Archives:: January 2009

Review: The Farmer Needs a Wife by Janet Gover

Helen Woodley had taken a massive risk when she took the job of editor at large for the ailing weekly magazine, Australian Life. But Helen didn’t care about risks or pitfalls. All she cared about was proving her critics wrong by turning the fortunes of the magazine around and showing all those people who had doubted her that she is a woman to be reckoned with. However, if she wants to prove the naysayers wrong, she must first boost the magazine’s circulation and after months of racking her brains, Helen finally comes up with a foolproof campaign which will send circulation figures through the roof: finding wives for the lovelorn farmers of the Australian Outback. But little does Helen realize that this campaign will change not just the lives of the participating farmers, but also her own…

For Greg, this campaign presents an opportunity for him to inject some much needed sunshine in what has so far been a melancholic existence. Having grown up with a bitter father who had never lost an opportunity to tell his only son just how useless he was, Greg has never truly known what it means to be loved and cared for. Now that his father is ill, Greg is desperate to have somebody to talk to, but stuck in the middle of the Outback, he knows that the chances of meeting anyone are slim to none. This campaign could be the answer to all of his prayers – especially as his father’s illness means that he has to forego his dream of being a jewelry designer to take care of the family farm. But not even Greg realized just how special the person who will come into his life will prove to be!

Peter had never got over the loss of his beloved wife, Karen. But after losing her in the most traumatic of circumstances, he vowed never to get involved with another woman again. His sister, Jenny, however has got other ideas. Pregnant Jenny is determined to put a smile on her brother’s face again and when she spots the ad in the magazine, she thinks that she has found the perfect solution. However, there’s a catch: Jenny hasn’t told her brother that Donna Boyd is in fact not the new nanny for his twins, but his new bride…

Matt has no idea that his daughter, Ali, has sent in his picture to the magazine. Romance is the last thing on Matt’s mind. But will a special lady change his mind?

Finally, Leigh decides to send her application on a whim, thinking that a romance is just what she needs to get her mind off her cheating ex-fiancé and the gorgeous neighbour whom she hates…but whom she can’t stop thinking about!

Will romance blossom for these lonely farmers under the hot Outback sun?

The Farmer Needs a Wife is a fantastic contemporary romance bursting with pathos, emotion, humour and heart. Charming and absolutely impossible to put down, make sure you don’t miss Janet Gover’s irresistible debut novel!

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Review: Bonded Heart by Jane Jackson

In nineteenth century Cornwall, Roz Trevaskis has had to leave the comfortable life she led, as the granddaughter of a clergyman, to take care of her destitute mother, the woman who had abandoned her at birth and who now spends her time drowning her sorrows in brandy and throwing herself at every man who covers her palm with silver. Roz’s genteel life is now a mere recollection of the past for she has now been reduced to working as a tavern wench at the Three Mackerel Inn, whilst scrimping and saving to keep them fed, clothed and able to live in a dirty hovel she and her mother call home.

Life is anything but easy for poor Roz. Not only have circumstances compelled her to take up smuggling, but she also keeps on having to rescue her own mother from prison, whilst facing the disapproval of local Justice Branoc Casvellan. Although, Roz is attracted to Branoc, she knows that a future for the two of them is out of the question. In another time and in another world, they would have been a perfect match. But Roz isn’t the respectable clergyman’s granddaughter anymore. Her genteel life is a thing of the past. She is now a barmaid at a local tavern – and as far removed for Branoc’s ideal wife as it is possible to get! Roz’s head may be telling her not to be so stupid and to stop indulging in daydreams, but her heart is telling her otherwise…

As the local Justice, Branoc Casvellan knows that the time has come for him to choose a suitable wife. But none of the society ladies which his mother constantly introduces him to have affected him in the same way which Roz Trevaskis has. Branoc cannot help but be intrigued by Roz. She might work in a tavern, wear rags and have work worn hands, but her appearance is at odds with her refined vowels and her ladylike manners. Branoc is determined to find out the truth about Roz, and when his brother catches smallpox, he comes up with the perfect solution to keep her close by, by offering her a job as a nursemaid. Roz accepts the position of nursing Branoc’s brother through the horrible disease, despite her feelings telling her that she should give Branoc and men of his class as wide a berth as possible!

Thrown together by fate, Branoc and Roz soon realize that they’ve got plenty of things in common and a friendship soon develops. However, when friendship gives way to a passionate attraction which neither can deny, they both find themselves succumbing to temptation. But how they can ever be together when the wrenching chasm of class stretches before them?

