Down Under


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.”


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.


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.”


“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.



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.



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.

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.


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:




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.



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?

“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.






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. ”


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.



untitled (5)

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. “


“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!



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?”


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.






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.





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


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 |

Facebook |

Twitter | @ecstasyfiles

Goodreads |

The Reading Room |

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.


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.


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.


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:


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.