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”

Down Under

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untitledRed Dirt Duchess by Louise Reynolds

“When English society playboy Jonathan Hartley-Huntley is sent to outback Australia after a disastrous affair with his editor, all he wants is to take a few pictures, do a quick interview and get back to his usual life of luxury as soon as possible. Until he meets his host, the irresistible Charlie Hughes, and suddenly the back of beyond is a lot more appealing.

Running the pub is a labour of love for Charlie and she has no desire to ever leave the tiny town of Bindundilly. That is, until Jon discovers an old painting that raises questions about both their lives. Charlie impulsively decides to follow him to London, and as the feelings between them begin to deepen, she starts to wonder if there’s more to life than the pub. But at Jon’s family home, the magnificent Hartley Hall, they become acutely aware of the differences between them, and it soon seems clear they have no future together – especially if Jon’s mother has her way.

Family and tradition threaten the course of true love in this warm and witty novel from the author of Outback Bride and Her Italian Aristocrat.”

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Red dirt duchess is a contemporary heart warming tale set in the outback town of Bindundilly and London. This is an exciting tale full of family mystery and romance.

Louise Reynolds’ gorgeous writing brings the outback to life in stunning colours. She also highlighted country life and the daily running of an Australian pub, which I found fascinating.

Charlie  follows Jon back to London and well no spoilers….

I simply adored “Red dirt duchess” and I will be reading more from Louise Reynolds.

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untitled (2)Breaking the Drought by Lisa Ireland

When a smooth-talking, sophisticated city girl comes striding into town on her stiletto heels, he’s the last person who wants to notice…

When Jenna McLean gets roped into attending a matchmaking ball in a small country town, she holds no illusions of meeting the man of her dreams.  A no-nonsense magazine editor, Jenna doesn’t believe in leaving love to chance, which is why she’s developed Marriage Material – a fool-proof framework for husband hunting. Shearers and farmhands need not apply.

Sheep grazier Luke Tanner has met women like Jenna before, and knows not to waste his time. With the drought dragging on and bushfire season around the corner, the last thing he needs is a spoiled city girl like Jenna adding to his problems. He’ll help out with the ball because it’s good for the community, but he won’t dance, he won’t flirt, and he definitely won’t be matched.

It’s been a long dry season, but everyone knows when it rains, it pours.”

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“Breaking the drought” is such a lovely read. It makes true the saying “opposites attract”. Jenna is the typical city girl and Luke is the country boy; and they sure do clash.

While researching “marriage material” Jenna goes to a country match making dance to see if there is some sort of formula to the matches.

At the start, Luke and Jenna have a love/hate thing going on but the hot Australian sun soon heats things up.

Luke is a troubled character, and Lisa Ireland portrays him with such warmth and soul – making him truly irresistible.

Breaking the drought is a wonderful heart warming romance that will leave you with a warm feeling and a smile on your face.

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untitled (5)Prime Deception by Carys Jones

“John Quinn, an investigative journalist on England’s biggest-selling and most notorious tabloid newspaper, is about to write the story of his life – a kiss-and-tell with one of the country’s most powerful men at its heart. But the story dies when Lorna Thomas, the kiss in his kiss-and-tell, kills herself on a quiet country road.

Unable to accept her twin’s suicide, Laurie Thomas follows in her sister’s footsteps to London and to the heart of government. And as she becomes more involved in Lorna’s world, she grows more convinced than ever that Lorna did not take her own life. But if Lorna didn’t kill herself, who did?

divider-NEW“Prime deception” is an enthralling fast paced read that is impossible to put down.

This thriller is beautiful written with some of the best fleshed out characters I have ever read.

Prime deception has so much emotional depth, that the story is layered with Laura’s grief, loss and her inability to believe her twin committed suicide. Firmly believing that Lorna was murdered, Laura sets out on mysterious road to find the answers.

“Prime deception” is a great unforgettable read. I highly recommend.

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untitled (3)What love sounds like by Alissa Callen

“Outback speech pathologist, Mia Windsor, believes her morning from hell is over. Then suited-up, city-boy Kade Reid strides into her office and announces he and his wide-eyed niece are the clients that she will be living with for the fortnight.

Kade Reid adheres to a single edict — money is as important as breathing. But when he becomes an instant father to four-year-old Tilly, he escapes to the only place he was allowed to be a child…the family property of Berrilea.

As Mia and Kade work together to help Tilly overcome her speech delay, can they face their fears in order to give Tilly the family she so desperately needs?”

divider-NEW“What love sounds like” is such a heart warming read; Super charged with emotion. I was instantly charmed by Kade, Mia and Tilly, but most of all with Berrilea.

Alissa Callen brings the outback to life with her gorgeous descriptions of country life. As, well as stunning locations – Alissa Callen brings an unusual story to life with such love and tenderness.

“What sounds like love is a beautiful refreshing read that I highly recommend.

lineuntitled (4)Tracks of the heart by Heather Garside

Three short stories of rural romance that will take you on journeys of heartbreak, terror and a woman’s tentative struggles to reclaim her identity.

Playing With Fire
Lisa is forced to revisit a tortured love affair when she recognises her companions on an outback train journey – an ill-fated family from her past.

Bushwhacked
Brittany’s quest for adventure on an isolated cattle station goes horribly wrong when she and Scott, the head stockman, are abducted on a lonely county road.

Coming Home
Kirsty leaves a destructive marriage to return to her parent’s cattle station, but has to contend with her father’s new manager – the boyfriend she deserted years before in favour of the city.

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Tracks of the heart is three splendid outback stories packed into one small package.

Although the book only runs to forty-four approximate pages- it sure does pack a punch.

Lost love, abduction and facing the past are some of the themes of the stories and each one is emotionally charged.

Tracks of the heart is the perfect coffee break read and it will not disappoint.

 

Down Under Resources:

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What’s hot on Steamy puddings this week: Book Review: How not caring got me a book deal – by Lisa Joy

The Naughty Ninjas: August 8 is… International Orgasm Day

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 a video from Destiny Romance featuring the very talented Sasha Cottman

Hidden Gem Author Spotlight: Darry Frazer

untitled (6)Anything for love by Darry Fraser

“Tilla is the managing director of a temping staff agency who finds herself enmeshed in Kent Taylor’s business world, which includes an IT takeover. When she decides to work in his office as one of his temporary staff members they clash, so she keeps her identity to herself. When they both decide to take a break from their crazy business lives, they have no clue it’s at the same place, in the same house and at the same time, on the isolated north west coast of rugged Australis Island

She tells herself she can’t bear to be near him one moment longer … until they find a way to be together. But when he has to suddenly leave their hideaway and doesn’t give her a backward glance, she realises she shouldn’t have done just anything for love.”

divider-NEWTilla and Kent almost seem destined to be together, fate continuously throws them together at the most unusual times. There is a lot of sexual tension, as they continue to outwardly deny their feelings for each other.

“Anything for love” is a steamy seductive romance that will make you swoon. Set in some of the most gorgeous locations, it is almost like a holiday in written form. Just the perfect book to warm you up on a cold night.

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untitled (12)This forever game by Darry Fraser
“Meg Donovan, your life has passed you by… Then Jarrad Scott bursts on to the scene with a fire in his belly and a big love in his heart, and he just won’t go away. No big deal that you’re older – that’s not gonna stop him – but he’s got no kids … so what do you do if the clock’s ticking and it’s not your clock?

