The story opens as England declares itself at war with Germany. The WWII setting is what initially appealed to me, England, France, Poland but Scent oThe story opens as England declares itself at war with Germany. The WWII setting is what initially appealed to me, England, France, Poland but Scent of Triumph is actually more sweeping family drama and one woman's determination to provide and care for her remaining family after facing great tragedy.
Danielle is a fiercely determined, clever, hard-working, resilient woman and I admired that about her but I didn't always feel an emotional connection with her. I'm not sure how to explain it, it might be that I wasn't quite so enamored once Danielle was living in Los Angeles. Despite tragic losses she seemed so cool and removed and focused, I actually felt the distance but when Danielle was immersed in creating a perfume she came alive to me.
I thought parts of the story were a little predictable and I'll also be honest and say I found the ending disingenuous. Despite these points there was much to love.
I loved Danielle's mother-in-law Sophia and her small but significant, and lasting part, her courage really touched me. I liked Jon, and Jon and Danielle together, it was so frustratingly obvious they were meant for each other and I wanted to shake both of them for the misunderstandings.
I loved the artistry, history and tradition of perfumery, I felt Danielle's love for the creative process, the trial and error composition and design of a new perfume. I loved Moran's descriptions of the Bretancourt family perfumery gardens in Grasse, so beautiful I want to visit. I loved how Moran's writing appealed to my senses, I could smell what she was describing, my mouth actually watered at the "sweet, buttery scent of the boulangerie in Grasse where they bought croissants ..." and the perfume aspect gave the book a very sensual feel.
"She waved blotter strips of paper under her nose, then made notes in her journal. Too much bergamot in this one, too tart; no depth in this one; bring forward the orange blossom in another."
"She inhaled again, going farther, detecting the bouquet of jasmine and rose, rich and silky, entwined with a spicy note of carnation, adding verve and vitality, robust brilliance. It needs a splash of complexity here, a sprig of basil there, an accent of clove."
Overall, Scent of Triumph was a little different from what I was expecting but a lovely, entertaining read.
Cover: cover fairy worked on this one ... it's beautiful! ...more
I fell in love with Jennifer Scoullar's writing after inhaling Currawong Creek in 2013 and Billabong Bend in 2014, she has a beautiful way with wordsI fell in love with Jennifer Scoullar's writing after inhaling Currawong Creek in 2013 and Billabong Bend in 2014, she has a beautiful way with words and her love for the natural world sings.
The beauty and diversity of the region, rainforest to reef, the sugar cane fields and hand-in-hand, the challenges of protecting our reef and marine animals from ignorance, age-old traditions, outdated and often dangerous farming practices. I'm passionate about reef protection so you might have guessed I was cheering Zoe on for actively driving the wheels of change.
Turtle Reef has an interesting bunch of characters, an intriguing mystery, a splash of romance (but the circumstances surrounding it are just a tad weird) but for me, the stars of the show were the animals.
I liked Zoe and Quinn's younger brother Josh and his special affinity with animals was particularly endearing but I loved the dolphins, especially Kane, Echo and Mirrhi, the turtles, Einstein the hammer octopus and the Arabian mare Aisha. I loved learning about the female octopus, seagrass mapping and the principles of operant conditioning and and I got teary over the dugong and Einstein ... animals undo me.
Turtle Reef was a particularly special read for me, Kiawa and the Reef Centre bringing with it nostalgic memories of my visits to Bargara and Mon Repos Conservation Centre and more recently Lady Elliot Island (southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef) the highly protected "green zone" sanctuary for marine and other wildlife.
I wonder where Jennifer Scoullar is taking us next? ... can't wait!...more
4.5 stars I thought Still Alice was brilliant, it affected me deeply and when I saw Inside the O'Brien's was about Huntington's Disease I had to read i4.5 stars I thought Still Alice was brilliant, it affected me deeply and when I saw Inside the O'Brien's was about Huntington's Disease I had to read it.
Towards the end of my nursing training, a friend and housemate faced the nightmare of Huntington's Disease when her father was diagnosed. She was one of ten children. I lost touch with her when she moved away physically and emotionally but her family has often been in my thoughts and over the years as I've belatedly come across funeral notices for her father and 3 siblings my heart aches that I didn't try harder.
