Review: Love and Miss Communication by Elyssa Friedland

 

Title: Love and Miss Communication

Author: Elyssa Friedland

Published: William Morrow May 2015

Read an Excerpt

Status: Read on May 14, 2015 — I own a copy   {Courtesy the publisher/Edelwiess}

My Thoughts:

“No more stalking ­people on Google.
No more Facebooking exes.
No more reading twits on Twitter.
No more posting pictures and waiting for “likes.”
No more refreshing Gmail every thirty seconds.
No more hashtagging meaningless combinations of words.
No more Instagramming every instant.
No more Foursquaring her whereabouts.
No more bidding on eBay for the thrill of competition.
No more pretend job hunting on Monster.
No more blogs. (She was slandered on one, for God’s sake!)
No more watching two-­year-­olds boogie to Beyoncé on YouTube.
No more playing Scrabble against house-­bound Aspergians.
No more Candy Crush, that time-­sucking psychedelic mess of sugar balls. And, best of all, no more OkCupid, JDate, eHarmony, and Match.”

A modern story about life and love in the digital age, when Evie Rosen’s addiction to email derails her promising law career and a Facebook post breaks her heart, she impulsively decides to disconnect from the world wide web and reclaim her life.

I didn’t particularly relate to Evie, whose behaviour more closely resembles that of my eighteen year old daughter than a woman, who at nearly thirty five, is closer to my age. She is, for the most part, self involved and superficial, and that is something that is very slow to change over the course of the novel. She’s horribly neglectful of her friendships, complaining because of missed e-vites and texts, but never makes much of an attempt to reach out. She pines over her ex-boyfriend, and whines endlessly about being single, without ever examining her own behaviour or attitude.

I did like the way in which Friedland developed Evie’s relationship with Dr Gold. He proves to be a great guy, though not perfect, and also a really patient man, given Evie’s neuroses.

The most charming aspect of the novel involved Evie’s relationship with her grandmother, a stereotypical Jewish Bubbe desperate to see Evie get married and have children.

Even though this is chick-lit, I thought there were missed opportunities to really explore what its like to be ‘unplugged’ in this day and age. Evie isn’t really challenged to live in the real world while ‘unplugged’, her generous severance payment gives her a lot of freedom, not that she really does much with it.

I am left with mixed feelings about Love and Miss Communication, the premise is great but Evie wasn’t a character I could root for and I felt the story was somewhat underdeveloped.

Available to Purchase From

William Morrow I Amazon US I BookDepository  I IndieBound

 Via Booko

Review: Only We Know by Victoria Purman

 

Title: Only We Know

Author: Victoria Purman

Published: Harlequin MIRA Aus May 2015

Read an Excerpt

Status: Read from May 08 to 10, 2015   – I own a copy {Courtesy the publisher}

My Thoughts:

Full review to come

A rugged island. Two people. Family secrets.
When Calla Maloney steps on the boat to Kangaroo Island, she’s filled with dread. Part of it is simple seasickness but the other part is pure trepidation. She’s not on a holiday but a mission: to track down her estranged brother, who she hasn’t seen since her family splintered two years before.
Firefighter Sam Hunter left the island twenty years ago and has made a habit out of staying as far away as he can get. But when his father’s illness forces him home, he finds himself playing bad cop to his dad and reluctant tour guide to a redhead with no sense of direction.
As Sam and Calla dig deeper into their long-buried family secrets, they discover that no one is an island and that opening up their hearts to love again might be the most dangerous thing they will ever do.

Only We Know is available to purchase from

Harlequin Iboomerang-books_long I Booktopia I via Booko

Amazon AU  I Amazon US

and all good bookstores.

Also by Victoria Purman on Book’d Out

 

aww-badge-2015

Review: Northern Heat by Helene Young

9780143799740

Title: Northern Heat

Author: Helene Young

Published: Michael Joseph: Penguin May 2015

Read an Excerpt

Status: Read from May 03 to 05, 2015 — I own a copy   {Courtesy the publisher/Netgalley}

My Thoughts:

Helene Young delivers another exciting and engaging romantic suspense novel with Northern Heat, her sixth novel.

