Thursday, November 23, 2017

Book: Ridgeview Station



Summary: Many of Peter and Kelsie Dalton's friends thought they were crazy when they bought Ridgeview Station. But five years on, their hard work, help from Kelsie's parents, and record rainfall have them in high spirits as the summer muster approaches.  Realising they're going to need more help this season, Peter rings around the neighbouring stations to try and find a good worker. After a glowing recommendation, Alexi arrives to give them a hand - and is not at all what they'd expected ... Everything is going smoothly with the muster before disaster strikes and the Dalton's find themselves battling to save their livestock, their property and their lives.




What I Thought: Loved it - another new author added to my rural reading list!

Book: Hate is Such a Strong Word



Summary: Seventeen-year-old Sophie hates Monday mornings, socks worn with sandals, and having to strategise like she's a battle sergeant every time she asks her parents if she can go out. But she especially hates being stereotyped because she's Lebanese. When New Guy, Shehadie Goldsmith, is alienated at her Lebanese school because his dad's Australian, she hates the way it makes her feel. Like she's just as prejudiced as everyone else. Like she could make a difference if she stopped pretending she's invisible. Like the attraction between them might be too strong to fight... But hate is such a strong word... Can Sophie find the strength to speak out - even if it means going against everything she's been brought up to believe?


What I Thought: Very well written - thoroughly enjoyed this teen coming of age story.

Book: Lockie Leonard: Legend





Summary: Lockie's survived his first year of high school, settling into a new town and his first mad love affair - it's all behind him; he made it! But the world of weirdness hasn't finished with him yet. His little brother's hormones have kicked in, his baby sister refuses to walk or talk - but eats anything in sight - his Dad arrests a sheep and his Mum seems to have checked out of the here and now. As Lockie's world turns upside down, he learns that life is never as simple as it seems and along the way finds out a lot more about himself than he ever realised was there.


What I Thought: Absolutely loved this. Such a brilliant writer and coming of age series.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Book: Brothers of Brigadier Station





Summary: She came to the outback to marry the love of her life. She just didn't expect him to be her fiancé's younger brother.

When Meghan Flanagan, a vet-nurse from Townsville, moves to Brigadier Station in outback Queensland to marry the man of her dreams, she is shocked to discover that perhaps her fiancé isn’t the man she wants waiting for her at the altar. The man she's destined to marry, just might be his younger brother.

Cautious of women after a disastrous past relationship, Darcy is happy living on his beloved cattle station, spending his spare time riding horses, going to rodeos and campdrafting. He didn't expect the perfect woman to show up on his doorstep. Engaged to his brother.

With the wedding only hours away, Meghan must make the decision of a lifetime. But, her betrayal could tear the family apart. She knows all too well the pain of losing loved ones and being alone.

Now that she has the family she so desperately wants; will she risk losing it all?




What I Thought: Loved this - great storyline. Looking forward to more in the series.

Book: Santa and the Saddler



Summary: Windmill fabricator Danny Burroughs doesn’t have time to wait in line at the local saddler—no matter how pretty the girl behind the counter—he’s juggling two jobs as it is. But his little sister has her heart set on a unique piece of saddlery for Christmas and he can’t let her down.
Expert saddler Beth Wells has no idea that when she comes to small town Levenham to look after her grandfather’s shop she’ll be swamped with customers. Overrun by day, Beth is forced to work late into the night on Christmas orders. The last thing she needs is another.
When super-cute Danny arrives at the saddlery after midnight wearing a Santa suit, a broad grin and pleading she make his sister’s present, Beth makes a deal—she will take the order in exchange for Danny’s help. Except this flirty Santa’s idea of helping involves more than stacking shelves, and in the confines of the saddlery their smouldering attraction soon becomes a blaze. But no matter how hopelessly drawn she is, Beth has a job interstate and a mum who needs her. Anything more than friendship is pointless.
Will these two chance-met strangers find the courage to gamble on their love? Or will the girl Danny’s been looking for all his life leave nothing behind but a sweet Christmas memory?




What I Thought: A nice quick easy read. Devoured in an arvo! Enjoyed it.

Book: Storms Over Blackpeak



Summary: In the shadow of Black Peak, Carr Fergusson's grand old homestead is in need of a housekeeper. When shy, city-bred Cally Jones arrives at Glencairn Station to take the reins, she discovers not only a new way of life, but a house packed to the rafters with romantic intrigue.
Carr's son, Ash, has finally seen fit to return to the family farm, and it's not just Cally's head he's turning. But what has really brought Ash home? And what ghosts lurk in his past? Is Cally the girl to heal his heart, or will her own heart be broken?
Just up the hall, beautiful, independent Ella Harrington is playing with fire as she tries to juggle the demands of her new career with her love for her gorgeous bad-boy boyfriend. Where will the sparks fall? And who will get burnt?
Meanwhile, intent on everyone else’s problems, will Ella’s mother, Lizzie, be too slow to see the clouds looming over her own horizon? Can Lizzie’s relationship with the newfound love of her life weather the coming storms, or will the differences between them tear them apart?


