I can not believe it’s almost the end of June, we were just talking the other day and the financial year ends this weekend. That’s crazy! I swear it was just Easter.
Winter has certainly arrived, and she is not afraid to make her presence known. We are still getting some glorious sunshine here in the Hills but I’m convinced that the wind is coming straight off Antarctica. It is definitely the perfect weather to hibernate with a hot drink, a blankie, and a book – if only the children would agree.
There have been so many great books recently, and this month is no exception. I need extra hours to actually devote myself to my reading pile. All of the times I would usually be reading in the car lately I have been driving so that has been a little sad but hopefully the school holidays will give me a little more downtime.
Holidays are barrelling down on us, some states are down to one week left of school, we have two here and the kids are counting down.
Enjoy your weekend, enjoy your school holidays and have a look at this great list of books on offer in July and hopefully, the range has something to excite everybody.
A Room at the Manor – Julie Shackman
Allen & Unwin – Allen & Unwin – General Fiction
When her Maltese love affair turns sour, Lara McDonald returns to her quiet Scottish hometown of Fairview heartbroken, yet determined – instead of looking for another PR position, she decides to follow her dream of baking. She impulsively takes the first job offered and finds herself working for local dragon Kitty Walker in her tea room, True Brew.
Lara’s life is full of surprises, however, not the least being an unlikely friendship forged with one of Kitty’s elderly customers, the former laird Hugo Carmichael. The Carmichael family has lived at the beautiful Glenlovatt Manor for almost three hundred years and, although in need of renovation, Hugo, his son and grandson currently make it their home.
There’s something about Lara that Hugo likes, and when Hugo suddenly passes away, Lara is stunned to discover she is mentioned in his will. But not everyone is happy with the old Laird’s faith in Lara.
A story of love, family, hope and trust, A Room at the Manor will delight every reader keen to find their place in the world.
Ghosted – Rosie Walsh
Pan Macmillan – Mantle – Contemporary Fiction
If you’ve ever found yourself waiting for a call that didn’t come, Ghosted by Rosie Walsh is the book for you.
Imagine you meet a man, spend seven glorious days together, and fall in love. And it’s mutual: you’ve never been so certain of anything.
So when he leaves for a long-booked holiday and promises to call from the airport, you have no cause to doubt him.
But he doesn’t call.
Your friends tell you to forget him, but you know they’re wrong: something must have happened; there must be a reason for his silence.
What do you do when you finally discover you’re right? That there is a reason – and that reason is the one thing you didn’t share with each other?
Her Pretty Face – Robyn Harding
Simon & Schuster – Simon & Schuster Australia – Contemporary Fiction
Frances Metcalfe is struggling to stay afloat.
A stay-at-home mom whose troubled son is her full-time job, she thought that the day he got accepted into the elite Forrester Academy would be the day she started living her life. Overweight, insecure, and lonely, she is desperate to fit into Forrester’s world. But after a disturbing incident at the school leads the other children and their families to ostracize the Metcalfes, she feels more alone than ever before.
Until she meets Kate Randolph.
Kate is everything Frances is not: beautiful, wealthy, powerful, and confident. And for some reason, she’s not interested in being friends with any of the other Forrester moms—only Frances. As the two bond over their disdain of the Forrester snobs and the fierce love they have for their sons, a startling secret threatens to tear them apart…because one of these women is not who she seems. Her real name is Amber Kunik. And she’s a murderer.
In her masterful second novel, Robyn Harding spins a web of lies, deceit, and betrayal.
Lonely Girl – Lynne Vincent McCarthy
Pan Macmillan – Macmillan Australia – Crime and Mystery
This voice is something else, it belongs to her as surely as the things in this room do.
It’s one thing Ana has always known about herself.
She can be cruel.
In the shadow of a mountain in small-town Tasmania, a woman named Ana is watching the clock, marking the days until she ends her life.
The strange, reclusive daughter of the local pariah, that’s how the people will remember her, when they remember her at all. No one will mourn her, she reasons, not really. Not even her faithful dog River. The only thing she’s waiting for is the opportunity.
