Welcome back to the Romance, Erotica and Romantic Suspense round-up for September 2021. There were twenty-six reviews submitted in September, and while numbers are down compared to August 2021, this is still a fantastic achievement and thank you to everyone who took the time to link their reviews throughout the month. These twenty-six reviews were submitted by eleven of our fantastic reviewers and covered a total of twenty-one distinct titles by twenty of our amazing Australian Women Writers.
Of the books reviewed in September, fifteen of the books were released in 2021, two were released in 2020, one in 2019, 2018 2016, and 2014 respectfully. Six of the books had been independently/self-published with the remaining fifteen titles traditionally published.
Much like last month, we had a number of books having received two reviews and no clear outliner for the top three reviewed books of the month.
September’s top reviewed books were:
- The Farmer’s Friend by Fiona McArthur with two reviews,
- Dr Bennett’s Babies by Fiona McArthur with two reviews,
- and Daughter’s of the Hunter Valley by Paula J Beavan with two reviews.
As a side note here, I would like to acknowledge that Fiona McArthur is not only the only author this month to have more than one of her books reviewed, but she has also had a number of reviews submitted across a myriad of titles almost every month of this year!
September’s top reviewers included:
- Helen Sibritt with ten reviews,
- Sharon Hill with three reviews,
- Brenda Telford, Kate Forsyth, Lee@ReadWrieWish and Mrs B Book Reviews with two reviews each.
Claire @ Clairereadsandreviews thought that The Farmer’s Friend was perhaps her favourite Fiona McArthur novel to date. She even goes on to say that the vast array of “wonderful characters in this novel,[…] make up the sort of community I would love to live in”. Dealing with heavy-hitting topics of the drought, fires, PTSD, and a myriad of other issues, The Farmer’s Friend is a book about community and how we come together in the face of adversity time and time again. Claire was particularly drawn in by the strong community spirit, and the way this and the town gentle healed old wounds. Much like Claire, Brenda Telford, highly recommends this novel citing the wonderful “blending of small towns” that she knows personally as “incredibly realistic” making the novel another “heartwarming [and] heartbreaking rural” masterpiece. In the face of the past couple of years, this sounds like a fantastic book to enjoy one lazy Sunday afternoon, for although it’s hard-hitting and emotionally heartbreaking in some ways, it reflects a very real Australian feeling and sense of community, that we could all deal with given the current state of the world with the pandemic and lockdowns.
Playing it Safe by Amy Andrews is the seventh book in the Sydney Smoke Rugby series. I’m highlighting this novel this month because I feel like a number of people might be looking for an amazing sports romance to sink their teeth in after the Footy Grand finals the past two weekends, but also because it’s rare for an LGBTQIA+ novel to be submitted in the romance sub-category of the Australian Women Writers Challenge. Helen SIbrritt, a long time fan of Amy Andrews writing, found this particular novel to be “smoking hot […] with such emotion” and undeniable chemistry between Donovan and Beckett. Helen high recommends this novel for the way the friendship starts out between the characters, with Beckett being openly gay and Donovan being still firmly in the closet while playing professional rugby, and how the relationship develops naturally into something incredibly heartwarming.
I apologise for only being able to highlight two reviews this roundup due to time constraints and injury on my behalf. To compensate for this a little, I’m linking below some more reviews that I recommend checking out from this month’s submissions and promise to have a more comprehensive round-up next month. Until then, happy reading and reviewing everyone.
Other reviews to check out for books not previously featured in a Romance Wrap Up:
- Daughter’s of the Hunter Valley by Paula J Beavan – reviewed by Helen Sibritt and Denise Newton Writes (NOTE: There is a really fascinating discourse about the book if you read both of these reviews that I would have loved to had gone into detail about in this post).
- Two Secret Sins by Anna Campbell – reviewed by Helen Sibritt (fast-paced Historical Romance featuring a widower)
- Love in Theory by Elodie Cheesman – reviewed by Veronica @ The Burgeoning Bookshelf (dating rom-com)
- The Five Year Plan by Jodi Gibson – reviewed by Mrs B Book Reviews (contemporary feel-good romance)
- Say You’ll Be Mine by R. J. Groves – reviewed by Helen Sibritt (rural romance, brother’s best friend romance, marriage of convenience)
- Shy Innocent in the Spotlight by Melanie Milburne – reviewed by Helen Sibritt (category romance)
- The Prince’s Royal Love Child by Trish Morey – reviewed by Helen Sibritt (royal romance)
- Muster In The Dust by Mel A . Rowe – reviewed by Helen Sibritt (rural romance
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.