Australian Romance Writers Are World Class

Australia has world class romance writers: rural romance writers/contemporary romance writers/cosy romance writers/cozy crime fiction writers/romantic suspense writers,romantic comedy writers, historical romance writers…writers of women’s fiction and life lit, have I missed any one out? If romance is your go to read then enter to win a copy of best selling author Belinda Alexandra’s Southern Ruby.   In the comments section of this post tell me what Belinda is referring to when she asks “…is this naughty or nice?”  Thanks once again to HarperCollins Publishers Australia for providing this generous giveaway.

 

****Giveaway open to Australian residents only. Giveaway ends midnight 28 January 2017.

Southern Ruby cover imageDescription:

Forbidden love. Family secrets. A twist of fate. The stunning new generational saga from Belinda Alexandra, bestselling author of TUSCAN ROSE.

In New Orleans – the city of genteel old houses and ancient oak trees covered in Spanish moss, of seductive night life, of Creole culture, voodoo and jazz – two women separated by time and tragedy will find each other at last.
Amanda, orphaned as a child and suffering the loss of her beloved grandmother, has left Sydney in search of a family she never knew.
Ruby, constrained by the expectations of society and class, is carrying a lifetime of secrets. Amanda’s arrival sparks revelations long buried: a double life, a forbidden love, and a loss that cannot be forgotten.
Southern Ruby is a sweeping story of love, passion, family and honour. Alternating in time between the 1950s and the eve of Hurricane Katrina, it is also a tribute to a city heady with mystery, music, and superstition, which has borne the tumults of race and class and the fury of nature, but has never given up hope.

 

EDIT** News just in Belinda Alexandra has been voted #50 in Booktopia’s Australia’s favourite author of 2017  http://www.booktopia.com.au/australia-s-favourite-author/promo1140.html

 

Post Script: Walking The Line – Mandy Magro – Guest Reviewer

Brenda gives this a five star review!

walking-the-line

 Walking the Line

Mandy Magro

Harlequin MIRA AU

ISBN: 9781489210609

 

Description:

For how long can secrets stay buried?

Country-loving Dallas Armstrong is a hard-as-nails bull rider, who dreams of becoming Australian champion, just like his father, Mick, was. But when he discovers a shocking secret about his father on the same day Mick dies in a car accident, Dallas’s world is turned upside down. Now it’s up to him to protect his mother from the truth, and to keep the family farm Rollingstone Ridge afloat. And he will do everything in his power to do so.

Charlize Dawson is a successful city journalist whose marriage is in tatters. Begrudgingly sent to the country to write about Dallas, she is surprised to find that he isn’t the arrogant cowboy she’d assumed he’d be. Instead she and Dallas and share an intense chemistry and deep connection that lead to a stolen kiss at the Rodeo Ball.

But when Charlize’s research for her article puts her on the path of uncovering Dallas’s secret, he demands she stop or lose him forever. Dallas or her career, which should she choose? How can she turn her back on the people who have welcomed her into their lives with open arms, all in the name of her job? Her career is all she has left, and she has worked so very hard to be where she is. But how can she reveal what she knows, if it means losing the love of her life?

 

Brenda’s View:

Journalist from a top Sydney newspaper, Charlize Dawson was going through many stages of grief after finding her beloved husband had been cheating; their marriage a sham. But then her boss who was also a good friend, decided to send Charlize to Grenfell, deep in the country near Parkes in New South Wales. His idea was for Charlize to have some time to clear her mind and think about her future, plus combine it with an assignment to interview Dallas Armstrong, champion bull rider keen to become the Australian champion. Reluctant though she was, Charlize knew the break away would help; and her career wouldn’t suffer either.

Dallas lived on Rollingstone Ridge, the family farm which had been his home from birth. His father had been killed several months before in a terrible car accident, only a matter of hours after Dallas had discovered a secret he had been hiding; his determination to protect his mother Katherine and Gramps Reg from learning the truth had him struggling with a combination of grief and guilt.

