The Week: 4th – 10th June

Winter Lake Burley Griffin Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney 9th June 2018 Carillon Nature Sunset pink

Winter Lake Burley Griffin Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney 9th June 2018 Carillon Nature Sunset

Canberra’s Lake Burley Griffin – with the National Carillon (a gift from the Queen that she personally opened in 1970) – late on Saturday afternoon.

It was a surprisingly dreary week here. Usually winter is really sunny, but the last few days felt like winter! At least it got sunny on Saturday afternoon!

This week in the book world has been full of drama, which I seem to have written a few thousands posts about. Sorry for the spam!

My review of A Cowboy of Convenience (Sheridan Sweethearts #2) by Stacy Henrie

A Cowboy of Convenience (Sheridan Sweethearts #2) by Stacy Henrie

A Cocky Weekend

cocky-final-2 Cocktales the cocky collective cockygate cover

Book Stuffing and Author Ethics

Book Stuffer Kindle Unlimited Scammer

Why “outing” someone makes you an utter arse – #1

and

Why “outing” someone makes you an utter arse – #2

_86601698_authorandbook Richard Brittain used Facebook to track down the reviewer, a teenage girl from Glenrothes, and drove all the way (some 800 kilometres) from the south of England t

Cover Love

Someone to Trust (Westcott Book #5) by Mary Balogh

A Cowboy of Convenience (Sheridan Sweethearts #2) by Stacy Henrie

A Cowboy of Convenience (Sheridan Sweethearts #2) by Stacy Henrie

Groom by Agreement

A real home–it’s what Vienna Howe dearly wants for her young daughter. Yet the ramshackle property she just inherited hardly qualifies. She can’t afford the repairs–until foreman West McCall suggests they start a dude ranch together. For propriety’s sake, they’ll need a marriage in name only…a practical solution for two wary hearts.

Years ago, West convinced Vienna to marry a man of means, never realising how cruel her husband could be. Guilt-ridden, he intends to secure the lovely widow’s future. But despite his reluctance to get close to anyone, this union might do more than fix Vienna’s ranch. It could open the door to a warm, loving future…

A Cowboy of Convenience (Sheridan Sweethearts #2) by Stacy Henrie

This is one of the better-written Love Inspired Historical books I’ve read recently. Set in Wyoming in 1901, it is a mature sort of book in that the characters are practical and sensible and have more in their lives to take into consideration than just falling in love.

A Cowboy of Convenience has a heavy focus on a child – as so many books in this line do – which isn’t always my thing, but this child was also written well and so I didn’t mind that aspect.

I didn’t find the faith elements overpowering here (this is supposed to be Christian fiction), and I liked the evolution of the relationship, which seemed natural to me.

If I’m going to be really picky, I’d say that the term “dude ranch” (which I had to look up, because I’ve heard of it but it’s not a term used here) wasn’t yet recorded at the time this book is set.

For fans of gentle Western romances.

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.

The Week: 30th April – 6th May

Blue Sky Autumn Sunshine Canberra Australia 24 Degrees Sonya Heaney Eucalyptus Tree Gum Tree 1st May 2018 Garden Nature

Still looking beautiful in Canberra, even though it’s the last month of autumn!

My review of A Devil of a Duke (Decadent Dukes Society #2) by Madeline Hunter

A Devil of a Duke (2018) (The second book in the Decadent Dukes Society series) A novel by Madeline Hunter

My review of Baby on Her Doorstep by Rhonda Gibson

Baby on Her Doorstep by Rhonda Gibson

Release Day for Mary Balogh

Someone to Care (Westcott Family #4) by Mary Balogh

Tribeca Film Festival Gives Russian Propaganda Film Major Award

Make Tribeca Film Festival Deprive Anti-Ukrainian Movie Of The Award Phone Duty Russian Propaganda Movie

Fund in Honour of Miranda Neville

Miranda Neville Frances Mallary Historical Romance

Release Day for How I Resist: Activism and Hope for the Next Generation

How I Resist Activism and Hope for the Next Generation

Baby on Her Doorstep by Rhonda Gibson

Baby on Her Doorstep by Rhonda Gibson

The Rancher’s Temporary Nanny

Laura Lee has longed for a child of her own—but she never expected one would suddenly appear on the school steps. With a note begging her to raise the baby girl, the teacher must find a new home since there’s a rule against children in the boardinghouse. Her only option is becoming a temporary live-in nanny for a rancher.

Widowed single father Clint Shepard needs a nanny for his daughter immediately—even if hiring Laura means he’ll have to find someone else in a few months when school starts up. But after spending time with her and the little girl she’s raising, he starts falling for them, and wishing their arrangement could be permanent.

Baby on Her Doorstep by Rhonda Gibson

I started this book a little distracted, as the heroine shares her name with one of publishing’s most famous erotic romance writers. This wasn’t the best choice for a chaste Christian book!

Baby on Her Doorstep has all the hallmarks of Harlequin’s Christian romance line: the abandoned child, the match of convenience, the single father trying to make ends meet in the 19th century Wild West.

