Pre-release Book Review: Shadows Over Wongan Creek by Juanita Kees

This is the newest book in the Wongan Creek series by Juanita Kees and I have to say it was fabulous, this is definitely my favourite of the series, and I’ve enjoyed them all.

IMG_20190227_181354Back in Wongan Creek we meet Fenella, or Fen as she’s better known. Fen was such a great character, flawed but an amazingly strong person with a huge heart despite the trauma she’s endured in her past. Fen is definitely my favourite female character from this series. After an error in judgement about a guy she let into her life and her families business, Fen is being threatened and told to keep quiet. Showing her strength, Fen works with the police to try to catch the bad guys.

Kieran was Fen’s best friend, with a soul connection between them that has never been broken, only stretched. Arriving back in Wongan Creek and taking a job at Fen’s vineyard, their emotional connection is like a magnet drawing them together. Both have issues to deal with, pretty difficult ones, especially since Kieran now has a 4 year old son, Liam to think of. Liam is a gorgeous little character, recovering from his own trauma, your heart will go out to this broken little boy, who Kieran hopes will heal in the only place he’s ever really called home, surrounded by friends and a community that had his back when he was younger.

Lucky the bearded dragon, a rescue pet of Fen’s plays an important role in this story too, another interesting character.

This is a story about second chances, but also a story about love, forgiveness and trust.

Juanita has written a story that highlights and deals with past traumas and memories, ones remembered and ones repressed and how they can follow us through our lives, affecting the things that are most important to us. Fen has some serious trauma and repressed memories that she is going to have to face if she wants to be free and whole. She is lucky, she has an amazing support system in her adopted mother Liv, a beautiful person, and in Kieran who won’t let her deal with things by herself. Many people dealing with things like Fen is dealing with, don’t have that support network available to them.

There is plenty of suspense, criminal activity and threats happening in this story and plenty of twists, something Juanita is very good at putting into her stories. There is also plenty of heart, from the community who are there to support each other, and Harry who pops in with his little pearls of knowing, and Riggs, the town policeman does another great job of trying to get to the bottom of things, as well as keep Fen and her family safe.

I found it hard to put this book down and if it hadn’t been for having to sleep before work, I’d have read to whole thing in one sitting. I loved the characters in this story and I know Fen and Kieran will get their HEA.

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

Releases 4th March

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HarperCollins

Book Review:Secrets at Wongan Creek by Juanita Kees

Wow, this book certainly packed an emotional punch, at times I read with disbelief at the damage a person can do to another, emotionally and physically. Book two in the Wongan Creek series certainly lived up to my expectations following my enjoyment of Whispers at Wongan Creek.

IMG_20190227_001625We meet Tameka aka Tikki who is struggling to keep her farm running while dealing with a father she seems afraid of. We quickly get the idea there is some sort of abuse going on in that household, just what and how far that abuse stretches is the tale that Juanita Kees weaves as we delve into the past of Tikki and her neighbour and old love Harley.

There are many secrets that begin to be uncovered after a fire that nearly clains Tameka’s life. Memories come to the surface, old friends are thrown together, a town fights to keep its livelihood and shocks come left, right and centre.

Tameka’s father is a cruel hard man, one I could never begin to understand. Tameka’s belief she is to blame and responsible for all her father has done, is hard to understand. Thankfully I’ve never been in an abusive relationship the way she has, and hopefully I never will be. The guilt she carries for everything around her is huge and overwhelming. Domestic abuse is one of the ideas dealt with in this story, one none of us could understand unless we’ve been there.

The town of Wongan Creek fluctuates between holding Tameka responsible for their farming problems and realising she is not her father. The town however, I feel, has a lot to answer for in the fact they turned a blind eye to what might have been going on in Tameka’s home. For a small community, I felt angry that that community spirit and involvement wasn’t used to ensure that all was well, despite how much her father was disliked.

Harley and his family are just lovely¬† and I loved that Harley had never given up on Tameka who he completely loved back when they were teenagers. Harley’s parents are just the kind of parents you’d wish for, loving, supportive and understanding, it was beautiful to see how they took Tameka under their wing without even blinking.

Farming and its issues is once again highlighted in this tale. The need for changes to be made in today’s society to find different ways of doing things that will work better both for the environment and because of the environment, as well as because of the way we now import so much that our farmers can’t compete. Diversification is the key to surviving and Wongan Creek is starting to find ways for this to happen.

A tale full of twist, turns and shocks, that will keep you reading until you uncover the truth.

I can’t wait to read the next book in the series Shadows over Wongan Creek which is released on the 4th March. I’ll have a prerelease review up this week.

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