Thursday, 25 November 2021

King of the Rogues

 King of the Rogues

Rogues of the Road #

Sasha Cottman

Reviewed by Helen

Sasha Cottman knows how to pull her readers in with sexy, sensual and witty stories with heroes to die for and heroines who show strength and courage and know how to stand up to the heroes they love, I have loved this series and was so looking forward to Monsale’s story and was not disappointed him and Naomi make the perfect couple and their journey is filled with lots of ups and downs, but so worth it in the end.

Andrew McNeal, the Duke of Monsale is about to find out that he needs to take a wife and fast, Prinny has discovered an ancient law that will either make or break the Duke unless he is married, Monsale has stayed single for many reason even though he knows who he wants it is just that he is reluctant to hand over his heart completely and he knows that that is what will happen if he asks Lady Naomi Steele to be his wife. He asks Lady Kitty Steele to help him find a wife.

Naomi has loved Monsale for many years and he has done nothing but ignore her always, but now he needs to marry and he asks her mother to make a list of eligible young woman and he wants her name on it but she refuses, there should be no need for a list at all but has she lost because of her stubbornness.

The stakes are high for both Monsale and Naomi, who will give in first and admit the love that they hold in their hearts, they are both stubborn to the bone, their love for each other is so strong the sparks fly always and the sensual burn grows with each meeting. This was a very good and thoroughly enjoyable journey to see hearts opened up the happiness brings joy to so many people. This is a story and a series that I would highly recommend, I loved it.

My thanks to the author for my digital copy to read and review.

5 stars
Published November 9th 2021

Saturday, 20 November 2021

Down a Dark River

 Down a Dark River

Michael Corravan #1

Karen Odden

Reviewed by Helen

This is an awesome historical mystery, the first book I have read by this author but it won’t be the last, this book is set in London in 1878, just after the corruption trials that changed the way Scotland Yard was working and the trust from the people of London was not high, when the body of a young woman is found floating in a boat on the Thames and Senior Inspector Michael Corravan one of the last inspectors left standing is given the case to find her killer, this causes him to put aside another case he is working on, that of a missing wife which he hands over to his young colleague Mr. Stiles and here starts a fabulous mystery that has lots of twists as Michael works hard to uncover the truth.

I really like Michael Corravan he is a man that really thinks things through he has had a hard life but always puts people first although he is known to go at things like a bull at a gate sometimes it is only to get to the truth of things he cares so much about the victims, his boss Vincent has been getting on his back about the way he goes about things and the woman he loves Belinda Gale an author also does her best to help him but getting to the bottom of the deaths is a be all and end all for Michael.

There are more deaths and Michael is working non-stop and with Stiles working on the other case it seems that his mind is going all the time can there be a link between the woman in the boats and a poem about King Arthur? Discovering more about the missing wife brings out some very nasty characters has him re-thinking lots of things.

This is a brilliantly written story that was a compelling read, I could barely put it down until I got to the end, it has everything revenge, retribution a detective who goes out to find the truth and doesn’t stop until he gets there and what’s more considering it is the 1870’s he cares about the women, the victims, he is a fabulous character and MS Odden has bought the era, the characters and the setting to life with her words, I can’t wait to read more about Inspector Michael Corravan. If you love a good historical mystery then this is one that I highly recommend.

My thanks to the publisher Crooked Lane Books and Netgalley for my digital copy to read and review

5 stars
Published November 9th 2021 by Crooked Lane Books

Saturday, 13 November 2021

A Mother's Story

 A Mother's Story

Maggie Christensen

Reviewed by Helen

Maggie Christensen has put a lot of emotion in this beautifully written story that tells the story of a mother during World War 2, it had me crying and cheering the strong and wonderful Rhona Begg on, who never gave up through years of heartbreak, I loved this story.

It is 1941 and Scottish woman Rhona wants to help in the war effort and leaves her home to travel to England to join the ATS never realising how much this is going to change her life in such a heart-breaking way, Rhona keeps going through her heart-break and when the war is over she finally returns to her home with her parents, not the same person she was when she left.

