It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?



The It’s Monday! What Are You Reading meme is now hosted at Book Date


All my enthusiasm to dive back in came to naught unfortunately, thanks to a series of (or more properly, one realllllly long) migraine. However I have haven’t had a one for 3  whole days so I’m optimistic….


What I Read Since I last Posted

The Golem of Paris by Jonathon and Jesse Kellerman

Smoke and Mirrors by Elly Griffiths

An Empty Coast by Tony Park

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)


Stuff on Sundays: Bookshelf Bounty


What I Am Reading Today

The long-awaited sequel to the worldwide phenomenon Me Before You.
Louisa Clark is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. After the six months spent with Will Traynor, she is struggling without him. And when an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can’t help but feel she’s right back where she started.
In a church basement, with the motley crew of the support group Moving On, Lou attempts to kick-start her life again. And when she meets strong, capable Sam Fielding things seem like they are going in the right direction. This is until a figure from Will’s past appears out of the blue . .

 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

Dogs, monkeys, corruption and sexual politics: Dogs of India draws on the complex, chaotic and colourful tradition of Indian storytelling in a spicy literary blend of Animal Farm vs. Holy Cow via Bollywood. Revenge. A dish best served cold. Or if you’re Sydney native Lola Wedd, with a broken heart and a life in chaos, a dish served up by heading to India to marry a total stranger as part of an international visa scam. Lola naïvely thought she would ‘find herself’ in India. Instead she is enmeshed in a drama worthy of Bollywood, starring an abandoned Pariah dog, a dead civil servant, a vengeful actor, a suicidal housewife, a boutique hotel owner, a blushing chauffeur, an absent groom, an ambitious girl journalist and a megalomaniac monkey. As Lola begins to understand the consequences of her choices, she ignites a series of events that lead to a Diwali Festival more explosive than anyone in New Delhi could have imagined.

Meet Tannie Maria: A woman who likes to cook a lot and write a little. Tannie Maria writes recipes for a column in her local paper, the Klein Karoo Gazette.  One Sunday morning, as Maria savours the breeze through the kitchen window whilst making apricot jam, she hears the screech and bump that announces the arrival of her good friend and editor Harriet. What Maria doesn’t realise is that Harriet is about to deliver the first ingredient in two new recipes (recipes for love and murder) and a whole basketful of challenges.  A delicious blend of intrigue, milk tart and friendship, join Tannie Maria in her first investigation. Consider your appetite whetted for a whole new series of mysteries . . .

Grace, hardworking and tired, wants another baby. But she’s dealing with debt, a manic 4-year-old and a jobless husband determined to make his inventions into reality. Can they both get their way, or will competing dreams tear their marriage apart? Eddy analyses risk for a living, but his insecurities have brought his own life to a halt. He won’t let go of the flighty, unfaithful Romy, but will he ever risk believing in himself? Melody is trying to raise her son Skip in the city while holding true to her hippie lifestyle. But will past mistakes and judgement from other parents force her to leave her beliefs behind? This is a story about real life aspirations, and whether you can chase your dreams at the same time as raising children and paying the bills. It’s about friendship, and how the people you meet in a moment can change your life forever.


Thanks for stopping by!

Stuff On Sundays: Bookshelf Bounty

It’s that time of the month or near enough,  so here is what I have added to my shelves recently.

Click on the cover images to view at Goodreads

For Review (print)

For Review (electronic)


In sympathy and with a wish for peace #Solidarité


It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?



The It’s Monday! What Are You Reading meme is now hosted at Book Date


So, you may have noticed it’s been a little while. I apologise for my absence,  I’ve been pretty ill for the last few weeks, a nasty flare up of a chronic medical condition that got complicated. I couldn’t even pick up a book for almost three weeks.

I still need to take it easy for a little while, so things might be slower around here than usual, but I hope to get back on track sooner rather than later.