But then, on the very day she planned to end it all, the police find the body of local woman Rebecca Marsden. And for Ana, that changes everything. Because Ana was the last person to see Rebecca alive. Because Ana thinks she knows who killed her. And because Ana has decided to keep him for herself…
On The Right Track – Penelope Janu
Harlequin – Mira – Contemporary Romance
A traumatic past, a charismatic stranger and a family legacy … Golden’s quiet country life is about to get messy …
When the diminutive but fiery Golden Saunders falls from her horse and smashes her leg irreparably, and her racing family is disgraced by a corruption scandal, she thinks she’s hit rock bottom.
Then the enigmatic Tor Amundsen, United Nations diplomat (read: spy), arrives on the scene and proves her wrong. His investigation into her family pulls her back into a world she had escaped, and the branch of the family she has tried to avoid at all costs. Tor is infuriated and frustrated by the impossible mixture of fragility and fierceness that is Golden, true, but he is also strangely protective of her.
Golden wants no part of it. Men have pushed her around her whole life. The last thing she needs is an arrogant, irritatingly handsome man telling her what to do. But it turns out Tor has a way with animals, children and, well, Golden…
Before too long, she finds their overwhelming attraction is overriding her good sense, and as they are both pulled deeper into the murky world of dirty money, things are about to get messy, and Golden’s small, quietly ordered life will change beyond recognition…
Can Golden overcome her fears and the shadows of the past and reach for a new kind of future? Will she ever be able to get her life back on the right track?
One Small Thing – Erin Watt
Harlequin – HQ Young Adult-US – Contemporary Young Adult Fiction
This is a YOUNG ADULT title
Beth’s life hasn’t been the same since her sister died. Her parents try to lock her down, believing they can keep her safe by monitoring her every move. When Beth sneaks out to a party one night and meets the new guy in town, Chase, she’s thrilled to make a secret friend. It seems a small thing, just for her.
Only Beth doesn’t know how big her secret really is…
Fresh out of juvie and determined to start his life over, Chase has demons to face and much to atone for. Beth, who has more reason than anyone to despise him, is willing to give him a second chance. A forbidden romance is the last thing either of them planned for senior year, but the more time they spend together, the deeper their feelings get.
Now Beth has a choice to make – follow the rules, or risk tearing everything apart…again.
The Peacock Summer – Hannah Richell
Hachette – Hachette Australia – Contemporary Fiction
Two summers, decades apart. Two women whose lives are forever entwined. And a house that holds the secrets that could free them both.
At twenty-six, Lillian feels ancient and exhausted. Her marriage to Charles Oberon has not turned out the way she thought it would. To her it seems she is just another beautiful object captured within the walls of Cloudesley, her husband’s Chilterns manor house. But, with a young step-son and a sister to care for, Lillian accepts there is no way out for her. Then Charles makes an arrangement with an enigmatic artist visiting their home and her world is turned on its head.
Maggie Oberon ran from the hurt and resentment she caused. Half a world away, in Australia, it was easier to forget, to pretend she didn’t care. But when her grandmother, Lillian, falls ill she must head back to Cloudesley. Forced to face her past, she will learn that all she thought was real, all that she held so close, was never as it seemed.
An utterly compelling story of secrets, betrayals and the consequences of a long-ago summer from the internationally bestselling author of Secrets of the Tides and The Shadow Year.
Return to Roseglen – Helene Young
Penguin Randomhouse – Michael Joseph – Contemporary Fiction
At times like these families should be coming together, not tearing each other apart.
On her remote North Queensland cattle station, Ivy Dunmore is facing the end of her days. Increasingly frail, all she holds dear is threatened not just by crippling drought, but by jealousy and greed – and that’s from within her own family.
Can Felicity, who’s battling her own crisis as her fiftieth birthday approaches, protect her mother and reunite her family under the homestead’s faded iron roof? Or will sibling rivalries erupt and long-held secrets from the past break a family in crisis?
From award-winning Australian author Helene Young comes a story about family fractures and feuds in later life – and about loved ones being there for each other when it matters the most.
The Shangai Wife – Emma Harcourt
Harlequin – HQ Fiction-AU – Historical Fiction
Forbidden friendship, political conspiracy and incendiary passion draw Australian woman Annie Brand deep into the glamour and turmoil of 1920s Shanghai.
Leaving behind the loneliness and trauma of her past in country Australia, Annie Brand arrives to the political upheaval and glittering international society of Shanghai in the 1920s. Journeying up the Yangtze with her new husband, the ship’s captain, Annie revels in the sense of adventure but when her husband sends her back to Shanghai, her freedom is quickly curtailed.
