Down Under

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Charming the outback by Leesa Bow

untitled (10)“When jaded city girl Maddy McIntyre packs up and leaves Adelaide for a new job in the country, it’s not only a chance at a fresh start. Six months ago, the first guy she’d ever loved shattered her heart before moving home to Broken Hill. Deep down inside, Maddy is hoping that living in the same town will give her an opportunity to prove to Luke that she’s one temptation he can’t resist.

But when she arrives in Broken Hill, Luke White is not the same guy she knew in the city. And it soon seems very clear that he doesn’t want her there. Although Maddy settles in quickly, excelling at work and partying with her new friends, she can’t understand why Luke is remaining so distant. Particularly when all her instincts are telling her that they’re meant to be together – and that he feels the same burning attraction.

As Maddy learns more about Luke’s family and background, she begins to understand that his mixed messages are caused by balancing what’s expected of him with what he really wants. Maddy gave Luke her heart long ago and, despite their differences, she knows she’ll only ever be happy with her hot country boy. But how can she convince him that she’s the risk he needs to take?

****

“Charming the outback” is the second book in this series that started with “Winning the player”, but because of Leesa Bow’s extraordinary talent, it can be read as a stand alone. In this novel, Leesa Bow really delves into Luke and Maddy’s psyche and get to see how their dynamic really ticks.

I love the new country setting, and Broken Hill could not be more vivid. The descriptions of country life are so vivid, I feel as if I have been there myself.

Charming the outback is tender story about forgiveness, redemption, and second chances. Maddy helps Luke unpack his emotional baggage and helps him move on with his life. I thought it was very touching because Maddy’s love for him was unselfish and unconditional. I sighed so many times in delight.

Leesa Bow’s books keep getting better and better, I can’t recommend her novels high enough and I cant wait to see what she comes up with next.

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17475783Talk of the town: Ella by Carolyn Butler

“The first time Ella Turner told Sid she was going to marry him she was four years old. She told him again when she was thirteen. When he came back to Cedar Dell after eleven years in the Army, his indifference hurt.

Sid Bennett thought Ella was cute at four. At seven he thought her annoying. Once a woman, she scared him, she pressed his buttons and put him in his place. But deep down he knew Ella was the one, what he hadn’t expected was that she had waited for him. ”

18397425Talk of the town: Lilly by Carolyn Butler

“Lilly Turner is happy with her life as Manager of her father’s hotel the Royal.
Her choice of vocation meets with disapproval from her Grandfather Patterson for he likens her to father’s father, the one-time wayward Pop Turner.

So when Jack Harris turns up, he tests her will power and her rules; never drink alcohol, only employ locals, never get involved with an employee and everything she has worked towards for the past eight years is threatened.

Jack Harris was raised in a hotel in Darwin. His birth certificate reads, father unknown. A builder by trade, he left Darwin in search of his father and was overseas for two years. But Jack is no ordinary drifter living from job to job, meal to meal as he portrays. He is a wealthy man owning several hotels and only stops in at the ‘Royal’ to add it to his collection…that was until he laid eyes on Lilly.

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Talk of the town: Kate by Carolyn Butler

“Kate Turner, Principal of Cedar Dell Public School, has a secret — she is engaged to one man and loves another.

Tanner Rutledge, heir to the Rutledge Corporation takes up a business offer and moves to Cedar Dell. On enrolling his son in the local school he finds himself staring into the golden browns eyes of the woman whose memory has haunted him for the past several months, and he has every intention of picking up where they left off.”

****

Talk of the town is a series of three novellas,  each one is interwoven with the others. Every novella deals with new character, all living in the same Australian town- and each one has a unique and heart warming plot-line.

The series is a light-hearted easy read and perfect for when you want to step outside yourself and have a romantic interlude. The perfect length to tackle in an afternoon and very endearing, I can highly recommend these novellas if you are looking for a coffee break read.

Down Under Resources:

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What’s hot on Steamy puddings this week: 6 days to air

The Naughty Ninjas: Derby Girls

Hearts ‘N Wined: It’s not really a blog, it’s a Facebook page but I absolutely love this page devoted to Western Australian writers. It’s a showcase of the best romance, erotica and chick lit writers in WA and there’s a whole lot of wonderful photographs and competitions.

Here is an interview with Liesl Leighton, who we previously reviewed her dark fantasy book

 

 

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untitled (12)An unsuitable match by Sasha Cottman

“The Favourite Heiress…

Once engaged to the future Duke of Strathmore, the beautiful Lady Clarice Langham now finds herself in the humiliating position of celebrating his marriage – to another woman. As a result of the scandal, it seems her reign as London’s most eligible debutante has come to an end. But things begin to look up when handsome and charming rake David Radley makes it clear that, at least as far as he’s concerned, she’s still the catch of the season.

