Blog Tour & New Release Book Review: Triple Beat by Ann Grech

Review

I enjoyed Triple Beat by Ann Grech, I really loved the relationship between Mike and Ezio which developed fast and furious and hot and completely unexpectedly between the two while Mike is holidaying on a cruise ship. Ezio breaks rules to be with Mke, but it ends too soon and neither knows how to contact the other.

Later Mike meets Robyn and they become friends and then more, but he never stops loving Ezio. I have to say that I wasn’t as caught up in Mike’s relationship with Robyn as I was with Ezio until Ezio comes back into the picture.
Ezio’s relationship with Mike completely tugged at my heartstrings and I so wanted them to find each other again and work things out.
Robyn really shows what a great person she is with the way she deals with Ezio’s return and Mike’s feelings for him.

 

I loved these three together and I really loved the ending of this romance, I do like it when things work out for the best.

 

Genre: MMF romance

Trope: Friends to lovers


TRIPLE BEAT

A Rule of Three Novel #2

by Ann Grech

Blog Tour


Synopsis


Single dad Mike must make a choice.

A second-chance with a holiday lover torn away before either man admitted they wanted more?

Or the woman who’d become his best friend and stolen his heart?

Different from him in so many ways, both are the loves of his life.

But Mike’s got secrets.

One could destroy a relationship. The other, his life.

Triple Beat is Ann Grech’s long-awaited second MMF in the Rule of Three series. Featuring a doctor who has the cure for what ails his former lover, a lawyer rewriting the laws of love, a personal trainer working out just who he is, and two sassy kids, you’ll fall head over heels for all of them.


 


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Other Titles Within this Series

PURCHASE

 

 



About the Author


By day Ann Grech lives in the corporate world and can be found sitting behind a desk typing away at reports and papers or lecturing to a room full of students. She graduated with a PhD in 2016 and is now an over-qualified nerd. Glasses, briefcase, high heels and a pencil skirt, she’s got the librarian look nailed too. If only they knew! She swears like a sailor, so that’s got to be a hint. The other one was “the look” from her tattoo artist when she told him that she wanted her kids initials “B” and “J” tattooed on her foot. It took a second to register that it might be a bad idea.

She’s never entirely fit in and loves escaping into a book—whether it’s reading or writing one. But she’s found her tribe now and loves her MM book world family. She dislikes cooking, but loves eating, can’t figure out technology, but is addicted to it, and her guilty pleasure is Byron Bay Cookies. Oh and shoes. And lingerie. And maybe handbags too. Well, if we’re being honest, we’d probably have to add her library too given the state of her credit card every month (what can she say, she’s a bookworm at heart)!

She also publishes her raunchier short stories under her pen name, Olive Hiscock.



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New Release Book Review: Our Own Private Fig Tree by Rania Battany

IMG_20210930_173447After reading Rania Battany’s Fleeting Moments two years ago, and her subsequent novels, I knew this book would pull at the heartstrings. As well, it encouraged me to look both inside and outside of myself and think about the different cultures and rules we live by in our society.

This was a brilliantly written novel that explored the importance of culture, and the expectations that families can put on their children to conform to that culture, even if they now live in a different country.

It also celebrated differences in culture. The music, the food, the big family celebrations, the support from large families when tragedy happens, and the way it can give us our identity.

It is a story of two teenagers, Caleb, ‘white boy’, an Australian and Samira, a Lebanese girl, who live across the road from each other, fall in love and have to hide this from everyone because it wouldn’t be acceptable, especially from Samira’s families perspective.

But it is more than a story of forbidden love, it’s a story of true love and how to be true to that love if society’s rules and cultural rules say it’s wrong.

There is a tragedy that nearly destroys a family and separates these two for nearly a decade. When they meet again, nothing has changed, both between them and with Samira’s family expectations. There are secrets that have been kept for decades that come out that cause Caleb to take a look at who he is and his identity, it also helps him see that if he wants a life with Samira, he must fight to gain acceptance in her world, and convince her he is worth the risk. History could be repeated or they could forge a new path, one that combines their cultures and their families.

I really did love this novel, it had everything in it I needed to make it a wonderful read. I loved all of the characters and their differences, I especially loved Jim who was such a special person in the lives of so many and in the choices he made for love.

I went to school with a fair few Greeks, Italians, Malays and various other cultures, but I never really thought about how different their home lives, or their parents’ backgrounds might be. I wonder now, did they feel some of the same expectations on them that Samira did in this novel. Were there expectations that they would choose a partner from the same cultural background, work in a certain job, marry and have children? Did they fight against those cultural expectations or roll with them so as not to upset their families? So many things to consider that I wasn’t even aware of 20+ years ago.

