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September 21, 2011
Viper's Kiss by Shannon Curtis

Viper's Kiss by Shannon Curtis

A fun romp, but lacks the depth I want in a romance and the plausibility I want in suspense.

I’ll be honest. This book is a bit all over the place. The title smacks of the paranormal—snake shifters, anyone?—but the story is romantic suspense and ‘Viper’ is the codename for a notorious spy.

The cover is beefy, but the more sympathetic character is librarian heroine Maggie Kincaid, who is mistaken for Viper and is trying to avoid arrest, capture and/or torture, depending on who’s doing the chasing.

Luke Fletcher is a private security operative—ex-Special Forces, of course—hired to track down Viper and the top-secret technology she’s stolen from a research facility.

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August 8, 2011

The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta (Australian edition)

I’ve made up my mind. This is my favourite Melina Marchetta book. If my house caught fire, I’d probably grab it on the way out.

We have a signed copy of The Piper’s Son to give away. We’ll post details of the giveaway this week, so watch this space!

Last year I declared Saving Francesca as my favourite young adult book, but that’s not totally accurate. It’s my favourite teen novel. The Piper’s Son is a little more grown-up, and in this book, Melina Marchetta moves more firmly into young adult territory.

I was crying before I got to the end of chapter one, right through to the end, and I loved every minute of it.

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July 19, 2011

If you were at the ARRA convention this year, you may remember Helene Young from her fantastic book reading and launch of Shattered Sky. Her books, set in North Queensland, combine romantic suspense with the increasingly popular rural lit category. Her debut novel, Border Watch (rereleased as Wings of Fear), won the 2010 Australian Romance Readers Award for Favourite Romantic Suspense and is nominated for this year’s R*BY Award in the Romantic Elements category.

BOOK GIVEAWAY: Helene is giving away a copy of her R*BY Award nominated novel, WINGS OF FEAR. For a chance to win, tell us why you love—or would love to try—Australian romantic suspense.

Some rules: Post your answer as a comment to this post. Multiple entries are fine. By entering, you give us permission to quote your entry in future blog posts and articles. You also give us permission to send your email address to the author, who will be organising delivery of the book. Open to international readers. The giveaway ends midnight on Monday, July 25 AEST. Wandergurl, Decadence and I will pick our favourite answer. The winner must provide a delivery address within one week after we announce the result on the blog.

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July 8, 2011
Kelly Hunter (source: Kelly Hunter)Source: Kelly Hunter

Mills and Boon author Kelly Hunter was a finalist in the 2011 RITA Awards for her Sexy release, Red-Hot Renegade, which features something not often seen in mainstream romance novels—an Asian heroine. I haven’t read this book yet (it’s on my list of books to read!) but based on Kate’s review I think I need to get to it soon.

Kelly’s latest Australian release was The Man She Loves to Hate (Sexy, 2-in-1). Her latest North American release was With This Fling (Presents), and her latest UK release was Taken By The Bad Boy (Paradise Nights anthology).

BOOK GIVEAWAY: Kelly is giving away a copy of her RITA-nominated book, RED-HOT RENEGADE. For a chance to win, tell us which renegade (living or historical) would make a fantastic romance hero and why.

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July 5, 2011
Photo Opportunity by Jess Dee (Tanner Siblings, Book 1)

Photo Opportunity by Jess Dee (Tanner Siblings, Book 1)

A friends to lovers story that doesn’t quite reach the emotional heights—or depths—that I prefer in my romances.

I love me a good friends-to-lovers story—it’s one of my favourite pairings. In theory, Jess Dee’s story in which the hero, Daniel, decides he’s had enough of being platonic friends with childhood friend, Amy, and executes a plan to change their relationship status…well, in theory it ticks the right boxes for me. Bonus for being an erotic romance, even though, as I may have mentioned a few times before, I’m so very picky with erotica.