Northern Heat begins with a murder and the suspense and action continues as Connor is targeted by both police and the bad guys. Throw in a vicious assault, a frightened wife, rebellious teens and a cyclone bearing down on the town, and the story is fast paced and tension-filled. The last few chapters in particular had me frantically flipping the pages.

Readers familiar with Safe Harbour will recognise Connor as the stranger rescued from wild seas by Darcy Fletcher and Noah Moreton. A financial manager who turned over evidence against the Russian Mafia, Connor is living under an assumed named on a yacht moored at Cooktown, investigating a lead on the identity of the hitman who murdered his wife and child, while doing his best to atone for his past sins.

Connor first meets Dr Kristy Dark at the Cooktown PCYC as the coach of her daughter’s basketball team. After losing both her young son and husband in tragic circumstances, Kristy has made a home for herself and her teenage daughter, Abby, in the small community of Cooktown. She is attracted to Connor but wary of relationships given her history, and has her hands full with her concerns about her daughter’s eating habits, and with helping a friend, a victim of domestic violence.

The developing relationship between Connor and Kristy is complicated by Kristy’s unresolved feelings for her late husband, and the secret of Connor’s true identity. While Kristy is worried about maintaining her hard won equilibrium, Connor feels opening up to Kristy will put her, and Abby, at risk from the dangers that haunt him. Despite the conflict, they are inevitably drawn to each other and when faced with a cyclonic crisis are forced to trust in each other to survive.

With a dramatic storyline, strong characterisation, passion and fast paced action, Northern Heat is another stellar read from Australia’s Queen of romantic suspense.

Northern Heat is available to purchase from

Penguin Iboomerang-books_long I Booktopia I via Booko

Amazon AU  I Amazon US

and all good bookstores.

Click the banner below to learn More about Northern Heat and how to WIN your own copy

Northernheat_banner2draft

 aww-badge-2015

Blog Tour: Introducing Northern Heat by Helene Young

Northernheat_banner2draft

I am honoured to be launching Helene Young‘s blog tour for her newest novel of romantic suspense, Northern Heat.

When Helene’s not writing novels she enjoys a busy career as the Queensland Regional Flying Manager with Australia’s largest regional airline. She’s worked in aviation for over 25 years and has 260 pilots reporting into her. She recently appeared in ‘Judith Lucy is All Woman’ in an episode showcasing women in aviation.
She has twice won the highly coveted RWA’s Romantic Book of the Year in 2011 and 2012 and was shortlisted for the Daphne du Maurier Award for Mainstream Crime and Suspense. She has also been nominated in the Ned Kelly and Sisters in Crime Awards. Helene’s last novel, Safe Harbour, was voted Australia’s 2014 Favourite Romantic Suspense Novel. This is the fourth time Helene’s stories have won the award.
A motivational speaker and writing mentor, Helene lives aboard a catamaran on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef and she plans one day to sail around the world in it.

Northern Heat is Helene’s sixth novel, my review can be seen HERE but first, please read on to learn more about this great novel and find out how you can enter the draw the WIN a copy.

9780143799740

In steamy northern Queensland, Conor is rebuilding his shattered life. Working at Cooktown’s youth centre has given him the chance to make a difference again, and the opportunity to flirt with Dr Kristy Dark. The local GP is hiding her own secrets and struggling to raise her feisty teenage daughter alone.
When a severe cyclone menaces the coast, threatening to destroy everything in its path, tensions come to a head – and the weather is not the only danger. Cut off from the world and with her life on the line, Kristy will have to summon her courage and place her trust in Conor, or they’ll both lose someone they love.

Introducing Northern Heat

I’ll be visiting some of my favourite blogs over the next four weeks to share the experiences that have gone into writing Northern Heat, along with writing advice and some ‘behind the scenes aboard Roobinesque’ posts. At the bottom of this post is a schedule for the blog hop and details of the giveaways and how to enter. I hope you and your readers will join me for the month.

