New Release Book Review: East of Alice by Annie Seaton

This was a really great romantic suspense read by Annie Seaton, I loved journeying to Alice Springs and the East MacDonnell Ranges to Ruby Gap. When I travelled across Australia I made it to Alice and the West MacDonnell Ranges, I didn’t have the right car to go to the East, but I recognised the landscape and the feel of the land, luckily I didn’t come across any criminal goings-on while I was there like the characters in this novel.

The first part of the book is told in two timelines and while I really enjoyed the backstory from the 1800s, I felt it kept pulling me out of the present-day story which annoyed me a bit. I thought Rose was extremely courageous following her husband out to a wild Australia and learning to make a life in such harsh conditions as she encountered in outback Australia at the time. Her story though was a sad one but one she made the most of.

In the present day, we meet Gemma who has returned to The Alice to teach after leaving when her twin brother Ethan disappeared 6 years before. We get a few chapters from Ethan’s story 6 years before that help to uncover the mystery leading up to his disappearance. Also newly returned to The Alice is Saul, Gemma’s ex and Ethan’s best mate.

I enjoyed both the romance aspect and the suspense/mystery aspect of this novel, I liked seeing Gemma and Saul reconnect and Gemma lose her prickliness and let down the walls she’d kept up since her brother’s disappearance and I liked seeing Saul self-assured about his feelings for Gemma and being willing to put himself out there now he had a second chance.

The mystery surrounding Ethan’s disappearance, the rubies which may or may not have been real and the operation which was going on hidden in the remote bush kept me reading, dying to find out what had happened and how it would all play out. I had my suspicions about one of the mysteries and was pleased to know I was right in my thinking, but still unsure how it would play out in the end. Annie Seaton did a good job of melding all the storylines, past and present together and with the aid of a wonderful setting created an engaging story.

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

New Release Book Review: Outback Skies by Suzanne Cass

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this series, though, with the amount of crime and danger the people of Stormcloud Station deal with, I’m kind of glad I don’t work there. In this 6th and final novel in the series, more danger is afoot for one of Stormcloud’s own, Indy and undercover police officer Finn.

Finn and Indy have a connection from their first meeting, though where Finn is completely taken with Indy, Indy herself is a bit on and off about her feelings for Finn to start with. She also makes some decisions due to her being pretty headstrong that place her in unnecessary danger.

Once again Suzanne Cass has created some complex characters with issues they need to deal with and pasts that could come back to bite them. It’s a fast-paced read with plenty of suspense, action and romance. We meet some newcomers on the muster as well as the found family members of Stormcloud who get drawn into the drama of murder and drug running. Who among them can be trusted is the big question that puts some level of fear into them all. The answers show just how far some people will go for money, power or revenge.

I’m sad to say goodbye to the people of Stormcloud, but I enjoyed the epilogue which set the scene for a positive future for all.

New Release Book Review: Starlit Skies by Suzanne Cass

This was a fast-paced read with plenty of danger, suspense, chemistry and the issue of domestic violence.

Skylar has suffered at the hands of her ex and when she hears what sounds like a woman being abused, she intervenes and this sets off a series of events that will lead to Skylar and the local police officer Senior Constable Nash ending up on a crashed helicopter running for their lives through the remote national park in north Qld.

I really enjoyed this novel, the attraction between Skylar and Nash is one they’ve been fighting for a while, well Skylar has been fighting it, Nash has been hoping. When they are thrown together they can’t ignore it any longer, but it will take a lot for Skylar to get past her past.

There were times Skylar annoyed me so much, when a police officer says “stay hidden ‘ or asks you to do something, you don’t do the exact opposite. Other times I really loved Skylar and hoped she would be able to get through everything and make a go of a life that wasn’t all about work.

Nash was just lovely, and I hoped he would be able to get past Skylar’s defences. He was much more understanding about some of her behaviours than I would have been.

The bad guys are not nice at all, when you are a gun for hire, I guess you wouldn’t be. The domestic violence case was a tough one, and shows how hard it can be for people to leave their abuser or press charges against them. We all need to stand up to abusers like Skylar did and not close our eyes to those around us.

A great second book in this series, I can’t wait for the next one.

Book Review: Treasured Secrets by Kendall Talbot

Treasured Secrets: 1I bought this book back in 2015 and it has been sitting there waiting for me to read it ever since, when hearing book 4 was being released shortly I thought I should do something about reading it (I also have book 2 waiting which I bought in 2016, that’s up next).

This was an action-packed read with danger in unexpected places and secrets which have been buried for 100’s of years.

Archer and Rosalina’s relationship ends because he won’t open up and tell her his own secrets, when she comes across something in a church in Italy that is reminiscent of a pendant Archer wears, she contacts him demanding he tells her where he got it. And so begins the start of a treasure hunt.

