With Christmas but a distant memory and the ‘new year, new me’ mantras now almost put to rest for another 365 days, it’s time to start thinking ahead to more important matters… for example what we’ll be reading this year! We’ve made a list of the 17 books we’re most looking forward to and the stories we think you’ll be most excited about in 2017. So, in no particular order here’s our 17 Must-Read Novels for 2017.
The Dangers of Truffle Hunting
Is life too short to play it safe?
Kit Gossard’s life is neatly mapped out. A secure photographic job. A partner ready to commit. A wedding in the family vineyard for her mother to preside over.
So why the apprehension? Why a hunger for something … more?
Then someone new appears. Earthy, reserved, magnetic, this new man brings out feelings she has long suppressed, and suddenly Kit can’t contain her simmering discontent.
Black truffle hunting, illicit pastry lessons, vine fruit on flesh Kit is seduced.
It feels right. Before it all goes wrong.
Artful, sexy, sophisticated, The Dangers Of Truffle Hunting explores how a man can be more to a woman than a destination.
The Scandalous Life of Sasha Torte
Revenge, redemption … and pastry. The witty new novel from the author of Hotel du Barry, for fans of Jonas Jonasson.
In the winter of 1912 on the wild West Coast of Tasmania, Wolfftown’s most notorious heiress and murderess, Sasha Torte, tells the tale of her own spectacular downfall.
Forsaken by her parents and raised by criminals and reprobates, Sasha becomes a world-famous pastry chef at the tender age of seventeen. Entanglement with the disreputable Dasher brothers leads to love, but also to a dangerous addiction.
Behind bars in Wolfftown’s gaol, Sasha sips premium champagne as she recalls a life of seduction, betrayal, ghosts, opium and an indiscreet quantity of confectionary – and plots her escape.
The Scandalous Life of Sasha Torte is a wild romp of dastardly deeds, intrepid protagonists, dark villains, wild gangs, luxurious hotels … and mouth-watering treats.
The Scent of You
Perfume blogger Polly is in crisis. Will her husband’s absence break her … or make her? A novel of perfumes, exploring life, love, loss and forgiveness – Maggie Alderson’s new bestseller.
On New Year’s Eve, Polly Mackay is contemplating her life. She had been happily married with two grown-up children, a thriving business as a perfume blogger, and a glamorous, ageing, ex-model mother who keeps things … interesting. But when her husband announced that he needed time away from her and promptly vanished, everything she took for granted was thrown into disarray.
As Polly grapples with David’s disappearance she clings to a few new friends to keep her going. Shirlee, the loud-mouthed yoga student; Guy, the mysterious, infuriating and hugely talented perfumer; and Edward, an old friend from university, who sparks a new sense of possibility …
But while she distracts herself with the heady world of luxury perfume, she can’t keep reality at bay forever, and eventually she is forced to confront some difficult truths – about her husband, about herself, and about who she really wants to be.
Greer O’Reilly needs to start over. Her professional success belies private sadness and domestic overload. She’s torn between her career and motherhood. Her partner of twelve years has left her. And up ahead is her new home – a beautiful though neglected blueberry orchard in the hills of north-east Victoria.
But when she and her six-year-old daughter Sophie arrive at the property to take possession, there’s an unforeseen complication – the former owner, 81-year-old artist and jazz lover Charlie Chandler, refuses to move out. Charlie is dying and desperate to spend his last days in his old home.
With Greer at the beginning of her new life, and Charlie at the end of his, the unlikely pair soon form a close bond. One that will offer the strength and inspiration Greer needs – because the next twelve months will either make or break her . . .
Heart of the Sky
A year after a tragic accident changed her life forever, Tess Daley is in desperate need of a change. When she is offered a position with the Flying Doctor Service, she seizes the opportunity to make a fresh start. Yet once she arrives in remote Mica Ridge she feels like an outsider, unable to connect with her patients and unsure if she’ll ever fit in with this outback community.
Station owner Soretta Byrnes has grown to love the company and chaos that comes with living in a house filled with boarders. So with tenants moving out and bills piling up, it’s a welcome relief to have Tess and new pilot Charlie Fennes arriving in town and looking for somewhere to stay.
As they share life’s triumphs and challenges, it isn’t long before everyone at the station feels like family. But Charlie has yet to reveal his motive for coming to Mica Ridge and his secret will change the life of someone in the house forever …
Dear Banjo is the friends-to-lovers story of Willow and Tom, raised on neighbouring cattle stations in North Western Australia. For years they played, studied and planned together, certain that one day they would combine their families’ stations and make their vision of sustainable farming a reality. Willow was so dedicated to their dream that, at 15, she made Tom promise never to endanger it by screwing up their friendship. He didn’t realise the promise meant they weren’t allowed to fall in love. For him, it was already way too late. Now 28, Willow Patterson is working at a city university when she gets the call from the farm: we need you. It’s time for her to put her plans into action. But that means it’s also time to face Tom Forrest, the man she’s refused to speak to for ten long years.
