New Release Book Review: The Opal Miner’s Daughter by Fiona McArthur

Fiona McArthur has written another wonderful outback romance which encompasses an outback opal mining town full of wonderful Aussie characters.

In this opal mining town of Lightning Ridge, some people live in the hope they will find the perfect opal, some, like Riley’s mum Adelaide, have become hooked on the whole opal mining process and love the freedom digging their mine gives them. I loved that Adelaide after retiring found something that interested her and decided to follow her heart and do something completely out of character; buying a property in Lightning Ridge with a tin shack and an old opal mine. I liked that she didn’t let her husband’s lack of interest stop her, she knew what she needed and she did it, hoping her husband would join her, but unwilling to live a life of boredom to stay with him.

Riley, an obstetrician and fertility specialist decides she needs to talk sense into her mum on behalf of her dad (never a good idea) and takes up a locum position for a month in Lightning Ridge whilst also using it as an opportunity to run fertility clinics for the women in the community and surrounds. Just as there is a lack of medical care and mental health services in the outback, Riley and the local GP Konrad find out just how needed her clinics are and how many families there are who want to start a family, but can’t and have no easy access to a fertility specialist.

Mel, a young local lady who is struggling with PTSD and has been given a safe space to heal and live by Konrad as his medical receptionist, pulled at my heartstrings with her story and her lack of belief in herself. Big changes are underway for her with a surprise pregnancy and unexpected support from the ladies. Riley and Konrad also both play important roles in helping Mel come into her own.

I really like the way Fiona McArthur brings attention to the needs and struggles of these remote communities, I always learn something new when I read her novels.

I really liked local GP Konrad Grey and liked the way Riley and Konrad connected and how they both changed in the short time they knew each other, each allowing the other to see and experience things they had been missing.

The cast of side characters in Lightning Ridge was wonderful, from crusty old Cyrus, a man who seems to have forgotten what personal hygiene is, to Desiree who knows everything that is going on and the ladies of the Friday night get-togethers who are there to support each other and the rest of the community and Toby, a young man who is going through a lot and barely keeping it together. All of these people make for a great read, one I couldn’t put down until the early hours of the morning.

Thanks to Penguin Random House Australia for a copy of this book in return for an honest review.

New Release Book Review: Dr Bennett’s Babies by Fiona McArthur

Dr Bennett'sDr Bennett’s Babies was a delightful read. I enjoyed meeting Marcus and Matilda (Tilly), their initial meeting didn’t go so well after Tilly mistakes Marcus as a thief trying to break and enter into her neighbours house, and their subsequent interactions are all over the place when they find out they are working together and their views on birthing don’t align.

Marcus has some serious hangups, ones you can understand due to an awful event that happened to him and his family when he was a child, but Tilly is determined to make him face those hangups and rethink his beliefs on safe birthing and water safety.

I loved how Tilly was completely sure of her skills and her beliefs about how women should be able to give birth and wasn’t afraid to voice those feelings with Marcus, her new boss despite it causing more friction and problems between them. Every time I read a Fiona McArthur book I learn something new about midwifery and how things still need to change in the way babies are born and mothers and fathers are treated.

Marcus and Tilly were made for each other and despite neither wanting a relationship and their initial friction over their jobs, it was good to see them both find their way to friendship and love.

Thanks to the author for a digital copy of this novel in return for an honest review.


New Release Book Review: A Doctor’s Gift by Fiona McArthur

The Doctor's GiftThis was a really enjoyable medical romance, I very much appreciated learning more about donor transplants, and I could understand the hesitancy of Ailee in not wanting to start a relationship until she had been through the process of donating to save her brother’s life. I also liked the fact we got the recipients struggles that they went through when receiving a donor organ, I’d never given a thought to the fact they might be anything other than thrilled to receive a possibly life-saving organ, but there is so much more to consider.

Fergus was lovely and I loved that he put his heart on the line when pursuing Ailee. His daughter was delightful too and added an extra dynamic to the relationship. I kept hoping Ailee would tell Fergus what was going on, but things kept getting in the way, sometimes I felt Ailee waited for obstacle so she wouldn’t have to tell him. Poor Fergus, he couldn’t understand where she was coming from.

In Australia at least when it comes to organ donation, I think it is wrong that if you have marked that you are a donor, that your family can override that wish. I myself am a registered organ donor and I have told my family this, but they could still stop that from happening. Seeing Ailee discussing it with the parents of a patient who has passed and only having a limited time to get them to consent made me really appreciate how hard it is for doctors and nurses who know how much these gifts could make a difference to so many people’s lives.

I really enjoyed this read and was hoping Fergus could convince Ailee they could make a go of things.

AWW 2021

New Release Book Review: Emma – Lyrebird Lake by Fiona McArthur

I’ve loved this series, but I think this might just be my favourite of the four Lyrebird Lake books, Montana, Misty, Mia, and now Emma.

I remember meeting Emma in book #1 Montana when she was a teenager and pregnant, and now she’s a young woman, a single mother with an 8-year-old daughter, Grace, she’s now a midwife who has avoided the complications of relationships, focused on her daughter’s future and looking after her mother who was diagnosed with Huntington’s disease in book #1.

The shadow of Huntington’s disease hanging over her has played a big part in her life and she has put off having the test to see if she is a carrier. I’m not sure what I would do in her case, but I think I’d rather know, than worry and presume I did have it.

When Gianni, a doctor, comes to town to see his friend Angus, who we met in book #3 Mia, Emma’s world is turned upside down when they have an instant connection.

I really liked these two together, I enjoyed Emma’s struggle to stay away from Gianni, while he was determined to make her see they could be something together. Meeting Gianni also brings the issue of the Huntington’s disease to the fore and Emma must decide whether she wants to know or not and what it will mean either way.

Gianni was a gorgeous guy, who had a sad past, and like Emma, he had kept others at arm’s length since his wife passed tragically. But meeting Emma changes everything for him too and it was interesting how differently they both felt about the connection between them and what it could mean for the future.

Once again Fiona McArthur has brought Lyrebird Lake to life and created two characters who deserve to find their one true love.

Whilst this can be read as a standalone, I encourage you to read from book one as they are all lovely romances and the characters reappear throughout.

AWW 2021