#20Backlistin2020: Book Review: Beyond Identity by Karrie Roman

Beyond IdentityI read a previous novel by Karrie Roman and thought it was a fabulous read, so I was keen to read Beyond Identity, but for some reason it has been on my shelf since the end of August, I’m not sure what was happening around that time but I seem to have a fair few backlist books from this period. This is my fourth #20Backlistin2020 review and it does feel so good to be getting some of these great books read.

This was one book I was loath to put down in order to go to work, I was hooked from the beginning and despite some of it feeling a little bit hard to believe, I really enjoyed it.

I really liked both of the main characters, Noah, who is currently homeless, is bashed on the streets one night ending up in hospital. Harry is a financial reporter trying to become an investigative journalist, he is doing a story on the homeless community and when he hears of the assault on Noah, he turns up at the hospital to see if he can interview him.

Noah was a great character, at first unwilling to ask for help, but slowly letting his guard down as his relationship with Harry progressed. As I found out about Noah’s situation, it seemed it was another all too familiar case of a child getting lost in the system, just like real life. I really liked Noah and I liked seeing how he was tough but vulnerable.

I liked Harry, I liked how his compassion and empathy wouldn’t allow him to turn away from Noah, a complete stranger when he was in need of someone to help him, and that he was willing to follow Noah and help him to uncover the truth about his past.

There was plenty of chemistry between Noah and Harry, as well as genuine affection, and I loved how this relationship bloomed.

The truth about Noah’s past and his parents went in several directions I wasn’t expecting and one I was. It will never cease to amaze me the lengths some people will go to to be top dog. There were a few moments when I didn’t know if all was going to end well or not and I had to keep reading despite the need to sleep.

I look forward to reading more books by this author.

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

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New Release Book Review: Promise Me Forever by Juanita Kees

I really Promise Me Foreverenjoy each journey to Bindarra Creek and this latest novel set in the small country town, full of interesting characters and people who know what community means was a delight.

Promise Me Forever (Bindarra Creek A Town Reborn #8) has a touch of magic (maybe a little more than a touch) and was a fun read with two main characters who were very easy to fall in love with and to hope they could fall in love with each other.

Jack has one agenda when he comes to town to make a report on the small town of Bindarra Creek, and that is to get out of the headlines and back into real reporting, he’s not too sure about doing what he perceives to be a fluff piece on how the locals are trying to save their town.

Headstrong Meg is determined to make the dream of her granny’s museum become a reality and help put Bindarra Creek on the map. She truly hopes that Jack is the right person to help her do this, but has some serious doubts.

As the two get to know each other and discover what makes the other tick, they get more than they bargained for. And when they go off into the outback in search of a missing friend who is under the suspicion of murder, the chemistry between them heats up.

I really enjoyed the interactions between these two and I loved the way they had the magic spark and the magic of the cards between them. I enjoyed feisty Aunty Phyl’s character, she was a good laugh with her sharp tongue and her desire to protect Meg.

I always enjoy a good romantic suspense and Juanita Kees does this genre so well. With good characters and a wonderful town to set the story in, I can definitely recommend Promise Me Forever.

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

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#AWW2020 9/50

New Release Book Review: Bound by Silence by Suzanne Cass

Bound by SilenceBound by Silence by Suzanne Cass is book #2 in the Island Bound series and while it can be read as a standalone, the two main characters, Sierra and Reed, from book #1 Bound by Truth, play a pretty big role in this novel and they will continue into the next, so I’d advise you to read book #1 first, saying that, you won’t be lost if you don’t but the first book was really good and lays some of the backgrounds for our characters.

In Bound by Silence, we meet Keira, who is living in Hawaii and who witnesses a crime, watches her house be consumed by lava and is now on the run from some seriously bad guys. I kept changing my opinion of Keira, I liked her, then I thought she was a spoiled brat, followed by feeling terribly sorry for what she’d been through with her husband and being able to understand where some of her behaviours and thoughts come from, then liking her again. I wanted her to show some of the mettle she’d shown at the beginning of the story when she starts out on the run, but now and again she slipped into complete victim mode, which annoyed me. But at the same time, she’d lived through a lot and now her life was in danger, she was allowed to act like a victim for a while.

The things that Keira went through with her husband were quite hard to read about, she suffered terrible emotional abuse at his and others’ hands and that made her trust no one, while at the same time feeling that she was worth nothing. It is hard to fathom how people can blame themselves so completely for the way other people treat them when it is those people who are to blame.