Who’s Afraid Too
Tommi Grayson: all bark, all bite . . . and now she’s BACK!
After the sh*t show that was her family reunion, Tommi needed to get gone. She’s spent the last few weeks trying to understand her heritage – the one that comes with a side order of fur as well as her Maori history and how she can connect to it.
But she can only escape for so long – when an unspeakable evil, thought long destroyed, returns, Tommi needs every bit of the skills she’s learned. With the help of allies both old and new, she’s going to take the fight to the enemy . . .
Her Mother’s Secret
1918, England. Armistice Day should bring peace into Leonora’s life. Rather than secretly making cosmetics in her father’s chemist shop to sell to army nurses such as Joan, her adventurous Australian friend, Leo hopes to now display her wares openly. Instead, Spanish flu arrives in the village, claiming her father’s life. Determined to start over, she boards a ship to New York City. On the way she meets debonair department store heir Everett Forsyth . . . In Manhattan, Leo works hard to make her cosmetics dream come true, but she’s a woman alone with a small salary and a society that deems make-up scandalous.
1949, New York City. Everett’s daughter, Alice, a promising ballerina, receives a mysterious letter inviting her to star in a series of advertisements for a cosmetics line. If she accepts she will be immortalized like dancers such as Zelda Fitzgerald, Josephine Baker and Ginger Rogers. Why, then, are her parents so quick to forbid it?
HER MOTHER’S SECRET is the story of a brave young woman chasing a dream in the face of society’s disapproval.
Remind Me How This Ends
Milo was a discoloured memory with blurred edges and a washed-out palette. Yet five minutes with him and everything came back to me in an instant.
Layla Montgomery’s life fell apart at thirteen. After her mum died in a shock accident, Layla’s grieving father packed their bags and forced her to leave behind everything she’d ever known.
Milo Dark has been stuck on pause since the Year 12 exams. His long-term girlfriend moved 300 kilometres away for uni, his mates bailed for bigger things, and he’s convinced he missed the reminder to plan out the rest of his life.
As kids, Layla and Milo shared everything – their secrets, a treehouse and weekends at the river. But they haven’t spoken since her mum’s funeral. That is, until Layla shows up five years later in his parents’ bookshop without so much as a text message.
Pretty soon they’re drawn into a tangled mess that guarantees someone will get hurt. And while it’s a summer they’ll never forget, is it one they’ll want to remember?
A boy-meets-girl-again story from the award-winning author of The Intern and Faking It.
The Paris Wedding
Ten years ago, Rachael gave up the love of her life. Now, he’s marrying someone else. In Paris.
The Paris Wedding is the story of Rachael West, who stayed on her family property to care for mother rather than follow her love, Matthew to Sydney. Ten years later after her mother’s sudden death, she unexpectedly receives an invitation to Matthew’s wedding. Initially against the idea of attending, she eventually decides to go, if only to convince herself that she is over him once and for all.
She doesn’t count on what happens when she sees him again, nor on the other turns the city of light and love has for her. After this week, nothing will be the same again.
Lili St Germain
People aren’t born monsters.
They’re made that way.
They’re created, fuelled by one singular moment in time when their universe shatters.
I’d been with Dornan Ross for the better part of a decade. Slept in his bed, sewn up his wounds, tasted his blood, seen inside his soul.
But even I wasn’t prepared for what he did.
I should have known it would always come down to this, from the very moment I laid eyes on him in that motel.
I should have known his salvation was too good to be true.
Because it’s all gone now, the impossible love I had for him bleeding away in the darkness that came afterward.
Now there’s only hate.
Now I just want to escape.
Even if it means I have to kill him to be free.
Before the Gypsy Brothers series there was the Cartel– from USA Today bestselling author Lili St Germain.
The Florentine Bridge
Full of heart and hope, The Florentine Bridge is a tear-jerking read for those looking for an Under the Tuscan Sun-inspired setting.
Nineteen-year-old aspiring artist Mia Moretti has been cancer free for nine months. Her battle with the illness has taken its toll on her, leaving her severely depressed and tormented by an overwhelming fear of dying. Inspired to make a fresh start, Mia decides to move to Tuscany to pursue a simpler life where she can, with any luck, find the motivation she needs to paint again.
What she doesn’t count on is meeting Luca, a handsome Italian mechanic who sweeps her off her feet. As Mia slowly lets down her walls and allows Luca in, her passion for life is reignited, and her new perspective begins to inspire her art. But just when she’s ready to let go of her past, a tragedy dredges up all the anxieties she’s worked so hard to overcome and threatens her budding relationship with Luca.
The French Perfumer
‘Shorthand typist required by English speaker in the South of France. Live-in, full board plus salary commensurate with experience.’
