Sunday Shelve It!

Brought to you (and me) by Magan & Estelle @  Rather Be Reading


I hit up the Universities book fair this past week and got some awesome bargains and more of my FYM book haul arrived as well.  I can not wait to get stuck into these books.








Purchased (Print)


When Alice looks up and sees Tom staring at her, everything closes down around them and becomes very still. No one is breathing. No one else is in the room. Tom feels as if he can see right into the soul of Alice Wishart. It lies open before him, like a wide, long pane of glittering glass. So delicate and beautiful and … ready to break.
Three years have passed since the murder of Alice’s mother, but still the killer is unknown. Alice, her cousin Jonty and his friend Tom are drawn together by the mystery, but what is each of them hiding? Will their secrets bind them tighter or tear everything apart?
Maureen McCarthy’s intensely real characters will draw you deep into a world of suspicion, betrayal, desire and redemption.
A compulsive reading experience from the bestselling author of Rose by any other name.

In the tradition of Rachel Cusk’s A Life’s Work or Maggie O’Farrell’s The Hand That First Held Mine comes a complex, tender and gorgeously written novel of parenthood, love and marriage that is impossible to put down.

Cambridge 1963. Charlotte struggles to reconnect with the woman she was before children, and to find the time and energy to paint. Her husband, Henry, cannot face the thought of another English winter. A brochure slipped through the letterbox gives him the answer: ‘Australia brings out the best in you’.

Charlotte is too worn out to resist, and before she knows it is travelling to the other side of the world. But on their arrival in Perth, the southern sun shines a harsh light on both Henry and Charlotte and slowly reveals that their new life is not the answer either was hoping for. Charlotte is left wondering if there is anywhere she belongs, and how far she’ll go to find her way home…

#SaveOzStories is a gift to book lovers from Australia’s finest writers and the industry that supports them. Jackie French, David Malouf, Tim Winton and many more of our best writers have come together to issue a clarion call to all Australian citizens to defend writers and writing. If politicians have their way we will be the only nation to give away our right to tell our own stories. If you think a world without the next Richard Flanagan, Andy Griffiths or Monica McInerney will be a poorer one, then read this collection of impassioned arguments from our most esteemed wordsmiths.

Purchased (Ebook)


Loveday Cardew prefers books to people. If you look carefully, you might glimpse the first lines of the novels she loves most tattooed on her skin. But there are some things Loveday will never show you.

Into her refuge – the York book emporium where she works – come a poet, a lover, a friend, and three mysterious deliveries, each of which stirs unsettling memories.

Everything is about to change for Loveday. Someone knows about her past and she can’t hide any longer. She must decide who around her she can trust. Can she find the courage to right a heartbreaking wrong? And will she ever find the words to tell her own story?

Beth is an absolute wreck. She is certain that she has some kind of disease — a fatal one, most likely. She is also very single and quite keen on her (boss) colleague, Dr Brendan Roberts. He seems to fancy her, too — well, until The Morning After.

Beth knows it’s time to sort out her messy life, but she has no idea where to start.

Enter Shane — a slightly dishevelled forklift driver. He may not be suave or wealthy, but he does laugh at Beth’s jokes and remember how she likes her coffee. Plus, the more they hang out, the healthier she feels.

But when Shane suddenly cuts off all communication, Beth starts to think there’s no such thing as The One, and she decides to stop being slapdash and move on. Only life is never that simple, and Beth must take a chance if she hopes to find the cure to her ills.

Lovesick is a big-hearted romance about getting sick, getting better and taking risks.


It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading

Previously hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey; Now Hosted by Book Date

Last week I had the most amazing book filled week. While I missed Megan Jacobson’s release of “The  Build-Up Season” at Kinokuniya on Thursday due to personal reasons, I still managed to have an extremely bookish end of the week. Saturday saw the local library host an intense but invigorating crime talk with Jaye Ford, Karen M Davis, Pip Smith,  Peter Doyle and Chris Allen. All of which I backed up on Sunday with a massive get-together with the girls from Kell’s Bookmark Clique where we checked out the Universities Bi-annual book fair before hitting the surf house for the most picturesque lunch complete with unexpected whale and dolphin spotting from our table on the balcony. It really was the perfect weekend.


Currently Reading:


Fate hasn’t always been friends with Isabelle West. In fact, fate has been a downright bitch.

Isabelle has learned the hard way how hard life can be when fate isn’t by your side. It can hand you dreams on silver platters, but it can snatch them right back and hand you nightmares. One thing Isabelle knew for sure fate was consistent with was taking away everything she ever loved.

