Book Review: One Summer Between Friends by Trish Morey

A Summer Between FriendsI wasn’t quite sure if I was going to enjoy this book when I picked it up, but I’m really glad I did because it was a really good read.

The story revolves around three friends, though it predominantly revolves around Sarah’s story, her friends’ Floss and Jules, play important roles in the past events and how the future will play out for all three of them.

Sarah’s marriage has failed and she was betrayed by her friends, now her world seems to be closing in on the past when she is needed to return to Lord Howe Island after her mother has a fall. Sarah’s mother, Dot, now there is a character I detested from the get-go. She was a nasty person indeed and how Sarah managed to grow up with a mother who continually put her down and said nasty things is beyond me, I continually hoped Sarah would stand up to her and tell her to “shut up!” I know if I had a mother like that, nothing would have dragged me back to help out, especially when it meant running into old friends who I’d been avoiding for several years. Sarah’s father, Sam, was a nice man, but I couldn’t understand why he never really stood up for her against her mother, the comment ‘you know how she is’ got old quickly.

Floss, married with five children, is struggling through her own issues with her husband Andy, and I felt for Floss in this struggle and the belief that perhaps her marriage was on the rocks.

Jules betrayed Sarah and for most of the novel, I was on Sarah’s side of this, but as the story went on and small things and secrets came out, I felt that though there had been betrayal, Richard was the one I disliked the most. Jules has an adorable daughter, Della who was an important part of this story.

There are many themes covered in this story, but one of the important ones is Jules’ diagnosis of breast cancer. The struggles of the treatment and the issue of being away from home due to where she lived, are ones women face every day, and I thought this was all handled very well.

There is a nice slice of romance in the novel, Noah, a locum police officer on the island, was just lovely and I enjoyed the relationship that formed between Noah and Sarah and was hoping there would be some way they could make things work seeing as they both came from different states and were only on the island for a short time period.

This was a really enjoyable read, culminating in a satisfying ending.

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

 

#AWW2020   31/50

 

 

New Release Book Review: Something to Talk About by Rachael Johns

Screenshot_20200413_194740It’s been a while since I read a Rachael Johns rural romance novel, so I was excited to hear she had a new one coming out. This is a sequel to Talk of the Town, a book I’ve had on my kindle for a while, when I looked it up I’ve actually had it waiting since July 2017 which is just ridiculous and after reading Something to Talk About, I plan on rectifying that ASAP.

While Something to Talk About is a sequel, it can easily be read as a standalone as enough background into the characters and the town was given for me to feel completely comfortable with the people and the setting. 

It took me a couple of chapters to make a proper connection with the characters, but after that, I didn’t want to put this novel down.

I really loved the two main characters, Tabitha and Fergus, they felt very real, like people I could meet myself at any point.

At first, Fergus is out of his comfort zone in the small town, he’s certainly not used to single women wanting to throw themselves at him or everyone knowing everything that is happening, but he is fabulous with the kids he is there to teach.

Tabitha is a great character, she’s a strong woman but has a vulnerable heart. She has been through a lot of loss in her life and has had a lot to contend with personally.

I really enjoyed the banter between these two, especially as they fought the chemistry between them. I loved it when they dived in, neither realising what they were getting themselves into. There was of course, the usual miscommunication and misreading of situations, but it was all very realistic, we human beings do like jumping to conclusions before we have all the facts.

The secondary townspeople characters were all enjoyable, excepting of course Adeline, the town b***h, a very unlikeable character. I loved the knitting circle where it is as much about gossip as it is about knitting.

There were some serious issues raised, breast cancer being an important one and how important family is through the good and the bad. The relationship between Fergus and his sister played an important role in the story as Fergus struggles with the loss of trust in that relationship and the need to forgive.

I learned a bit about dairy farming and how hard the work is day in, day out, morning and night. Tabitha’s brother, Lawson and her sister-in-law, Meg along with their son Ned were great characters to meet and I am really looking forward to reading their story in Talk of the Town.

If you enjoy a rural romance with all the feels, then this is the book for you.

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

Connect with Rachael:     Facebook           Website       Goodreads

The book:   Goodreads            Amazon AU        Amazon US        HarperCollins Australia

FB_IMG_1577105032228     #AWW2020    26/50

New Release Book Review: The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams

I signed up a couple of years ago to The Pigeonhole, it is an online book club where you get to read a book with others one stave at a time. A book is broken down into parts or staves and each day a new stave is released for you to read. It really makes you think about the book you are reading, but when the book is great it can be frustrating waiting for the next stave to be released. The first book I read with The Pigeonhole was Australian author Kim Kelly’s The Blue Mile, she is now one of my favourite authors.

