September proved to be a huge reading month for our romance readers. I was delighted to see a solid increase in our linked reviews since our last round up. A big thank you to those who have approached the romance genre and the challenge as a whole with such optimism, despite the restrictions we have faced. Without further delay, the final results for the general tag field of romance for September 2020 reveal 35 reviews of 24 books, of 24 authors.
The Bush Telegraph by Fiona McArthur (4 Reviews)
While the romance is integral to the plot of The Bush Telegraph, McArthur explores several important themes and issues within the story. There are characters facing various problems including alcohol addiction, financial pressures, abandonment, domestic abuse, betrayal and grief. The community itself is showing signs of neglect, with struggling businesses, vacant storefronts, and a dwindling population.
Lonely in Longreach by Eva Scott (1 Review, 1 Interview)
Lonely in Longreach is my first by Aussie author Eva Scott and I quite enjoyed it. It was light, entertaining and an easy read, especially after the heaviness of a couple recently. Maddie and Levi were ingenuous teens who were heading for trouble, but their hearts were in the right place. The author’s word paintings of Longreach and surrounds were such that I could visualize it all. I could tell she loves the Australian bush 😊 Recommended.
Wherever You Go by Monique Mulligan (1 Review, 2 Interviews)
Wherever You Go introduces the key characters, but mainly revolves around Amy and Matt settling into life in Blackwood and finding a way back to each other and their lives together. It is a touching look at friendship, family, grief and loss, and how people recover and work towards redemption, even if this redemption is insular, and something they need to do for themselves, not for society or legal reasons.
Series Based Romance
Serenity’s Song – Outback Brides Return to Wirralong, #3 by Cathryn Hein (1 Review)
This is a fabulous fun and moving story there were lots of laughs and smiles in this one that had me turning the pages, I loved it from start to finish, truly this is one that you should not miss, thank you Cathryn Hein for a fantastic story.
Cherry Beach by Lara McPhee-Brown (1 Review)
I also appreciated how the author handles the diversity of same-sex relationships – not highlighting them as an ‘issue’ but casually and seamlessly incorporating them into life; Ness’ relationships are central to the story but are not treated any differently to any other romantic attachments. This close interweaving of diversity into mainstream fiction is exactly like life, and just what we need from modern literature.
The Healer by Allison Butler (1 Review)
I do love a trip back to the Scottish Highlands in the 1400’s, a man in a kilt and a laird yes please and this one was a beauty, beautifully written, fabulous characters and a story of born enemies finding a love so strong, I loved getting to know Lynelle Fenwick and Laird William Kirkpatrick, I hope you do as well.
Phantasma by Efthalia (1 Review)
With a title of Phantasma, I was already intrigued to read this story. Steeped in Greek mythology and Greek-American culture was another draw card for me. It didn’t disappoint. I was drawn into Carissa’s world. A world that went from the ordinary to the paranormal in one encounter. Vampires, demons, gods – all with a modern Greek slant. It was great to see the odd Greek word here. Efthalia does a great job explaining the terms on the whole but there’s a glossary at the back as well.
Romance in Short Stories
Blackbirds Sing by Aiki Flinthart (1 Review)
Blackbirds Sing (Cat Press 2019) is a rather unusual novel by Aiki Flinthart. In a collection of linked short stories that features 24 different women of all ages and classes, the novel addresses the powerlessness of women and the many dangers to them of 500 years ago, but also highlights their persistence, their courage and their united desire to maintain personal sovereignty despite all odds being against them.
Self Published Romance
The Stockman’s Daughter by Jacquie Underdown (1 Review, 1 Interview)
A story of tradition, love, persistence, bravery and uphill battles, it was a pleasure to read Jacquie Underdown’s contribution to the rural romance genre. The Stockman’s Daughter offers readers a wonderful farming life escape tale. If you have a weakness for contemporary Australian rural fiction, The Stockman’s Daughter is one novel you should add to your reading list.
The Cherry Season by Trish Morey (1 Review)
This has been waiting for awhile on my TBR pile and I wasn’t disappointed. A story of opposites clashing and falling in love. I loved the characters and seeing their different approaches to life. I loved Dan’s family and their quirks and banter. The humour was well done but so was the emotional punch.
I do hope you have found your next spring read thanks to the array of romance material presented in this round up. Stay safe and happy reading until next month, Mrs B.
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.