Australia

B
The Castlemaine Murders

Narrated by Stephanie Daniel This is the 13th entry in the Phryne Fisher mystery series set in 1920s Australia. As always, Stephanie Daniel does a wonderful job with the narration, giving each character a unique, appropriate voice. The Castlemaine Murders features multiple mysteries including ...

B
Within Reach

I can’t say that I seek out books about a loved one dying, but there can be such a sense of hopefulness and renewal when the book is well-written – rather like the Phoenix rising from his ashes - in an individual finding love again after experiencing despair and desolation. It reaffirms our beli ...

B-
Cocaine Blues

This is the first in the Phryne Fisher mystery series set in 1920s Australia. I read the 12th book first, and enjoyed it so much that I read a few more – out of order – before finally reading this one. I think that’s a good thing. If I’d started with this book I might never have continued th ...

A-
Liar Bird

Quirky, innovative, original, and unpredictable are just some of the words that come to mind when describing this new release by Lisa Walker. I was thoroughly charmed by these attributes - so much so that it joins my short list of Desert Isle Keepers. Developers working to put through a housing p ...

B-
One Good Reason

One Good Reason has Ms. Mayberry’s excellent writing, but a few plot details had a negative impact on my grade and ultimately my ability to believe in the happily ever after. This book is the second book in a series loosely connected by the fact the hero is the brother of the hero from The Last G ...

C+
The Last Goodbye

When I first read Sarah Mayberry’s She’s Got It Bad, I realized I’d hit upon the kind of romance writer I love best: Quirky and unconventional, but convincing. I immediately glommed her backlist and put She’s Got It Bad on my DIK list. Since that time I’ve found her to be a writer worth fo ...

B-
Christmas at Candlebark Farm

I tend to stick with anthologies for my holiday reading, but I noticed a fair number of full-length holiday stories on shelves this year, so I thought I'd broaden my horizons. While it has a few cheesy Hallmark Hall of Fame-style moments, Christmas at Candlebark Farm is basically a well-written and ...

B+
The Best Laid Plans

Is is a truth universally acknowledged that every heroine (and hero) of a Harlequin Superromnance must be in want of a baby. But few of these couples go about it as directly, and few romances describe the emotional side of it so realistically and in such down-to-earth fashion as Sarah Mayberry’s T ...

C+
Deserted Island, Dreamy Ex!

I’m a huge fan of reality television, so this book sounded like a surefire winner, with the hero and heroine stranded on a deserted island as competitors in a reality documentary. I was disappointed that the reality TV portion of the book was glossed over, but found it to be a light, generally enj ...

A-
Hot Island Nights

I know they've become cliched, but I still love Good Girl Meets Bad Boy romances. (I really love Bad Girl Meets Good Boy romances, but those are quite rare.) As you'd expect, most are average and forgettable. But on those occasions when I read a really good one - like Hot Island Nights - it's oh so ...