Sunday, July 15, 2018

Book: Shifting Light



Summary: Nina Larkin should be happy. She’s transformed her rundown outback property, The Springs, into a successful artists’ retreat; she’s won a distinguished art prize, and she’s living with her soulmate, trail-blazing grazier Heath Blackett.
But the chance discovery of a portrait of her father, renowned artist Jim Larkin, makes her question everything. How could it have been drawn just weeks ago when Jim has been dead for years . . . Or so she thought.
Could her father still be alive? Can she track down the man in the picture? And is this connected to the missing gold buried by her ancestor over a century ago?
Her search for answers will draw Nina into a maze of family secrets just as the man who stepped out of a portrait arrives at her door .


What I Thought: A brilliant sequel - sucked in! Still amazed its written by 4 women from a bookgroup.

Book: Making Peace



Summary: It's been a year since Hannah Ainsley lost her husband and parents – her whole family – in a car crash on Christmas morning. Despite her overwhelming loss, she's worked hard to pull the pieces of her life together with the help of a group of dear, loyal friends. But while Hannah is beginning to become excited about the future again, she's concerned that her best friend and talented artist Sam is facing a crisis of her own. It's now Hannah's turn to be Sam's rock – can she save Sam's dreams from unravelling?
When Hannah returns to work after her holidays, she can't settle. She's loved her job for a decade, and it's been her lifeline during her grief. But something's changed. She's changed. And for all this time she's avoided knowing the details of the accident or investigation – what would be the point, she'd thought, when nothing will bring her loved ones back? But after a chance meeting, it's all there in front of her – and, like ripples in a pond, it extends beyond her own experiences. Could knowing be the key to her recovery? Could her involvement be the key to someone else's?


What I Thought: Enjoyed this sequel. A sweet follow on.

Book: Water Under the Bridge




Summary: Ella Davenport hasn't been in a swimming pool since a bad decision ruined her chance of Olympic gold. So when Ella decides on a new career selling property, she chooses Chalk Hill. The country town is a long way from the water, with no pool in sight. Perfect!
Jake Honeychurch doesn't want to sell his nanna's house, but circumstances force his hand. Listing the property with the rookie real estate agent in town and asking a hefty price means it shouldn't find a buyer. Perfect!
But determination and persistence are traits Jake admires, and Ella has them in spades. After all, no one ever made an Olympic team by being a quitter.
When news breaks of a proposed waterski park, a local developer starts sniffing around Honeychurch House. Ella's first sale is so close she can taste it, until a sharp–eyed local recognises her. Between sale negotiations with Jake that keep getting sidetracked, and a swimming pool committee hellbent on making a splash, Ella has more to contend with than kisses and chlorine.
Can she throw off the failures of the past and take the chance of a new start? Or will her dreams of a new life be washed away?

What I Thought: Enjoyable but didn't suck me in.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Book: The Paris Wedding



Summary: Ten years ago, Rachael West chose not to move to Sydney with high-school sweetheart Matthew. Instead she stayed on the family wheat farm, caring for her seriously ill mother and letting go of her dreams. Now, Matthew is marrying someone else. And Rachael is invited to the wedding, a lavish affair in Paris, courtesy of the flamboyant family of Matthew's fiancee - a once-in-a-lifetime celebration at someone else's expense in Europe's most romantic city.
She is utterly unprepared for what the week brings. Friendships will be upended, secrets will be revealed - and on the eve of the wedding, Rachael is faced with an impossible dilemma: should she give up on the promise of love, or destroy another woman's life for a chance at happiness?


What I Thought: Enjoyable but totally unbelievable.

Book: Talk of the Town



Summary: Lawson Cooper-Jones has two priorities in life – his son, Ned, and the survival of the dairy farm that has been in his family for generations. Despite the best efforts of the town matchmakers and the determined pursuit of local girl Adeline Walsh, Lawson’s heart belongs still, and only, to his late wife.
But when a flat tyre strands Lawson and Ned in nearby Rose Hill, he’s surprised to find a woman living alone in the old general store of the deserted town. Ned immediately forms a bond with the beautiful stranger called Meg, and Lawson is surprised to find himself captivated by her too.


What I Thought: Enjoyable - not sure on the whole ghost thing but an easy read regardless.

