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review 2015-04-24 06:24
4* Book Review of In Wilderness by Diane Thomas - BLOG TOUR

my banner in wilderness Check out this amazingly terrifying and enthralling story of a woman's desperate need for survival and of a young man intrigued to watch.
in wilderness cover

In Wilderness by Diane Thomas

Publisher: Random House Australia
Release Date: 1st April 2015
Genre: Fiction, Suspense

Suspenseful, intensely erotic and unflinching, this spine-chilling love story will haunt you long after the last page.

After learning she has a terminal illness, Katherine abandons her successful advertising firm and seeks refuge in the solitude of a cabin in the wilderness.

But as she hikes up to the isolated cabin, Katherine senses she is being watched. Collapsed with exhaustion on the cabin floor, she hears breathing just outside her door. A heartbeat in the night. Someone is out there.

Her sudden arrival at the previously abandoned cabin has unsettled its previous inhabitant, Danny, a damaged young Vietnam veteran tormented bythe demons of his past.

When these two lost souls collide, the passion that ignites between them becomes an all-consuming wildfire that threatens to destroy them both.



My Review

This isn’t my usual genre, but it sounded so intriguing when the opportunity became available to review it. I am certainly not disappointed and couldn’t wait to see what would happen in the end. It is undoubtedly everything they publicised it to be and the idea of living in a secluded cabin all alone is quite terrifying.

Katherine (Kate) Reid is a thirty-eight year old successful advertising executive and own majority shares in the agency. She went to three different doctors hoping for a different outcome, but Kate is now resigned to the fact she’s dying. The third doctor tells her they used to tell patients a hundred or so years ago, to go west, move to the country, and take the grand tour of Europe; anything to change the scenery in the time she has left.

Is it fate that an advertisement for a rustic mountain cabin adjacent to a national forest with a sizable private wilderness at the doorstep is for sale?

Kate doesn’t tell anybody her prognosis at work and continues working for as long as she can. But when she uses that same newspaper to light a fire in her den, Kate sees the ad again and an idea forms.

January arrives and her illness has finally shown at work. Kate sells her controlling share and over the next few weeks, she organises things, sells her house and gathers supplies to live out her remaining months in the isolated cabin. She tries to pack light knowing there’s a hike into her cabin and she’ll have to carry everything in.

It’s now February and Kate loads everything into her mustang, with a final teary look at the house that held so many unfulfilled dreams, she drives down the street and onto her next adventure. When she arrives at the marker the surveyor left for her, Kate sorts everything and begins her hike. Will she make it before nightfall?

The hike is long and hard in her weakened state. She thinks something is following her, like a bear or a deer. She sees shadows hiding between trees and stops often to check over her shoulder. It’s almost twilight when Kate stops and sees her cabin at the bottom of a hill.  She falls into her cabin, sets up her sleeping bag and is ready to sleep. But the night sounds in the unknown wilderness is all around her. A small wind whirls dry leaves; an owl hoots and something steps lightly on the ground.

Kate is not alone in the forest. She hears something breathing next to the corner where she’s sleeping. It is a calming sound, but terrifying at the same time. A deer?

He’s up on the mountain, high as a kite and sees some stupid city chick walking in the forest in a bright red coat. He watches and seems intrigued by this woman, but he has vowed to never touch another woman ever again. What did he do? He can smell the sickness on the woman, he can smell her dying. He doesn’t want to feel for her, he only wants to watch, but finds himself watching more and more.

What is so compelling about this woman that he can’t stay away? Will he make contact with her? Will he watch her die? How long will it be until Kate’s body breaks down? Does she really believe she’s alone in the majestic forest with flora and fauna for company?

This is a story showing how badly people want to live. Whether it’s in isolation or in a big city surrounded by people, we all want to live a full life. The horrific events that take place throughout were haunting and sad. This is a dual point of view from both Kate and the Watcher and I have to say, the Watcher is a psychotic sociopath. In Wilderness is definitely horrifying, thrilling, intense, and steamy and is such an emotional and heart aching story. It was a little long for my liking, but it is positively addictive in places.

Next up on the tour from Random House Australia, is https://1girl2manybooks.wordpress.com/ - be on the look out.


About the Author

diane thomas bioDiane Thomas is the author of the highly acclaimed novel, The Year the Music Changed. Inspired by her own brush with death, an early draft of In Wilderness was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She has worked as a reporter, film and theater critic, magazine writer, and editor in Atlanta, north Georgia, and the Florida panhandle. She and her husband now live in New Mexico.

