Book Recommendation – All Made Up by Kara Isaac

Narelle’s Thoughts:

I initially had mixed feelings about reading All Made Up. On the one hand I love Kara Isaac’s writing. I trust her, after reading her first three books, to deliver a great story.

On the other hand I’m really not a fan of reality tv shows. I wasn’t sure if I’d like reading a contemporary Christian romance based around a Bachelor-style reality tv show.

Kat is an internationally renowned make up artist who has won an Oscar for her work in film. She’s in a tight financial situation and agrees to work behind the scenes of an Australian reality tv show that’s set in a Sydney mansion. Kat is stunned to discover the handsome farmer bachelor is Caleb, her first love who broke her heart when he abruptly ended their relationship.

Caleb is a farmer from Toowoomba in Queensland. His mother secretly sent in an audition tape because she wanted to see her son happy and married and settled on the family farm.

When Caleb is chosen at the last minute to be the bachelor, he feels compelled to do it to please his mother who is struggling with major health issues.

The producers quickly regret choosing Caleb because he’s terrible on camera and a potential financial disaster for the show. Caleb is awkward and uncomfortable around the large number of physically beautiful and scantily clad young women who are living in the mansion and competing for his attention and affection.

When Cat is directed by her boss to fill in as a contestant on the show, she grits her teeth and does her best to survive the circus that ensues. The whole set up is both humorous and sleazy, and I totally understood why Caleb hated his time at the mansion.

The first fifteen percent of the book was, at times, a bit icky to read. If I wasn’t a fan of the author, and if I didn’t trust her to deliver a great story, I probably would have tossed the book during those early chapters. The thought of reading an entire book set in the mansion was not appealing.

I’m glad I persevered with the story and kept reading. By the twenty percent mark the story had really picked up and was motoring along. There’s a big twist in the story that takes the tv show in a different direction and forces Cat and Caleb to confront their past.

In typical Kara Isaac style, the big secret reveal toward the end of the book is heartbreaking. Cat and Caleb reassess their faith and values and beliefs as they make tough decisions.

Fans of The Bachelor will love this romance story that provides a rare happy ending for a reality tv couple. Readers who you couldn’t pay to watch a reality tv dating show may struggle with the early chapters, but I encourage them to keep reading and journey with Cat and Caleb on their fun and humorous roller coaster ride to true love.

Book Recommendation – Snowy Summer by Patricia Weerakoon

Book Description:

Annie Samarasinghe has it all together.

Beautiful and brilliant, she has a medical career in Sydney and a fiancé in Sri Lanka.

But on the week of her wedding to childhood-sweetheart Sunil, Annie uncovers the shattering truth behind the façade of his business.

Forced to hide out in the Snowy Mountains, Annie changes her name and her story. When she meets the brusque and arrogant Roy Broughton-Knight, she discovers she’s not the only one hiding secrets. But the more she gets to know Roy, the closer Sunil comes to finding her.

Against the stunning backdrops of Sri Lanka and the Snowy Mountains, Annie and Roy learn to face the betrayals in their pasts and fight their fears. But how will they embrace the possibilities of a future?

Narelle’s Thoughts:

I enjoyed reading Snowy Summer, and I loved the cross-cultural aspects of the story. The story opens in the sleepy Snowy Mountains town of Jindabyne, Australia, where Annie meets Roy at a masquerade party.

Annie is attracted to Roy, despite being betrothed in an arranged marriage to Sunil. Sunil is her childhood best friend in Sri Lanka who she hasn’t seen for many years. We journey with Annie back to her home country, and experience her angst when her dream of a life married to Sunil in Sri Lanka is shattered.

Annie’s world is turned upside down and her life is in danger. She escapes Sri Lanka and returns to Australia to start over as Dr. Sheva, the new doctor at a small Jindabyne medical centre.

Roy is a carefree playboy from Sydney, Australia, who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He’s now hiding from the world on his family’s alpaca farm near Jindabyne, and he has a few secrets of his own. The women in his life have let him down. He’s slow to trust and wary of love.

Roy meets Sheva at the medical centre, and she reminds him of Annie. He can’t forget Annie and their chance encounter at the masquerade party. He’s attracted to Sheva, but he’s respectful of her cultural background and her faith that underpins her desire to wait for marriage. Sheva’s close friendship with the park ranger, Dan, ignites Roy’s jealousy and curiosity about Sheva’s past.

Snowy Summer is an action-packed contemporary Christian romantic adventure story with medical themes. It’s a more edgy read than the typical Christian romance, and possibly too edgy for more conservative readers.

Annie has trained as a surgeon, and she thinks about the human body in a more clinical way than the average person. Anatomical terminology that’s not usually mentioned in Christian romances is included the story.