This is a story full of warmth, heartache, acceptance and love. It is about learning about our identities, respecting our cultures, but learning to combine those cultures to take what works from each one and make it something even better.

In this multicultural world, we live in, this is important because there are many more cultures sharing this land we call home, cultures will become blended, but we still need to be able to hold on to the heart of that culture while finding the path that works towards a future for all.

Thank you to the author for providing me with a copy of this novel in return for an honest review.

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Blog Tour: Review and Excerpt: High Alert by Becca Seymour

High Alert Banner

Excerpt

“Hey, Ross.” Pretty light-brown orbs peered back at me, wide and just as mesmerising as I remembered. “Bloody hell, you’re a sight for sore eyes.”

I grinned, uncertain of the words that might fall out of my mouth.

I didn’t need to worry. In Dan’s next breath, he said, “Get your arse over here already and give me a hug.”

I ignored my brother’s snort as he snagged the beer from Dan and walked on past us.

A deep exhale escaped my lungs as I stepped forwards and pulled him into my arms. I wrapped myself around him, holding him tight. The feel of his large limbs, strong and firm, wrapped around my own frame made my heart sing.

“Good to see you too, mate. About time you made the move back to civilisation.” My grin remained wide when I eased away, his snort making me chuckle.

“Civilisation, huh?”

“Yep. You better believe it. You know, a Subway opened in town, and Bunnings got an extension. Civilisation at its best.”

Dan’s laugh washed over me like a familiar hug, the sensation warming me, much like the log fire already built in my sitting room did.

Review

High AlertI thoroughly enjoyed this slow-burn best friends to lovers romance. I really liked the Australian setting, I do enjoy a book set in my home country. Ross has been in love with his brother Craig’s best friend Dan for years but didn’t want to ruin a friendship by saying anything, especially when he thought Dan was only into women. When Dan returns to their small country town to make a new beginning, the two find every reason to spend time together, while both trying to hide their feelings towards the other. I really loved the dynamics between Ross and Dan and was hoping they would both wake up and tell each other what they were feeling. I liked Craig, he was a good brother and a good mate and I loved how he tried to push them together knowing how they both felt.

There are a few serious issues covered in this novel, bullying, homophobia, past emotional child abuse, these are tackled well and my heart went out to Ross for what he’d been through. He was a better man than me when confronted with his past.

The land and environment also play an important role, from drought to bush fires, these are major issues that farmers and many people in Australia face every year. I loved the way the town’s people pulled together when disaster strikes.

A really enjoyable read

Small-Town Australia | Friends to Lovers | Brother’s Best Friend | Rural Firefighter Hotness | Koala Rescue | Weather-Related Drama | A Not-So-Pleasant Blast From the Past | Hurt/Comfort |

 

BLURB

It’s a tale as old as time.

I’ve crushed on my brother’s best friend since I sprouted hairs on the unmentionables. Once upon a time, he was straight, until he wasn’t… and talk about bad timing.

And when we’re finally at a place for me to make my move, sexy rural firefighter Dan clams up and acts weird and I’m left with pants that are too tight and my heart feeling bruised… but he’s a good friend and I’m grateful he’s in my life.

Because of course Dan is a good guy.

Though him being “good” and ridiculously easy on the eyes and possibly the best man I know only makes me want him more.

When we’re thrust into a situation that brings both of us close to danger, it’s hardly the time to be chasing first kisses or finally acting on my crush. But Dan doesn’t seem to mind.

I just know that when the stakes are high and emotions are running wild, sometimes you have to show your hand and go all in.

And that’s exactly what I plan to do.

High Alert was originally a 7,000-word short story in the March 2020 charity anthology “When the Smoke Clears.” It is now a 64,000-word full-length novel, complete with smouldering low-angst loveliness and a group of Aussie men who will capture your hearts.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Becca SeymourBecca Seymour lives and breathes all things book related. Usually with at least three books being read and two WiPs being written at the same time, life is merrily hectic. She tends to do nothing by halves so happily seeks the craziness and busyness life offers.

Living on her small property in Queensland with her human family as well as her animal family of cows, chooks, and dogs, Becca appreciates the beauty of the world around her and is a believer that love truly is love.

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New Release Book Review: The Forever Place by Michelle Montebello

The Forever PlaceThis was a really great read, a compassionate look at a woman struggling with alcohol addiction and the havoc it plays with her life and those around her.

