Tuesday, 7 May 2019

The Girl from Eureka

The Girl from Eureka

Cheryl Adnams

The Girl from Eureka by Cheryl Adnams

Reviewed by Helen

This story took me back to Ballarat and the gold rush in 1854, where we meet Indigo Wallace, single woman miner on the goldfields, times are tough and there are plenty of soldiers there to help keep the peace and one of them catches the eye of Indy, Lieutenant Will Marsh, but their first meeting is shall we say different, but this starts a journey filled with danger and ups and downs, make yourself comfortable when you pick this one up because you won’t want to put it down.

Indy works hard on the goldfields at Eureka, never giving an inch to anyone she stands up for herself and anyone that is in need. There is trouble brewing in the fields between the police, army and the miners and Indy seems to be getting caught in the middle and the handsome Will seems to be there to help her and Indy is losing her heart to the man that could be posted elsewhere anytime, is there a future for them?

Will is an orphan and grew up on the tough streets of London, until he joined up with the army, here he has found family and is a true army man moving up the ranks on his own merits and now he is here in Ballarat to protect the gold, but when he meets Indy the sparks fly and he cannot deny the love that is growing, but it takes him a while before he finally acts on that love and looks to the future.

This is such a great story from page one, it is fast paced very interesting, and Indy wow what a heroine man she is feisty, strong, caring and fabulous and just the heroine Will needs, and Will he is strong handsome so caring, these two belong together. MS Adnams has written a story that made me remember what I learnt in school about The Eureka Stockade and what these people went through, beautifully written, fabulous true to life characters and this is a story that I would highly recommend, it was a fabulous read.

5 stars

Published February 1st 2019 by Escape Publishing

Monday, 6 May 2019

The Oceans Between Us

The Oceans Between Us

Gill Thompson

The Oceans Between Us by Gill Thompson

Reviewed by Helen

This is a story that is heart wrenching, it pulled at my heart so much, it will push a few buttons for some people as we start in London during the blitz and end up in Perth Western Australia, following the journey of a young boy Jack Malloy.

Molly Malloy and her son Jack live in Croydon London, it is World War 2 and they have already lost a husband and father, when a bomb explodes during the day leaving Jack to come home from school to no house and a mother who is missing. Jack is sent to an orphanage Melchet and cared for by the nuns.

Jack is always hopeful that his beautiful mother will come for him, but years pass and they convince Jack that she is gone, and an opportunity to travel to Australia, live on farm ride horses and eat oranges all of the time finds him on a ship to Australia and sent to Boys Town where life is nothing like he was promised. Jack is lucky enough to be taken in by a loving family in Perth the Sullivan family, where he grows to be a young man and lawyer, never forgetting his mother. He becomes a lawyer to search for answers and get some closure on what happened The Sullivan family also take in an Aboriginal girl Rosie as a housemaid and Jack and Rosie form a forbidden friendship.

Back in England Jack’s mother Molly is found wandering with no memory of who she is always feeling like she has lost something, years later slowly Molly’s memory returns and she wants desperately to find her son Jack and with her new husband Reggie they start the search.

This was a compelling story that was hard to put down, what happened to these children should never have happened, the pain and hurt they and their families went through, was heartbreaking, MS Thompson also deals with the stolen generation, there were lots of emotions that I felt reading this one, fabulously written and a debut.

5 stars

Published March 21st 2019 by Headline Review

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

The Homestead by the River

The Homestead by the River

Rosie Mackenzie

The Homestead on the River by Rosie Mackenzie

Reviewed by Helen

What a debut story this one was for me, I could hardly put it down, there is a little intrigue that called to me and the strong characters, and the harshness that can be life on the land whether it be Ireland or Australia, yes it is a long story but one that called to me, one that I loved.

Kathleen grows up in India and times are hard during World War 2, there is heartbreaking loss of lives and then a new future in Ireland at the beautiful Rathgarven in County Kerry with her husband James O’Sullivan and their four children Ronan, Lillie, Marcus and Freddie, but betrayal and life in Ireland at the time push the family to make a move across the world to Eureka Station Australia, a horse stud in New South Wales, owned by close friend Finn Maloney, but when they get there more heartbreak awaits them. It is now the 1960’s and life throws a lot more at them as this family moves on with life.