Iris Turner, an unworldly young Englishwoman, arrives in the French Riviera to take up a secretarial role for the mysterious Hammond Brooke. Living in a small, exclusive hotel among eccentric and unpredictable aristocrats and struggling to gain her employer’s trust, she soon realises that nothing is as it seems.
Initiated into the mysterious world of perfume, she finds herself entangled in a web of intrigue and deception. Gradually discovering the truth, she gains a new understanding of the meaning of love, loyalty and betrayal.
By the bestselling author of The Olive Sisters, this is a captivating and evocative novel full of surprising twists and turns.
On duty during London’s Blitz…
As death and destruction fall from the skies day after day in the London Blitz, Australian ambulance driver, Lily Brennan, confronts the horror with bravery, intelligence, common sense and humour.
Although she must rely upon her colleagues to carry out her dangerous duties, Lily begins to suspect that someone at her Ambulance Station may be giving assistance to the enemy by disclosing secret information. Then her Jewish ambulance attendant and best friend, David Levy, disappears in suspicious circumstances. Aided, and sometimes hindered, by David’s school friend, a mysterious and attractive RAF pilot, Lily has to draw on all of her resources to find David but also negotiate the dangers that come from falling in love in a country far from home and in a time of war.
Beneath the Parisian Skies
In the City of Light, one woman must confront her fears about love and loss before she can step into a brighter future. . .
Lily Johansson has returned to Paris, the city that broke her heart and destroyed her ballet career, with two goals in mind: to overcome the grief surrounding her fiancé’s death, and to make amends with her estranged sister, Natalie, also a ballerina. When she meets charming composer Yves Rousseau, he convinces her she has a third mission—as his muse. . .
Struggling to finish a score about an infamous dancer with the Ballets Russes in 1917, Yves believes Lily is destined to help him. Despite her resistance, she is swept once more into the exhilarating arms of the dance—and into Yves’ passionate embrace. When her sister is cast as the ballerina from the Ballets Russes and begins to imitate her tragic life, she soon goes missing. Now Lily and Yves must set out to find her—and along the way face their own demons, while also discovering that art, like love, should not be abandoned so easily . . .
The Traitor’s Girl
‘I think I’m in danger. It’s a matter of some urgency. You must please come at once.’
After receiving a mysterious summons from her long-lost grandmother, Australian teacher Annabel Logan agrees to visit her home in the Cotswolds. But when she arrives at the magnificent Beechwood Hall, it appears abandoned and the local villagers have no idea where the reclusive Caroline Banks might be.
The one person who might know something is enigmatic journalist Simon Colepeper. He reveals that Caroline Banks was once known as Carrie Granger. A socialite’s daughter, Carrie became a spy and agent provocateur for MI5 during the second world war. But when British intelligence failed to investigate a dangerous traitor, she decided to take matters into her own hands …
Concerned that her grandmother’s secret past has caught up with her, Annabel stays on to investigate. But the more she uncovers, the more difficult it becomes to know who to trust. There are strange incidents occurring at Beechwood and Annabel must use all her ingenuity and daring to find Carrie before it’s too late.
From the streets of Seville, Paris and London in the thirties and forties, to the modern English countryside The Traitor’s Girl is a captivating story of passion, intrigue and betrayal.
The Hot Guy
Mel Campbell and Tony Morris
Meet Cate. She’s a fun-loving sports publicist who can crack a joke about almost any situation. But a failed relationship with a humourless snob has left Cate’s self-esteem at rock bottom. That’s when her friends tell her about a special kind of pick-me-up. At the right bar, on the right night, she’ll find the “Hot Guy” – a sexy super-stud who’ll give her the confidence-boosting time of her life. But Cate’s friends warn her: try to hold onto the Hot Guy, and she’s going to get burned.
Meet Adam. He’s a serious cinema nerd who’s moved to the big city to chase his dream of being a film director. People sure are friendly here – but Adam can’t figure out why they stare at him everywhere he goes. Or why the women he meets never stick around longer than one night.
When Cate and Adam get together, sparks fly. But everyone’s telling them lust doesn’t last. Will Cate ever see Adam as a person, not just an atomic babe? Why would Adam even want to settle down? Then an unsettling encounter with a sinister all-female cabal known as the League of Icarus makes Cate realise she’s not the only woman gunning for the Hot Guy…
Packed with screwball dialogue, absurdist humour and cheap digs at Australian cinema, The Hot Guy is a sharp and sassy romantic comedy that’s not afraid to take a long, hard look at a seriously gorgeous dude.
Editor’s Picks (because we just couldn’t stop at 17!):
Talk of the Town by Rachael Johns
Angel’s Share by Kayte Nunn
Lake Hill by Margareta Osborn
Kimberley Diamond by Annie Seaton
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