Once again Lisa Genova writes what she knows with great heart. I'd almost say head and heart is trademark Lisa Genova. And maybe I'd add in humour and hope because despite the evil bastard that is Huntington's Disease, Genova's message in this fatal hereditary neurodegenerative disease is ultimately one of hope.
The O'Brien's are an Irish Catholic family in Boston. 44 year old police officer Joe, his wife Rosie and their four adult children, Patrick, JJ, Meghan, and Katie. Inside the O'Briens is so much more than Huntington's Disease, it's an ordinary family making extraordinary decisions, facing something with extraordinary courage. It's about hopes and dreams, coming together in adversity and in celebration, life, love, faith, laughs, flaws, weaknesses, pain, loss, guilt, happiness, suffering, joy; all the ordinary things that make a family. It truly is about ... a million other things that have nothing to do with HD.
Thoughts running through my head ...
a 50/50 chance ... beyond terrifying. could I live "at risk" or would I want to know?
ignoring it, accepting it, denying it, worrying it to death wouldn't make the 50/50 any less or more ... it is what it is, regardless.
the dread and fear would eat me up, making me 100% miserable. That's not living.
I'd have to know
"We're going to learn how to live and die with HD from you, Dad" *sob* what a horrific disease. HD really is an evil monster
I admire Joe's approach to HD "Stay in the Fight ... Stay in the Pose"
I keep thinking about another book I've read about this disease, Eternal on the Water by Joseph Monninger ... I cried buckets, I understood the choice made. That story has stayed with me over the years.
Inside the O'Briens is education and awareness gently wrapped in humour and heart. ...more
It's not often I say a book is superb let alone the entire trilogy but Nancy Bilyeau ticks all the boxes with The Tapestry and its predecesso4.5 stars
It's not often I say a book is superb let alone the entire trilogy but Nancy Bilyeau ticks all the boxes with The Tapestry and its predecessors. Maintaining historical integrity while blessing the reader with a pacy entertaining read is no mean feat.
I'm a glutton for all things Tudor. Being well read in that particular historical period I confess I've become quite picky discerning and really appreciate a fresh approach which is exactly what Nancy Bilyeau gives readers with her Joanna Stafford trilogy. Viewing the oft-covered Tudor era and Henry VIII's court, roiling with religious instability, political treachery, conspiracies and betrayals from the perspective of former Dominican novice Joanna Stafford has been an exciting reading experience.
I loved the direction Bilyeau took in this final installment. Despite best intentions Joanna is drawn back into service to King Henry, intrigue and danger follow her doggedly. King Henry is working on ridding himself of wife number 4, Anne of Cleves and has Catherine Howard in his sights for wife number 5 spot, much to Joanna's horror, being a long-time friend of Catherine's.
Once again I loved the mix of notable historical figures and fictional characters, I enjoyed learning about German painter Hans Holbein the younger and I was especially happy to spend time with many (King Henry VIII, Thomas Cromwell, Bishop Gardiner, Thomas Howard, Jane Boleyn, Thomas Culpepper and Catherine Howard) from the safety of a book's pages.
A compulsive read that has you turning the pages for ... just one more chapter.
I confess to a little case of Colleen Hoover insta-love after I succumbed to my friend Karen's nagging and read Maybe Someday. I meant to jump straighI confess to a little case of Colleen Hoover insta-love after I succumbed to my friend Karen's nagging and read Maybe Someday. I meant to jump straight into Ugly Love but you know best laid plans and all that. So ... Confess
"The confessions you read within this novel are true confessions, submitted anonymously by readers. This book is dedicated to all of you who found the courage to share them."
What a dedication. Doesn't that just grab you and suck you right in?? I loved this unique aspect. And it's not just the confessions. In Maybe Someday it was music, in Confess it's the art.
