Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Book: A Diamond in the Dust



Summary: Within minutes of landing in Kununurra, Frauke Bolten had made up her mind to get on a plane back home to Germany. It was 1981 and the dusty frontier town was no place for a woman. However, Frauke stayed, determined to help her husband carve out a new life farming. Tragedy struck just three years later when Friedrich took his own life and she was left to raise their family alone.

Twenty-six years after she sold her first necklace off the back porch, Kimberley Fine Diamonds in Kununurra is now home to one of the world's largest collections of Argyle pink diamonds, with a client list that includes Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman. Frauke is credited for not only pioneering an industry, but for putting the tiny outback town and its precious diamonds on the map.

A Diamond in the Dust is a tale of love and loss, hardship and heartache, but ultimately the inspiring story of how a naive young girl from Germany overcame tragedy to pioneer a diamond empire in one of the most unforgiving terrains on earth.




What I Thought: A lovely memoir - so much love and loss. An enjoyable read.

Book: Nobody But Him



Summary: At the age of eighteen, Julia Jones left her hometown — the small beachside town of Middle Point — with a head full of grand plans. Plans for an exciting life in a town that didn't involve a main street with only one pub or a particular boy named Ryan Blackburn.

But fifteen years and a lifetime later, Julia's forced to put her career and big-city life on hold when she returns home to finalise her mother's estate. Which is exactly where she runs smack-bang into the town's hero, Ry. As in Ryan Blackburn! The sensible thing to do? Stay the hell away from him and head back to Melbourne as fast as her stilettos can carry her! But instead, Julia finds his offer of a helping hand and a hot body too delicious to refuse.

Soon, she's ignoring her better judgement and diving into an ‘I'll think about it tomorrow' fling with Ry. But what she doesn't realise is that tomorrow has a way of sneaking up on you...and that saying goodbye to her hometown — and to Ry — is so much harder the second time around. 


What I Thought: A nice summer romance.

Book: Swet Wattle Creek


 

Summary: The chance discovery of an antique wedding dress weaves together the fascinating stories of three women from different eras: Sophie, in hiding from a troubled past; Belle, who must lose everything to learn what really matters; and Martha, forced to give up those she loves in order to avoid exposure.

It’s 1931 and Belle Bartholomew has arrived in rural Sweet Wattle Creek to claim her inheritance – a run-down grand hotel formerly owned by Martha Ambrose. Determined to solve the mystery of her birth and the reason why she was bequeathed the hotel Belle runs into difficulties with the townsfolk and their desire to keep their secrets safe.

Sixty years later Sophie Matheson is on a quest to find Belle and her family after discovering the wedding dress. The Sweet Wattle Creek Centenary brings more challenges when her past catches up and she must fight for all that matters to her. Who were Belle and Martha and what links their lives together?

What I Thought: Enjoying these simple historical/present day sagas.

Monday, December 31, 2018

2018 - books in review



In 2018 I had an excellent reading year with 61 books read. Probably close to my best ever.


So a quick breakdown:

Non-fiction - 1 (must rectify this)
Teen - 10 (Alex Rider - awesome teen series)
Rural Romance - 49 (it's all I read)
General Fiction - 1 (a lonely crime book)

The worst thing is I didn't read a single Bookclub book! Ooops - will try harder...

So 2019 is almost here and I will aim again for 52 books - fingers crossed I get there - just so many other competing demands :)

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Book: Sky Over Brigadier Station



Summary: Noah McGuire stayed away from Brigadier Station for a reason. He’s spent almost a decade in New Zealand’s South Island, trying to forget his past. But the memories still haunt him and the last thing he wants to do is see his estranged family and attend his brother’s wedding. However, the only way he can collect his inheritance is if he returns to his family’s property and faces the demons he’s been hiding from. When it comes to rounding up hundreds of cattle in a day, doing so by horseback doesn’t do the trick quite like a helicopter does and Riley Sinclair is one of the best pilots in the country. It’s a dangerous job, but she has nothing to lose. Until she meets Noah and her bravery is finally tested. Can they make a life together or is the pull of the sky too strong?


What I Thought: Enjoying this series so looking forward to the next one.

Book Darling Songbirds



Summary: The saloon had always looked old-fashioned, but now it resembled a set in a ghost town. The problem was that Adele wasn't in an old western, or a ghost town. Darling Bay was the sleepy gold-rush town her great-grandfather had given his name to. The town she'd left for good a long time ago. The building is a ruin, the business is broke and customers are scarce. Add into the mix Nate Houston - the handsome, guitar-playing bartender who had always believed he would be the next owner - and Adele has one potent cocktail on her hands. Can a rundown saloon in a sleepy town finally offer Adele a way into love?


