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Half Moon Bay

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  357 ratings  ·  75 reviews

Ellie Wilding has been running from her past, but when the residents of Half Moon Bay call for help she knows it’s finally time to return home. As an international photojournalist, she’s used to violence in war zones, but she’s shocked when it erupts in the sleepy hamlet on the north coast of New South Wales, threatening all she holds dear.

Battle-weary Nichola
Paperback, 380 pages
Published May 22nd 2013 by Penguin Australia
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Average rating 3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  357 ratings  ·  75 reviews

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Mar 15, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: owned-donated
Half Moon Bay was a half cup empty for me. It was a great book to come across during my fun second hand book store escapades. A recent time on topic read, a photo journalist named Ellie in a quagmire of death defying and dangerous pursuits. Ellie has bought her journalist sister home from Afghanistan, a horrible situation for these sisters, Nina has been killed. But it's messy, from drug lords and dodgy Australian councilors and corrupt ex-defense personnel. I love reading about Aussie locations ...more
I have been really excited to read this book. I love Helene Young’s work, and this one most definitely didn’t disappoint!

When the plane that photo-journalist Ellie Wilding was a passenger in landed in war-torn Kandahar with a fellow journalist, little did she know her life was about to be completely shattered. Her sister Nina, herself a journalist, didn’t meet Ellie on landing as was pre-arranged, and she felt a fission of worry. But when she was picked up by Australian soldiers and rushed to th
Sue Gerhardt Griffiths
Jul 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017

4.5 stars

A huge thumbs up for another excellent read by Helene Young, an author who knows how to pump out impressive and exhilarating tales of romantic suspense. And Half Moon Bay had suspense in droves and the two central characters Ellie and Nick were splendid - Ellie cute and feisty and Nick… whoa, he was hot! I’m completely deaf to the outside world when I’m absorbed in a book penned by Helene Young.

Not Helene Young’s usual setting of Nth QLD, most of this story is set on the north coast o
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

With the wonderful balance of action, intrigue and romance which Helene Young always gets exactly right, Half Moon Bay is an exciting and engaging novel.

When the small community of Half Moon Bay is threatened by a corrupt Lord Mayor, international photojournalist Ellie Wilding returns to her home town determined to stop him. It doesn't take long for Ellie to uncover evidence of kick backs and blackmail but she is shocked to discover that O'Sullivan may also be complicit in a drug ring involving
Lauren K
Apr 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I know this review is quite overdue, particularly since I read Half Moon Bay about 6 weeks ago at the beginning of my honeymoon, however the notes I jotted down for my review have been misplaced somewhere so now I’m faced with writing a review while some of the plot details are a little hazy. Alas, Half Moon Bay was a much anticipated book for Australian romantic suspense fans with Helene’s first three novels in the loosely linked Border Watch series getting raving reviews (including 3 x 5 star ...more
MarciaB - Book Muster Down Under
Apr 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wish-list
Is he her enemy or her protector?

Suffering with survivor’s guilt, Ellie Wilding has isolated herself for the last two years since the death of her sister Nina. Having been away from the war zone covering a story in the UK, she was unable to save her sister even after single-handedly arranging for the casevac from Afghanistan to Australia, so she’s been hiding around the world, losing herself in her photojournalism work. After she receives an email from the former mayor of her home town, Half Moo
I have been eyeing off Helene Young’s books for some time, but have always been wary of the “romance” part in romantic suspense fiction – romance not being one of my preferred genres. But in hindsight I am really glad that I have been given the opportunity to dive into one of Young’s books, as I thoroughly enjoyed her writing style – there was a lot of suspense, some remarkable characters, a great Australian setting and yes - a fair bit of sexual tension. It made a lovely change from the fare of ...more
Lily Malone
May 18, 2017 rated it liked it
There was parts of this I really enjoyed - particularly the opening chapter, and the opening scenes where Ellie is trying to work out what's going on at the Council, and with the hero, Nick. The scene where she's caught under the desk in the council chambers, and when Nick and Ellie are surfing and assist the boy from a surfing incident - those are probably top of the tree for me.
I guess for all the scenes that I liked, there were parts of this that for me, dragged to the end and made the book f
Paula Clark
May 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013
Couldn't put it down!! It seemed everyone close to Ellie knew what was going on and what circumstances surrounded her sisters death, except her! I really enjoyed how this story unfolded and the strengthening relationship between her and Nick.

