Book Count: Single title 12 ; Novellas - 3; Mills and Boons 8 ; Total 23
New Authors I Read: Cassie Hamer, Alison Stuart, Darry Fraser, Juanita Kees, Tea Cooper, Liz Fielding, Alissa Callen, Andrea Bolter, Barbara Wallace.
Books I Read in July
Ranchers Twins: Mum Needed by Barbara Hannay
Why I read it: I wanted something by Barbara and an easy small book on the treadmill.
What I liked: I seem to really like reading an American and Aussie falling in love. In this book, Holly takes her cousin's children to Australia after her cousin dies so that they can live with their cattleman father. I enjoyed reading about Holly, a Vermont farmgirl, experiencing the outback for the first time. She loved it! I also enjoyed Gray's inner struggle with his inability to read or write. This was a deeply emotional story and I just loved it. Can't go wrong with a Barbara story.
Other Comments: I'm just glad I have a whole bunch of old Barbara romances to read and even a few of her recent bigger books. I've bought them all, but have been slack on reading them. Be prepared to see a lot of Barbara Hannay appearing on my reading list very soon!
After the Party by Cassie Hamer
Why I read it: I've been keen since I picked up this book sometime last year and decided to give it a go.
What I liked: I liked the secrets and watching the plot unfold. The characters of the three little girls were well developed. I liked the motherhood theme. Overall, it was an enjoyable story.
Other Comments: It ended sort of quickly and it would have been nice to have a more nail-biting ending.
The Postmistress by Alison Stuart
Why I read it: This story has been on my mind too and I wanted to read it before the next book The Goldminer's Sister came out. I read the prologue when I bought it last year and was quite keen. It's just, I don't usually read historicals.
What I liked: I just loved the setting and time period of the 1870s. It was very enjoyable to read about the world at this time. I loved the characters and the 19th century medical aspects of this story. It was just fantastic!
Other Comments: I'm hooked into historicals now and I blame this book
A Nanny Called Alice by Barbara Hannay
Why I read it: I love Barbara's work and got an ARC for this book!
What I liked: I love Americans in Australia stories. The little orphaned girls in this book also really tugged at the heart strings. I loved the ending of this story.
Other Comments: I really enjoy the Brides of Wirralong series from Tule and this one didn't disappoint. I can't wait for the rest of the new books in this series.
Moonlight Plains by Barbara Hannay
Why I read it: It was a Barbara book and historical crossover that's been on my shelf since it was released. As it's set in Townsville, I always wanted to read it. Now that I'm catching up on Barbara's books and enjoying historicals, I finally read it! Soooo happy!
What I liked: I loved reading about characters in Townsville, especially those during the World War II years. This was a story with romances contemporary to both time periods in this book. I loved reading about Townsville in WWII and learning about my town's history in the process.
Other Comments: I want to read more Townsville in WWII books - so I bought Judy Nunn's Khaki Town.
The Widow of Ballarat by Darry Fraser
Why I read it: I was drawn by the blurb when I picked this up off the Better Reading's top 100 books. It's also another Victorian Goldrush story, like the Postmistress, so I figured I'd give it a go.
What I liked: ...
Other Comments: ...
Summer on Seashell Island by Sophie Pembroke
Why I read it: I ordered this from Book Depository because I was very intrigued and have recently discovered Sophie's books, which I think are wonderful.
What I liked: I enjoyed the three main characters and their individual conflicts. It was fun to read with the island setting over summer. And I loved Lucy the llama!
Other Comments: Can't wait to read more of Sophie's books! I might need to order the Wedding on Mistletoe Island...
Montana Baby by Juanita Kees
Why I read it: A free kindle download and I needed to kill time, which is what I use my kindle for. I was attracted to this story as it sounded sweet, I hadn't read anything by Juanita before, and Cathryn Hein had it on her Favourite Reads list this month.
What I liked: I liked the characters and the Calhoun family. This was a fun, sweet story and with an interesting conflict. Charlie's dad wanted to sell her baby!
Other Comments: It was a little hard reading a couple named Charlie and Chase just because they both started with C.
