I’m pretty sure you all know the drill by now. The year is on a super speed highway and I’m forever chasing my tail hoping to one day catch up. So, I’m gonna dispense with the niceties and the small talk and get right down to business.
We are in the last week of May, I am finding I need more extra hours in the day by the week and I’m not sure where to get them. I have actually managed to read 5 books in May but at this point have only reviewed 2. It’s all been go, go, go and now I have an amazing selection of books clamouring for attention in June so I’m just going to share them with you.
A Lifetime of Impossible Days – Tabitha Bird
Penguin RandomHouse – Contemporary Fiction
Meet Willa Waters, aged 8 . . . 33 . . . and 93.
On one impossible day in 1965, eight-year-old Willa receives a mysterious box containing a jar of water and the instruction: ‘One ocean: plant in the backyard.’ So she does – and somehow creates an extraordinary time slip that allows her to visit her future selves.
On one impossible day in 1990, Willa is 33 and a mother-of-two when her childhood self magically appears in her backyard. But she’s also a woman haunted by memories of her dark past – and is on the brink of a decision that will have tragic repercussions . . .
On one impossible day in 2050,Willa is a silver-haired, gumboot-loving 93-year-old whose memory is fading fast. Yet she knows there’s something she has to remember, a warning she must give her past selves about a terrible event in 1990. If only she could recall what it was.
Can the three Willas come together, to heal their past and save their future, before it’s too late?
Allegra in Three Parts – Suzanne Daniel
Pan Macmillan – Contemporary Fiction
I can split myself in two… something I have to do because of Joy and Matilde. They are my grandmothers and I love them both and they totally love me but they can’t stand each other.
Eleven-year-old Allegra shuttles between her grandmothers who live next door to one another but couldn’t be more different. Matilde works all hours and instils discipline, duty and restraint. She insists that Allegra focus on her studies to become a doctor.
Meanwhile free-spirited Joy is full of colour, possibility and emotion, storing all her tears in little glass bottles. She is riding the second wave of the women’s movement in the company of her penny tortoise, Simone de Beauvoir, encouraging Ally to explore broad horizons and live her ‘true essence’.
And then there’s Rick who lives in a flat out the back and finds distraction in gambling and solace in surfing. He’s trying to be a good father to Al Pal, while grieving the woman who links them all but whose absence tears them apart.
Allegra is left to orbit these three worlds wishing they loved her a little less and liked each other a lot more. Until one day the unspoken tragedy that’s created this division explodes within the person they all cherish most.
Crossings – Alex Landragin
Picador Australia – General/Historical Fiction
I didn’t write this book. I stole it…
A Parisian bookbinder stumbles across a manuscript containing three stories, each as unlikely as the other.
The first, ‘The Education of a Monster’, is a letter penned by the poet Charles Baudelaire to an illiterate girl. The second, ‘City of Ghosts’, is a noir romance set in Paris in 1940 as the Germans are invading. The third, ‘Tales of the Albatross’, is the strangest of the three: the autobiography of a deathless enchantress. Together, they tell the tale of two lost souls peregrinating through time.
An unforgettable tour de force, Crossings is a novel in three parts, designed to be read in two different directions, spanning a hundred and fifty years and seven lifetimes.
Dead at First Sight – Peter James
Pan Macmillan – Thriller/Crime/Suspense
A man waits at a London airport for Ingrid Ostermann, the love of his life, to arrive. Across the Atlantic, a retired NYPD cop waits in a bar in Florida’s Key West for his first date with the lady who is, without question, his soulmate. The two men are about to discover they’ve been scammed out of almost every penny they have in the world – and that neither women exist.
Meanwhile, a wealthy divorcée plunges, in suspicious circumstances, from an apartment block in Munich. In the same week, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is called to investigate the suicide of a woman in Brighton, that is clearly not what it seems. As his investigations continue, a handsome Brighton motivational speaker comes forward. He’s discovered his identity is being used to scam eleven different women, online. The first he knew of it was a phone call from one of them, out of the blue, saying, ‘You don’t know me, but I thought I knew you’.