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“This forever game” is an enchanting story with an age difference. So often it is the woman who is in her youth,  but this time it is Danny who the younger man.

This beautifully written novel explores the feminine side of love with all the emotions and apprehensions felt in a new relationship.

Meg’s passions were describes just as it would be in real life. I myself am in a relationship with a younger man and I recognize all the roller coaster of emotions. This book really touched a nerve and kudos to Danny Fraser for writing such a poignant novel.

This book should be dedicated to all those nay-sayers who use words like “cougar” and “toy boy”. “This forever game” is about true love that transcends age or expectation.  Bravo to Darry Fraser for writing such a wonderful sensual quick read.

 

 

 

 

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imagesCAL9F5V2Hidden Mortality by Maggie Munday

“In Bath in 1850 a witch is murdered in a ritual granting longevity to four men. What they are not aware of is that she has bestowed the same power to another called Seth to avenge her death.

Cara is a descendant of the witch and fills her days with food with her Irish-themed catering business. Her nights are another matter; they are full of erotic dreams of a mysterious lover, or nightmares with mutilated bodies. So this wasn’t the best time for her Nana to tell her she is coming into her power.

Of the original four immortals, Vincent is the only one left and to stop his own long life from fading he needs another witch to kill. Seth was meant to protect the witch’s descendants from a distance, but with Cara he can’t stay away. He has to make a choice to love Cara, or avenge the original death and possibly die himself. Cara has the fight of her life on when one man comes to kill her, and another to love her. ”

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As I read this superb Urban Fantasy – I kept saying to myself, “Why haven’t I heard of this book before?” I have no idea because it was fantastic!

The premise of the book: “A witch being hunted by a serial killer that has plagued her family for hundreds of years”

“Hidden Mortality” is so original, it breathes new life into the genre. As well as witches, ghosts and immortals- there is mystery and romance.

This is a must read for any urban fantasy, supernatural/paranormal fan.

 

 

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Down Under

 

cover49665-smallYes Chef by Lisa Joy

New Release: Out July 14th, 2014

“Sassy foodie Becca Stone is over her job taking reservations in one of London’s most successful restaurant empires. So when she is unexpectedly catapulted into working as PA to celebrity chef, Damien Malone, it seems like the opportunity of a lifetime.

Becca is quickly caught up in an exciting whirlwind of travel, reality TV and opening nights, and even her usually abysmal love life takes a turn for the better. But as Becca is slowly consumed by the chaos of life in the spotlight, she begins to lose touch with her friends, her heart and even with reality. Working with Damien has its challenges and she is soon struggling with his increasingly outrageous demands and sleazy advances, all while managing the ridiculous requests of his self-centered wife.  It takes a disastrous trip to Italy for Becca to realize that she may have thrown away exactly what she’s been looking for all along.

Inspired by real-life adventures, this deliciously funny and romantic story reveals a tantalizing glimpse of the trendy restaurant scene: a world where chefs are treated like rock stars, and cooking isn’t all that goes on in the kitchen.”

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“Yes, Chef” is a culinary thrill ride into the world of professional chef’s. If you ever watched and enjoyed one of those Gordon Ramsey restaurant shows on Food Network, then this is one book you should read.

The best part of the book is it’s authenticity, as most of it was based on Lisa Joy’s real experiences in the exciting world of the gourmet empire.

Becca Stone is a great character who is often funny, sassy and holds her own against the her boss from hell, professional chef Damien.

There are some heart warming moments when Becca realizes what she really wants wasn’t what she thought it was and go after her hearts desire- but no spoilers, you will have to find out for yourself.

“Yes, Chef” was thoroughly entertaining book full of jet setting and celebrity chefs. It is a must read for any foodie or romance junkie and laughing out loud is guaranteed.

I devoured this book in one sitting because I could not get enough of it. For me, it was the perfect summer read and I can’t wait to see what Lisa Joy comes up with next.

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The Knight of Castle Kildare by Erin Moira O’Hara
New Release: Out July 16th, 2014

“Modern woman Kate Manning has always been fascinated by Sir Caleb, a fifteenth century knight whose portrait hangs in the mysterious Castle of Kildare. Now the new owner of the castle, Kate finds herself even more drawn to him, until one day the unbelievable happens: Caleb steps out of the portrait.

Frozen in time since a gypsy cursed him hundreds of years ago, Caleb awakens at the touch of the most desirable woman he’s ever seen. Yet to end the curse and free himself from the portrait forever, he must claim the heart of a woman with Romani blood – not this flirtatious blonde who tempts him beyond belief.

As Caleb fights against his growing feelings for Kate, he must also find a way to keep her safe from those obsessed with the castle’s hidden treasure.  There are some willing to do anything to unearth it, no matter who gets in their way…”

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“The Knight of Castle Kildare” is an electrically charged novella with one of the best literary hunks- Sir Caleb. The sexual tension is off the charts, as the heat levels rises to a very steamy level.

Kate’s own Knight literally steps out of history to claim his Romany lover, but is it her?

“The Knight of Castle Kildare” is packed with mystery, intrigue and a whirlwind romance. It is novella length, just right for an afternoon with a glass of wine and some “me” time. It is the perfect treat that will leave you wanting more.

When I finished this book, I sighed blissfully and checked every painting in the house for my own Caleb -with no luck. The only thing I didn’t like about this book was that it ended.

I highly recommend “The Knight of Castle Kildare”, it is a wonderful guilty pleasure.

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Adam’s Boys by Anna Clifton

“Wrong girl — wrong time? Adam’s fling with Abbie just weeks after the death of his wife may have been all wrong, but their time together gave him the strength to return home to his newborn son, Pete, and start their new life together.

Wrong guy — wrong time? Abbie’s fling with Adam may have been all wrong, but their time together gave her Henry, the sunshine in her life, and although Adam is long gone, Abbie can never regret the time they spent together.

But two wrongs don’t necessarily make a right. Adam Cooper is back, and when he learns the truth about his unknown son, he is hell-bent on creating a home and family for his boys, even if it means blackmailing Abbie into taking part.

Abbie has scars from her own tumultuous childhood, and losing Henry would destroy her. But with only mistrust and pain to bind them, can she and Adam ever find a way through regret to love and the family they could be”

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“Adam’s Boys” is an emotionally charged roller coaster ride. What stood out for me, was that this book was so well written, I could empathize with all the characters situations without every having to be in that position myself. This was the first book in a long time that I can remember crying while reading.

There is a lot packed into this short novel and it is a powerhouse of feelings and drama. Besides that, this book is about is about family and redemption. It leaves you with a heart warming feeling of hope and that everything happens exactly how it should.

Do not be fooled by the books length- this is no lightweight novel. If you enjoy heartfelt stories in the vein of Debbie Macomber and Jan Karon, then this book should be at the top of your “to read” list.

“Adam’s boys” delivers everything it promises and pulling on your heart strings is 100% guaranteed.

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Also by Anna Clifton:
Falling for the lawyer by Anna Clifton

Alex Farrer has just one resolution: don’t get sacked by the new boss that day. Enter one knight to rescue her from a run‐in with a pile of mud. But will upending Alex’s entire life be the next job on her knight’s ‘to‐do’ list, whether she likes it or not?
Legal eagle JP McKenzie has just one resolution: never get involved with a woman who won’t stand up for herself. That is until a muddy Alex Farrer lands in his life with a crushingly big mountain of family expectation in tow. So what else is a modern‐day knight to do?