On learning of the imminent arrival of the journalist, Dallas was angry. He didn’t want this – the risk of secrets being uncovered had him concerned. But helping the family farm survive was a priority – he was sure he could handle it and send the journalist on her way. As Charlize settled quickly into country life, loving it which surprised her immensely, she found Dallas’ family friendly and welcoming. The townsfolk of Grenfell were the same – all except for one person. Who was this bitter, nasty piece of work who seemed to want to do nothing more than cause trouble? And what would Charlize do when she discovered something she really didn’t want to know?

Walking the Line is another excellent rural romantic suspense novel by Aussie author Mandy Magro. Set in the vast depths of country Australia, the descriptions of the bush and rural life, along with the struggles of the farmers are authentic. The mystery and intrigue are high; the pages, especially toward the end, just raced by while I kept reading until late to discover what had happened. This 5 star read is highly recommended.

With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this copy to read in exchange for my honest review.

 

Post Script: The Beauty Of The End – Debbie Howells

The Beauty of the End

The Beauty of the End

Debbie Howells

Kensington Press

ISBN: 9781496705983

 

Description:

From the acclaimed author of The Bones of You comes a haunting and heartbreaking new psychological thriller about a man thrust into the middle of a murder investigation, forced to confront the secrets of his ex-lover’s past.

 

“I was fourteen when I fell in love with a goddess. . .”

 

So begins the testimony of Noah Calaway, an ex-lawyer with a sideline in armchair criminal psychology. Now living an aimless life in an inherited cottage in the English countryside, Noah is haunted by the memory of the beguiling young woman who left him at the altar sixteen years earlier. Then one day he receives a troubling phone call. April, the woman he once loved, lies in a coma, the victim of an apparent overdose–and the lead suspect in a brutal murder. Deep in his bones, Noah believes that April is innocent. Then again, he also believed they would spend the rest of their lives together.

 

While Noah searches for evidence that will clear April’s name, a teenager named Ella begins to sift through the secrets of her own painful family history. The same age as April was when Noah first met her, Ella harbors a revelation that could be the key to solving the murder. As the two stories converge, there are shocking consequences when at last, the truth emerges.

 

Or so everyone believes. . .

 

Set in a borderland where the past casts its shadow on the present, with a time-shifting narrative that will mesmerize and surprise, The Beauty of the End is both a masterpiece of suspense and a powerful rumination on lost love.

 

 

My View:

This is a book that successfully merges many genres- romance, contemporary fiction, crime fiction and thriller.

 

The early chapters succinctly capture the dizziness, the neediness, the all-consuming power of adolescent first love; and beautifully captured it is. The emotions and the passion, the hopefulness, the desire for that love to be recognised, to be loved back with equal passion… this author has successfully taken me back to being a teenager, such profound prose, emotions exposed.

 

This narrative is complex, it is more than a love story, though that element has as much presence as the characters themselves, love is influential and ambitious, making its power felt as the story develops. Complex, twisted and surprising…a story of abuse, hope, manipulation and more love…and abuse of power and position.

 

Willingly we follow the crumbs that lead us deeper into the woods – the path back muddy and confusing. The unreliable narrator serves his purpose well – only the last pages will reveal the truth and provide justice.

 

A great read.

 

 

Post Script: Black – Fleur Ferris

Black

Black

Fleur Ferris

Penguin Random House Australia

ISBN: 9781925324976

 

Description:

Ebony Marshall is in her final year of high school. Five months, two weeks and four days . . . She can’t wait to leave the town where she’s known only as ‘Black’. Because of her name, of course. But for another reason, too.

 

Everyone says Black Marshall is cursed.

 

Three of her best friends have died in tragic accidents. After Oscar, the whispers started. Now she’s used to being on her own. It’s easier that way.

 

But when her date for the formal ends up in intensive care, something in quiet little Dainsfield starts to stir. Old secrets are revealed and terrifying new dangers emerge.