James CookNorthern Heat is a very special book for me. It started in 2012 when I ran a writing workshop in Cooktown and met some extraordinarily talented writers. The workshop was held in the Police Citizen Youth Club and the policeman in charge of the centre very generously gave me a tour of the facilities and talked about the challenges of policing in rural and regional areas. Capt G and I spent the weekend in Cooktown chatting to locals, wandering around the markets and having a yarn in a couple of the pubs. We’d been to Cooktown several times before, but always to visit friends so we hadn’t really explored the district before.

In its heyday Cooktown was the centre of one of Australia’s largest gold rushes. That rich and diverse history has left its mark side-by-side with the relics from Capt Cook’s Endeavour, which was careened there on 16th June 1770 after hitting a reef to the south. Aboriginal culture is strong in the district with the settlement of Hopetown to the north. The whole area is full of memorable characters.

On the six-hour drive back to Cairns the story started to take shape, but it would be another two years before I finally sat down to write it. The main character, Conor, was a man in need of redemption. He’d made some mistakes, paid a terrible price and now deserved to move on with his life, wiser, more circumspect but still grieving.

Dr Kristy and her daughter, Abby, came as a family. I’ve watched girls in our circle of family and friends struggle with the surge of hormones as they enter their teens. Abby was sweet but feisty from the very start. Dealing with her family tragedy whilst trying to match-make on her mother’s behalf made her beguiling. I loved telling her story. I’ve have friends who are single mums struggle to be all things to their children, and still having to pursue careers to pay the bills. It was important to me to show the very human side of Kristy as she anguishes about her weight, her parenting ability, her single mum status, all the while she’s recovering from her own tragic loss and the fallout of domestic violence.

Cooktown WharfFreya, a character Kristy is trying to help, is trapped in a violent marriage. The research into domestic violence was heartbreaking. So many women shared their experiences and the thing that struck me most was that, even if they’d rebuilt their lives, in many cases guilt still held them back. I hope I’ve done their stories justice.

I hope you enjoy Northern Heat and maybe find time to visit North Queensland on your next holiday (I can’t resist a little bit of tourism marketing!)

Do you have a favourite place you loved to revisit in stories? We’d love to hear about it! Comment to go into the draw for the giveaways and thanks for dropping by.

Blog Tour Giveaway

To celebrate the release of my sixth book I have six prize packs to give away. Four of them are duos of SAFE HARBOUR and NORTHERN HEAT and one major prize is a complete set of my six books. For international readers there is a duo of e-books to be won.
To enter leave a comment here or share the post and/or the trailer on social media sites and I’ll double your chances!

Hope to see you through May at the following blogs.

5th May: https://bookdout.wordpress.com
7th May: http://auslit.net
10th May: http://deannasworld1.blogspot.com.au
12th May: http://www.jennjmcleod.com
14th May: http://ausromtoday.com
17th May: https://1girl2manybooks.wordpress.com
19th May: http://writenotereviews.com
21st May: https://australianbookshelf.wordpress.com
24th May: https://nevendbookshelf.wordpress.com/category/reviews/
26th May: http://teddyree-theeclecticreader.blogspot.com.au
28th May: http://australianruralromance.com
31st May: http://talkingbooksblog.net
2nd June: Wrap up and announce the winner on my blog-
http://www.heleneyoung.com

9780143799740

Northern Heat is available to purchase from

Penguin Iboomerang-books_long I Booktopia I via Booko

Amazon AU  I Amazon US

and all good bookstores.

Review: Season of Shadow and Light by Jenn J McLeod

 

Title: Season of Shadow and Light

Author: Jenn J McLeod

Published: Simon & Schuster May 2015

Status: Read from April 28 to 30, 2015 — I own a copy

My Thoughts:

“Light can illuminate truth, let us see things we might otherwise unknowingly pass by in the dark. It can also illuminate the signs that will allow each of us to find the road to forgiveness, to trust, to hope, to belief and to the future.”

An engaging story of secrets and lies, of trust and betrayal, of family, friendship and forgiveness, Season of Shadow and Light is Jenn J McLeod’s third novel of contemporary fiction set in rural New South Wales.