What I Thought: A nice easy read - might have to do the others in the series.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Book: Operation Mistletoe Magic



Summary: Christmas is looking grim for Melissa Allen. She has no one to celebrate with, as her boyfriend of five years left her for her best friend and, after losing her home in a fire, she has nowhere to live. Left without a choice, she accepts the offer to the stay with family friends Rob and Linda Nicholls.Chris Nicholls is excited about bringing his five-year-old daughter, Jasmine, home to Lakefield, Ontario for her first white Christmas. The trip is a surprise for his parents, though no one is more surprised than Chris when he finds his childhood best friend in his parent's spare room. Surprise soon turns to delight as Chris has always had feelings for Melissa, feelings that are only getting stronger the longer they are together.
But Melissa has had her fill of heartbreak, and isn't willing to fall for a man who is only going to leave. And Jasmine? She doesn't want to share her daddy with anyone. If Chris has any hope of convincing Melissa and Jasmine that they have a future together as a family, he'll need all the mistletoe magic he can get.


What I Thought: A sweet Christmas read - love the vision of snow but probably not the reality of it!

Friday, December 14, 2018

Book: Daughter of the Murray



Summary: Georgina Calthorpe is unhappy living with her indifferent foster family the MacHenry’s in their crumbling house on the banks of the River Murray. Unlike the rest of the family, she isn’t looking forward to the return of prodigal son Dane. With good reason. Dane MacHenry is furious when on his return he finds his homestead in grave decline. Unaware that his father has been drinking his way through his inheritance, he blames Georgina and Georgina decides she has no option but to leave. Unfortunately she chooses Dane’s horse to flee on, and when Dane learns she has stolen his prized stallion, he gives chase.

From this point their fates become intertwined with that of a businessman with a dark secret, Conor Foley, who offers Georgina apparent security: a marriage with status in the emerging nouveau–riche echelons of Melbourne. But none of them could imagine the toll the changing political and social landscape would have on homes, hearts and families. Will Georgina’s path lead her into grave danger and unhappiness, or will she survive and fulfill her destiny?


What I Thought: I enjoyed this one as I don't often do "historical" rural romances but they are growing on me.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Book: Christmas at Remarkable Bay




Summary: Prickly Sofia has hit a crossroads and is hoping a Christmas alone in idyllic Remarkable Bay will help. Police officer George is also alone at Christmas. Drawn together unwillingly, they try and stay out of each other’s way. But Remarkable Bay is a small place…

What I Thought: A nice easy Christmas read. 

Book: One Step



Summary: Dylan is struggling. He’s struggling with the acne that has declared war on his face; struggling with his pushy younger sister; with his nagging mom and his dad who never has time for him anymore; struggling with his old phone-me-down; and struggling with his constant preoccupation with girls, and what might happen if he manages to snag one. Struggling, but surviving. But when Dylan’s creative writing piece is read out in class, it sets off a chain of events that sends him on a frantic roller coaster of emotions culminating in a revelation that could make or break his survival.


What I Thought: Ooh - what a great coming of age story. Ending left me questioning what happened...

Book: Blood Tree River



Summary: Indiana O’Meara is no stranger to the forces of evil. Her own past is full of violence. Now a policewoman, Indy is always fighting to redeem herself and defeat the dark. So when girls begin to go missing at a remote cattle station in Tasmania, she is quick to agree to go undercover to investigate chief suspect, the owner of Calico Mountain Lodge, Logan Atherton, even though last time she went undercover it came to a bloody end.

But her early encounter with Logan Atherton reveals a man full of contradictions. His deep empathy for horses and those he cares for is obvious but he is also taciturn to the point of rudeness, and there is a strange atmosphere at the lodge. It doesn’t add up.

As Indy begins to dig deeper into the secrets at the Lodge, she finds herself embroiled in a murderous web more complex and terrifying than she could ever have imagined...




What I Thought: Really enjoyed this - loved some crime and romance mixed in!

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Book: Alex Rider - Snakehead


Summary: Alex Rider has been forced into the Australian secret service – his target is the criminal underworld of South-East Asia, and the ruthless organization known as the Snakehead.

What I Thought: Loved it. So hooked on these. Nice to see the Australian side (although not sure the picture they painted is fair! Ha ha).

Book: A River Not Yet Tamed


Summary: Orphaned by a shipwreck, Philadelphia grows up on the banks of her beloved Murray River, seemingly destined for a conventional life. Book1.

What I Thought: Enjoyed this literary classic. Will read the rest of the series too! 

Book: Secret Vineyard

Summary: Single mum Grace has no plans - and no spare time - to fall in love again. Until she moves to her ex-husband's secret vineyard . . .
Grace Middleton knew that her ex-husband Jake was a lying, cheating, wife-abandoning bastard.
What she didn’t know – until his untimely death – was that he was also the owner of a secret vineyard in the heart of the Margaret River wine region. And, much to the chagrin of his new wife, he’s left the property to Grace's three young sons.
With the intention of putting it up for sale, Grace takes the boys to view Gum Leaf Grove. And immediately finds herself embroiled in mysteries from Jake's past and the accidental target of the resident ‘ghost’.
Nowadays Grace believes in love even less than she believes in ghosts. So no one is more surprised than her when she finds herself caught between two very different men - with secrets of their own . . .

What I Thought: Enjoyed this one - sure a bit far fetched but still enjoyable.