My Favourite Reads of September 2018

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Welcome to My Favourite Reads of September 2018.

A pretty cool month’s reading for September, with a mix of old and new-to-me authors and reads from a couple of adored series. As always, it was hard to choose a favourite and I was very tempted to fence sit and choose none. But choose I will, and it’s…

Silk and Shadows by Mary Jo Putney

Silk and Shadows by Mary Jo PutneyI’ve wanted to read a Mary Jo Putney for a long time. She’s been recommended to me multiple times by author buddies and is a giant in the historical romance genre.

Oh, boy was this book a beauty. Not only was Silk and Shadows wonderfully written, the story had MEAT. I was amazed by the places it went. Pretty dark places too, and yet the central romance remained uplifting and hopeful.

Basically it’s a revenge novel. Our mysterious but charismatic hero Peregrine has one goal only, or he does until he meets clever Sara. Their relationship buzzes from the start, surprising them both and changing their life plans in huge ways.

Great characters and nicely twisty storyline that surprised and sometimes discomforted. Very enjoyable.


Scrublands by Chris HammerScrublands by Chris Hammer

Woah, did this have atmosphere, with the heat and hopelessness of the setting wrapping its cloying arms around me as I read.

Set in around a dying, drought-ravaged western Victorian town, Scrublands is more a why-dunnit than a who-dunnit. We know from the dramatic opening who the killer is, but it’s the why that makes this a compelling read. That and the characters. I thought they were really well done.

Journalist Martin Scarsden thinks he’s on an easy assignment, writing about how Riversend is coping a year on from the original shooting, but he soon discovers the town is full of secrets and more danger than he ever imagined.

We’re spoiled for choice with solid Aussie crime at the moment.


Fly by Demelza CarltonFly: Goose Girl Retold by Demelza Carlton

This is the second that I’ve read in Demelza Carlton’s retold fairy-tale series (my thoughts on Enchant here) and like the first it proved an entertaining read.

I don’t know why, but I expected an alpha hero in Fly and was delighted to find that Prince Yun was far from that. I don’t mind those kinds of heroes when they’re not being alpha-holes (as they’re sometimes nicknamed in Romanceland) but my heart will always tick faster for a beta. They’re just nicer! Yun was plenty brave though and a good match for our equally courageous heroine Ava.

Short, with plenty of action and a touch of violence, Fly gave a very pleasant afternoon’s reading.


The Ink Master’s Silence by CJ ArcherThe Ink Master’s Silence by CJ Archer

My second favourite read of the month, which is no surprise. Regular followers of My Favourite Reads already know I’m a huge CJ Archer fan and snatch up every new story on release. The storylines are full of intrigue and action, the characters wonderful, and I’m drawn into every story from the first page.

After the dramatic events of The Convent’s Secret I’ve been wondering where this series would head but if The Ink Master’s Silence is anything to go by it looks like there’s plenty of more drama for the Glass and Steele gang to be had.

The Palace of Lost Memories, the first book in CJ Archer’s new After the Rift series releases this week and it looks brilliant. Can’t wait!


The Italian’s Marriage Bargain by Annie WestThe Italian’s Marriage Bargain by Annie West

This series is such a godsend. Whenever I’m in one of those “I don’t know what to read” moods I know I can pick up one of Annie’s Hot Italian Nights novellas and be left very, very happy. For short reads they punch well above their weight in the emotion stakes.

The Italian’s Marriage Bargain is a lover’s reunited story, a trope I’m a bit of a sucker for. I like that Massima and Gina are married, although long separated. It’s harder to put a marriage back together I think – the stakes feel higher – and this gave the story extra intensity.

Look out for Book 8, Burning for the Italian. This one sounds HOT!


Picture Me and You by Susan SeyPicture Me and You: A Devil’s Kettle Romance by Susan Sey

I picked this up after a bunch of readers on the Australian Romance Readers Association loop raved about Susan Sey’s books.

If you like quirky, this one’s for you. But Picture Me and You is more than a quirky romance set in an insular, strangely named town. Like Silk and Shadows, Picture Me and You wanders into some deep territory. There’s grief, belonging, some serious family conflict and plenty more layering the story.

Picture Me and You is book one in the Devil’s Kettle series and currently available for free on Amazon. As is A Taste for Trouble, the first in the Blake Brothers Trilogy and which comes even more highly recommended. Guess I’ll have to try that one too!


What reads have you enjoyed lately?


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7 thoughts on “My Favourite Reads of September 2018

  1. AvatarAnna Campbell

    Ooh, great selection as ever, Cathryn. I definitely agree about Annie’s Hot Italian Nights series. They’re such delicious short reads – a bit like a chocolate truffle so you get all that yum in a couple of mouthfuls.

  2. AvatarSue Gerhardt Griffiths

    I must read more by Mary Jo Putney. My first and only book I read was The Diabolical Baron I adored it so much I gave it to April to read and I was a little shocked by how much she loved it as she mainly reads horror and psychological thrillers and every now and then something contemporary but never historical regency fiction! I must source out other books by Ms Putney.
    Oh, I’m dying to read Scrublands, there’s quite a few negative reviews on this one not that it bothers me I like to make up my own mind. My reader friends loved it and glad to hear you did too, Cathryn.
    As soon as this year is over I’ll be getting stuck into more CJ Archer and Annie West books.

    I read a fantastic collection of books last month and each one was quite spellbinding.
    Storyland by Catherine McKinnon, The Right Place by Carla Caruso, Guilty by Karen Robards, The Good Sister by Maggie Christensen, Sister Heart by Sally Morgan, Beach House by Annie Seaton and Sign by Colin Dray.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      You had a great reading month, Sue! Lots of interesting titles. I’m very interested to see you read Sign. I’ve been eyeing that one off but haven’t been sure if it would be for me. It certainly sounds good from the blurb. Will have to download a sample and give it a proper inspection.

      I was so impressed with the Mary Jo Putney. I mean, I expected to be fab because she’s so popular, but Silk and Shadows far exceeded expectation. As for Scrublands, I can understand the divisiveness in reviews. I liked it a lot but thought it could have been tighter. I’ll be interested to hear what you think.

      Thanks for sharing!

      1. AvatarSue Gerhardt Griffiths

        Colin Dray was giving an author talk at my local library last week and he was great, a very funny and intelligent man. Give the book a go Cathryn, it definitely wasn’t what I was expecting so I was pleasantly surprised. Oh Cathryn, you might be interested in reading Sister Heart, it’s a short YA story written in verse – don’t be put off by the verse bit because it still reads like a novel but it’s soooooo good and beautiful and thought-provoking, it only takes about an hour to read.

        You’re welcome! I love sharing what I’ve read and it’s a whole lot of fun to read your super cool reviews of your favourite reads!

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