For the last two years Isabelle has been slowly clearing the clouds of her past. Happiness is finally on the horizon. She has a thriving business, great friends, and her life back. All she has to do is jump over the last hurdle…her ex-husband.

When problems start causing her to fear her new life, and memories that are better left forgotten start rushing to the surface the last thing she needs is a ghost from her past to come knocking on her door.

Axel never thought he would look into the eyes of Isabelle West again, and he wasn’t sure he wanted to now. He’s carried his anger for so long he isn’t sure he can just turn it off, but when he is faced with protecting her and an unexpected desire to have her again, life gets a little more complicated.

How will Axel and Isabelle deal when all their cards are put on the table and everything they thought was true blows up in their faces?




Nineteen. There’s something about that number; it not only brought us together, bonding us forever, it also played a hand in tearing us apart.

The nineteenth of January 1996. I’ll never forget it. It was the day we met. I was seven and she was six. It was the day she moved in next door, and the day I developed my first crush on a girl.

Exactly nineteen years later, all my dreams came true when she became my wife. She was the love of my life. My soul mate. My everything. The reason I looked forward to waking up every morning.

Then tragedy struck. Nineteen days after we married, she was in an accident that would change our lives forever. When she woke from her coma, she had no memory of me, of us, of the love we shared.

I was crushed. She was my air, and without her I couldn’t breathe.

The sparkle that once glistened her eyes when she looked at me was gone. To her, now, I was a stranger. I had not only lost my wife, I had lost my best friend.

But I refused to let this tragedy be the end of us. That’s when I started to write her letters, stories of our life. Of when we met. About the happier times, and everything we had experienced together.

What we had was far too beautiful to be forgotten.

hoping TO read:



In a world where every word and gesture is copyrighted, patented or trademarked, one girl elects to remain silent rather than pay to speak, and her defiant and unexpected silence threatens to unravel the very fabric of society.

Speth Jime is anxious to deliver her Last Day speech and celebrate her transition into adulthood. The moment she turns fifteen, Speth must pay for every word she speaks (“Sorry” is a flat ten dollars and a legal admission of guilt), for every nod ($0.99/sec), for every scream ($0.99/sec) and even every gesture of affection. She’s been raised to know the consequences of falling into debt, and can’t begin to imagine the pain of having her eyes shocked for speaking words that she’s unable to afford.

But when Speth’s friend Beecher commits suicide rather than work off his family’s crippling debt, she can’t express her shock and dismay without breaking her Last Day contract and sending her family into Collection. Backed into a corner, Speth finds a loophole: rather than read her speechrather than say anything at allshe closes her mouth and vows never to speak again. Speth’s unexpected defiance of tradition sparks a media frenzy, inspiring others to follow in her footsteps, and threatens to destroy her, her family and the entire city around them.


Just Finished:



Last week on the blog:

Australian Women Writers Challenge 2017 (#AWW2017) Update 5: JULY

BLOG TOUR: Sapphire by J A Low (Bratva Jewels book one)

REVIEW: Sapphire (Bratva Jewels Book One) by JA Low 4/5 Stars

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

Sunday Shelve It!







Sunday Shelve It!

Brought to you (and me) by Magan & Estelle @  Rather Be Reading










Purchased (Print)

Mirror, mirror … who’s the fairest of them all?

I still cringe when I hear that line. A fairy tale that had girls pretending they were the fairest, the most beautiful, and the most entitled. A fairy tale most couldn’t grow out of turned my haunted childhood memories into a living nightmare. Girls who grew up believing that pile of garbage became the meanest of all ‘mean girls.’

And those mean girls were right – it was a line meant for all the beautiful people in the world – and I knew the answer would never be me.

The women with long legs, flat stomachs, and perfect chests.

The type of women Kane Masters gravitated toward.

Well, that’s definitely not Willow Tate.

No. That will never be me.

Because I’m completely imperfect.

And … I hate myself.

I have no idea what Kane could possibly see in someone like me when he could have them.


An unflinching, darkly funny, and deeply moving story of a boy, his seriously ill mother, and an unexpected monstrous visitor.

At seven minutes past midnight, thirteen-year-old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom window. But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting– he’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments. The monster in his backyard is different. It’s ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor. Something terrible and dangerous. It wants the truth. From the final idea of award-winning author Siobhan Dowd– whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself– Patrick Ness has spun a haunting and darkly funny novel of mischief, loss, and monsters both real and imagined.