Well…it kind of work and it didn’t. The fact that I’m a sucker for friends to lovers probably kept my interest longer than the book should have. Unfortunately, it just didn’t have enough emotional depth for me to care much about the characters.

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July 4, 2011

Here are some books for review sent by Random House, which are sitting in my to-be-read pile.

June 21, 2011

Phillipa Fioretti’s debut novel, The Book of Love, centres around a rare book of ancient Roman erotica. It’s a book that makes good use of Fioretti’s background in the arts. Phillipa has studied archaeology, sculpture and museum studies, and has taught drawing and media studies. Her second book, The Fragment of Dreams, continues the story of Lily and William, the couple from The Book of Love.

If you’re wondering whether or not her books have a happy ending, you can take heart from a Courier Mail interview in which Phillipa says, ‘I don’t want to write things that depress me. I don’t want to be in a dark headspace all day. I like to have a laugh while I’m doing it.’

BOOK GIVEAWAY: Phillipa is giving away a copy of THE FRAGMENT OF DREAMS. For a chance to win, tell us what fragment from history you’d like to own and why.

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June 8, 2011
Home Is Where The Bark Is by Kandy Shepherd

Home Is Where The Bark Is by Kandy Shepherd

For anyone looking for a sweet, lovely, light-hearted read. Especially if you love dogs.

Serena Oakley is an ex-model who now runs a doggy day care (with a spa!) in San Francisco. Nick Whalen is a private investigator assigned to figure out if Serena is behind an identity theft scheme. When he shows up at her shop with a Yorki-poo, she’s a bit suspicious—after all, what is this hunk of a man doing with a handbag dog? This doesn’t stop her from being attracted to him and vice versa. Will Nick be able to find out who the real thief is before super hot attraction gets in the way?

I love dogs. I’m the kind of person who says, ‘Hello, doggy!’ every time I pass one on the street. I used to volunteer at a dog shelter. Hence, there was pretty much a kind of guarantee I would like this book. All the dogs in this book were realistic and adorable and were more than just a means to further the plot along—they were pretty much secondary characters.

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May 24, 2011
Vroom by the Sea by Peter Moore - Australian edition

Vroom by the Sea by Peter Moore - Australian edition

An entertaining read about an enchanting part of Italy not always covered in travel books.

In line with Travel Tuesday (#traveltuesday) on Twitter, Wandergurl will be reviewing a travel book once a month.

Peter Moore is one of my favourite travel writers. I discovered him on a trip to Sydney in 2002, prompting me to return home with all his books at that time. He’s exceedingly funny and has a tendency to get himself into hilarious situations. When I found out that this book was released on Kindle, I just had to get it.

This book is a sequel of sorts to Vroom with a View, a book he wrote about travelling around Italy on a Vespa for his 40th birthday. This time around he takes a Vespa around southern Italy, partly to contemplate his impending fatherhood. There’s no need to read the previous book, as lord knows I didn’t remember much of it before reading this one. He does a good job of explaining any previous references.

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April 22, 2011

If you’ve ever met Paula Roe, you’d remember it. She’s one of the bubbliest authors I’ve ever met and can talk a mile a minute. (Check out Decadence’s recap of a library talk that Paula did earlier this year.) She designs websites, and you may have seen some of her work without knowing it (such as websites for Anna Campbell, ARRA and Bronwyn Jameson).

She was a 2009 R*BY finalist and has won the Australian Romance Readers Award for Favourite Category Romance two years in a row. She writes for Mills and Boon (Desire), but I’m told she’s ‘also writing a bunch of other stuff—space opera/fantasy, romantic comedy, historical…’

2011 Mother's Day Gift SelectionHer latest book, Promoted To Wife? is set in Queensland, and has just been released in Australia as part of the 2011 Mother’s Day gift selection pack.

Website: www.paularoe.com
Social networks: Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
Genre: Category contemporary romance
Latest release: Promoted To Wife?

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