New Release Book Review: Two Hearts Healing by Renee Dahlia

Two Hearts HealingTwo Hearts Healing by Renee Dahlia is book 3 in the Merindah Park series and focuses on the third sibling Serena and her trainer boss Lee.

Serena is recovering from an accident whilst riding in a horse race, she’s dealing with the recovery of both physical injuries and traumatic brain injury. It is definitely not an easy time and Renee Dahlia does a great job of showing us some of the many impacts TBI can have on a person, while reminding us it is different for everyone and whilst someone can look physically ok, that doesn’t mean they aren’t struggling with hidden issues.

Serena is stubborn, whereas before the accident she would do as she was told, she is starting to find her voice and make decisions based on what she truly wants and feels is important to her, the top two things on her list are to ride again and to kiss Lee.

Lee has been blaming himself for Serena’s accident and has cut himself off from Shannon, Serena’s brother, and his friend, as well as from Serena. When she turns up unexpectedly asking for help to get back on a horse, Lee is left feeling emotions he has no idea how to deal with. His relationship with his parents has played a major role in how Lee sees himself and how he holds himself emotionally around others, and Serena is about to test every one of those walls and boundaries he has put around himself.

I really enjoyed these two characters, and while the banter between them was fun, there were also misunderstandings, arguments, and revelations. There is plenty of growth in store for both characters as they negotiate their feelings for each other and try and figure out what they want and what it means to have those things. 

We met Serena in book two Making Her Mark as she is Rachel’s twin and they were both struggling to build a real relationship between each other as they are both quite different people. While in Making Her Mark Serena had Rachel’s back, it is nice to see their relationship has continued to grow and this time Rachel is there for Serena.

I have learnt a great deal about the horseracing industry through this series, in book one Merindah Park there is the issue of gambling, then in Making her Mark I leanrt about the extra work female jockeys have to do to get the same respect as their male counterparts, and in Two Hearts Healing I learnt about the care of horses and the issue of finding the correct homes for them when they can no longer race. It is evident that Renee Dahlia has great knowledge and love of this industry and is determined to educate us about what really goes on.

I’ve really enjoyed this series so far and I really hope there is a fourth for the last brother Shannon.

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

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Book Bingo Round 14 and New Release Book Review: Climbing Fear by Leisl Leighton

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So, another fortnight down and I finally get to post my review of this highly enjoyable book by Leisl Leighton that I’m using to mark off the square Book set in the Australian mountains. This novel is set at the southern end of the Victorian Alpine region, and sounds beautiful.

Screenshot_20190702_171110The setting of the area and the property CoalCliff Stud were very much part of the story. The atmospheric cover itself told me straight away I was in for a book with plenty of suspense.

There were two storylines that met at CoalCliff Stud, one was our main man Reid’s story and the other our main female character Nat’s story. Both are running from things that have happened to them and CoalCliff Stud is the place from their childhood where they both feel safe to do their healing.

I loved Nat’s daughter Tilly, who is trying hard to be brave for her mum. And I loved interfering Barb, who has drawn Nat back to CoalCliff Stud. Barb is a great secondary character and I really enjoyed the role she had to play in pushing Nat and Reid to face some truths of the past and the present. She was also such a warm character, just the person you would want to help you through tough times.

The layers of suspense throughout the novel were just right and kept me guessing till the end to see what would happen and who was responsible. There was one character I definitely had some suspicions about right from when he enters the scene but had no idea why he would be doing what I thought he was doing.

I really enjoyed the growing relationship between Reid and Nat and the way they helped each other heal, despite misunderstandings, and how they had to face their own truths along the way. I hope, seeing as this is the first in a new series, that we get to see how they are doing down the track in the next books.

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

Amazon US

Amazon AU

Escape Publishing

 

 

Book Review: Whispers at Wongan Creek by Juanita Kees

When I heard Juanita Kees had a new book coming out in the Wongan Creek series, I thought I’d better get my act together and read the first book which I bought way back in 2016. Such is my addiction to buying great books, that it often takes me forever to get around to reading some of them.

IMG_20190212_004307This is another book that I really wish I’d read sooner, that being said, I’m extremely glad I’ve finally gotten around to it because it was a really great read and I’m looking forward to reading book 2 Secrets at Wongan Creek and the new release next month, Shadows over Wongan Creek

In a category of rural romantic suspense, this book was full of heart, interesting characters, community, secrets and a couple of unsavoury characters. At the heart of the story are Travis and his niece Casey (who’s absolutely adorable) who have both suffered a great loss and are working hard to prove to the powers that be that they should remain together as a family. Travis is a gorgeous guy (I’d love a Travis of my own) and a great uncle and has a huge heart for the people in the community.

Recently new in town is Heather Penney from social services whose job it is to assess whether Travis is fit to be Casey’s guardian. The sexual tension between the two makes doing Heather’s job and her resolve to remain professional much harder. They both try to resist, knowing crossing the line could be detrimental to Travis’ cause.

Then we have Harry, a fabulously lively character, who is suffering from Alzheimers. Harry is Travis’ neighbour and pretty much part of the family, that being said, Travis has taken on the responsibility of looking out for Harry and helping him out in his day to day tasks and in his bid to try to keep his land. This is a really lovely relationship and really shows us what communities can be like in supporting the people around them. We need more of this kind of support, not just in small towns, but in the city too, where so many people get left to fend for themselves.

All the characters we meet in Wongan creek, except for the Bannisters, are wonderfully diverse and very community spirited.

There are plenty of secrets to be uncovered in Wongan Creek surrounding Travis’ sisters death, Casey’s father and a truly horrible character Zac. Some of these secrets will help heal, some will cause trouble and there’s a great twist thrown in there too.

A highly enjoyable read that I definitely recommend. 4.5⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

About the book: Wongan Creek has a second chance at life, but new possibilities unearth long-buried secrets…

Travis Bailey may as well be Wongan Creek. His family has farmed canola for generations, and he sometimes feels like he holds the community together with his bare, dirt-stained hands. Between caring for the farm, his orphaned niece and his elderly, ailing neighbour, he doesn’t have time for himself. He doesn’t have time to fall in love.

Social worker Heather Penney is living on borrowed time. When her mother died of Motor Neurone Disease, she took the initial blood tests and now nothing is guaranteed, let alone a future with a family and a home and a child. Wongan Creek, and its resident protector, might be getting under her skin, but she can’t afford to get attached.

But even as a new mine revitalises the small town, old secrets threaten resurface, and Travis and Heather find themselves fighting to save the farms and the futures of Wongan Creek’s long-time residents—and possibly their own lives.