What I Read Since I last Posted

The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood

The Masked Truth by Kelley Armstrong

Buying Thyme by TJ Hamilton

Smoke by Catherine McKenzie

Host by Robin Cook

The Enchanted Island by Ellie O’Neill

The Iron Warrior by Julie Kagawa

Reap the Wind by Karen Chance

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

Because I’ve been ill, I wasn’t able to write full reviews and if I try to catch up I will drive myself crazy so I’ve mostly written just a sentence or two to give a general impression.

Review: Little Girl Gone by Alexandra Burt

A thought about: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

A thought about: A Better Man by Leah McLaren

A thought about: The Masked Truth by Kelley Armstrong

A thought about: The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood

A thought about: Smoke by Catherine McKenzie

Blog Tour Review: The Enchanted Island by Ellie O’Neill

A thought about: Host by Robin Cook

About: Buying Thyme by TJ Hamilton

What I Am Reading Today

It’s been more than a year since LAPD detective Jacob Lev learned the remarkable truth about his family, and he’s not coping well. He’s back to drinking, he’s not talking to his father, the LAPD Special Projects Department continues to shadow him, and the memory of a woman named Mai haunts him day and night. And while Jacob has tried to build a bridge to his mother, she remains a stranger to him, imprisoned inside her own tattered mind. Then he comes across the file for a gruesome unsolved murder that brings the two halves of his life into startling collision.
Finding the killer will take him halfway around the world, to Paris—the city of romance, but also of gritty streets, behind the lights. It’s a dangerous search for truth that plunges him into the past. And for Jacob Lev, there is no place more frightening.

 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

Sonja Kurtz – former soldier, supposedly retired mercenary – is in Vietnam carrying out a personal revenge mission when her daughter sends a call for help. Emma is on a dig at the edge of Namibia’s Etosha National Park studying archaeology and she’s discovered a body that dates back to the country’s liberation war of the 1980s. The remains, identified as Hudson Brand, are a key piece of a puzzle that will reveal the location of a modern-day buried treasure. A find people will kill for. Sonja returns to the country of her birth to find Emma, but she’s missing. Former CIA agent Hudson Brand is very much alive and is also drawn back to Namibia to finally solve a decades-old mystery whose clues are entombed in an empty corner of the desert.

The story begins with a dinner party invitation. When young journalist Thomas Cleary is sent to dig up quotes for the obituary of a legendary film producer, the man’s eccentric daughter offers him entrée into the exclusive upper echelons of Hollywood society. A small-town boy with working-class roots, Thomas is a stranger in this opulent world of private jets and sprawling mansions. Then he meets Matilda Duplaine.  Matilda is a beautiful and mysterious young woman who has never left the lush Bel-Air estate where she was raised. Thomas is immediately entranced by the enigmatic girl and the two begin a secret love affair. But what starts as an enchanted romance soon unravels a web of secrets and lies that could destroy their lives — and the lives of everyone around them — forever.

Brighton, winter 1951. Pantomime season is in full swing on the pier with Max Mephisto starring in Aladdin, but Max’s headlines have been stolen by the disappearance ’of two local children. When they are found dead in the snow, surrounded by sweets, it’s not long before the press nickname them ‘Hansel and Gretel’. DI Edgar Stephens has plenty of leads to investigate. The girl, Annie, used to write gruesome plays based on the Grimms’ fairy tales. Does the clue lie in Annie’s unfinished – and rather disturbing – last script? Or might it lie with the eccentric theatricals who have assembled for the pantomime? For Stan (aka the Great Diablo), who’s also appearing in Aladdin, the case raises more personal memories. Back before the Great War, he witnessed the murder of a young girl while he was starring in another show, an event which has eerie parallels to the current case. Once again Edgar enlists Max’s help in penetrating the shadowy theatrical world that seems to hold the key. But with both distracted by their own personal problems, neither can afford to miss a trick. For Annie and her friend, time is running out…


Thanks for stopping by!

A thought about: Host by Robin Cook


Title: Host

Author: Robin Cook

Published: Pan Macmillan October 2015

Read an Excerpt

Status: Read from October 31 to November 03, 2015 — I own a copy   {Courtesy the publisher}

Lynn Pierce, a fourth-year medical student at Mason Dixon University, thinks she has her life figured out. But when her otherwise healthy boyfriend, Carl, enters the hospital for routine surgery, she doesn’t know it’s the last time she will see him whole again.

