Monthly Top Ten – March 2020
Where Fortune Lies
1879: ‘Invisible’ Anne Brown fears she’ll never escape the harshness and poverty of her life in County Donegal, Ireland. Until, one heartbreaking Beltane night, her life is changed forever and she leaves to seek her fortune in far-flung Australia.
Upon the death of their father, charismatic Will Worthington and his beloved sister Mari are stunned to find he has left all their money and a ticket to the far shores of Australia to an enigmatic painted woman. It seems their only hope for a brighter future also lies in Australia, where together with Will’s best friend, the artist Charlie Turner, they seek their fortunes.
Charlie finds love with a mysterious exotic dancer, yet there is trouble on the horizon. His new friends up in the Victorian Alps might be teaching him to run with the wild horses and find his talent with a brush at last, but life in a bushranger gang is a dangerous game.
As Charlie struggles to break free from his fate, all four are left with impossible choices as fortunes waver between life and death, loyalty and the heart.
Red Dust Devil
Justine Turner knew she’d become a solicitor the day her childhood friend Nate Kincaid was sentenced to juvenile detention for a crime he did not commit. Fifteen years later, Nate is back in town and JT is more determined than ever to defend him, and not just because of an unrequited crush. But small towns have long memories, and this one is sure Nate is guilty.
Being the town’s black sheep is hard work, but Nate has neglected his sonly duties long enough. Back in town to care for his mother while she heals from a broken arm, it’s not long before Nate discovers her condition is far worse than he expected. His only welcome distraction is JT, the gangly girl he knew from childhood who is now smart, sassy-and entirely kissable.
But everyone is keeping secrets, lies are falling apart, and unrequited love is surfacing–a force strong enough to tame a rebel … or tear a town apart.
The End of Cuthbert Close
Food stylist Cara, corporate lawyer Alex and stay-at-home mum Beth couldn’t be more different. If it wasn’t for the fact they live next door to each other in Cuthbert Close, they’d never have met and bonded over Bundt cake. The Close is an oasis of calm and kindness. The kind of street where kids play cricket together and neighbours pitch in each year for an end of summer party.
But no one’s told Charlie Devine, glamorous wife of online lifestyle guru, The Primal Guy. When she roars straight into the party with her huge removal truck and her teenage daughter with no care or regard for decades-old tradition, the guacamole really hits the fan.
Cara thinks the family just needs time to get used to the village-like atmosphere. Beth wants to give them home cooked meals to help them settle in. Alex, says it’s an act of war. But which one of them is right? Dead guinea pigs, cruelly discarded quiches, missing jewellery, commercial sabotage and errant husbands are just the beginning of a train of disturbing and rapidly escalating events that lead to a shocking climax.
When the truth comes out, will it be the end of Cuthbert Close?
Sweet Texas Fire
Gage Cooper has always wanted a particular piece of family land. Not only for the oil on the property, but to prove to his father that Gage’s past doesn’t define his future. When his dad wills the land to stranger Charlotte Wilkinson and all Gage gets is a mysterious key, he’s determined to do anything to get his rightful inheritance back.
Charlotte Wilkinson never expected to inherit a piece of property in Sweet Ridge, Texas –the Aussie businesswoman is focused on building an environmental analyst career in America. But the moment arrogant oil-man Gage Cooper walks into her office accusing her of seducing his father, all plans for selling the property to him fly out the window.
Then fate threatens to send her back to Australia and the dueling duo are forced to accept a fake marriage to keep their dreams alive. But as they discover common ground, and a surprising chemistry together, suddenly Gage must decide what’s worth more: the land he’s always coveted or a future with Charlotte?
The Rich Boy
I’m the type of girl who’s given up on fairy tales. So when Beck – the hot new busboy at work – starts flirting with me, I know better than to get my hopes up. Happily ever afters aren’t for the average. I learned that the hard way.
But how can I be expected to resist a man who can quote Austen, loves making me laugh, and seems to be everything hot and good in this world?
Only there’s so much more to him than that.
Billionaire playboy? Check.
Troubled soul? Check.
The owner of my heart, the man I’ve moved halfway across the country to be with, who’s laying the world at my feet in order to convince me to never leave? Check. Check. Check.