 

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Down Under Resources:

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What’s hot on Steamy puddings this week: Book Review: Interview: Kate Belle, author of The Yearning and Being Jade

The Naughty Ninjas: I forgot day

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.

Today’s tele treat is the classic “All the rivers run”:

 

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WARNING: Both the sample and book contain explicit sex scenes including group sex and bondage. This book is intended for mature readers. Please use your discretion when reading them.

Emma Wilson had no idea that taking on this particular case would change her life. And that’s a good thing, one that she desperately needs. Her days are running into one, exhaustion overtaking her. Desperately lonely but afraid to experience another painful and humiliating breakup, she has thrown herself into work. At 28 she has become a leading environmental lawyer. While her career has taken off, she has little time left for friends and a social life and her sex life is all but non-existent.

At the end of a trial two years in the making she is just looking forward to no longer having to deal with her opposing solicitor, Nicholas Daniels. Since beginning to work as his adversary, she has clashed with him repeatedly. He is cocky, arrogant and demanding and has had to fight him at every turn.

Then she meets him. He immediately sets her body on fire. Trying to put him out of her mind is impossible and she finds herself drawn to him like a moth to the flame. A steamy love affair develops between them quickly, but their passionate romance is tested by Nicholas’ fears and the two greatest challenges of Emma’s life. Will they survive?

Adversaries’ Lust is part one of a three book series. The other titles in the collection are Adversaries’ Pain (part two) and Adversaries’ Love (part three).

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FWG9KEE

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=node%3D341689031&field-keywords=adversaries+lust

Amazon Australia: http://www.amazon.com.au/Adversaries-Lust-Ann-Grech-ebook/dp/B00FWG9KEE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1398134643&sr=8-1&keywords=adversaries+lust

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/adversaries-lust

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WARNING: This book contains explicit sex scenes including bondage and anal sex. This book is intended for mature readers. Please use your discretion when reading it.

Spoiler Alert: Adversaries’ Pain is book 2 in the ‘Adversaries’ trilogy. If you haven’t already read Adversaries’ Lust (book 1) this summary contains spoilers of that book’s plot.

Emma Wilson and Nicholas Daniels have discovered a passion and sensuality in their young relationship, but that happiness is shattered when a life changing event happens to Emma. Emma will use all her strength to attempt to recover her equilibrium but can she succeed?

Nicholas declares his love for Emma and makes a request of her that will have more life-changing ramifications. Can she successfully balance their relationship without losing part of herself, without entirely submitting to his power over her? Can they overcome Nicholas’ sad past to achieve happiness together?

Adversaries’ Pain is part two of a three book series. The other titles in the collection are Adversaries’ Lust (part one) and Adversaries’ Love (part three).

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/B00HE68E5Q

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=node%3D341689031&field-keywords=adversaries+pain

Amazon Australia: http://www.amazon.com.au/Adversaries-Pain-Ann-Grech-ebook/dp/B00HE68E5Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1398134781&sr=8-1&keywords=adversaries+pain

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/adversaries-pain

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WARNING: Both the sample and book contain explicit sex scenes including group sex and bondage. This book is intended for mature readers. Please use your discretion when reading them.

Spoiler Alert: Adversaries’ Love is book 3 in the ‘Adversaries’ trilogy. If you haven’t already read Adversaries’ Lust (book 1) and Adversaries’ Pain (book 2) this summary contains spoilers of the plots from those books.

Emma Wilson and Nicholas Daniels have had a whirlwind romance and discovered love, an explosive sex life and happiness together. After proposing to Emma, Nicholas introduces her to his mother. Mrs Daniels’ reception towards Emma is less than warm, dredging up old ghosts and painful memories for Nicholas. When Nicholas inadvertently reveals a secret that he has been keeping from Emma, her faith in him is shattered, much to his mother’s happiness. Can she move past this so that they can achieve the happily ever after that they have both been dreaming of or will a tragic accident tear them apart permanently?

Adversaries’ Love is part three of a three book series. The other titles in the collection are Adversaries’ Lust (part one) and Adversaries’ Pain (part two).

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Adversaries-Love-Ann-Grech-ebook/dp/B00JCYUW0S/

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Adversaries-Love-Ann-Grech-ebook/dp/B00JCYUW0S/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1398134869&sr=1-1&keywords=adversaries%27+love

Amazon Australia: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00JCYUW0S

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/adversaries-love

Box set: Adversaries’ Lust, Adversaries’ Pain, Adversaries’ Love

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Box-Set-Adversaries-Lust-Pain-ebook/dp/B00KC22N4W

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Box-Set-Adversaries-Lust-Pain-ebook/dp/B00KC22N4W

Amazon Australia: http://www.amazon.com.au/Box-Set-Adversaries-Lust-Pain-ebook/dp/B00KC22N4W

Interview with Ann Grech

Elder Park Book Reviews: What inspired you to write The Adversaries’ series?

Ann Grech: Ever since I was a lil’ tacker (Aussie slang for a kid!), I wanted to be a writer. When the idea came to me for a novel that saw a love story develop between Emma, a solicitor who had buried herself in work to avoid getting her heart broken again, and serial player, Nick, the plot almost wrote itself. Why choose solicitors? In a former life I was a solicitor too – don’t hold it against me! I did the late nights, the weekend work, the stress and the horrible bosses and clients (although I was lucky enough to have some fantastic ones too). So what better job to give my characters than one I did myself?

I love the city I live in, so I wanted to incorporate that into the storyline, hence why the trilogy is located mainly on the Gold Coast. All the places mentioned in the books are real (well, except for a winery that they visit in the third book, which is a shame: it’s the perfect romantic setting).

EPBR: What made you chose Adult as a writing genre?

AG: I was pregnant, suffering from some serious insomnia and needed something to do in the very early hours of the morning to keep me occupied. I picked up a few novels and found myself reading adult fiction.

When I started writing, I gravitated to adult because it’s so different from what I do in my day job as a university lecturer. I love the connections between the main characters, I love the happily ever afters and I love the intensity and excitement of the scenes in adult romance. I wanted to capture that in my writing.

          EPBR: What are you working on next?

 

AG:I have started the ‘Delectable’ Series. The first two books are spin offs from The Adversaries’ Series telling the story of characters that were introduced in those books. Book 1, Delectable, is about Katy (Nick’s cousin), her boyfriend Levi and their best friend Connor. Book 2, Delicious, is about Robyn and Mike (Emma and Nick’s best friends). I have a bunch of other books bubbling away in my mind that I’ll need a lifetime to write them all down. But, I will keep plugging away (and the list will keep growing!).

You can sign up to my newsletter on my website www.anngrech.com for updates on what I’m working on, or if you’re a real sucker for punishment and want to hear what I’m up to more regularly, you can follow me on Facebook!

 

 

untitled (5) The Down Under feature is brought to you by Destiny Romance. Please visit their site for your new favourite Australian authors, news and competitions. Don’t forget to listen to their awesome podcast. The link can be found in the resources portion of the post.

G’day mates!

 

 

 

 

Down Under

 

untitledBe my Baby by Laura Greaves

“Ambitious Australian Anna Harding seems to have it all: a glamorous job as a gossip columnist, and a beautiful home in London that she shares with her gorgeous boyfriend, Finn Cassidy. Her only problem is her regular run-ins with their neighbor Luke, who is furious about Anna’s internet shopping constantly being delivered to his place by mistake.

