Long Lost Review: His Brand of Beautiful by Lily Malone

Long lost Reviews (LLR) is a  monthly feature hosted by Ally @ Ally’s Appraisals where bloggers are encouraged to tackle their review backlog with book reviews that have been sitting there for a long time. Reviews can range from in-depth analyses to one sentence statements with no pressure applied. To learn more and see participating blogs visit Ally’s blog here.

Published:  1st March 2013

Publisher: Escape Publishing, Harlequin Australia’s Digital first imprint

Format: ebook

RRP: $4.99

3/5 Stars

When marketing strategist Tate Newell first meets wine executive Christina Clay, he has one goal in mind: tell Christina he won’t design the new brand for Clay Wines. Tell her thanks, but no thanks. So long, good night. But Tate is a sucker for a damsel in distress and when a diary mix–up leaves Christina in his debt, Tate gets more than he bargained for. What does a resourceful girl do when the best marketing brain in the business won’t play ball? She bluffs. She cheats. And she ups the ante. But when the stakes get too high, does anybody win? Falling in love was never part of this branding brief.

His Brand of Beautiful is a beautiful and sweeping debut by Australian author Lily Malone.

This book is the perfect introduction to the amazing back catalogue that Malone has crafted since the release of His Brand of Beautiful in 2013. Although telling as her debut, compared to later books, this book has all the early trademarks of her writing style; her unique voice, brilliant characters and romantic, somewhat isolated outback settings.

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Have You Ever Thought Of Taking A Readers Retreat?

Do you love books? Particularly romance books? Do you love to chat for hours on end about books with like minded people? Do you like to gush over your favourite authors and book boyfriends? Are you longing for a girls weekend away? Have you ever wanted to go on a holiday just to read? Chat casually with authors and readers alike?

If you answered yes to any of the above then you need to come along in June to the third Kell’s Bookmark Clique Readers Retreat. I’ve personally been on all of the retreats held so far and have loved every minute of them.

Through the retreats I’ve found new-to-me authors, some life long reader friends from all around Australia who I chat almost daily with, and have meet some incredible authors who have become dear friends. My TBR has also doubled, possibly even tripled, and the goodies galore I’ve come home with really require me to stop thinking about getting that new bookcase and actually buy the damn thing!

The next retreat is being held from Friday 2nd  to Monday 4th June at a beautiful old style pub turned house on a  property in the Hunter Valley. This year the theme for the retreat is Suspense with special guest  Romantic-Suspense Author TJ Hamilton joining in for the weekend long adventure – and from what I’ve heard she’s got some wicked things planned with Kell! There is a guided ghost tour of Maitland Goal, a blind date book swap, informal group book discussions, a wine tour at the local Mistletoe Winery  and so many games to be played and prizes to be won that it really is going to be an amazing weekend.

Each attendee is required to read two books prior to attending (these are usually gifted to the recipients prior to the retreat) so that we can all take part in group book discussion, and there’s activities galore planned. At previous retreats there has been high teas, gigantic interactive book quizzes with every attendee guaranteed to win a prize ranging from books to book couches and candles! Keep in mind the retreat is laid back and if there is no pressure to participate in anything you don’t want too.

The cost for the weekend is $600 and that includes accommodation, all meals (excluding the possibility of one dinner out), a ghost tour of Maitland Goal, and a trip to Mistletoe Wines (a local family owned winery – though any wine purchased at the venue is at your own cost).

So if you are looking for a safe and friendly environment to gush about your love of all things romance and books, then I can’t recommend this retreat more highly. The friendships alone made on these weekend are once in a lifetime. Plus it doesn’t hurt to have people to run to for book recommendations and to gush about your latest book boyfriend as well.

If you are looking for more information, or just want to chat with like minded romance lovers, then join Kell’s Bookmark Clique on facebook (click here )and Kell will be happy to chat with you about the reatreat and books in general. Hope to see you there 🙂

 

 

 

REVIEW: The Vineyard In The Hills By Lily Malone

Published: 22nd August 2016 (Originally published as  So Far Into You in October 2015)

Publisher: Escape Publishing

Pages: 248

Format: Paperback

RRP: $29.99

5/5 Stars 

A new Australian rural romance about a millionaire wine tycoon, the woman he betrayed and the second chance neither was looking for…

When she cut her viticulture degree short and moved home, Remy wasn’t thinking about anything more than making the next dollar for her pocket. Working two jobs to keep food on the table and a loan shark from the door, Remy and her mother slowly build a new life together. Then a freak storm tears through the Margaret River Wine Festival — and Seth Lasrey tears through Remy’s life.

Seth is old money. She is no money. He’s the boss. She’s his employee. He is society connections and expectations. She is threats and bad decisions and lost dreams. They seem to be so wrong they can only be right — until a costly mistake and a timely deception drives them apart. Remy picks up the pieces of her life and begins anew. The last thing she expects is Seth to show up in her small town in South Australia, bringing with him memories that she can’t escape and a damaged heart that she’s not sure she can resist.