Owen Mason Gentry (OMG ... HA) is a local artist whose paintings are inspired by anonymous confessions. Auburn answers a 'help wanted' ad in his studio window. I liked them both, I felt the chemistry sparking between them and their growing connection. That doesn't mean I liked everything about them, at times I wanted to slap Auburn for her lack of backbone but I also felt for her and the awful position she'd been manipulated into.
Who else ... Auburn's flatmate Emory was weirdly awesome, a real bad-ass, she needs her own book. Trey, what an asshat, I'd have cheered if he'd been hit by a bus. And Trey's mother ... two-for-one. Confession: I have zero tolerance for abusive manipulators (can you tell??)
Confess includes original artwork by Danny O’Connor and it is beautiful! Check it out here. It defines Owen and provides intimacy between Owen and Auburn, it's a beautiful vehicle for emotion and communication and gives the story added depth.
The only thing that annoyed me was the whore/slut self-talk. I really wish Colleen Hoover wouldn't do that. Is that just my age showing? Whatever, it's so unnecessary. And Trey ... where's that bus?
Once again CoHo's writing is highly addictive ... real, sensitive and intensely emotional. Confess is hard to describe, it's not just a love story, it's multi-faceted ... love, loss, strength and courage, sacrifice, self awareness and second chances.
Lucky for me Ugly Love awaits ... time to feed the addiction. ...more
Readers were first introduced to Lauren Simpson in Jilted, not in a particularly favourable light I must say, I don't have time for spoilt bitches butReaders were first introduced to Lauren Simpson in Jilted, not in a particularly favourable light I must say, I don't have time for spoilt bitches but figured that somewhere underneath all the makeup was a decent person. She's a nurse, not that that's a given for decency but she's a deeply caring and highly skilled nurse so that's got to say something. Rachael Johns does a fabulous job of showing some of Lauren's more endearing qualities.
You probably don't have to read Jilted first but I really liked seeing the growth in Lauren's character, growth that was handled realistically, in a way that elicited empathy rather than eye-rolls ... not that I'd expect anything less from Rachael Johns. Besides I loved Jilted (Ellie and Flynn's story) so why miss out on a good thing.
The chemistry between Lauren and locum Dr Tom Lewis is evident from the start but like any new relationship they have their challenges ... emotion-charged issues and the highs and lows of living in a small community where everyone knows your business or thinks they do.
The sweetest part of this story and my favourite was Lauren and Tom's interactions with the elderly in the residential wing of the hospital ... now that was heart-melting good. And funny, Barbara and May cracked me up with their irreverent humour.
With trademark humour, passion and emotion I've come to expect from Rachael Johns, The Road to Hope is a lovely way to spend a few hours....more
Loved it! I've been craving another heartfelt series from Susan Mallery. I loved the first two books in her Blackberry Island series (not so4.5 stars
Loved it! I've been craving another heartfelt series from Susan Mallery. I loved the first two books in her Blackberry Island series (not so much the last one) and The Girls of Mischief Bay has a similar feel ... warm and real.
For me, friends are the family you choose for yourself, the strength and security that true friendship brings is a beautiful thing and you can see how true this is for Nicole, Shannon and Pam.
30 year old Nicole with her oxygen-bandit narcissistic husband, Shannon almost 40, successful business woman, ready for a partner in life and Pam at 50, empty-nester, doting mother to delicate fur-baby Lulu, seeking to spice up her 30 year marriage. They're an unlikely trio but I loved what each brought to the friendship, their journey individually and together.
Susan Mallery has a knack for writing women's friendships, real women with heartaches, insecurities, strengths and flaws. Mallery doesn't gloss over the trials and sadness of life familiar to many of us or the pain and frustration of watching a loved one coping with the challenges and changes dealt them but there's also a lot to be said about the value of friendship, laughs and good wine.
3.5 stars I loved Gayle Forman's If I Stay, the emotion of it completely overwhelmed me. I Was Here was a good read, an important one but I found the e3.5 stars I loved Gayle Forman's If I Stay, the emotion of it completely overwhelmed me. I Was Here was a good read, an important one but I found the emotional connection lacking. Depression and suicide is sensitive subject matter, whilst we are making headway, depression is still very much a misunderstood illness, the stigma is still there, so anything that brings the subject out of that taboo-no-go-zone should be appreciated.