Alice doesn’t believe in luck—at least, not the good kind. But she does believe in love, and for some time now, she’s been pining for her best friend, Teddy. On his eighteenth birthday—just when it seems they might be on the brink of something—she buys him a lottery ticket on a lark. To their astonishment, he wins $140 million, and in an instant, everything changes.

At first, it seems like a dream come true, especially since the two of them are no strangers to misfortune. As a kid, Alice won the worst kind of lottery possible when her parents died just over a year apart from each other. And Teddy’s father abandoned his family not long after that, leaving them to grapple with his gambling debts. Through it all, Teddy and Alice have leaned on each other. But now, as they negotiate the ripple effects of Teddy’s newfound wealth, a gulf opens between them. And soon, the money starts to feel like more of a curse than a windfall.

As they try to find their way back to each other, Alice learns more about herself than she ever could have imagined . . . and about the unexpected ways in which luck and love sometimes intersect.

Early in her life, Josephine Malone learned the hard way that there was only one person she could love and trust: her grandmother, Lydia Malone. Out of necessity, unconsciously and very successfully, Josephine donned a disguise to keep all others at bay. She led a globetrotting lifestyle on the fringes of the fashion and music elite, but she kept herself distant.

While Josephine was trotting the globe, retired boxer Jake Spear was living in the same small town as Lydia. There was nothing disguised about Jake. Including the fact he made a habit of making very bad decisions about who to give his love.

But for Josephine and Jake, there was one person who adored them. One person who knew how to lead them to happiness. And one person who was intent on doing it.

Even if she had to do it as her final wish on this earth.

Purchased (Ebook)



It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading

Previously hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey; Now Hosted by Book Date


With FYM just a month and a half away, I thought It was best that I read some of the authors attending the signing in September. So for every week between now and the signing I’ll be aiming to read one book by an attending FYM author and one on my to review pile.

Are you going to FYM?


Currently Reading:

She’s about to walk on the wild side . . .

While filling the display case in her bakery, the bell over the door sounds and Tessa O’Hara looks up to see the man of her dreams. Within thirty seconds he asks her out for a beer. But after four months of dating, she discovers he’s an undercover DEA agent-and he’s investigating her possible role in her ex-husband’s drug business. For Tess, this means their relationship is over.

Brock disagrees. He’s committed to his anti-drug mission, but he’s fallen in love with the beautiful woman who’s as sweet as her cupcakes-and he’ll do anything to win her back. Standing between Tess and Brock are their own exes, one of them a drug lord who’s determined to get what he wants. Now as danger threatens, can Brock break the rules he’s lived by and let loose his wild side to protect the woman he loves?

When sixteen-year-old Emma Nash is ‘ghosted’ by the love of her life Leon Naylor, she does what any normal teenage girl would do…
Emma spends the summer lurking in her bedroom, avoiding all human contact (and the shower), surrounded by the collection of chewit wrappers she saved from packs Leon gave her, back when he actually acknowledged her existence…

But seeing Leon suddenly ‘In a relationship’ on Facebook with the perfect Anna, spurs Emma into action and she embarks on a mission to make positive changes to her life (or ‘edits,’ if you will) and vows to use the internet for more than obsessively stalking Leon’s activities! Instead, she will use it for good and noble causes like finding someone who will actually be nice to her, and recording her findings for the rest of the world to see (i.e. BFF Steph and her mum) on her new Editing Emma blog.

But Emma soon discovers her ‘habit’ is harder to break than she first thought – turns out she’s not the only one ‘editing’ herself online (thank you Tinder for finding her mum’s profile, age 35, really?) and that life through an Instagram filter isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. But it could be worse, she could have outed her best friend, accidentally chatted up a 12 year old boy and revealed to the world why Leon Naylor is worth no girl’s time or virginity… oh no wait, that’s exactly what happened…


hoping TO read:

Foster suddenly recognised the feeling that rolled over him and made him feel sick. It was this: Dad was going away somewhere all on his own. And Foster was already missing him.

Foster Sumner is seven years old. He likes toy soldiers, tadpole hunting, going to school and the beach. Best of all, he likes listening to his dad’s stories.

But then Foster’s dad starts forgetting things. No one is too worried at first. Foster and Dad giggle about it. But the forgetting gets worse. And suddenly no one is laughing anymore.

A heartbreaking story about what it means to forget and to be forgotten.