The Dictionary of Lost WordsA few weeks ago I got an email saying they were showcasing The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams, I had seen this novel on Instagram through Affirm Press‘s posts and this book really appealed to me, so I signed up. 10 days ago the first stave was available and I was hooked, I couldn’t wait to get the email each day to read the next part.

This book is now firmly on my list of top 10 books for 2020, it was an interesting, emotional and powerful novel, covering so many subjects. It is a beautiful and engaging book and I had no idea where the story was going to lead me, right through to the end, Pip Williams never failed to surprise me. There were parts where I was silently begging her not to take me where I thought we might be going, and from the other readers’ comments, as we read, I wasn’t alone in this. There were also parts that caused me anger, grief, happiness, and so many other emotions, but I have to admit that the final stave had me in tears more than once.

Pip Williams has a way with words, her ability to convey what people are thinking or feeling, to describe a situation or the environment, to put words themselves into context was remarkable and beautiful. There were so many lines I’d have loved to have pulled out and shared.

The book begins in 1886 and carries us through to the epilogue in 1989, though the majority of the story is between 1886 and 1915. There is just so much in this novel I can’t begin to unpack it and I will be buying myself a copy so I can reread it. Esme is a child hiding under the table in the Scriptorium, the place, a garden shed in fact, where the majority of the Oxford English Dictionary was pieced together over several decades, one letter and one word at a time. It is the place Esme learns about words and their meanings and about the importance of words to different people.

Some words are more important than others – I learned this, growing up in the Scriptorium. But it took me a long time to understand why.”

Esme collects a fallen word, Bondmaid, and hides it in a trunk, this is the start of her Dictionary of Lost Words, it is also the start of a journey to discover more words, words that are missing from the dictionary, words that ordinary people, especially women, use every day, but which are not given the importance that other words are given.

As Esme grows older she discovers the Suffragist movement and the Suffragettes, she discovers the women who work in the markets, the downtrodden and forgotten, the servants, the workers, other women who a person of Esme’s standing shouldn’t be mixing with, and she discovers Words. These are words she has never heard, words that have been left out of the dictionary, or whose meaning has been left out because it didn’t come from a scholarly source. I found this fascinating and reading the author’s notes about how the book came to be and the research she did was just as interesting.

        “I know some quite bad words. I collect them from an old woman at the market in Oxford.”

       “Well, it’s one thing to hear them in the market and quite another to have them roll around inside your mouth.” She took my dressing gown from the back of the door and helped me into it. “Some words are more than letters on a page, don’t you think?” she said, tying the sash around my belly as best she could. “They have shape and tecxure. They are like bullets, full of energy, and when you give one breath you can feel its sharp edge against your lip. It can be quite cathartic in the right context.”

Esme’s life revolves around the Scriptorium, but through words and her experiences, she leads an interesting life. The cast of characters that share Esme’s life are varied, from the scholars in the Scriptorium, Lizzie, a maid in the big house, who becomes so much more, her Aunt Ditte who is a mentor, a teacher and more, Gareth who works in the print shop, and most importantly, her father, who if it wasn’t for the way he brought up his daughter as a single parent, none of what Esme achieved would have happened; all these people and more have a huge part to play in how Esme conducts her life.

Pip Williams shows us the inequality between men and women, not just in societal expectations, but in lack of opportunity for academic achievement, the fact women’s voices aren’t heard or respected, that they can do a degree, but can’t graduate. This is made very clear in how words are chosen for the dictionary that they are building. So many things we now take for granted, but at the same time we still have that inequality.

I highly recommend this novel, I’ve been struggling to stay on track with my reading this past month as I’ve said in previous posts and as I’ve read from many other readers, but this book had me wanting to read, needing to know what was going to happen next.

Thank you to The Pigeonhole, Pip Williams and Affirm Press for the opportunity to read this wonderful novel.

For those interested, there is a great video you can watch on Facebook through Dymocks Books, click here for the link.

Buy Links

Affirm Press         Amazon AU        Amazon US             Bookdepository          Booktopia

FB_IMG_1577105032228       #AWW2020   25/50

 

 

 

New Release Book Review: Worth The Wait by Annie Seaton

Screenshot_20191027_234714Worth the wait by Annie Seaton is book 4 in the Bindarra Creek A Town Reborn series and my first foray into Bindarra Creek despite having several of the series waiting to be read, each book is written by a different Australian author. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the locals of Bindarra Creek and plan on reading all the books that comprise the two series plus a anthology.