When her flighty best friend Helena winds up pregnant, Anna agrees to be godmother – despite her aversion to children. But then Finn announces he’s moving to Belfast for a great job in television and Helena takes off to Scotland – leaving baby Ivy behind. Suddenly Anna’s perfect life is in pieces as she tries to juggle the baby, her job and a long-distance relationship.

Will Finn wake up to himself and return home or will he be swayed by the charms of his seductive producer? Will the irresponsible Helena finally sort herself out with the help of her eccentric great aunt? And will Anna’s life ever be the same, especially after Luke’s unexpected response to the chaos unleashed next door?

Nothing is certain in this entertaining and moving tale about the relationships that matter most. ”

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What struck me about this book was the honesty of the characters. Nothing was sugar coated or dressed up for appearances sake. The motives and the choices of all three main characters make are probably closer to reading someone’s mind who was in that situation, than fiction.

The fact it was written in the first person really allowed you to peer into the characters psyche and understand their thought processes. Anna and Helena are flawed and rather selfish people, who make decisions based on what is best for them. It might not make them truly likeable but it makes them real.

I myself am guilty of saying in my head “Oh no Anna, you should have done this” but it is easy to judge from the outside. That is the hallmark of a very well written book, you don’t have to agree with everything that is being done but you understand why it is happening.

Be my baby isn’t a traditional chick-lit/romance novel, it is more of a social commentary and insight into how the 20-30 year old mind thinks today.

I enjoyed Be my baby immensely. It was funny, well written, and honest. If I knew these characters in real life chances are I’d have to stop myself from knocking their heads together at times, but that is life.

Laura Greaves succeeded in making her characters human and charming in their flaws. Be my baby is thoroughly engrossing and often thought provoking. I highly recommend adding this book to your summer reading list. It is the perfect pool side book.

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untitled (2)The love deception by Jennifer St.George

“When Felicity Carter wakes up naked in a strange bed, she has no idea how she got there. And no recollection of meeting the gorgeous man calmly offering her breakfast. Shocked and embarrassed, Felicity flees – hoping that their paths never cross again.

The last thing she expects is to discover that her mystery man is Damon Fullbright, partner at the law firm where Felicity has just started work – and her new boss! Damon is appalled to find the young woman he rescued has been hired to work on his team. Apart from anything else, he doesn’t need the distraction.

Despite their early misconceptions, their appreciation for each other – both personally and professionally – begins to grow. But when Damon discovers what Felicity’s been hiding, how will he ever trust her again?

A gripping romance that combines courtroom intrigue with a dash of Barbados, The Love Deception is the latest book from Jennifer St George. ”

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The love deception is a fast paced charming romance. I found the back story of the legal case quite fascinating and very well researched. It gave the book a good grounding and set the stage for the intrigue between Felicity and Damon nicely. The balance between sexual tension and steam was perfect.

Damon is great character, he is handsome, smart and very sexy. He definitely was able to keep Felicity on her feet.

The love deception is a finely crafted romance novel that is hard to put down once started. I can highly recommend this book to anyone who likes romance books with some added zing.

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Down Under Resources:

What’s hot on Steamy puddings this week: Book Review: Interview: Kate Belle, author of The Yearning and Being Jade

The Naughty Ninjas:  Instructions for observing World Sauntering Day

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.

Down Under

 

wpid-wp-1400584537239.pngStar Attraction by Vanessa Stubbs

“Can you really fall in love with the whole world watching?

He’s the most famous and most desired man in the world. She’s a hard-news journalist trying to keep her job. When Sydney girl Madison Edwards is sent to interview Hollywood heartthrob Jamie Hall, as far as she’s concerned it’s an embarrassing blot on her credibility. As far as Jamie is concerned, Madison is just one of the thousands of people who want a piece of him. They both turn out to be wrong.

When an unimaginable attraction develops between them, they’re momentarily blinded. Could it be true love or just the glare of the paparazzi’s flashbulbs?

Star Attraction is a deliciously seductive story of our times, about celebrity and stardom – and about finding something real and true, even when the whole world is watching.

This is a stellar debut by an industry insider who’s interviewed celebrities, attended red carpet events and glimpsed behind the velvet ropes. ”

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I was blown away by this page turner. To be totally honest, I was expecting a shallow, designer label, celebrity-fest. I was so glad I was wrong.

Althought the book is set in that world, there is so much more. Vanessa Stubbs creates characters that are so real, you empathize with them immediately. You may not know what it is like to be a film star like Jaime, but we all have been insecure about something and had to find a way through self doubt.

Vanessa Stubbs really taps into the male psyche and shows that men, underneath their egos are just as vulnerable as women.

Madison expressed her own anxieties through her dialogue with Lucy and as a result, Madison comes across as complex , driven and very likeable.

Star Attraction is one of the best romance books I have read this year. If you are looking for a romance with emotional complexities and a bit of gravitas- then look no further. I highly recommend “Star Attraction”. Vanessa Stubbs début has stellar quality and I can not wait to see what this new up and coming author writes next.

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wpid-wp-1400584455832.jpegSmall Town Storm by Elise Ackers

“Nineteen years after a devastating crime almost killed her, Erica Lawrence has returned home. In the small mountain town of Olinda, her story is legend. And now everyone knows she’s back, including top cop and childhood best friend, Jordan Hill, the first and only person to ever touch her guarded heart.

When a woman goes missing and her body is found brutally murdered, fear swallows the town. And suspicion soon turns on Olinda’s newest resident: Erica. As the cop in charge of the murder investigation, Jordan has to face the awful truth that the prime suspect is the woman he always swore to protect. While Jordan and Erica struggle with their feelings for one another, the murders mount up and the tension grows. Not only that, but Erica has a dark secret that she’ll do anything to stop Jordan from finding out…

Small Town Storm is a gripping read that captures the intensity and passion of first love and the terror of a town where trust has broken down. This is the unforgettable story of a lifelong romance, and of an innocent childhood tainted by evil that won’t let go. ”

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“Small town storm” is a captivating read. Erica returns home after an long absence. What happened to her when she was last home is shocking and slightly disturbing. Erica shows fortitude and inner strength by returning home to obtain some closure.

I really admired Erica. Even though she went through some pretty horrible things, she never became a victim and is the perfect embodiment of the phrase “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger”.

Erica’s past comes back to haunt her when no sooner has she arrived home, a woman is murder and all fingers point to her. The sense of a community becoming unravelled and all trust breaking down slowly adds menace to the situation.

As well as being an unparalleled mystery thriller, Small town Storm also explores the relationship between Erica and Jordan. Their tender romance asks the question “Does true love ever die or just waits for the right moment again?”

What I can’t understand about this books, is why I haven’t heard of it until now. This beautifully crafted novel should be up there with the likes of Nora Roberts and Heather Graham. “Small Town Storm” is Australian noir at its best . It is truly undiscovered gem that blends mystery, thriller and romance together to make the perfect novel. If you only buy one book this summer- then make this the one. Five stars is not enough to express how much I enjoyed this book.

Now am exclusive interview with Elise K. Ackers:

Elder Park: What inspired you to write romantic suspense?

Elise K. Ackers: The genre didn’t come to me so much as the story did – two kids caught in the middle of something dark and desperate, who grow up to face it all again. Small Town Storm challenges family assumptions and gives weight to small town relationships. As I wrote Jordan and Erica’s story, I found myself drawn into the complexity and drama of the genre; red herrings, subterfuge, and mystery – it was a lot of fun to create and shape.
EPBR: Would you consider your books to be set in a more rural location than city? If so- what is the appeal of small town life for you?

