Favourite Reads of January-February

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My Favourite Reads image

Welcome back to my favourite reads for 2016. With eight books to read for the Romance Writers of America RITA® Awards – none of which I can tell you about! – I didn’t manage a lot of personal reading in January and February, so it seemed more entertaining to combine the two months into one.

With all those romances to read and to keep my reading self fresh, I mainly kept away from romantic stories. A couple slipped in though. I can’t help it. The genre makes me feel warm and happy, and who doesn’t relish that?

So, of my January-February reads, title of my favourite goes to…

Named of the Dragon by Susanna Kearsley

Named of the Dragon by Susanna KearsleyI’m a total Kearsley fangirl. Total. The Shadowy Horses is one of my favourite reads of all time. Named of the Dragon was so gorgeous it’s challenging The Winter Sea (aka Sophia’s Secret) as my second favourite Kearsley.

Set in Wales, Named of the Dragon has everything – stunning, Gothic location, creepy old house, mystery, sibling rivalry, Arthurian legend, personal tragedy, and British village life. As with all Kearsley novels it’s beautifully written. She immerses you in the atmosphere and makes you feel the characters’ anxieties and desires deeply. I love her treatment of the romance thread too. It’s subtle but very intriguing, as is her usual way.

Loved it. Go read!

I also read:

The Duchess War by Courtney MilanThe Duchess War by Courtney Milan

Milan’s books are great fun and this is no exception. The Duchess War is book 1 in the Brothers Sinister series, although the novella The Governess Affair (a hoot!) is counted as a lead-in story. I’m a sucker for a wallflower character and Minerva, the heroine, was a cracker.

Down and Dusty: Casey by Rachael JohnsDown and Dusty: Casey by Rachael Johns

A short but punchy – not to mention seriously hot – read from rural romance superstar Rachael Johns (and, I had better mention, buddy of mine). Wonderfully sexy escapism in a dusty town. Great stuff.

Kolymsky Heights by Lionel DavidsonKolymsky Heights by Lionel Davidson

A thriller that takes you from England to Canada to Japan to Russia and places in between. Plenty of action and some fascinating insights into everything from anthropology to shipping to the tough lives of those who reside in Siberian outposts. Completely far-fetched but I couldn’t put it down!

The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason ArnoppThe Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp

I adore horror novels, so I was delighted to score an advance copy of this book thanks to The Reading Room and Hachette Australia. This book is so far up my alley it could have been written for just for me. Creepy, fast-paced, fascinating and topical with the social media references. I also really liked the structure, with Jack’s narrative mixed with his brother’s and other’s. A page turner.

Disclaimer by Renee KnightDisclaimer by Renee Knight

Oh, this book!! My second favourite read of January-February. When a story makes you feel fretful for fictional characters, the author is doing something right. Fantastic premise – Imagine if the next thriller you opened was all about you. Scary thought. Even scarier read. I devoured this tense suspense-thriller in a couple of days. Highly recommended.

Death in the Dordogne by Martin WalkerDeath in the Dordogne by Martin Walker

AKA Bruno, Chief of Police. I’ve had author buddies nagging me for yonks to read this book, with them promising it’d be right in my zone. Was it? Yeah, baby!  France, food, village life and crime. I’m a happy girl. Loved it.


By the way. if you’re looking for my December Favourite Reads post, I’m sorry to advise that it was one of the posts lost during The Great Website Meltdown of early 2016. Measures have been put in place to protect against this happening again. I hope they work. That meltdown was seriously traumatic. But to recap, my favourite read was Attachments by Rainbow Rowell. Amazing book, gorgeous hero, lovely heroine, wonderful set-up. Didn’t want it to end.

What were your favourite reads?


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3 thoughts on “Favourite Reads of January-February

  1. AvatarSue Gerhardt Griffiths

    Oh, I still haven’t read The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley. It will still probably be a couple of months before I get to it, but if I read faster… Loved Rachael’s Down and Dusty story and, your other ones you listed, Cathryn, I have not heard of any of them but boy, oh boy, they sound really good. I love far fetched and thrillers. Thanks for the recommendations.

