Review of The Lavender Garden

Set in both modern day – well, the late 90’s – and the Second World War this novel tells the story of Emilie de la Martineres and her whirlwind romance with Sebastian Carruthers.

It emerges that Emilie’s father and Seb’s grandmother were close friends during the Second World War.
As Emilie unravels the past her future certainly isn’t as rosy as she had hoped.

For me the best part of this novel was the reliving the dramas of the Second World War. I found this part of the story very intriguing and just as I thought I had parts of the plot dissed out, the author would throw in a plot twist to keep me on my toes.

At one point, towards the middle of the book – during a modern day section – I really grew fed up with Emelie’s character and considered not reading on until the end. But I persevered and bit was I glad I did!
The gripping tale took a whole new twist and I ended up staying up until the wee, small hours just to find out how everything turned out.

The story is quite strong and the characters from the past are too. Emelie was a bit hit and miss for me, and Sebastian made my skin crawl right from the word go.

I would definitely recommend this book and rate it as 4 star ****

Review of Broken Elements

The fantasy genre is becoming my favourite genre, so I looked forward to reading this book. It did not disappoint. It is well written and the author uses clever language to explain her characters and their powers in a way that makes sense to the story line, and does not come acoss like a reference section!

Written in the first person the story follows Aidan Brook, a water elemental, who has lived in solitude for a decade. She left her old life in Lake Tahoe behind after she could not prevent the deaths of three people who got caught up in a murder spree her and her best friend, fire elemental Sera, were unwittingly caught up in.

But now Sera has found her and she has some terrible news to share; their mutual best friend, Chris, was murdered recently and his murder bears all the hallmarks of the killings ten years earlier.

The book follows Aidan and Sera as they link up with a couple of other elementals and a couple of shapeshifters all hell bent on finding the killer and bringing him to justice.
The book was a thrilling read and I found I could not put it down.

Early on in this book I thought to myself “I know who the killer is” but then dismissed my thought. Later on when the killer’s identity is revealed I discovered I had been right after all. That does not mean the author made it obvious who the killer is, I just had a gut feeling when I read a certain paragraph.

This book was a joy to read, compelling, thrilling and difficult to put down! Thoroughly recommend giving it a read – you certainly won’t be disappointed.

***** 5 stars!!!!!

Review of Just Breathe

I absolutely loved this book. I did not expect to enjoy it as much as I did, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this!

Dee Nichols is a yoga teacher. She took up yoga after a terrible car accident left her paralysed, but she was determined her injury was not going to define her and so took up yoga. She gained so much from the yoga that she became a yoga teacher.

Before the accident she had the kind of man in her life that many a woman dreams about – handsome, successful, wealthy….but after the accident Dee’s ex just could not accept her and so he dumped her.
This made Dee determined never to get involved with a suit again. That was before she met Ethan Roxborough, a wealthy, handsome, successful businessman.

Dee was invited to the Christmas party of Lucy Roxborough, Ethan’s sister whom she teaches yoga to, and the moment they met they became intrigued with one another.
Lucy offers Dee a job for a health insurance company that the Roxborough company owns, and given that Dee is short of cash she accepts.

We follow Dee on her journey to success. Prior to her accident she was a radiographer and had the kind of lifestyle her socialite mother approved of. After the accident Dee became so scared of committing to anything, or anyone, that she found she was thoroughly content with her “hippie” lifestyle, much to her mother’s disdain.

After the success of the yoga commercial Dee becomes involved with Ethan, as a protege of sorts. Ethan offers Dee free business advice and promises to help her network. Inevitably they grow close and a secret romance starts up.
Ethan has a reputation of being a ladies man – he is always photographed in the media with a different woman on his arm, these women are dubbed Roxborough girls – and Dee is not so keen to fall into this category.

Inevitably their secret gets out and Dee overhears Ethan and Lucy discussing the matter, but misunderstands what they are saying. she storms out of Ethan’s appartment, hurt, confused, humiliated, not giving either Ethan or Lucy the chance to explain themselves.
It is also at this time that Lucy goes away and her assistant cancels her yoga lessons with Dee, leaving Dee to feel that Lucy does not think she is good enough for her brother.

After a couple of weeks of moping and thoroughly feeling miserable, plus having quite a few business options to decide upon, Dee decides she may as well just follow her best friend abroad to help him with his yoga tours. But her mother suffers a heart attack and this tragedy helps Dee make her peace with her mum and also face the demons that have been haunting her since her accident.

It is at this time Lucy returns to the country and gets in touch with Dee, explaining her absence – which had nothing at all to do with Dee and Ethan and everything to do with her father-in-law taking ill. After realising she had been wrong about the day she overheard Ethan and Lucy talking about the affair. After a long chat, Lucy assures Dee that her brother is interested in her and also explains about the Roxborough girls – which is everything to do with publicity shots for social functions and nothing to do with Ethan’s personal life.
She finally makes her peace with Ethan, and as is the way with this genre, they get their happy ending.

Highly recommending this book and giving it ***** 5 stars. Well worth a read!!!

Review Of Beneath Outback Skies

Paige Quinn runs the family farm in the Australian Outback. She comes across as a bit of a tomboy, certainly not one to ask for help for anything. She also comes across as a tough cookie – one would have to be to survive in that sort of job in that kind of terrain.

Her father is worried about her though. He is confined to a wheelchair after a tractor accident several years earlier, so he is unable to do any of the physical stuff. He can, however, do the paperwork and he knows that Banora Downs, the name of the family farm, is in poor financial health. Once upon a time Banora Downs used to take in paying guests, but that has not happened so much recently. Paige’s father has a plan though.

Cue Tait Cavanaugh. He turns up at the farm looking for a place to stay for a little while. Paige is pretty bewildered by his arrival as it has been sometime since Banora Downs has had paying guests. She demands to know how Tait found out about the farm, but he is pretty evasive about how he discovered the farm, blaming his secretary for looking the place up online.
Paige does not really believe his story, but she cannot be certain the farm does not still have a web presence. Tait claims he wants to spend some time out of touch with everyone he knows, and he also wants to experience life in the outback.
Paige is amused by this, Tait has arrived in a very expensive car and has the markings of a wealthy man, a man more suited to the boardroom, not the wilderness of the Australian outback. She agrees to show Tait what life is like, but she does not trust that he is being totally honest with her about his motives for being in the outback.

The story follows the pair as they grow closer and secrets are revealed. It is an easy narrative to follow and a pretty pleasant read. I enjoyed reading this book and can recommend it to lovers of this genre.

**** 4 stars.