I Was Here follows Cody as she tries to come to terms with her best friend's suicide. It tells the effect of Meg's death on those close to her .... the guilt, anger and disbelief felt real. And that's about as far as the 'feel' went.
Cody's sarcasm and abrasiveness didn't bother me, I understood the loss of trust in what she thought she knew of her friend and their friendship, I got why she was so desperate for answers. I didn't mind Ben as a character but I felt next to nothing about Cody and Ben's 'romance'.
I understand that everyone does grief differently and the last thing a grieving person needs is judgement but I thought Meg's parents' behaviour was odd, they didn't come across as genuine, quite frankly, I didn't feel much for them at all.
It was nauseating to read of suicide 'support' groups, not support groups for the those left behind or those suffering from depression but for those considering suicide ... encouragement, applause, choices, suggestions; people preying on those most vulnerable, it makes me sick that groups like this exist. A bit like the dreadful pro-mia and pro-ana online support groups for bulimia and anorexia.
Don't let me put you off, this is a worthwhile read but it confounded me to feel so little ... me who cries at a Kleenex ad. I'm keen to hear what others thought.
Gayle Forman's author notes and support links were a very worthwhile inclusion. ...more
The Girl on the Train has garnered a lot of attention, opinions are divided but go into this one with as little foreshadowing as possible and just letThe Girl on the Train has garnered a lot of attention, opinions are divided but go into this one with as little foreshadowing as possible and just let the disturbing twisty-ness suck you in ... you'll appreciate the normality of your own life.
These characters are messed up, all of them, seriously messed up. It's an interesting character study that had me impressed with the authors skill, it's not an easy feat to keep a reader reading with a cast of unlikable characters. That said, as the story progressed I felt a begrudging sympathy for one of the most manipulated characters.
The writing is strong and the narrators are great, they add that bit extra to the reading experience, I'm glad I picked this one up on audio. And the ending ... I actually laughed, not sure that was the desired effect. HA. What can I say ... I like to see someone get their 'just desserts' :) ...more
I fell in love with Posie Graeme-Evans' writing almost 10 years ago after reading her War of the Roses trilogy. The cover of Wild Wood called4.5 stars
I fell in love with Posie Graeme-Evans' writing almost 10 years ago after reading her War of the Roses trilogy. The cover of Wild Wood called my name, blessed by the cover fairies with what looks to me like Eilean Donan Castle. Then of course I noticed the author's name and when I finally read the synopsis, I was sold. And not disappointed ... this Australian author's writing has evolved over the years and Wild Wood is a beautifully refined story, compelling and evocative.
"The past bleeds into the present."
A dual narrative, separated by centuries, distinct but slowly merging as the threads of past and present unlock long-held secrets ...
1321 in the borderlands, the story unfolds at the Norman stronghold Hundredfield, held by Godefroi, eldest of the three Dieudonné brothers. The story is narrated by the youngest, Bayard. I loved his character; battle-hardened knight, his strength, compassion and sensitivity endearing traits.
1981 Jesse Mayard's world is rocked when she learns she is adopted and leaves her home in Sydney, Australia determined to discover the truth, and herself. Heading for Jedburgh in Scotland, fate intervenes bringing Jesse and Alicia and her neurologist friend Rory Brandon together, setting Jesse on the path to Hundredfield.
In a dual time line story I normally find one story appeals more than the other but with Wild Wood I was equally intrigued by both. I was immediately hooked on Bayard's narration, page-turning, breath-holding reading, the setting and times, violent, harsh and unforgiving. Jesse's narration was a quieter pulling, until Hundredfield exerted its influence.
Wild Wood has its faults but maybe visiting Scotland gave the story and Hundredfield a whole lot more 'feel' ... history literally seeps from the walls of these ancient castles and ruins, it can be quite emotionally overwhelming. It was lovely to revisit that feeling with Wild Wood.