Unhappy and frustrated after a difficult few years, Paige Turner decides to take her six year old daughter, Matilda, and mother, Alice, and spend two weeks in country New South Wales. Their destination, Saddleton, is determined by signage visible in an old photograph of Paige’s mother in her youth, but rising floodwater results in the trio becoming stranded in the tiny town of Coolabah Tree Gully. Though Paige is content to enjoy the hospitality of the generous locals who offer the family a place to stay, Alice is increasingly anxious. Coolabah Tree Gully is home to a secret Alice has kept for decades and, should it come to light, has the potential to destroy everything she holds dear.

The story of Season of Shadow and Light unfolds primarily from the perspectives of Paige and Alice, two richly drawn, complex characters confronted with a legacy of secrets.

Paige has had an extraordinarily difficult time recently. A late term miscarriage was followed by a postpartum stroke, leaving her with physical deficits and destroying her career as a food critic. Learning of her husband’s infidelity pushes Paige to the breaking point, motivating her to escape to the country with her daughter and Alice. Paige choose Saddleton as a destination with the vague notion of tracing the origins of a photo of her mother, Nancy, unwittingly ending up in the town her mother fled in the dead of night almost forty years earlier. Paige of course has no idea about her mother’s past, but nevertheless feels incomplete.

“I lost the things that made me who I am, the things that made me feel complete as a person. You know that jigsaw puzzle Mati has – the one with the missing pieces we searched high and low for that day? That puzzle is me. There are pieces missing, and I don’t mean my sense of smell and taste. The fact I can’t explain what I feel frustrates the hell out of me.'”

Alice has been Paige’s sole parent since the death of Nancy, her partner and lover, when Paige was ten. Aware of Nancy’s hidden past, Alice had promised never to reveal the truth of it to Paige, but stranded in Coolabah Tree Gully it becomes harder for her to determine exactly who she is protecting, especially when she is confronted with the consequences of keeping it to herself. Alice really struggles with the thought of not only betraying Nancy, but being held accountable by Paige.

“An improbable set of circumstances.
An impossible situation.
How long could she hold on to the truth? Should she hold on?….Was she obligated to protect the deceptions of the dead when the truth might somehow help the living?”

A low key element of romance is introduced by Aiden, a local man recently returned from Sydney, ‘cheffing’ in the local pub, his own future in tatters after being betrayed by his ex-girlfriend. He is attracted to Paige, who appreciates the attention given the state of her shaky marriage, and eventually proves to be a link between Paige and her mother’s secret but to be honest I thought Aiden’s point of view, shared in brief chapters throughout the novel, wasn’t really necessary.

Through her characters McLeod explores issues such as miscarriage, stroke recovery, infidelity, identity, same sex partnerships, and organ transplantation. The larger themes of the novel examine the nature of loyalty, trust, deception and betrayal. Suspense stems from the nature of the secret that Alice is keeping and the anticipation of Paige learning it. McLeod skillfully teases out the details of Nancy’s hidden past but I did feel there were times when the narrative stalled briefly, repeating Alice’s angst and Aiden’s upset a little too often.

“Love is about connection.” says Alice, and Season of Shadow and Light is a story about connections – between partners and lovers, between parents and their children, and between siblings – tested, sometimes frayed and weakened, but strengthened by forgiveness, trust and love.

Learn more about Season of Shadow Light by reading Jenn J McLeod’s guest post, Fiction with an Order of Food

Season of Shadow and Light is available to purchase from

Simon & Schuster Iboomerang-books_long I Booktopia I via Booko

Amazon AU  I Amazon US

and all good bookstores.

seasonshadow_banner2

 

aww-badge-2015

Review: Gallipoli Street by Mary-Anne O’Connor

Today is ANZAC Day in Australia, a time to remember and honour those who have served in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations in defense of Australia and New Zealand. The date, April 25th, specifically  references the anniversary of the landing on Gallipoli in 1915, a doomed campaign that nevertheless birthed the legend of the ANZAC spirit.

My daughter has been accorded the honour of leading today’s ANZAC march in my country town, on the 100th anniversary of the landings, bearing the Australian flag. My oldest son will wear his grandfather’s service medals as he and his brother march with their cub troop. We will remember them. Lest we forget.