Things aren't always what they seem and the truth can be very confronting and healing at the same time.

As usual Helene Young has not disappointed and has become one of my favourite authors.
Bree T
Feb 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Ellie Wilding has spent the last two years running from the pain and guilt of losing her older sister Nina in Afghanistan. A photographer, Ellie has worked around the world, avoiding home. But it seems that she can’t run any longer – some neighbours have asked her for some help in fighting a corrupt mayor who wants to ignore a former resident’s wishes and sell off the land she left to the town to highest bidder. More than that, there’s some suspicious funds transfers going on and even more suspi ...more
This book was, in large part, enjoyable. I think Young hits her stride really well when writing about flying, and I could feel that unique spark returning toward the end of the book when Ellie got into the pilot's seat. More flying, please!

My big disappointment was my intense dislike for the romantic lead. This made it difficult for me to be swept up in the story. [weak spoilers ahead] (view spoiler)
Sep 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Quite a good, romantic suspenseful read is Half Moon Bay. I loved the setting of the Mid-North Coast of NSW, a place I’ve visited many times. The storyline was interesting and I probably would have given it 5 stars except it took me a while to actually like the main character Ellie…..All in all, a good easy read…..
Georgina Penney
There's little I can say about this emotionally gripping story that other far more articulate reviewers here on Goodreads haven't said already. I read this book nearly a year ago now and it says a lot that I still have Ellie and Nicholas in my thoughts. ...more
Jan 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
And this is why Helene Young is one of my Favourite Australian Authors :) Treat yourself to this book because you won't be disappointed.

Romantic Suspense is a a genre that has been around for years, but one that is making a strong movement recently especially in Australia thanks to the likes of Bronwyn Parry and Helene Young. It was Helene Young’s first novel Wings Of Fear that first introduced me to the genre, and her subsequent novels that got me hooked and determined that I’d be a fan for li
Monique Mulligan
Aug 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
A suspenseful page-turner was just what I wanted while on holidays recently and Half Moon Bay by Helene Young fit the bill perfectly. Earlier reviews have been full of praise so I was keen to see whether the book lived up to the hype. It did – award-winning author Helene Young has convinced me that she’s an author to keep an eye on. The cover (love the colours) sets the scene well – a woman running along a windblown beach. It’s well designed to attract readers – who is this woman? Where is she r ...more
May 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'm a little embarrassed to admit I've actually purchased not one but three of Helene Young's previous novels (Border Watch series) after seeing rave reviews from Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out. I even had said books signed by Helene at ARRC but still hadn't got around to reading them. Then Half Moon Bay came up on NetGalley and the gorgeous cover said "read me" so I did and I can finally say ... I've been missing out.

It's been a while since I read romantic suspense, I'd forgotten how good it could be
May 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I've always enjoyed watching mystery/CSI kind of shows on TV but this was probably my first foray into the world of Romantic Suspense books and I wasn't let down.

The story starts with photojournalist Ellie Wilding on her way to Afghanistan to meet up with her sister, investigative journalist Nina but she ends up having to bring her home in a coffin. Two years later she is back home in the not so sleepy coastal town of Half Moon Bay when the locals need her skills to fight corruption and possible
Sandy Vaile
Jul 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wow! I didn't think Helene could top the enjoyment factor of her first two books, but this is brilliant. The content is fresh and heart felt.

I immediately loved the tenacity of Ellie. There's something about a person who has lost so much in life and still has a fighting spirit, that makes me want her to succeed. And what can I say about the strong, sexy Nick? An action hero, slightly damaged, gentlemanly and utterly committed to his cause. There were a host of other creepy bad guys and wonderfu
Cate Ellink
Jun 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I always love Helene Young's stories and Half Moon Bay might be my favourite yet. The opening gripped me and the characters and story didn't let me go. Nick is a wonderful hero - loyal, honourable, forward-thinking, full of power, strength, conviction and love. Ellie is strong, accepting of people and their right to make a decision, but resourceful and stubborn for causes she loves.

