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

New Release Book Review: Ulara by Leesa Bow

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This was a really good read, with a very novel storyline. A story of travel, of soulmates, forbidden love, forbidden journey’s, secrets and ultimately finding out who you are and what you want from life; a journey of self-discovery.

I loved the way Eden and her friends went off travelling, each wanting different experiences from the trip and each having a go at what the other wanted to experience regardless of whether they thought they would enjoy it or not. It makes me want to do a lot more travelling, to go out of my comfort zone and find out what is underneath.

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One of the taglines states Even if it meant doing the one thing my father warned me not to do—enter the jungle. I wasn’t prepared for what awaited me.
And I won’t come out the same.” And that is certainly true for the journey that Eden finds herself on after meeting Samuel and deciding to hunt him down because her connection to him is that strong. While at first, I felt Eden made many mistakes after arriving in the jungle, especially when not listening to Samuel and taking what he said seriously, I felt that Eden’s growth really happened after Samuel left her there alone while he went on his own journey. But Eden isn’t the only one changed by her meeting with Samuel, Samuel is also changed and they both end up questioning where their paths are heading and if what they thought they wanted still holds true.

Samuel and Eden’s connection was on a soul level, but they both had issues they struggled with when it came to forming a relationship. I enjoyed seeing the relationship develop and morph into something deep.

I really enjoyed the portrayal of life for the Ularan tribes people, I found it fascinating and an interesting way of life. I can see why they would want to stay hidden and continue their ways. It’s a shame that the environment in which they live and survive is being decimated by the greed of humanity.

Eden’s family had some interesting dynamics, some that shift as the story progresses and some that you get more enlightenment about once Eden returns from her trip. There were some secrets uncovered which may have unknown outcomes down the track for everyone.

I can’t wait for book #2 Wild at Heart due to be released in August.

To read an excerpt click here

Links to buy now

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AUTHOR BIO

Leesa Bow is a romance author who began her writing journey years ago when her daughter fell ill. After writing for therapy Leesa now can’t imagine doing anything else. Thankful to be following her passion for romance, she is living out her own happy ever after with her husband in Brisbane, Australia.

In her spare time Leesa enjoys watching sport, having beach days with the family, catching up for coffee with girlfriends, and taking long walks. Most importantly the cinema dates with her husband to watch all the Marvel movies.

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New Release Book Review:Cloudburst by Suzanne Cass


I really enjoyed this 4th book in the Stargazer Ranch series.

Penny’s story was a tough one, stalked by an abusive ex-husband, or near enough, what an unbalanced man he was. We meet Clayton again who was in previous books in this series, accused of arson, then charged with attempted kidnapping. He’s back in town, disliked and untrusted, but he’s the one to save Penny, and despite his own issues, he takes on the role of protector. I liked both these characters, their need to realise their own worth and get past their pasts.
I liked that we got to attend Cat and Levin’s wedding, after all they went through in book #1 it was nice to see them still together.

I hope somewhere down the track there’s more drama and romance to be had on Stargazer Ranch.

AWW 2021

New Release Book Review: REIGN: A Romance Anthology

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REIGN: A ROMANCE ANTHOLOGY

Penny Dee | Bec McMaster | KE Osborn

Nina Levine | Liz Lovelock | Evie Mitchell

Kat T Masen | Emma James | Addison Jane

JA Low | Leesa Bow | Kally Ash | Corinne Mazille

 

 

Synopsis: 

They say that power changes a person.                                                                                    Love changes them more.

Long may they reign… You find them in the boardroom. The throne room. The bedroom. They burn brighter than the rest.                                                                                               They wield power as easily as they breathe.                                                                           They stop at nothing to get what they want.

Royalty, CEOs, mafia kings, demons, and more. When love conquers, will they fall to their knees for the person they can’t live without? Reign is a collection of thirteen brand new romance novellas featuring men and women who rule their empires but not their hearts.

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Review: 

This had some really enjoyable novellas in by some great authors, I haven’t managed to read them all yet, but I definitely plan to.

Though I enjoyed all the ones I have read so far, my favourite was Three’s a Crown by JA Low. I enjoy MMF romances and this one hit all the right buttons. A prince and his bodyguard and a marriage of duty that threatens to pull them apart. In comes a princess who might be all they are both looking for and more. I loved these three characters and I loved that the princess wasn’t afraid to ask for what she wanted. A hot and sexy read.

