The End of Cuthbert Close

The End of Cuthbert Close

Cassie Hamer

The End of Cuthbert Close by Cassie Hamer

Reviewed by Helen

This is the first book from MS Hamer that I have read and it won’t be the last, I thoroughly enjoyed this story and her way with words, the emotions that she brings to the surface of fabulous characters. It was fun and moving as we see three neighbours and friends sort through problems that are thrown their way, I do hope that you will pick this one up and get to know Alex, Beth and Cara as I did.

Alex is a lawyer, wife and mother to twins, her life is hectic, and Beth is married with two teenage children and a stay at home Mum and food nutritionist who is a little worried about her husband at the moment and then Cara is a single mum and food stylist who works hard to keep a roof over her and her daughter’s head, these three ladies are all very different but the best of friends and all of them have problems that are causing them much concern and then a new neighbour Charlie Devine and her daughter Talia arrives in Cuthbert Close and she and her daughter are going to put a cat among the pigeons so to speak.

With the arrival of Charlie in the middle of the annual street party, Alex, Beth and Cara do their best to make her feel welcome but Charlie is pushing them away this causes much discussion and thoughts of what to do, throw in their own personal problems about what to do with husbands and jobs and a place to live and life is moving in odd directions in the normal and happy Cuthbert Close.

I truly loved this story, I loved getting to know Alex, Beth and Cara and their families they are honest real life characters with real problems who were very easy to make friends with, I think Cuthbert Close would be a lovely place to live, there are so many laughs along the way as these ladies determine what to do with their futures but above all else even when things are thrown in their paths they remain fast friends and work through emotions and uncover the truth about their new neighbour. This is a page turner at its best one that I would highly recommend, thank you MS Hamer I loved it.

5 stars


Published March 23rd 2020 by HQ Fiction

The Banksia Bay Beach Shack

The Banksia Bay Beach Shack

Sandie Docker

The Banksia Bay Beach Shack by Sandie Docker

Reviewed by Helen

What can I say? Except you have to read this book, MS Docker has written a story that has everything to keep you turning the pages, it is beautifully written, it is moving and so very emotional, there are secrets and lies that maybe after sixty years it is time to let them out, open up, but what will these secrets do to people and their hearts and lives, truly pick this one up and clear the diary till it is finished and keep some tissues at the ready.

Laura is an investigative journalist and has just buried her grandmother Lillian, Laura was bought up by her grandmother and they have always been very close there is her governess Mrs. Duncan who is in a nursing home now and Laura has a mother by they are not close at all. Laura has been given a photo of her grandmother when she was a young teenager with another young girl the sisters of summer is written on the back with Lily and Gigi, this has Laura hunting through old photos and there seems to be a big gap during her teenage years and Laura decides to take a trip to this town of Banksia Beach and try and learn the truth.

Laura is picked up in a very colourful bus and taken to her holiday rental, she tells everyone that she is there researching travel stories, but when Yvonne the driver of the bus sees a resemblance to someone from her past and then Virginia who runs the cafĂ© at The Beach Shack sees that resemblance as well, there are a few ripples running through a couple of locals, Laura is feeling that there are people who are keeping a lot of secrets as she starts her investigation into her grandmother’s past.

Laura soon becomes close to some of the people living here especially Virginia’s grandson Heath and while she keeps what she is looking for a secret the bond between her and Heath grows and Virginia and Yvonne are getting more worried about what Laura is really there looking for.

I loved this books so very much, truly the characters are wonderful and so easy to love (well most of them) I felt their pain and their hurts and their joy and happiness as this story journeys between 1961 and present times, and we discover what happened back in the summer of 1964-1965. I cannot highly recommend this book enough, truly so many feelings and emotions I loved it, thank you MS Docker for another keeper and what a fabulous title and cover, the best.

Thanks you Penguin Books AU for a review copy.

5 stars


Published March 17th 2020 by Penguin Books



The River Home

The River Home

Hannah Richell

The River Home by Hannah Richell

Reviewed by Helen

This is a book I could barely put down, set in a quiet village in Somerset, England, it is the story of a dysfunctional family, secrets kept and of love, hurts and forgiveness, MS Richell has dug deep with emotions from these characters and told a story that had me grabbing for the tissues and feeling so many emotions, I hope that you will pick this one up and get to know Eve, Lucy, Margot and their family who live by the river.