 

If only Black could put all the pieces together, she could work out who her real enemies are. Should she run for her life, or stay and fight?

 

 

 

My View:

The perfect Teen/ YA read. This could be small town anywhere; the narrow minded attitudes, the suspicions, a haunted house, a curse, fear, gossip, “in groups”, outcasts. There are dramas, “accidents”, exorcism and a little bit of romance thrown in for good measure – and of course a happy ending.

 

Fleur Ferris writes yet another novel that to me, reads like a film! Congratulations on another engaging read Fleur.

 

 

Post Script: An Affair with Danger – Robin Storey

An Affair With Danger

An Affair with Danger

Robin Storey

Robin Storey

ASIN: B01ACZECU6

 

Description:

‘The author knows how to blend romance, suspense and an appropriate amount of humor to keep me reading late into the night.’ BbReviews

 

When corporate lawyer Will McPherson is held up in an armed robbery, his life changes in ways he’d never dreamed of. He goes to court to give evidence and upon meeting the perpetrator’s girlfriend Frankie Slater, he is instantly smitten.

 

But feisty, straight-talking Frankie has her own problems, not least of which is her violent boyfriend Eddie.

 

And he soon becomes Will’s problem as well.

 

If you like your romance stories with a liberal dose of grit and suspense, you’ll love this short novel you can read in one sitting.

 

‘This book has intrigue, romance, humour and it was hard to put down once I started reading it.’ Jill Moffatt.

 

This book is available as an e-book or in print.

 

 

 

My View:

A little bit of this and a little bit of that makes for an entertaining read.  Robin Storey mixes romance, suspense and little bit of humour in this modern day story of boy meets girl from wrong side of the tracks.

 

Although only a short read, a lot of action and foreboding is packed into the 161 pages.  Domestic violence, addictions and song writing provide the backdrop to this love story, you just know it is not going to end well.   The ending…was dramatic and sad but I think I would have liked to have seen this section fleshed out a little more, it did not resonate with me – maybe because it felt a little rushed and I wanted a more optimistic outcome.

 

All in all an engaging read.

Post Script: Second Chance Town – Karly Lane

Second Chance Town

Second Chance Town

Karly Lane

Allen &Unwin

Arena

ISBN: 9781760291815

 

Description:

The town of Bundah is dying, with many of its young people fleeing for jobs in the city. A desperate plan to revive Bundah’s fortunes—with generous incentives to attract new businesses—results in a flood of people coming to the town to set up shop.

 

As Bundah begins to come to life with the new arrivals a spate of teenage drug overdoses starts to divide the locals. Many are convinced the narcotics trade has been brought to town by one of the newcomers. It doesn’t help that the mysterious new owner of one of the local pubs has a dark past.

 

Lucy Parker is a single mother doing her best to support her teenage daughter, Belle, through her last year of high school. It’s long been Belle’s dream to go to university, so when she starts to turn wayward, hanging out with the wrong kids and experimenting with alcohol and possibly drugs, her mother is deeply troubled.

 

The very last thing Lucy needs is for a man like Hugh Thompson to mess with her heart and disrupt her life. However it seems fate has other ideas.

 

Suspenseful and packed with romance, Second Chance Town is sure to grow the fan base Karly Lane has established with her bestselling novels Poppy’s Dilemma and Gemma’s Bluff.

 

 

My View:

Australian women writers are awesome! This is another excellent example of a contemporary rural Australian novel/romantic suspense – emphasis on the suspense.  It will entertain, engage, thrill you and ultimately make you smile.  Along the way Ms Lane weaves in some very contemporary issues regarding drugs – effecting all parts of society, and the demise of small Australian rural towns and the efforts some communities make to breathe life back into the towns.

 

Had a trying day? Feeling weary, need to re charge your batteries?  Then this is the perfect read for you!

 

 

 

Post Script: Desert Flame – Janine Grey

But….

