My Illustrated Review – Easter Promises: Historical Anthology by Clare Griffin, Sarah Fiddelaers, Ava January, Nancy Cunningham

Easter Promises by Clare Griffin, Sarah Fiddelaers, Ava January, Nancy Cunningham

What a fantastic array of short historical stories! I loved every one and my only complaint was that I wished they were all longer. Well researched and extremely well written – I don’t read a lot of historical but every one of these had me hooked from the start.

Easter Dawn: A beautiful and evocative story set in 1912. I loved how the heroine grew in such a short space of time, and the hero’s motivations were truly heroic and made me love both characters so much more. The descriptions and prose in general used by the author really stood out – an author to watch!

An Easter Lily on the Somme: Set in France, 1916, during wartime. I’m not one to normally read stories set during the war but Nancy really drew me in with her cheeky doctor hero and strong, feisty heroine. I love the strength the heroine showed throughout this story and the romance as these two fell hard and fast. The tension of this was heightened with the wartime setting and was beautifully conveyed. 

Le Malin Renard: France, 1924. Oh the glamour! I particularly loved the inner voice of the heroine in this story (and the cute fox stole angle). This is a period of fashion history which I’m transfixed by so imaging this story in my mind gave it an extra tick from me. It had a real old school Agatha Christie vibe and was superbly clever in the way it was written. 

Eos: Hollywood, 1943, the glamour continues. I adored the heroine in this story – her strength and inner humour really clicked for me and felt so honest for this period of history. This had a real feeling of truth to it. Whilst I was reading I often wondered just which parts were based on fact and what was fiction. It felt a little like I was reading a script from a Hollywood film from this era (or maybe that’s just my obsession with old school Hollywood movies and wishful thinking). 

Each story was vastly different but all featured strong heroines and deserving heroes who stole their hearts. Highly recommended reading. 

Each of the images below are the heroines featured in each story.

My Illustrated Review – His Billionaire Bride by Madeline Ash

Madeline Ash

His Billionaire Bride

Tule Publishing

This is the second book in the Morgan Sisters series and I loved it. It wasn’t a typical billionaire story – there were twists and turns popping up everywhere and I was hooked from the first page.

This was one of those books that turned tropes upside down and did it in such a clever and unique way you’re left wondering how the author pulled it off. Ash’s prose is clever, witty and she paints characters that have such depth I was left in awe. 

Carrie Morgan is a self made billionaire at the top of her game. She presents herself as a hard nosed business women hiding a soft and broken centre. Rarely does she let anyone close but for her sister Emmie, she’ll do almost anything. Even pose in a wedding gown for entrancing artist Edwin Prince. 

Edwin Prince has a complicated past with his family, and all he wants in life is someone to commit to him for who HE is. The intense attraction between these two is palpable and springs off the page. 

It’s a slow burn romance, but every time these two are together you can really feel the connection. At times it was heart wrenching to read and there was phrase after phrase that I went back and re-read because the sentence was just pure perfection. It’s definitely a book that stays with you for weeks after you read it. 

This is a beautifully written unique story and I can’t wait to read more from this author. It’s no surprise to me that she’s a two time RITA award finalist!

The sketches below depict some of my favourite scenes from this book 🙂

My Illustrated Review – The Whisperer’s of Evernow by Heidi Catherine

Heidi Catherine

The Whisperer’s of Evernow

I haven’t read a fantasy series for a while, but this first book has sent me cascading right back down that reading rabbit hole, and I can’t wait for the final book in this series, The Angels of Evernow, which releases 6thNovember. 

The Whisperer’s of Evernow is incredibly unique and I was hooked after one chapter. Jeremiah’s love for his family leads him to take a job with the King, a job that isn’t what it was originally promised to be. Shut off from all he’s known, he’s forced into submission as a Whisperer. His voice cannot be used unless it’s to whisper the King’s wishes. 