    I’ve had two good reading months- can’t believe how many I got through. January reads:
    *Outback Blaze by Rachael Johns – beautifully written, you can’t ever go wrong reading a Rachael Johns book.
    *Remember June by Damien Leith – the depth of his characters always astonishes me – his books certainly leave a mark on me. I loved this book but his first book is even better!
    *The Goodbye Ride by Lily Malone – Lily’s books are wonderful, I’ve loved every one I’ve read. This one brought a few tears to my eyes but also had a few laugh-out-loud moments.
    *His Brand of Beautiful also by Lily – her first novel, a little different but it didn’t disappoint. Loved the South Australian setting. And the wine branding idea – how clever!
    *Nobody But Him and Somebody Like You by Victoria Purman – loving this series. More books set in South Australia – fantastic. I’m liking the fact that I get to read a lot of different authors books set in different parts of Australia. What is it with Aussie romance authors, can’t you ever write a bad book? Lol.
    *Lightning by Danielle Steel – a very emotional book, the ending though was disappointing.
    *The Point of Rescue by Sophie Hannah – Lots of twists and turns in this thriller, it kept me on the edge of my seat. To understand what is going on you must read her first book and then her 2nd and so on.
    *Snow Blind by P.J. Tracy – This is book four in the Monkeewrench series. A mother daughter team doing a great job in keeping it’s readers on the edge of their seats in each of their books. This one is so thrillery and gave me goosebumps and tingles all over with dead bodies being hidden in Snowmen. You can read these as stand alone books but I, myself wouldn’t recommend it. But then I would never recommend reading a series out of order.
    *Festival by the Sea – by June Loves – This is the sequel to The Shelly Beach Writer’s Group. I highly recommend these two books. A very easy writing style and so much fun to read. Gina the protagonist discusses her life with Hugo the dog which Gina calls Dog, the way she talks to the dog I found hilarious. I met June loves when we were on our 6 week East Coast of America tour. Not until the last day of our Caribbean cruise did she mention she was an author and what’s funny is I had her on my TBR list for a couple of years but I didn’t click until she told me the title of her book. She’s such a wonderful person and has a beautiful attitude and outlook on life.

    February had me reading another two P.J. Tracy books the 5th and 6th ones in the series and they were just as thrillery and good as the others.
    *A Pirate for Christmas by Anna Campbell – love love love her books. I never read historical romance until about 10 years ago when a then author friend introduced me to them – I thought they would be too hard to read and who wants to read about earls and kings and queens but I had no idea how wonderful they would be. Now if anyone recommends an historical author I usually check out their books.
    *The Opal Dessert by Di Morrissey – her books are pretty amazing and this one is set in Lightning Ridge, Broken Hill and the surrounds. After reading this book I can’t wait to revisit Lightning Ridge and I’ve always wanted to explore Broken Hill – it’s on my bucket list. I love the description she gives to the Outback Australian Scenery, it feels as if you’re there.
    *The Other Half Lives by Sophie Hannah – another great thriller.
    *One Night in Sorrento by Susanne Bellamy – my first book by this author and it won’t be my last, I like her style of writing.
    *Casey: Down and Dusty by Rachael Johns – a fantastic short read.
    Fall by Candice Fox – I’ve loved her dark crime thrillers Hades and Eden and Fall is as gritty as they come. BUT, I need to read her fourth instalment until I can seriously form an opinion on this book because at the moment I’m not liking the ending but I’m sure Candice Fox being a brilliant writer won’t leave me in a confused state. Hurry up and read Fall, Cathryn, I would love your opinion on this book, well, the ending of this book anyways.
    *April’s Rainbow by Cathryn Hein – OMG, Cathryn, this book blew me away, I loved it so much and if I didn’t have Steven I’d marry Tristan, hee hee. I sobbed so much I’m so glad it had a beautiful ending. My favourite read for this year so far. Outstanding!
    Emergency Response by Nicki Edwards – my second favourite read. Loved Mackenzie (Kenzie) and Nathan’s story and how she brought back some of the characters from her first book. A really well thought out book and the idea to come up with boys names for her many sisters was amusing.

    Oh, oh, oh, this comment came out rather long. Sorry, Cathryn, hope you had fun reading it anyway.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      WOW! You certainly did have had a couple of fab reading months, Sue! What a great list, and never apologise for leaving a long comment. I think it’s wonderful!

      Thanks for the gorgeous comment re April’s Rainbow. I’m so pleased you enjoyed it. That Tristan… sigh.

      I have FALL in my sights, don’t worry. The first two from Candice Fox were fantastic reads so I can’t miss this one. Sophie Hannah is an author I’ve been reading to get into for ages too. You told me about the June Love book before, I’m pretty sure, because I downloaded a sample.

      Wasn’t Anna’s A Pirate for Christmas fun? I have her new one, Tempting Mr Townsend on my reading pile and hope to get to it this month.

      So many books and not enough time is the problem for me at the moment. Although I’ve been getting through a few this month. But I’m well into writing another full length rural romance at the moment so my mind’s really on that and I can’t go sneaking off for sly afternoon reading sessions, dammit. Well, I could but that wouldn’t get this book finished.

      Thanks so much for sharing. That was great!

      1. AvatarSue Gerhardt Griffiths

        Aww, you’re sweet, Cathryn for saying never to apologise for leaving a long comment and that you thought it was wonderful. Thanks.

        And yes, I did tell you about the June Love books before. If you do read it let me know what you think.

        The Lifeline book fair was on again last weekend, you wouldn’t believe the amazing stash of books I went home with. Pretty much every book on my list I found at this fair but I do feel bad that I’m cheating the author by not buying them from book stores.

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