The Illegitimate Son…

The eldest son of the Duke of Strathmore, David Radley has been raised alongside his father’s legitimate children. But while he is generally received as part of the family, not everyone thinks he should be, and especially not Clarice’s father, the Earl of Langham, who forbids her from having anything to do with him.

An Unsuitable Match…

David’s been in love with Clarice for years, and it isn’t long before the attraction between them develops into something deeper. Yet he senses Clarice is hiding something and until she reveals her secret, she won’t be free to follow her heart. Despite everything, David will not give up on Clarice, not even when another seems set to claim her…

***

Suspense, mystery, scandal and intrigue, “An unsuitable match” is exactly what you have come to love about the period. This high quality tale, whisks you off on an adventure with David and Clarice. There is so much tension between them, that you feel there are destined to be together.

Sasha Cottman also adds her clever observations in the form of wonderful secondary characters, giving the story a touch of levity and humour.

“An unsuitable match” is a fast paced, heart warming romance with a little something extra to make it stand out from the crowd. I adore Sasha Cottman’s work and this new instalment is no exception. I highly recommend.

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untitled (15)Moonstone Obsession by Elizabeth Ellen Carter

Secrets, scandal, and passion…

Selina Rosewall had given up on love, but while helping her brother further his merchant fleet business, she meets Sir James Mitchell, Lord of Penventen. Their attraction is mutual, but what James wants from the relationship goes further—much further—than Selina could have expected. And she learns that in the world of the Ton, scandal and deceit are commonplace.

For Sir James Mitchell, Lord of Penventen, it’s hard to say which is more dangerous: being a spy or being considered husband material by the Ladies of the Ton. With political machinations threatening to draw England into the violent wake of the French Revolution, the last thing James expected was to fall in love with Selina Rosewall, daughter of an untitled seafaring family. But when James’ investigation stirs up a hornet’s nest, can he protect Selena from danger that threatens her very life? “

****

After reading this book, the only thing I could say was, wow! Moonstone Obsession has now become my favourite book.

Although it is categorised as Historical romance, this book is anything but that. The historical research that went into to this novel is astonishing. I really felt like I was part of the action.

Elizabeth Ellen Carter creates this beautiful world of intrigue, mystery and romance, that made this book impossible to put down. Wonderful characters, wonderful plot – just a sheer delight to read.

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untitled (13)The woman on the painted horse by Angela Christina Archer

“Alexandra Monroe is a slave smuggler, smuggling slaves north where they can live as free people. Her crime is sedition and her punishment, if caught, is death. The daughter of one of the wealthiest men in Montgomery, Alexandra lives a life not by her own accord, but a life she willingly accepts for her secret quest to save the lives of slaves.
One afternoon, Alexandra comes face-to-face with handsome William Graysden. Although forbidden for his Creek Indian heritage, he captivates her. They fascinate one another, and ultimately find in each other a bond they don’t wish to ignore. After a series of events, however, William must face the choice to continue the dangerous pursuit of Alexandra’s affections or forget about her. “

****

The woman on the painted horse is a brave novel that tackles some pretty hefty issues. The topic of the horrors of slavery is often avoided but Angela Christina Archer handles it beautifully. I found this book to be thought-provoking because of the empathy the author lends to the situations. The historical details are accurate and you really have the feeling that this book is a labour of love.

With the main issues mentioned, this novel is so much more. The love story at its core is heart warming and addictive.

The woman on the painted horse is a wonderful novel about hope, love and doing what is right regardless of the consequences. I really was moved by this novel and am giving it five stars.

divider-NEWRegency Masquerade by Vera Loy

untitled (16)“As a gambler’s daughter, Frances was resigned to spending her life masquerading as a boy, learning how to shoot a pistol and fight with a sword. Constantly moving from town to town, it was far safer than being a girl. But when her father dies suddenly, she must pack her bags and return to England, to search for the family she has never met.
Hoping to find her place at last, the last thing Frances expects is that she will need to continue the masquerade – or risk her life and her heart. An old fashioned regency romance. “

****

Regency masquerade is an incredibly fun regency romp. It was the kind of intelligent adventure that would make Henry Fielding proud. It was a sheer joy to read. There are also many twists and turns, that you can never anticipate what is to come next. Full of witty banter and one liners, the cleverness of this book shines out.

I honestly think I need to read this book again because I am sure I missed out on some of the truly cunning subtlety the first time. Vera Loy didn’t so much as write this novel, she crafted it, and the results encompass all the bawdiness and intrigue of the Regency era perfectly.

untitled (5)“See where love takes you”

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