Welcome back to the Romance, Erotica and Romantic Suspense round-up for July 2021. Last month there were twenty-four (24) reviews and one (1) interview received under the romance sub-category of the Australian Women Writers Challenge. These reviews were of nineteen (19) distinct titles and were submitted by nine (9) of our fantastic reviewers.

Monthly Snapshot:

Of the books reviewed in July, one (1) book was released in 2019, a further three (3) were published in 2020 and the remaining twenty (20) books were published in 2021. Of these books, thirteen (13) books were traditionally published and an additional six (6) books were self-published. As normal, Contemporary Romance was July’s top sub-genre, with thirteen books (13), with Category Romance, Romantic Suspense and Historical Romance all with two (2) books respectively.

July’s top three reviewed books were:

July’s top three reviewers were:


Category Romance Spotlight:

As a self-confessed fan of the friends-to-lovers trope, Helen Sibritt really enjoyed The Night That Changed Everything by Helen Lacey.

You can love someone and then be in love with someone and both Winona and Grant have a bit a journey to find that they can have both and be the happy family together, this one is moving and filled with emotion as these two people who deserve to find the love that has been there forever find it in such a beautiful way. This is a beautiful romance that I would highly recommend. – Helen Sibritt

Contemporary Romance Spotlight:

Receiving five reviews and one interview in July, there was a lot of high praise for The Wattle Seed Inn by Leonie Kelsall. In fact, Brenda Telford summed the book up in one word: ‘Perfection!’

Mic Loves Books loved the familiarity of The Wattle Seed Inn by Leonie Kelsall. Being local to the area the book is set, Mic was warmed by the accuracy of the bakery’s delicacies and will be out searching for the fictional Inn’s location ASAP. Having not read Kelsall’s previous novel, Mic assures readers that this book can be read as a standalone with

Kelsall’s characters are vivid and relatable, their stories believable and sympathetic. The themes of appearances and the way they affect self perception was insightfully and sensitively done. The fear of being different in a small town was explored effectively. The romance in the story is low key and slow burning, and believably done. – Mic Loves Books

Shelleyrae from Book’d Out disagreed slightly in terms of the romance believing it to be “still the key element of the story” especially as she “enjoyed the way in which the author developed the relationship between Gabby and Hayden.” However, both Shelleyrae and Mic agree that “Kelsall draws on her background in counselling to tackle some hefty issues with insight and heart” (Mic Loves Books) by “exploring familiar themes such as love, friendship, forgiveness and loss in The Wattle Seed Inn, and also issues such as self-acceptance, trust and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)” ((Shelleyrae @ Book’d Out).

I highly recommend Mrs B’s Book Reviews interviewed with Leonie Kelsall if you have a spare moment or two.

Historical Romance Spotlight:

The first book in a new series by Anna Campbell, One Wicked Wish is a “sexy, sensual and steamy’ historical romance that comes highly recommended by Helen Sibrittt. Full of Campbell’s trademark wit, and strong female lead, One Wicked Wish is not only a “wonderful HEA” but “a fabulous story”.

Romantic Suspense Spotlight:

Full of ‘heartstopping moments’, Blazing Fear by Leisl Leighton is yet another read that Helen Sibritt highly recommends. As “an edge of your seat” read, and set against the backdrop of a burning outback, Sibbritt loved this action-packed novel featuring two beautiful characters falling in love against a chaotic setting. She also had a soft spot for the secondary characters, who supported the main couple but add an extra dimension to the story.


About Me: Hey, I’m Jess from The Never Ending Bookshelf. I’m an avid reader, book collector (sometimes book hoarder) and a hopeless romantic. I live and breathe everything to do with the written word, working by day as a bookseller and by night as a book blogger. You can find me at The Never Ending Bookshelf, Instagram, Twitter, Goodreads and on Facebook.