******************

Title: Gallipoli Street

Author: Mary-Anne O’Connor

Published: MIRA: Harlequin AU March 2015

Status: Read from April 23 to 24, 2015 — I own a copy   {Courtesy the publisher}

My Thoughts:

A sweeping saga of romance, friendship, family and war, Gallipoli Street is Mary-Anne O’Connor’s debut novel.

Its 1913 and the declaration of war is about to shatter the rural idyll of Beecroft, home to the close knit O’Shay, Murphy and Dwyer families, who will discover their fates are intertwined by tragedy and love.

The romance of Gallipoli Street begins with the passionate love story between childhood friends, Veronica O’Shay and Jack Murphy. It is an epic tale that sees the couple overcome a scheming femme fatale, the perils of their service in the Great War, and Jack’s struggle to reconcile his experiences on his return home.
Twenty years later their son finds love in a New Guinea field hospital ward with orphaned nurse Theresa, but their relationship is shattered when shocking secrets from her past are exposed.

The story takes us from the trenches of Gallipoli, to the deserts of Egypt, from the muddy battlefield of The Somme, to the dense jungle of the Kokoda Trail. No matter the period or arena, war proves to be a universally horrifying and heartbreaking experience which the author relates with truth and compassion.

An appealing and poignant tale, O’Connor has drawn inspiration for both the story of Gallipoli Street and its characters from the lives of her maternal grandparents lending it authenticity and heart.

Gallipoli Street is available to purchase from

Harlequin Iboomerang-books_long I Booktopia I via Booko

Amazon AU  I Amazon US

and all good bookstores.

aww-badge-2015

Review: The Falls by Cathryn Hein

 

Title: The Falls

Author: Cathryn Hein

Published: Michael Joseph: Penguin April 2015

Read an Extract

Status: Read from April 22 to 23, 2015 — I own a copy   {Courtesy the publisher}

My Thoughts:

The Falls is Cathryn Hein’s sixth novel, loosely linked to Rocking Horse Hill.

Teagan Bliss is devastated when her father gambles away the family property, Pinehaven, and with it her future hopes and dreams. Betrayed and heartbroken, she seeks sanctuary at the home of her Aunt Vanessa in the Falls Valley, at the foot of the Blue Mountains. It takes time but slowly the idyllic surrounds of Falls Farm, the loving concern of her aunt, a new job, and the attentions of local farrier, Lucas Knight, encourage Teagan to see beyond what she has lost, but how can she trust in the vision of a new future, when she can’t trust in herself?

Teagan is not an easy character, though she engenders sympathy for the losses she has endured, her spiraling depression means she is closed off, prickly, and with her self esteem at rock bottom, always expecting the worst. Hein ably explores Teagan’s experience as she tries to fight off the ‘blackness’ that threatens to overtake her.

The romance between Teagan and Lucas is fairly low key given Teagan’s fragile emotional state. Though their attraction is mutual, Teagan is unable to believe Lucas could be interested in her and it takes Lucas a while to convince her otherwise. I liked Lucas, he proves to be kind and responsible, though perhaps a little naive in dealing with Teagan’s depression.

The chemistry between Vanessa and Domenic add interest to the plot along with Vanessa’s reservations about Domenic’s motives, and Domenic’s relationship with Lucas. So to does the complicated relationship between local vet, Bunny, and Duncan.

As always, Hein supports her protagonists with a community of colourful people and animals, from local busybody Colin, to Merlin the ram, and Falls Valley is vividly depicted from the rolling rural landscape to the main street of town. While cricket unites the Valley, plans for the expansion of a nearby exclusive ‘wellness’ center threatens to tear it apart and the tension affects Teagan who gets caught in the middle.

A little more ambitious in scope than her previous novels, The Falls is an engaging contemporary story about family, love, romance, belonging and healing, blending heartfelt romance with impassioned drama in rural Australia.

 

Available to purchase from

Penguin Iboomerang-books_long I Booktopia I via Booko

Amazon AU  I Amazon US

and all good bookstores.

aww-badge-2015

Also by Cathryn Hein

Blog Tour: An Excerpt from All That Sparkles by Claire Boston

Allthatsparklesgif

An excerpt from All That Sparkles {Book 2 of the Texan Quartet} by Claire Boston

Imogen has led a sheltered upbringing. When Christian asks her what she wants to do on their date, she chooses a local theme park as she’s never been to one. This scene starts as they arrive.

