Thursday, 4 June 2020

Elsa Goody Bushranger

Elsa Goody Bushranger

Darry Fraser

Elsa Goody, Bushranger by Darry Fraser

Reviewed by Helen

Darry Fraser has done it again, taken me on a wonderful journey back in Australian history this is a story of determination of strength and courage and the hard times that these people lived and of course love, a love that shines and brings hope and smiles to a lot of people, I do hope that you will pick this one up and be transported with this page turner.

Elsa Goody lives in Robe South Australia and is doing it tough on the family farm with her very ill father, she has a sister Rose who is married and living in the town and her brother George is off on an adventure, when a letter from a Mr. Ezekiel Jones arrives with news that her dear brother George has passed away and within a day their father passes as well, Rose and Elsa decide that they need to search for a tin that George had on him worth a lot of money this is all that will save them both so they pack up and start their journey to Victoria.

What a journey this turns out to be the trip is rough going, someone else is also trying to find George’s fortune and when they are caught up in an armed hold up by bushrangers and accused of being part of the robbery things could turn very dangerous for them, but they are taken in by a group men living tough, to find out that one of her saviors is the brother of Mr. Ezekiel Jones the man she is trying to find.

I loved Elsa and her strength her wish to be one of the first woman voters in South Australia and the way she stands up for herself, she is caring and has such courage and meeting Ezekiel is the best thing that happens to her, of course in these times lives can be lost very easily and danger is around every corner but helping each other has Zeke and Elsa falling in love. There are so many wonderful characters in this story The Jones brothers and even though Rose can be very hard on Elsa she showed her love and Zeke’s children are so very good.

I would highly recommend this book, it is fast paced filled with action, it is moving and emotional and a darn good read, thank you MS Fraser for another keeper.

5 stars

Published May 18th 2020 by Mira Books

Sunday, 24 May 2020

Always Louisa

Always Louisa

The Always Series #1

Joanne Austen Brown

Always Louisa by Joanne Austen Brown

Reviewed by Helen

A fabulous debut story a beautiful sensual romance, the story of Louisa Stapleton banished from the ton two years before and now Chalanor Farraday The Viscount of Lightfoot a true hero is doing what he knows is right helping her get back into society at a house party at his parents estate, but there is a lot to contend with, people who are still determined to bring Louisa down in some very dangerous ways.

Louisa is not at all happy when her father insists that it is time to get back into society and with the help of a man that she feels was part of the problem in the first place, but she agrees and upon arriving at Chalanor’s parents estate she shows strength and courage to stand up to some of the other guests but Chalanor surprises her the most with his caring ways and she is also helped by her best friend Elspeth and her brother Freddie.

Chalanor has always felt guilty about what happened to Louisa and now is his chance to prove her innocence and get her back into society but losing his heart to her was not part of the plan but the more time he spends with her the more he falls for her and when they discover her life in is danger he is determined to keep her safe at all costs.

This is a very well written historical suspense romance gripping and a page turner, I was on the edge of my seat and the author had me guessing to the very end as to who was the villain, it is fast paced and a story that was very easy to fall into, Louisa and Chalanor had a journey and a half to get to the beautiful HEA, so many twists and turns but the pull between them was so beautiful, this is a story that I would highly recommend and I am looking forward to the next one in the series. 

5 stars

Published February 12th 2020 by Joanne Boog

Monday, 18 May 2020

The Darkest Shore

The Darkest Shore

Karen Brooks

The Darkest Shore by Karen  Brooks

Reviewed by Helen

For me this was a book that I found hard to get into at the beginning, but when I did I didn’t want to put it down, the research that went into this book to tell the story of witch hunts in Pittenween back in the 1700’s was amazing and it is based on a true happening with extra characters added that made this one a story that had me getting emotionally involved and so many emotions, sadness, anger and the ending had me smiling.

It is 1703 in the village of Pittenween on the coast of Scotland and Sorcha McIntyre has just returned to her home she is one of the fishwives and widowed and her and her friends Nettie, Nicholas, Janet, Isobel and Beatrix work hard to earn money to put food on the table, they are strong woman and honest and would do anything for each other.

When one of the young men in the village falls ill and witchcraft is suspected Reverend Cowper starts a witch hunt that will change the lives of the fishwives, it will push them to the limits but together no matter what cruel punishment is doled out to them they stay strong.

Captain Aiden Ross is in charge of the soldiers billeted in the village he is a caring man and finds himself drawn to Sorcha and when the fishwives are captured and tortured as witches Aiden does what he can to help and this puts the Reverend off side, the Reverend’ sermons incite the villagers and the incomers that have come to be there while the witches are supposedly put to trial, this caused even more hurt and pain for the women and man accused of being witches.

This story is heart-wrenching and beautiful at the same time and I am sure that MS Brooks would have been emotionally exhausted after the research and then writing this story, that she has done so well, I do highly recommend this book but yes there are very cruel and violent moments throughout but the strength that these woman show lifted the spirits of myself and then the ending was beautiful the joy and happiness. I honestly went through many emotions reading this one, thank you MS Brooks.

4 stars

Published March 1st 2020 by HQ Fiction

Friday, 15 May 2020

Marry in Scarlet

Marry in Scarlet

Marriage of Convenience #4

Anne Gracie

Marry in Scarlet by Anne Gracie

Reviewed by Helen

What a story, what a finish to a series, oh I loved this one so much Anne Gracie is a must read author for me and she has never disappointed me, I have been looking forward to George’s story since this series started and it was worth the wait, I hope I get this review right because this book and the series is a must read, beautifully written with witty banter and a sensual romance it is fun, moving and filled with joy, smiles and sighs.