Stardust by Lisa Bow was a really enjoyable and sweet but sexy football novella that included a motorcycle gang full of really bad guys and a footballer with a hero complex for the one woman he shouldn’t want.

Illusive – The Exiled Eight MC by Addison Jane was about a young single mother, Zoey, who is on the run from some well connected bad guys. Finding a job as an interior designer is her dream, and she lands her dream job, it just happens to be owned by an outlaw motorcycle club who take on the job of protecting her and her daughter.  Zoey falls for the leader, one seriously alpha male who in turn falls for her. Plenty of action.

Little Bird by Kally Ash was not my favourite, but still an enjoyable read. A young woman who needs to pay off her brothers debts to a sex club owner who has a few less than legal side businesses. I liked that she stood her ground about what she was willing to do to pay off that debt. And I liked how confused she made our alpha male.

Surrendered Hearts by Nina Levine, rich mafia families and a serious alpha male, a marriage of convenience, or was it something more. If only these two had just opened up and told each other what was going on and how they felt. I liked that our female mc was damned stubborn and made her fiance lose his mind a little more with each encounter.

I am looking forward to delving back into this anthology full of men and women who rule.

 

Buy Links: Amazon US     Amazon UK    Amazon AU     Amazon CA     Apple    Nook   Kobo

Meet Penny Dee:

Hi I’m Penny Dee! I’ve written stories for as long as I can remember. I wrote my first book when I was five. It was called The Goodies and it was about a drive to the shops to get milk. It was amazing. It was also brilliantly illustrated in orange felt tip pen because I was all about the awesomeness when I was five years old.

Skip forward a few decades… and I write romance, erotic romance and romantic suspense. And MC romance. And rockstar romance. And contemporary romance. Hell, if they’re romancing then I’m writing it. I feel really fortunate because I get to meet interesting characters every single day—fictional characters who shock the hell out of me! I never know where their story is going until they lead me there. They’re in charge. They can be bossy and demanding. Sometimes a little impatient and frustrating. And let me tell you, they don’t understand the concept of quiet time.

No. I am not crazy.

When you write fiction, you share your grey matter with a lot of characters. Characters who show up unannounced and demand to be put to paper.

Fictional characters aside, I also like to hear from real humans so don’t be shy, drop me a line and say hi.

I promise you. I am not crazy.

Find out more about Penny Dee at: https://pennydeebooks.com

Meet Bec McMaster:

My name is Bec McMaster and I live in a small country town in Australia with my boyfriend, a noisy cockatiel, and a beautiful dog named Kobe. I grew up either with my nose in a book or writing, and never understood why other people didn’t get to watch ‘all the movies in their heads’. Following a lifelong love affair with fantasy, I discovered romance at the age of sixteen and haven’t looked back.

When I’m not writing I like to read, obsess over food blogs and my attempts at recreating their masterpieces, go hiking with my boyfriend, pore over travel brochures, and go to the gym. I’m addicted to travel, and love to set my books in foreign places. It’s the next best thing to travelling there. One day I vow to see the entire world, whether it’s by plane, paper, or imagination.

These days I can be found sitting at my computer with a hot mug of tea, possibly some chocolate (okay, definitely some chocolate) creating the dark and dangerous worlds of the London Steampunk, Dark Arts or Burned Lands series’ where even the darkest hero can find love. I’m a member of RWA (USA and Australia), and am represented by Jessica Faust of BookEnds; LLC.

I’m so grateful to get this chance to pursue my dream, so thank you to everyone who reads my books. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed writing them!

Find out more about Bec McMaster at: https://www.becmcmaster.com

Meet KE Osborn:

Australian author K E Osborn was born and raised in Adelaide, South Australia. With a background in graphic design and a flair for all things creative, she felt compelled to write the story brewing in her mind.

Writing gives her life purpose. It makes her feel, laugh, cry, and get completely enveloped with the characters and their story lines. She feels completely at home when writing and wouldn’t consider doing anything else.

Find out more about KE Osborn at: http://www.keosbornauthor.com.au

Meet Nina Levine:

USA Today Bestselling Author Nina Levine is an Aussie author who writes alphas with a side of dirty and sassy women who don’t hand their hearts over easily. When she isn’t creating with words, she loves to create with paint and paper. Often though, she can be found curled up with a good book and some chocolate.