What I Thought: Enjoyed this book and revisiting characters. A bit slow paced for me though.

Book: Outback Governess





Summary: Family cattle station near Hughenden, seeks an experienced Teacher or Governess for our 3 grandchildren. The outgoing, energetic children are aged 9, 6 and 4. The six-year-old also has mild autism - high functioning but needs extra support and tutelage. Education is delivered via online lessons through School of the Air. You will need to be energetic, self-motivated and have the ability to remain calm in stressful situations. You will be a role model for the children. Someone who can challenge and inspire, as well as encourage their development of a lifelong love of learning. Great wage and conditions for the right person.

When special-needs teacher Paige, takes up the position of Governess for three young children in the Queensland outback, she has no idea just how much and how quickly she would come to love the dusty, dry country, and the family who desperately need her.

Logan was heartbroken when his wife died, leaving him to raise their three children with the help of his aging parents on their remote cattle station. To avoid the constant reminder of the love he lost, he works on a mine in Mt Isa, meaning he only sees his family week on, week off.

But then tragedy strikes and Paige and Logan are forced to work together to look after the children, alone on the station. As well as being their teacher, Paige also becomes a substitute mother and teaches Logan how to be a parent again. A role he has avoided since losing his wife.

Can Paige bring the family back together or have the wounds of the past cut too deep?




What I Thought: Got this as an ARC. Due for release next week. Absolutely loved it. Hooked from page one and devoured in a few hours.

Book: Second Time Sweeter



Summary: Ten years ago, Genevieve Jenkins let the Love of her Life ride out of town while she settled for The Safe Bet. Turns out Mr Safe Bet wasn’t so safe after all, and life in her small home town of Sweet Pocket got kind of sour. The last thing she needs on top of two kids, a sick mother, a deadbeat ex and a heap of bad debt is for Mr Love of her Life to ride back into town, successful, smart, devastatingly sexy, and all the things that she can no longer be.
And it doesn’t help that she’s dressed as cheese.
One-time-bad-boy-now-Crop-King Brodie Brown is back in town on a mission of mercy, but he’s keeping his guard up.  He can’t let this town – or the girl who broke his heart ten years before – get under his skin.  He’s seen what working the land can do to people, and he built his business, and a whole new life, in the big smoke far away from the pain and despair of a farmer’s life. But he loved this town and he loves the people, so when Sweet Pocket calls, he answers. That’s just the way it is.
But it’s only temporary and it’s only business. Brodie learned long ago that there is nothing left for him in Sweet Pocket but a broken heart and lost dreams. When the town’s future is secure, he’ll ride away again – back to his life and his future, and away from the girl who could make both worthwhile.




What I Thought: A sweet little romance - easy read.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Book: Lockie Leonard - Scumbuster



Summary: Nothing's easy for Lockie Leonard. Dumped by his girlfriend, he's back to being the loneliest kid in town and life looks bleak. That is until he meets Egg - who might be the weirdest human being he's ever met. On top of all that, Lockie decides to save the planet; at least the bit of it he lives on. Then he falls in love again, which would be OK except she's younger and surfs better. Can a thirteen-year-old surfrat have a headbanger for a best mate? Will he save the town from vile pollution? Will his love outlast the school term? Another gnarly situation for Lockie Leonard, Scumbuster!


What I Thought: Loved it! So well written. I can see why it was so successful.

Book: Lockie Leonard - Human Torpedo



Summary: Lockie Leonard, hot surf-rat, is in love. The human torpedo is barely settled into his new school, and already he's got a girl on his mind. And not just any girl: it has to be Vicki Streeton, the smartest, prettiest, richest girl in the class. But what chance have you got when your dad's a cop, your mum's a frighteningly understanding parent, your brother wets the bed and the teachers take an instant dislike to you and then you fall in love at twelve-and-three-quarter years old? It can only mean trouble, worry, mega-embarrassment and some wild, wild times.


What I Thought: What a writer. Just brilliant. Have been meaning to read these for years. So glad I did.

Book: Down the Dirt Roads



Summary: Country girl and bestselling novelist Rachael Treasure seemed to have it all, a long-dreamed-of lifestyle on her own patch of dirt in Tasmania's rugged and beautiful wilderness. But through the breakdown of her marriage, Rachael lost her family farm and, in her words, lost her way in life. Discovering an all-new compass to live by, she took her two kids and her dogs and left the beaten path. Mass production, intensive farming, men on the land and women in the home - everywhere Rachael looked she saw ongoing harm to the soil and the foodchain. By going down the dirt roads and getting back to grassroots, she discovered another set of stories about country life in Australia, and a different way to live on the land. From her rebel granny to pioneering farmers and passionate animal handlers, Rachael became inspired by fresh ways to do things.