The Goldminer's Sister by Alison Stuart
Why I read it: I didn't want to leave it long after just finishing The Postmistress. I started this book prior to attending A Fireside Chat with Alison Stuart and Darry Fraser.
What I liked: This was a fantastic book! It was complex with interesting characters in dire situations, plus a nice mix of secondary characters whose storylines added to the main plot. I loved visiting the Victorian goldrush. I liked Eliza as a schoolmistress and learning about mine engineering in the 1870s.
Other Comments: Marveouslly written and plotted. Couldn't put it down. Even better than The Postmistress.
Pregnant on the Earl's Doorstep by Sophie Pembroke
Why I read it: I needed to catch up on Mills and Boon Forever Romances and something small to fit on the treadmill. I chose this because it was a Sophie book, of course, and was followed on by an Ally Blake.
What I liked: The family orientated story, the multiple conflicts, and the ghost! This was a sweet but very tense story and well crafted.
Other Comments: I still love Sophie's work and can't wait to read more!
The Good Woman of Renmark by Darry Fraser
Why I read it: Continuing on my historical fiction binge reading. The deal I made with myself was to read this, then I could buy Elsa Goody Bushranger.
What I liked: The opening was fantastic! I loved that this was quite the adventure story and I'm learning a lot about Australia and Australian history in the process. I love this time period of the late 1800s where they travel by horses, carriage, riverboats, or sometimes just need to walk!
Other Comments: Such an amazing, adventure book. I loved it.
Undara by Annie Seaton
Why I read it: I was keen for this when it came out almost a year ago because I live near the Undara Lava Tubes, but I just hadn't got around to reading it. So I put it on my TBR pile and started it after The Good Woman of Renmark before buying Elsa Goody.
What I liked: It was a good story. I'll admit, I wasn't immediately hooked, but I persisted and really enjoyed the book. It was interesting with a good crime story. I liked that the two main characters formed a friendship and were able to fix their marriages, rather than falling in love with each other.
Other Comments: Felt very homey for me. I love reading books set in North Queensland.
A Week With the Best Man by Ally Blake
Why I read it: Printed with Pregnant on the Earl's Doorstep and I needed something to read on the treadmill. I also enjoy Ally's stories.
What I liked: It was a sweet, interesting story with strong characters. I like stories about weddings and Harper and Cormac were bridesmaid and best man. Can't go wrong with a book that opens with a hero throwing a stick for his dog.
Other Comments: I didn't like all the partying scenes.
The Woman in the Green Dress by Tea Cooper
Why I read it: Even though I had Elsa Goody at home, I was browsing the shelves in Big W and saw this one on the Top 100. I hadn't read any Tea Cooper and after the blurb and opening scene hooked me, I bought it. I was keen for another historical.
What I liked: Everything! This book had lots of intrigue with twists and turns and a soft touch of romance. The jumping dual timelines continue to hook you through to keep reading. I enjoyed the 1919 timeline post World War I and experiencing Sydney in this time - before the Harbour Bridge even existed! But the more historic, the better, so the 1840s timeline was even more intriguing. Everything connected at the end and it was a fabulous book! I'll be buying more Tea Cooper.
Other Comments: Learning about taxidermy was interesting. I loved the time periods and the history that was included. It was awesome.
A Secret, A Safari, and a Second Chance by Liz Fielding
Why I read it: I've been getting behind on my Mills and Boons, I needed a fun story that was the second in the double print so I could read it on the treadmill, and I've never read a Liz Fielding!
What I liked: The safari and African setting was definitely fun and enjoyable. I really liked spending time with the animals. But what I really liked was how Kit didn't get too angry or anything when he found out Eve had had his baby. He was hurt and she felt bad, but they worked it out easily without making a big mess of things. I also loved that he was a sailor and there was the sport/athlete aspect to this story.
Other Comments: I didn't read the blurb, so I didn't realise it was secret baby, but I still liked it. There was definitely something special about this story, which I think is what makes Liz Fielding special. I'm keen to read more of her books.
The Purple Hills by Alissa Callen
Why I read it: Free kindle read to kill time on my phone.
