Favourite Reads of March

21 Replies

My Favourite Reads image

I had a fantastic reading month in March, with every book a page-turner. As usual the list is a bit eclectic but I really enjoy reading different genres and think it keeps me fresh and inspired. I also tried a few new-to-me authors and returned to the comfort of a couple of beloved series.

Two stories stood out, which made it hard to choose my favourite, but that title has to go to…

Letters to the Lost by Iona Grey

Letters to the Lost by Iona GreyThis book was amazing. I wept in the opening, sniffled a bit throughout and spent the last part bawling. I loved everything about this story – the characters, the dual timeline, the writing, the vivid settings. Most of all I loved the way it took my heart and squeezed it tight from beginning to end.

Letters to the Lost won the UK Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Goldsboro Books Romantic Novel Of The Year 2016 and I can see why. It’s simply beautiful. And because of the two timelines, one set during World War Two and the other contemporary, you get two romances in one. Bonus.

Perfect for Mother’s Day. Perfect for any day, really. Read it, but keep those tissues handy!

I also read…

The Lie Tree by Frances HardingeThe Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

My second favourite read of the month. Not a romance, but a wonderfully creepy Gothic tale set in Victorian times and featuring a unique premise and incredible writing. Another award winner too. The Lie Tree took out the prestigious 2015 Costa Book of the Year.

I want to read everything this author has written now. Next stop, Cuckoo Song.

Oh, and don’t be put off by its children’s book classification. The book felt about as child-suitable as a Stephen King novel to me!

The Last Sherlock Holmes Story by Michael DibdinThe Last Sherlock Holmes Story by Michael Dibdin

Regular followers will know what a Sherlock Holmes fan I am so I was never going to resist this one, especially when it also features the Jack the Ripper murders. The story rollicked along and was very entertaining but there’s a huge twist at the end that, while cleverly done, did leave me pretty gobsmacked. Can’t say more. You’ll have to find it out for yourself.

The Widow by Fiona BartonThe Widow by Fiona Barton

A mystery-thriller which follows the tale of a man suspected of a terrible crime, and how much, if anything, his wife knew about it. It’s something you wonder yourself, when you read about murderers and other terrible criminals.

A Vow To Secure His Legacy by Annie WestRebel’s Bargain by Annie West & A Vow To Secure His Legacy by Annie West

Annie is a friend and kindly sent me copies of her two books to read, and what fun I had! Arrogant alpha males usually leave me cold but Annie has the gift of keeping them real and relatable, as well as super sexy. I particularly enjoyed A Vow To Secure His Legacy. That one made me cry.

Odd Hours by Dean KoontzOdd Hours by Dean Koontz

I adore this Odd Thomas series, and while Odd Hours didn’t rate as a favourite it was still a good read. I’ve already bought Odd Apocalypse, the next in the series, and will be reading that soon. I need to know what happens to poor Odd!

Kings Rising by CS PacatKings Rising by CS Pacat

And, sadly, with this book the journey ends. What a stunner of a series. Unique and brilliantly written. Can we have more please, Ms Pacat? Pretty please?

Tempting Mr Townsend by Anna CampbellTempting Mr Townsend by Anna Campbell

I’ve loved all the books in the Dashing Widows series, and maybe it’s because it’s still on my mind but I think this one is my favourite so far. Anthony was gorgeous (I’m a sucker for a big man) and Fenella’s anguish and guilt over her burgeoning attraction for him very real.


What were your favourite reads?

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21 thoughts on “Favourite Reads of March

  1. Avatarhelensibbritt

    Hi Cathryn

    I do love seeing what everyone has read 🙂

    For me a read Sarah Barrie’s Legacy of Hunters Ridge a gripping edge of your seat romantic suspense with a wonderful romance set in NSW country

    And then The House by the Lake Ella Carey a time slip that takes us back to 1930’s Germany just before the war with families coping with Hitler and the pressure they are under but there is a romance a beautiful one that is bought to life by the discovery of an apartment that is discovered in Paris that has been locked up since the start of WW2 this is the follow on from The Paris Time Capsule which was also a fabulous story.

    I can highly recommend both of these stories

    Have Fun

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Thanks so much for the recommendations, Helen! It’s such a great way to discover new books, hearing what others have read and loved. I’ve heard wonderful things from others about Sarah Barrie’s book and the Ella Carey sounds like something I’d definitely like. Will investigate. Thanks.

      Not that I need more books – just last night I bought a new release paperback and this morning I grabbed another ebookm, and I’m about to place an order with Booktopia for another – but, really, you can never have too many. Books are GOOD!

      1. AvatarHelen

        Never never too many books LOL I know what that is like 🙂 so many awesome stories coming out need more hours in the day of a house cleaner 🙂

        Have Fun

      1. AvatarHelen

        Hi Diane

        I am sure you will enjoy this one have you read The Paris Time Capsule ? I loved that one as well 🙂

        Have Fun

  2. AvatarDiane McKewin

    I had a lovely reading month in March also. The first 5 books of Jeffrey Archer’s The Clifton Chronicles, Me Before You and After You by Jojo Moyes, The Girl You Left Behind also by Jojo Moyes, the beautiful story Precious Things by Kelly Doust, and the book I have just finished reading The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. I love all these books and recommend all of them. Another book I read a little earlier is A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner…this book is along a similar theme as Kelly Doust’s Precious Things and I love and recommend it too. Again, a couple of earlier books to recommend: The Butterfly and The Violin by Kristy Cambron and The Forgotten Room by three authors Karen White, Beatriz Williams and Lauren Willig. How I love reading!

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Ooh, I’ve been eyeing off Precious Things AND The Nightingale, Diane. Great to hear you enjoyed both. I have samples of both downloaded but not read them yet.