I was completely engaged in this story from start to finish, I felt so much compassion for Marley and her struggle with alcohol addiction and the choices she makes and the impact this has on her relationships and her professional life.

Sometimes it really does take hitting rock bottom to make you take a look at what is going on, and for Marley it took hitting rock bottom and an ultimatum from her sister before she is willing (albeit under duress), to make a change.

Marley is a criminal defence attorney whose life was badly affected by the repercussions of a case she worked on a couple of years before. Without being aware of it, alcohol has become more than just a fun time. I could relate to this myself and really felt for her when she became aware just how much she was relying on alcohol to function and also how much certain relationships relied on that alcohol consumption.

Michelle Montebello introduces us to ‘Blue Zones’ which are some of the healthiest places on earth to live, (there is a link in the back of the book if you want to know more), White Cedar Island is off the coast of Nova Scotia (this is actually a made-up blue zone based on the real blue zones, which is a shame because I could have lived there myself for half a year (the summer half) if it had been real). Cedar Island is a small community with healthy eating, mostly a vegan diet, self-sustainable for the most part and very little alcohol available.

Marley originally goes there for two weeks to dry out after her sister’s ultimatum, this is extended when she makes friends with her landlady Noelle, who plays a big part in Marley’s recovery, and with Lachlan, a lovely guy who befriends her, along with his gorgeous dog, and realises if she returns to her life at this point she will go back to drinking and nothing will change. I admired Marley’s determination, once she admitted she had a problem, to make changes in her life.

She has some hard decisions to make during her time on the island and she also makes some bad decisions too, I wanted to pull her aside and say nooo don’t do it, but she had to make her own mistakes in order to learn and move forward.

I think that Marley and Lachlan both had very real flaws, ones that made them both easy to relate to. There were a couple of not so nice characters who played quite important roles in Marley’s life and the outcomes that occurred, both on the island and back in Australia.

This really was a wonderful read, an emotional one, highlighting the very real struggle of addiction that so many people deal with every day.

Thank you to Beauty and Lace Book Club and Michelle Montebello for a digital copy of this novel in return for an honest review.

AWW 2021

New Release Book Review: Rewind by Tania Joyce

rewindRewind is book #5 in the Everhide Rockstar Romance series and follows the couple we met in Ruined #2, Kara and Hunter which I thoroughly enjoyed.

This was another emotional read, (you may need tissues), Kara and Hunter have now been together for a year and things are going well until Kara decides she wants to try for a baby using a surrogate. Kara and Hunter’s journey to becoming parents and at the same time following their dreams is full of ups and downs and plenty of struggles and drama.

I have to say, I found Kara slightly selfish and single-minded in Ruined, but she takes it up another level in Rewind and I found it hard to deal with. Yes, she wants a baby desperately, but she didn’t take Hunter’s thoughts or career into account at all instead she just didn’t let up at him until he changed his mind and went the way she wanted to. Saying that I still very much enjoyed Rewind, and about halfway through Kara becomes a nicer person to deal with. 

Hunter and his friends from Everhide are reaching new heights and they have the next two years of their career planned out, a new album and touring. I found Gemma seemed to flip-flop in her feelings about Hunter and the baby issue and seeing as Kara was one of her best friends I found her slightly lacking in support. Kyle, I loved, he was a good friend and supportive all the way through. 

Hunter doesn’t only have to deal with Kara wanting a baby, but also with having problems with his voice, something no lead singer would find easy to deal with. I really felt for him in this, though I did think he should have listened to the experts to start with, everyone has to make their own choices and mistakes and there were possible negative side effects with surgery so I could see where he was coming from.

I really enjoyed getting to know Kara’s sister better and I thought the gift she gave to Kara and Hunter was something very special, and her husband for supporting that choice. Kara’s parents are as toxic as they were previously and I didn’t like them at all and I would have preferred a different ending when it came to their relationship with Kara, but maybe I’m just cynical.

Despite my issues with some of the characters’ behaviours and choices, I really enjoyed reuniting with the Everhide family and enjoyed taking the emotional journey with Hunter and Kara especially after the struggles they had been through and overcome in the past. Theirs is a love that burned strong despite all their differences and they both needed to see what was important if they wanted to be together.

Thank you to Tania Joyce for a digital copy of this novel in return for an honest review.

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Book Review: Red Dirt Heart series by N.R. Walker

Red dirt heart seriesThis was a wonderful series, I flew through all 4 books one after the other, I  adored Travis and Charlie, such different people who fit together just right.