Against her will, Annie finds herself living alone in the International Settlement, increasingly suffocated by the judgemental Club ladies and their exclusive social scene: one even more restrictive than that she came from. Sick of salacious gossip and foreign condescension, and desperate to shake off the restrictions of her position in the world, Annie is slowly drawn into the bustling life and otherness of the real Shanghai, and begins to see the world from the perspective of the local people, including the servants who work at her husband’s Club.
But this world is far more complex and dangerous than the curious Annie understands and, unknowingly, she becomes caught in a web of intrigue and conspiracy as well as a passionate forbidden love affair she could not have predicted: one with far–reaching consequences…
The Trouble With Choices – Trish Morey
Harlequin – Mira-AU – Contemporary Romance
The trouble with choices… is they come with consequences.
Dumped on the eve of her brother’s wedding, schoolteacher Sophie Faraday throws caution to the wind and winds up in the arms of the sexy best man. It was meant to be a one–night fling, but an unexpected consequence means Sophie must face one of the hardest choices a woman ever has to make…
Older sister Beth finds life is tough enough juggling a mortgage, shift work and raising her ten–year–old daughter alone. When she meets Harry, the quiet gardener with a heart of gold, she’s determined to place him firmly in the friend zone. How can she let herself love again, when the guilt she carries every day reminds her what love can cost?
Hannah, Beth’s twin, has her own reasons for avoiding relationships. But when Irishman Declan walks into her veterinary clinic with an orphaned joey in his arms, she’s seriously tempted. But isn’t resisting the attraction the safest option? Especially when the secret she’s held close for so long can only guarantee heartbreak…
Will the Faraday girls learn that, with your sisters by your side, the wrong choices can still lead to the right places?
The Upside of Over – J.D. Barrett
Hachette – Hachette Australia – Contemporary Romance
What happens when one of the country’s most popular identities goes from reading the news to being the news?
Olivia Law had always been the good girl. Great grades, perfect career, husband, house and hairdo. She’d learnt image was everything so she refused to look below the surface of her life. When not at work, her minutes were filled with causes, chairing boards and dining at fabulous restaurants with her equally fabulous husband, David. She kept up the Botox, blow-dries and worked hard. It wasn’t enough, but whenever doubt crept in she’d head to a pilates class or plan a renovation on her trophy house.
Then she turned 45.
Olivia wasn’t prepared for David to leave. The fact that they hadn’t had sex for two years should have triggered warning bells … it didn’t.
In an attempt to fix her broken marriage Olivia exposes herself like never before. But when her confession goes viral, the husband, house and job disappear. The woman who once offered glamorous reassurance and a steady gaze is labelled a princess of perversion. Humiliated, defeated, facing fifty shades of failure, she’s left wondering who the hell she really is? Stripped bare, she abandons perfection … and something remarkable happens.
Olivia Law just might get her sass back (and this time, it’s the real thing).
We See the Stars – Kate van Hooft
Allen & Unwin – Allen & Unwin – Crime & Mystery
‘Is that the Big Dipper?’ Mum asked. Her eyes were bright from the light in them, and they shone in the darkness more than any of the stars in the sky.
Simon is an eleven-year-old boy who lives in a world of silence, lists and numbers. He hasn’t spoken for years and he doesn’t know why.
Everyone at school thinks he’s weird and his only friends in the world are his brother Davey and Superman, who’s always there when he needs him.
One day Simon shares his Vita-Weats with Cassie, the scary girl from his class, and a friendship starts to form. And the new teacher Ms Hilcombe takes an interest in him, and suddenly he has another friend as well.
When Ms Hilcombe goes missing, only Simon knows where she is. But he has made a promise to never tell, and promises can never be broken. So now Simon is the only one who can save her.
A haunting and deeply moving novel with a brilliant voice in the tradition of The Eye of the Sheep and Jasper Jones.
A huge thanks goes out to the publishers without whom we could not offer such great reads. Allen & Unwin, Harlequin, Hachette, Pan Macmillan, Penguin Randomhouse 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.
I devour books, vampires and supernatural creatures are my genre of choice but over the past couple of years, I have broadened my horizons considerably. In a nutshell – I love to write! I love interacting with a diverse range of artists to bring you interviews. Perhaps we were perfect before – I LOVE WORDS!