The Wrong Sister

 The Wrong Sister

Fiona Palmer



Reviewed by Helen


Fiona Palmer is a fabulous story teller and knows how to bring characters to life and this one digs deep into family, with secrets, heartbreak and love that goes a long way with these three siblings, come a long and meet Ellen, Bodhi and Carrie Sutton as they go through some ups and downs.

Ellen seems happy with her life she loves being a midwife and nurse at the local hospital in Albany Western Australia, she comes from a loving family and they are all very close, her sister Carrie owns her own hair dressing and make up salon and seems to have found love and Bodhi works as a sparky in the family business he also has a wonderful girlfriend Ingrid who is a chef and very much a part of this family. What happens to make Ellen give up her job and go bush to muster cattle, why did she run? It is not something she normally would do.

Bodhi, Ingrid and Carrie are missing Ellen and Bodhi wants Ellen’s help with something special so he organises a family camping trip to the beautiful Karrijini country and this trip will turn all of their lives upside down when truths come out and hearts are broken, will they ever be the friends they had been, will this trip make them see who they are?

I loved this story so much, it is beautifully written and shows the strength that exists in family love, the bond that Ellen, Ingrid and Carrie share is the best and there are so many emotions, I cried and I wanted to hug them and yes there were happy tears as well a must read in my opinion, I loved all of the characters it is hard to choose a favourite. I would highly recommend this one it was hard to put down once I started it. I know that Fiona is taking a break from writing for a while but I eagerly await her return, I do love her stories.

My thanks to Hachette AU for my copy to read and review

5 stars
November 30, 2022 by Hachette Australia

Family Matters

 Family Matters

Ellie O'Neill



Reviewed by Helen


This is a lovely story, all about family, it is witty at times there are smiles and there is frustration and tears as I got to know matriarch Evie McCarthy, her daughter Yvonne and her two granddaughters Molly and Rosie as they journey through life, it is well worth coming to meet them in Ireland.

Evie is seventy nine years old and is a matchmaker, her set of tarot cards tells her that death is coming her way, she is not happy she is sure she has lots more to do, but her first priority is get her girls set on the right path.

Yvonne has taken over the family pub in their little town of Ballyhay, she is divorced from her husband and loves her Mam, two daughters and her grandsons, but Yvonne has a secret that is starting to cause big problems at the moment.

Molly is married to Dommo and they have two little boys but being a mother is really hard and Molly is struggling with it she gets no sleep and things are not good between her and Dommo.

Rosie loves life but is her new boyfriend the man for her? She works hard in her job and lives in Dublin but when her world falls apart family is there for her.

It is an engaging story that had lots of emotions throughout, I loved Evie she is my favourite and always bought a smile and I was often yelling at the other three woman, the author pulled me in to this story really well and I have no hesitation of recommending to any reader who loves a good family tale that is honest and well written and all about family love.

My thanks to the Allen & Unwin for my copy to read and review.

4 stars

May 31, 2022 by Allen and Unwin

Broad River Station

 Broad River Station

Detective Dave Burrows

Fleur McDonald



Reviewed by Helen


Firstly huge congrats to Fleur McDonald on the release of her twentieth book, I do love Detective Dave Burrows and am hoping to keep on meeting up with him for a long time to come. This is another page turner one that I found very hard to put down.

Constable Mia Worth has just finished her training as a police officer for the South Australian Police force and when there is a position available in the small country town of Broad River, she applies her beloved grandmother Clara is in the nursing home suffering from dementia and it is the town closest to Barker where she spent some of her early childhood. Talking to Clara is often hard when she slips back into the past hinting at family secrets and talking about the shop in the main street of Barker that apparently she still owns, Mia is determined to get answers, while here.

Walking into the local police station finds her battling prejudice from most of the all-male staff, but Mia is determined to not let them get to her and do her best to be a good police officer she has enough worry over her grandmother. When a small child goes missing she is ordered to stay and answer the phones but when Detective Dave Burrows from Barker arrives to help with the search he takes Mia out to help and this starts a friendship that is sure to help Mia’s career.

Dave Burrows is the perfect mentor for the new constable Mia and I really do hope we are going to see a lot more of Mia I am sure she will become a firm favourite as is Dave and Jack, This story is so well written with suspense and mystery and with Dave’s cool calm attitude to solving cases, I was turning the pages, although I want all the answers I often don’t want the story to end. I do highly recommend this one, a must read. Thank you Fleur McDonald for another awesome story one for the keeper shelf.

My thanks to Allen & Unwin for my copy to read and review.

5 stars
November 1, 2022 by Allen & Unwin AU

Remeber Me

 Remember Me

Charity Norman



Reviewed by Helen


This is the first book I have read from this author, but it won’t be the last. I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery set in New Zealand, it has a cast of wonderful characters and digs deep into the way they cope with life as it is thrown at them.

Twenty five years ago a young woman, Leah Parata went missing and nothing was ever found, there was no trace of her at all, leaving her family and close friends to cope as best they could, her mother Raewyn and brother Ira never give up hope.

Emily Kirkland lived next door to the Parata family growing up but these days she lives in England were she illustrates kids’ books, but when Raewyn rings her to let her know that her father, Dr. Felix Kirkland is not well and has dementia, Emily makes the trip back home, her father’s health shocks her and she makes the decision to stay longer and care for him.

As her father’s memory fades more he has times where he opens up about his past and things that have happened and Emily is learning more but some of what he is saying is very hard for Emily to understand and believe, add to that the boxes of keepsakes she has found and the envelope he has given her that is not to be opened till after his death, Emily is beside herself with worry, and the big question is should she keep it all to herself?

