My Favourite Reads of July 2018

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My Favourite Reads image

Welcome to another friendly edition of My Favourite Reads.

Ooh, I read some cracking books in July. Without further ado, let’s see what they are.

My favourite was…

Return to Roseglen by Helene Young

Return to Roseglen by Helene YoungWith Return to Roseglen, Helene Young has moved away from the romantic suspense she’s renowned for and stepped seamlessly into women’s fiction. Now, women’s fic isn’t normally my thing. I enjoyed it when I was younger but not so much these days. I expected Return to Roseglen to be good – it’s a Helene Young book, after all – but it turned out more than good. It was fabulous!

There was so much I loved – the excellent writing, the vivid setting – but mostly I adored the characters (Ivy was brilliant, as was Georgina) and their all too believable family dramas. And there are plenty of those to be had in Return to Roseglen. Some of the elder abuse scenes had me seething. Our vulnerable elders should be protected not exploited, yet there are those in society who think nothing of taking advantage, and usually for no other reason than greed. The bastards. I’m glad Helene tackled such an important topic. It needs more airing.

Do yourself a favour and grab a copy of Return to Roseglen. Yes, I’m friends with Helene but I honestly loved this story and I think you will too.


Smoke and Iron by Rachel CaineSmoke and Iron by Rachel Caine

Book 4 in the Great Library series and probably the best book since the first, which is saying something because every book has been fantastic.

Jess and the gang are in serious strife this time. It seems impossible that they won’t all be dead by the end, but our heroes and heroines are people of courage, brains and multiple talents. They’re book lovers. We expect no less!

Apparently, this is meant to be a 5 book series. If that’s true, then the next will be the final. I don’t even want to think about that. It’s too horrible. This series is the best.


Holly’s Heart by Fiona McArthurHolly’s Heart by Fiona McArthur

Holly’s Heart is book 4 in the Outback Brides series, which includes my own Elsa’s Stand.

This is such a sweet story. There’s nothing like the pain of unrequited love, and our hero Ben suffered badly in his youth when he fell for Holly. Now life has brought him back to Wirralong, grown up, a doctor with a newly established surgery, and looking to settle down to country life. Who should he find in town also? Yup, his Holly. And the attraction hasn’t faded a scrap.

A gentle and emotional second-chance romance.


The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine ArdenThe Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

A magical historical fantasy set in northern Russia, where winters are harsh, long and dangerous, and the locals hold on to their superstitions. Or they did until an ambitious and charismatic priest arrives and determines to change their ways.

The heroine of the story is Vasilisa and she’s a beauty. Wild, tough, stubborn and brave, she defies the priest and her step-mother, who want her married off and her strange talents out of sight. The villagers begin to think her a witch but this stubborn girl might be the only one who can save them.

I didn’t realise this is going to be a trilogy. Book two, The Girl in the Tower released recently and now I’m torn over whether to gobble that down straight away or wait until closer to the third book’s release. Decisions, decisions!


Inherited for the Royal Bed by Annie WestInherited for the Royal Bed by Annie West

What a premise! Sayid has only been sheikh a short while when he returns, exhausted, to his rooms to find he’s inherited not just a war-weary country but the former ruler’s young concubine.

Being a man of decency and honour and liking Lina’s fight, Sayid makes Lina his ward and sends the tempting girl away to receive the education she’d always dreamed of. Four years later, Lina returns and this time she’s all woman – smart, cultured and even more irresistible.

This was fun and emotional, and I loved it. As for the ending… wowsers!


What reads have you enjoyed lately?


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25 thoughts on “My Favourite Reads of July 2018

  1. AvatarAnnie West

    Cathryn, thanks for the wrap up on ‘Return to Roseglen’. I’ve got it on my TBR list but it’s great to hear such a recommendation. I’m getting antsy about all the books I haven’t been reading while I try to finish my story for my editor.

    I’m fascinated by the Great Library series. How did I miss that? I obviously need to investigate.

    And I’m thrilled, yes thrilled, to see ‘Inherited for the Royal Bed’ hit the spot with you. I loved that premise from the first, then fell for the characters as I wrote. Feeling all warm and fuzzy now. 🙂

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      I know what you mean about to-be-reads lists and wondering if we’ll ever get through them, Annie. Mind you, it’d help if we stopped buying books. I grabbed another two while I was out yesterday. Oops.

      I REALLY hope you get a chance to read the Great Library series. I love that so much. It’s so clever, and I love the gang with their different skills and the strong female characters. There’s romance too, so it has everything!

      Sayid and Lila’s story was wonderful. Which reminds me, I have two of your Hot Italian Nights to catch up on.

  2. AvatarAnnie West

    And of course I forgot to add a recommendation. Duh. My own reading has been severely limited lately but if you’re after a terrific quick read, I thoroughly enjoyed Liz Fielding’s ‘The Sheikh’s Convenient Princess’. I’m amazed at how she packs so much emotion and such strength into a story about a couple who’ve only known each other a short time. It’s a beautiful story and so satisfying.

