Book review: Amber and Alice by Janette Paul

Friday, June 23, 2017 Permalink

I think if I’d known rom-com author Janette Paul was also Jaye Ford – Australian suspense / crime fiction author I might have tucked into this book earlier. And not wavered quite so much in the early stages.

I’m afraid I may have been put off by the cover… which was way too glossy and bright (for me!) and reminded me of a UBD or travel guide or something. Of course that latter part is probably with good reason, because the book does offer a bit of an insider’s guide into the Northern Territory and central Australia.

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three-half-stars

Book review: Twist by Kylie Scott

Monday, April 10, 2017 Permalink

I was a little surprised when this book arrived. I often receive books I haven’t requested and many are outside of my usual (crime / thriller) reading genre, however Kylie Scott’s Dive Bar series – and her novels in general – are so far outside of my realm of experience (aka comfort zone) they might as well be dystopian fantasy or big L-Literature and written by a dead Russian. Or similar.

However… I decided to give it a try. Expand my reading repertoire if you like. I’ve talked before about the fact I struggle with ‘romance’ and why, but have also read a few romance novels I’ve quite enjoyed. Plus I met Kylie at the Australian Romance Readers Convention I attended in February and she seemed very nice and quite witty.

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three-half-stars

Book review: Wish You Were Here by Joanne Tracey

Wednesday, November 2, 2016 Permalink

Joanne (Jo) Tracey and I have been virtual blogging buddies for half a dozen years. We’ve not yet met in person but we’re the same age and have similar interests. Well… in that we both love reading and writing and have backgrounds in project management. Jo’s also a music-loving foodie and far more into hiking and travelling than yours truly.

But she feels like a close friend. Despite the not-having-met thing.

Wish You Were Here is Jo’s third book and – as an observer from afar – I can see the growth in her writing and character development with each new release. The thing that draws me to her blog (and her I guess) is a sense of familiarity in her writing: an informality that engages me and draws me in. And her books offer that same level of intimacy.

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four-stars

Book review: Miss You by Kate Eberlen

Saturday, August 27, 2016 Permalink

Kate Eberlen’s Miss You has been compared to the very popular One Day by David Nicholls. I know that book’s been made into a movie and there’s another similar movie circling around my brain that I just can’t put my finger on…. And it’s not the 1978 movie, Same Time Next Year... which I recall being popular when I worked on the VHS / Beta video counter at a local electronics store sometime in the early-mid 1980s.

Anyhoo.. it is reminiscent of such movies though even more frustrating for the romantics out there because our erstwhile lovers don’t even really meet…. in the beginning.

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three-half-stars

Book review: It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

Wednesday, August 10, 2016 Permalink

In the lead up to its release, I saw It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover EVERYWHERE. Hoover’s an adept and enthusiastic user of social media (a trait I love) so helped build the anticipation and excitement and – although I’d never read anything from the American author – I knew she had a bevy of YA and romance-loving fans who helped animate the groundswell.

This latest book is – again – a romance but despite my antipathy toward the genre I started to suffer from FOMO when I saw the books appearing everywhere, so was very glad when mine appeared (and remembered I’d requested a review copy from the Australian publisher).

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four-half-stars

Book review: A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald by Natasha Lester

Thursday, May 12, 2016 Permalink

I confessed in my Sunday Post that I downloaded this book accidentally. I had no quarrel with the book itself or its Australian author, Natasha Lester. Rather, I’d assumed it to be a combination of two genres I just don’t read: romance and historical fiction.

I’ve talked before about why I don’t read romance (relationship-envy, cheesy sex scenes) but reasons for my lack of interest in historical fiction aren’t really obvious to me. And yes… I’m such a navel-gazing, self-absorbed introspective type you’d think I would have analysed that little foible. But alas… I usually just find I can’t relate so don’t even try.

But yet again… I’ve surprised myself.

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four-stars

Book review: Under Italian Skies by Nicky Pellegrino

Tuesday, April 19, 2016 Permalink

Almost exactly a year ago I read One Summer in Venice by Nicky Pellegrino and enjoyed it – particularly its references to the lead character’s quest for happiness and her insight into the fact that our needs and / or desires don’t necessarily make us happy.

I also loved the setting and – as the only place I really (now) want to visit is Italy – I happily leapt at the chance to read her newest release… Under Italian Skies.

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four-stars

Book review: Numbered by Amy Andrews and Ros Baxter

Friday, January 22, 2016 Permalink

I’m slowly expanding my reading repertoire by selecting a few books I might normally avoid if sticking to my fave psychological thriller type genre. I’ve undoubtedly missed a couple of great novels over the years by assuming they wouldn’t be to my taste.

Last year I read Amy AndrewsLimbo. Amy’s best known for contemporary romance but Limbo—romantic suspense featuring a ghost-seeing punk rocker and a PI —was a bit different so I took a leap of faith and wasn’t disappointed. I now follow Amy on social media and while I’m not quite ready to read some of her more traditional romance novels I was interested in this collaboration with her sister (and fellow author) Ros Baxter.

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three-half-stars

Book review: Hold On To Me by Victoria Purman

Monday, January 4, 2016 Permalink

I tend to shy away from romance novels and I’ve written about that here a bit. I find many unrealistic and the sex scenes make me laugh or feel like a voyeur.

However… I realise my Mills & Boon / Sweet Dream-loving teenage self hasn’t entirely lost her sense of romance. Or hope.

I surprised myself last year by enjoying Victoria Purman’s Only We Know, so when I saw the South Australian author had another book out I decided to take a chance yet again.

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three-half-stars