Lady Georgiana Rutherford had been bought into the ton and a family she didn’t know she had kicking and screaming, because George was much happier with her horse and dog, but it didn’t take her too long to feel the love of her family and get used to living in London, but one thing that George was determined was that she would never marry that life was never going to be for her, well that is until the Duke of Everingham decides he wants her and goes all out to get her.

The Duke of Everingham, is arrogant and always gets his own way and after being stood up at the alter by one of the Rutherford Gels he now decides that he wants a marriage of convenience with Georgiana Rutherford, but George is not going to be easy to convince that this will be the best option and this leads Hart to take drastic action and ensure that they are caught in scandalous situation that should end in marriage and any other gel would be pleased with this but not George.

I loved George so much, she is beautiful caring and strong as well as being honest to a fault, I love that she will say what she feels and is not afraid to do so and Hart struggles as she continually stands up to him and she makes him realize who he really is, there is a very sensual pull between the two of them and Hart starts to realize what he has done and is there when the ton turns on George. Seeing Hart become the man he really is and fall head over heels in love with George was a beautiful journey, their joining in love and as a family was awesome, truly I loved this story so much, I laughed and smiled throughout, I cheered George as she stood her ground and as for Hart he turned out to be the best man for George.

Thank you MS Gracie for another story that will stay with me for a long time to come, I really loved this one and the series and I look forward to many more stories from you.

5 stars

Expected publication: May 26th 2020 by Berkley

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

The Duke's Daughter

The Duke's Daughter

Duke of Strathmore #3

Sasha Cottman

The Duke's Daughter by Sasha Cottman

Reviewed by Helen

I had read all of the books in this series but somehow missed this one, so I listened to it on audio and thoroughly enjoyed it, the narrator Janine Haynes did a fabulous job with all of the characters in the story and brought them to life and made me love them.

Avery Fox all of a sudden finds himself the heir to an Earl and comes into money like he has not had before, Avery led a terrible life growing up and has always fended for himself, he is more suited to the battlefields but now finds himself in the ballrooms of London society and at a loss as what he should do, that is until the beautiful Lady Lucy Radley steps in to help and Avery is not at all sure how he feels.

Lady Lucy Radley is finding herself alone with her friends and family finding love but she is strong and always does what she feels is right and the instant she sets eyes on Avery Fox she feels a pull to him and while doing her best to help him they end up in a situation that will mean marriage, and she is determined to make it work as she loses her heart to the man who is filled with honour.

Avery and Lucy do a lot of travelling in this story it is a journey to love and happiness across Scotland, England and France, I loved this one Avery was so vulnerable and Lucy strong and beautiful on the inside and out. The HEA is just the best so sensual and moving, I highly recommend this one and the series and I loved listening to this one as an audio book.

5 stars

Published September 8th 2017

Saturday, 2 May 2020

The Secret Life of Shirley Sullivan

The Secret Life of Shirley Sullivan

Lisa Ireland

The Secret Life of Shirley Sullivan by Lisa Ireland

Reviewed by Helen

I just finished this book in two sittings, it was very hard to put down and I don’t know where to start, I know I loved it from start to finish, I think Shirley Sullivan is a strong, loving, caring woman who did what she could to make everyone happy, but it meant that she may have left herself off that list here and there. I do know that this is a must read, it is a story that will reach into your heart and pull at your heart-strings.

This is a dual time book set in the beachside suburbs of Victoria in the 1960’s through to the 1980’s and present day, we meet Shirley when she is twenty one and madly wanting to be a bride and mother, we see her meet Frank when he saves her at the beach and marry him and start the life she dreamed of, they have a daughter Fiona, but life throws many hurdles to some people and Shirley has to jump high to get over a few, but she does with help and such determination.

Now in present time Frank has Alzheimer’s and Shirley and Frank’s life has been turned upside down, their daughter has moved them to Sydney and put Frank in a nursing home and Shirley is determined to make Frank’s life better and get him back home to the place he loves the best the beach, she plans to break him out and take a road trip back home, trying to stay off the radar of the authorities and she is hoping to revel a secret that she has kept for many years.

I bow down to you MS Ireland what a story, it is awesome from start to finish, I cried, I cheered Shirley on for her strength and courage and I thoroughly enjoyed this road trip and the story. This story was heart-wrenching at times but so beautifully told, I really wanted to hug Shirley so much. I don’t want to say too much I hope I have done this book justice I do highly recommend it be prepared though when you pick it up because nothing else will get done before it is finished, again I say it is a must read.

5 stars

Published April 28th 2020 by Penguin Random House Australia

Thursday, 30 April 2020

The Master's New Governess by Eliza Redgold

Reviewed by Nas Dean

THE MASTER’S NEW GOVERNESS by author Eliza Redgold is a May 2020 release by Harlequin Historical Romance series.

Maud Wilmot left her last position in disgrace. Then she used her sister’s name to get a new position at businessman Dominic Jago’s house. But her only mistake was not coming clean when she got closer to Dominic. Then Dominic finds out about her duplicity and she runs away. But what would happen now? Would Dominic bring her back?

THE MASTER’S NEW GOVERNESS is a sweet romance between the governess and her boss. Author Eliza Redgold beautifully brought these two characters together making them move past their grievances and achieving their happy ever after.

Highly recommended for all readers of historical romance.