EKA: Small Town Storm is set in a mountain town east of Melbourne in Australia, Unforgettable in Melbourne city. Ask Me to Stay is a collection of novellas set in a rural town west of Sydney – I like trying different settings. They provide such diverse opportunities for character interactions and reader mood. But I do find myself often drawn to small town life. The close relationships of townspeople who’ve known each other most of their lives, the dynamics of newcomers and long-standing locals… It’s fascinating to me.

EPBR: what are you working on next?EKA: I’ll be travelling overseas for the next few months, and I’ll be writing about some of the places and things I’ll be seeing and doing. I’ve outlined a contemporary romance and will be layering in the details and  settings as I travel. I’m very excited about capturing different cultures and adventures.

EPBR:  You have some great accolades-tell me about what it means to you to be shortlisted/nominated/awarded for these honoursEKA: It’s a wonderful recognition for hard work, and obviously a confidence boost – but these awards helped me get off the slush-pile, so I owe all the organizers a great deal of thanks. I had some of these accolades when I pitched to Penguin, my first publisher, and I believe it helped to get their attention. I encourage all new writers to enter writing competitions, and I appreciate all of the groups who run them. They really help.
 
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Catch of the Day by Carla Caruso

“After a regrettable incident at the office Christmas party, up-and-coming fashion editor, Winnie Cherry, is banished to coastal South Australia to set up a beach lifestyle magazine – 300km from nowhere.

Her friends joke that she’ll marry a rich cray fisherman and stay there for good, but Winnie has other ideas. Determined to get back to Sydney within two months, she gets to work and starts counting down the days. Until she meets handsome freelance photographer Alex Bass, and sparks begin to fly.

As Winnie is increasingly drawn into the close-knit local community, she starts to question whether city life is really what she wants. That is, until Alex drops a bombshell that casts dark storm clouds over all her coastal dreams… ”

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Catch of the day is a delightful city girl in the country story with all the fish out of water gaffs that you could think of.

Winnie starts to re-evaluate her city ideals as she falls in love with Kingston, Alex and the comforting country pace of life.

Catch of the day is a delicious slow building romance that is hear warming as well as entertaining. Alex is such a wonderful character, I think I am a little bit in love.

Carla Caruso pulls out all the stops with her gorgeous coastal South Australia setting and really makes her old fashioned romance as timeless as the sea itself. Carla Caruso’s wonderful writing evokes the sound of the waves crashing and sand between your toes.

Catch of the day is 100% pure escapism and will not disappoint.

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Winning the Player by Leesa Bow

“When injury destroyed her dream of playing college basketball, Aubree Taylor fled overseas. Now she’s finally home again and ready to move on with her life. Until she runs into Hunter Stone on her first night out, the only guy who’s ever meant anything to her – and the last person she wants to see.

Since she ran out on him two years ago, Hunter hasn’t been able to get Aubree off his mind. The sexy football star has had girls all over him for years, but Aubree is the only one to have ever seen behind the cocky persona he puts on for the crowd.

Despite her attempts to keep her distance, Aubree is unable to resist the strong attraction between them and it isn’t long before they fall into a passionate relationship. She has never been afraid of a challenge, but Hunter’s arrogance and inablity to trust are testing her to her limits. Aubree must decide whether to follow her heart and lower her guard…or risk losing the best thing that’s ever happened to her.”

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I have to admit that I wasn’t too sure about this book. I don’t like sports and the idea of a sporty romance seemed a bit daunting. Leesa Bow won me over however. There is so much in “Winning the player” It is more about overcoming and maturing than it is about actual sports.

To me it was more about the emotional complexities about being an athlete and how the sport becomes an identifiable part of your identity.

Aubree really grows through the course of the novel as a person and offers some great inspirational wisdom. Her mother is a wonderful character and I some times wish I had someone like her on my side.

Winning the player is a wonderful New adult début full of family drama and acceptance. Even if you aren’t sporty like me, this delightfully fun romance will win you over too.

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Down Under Resources:

What’s hot on Steamy puddings this week: Book Review: The Playboy’s Dark Secret By Madeline Ash

The Naughty Ninjas: June 4th is hug your cat day.

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.

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untitled (4)The Border Laird’s Bride by Allison Butler

“To fulfil his father’s dying wish, border laird Jamie Graham must marry and sire a legitimate heir. But his marriage will be one of convenience, for he has vowed never to open his heart to betrayal. While guarding his cattle from thieves, Jamie catches the spirited daughter of a neighbouring laird stealing his horse. Despite viewing an arranged marriage as a death sentence,  feisty Kenzie Irvine has no choice but to wed the domineering Jamie. But she has sworn an oath never to bring a child into an uncaring world. And Kenzie also has a dark secret she has no intention of giving away –  even if she finds herself her on the wrong side of the law…”

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This was the best Historical Scottish Romance I ever read. I loved that Kenzie was feisty and didn’t just roll over and do what was expected of her. She was a very courageous character who knew her own mind and wasn’t looking after her own comforts but wanted to make a difference to her clan. I was so impressed that she was a scrapper and ready to throw down for her beliefs- it is a refreshing change from the swooning maidens who just want to be whisked off their feet.

Alison Butler is a incredible author that created some of the most memorable complex characters that have so much depth- they almost seem like real people. I found myself talking to the book as I was so wrapped up in the story, it felt like the story was a living thing unfolding in my time and not a predetermined stack of words on paper.

The Border Laird’s bride is the thinking woman’s historical romance. Love is portrayed tenderly and realistically; it has to be based on a foundation and not a thunder bolt from the sky.

Alison Butler creates a Scottish story that is on par with Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander and a truly unique historical romance. I can highly recommend The Border Laird’s Bride for hours of unrelenting entertainment that will stay with you long after the book is finished.

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The Mystical Bond, the Fatal Allure … of Hunter & Prey

Misunderstood seventeen year old Lila Crain unwillingly moves to the foreboding town of Shade, prepared to face her punishment – Shade High. But she can’t begin to anticipate the life-altering events that lie in wait for her.

The dark and charismatic Reid has a wolfish grin and amber eyes that would make any girl blush and he has his sights set on the new girl in school.
Reid’s stunning friends – including icy top dog Sam – invite Lila into their clique. Suspicious, yet flattered by their attention she answers the intriguing call like a moth to a flame.

Thrillingly introduced to the local nightlife by the enigmatic group, Lila finally feels like she belongs. But her newly found friendships threaten to turn sour when she unwittingly develops feelings for the leader’s off-limits boyfriend, Sky.
Tensions rise further when a quirky local named Cresida warns Lila to stay away from the clique at all costs.

Undeterred, she is irresistibly drawn to uncover the truth behind their mysterious lifestyle.
Lila unwittingly starts off a chain of events that will forever alter fate for both hunter and hunted as she learns they have been waiting for her… ”

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“Wolf Sirens is a totally unique YA read. I was intrigued by Tina Smith’s Wolf mythos and found it rather refreshing to have some new life breathed into shifter lore.

Tina Smith captures what it is like to be a teenager perfectly. The peer pressure and need for acceptance is so evident and never patronizing. Lila is a very vulnerable character since moving to Shade and some times doesn’t handle certain situations too wisely- but that is what being a teen is all about.