I really liked Dalton, a bounty hunter, who inadvertently ends up rescuing Keira and becomes a target for the bad guys too. He struggled with what was right, morally and by the law, but chose to believe Keira and keep her safe while finding a way to prove she is innocent of a crime she’s been set up for in order to flush her out.

Keira’s sister Sierra and her now fiance Reed turn up in Hawaii as all this is going down, and using their skills as journalist and police officer, they go about tracking down evidence to help clear Keira’s name and prove who the bad guys really are.

There are some pretty hairy moments throughout this novel, where things could go either way for all four of our good guys, and there is a surprising twist, proving you don’t always know the people you think you do.

I did enjoy the chemistry between Dalton and Keira and I liked how much restraint and respect Dalton showed towards Keira. Some of the banter was fun too.

An enjoyable sequel in this series, I look forward to book three when Keira and Sierra go looking for their brother who seems to have disappeared.

Thank you to the author for providing me with a digital copy of this novel in return for an honest review.

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#AWW2020 9/50

New Release Book Review: Charlotte Pass by Lee Christine

IMG_20200117_165356I was excited when I opened my mail to find this book inside, I do enjoy a good romantic suspense, especially an Aussie set one. This book managed to hold my attention until I couldn’t keep my eyes open, putting it down on the second night with only 30 pages to go and only because I had no other choice as I haven’t yet learned to read with my eyes closed (maybe one day).

The story starts with the discovery of some old bones on the ski slope where a couple of people have gone missing over the years, it is determined they are from a woman who went missing decades before. Detective Sergeant Pierce Ryder is put in charge of the case, a case his good friend and old mentor Lewicki, was once in charge of, a case Lewicki has never managed to forget.

The bones were discovered by a ski patroller Vanessa Bell and that discovery may just put her life in danger as it seems the murderer is still around and does not plan on getting caught.

Being part of the investigation and coming into contact with Detective Ryder, also awakens emotions in both of them. Ryder’s past means he has a lot to deal with before being open to a change like the one Vanessa could bring.

There were plenty of twists and turns in this novel, a few red herrings too, when I was sure I had different things figured out or I was sure I knew what had happened, only to find that I didn’t.

I liked both of the main characters and enjoyed their interactions. But I really liked Ryder’s new partner Flowers who showed himself to be a very good police officer over the course of the investigation.

This is a tough case for everyone involved, the staff at the resort, the police officers, especially ex-cop Lewicki, and some of the guests at the hotel also play their part in the twists and turns. Plenty of secrets are uncovered during the investigation which helped in the red herrings along the way.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and will be looking for more by this author. Thank you to Allen & Unwin AU for providing me with a copy in return for an honest review.

 

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#AWW2020 6/50

My top reads of 2019 plus my blog birthday giveaway

This week marks the 1st birthday of my blog and I want to say thank you to everyone who has supported and followed me throughout the last 12 months, I hope to bring you plenty more reviews next year. To say thanks I am doing a giveaway which I’ll write more about after I let you know what my top reads were for this year, It was a tough choice and I changed my mind about the books and the amount of books I was going to list quite a few times. But here are my final choices in no order whatsoever. As with my books of the decade, they had to be books that have stayed with me all year and that required no prompting for remembering.

TThe True Story of Maddie Brighthe True Story of Maddie Bright by Mary-Rose MacColl was a book that evoked many emotions at the time of reading.

My review

 

 

 

IMG_20190514_200721The Lost Boy by Rachael Wright was another book that packed an emotional punch.

My review

 

 

img_20190121_065430Sunshine by Kim Kelly, this is a novel I have read twice this year as well as listening to the audio book.

My Review

 

 

 

img_20190127_200000Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGarry was yet another emotional read (I’m beginning to sense a theme here as I start putting these onto the page)

My Review

 

 

IMG_20191024_203440Invisible Boys by Holden Sheppard was a very emotional read that everyone should read.

My Review

 

 

 

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A Lifetime of Impossible Days by Tabitha Bird is probably the most emotional book I have read this year, this one had me crying for a third of the book, but it was an incredible story.

My review

 

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Rosie’s Travelling Tea Shop by Rebecca Raisin was a book that had me looking at my dreams for my life.

