December is knocking on the door, nope it’s all the way in now, and Christmas is upon us, which means everything is ramping up and everyone is getting busy. We are still able to offer an amazing selection of reads for the month, though a little later than I usually like to do it.
So I’m just going to get straight into what we have
Home to Turtle Bay – Marion Lennox
Harlequin Mira – Contemporary Romance
Dr Jennifer Kelly has reached the pinnacle of her career as a successful Manhattan obstetrician, complete with ambitious, blue–blooded fiancé. After a desolate childhood with a distant grandmother, life seems everything she’s ever wanted.
When a grandfather she’s never heard of leaves her a dairy farm on an isolated Australian island – plus one depressed dog, thirty geriatric cows and a bunch of ancient surfboards – she plans a quick trip to put the farm up for sale. Her aloof, socialite grandmother Muriel is appalled, yet insists on accompanying her.
Once there, Jenny finds herself caught, by cows, by turtles – and by Jack McLachlan, the overworked island doctor who desperately needs her help. Muriel’s caught too, with ghosts of her wartime past threatening to crack the shell she’s built with such dedication and care.
But isn’t Manhattan their home? How can two women give up the perfect world they’ve worked so hard for by taking a chance on…life?
Nature of the Lion – T.M.Clark
Harlequin Mira – Contemporary Fiction
Hiding from the law, they never expected to be caught in the crosshairs of a hunter…
After relocating to South Africa on the heels of scandal five years ago, Chloe and her invalid father, Mike, once wealthy Zimbabwean landowners, now have little. Away at university, Chloe has had to rely on her father’s best friend Enoch and his son Xo to watch over Mike.
When a violent confrontation puts Chloe in danger, Enoch steps in to help – with inadvertent fatal results. With increasing pressure from a right-wing group on the police to charge Enoch, this mismatched family have no choice but to flee back to Zimbabwe.
But crossing the border will be dangerous and near impossible with their route taking them amid warring dissident armies and landmines, and their every footstep is stalked by a shadowy ring of hunters – whose trophies are taken from more than animals…
Only with help from Nick, formerly a soldier under Mike’s command, now a professional game ranger, will the fugitives have a chance of making it home. But Nick has long struggled to come to terms with his fellow soldiers’ choices before their unit was abandoned. Will his past demons put them all at risk?
Navigating the Stars – Maria V Snyder
HQ Young Adult – YA Fantasy
Year 2471. A new discovery. Those three words thrill my parents – the galaxy’s leading archaeologists – but for me, it means another time jump to a different planet. One so big, my friends will be older than my dad when we arrive. And I’ll still be seventeen. Thanks, Einstein.
I really can’t blame Einstein, though. No one expected to find life-sized terracotta warriors buried on other planets. So off we go to investigate, traveling through space and time. With my social life in ruins, I fill my days illegally worming into the quantum net – the invention that allows us to travel in space. Of course the only person close to my age is a hot-but-pain-in-the-neck security officer who threatens to throw me into the brig.
But when one of the warrior planets goes silent, we have bigger problems on our hands. The planet’s entire population might be dead. And now my worming skills, along with a translation of an ancient alien artefact, might be the key to finding out why. But my attempts to uncover the truth lead to the discovery of a deadly new alien phenomenon, and also alert those who wish to keep it quiet. The galaxy is in real danger and time is not on our side…
She Was the Quiet One – Michelle Campbell
HQ Fiction – Contemporary Fiction
She was the quiet one… but is she guilty?
For twin sisters Rose and Bel, enrolling at the prestigious new boarding school should have been a fresh start. But with its sinister rituals and traditions, Odell soon brings out a deadly rivalry between the sisters.
For Sarah and husband Heath, the chance to teach at Odell seems like the best thing that ever happened to their small family – a chance to rise through the ranks and put the past behind them.
Until one dark night ends in murder.
But who’s guilty and who’s telling the truth? And who’s been in on it all along..?
The Widow of Ballarat – Darry Fraser
Harlequin Mira – Historical Romance
A compulsively readable story of passion, adventure and a woman’s quest for independence set against the colourful backdrop of 19th century Bendigo and the goldfields of Ballarat.