Wolf Sirens is a great start to a series and has so many new twists and turns, as Lila finds out more about her new friends. It is also a voyage of discovery for Lila as well.

I really enjoyed Wolf Sirens and I found once I started to read, I couldn’t put it down. I thought it was great supernatural novel packed with plenty of action, a hint of romance and teen angst. Fans of “Blood and Chocolate” will devour this book, like I did.

I am looking forward to reading the other titles in this series to see how Tina Smith unfolds her story and to see what surprises she has in store for us.

 

Down Under: Georgina Penney

 

unforgetUnforgettable You by Georgina Penney

“After months working on an oil rig in the Atlantic Ocean, engineer Jo Blaine can’t wait to get home. Her job is tough, and she is desperate for some long overdue girl time. The last thing Jo needs when she walks through her front door is to find a strange man staying in her house. When she learns that her uninvited guest is none other than Stephen Hardy, she’s tempted to head straight back out to sea.

Stephen has always felt guilty for the part he played in ruining Jo’s life years earlier and immediately jumps at the chance to make things up to her by looking after her apartment and her giant cranky cat. It takes some fast talking, but Jo is finally convinced to let him stay. And by the time she leaves for her next shift at work, they’re both eagerly anticipating her return.

But as they grow closer, it soon becomes clear Jo is hiding something about her past that is coming back to haunt her. After a lifetime of taking care of herself and her sister Amy, Jo isn’t used to sharing her problems, especially when they involve her messy family history. But when threats start to escalate, Jo must decide whether to trust Stephen before her stubborn independence places them all at risk. “

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“Unforgettable you” is the prequel to “Irrepressible you”, where we were first introduced to the sisters, Amy and Jo. Amy is the wild child with her 1950’s pin-up flare and Jo is the sensible, oil rig worker with stoic charm and sensible shoes.

In “Unforgettable you”, it explores Jo’s vulnerable side. She is much more sensitive than her tomboy appearance lets on. Jo meets Stephen when she returns home on leave from her oil rig and runs into to Stephen after many years and a lot of water under the bridge.

Their romance heats up and blossoms into true love. Stephen brings out all those hidden emotions that Jo has spent most of her adult life suppressing. There are some unsettling family issues but Georgina Penney tackles them with realism and tact.

Jo and Stephen were a corner-stone couple in “Irrepressible you”. It is wonderful to hear their story, and see how they got from an awkward start to the rock solid couple they became. You don’t have to read “Irrepressible you” to enjoy “Unforgettable you”-  it is a stand alone novel in many way. It is recommended that you do read Irrepressible you because it is very enjoyable.

As always, Georgina Penney infuses her outrageous humour and style to create the most unforgettable characters. The only problem I found with these books is, which one I loved more!

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ireIrrepressible You by Georgina Penney

“You don’t become a notorious British celebrity without rubbing a few people the wrong way, which is why writer and comedian Ben Martindale has decamped to Australia until the latest media frenzy dies down.

When he meets Amy Blaine, a perky blonde who dresses like a 1950s pin-up girl, he knows he’s hit the satirical jackpot. He begins to fill his weekly London column with snarky observations about her life, clothes, and even their most intimate moments. It doesn’t occur to him that Amy, who is letting her guard down for the first time in her adult life, might be upset – after all, it’s hilarious, and his readers love her!

It isn’t until Amy discovers the extent of his betrayal that Ben begins to realise just how badly he’s cocked up the best thing that ever happened to him. But is it too late?”

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pinupSet in the sunny port city of Perth, Australia, this stunning debut has style. I loved Amy. I thought she was funny cute, sassy and clever. I am a big fan of the 1950’s style of dress and wished I had her wardrobe.

Everything has such personality in this book, from the outdoor plumbing to Gerald, the dog and his testicle implants.

There are plenty of false starts for Ben and Amy and at times it feels as if someone poured a bucket of water over you. When they do get together it is very saucy. In all honesty, it is racy but it is done tastefully. I blushed myself a few times, and needed a cold shower by the time it was over.

This book is a breath of fresh air and I highly recommend to anyone who is looking for an out of the ordinary story with loads of style.

 

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Down Under Resources:

New on Naughty Ninja’s : “Win not one but two books!”

Not to miss on Steamy Puddings: “The War On Waxing The Weasel: Why is masturbation so taboo (still) in romance?”

Don’t forget to listen to the Bookish Tarts Podsnuggle, we got a mention !

Elder Park Books is happy to announce a new feature, Hot Down Under.  It is a great new showcase for the more Spicer adult books and today is the first post featuring Kate Belle.

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hotdoenYearning lo res

The Yearning by Kate Belle:

It’s 1978 in a country town and a dreamy fifteen year old girl’s world is turned upside down by the arrival of the substitute English teacher. Solomon Andrews is beautiful, inspiring and she wants him like nothing else she’s wanted in her short life.

Charismatic and unconventional, Solomon easily wins the hearts and minds of his third form English class. He notices the attention of one girl, his new neighbour, who has taken to watching him from her upstairs window. He assumes it a harmless teenage crush, until the erotic love notes begin to arrive.

Solomon knows he must resist, but her sensual words stir him. He has longings of his own, although they have nothing to do with love, or so he believes. One afternoon, as he stands reading her latest offering in his driveway, she turns up unannounced. What they choose to do next will haunt them until they meet again twenty five years later. Read an extract.

Available to purchase at :AmazonKoboiTunesBarnes and Noble

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kate-o'donnell-8Now an exclusive interview with the author of the Yearning, Kate Belle:

EPBR: What inspired you to write The Yearning?

KB: The Yearning began life as a series of half written (badly written) and fairly pointless short stories. I used to write in short bursts, capturing a single disembodied scene at a time. When I decided to take my writing more seriously I gathered all these random bits together and a theme began to emerge: a woman who craved to be reunited with a lover, who was tortured by unrequited passion. This was something I felt was important to write about as so many people have a story about the ‘love that got away’ or the ‘love that could have been’.

Over four years I drew the threads of the stories together and filled in the gaps. I developed the character of the woman, who remains nameless throughout the entire book, and the philandering, free-spirited man she falls for (who happens to be her teacher).

So many women fall into the trap of falling for the charms of an older, experienced man when they are young. At the time it’s exhilarating, but it often ends in tears – usually the young woman’s. While the fantasy of the perfect lover is enticing, the mark these relationships leave on women can affect the rest of their lives. I wanted to explore the boundaries between sex, desire and love, and the power young women hold over older men (she is the one who actively seduces him). The Yearning also raises the question of ‘age of consent’. The protagonist in The Yearning is of consenting age when she loses her virginity to Solomon Andrews, but she is in no way ready to embark on a mature, fully sexual relationship. It was an interesting book to write and has inspired many questions for those who read it.

EPBR: What made you chose Erotica as a writing genre?

KB: I didn’t so much choose Erotica as my genre as that’s where my work fits. The truth is my work crosses genres and is hard to slot into just one. The Yearning has shades of New Adult, Erotica and general Women’s Fiction.

I like to write about the secrets people have, the inner struggles we keep to ourselves because we are too ashamed to talk about them. Sex, desire, love are aspects of our lives and selves often kept private, so my interest is naturally drawn to those topics.

I also think there is too much emotionless sex in books. I want write the kind of love scenes I like to read, to see the love put back into ‘making love’. I draw a lot from Trantric and Taoist practices so my writing focuses more on making love than sex. I enjoy exploring what goes on emotionally when we feel that incredible pull toward another human being, the dominating attraction to a beloved, the longing to possess a lover as our own. I love emotional intensity so that’s what I write about.