History, dark secrets, legend and superstition create a haunting tale. And now I look forward to the author's new writing venture ... The Outer Sea. Write faster Posie :)
I stayed up til the wee hours to finish another great installment but I'm shocked that this is the final book in the Ella Marconi series ... for now.I stayed up til the wee hours to finish another great installment but I'm shocked that this is the final book in the Ella Marconi series ... for now. Not ready for goodbye :(...more
1. Walter Scott's quote "Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive!" was my first thought. Kee5 Reasons to pick up Keep Quiet
1. Walter Scott's quote "Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive!" was my first thought. Keep Quiet is a hot mess of LIES and angst and implausible extreme lengths but I was hooked, cringing but hooked.
2. If you want an unexpected character to loathe, Jake's wife Pam is the most hypocritical, sanctimonious, judgmental bitch I've come across in a while.
3. Ron Livingston 'fit' Jake well. I think the audio lightened up writing flaws and repetitive angst. My first Lisa Scottoline and my first Ron Livingston narration ... I'd go there again.
4. Moral dilemma ... hmm, well at the risk of sounding sanctimonious, I don't think there's much to debate. This was not 'protection' ...
5. It's twisty and fast-paced and despite the flaws you go along for the ride ... it's the trainwreck you can't look away from. ...more
This was just what I needed, perfect escapism complete with tea and comfort food. A light, easy feel-good read, and completely satisfying.
After a chaThis was just what I needed, perfect escapism complete with tea and comfort food. A light, easy feel-good read, and completely satisfying.
After a chance meeting in Letty's Seafront Tea Rooms, a special haven in Scarborough, Charlie, Kat and Seraphine become firm friends, sharing tea room research, baking, family crises, relationship dramas and work challenges ... all the normal, every-day nuances of friendship. I'd love to be friends with these women. I also have serious job-envy, well just for this tea room assignment of Charlie's :)
Whilst set in Scarborough, the friends also travel to York, London and a couple of other places I visited on my holiday last year making this extra special, bringing back memories of tea and treats on my travels. Already being a scones, jam and cream girl, England turned me into a monster. I fell in lust with cream teas ... scones with jam and lashings of clotted cream and the tea of your choice ... English Breakfast of course. The Somerset Cream Tea from the Abbey Tea Rooms in Glastonbury was one of the best I had in England :)
I love tea rooms, there's just something so comforting about them, they bring people together, you leave your troubles at the door, they're the perfect place to escape for a few indulgent hours.
What could be more perfect ... tea, cake, friendship and just a little romance. I'm looking forward to checking out more of Vanessa Greene's titles.
I loved the complexity of the world in The Bone Season and was very excited to get my hands on The Mime Order, the 2nd installment in the seven book sI loved the complexity of the world in The Bone Season and was very excited to get my hands on The Mime Order, the 2nd installment in the seven book series set in a corrupt Scion controlled London.
I have to confess I struggled at first, this book is a brick at 500+ pages. I'm not sure whether it was the re-acclimatising myself with the world or maybe I wasn't in the right frame of mind but initially it was hard work. Then 150 pages in .... bam, addicted!!
In The Mime Order the focus turns to London and the syndicated underworld. After her escape from Sheol I, dreamwalker Paige Mahoney returns to mime-lord Jaxon Hall and the Seven Seals but her attention is concentrated on revealing the truth of the Rephaim race to the voyant community. Jaxon is that love-to-hate character. He's cruel, manipulative and fascinating in a creepy smiling-assassin kind of way, and the cat-and-mouse exchanges between Jaxon and Paige had my heart in my mouth.
Paige is all you could want in a kick-ass heroine, she really comes into her own in this installment, tough physically and mentally and her voyant skills are freakin' awesome. And Warden, he's such a intriguing, enigmatic character, I missed him not being around for practically the first half of the book but I love Paige and Warden 'together' .... gotta love a slow burn.
It's dark, intense and thoroughly immersive and builds to a shit-hot end. ...more
I adore sister/family themed stories and being a bit partial to a nice wine myself, I loved the Margaret River wine region setting and the descriptionI adore sister/family themed stories and being a bit partial to a nice wine myself, I loved the Margaret River wine region setting and the descriptions of Tawny Brooks vineyard, the grape varieties, their harvesting process. It took me back to weekends spent touring wineries, soaking up the sights and smells, sampling wines until we found a new favourite.