Ronan and Lillie the eldest two children and they struggle with life at first but soon settle in to their new schools and discovering life in Australia, it is not long before a family friend comes to stay and love starts to grow, but this brings out more lies and hurt for the family, and the intrigue continues, the Vietnam War brings more hurt and heartbreak to this family and they had a lot to contend with and they showed their strength over and over.

This was a very moving story for me, I really fell for all of the O’Sullivan family and what they went through, they were strong no matter what came at them, the betrayal and lies and loss bought heartache to them all, but in the end things work out and life moved on. This is a story that I highly recommend, yes it is a long one, but I loved the settings and the journey that this family has and there were some beautiful HEA’s.

5 stars

Published February 1st 2019 by HarperCollins

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

The Scandalous Suffragette by Eliza Redgold

Reviewed by Nas Dean

THE SCANDALOUS SUFFRAGETTE by author Eliza Redgold is a Harlequin Historical Romance series release for April 2019.

Violet Coombes has just brought scandal on her family by her activities within the suffragette movement. Her parents are upset but then Adam comes in with a marriage proposal. He needs her money to save his family’s reputation and Violet and her family need his name to avert the disaster. A perfect marriage, right? Wrong!
After they hash out the details of their marriage of convenience, Adam is determined to keep his distance from Violet, yet the attraction between them wouldn’t let Adam keep away. He also doesn’t want Violet to be part of the suffragette movement as it has become dangerous, but Violet walks out on him when he tries to lay the rule down. Could he change himself enough to be the person Violet wanted?

THE SCANDALOUS SUFFRAGETTE is a romance filled with emotions and drama. Author Eliza Redgold brought this story to life on the pages where a reader would sympathize with Violet and Adam yet root for them too. Violet is a strong heroine and Adam is a good guy. He is sensitive and caring. And the story was full of fun and witty dialogue among the more serious issues of fighting for women’s rights. Thanks to the research and beautifully written story, I feel as I know Violet personally. Her struggles and her triumphs, her strengths and her fears and also her heart.

Highly recommended for all readers of historical romance.


The Scandalous Suffragette

Eliza Redgold

The Scandalous Suffragette by Eliza Redgold

Reviewed by Helen

This is such a great story not only did I get to enjoy Adam and Violet’s journey to a wonderful HEA, but I also learnt a lot about the woman who were suffragettes and there is also the chocolate, who doesn’t love chocolates, this is a story that I highly recommend, it is a page turner.

Violet Coombes is an only child to parents who own Coombes chocolate, they make the best violet creams, the family are in London for the season hoping that Violet will make a good match, but Violet is a suffragette and marriage is the last thing on her mind, but when she falls into the arms of a handsome man trying to hang a banner, and then causing shock waves through the ton said handsome man proposes marriage, one of convenience, which suits Violet very well, for a while.

Adam Beaufort has been left the family estate which is in dire straits thanks to his wasteful father, he has his mother and two sisters to think about, but when he meets the beautiful Violet and comes up with a plan that will suit both of them and avoid scandal, he is sure that they can be friends and he will support her suffragette ways, but will he be able to stop an entanglement between them.

I really enjoyed this story, it is beautifully written, Violet is such a strong heroine who knows her mind and what she wants, and Adam wow what a hero, he is so easy to fall in love with, I loved their journey there are ups and downs along the way, and so much to learn for them both. Thank you MS Redgold for a fabulous story, one that I am sure will leave a lot of readers smiling.

5 stars

Published March 1st 2019 by Harlequin Historical

Saturday, 30 March 2019

Courage to be Counted

Courage to be Counted

A Clubmobile Girls Novel #1

Eleri Grace

Courage to be Counted by Eleri Grace

Reviewed by Helen

This is a fabulous debut book, a story set during World War 2 it tells us the about the brave and courageous Red Cross Woman and the fighter pilots and GI’s in some very tough times, it also shows that love can survive, it is a story that is moving and emotional and beautiful, I highly recommend making yourself comfortable as you get to know Vivian, Jack and the many other characters in this story.

Vivian Lambert is a strong woman with a college degree from the southern parts of the USA, and when war breaks out she is determined to do her bit to help where she can, she joins the Red Cross and is sent first to England and then travels through Europe to keep the boys happy making donuts and giving out coffee. But Vivian meets Jack Nielsen before she leaves America and then meets up with him again in England and there is no denying the attraction between them.

