Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Book: Death Mask



Summary: When the victim of a violent gang rape accuses five premiere athletes of being her attackers, she has no idea that her suffering has only just begun. It's a scandal that rocks a nation of sports fans. But, in spite of a huge amount of evidence, no one seems to believe the girl.  So when Dr. Anya Crichton, with her forensic and sexual assault expertise, is asked to get involved, albeit on behalf of the team managers, she knows she can't say no. But as she investigates further, she realises that the scandals, violence, and abuse run much deeper, and much further into the past, than she could ever have imagined.




What I Thought: Loved this - second of her books I've read and they are really enjoyable. I don't mind a little crime in amongst the rural romance!

Book: Diamond Sky



Summary: The remote Matsu diamond mine in the Kimberley is the perfect place for engineer Dru Porter to hide. Her insignificance in that vast and rugged landscape helps her feel invisible. And safe. Surely the terror she left behind in Dubai will never find her here.
Security specialist Connor Kirk knows from experience that beautiful women are capable of treachery. When he arrives at Matsu to investigate a diamond theft, he immediately suspects the reclusive but obviously capable Dru Porter. He knows she's hiding something.
As Connor's investigation deepens and Dru's past catches up with her, their instant, mutual dislike threatens to blind them to the true danger lurking in the mine, one which could leave them both at the mercy of the desert...




What I Thought: Loved it. Hooked. Have enjoyed the 3 in the series. So many amazing places to explore in Australia.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Book: Suddenly One Summer



Summary: When Brianna Donahue was three years old, her mother mysteriously disappeared while farming in Merriwell Bay, Western Australia. Her body has never been found. Brianna works the same land with her father Russell, while almost single-handedly raising her two children as her husband Caleb works as a fly-in fly-out criminal lawyer in Perth.

One scorching summer's morning, her son Trent goes missing and, while frantically searching for him, Brianna must come to terms with the fact that her marriage has large cracks in it.

Over two thousand kilometres away in South Australia, Detective Dave Burrows receives a phone call reporting stolen sheep from an elderly farmer. When he and his partner Jack arrive at the farm, it's clear that Guy has early signs of dementia. Following a conversation with his wife Kim, Dave becomes intrigued with Guy's family history. Was there a sister, or was there not? No one seems to know.

So how will Dave's investigation impact Brianna's world? While battling the threat of bushfires back in Merriwell Bay, Brianna is faced with challenges that test her relationships with those she loves most. Suspenseful and incendiary, Suddenly One Summer is an intriguing and heartfelt story of the unlikely connections of life on the land.         


What I Thought: Totally sucked in. Read in a day - loved it.

Book: Wayward Heart



Summary: Jasmine Thomas should feel safe in her cosy cottage at Admella Beach after finally putting an end to an ill-advised romance. But her perfect sanctuary is shattered with the arrival of hand-delivered threatening notes. Someone has discovered her secret.
When the notes escalate to vandalism, Jasmine's anxiety rises. But in such a small place, telling the police would mean the whole town finding out.
Digby Wallace-Jones is stumbling through the motions of life, wrapped in a fog of grief since his fiancee Felicity died. Withdrawn from his family, Digby doesn't care about anything beyond his loss. But in a chance meeting with Jasmine, his sister's best friend who he's known forever, even he can see the tension she carries. Worried and feeling protective, he continues to drop by, but it's more than that. Jasmine soothes him; and, unlike the rest of his family, he can talk to her about his pain without fear of judgement. But as much as he likes Jasmine, Digby's enduring love for Felicity means he has nothing left to give and he pushes Jasmine away.
Jasmine knew they were supposed to stay friends 'with excellent benefits' but she can't help her wayward heart from falling for this tortured, kind and sexy man. How can she ever loosen the grip Felicity's memory has on Digby's soul and remind him he still has a life ahead of him?




What I Thought: Another enjoyable rural romance although I think the series is done. You can only read so much about the same little town.

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Book: Breaking the Drought



Summary: When Jenna McLean gets roped into attending a matchmaking ball in a small country town, she holds no illusions of meeting the man of her dreams.  A no-nonsense magazine editor, Jenna doesn’t believe in leaving love to chance, which is why she’s developed Marriage Material – a fool-proof framework for husband hunting. Shearers and farmhands need not apply.
Sheep grazier Luke Tanner has met women like Jenna before, and knows not to waste his time. With the drought dragging on and bushfire season around the corner, the last thing he needs is a spoiled city girl like Jenna adding to his problems. He'll help out with the ball because it's good for the community, but he won't dance, he won't flirt, and he definitely won't be matched.


What I Thought: A nice easy read to start the year and end my holidays.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 - Books in Review

In 2017 I had an excellent reading year with 57 books read. Probably close to my best ever.


So a quick breakdown:

Non-fiction - 4
Teen - 7
Rural Romance (I can't get enough of this) - 42
General Fiction - 4

 So 2018 is here and I will aim again for 52 books - fingers crossed I get there - just so many other competing demands :)

Book: No Job for a Girl



Summary: Leah Jackson leaves behind everything familiar, taking a job as the resident safety advisor and nurse in a construction fly camp in the remote South Australian outback. Everyone has told her that it's no job for a girl, but this isn't the first time she's had to prove her mettle.
Project supervisor Alex McKinley is happy to be as far away from the city as he can get. Recently divorced, he's reassessing where he went wrong. Alex has nothing against women specifically. He'd just rather they weren't working on his construction site, sharing his office, invading his space.
In the close confines of the desert camp, anything can happen, and Leah soon finds herself the centre of attention - from bothersome bureaucrats to injured workers and hordes of isolated men. But it is one man in particular who pushes her to her limits ... in more ways than one.