What I Thought: ooh - it just didn't do it for me. I felt it was so judgmental and felt lectured to. Very tough situation and I hope this book helps her deal with the loss of her farm etc. (I can't believe they let her ex stay and not her) but I am looking forward to getting back into her juicy fiction novels.

Book: A Chance of Stormy Weather



Summary: Self-reliant Sydney girl, Paula, is looking forward to a new life in the country. Just married to sheep farmer Dan Woodcroft she can’t wait to escape her protective family and exchange her busy existence for a new life down on the farm in rural South Australia.
But life on the farm proves rather different to what she was expecting. Why does everyone talk about the weather all the time? Why does no one seem worried by the mice plague? And how is she supposed to feed all those shearers?
With Dan’s brusque Aunt Rowena to contend with, his gorgeous ex-girlfriend showing up with a grudge, and communication between her and Dan breaking down, Paula begins to question whether she can cope — is the life of a farmer’s wife is really for her? Forecast: stormy weather.


What I Thought: Really enjoyed this although I found the character a bit weak to begin with but she grew on me. Looking forward to the second in the series now.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Book: Lake Hill



Summary: All her life Julia Gunn has been weighed down - first by a controlling father, then by a staid older husband, and always by a long-buried secret from her teenage years.
Now, widowed at just thirty-six, she’s going to do something for herself.
Except en route to a new life on the coast at Lakes Entrance she finds herself - courtesy of a rockslide - stuck in the remote mountain town of Lake Grace.
Yet maybe fate is on her side. Because Lake Grace is home to Rick Halloran – ex-rodeo king, sculptor and grazier - and the man with whom she enjoyed a brief, unforgettable romance twenty years ago.
Not only that, but Julia has dreamed of running her own café, and she’s just spotted a For Sale sign outside the prettiest little tea-room by the lake . . .
Julia is finally on the verge of the life she's always wanted.
Then her long-buried secret knocks at the door . . .


What I Thought: Loved it! I was holidaying in the area it was based on so that helps brings a certain magic to a book too.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Book: Under the Flame Tree



Summary: When Kirra leaves school to begin her first job on the station where she grew up, she is unimpressed to find herself partnered with a new employee who will barely speak to her. Daniel is undeniably cute, but he has a serious attitude problem and a mysterious past - there are whispers that he's fresh out of juvenile detention, but no one will tell her why. Daniel gradually thaws and reveals his secrets and Kirra starts to see beyond the moodiness to a boy she can believe in. But others remain wary of him, and her best friend warns her to stay clear. Kirra has some decisions to make. Is Daniel worth fighting for? Or should she walk away?


What I Thought: Really enjoying this author's teen books. It was like a teen rural romance! Ha ha

Book: Life as I Know It




Summary: Michelle Payne rode into history as the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup. She and her 100-to-1 local horse Prince of Penzance took the international racing world by surprise but hers was no overnight success story. Michelle was first put on a horse aged four. At five years old her dream was to ride in the Melbourne Cup and win it. By seven she was doing track work.

All of the ten Payne children learned to ride racehorses but Michelle has stayed the distance. She has ridden the miles, done the dawn training, fallen badly and each time got back on the horse. So when she declared that anyone who said women couldn't compete in the industry could 'get stuffed', the nation stood up and cheered.

What I Thought: I really enjoyed this. She went to my kids school and I drive past her dad's place all the time so it was definitely a "Ballarat" book which makes it relatable. She was a bit blunt at times though...


Monday, September 11, 2017

Book: Gossip Girl - Would I lie to you?


Summary: Blair and Nate reunite just as Serena realizes she's in love with him. Dan starts an experimental literary salon and thinks he's gay after making out with his male co-worker. 

What I Thought: I had read the first 9 of these eons ago and really want to finish them before watching the TV show. This one was pretty bad... but I'm still compelled to read the final couple of books!

Book: Daintree



Summary: The Daintree breeds survivors, those who can weather the storms, heat and floods that come hand-in-hand with its beauty. Doctor Emma Porter is one such survivor, dedicated to her patients and to preserving this precious land where she has made a home.

Emma's quiet life is disrupted when Doctor Jeremy Langford starts working at the hospital, bringing back painful memories: Jeremy was her first love and embodies all that she left behind in Sydney. Jeremy has demons of his own, however, and the tight-knit community of Dalrymple seems to promise the peace he has been looking for.

But while some come to the Daintree to find shelter, others are here to exploit the rainforest's riches. And they will stop at nothing to get their hands on its bounty.


What I Thought: Hooked! Loved it and am now itching to visit FNQ!

