I met Australian author Vanessa Carnevale early in 2017 – a month or two after her debut novel, The Florentine Bridge, was released. She was absolutely gorgeous and didn’t hold the fact I wasn’t a romance reader against me… despite the fact we were at a romance readers’ convention (and I was only there because I’d won a free ticket).
I wasn’t sure if I’d struggle with this book. I was in my early 40s before I gave up on meeting the man of my dreams. Or just someone who wanted to spend their life with me…. and started contemplating motherhood solo.
Dreary stories about sperm donors, artificial insemination and IVF aside… it didn’t happen for me and – as a result – I’m occasionally bitter and twisted about the whole thing. (Something others take for granted etc etc).
So, it was with some trepidation I embarked upon this story on motherhood.
It will surprise those who regularly follow my reviews to see this book pop up as it’s more than a-stone’s-throw outside my usual / preferred genre. I’ve talked before about why I don’t read ‘straight’ romance novels… and in summary it’s sadly because my default state-of-mind is far too cynical and insufficiently tolerant or wistful enough for romance.
However, I’m trying to broaden my horizons and hoping to do that via audiobooks as I drive a bit for work. And because I knew I had a 6hr drive to attend an author event as well as some work travel I put in a request for this audiobook. Which – incidentally – I enjoyed, though tried not to think about the fact I could have read it in 2-3 hours, not 10-11hrs stretched over 3 weeks of driving and a few lunchtime walks.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.