EPBR: You were nominated for a ARRA award, what did that honour mean to you?

KB: The Australian Romance Readers Association is a volunteer run, not-for-profit group of romance lovers based in Australia (of course!). Members are a combination of readers and writers and the organisation is hugely supportive of Australian romance authors and the romance genre in general. The group is very active. They have a great blog with release day posts, reviews, interviews and author guest posts. They host a convention every two years and member nominated annual awards for the best romance books in 12 categories.

I’m so pleased that The Yearning was nominated (along with about 10 other books) for Best Erotic Romance in 2013. This is a great honour because the nomination came from readers, ARRA members themselves. It means that the romance community loved the book enough to nominate it out of the dozens, sometimes hundreds, of books they read in 2013. I’m very grateful they selected my book as one worthy of a nomination. For a debut novel, I couldn’t have asked for more.

being_jade_COVER_HI_res smallEPBR:What are you working on next?

KB: My second novel, Being Jade, will be released in Australia/New Zealand on 1 June 2014. It’s a very different book to The Yearning, more contemporary women’s fiction with erotic themes than erotica. Again, it is about love, sex and desire, but this time from the inside of an unusual marriage between very ordinary Banjo and his extraordinary artist wife, Jade. Here’s the blurb:

A tragic death. A family divided. One truth can set them free.

Banjo Murphy is killed on the night he finally walks away from his wife Jade after twenty five years of adultery. In the aftermath, Banjo is bewildered to discover he still exists, and in despair he watches Jade collapse into deep depression and his daughters, Lissy and Cassandra, struggle with their unexpected loss.

Lissy is tortured by the mystery surrounding her father’s death. What compelled Banjo to leave the night he died? Why won’t Jade talk about what happened? Despite their volatile relationship, Lissy believes her parents’ love to be enduring, but sensible Cassandra sees things differently. When Cassy discovers a sketch book chronicling Jade’s affairs, the truth of their parents’ relationship begins to unfold and Lissy’s loyalties are divided.

Searching for answers, Lissy contacts Jade’s ex-lovers. Watching from afar, Banjo aches as he discovers what these men meant to Jade – until Lissy’s quest with Jade’s long line of lovers uncovers an explosive truth …

One that will finally set her family free.”

The good news is that Being Jade is doing the rounds in the US at the moment looking for a potential publisher. With a bit of luck she might make it to your shores in the near future.

I’m also working on an erotic romance series titled Master of Love. It features a Don Juan type of character, the hot-blooded and charismatic Ramon Mendez, a masterful lover of women. I’m hoping to have that series finished and with a publisher by the end of this year.

Kate Belle Author Bio

Kate is a multi-published author of dark, sensual love stories that will mess with your head. Her interests include talking to strangers, collecting unread books, objectifying men much younger than her and ranting about the world’s many injustices. She blogs regularly about women, relationships, sexuality and books on The Ecstasy Files (and anywhere else who’ll have her). She is also the creator of the Eros in Action writing sex workshop.

Kate lives, writes and loves in Melbourne with her small family and very annoying pets. The Yearning was released in 2013 to rave reviews. Being Jade is her second novel.

You can contact Kate via:
Blog/website | http://www.ecstasyfiles.com

Facebook | http://www.facebook.com/katebelle.x

Twitter | @ecstasyfiles https://twitter.com/ecstasyfiles

Goodreads | http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6572571.Kate_Belle

The Reading Room | http://www.thereadingroom.com/kate-belle/ap/2394119

I hope you enjoyed our first Hot Down Under post, I know I did- There will be another one in two weeks. Next week is a special paranormal Down Under, so join us then.

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garsideBreakaway Creek by Heather Garside

Two city women – a century apart – find love and adventure with rugged men in the Queensland outback.
Two love stories; two parallel lives; two destinies.
Set in the 19th and 21st centuries, Heather Garside’s debut novel is a passionate rural romance of love and its consequences.
Shelley and Emma are separated by time but bound by a dark secret to a place called Breakaway Creek.
Betrayed by her long-term boyfriend, Shelley Blake has fled the city to return to her home town. Her interest in a photograph of her great-great-grandparents is piqued by her family’s reticence about the mystery couple, and a search for answers takes her to the cattle station Breakaway Creek.
Here she meets Luke Sherman, a man embroiled in the bitter ending of his marriage and a heart-breaking separation from his two small boys.
Shelley resists an instant attraction to Luke, as neither is ready for a new relationship.
And, while Luke struggles to reclaim his children, Shelley uncovers the truth about her ancestors, Alex and Emma.
A story of racial bigotry and a love that transcends all obstacles takes the reader back to the pioneering days of the 1890s.”

divider-NEWBreakaway Creek is a stunning debut by Heather Garside. It is a finely crafted dual time-line story that is breath-taking. More often than not, dual time-line stories are hard to do right but Heather Garside does it with precision.

Queensland is described so vividly that you feel immersed in the story, and the beauty of Breakway Creek is a character of its own.

There is so much heart and soul to this history steeped story, from racial tensions of the past and present, heart-break, new love and finding out secrets from the past. Breakaway Creek leaves you wanting more- I know I didn’t want the book to end.

I highly recommend Breakway Creek because it was an engaging, compelling, beautfuly written novel that will wrench your heart as well as warm it.

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Heather Garside’s current work-in-progress is a rural romance and, like Breakaway Creek, is a dual-timeline story.

Holly Colter has left her career in nursing to work with her grandparents on their Queensland cattle property. But she hadn’t bargained on Jesse Kavanagh, the boy who broke her heart and ended up in trouble with the law, being back next door. To make it worse, her grandfather accepts his offer to help with the cattle muster.

While doing her best to avoid Jesse, Holly indulges her interest in family history by trying to uncover the truth about a murdered ancestor.

1895:

Mercy Forbes is shocked but hardly grief-stricken when she finds her abusive husband murdered. Sergeant Jake Morrison is determined to find the killer, despite his suspicions of Mercy and a growing attraction to her that threatens to undermine the case and his policing career.

fbYou can get in touch with Heather Garside at her Face Book page by clicking the icon to the left or at her websites:

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Lamingtons are a quintessential part of every Australian’s childhood. The little sponge cake is dipped in chocolate icing and then rolled in desiccated coconut.

These little treats are sold at school fairs and bake sales around the country.

These days Lamingtons are also commercially produced however they don’t taste as good as the homemade versions.

Down Under: Alissa Callen

 

Book cover RHBeneath Outback Skies by Alissa Callen

A captivating rural romance featuring an indomitable young woman determined to save her family farm, and the city-boy who is not all he seems…Paige Quinn will let nothing and no one distract her from caring for her wheelchair-bound father, Connor, and fighting for her remote, drought-stricken property, Banora Downs. Least of all a surprise farm-stay guest named Tait Cavanaugh, whose smooth words are as lethal as his movie-star smile. Except Paige can’t help noticing that, for a city-boy, Tait seems unexpectedly at home on the land. And he does ask a lot of questions.It doesn’t matter how much he helps out or how much laughter he brings into her life, she soon suspects he is harbouring a big secret – the real reason he has come to Banora Downs.”

 

 

Beneath Outback Skies was a wonderful rural Australian novel. Alissa Callen has a way of describing things that you can almost feel the red Outback dust on your face and smell the diesel fumes of her Ute.

