The cold weather has arrived in earnest and I’ve been cuddling up with a book to stay warm in the evenings. It seems I’m not the only one. Throughout May we had 29 reviews of 22 books by 19 authors. You can see all the full list on our Books Reviewed page.

Daniels-girl-betweenSeveral books were particularly popular this month. Anna Daniels’ contemporary Girl In Between received four reviews. Most thought highly of it, including Cass Moriarty:

‘Funny’ is very hard to get right, but Anna manages to take us on a comedy romp through a rom-com narrative that is both touching and romantic, as well as being peppered with Australian colloquialisms and familiar cultural references.

However, Jo at Booklover Book Reviews had a few reservations:

Less compelling for me were her protagonists’ bouts of career indecision and will-they won’t-they romantic journey.

Lovers of rural romance will be pleased to know Rachel Johns has a new offering in Talk of the Town. Bree at 1 Girl, 2 Many Books liked it:

What I loved about this book was having a heroine who had made some real mistakes in her past. Meg has definitely been through some troubled times and made some bad choices as well. Her story unfolds in a way that I did not expect but I thought it gave her really believable motivation for wanting to be in such an isolated location and attempt to put her life back together.

Michelle at Beauty and Lace also praised it:

Talk of the Town brings together the best and the worst of small town life, the gossip and the meddling but also the support and sense of coming home.

Serenity-press-bouquet-loveIf you’re looking for something a bit different, Serenity Press have brought out an anthology of short stories called A Bouquet of Love. Amanda at Mrs. B’s Book Reviews explains the premise:

The ten authors featured in A Bouquet of Love were issued with a challenge, they were each asked to write a romance filled short story, featuring the same premises, Serendipity Bridal Boutique. The authors were able to include pre set key characters such as owner Kate, designer Kyle and shop assistant Vanessa but they were also able to create their own characters. The result is a set of memorable tales that perfectly encapsulates the whole bridal shop experience. A Bouquet of Love most importantly captures the romance but also the anticipation, happiness, fun, organisation, disappointment and even the uncomfortable parts that go hand in hand with weddings – think six inch heels!

AWW’s Theresa Smith also liked it:

This anthology is ideal for fans of insta-love, romantic comedies, and whimsical second chance love stories. Each of the ten stories are the perfect length to sit down and read with a cuppa, bite-sized romance that promises that uplifting ‘happy ever after’ each time.

Orbiting around the Serendipity Bridal Boutique, I appreciated that thread of connectivity that laced all of the stories together. Given each author had only that common location as a link, I think they did very well coming up with some fun and memorable scenarios. The editors have done a wonderful job ensuring that all of the stories were unique and well placed within the anthology.

Coming Soon

June looks to be a bit of a quieter month for releases. However, there’s still something for everyone. Lovers of romantic suspense might want to look for Diamond Sky, the third book in Annie Seaton’s Porter Sisters series. Shona Husk has a new contemporary romance out called Diving Into TroubleAnd if sci-fi romance is more to your taste, Anna Hackett has the sixth book in her Galactic Gladiator series coming out toward the end of the month.

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