Romance enthusiasts were kept busy this month with the Romance Writers of Australia conference taking place in Brisbane. Nevertheless, throughout August we had 17 reviews of 11 books by 11 authors. You can see all the full list on our Books Reviewed page.

Beneath the Skin Melissa JamesBeneath the Skin by Melissa James was a popular choice this month. Amanda at Mrs B’s Book Reviews had this to say:

Beneath the Skin is my introduction to the work of Melissa James and I do hope it marks the start of a new reading relationship with this skilled Australian writer. As soon as I had a glimpse of the cover and blurb of this book, I was certain I was going to enjoy reading Beneath the Skin. It is a pleasure to read a suspense novel that is written and presented well. Melissa James has a strong writing style that is ideally suited to the genre in which she is writing, Australian romantic suspense. What I appreciated most about this book was the drip feed style suspense aspect in this book, which aided in cracking the secrets and twists hidden within this novel. I will admit to having to sneak more page and chapter in while I was reading this hooking novel!

Marie McLean loved Beautiful, Messy Love by Tess Woods:

Tess Woods delivers a perfect blend of romance and contemporary women’s fiction in her latest novel, Beautiful Messy Love. Humour, lust and love are intricately threaded into topical themes centred around asylum seekers, terrorism, prejudice, cancer and depression. Tess takes the reader on an emotional rollercoaster, calling it as she sees it in her achingly honest and down to earth way.

Though Marie warns fans of traditional romance that the author doesn’t always deliver on happily-ever-afters in her books.

Mulligan-Under-her-spellIf you’re a fan of novellas or just looking for a shorter read, Theresa Smith suggests checking out Under Her Spell by Monique Mulligan:

With all the hallmarks of a rom-com, Under Her Spell is a story that would make for a great movie. At only 40 pages, it has a tightly packed plot that is precisely executed. With sparkling dialogue, adorable introspection from Oliver, and a cute word quirk from Kaylie, it’s a story I thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish.

Coming Soon

September is looking a little light for romance releases. However, readers of rural romance  can look forward to Prodigal Daughter by Jane Carter, while fans of fantasy romance might be interested in Shona Husk’s Servant of the Forest. If you prefer dystopian m/m romance, Annabelle McInnes is starting off a new trilogy with True Refuge.


Elizabeth Fitzgerald is a freelance editor and owner of Earl Grey Editing. She runs a book blog, was a judge for the 2016 Aurealis Awards, and just finished her fourth term as the Secretary of the Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild. An unabashed roleplayer and reader of romance, her weaknesses are books, loose-leaf tea and silly dogs. She tweets @elizabeth_fitz

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