My review

 

 

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Daughter of the Sky by Michelle Diener was the first book I read in 2019 and a great historical romance in an unusual setting.

My review

 

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Ridgeview Station by Michael Trant was one of a handful of books I read by male authors this year and was a fabulous read.

My review

 

 

 

IMG_20190309_154143In a Great Southern Land by Mary-Anne O’Connor was another emotional read.

My review

 

 

 

IMG_20190508_003954Under the Midnight Sky by Anna Romer was a book I enjoyed so much I bought it for my mum for her birthday.

My review

 

 

 

IMG_20190309_073822The Scream Behind Her Smile by Athena Daniels was brilliant.

My review

 

 

 

 

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Eggshell Skull by Bri Lee was a confronting look at sexual assalt and our legal system.

My review

 

 

 

Lastly, I’ve listened to a lot of audiobooks this year due to a lot of driving and some of these have been great, some just good and some not so good. The narrator makes all the difference to how well a book comes across. I’ve listened to several novels that friends have loved, but as an audiobook, they just haven’t had that impact for me. Here are a couple that stood out for me this year, if you enjoy your audiobooks you may want to check them out.

This Red Earth by Kim Kelly – My Review

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult – My review

The Trauma Cleaner by Sarah Krasnostein – My review

The Locksmith’s Daughter by Karen Brooks

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed some of these (or not) or are inspired to pick one of them up.

For my blog’s birthday I’m giving two people the opportuntiy to win a kindle copy of their choice from my top reads this year (open internationally). Or a paperback copy of Sunshine by Kim Kelly (open internationally) or a paperback copy of Ridgeview Station by Michale Trant (Australia only). To be in for a chance to win please leave a comment on this blog or my Facebook page. You need to be following my blog of to have liked my FB page to enter (or both).

Happy reading.

 

New Release Book Review: Wicked Little Lies by Beth Prentice

Wicked Little LiesOnce again Beth Prentice has written a delightfully fun cosy mystery with plenty of suspense and laughs. Wicked little Lies is part of The Westport Mysteries series, but this one focuses on Molly who is Lizzie’s sister, the main character from the first 4 books.

I loved the first three books I read in the Westport Mystery series, I still have book 4 waiting to be read and this one starts off where that one ends (so it’s essentially book 5) so I need to get to reading it and fill in the gaps I know I am missing. It can be read as a standalone but all the characters from the original series are in this newest book too so it was a wonderful chance for me to reconnect with them all.

From the get-go there is chaos, action and intrigue aplenty to draw you in, this family, especially Grandma Mabel all seem to get up to some crazy things or caught in crazy situations. And it seems playing amateur sleuth runs in the family.

I really enjoyed getting to know Molly better and I really liked her boyfriend Matt, despite first impressions.  I can’t wait to see how these two go once the baby comes along and what else this family can get caught up in.

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

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Book Review: Bound by Truth by Suzanne Cass

Bound by TruthI have read end enjoyed books by Suzanne Cass in the past, so when I was given the opportunity to read her new novel, I jumped at the chance. What an enjoyable read this was, full of tension, romance, suspense, danger, likable and unlikable characters. It is the first in a new series called Island Bound and I am looking forward to future books.

I really liked the two main characters in this novel Sierra and Reed who are both living on the Island for different reasons, but both for a chance to get away from the things life has thrown at them.

The setting of Kangaroo Island is very interesting to me, this is the third book I’ve read set on this island this year, I’m thinking I’ll have to go and visit one day soon.

Sierra has had heartbreak and tragedy in her life and has been living on Kangaroo Island for quite a few years, she is a bit of a loner and because of past losses, is loathe to let anyone get close to her. She also has a stalker who has targeted her due to an article she wrote about abducted children and the polices seemed incompetence. Now there is a child missing on the peaceful island, and she’s been looking at further abduction cases in South Australia, could they all be related or is that too much of a coincidence.

Reed is the new police officer in town and when he meets Sierra there is a connection there that Sierra tries to deny, but Reid is nothing if not persistent. There is also a deeper connection that will cause heartache and danger, I’m not sure how I would have dealt with finding out what these two find out, possibly much the same way as Sierra does.

The search for the missing child is all hands on deck and more than one terrible secret will be uncovered during the search.

This novel had me reading past my bedtime (I feel lucky that I’ve had so many great books like this this year).

 

Thanks to Suzanne Cass for a copy of this novel in return for an honest review.

 

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