Find out more about Nina Levine at: https://ninalevinebooks.com

Meet Liz Lovelock:

Liz is from bright, sunny, Queensland in Australia. She is a mother of three little monsters, a wife to an amazing husband and an avid reader. Liz always loved books from a very young age, when she began reading Garfield comic books. Then in high school, her passion grew when she was given Tomorrow When The War Began by John Marsden for an assignment, from that she continued to find new gems. Liz always has a book and notebook beside her bed for when inspiration hits at those crazy hours. She is a stationery and chocolate addict and has a one-click addition. Liz has heaps of new book ideas for the future and looks forward to sharing those ideas with you, her readers.

Find out more about Liz Lovelock at: http://www.lizlovelockauthor.com

Meet Evie Mitchell:

Evie Mitchell is a thirty-something woman who loves dirty books, bad boys and men who know how to treat their woman right. She lives with her husband, their two sausage dogs, and an ever-growing collection of book-related mugs. When she’s not writing, Evie loves curling up in the sun with a good book and a cup of tea. Evie specialises in short reads for curious minds.

Find out more about Evie Mitchell at: https://www.eviemitchell.com

Meet Kat T Masen:

I’m obsessed with the ’80s — hands down THE best years of my life. Granted, I was in the prime of my life, not reaching the double digits yet. Life was nothing but great music, neon-colored tights, and roller-skates that made an appearance at the roller arena each week.

Then I grew up…

Ahh, the ’90s. I’m admitting right here that I’m a 90210 fanatic. The skates were hung up, and dating boys became the norm.

Also, then l began to adult…

Marriage, four boys, and what’s that…I kind of became an author. I combined my love of reading, ’80s bands, and the swoony men on 90210 to bring you sexy.humorous.smut.

But, then I was like, can I do more?

I’m also the founder of Books Ever After Book Boxes & Books by the Bridge Author Events.

So if you don’t find me writing, planning events or packing book boxes, you’ll find me with a plate of nachos binge watching Gilmore Girls for the millionth time. Team Logan all the way.

Oh…and parenting but thats easy, right?

Find out more about Kat T Masen at: https://www.kattmasen.com

Meet Emma James:

Emma James is the author of the completed Hell’s Bastard series, a jaw-dropping, highly addictive, unpredictable, sexy, and very twisted dark suspense/thriller series and also the much-loved Men of Ocean Beach series.

Emma writes in multi-genre and loves to keep the reader guessing with all the twists and turns found in her stories. Always expect the unexpected.

One consistent thing with her stories is love will always rise from the ashes.

Marley, her black Labrador, is the inspiration for Bear in Men of Ocean Beach series. Morrison, the family pet rescue cat, who has many OCDs, will be grabbing some of the limelight in a future standalone because the dude rocks the ‘tude.

She likes Pina Coladas, but not getting caught in the rain.

Emma takes regular zen breaks from her writing to listen to and stare at the ocean because you only live once, might as well stare at the sea when you can.

Find out more about Emma James at: https://www.facebook.com/emmajamesauthor

Meet Addison Jane:

Addison Jane is a born and bred kiwi girl with a passion for romance and writing.

When she gets the chance she enjoys the little things in life such as reading, dancing, music, and Facebook, but her world really revolves around the little girl who calls her Mum. It’s an awkward balance between alpha males and Disney princesses but it works.

Growing up on a small farm next to the beach will always make her a country girl at heart. But since moving away to a small town close to the city she’s discovered a dangerous love for shopping.

Writing stories has been something that’s come naturally since she was young, and with the massive support of her friends and family, she finally decided to step out of her comfort zone and share them with the world.

She enjoys bringing her books to life with strong female leads, sexy passionate men and a rollercoaster of twists and turns that lead to the happily ever after that her readers desire.

Find out more about Addison Jane at: https://www.facebook.com/Addisonjaneauthor/

Meet JA Low:

Hello there, I’m JA Low the writer.

Thanks for taking the time to learn about me. I live in the Australian outback with my husband and my two adventurous boys. I have two crazy Jack Russells, Four chickens that are stubborn and really don’t like cuddles no matter how much I try and make them, I also have a million and one bees.

I love reality tv, give me anything Real Housewives. I’m obsessed with recipe books, even though I don’t use them. I love American modern farmhouse homes and one day I will build one.

Give me a shot of tequila and I’m your girl.

Hope you enjoyed my books and hope to see you around a book signing or two.

