Welcome back to the Romance, Erotica and Romantic Suspense round-up for August 2021. We had a huge month in August, with a total of forty reviews and one interview received under the romance sub-category of the Australian Women Writers Challenge. These reviews were of thirty-eight individual titles and were submitted by eleven of our fantastic reviewers. As always, thank you to everyone who took the time to link their reviews this month.
Of the books reviewed in August, nineteen of the books were released in 2021, six were released in 2020, five in 2019, two in 2018 and 2015, three in 2014, and one in 2012. Thirteen of the books had been independently/self-published with the remaining twenty-five titles traditionally published. In August the most popular sub-category of romance was Contemporary Romance, with twenty-two books, Romantic Suspense with seven books, Historical Romance with five books, Category Romance and Speculative Romance with two books respectively.
In a surprising twist, of the thirty-eight books reviewed in August only two books received more than one review, and thus this month we only have two top reviewed books.
August’s top reviewed books were:
- Met Me In Bendigo by Eva Scott with two reviews and one interview,
- The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer with two reviews.
August’s top reviewers included:
- Helen Sibritt with twelve reviews,
- Claire Read and Reviews with ten reviews,
- Sharon Hill with six reviews.
Category Romance Spotlight:
Helen Sibrrit once again delivered the goods with her Category Romance reviews. This month she reviewed Annie West’s new title, A Consequence Made In Greece, which she thought “have been the most sensual, sexy and steamy one that I have read” of hers to date. “I loved this one so much, another beautifully written story with characters that are bought to life on the pages a must-read for any romance reader who loves to be swept away in passion and love and beautiful HEA’s”.
“Inspired by the classic 1990s rom com title You’ve Got Mail, Meet Me in Bendigo fuses quintessential Aussie rural fiction with an entertaining comedy of errors about online dating” (Mrs B Book Reviews). With an elevator pitch like that from Mrs B Book Reviews, it’s no wonder this book was a huge hit with reviewers this month. “Sparkl[ing] from start to finish” Mrs B Book Reviews gave the title a glowing five stars, and also hosted a great interview with Eva Scott that I highly recommend you check out. Brenda Telford reassured readers in her review that although this book was set during the pandemic, that it is still much read for it was “an entertaining, heartbreaking but hopeful look at the other side of the pandemic (will we ever get there!), at second chances, at friendship and at love.”
We received two regency historical reviews this month and three historical romances reviews as well. So I’m going to share one of each sub-category here.
First up is The Scoundrel’s Daughter by Anne Gracie, Helen Sibritt reviewed this brand new release from Anne Gracie. As the start of a brand new series, Helen was really excited to dive back into Gracie’s writing. “We get two romances in this wonderful story two heroes that I just fell for, two heroines who were different but so special who became the best of friends, this is a beautifully written story with characters that are so easy to make friends with, this story made me smile, laugh and cheer them all on in the fun and fabulous journey to two of the most gorgeous HEA’s. This story is romantic and lots of fun as well there are so many awesome characters that we get to meet and … I loved it.”
Cloggie’s Downunder and Denise Newton Writes both reviewed the popular The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer. Denise Newton Writes particularly enjoys stories inspired by real events, so when she found out The Things We Cannot Say was inspired by Rimmer’s Grandmother’s story, she knew she was in for something special. “The Things We Cannot Say is a beautifully realised story and readers who love historical fiction firmly rooted in real history, will enjoy it”. Cloggie’s Downunder listened to the audiobook and highly recommends it for all our audiobook fans. “Rimmer populates her novel with convincing characters and dialogue, but also gives the reader a great plot twist: a mystery that becomes apparent from tiny clues scattered throughout. The astute reader will pick these up, but just how it comes together will have the reader racing to the final, deeply emotional chapters. Guilt, grief, kindness and courage, cruelty, betrayal, faith, all feature in a story that will have eyes welling up and tissues reached for. A brilliant read!” (Cloggie Downunder).
Romantic Suspense was our second most popular sub-genre this month, receiving a whooping seven reviews. Overall, this was probably our most varied sub-genre with reviews coming in for crime novels with romantic and romantic suspense elements such as “intense … edge of my seat” reads like Charlotte Pass and Crackenback by Lee Christine, both of which she “STRONGLY RECOMMENDS” to everyone; action-adventure romantic suspense novels such as Kenall Talbot’s Treasure Hunter’s series that was reviewed by both Claire Reads and Reviews (book one, Treasured Secrets) and Helen Sibritt (book two, Treasured Lies); and romantic thrillers like Deadman’s Track by Sarah Barrie that Mrs B Book Reviews‘ says “offers a fantastic mix of suspense, thrillers and chills with a gentle hint of romance” mixed in. Mrs B Book Reviews arm-chair travelled to Tasmania with this one (something she enjoyed doing during the pandemic) and was quickly caught up in the intense read involving a serial killer, however, she did note that the narrative was light on the romance.
We received one sci-fi romance and one fantasy romance book review in August as well thanks to Eleni Konstantine. As this is another sub-genre we rarely get reviews on, I wanted to quickly highlight both books here. Given that Demons Dance by Keri Arthur is the fourth book in the Lizzie Grace series, Konstantine was quiet about much of the plot here to avoid spoilers, but she did say that it’s a witchy paranormal narrative and this sounds perfect for anyone looking for a spooky October read … On the other hand was Dragonfly by Eric Hayes, a futuristic sci-fi romance full of “intrigue, action, adventure, betrayal and romance. A story of finding your truth when you’ve shut your eyes to it”.
Christmas is fast approaching and romance novels and novellas are starting to come out. In August we received our first Christmas novella from Sharon Hill! “This really was a delightful and heartwarming novella. With beautiful settings and memorable characters once again Australian author Maggie Christensen has written another enjoyable book.”
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.