Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Book Review: Her Outback Surprise (Rural Romance)

Her Outback Surprise
Annie Seaton

Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Publication date: 9th October 2017
Series: Prickle Creek #2
Pages: 218
Format Read: eBook
Source: Courtesy of the publisher via Netgalley

Angie Edmonds is content with life in her small town. Being alone doesn’t bother her. Really. Until Liam Smythe, the man who broke her heart, shows up at her vet clinic with an injured puppy. Unfortunately, he's just as irresistible as she remembers. In an attempt to prove to him that she’s moved on, somehow a little white lie begins…

When Liam returns to help run the family farm, his enjoyment of the slow life in Spring Downs surprises him. After all, he’s used to the thrill of chasing the next big story. Running into the girl he's never been able to forget is unexpected, and he’s shocked to learn she’s getting married--to someone who's not him. She’s off-limits, but Liam can’t stop thinking about the gorgeous vet and what could have been. But convincing her he’s changed will be harder than finding a needle in a haystack.

I really enjoyed Her Outback Surprise and the community of Spring Downs. This is book2 in the Prickle Creek series about four cousins whose Grandparents own Prickle Creek farm in outback New South Wales. They are called back to help on the farm whilst their Grandparents have a well earned holiday.

Liam and Angie’s story is a second chance romance trope. They had previously had a relationship in London breaking up when Angie had to return to Australia. Neither knew the other was in Spring Downs and when they found out they tried hard to avoid each other but fate and Cousin Lucy had other plans.

I absolutely loved Lucy, she was obviously settled in her life and she wanted the same for Liam. They were more like brother and sister than cousins and you could feel their closeness in their teasing and banter. Lucy immediately connected with Angie and I could plainly see that Lucy would remain her friend no matter the outcome with Liam.

I need to do something worthwhile. Go back to investigating and reporting social issues.’

Liam was a high flying reporter in London and full of his own self-importance, thinking work on the farm as a holiday break, not a career.

‘Man, I’ve been an insensitive jerk!’ – Liam

It took him a while to realise this and I think Angie was too easy on him.

This was a fun rural romance with plenty of anguish and misunderstandings as we follow Liam and Angie through some fun times together and also plenty of heartache. I think it took too long for Lucy to say ‘I’ve had enough’ and take off.

The book ends with an epilogue that reads like a teaser for the next book that will be about Jemima, Liam’s sister. She doesn’t feature in Liam & Angie’s story only returning to Prickle Creek Farm as the story closes.

Book 1 Her Outback Cowboy is Lucy’s story and I am going to be self indulgent and grab a copy and read it straight away.

🌟🌟🌟 1/2

My Rating   3.5/5

Annie Seaton lives on the edge of the South Pacific Ocean on the east coast of Australia. She is fulfilling her lifelong dream of writing and has been delighted to discover readers love reading her stories as much as she loves writing them. Annie lives with her own hero of many years. Their two children are now grown up and married, and two beautiful grandchildren have arrived. Now they share their home with Toby, the naughtiest dog in the universe, and two white cats. Each winter, Annie and her husband leave the beach to roam the remote areas of Australia for story ideas and research. In 2014, Annie was voted Author of the Year, and in 2015 was voted Best Established Author in the AusRom Today Readers Choice Awards.

You can connect with the author at the following sites:
Website  ||  Twitter  ||  Facebook

Monday, 20 May 2019

Mailbox Monday: May 20th

Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog. Head over and check out other books received during the last week. 

Happy Monday! 

Not much has happened over the last week although I always seem to be busy.
I had lunch with friends on Friday (sorry no photos) and it was nice to catch up with one friend I hadn't seen for over six months.
My daughter and I made a tasty caramel slice and I took a quick photo  before it was devoured.

Not the most glamorous photo but it was delicious.

Books  received during the past week.
I received one book which was a Netgalley invitation from St Martin's Press
 Renia's Diary by Renia Spiegel

The long-hidden diary of a young Polish woman's last days during the Holocaust, translated for the first time into English, with a foreword from American Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt.

Renia Spiegel was a young girl from an upper-middle class Jewish family living on an estate in Stawki, Poland, near what was at that time the border with Romania. In the summer of 1939, Renia and her sister Elizabeth (nÊe Ariana) were visiting their grandparents in Przemysl, right before the Germans invaded Poland.

