the most part I found her brave, smart and savvy. Jessie made a great hero and leading man who had some major issues of his own that come to the fore when meeting Nyssa. There was plenty of sexual tension between the two and many issues to sort out. Bad guy Riel is one dispicable person and I was on the edge waiting to see if the team could take him down. This was an action packed read with plenty of twists and I couldn’t put it down once I started reading, I look forward to the next book.

Book Bingo Round 14 and New Release Book Review: Climbing Fear by Leisl Leighton


So, another fortnight down and I finally get to post my review of this highly enjoyable book by Leisl Leighton that I’m using to mark off the square Book set in the Australian mountains. This novel is set at the southern end of the Victorian Alpine region, and sounds beautiful.

Screenshot_20190702_171110The setting of the area and the property CoalCliff Stud were very much part of the story. The atmospheric cover itself told me straight away I was in for a book with plenty of suspense.

There were two storylines that met at CoalCliff Stud, one was our main man Reid’s story and the other our main female character Nat’s story. Both are running from things that have happened to them and CoalCliff Stud is the place from their childhood where they both feel safe to do their healing.

I loved Nat’s daughter Tilly, who is trying hard to be brave for her mum. And I loved interfering Barb, who has drawn Nat back to CoalCliff Stud. Barb is a great secondary character and I really enjoyed the role she had to play in pushing Nat and Reid to face some truths of the past and the present. She was also such a warm character, just the person you would want to help you through tough times.

The layers of suspense throughout the novel were just right and kept me guessing till the end to see what would happen and who was responsible. There was one character I definitely had some suspicions about right from when he enters the scene but had no idea why he would be doing what I thought he was doing.

I really enjoyed the growing relationship between Reid and Nat and the way they helped each other heal, despite misunderstandings, and how they had to face their own truths along the way. I hope, seeing as this is the first in a new series, that we get to see how they are doing down the track in the next books.

Thanks to NetGalley and Escape Publishing for providing me with a digital copy in return for an honest review.

Amazon US

Amazon AU

Escape Publishing



Book Bingo Round 13 and New Release Book Review: The Postmistress by Alison Stuart

IMG_20190606_200715This week I mark off another square on my Bingo sheet. I’ve picked Historical for this fortnight’s square and chose new release novel  The Postmistress by Alison Stuart for this square.


A historical fiction novel set in the harsh Australian outback and gold mining town in 1871.

In a small struggling mining town we meet Adelaide 10 years on from the Prologue where she is making a life for herself and her son. For me, Adelaide came across as older than she was, this would be because she’d had to eke out a living for her and her son and her friend Betty, who I loved. She portrayed herself as a widow so as to be socially acceptable for the times, a single, unwed mother would not be at all respectable.

I loved the character of Caleb, an American who comes to town to look at a mining claim. Caleb has some traumatic history he is running from and secrets, just like Adelaide.

I enjoyed the relationship between Adelaide and Caleb, and Adelaide’s son Danny. Caleb’s arrival is the catalyst for much change in the small town.

We have a completely unlikeable character enter the picture at one point and I seriously questioned Adelaide’s judgement with her decision making. But in those times, women would’ve felt they had less choices than they do now. 

The small town characters and problems were depicted so well, I could see them all clearly in my head. I really enjoy this novel, which at its heart was a love story, with hardships and suspense thrown in to the mix.

Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin Australia for providing me with a digital copy in return for an honest review.



Book Bingo Round 12


Book Bingo time again. This week I chose the crime square, I don’t read much crime, but I’ve been reading a series by Carol Wyer over the past year and her new book just came out. Book 3 in the Natalie Ward series is called The Dare.

The Dare

My review for the dare can be found here I think this is a really good series, so if you enjoy crime, give it a go.

So, I’m nearly halfway through the bingo card. I wonder what I can read for next fortnights square. If anyone can recommend a book for the square Nonfiction book about an event that I might enjoy, I’d love to hear your ideas.

Til next time, happy reading.

Book Bingo Round 11: Romance


Book Bingo time again. I had a lot of books to choose from this week, plenty of romances read this year. I chose The Soccer Player and the Single Mum by Kyra Jacobs.

IMG_20190525_134602I enjoyed this lightheaded romance. I enjoyed the banter and the chemistry between Felicity and Scott. The buildup of their relationship was at times fun and at times serious, but I liked the way they both learnt something from it. Tyler was a great kid and I loved the way he helped change Scott’s behaviour. Scott’s grandmother, Edna, was a great character, full of the quirkiness and cunning elderly people often have. Dreams can change and we need to make sure we don’t miss out on life by being afraid of that change.

I’m nearly halfway through the bingo card, I wonder what book I’ll find for the next square.

Book Bingo Round 10 – Fictional Biography about a woman from history

Another square marked off, this week it is A fictional biography about a woman from history


I chose Jessica North’s novel Esther as the book for this round. This is in my library as a biography, but I’m inclined to say it’s a mix of biography and historical fiction. This was such an interesting read, based on the true story of Esther the First Fleet convict girl who became First Lady of the colony. My full review can be read here


Until next fortnight, happy reading.

Book Bingo Round 9 & Book Review: The Chocolate Maker’s Wife by Karen Brooks

This round I am happy to cross off the square Novel that has 500 pages or more, a square I wondered if I’d be able to fill in.


This book is a massive read, at 552 pages plus extras it is a huge undertaking.

Cover image - The Chocolate Maker's WifeTo start with, I have to say that it took me a while to become completely engrossed in this novel, not because I wasn’t enjoying the story, because I was, but because I got rather annoyed with being told over and over how our heroine Rosamund’s beauty and laugh and smile were so wonderful that everyone around her was completely changed when she shone any of these things upon them. It got to the stage I actually started rolling my eyes. As the story progressed, we heard a bit less about these incredible qualities and I was able to enjoy the story much more, by the 150page mark I was loath to put the book down to go to bed and despite the size of it, I did indeed take it to bed to read.