The author is a retired Sexologist. She portrays the attraction between Sheva and Roy, and their thoughts about each other, in a realistic rather than euphemistic manner. There are situations in the story that definitely push the Christian romance genre boundaries.

I recommend Snowy Summer to romance readers who appreciate cultural diversity and are looking for a contemporary Christian romance that deals with real life issues. The blend of Aussie and Sri Lankan culture, and the stunning settings, was a highlight for me. I enjoyed visiting familiar places in Australia and learning more about Sri Lanka.

Introducing La Risposta: The Answer (A Tuscan Legacy Book 9) by Autumn Macarthur

Happy Release Day! Book 9, the final book in A Tuscan Legacy series, releases today!

—- La Risposta: The Answer by Autumn Macarthur —-

Available on Amazon Kindle for 99 cents (a limited time special deal)

Read for FREE in Kindle Unlimited.

Book Description for La Riposta:

Can faith and forgiveness save their crumbling marriage?

When the harvest celebrations and a family wedding bring the eight cousins back to the the villa at summer’s end, along with their new beloveds, the final secrets are revealed.

But can they be forgiven, healing old wounds and mending broken hearts, or will the mistakes of the past be repeated?

The future of a marriage about to end messily depends on the answer!

This nine-book Christian romance series from seven of your favorite authors releases from April 2018. La Risposta (this book) is a complete romance in itself, as well as completing the series.

Read a FREE sample at Amazon.com

Introducing Dolce Vita: Sweet Life (A Tuscan Legacy Book 8) by Autumn Macarthur

Happy Release Day! Book 8 in A Tuscan Legacy series releases today!

—- Dolce Vita: Sweet Life by Autumn Macarthur —-

Available on Amazon Kindle for 99 cents (a limited time special deal)

Read for FREE in Kindle Unlimited.

Book Description for Dolce Vita:

La dolce vita, a sweeter life of love, awaits Rachel. But can she accept it?

Rachel Golding loves her uncomplicated life in Wales. Teaching art, a close-knit group of friends, and a strong and loving bond with her mother. But the trip to Italy to meet her Italian grandmother for the first time stirs unwelcome emotions — reluctance to forgive Nonna for a lifetime of rejection, and longing to know more about the father who died before her birth. Between her cousin’s accusation she sent a series of mysterious unsigned paintings to get revenge on the family, her mother’s wedding, and her realization she feels way more than she should for her best friend Jonathan, Rachel’s carefully planned life is spiraling out of control.

Always ready for adventure, especially with the woman he loves, Jonathan Davies gladly accompanies Rach on an impulsive return journey to Tuscany. Okay, so he also hopes the time together might give him the chance to tell her how he really feels. But now she needs his friendship and support more than ever, revealing his love is a risk he dare not take. Not without some sign she wants more. A sign she may never give.

In the haze of a sunflower summer, can Rachel learn to surrender her hurts and fears to God and so embrace the life He intends for her? La dolce vita, a sweeter life of love.

This nine-book Christian romance series from seven of your favorite authors releases weekly from April 2018. Look out for the final novella in the series – Book 9 – La Risposta: The Answer.

Read a FREE sample of Dolce Vita on Amazon Kindle – Read for FREE in Kindle Unlimited

Celebrating #NewRelease – Solo Tu: Only You (A Tuscan Legacy Book 7)

Happy Release Day! I’m excited that my tenth book, Solo Tu (A Tuscan Legacy Book 7), is now available on Amazon Kindle! The print edition is coming soon to Amazon.

In seven hours (5pm Tuesday – Eastern USA time zone, 7am Wednesday – Sydney/Melbourne Australia time zone) I’m hosting a two hour Facebook Party in A Tuscan Legacy Readers Group. Stop by to join in the fun and win prizes.

This week I’m also giving away a print copy of Solo Tu at the International Christian Fiction Writers blog.

Book Description for Solo Tu:

Home means everything to Sienna Rossi.

Four years ago, Sienna defied her father by moving to Australia to obtain her teaching qualifications. Her grand plan is shaken by her father’s unexpected death and a trip back to Tuscany for her grandmother’s eightieth birthday where she renews her close bond with her sister, Alessa.

Teacher Dave Maxwell likes the freedom of his nomadic lifestyle. He works contract-to-contract, moving to different high schools around Australia. He’s in Sydney for a season, caring for his grandma while his aunt is on an extended overseas vacation.

Back in Sydney, Sienna moves in with her Aussie cousins and starts her first teaching job, torn between her dream for a future in Australia and her longing for home. Sienna and Dave work at the same school, attend the same church, and quickly become friends. They are drawn together by circumstances and an undeniable attraction.

