Friday, September 21, 2018

Book: The Art of Keeping Secrets



Summary:  They’ve been best friends since their sons started high school together, and Felicity, Emma and Neve share everything … or so they thought. But Flick’s seemingly perfect marriage hides a shocking secret which, with one word, threatens to destroy her and her family’s happiness. Emma is in denial about a potential custody battle, her financial constraints, the exhaustion she can’t seem to shake off and the inappropriate feelings she has for her boss. And single mum Neve is harbouring a secret of her own; a secret that might forever damage her close-knit relationship with her son.  When the tight hold they have each kept on their secrets for years begins to slip, they must face the truth. Even if that truth has the power to hurt the ones they love, and each other.
Perhaps some secrets weren’t made to be kept.


What I Thought: An enjoyable read. Lots of issues explored.

Book: Alex Rider - Skeleton Key



Summary: Alex Rider has been through a lot for his fourteen years. He's been shot at by international terrorists, chased down a mountainside on a makeshift snowboard, and has stood face-to-face with pure evil. Twice, young Alex has managed to save the world. And twice, he has almost been killed doing it. But now Alex faces something even more dangerous. The desperation of a man who has lost everything he cared for: his country and his only son. A man who just happens to have a nuclear weapon and a serious grudge against the free world. To see his beloved Russia once again be a dominant power, he will stop at nothing. Unless Alex can stop him first... Uniting forces with America's own CIA for the first time, teen spy Alex Rider battles terror from the sun-baked beaches of Miami all the way to the barren ice fields of northernmost Russia. Come along for the thrilling ride of a lifetime.


What I Thought: Again I was sucked in. Eleven in the series so far so looking forward to reading the rest.

Book: Alex Rider - Point Blanc



Summary: Investigations into the "accidental" deaths of two of the world's most powerful men have revealed just one link: both had a son attending Point Blanc Academy - an exclusive school for rebellious rich kids, run by the sinister Dr Grief and set high on an isolated mountain peak in the French Alps. Armed only with a false ID and a new collection of brilliantly disguised gadgets, Alex must infiltrate the academy as a pupil and establish the truth about what is really happening there.


What I Thought: Another great book - again sucked in!

Book: Alex Rider - Stormbreaker



Summary: They told him his uncle died in an accident. He wasn't wearing his seatbelt, they said. But when fourteen-year-old Alex finds his uncle's windshield riddled with bullet holes, he knows it was no accident. What he doesn't know yet is that his uncle was killed while on a top-secret mission. But he is about to, and once he does, there is no turning back. Finding himself in the middle of terrorists, Alex must outsmart the people who want him dead. The government has given him the technology, but only he can provide the courage. Should he fail, every child in England will be murdered in cold blood.


What I Thought: Loved it! Hooked. What a great read for teens who love spys and adventures.

Sunday, September 02, 2018

Book: Mother's Day



Summary: Burra District Hospital's maternity unit is under threat and will close for births unless a new obstetrician can be found. Midwife Noni Frost needs a miracle.
A single mum, Noni lives with her young son, Harley, and her Aunt Win, a free spirit and the beating heart of Burra Guest House. Noni's world is disrupted when Iain McCloud and his pregnant teenage daughter Jacinta move into the guesthouse to await the birth of her baby.
There's instant chemistry between Iain and Noni, although he has no plans to stay on in town. But when Jacinta shares explosive family secrets with Noni and an unexpected crisis occurs, everyone's lives come crashing down around them.
Set among the white gum trees and flowing waters of the NSW northern rivers, this is a heartfelt and dramatic story about new babies, new friends and new loves, which shows that when strong women come together in a time of crisis, they can overcome even the greatest odds.


What I Thought: Loved this one - sucked in from the beginning and stayed up way too late at night to finish!

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Book: Fool's Gold



Summary: Detective Dave Burrows' first posting to the far west goldfields town of Barrabine in 1997 holds everything he's looking for, but Melinda, his wife of two weeks, is devastated at leaving behind her family, friends and career. More comfortable in heels than RM Williams, Melinda walked away from her much-loved job in the city as a paediatric nurse to follow Dave into the bush.

Dave settles in easily to the plain-speaking toughness of his new town, determined to do well, knowing that Barrabine could be his stepping stone into the elite stock squad. But will his marriage last the distance? As Dave investigates reports of mysterious late-night trespassing, a missing person, and guns being drawn on strangers, a local prospector phones in with horrific news that could hold the key to everything.


What I Thought: It was ok but seemed really backwards. I prefer her modern day ones and thought this could have been much better written. It was more like "wild west" than the late 1990's.