The Chocolate Maker’s Wife was a fascinating look at the period of 1660-1666, a time in London’s history that I had little knowledge about and I was eager to keep reading both for the history and for the storyline itself.

Set against the decadent, chaotic backdrop of Restoration London, the plague, and the Great Fire, The Chocolate Maker’s Wife is a tale of revenge and redemption, love and hope—and the sweet, sinister temptation of chocolate.

Since chocolate for me is a must have food group, I was fascinated in the history of chocolate and chocolate making, I really enjoyed reading about the way different additives were used all the way back then to help with moods and health problems. I’m glad I live in a time where chocolate is readily available, though I would love to try chocolate the way they made it in Rosamund’s chocolate house.

There are plenty of secrets and plots happening throughout this story, some more sinister than others. There were some secrets we uncover near the end that I had for the most part already figured out, but there were times I was completely on edge about what was going to befall our characters next. I really loved our heroine by the end of the story and was hoping everything would work out for her. I loved the way she treated everyone as an equal and gave everyone a chance. I loved the characters who were her constant companions, especially  Bianca & Jacopo, I even came to enjoy her cousin Sam, despite my initial dislike of him. I really liked Matthew Lovelace and enjoyed getting to know him and uncover his story.

Yes this is a giant read, but it is definitely worth finding the time to read it. I will  be looking at Karen Brooks’ previous novels and have already started listening to the audiobook of her novel The Locksmith’s Daughter.

Thanks to Beauty & Lace Club and HQ Fiction for a copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Book Bingo Round 8 & Book Review: Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult


Welcome to another round of book Bingo, it’s already getting tougher each week to chose a square and a book to match, I think I’m going to need to pick a square and find a book that fits each fortnight from now on. This round I’ve chosen Themes of Inequality and used the novel Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult.

IMG_20190413_082750I listened to this in my car and was horror struck at times by the racism portrayed, shaking my head in disbelief at the way people think and behave; despite knowing that this is an actual truth unfortunately in our society. I still find it hard to get my head around, the hatred and behaviour of people towards another because of the colour of their skin.

This is the story of a black nurse, a white supremacist and a white public defender. It was a story that had me on edge the whole way through, telling a tale and giving voice to a subject that too often is ignored and not spoken about: the Inequality that exists around people of colour or race. This is set in America, but here in Australia, the Inequality between white Australians and the Aboriginal people, especially when it comes to being charged with crime, is as big a problem here as it is there.

Ruth Jefferson, a black Labour and delivery nurse (the only black nurse in the hospital) is trying to do her job when a new father demands she is stopped from touching his baby because of the fact she is African American. The fact that her supervisor goes along with this had me feeling incredulous. The parents are white supremacists who completely believe that the colour of your skin determines who is superior and that people of colour are not people.

Their baby dies and Ruth is thrown under a bus by her hospital and then by the family who have her charged with murder. Her court lawyer is a white woman Kennedy McQuarrie, who takes Ruth’s case to heart because of something Ruth says and fights to stay on her case.

This is a learning curve for Ruth and Kennedy, race is NOT spoken about in a court of law, EVER.  The trial is mind-blowing as is the case itself. It is mentioned more than once “if this was a white nurse, we wouldn’t even be here”.

There is lots of learning and educating throughout this emotional story of a fight for justice in a case that is primarily about race. This is based on a true story, luckily one that never made it to court, instead the hospital was sued for discrimination.

There is a scene where Kennedy is talking to her mother about racism and how it feels like they haven’t come anywhere in all these years of fighting for equality, her mother responds by saying from where she sits she’s amazed how far they’ve come. It may be changed from what it was 50 years ago, but it’s not enough. We all need to help end inequality due to race by being people who don’t allow others to spout racist jokes or slurs, by standing up and saying this isn’t the right way to talk or behave. By not being complicit in racism by standing by and watching it happen.

Ruth has had to endure so much inequality throughout her life, which as a white person I can’t imagine. She teaches Kennedy some huge lessons about inequality and racism as this story unfolds. And of course us as readers or listeners.

This is an important story and once again author Jodi Picoult is not afraid to tackle the difficult issues, the ones people want to ignore and forget about, unless they are the ones facing them.

Book Bingo Round 7 & Book Review: Wayward Heart by Cathryn Hein


This fortnight I chose to pick the square first and then find a book that matched. I chose the square Book by an Author with the same initials as yours. Which lead me to pick up Cathryn Hein’s Wayward Heart.

davI’ve had this on my shelf for ages and at only 40 or so pages in, I knew I was going to love it. This is definitely my favourite Cathryn Hein novel to date. The subject matter combined with the writing just had something extra that drew me deeply into the story straight away.

There are many reasons we connect to certain stories. I connected with our female lead Jasmine straight away, she was real and flawed, having been involved with the wrong man, she was now trying to get over the relationship. I connected with Digby too, the hurt he felt, so deep inside for the loss of his fiance was heartbreaking.

This story had so many dynamics for me and took my heart for a ride throughout. Cathryn Hein has done a wonderful job making her characters and their circumstances complete. The guilt and blame the characters carried or lay at anothers feet, the healing that needed to be done in order to move on, the jealousy you can feel seeing a loved one succeed in something you feel should have been yours and the loss of direction in life, these are some of the concepts that spoke to me through this story.

This was an absolutely enjoyable story and I’m glad thanks to book Bingo, I got to it sooner rather than later.