1854, Ballarat, Victoria When Nell Amberton’s husband is shot dead by a bushranger, there are few who grieve his passing, and Nell least of all. How could she miss the monster who had abused her from the day they wed – the man who had already killed his innocent first wife? But his death triggers a chain of events that seem to revolve around the handsome bushranger who murdered him – a man to whom Nell, against her better judgement, is drawn.
But Nell has far more than a mysterious stranger to worry about. With a mess of complications around her late husband’s will, a vicious scoundrel of a father trying to sell her off in matrimony, and angry relatives pursuing her for her husband’s gold, she is more concerned with trying to ensure her safety and that of her friend, goldfields laundry woman Flora, than dealing with the kind of feelings that led her astray so catastrophically before.
After the violence on the goldfields, Nell’s fate also hangs in the balance. It seems that, after all, she might need to do the one thing she has avoided at all costs … ask for the help of a man.
The Woman in the Green Dress – Tea Cooper
HQ Fiction – Historical Fiction
1853 Mogo Creek, NSW
Della Atterton, bereft at the loss of her parents, is holed up in the place she loves best: the beautiful Hawkesbury in New South Wales. Happiest following the trade her father taught her, taxidermy, Della has no wish to return to Sydney. But the unexpected arrival of Captain Stefan von Richter on a quest to retrieve what could be Australia’s first opal, precipitates Della’s return to Sydney and her Curio Shop of Wonders, where she discovers her enigmatic aunt, Cordelia, is selling more than curiosities to collectors. Strange things are afoot and Della, a fly in a spider’s web, is caught up in events with unimaginable consequences…
1919 Sydney, NSW
When London teashop waitress Fleur Richards inherits land and wealth in Australia from her husband, Hugh, killed in the war, she wants nothing to do with it. After all, accepting it will mean Hugh really is dead. But Hugh’s lawyer is insistent, and so she finds herself ensconced in the Berkeley Hotel on Bent St, Sydney, the reluctant owner of a Hawkesbury property and an old curio shop, now desolate and boarded up.
As the real story of her inheritance unravels, Fleur finds herself in the company of a damaged returned soldier Kip, holding a thread that takes her deep into the past, a thread that could unravel a mystery surrounding an opal and a woman in a green dress; a green that is the colour of envy, the colour buried deep within an opal, the colour of poison…
The Wrong Callahan – Karly Lane
Allen & Unwin – Contemporary Romanc
THE CALLAHANS OF STRINGYBARK CREEK – Book 1
It had been two long years since Lincoln Callahan had stood in front of the gates to Stringybark Creek. He was in the army then – a lifetime ago. Linc had always been the unsettled Callahan, looking for danger, the one who couldn’t wait to leave the family farm.
Linc’s little brother, Griffin, was the dependable son, the one who stayed at home, the one who did the right things. And, now, the one who has feelings for rebellious city girl, Cash Sullivan.
When Linc locks eyes with Cash at a family dinner, their swift attraction floors him. But Cash is his brother’s girlfriend … what is he thinking?
As Linc, Griff and Cash form an uneasy triangle, each of them have personal demons to face before they can open their hearts.
Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton – Anstey Harris
Simon & Schuster – Contemporary Fiction
For fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and The Keeper of Lost Things, The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton is the story of a woman who has her heart broken, but then puts it back together again in the most uplifting and exquisite way.
Between the simple melody of running her violin shop and the full-blown orchestra of her romantic interludes in Paris with David, her devoted partner of eight years, Grace Atherton has always set her life to music.
Her world revolves entirely around David, for Grace’s own secrets have kept everyone else at bay. Until, suddenly and shockingly, one act tips Grace’s life upside down, and the music seems to stop.
It takes a vivacious old man and a straight-talking teenager to kickstart a new chapter for Grace. In the process, she learns that she is not as alone in the world as she had once thought, that no mistake is insurmountable, and that the quiet moments in life can be something to shout about …
A huge thanks goes out to the publishers without whom we could not offer such great reads. Allen & Unwin, Harlequin and Simon & Schuster. We are so grateful for the support you show us, we couldn’t do it without you.
If you aren’t yet a member of the Beauty and Lace Club there is still time to join, head over to the signup page and take a look: yoursay.beautyandlace.net.
Happy Reading, have fun selecting preferences and we look forward to hearing what you think.