When an old enemy returns to stake his claim on Roz, Branoc realizes that he must do everything in his power to keep her safe, for he cannot risk losing the woman he has grown to love…

Bonded Heart left me breathless! Jane Jackson’s prose is beautiful, her descriptions vivid, her story engaging and her evocation of nineteenth century Cornwall second to none. Bonded Heart is a beautiful story of class division, forbidden passion, intrigue and heart wrenching emotion from this wonderful storyteller whose historical romances never disappoint.

Jane Jackson has penned a superb tale of love, sacrifice, tragedy and redemption that will bring a tear to your eye and leave you eagerly awaiting the next novel by this worthy successor to Winston Graham!

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Review, For the Love of Pete by Julia Harper

Zoey Addler hijacked delicious Special Agent Dante Torelli in hopes he can help her find her kidnapped baby niece, Pete. She needs his help desperately but oh how hard it is to resist his luscious body.

Dante’s mission was simple until he got tied up with a free spirited Zoey. He is a by-the-book agent who likes peace and quiet while Zoey throws rules out the window and knocks down walls to get what she wants. Tracking the pair is a relentless killer, a curiously likable hit man, a pair of Indian sisters out to reclaim their high grade saffron, and a special witness Dante is supposed to be protecting. Oh, and there is a mole in the Agency who is out to frame Dante for kidnapping Zoey. With one twist after another, you will not be bored; Julia Harper keeps the laughs and the tension high.

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Review, Simple Wishes by Lisa Dale

One huge mistake changed Adele Martin’s life, now she is running to a cottage in rural Pennsylvania. She thought she wanted to get away from small town living to the bright lights of the big city, but soon begins to discover that small towns may have something to offer after all.

Jay Westvelt has taken care of her property for awhile now. Sexy and handsome, Jay knows a lot about living in a rural community. As he begins to care deeply for Adele, old secrets come back to tempt Adele to scurry back to the city.

A tender and emotional romance with strong characters, Simple Wishes has a host of lessons to be learned about love and happiness, about heartache and healing. The intense conflicts, both internally and externally, bring readers right into the room with the protagonists. Like a “fly on the wall”, Lisa Dale puts readers into a deeply moving “going home” story that is sure to please.

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Review: Tempt the Devil by Anna Campbell

Olivia Raines is one of London’s most notorious courtesans. Her beauty has bewitched many a gentleman and her prowess in the bedroom is legendary, but beneath her haughty demeanor and sophisticated polish lies a broken-hearted woman who is terrified of letting any man close to her. Although she will allow the highest bidder to cross the threshold of her boudoir, she will never give her heart to any man and so far, everything seems to be going according to plan. But when the brooding Earl of Erith spots her across a crowded ballroom, little does Olivia know that her life is about to change. Forever.

Like Olivia, Julian Southwood, the Earl of Erith, has had plenty of passionate affairs. Since the death of his wife, Julian has had one mistress after another and he is now looking for a new bedfellow. With her stunning figure, reputation as a temptress and glorious mane of hair, Olivia seems like the perfect candidate to fill the vacant post in Julian’s bed.

Olivia immediately concedes to be Julian’s mistress. Initially, she thinks that this will be an ordinary business transaction, but Olivia hasn’t counted on Julian’s determination to possess her body and soul. As their affair deepens and their passion increases, Olivia and Julian find themselves giving in to their tempestuous feelings for one another. But although Olivia and Julian give their bodies to each other with relentless abandon, they are determined to keep their hearts under wraps. However, the more time they spend together, the more they realize that that is easier said than done!

Their reckless passion soon gives way to a wild love which they cannot deny. However, even though Julian and Olivia desire one another, deep down they know that a future together is out of the question. Olivia is still haunted by the demons of a past which refuses to stay buried, whereas Julian, as the Earl of Erith cannot possibly marry a woman with such a reprehensible character.

But will Olivia and Julian realize that societal reproach shouldn’t be a barrier to a love like theirs? Or will they let society dictate to them and thus ruin their only chance of happiness?

Anna Campbell is an amazing writer of historical romance who is at the height of her powers! Tempt the Devil is a sweeping romantic epic that dazzles with wry humor, dramatic intensity, brooding sensuality, sizzling love scenes and emotion so powerful that it will make readers cry buckets. Dark, sensuous and simply enthralling, Tempt the Devil is 24-carat historical romantic fiction at its most sublime!

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