In Australia Nell worries about her husband Joe fighting in the Pacific, when he goes missing in action Nell is devastated but keeps herself going, the end of the war brings her Joe home but unable to have children the one thing that Nell wanted so much. They adopt a beautiful little girl named Joy and life is filled with happiness but in 1971 Joy gives birth to a daughter and now wants to know more about her other mother, her birth mother and here unravels a story that will take her to her country of birth and to meet her other mother.

Again Maggie Christensen has written a story that is filled with wonderful characters that have come to life on the pages, three strong woman, Rhona, Nell and Joy who never give up on what their heart desired and in doing so leaves the reader filled to the brim with emotion there were lots of smiles and tears in this one. It really is a beautiful story that tells of life during World War 2 for many woman in these time, a must read, one that I would highly recommend.

My thanks to the author for my digital copy to read and review.

5 stars
Published November 2nd 2021 by Cala Publishing

Monday, 1 November 2021

Stars Over the Southern Ocean

 Stars Over the Southern Ocean

J H Fletcher

Reviewed by Helen

This is a beautifully written story set from 1937 through to 1994, that takes the reader on an extensive tour of some lovely Asian countries, we also visit the World War 2 years and Tasmania such a beautiful rugged place, the descriptions of all places made me feel like I was there and then of course are the characters who have been bought to life especially, Marina, I do hope that you come along and meet Marina this strong woman one who I admired so much.

Young Marina Fairbrother is seventeen years old and has lived her life in the logging town of Mole Creek, it is 1937 and life is what it is but when she meets Jory Trevelyan at a dance he tells her tales of the place he lives on the wild west coast, strong winds and wild seas and she is off to start a new life with Jory a complete change for her but life on the coast has soon wormed its way into Marina’s life and blood and her and Jory have three children over the years when he is not at sea fishing or fighting in WW11. Life wasn’t always easy but Marina thrived through heartache and joy.

It is 1993 and life is throwing curve balls at Marina again with a terminal diagnosis she signs herself out of hospital because she knows the only place she wants to be is at Noamunga the place she has lived for more than half a century now, all her memories are here, her life with Jory her true love, her children, the war years and the sea and cliffs, but her children have different ideas for Marina, Charlotte who is all self- ambition, a son who really has himself in trouble are making them known to her but Marina is nothing if not stubborn and determined to live the rest of her lifer her way.

This is a fabulous story that had me enthralled from the start a family all different and a woman who knew how to stand up for herself and those she loves, the settings are wonderful so many places to visit, this is one that I would highly recommend, I think Marina is one of the strongest woman characters I have ever read.

My thanks the Netgalley and the publisher for my copy to read and review

5 stars
Published June 1st 2020 by Mira Books

Friday, 22 October 2021

The Fossil Hunter

 The Fossil Hunter

Tea Cooper

Reviewed by Helen

Again MS Cooper has dug deep into research and given her readers a fabulous story set in duel timelines around The Hunter Valley, this time we discover fossils and the wonderful people who spend their lives searching for the past in some very interesting places and make such wonderful discoveries, do come along and meet the fabulous characters and enjoy their stories as much as I did.

It is 1919 and Penelope Jane (PJ) Martindale is spending some time at London’s Natural History Museum, before she travels home to Australia when she discovers a fossil found at Bow Wow Gorge in The Hunter Valley, a place she knows her young brothers would go there searching for fossils, sadly her brothers will not be coming home from France, but PJ has a bee in her bonnet now and can’t wait to get back home and do a bit of searching herself never realising what she will uncover from seventy years before.

Wollombi Hunter Valley 1847 a young Mellie Vale is about to have her life turned upside down by matters that had nothing to do with her, she is scared and very ill, but when she wakes from her fever her Pa is gone and she is living at the Doctor’s house, the Doctor’s wife sends her along to visit a friend, an amateur palaeontologilst, Anthea Winstanley with her daughters and a couple of other young girls for ten days of what should be fun and to help Mellie heal.

Mellie is soon helping Anthea to find these sea dragons and learning as she goes in the beautiful Bow Wow Gorge, she and Anthea are very close but things turn around when a stranger visits and trouble is brewing, life changes very quickly.