That woman is now dead. Roy Grace realizes he is looking at the tip of an iceberg. A global empire built on clever, cruel internet scams and the murder of anyone who threatens to expose them.
Secrets of Silvergum – Mandy Magro
Harlequin Mira – Rural Romance
Can dark family secrets ever truly be buried?
When a horrible twist of fate leaves teenage friends Emma Kensington and Zane Wolfe reeling in the wake of a fatal accident, the two are driven apart for decades.
As a professional bull rider in America for the past sixteen years, Zane has stayed a sensible distance from the one woman he’s always loved but could never have – Emma, his childhood friend, and his brother’s wife. But a phone call revealing his stepfather’s sudden death means keeping half a world between them is no longer an option. Returning to Silvergum, how will he keep his long-held feelings under control?
For Emma, the death of her father-in-law, Peter, is shadowed by the secrets he’d been blackmailing her with. She’s finally free to tell the truth to the man she’s covertly loved from afar all this time. But Peter’s hand stretches beyond the grave, and all too soon Emma discovers she’s not the only one who has been keeping secrets. And to make peace with her past, she could very likely lose everything she loves most…
The Accusation – Wendy James
Harper Collins – General Fiction/Domestic Noir
After eighteen-year-old Ellie Canning is found shivering and barely conscious on a country road, her bizarre story of kidnap and escape enthrals the nation. Who would do such a thing? And why?
Local drama teacher Suzannah Wells, once a minor celebrity, is new to town. Suddenly she’s in the spotlight again, accused of being the monster who drugged and bound a teenager in her basement. As stories about her past emerge, even those closest to her begin to doubt her innocence.
And Ellie? The media can’t get enough of her. She’s a girl-power icon, a social-media star. But is she telling the truth?
A powerful exploration of the fragility of trust and the loss of innocence, from the author of The Golden Child and The Mistake.
The Cinema at Starlight Creek – Alli Sinclair
Harlequin Mira – Historical Fiction
How far would you go to follow your dream?
Queensland, 1994: When location manager Claire Montgomery arrives in rural Queensland to work on a TV mini-series, she’s captivated by the beauty of Starlight Creek and the surrounding sugarcane fields. Working in a male-dominated industry is challenging, but Claire has never let that stop her pursuing her dreams-until now. She must gain permission to film at Australia’s most historically significant art deco cinema, located at Starlight Creek. But there is trouble ahead. The community is fractured and the cinema’s reclusive owner, Hattie Fitzpatrick, and her enigmatic great nephew, Luke Jackson, stand in her way, putting Claire’s career-launching project-and her heart-at risk.
Hollywood, 1950: Lena Lee has struggled to find the break that will catapult her into a star with influence. She longs for roles about strong, independent women but with Hollywood engulfed in politics and a censorship battle, Lena’s timing is wrong. Forced to keep her love affair with actor Reeves Garrity a secret, Lena puts her career on the line to fight for equality for women in an industry ruled by men. Her generous and caring nature steers her onto a treacherous path, leaving Lena questioning what she is willing to endure to get what she desires.
Can two women-decades apart-uncover lies and secrets to live the life they’ve dared to dream?
The Electric Hotel – Dominic Smith
Allen & Unwin – Historical Fiction
Dominic Smith’s The Electric Hotel winds through the nascent days of cinema in Paris and Fort Lee, New Jersey–America’s first movie town–and on the battlefields of Belgium during World War I. A sweeping work of historical fiction, it shimmers between past and present as it tells the story of the rise and fall of a prodigious film studio and one man’s doomed obsession with all that passes in front of the viewfinder.