Worth The Wait starts with Jaclyn turning up in Bindarra Creek as the new school principal, she’s arrived there under a cloud. As we slowly uncover what happened in the city we find plenty of corruption and suspense to be had throughout the story.

Jaclyn’s romantic leading man Ryan is just lovely, and I enjoyed the interaction between the two from the frosty reception to start with to the reigniting of their romance.

I enjoyed seeing Jaclyn loosen up as she started to get to know the town. It would be a big shock to the system to move from the city to the country, especially when it isn’t entirely your own choice. I did wonder if she’d cope at the beginning.

There were serious moments and amusing moments and plenty of enjoyment during this story. I look forward to returning to Bindarra Creek very soon as I have book 5 to read next. As well as starting from the beginning as soon as time allows.

Goodreads

Amazon AU

Amazon US

Author website

Facebook

Book Bingo round 17 and New Release Book Review: Singapore Sapphire by A.M. Stuart

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This fortnight I am crossing off the square Book with a place in the title, author Alison Stuart pointed out that this would be the perfect book for that square.The choices are getting smaller. If you have any suggestions for the remaining squares, I’d love to hear them.

Early twentieth-century Singapore is a place where a person can disappear, and Harriet Gordon hopes to make a new life for herself there, leaving her tragic memories behind her–but murder gets in the way.

Singapore Sapphire (Harriet Gordon Mystery #1)Singapore Sapphire is book #1 in the Harriet Gordon Mystery series and was a great introduction to this new character and setting of 1910 Singapore. I enjoyed this novel a great deal and thought Harriet was a great character, she was a contradiction of the times and definitely not one to be kept in a box. Harriet takes things into her own hands doing some investigating of her own to try and figure out who the murderer is.

My favourite character after Harriet was Inspector Robert Curran who is in charge of the murder investigation. He was another character who was ahead of the times and didn’t always toe the line. I really enjoyed his interactions with Harriet and how he realised it would be helpful to have her on his side rather than trying to make her stand on the sidelines.

This isn’t a simple murder though and there are many twists and turns, people who aren’t who they seem to be and mysteries that arise from the past.

The imagery that Ms Stuart manages to portray through her words was wonderful and I could absolutely see Singapore as it was in 1910. The characters of the ‘good guys’ and the ‘bad guys’ were well written, I definitely wouldn’t have wanted to be on the bad guys hit list.

I look forward to the next Harriet Gordon Mystery.

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

Amazon AU

Amazon US

Facebook

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.

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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 Review: Heart of the Grass Tree by Molly Murn

I bought this book, firstly because of the gorgeous cover and then because I loved the sound of the story. After I bought it a friend gave it a bad review and I so hoped that we just had a differing of opinions on this book. I’m happy to say we did!

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This is a beautifully written book, the writing is almost poetic and I found myself reading slower than normal to absorb it. It took a while to get used to the writing and the way the author has decided to forgo using speech marks around the dialogue. By the end of the book though, I barely noticed.

This story consists of three timelines, three very different times, all connected through generations. I knew nothing of Kangaroo Island before reading this book, and certainly nothing of the sealers and the way they stole aboriginal women from their families. Interestingly one of the next books to read on my pile is also about the sealers.

It’s not a book in which a great deal of action happens, but a book about feeling, belonging and emotions, about loss and life and death, about family. Its a beautiful but sad story, leaving us with hope and greater understanding at the end.

I had so much empathy for Nell, my heart broke as I read her story, the secrets she’s held close all her life, finally being freed through her writing. Through Nell we learn of the people generations before who have formed the foundation of the island and are part of the land and Nell’s past. Decisions made outside of Nell’s control many years before have had a waterfall effect on her daughter and her granddaughters.

Pearl, one of her granddaughters, I also felt a connection to, she was the closest person to to Nell and when we meet her she is struggling to deal with Nell’s passing as well as inner struggles of her own. So much inner turmoil is conveyed I could physically feel her heart breaking.

Such descriptive language is used throughout this story, that I could see myself there on Kangaroo Island through the ages, I could smell the air and feel the wind and see the plants. I was the women, all the women of the different times.

I am glad I took a chance on this unknown book and debut author and will be looking for Molly Murn’s next book.