What I thought: Ripped through this on holidays in a day.

Book: The House at the Bottom of the Hill



Summary: The mysterious death of her mother has left Charlotte Simmons on edge and off-balance for too long. The only way to move forward is to get answers, and those answers can only be found in one place. So Charlotte buys a Bed & Breakfast establishment in Swallows Falls, a small town in Australias Snowy Mountains, as a ploy to get close to the man who might have the answers. Shell jazz up the old place, flip it, get her answers, and be gone in two-months max. What she doesnt count on is opposition from the dogmatic and slightly eccentric members of the town council, and the hotshot owner of Kookaburras Bar & Grill and his two-hundred-squats-a-day physique whose mouth offers to act as mediator, but his eyes promise something so much more. Easy-going Daniel Bradford knows progress is slow in Swallows Fall. Hes finally about to put his plans into place to upgrade the hotel when a prim-and-proper, citified redhead blows into town, putting everyone on edge. The only way to contain the trouble shes about to cause is to contain her but he knows trouble when he sees it, and soon it becomes very clear that theres absolutely nothing containable about Charlotte, or the way he feels about her.


What I Thought: Enjoying this little series.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Book: Shadows of Hunters Ridge



Summary: Ebony Blakely has her life nearly exactly where she wants it. She's a country vet with a successful business in Hunters Ridge, a town that she loves, and has a close group of friends. The only thing missing is romance. Unfortunately, the man she wants treats her as a good friend, and no matter how much she tries to change that perception, he just won't get it.
Lee Dalton is an ex-cop with a chip on his shoulder about his past. He's determined to make a success of his building business  –  and keep his thoughts away from his best friend's sister, Ebony. But seeing Ebony every day as he works on her surgery renovation makes that almost impossible and soon their hidden feelings begin complicate their friendship.
When it becomes apparent Ebony's life is in danger, she is scared but determined not to run. But following an earlier encounter Lee knows what these monsters are capable of and is forced to use everything he's ever learnt as a policeman to keep her safe.
Because these monsters are serial killers, and they'll stop at nothing to claim their prize.


What I Thought: Got sucked in to this - enjoyed this second in the series and now off to read book 3. Bit far fetched but still enjoyable.

Friday, December 08, 2017

Book: Along Country Roads



Summary: Matilda Denver seeks the sanctuary of sleepy Moonstone Valley where she hopes to heal and make a fresh start. But her plans go awry when the vehicle breaks down and she’s stranded at the side of a deserted country road.
Ryan Hunter, after working himself into the ground at his interstate truck-driving job since his sister’s death, is making his last run before a well-earned month off. On the last stretch home, he happens across a beautiful woman and scraggy dog hitchhiking. It’s not long before he connects Matilda’s bruises to her past and what she’s on the run from. He instinctively wants to protect Matilda and offers her a place to stay at his property, Heartsong.
Although both battling their own demons, they start to discover how much they have in common – and soon they’re also battling the strong desire to fall hard for each other. But when Ryan tries to help by organising for the four-wheel drive to be fixed, he unwittingly gives away Matilda’s location and now her life may be on the line. Can Ryan find her before it’s too late?


What I Thought: Really enjoyed this as a work of fiction but it could've dug deeper to deal more with domestic violence - surface level only really.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Book: Finding Jennifer Jones




Summary: The long-awaited sequel to the critically acclaimed LOOKING FOR JJ. Kate Rickman seems just like any other nineteen-year-old girl. She goes to university, she dates nice, normal boys and she works in her local tourist office at the weekend. But Kate's not really normal at all. 'Kate' is in fact a carefully constructed facade for a girl called Jennifer Jones - and it's a facade that's crumbling fast. Jennifer has spent the last nine years frantically trying to escape from her horrifying past. Increasingly desperate, Jennifer decides to do something drastic. She contacts the only other girl who might understand what she's dealing with, breaking every rule of her parole along the way. Lucy Bussell is the last person Jennifer expects any sympathy from, but she's also the last person she has left.

What I Thought: I was hesitant to read this after the thinking the first book was brilliant but this didn't disappoint. Still had me gripped. A powerful book.

Book: The Greatest Gift





Summary: Radio host Harper Drummond lives for her glamorous career. Every day she meets fascinating people doing extraordinary things, but has begun to wonder whether there’s something more for her out there. She’s financially secure, happily married and loves her job — what more could she want from life? An interview with a childless couple prompts Harper to think about whether she could make a contribution. She and her husband, Samuel, know they don’t want a child in their lives, but could she help someone else become a mother?


The childhood cancer that left Claire Beggs infertile doesn’t matter to her husband, Jasper. He loves her unreservedly, and they are passionate about their thriving hot air balloon business in the Hunter Valley. Despite their contentment, Claire is desperate to have a child — she knows Jasper would be a brilliant father and doesn’t want him to regret choosing her over a family in the years to come. An egg donor seems to be Claire and Jasper’s only chance of a happy family.


Can they find someone who will give them the greatest gift?


What I Thought: Wow - what a book. Brilliantly written. So moving and so so sad. Not sure I agree that this would happen in reality but it is fiction after all! A really fab read.