Reading the from grey skies of a spring that is yet to sprung; Beneath Outback skies transported me to a drought ridden Banora Downs with no rain in site. Alissa Callen give real gravitas to the drought that plagues most of the Outback. It is the realism that strikes me because most of us never have to worry about where to get the next drink to survive from.

Paige and Tait’s relationship slowly builds over the course of the book and in true country style, love set its own pace. Of course the path of true love is never easy. Tait has a hidden secret that when found out could ruin everything. Paige’s life is just as complex. Her father is stuck in a wheel chair from a farming accident and is of limited help to her.

Paige is such a strong female character, who knows exactly what she wants and refuses to settle for anything less. Since her father’s accident she has almost single-handly taken over running her families farm and I think that made her a bit isolated.

I loved this book. I loved Paige and Tait, and I loved peaking behind the curtain of Outback life. I found Beneath Outback skies tender and touching romance. I fell in love with Banora Downs, Glenalla and all its inhabitants.

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alissa3Down Outback Roads by Alissa Callen

An enthralling rural love story. Sometimes you need to give yourself permission to fall in love.Kree Garrett’s younger brother Seth is all the family she has left, so when he goes missing in the Australian outback, she doesn’t think twice about leaving her American home to find him. When Seth is rescued Kree vows to find a way to thank the small town of Glenalla. It isn’t long before she falls in love with the tight-knit rural community. But is it really the town she’s falling for?Ewan Mackenzie has given up everything for his brother’s family, but he can never give enough to assuage his guilt at what happened one dark night, years ago . . . Ewan knows he doesn’t deserve a second chance at happiness, but when beautiful, open-hearted Kree stays to fight to save his home town, he finds it hard to keep his distance. Can Kree and Ewan leave their pasts behind for long enough to find a future together?”

There is no place like Glenalla….

Thrown right into the middle of the action, this book hooks you in from the first line. Kree travels to Australia to find her brother who went missing while backpacking. She soon finds her brother and the beauty that is the Outback of NSW. While stepping into her brother shoes while he recuperated to full fill his commitments to a local family; she experience Glenalla first hand. Kree going to Glenalla was no mistake- it was her destiny.

She hatches a plan to save the very town that came to her aid when her brother was in life threatening peril, and along the way discovers her own family’s secrets.

Ewan and Kree’s attraction brews slowly like an electrical storm, building in intensity; but he quickly puts on the breaks as he feels he is unworthy of her.

Ewan is a flawed character who blames himself for his family’s misfortune. He resigns himself to live the bachelor life as a penalty- that is until he meets Kree. They have issues getting off the ground but there was no denying they were in love.

Glenalla was first featured in “Beneath Outback Skies”. Although, I suggest you read that book first, it isn’t necessary- “Down Outback Roads” is a stand alone novel.

Glenalla is such a wonderful setting, full of down home charm and community spirit. Come and fall in love with Alissa Callen’s Glenalla for yourself.

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I loved Alissa Callen’s books so much that I had to find her to do an interview. I was very lucky that Alissa Callen found time in her busy schedule to answer all my Glenalla questions:

Alissa Callen xEPBR: What was your inspiration for Glenalla?

AC: The small town of Glenalla, and the surrounding red earth countryside, is very much based on my local area. I live in rural Australia and even a trip to my grocery store provides inspiration. It isn’t unusual to see a horse truck parked in the car park or hear talk about how much rain people have, or haven’t, had. Australia is a land of great natural beauty but also a continent of extremes. Living where I do, I’ve experienced floods, drought and fires plus also the resilience, cohesiveness and compassion of outback communities. All of these things then seep into my writing. I hope readers enjoy visiting Glenalla as much as I enjoyed bringing this fictional town to life.

EPBR: You were a 2013 ARRA Finalist- what did that honour mean to you?

AC: It was a thrill to final once, let alone four times, but at the end of the day a reader leaving me a face book message about how much they loved my book makes me feel just as honoured and as thankful.

EPBR:What are you working on now?

AC: In between playing taxi to my kids, I’m working on two things. I’m planning another full length novel set around Glenalla plus a series of small town novellas set in the rugged snow-dusted mountains of Montana. The hemispheres may be different, but the challenges rural and remote towns face are very similar as too are the qualities that make close-knit communities such a special place to live.

When Alissa Callen isn’t writing she plays traffic controller to four children, three dogs, two horses and one renegade cow who really does believe the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. After a childhood spent chasing sheep on the family farm, Alissa has always been drawn to remote areas and small towns, even when residing in the US and UK. Once a teacher and a counsellor, she remains interested in the life journeys that people take and her books are characteristically heart-warming, emotional and character driven. She currently lives on a small slice of rural Australia in central western New South Wales, Australia. You can visit her blog for more news and updates on your favourite town and characters.

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NEW- EPISODE 2

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Resources Down Under:

On Steam Puddings : “Rachael Johns Drops By And Talks Writer’s Block (And There’s A Competition Too!)”

Over at The Naughty Ninja’s blog : The Rhyll ‘the Lady’ Biest and Cate ‘Man-eater’ Ellink get married”

Here are a few Aussie to Pom translations:

Pom: Stands for Prisoner of the motherland or person from the UK

Akubra: A felt hat often worn in the Outback

Esky: An Eskimo cooler container

Smoko: Teabreak, or smoking break but since smoking is now passe- any kind of break will do.

 

Who remembers Rebecca Gibney from The Flying Doctors? For some years she has been staring in a family drama called “Packed to the Rafters”. It is avaible on DVD in the UK if you can find it, but has never been televised in the UK. If you can get a hold of it, I thought it was a very entertaining series:

 

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Flight to Coorah Creek by Janet Gover

What happens when you can fly, but you just can’t hide?
Only Jessica Pearson knows the truth when the press portray her as the woman who betrayed her lover to escape prosecution. But will her new job flying an outback air ambulance help her sleep at night or atone for a lost life?
Doctor Adam Gilmore touches the lives of his patients, but his own scars mean he can never let a woman touch his heart.
Runaway Ellen Parkes wants to build a safe future for her two children. Without a man – not even one as gentle as Jack North.
In Coorah Creek, a town on the edge of nowhere, you’re judged by what you do, not what people say about you. But when the harshest judge is the one you see in the mirror, there’s nowhere left to hide.”

 

 

The first thing I said when I finished Chapter One was Wow!. From the first line you were transported right into the middle of the action. Within a few pages, you felt like you knew these characters and were revisiting old friends.

Queensland is described in such vivid details that you can almost feel the heat of the sun and the outback dust in your throat. The Outback is like a character in its own right because it is depicted with it is own personality and vibrancy.

I felt immersed into Coorah Creek’s world. It is a world where life has a slower pace, neighbours care about each other and good old fashion country charm – that never goes out of style.

The main characters are all impossible to believe they are fictional. I identified and bonded with Jess immediately, because we all know what it is like to be in love and blind. Dr. Adam, all I’m going to say is I wish he was my doctor. Watching Jack and Ellen’s romance unfold was breath-taking. I don’t believe in spoilers, but there were a few times I cried.

Janet Gover’s writing is phenomenal, she can make something as complicated as flying a plane easy to understand and visualize.I didn’t even feel like I was reading a book because a film played in my head. It was a perfect book from the start to the last line “…broken only by the distant laugh of the kookaburra.”

I fell in love with Coorah Creek and it’s in habitants and so will you. This book has the Wow factor.

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