Book: Untidy Town


Summary: Seventeen-year-old Adelaide is sick of being expected to succeed on other people’s terms. She knows she just has to stick it out at school for one more year and then she’ll be free. Instead, she runs away from her fancy boarding school back to her sleepy hometown to read and dream.
But there are no free rides. When Addie’s grandad gets her a job at the local historical society, she soon finds out that it’s dusty and dull, just like her new life. Things change when she starts hanging out with Jarrod, a boy who seems full of possibilities. But it turns out he’s as stuck as she is. And Addie realises that when you want something in life, you’ve actually got to do something about it.


What I Thought: Really enjoyed this coming of age story set in familiar(ish) surrounding. 

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Book: Aussie Midwives



Summary: Nineteen Australian midwives share their incredible stories with passionate midwife and bestselling author Fiona McArthur.

Midwives play a vital role in supporting women through some of the most challenging and rewarding moments of their lives. These remarkable professionals watch over births across Australia from the remote outback to busy urban hospitals.

Meet Annie, working on the tiny island of Saibai where mothers arrive by dinghy; Kate, a clinical midwifery consultant, who sees women with high-risk pregnancies; Priscilla and Jillian who fly thousands of miles to get mothers and babies to hospital safely with the Royal Flying Doctor Service; and Louise, who gives impromptu consultations in the aisles of the local supermarket.




What I Thought: Ok. Not the best midwives short story collection I've read. a bit too preachy and disjointed in parts.

Book: Missing Pieces of Us



Summary: Lauren Ramsey was adopted at birth. Now a teacher, her mantra is to never let a child fall through the cracks. But she's so concerned about the welfare of a little boy in her kindy class she doesn't notice that her teenage daughter needs help.

At fourteen, Skye Ramsey is on the cusp of womanhood, but she's also teetering on the edge of an abyss. Battling with the usual pressures faced by a teenage girl, including the pitfalls of social media, she's flirting with outright rebellion.

As a child, Tamara Thompson felt unloved and overlooked. She's now the manager of a successful business and has a partner who adores her, but her fear of rejection is threatening to overwhelm her.

All three women are searching for a happier future, but the answers may lie in shedding light on secrets from the past.




What I Thought: Enjoyable but way too far fetched at the end!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Book: River Run



Summary:  It is January 1951, and after a year away Eleanor Webber has returned home to River Run, her family's sprawling sheep property in western New South Wales. Fleeing a failed love affair back in Sydney, she hopes for some time and space to heal. But with shearing of over 25,000 sheep about to commence, and the infamous and moneyed Margaret Winslow and her husband Keith staying in the main house as her mother's guests, that dream is quickly dashed. More worryingly, her half-brother Robbie is increasingly running wild, playing tricks on his governess, antagonising the jackeroos and obsessing about a communist invasion. Though only eleven, Robbie has appointed himself guardian of the property and, in his treehouse by the river, he readies for an imminent attack. Armed with a gun. Then, with a storm looming and tensions rising in the shearing shed, a mysterious stranger appears on the horizon. And in one disastrous moment young Robbie entangles Eleanor in a situation that will have serious repercussions for every member of the Webber family . . .




What I Thought: Enjoyable. A bit slow in parts and a bit quick at the end!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Book: Finding Hannah



Summary:  Hannah Ainsley has the perfect life — an adoring husband, a close relationship with her parents, a wonderful job, and amazing friends. Best of all, it’s Christmas — her favourite day of the whole year! It’s a time to share with her family and friends, and enjoy the festivities.
But this year will be like no other. Tragedy strikes and Hannah’s world is shattered. If she’s going to cope, she’s going to need all the support she can gather and draw on every bit of her strength. Life will never be the same again but it’s soon clear she has no alternative but to pull together a future from the remaining fragments. 
As Hannah heads towards the next festive season she will have to make a decision — should she stay with the people who have supported her or should she leave? Could the answer lie in a delayed gift?


What I Thought: Ooh this sucked me in. Really sad but enjoyable. Hannah was a bit too nerdy and prim and proper for me so I'm really looking forward to watching her grow in the sequel.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Book: Six Ways to Sunday



Summary: When city naturopath Rilee Summers meets gorgeous farmer Dan Kincaid, sparks fly. A whirlwind romance follows, and the next thing Rilee knows she's married and living on her husband's family property in a small rural community.

