Book Review: Heart of the Cross by Emily Madden

This was such an enjoyable novel. Set through the years from the 1950s where we meet Rosie, then in 1984 when we meet Rosie again along with her daughter Maggie, then to Brie’s journey in 2017. We slowly uncover the life of Rosie, who immigrated from Ireland hoping for a good life with her husband, and who ends up in King’s Cross with a small child and a man she no longer recognises.

Heart of the CrossThe three timelines were all very different, and I loved the way Emily Madden was able to weave them all together to create a story full of emotion and intrigue, right up to the very last page.

I think Rosie’s life in the 1950s was my favourite, living the trials that Rosie faced in a new country where nothing turned out the way she expected, was at times heartbreaking and hard to read, but there was a strength in Rosie that was awoken due to her circumstances and showed just what the human spirit is capable of. The friendships Rosie cultivated in Kings Cross were ones that had an impact on the rest of her life, as she had impacted those in return.

Brie’s life as a photographer, travelling the globe chasing disasters was very different from Rosie’s life, where Rosie drew people to her, Brie pushed people away, never wanting to get close. When Rosie passes and Brie returns to Australia there are many surprises in store for her as she uncovers some incredible secrets that Rosie has kept from her her whole life, including that of her mother, Maggie, and her unknown father. I thought the way Brie changed after coming home, how she made new friendships and reignited old ones was affirming in that we are never too old or too set in our ways to not be able to make connections.

As the secrets were uncovered, and the book neared the end, I began to wonder how on earth it was all going to end, there were a fair few times I had to put the book down and take some breaths (I drove my mother insane with my comments of “oh my god” every 5 minutes, as she was reading this at the same time and didn’t appreciate my dramatics, making her wonder what on earth was happening, lol). I was kept guessing right to the end just how it was all going to come together and how it was all going to turn out, I do admit to wanting just a fraction more at the end, I really wanted to know what happened next, and sat there in stunned silence when the story ended.

A fabulous read that I highly recommend.

Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin Mira Australia for providing me with a digital copy of this novel in return for an honest review.

Goodreads

Amazon AU

Amazon US

HarperCollins Australia

 

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Book Review: Dear Banjo by Sasha Wasley

I absolutely loved this novel, this was my second time reading it and it was just as enjoyable as the first time I read it just over 2 years ago. The first in the Daughters of the Outback series, this is a fabulous introduction to the Paterson family, Willow, Free, and Beth, along with their dad Barry. We are also introduced to Tom Forrest and his family along with the farming properties they live for in the heart of the Kimberley.

IMG_20191004_191752My second read of this novel was fraught with stress. You’d think the fact I’ve already read it and know how it all ends, that it would have been an easy read. But no! Because I knew how absolutely awful one character was, it caused me no end of anxiety. I wanted to yell at Banjo (Willow) and say ‘beware, don’t trust him one little teeny tiny bit!’ Alas, she just wouldn’t listen and I just had to keep reading.

Dear Banjo is so much more than a romance, it explores many aspects of friendship and family, grief and how it impacts those affected for way longer than we’d imagine.

It explores many aspects of farming, especially ethical and sustainable farming, delving into the changes needed to take a farm to organic certification and ways to help protect the environment. I found these things most interesting.

I loved the dynamics between all the characters; I loved all of the characters except for Hegney the assistant manager who had no likeable qualities whatsoever after his initial introduction. Hegney is the epitome of all that needs to change in men’s attitudes especially towards women and those they deem less than them. Working on the mines for 13 years I came across many men like Hegney, but luckily there are many more men who aren’t like him.

I really loved how Willow grew throughout the story, both as the boss at Paterson Downs and in her relationships with her family, friends and of course with Tom. I appreciated the intrigue that ran through the story and the many dynamics of relationships throughout the story. I thoroughly enjoyed the relationship between Willow and Tom and though I knew the ending from the first read, I had completely forgotten the details of how they got there, and it was definitely a journey for them both. 더킹|슬롯사이트|크레이지슬롯

I highly recommend this great book and now I’m about to start book 2 True Blue which is Willow’s sister Free’s story. 더킹|슬롯사이트|크레이지슬롯

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Amazon AU

 

Book Bingo Round 20

I’m a bit late with my book Bingo post this fortnight as I was away down at Margaret River from last Wednesday at a creativity retreat and was sick for nearly a week before that so I wasn’t able to plan ahead. Slack I know, but these things happen.

So this fortnight I chose the square Themes of Culture 더킹|슬롯사이트|크레이지슬롯. And I picked the book The Kabul Peace House by Mark Isaacs. This is a story of hope and resilience in Afghanistan, a country constantly under siege from within and without.