Princess Rose is first in line for the throne, except her life is in danger. Her father wants his newborn son to become the next ruler. With the Kings Whisperer’s chanting evil wishes – how could she possibly escape. 

This was an adventure, with plenty of twists and turns (one twist in particular that I totally didn’t see coming, and which made me love the book all the more!). The connection between Rose and Jeremiah was beautiful, and I was cheering for them to overcome all evil in their path. The narration throughout is shared between Jeremiah, Princess Rose and Micah (Jeremiah’s sister). I really enjoyed having those differing viewpoints – they each added a new dimension to the story.

I found Jeremiah to be an incredibly heartfelt and warm hero, whose path was laden with hurt and yet he kept coming back strong. The characters were all wonderfully written and came to life for me. The world building was excellent, and I didn’t want to leave once I reached the final page. 

The sketches below are of Jeremiah, Princess Rose & Jeremiah’s sister – Micah

My Illustrated Review – The Aussie Next Door by Stefanie London

Stefanie London – The Aussie Next Door

Entangled: Amara

Angie Donovan has left America and a past she doesn’t want to think about to come to Australia. Specifically, Patterson’s bluff – where she’s found a home and never wants to leave. Except she has to, her visa is a ticking clock and unless she can find someone to marry her, she’s out. Marriage of convenience isn’t an option, but marriage for love certainly would be. 

Jace Walters grew up knowing he was a little different from the rest of his large and unwieldly family. Settled with a great job creating a successful comic strip and living by himself, the last thing he needs is a distraction in the form of his sexy neighbour, Angie. 

Throw in dog sitting of two delightful dogs, a small town community that welcomes everyone and an obnoxious tight-knit family – well it’s one hell of a book. I literally laughed out loud, multiple times, whilst reading this on a flight to Melbourne. There was a part of me that wanted to hire a car and go searching for Patterson’s bluff the moment I arrived – it felt that real and welcoming. 

This book was the perfect combination of heat and heart and I simply couldn’t put it down. I can’t wait for the next book in the Patterson’s Bluff series. 

Below is my sketch of Jace, Angie, Tilly & Truffle

My Illustrated Review – The One by Kaneana May

The One by Kaneana May


The tagline for this book ‘Fall in love like nobody’s watching’ is just absolutely perfect. 

An insightful look at reality TV, this novel follows three different women, all on different quests for love. 

Darcy is a driven film producer, excellent at her job, with a gorgeous boyfriend. Except producing this season’s, The One, might just bring all of her hard work undone. 

Bonnie has never really gotten over her ex-boyfriend. An ex who is now engaged. To someone else. Will going on The One give her the change she needs to find her true love?

Penelope has moved to a quite seaside town, hoping to leave her old life behind. For personal reasons, she’d really prefer notto know anything about The One, the show everyone is talking about. 

This book is exceptionally written. I loved how all the story lines wove together with the story occurring inside and outside the world of reality TV. All the characters were easy to fall in love with, and I found myself experiencing the highs and lows of each of their emotional journeys. 

A very enjoyable read – I’d highly suggest finding a big block of time to read it. Bite sized reading just doesn’t do it justice 😉 

The below sketches are of Darcy, Bonnie and Penelope. This is Kaneana May’s debut novel and I cannot wait for her next book!

My Illustrated Review – The Three Date Rule by Jillian Jones

Screen Shot 2019-05-03 at 11.13.44 amJillian Jones

The Three Date Rule

A contemporary romance with a twist. Wealthy property entrepreneur, Ryan Jensen, has a chance meeting with single mum, Kate Morgan, only to experience a premonition of their future together as a married couple. It was certainly a unique twist on the meet-cute and was thoroughly enjoyable.

Ryan has a past that has led to trust issues, as well as anxiety/panic attacks around certain situations. He takes his privacy very seriously and has never found anyone he wants to spend his life with, until Kate. His premonitions have never led him wrong in business, so why would they for something as important as this?