But nobody does complicated like the one percent.
This is not your everyday rags-to-riches, knight-in-shining armor whisking the poor girl off her feet kind of story. No, this is much messier.
Only Mostly Devastated
When Ollie meets Will over the summer break, he thinks he’s found his Happily Ever After. But once summer’s ended, Will stops texting him back, and Ollie finds himself short of his fairy-tale ending.
A family emergency sees Ollie uprooted and enrolled at a new school across the country – Will’s school – and Ollie finds that the sweet, affectionate and comfortably queer guy he knew from summer isn’t the same one attending Collinswood High. This Will is a class clown, a basketball jock and, well, a bit of a jerk.
Ollie isn’t going to pine after a guy who isn’t ready for a relationship. But as school life repeatedly throws them together, from music class to the lunch table, Ollie finds his resolve weakening.
With the noisy drama of their friends as the backdrop – from ambitious Juliette and frosty Lara, to big-hearted Darnell and king-jock Matt – Ollie has a decision to make.
The last time he gave Will his heart, Will handed it back to him trampled and battered. Ollie would have to be an idiot to trust him with it again. Right?
The Banksia Bay Beach Shack
When Laura discovers an old photo of her grandmother, Lillian, with an intriguing inscription on the back, she heads to the sleepy seaside town of Banksia Bay to learn the truth of Lillian’s past. But when she arrives, Laura finds a community where everyone seems to be hiding something.
Virginia, owner of the iconic Beach Shack café, has kept her past buried for sixty years. As Laura slowly uncovers the tragic fragments of that summer so long ago, Virginia must decide whether to hold on to her secrets or set the truth free.
Young Gigi and Lily come from different worlds but forge an unbreakable bond – the ‘Sisters of Summer’. But in 1961 a chain of events is set off that reaches far into the future. One lie told. One lie to set someone free. One lie that changes the course of so many lives.
Welcome to the Banksia Bay Beach Shack, where first love is found and last chances are taken.
Are you still a liar? The crafting of those five words, even without dispatch, left her chilled.
Arctic Circle, 2012. On a lightless day at the end of the polar winter, landscape architect Evie Waddell finds herself exhuming the past as she buries Australian seeds in a frozen mountain vault – insurance against catastrophe.
Molong, 1953. Catastrophe is all seven-year-old Paddy O’Connor has known. Shipped from institutional care in London to an Australian farm school, his world is a shadowy place where lies scaffold fragile truths and painful memories. To Paddy’s south in Canberra, young Evie is safe in her family’s embrace, yet soon learns there are some paths from which you can’t turn back; impulses and threats that she only half understands but seems to have known forever.
Blue Mountains, 1962. From their first meeting as teenagers at a country market, Paddy and Evie grow a compulsive, unconventional love that spans decades, taking them in directions neither could have foreseen.
The Life She Wants
Fran Reilly has hidden a secret sorrow for the past thirty years. But turning fifty and losing her mother forces her to re-evaluate her future. Returning to her home in Granite Springs, she’s determined to make changes to her well-ordered life. However there are more changes in store than she could ever have imagined.
When Owen Larsen applies for the position as Head of the new School of Music and Drama at the university in Granite Springs, his only concern is to leave the rat race of Sydney and find a more peaceful existence in the country.
Owen is the exact opposite of everything in Fran’s well-ordered world and reminds her of a past she has been at pains to forget. And Owen’s country idyll isn’t proving to be as peaceful as he imagined.
Can these two opposites find common ground and is there a future for them in Granite Springs?
One year ago, my husband left, just when I was at my lowest. Heartbroken and grieving, the prospect of starting again seemed too daunting to consider.
Then I met Blake – a tall, muscular detective with beautiful hazel eyes.
His gaze set me burning with a desire I’d never felt before. I could see how much he wanted me. Hell, I wanted him too. But is it wrong to start a relationship when you know it can never work?
When faced with telling Blake the truth about why we can’t be together, I chose to start a lie, claiming I want nothing more from him than sex, thinking it will save us both from another inevitable heartbreak.
But some truths should never be kept.
Sometimes, the lies we tell to protect ourselves are the ones that come back to hurt us the most.