This was an eye opening read which caused many emotions from sadness, anger, joy, hope, disbelief and much more. One man trying to make a difference, to bring about peace through drawing together young people from the different Afghan ethnic groups and having them work and live together, to recognise their sameness rather than their differences. It is written wih a mix of observations, dialogues with many of the young people and Insaan, the man making this possible, along with facts and figures that really make you wonder what our world is coming to.

Until next fortnight (I will be on time next time) happy reading.

New Release Book Review, Excerpt & Blog Tour: Closer by Kylie Scott

Closer - BT banner

This was a really enjoyable read, I’m a big fan of Kylie’s novels and this one’s no exception. I enjoyed visiting with the Stage Dive crew in this novella and meeting sexy curvy model Mae Cooper. She’s a great character, I love that she’s got some nervous idiosyncrasies and a great sense of humour.

Closer - AN

Mae is forced to have a bodyguard when she receives a threatening package, she’s not impressed with either. I’d happily have her sexy bodyguard Ziggy, oh yes please, and Mae comes around to my way of thinking.

I really enjoyed the interactions between these two characters, there was plenty of humour and I could feel the chemistry between them even though Ziggy could be decidedly stoic. I kept waiting for him to break, and he didn’t disappoint.

For a novella, this was a fast paced read and obviously a fast paced falling in love/lust.

Another great read by Kylie Scott.

Thanks to Social Butterfly PR for a digital copy of this book in return for an honest review.

About the book:

When a stalker gets too close to plus-size model Mae Cooper, it’s time to hire some muscle.

Closer, an all-new standalone novella in the fan favorite Stage Dive Series from New York Times bestselling author Kylie Scott and 1001 Dark Nights, is available now!

Enter former military man turned executive protection officer Ziggy Thayer. Having spent years guarding billionaires, royalty, and rock n roll greats, he’s seen it all. From lavish parties through to every kind of excess.

There’s no reason some Instagram stylista should throw him off his game. Even if she does have the most dangerous curves he’s ever seen…

**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.**

Download your copy today!
Amazon
Amazon Worldwide
Amazon Paperback

Add to GoodReads

Excerpt:

“Your keys and security alarm code please, miss?” he asked, hand held out waiting.

It might have just been me, but we seemed to be standing awfully close together. It almost seemed weirdly intimate. Almost. No, my bad. Ziggy wore his usual professional façade with nary a hint of emotion on display. His gaze was shuttered, his bearing military rigid. It was definitely just me and my overactive imagination. Being vaguely attracted to your bodyguard was kind of a pain in the ass. Not that I couldn’t use the distraction right now.

Ziggy continued to stand there patiently waiting.

“Keys. Right.” I rummaged inside my Balenciaga City bag. Designer goodies were not only a weakness of mine, but a happy perk of being in the industry and achieving some small fame. “Ah, just a minute. They’re in here somewhere.”

I pushed aside my purse, a cashmere shawl, tampons, a candy bar, some loose change, my small Chanel cosmetics case, a power bank, hair ties, pepper spray, a copy of the latest Sarah MacLean book, mints, a spare charging cable for my cell phone, the cell phone itself, Chapstick, Prada sunglasses case, my grandma’s rosary, dental floss, deodorant, a couple of pens, Kleenex, ear buds, water bottle, a USB stick, reusable straw, condoms, nail file, some old receipts, a travel size umbrella, hand sanitizer, lotion, a pair of pearl earrings, tweezers, Advil, a hair band, and some bobby pins.

“Sorry about this,” I murmured. “I know I put them in here when we left.”
He said nothing. A whole lot of nothing.
“Huh.” With a great sense of victory, I held up a bottle of nail polish. “I thought I’d lost this.”

One of his dark brows crept upwards.

“I’ll have you know this color was limited edition. Little Death at Midnight by Oxley. You can’t buy it anymore.”

His lips did not move, but that damn eyebrow arched even higher as he leaned forward a little and took in the contents of my bag. I swear his eyes widened.

“Don’t you judge me. All of these things are necessary for my ongoing existence.”

“Of course they are, miss.” The man was so judging me. Bastard. “You carry a koozie around with you, I see.”

“It pays to be ready to party, Mr. Thayer.”

About Kylie Scott

Kylie Scott author pic
Kylie is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author. She was voted Australian Romance Writer of the year, 2013, 2014 & 2018, by the Australian Romance Writer’s Association and her books have been translated into eleven different languages. She is a long time fan of romance, rock music, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet.