Devastated by Carl’s death, Lynn searches for answers. Convinced there’s more to the story than what the authorities are willing to reveal, Lynn uses all her resources at Mason Dixon—including her initially reluctant lab partner, Edward—to hunt down evidence of medical error or malpractice.

What she uncovers, however, is far more disturbing. Hospitals associated with Sentinel Healthcare, including the one attached to Mason Dixon, have unnervingly high rates of unexplained anesthetic complications and patients contracting serious and terminal illness in the wake of routine surgery.

When Lynn and Edward begin to receive death threats, they know they’re into something bigger than either of them anticipated. They soon enter a desperate race against time for answers before shadowy forces behind Sentinel Healthcare can put a stop to their efforts once and for all.

My Thoughts:

The plot was just too similar to Cook’s well known best seller, Coma. Though a quick, easy read that was not completely devoid of suspense, overall Host felt like an attempt at a contemporary rewrite that fell well short of the original.

Available via

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A thought about: Smoke by Catherine McKenzie


Title: Smoke

Author: Catherine McKenzie

Published: Lake Union Publishing October 2015

Status: Read from October 30 to 31, 2015 — I own a copy

From the internationally bestselling author Catherine McKenzie comes an evocative tale of two women navigating the secrets and lies at the heart of a wildfire threatening their town.
After a decadelong career combating wildfires, Elizabeth has traded in her former life for a quieter one with her husband. Now she works as the local arson investigator in a beautiful, quaint town in the Rockies. But that tranquil life vanishes when she and her husband agree to divorce and a fire in nearby Cooper Basin begins to spread rapidly. For Elizabeth, containing a raging wildfire is easier than accepting that her marriage has failed.
For Elizabeth’s ex-friend Mindy, who feels disconnected from her husband and teenage children, the fire represents a chance to find a new purpose: helping a man who has lost his home to the blaze. But her faith is shattered by a shocking accusation.
As the encroaching inferno threatens the town’s residents, Elizabeth and Mindy must discover what will be lost in the fire, and what will be saved.

My Thoughts:

An engaging novel that combines domestic drama, mystery and action. The writing is solid and the setting is strong.

Available to purchase via

Amazon US I Amazon CA I Amazon UK I Amazon AU

Blog Tour Review: The Enchanted Island by Ellie O’Neill


Title: The Enchanted Island

Author: Ellie O’Neill

Published: Simon & Schuster November

Status: Read from November 03 to 04, 2015 — I own a copy  {Courtesy the publisher/netgalley}

My Thoughts:

The Enchanted Island is Ellie O’Neill’s captivating second novel about self discovery, modern day malaise, and magic.

When apprentice solictor Maeve O’Brien is sent to Hy Brasil, a tiny island off the coast of Ireland, to finalise a deal for a client, she’s determined to prove herself. Sure, she has made some mistakes, betraying her best friend and burying herself in debt among them, but she’s confident that this assignment will help her turn things around. All Maeve needs is a signature from Sean Fitzpatrick, so that the client’s plans to build a bridge between the mainland and the island can go ahead, but the landowner proves to be elusive, and most of the locals uniformly unhelpful.

Stuck on Hy Brasil, determined to complete her mission, Maeve is initially panicked at the thought of being on her own, but without the distractions of retail therapy and her busy city social life, she begins to reevaluate what she is looking for in life. O’Brien pokes fun at our modern day obsession with packaged beauty, social media and consumerism. I really liked the way in which Maeve changes through the novel, letting go of her shallow obsessions, and becoming a more confident, authentic person.

And while many of the locals, especially the elderly are distinctly unfriendly, Maeve makes some new friends including two stoner app developers, a charming gay couple and the handsome local schoolteacher, Killian. It’s not until she finally corners Sean Fitzpatrick though that she learns the secrets of Hy Brasil.

reluctantlycharmedAs in Reluctantly Charmed, O’Neill draws on the folklore of Ireland to add a touch of mysticism to this contemporary novel. Hy Brasil is an island of great, almost unspoiled, beauty, rumoured to offer you your heart’s desire, but there is an underlying atmosphere of menace that makes Maeve uneasy. The locals are secretive, bone chilling cries rent the night air, and a dark sort of energy seems to lurk unseen.

