Tag Archives: Australian Women Writers Challenge

Laughs and home truths abound in the Jewel Sister series

Monique McDonell writes delightful romantic comedies that poke and prod at her Jewels 1 and 2characters’ weaknesses until they ‘fess up and earn the right to their happily ever after. Book 2 in her new series came out on Boxing Day, providing me with perfect holiday reading. I started with Book 1 (not necessarily ‘of course’ in my case) and devoured the two books.

Monique McDonell’s new series is set in the small coastal town of Caudal Bay, Australia and centres around  the Jewel sisters, so named because their loving but OTT mother named them Amethyst, Emerald, Sapphire and Ruby. Yes, really. Just imagine!  And aside from their names they have to deal with each other. Sisters! Sometimes you love ‘em, sometimes you fight with them, but you always want them to get their HEA.

Something of a Spark is book one. I really loved this first story about Saffy (Sapphire) and Cam. Cam is super sexy and just all round nice, while Saffy is complicated and overthinks everything in a totally relatable way. She likes to hide all her talents under the proverbial bushel. Cam, on the other hand, is open about his life, his talents and his not so nice family. Their blooming love story is threatened by Saffy’s determination to hold on to her secrets, as is her family’s unity.  The tension creates a page-turning romance written with Monique McDonell’s trademark humor. This is rom-com at its best.

Book two, Something to Sing About is Ruby’s story. She’s the youngest sister and currently AWW-2018-badge-rosein turmoil. I mean, what would you do if you had a crush on your sister’s best friend  – a crush that has lasted 10 years despite the fact that said sister has strictly forbidden either flings or relationships between her sisters and best friend. Ruby has accepted that country music star Ryan Swan will never break his word to her sister Sapphy, but she’s promised herself one night with the man to treasure. Only now there’s a baby on the way. And said crush (aka lifelong love) lives in Nashville, a looong way from Caudal Bay and her comfortable life. Ruby has to overcome her desire to stay in the shadows to win Ryan, who has to overcome his fear of his past to win Ruby. It’s messy and funny, heartbreaking and heartwarming.

I am loving this series and can’t wait for the next sister’s story, which I am hoping will be Emme’s.

If you like romantic comedy, Monique has another series, The Upper Crust, set in New York. You can find out more about her and her books on her website.

5 hearts all

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Australian Women Writers Challenge 2016

I’ve signed up for this year’s Australian Women Writers Challenge and committed to reading 12 books by, yes you guessed it, 12 Australian Women Writers. In keeping with my passion, I’ll be reviewing 12 romance novels, both contemporary and historical as well as a couple of other sub-genres.

I’m probably preaching to the converted here, but in case you’re not familiar with the romance genre, remember that these are books written by women, about women, for women. It’s a feminist genre and a happy, feel-good one, providing a lovely counter-balance to the sand depressing news which dominates our airwaves.

My policy is to only review books I have enjoyed. Time, space and life are too short to devote time and energy to reviewing books I didn’t like. My aim is to share the books and authors I love in the hope of introducing a new reader to them. Some reviews will be of the paperback edition of a book, some the ebook and some the audiobook. I’m an all formats kind of gal, and I am continually surprised – in a good way – by  how the format changes the reading experience

I am also hoping to find some new authors for myself through the other reviewers participating in the Challenge.

Whatever your reading passion, I wish you a year filled with good books.