I struggled to connect with the story in the beginning, because all the plot points seemed to be happening in a hurry, before we got to know or like these characters.

In the space of about an hour:

  • The heroine finds an abandoned baby, with a note attached telling her to care for her.
  • She meets with the sheriff, who gives her permission to keep the baby (it occurs to nobody to find out why the child was abandoned, or to find the mother).
  • She meets the hero and his daughter.
  • The hero offers her a job.
  • Hero, heroine, and both children go out to lunch.

After that there’s a time jump where we discover she has accepted the job and is moving in with him.

If you like books with these themes, there’s nothing wrong with this one, but it felt more like paint-by-numbers than others I’ve read in the Love Inspired Historical series.

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.

Accidental Family (The Bachelors of Aspen Valley) by Lisa Bingham

Accidental Family (The Bachelors of Aspen Valley) by Lisa Bingham

Make-Believe Marriage

When newborn twins are dropped on Charles Wanlass’s doorstep—along with a note begging him to protect them—he knows he needs help to give them a proper home. The only solution: entering a marriage of convenience with mail-order bride Willow Granger. But soon the handsome pastor longs for their make-believe family to become real…

Willow will do whatever it takes to keep her missing friend’s babies safe. She’s drawn to Charles’s steadfast caring and honesty, but she’s sure she doesn’t have the proper background or courage to ever be a worthy wife or mother. But as danger closes in, she and Charles will risk everything to face down their fears—and turn their temporary home into a lifetime of love.

Accidental Family (The Bachelors of Aspen Valley) by Lisa Bingham

A note about the cover: There are endless comments about how tiny this heroine compared to the hero. Not so much in this image!

This is a sweet little read, a little bit Christian, but mostly just an 1870s-set historical romance.

The book opens immediately on hero and heroine being forced to marry after they both claim ownership of abandoned newborn twins.

Now, this bit didn’t make much sense to me. They all live in close quarters, snowed in and trapped for the winter. And yet a woman we’re constantly told is tiny manages to convince everyone SHE was pregnant with twins? And nobody thought the babies might have belonged to the pregnant woman who was murdered? It made no sense to me.

There are a lot of characters, and we meet most of them right away. I assume this is a series that will be going for a while (or, at least until Harlequin discontinues the Love Inspired line at the end of this year).

This is one for fans of the Love Inspired (sweet, Christian) line.

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.

The Week: 29th January – 4th February

Wednesday summer sunset in Canberra

One of our (still fluffy!) young magpies hanging out on Friday afternoon.

Who Gets A Happily Ever After In 2018?

jemima-khan-impersonates-melania-trump-for-halloween-2016

My review of His Sinful Touch (The Mad Morelands #5) by Candace Camp

His Sinful Touch (The Mad Morelands #5) by Candace Camp

My review of Honor-Bound Lawman by Danica Favorite

Honor-Bound Lawman (Love Inspired Historical) by Danica Favorite

Rereading Tammara Webber

Easy by Tammara Webber

Formula One (finally!) gets rid of “grid girls”

Formula One Race Podium Melbourne Australia Sonya Oksana Heaney 20th March 2016 Lewis Hamilton Nico Rosberg Sebastian Vettel F1

For Chinese New Year

Chinese-themed Book Sculpture

 

The Week: 1st – 7th January

First Sunset of 2018 Sonya Heaney Canberra Australia Sky Clouds Summer Garden Nature

The first Canberra sunset of 2018

Ukrainian Christmas Eve Canberra Australia Ukrainian Embroidery Ukrainian Culture Sonya Heaney 6th January 2018

Happy Ukrainian Christmas! It’s HOT here – 39 degrees today, and we’ve had high temperatures most of the week.

I’ve been working my way through a good book or two, but haven’t had as much time to read as I need to finish any of them yet!

Ukrainian Christmas Eve

Christmas Candles Ukrainian Christmas Sonya Heaney Zazzle Store

Cooking for Ukrainian Christmas

Varenyky Ukrainian Food Christmas Ukraine Canberra Ausrealia Sonya Heaney 5th January 2018

Wish List for 2018

Books HD

Fancy running a bookshop for a week?

Wigtown_Market_Square_-_geograph_org_uk_-_212447 Wigtown Market Square Scotland UK Book Town

My review of The Husband Hunter’s Guide to London (Husband Hunters #1) by Kate Moore

The Husband Hunter's Guide to London (Husband Hunters #1) by Kate Moore

My review of Montana Groom of Convenience by Linda Ford

Montana Groom of Convenience (Big Sky Country) by Linda Ford

Montana Groom of Convenience by Linda Ford

Montana Groom of Convenience (Big Sky Country) by Linda Ford

Their Marriage Bargain

Carly Morrison’s father issued an ultimatum: get married or lose her ranch. But while she can rope and ride as well as any man, leading one to the altar is another matter—until newcomer Sawyer Gallagher suggests a marriage of convenience. Their arrangement might be a sensible solution to her predicament, but Carly’s growing feelings are a genuine complication.