About the book: Pearl remembers Nell’s feet stretched towards the campfires on the beach, her fourth toe curled in and nestled against the middle toe like a small prawn. They all have a curled fourth toe – Diana, Lucy, Pearl.

When Pearl’s grandmother Nell dies unexpectedly, Pearl and her family – mother Diana, sister Lucy – return to Kangaroo Island to mourn and farewell her. Each of them knew Nell intimately but differently, and each woman must reckon with Nell’s passing in her own way. But Nell had secrets, too, and as Pearl, Diana and Lucy interrogate their feelings about the island, Pearl starts to pull together the scraps Nell left behind – her stories, poems, paintings – and unearths a connection to the island’s early history, of the early European sealers and their first contact with the Ngarrindjeri people.
As the three women are in grief pulled apart from each other, Pearl’s deepening connection to their history, the island’s history, grounds her, and will ultimately bring the women back to each other.
Heart of the Grass Tree is an exquisite, searing and hope-filled debut about mothers and daughters and family stories, about country and its living history.

 

 

Pre-release Book Review: Rosie’s Travelling Tea Shop by Rebecca Raisin

I loved Rebecca Raisin’s Little Paris Collection, the stories were full of romance, heart and life lessons. So when I heard about her new book, I knew I had to read it. Rosie’s Travelling Tea Shop has just about convinced me to sell up and hit the road, explore what’s out there, stop feeling tied down and stop feeling like I’m not being the real me. This isn’t a new feeling or thought, but after reading Rosie, part of me wonders if maybe Rebecca Raisin has been reading my mind. As Rosie says “It strikes me that we humans build these lives for ourselves that have the tendency to trap us.” 

IMG_20190221_212054Feeling betrayed by her husband, a feeling of being stuck in her life comes to the surface and forces Rosie to reevaluate her life and what she wants from it. It often takes a massive wakeup call to get us to look at where we are and where we are going and Rosie is no exception. Except Rosie, with the help of a bottle or two of wine, buys a fushia pink campervan named ‘Poppy’. Without really knowing what she’s doing, but with a sense of adventure and trepidation, and a need to try something new, Rosie sets off with a vague plan to find herself, her ‘real’ self, as well as get away from London and the Restaurant Industry gossip. Rosie’s talent is cooking and she decides that tea and comfort food will be her new endeavour.

Rosie meets some wonderful people who live their lives travelling from here to there for many reasons, over here in Australia we call them grey nomads, though many young people are starting to take up this lifestyle too, which I completely understand. I actually had no idea the nomadic campervan life was a such big thing in the UK. Its definitely one way to see and experience this big world of ours.

The two main characters she meets are Aria an absolutely fabulous young lady who instantly becomes Rosie’s friend, and Max, who instantly butts heads with Rosie. These two characters will help Rosie discover who she is, but not without plenty of speedbumps along the way.

Max is gorgeous, inside and out and there were times I wanted to shake Rosie due to her bullheadedness and inability to see what was in front of her. These two had some fun moments along the way, as well as some more serious and meaningful moments. I wonder if I took up the nomadic life whether I could meet my own Max? Max however, may have a rival in internet blogger Oliver; now that’s a storyline you’ll need to read for yourselves.

Aria has a bookshop van, a dream I myself have mulled over (maybe I’ll revisit that dream), she is so different to Rosie, but in many ways she is the same. They work together so well, I really enjoyed the friendship that formed between them. Aria is a total romantic and her van is full of romance novels, books are her life, just as food is Rosie’s. “… and she takes a great big sniff, before she turns to me, her eyes bright as though she’s just discovered the meaning of life. ‘That is the best scent in the world, better than any perfume, any flower. It’s the smell of lives lived, the weight of words…’ ‘ Well, I guess I never quite thought of books that way before.’ Sure, they could transport you to another place, be there for you when no one else was, but I hadn’t quite pictured secondhand books as having lived their own important lives, being ferried from one person to the next, imparting a little magic along the way.” I myself have never gotten into the whole book sniffing thing, but I do love the concept of books having lived their own important lives, and they definitely impart magic along the way, just like this book: Rosie’s Travelling Tea Shop.

Available March 3rd ebook & 15th April paperback 

About the book: The trip of a lifetime!
Rosie Lewis has her life together.

A swanky job as a Michelin-Starred Sous Chef, a loving husband and future children scheduled for exactly January 2021.

That’s until she comes home one day to find her husband’s pre-packed bag and a confession that he’s had an affair.