Like Anne Frank, Renia recorded her days in her beloved diary. She also filled it with beautiful original poetry. Her diary records how she grew up, fell in love, and was rounded up by the invading Nazis and forced to move to the ghetto in Przemsyl with all the other Jews. By luck, Renia's boyfriend Zygmund was able to find a tenement for Renia to hide in with his parents and took her out of the ghetto. This is all described in the Diary, as well as the tragedies that befell her family and her ultimate fate in 1942, as written in by Zygmund on the Diary's final page.
What Books did your postman deliver this week?

Post a link to your Mailbox Monday or simply list your books in the comments below.

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Book Review: The Glovemaker (Historical Fiction)

The Glovemaker
Ann Weisgarber

Publisher: Pan Macmillan 
Imprint: Mantle
Publication date: 26th February 2019
Pages: 304
RRP: $29.99AUD
Format read: Paperback
Source: Courtesy of the publisher

In the inhospitable lands of the Utah Territory, during the winter of 1888, thirty-seven-year-old Deborah Tyler waits for her husband, Samuel, to return home from his travels as a wheelwright. It is now the depths of winter, Samuel is weeks overdue, and Deborah is getting worried.

Deborah lives in Junction, a tiny town of seven Mormon families scattered along the floor of a canyon, and she earns her living by tending orchards and making work gloves. Isolated by the red-rock cliffs that surround the town, she and her neighbors live apart from the outside world, even regarded with suspicion by the Mormon faithful who question the depth of their belief.

When a desperate stranger who is pursued by a Federal Marshal shows up on her doorstep seeking refuge, it sets in motion a chain of events that will turn her life upside down. The man, a devout Mormon, is on the run from the US government, which has ruled the practice of polygamy to be a felony. Although Deborah is not devout and doesn’t subscribe to polygamy, she is distrustful of non-Mormons with their long tradition of persecuting believers of her wider faith.

The Glovemaker is an atmospheric tale set in the small Mormon community of Junction in Southern Utah. A small group of Mormon families have moved away from the core group to create some distance but not all together give up their faith. It was a place for those that wanted to escape religious persecution and those that needed some space within their religion.
Deborah and Samuel do not practice the faith’s practice of polygamy but are willing to help their ‘brothers’ who are hunted and persecuted for having plural wives. The men come to their door and Samuel moves them on to a hidden refuge.

The story is narrated in the 1st person by Deborah and her brother-in-law, Nels, as all through the troubles they await the return of their husband and brother Samuel to arrive home through the snow. He is late returning but there are many circumstances that could have delayed him.

When a man comes to Deborah’s door seeking help she is cautious and wants nothing to do with him but neither can she turn him away and as a life hangs in the balance this decision has a rolling effect on the whole community.

A sense of foreboding hung heavily in the air right from the onset. Set in the rugged canyon country of Southern Utah during the winter of 1888 the bitter cold was invasive as Deborah trudged through snow and ice to perform her daily routine.

Weisgarber’s writing is taut, tense and crisp. I was hooked on the mystery of Samuel’s whereabouts and waited eagerly with Deborah for his return. The Latter-day Saints religion was well explained and even though I don’t agree with their beliefs I did gain an appreciation for the religious persecution they endured.
The story is fraught with impending danger. The characters live a life of secrets and lies, always looking over their shoulder and never trusting anyone.

Although The Glovemaker is a work of fiction, the Latter-day Saints settlement at Junction (renamed Fruita) is real. The area is now Capital Reef national Park and the orchards that the early settlers planted still thrive there.

If you read Historical Fiction I cannot recommend this novel highly enough. A must read!


  My rating  5/5

This review is letter 'G' in the 2019 A-Z challenge 

Photo credit: Goodreads

Ann Weisgarber was born and raised in Kettering, Ohio. She has lived in Boston, Massachusetts, and Des Moines, Iowa, but now splits her time between Sugar land, Texas and Galveston, Texas. Her first novel The Personal History of Rachel Dupree was longlisted fore the Orange Prize and shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers. Her follow-up book, The Promise, was a finalist in the Western Writers of America Best Historical Fiction Awards. The Glovemaker is her third novel.

You can connect with the author at the following sites:
Website  ||  Twitter  ||  Facebook