Welcome back for another round up where I highlight all the happenings in the romance book world from our fabulous Australian women writers. There were some clear winners this month, with three new release romance themed books capturing our heart.  Our official stats for the month reveal that we took in 31 reviews, of 20 books, of 19 authors. Although we are almost at the half way point of the challenge, it is humbling to see so many great reviews continuing to be logged in on a daily basis. Thank you for your valuable contributions.

Popular and new

It gives me great pleasure to announce that the recipient of the most popular romance book for the month of May was The Cinema at Starlight Creek by Alli Sinclair. There were four reviews lodged for this new release, rolling in from Brenda, Veronica of The Burgeoning Bookshelf, Theresa Smith Writes and Mrs B’s Book Reviews (which comes with an accompanying interview). Theresa Smith Writes accurately captures the feelings of many readers who have read this new title from Alli Sinclair:

She has such a skill when it comes to breathing life into her stories, sprinkling a special kind of magic throughout that speaks to me of a great passion for her subject matter, no matter what she writes about. She’s firmly on my ‘read everything this author writes’ list. The Cinema at Starlight Creek is highly recommended reading and I can assure you that the story itself is every bit as beautiful and atmospheric as the cover that adorns it.

Another favourite this month is the brand new release from Maggie Christensen. A Single Woman, which is the third book in the Scottish tales series, was a hit three times over this month. Reviews came in from Helen Sibbritt, Brenda and myself over at Mrs B’s Book Reviews. I had this to say:

A Single Woman marks the eleventh novel from Australian author Maggie Christensen. A Single Woman is also the third issue in Maggie Christensen’s Scottish tales series. There are loose connections only to the previous two books in the series, so it is very east to settle into this engaging new tale from the queen of mature age fiction, Maggie Christensen.With themes of overcoming grief and loss, opening up your heart to others and new starts, this is a second chance love story that will be sure to appeal to many readers.

The other obvious favourite among readers in May was The Forgotten Letters of Esther Durrant by Kayte Nunn. This book is currently sitting on the very top of my review pile. I won’t go into too much depth with this one, it is quite a genre mix. I do suspect that it will feature heavily in the next historical fiction and general fiction round up. If you are keen to find out more, may I suggest taking the time to read over thoughts given by Jennifer Cameron-Smith, Ashleigh at The Book Muse and Theresa Smith Writes. All three of these reviewers provide a comprehensive account of this highly anticipated new release from Kayte Nunn.

May saw the release of a number of appealing new romance reads. One that immediately caught my eye while completing this round up was The Wedding Puzzle by Sallie Muirden. Cass Moriarty states:

Wedding Puzzle (Transit Lounge Publishing 2019) is the new novel by author Sallie Muirden, a sort of blend between a romantic comedy and a YA coming of age story. Over the course of one very important day – her wedding day – 24-year-old Beth Shaw contemplates her life thus far and her impending union with her fiancé, Jordan.

Another new release that will be sure to appeal to rural romance fans is Illegal Love by Leanne Lovegrove. Over at Mrs B’s Book Reviews, I proclaimed:

Illegal Love is the second novel from Leanne Lovegrove, lawyer, wife, mother and romance novelist. Illegal Love is a great all rounder. My appreciation for this title was immediate. From the very first page, I became completely involved in the Kate and Nick’s risky pathway to love. I only intended on reading a couple of chapters of Illegal Love when I first picked it up, but before long it carried me away and I enjoyed the escape it offered me for a whole afternoon!

The One by Kaneana May hit the romance desk this month. After reading through Amy’s review, I am keen to explore this title myself. Amy from Lost in a Good Book had this to say:

This is a wonderful story about the different types of love and the unexpected ways you fins someone. I loved the different characters and their journeys. Their voices were honest and while they certainly were foolish at times, there is a great human flaw to them. There’s a strange mix of predictability, but also the uncertainty that the story would go in that direction.

The romantic suspense genre received some welcome attention this month. Brenda brought a brand new book in this sub genre to my attention. The Amethyst Code by Erin Moira O’Hara is the fourth issue in the Steele Ops Series. According to Brenda:

The Amethyst Code is the 4th in the Steele Ops series by Aussie author Erin Moira O’Hara, and another well executed, fast paced thriller filled with plenty of action. I thoroughly enjoyed the ride and highly recommend this novel to fans of the romantic suspense genre.

If you are longing for some sizzle during these cold winter nights, Helen Sibbritt has a fabulous contemporary romance recommendation. Bad Influence by Stefanie London is the third book in the Bad Bachelors series. Helen Sibbritt found:

I loved this story from page one, I loved Joe and Annie they were made for each other, the strength and caring that they both showed was amazing the sensual pull was firing up the pages, this story is beautifully written, moving and a must read.


It was another healthy month in the returns department. Our interest in the following list of books cropped up again during May:

Older releases

There was just a small but welcome selection of titles in the older releases category. I enjoyed the trip down book memory lane with a couple of them.

Self Published

I recently finished reading the latest book by Mel A. Rowe, a fabulous self published author that I cannot recommend enough. My pick of the month in the self published category of romance is The Art of Dust, by Mel A. Rowe, which is book #1 in the Elsie Creek series. Thanks to Helen Sibbritt for bringing this title to our attention.

Thank you for following along with me this month. I have enjoyed exploring and adding a few romance titles to my TBR pile, I hope you have too. Happy winter reading!

About me: I am a mum of two young boys, an early childhood teacher, dressaholic, 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.