Previously published in ebook as So Far Into You.

I love that feeling when a book just captures your attention and holds you captive from the first to the very last page. Sadly it’s all too rare to find a book that does simply that these days, but Lily Malone’s  latest release The Vineyard In The Hills  did just that and so much more. I started this book at 11 am and read it straight through without moving. If that doesn’t say how amazing this book is in itself I seriously don’t know what will!

The Vineyard In The Hills by Lilly Malone was everything I could have dreamed the book being and then some. Set firmly in wine country Australia, more specifically the lovely Margaret River region, the book is just as beautiful as it’s picturesque setting. It’s a story about first loves and second chances, about family and loyalties and what it means to have a place that is your very own. It was simply divine!

Much like our protagonist  Remy, I fell head over heels for Seth  early in the book and really enjoyed the story of how the pair fall in love.  In fact the narrative itself was so well written and so descriptive (without being overly descriptive) that it was almost like their story was playing out on a movie screen before my very eyes. And what a romantic story it was!  Remy and Seth just clicked from that very first moment and the pair have crazy chemistry it was electrifying!

I honestly can not recommend The Vineyard In The Hills  more highly enough; the story was refreshing and unique, picturesque and sizzling hot. But more importantly the characters were so down to earth that they could almost be anyone you’d meet on a daily occurrence (well minus Seth’s millionaire status that is).

The Vineyard In The Hills  is the perfect lazy summer day book, or one best read with a glass of your favourite wine on hand.

 

To learn more about Lilly Malone, visit the following social media sites:

Lily Malone’s Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads |

 

To purchase a copy of The Vineyard In The Hills, visit the following online retailers:

Escape Publishing | Booktopia  | Amazon AUS | Amazon US  | iBooks | Kobo | Angus & Robertson | Dymocks |

 

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Secret Author Event: The Art Of Keeping Secrets With Rachael Johns and Harlequin Australia

To promote her new book, The Art Of Keeping Secrets, Rachael Johns and her publisher Harlequin Australia, held top-secret-invite-only author events in each capital city around the country.

A couple of months ago, the hard working team at Harlequin Australia held a competition where  you emailed them for the chance to win two exclusive tickets to your closest capital cities event. I entered what feels like months ago now, and promptly forgot about it when I never heard anything else, assuming that the event had already taken place. So you can imagine my surprise when a few weeks back I opened my emails to find one from Harlequin telling me I’d won tickets!

Last week, the top exclusive events were held in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne and I was fortunate enough to receive an invite to the Sydney event. The event itself was very much like it sounds; keeping with it’s top-secret-invite-only-event-status, attendees didn’t know where or what time the event would be until a text arrived the morning of the event, To my delight, the Sydney event was held at the Harlequin and Harper Collins HQ; I love their offices! Seriously, their bookshelves are amazing and if I have a massive case of bookshelf envy.

This is just one of many amazing bookshelves there!

To my surprise the night was nothing like I expected, or had experienced before. On arrival Sue Brockhoff, Vanessa (both from Harlequin) and Jacqui Burton (Harper Collins) greeted all six readers attending and introduced us all to the guest of honour Rachael Johns, before proceeding to wine and dine the group…and what a job they did! Dinner was pretty special – I had mango chicken and Mum had pasta – and look at all of those yummy deserts!

What followed was a really intimate conversation where all ten of us talked about everything under the sun from writing, RWA conferences, the Olympics, doctors, books and everything in between. All in all it was a really relaxed and enjoyable evening and the perfect backdrop to talk books.

When it came time to leave, Harlequin didn’t stop with the surprises and produced a goodie bag for everyone comprised of a poster, two Rachael Johns book marks, a bottle of wine, a delightful bird cage of Lindt chocolates and a Rachael Johns book.

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I offered my book to Mum, since I owned it already and Sue overheard and swapped it out for me from their impressive bookshelf collections – something I definitely hadn’t expected! It was like Christmas choosing one book!

All in all the night was nothing short of a dream. Not only did I get to hang out with Rachael once more, but we got  treated to a VIP experience with two of Australia’s leading publishers in the most idyllic setting surrounded by books and avid readers alike. In fact, days on from the event, I’m still in awe of what the guys at Harlequin Australia and Harper Collins managed to pull off.

 

Little secrets grow up to be big lies…

They’ve been best friends since their sons started high school together, and Felicity, Emma and Neve share everything … or so they thought.

But Flick’s seemingly perfect marriage hides a shocking secret which, with one word, threatens to destroy her and her family’s happiness. Emma is in denial about a potential custody battle, her financial constraints, the exhaustion she can’t seem to shake off and the inappropriate feelings she has for her boss. And single mum Neve is harbouring a secret of her own; a secret that might forever damage her close-knit relationship with her son.

When the tight hold they have each kept on their secrets for years begins to slip, they must face the truth. Even if that truth has the power to hurt the ones they love, and each other.

Perhaps some secrets weren’t made to be kept.