Desert Flame

Desert Flame

Janine Grey

Penguin Books Australia

ISBN: 9780143797074

 

Description:

When her beloved father dies, Eliza Mayberry’s privileged world comes crashing down around her ears. On the verge of losing the business that has been in her family for generations, she has no option but to take over the last remaining case: tracking down the elusive Fingal McLeod in outback New South Wales and bringing him back to Sydney.

 

Fin, however, has other ideas. Determined to find the legendary Dark Flame, a rare opal that has eluded opal-hunters for decades, he has no intention of leaving his mine, Rebel’s Ruin, to reunite with the family of the man who abandoned him – even for the beguiling Miss Mayberry.

 

Drawn to the people and starkly beautiful landscape of the desert, Eliza discovers the new start that she’s been seeking in this unlikely place and with a man who is as infuriating as he is intriguing. But as passion blooms under the scorching outback sun, secrets from the past and present are bubbling below the surface – secrets that could destroy both the fragile trust between Eliza and Fin, and the bright promise of the future.

 

 

My View:

This Australian rural narrative/romantic mystery, is full of spectacular scenery, vibrant characters and with an interesting plot that has the requisite dramas (standover men, vengeful sister of ex-boyfriend , corrupt mining companies etc) and the necessary happy ending…do you feel a BUT coming?

 

But it is also peppered with what I consider unnecessary vivid sex scenes. I make no excuses, I just don’t enjoy knowing every single close encounter of the sexual kind, I prefer sex scenes to leave a little something to the imagination – and believe me there were a few places in this novel where nothing was left to the imagination (eg outdoor shower scene). To me this sparkling narrative just didn’t need this level of salacious detail.

 

Aside from this one issue, and this is a personal issue, the writing was admirable. This book maybe for you, sadly it wasnt for me.

 

Post Script – Grand Slam – Kathryn Ledson

Grand Slam

Grand Slam

Erica Jewell #3

Kathryn Ledson

Penguin Books

Michael Joseph

ISBN: 9780143799757

 

Description:

Erica Jewell can’t worry about hunky hired gun, Jack Jones, and his commitment-phobic ways right now. She’s flat out managing Dega Oil’s sponsorship of the Australian Open tennis tournament, and doing a pretty good job. That is until a devastating oil-rig explosion sends Dega’s reputation and share price plummeting.

 

Public outrage over the incident upsets Emilio Méndez – the Open’s biggest draw card – and he wants to cut all ties with Dega. When Erica is sent to calm him, superstitious Emilio becomes convinced he needs her by his side to win. He demands she stay close, and the media annoyingly misinterprets their relationship, much to Jack’s irritation. Meanwhile danger lurks, threatening Emilio and Erica, and she must race against time to discover: Who’s trying to kill them and why?

 

From the elite inner sanctum of the Australian Open to the packed halls of Chadstone Shopping Centre, can Australia’s favourite accidental heroine save her job, Emilio, and her so-called relationship with Jack Jones?

 

 

My View:

Loved every funny, over the top crazy piece of action in this book – another great Erica (aka Emily) Jewell adventure 🙂

PS I loved Emilio – I had pictures in my head of a certain tennis player – *sighs* Fans face :):) 🙂

 

Well I think those few words pretty accurately sums up my reaction to this book – I loved it, it was so much fun to read and I often found myself laughing out loud. This is another great Australian narrative – full of familiar landmarks, Aussie idioms, self-depreciating humour, with a feisty female protagonist who is fearless, sassy, smart and adventurous ( and who loves cats) and a tennis player who is again a little over the top but is just so prefect this way – dashing, handsome, self-centred, did I mention gorgeous, handsome , dashing?? And then we have Jack Jones – super hero extraordinaire. This book is delight to read and it feels like Kathryn Ledson loves writing this series just as much as I love reading it, I know you will love this book too.

 

**Can be read as a standalone.

 

 

 

Goodreads Reading Challenge 2015

completed challenge

 

Congrats! You have read 200 books of a goal of 200!

Now that wasn’t so hard was it? It is the reviewing 200 books that is the hard work.