This book handles a gritty topic in such a mature way, where blame is not the focus. I was left feeling sad for th
May 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Another great read by Helene Young. Once again I was captivated by the plot and the characters. I loved the setting in Half Moon Bay and even the trip to Sydney where I was able to visualise the icons by the harbour not far from where I grew up.
Jen Telfer
Jul 10, 2013 rated it liked it
This book was an enjoyable read, but the main female character was annoying and she kind of detracted from the story. She is so stroppy and selfish, that I can't understand what Nick saw in her......maybe it was treat 'em mean, keep 'em keen? ...more
Stine Baska
Oct 17, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: bookgroup
Good plot but badly written. Annoying tendency to tell instead of show. As the author is a pilot one wonders how any description about flying missed out. Too much 'shivering' in my opinion. A good editor and a rewrite would have made this book fab! ...more
Jan 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Nothing beats a bit of mystery, international intrigue and a hot romance! Really enjoyed the story and the writing flowed nicely so that the story was easy to read and to immerse yourself in. Am looking forward to meeting the author at a writers conference in Canberra in a couple of weeks.
I really enjoyed this book, I read it in one day, barely stopping to do anything else
Susan Young
Jan 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Current topic, well written enjoyable romance.
Lesley Moseley
Oct 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Not my favourite style. Easy reading.
Jun 01, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: book-club
Yawn. Is it over yet? Thankfully yes. I'm not quite sure how this book is classified as "romantic suspense". Sure I get the romantic part - there's the prerequisite future true love couple who are both introduced early on, one of whom does the hate you side of the relationship while the other does the whole brooding hero with a heart of gold side. Typical and eye roll worthy but understandable. It's the suspense part I don't get. For long stretches nothing happens, except pages of expository cha ...more
Rowena Holloway
Feb 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Half Moon Bay is the fourth novel from award winning romantic-suspense author, Helene Young. It explores the sandy underbelly of the small coastal town of Half Moon Bay, and two adversaries irresistibly drawn together and into danger.

Photo journalist, Ellie Wilding, is pitted against ex-army major, Nicholas Lawson, in a fight over and impending development in Half Moon Bay. Their battle is infused with sexual tension, yet Ellie is still dealing with the death of her journalist sister, Nina, shot
Feb 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: aww2014
I have owned Helene Young's first book for several years now. I bought it after hearing the author speak at ARRC and instantly bought it on the back of that. Of course, buying a book is lot different to actually reading the book and even more different to reviewing it. Alas, it therefore sits on my bookshelf still unread.

Fast forward to Valentine's Day and I once again was lucky enough to hear Helene Young speak as part of a romantic suspense panel at our local Sisters in Crime chapter. I was f
Jenn J McLeod
Jan 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Half Moon Bay is Full On

Hélène Young doesn't do anything by halves and Half Moon Bay—the latest addition to her shelf of award-winning bestsellers—is no exception.

For lovers of romantic suspense, this book has it all by the bucket-load. Hélène takes readers to the other side of the world to show us the dusty and often deadly streets of Afghanistan and then back to the very beautiful Half Moon Bay (a small beachside town I could really relate to.) It is that very beauty that local girl and career
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After 28 years as an airline captain in Australia, Helene Young has swapped the sky for the sea to go in search of adventure with her husband aboard their sailing catamaran. The rural and remote places she visits, along with the fascinating people she meets, provide boundless inspiration for her novels. Her strong interest in both social justice and the complexity of human nature shapes the themes ...more

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“Thanks, Ms Wilding.’

She raised one eyebrow. ‘Who?’

‘You must be Tom’s daughter, the photographer. You look like him. A prettier version, sexy, even.’ His laugh was a smoky rumble as he spun on his heel.

‘Don’t presume to know anything about me, Mr Lawson.’

He hefted his pack and strode away, power in the length of stride.”
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