Jack Nielsen is determined to be a fighter pilot and to make it home and work as a pilot in America after the war, meeting the beautiful Vivian before he leaves and they spend some time together he is hopeful that they will see a lot of each other, he is thrilled when she is working at the airfield he is sent to and their love grows stronger, but times are not easy for either of them and Vivian is sent out on her bus around Europe.

This is a story that grabbed me from page one, Vivian is such a strong and caring heroine and Jack well what a hero but times are hard for them there is danger everywhere, the tension at base while Vivian is waiting to see if Jack makes it back, and then the worry while Vivian is travelling close to enemy lines through Europe, makes this a story not to be missed. There were tears and smiles as I read this one, thank you MS Eleri for a fabulous book such a beautiful HEA, and I do look forward to many more in this series.

5 stars

Published January 18th 2019 by Bugle Call Books

Thursday, 28 March 2019

The Saint

The Saint

Highland Brides #3

Allison Butler

The Saint by Allison  Butler

Reviewed by Helen

This is the third book in a series, and it is the first one I have read, and I loved it, I didn’t feel that I had missed out on anything else but I now really need to read the first two stories, because MS Butler had bought the Scottish Highlands to life for me, a place I have always wanted to visit and she made me fall for Callum and Isla what a beautiful couple, this is a book that I enjoyed so much.

Callum is an orphan who has a couple of memories from his early childhood and at the age of twenty four decides that it is time to go in search of these memories and see what he can find out about his parents, he has been celibate because of memories of his mother and has a few decisions to think about. He ends up helping in a leper’s house and when a dying man asks him to escort his daughter to Restenneth Priory, Cal is determined to do so, but when he meets the lovely Isla his feelings are going to change this woman shows such strength and love.

Isla lost her mother when she was young and lived with her father in a small village, but by the time she was sixteen life had thrown some pretty tough challenges her way and she never has given up and when she is orphaned at nineteen her father has sent someone to escort her to the Priory and there will be a lot of challenges and trials along the way, and one of those is falling for this strong, caring and protective man.

Truly this is a story that I highly recommend, so very well written it bought to life, the characters and setting to make me feel that I was travelling through this road to find a true love and happiness. Cal finally found out about his family, and happily gave up his celibacy to marry the woman who held his heart and to see Isla grow even more with that courage and strength she possessed has left me smiling, thank you MS Butler, I did love this one.

5/5 stars

Published January 20th 2019 by Escape Publishing

Monday, 25 March 2019

The French Photographer

The French Photographer

Natasha Lester

The French Photographer by Natasha Lester

Reviewed by Helen

I have no idea where to start with this book, what an intensely, powerful, beautiful, emotional and moving story that was so hard to put down, yet I read slowly and savored every word, as I journeyed through World War 2 with Jess and Dan and then 2005 I got to know D’Arcy as she un-ravels some secrets that cause some more heartbreak but also opens hearts to forgiveness, keep the tissues ready.

Jessica May is modeling for Vogue in New York in 1942 she is a beautiful woman who is open and honest and a very talented photographer and journalist as well and gets an assignment as a photojournalist in Europe to cover the war, here she meets many other female photojournalists and the way they are treated is hard to take, but friendships and strong bonds are formed with people like Martha Gellhorn and paratrooper Dan Hallworth, who actually knows how to treat these woman that get the stories told with heartfelt emotions, Jess gets photos that will still be printed years later they are beautiful and special, she also meets a little girl Victorine who is living in a field hospital and the special bond they have is amazing and special. But emotions run high, hearts are broken and yet love survives.

In 2005 D’Arcy Hallworth daughter of Victorine, is sent to a chateau in France to gather some photos from a famous collection to bring to Australia for an exhibition, this has D’Arcy uncovering who the photographer is and discovering the link that she has to this person. The photos are opening up so many emotions for D’Arcy making her wonder about the past and what she can do try and see some things right, and there is Josh as well someone for D’Arcy to lean on.

I don’t think I am going to forget this story for a long time to come, I am still tearing up thinking about what to write in this review, I can say that it is a book that is a must read, it really has left me speechless in its telling of a woman who was determined to be heard in times when woman weren’t heard well and the things that happened during a terrible time in history and then the love between Jess and Dan that although had so many things thrown at it did last for them both, I loved the courage and strength that was Jess and the forgiveness that was needed and given, yes this is one I highly recommend.

5/5 Stars

Expected publication: March 26th 2019 by Hachette Australia