Connect with Kylie Scott
Amazon
Bookbub
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest
Book+Main Bites
Website

 

 

 

Release Blitz: Closer by Kylie Scott

Image preview

When a stalker gets too close to plus-size model Mae Cooper, it’s time to hire some muscle.

Closer, an all-new standalone novella in the fan favorite Stage Dive Series from New York Times bestselling author Kylie Scott and 1001 Dark Nights, is available now!

Enter former military man turned executive protection officer Ziggy Thayer. Having spent years guarding billionaires, royalty, and rock n roll greats, he’s seen it all. From lavish parties through to every kind of excess.

There’s no reason some Instagram stylista should throw him off his game. Even if she does have the most dangerous curves he’s ever seen…

Closer - AN

**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.**

Download your copy today! Amazon    Amazon Worldwide    Amazon Paperback

Add to GoodReads

About Kylie Scott

Kylie Scott author picKylie is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author. She was voted Australian Romance Writer of the year, 2013, 2014 & 2018, by the Australian Romance Writer’s Association and her books have been translated into eleven different languages. She is a long time fan of romance, rock music, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet.

Connect with Kylie Scott Amazon   Bookbub   Facebook   Twitter   Instagram   Goodreads Pinterest   Book+Main Bites   Website

Book Bingo Round 19

It’s book bingo time again and this week I chose the square Book written by an Australian woman IMG_20190914_101547more than 10 years ago, the book I chose was one I found on my bookshelf when I was tidying up and has huge sentimental value. Inside it is written To my mum from Claire in 1984, it was Master of Ransome by Lucy Walker and was written well and truly over 10 years ago in 1968 with my copy being published in 1983. 더킹|슬롯사이트|크레이지슬롯 더킹|슬롯사이트|크레이지슬롯 더킹|슬롯사이트|크레이지슬롯 더킹|슬롯사이트|크레이지슬롯

I vaguely remember my mum reading Lucy Walker, but I had no idea she was Australian and from Kalgoorlie of all places. 더킹|슬롯사이트|크레이지슬롯 더킹|슬롯사이트|크레이지슬롯 더킹|슬롯사이트|크레이지슬롯 더킹|슬롯사이트|크레이지슬롯

I wasn’t sure what to expect from a romance novel written so long ago. But I really enjoyed it. It is the original rural romance and I was surprised to find that in 50 years, not much has changed in the genre, it also had a storyline that was completely familiar.

I’m so glad I found this book and chose to read it. I loved the characters and the dynamics between everyone, it was so familiar that I slipped into the story easily. I think this story has definitely stood the test of time.

Until next fortnight, happy reading

New Release Book Review: Autumn at Blaxland Falls by Eliza Bennetts

Screenshot_20190904_212659After reading Summer at Urchin’s Bluff and absolutely loving it, I jumped at the chance to read Autumn at Blaxland Falls. And how glad I am that I did, it was another wonderful read. Eliza Bennetts focuses on slightly older characters, women and men in their 40’s, single mums who are making a life for themselves and their child, who are learning who they are, what they want and how strong they can be when they need to be.

I loved meeting Jo and her daughter Sasha who have travelled from Urchin’s Bluff to Jo’s home town Blaxland Falls, a town she never wanted to return to, because of a job offer too good to pass up. Jo is a strong character, she’s completely relatable in that she’s strong because she’s had to be, she’s struggling with some huge traumatic secrets that have driven her for the last 16 years.

We meet Christian, who I initially couldn’t take to, a millionaire property tycoon who owns the lodge Jo is working at. But it wasn’t long before I could see he was just a man struggling with his own issues and dramas and I fell for him as hard as Jo.

Sasha was a great kid, well-grounded with all the normal teenage issues that go with moving to a new place and she is also going to have a lot to deal with throughout this story.

Jo’s mum is quite a character and not at all likeable to me to start with, but she was a character that grew on me and by the end, I thought she was great.

I loved Jo’s best friend Dee who helped Jo get the job and has been Jo’s rock throughout the years. I really related to Dee, 40 and single, with no kids, her job is her big focus, maybe not because she chose it to be that way, but because that’s the way the dice rolled.

Now we have Blake, a highly unlikeable character, Jo’s ex and the reason she left Blaxland Falls years before. Man, this guy should have been thrown off the falls. You can only hope as you read that he gets what he deserves.

This was a great read, I didn’t want to put it down because I became so caught up in the lives of these characters. A story of family, friendship, love and being true to yourself. The next book will be Dee’s story, and I can’t wait.

Thanks to the author for providing me with a digital copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Amazon AU

Amazon US

Goodreads