  3. AvatarHelen Sibbritt

    OH I have read three of them and loved them Helene’s blew ma away wow and wow and of course and of course Annie and Fiona never ever disappoint they write to best stories, so for what I have read
    Barbara Hannay’s The Summer of Secrets and
    Avril Tremayne’s Getting Lucky,
    Trish Morey’s The Trouble with Choices,
    Kandy Shepherd’s Best Man and the Runaway Bride
    Penelope Janu’s On The Right Track just to name a few

    We do have some fabulous books out

    have Fun


    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      That’s a fabulous list, Helen. Thanks so much for sharing. So glad you enjoyed Return to Roseglen too. Such a compelling read.

      I have been hearing very good things about all the books on your list. If only we had enough time to read all the books we want!

  4. AvatarMelissa Woods

    Love your list. I really want to read Return to Roseglen, but it is in my 2 be read pile (which seems to keep growing).
    But I loved Maggie’s Run (Kelly Hunter), Belle’s Secret (Victoria Purman), Elsa’s Stand (the gorgeous Cathryn’s of course) and Holly’s Heart (Fiona McArthur). I didn’t want any if them to end.
    Burning Field’s (Alli Sinclair) was gorgeous. It was the first one I’ve read of Alli’s, and WOW. Really enjoyed the contrast of the lives entwined within the story.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Fingers crossed we can write some more Outback Brides for you, Melissa. I hope you get a chance to read Return to Roseglen. Not a genre I normally read but I loved this, and Burning Fields is another I’m hearing very good things about.

      Always a case of too many books, not enough time!!

  5. AvatarFiona McArthur

    Love your reading list as always, Cathryn, and thanks so much for the shout out. I LOVED Elsa’s Stand, I think that has the best “Cute Meet’ ever with the hairdresser scene. Cracks me up just thinking about it. xx Will look up the others

  6. AvatarSue Gerhardt Griffiths

    I can’t wait to get to Helene’s book as I love women’s fiction. Oh dear, I still need to buy Kelly Hunter’s book (I keep forgetting) before I start reading Outback Brides and I’ve been wanting to read Annie’s books in like, forever. I think I might not participate in any reading challenges next year and just read what I’ve got here at home which is 600 unread books and that’s not including the 200 Kindle books I own. Oh, the time…the time…

    Loved the books I read last month:
    Second Chances by Charity Norman
    A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman – Yes, Cathryn, I loved loved loved Ove, what a character and what a story!
    Blood Brothers by Josephine Cox
    In Sickness, In Health … and in Jail by Mel Jacob
    The Dangers of Truffle Hunting by Sunni Overhand
    Twins by Kathryn White

      1. AvatarSue Gerhardt Griffiths

        Oh yes, Anna, and to think I was going to give up on it after a few pages in, I’m so glad I persevered, it really was an excellent story and I can’t wait to read more of his books, I’ve heard they’re all fabulous.

        1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

          Ove is brilliant!!! I adore that book so much. I have the film in my sights. Which reminds me I need to check if its on Fox yet.

          I hope you both get a chance to read Britt-Marie Was Here, too. Like Ove, that was a wonderful story. Next stop: Beartown!

          Laughing at your unread book stack size, Sue. And I thought mine was bad, but yours… yikes! Thanks for dropping by and sharing your reads. Great list.

  7. AvatarAnna Campbell

    Cathryn, I always love your lists. This time I had to laugh – next on my reading pile (In fact I’m just about to start it in the next ten minutes) is the Russian fairytale one. I’ve got Return to Roseglen which just arrived from the Book Depository this week. And I loved, loved, loved Annie’s sheikh story. Wow, what a premise.

    I’ve been reading a lot in the last couple of weeks, partly because all my library orders came in at once and I have to get them back and partly because I got a book in just recently and now I’m catching up. Some highlights have been The Cowgirl by Anthea Hodgson which I just loved, The Kiss Quotient by Helen Huang, which I think you might have recommended and then I got, Story by Robert McKee, Findings by Kathleen Jamieson (beautiful writing about nature) and the Blackhouse by Peter May. This last one is the first in a trilogy of crime stories and I’m really looking forward to the next two.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Ooh, I’ve been eyeing Blackhouse off for aaaaaages, Anna, but have never taken the plunge. Looks like I might have to now.
      I’d be very interested in your thoughts on Story. I have a copy here and its barely been touched. I’ve started it several times, flicked through it often but… Should I try again?

      1. AvatarAnna Campbell

        I really liked story, perhaps because I approached it after people telling me how difficult and dense it was to read. I didn’t find it that way at all. In fact, I liked it so much, that after I read my library copy, I bought a copy for myself. Currently reading Donald Maass’s The Craft of Emotional Fiction which I’m really liking too.

        1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

          Hmm. Maybe I should give it another look. Need to finish reading Chuck Wendig’s Damn Fine Story first. That one’s rather fun.

          Thanks for letting me know.

  8. AvatarHelene

    I’m so far behind and playing catch up!! Thanks so much, Cathryn – so glad you enjoyed Return to Roseglen! And now more good books to add to my TBR pile!!

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