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Book Club: Summer Edition 2013 Book Reviews

Welcome to the second installment of the new book review section of The Retiree magazine, where we not only feature a range of inspiring books, but also the people who enjoy them. To read about the ARRA, click here.

A Rake’s Midnight Kiss

Anna Campbell HarperCollins Australia, August 2013, paperback, $12.99
Anna Campbell
HarperCollins Australia, August 2013,
paperback, $12.99

This story is set in an outback town in NSW and is a story with everything in it from edge of your seat suspense to corruption, blackmail and a very sensual and emotional romance. Ms Parry writes wonderful stories that pull you in and keep you turning the pages. Her books are a delight to read and once you have read one you will want them all. The romance between Jenn and Mark will make you smile and have you in tears as they get to the bottom of the corruption that has plagued Dungirri for many years and that has involved many people in the district. This is an awesome read – I couldn’t put it down and I highly recommend it. This one totally rocks, I loved it!

– Reviewed by Jenny Schwartz, WA  Anna Campbell lives on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland and writes full time. This is her eighth novel.

Darkening Skies

Brown Parry
Hachette Australia,  Sep 2013,
trade paperback, $29.99

A Rake’s Midnight Kiss is the passionate romance the title promises, but it’s also beautifully written with Anna Campbell’s trademark wit and compassion. We have a dashing if devious hero, Sir Richard, who tries to hide his vulnerable heart beneath fashionable tailoring, an innocent beautiful bluestocking, Genevieve, and a cast of opinionated friends and family, not to mention a highly intelligent dog and a dastardly villain. All of which adds up to a perfect Regency romance romp that celebrates the power of love. Anna Campbell is an Australian author, but she transported me to nineteenth century England with her evocative descriptions. I’m off to track down some lemon verbena – and when you’ve read A Rake’s Midnight Kiss, you’ll know why!

– Reviewed by Helen Sibbritt, NSW    

Bronwyn Parry is an academic who lives in the New England tablelands. This is her fourth novel. 

Half Bay Moon

Helene Young
Penguin Australia,  May 2013,
trade paperback, $29.99

Ellie, an international photojournalist and war-zone veteran heads back to her home, Half Moon Bay, to help fight against what appears to be corrupt council development. But it turns out to have links to her sister Nina’s death in Afghanistan and to a drug syndicate with a trail all the way from Aussie soldiers in Kandahar to her home town. Add a smouldering romantic interest in Nicholas, an ex-Army major who Ellie is attracted to but just can’t trust and you have all the ingredients for a first-class read. Half Moon Bay would rank as the best book I have read all year – and I read a lot of books! Ellie and Nicholas are both strong characters with emotional vulnerabilities as a result of experiencing the violence of war. The plot is clever and generates enormous nail biting suspense. And the romance is wonderfully satisfying.

– Reviewed by Shiona Pearson, Vic
Helene Young is a commercial pilot who lives in north Queensland. This is her fourth novel.


London’s Last True Scoundrel

Helene Young
Penguin Australia,  June 2013,
trade paperback, $24.99

When London’s ultimate bad boy meets England’s most proper miss. This is a great Regency romp with all those elements we love

– a scandal (or two), interfering relatives, staunch friends, and a proper rotten egg. Hilary is nowhere near as straitlaced as she appears. Davenport is flirtatious, fun and out of bounds for a woman looking for respectability. He is, however, slightly irresistible. He sets out – with fair warning – to seduce ‘Honey’ and there’s lots of fun as we watch them fall under each other’s spell. When Hilary is threatened another Jonathan – the true, strong protector – comes out and I swooned again. With moments of darkness and of fun, London’s Last True Scoundrel is just the thing you need to make you smile. They work hard to deserve their happy ever after. I enjoyed this book very much.

– Reviewed by Sharon Sherry, NSW

Christina Brooke is a former lawyer who now writes full time. She lives in Queensland. This is her fifth novel.


London’s Last True Scoundrel

Harlequine Australia
Oct 2013,
Trade paperback, $29.99

Outback Dreams by Rachael Johns is the first in a trilogy set

in the WA coastal town of Bunyip Bay. The book focuses on the relationship between best friends Faith and Monty – will they ever realise they are made for each other? I loved the rural setting of this book as it was warm, friendly and true to life in a country town. Monty, our hero, is the farmer I’d want next door and Faith is a girl
I can definitely relate to – she’s
a girl not afraid to tackle the big issues. The romance is sweet
but realistic and the plot cleverly entwined so there’s never a dull moment. I’m hoping to see more of the supporting characters in the future, especially newly single Ruby and English policeman Drew.

– Reviewed by Jeanie Misko, WA    

Rachael Johns owns a supermarket in a rural rown in WA and writes part time. This is her third novel.


Anna Campbell with BRRAddicts & HEART reading group
To read our post about the ARRA,click here    

About the author

Alana Lowes

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