Desperate to provide a home for his orphaned sister, Sawyer takes a chance on lassoing himself to headstrong cowgirl Carly. He’s convinced he’s too hardened by life to love anyone…until their union is threatened. Is it too late to turn this practical partnership into a real Big Sky family?

Montana Groom of Convenience by Linda Ford

This is an easy little read set in the late nineteenth century. It is a Christian book, but – as with most of these – it’s easy enough to skip over the religion if it’s not for you.

The story starts with an engagement. Hero and heroine are sitting near each other at a restaurant, and he overhears her saying she needs to get married to someone – anyone – within two weeks. Her father will sell the family ranch otherwise, because he doesn’t think a woman can manage it the way a man can. The hero immediately offers himself, as he has a little orphaned half-sister who he can’t handle, and who has started to run wild.

And so the story goes on.

I like these books set in country USA of the past. It is a nice balance with all the historical stories I read about the English aristocracy. Linda Ford is a pretty reliable author in the genre, and Montana Groom of Convenience is no different.

I think the female characters were handled well. Usually they’re too modern and too used to doing all the things the men do, and the plot then just reads as a contemporary romance. Even though we have an unconventional heroine (the sort who wears trousers), I think it was done believably here.

A solid read from a well-established author.

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.

The Week: 4th – 10th December

Rainbow Number Plates Canberra Australia Gay Pride Gay Marriage Same Sex Marriage 2017

We have rainbow number plates in Canberra.

The big news in Australia this week: we finally, decisively legalised same sex marriage. It’s permanent this time, unlike when the High Court took it off Canberra four years ago. Our local government is giving free marriage licences to anybody who got married in Canberra that time and then had their marriages declared invalid.

It was inevitable it would happen – the world is changing – and those who wasted over a hundred million of our dollars on a survey, and stalled and stalled and stalled, should be ashamed.

Varenyky Ukrainian Dumplings Potato Dumplings Ukrainian Food Sonya Heaney Canberra Australia 9th December 2017

Ukrainian food for the weekend.

It’s nearly Christmas, and I haven’t ever been this disorganised. Everything is late this year!

100 Years Ago

ottoman_surrender_of_jerusalem_restored-ottoman-empire-pows-of-world-war-i-in-jerusalem-ottoman-palestine-1917-mayor-of-jerusalem-hussein-effendi-el-husseini-al-husseini-meeting-

Coming Up for Madeline Hunter

A Devil of a Duke (2018) (The second book in the Decadent Dukes Society series) A novel by Madeline Hunter

Recommended Christmas Read

A Baby for Christmas (Sweet Home Montana Book 2) by Joan Kilby

My review of His Frontier Christmas Family (Frontier Bachelors #7) by Regina Scott

His Frontier Christmas Family (Frontier Bachelors #7) by Regina Scott

My review of Twelve Days in December (Hearthfire Romance #3.5) by Michele Paige Holmes

Twelve Days in December (Hearthfire Romance #3.5) by Michele Paige Holmes

This Cover!

A Time to Give (About the Baby #1) by Kathryn Shay 2005 Harlequin Cover

 

The Week: 6th – 12th November

Canberra Spring Sunset After the Rain Sonya Heaney 6th November 2017 Sky Clouds Nature Tree

Monday sunset after some desperately-needed rain in Canberra.

Flags across the country have been lowered to honour one of Australia's former governors-general, Sir Ninian Stephen, who died on October 29. Parliament House Canberra 8th November 2017

The flag of Australia’s Parliament House, Canberra at half-mast for the funeral of our former Governor-General Ninian Stephen on Wednesday. I took it from the car (the sun reflecting off the metal is a bit distracting!). Flags at all of Canberra’s national monuments were lowered for the occasion.

Spring Roses Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney Sunny Afternoon Blue Sky Pink Flowers Pink Roses 9th October 2017 Garden Natre

The spring roses are out in Canberra.

There are many things I could say this week. However, I will just comment on gymnastics (a sport I won medals in, my brother was on the Olympic squad of, and I later coached). It seems that most US Olympic gymnastics stars for years have been victims of a paedophile/sex abuser. People are saying this is even worse than the stories coming out of Hollywood. It seems so.

Hearing that the champions from the last few Olympics were sexually abused hours before we watched them win medals is… it upset me so much. I hope they get some justice for it.

My review of Hold Her Again by Shannon Stacey

Hold Her Again by Shannon Stacey

My review of Mail-Order Christmas Baby (Montana Courtships #1) by Sherri Shackelford

Mail-Order Christmas Baby (Montana Courtships #1) by Sherri Shackelford

‘We’re told to be grateful we even have readers’

Amazon kindle Ebooks

New Release for Mary Balogh

Someone to Wed (Westcott #3) by Mary Balogh

Melbourne Cup Day

Promises by Cathryn Hein

Remembrance Day

AWM_060483_Australian_21st_Brigade_troops_Ramu_Valley_1943 Soldiers from the Australian 21st Brigade move down from the Finisterre Range into the Ramu Valley 9th November 1943