Margot Sorrell is finally returning home to Windfalls the family home she ran from when she was a teenager, she buried many secrets in the corner of her memory, but now her sister Lucy has sent her a message saying she needs her. Coming home has Margot on edge being with her sisters and mother is opening up wounds, but Lucy has her reasons for bringing the family together and maybe it is time that secrets are told and with pain then maybe healing will come.

The relationship between the sisters has always been strong and loving and reuniting in the house that they had grown up in has them all feeling emotional, there will be changes that will bring much sadness but also show what love can do. Eve, Lucy and Margot all uncover secrets that have been causing hurt but together they will feel the strength and love that will keep them going.

I truly loved this story, I am still tearing up writing this review and I hope I do it justice, beautifully written with love and caring it shows what love can do, how it can bring a family together even though there has been so much hurt and resentment in the past through grief there is the chance to mend the broken bridges and find peace and happiness again. This is a story that I highly recommend.

5 stars


Expected publication: February 25th 2020 by Hachette Australia

Just an Ordinary Family

Just an Ordinary Family

Fiona Lowe

Just an Ordinary Family by Fiona Lowe

Reviewed by Helen

WOW this is a brilliant story, a story of family and friends, of love and hurts, secrets and truths, one that had me up very late last night finishing it, MS Lowe has gone deep into the characters feelings and emotions and showed us what can happen when things collapse, this is one that I highly recommend I do hope that you will come along for the journey with Karen, Alice, Libby and Jess, you are going to need tissues handy.

Karen Hunter is the mother of twins Libby and Alice they live in the small fishing town of Kurnai Bay happily but Karen always worries over her daughters especially Alice the last twin born, Karen is protective and is always trying to steer them in the right direction even when they are adults, she has secrets that she keeps.

Alice has moved back home to Kurnai Bay after a failed relationship, she is now thirty three and single again, she grew up in her twin’s shadow always feeling left behind and wanting a family herself she is feeling her biological clock ticking away.

Libby is married to Nick, she is a doctor and has two beautiful little girls but life has been tough lately and there has been a little strain on her marriage, but she has always had her best friend Jess to support her as well as Alice and her mother.

Jess moved to Kurnai Bay when she was thirteen, Jess is very confident, she has her secrets and soon finds Libby her best friend, and finally she has found what she has always wanted family.

My feelings about people in this book changed a few times while reading this one, my emotions went from anger, frustration to joy, happiness and such sadness, I was pulled into their lives as a terrible betrayal pulls them all apart, it sees secrets revealed that rock the family, and then forgiveness and openness that will bring a lot of tears, this book was an emotional roller coaster that is so beautifully told it really is amazing and fabulous, it is one that will stay with me for some time to come, I loved this one.

If you have never read a Fiona Lowe book them pick this one up, I am sure that you will want to read all that she has written, her stories truly are a must reads she knows how to bring her characters alive on the pages.

5 stars


Expected publication: February 24th 2020 by HQ Fiction

The Lawson Sisters

The Lawson Sisters

Janet Gover

The Lawson Sisters by Janet Gover

Reviewed by Helen

This is the first book I have read from this author and it won’t be the last, it is a beautiful story, compelling, moving and emotional and one that was very hard to put down once I picked it up. I loved the setting The Hunter Valley, is a beautiful place and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Elizabeth and Kayla Lawson and seeing them find their way again.

Lizzie and Kayla are living a fabulous life on a horse stud, Willowbrook at Scone in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales with their parents and many beautiful horses, and life is good, that is until tragedy takes their parents away and Liz must take over running Willowbrook and Kayla is sent to boarding school.

Liz never stops working she has made promises to her father that she must keep and guilt is a hard task master to cope with, the horses and the homestead are her life always, showing and training the horses is a lot of work but times are tough and Willowbrook is struggling financially and Liz is forced to contact her sister Kayla to ask for help.