      I used to love Jeffrey Archer. His series about girl who wants to be the first female president? So addictive! For some reason I stopped reading him. No idea why, just one of those things.

      Thanks for the other recommendations. I think I have samples of one or two of those on my list of to-look-ats. Trouble is, as Helen says, not enough reading time!

  3. AvatarMelanie Scott

    I want to read Letters to the Lost but am waiting until I’m in the mood for a sad book. Loved Kings Rising. I read On The Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta last month and loved it. Also Point of Hopes which is the first in a fantasy series by Melissa Scott (no relation) which was an intriguing world. It’s an older book that’s been re-released in e-book. Am now flitting between the sequel to that, Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop and An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler which is a food book in the vein of Elizabeth David.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      OH! An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler sounds fantastic!

      I really must read Melina Marchetta. Her books are so adored and it feels very remiss that I haven’t read any.

      Thanks so much for sharing your reads, especially the Tamar Adler one. Elizabeth David is such a favourite. Have you read any MFK Fisher? She’s similar too.

  4. AvatarIona Grey

    Thank you so much for your lovely comments about Letters to the Lost, Cathryn. I’m so very thrilled to know that you liked it, and honoured too. I’m also adding lots of books to my TBR following some of these great recommendations. (How come I haven’t picked up Ella Carey yet? She sounds right up my street!)

    1. Avatarhelensibbritt

      Hi Iona

      I have loved both of Ella’s books The Paris Time Capsule and then The House by the Lake I highly recommend them and you book has been added to my must read list 🙂

      Have Fun

      1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

        Thank you so much for dropping by, Iona. Lovely to have you here! I loved Letters to the Lost so much I’ve been telling everyone and hope my little contribution adds to your success. It really was a gorgeous read. So adore a good happy-cry!

        1. AvatarIona Grey

          Huge thanks Cathryn – you’ve totally made my week! So happy to have discovered your lovely blog (though I’m going to blame you for the surge in my book-buying budget!)

      2. AvatarIona Grey

        Thank you Helen – I love discovering new authors and am really looking forward to these. Hope you enjoy Letters to the Lost if and when you get to it (so many books, so little time!)

  5. AvatarAnna Campbell

    Wow, feeling all twinkly because you included my Mr. T! Thank you. I’ve got Letters to the Lost too but I’m waiting until I can wallow in it and be a mess afterwards. Annie West’s books are always great but you’ve picked two of my favourites. I think A Vow to Claim His Legacy is an absolute corker – one of those ones that stays in your memory.

    I read a lot of Agatha Christies last month. I’ve never read her before so I’m catching up. I also picked up some writerly books – Adventures in the Screen Trade by William Goldman, The Conversations by Michael Ondaatje and Walter Murch, and the absolute standout, Creativity Inc by Ed Catmull. This guy helped set up the Pixar Studios and it’s a great discussion on working with creative people and getting the best out of them.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      I never miss an Anna Campbell release, as you know. Love your work! And how good was Annie’s A Vow to Claim His Legacy? Fantastic premise.

      Creativity Inc sounds excellent. I’m going to buy that. I’ve just ordered Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic and look forward to reading it.

      1. AvatarAnna Campbell

        I’ve got Big Magic on order at the library. I must live in a creative hub (I do). I think I’m 98 out of 228 people asking for the EG! Let me know what you think about Creativity, Inc. He’s got some great stuff in there about not settling for second best, however easy it might be.

        1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

          I should get my copy of Big Magic today. I’m not usually into these things but Rachael Johns recommended it and I did read some fab reviews, so I figured I’d give it a go. I have a suspicion I’ll enjoy Creativity Inc more but we’ll see!

  6. AvatarSue Gerhardt Griffiths

    More books to add to my list – oh no! Might have to shut down my computer for a few months to catch up on my reading so I won’t be distracted by all the recommendations and, not only here but Facebook, websites, etc. LOL.

    Here are my 10 books I managed to read in March:

    * Till the Sun Shines Through by Anne Bennett and Strawberry Fields by Katie Flynn – I love historical romance sagas but these two although the ending is happy I still feel I’m left hanging. When I saw they had epilogues I was excited because I thought it would wrap everything up nicely but for me it didn’t I wanted more.
    * The Long Way Home by Jessica Blair – a historical romance saga – all books by this author are top notch and I recommend them all and especially The Locket – lots and lots of twists and turns in this crime suspense historical romance saga.
    * Jacky Boy by Ken McCoy – set in post war Leeds. The book goes off into lots of directions but I found it made the book really interesting and had me hooked all the way through.
    * White Ginger by Susanne Bellamy – Loved that it was set in Hawaii, great reminder of our wonderful trip. A lovely sweet romance.
    * One Perfect Night by Rachael Johns – This was a short story but nicely written and I just love reading anything christmassy.
    * Outback Ghost by Rachael Johns – Loved, loved, loved this one, not only a romance but a mystery as well. Fell in love with the little girl Heidi – what a sweetie.
    * Operation White Christmas by Nicki Edwards – another delightful christmassy read.
    * Outback Promise by Maggie Bolitho – the beginning was tragic and emotional I thought I’d weep all the way through but I didn’t. I loved the part of the book where the two main characters went camping in the outback, the author captured the outback and camping life brilliantly.
    * The House on Burra Burra Lane by Jennie Jones – first time I’ve read a Jennie Jones book and WOW! it didn’t disappoint, absolutely loved it and can’t wait to read her next one.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      What a reading month you had, Sue. TEN BOOKS!!
      Nice to see a bunch of rurals in there. Rach and Jennie will be thrilled, and I really must look at Outback Promise. Love a good bawl. The Long Way Home sounds cool. I’ll go suss it out on Amazon now. Ta!

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