I felt for Charlie, growing up ashamed of being gay, a father who made him feel less than and unloved, struggling to make his dead father proud while hiding who he is from the community and deciding he doesn’t deserve to find that special someone. Then along comes Travis, a Texan who believes he was meant to come to Sutton Station, meant to meet Charlie and that they were meant to be together if only he can convince Charlie of this.

I loved reading about station life, I can’t even imagine how hard farming is out there in the Territory, but I do know how amazing those open plains were when I drove through 10 years ago. Charlie comes a long way in the Red Dirt Heart series,  he has a lot of healing to do and a long way to go to completely believing in himself as more than just a farmer.

The supporting cast, the other farm workers, who have become his family, a family that grows over the course of the series, and Ma and George who were his true parents in every way were all wonderful characters to get to know.

There were plenty of emotional times throughtout this series as Charlie heals and grows, Ma gets sick, Travis may have to leave the country for good, Charlies mother returns out of the blue, bring secrets long buried with her and Travis and Charlie go through their ups and downs. But there were plenty of laughs along the way as the Sutton Station crew live their lives in a harsh environment that is full of love.

I highly recommend this series.

AWW 2021

Book Review: Treasured Secrets by Kendall Talbot

Treasured Secrets: 1I bought this book back in 2015 and it has been sitting there waiting for me to read it ever since, when hearing book 4 was being released shortly I thought I should do something about reading it (I also have book 2 waiting which I bought in 2016, that’s up next).

This was an action-packed read with danger in unexpected places and secrets which have been buried for 100’s of years.

Archer and Rosalina’s relationship ends because he won’t open up and tell her his own secrets, when she comes across something in a church in Italy that is reminiscent of a pendant Archer wears, she contacts him demanding he tells her where he got it. And so begins the start of a treasure hunt.

Archer and Rosalina are still very much in love, but Rosa has tried to move on and Archer hasn’t been able to open up and tell her his heartbreaking secrets. Now it is time for them to reassess and hope that they both get a chance for a second chance at love as well as staying alive long enough to make that happen.

The bad guy is a crazy priest, who had me scared because of just how crazy he was, determined to find the treasure himself, he’ll go to any lengths to make it happen.

The supporting characters were fun to get to know too and I hope we see more of them in the next book.

This was an enjoyable read and I  can’t wait to see where this treasure leads them next in Treasured Lies.

AWW 2021

Half year round up

Wow, 6 months has gone by in a bit of a flash, I’ve fallen down a bit in my reviewing, but I’m hoping I can get back on track from now on. I have read some great books this year so far and thought I’d share 6 of my favourite, one for each month, a hard thing to do.

I’ve read 147 books out of 150 for my Goodreads challenge, these consist of physical books, ebooks and audiobooks, I think I’ll make it don’t you.

And according to my kindle I have read far more than that in ebooks alone. I’ve also read for 153 weeks in a row and 297 days in a row, so that’s pretty cool.

Future Girl

So my first book I’m picking is Future Girl by Asphyxia I didn’t get around to writing my thoughts on this yet, but it was a great #ownvoices YA read by an Australian author who is deaf. Her character is deaf and I learnt a lot about the deaf community and Auslan. She also is a big advocate of being self sufficient and the book is full of ideas on growing your own veggies and composting etc. Set in the near future in Australia, it seems very real possible furture in some ways. I read this back in January, so the fact it has stayed with me all that time says a lot. I actually got the library to buy this in for me, it is written in the form of an art journal and I felt a physical copy was necessary to get the full experience.

The Boy from the Mish

Next is another I haven’t written my thoughts on, another library book, aren’t librarys wonderful, was The Boy From the Mish by Garry Lonesborough another #ownvoices YA novel, a coming of age book about an indigenous boy struggling with his sexuality in an outback community. A powerful read full of emotions.

Raft of Stars

Next is Raft of Stars by Andrew J. Graff I did actually write a small review for this one: What an emotional story on so many levels. I was taken for a ride right along with these boys who are running from their actions and the adults who are running to save them. The descriptive writing was wonderful and I was completely swept up in this story, swept along that river with its many faces, not quite sure until right at the end what the outcome was going to be. A story of friendship, consequences, actions, and reactions, love and grief; the outcome of the boys’ actions will have consequences for everyone involved.

A Home Like Ours

A Home Like Ours by Fiona Lowe was a fabulous read, see my review here. A novel which covers a lot of important topics such as racism, homelessness, refugees, single mothers and domestic abuse.