What I liked: It was a short quick read, but didn't lack emotional depth or conflict. A sweet story with a cute pony named Jelly Bean, Jack Russell puppies, and two health professionals finding love with each other.
Other Comments: I feel I'd really enjoy Alissa Callan's work. I do have at least one of her books, I know.
Daughter of the Murray by Darry Fraser
Why I read it: Another Aussie historical and Darry's first. I realised that a few were loosely linked, so I thought I better go back to the beginning.
What I liked: It was a fantastic, epic adventure story. There was a lot going on and the characters were very interesting with conflict that was contemporary with the time period. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
Other Comments: Very keen to read Where The Murray River Runs now.
Just One Wish by Rachael Johns
Why I read it: Ruby awards readalong and it was on sale at QBD. I also needed to break up my historical reading.
What I liked: There was interesting conflict and I enjoyed the first person narrative. The characters were interesting and I liked Ged. I wanted to see how her story unfolded.
Other Comments: I felt like I was getting a lesson in social politics and feminism, which took away the enjoyment of the story. The points made in this book came on too strong.
Captivated By Her Parisian Billionaire by Andrea Bolter
Why I read it: Treadmill Mills and Boon read - Paris!
What I liked: I could really relate to Jules conflict with his parents. I also really enjoyed visiting Paris. The scene with the dinner cruise on the Seine reminded me of my own magical Seine cruise in Paris and I just loved it. Also a good story.
Other Comments: A wonderful, feel good story with a fit, healthy hero - easy to fall in love with.
Mr Right Now by Karly Lane
Why I read it: It was in my actual To Read pile! I wanted to catch up on Karly Lane's books and I read the first of the Callahan series earlier this year, so I thought I better read this one.
What I liked: It was an easy read. There was enough conflict, but it didn't go overboard. I really enjoyed the reunion and siblings best friend tropes. I really like the Callahan family, was glad to see things working out for the characters in the last book and this one set up the third and final book really well.
Other Comments: Reminds me why I love rural romance and family series.
Cinderella's New York Fling by Cara Colter
Why I read it: It's the first book in the current A Fairytale Summer series. I did pick up Sophie Pembroke's first, but then realised I should read them in order.
What I liked: It was fun visiting New York, especially as it felt so real. I've found in the Mills and Boon books that 'real' things are brushed over. They use 'social media' instead of Facebook. They don't mention names of movies or shows. But not in this one! There were plenty of references to real movies - Beauty and the Beast and Pretty Woman - and they went to see Phantom of the Opera. Of course, that won me over really well and I enjoyed reading about two characters seeing my favourite show of all time. It felt more real and I really enjoyed visiting New York again through this book. I also enjoyed the characters and the story.
Other Comments: I love Viv, the 'fairy godmother' who is granting gifts to the three girls who rescued her dog. This was a good book and I can't wait to read Sophie Pembroke's and Ally Blake's.
Italian Escape with her Fake Fiance by Sophie Pembroke
Why I read it: Picked it up a few hours after finishing Cara's above. I was keen for the new Sophie Pembroke.
What I liked: I liked the fake relationship in this story. Daisy and Jay, both musicians, went through the motions of a whole relationship without realising that they were indeed falling in love. There was just something special about this story and I enjoyed it very much. The Italian village was lovely, the conflict was real, emotion was deep, and I loved the addition of the pet goat!
Other Comments: Sophie Pembroke is definitely my new fav!
A Year With The Millionaire Next Door by Barbara Wallace
Why I read it: It was printed with the Sophie Pembroke book above and I have not yet read a Barbara Wallace book. I was hooked the moment I read the Dear Reader letter and learned that it was about a woman who left her inheritance to the cat.
What I liked: I like neighbour romances. They're intimate without the forced intimacy of forced cohabitation or flatmates. I also liked Stella's conflict of needing to find her self worth. I enjoyed the fact the story was set over a year, loved the London setting, and of course, loved Toffee the rich cat.
Other Comments: I will read more of Barbara Wallace and simply love how many different stories I'm finding in the Mills and Boon Forever line.
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