With an appealing mix of humour, intrigue and romance, this is an entertaining read. Well written, The Enchanted Island is an enchanting novel.

The Enchanted island is available via

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A thought about: The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood


Title: The Natural Way of Things

Author: Charlotte Wood

Published: Allen & Unwin October 2015

Status: Read from October 26 to 27, 2015 — I own a copy   {Courtesy the publisher}

Two women awaken from a drugged sleep to find themselves imprisoned in an abandoned property in the middle of a desert in a story of two friends, sisterly love and courage – a gripping, starkly imaginative exploration of contemporary misogyny and corporate control, and of what it means to hunt and be hunted.

She hears her own thick voice deep inside her ears when she says, ‘I need to know where I am.’ The man stands there, tall and narrow, hand still on the doorknob, surprised. He says, almost in sympathy, ‘Oh, sweetie. You need to know what you are.’

Two women awaken from a drugged sleep to find themselves imprisoned in a broken-down property in the middle of nowhere. Strangers to each other, they have no idea where they are or how they came to be there with eight other girls, forced to wear strange uniforms, their heads shaved, guarded by two inept yet vicious armed jailers and a ‘nurse’. The girls all have something in common, but what is it? What crime has brought them here from the city? Who is the mysterious security company responsible for this desolate place with its brutal rules, its total isolation from the contemporary world? Doing hard labour under a sweltering sun, the prisoners soon learn what links them: in each girl’s past is a sexual scandal with a powerful man. They pray for rescue — but when the food starts running out it becomes clear that the jailers have also become the jailed. The girls can only rescue themselves.

My Thoughts:

A thought provoking, provocative novel that explores a chilling near-future dystopia drawn from the realities of contemporary society for women. Beautifully written but deeply disquieting.


Available via

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A thought about: The Masked Truth by Kelley Armstrong


Title: The Masked Truth

Author: Kelley Armstrong

Published: Hachette Au October 2015

Status: Read from October 26 to 27, 2015 — I own a copy   {Courtesy the publisher/Netgalley}

Riley Vasquez is haunted by the brutal murder of the couple she was babysitting for.
Max Cross is suffering under the shadow of a life-altering diagnosis he doesn’t dare reveal.
The last thing either of them wants is to spend a weekend away at a therapy camp alongside five other teens with “issues.” But that’s exactly where they are when three masked men burst in to take the group hostage.
The building has no windows. The exits are sealed shut. Their phones are gone. And their captors are on a killing spree.
Riley and Max know that if they can’t get out, they’ll be next—but they’re about to discover that even escape doesn’t equal freedom.

My Thoughts:

A surprising, fast paced thriller with plenty of twists and turns. This is a very different but interesting offering from an author best known for her urban fantasy titles.


The Masked Truth is available via

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Amazon US I Amazon UK I BookDepository



About: Buying Thyme by TJ Hamilton


Title: Buying Thyme {Thyme Trilogy #1}

Author: TJ Hamilton

Published: Harlequin AU October 2015

Status: Read from October 27 to 30, 2015 — I own a copy

What else comes at a price?
Miranda is a high-class escort at an infamous agency in Sydney, and always in demand from their top clients. Although it’s a life she never imagined for herself, Miranda has mastered the art of seducing men and makes a good living from it.
Joe Tench, rich, powerful and alluring, owns the majority of the nightlife in Sydney and is a regular client of Miranda’s. He’s demanding, dominating and dangerous, but Miranda finds herself falling for his unexpected, yet enticing charm.
That is, until she meets the mysterious Tom Smythe, heir to a wealthy mining company, and becomes caught between her feelings for these two very different men.
But neither is what they seem, and when tragedy forces Miranda to embark on a journey of discovery she will find it difficult to escape from. What price will she pay for freedom?

Available via

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