Just Finished:



Last week on the blog:

REVIEW: Corpselight by Angela Slatter (Book 2 in the Verity Fassbinder Series) 5/5 Stars

REVIEW: Vigil by Angela Slatter 4/5 Stars

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

Sunday Shelve It!







Australian Women Writers Challenge 2017 (#AWW2017) Update 5: JULY

*Click on the book’s title to be taken to its Goodreads entry or on reviewed to see my review



Australian Women Writer’s Challenge 2017 (AWW2017):

Read 60. Review: 50.

Read: 41/60

Review: 19 /50

Additional specific goal to read at least one of each of the following: Non-Fiction, a Classic, and a Poetry book.


  1. A Place To Stay by Jennie Jones (REVIEWED)
  2. She’s The One by Bronwyn Stuart (REVIEWED)
  3. Wayward Heart by Cathryn Hein (REVIEWED)
  4. This Love by Lea Darragh (REVIEWED)
  5. The Long Paddock by Alissa Callen (REVIEWED)
  6. In At The Deep End by Penelope Janu (REVIEWED)
  7. Florette by Anna Walker (REVIEWED)
  8. Family Forests by Kim Kane and Illustrated by  Lucia Masciullo (REVIEWED)
  9. The Golden Child by Wendy James (REVIEWED)
  10. Me And You by Deborah Kelly and Illustrated by Karen Blair (REVIEWED)
  11. Valentine by Jodi McAlister (REVIEWED)
  12. A Letter From Italy – Pamela Hart (REVIEWED)
  13. Playing By Her Rules by Amy Andrews
  14. Playing The Player by Amy Andrews
  15. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
  16. The Impossible Story of Olive In Love by Tonya Alexandra
  17. The Currency Lass by Tea Cooper
  18. Before You Forget by Julia Lawrinson
  19. Situational Critical by Amanda Knight
  20. When Mina Meet Michael by Randa Abdel-Fattah
  21. Lucy’s Book by Natalie Jane Prior and illustrated by Cheryl Orsini
  22. Fire by by Jackie French and Illustrated by Bruce Whatley
  23. Cyclone by Jackie French and Illustrated by Bruce Whatley (Previously reviewed in AWW2016)
  24. Flood by Jackie French and Illustrated by Bruce Whatley
  25. Pete The Sheep by Jackie French and Illustrated by Bruce Whatley
  26. The Tomorrow Book by by Jackie French and Illustrated by Sue Degennaro
  27. Good Dog Hank by Jackie French and Illustrated by Nina Rycroft
  28. Josephine Wants To Dance by Jackie French and Illustrated by Bruce Whatley
  29. The Beast Of Hushing Wood by Gabrielle Wang (REVIEWED)
  30. Tempting Justice by Fiona Archer (REVIEWED)
  31. Buying Thyme by TJ Hamilton
  32. The Irredeemable Prince by Alyssa J Montgomery
  33. Three Words by Lauren Firminger
  34. Wreck by Fleur Ferris (REVIEWED)
  35. Private Lives, Public Property by Jessie L Starr
  36. Sapphire by J A Low (REVIEWED)
  37. The Build-Up Season by Megan Jacobson
  38. My Brother Tom by Michelle Worthington and Illustrated by Ann-Marie Finn
  39. The Three Legged Kangaroo from Uluru by Michelle Worthington and Illustrated by Dave Atze
  40. Vigil by Angela Slatter (REVIEWED)
  41. Corpselight by Angela Slatter (REVIEWED)


BLOG TOUR: Sapphire by J A Low (Bratva Jewels book one)


Title: Sapphire

Series: Bratva Jewels #1

Author: J A Low

Publisher: Hachette Australia

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release Date: July 30, 2017


An unconventional love is tested to its limits in this completely immersive dark ménage suspense, for fans of JL Perry and Pepper Winters.

Mateo is used to being in the spotlight, he craves it in everything he does . . . except when it comes to his love life – that is firmly in the closet.

Tomas shuns the spotlight, the one he was born into, he wants nothing to do with it or his high-flying family who now reject him for his choices in love.

But Tomas’ and Mateo’s carefully constructed lives are turned inside out when they discover a beautiful, battered woman on their doorstep. The woman with the sapphire eyes has no memory of who she is or how she got there. She doesn’t know about the Bratva Jewels – the Russian mafia’s most desired escorts – or how her story intersects with theirs. Can Tomas and Mateo help her remember before the men who are after her find her first?

The first standalone book in the BRATVA JEWELS series from the author of the DIRTY TEXAS books, JA Low.