Book: Promises of Hunters Ridge



Summary: Mia Morgan doesn’t let anything get to her. After freeing herself from an obsessive boss and saving loved ones from a serial killer, she feels like she can handle anything life throws at her. But now that killer – a deranged hunter who preys on women for sport – is coming for her. And if she runs, others will pay the price. As if that’s not enough, Ben Bowden, the brilliant detective who has made her life hell for the past four years, has some insane plan to protect her. If she collaborates with him, Mia might just have to acknowledge her true feelings. But if she keeps him out, will she let the hunter win?Ben Bowden is sick of finding dead bodies. If being the lead detective on the biggest case in the country didn’t come with enough pressure, now the psychopath Ben is chasing has Mia Morgan in his sights. And Mia doesn’t want his help. She hasn’t forgiven him for the past, and is being less than cooperative with his investigation. Protecting her is a challenge, and the sparks that fly whenever they’re together aren’t helping. But he has to make her trust him – somehow – because she has a plan that terrifies him to the bone.
Can he convince her to work with him? Or will she risk everything to single-handedly turn the hunter into the hunted?


What I Thought: It dragged on a bit for me so I am pleased this is the final in the series. Still enjoyable though.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Book: Secrets Between Friends





Summary: Best friends Abbie, Jess and Ricki are setting sail on a cruise ship, rekindling the excitement of a school excursion they took ten years earlier to the historic port town of Albany, the oldest city on the stunning turquoise coastline of Western Australia. But are they truly prepared for what this voyage will reveal? Ricki, a dedicated nurse, harbours a dream she hasn't chased. Is she actually happy or stuck in a rut? Jess, a school teacher and single mother to little Ollie, had a tough upbringing but found her way through with the help of her closest male friend, Peter. But Peter has bought an engagement ring and is ready to propose to Ricki . . . Abbie had it all: a career, a loving boyfriend and a future, but a visit to the doctor bears scary news. Her world is tumbling down and she feels adrift at sea.


What I Thought: Different to her normal rural books and all a bit far fetched but I still enjoyed.

Book: Red Dirt Road



Summary: Dr Fliss Knight returns to small town Woodlea after losing a patient. Her confidence and city career in tatters, she buys a rundown farm. She intends to live a solitary life and hopes that the slow country pace will help her heal. Pick–up rider Hewitt Sinclair is no stranger to when things can get hairy in a rodeo arena. But when it is the life of his twin brother he can’t save, he hangs up his spurs. Determined to provide for his brother’s widow and young family, he gives himself no time to grieve. But when a motor bike accident proves he needs to also look out for himself, he accepts an old friend’s invitation to stay at an isolated property while his body heals. When Fliss meets the cowboy living in the bluestone stables across the garden, all her hopes for a quiet and peaceful life fade. Despite his reserve, Hewitt is impossible to ignore. As they work together to care for an abandoned dog and her puppies and to raise money for the local hospital by attending a mountain trail ride and charity ball, they also find themselves drawn to each other. But as a family secret threatens every truth Fliss has ever believed, and the heavy spring rain continues to fall, both Fliss and Hewitt must face their deepest fears. Will love be enough to guarantee happiness or will the past refuse to relinquish its dark hold?


What I Thought: Loved this - sucked in from the beginning had me staying up way too late to finish!

Book: The Cowgirl



Summary: Teddy Broderick is committed to her busy life in the country – seeding, harvest, shearing, and the daily milking of her grandmother’s cow – but she dreams of another life, in the world beyond the farm gate. But just as she thinks she knows everything about her family, her grandmother Deirdre announces there is a house buried on the property, and archaeologist Will Hastings is coming to dig it up. What is hidden in Deirdre’s childhood home that she needs to see again before she dies? What is preventing Teddy from living the life she truly wants, and will she ever find her freedom?
As Teddy and Will work to expose past secrets to the light,the stories they tell bring them together, and unearth a whole world of buried treasures.


What I Thought: I enjoyed this one. An easy read.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Book: The Country Wedding



Summary: In the tiny Tablelands township of Burralea, musician Flora Drummond is preparing to play at the wedding of a very close friend. If only she could forget the embarrassing teenage crush she once had on the handsome groom.
All is as it should be on the big day. The little church is filled with flowers, the expectant guests are arriving, and Mitch is nervously waiting – but his bride has failed to appear.
Decades earlier, another wedding in the same church led to a similar story of devastation. Hattie missed out on marrying her childhood sweetheart the first time around and now she has returned to the scene of her greatest heartache.
As Flora is drawn into both romantic dramas, she must also confront a relationship crisis of her own. But the past and the present offer promise for the future and there's a chance for friends, old and new, to help each other to heal.


What I Thought: I enjoyed revisiting this town and group of people. A sweet read.

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.