PJ arrives back in the Hunter Valley from the battlefields of France she hopes to talk to her father about her brothers, she is also accompanied by Sam who is American, the man who wants to marry her they drove ambulances together on the front line things don’t go as planned when she arrives home and her and Sam find themselves searching for fossils in the Bow Wow Gorge but when they find human bones the search depends and they find they are uncovering secrets from seventy years ago.

I truly loved this story it is so well written, the characters are easy to get to know and there were many twists for me as the truths come out about what had happened all those years ago at Bow Wow house and gorge. I do highly recommend this one a must read, Tea Cooper has never disappointed me with one of her stories another page turner and one for the keeper shelf.

My thanks to Harlequin AU for my copy to read and review and Netgalley.

5 stars

Expected publication: October 27th 2021 by HarperCollins Publishers Australia

Sunday, 17 October 2021

Sweet Christmas Secrets: A Regency Holiday Anthology

 Sweet Christmas Secrets: A Regency Holiday Anthology

Joanne Austen Brown, Susanne Bellamy, Catherine Bilson, Erin Grace, Isabella Hargreaves, Stephen Hart, Fiona M Marsden, Clyve Rose, Ebony Oaten, Heidi Wessman Kneale

Reviewed by Helen

Kidnapping Lord Blaymire
Catherin Bilson
This was a really lovely story, Persephone’s ward has recently died and now she has a new ward Lord Blaymire Samuel whose mother is determined to get her to London and marry her off. When Persephone does not comply and arrive in London Samuel decides to arrive on her doorstep, where things do not go to plan for him.
Neither were looking for love but soon Samuel and Persephone find that they have a common love of music and before long this has bought them together, this really is a delightful story one that I really enjoyed.

The Wallflower’s Christmas Surprise
Isabella Hargreaves
Violet Hambleton is a wallflower but she has a secret admirer who is sending her poems, it is just on Christmas and the Yule ball is about to be held and Violet is going to see if she can discover her admirer.
Sebastian, Viscount Stanworth has been a student of Violet’s father before and he has become friends with Violet but he wants to be more than friends, he knows that here is an age difference and that his parents will not approve but Violet is who he wants and who he is determined to have.
This is another lovely sweet story that shows how love will come through.

I Wrote My Love
Fiona M Marsden
Kitty Wantling has just received two marriage proposals, who would have thought it yes one was from her dear friend and neighbour Johnny and another from Captain Gerard a returning injured soldier, she had a decision to make and letters were written.
I mix up with the letters sees Captain Gerard coming to spend Christmas with the Wantling family and this gives Kitty and Jonathan time to get to know each other and it isn’t long before hearts are bursting with love and a future together is what they both want.
A beautiful romance with a true hero and a strong and beautiful heroine, I did love this one.

The Secret Letter
Joanne Austen Brown
When brothers decide that they want a wife and they devise a plan of secret letters they need their older brothers help, he is a rake and a viscount but the last thing Thomas Wright wanted was a wife but he agreed to help his brothers never realising his life would change.
Cora beautiful but known as cold Cora, she is helping her sister Lillian with her season she keeps to herself because of something that had happened years ago but now it seems that she is receiving love letters from a secret admirer, it has to be a trick.
Thomas is drawn to Cora from the start of this game and it soon becomes all bout convincing Cora of his love, could this really be happening for Cora she has always dreamt of true love and now it has happened.
Another beautiful romance.

The Widow and Mr Cat
Stephen Hart
This is a witty and fun romance that had me laughing so much, Mr Cat is the best character so wise and cheeky, you have to get know him as he plays matchmaker to our hero and heroine along although he wasn’t always inclined that way.
Widowed Anne James is offered the position of companion to young Phoebe sister of Octavius Charles Anthony St Aubin, 7th Earl of Marsby (Tony), she is pushed hard to take the position and is soon ensconced in the Marsby household and listening to MR Cat and his advice.
Tony is a good man really and is engaged to Harriet just because it is time he takes a wife but when Mr Cat arrives and Anne James is in the household this has Tony re-thinking his future. It is not long before Anne is on his mind more often than not.
This really is a great romance, the first I have read from MR Hart and one that I would highly recommend, I look forward to many more from him.

