Welcome again to another edition of My Favourite Reads.
I had a quiet reading month in April. It was a busy month, socially and workwise, and I also (annoyingly) spent a week reading a book I didn’t really enjoy but wanted to finish off the series. The rest of my reads, though, were faaaabulous.
There was one book that stood out for its joy and heart-tugging loveliness, and that book was…
This was a discovery thanks to book blogger Bree from All The Books I Can Read. I read all her reviews and we seem to have similar tastes, so when she gave The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches a rave review, I had to check it out.
Lovely, lovely, lovely. Heart-warming and romantic and magical, and featuring a scowly but kind hero, a bright and clever heroine, a funny and sweet found family, and an isolated old house in a beautiful location. And witches, of course. Tropey goodness everywhere.
Hutchison’s diverse characters are great fun. Her women are seriously formidable and drive the series’ FBI’s Crimes Against Children team’s protagonists nuts with their independence, bravery and vulnerability. Despite the books being about sicko serial killers, these parts of the books make for very entertaining reading.
If I hadn’t gotten so spendy over the last couple of months buying e- and paperback books, leaving my to-be-read pile rather tottery, I’d be on to book three now. I’ll be back soon though. Guaranteed.
Speaking of books with all the feels, The Housekeeper and the Brooding Billionaire was another Annie West classic. There’s something about a reclusive, smouldering, and tragic hero that gets my pulse racing, and Alessio was delicious.
The northern Italian lake island setting, with its isolation, loyal township, and craftsmen, was gorgeous. Wonderful atmosphere too, and just the kind of place I could imagine myself visiting. But it’s the Beauty and the Beast/Cinderella premise that really caught me. Charlotte was perfect – strong, efficient and clever, and exactly what Alessio needs to get him out of the fug he’s been in since tragedy changed his life. She shakes up his world in the most wonderful way.
Lovely, emotional reading. And with references to dragons, which was fun. Oh, and there’s even a stunning cover to stroke and hug afterwards!
The Widow of Walcha is a fascinating, infuriating, and heartbreaking true crime read about the callous murder of a gentle, big-hearted farmer near Walcha, in New South Wales’s bountiful New England region.
I can remember being so absorbed by this extraordinary case when the story first broke in 2017, and during the subsequent trial, that I cut out every newspaper article I could find and stowed it away in my “ideas” drawer, thinking it might make a good base for a future novel. After having read The Widow of Walcha I’m not sure that’s possible. Poor Mathew Dunbar’s murder is simply so incredible, the murderer so callous and outrageous, I’m not convinced anyone would buy into the fiction.
Aside from the fury I felt toward Natasha and my desperate hope for justice for Mathew, I really enjoyed The Widow of Walcha and finished it in a couple of days. It was wonderfully written, with nice foreshadowing that kept me turning those pages for more gobsmacking revelations. Like a thriller, almost, except sadly true.
Very highly recommended.
What books have you read and loved lately? Please share!