******

Imogen was ridiculously excited by the time they arrived at the boardwalk. She had to laugh. Her father would be absolutely horrified. The boardwalk represented everything he hated: crowds, cheesy souvenirs and mass-produced food.
Christian took hold of her hand. “Where do you want to begin?”
“The rollercoaster.” She’d seen it from a distance as they drove in and was worried she’d chicken out if she didn’t do it right away.
Christian laughed. “All right. Let’s get some tickets.”
They wandered along a path. There was a mixture of families with small children, teenagers on their own and young adults. Imogen glanced up at a ride proclaiming itself the Iron Eagle Zipline as the chair at the top of the line came rushing back to earth. Her heart thumped at the screams issuing from the chair. “We need to do that as well,” she said.
“Whatever you want,” Christian said. “Come on, the ticket booth is over there.”
While Christian bought the tickets she scanned the park, deciding what else she wanted to do.
“Here.” He handed her a ticket. “It’s a day pass.”
Imogen hadn’t offered to pay. “How much do I owe you?”
He gave her a look. “You’re my date; I’m paying today.”
She opened her mouth to protest, but he interrupted, “Unless you want me to pay for my ticket from Friday night.”
She closed her mouth again. He was right. If he wanted to pay for her she should let him. It was weird because she usually paid when she went on dates. “All right,” she said. “But I should warn you that I’m expecting both donuts and cotton candy.”
He grinned. “I can manage that.”
They lined up for the rollercoaster, the Boardwalk Bullet. It was huge, and as Imogen watched a carriage plummet down the first drop, she squeezed Christian’s hand. She was going to do this. She was going to ride this wooden rollercoaster. She was going to take this risk.
It wasn’t long before it was their turn. The front seat was free and Christian pulled her in.
“It’s the best spot.”
Imogen wasn’t so sure she wanted to be right at the front, but she went with him and waited for the safety bar to lock in to place. She glanced at it dubiously. It wasn’t a whole lot to keep her from falling out.
The carriage moved and Imogen clutched Christian’s hand. This was it! Nerves and excitement clattered queasily around in her stomach. The carriage was dragged up an incline and Imogen could see across the parking lot and marina to one side and the Texas Gulf on the other. Then, before she could catch her breath, the ride was going around a bend and dropping straight down.
“Hands up,” Christian shouted, putting his hands up in the air, and hers went with him. Her stomach dropped along with the ride and she shrieked as they twisted and turned. It was insane. Her body was thrown violently around and she had no control over what she was doing, where she was going.
It was terrifying and it was thrilling.
She didn’t breathe properly until they came to a slow stop.
“Oh my gosh,” she said, her skin tingling.
“What did you think?” Christian asked as they exited the ride.
She couldn’t think straight. Adrenalin was racing around her body and she couldn’t stand still. What a buzz. “That was so much fun.” She tapped her hands on her thighs. “Can we go again?”
“Sure thing.”
She flung her arms around his neck and kissed him. “Thanks.” She grabbed his hand before he could kiss her again. “Come on.” She dragged him back to the line.

Published by Momentum, April 2015

AllthatSparklesBT

 

Review & Giveaway: The Chocolate Promise by Josephine Moon

 

Title: The Chocolate Promise

Author: Josephine Moon

Published: Allen & Unwin April 2015

Read an Extract

Status: Read on April 09, 2015 — I own a copy  {Courtesy the publisher}

My Thoughts:

A sweet tale about love, friendship, family and chocolate, The Chocolate Promise is Josephine Moon’s second novel.

Christmas Livingstone is doing what she loves, making and selling gourmet chocolate treats in her very own store, The Chocolate Apothecary, and spreading joy, helping those in need in her community. She has ten simple rules for happiness, all of which have helped her rebuild her life after fleeing heartbreak three years previously and she is determined to stick with them, even when Lincoln van Luc, a botanist, wanders into her shop and threatens the most important rule of all… ‘Absolutely no romantic relationships’.

“The rules, she reminded herself. The rules were there for her protection. The rules had served her well and kept her steady for the past three years. Now was not the time to abandon the rules.”