Heartbroken and devastated, Rosie drowns her sorrows in a glass (or three) of wine, only to discover the following morning that she has spontaneously invested in a bright pink campervan to facilitate her grand plans to travel the country.

Now, Rosie is about to embark on the trip of a lifetime, and the chance to change her life! With Poppy, her new-found travelling tea shop in tow, nothing could go wrong, could it…?

A laugh-out-loud novel of love, friendship and adventure! Perfect for fans of Debbie Johnson and Holly Martin.

Amazon AU

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Booktopia

Dymocks

 

January Romance, Erotica and LGBT reads

I decided since I read a fair few books in these genres, but often don’t blog about them, that I would give them a combined blog for those interested. Some of these have adult themes and some have LGBT themes also.

The Last Duke by Deborah Wilson, this is the fourth book in the Valiant Love Regency Romance Series and I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of each book.

4.5⭐⭐⭐⭐ the last dukeI think this my favourite book in this series, I loved that Valiant got her chance at true love. I really enjoyed Anthony, he was a cheeky bastard with a sad past, I thought he was perfect for Valiant and enjoyed the way he pushed her completely out of her comfort zone. Valiant has always done her best to see her brothers and her friends find the love they deserve, but she doesn’t believe she deserves the same due to her horrible dead husband. Seeing her struggling with her emotions and sexual feelings towards Anthony was deliciously amusing to me and I couldn’t wait for her to realise what she was worth. Deborah Wilson always manages to have you on the edge of your seat just when you think things are all going to work out well. While I knew who the bad guy was, I was still surprised at the extent of his depravity when he was discovered. It was so good to revisit with Valiant’s brothers and their wives and see how they were all going. I highly recommend this whole series.

Rough Trade by Sidney Bell. 

rough trade5⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ This was an incredibly engaging story, I wasn’t sure for the first chapter or 2, but then I was hooked and couldn’t put it down as I was way too invested in Ghost and his plight and finding out what was going to happen. Ghost, what a sweet tortured young man he was, my heart ached for him and what he’d been through, and still he remained strong whilst being emotionally broken and his self esteem fragile. And what to say about Duncan Rook who takes on Ghost and his troubles because his friend and ex police partner asks him to. I fell for Duncan, he was so amazing with Ghost and I loved watching the relationship between them develop into something more than police officer out to do the right thing and prostitute in trouble. This was I felt, such a beautiful romance that developed over the time they worked together, both learning so much about themselves in the process. The action and twists in this book just kept right on coming the whole way and I really had no idea how it was all going to turn out, I was definitely hoping for a HEA for these two main characters. There’s definitely a need for trigger warnings, prostitution, rape, child abuse, they are however handled exceptionally well by the author.

I had no idea it was part of a series and other than now wanting to read the first 2 books and learn more about the secondary characters, I feel it stood well as a standalone.

Valor by Karrie Roman

img_20190130_0808165⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ I loved this story, I knew from the first few pages it was going to be a hot read, straight up the chemistry between the two main characters Alec and Asher was there. When Asher’s nephew is kidnapped he comes running to help and Alec is only too happy to have him around. The path to happiness isn’t smooth though with misunderstandings and drama unfolding throughout. I thought the romance that grew between them was lovely and it was a great feelgood read despite the kidnapping and then the trouble that follows. The sex scenes were hot and you could feel how many people ch they cared about each other. I loved the scenes on the boat with the sharks, it kind of makes me want to experience being in a cage and watching those incredible but scary creatures. I didn’t realise this was part of a series on starting, I think it works well as a standalone novel, but I intend to go back and read the previous books to find out Alec’s coworkers stories.

Surreal Real estate by Jesi Ryan

surreal realestate4⭐⭐⭐⭐ I absolutely enjoyed this feel good romance about a young down on his luck guy Sasha, who camps out in an abandoned house which then turns into one of the luckiest choices he’s made. I loved both Nick and Sasha throughout the story, both continually growing on me as I read. I thought the idea of Sasha being able to feel the houses energy and actually communicate with it was really interesting and different. And Nick was just such a lovely guy, going with the flow of his feelings despite reaching out into the unknown. I read this in one sitting as I just didn’t want to put it down, a perfect feel good read, it was really interesting and different. And Nick was just such a lovely guy, going with the flow of his feelings despite reaching out into the unknown. I read this in one sitting as I just didn’t want to put it down, a perfect feelgood read.