The Maxwell family are a mildly dysfunctional bunch, likable, frustrating and entirely real. Happy-go-lucky Phoebe (the youngest Maxwell sister) is the reason the Maxwell sisters are returning home to Tawny Brooks Estate. Phoebe is getting married and she wants her estranged sisters, Natasha and Eve to mend the rift before her wedding.
Mix in ... a month of wedding planning, a jealous Greek mother, a father who loves to give the impression of being a sandwich short of a picnic, the mother-in-law from hell, the men in the Maxwell sisters' lives and you get a melting pot of misunderstandings, squabbles, secrets and family drama. I loved that this tale was as much about sisters reconnecting as it was their romances. And I especially loved the humour injected with the mother/mother-in-law wedding battles and John Maxwell's penchant for keeping score.
The wedding day drama was a bit over the top for me but that's a small gripe in an otherwise charming story about family, love, food and wine. Four of my favourite things.
A fun read to enjoy while guzzling sipping a nice glass of Australian wine.
I heard on the grapevine (HA sorry) that Loretta has more Margaret River wineries to visit in future books. I look forward to that. ...more
I really enjoyed Sandra Byrd's Ladies in Waiting series and jumped at the chance to read the first in her new Daughters of Hampshire series, set in ViI really enjoyed Sandra Byrd's Ladies in Waiting series and jumped at the chance to read the first in her new Daughters of Hampshire series, set in Victorian England.
Mist of Midnight is wonderfully atmospheric with Headbourne House, the family graveyard and chapel shrouded in mystery and mist. The gothic feel with that delicious sense of foreboding was one of my favourite parts of the novel.
Rebecca Ravenshaw returns to her family home in England after her parents are killed in the Indian Mutiny, expecting safety and financial security. What she gets instead is the onerous task of proving her own identity and the 'other' Rebecca Ravenshaw an imposter.
I liked Rebecca's forthright character and I loved her flirty interactions with Luke and naughty sense of humour, all within the bounds of propriety of course. Luke was really likable but for a 'Gothic' hero I expected a little more brooding intensity so whilst the author gave us reason to be suspicious of him, I actually didn't mistrust him.
Mist of Midnight is marketed as Christian fiction, which I don't read much of but I found it very subtle and completely in keeping with Rebecca's missionary family. I loved the contrast in cultures and Rebecca's effort to 'fit' in her native England while embracing what she loved of both countries.
I left a piece of my heart on the pages of The Nightingale. I could quite honestly leave it at that as I'm not sure I have the words to convey how mucI left a piece of my heart on the pages of The Nightingale. I could quite honestly leave it at that as I'm not sure I have the words to convey how much this book affected me.
I read quite a bit of WWII fiction and nonfiction but at the risk of sounding cliched The Nightingale was different. I was incapable of putting it down, sleep paled into insignificance as Vianne and Isabelle's story took hold and I finished it at 3am, emotionally wrung out.
Kristin Hannah captures the horror, the hunger, the heart, the biting contrast between humanity and inhumanity with an eloquence that left me breathless and ugly crying. Alongside the atrocities there are moments of great tenderness, love and always hope. This story is one big 'feel' and that's what makes it unforgettable.
Andrée de Jongh, the young Belgium woman who established an escape network over the Pyrenees which later became known as the Comet Line was Hannah's inspiration for Isabelle. It doesn't seem to matter how much I read of the holocaust the unimaginable horror never lessens in intensity. But The Nightingale recognises the quiet courage, strength and determination of women, those who protected friends, saved Jewish children, sacrificed and survived, made gut wrenching choices, worked in the Resistance, risked their lives for strangers, endured the unthinkable, died fighting evil. Those like Isabelle and Vianne ...