The Things We See in the Light

Next is The Things We See in the Light by Amal Awad an #ownvoices novel that had me gripped from the start. This novel grabbed hold of me, pulled me in and refused to let me go until I’d finished. I was immediately drawn to Sahar and the story of her past journey in Jordan, married to a man she barely knew, as it is slowly revealed to us, as well as her present journey discovering who she is now she has taken control of her life.

I loved that Sahar was in her 40s and still discovering who she was, there’s hope for me still.

The cast of characters surrounding Sahar were so wonderfully varied, all with quirks and their own issues. My favourite was Luke, I enjoyed watching him open up and in turn cause Sahar to open up to new possibilities also.

I loved this story, it spoke to me in many ways, a story of friendship, love, of journeys with plenty of lessons to learn along the way, I enjoyed every minute of it.

Father of the Lost Boys

And lastly, ahhh this was hard to pick one last book, but I’ve gone with a non-fiction read, a memoir by a South Sudanese man who now calls Perth his home. Father of the Lost Boys by Yuot Alaak this was a powerful read and showed just what people are capable of, both the good and the bad. See my review here.

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I’m currently reading The Other Side of Beautiful by Kim Lock, I’m nearly half way through and I think this will be going on one of my top reads for 2021.

If you’re interested in checking out any of the 147 books I’ve read so far, the link to my reader challenge is here.

I’d love to know your thoughts on any of these books if you’ve read them or are wanting to read them. And I’d love to know what your favourite books of 2021 are so far.

New Release Book Review: Waking Romeo by Kathryn Barker

I saw this cover (fabulous) and read a review on this novel a while ago and I was intrigued enough to want to read it and I’m so glad I did. This was a fabulous read, something so different to anything else I’ve read, time-travel, dystopian fiction, romance, built on a classic novel, so many different aspects that made up this unique novel. The world has essentially ended, humans have destroyed the earth and resources are limited, but with the invention of pods, people can travel forwards only, into the future, hopeful of a better life.

When the book starts it is 2083 and Juliet (Jules) is not in a good place, the love of her life, Romeo is in a coma after a tragic accident 2 years beforehand that left Jules with a dead arm and feeling even more on the outer than she did before. The actual events of that night and those leading up to them are uncovered slowly as the story progresses, but all is not as it would appear and Jules will face a lot of truths, ones she has deluded herself into believing, ones she has written into a story The Love Story of Juliet and Romeo, written in the style of Shakespeare, and ones that she has been told are the truth but aren’t.

Ellis, a deadender, a traveller from the future, but also from the past, is charged with the mission to wake Romeo and is transported back to 2083 where he encounters Jules and together they work to do just that. Jules was under the impression you could only travel forwards in time and needed a pod to do so, but Ellis throws this and many other of her beliefs into disarray.

There is a lot to get your head around in this novel, especially the jumping back and forwards in time, the different timelines and how they play out, the memories and Jules’ story, but if you go in with an open mind then you’ll be in for one hell of a ride. This would have been a five star read if it hadn’t been for the final couple of chapters where for the first time I did struggle to get my head around the time travel/ consequences aspect, but I will get this out of the library again and reread those chapters, and hopefully, it will all become clear.

I loved the way the author has played with Shakespears story, but not only Shakespear but another classic author, Emily Bronte for who Ellis was the inspiration of her classic story.

An ingenious novel.

AWW 2021

New Release Book Review: Ash Mountain by Helen Fitzgerald

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The start of this novel packs a punch, the description of the wall of fire bearing down on Fran as she runs to find her daughter is so visual I was there with Fran, running from this insane firey inferno.

This was a very emotional read, at the beginning, I found the first chapters a little hard to follow, but soon I was absorbed completely in the story. It jumps back and forth between the past starting 30 years before, and present, back to when Fran was a teenager and her experiences that played a major role in her future. This small town has a dark underbelly, which we get a real feel for as the story unrolls. The back story slowly works its way toward the present day and to where the story begins.

Fran and her family could be any one of us, getting by, dealing with what life throws at us the best we can. The family relationships were complicated and Fran’s return to Ash Mountain dregs up many feelings.

There were several scenes in the story, ones that involved the boarders from the catholic boys’ school, that had me shaking with fury, and with what has been going on in our media lately, it makes me wonder if some boy’s and men’s attitudes will ever change.

The devastating impact of fire is well known in Australia and Helen’s depiction of the fire itself and the devastation is extremely real. Both for the environment itself and for the people.

I posted after finishing this novel that this book was unputdownable and it certainly was, the ending, well, I won’t spoil it, but you are in for one hell of a ride.

Thanks to Better Reading Preview for a copy of this novel in return for an honest review.

AWW 2021