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review 2015-03-05 04:53
5* Book Review of Rose River by Margareta Osborn

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Summary: Adapted from Margareta Osborn's bestselling ebook novella A Bush Christmas, Rose River is a gloriously funny romantic comedy set in the beautiful Australian outback.

Take one city girl - and drop her into the back of beyond ...

Housesitting in rural Burdekin's Gap, high up in the East Gippsland mountains, is not an obvious career move for a PR executive like Jaime Hanrahan. But, hey, retrenchment is a kicker.

Plus she's determined not to spend Christmas in Melbourne with her friends, who still have company cars and six-figure salaries, or with her mother, Blanche, who has remarried too soon after her father's death.

However, it turns out that Burdekin's Gap is a little more remote than Jaime had anticipated, the house is in the middle of a cattle station, and the handsome manager, Stirling McEvoy, doesn't appreciate a new farmhand in Jimmy Choos and Sass & Bide cut-offs.

Soon Jaime is fending off stampeding cows, town ladies wielding clipboards, sheep who think they are goats, nude sportsmen and one very neurotic cat. So why does she feel like she's falling in love . . . with the life, with the breathtaking landscape, and with one infuriating cowboy …?

rose river cover lgeTitle: Rose River
Series: standalone
Author: Margareta Osborn
Publisher: Random House Australia
Released: 1st March 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format: eGalley
Source: Publisher via NetGalley for blog tour - thank you Lucy!

I have heard a lot of fabulous things about this wonderful Aussie author, Margaret Osborn and was excited to read Rose River. I lived in Melbourne for a few years and Rose River was set not far from there. Ms Osborn has such an extraordinary writing style that I was addicted from the get go. The characters were fun and the overall story was so entertaining that everybody needs to read this book.

Jaime Hanrahan is twenty-six and currently unemployed. She was retrenched as a marketing executive and with Christmas approaching, she is looking for somewhere to escape the festive season. Her manicurist mentioned something about house-sitting in the country while the owner travelled.

There are three things Jaime can’t stand:
1.       her name
2.       public transport, and
3.       muscle bound men riding Harley Davidsons.

With no six figure salary, no South Bank flat, no car, no iPad, no iPhone, Jaime was without technology and without independence.

Travelling to Polly’s Plains House, Jaime is in a bit of a pickle. Her bus doesn’t go up the mountain and unless she wants to wait until Wednesday for the next truck, Jaime has to get behind the muscle bound man on his motorbike. She calls him Marbleman for his icy exterior.

Marbleman gave her two minutes to pack some things to fit on the bike while the rest of her belongings would be delivered Wednesday. It appears Marbleman has a history with posh city chics and he seems to be taking his intolerance out on her.

Once inside the mansion in the country, Jaime was greeted with a note from the stockman, who obviously thought Jaime was a bloke. He was expecting Jaime to help with the cattle the next morning bright and early.

Well the next morning she wanted to prove her worth and went to the cattle yards to help, but what she found was Marbleman. Stirling McEvoy was just as shocked as she was. With determination and stubbornness, Jaime quickly learned to get up close and personal with the Steers.

When her belongings arrived at the General Store, Jaime heads off to collect them. The owner of the store, Ryan, asks Jaime on a date, but with a shadow coming over her and a deep voice speaking before she could respond, she found Marbleman dressed in all his leather glory. She was stunned by how exquisite he looked, frozen in place Jaime was busted for ogling, she came up with some excuse for checking him out. Making up a story about his boots, she wiggles her pretty sparkly toes at the men and they freeze mesmerised by her legs and sparkles. Marbleman tells Ryan that she has to help him with the rabbits, since she is supposed to be his hired help, so no date.

Jaime was falling in love with the countryside, Polly’s Plains was breathtaking. She was finding herself drawn to Marbleman, they have electricity that cannot be denied. He calls her Princess, which she hates and Jaime gets pressured into the Christmas festivities for the community.

Laugh along with Jaime as she fuddles her way through her weeks of housesitting a mansion in the country, falling in love with the community as well as the countryside and her interactions with Marbleman. See what antics come about when Stirling’s past catches up with him and a stepbrother who thinks Jaime belongs to him. Rose River was such a laugh out loud read, but had intense emotion from Jaime that I was crying with heartache too. This is definitely a must read for all romance readers after humour and fun.
5 PAPER HEARTS big heart buttons goodreads


About the Author

margareta osborn bioMargareta Osborn is a fifth-generation farmer who has lived and worked on the land all her life. She also writes about it in the Gippsland Country Life magazine. Home is the beautiful Macalister Valley of East Gippsland where, with her husband and three children, she spends many hours in the mountains in which her novels are set.

