New Release Book Review: The Polly Principle by Davina Stone

The Polly PrincipleIn the second book in this series by Davina Stone, we get to meet Polly properly and learn all her quirks and hangups about life and love. Love it seems is only for other people, not for her, definitely not for her, of this, she makes it abundantly clear.

When Polly meets Solo at a wedding, a quick one night is all she is wanting, but things don’t go to plan and Polly’s world begins to be turned upside down, forcing her to feel things she doesn’t want to feel, and Polly is awfully good at denial.

I really liked Solo, and I actually felt very sorry for him when it came to his relationship, or lack thereof with Polly, due to her hangups about love, she really treats him quite badly and I don’t know that I’d have stuck around the way he did if someone blew that hot and cold with me. Obviously, he saw deep inside just what Polly was trying to hide and his feelings towards her were very strong.

Solo comes with his own issues and a past that he too needs to deal with, oh this story is a complicated web of feelings for our main characters.

Polly’s family, especially her father, plays a big part in what has shaped Polly into being who she is and how she is and with her dad’s 70th birthday coming up, we get to find out more about her past.

Polly also has a complicated relationship with her body, and on this, I can completely empathise with her. Polly has beautiful curves, but she doesn’t see them, and constantly wants to change how she looks, while self-sabotaging that at the same time. Oh, Polly, my heart was with you on this one.

This was a novel of self-discovery, for both Polly and Solo, a story of healing for them also, and for Polly’s dad Ted. A really enjoyable novel, I’m looking forward to book 3 where we get to see if Carts, Polly’s friend and Solo’s housemate finds true love.

AWW 2021

New Release Book Review: The Jam Queen’s by Josephine Moon

The jam queensI thoroughly enjoyed Josephine Moon’s previous novel The Cake Maker’s Wish, so I was thrilled to receive a copy of her new novel The Jam Queen’s and this novel did not disappoint. At nearly 400 pages, I read it well into the night two nights running because I just had to know how this group of five women (Dolce being an honourary family member), faired from their trip away together.

With secrets galore, clashing and challenging personalities, traumas, romance and more this made for a fabulous read. Josephine manages to cover several topical issues, IVF, grief, transgender issues, still-birth, US shootings and a few others, but they all fill this story in a very organic way.

The personalities of Great Aunt Myrtle, Valeria, Holly, Dolce and Aggie were all so different, some more likeable than others, and they all had lessons to learn and demons to slay if they wanted to move on with their lives.

I really liked Harry, the younger man who is also taking a trip on the Ghan at the same time as Aggies and her family, there was something about him that drew me to him, I can understand the pull Aggie felt towards him when she first saw him and then actually met him. I really enjoyed the relationship between the two and held onto hope all the way to the end that things would work between them and it wouldn’t just be a fleeting romance. There was so much going on in Aggie’s life though, that I couldn’t be sure that my hopes would be met.

I wasn’t a fan of Valeria, Aggie’s mother, though I did feel sorry for her at times, to be that judgemental towards people would take a great deal of effort I imagine. Great Aunt Myrtle was a great character and I enjoyed her interactions with everyone.

Jam making was an interesting topic to learn about and I loved how much love they poured into the making of it. I was surprised at the passion and competitiveness between the family members, especially Valeria.

I absolutely enjoyed this novel and the Ghan trip through the outback definitely put itself firmly onto my bucket list.

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

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: Beautifully Wild (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.

AUTHOR LINKS

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New Release Book Review: The Codebreakers by Alli Sinclair

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I finished this book just before midnight, I couldn’t make myself put it down, to be continued another day just wasn’t going to happen, this book just had to be finished. It was brilliant, it left me with tears in my eyes, both happy tears and sad tears. What a remarkable story Alli Sinclair has weaved together in The Codebreakers. The amount of research that has gone into this novel is monumental and as with another wonderful Australian historical fiction novel, The Land Girls by Victoria Purman, this is a story about women and their courage and adaptability during the most trying times. A story that needed to be told, of secrets that have been kept for far too many years. Of the women who helped win the war and save countless lives.