I've read many of Kristin Hannah's books, I love her writing. Winter Garden is a favourite but The Nightingale is exceptional. I'll go out on a limb and say it's one of the best books I've read ... the kind of best that lands a novel on my books-to-be-buried-with list. I can't stop thinking about it, my heart hurts ... ...more
Most of you know I'm a huge Tudor fan and having just walked many of the places I've been reading about in historical fiction for years it gives a newMost of you know I'm a huge Tudor fan and having just walked many of the places I've been reading about in historical fiction for years it gives a new level of 'feeling' to my reading. I found The Light in the Labyrinth to be a well written blending of historical fact and imagination and I think the author's notes clarify that Wendy Dunn's imaginings are indeed plausible.
We follow Catherine (Kate) Carey, daughter of Mary Boleyn and niece of Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII's 2nd wife as she joins her Aunt Nan at court. Whilst the painting of Anne Boleyn may not be as many of us view her, I found it quite sweet to see her through Kate's adoring and naive eyes.
Kate quickly matures as she's confronted with not only the reality of her birth but her Aunt's fall from favour, as powerful men like Thomas Cromwell conspire to bring about the Queen's downfall. I love and crave more detail but remembering the target audience, there's enough political intrigue and court treachery to satisfy a Tudor enthusiast without overwhelming someone new to the period.
The Light in the Labyrinth only covers the last few months of Anne Boleyn's life and not a lot happens as such but I found it a quick, enjoyable read. What surprised me, given how much Tudor fiction I've read, was the emotion of the Queen's final days in the tower, accompanied by loyal Kate and the 'care' of Anne Boleyn following her execution. ...more
We started with Ry and Julia's story in Nobody But Him, followed by their best friends Lizzie and Dan in Someone Like You. In the Boys of Summer finalWe started with Ry and Julia's story in Nobody But Him, followed by their best friends Lizzie and Dan in Someone Like You. In the Boys of Summer final installment we join Joe and Anna on their road to happiness. Of course there's roadblocks and wrong turns, because if there wasn't that would be kind of dull ... and Victoria Purman writes anything but dull.
Joe is Lizzie's brother and Anna, an old friend of Dan's ... they're both carrying hurt and a load of baggage but a night of alcohol-fueled-toe-curling-knock-your-socks-off-sex slowly grows into new beginnings and more toe-curling-knock-your-socks-off-sex a second chance at love.
What I've loved about this series from the beginning is the feel of Middle Point, this fictional coastal town on the beautiful Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia feels real. So real you want to live there, join the community and be part of the Ry and Julia, Dan and Lizzie, Joe and Anna circle.
You really can't go wrong with this sexy, steamy, sweet, funny trilogy. I've loved spending time with these couples, getting to know them and care about them and I'm a little sad to say goodbye.
But bring on May 1st because Victoria Purman has a new novel out, Only We Know, set on the wildly beautiful Kangaroo Island. ...more
Wow Rachael Johns saves the best 'til last, Outback Ghost is my favourite of the Bunyip Bay series. I love a good romance but there's so much4.5 stars
Wow Rachael Johns saves the best 'til last, Outback Ghost is my favourite of the Bunyip Bay series. I love a good romance but there's so much more to love in Outback Ghost ... depth, layers, grief, loss, community; it's a really touching read.
I've felt for the Burton family since the disappearance of Adam Burton's young sister was first mentioned in Outback Dreams. When single mum Stella books the holiday cottage on Adam's farm to enjoy a much needed break and special time with her 7 year old daughter Heidi, the mystery slowly unravels.
Adam and Stella, *sigh* I loved their interactions, their chemistry and I really loved that there were no miscommunication issues providing conflict and drama. I loved that Adam saw Stella as a package, the way he related to Heidi was just adorable. And last but not least, I loved the joy that Heidi brought to Adam's mother's life, what a special relationship between Heidi and Esther.
'I've had sex' she told the cat proudly. 'Hot, messy, crazy, fabulous sex. With a man.' Not just any man but undoubtedly the hottest, sexiest man on the planet. Whiskers merely looked up and then turned her head and walked off in disgust. 'Might not be such a big thing for you,' Stella called out as the cat wandered back into the hallway, 'but this is monumental for me.'
The community really came together with love, support and acceptance in this final installment, a healing time ... and not just for the Burton family.
Outback Ghost will have you teary, sighing and smiling ... I loved it and I'm sad to say goodbye to Bunyip Bay.