Kayla makes a very good life for herself as a wedding planner in a the city far away from her sister and Willowbrook, visiting home or even chatting to Liz does not really happen, but when Liz calls and needs her help Liz goes home for a visit and puts a plan into place to help add some much need money to the homestead, being home makes her feel good, but working with Liz is not easy.

Kayla makes Liz remember the past even more and the secret is hurting more, especially seeing as how Mitch is now living next door, so many things have happened over the years, is it now time to tell Kayla the truth and will Kayla finally remember the day her parents were taken away?

I cannot highly recommend this book enough, beautifully written it is a must read, getting to know Liz and Kayla was fabulous there were tears and smiles as the girls finally find their way to happiness, Mitch was such a hero in my eyes, always there for Liz, I hope I have done this book justice it is so good, thank you Janet Gover for an awesome read, I look forward to many more stories from you.

5 stars


Published January 20th 2020 by Mira Books

The Boundary Fence

The Boundary Fence

Woodlea #7

Alissa Callen

The Boundary Fence by Alissa Callen

Reviewed by Helen

Opening up an Alissa Callen book is like walking into a happy home filled with family and friends, always a warm welcome with characters that are real and true, I loved being back in Woodlea and journeying with Ella Quinlivan and Saul Armstrong as they find their way to true love and happiness.

Ella is the local vet and has made her home in the country town of Woodlea she has many friends whom we have seen find love, but that is not what Ella is looking for she has too many scars from the past, she now is living in a beautiful homestead and helping the past owner and friend Violet discover what happened to her teenage daughter years before, getting to know her neighbour Saul has to stay on a friends only basis, but there is a connection that pulls Ella.

Saul, ex bronco rider is making a new life for himself back here in Woodlea after the breakup of his marriage, looking for love is not on his horizon, he is starting an American bison farm and has a big fence between him and his neighbour the beautiful vet Ella, but when he needs a vet for one of the bison the attraction and the emotions she makes him feel will be hard to deny and the more time they spend together helping Violet the closer they get.

There is so much to love about this story, it is so beautifully written with emotions that flow from the pages, Saul is such a quiet man with a wall built around him and Ella such a beautiful caring person but guarded with her feelings and things that she keeps to herself, they come together so beautifully after a few ups and downs to find they are free of the past and to a love that is deep and lasting, this is one that I highly recommend, and of course catching up with all of the friends from Woodlea was just so good, I loved the ending so many happy sighs, thank you MS Callen for another keeper.

5 stars


Expected publication: January 20th 2020 by Mira Books

Wildflower Ridge

Wildflower Ridge

Maya Linnell

Wildflower Ridge by Maya Linnell

Reviewed by Helen

What a fabulous debut, I have been eager to read this one since it was released and thoroughly enjoyed it, although I have to say there were times that had me feeling like yelling at people and for me that is a what makes me love a book when the author gets me so involved with the characters whether it is crying or yelling the emotions flowed.

Penny McIntyre is a marketing executive in a firm in Melbourne and loves her high powered job although raised on a sheep station, the city is where she lives with her boyfriend Vince, but when she gets really sick and needs to convalesce for a few months she is sent back to Macintyre Park to recoup her health with the help of her father and three sisters. Penny is not at all happy to find that her old boyfriend Tim Patterson is now working there and helping run the farm, and there seems to be some tension between one of her sisters.

It is not long before Penny is starting to feel at home and much better, even if there are a few problems with Vince and workmates in the city, being around Tim is hard for Penny and then an accident on the farm with her father changes everything, with Tim wanting to buy the farm and one of her sisters Lara pushing for it, there is a lot of tension building and Penny needs to decide what it is she wants the country or the city.

This one was a page turner for me, I am the eldest of four girls although we are city girls, and there can be lots of ups and downs but in the end we are always there for each other, there was a lot of emotion for me throughout this book, it is moving and heartfelt, blood is thicker than water and family is everything and when crunch comes to crunch Penny stood tall and strong as did Tim he really is such a great hero, I loved him. There was a lot going on in this one and woohoo MS Linnell congrats on a fabulous story, this is one that I highly recommend.

5 stars


Published June 3rd 2019 by Allen & Unwin