The start of a new financial year also signals the half way checkpoint for our challenge. How are you all progressing with the challenge? Are you on track to meet your challenge goals? I would love to hear from you. Personally, although I am increasingly falling behind on my reviews, I am feeling good about my own personal reading challenge goals, this one included. Now is the perfect time to sit back on reflect on your reading. Why not take some inspiration from the great selection of books featured in this month’s round up!

The cold weather felt across the country certainly hasn’t deterred our romance readers, we seem to be reading more, which is great! There was a slight increase in the reviews logged in the romance genre over the last month. In June we clocked in 41 reviews, of 34 books, from 31 authors.

Last week I was fortunate enough to attend one of the fantastic romance themed author events held across various locations in Western Australia. The brainchild of Penguin Books Australia, Love Between the Pages celebrates the work of our talented Australian women writers, who have recently released a book with romance themes. I am mentioning this as Sasha Wasley, one of the WA based authors involved in this event, has the most popular book reviewed this month. Congratulations Sasha! True Blue, the third novel in the Paterson sisters series, has recently been released and it is so pleasing to see this new rural romance novel collect six positive reviews this month.  Over on my own blog, Mrs B’s Book Reviews, I had this to say:

Like a breath of fresh air, Sasha Wasley, a much loved Australian rural romance author returns to the scene with her second book and the next chapter in her Paterson Sisters series, titled True Blue. This time around, Wasley brings us the effervescent character of Free, a young woman who learns that it is just as important to remain loyal to yourself when finding the true love of your life.

Carol from Reading, Writing and Riesling had a very personal response to True Blue:

I received my copy of True Blue at a time when life was a little traumatic and emotional. For those who know me or follow my blog you will be aware that in February/March we dealt a number of deaths in our family; concentrating on reading my normal diet of crime fiction was not possible. But True Blue came along and gave me a little glimpse of happiness, fun and optimism.

Reviews of True Blue by Theresa Smith WritesBrendaNicole and Nadia King all spread their love for this book.

Often when an author releases a new novel, there is renewed interest in their back catalogue. Claire Holderness, our Speculative Fiction Editor, delved into one of Sasha Wasley’s epub titles written under her S.D. Wasley range. Claire had this to say about Downfall (Incorruptibles #1):

A great forward to reading book 2. paranormal romance which had me reading till all hours to find out what was going to happen.

Tule Publishing Group have just released a brand new series, Outback Brides, featuring some well known Australian rural romance writers. In June we registered two reviews of two different books in this exciting new romance series.

Helen Sibbritt delved into Maggie’s Run by Kelly Hunter, which is the first book in this series. According to Helen:

This is such a great story, a fabulous start to a series and MS Hunter you rock, I loved Maggie and Max, this story is filled with witty banter, humour and heart felt love and honesty. The setting country Victoria, a sheep station and a journey to the most beautiful HEA makes this a story that is not to be missed.

Helen then made her way to the second book in this series penned by one of my own personal favourite Australian novelists, Victoria Purman. Helen’s review of Belle’s Secret can be viewed hereIf you are just as excited about this series as I am remember to look out for fresh additions to this series, there are more to come!The self published corner this month has been logging in a number of reviews from a range of different authors and sub genres of romance. Theresa Smith explored a romantic suspense novel titled Retribution, by Diane Demetre. Theresa explains:

For those who read a lot of romance and romantic suspense, this is a novel that will appeal to you immensely. There’s plenty of romantic tension and sizzling scenes of anticipation. The issues explored were done so with sensitivity and were clearly well researched. The suspense aspect of the story was well drawn out with a few unexpected twists. There’s plenty going on in Retribution and you’ll find it to be one of those stories that you’re hard pressed to put down.

I also discovered a brand new voice in my favourite genre, Australian rural romance. Leanne Lovegrove is a new self published author in the genre and she makes her presence known with her first book, Unexpected Delivery. Here is a snapshot of my thoughts:

Leanne Lovegrove is aware of the key ingredients that make a typical rural romance tick over nicely. She is able to use this tried and tested formula very well, but she goes that one step further and offers us more to enjoy.

An author I am really looking forward to meeting later this year at the fabulous West Coast Fiction Festival I am attending is Lili St. Germain. Claire Holderness reviewed one of her self published titles, Zero Hour (Gypsy Brothers #9) this month and it caught my attention. Claire had this to say:

I’m so glad there was a final chapter in the Gypsy Brothers series so we could learn what happens after the final act in One Love. I thought this was a great ending, we learn more about Jason and what he went through and we see where Juliette and Jason’s relationship goes after all the revenge dramas have ended.

My closing mention in the self published corner are two titles reviewed by Eleni. Romantic short stories are not my usual fare, but Eleni’s review of The Crocodile Virgin, an adventure themed romance short story by Jenny Schwartz, intrigued me. Likewise, Eleni read Person of No Consequence, a self published historical romance (regency themed) short story by Alison Stuart.I’m sure you will agree it is great to see our romance challenge participants rallying behind our self published authors.

In June we continued to see romance novels featured in previous round ups covered again in reviews submitted by our challenge enthusiasts. These included:

It pleases me to showcase some non 2018 new release romance titles again this month. June saw another increase in reviews submitted of this nature. Here is a breakdown of what books we read in June that were published prior to 2018:

  • Atrophy by Jess Anastasi (published 2015) reviewed by Eleni.
  • Pretty Shore by Carla Caruso (published 2014) reviewed by Eleni.
  • Girl Unseen by Athena Daniels (published 2017) reviewed by Claire.
  • The Road to Hope by Rachael Johns (published 2015) reviewed by Mrs B’s Book Reviews.
  • An Uncertain Grace by Krissy Kneen (published 2017) reviewed by Jennifer Cameron-Smith.
  • Beyond Today by L. Simpson (published 2017) reviewed by Helen Sibbritt.
  • The Baby Snatchers by Chris Taylor (published 2016) reviewed by Brenda.
  • An Accidental Murderer by Chris Taylor (published 2017) reviewed by Carolyn Scott.

It has been another jam packed edition of the romance genre this month. I hope you have found a book or two that you can add to your reading list. It is time for me to say goodbye for another month. Until then, happy reading to all the passionate romance readers out there! I can’t wait to see what the second half of 2018 will bring to the challenge.

About me: I am a mum of two young boys, an early childhood teacher, dressaholic, second hand book stall owner, book reviewer and self confessed book geek. In 2016, I turned my passion for reading into my own blog, Mrs B’s Book Reviews. I blog daily and love nothing more than to showcase books by our talented crop of Australian women writers, especially rural romance, along with a number of other genres. Check my reviews out at the following sites, Mrs B’s Book Reviews, Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram and Twitter.