Never one to shy from a challenge, Rilee is determined to win over her in-laws and the townsfolk of nearby Pallaburra, but her city ways and outspoken views only seem to alienate her further.

Opening her own naturopathy practice has always been her dream. Although Pallaburra isn't Sydney, and despite the fact she's not exactly inundated with new clients, she's not ready to give up. Things get even worse for Rilee when she champions the issue of teen pregnancies in the deeply conservative town.

Worn down by the ill-will towards her and what she sees as Dan's lack of support, Rilee flees the station to think about the future. Can her marriage survive - or is she destined to leave Dan and move back to the city?


What I Thought: Loved this - an nice easy read with a fierce independent woman!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Book: One More Song



Summary: Harrison Baxter and Edwina Campbell lead completely different lives.  Much has changed for Harry since he escaped his home town of Yallambah ten years ago, headed for the bright lights of the big city. Now he's the star of Melbourne's hottest musical, and feels more at home centre stage than anywhere else. Why bother going back to Yallambah to visit his parents when his father couldn't care less about his success?  Meanwhile, nothing much has changed for Edwina in the last decade, which is exactly how she likes it. Eddie adores her career as a nurse and loves the Yallambah community - she can't imagine living anywhere else. And even if she wanted to, she could never leave her beloved grandparents, who raised her like their own daughter. She's not going to abandon them in their old age. Not for anything.  So when Harry and Eddie bump into each other on one of Harry's flying visits home, their instant mutual attraction seems as pointless as it is intense. There's no way they could ever make it work.  Or is there?


What I Thought: An enjoyable read but I preferred her other novels.

Book: The Grazier's Wife



Summary:  For three generations of Australian women, becoming a grazier's wife has meant very different things.
For Stella in 1946, it was a compromise in the aftermath of a terrible war.
For Jackie in the 1970s, it was a Cinderella fairytale with an outback prince.
While for Alice in 2015, it is the promise of a bright new future.
Decades earlier, Stella was desperate to right a huge injustice, but now a long-held family secret threatens to tear the Drummond family of Ruthven Downs apart. On the eve of a special birthday reunion, with half the district invited, the past and the present collide, passions are unleashed and the shocking truth comes spilling out.
From glamorous pre-war Singapore to a vast cattle property in Queensland's far north, this sweeping, emotional saga tests the beliefs and hopes of these women as they learn how to hold on to loved ones and when to let go.


What I Thought: Absolutely loved this as it flicked between periods. Really enjoyable.

Book: White Gum Creek

Summary: Nick Langtree has lived reclusively on his farm, Winters Hill, ever since the tragic death of his wife. On the occasional trip into nearby White Gum Creek he keeps to himself and that's the way he likes it. And though over the last six years the townsfolk have tried to reach out to Nick, he's pushed them all away.

Whenever Nick comes into the Gumnut Bakery, Natasha Duroz tries to engage him in conversation when she serves him. There's something about him that intrigues Tash, but she's not sure if it's because she feels sorry for him or there's something more.

At last encouraged by the warmth of a few old and new friends, Nick gradually begins to re-engage with the outside world. Then, suddenly some minor vandalism on his farm escalates and odd things begin to happen on Winters Hill. Is someone out to hurt Nick or have his years of solitude been playing tricks on his mind?


What I Thought: Loved it - sucked in again. Also love that the setting in an hour from home!

Book: The Baby Doctor



Summary: Sienna Wilson is living her dream in the city – a rewarding obstetrics job in a leading hospital, an apartment with a view, and handsome Sergeant McCabe on call whenever she needs him. The last thing she wants is a posting to a remote outback town to investigate a medical mystery. But on arrival in Spinifex, Sienna is brought to life in new and exciting ways. In a community riddled with secrets, she meets troubled young barmaid Maddy, and tough publican Alma, both with their troubles to hide. As they draw strength from each other, new friendships, new loves and new babies are born, proving that when strong women join forces, they can overcome even the greatest odds.


What I Thought: Enjoyable but didn't suck me in like her last ones have.