Welcome to another bookalicious edition of My Favourite Reads!
I’m surprised how much I read in August. Between the Romance Writers of Australia conference (which was a blast, as always) and the first lot of edits landing for The Grazier’s Son, I didn’t have a lot of reading time. Yet, somehow, I managed to read eight books.
Not all are included here. There was a horror that was disappointing, and I probably should have set down but it had rave reviews so I kept on going, and a much-hyped thriller I didn’t find terribly thrillery.
Fortunately the others made up for it. So well that this month I’ve chosen two overall favourite reads. The first is…
I read Chris Hammer’s debut novel Scrublands back in 2018 and enjoyed it (read my comments on that here). He’s a skilled author when it comes to creating atmosphere, especially heat and the Australian outback, and Treasure and Dirt had the same quality. But for me, the pacing and mystery of this one was much more compelling.
Set in a fictional opal mining town of Finnigans Gap (loosely based on Lightning Ridge in north-western NSW), Treasure and Dirt follows Detective Sargeant Ivan Lucic and colleague Nell Buchanon as they try to solve the murder of a crucified opal miner. There are twists and turns galore and fantastic characters, including a couple of bogan-style billionaires alongside the eccentric and wholly believable locals. The (self-described) mayor of one of the camps in particular was a blast!
I really enjoyed this mystery and and definitely want to spend more time with Ivan and Nell. Luckily I can because I’ve just bought The Tilt which features both of them. Rah!
And my second overall favourite is…
Fourth Wing seems to be everywhere at the moment. It’s been a massive hit and there’s a good reason for that. It’s fantastic.
Think The Hunger Games with dragons and you’ll get a bit of on idea, except Fourth Wing is set in a war college. A particularly deadly war college that weeds out the weak without hesitation. Violet might be weak physically but she’s strong minded and clever, and makes a brilliant heroine.
As for the hero… delicious!
This is a giant book – my paperback copy is nearly 500 pages long – but at no point did Fourth Wing lag. It’s a total page-turner of a read.
I have the next book, Iron Flame, on pre-order, which is not something I normally do, but gives you an idea of how invested I am in Violet and her story.
Gawd, I adore Kelly Hunter’s romances. The characters are always gorgeous and the dialogue snaps along.
What A Bride Wants was super cute, especially the beginning when heroine Ella finds her father has put a ‘husband wanted’ type notice in the paper. That was hilarious. Then Sawyer steps up and much gorgeous, sigh-inducing romancing ensues.
This might be a relatively short book, but it was a whole lot of fun with bucketloads of feels. Just what you want from your romances. Go get and read and make yourself happy.
As with Digging Up Dirt, the characters in An A-List for Death were terrific. Poppy’s family are a hoot, especially her Aunt Mary who features heavily in the book. Rock god Nathan Castle, who Poppy is photographed with then accused of having a relationship with, was delicious too. And Tol. Sigh. He’s so lovely.
A delightful mystery with plenty of twists. Excellent fun. I wonder when the next one is coming out…
This was a terrific domestic thriller from debut author Holly Craig.
Set mostly in Sydney, in a super wealthy area, and told over two timelines, The Shallows follows Emma as she tries to befriend her new neighbour Ariella. It appears both families have lots of secrets, and it’s when one of those turns deadly that Emma is forced on the run with her husband and children.
Wonderfully paced, with lots of thrills and suspense and a very satisfying ending. Highly recommended. I’ll be buying Craig’s next book The Rip when it comes out.
Kylie Scott’s romances are always brilliant, and Fake proved no exception. A gorgeous take on the pretend boyfriend and grumpy-sunshine tropes, I gobbled this down in just a couple of sittings.
Norah was such a great heroine. A take-no-nonsense waitress with a wonderful outlook on life, you couldn’t help but warm to her. She was perfect for A-list Hollywood superstar Patrick, who was a total babe, of course, even if he was also a broody grump.
Wonderful, wonderful read with lots of feels and fantastic characters. Not just Patrick and Norah, but the rest of the cast too. Grandma was especially fun.
Super cute. Highly recommended.
What books have tickled your fancy lately? Share away!