Book: Third Time Lucky



Summary: After a disastrous marriage, December Doyle has returned to her home town to try to pick up the pieces of her life and start again. She’s also intent on helping breathe new life into the Christmas Creek township, so the last thing she needs is trouble.

Bad boy Seth Hunter has also returned to Christmas Creek, and trouble is his middle name. Wrongly convicted of a serious crime in his youth, Seth is now a successful businessman, but he’s intent on settling some old scores.

As teenagers, December and Seth were madly in love, and seeing each other again reawakens past feelings. But will Seth be able to overcome his destructive anger about the past, and can December conquer her fear of heartbreak to make their relationship third time lucky?




What I Thought: Loved this - even though I had read the novella version of this story this sucked me in and I was hooked.

Book: Standing Strong



Summary: Former city girl Jacqueline Havelock, Wattle Creek’s newly arrived psychologist, has settled in to country life and is slowly coming to terms with the town’s quirky ways. Farmer Damien McAllister’s plans with his animal welfare venture are falling into place nicely and it finally feels like he has a future to look forward to.


But everything can change as quickly as the fickle weather – and it does. A fire challenges the community and soon Damien and Jacqueline find themselves in a situation neither had anticipated. But is their growing relationship also under threat?


Although the town comes out in support of their newest resident, is the Wattle Creek community strong enough to stand together and win this David and Goliath battle? And could happily-ever-after still be possible for Damien and Jacqueline?


What I Thought: Loved this - not sure if it's realistic or not but a great read.

Book: Dear Banjo


Summary: They were best friends who were never meant to fall in love – but for one of them, it was already way too late.

Willow ‘Banjo’ Paterson and Tom Forrest were raised on neighbouring cattle stations in the heart of the Kimberley. As young adults, sharing the same life dreams, something came between them that Willow cannot forget. Now ten years have passed since she's even spoken to Tom.

When her father falls ill, Willow is called home to take over the running of the family property, Paterson Downs. Her vision for a sustainable, organic cattle station is proving hard to achieve. She needs Tom’s help, but is it too late, and all too complicated, to make amends?

Tom’s heartfelt, decade-old letters remain unopened and unmentioned between them, and Willow must find the courage to finally read them. Their tattered pages reveal a love story like no other – and one you’ll never forget.

What I Thought: Loved this! Kick started my reading mojo again. Another new author on the list!


Book: Wild Lands



Summary: New South Wales, 1837, and settlers in search of fertile country are venturing far outside the colony. Literally cutting a swathe through the bush with their bare hands, they lay claim to territory beyond government jurisdiction – and the reach of the law.


As she accepts a position on one such farm, seventeen-year-old Kate Carter is unaware she is entering a land of outlaws, adventurers and murderous natives. Because the first people of this new world will no longer accept the white man’s advance, and retaliatory attacks on both sides have made it a frontier on the brink of war.


Into Kate’s path comes Bronzewing, a young white man schooled by a settler family yet raised within an Aboriginal tribe. Caught between two worlds, Bronzewing strives to protect his adopted people and their vanishing civilisation. But as he and Kate will discover, ‘beyond the outer limits’ is a beautiful yet terrifying place, where it’s impossible to know who is friend and who is enemy . . .




What I Thought: I did enjoy this but it was a big build up to any "action".

Book: Walking the Line








Summary: 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?


What I Thought: Enjoyed this - easy rural romance.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Book: The Long Paddock


Summary: Country-girl Cressida Knight fills her days with her farm, a mischievous pet bull called Reggie and her volunteer emergency services work. The busier she keeps, the less she thinks about the cowboy who left her behind. She’s convinced the small-town Woodlea grapevine that she’s moved on, but now it’s time to move on for real. 
Champion bull rider Denham Rigby shares Cressy’s deep love for the land and all he’s ever wanted was to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Cressy through life. But three years ago a dark family secret left him no choice but to run. Now family duty gives him no choice but to return to the bush.
What Denham hasn’t come home to do is to hurt Cressy by rekindling their relationship. He’s nothing but a liability and the beautiful, self-reliant cowgirl has to stay off limits. But when faced with Cressy’s desperation to save her drought-stricken farm, he can’t keep his distance. He joins her out droving on the long paddock. Then when Woodlea is hit by more than just rodeo fever, they are further thrown together and Denham loses the battle to lock down his emotions.
But has he left it too late to stop running? And will the woman he’s always loved be prepared to risk her heart for a second time?

What I Thought: Loved this although there could have been more about the long paddock! 

Book: Operation White Christmas


Summary: Hollie Douglas has dreamed of a White Christmas ever since she was a child, but her dream implodes when her fiancé breaks her heart two months before their big day. Convinced by her best friend to go ahead with her planned honeymoon anyway, Hollie doesn't expect to find herself stuck in a snowstorm in rural Canada two days before Christmas.

What I Thought: A lovely sweet Christmas romance xxx