Read my review of Sapphire here:










Google Play:



JA Low lives in Canberra, Australia. When she’s not writing steamy scenes, she’s tending to her husband and two sons, and dreaming up the next epic romance. Jess is the author of the Dirty Texas series and the Bratva Jewels series.







REVIEW: Sapphire (Bratva Jewels Book One) by JA Low

Published: 30th July 2017

Publisher: Hachette Australia

Pages: 256

Format: Ebook (ARC courtesy of the publisher for review)

RRP: $5.99

4/5 Stars 

An unconventional love is tested to its limits in this completely immersive dark ménage suspense, for fans of JL Perry and Pepper Winters.

Mateo is used to being in the spotlight, he craves it in everything he does . . . except when it comes to his love life – that is firmly in the closet.

Tomas shuns the spotlight, the one he was born into, he wants nothing to do with it or his high-flying family who now reject him for his choices in love.

But Tomas’ and Mateo’s carefully constructed lives are turned inside out when they discover a beautiful, battered woman on their doorstep. The woman with the sapphire eyes has no memory of who she is or how she got there. Can they help her remember before the men who are after her find her first?

The first standalone book in the BRATVA JEWELS series from the author of the DIRTY TEXAS books, JA Low

I’ve previously read J A Low’s The Dirty Texas series (rock-star romance) and really enjoyed her books, but nothing could have prepared me for Sapphire. Sapphire is the kind of book that you fly through because you are so gripped by the world and characters that you simply can’t put it down. It’s the kind of book that asks the reader to go in open minded and is confronting as all hell, but it’s a story that needs to be told, and one that will leave the reader feeling rewarded, charmed and with a different outlook on life. In short,  Sapphire is amazing and I’ve never read anything quite like it.

Sapphire is the first book in what is currently a duology (Diamond is set to release October 29 2017). Although it’s a lot darker than J A Low’s Dirty Texas Series, Sapphire is easy to read and the kind of book you find yourself racing towards the end of only to want to start reading it again almost immediately.

Sapphire is very much a darker romance than J A Low’s previous Dirty Texas Series. While the romance is still just as hot – possibly even more steamier and sexier in this book – the narrative itself deals with the dark underbelly of sex trafficking and the women who find themselves trapped in the industry after being kidnapped. It deals with the Russian Mafia, kidnapping and manipulation of and by sex workers, but it does so by putting a human face and emotion to a very ugly side of humanity. While these aspects of the story are confronting and very much in your face, J A Low, has expertly navigated a complicated story and brought her trademark warmth, heart and whit that we’ve seen and loved in the Dirty Texas Series previously to the page once again.

Sapphire is also a Male-Male-Female (MMF) romance. It’s the first MMF book I’ve read to date and I absolutely loved it, but for some this unconventional romance might push boundaries a little too far. I really enjoyed the way we were introduced to Tomas and Mateo and the way their relationship was not only established but it felt real, so much so that when Zoe was introduced to the story and later their relationship it felt fluent and natural. The resulting narrative is then not only engaging as we get to see how a relationship consisting of three main players in navigated firstly in the home, and secondly by those in the know (Eg. family members), but it also makes for one hell of a sexy romance that leaves little to the imagination.

J A Low has done an amazing job bringing the characters to life in this book. While the main players – Tomas, Mateo, Zoe and our resident  Mafia villains Nikolai and Dimitri – are louder and larger than life, the secondary characters of Gracie and Zoe’s Mum are equally hilarious and engaging and add some light comic relief and casualness to the story that helps break up some of the more darker aspects.

I really enjoyed the romantic suspense elements of this book, and I honestly had no idea where the story was going to go whilst reading. J A Low has created an expertly paced and succinct novel that is sure to leave readers content for the time being, but equally wanting more and more – I know I can’t wait to read Diamond, the follow up novel that releases October 29!

All in all I highly recommend Sapphire for anyone who likes their romance with an edge, or is thinking about trying some of the darker romances on the market. In fact Sapphire would make a great introduction to the broader genre as it balances the darker elements with just the right comedic relief and warmth we know J A Low excels at. What’s more the story is fresh and invigorating and it reads effortlessly – I know I was hooked within only a few pages!-  I’m really excited to see what is next for J A Low.

To purchase your own copy of Sapphire, visit the following online retailers:

AMAZON (US) | Booktopia | Google Play | Ibooks (AUS) | KOBO

To learn more about J A Low, visit the following social media sites:

   Facebook | Twitter | Instagram |