Rough Terrain by Annabeth Albert

rough terrain4 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ I had to reread this as I left it too long between reading and reviewing and I have to say I enjoyed it just as much the second time. I adored Renzo, a Navy SEAL and Canaan, a nursing student and former drummer and thought they worked so well together despite being so different from each other. The chemistry between them was great and I loved how being with each other made them grow and come to new realisations about what it was they truly wanted in their lives, as well as them both being so sweet together. I thought Canaan’s love for his grandfather was really lovely and how if you wanted him then it was a package deal. Canaan’s friends, especially Eric, from his old band, I wasn’t too keen on and was glad Renzo was their for him when he had to deal with them. Both had to struggle with life issues to make their relationship work, especially Renzo and I thought that struggle made it that much more intense. I have enjoyed the whole Out Of Uniform series, but I think this is my favourite.

Her Guilty Secret by Clare Connelly

her guilty secret4 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ I really enjoyed this, what starts out as a full blown case of lust between a professor and his student, turns into so much more. There are a few very hot scenes in the first half when Connor and Olivia are fighting the chemistry that pulls them together despite the illicit nature of the relationship they are about to undertake. That both would willingly give in to something that could destroy their careers says a lot about just how strong that chemistry was. I loved the interaction between these two and kept hoping they could make it work as something more.

The D.I.L.F. by Amy Andrews

The DILF4 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ I really enjoyed this fun and very sexy read. I’d like an Owen for myself thank you very much. The scenes were hot and the growing relationship btween Stef and Owen was really quite romantic. I was definitely hoping they’d work things out, especially Stef’s hangup about being 10 years older then Owen.

 

Willful Depravity by Igrid Hahn

Willful depravity3.5 ⭐⭐⭐ This was an enjoyable erotic take on a regency romance. I enjoyed the way Ashcroft completely loved the way Patience looked, and how he made her feel and believe she was desirable because of her larger size. I thought it was great how her relationship with Ashcroft allowed her to look at herself in a much more positive way and gave her the confidence needed to face the nastiness of the people in her social circle. The relationship between Ashcroft and his father was appalling and I couldn’t understand why no one had put him in his place as society seemed to dislike him and he had such contempt for them all. The sex scenes were hot and very enjoyable, whilst watching Patience come into her own, was very gratifying.

Hurt So Good by Stasia Black

Hurt So Good4 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ This was a very dark read, I’ve had to sit with it for the last week, thinking how to write this up. It was an addictive read, with many dark and depraved events from the past and the present. While I can’t possibly relate to the characters of Miranda or Dylan and their dark fetishes, I was still somehow enthralled in their behaviour and their relationship. Both of these characters were so badly damaged, that I wondered if they stood a chance at helping each other to heal. A dark romance that I found hard to put down at the same time wondering how these characters could do and want what they did. I do love Stasia’s writing and she manages to convey so much, both emotionally and physically. It definitely needs trigger warnings including rape, assault, dark sex games, abuse.

Mated To Team Shadow by Jade Alters

Mated to team shadow4.5⭐⭐⭐⭐ I really really enjoyed this sexy adventure romance. This is my favourite of Jade Alters books so far. I was completely engaged, loved the characters, the guys were all so different and had their own quirks which made laugh at times. Jeanine was a good character, a bit changeable at times, but she obviously had chemistry with the guys. The military/science aspect of using the shifters as guinea pigs was completely believable, there’s always an ulterior motive with people in power. I look forward to hopefully reading more in this series.

 

Monthly reading challenge updates

I thought due to the amount of books I plan on reading this year, that I would write a monthly check-in on what I’ve read and how my different challenges are going.

At the beginning of the year I signed up to Australian Women Writers Challenge to read 40 books. I have so far read 16 books by Australian women, though 5 of those were novellas or shorter stories. I think I’ll need to change my target for AWWC.

january round up

Book Bingo consisting of 30 squares, for this challenge I have crossed off 4 squares so far. See my book bingo posts;

Book set in an exotic location      Novella no more than 150 Words                                   Book with a red cover & Written by an author you’ve never read

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All review books jan 2019

My Goodreads challenge is going great guns with 30/200 books read so far making me 9 books ahead of schedule  which gives me breathing room for any read downturn. If you want to check out any of the reviews of the books I have read, click on the Goodreads challenge link and then on each cover.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In The Aussie Author Challenge I have crossed off 3/4 books by Australian women, and 2/4 books by Australian authors I wasn’t familiar with. So 5/12 books crossed off already.

That’s it for January, on to February we go.

 

Happy reading 

Claire Louisa xx