Love’s Sweet Arrow
Clyve Rose
A beautiful story of childhood friends who find love after being through some very tough times.
Captain Lionel Eversfield has returned from the war scared only to find the girl he loved is struggling with life at the moment can he make his Christmas wish come true
Lady Annette Ryehurst said goodbye to Lionel ten years ago and now after five seasons and her mother pushing her to marry her cousin nothing has happened but can it be that Lionel is back and will he be her Knight in shining armour?

When We Were Wallflowers
Heidi Wessman Kneale
A country house party to marry off his daughters is a good idea, Katie the eldest is supposedly a wallflower will she find love?
Lord Francis Rowther and his brother arrive with thoughts of the brother finding a bride but will it be Francis who finds the love of his life?
A romantic, lovely story 

Spying For the Earl
Susanne Bellamy
Lord Rufus Marsden is a spy and carefully watching Bonaparte in exile on St Helena Island, he is looking for someone to who may be able to help who owns a shipping company, never expecting to find love along the way
Meredith Appleyard is a widowed ship owner and very smart when she meets her cousin’s friend Lord Rufus and is soon playing chess with him and roped into becoming a spy life is filled with danger but her heart is soon filling with love.
A true adventure romance with spies and danger.

The Mysterious Mr J
Erin Grace
Oleander Bassington has lived her life in a small village, she is intelligent and hardworking, marrying wasn’t what she was looking for necessarily but when her close friend married her life is turning in a different direction.
When Darringer, Earl Reinard arrives for the Christmas ball, looking forw love or a wife is far from his mond but when he meets the beautiful Ollenader his heart changes direction.
Another beautiful romance that had me cheering these two on.

Fetch the Earl
Ebony Oaten
The Sloane family from Nettleberry had been living a quiet country life until the fifth Earl of Penge passed away and now they find themselves in London, Earl, Countess, Lord George and Lady Anne, never realizing what will come now with their lives, a whole new world.
Lady Anne receives a marriage proposal and they acquire a new footman Fetch who turns out to be more than he seems.
This is a up and down journey for not only Anne and Fetch but the family and one that I thoroughly enjoyed, Anne is one strong heroine and Fetch a true hero.

These are fabulous stories all involve a letter or two a secret and beautiful romances where we meet some wonderful heroes and heroines. This is an anthology that I would highly recommend.
My thanks to Fiona M Marsden for my copy to read and review

4 stars
Published October 8th 2021

Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Daughter of the Hunter Valley

 Daughter of the Hunter Valley

Paula J Beavan

Reviewed by Helen

What a fabulous debut, truly I fell into this book and loved the setting and getting to know Maddie, to see her grow into a strong and capable woman, a woman who could run a farm in colonial New South Wales and continue with her parent’s wishes and find true happiness made this a story that kept me invested throughout and cheering her on.

Madeline Barker-Trent has travelled to The Hunter Valley devastated at the loss of her mother but looking forward to finally being with her father on the farm in The Hunter Valley, Shelby he has written such beautiful descriptions of the house and farm, but when she arrives nothing is what she thought it would be she is shocked and then a tragic accident leaves her all alone in a strange new world. Maddie is so determined to get on with life and make Shelby what it should be.

Maddie stands firm with her decision even with neighbours suggesting she sell up and move back to England, times are not easy in the colony especially with an underlying scandal but Maddie loves the farm and her new life working with convict labourers she is starting to bring Shelby to what it should be with the help of overseer Daniel Coulter and she is getting closer to Daniel so when a new arrival is about to turn her world upside down and there is danger from bushrangers, Maddie needs to re-think her life.

I was eagerly awaiting this book and was not disappointed at all, it is so well written it shows how strong these woman were they helped build Australia into what it is today. Maddie was thrown in the deep end but did what needed to be done and her courage and strength shone through in this awesome story, this is one that I would highly recommend there is a lot happening and I felt like I was back there with Maddie and Daniel, to see her find happiness in her new life left me feeling very happy. I look forward to many more books from Paula J Bevan.

My thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for my copy to read and review.

5 stars
Expected publication: September 29th 2021 by Mira Books AU