She is the author of four bestselling novels, Bella's Run, Hope's Road, Mountain Ash and Rose River (coming April 2015) and the no.1 bestselling ebook A Bush Christmas.


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review 2015-01-14 07:50
5* Book Review of The Maxwell Sisters by Loretta Hill
The Maxwell Sisters - Loretta Hill

courtesy of Loretta Hill's blog
I have found another fantastic Australian author that everybody must read. Loretta Hill's latest drama is such a fun read, with unpredictable surprises, beautiful scenery and amazing food descriptors.

Check out some other review for this wonderful book. Read Shellyrae's review HERE from yesterday and look out for another fantastic Australian author, Jennifer Scoullar's post HERE tomorrow.
the maxwell sisters

The Maxwell Sisters by Loretta Hill

Released: 2nd January 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Random House Australia

From the author of the bestselling The Girl in Steel-Capped Boots comes a heartwarming romantic comedy about three extraordinary women on a journey to find love and rediscover family.

All families have their problems. No more so than the Maxwells of Tawny Brooks Winery. Situated in the heart of the Margaret River wine region, this world-renowned winery was the childhood home to three sisters, Natasha, Eve and Phoebe.

Today all three women are enmeshed in their city lives and eager to forget their past - and their fractured sibling relationships. Until Phoebe decides to get married at home . . .

Now the sisters must all return to face a host of family obligations, vintage in full swing and interfering in-laws who just can't take a hint. As one romance blossoms and others fall apart, it seems they are all in need of some sisterly advice.

But old wounds cut deep. Somehow, The Maxwell Sisters must find a way back to one another – or risk losing each other forever.



My Review

Being an Australian book lover of course I had heard of the fabulous Loretta Hill, but hadn’t had a chance to read one of her books. When The Maxwell Sisters came along, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity and being one of three daughters myself, I just had to see what the Maxwell sisters got up to. I absolutely loved this book, the real life drama, romance, humour and family loyalty were wonderful and the descriptive scenes of the area, just amazing.

Phoebe Maxwell is the youngest of the sisters, at 25 she’s a primary school teacher and the most positive person you could meet. No matter the circumstance, Phoebe will find a little ray of sunshine in every dark storm. Phoebe is marrying Christopher and after making a promise to her father, is on a mission to fix their broken family.

Eve Maxwell is the middle daughter and at age 27 is a talented sous-chef in Perth. She has been secretly in love with her best friend Spider for the past eight years and has been avoiding him since the fire a year ago.

Natasha Roberts (Maxwell) is the eldest and the daughter that has the most pressure on her. At age 30, her life has always gone to plan, with the successful career in marketing and the big house in the right suburb, until the last year when her life was turned upside down from a tragic event.

Each sister is keeping a secret and when Phoebe calls the family together, her sisters are hesitant because they don’t want their secrets discovered. A month before the wedding they all arrive at Tawny Brooks to help renovate the restaurant that was damaged a year ago. The plan is for the reception to be held there, but Eve is emotionally distraught.

As with all secrets, they cannot be kept for long and it seems that John “Mad” Maxwell knows them all anyway. His words of wisdom always seems to be the push each of his daughters need to find their path to happiness, but when his secret is discovered, will the girls be able to move forward.

We are introduced to Adam the winemaker, Heath the engineer and Natasha’s husband; Eric the gardener and Spider’s parents, Patricia and Graeme. Wedding preparations take a lot of patience and a lot of negotiation between families and this family is no different. Phoebe tries to keep a world war from breaking out between the mothers, while John keeps score on who wins each point.

Follow each sister through their month long stay at Tawny Brooks and discover what happened to the restaurant, what the secrets are and who finds love again. The Maxwell Sisters has something for everybody from love to heartache, tragic loss to new beginnings and mystery to discovering the truth. Ms Hill’s style is extraordinary and she had me rolling on the floor laughing to crying and everything in between. This is definitely a must read for all romance readers.

Other books by Loretta Hill:



About the Author

Loretta Hill

Loretta was born in Perth, Western Australia, the eldest of four girls. She enjoyed writing from a very early age, spinning stories almost as soon as she could read them.

She was first published in the West Australian Newspaper with a short story about a circus horse when she was eleven years old. They paid her ten dollars for it and she knew she’d found her calling.

She put her dream on hold however, to pursue a less risky career in engineering. Blessed with her fathers knack for science, she graduated from the University of Western Australia and began working as a structural engineer. She continued to create stories in her free time.

She now writes contemporary romances for Avalon Books under the name Loretta Brabant and mainstream commerical women’s fiction for Random House Australia under the name Loretta Hill. She is happily married with three young children. When Loretta isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, good food and travelling.



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