Australia

C+
What Love Sounds Like

What Love Sounds Like was a tough book to grade. I debated for a long time between a B- and a C+, before finally settling on the lower grade. Was the book bad? No. But would I recommend it? Maybe not. The book tells the story of a speech pathologist, a businessman, and his niece. Mia Windsor w ...

A
Tigers and Devils

When I was growing up my dad was an avid Green Bay Packers football fan as well as a University of Nebraska Cornhusker football fan. (Go Big Red!) What this meant is on most Saturdays in the fall we’d go to a game, and on Sundays we’d watch one on television.         All of this was ...

B
The Nanny Who Saved Christmas

By nature the books in this imprint are cute and sweet, and this book is no exception, but I was very much impressed with the author’s depiction of the diverse male and female responses to betrayal. Since the author is female, it is not surprising that she had such great insight into the female mi ...

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 ...