The characters in this novel were so fully realised that it was easy to believe they were real people, to forget that it was fiction, that the author was telling the real story of these men and women is easy to believe.

Ellie, already working for the war effort as an engineer at Qantas, is recruited by Central Bureau to help crack codes, this is a highly secret division, especially for the women who work there and I could feel the internal war that Ellie waged trying to keep her job from her friends and family, it is not a situation I ever hope to find myself in.

I loved the friendships and relationships that Ellie developed, I especially loved her childhood friend Louis, what a fabulous friend to have. I loved her landlady Mrs Handley, if there was ever a mother substitute, she is the person you would want, and her friend Florry. The friendships she made with the girls in the Central Bureau were strong ones, that were sadly severed after the war. That would have been hard, losing the only people who knew what you’d been through.

So many people lost friends, lovers, husbands, sons during this time, that the urge to collapse in dispair must’ve been strong, yet everyone soldiered on, doing what had to be done and getting by the best they could.

There is a scene maybe two thirds of the way in where I had to stop and listen to one of my favourite songs.

It fit so perfectly with the story.

This was a fantastic read, which I highly recommend, full of many emotions and uncovering a long hidden history of the women who helped in the war.

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

New Release Book Review: A Week to Remember by Esther Campion

A Week to RememberThis is the third book I have read by Esther Campion, Leaving Ocean Road and House of Second Chances were both very enjoyable reads. This one loosely connects the characters we meet in those two books but is otherwise a complete standalone.

I enjoyed returning to the small Irish town in West Cork where Ellen and Gerry have finally opened their holiday farmhouse to visitors. It is at this farmhouse where the story takes place. 7 very different characters decide to holiday at the farmhouse in that first week. A couple whose marriage is going through something, a middle-aged dentist who has lost the joy in life, a young woman who is trying to determine what she wants from life, and a long lost resident of the town who has spent half her life running from her past.

As I got to know each of the characters and uncover their backstories and see where they were at, I got very involved in hoping that things would work out the best way for each of them. Each one in their own way is trying to determine where their lives and relationships are heading and where they went wrong along the way. It was a joy to travel with these people and see where the stay in this beautiful rugged place led them in their journeys.

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

AWW 2021

 

New Release Book Review: Feral Fate by Kendall Talbot

Feral FateThis was such a great follow up to First Fate.

After the epic disasters of First Fate, the survivors of the cruise ship were hoping for rescue when they sighted land, alas, that is definitely not what they found when they landed on the tiny island in the middle of nowhere.

It is a fight for survival, and a fight to find out what each individual can endure and who can step up and lead when it is needed. With less than 100 people having survived from the original 1100, the terror and trials they’ve all been through are far from over and not all those who made it will survive.

The dynamics of this group become even more interesting and it was also interesting to see who stepped up and who fell apart. I’m pretty positive after reading this that I am definitely not cut out to be stranded on an island with little chance of survival. Shelter, food, and hope are all things that are desperately needed for these survivors.

Just as the first book ended on a cliffhanger, so does Feral Fate, I can’t wait to see what happens in the final instalment, Final Fate out in March.

AWW 2021

 

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: The Sheikh’s Marriage Proclamation by Annie West

The sheikh's marriage proclamationI don’t read many Harlequin romances, but I can’t go past an Annie West tale.

This was an entertaining read which kept me up past my bedtime as I wanted to know how the drama all played out.

Tara our heroine is feisty and stubborn but caring and innocent. Raif our hero is charismatic, arrogant but also caring and compassionate.

I loved these two together both clearly out of their comfort zones, both with different ideas of what the future holds.

When Raif agrees to keep Tara safe from her cousin, you know where it’s going to lead, but the journey was entertaining and romantic.

Thanks to Annie West for a copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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/