But their idyllic time together is temporary. Can the girl from Tuscany and the boy from Australia risk everything for love?

This nine-book Christian romance series from seven of your favorite authors releases weekly from April 2018. Look out for Book 8 in the series, Dolce Vita!

Read a FREE sample of Solo Tu on Amazon Kindle – Read for FREE in Kindle Unlimited

Introducing Bella Notte: Beautiful Night (A Tuscan Legacy Book 6) by Heather Gray

Happy Release Day! Book 6 in A Tuscan Legacy series releases today!

—- Bella Notte: Beautiful Night by Heather Gray —-

Available on Amazon Kindle for 99 cents (a limited time special deal)

Read for FREE in Kindle Unlimited.

Book Description for Bella Notte:

He likes to play the field. She’s content to wear her goody two shoes.

Piero Carter packs light and travels often. He loves adventure and manages to keep his life simple by sticking to a two-dates-only rule. The longest relationship he’s had — aside from family — is with his camera. As a photographer who works primarily with fashion, he’s used to having his pick of beautiful women who want to be seen by his side.

Felicity von Wolff is a makeup artist whose job takes her around the world. That’s all the adventure she craves. She has little use for Piero the Playboy. Being seen on his arm means getting tied to his reputation, and that’s the last thing she wants. Yet, somehow, they keep getting thrown together. What’s a girl to do?

Piero finally meets a woman who makes him want more than two dates, but does that mean he’s ready for one of life’s greatest adventures — falling in love? When Felicity peeks over the wall she’s built to protect herself, she discovers there’s more to the people around her than she ever realized. What will it take for Piero and Felicity to stop hiding from life and open their eyes to the rich beauty God has in store for them?

This nine-book Christian romance series from seven of your favorite authors releases weekly from April 2018. Look out for Book #7 in the series, Solo Tu!

Read a FREE sample of Bella Notte on Amazon Kindle – Read for FREE in Kindle Unlimited

Introducing La Fiamma Sacra: The Sacred Flame (A Tuscan Legacy Book 5) by Clare Revell

Happy Release Day! Book 5 in A Tuscan Legacy series releases today!

—- La Fiamma Sacra: The Sacred Flame by Clare Revell —-

Available on Amazon Kindle for 99 cents (a limited time special deal)

Read for FREE in Kindle Unlimited.

Book Description for La Fiamma Sacra:

Forged in love’s sacred flame, can a firefighter and a widow find the path God set for them?

Ric Rossi left the family farm in Tuscany and never looked back. Working as a firefighter in Reading, England, he has everything a man could ask for—a secure job, a firm faith, and a neighbour who cares for his cat Noci when he goes away. The only thing missing is a woman he can share his life with.

Widowed when her son Deforest was a week old, Bracken Hughes isn’t prepared to open herself to the heartache a relationship can bring. Especially with her handsome neighbour who risks his life each time he leaves for work. No matter how good the man is with her son.

Ric finds Deforest to be an appealing child who captures his interest. And the mother has that certain something that pricks his heart. But the unhealed wound in Ric’s soul might just spoil any chance he has at love.

This nine-book Christian romance series from seven of your favorite authors releases weekly from April 2018. Look out for Book 6 in the series, Bella Notte!

Read a FREE sample of La Fiamma Sacra on Amazon Kindle – Read for FREE in Kindle Unlimited

Introducing Ti Amo: I Love You (A Tuscan Legacy Book 4) by Marion Ueckermann

Happy Release Day! Book 4 in A Tuscan Legacy series releases today!

—- Ti Amo: I Love You: by Marion Ueckermann —-

Available on Amazon Kindle for 99 cents (a limited time special deal)

Read for FREE in Kindle Unlimited.

Book Description for Ti Amo:

She never wants to get married. He does. To her.

The day Alessandra Rossi was born, her mammà died, and a loveless life with the father who blamed the newborn for her mother’s death followed. With the help of her oldest brother, Rafaele, Alessa moved away from home the moment she finished school—just like her other siblings had. Now sporting a degree in Architectural History and Archaeology, Alessa loves her job as a tour guide in the city of Rome—a place where she never fails to draw the attention of men. Not that Alessa cares. Fear that the man she weds would be anything like her recently deceased father has Alessa vowing to remain single.

American missionary Michael Young has moved to Rome on a two-year mission trip. His temporary future in the country doesn’t stop him from spontaneously joining Alessa’s tour after spotting her outside the Colosseum. And being bold enough to tell her afterward that one day she’d be his wife. God had told him. And he believed Him. But Alessa shows no sign of interest in Michael.