This story is so well written, it pulled me in and there was no way I could put it down till I got to know exactly what had happened, Emily is such a fabulous character, the strength she shows and Felix there is so much going on with him, I really felt for him. This is one that I highly recommend and I will be reading more of this authors books.

My thanks to Allen & Unwin for my copy to read and review.

4 stars
March 3, 2022 by Allen & Unwin

East of Alice

 East of Alice

Annie Seaton



Reviewed by Helen


This is another awesome story from a fabulous story teller, Annie Seaton takes me to the best places and describes them beautifully it is like I am there and then she adds characters who are strong and easy to get to know and make friends with, add in mystery and suspense and you have a page turner, this one has a family mystery to uncover that goes back to the 1890’s and involves rubies, a fabulous read.

When Rose marries William in England back in 1880 and the plan is to move to Australia to make their fortune mining rubies, Rose never realizes how her life will change in this new world, two sons and a hard life but she is strong and no matter what happens she keeps going and leaves a legacy that will encourage her descendants in the future.

Gemma Hayden has returned to Alice Springs, it is six years since she left after the disappearance of her twin brother Ethan that pulled her family apart she has a new job at the local primary school, there are lots of memories here but Gemma has learnt to rely on herself these days and is happy to be home.

Saul Pearce moved away from Alice Springs six years ago leaving a lot behind but he was determined to make something of himself and is now a ranger for Parks and Wildlife he has a new posting and is settling in when he is asked to go out and look for a car that has been reported in the park, what he finds will shock him, this car belongs to his missing best friend Ethan Hayden who is the twin of the girl he never forgot.

Meeting up with Gemma again to hand her a note he found in the car addressed to her puts them on a path of searching for answers from the past at Ruby Gap where Gemma and Ethan’s Great, Great Grandparents lived all those years ago will they uncover the secrets to the rubies and what happened back then and will they find out what happened to Ethan?

I loved this story it is compelling reading, it is filled with drama, suspense, fabulous characters and was hard to put down, searching for answers together brings Gemma and Saul back together but it is not easy with everything that is happening and there is danger all around them, it is so well written I would highly recommend it, this is one not to be missed, this is one that will stay with me for a long time.

My thanks to Netgalley for my copy to read and review.

5 stars
    November 3, 2022 by Mira Books

The Work Wives

 The Work Wives

Rachael Johns



Reviewed by Helen


This story has a bit of everything in it and I loved it, I loved getting to know Debra, Quinn and Ramona as they navigate through life, come along and meet them and join in their journey to find how they work through the problems of life and see how they all fair, once you pick it up you won’t want to put it down.

Debra and Quinn work for The Energy Co and have been friends since they met in the photocopying room not only at work but outside work as well, both so totally different but they have become the best work wives, they are there for each other and they are always open with each other, or are they?

Debra is a single mum to fifteen year old Ramona and has no plans on finding a man, she is more than happy being single and she and Ramona have a wonderful relationship, she is determined to be a great mother and will do anything to protect her daughter, anything.

Quinn is young and looking for her forever man, she works in digital marketing and is totally addicted to dating apps, she is bright and bubbly, moves around the city on roller skates, and she comes from a big family and knows what love can be, one day she will find her own love.

Ramona, loves vintage clothing, finding friends at school with the amount of times they have moved is not easy but when she wins a scholarship at an exclusive girl’s school for their fashion course things are sure to change for her, but one thing that she really wants is to know who her father is.

Life changes for Quinn and Deb when a new guy is hired at work, Quinn is drawn to him and Deb wants to stay well away, his arrival opens up a can of worms for all of them, secrets are uncovered, and friendships are put to the test, plenty of emotion and hurt come to the surface and lots of digging to get to the bottom of this huge change in their lives.

This story has emotion, drama, mystery, it takes in teenage year’s motherhood social media and it is all done so well. Will they find the love and happiness that they all deserve, and will the friendships last? I loved Deb, Quinn and Ramona they are fabulous characters that were easy to get to know and like, This is a story that I would highly recommend, another keeper Rachael Johns you never disappoint, don’t miss this one.

My thanks to Harlequin AU for my copy to read and review

5 stars
    November 3, 2022 by Harlequin Enterprises (Australia) Pty Ltd

The Model Wife

 The Model Wife

Tricia Stringer



Reviewed by Helen


I have had this one sitting on my TBR pile for a while and I am very sorry I didn’t get to it sooner, it is a fabulous read, so well written with emotion and care, we get to know the King family and what life can throw at them on their busy sheep farm in country South Australia, I had a hard time putting this one down.

Natalie King is a farmer’s wife to Milt, a mother of three adult daughters, Kate, Bree and Laura, a primary school teacher and a daughter in law to Olive, she has always led a very busy life keeping the old farm house going cooking the meals helping on the farm, and teaching but when she gets a phone call one afternoon Natalie has a big re-think on her life, she re-discovers an old book that her mother in law Olive gave her when she married Milt, The Model Wife this books sets out what a wife should and shouldn’t do in her live, written in the 1930’s this brings back lots of memories good and bad and Natalie decides she needs to get away she needs a holiday and to think about her future.

Natalie finds herself in Broome Western Australia, her three girls are home and she is not, that is hard for her because she has always been there for them but her emotions are all over the place she knows she is a good wife and mother and that maybe they need her at home, but this is Natalie’s time, time to re-think and adjust her life. Will her holiday be what she needs? The rest and time out has her thinking about many things and when she talks about her life things fall into place and it might be time to go home.

Tricia Stringer brings a lot of heart and soul into her stories with fabulous characters who are real and honest, there are discussions about everyday life and how people cope in different circumstances and I though Natalie was so good, this is one that I would highly recommend, I loved it, the King family will stay with me for a long time to come.

My thanks to Netgalley for my copy to read and review.

5 stars
Published October 1st 2019 by HQ Fiction