Find out more about JA Low at: https://www.jalowbooks.com/

Meet Leesa Bow:

Leesa Bow is a best selling author who began her writing journey years ago when her daughter fell ill. Falling into writing for therapy Leesa now can’t imagine doing anything else. Thankful to be following her passion for romance, she is living out her own happy ever after with her husband in Brisbane, Australia. In her spare time Leesa enjoys watching sport, having beach days with the family, catching up for coffee with girlfriends, and taking long walks. Leesa is a member of Romance Writer’s of Australia (RWA).

Find out more about Leesa Bow at: https://www.leesabow.com/

Meet Kally Ash:

Kally Ash is a USA Today Bestselling Author whose passions include curling up with a good book, devouring chocolate and getting kitty cuddles. Tempt Me is her debut novel, and the first book in a three book series.

Some of her unicorn authors include Sawyer Bennett, Elizabeth Hayley and Haley Jenner.

Find out more about Kally Ash at: https://www.kallyash.com/about-kally-ash/

Meet Corinne Mazille:

My name is Corinne Mazille, and I love to write romance in all different tropes. I started writing a lot later in life, but once an idea formed in my head after reading hundreds of books, I couldn’t stop. Coming up with characters and worlds is so much fun, and I can’t wait until I can do this fulltime.

I never really thought of myself as being artistic, but years ago, I did start a makeup course because I would have loved to work on movie sets, but real life got in the way and a job opportunity arose that I couldn’t turn down. But I still have a massive love of makeup and can very easily spend hours watching make up tutorials on youtube.

And I am blessed with a daughter who I have trained well. She loves to play with makeup, although I do find pieces missing from time to time.

We are also huge Disney fans in this house, and we are currently planning our next trip, this time hoping to get to Disney World.

Find out more about Corinne Mazille at: https://www.corinnemazilleauthor.com/

New Release Book Review: Starting From Scratch by Penelope Janu

My first review for the year and I thought I’d kick it off with one of my most anticipated reads for the beginning of 2021, I always know I’m in for a great read when I pick up a Penelope Janu novel and meet her characters.

In her latest novel, Sapphie has so many imperfections, she is a great character, perfectly imperfect as her grandmother would have said.

I loved Matts too, he was solid and true to Sapphie.

I really enjoyed learning about water systems, wetlands, rivers, swamps, oh, and frogs. Penelope Janu has done a wonderful job of managing to educate us as we read without it becoming too formal.

There were so many secrets and misunderstandings, some really big secrets, that I wondered how they’d dig through them all, especially seeing how stubborn Sapphie could be. Their shared past is a complicated one and they’ve both been through a lot and both been hurt by things that happened. A lot of work had to go into renewing the relationship between Sapphie and Matts, it’s a good job Matts was determined to reconnect, because Sapphie was determined to keep him away.

Sapphie’s dad was a piece of work, and I was hoping he’d get his comeuppance for past and present behaviours.

Sapphie’s friend Hugh was lovely, I’d have liked to get to know him better, maybe he’ll get his own book, but I’m still waiting for my favourite male, Nate, from previous novels to get his happy ever after, so I’m hoping that happens first.

Another great read, one to start the new year with.

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

New Release Book Review: Wood For the Trees by Ian Belshaw

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I don’t know quite what to say about this novel. If I hadn’t been reading it as a review book for Beauty and Lace Bookclub, I would have put it down several times over and not picked it back up. I enjoy poetic, descriptive writing, but this novel was saturated with it to the point I skimmed where I could, but it was hard as in a paragraph of description there might be one sentence that was important to read.

The story of a man aiming to be a modern-day bushranger and the police officer that pursued him sounded like a great premise for a story, and it was, but I think this would have faired far better as a short story, without the extraordinarily poetic prose, that at times made me wonder if I even understood what the author was trying to convey. He did do a great job of describing the landscape however and I could clearly see the vast Australian plains and the rough Australian bush.

I had a hard time really connecting to the characters, I felt a lot of the time that I was just being told a story, rather than experiencing the story, then there would be times where I was engaged with the characters only to lose the flow as the writing changed and I was thrown back out again.

I got to the end of the novel and was upset by the ending, that I’d made my way through this plethora of words and it ended the way it did, I guess it was a good ending, but for me a disturbing one, that didn’t leave me feeling any hope or joy whatsoever.

I’m sure there will be plenty of people who will thoroughly enjoy this tale of caution.

Thanks to Beauty and Lace Bookclub and Shawline Publishing Group for providing me a copy in return for an honest review.