Kate’s ex is a wealthy guy used to getting what he wants. The father of her children, he’s done a number on her, and she’s determined that she’ll never let that type of guy into her life again. Her attraction to Ryan is instant, but he’s just another wealthy guy looking for a good time, isn’t he?

This story is lovely, taking the reader on a romantic trip from the Melbourne Cup, to skiing in Switzerland and Christmas markets in Austria. Both Ryan and Kate had many issues to overcome, and it became a real rollercoaster ride of emotions. I liked how to author spun a lot of things around, for e.g. the no sex before the third date – was Ryan’s rule, not Kate’s. It’s a very emotional read, with a lot of depth behind both characters.

This is the first story I’ve read of this author, and I look forward to the release of her next!

Below I’ve sketched a scene from the book which stood out for me, you’ll just have to read the book to work out why 😉

My Illustrated Review – The Problem with Perfect by Megan Mayfair

Screen Shot 2019-03-13 at 12.30.23 pmMegan Mayfair

The Problem with Perfect

Crooked Cat Books

Another enthralling and beautifully written book by author Megan Mayfair.

I was lucky enough to get to beta read this novel, and boy did it have me hooked. I didn’t immediately warm to Marigold in Tangled Vines, but a few chapters into her story, Problem with Perfect, and I loved her (and not just due to her fashion sense).

Marigold Doyle’s life is turned upside down when her husband unexpectedly passes. Missing major details at work, she is put on gardening leave – a fate worse than death for workaholic Marigold – and to top that off she receives a mysterious call about her late husbands’ apartment. An apartment she knows nothing about.

Finn Schröder is a swoon worthy former police officer, who now does private security. An event from his past still haunts him, and he dearly wants to live a simple uncomplicated life. Having done some work for the Doyle empire previously, he is the only person Marigold feels she can contact about her problem. Agreeing to help (and in secret from Marigold’s father) Finn feels conflicted about the situation, especially when real feelings evolve between Marigold and himself.

There are plenty of twists and turns and I was furiously scouring the pages for answers until the very last page. Megan has plotted a delicious slow burn romance, with a strong mystery story line that has both main characters questioning what is most important in life.

Plus, that cover!

Below are two sketches of Marigold Doyle – serious fashionista this one!

My Illustrated Review – Falling for Miss Write by Joanne Dannon

Screen Shot 2019-03-07 at 8.56.57 amJoanne Dannon

Falling for Miss Write

This is the second book in the Bachelor Down Under Series which follows the story of Felix, the brother of the hero in Book 1. Not having read the first book, I still found this easy to follow.

Project Manager Felix Randall has a questionable past and has made a lot of mistakes leading him to this point in his life. He has a loving family, and deeply in love parents. He’s reached a point in his life where he wants to re-build his image and find someone to love, and who will love him in return. A relationship like his parents share. Problem is—everyone knows him as a serial playboy who has slept with half of Melbourne.

Charlotte Glass has known Felix since high school. He’s attractive to be sure, but he’s not the guy for her. Not just because he’s a playboy, but because he is controlling. Having grown up with three brothers ruling her every move, Charlotte doesn’t want to date someone like that. Or does she?

Charlotte works as a barrister/baker at a café and is an aspiring writer. Felix is searching for a new job but feels his only option would be to move to New Zealand where his reputation won’t follow him. Seeing Charlotte again at his brother’s wedding, a mutual attraction begins to simmer between the two. What starts out as a fun couple of dates, becomes a deeper connection as both share their sordid pasts and connect on an emotional and sexual level.

The conflict between these two is clear. They might have similar mistakes in their pasts they aren’t proud of, but both have solid reasons to steer clear of a relationship with the other. I enjoyed Charlottes character; she was strong yet fun and knew her own mind. Being an aspiring writer myself I could feel her struggle with sharing that information with others. Felix’s past was hard to swallow, but the author did a good job on ensuring this topic was explored at length between the characters and they were both very honest with each other creating a stronger relationship at the end.