Christmas is happy with the life she has made for herself and the plans she has for the future but the rules that have allowed her to rebuild her life begin to chafe when first wins a place on a week-long course with a world-renowned French chocolatier, and then she meets Lincoln. Christmas (a ridiculous name btw) is creative, intelligent and kind but she is also emotionally closed off due to a dysfunctional childhood and a recent trauma. Moon gently guides her character into dealing with her past and opening up her heart as the story unfolds.

The romantic relationship between Christmas and Lincoln is complicated by Christmas’s ‘rules’ and Lincoln’s wunderlust. Lincoln, a botanist, has spent most of his life traveling the world and doesn’t plan to stay in Tasmania long. He has returned to help his Nan, a wonderful character, and work on his book, but falling in love with Christmas forces him to reassess his future.

I delighted in the settings, a small town in Tasmania with ‘period’ tourist appeal, the Chocolate Apothecary sounds like a pretty store and I could easily imagine the tempting treats gracing the shelves and the rich smell of molten chocolate. Francophiles will enjoy Christmas’s sojourn in France touring the countryside exploring lavender farms in Provence, and whipping up treats like a champagne and vodka chocolate ganache to coat fresh rasberries in Aix.

This novel, with its appealing characters and feel good storyline, is a lovely way to treat yourself on a lazy afternoon, but be warned, you will be craving chocolate before you are through, so make sure you have your favourite on hand.

The Chocolate Promise is available to purchase from

Allen and Unwin Iboomerang-books_long I Booktopia I via Booko

Amazon AU  I Amazon US

and all good bookstores.

GIVEAWAY

Courtesy of Allen & Unwin, I have

5 print editions of

The Chocolate Promise by Josephine Moon

to giveaway

to five lucky Australian residents.

Leave a comment on this post and then

CLICK HERE TO ENTER

Entries close May 3rd,  2015

 

Review: Love at First Flight by Tess Woods

LoveAtFirstFlighteCover

 

Title: Love at First Flight

Author: Tess Woods

Published: HarperCollins Au April 2015

Status: Read from April 15 to 16, 2015 — I own a copy   {Courtesy the author}

My Thoughts:

Told from the first person perspectives of Mel and Matt, Love at First Flight is an unconventional love story which explores the motives for an illicit affair, and the damage left in its wake.

When Mel meets Matt during an interstate flight they recognise each other as soul mates. The problem is Mel is a married mother of two who lives in Perth, and Matt, who lives in Melbourne, is engaged to be married. Despite saying goodbye at the airport, they are both unable to forget their brief time together, and embark on a passionate affair that threatens to destroy them both.

Relationships are complicated things and Woods intelligently and compassionately explores the evolution of Matt and Mel’s affair from their first meeting, through their consuming affair, and to the messy, bitter end. It’s an emotional journey that draws the reader in with complex characterisation and a compelling narrative.

I was surprised to find I could relate to Mel in some ways, I found it difficult to blame her for reveling in the attention Matt gave her during the flight, but she definitely crossed the line for me when she chose to meet with him later. Her spiral into obsession was unsettling but I believed in it, as I did in her growing self awareness.

I particularly admired the way Mel eventually took responsibility for her failings with her husband. Mel’s shame and guilt, and Adam’s hurt and anger, in the aftermath is visceral. I’ve witnessed a similar situation among friends and feel that Woods portrayal of their struggle towards forgiveness and redemption is very well drawn.

Woods convinced me of the overwhelming chemistry between Mel and Matt, no mean feat considering I’m not sure I really believe in the idea of love at first sight. I wasn’t a fan of Matt, despite his sympathetic background he struck me as a weak man, but I thought he was a well rounded character.

Love at First Flight is a surprisingly thought provoking story about love, marriage, intimacy and honesty. An impressive debut from a new Australian author.

 

Learn more about Love at First Flight, Tess Woods and her road to publication in her guest post published earlier today

Love at First Flight is available to purchase from

HarperCollins I Amazon I Amazon Au I Google Play I Kobo I iTunes

aww-badge-2015

Previous Older Entries

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,922 other followers