For nearly half a century, Claude Ballard has been living at the Hollywood Knickerbocker Hotel. A French pioneer of silent films, who started out as a concession agent for the Lumiere brothers, the inventors of cinema, Claude now spends his days foraging mushrooms in the hills of Los Angeles and taking photographs of runaways and the striplings along Sunset Boulevard. But when a film-history student comes to interview Claude about The Electric Hotel–the lost masterpiece that bankrupted him and ended the career of his muse, Sabine Montrose–the past comes surging back. In his run-down hotel suite, the ravages of the past are waiting to be excavated: celluloid fragments and reels in desperate need of restoration, and Claude’s memories of the woman who inspired and beguiled him.
The Ex – Nicola Moriarty
Harper Collins – General Fiction
Girl meets boy. They fall in love. There’s just one problem…
She wants him back. She wants you gone.
Luke is The One. After everything she’s been through, Georgia knows she deserves someone like him, to make her feel loved. Safe.
The only problem is his ex-girlfriend. Luke says Cadence is having trouble moving on. She texts Luke all the time and leaves aggressive notes on Georgia’s car.
Georgia starts to feel afraid. But she decides to confront Cadence … and that’s when things get interesting.
From the bestselling author of The Fifth Letter comes a twisty, pacy, gripping new novel that explores the baggage we carry from our past relationships and asks how well can you ever really know someone.
Those People – Louise Candlish
Simon & Schuster – General Fiction
You don’t like them. They’re not like you. Are you one of Those People?
Until Darren and Jodie move in, Lowland Way is a suburban paradise. Beautiful homes. Friendly neighbours. Kids playing out in the street. But Darren and Jodie don’t follow the rules and soon disputes over loud music and parking rights escalate to threats of violence.
Then, early one Sunday, a horrific crime shocks the street. As the police go house-to-house, the residents close ranks and everyone’s story is the same: They did it.
But there’s a problem. The police don’t agree. And the door they’re knocking on next is yours.
White Sands of Summer – J.H. Fletcher
Harlequin Mira – Historical Fiction
This multi-faceted saga tells the interlinked story of two sisters as they face poverty, loss and betrayal through the changing landscape of Australia in the 40s and 60s.
Will wealth and love be theirs for the taking or will they run like sand through their fingers?
No-one thought barmaid Shannon Harcourt stood a chance with Hal Maitland, heir to the vast Maitland fortune. Yet their unlikely relationship flourishes until, one summer’s day on the white sands of Charles Green Island, they realise their true feelings for each other – feelings that must motivate them to survive the coming war.
Forty years on, Shannon, a successful businesswoman and younger sister Jess, an accomplished chef, have left their days of poverty far behind. Shannon now has her sights set on purchasing the island where her young love began.
But when reclusive businessman, Dermot Black, becomes acquainted with Jess and shows interest in Charles Green, Shannon is wary of his motives. What could Black possibly want with the island, and why is he so interested in the Harcourt sisters?
A story of love and competing ambitions, and a reminder to never underestimate the determination of a woman.
Wildflower Ridge – Maya Linnell
Allen & Unwin – Rural Fiction
Four sisters, one farm and a second chance at following your heart
Penny McIntyre loves her life as an ambitious city professional, with a marketing team at her fingertips and a promotion just within reach. So when she’s floored by a mystery illness, and ordered back to the family farm for three months’ rest and recuperation, she is horrified to find her perfect life imploding.
Within days, Penny has to leave her much-loved job, her live-in boyfriend, and her beloved city apartment … to return to the small country town in which she grew up. Back to her dad and three sisters, one of whom has never forgiven her for abandoning her family. And to her ex-boyfriend, Tim Patterson, who was the biggest reason she ran away in the first place.
When Penny’s father is injured in a farming accident and Tim campaigns to buy the property, she must choose between the city life she loves and the farming dream she buried long ago.
Wildflower Ridge is rural fiction straight from the heart.
A huge thanks goes out to the publishers without whom we could not offer such great reads. Allen & Unwin, Harlequin, Harper Collins, Pan Macmillan, Penguin RandomHouse and Simon & Schuster. We are so grateful for the support you show us, we couldn’t do it without you.
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Happy Reading, have fun selecting preferences and we look forward to hearing what you think.