After January’s roaring start, February quietened to a steady pace. This month we had 16 reviews of 16 books by 15 authors, including a bunch of 5-star reviews. (You can see the full list of February reviews in this category on our “Books reviewed” page here.)

29285427Jo at Booklover Book Reviews thought highly of Our Tiny, Useless Hearts by Toni Jordan.

Our Tiny, Useless Hearts lampoons our suburban middle-class preoccupations and doomed-to-fail quest as adults to engineer outcomes, to micro-manage our own responses to stimuli let alone those of others in our lives. Strip away the cornucopia of neuroses (all too common ones I might add, if we take just a moment to be honest with ourselves), and the pot in which Jordan has thrown her colourful ensemble cast is brimming over with heart (and romance).

Brenda gave five stars to Under Shadow of Doubt by Juanita Kees.

Under Shadow of Doubt by Aussie author Juanita Kees is an excellent romantic suspense novel that I couldn’t put down. The pace was electric, the plot brilliant. This is #1 in the Under the Law series (and originally titled Fly Away Peta; reworked and edited with significant changes) and I’m very much looking forward to book #2. Highly recommended.

place-belong-bostonJuanita herself also chimed in with a five-star review, and the first m/m romance the AWW team has received this year, for Place to Belong by Claire Boston:

This was a sweet, touching story of two men finding their place in the world, their families and with each other. I fell in love with the cover and then the story itself. Aptly titled Place to Belong, this was the perfect addition to bring The Flanagan Sisters series to a close.

March looks to be a busy month for releases, with far too many for me to list. (Scroll down to see then here.) Theresa Smith has a head start on things, reviewing Cheryl Adnams’ forthcoming Handpicked:

Cheryl has a distinctive voice that comes through with a strong element of wry humour and an honesty that I appreciate. Her characters are always real and totally relatable, both annoying and endearing. I particularly enjoy her dialogue, it’s punchy and engaging with plenty of lines that had me laughing out loud.

cover107285-mediumRural romance fans might like to keep your eyes out for No Job for a Girl by Meredith Appleyard, while To Charm A Bluestocking by Renee Dahlia might appeal to readers of historical romance. If your taste runs to contemporary retellings, Elizabeth Dunk’s The Making of Henri Higgins might be for you (particularly if you enjoy My Fair Lady).

If your To-Read pile still needs a boost, the 2016 Australian Romance Readers Awards took place on 26 February. Nominees are not restricted solely to Australia, but Australian women nevertheless managed to win all but two of the categories (missing out on Favourite Paranormal Romance and Favourite Erotic Romance).

Lastly in news, three Australian women were finalists in the 2016 Romantic Times Awards: C.S. Pacat for Kings Rising in the category of Fantasy Romance, Michelle Diener for Dark Deeds in Futuristic Romance and Sally Thorne for The Hating Game as Book of the Year. Congratulations!

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