Can anything sway the beautiful and headstrong Italian to fall in love? Can anyone convince her to put her faith and hope in a Heavenly father, despite being raised by an earthly one who never loved her? Will her sister’s prompting, or a mysterious painting, or Michael himself change Alessa’s mind? About love. And about God.

This nine-book Christian romance series from seven of your favorite authors releases weekly from April 2018. Look out for Book 5 in the series, La Fiamma Sacra!

Read a FREE sample of Ti Amo on Amazon Kindle – Read for FREE on Kindle Unlimited 

Book Recommendation – Luna Rosa: Blushing Moon by Elizabeth Maddrey

Book Description:

She loves the spotlight, he prefers backstage. Can they still play love’s duet?

Nick Carter’s career as a piano tuner and teacher keeps him off-stage and allows him plenty of time to compose music he has no intention of ever publishing. Enter Louisiana Chalfant, the new symphony pianist who embodies the word diva. She’s exactly the kind of woman Nick has vowed to avoid, but when they’re cajoled into playing a duet he finds there’s more to her than he first thought.

Louisiana settles into her temporary role with the symphony in Washington, D.C., glad for the reprieve from touring professionally. She’s astonished to discover immense talent in the handsome man who keeps her piano in tune. Practicing for a duet at church gives her the perfect opportunity to get to know the real Nick.

As they play together, Nick and Louisiana develop a friendship that begins to morph into something more, but what happens when their diverging goals threaten to upstage their love?

This nine-book Christian romance series from seven of your favorite authors releases weekly from April 2018. Look out for Book 3 in the series, Rapsodia.

Narelle’s Thoughts:

I loved reading Luna Rosa and exploring Washington D.C. with Nick and Louisiana. Their first meeting is awkward and Louisiana soon realizes that Nick is her opposite. She has built a successful career and chases after her dreams without fear of failure.

Nick’s music is very personal and his compositions are from the heart. He teaches piano lessons and tunes pianos and hides away his musical compositions. If he doesn’t share his music with the world, he can’t be rejected and he can’t fail.

Louisiana’s go-getter approach to life challenges Nick to step outside his comfort zone. Their friendship evolves into a heartwarming and fun romance. Louisiana’s southern charm and enthusiasm for life is contagious and she works hard to draw out the real Nick.

Nick’s twin is the globe trotting Piero (Piero’s romance story is Bella Notte, Book 5). In Luna Rosa we gain an insight into the American branch of the Rossi family. The next book in the series, Rapsodia, features the romance of Nick’s older brother, Marco, in their home state of Texas. I highly recommend Luna Rosa to readers who enjoy contemporary romance.

Full disclosure: I enjoyed writing Sienna’s story (Solo Tu, Book 7) for A Tuscan Legacy and becoming immersed in the Tuscan Legacy story world. Learn more about the series set up and the family mystery by reading my book recommendation for That’s Amore (Book 1). 

Read a FREE sample of Luna Rosa on Amazon Kindle – Read for FREE in Kindle Unlimited

Introducing Rapsodia: Rhapsody (A Tuscan Legacy Book 3) by Alexa Verde

Happy Release Day! Book 3 in A Tuscan Legacy series releases today!

—- Rapsodia: Rhapsody by Alexa Verde —-

Available on Amazon Kindle for 99 cents (a limited time special deal)

Read for FREE in Kindle Unlimited.

Book Description for Rapsodia:

A risk taker with a crushed spirit and a control-addicted businessman with a crushed heart… Can they surrender themselves to God’s healing love?

After the woman he loved left him for a richer guy, Marco Carter turned all his passion toward the chain of pizzerias he founded. He can control his business, unlike love. Then his world is turned upside down. He meets Samantha Jenkins on his flight home to Texas after his grandmother’s eightieth birthday. Many hours with the guarded but beautiful Samantha has him questioning his career-centered mindset.

A born risk taker and fiercely independent, Samantha misses her former life as a travel photographer and extreme sports aficionado. But more than anything, she grieves her fiancé. On her trip from Italy on the anniversary of his tragic passing, the last thing she expects is to become drawn to her neighbor on her flight. Deep inside, she still blames herself for her fiancé’s death…

Though Marco is determined to forget Samantha, the arrival of a mysterious painting reminds him of all that is missing in his life. Hoping for a new chance with her, Marco opens a pizzeria in Samantha’s hometown in south Texas. Spending time with her, he’s learning to surrender control to the Lord. But apparently it’s easier to earn millions than to make Samantha open her heart again. What will it take for her to heal enough to trust in God and take the biggest risk of all-to love again?

This nine-book Christian romance series from seven of your favorite authors releases weekly from April 2018. Look out for Book 4 in the series, Ti Amo!

Read a FREE sample of Rapsodia on Amazon Kindle – Read for FREE in Kindle Unlimited