Archer and Rosalina are still very much in love, but Rosa has tried to move on and Archer hasn’t been able to open up and tell her his heartbreaking secrets. Now it is time for them to reassess and hope that they both get a chance for a second chance at love as well as staying alive long enough to make that happen.

The bad guy is a crazy priest, who had me scared because of just how crazy he was, determined to find the treasure himself, he’ll go to any lengths to make it happen.

The supporting characters were fun to get to know too and I hope we see more of them in the next book.

This was an enjoyable read and I  can’t wait to see where this treasure leads them next in Treasured Lies.

AWW 2021

New Release Book Review: Firelight by Suzanne Cass

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Book #3 in the Stargazer Ranch series, this is the conclusion to the arsonist threat that has been targeting the Ranch since book #1 Combustion followed by book #2 Wildfire.

I really enjoyed Firelight, it had two good lead romantic characters, Tom and Emily, both with pasts they are running from, but there’s a chemistry between them they are finding hard to ignore.

The arsonist is still on the loose, but he’s diversifying in his threats towards Dean and the Ranch. Things get pretty hectic at times, especially for Emily and Tom.

I had my concerns about the person who it turned out to be, so I wasn’t surprised when it was revealed, I was surprised at just how insane that person was.

A really good conclusion to an enjoyable series.

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

New Release Book Review: Wildfire by Suzanne Cass

WildfireThis was an enjoyable beginning to a new romantic suspense series, Stargazer Ranch Mystery, set in Montana, which sounds like a beautiful place. It’s worth reading the prequel book #1 Combustion before reading Wildfire as it sets up the background for the relationship between Cat and Levi.

Tough motorcycle riding nomad Cat is determined not to let anyone into her heart. Levi, the new ranger makes this a very difficult task, however.

I really liked both these characters, Levi was definitely a honey. I enjoyed the relationship between these two very different characters, opposites can definitely attract, especially when one can see inside the other.

There’s an arsonist on the loose and when Cat returns, so does the arsonist. This is a fast-paced read, things get pretty hairy for Cat and Levi and there are a few people looking good as the culprit. Don’t expect to find out who it is by the end of this first book, there’s more of this mystery to come in the next book.

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

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20Backlistin2020: Book Review: Devil’s Lair by Sarah Barrie

Devils LairThis book has been sitting on both my shelf and my kindle for over a year and after reading Sarah Barrie’s newest book Deadman’s Track, I was keen to finally get this one read.

This was an absolutely brilliant romantic suspense novel. Once again set in Tasmania, we get to meet the characters from Bloodtree River and Deadman’s Track again and this time it is Connor’s turn to find happiness. After what he went through in Bloodtree River, he is understandably in two minds about starting anything new. When he meets Callie, who is trying to fly under the radar after her own traumatic experiences, he finds it hard to stay away from her.

This novel had me reading well into the middle of the night, there was plenty of tension, secrets, and ritualistic murders, alongside romance, new friendships, and new beginnings.

There were so many twists and turns in this story that I just did not see coming, every time I thought I had things figured out, I would have that theory pulled out from under me.

Callie was a very strong character, for someone who had been through what she’d been through, losing her husband in a violent incident and a lengthy court case, the fact she came through it as sane as she did amplified that strength.

The cottage and house that Callie stays in thanks to her friend Paisley’s help, is both beautiful and very creepy, I don’t think I could have stayed there.

The character that creeped me out the most was Paisley’s brother Ned, talk about stalkerish and crazy, I’d have had a restraining order out on him from the start no matter how harmless people were telling me he was. There was something seriously wrong with Ned from the beginning and he was just one of the spine-chilling aspects of the story.

I loved the romance that blossomed between Connor and Callie and their relationship made me smile plenty even when they were having their disagreements.

This novel also deals with the important issue of mental health issues and how support or lack of support can affect people who suffer with these illnesses.

I highly recommend this novel and though it can easily be read as a standalone, I recommend reading them in order: Bloodtree River, Devil’s Lair, Deadman’s Track.

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

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New Release Book Review: Home From the Hill by Susanne Bellamy

Screenshot_20200513_213801Home From the Hill is book 4 I the Home to Lark Creek series. This was however, my first visit to Lark Creek, but I’ll be going back and revisiting with the first three books.

I liked this romantic suspense novel, about an older couple who have plenty of baggage behind them, but who are now tentatively taking steps to start again.

I thought Susanne Bellamy did a good job of portraying the PTSD and the claustrophobia that Graham was suffering. I felt quite sad that he’d spent so much of his life alone on the hill. Janice was a good character, and I enjoyed how she found her backbone against her ex-husband as the story progressed, though I wish she’d found it a bit earlier.

I enjoyed Jack, the lawyer, Rick, and the other secondary characters that played important roles in this story. There was plenty of tension created surrounding Janice’s ex and also the markers on the hill and I wondered how it was all going to come together. A really enjoyable read.

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