This story is grittier than the authors previous offerings. What started as a one book story has become a series, and after this book we can look forward to reading Charlotte’s brothers stories!

Below is my sketch of Charlotte:


My Illustrated Review – Forbidden to Want by JC Harroway

Adobe Photoshop PDFJC Harroway

Forbidden to Want

Harlequin Dare

Mia Abbot is a strong, sexy New Zealander, newly arrived in London to complete a promotional film for the Faulkner group. Emotionally scarred when it comes to love, she’s never entertained the idea of a lasting relationship, or any relationship for that matter. Her life is all about freedom, and on her terms.

Billionaire Kit Faulkner is barely living, recovering from the loss of his wife. He does the bare minimum to cope at work, with his two brothers covering for him. Damaged, he finds himself having to work with Mia, a woman who strangely attracts him, yet he knows he shouldn’t even consider.

Forced proximity, and an animal attraction that neither can deny (nor have any issues putting out in the open) lead to a lusty enthralling encounter. It was only meant to be the one time to get it out of their systems, yet neither have.

Kit knows he can’t offer anything more than sex to Mia, even if she’s getting under his skin and into his mind in a way he can’t ignore. Mia’s strength starts to falter as she realises, she’s falling for a man who is still in love with someone else.

I really enjoyed this book. It ticked all the Dare boxes for me, with plenty of glamorous scenes that had me dreaming of London. Plus, that cover!!! I really felt the connection between Mia and Kit, the depth that the author built into their characters was truly beautiful. I loved watching Kit come back from the dark side through his interactions with Mia, and how much be fought to not fall in love. Especially the ending, it was one of those books that left me smiling brightly and sighing with love.

The little glimpses of the brothers in this story have me excited to read the rest of the series!

The two sketches below are of Mia, when she first meets Kit, and then when she’s all dressed up at a 1920’s themed event, looking sinfully sexy.

My Illustrated Review – The Shape of Us by Lisa Ireland

screen shot 2019-01-08 at 11.52.31 am

The Shape of Us by Lisa Ireland

Macmillan Australia

This is a beautiful story about four diverse and very different women who meet and become friends through an online weight loss forum.

Mezz is a Dr., who set aside youthful dreams of travelling and healing the world when she met her husband. Three kids later, she feels like she’s failing at being a mother, wife and is a second-rate doctor. She’s overweight, and tired of how she looks, and worried her husband will stray.

Kat is a childcare educator who will do anything to keep her daughter Ami happy and safe. Her relationship with Ami’s dad is rocky, but she’s sure if she loses her baby weight it will all be fine.

Jewels is happily married, runs a business she loves and is all around fabulous. But to fall pregnant with the baby she desperately wants, she knows she needs to lose weight. A lot of weight.

Ellie’s put her career on the back-burner for love, even moving to another country. But her partner is always busy with work and she’s lonely. The kg’s just keep creeping on and she’s not sure where she’s going in life. What happened to the former version of herself from London?

This book was one of my all-time favourite reads from 2018. The premise really appealed for many reasons, and I was intrigued to read a book about friendship through weight loss.

Except this was SO much more than that. Their journey isn’t about weight loss though it may have started there. It’s about their friendship, their lives, their relationships and their happiness. The author created characters that were so lifelike, and I felt every emotion they did throughout the novel. It was a very relatable and moving novel. (Yes – buy tissues! I cried buckets 🙂 )

The underlying message that happiness can’t be found through loosing weight and one’s appearance was strong, and important. I am a mum to two daughters and ensuring they have a healthy appreciation for living a happy and healthy life is one of my main aims. I want them to be happy within themselves, not based on their weight. I think this is an important topic for females and this book explored it in a thought provoking and sensitive way.

This story showcased how important female friendship is. If you haven’t read it yet, it needs to go on your TBR list. Like now!

Below are my sketches of Mezz, Jewels, Kat and Ellie. These women are beautiful, inside and out.