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Lesley Mac

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Another excellent Aussie story.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-10-2020

Rachel Johns has done it again. Another excellent story, based around a family of 4 very different sisters, but involving some lovely romance as well. The sensitive subject of problems with conceiving a baby are dealt with in a beautiful, compassionate way but the fictitious Patterson sister’s delightful story is about more than pregnancy. Highly recommend.

Oh Willow, Willow, Willow! To cruel!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-09-2020

In my whole history of reading /listening to romance novels, I don’t think I have ever come across a more hopeless female half of a couple than Willow (Banjo) Paterson. It took me quite a while to decide whether I even liked her because she had been so unspeakably cruel to Tom Forrest, her best friend from early childhood. I won’t go into the details of the novel; it would take too long to write about the disaster that is Willow and Tom's relationship but i will say how fascinating the look into life on two neighboring cattle stations in outback WA is. It is even more interesting than what one would expect because Willow is determined to have her family's property eventually registered as a sustainable organic cattle station. This is a very long and frustrating process, particularly as she has to battle against her father's scepticism and a prejudiced and dishonest assistant manager who openly scoffs at her efforts and rails against her methods. Ultimately, Dear Banjo is a rural romance, that, though slow to take off, eventually becomes a sweet read that if nothing else, shows the power of love in the face of repeated rejection Olivia Beardsley is an ok narrator, but she cannot do male voices. There were occasions when a whole stream of dialogue between Willow and Tom, is being narrated, i became lost as to whether he said, or she said.

Magnificent Australia! 🇦🇺

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 30-08-2020

Brilliant book, so enjoyable. The two main characters, Emma and Jeremy, both doctors are very likeable and their love story goes way back to when they were at university together. An unexpected death and Jeremy's scheming mother are the readon's they were not together at the beginning of the book. There reunion was lovely. Another wonderful thing you will get if you decide to read Daintree is the vivid picture Annie Seaton paints with words, this magnificent part of Australia 🇦🇺 that most of us will never actually see. However, you will feel you are there, so striking are her descriptions. I wish I could go there but I know the heat and humidity would kill me! I take my hat off to the inhabitants of the top end of Queensland; I honestly do not know how you do it! Olivia Beardsley does an okay job with the narration but her characters all pretty much sound the same. 🙁

Great cast of characters.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 29-08-2020

Man Drought is an entertaining story with a lovely heroine and a swoon worthy hero. Imogen and Drew are attracted to each other right from their first meeting but Imogen is still in mourning for her dead husband (it’s been three years) and Gibson is divorced and is determined not to be burnt a second time. The underlying sexual tension explodes in a passionate encounter in a far from romantic location and both eventually decide that they are better off just being friends. It’s a rocky road to an eventual union for the two main characters and they are backed up by a truely brilliant cast of characters, especially Charlie, Gibson's grandfather. There is a flatness to Casey Withoos's delivery and all the characters, male and female, have the same voice. The chapter breaks feel like they are going to last forever and when she does begin to speak again, she takes a great breath which is clearly audible and becomes very annoying after a while. Still, I have heard much, much worse. A great story that is worth a listen to.

Life and growing love in a harsh environment.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 18-08-2020

Tracking North is a vivid picture of the larger than life people who live in the far north of Australia where just the thought of the humidity during the wet season is enough to fry my brain. I know I couldn’t stand to live there, but there are many who do and they put up with the rain and the heat, the snakes, the goannas and the dingoes, and the people who live away from the towns, in relative isolation, work harder than most Australians could imagine having to work to get from one day to the next. There is a gentle love story woven throughout, but the book to me was really a camera lens looking at the struggles of newly widowed Kelly bringing up her preteen son, Rob (nickname, Twice) and younger daughter, Annie when they go to live with Kelly's father-in-law, Quin. A fascinating read and the audible narration was excellent.

Romance is lacking but Flying Doctor Service is alive and well.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 15-08-2020

The Homestead Girl's is a fascinating look at the Flying Doctor Service, the set up in Mica Ridge and some of the dangerous situations occurring in far flung places in the immense outback of Australia. I did not grow up in the outback but I still knew about this legendary service, it’s inception by the great John Flynn and the rigours of day to day life in the outback where medical intervention was non-existent until John Flynn's vision became a reality. Of course this is a work of fiction but it is a wonderful look into the sophisticated service that has grown from the primitive beginnings in the early to mid 20th century. It is also a look into the friendships and love of a disparate group of women who have come together in hard times and how they become integral to each other's lives. There is also romance, on two fronts, one front moving much faster than the other. The 'main' romance is very slow, with both parties circling each other warily, like wrestlers before they come together to grapple each other momentarily and then part again. The resolution of this quite painful dance does not take place until the last page of the main story and they are not even alluded to in the epilogue. That was more than a little disappointing for me because as wonderful as the flying doctor story was, I do like the romance that usually accompanies Fiona McArthur's stories. So, if it’s a fully fledged romance you’re after, the Homestead Girls falls a little short.

So convoluted!

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 14-08-2020

I have read/listened to most of Fiona McCallum’s stories and I’m afraid Nowhere Else is not one I enjoyed overly much. It took a long time to get into the book and even then, the story was very slow. The main character, Nicola was generally likeable but at times she was very annoying. Her love story was a very complicated ride, one that was not resolved until literally, the very last minute —a resolution that could only work for the two lovers with one particular circumstance...and sure enough... I worked out very early on what had to happen so that the lovers could be together. The ending was very abrupt and left me more than a little dissatisfied. I definitely felt there needed to be an epilogue. Rather ho-hum. If you haven’t read /listened to Fiona McCallum before, I recommend you start with another title. Jennifer Vuletic’s narration is excellent.

Childhood trauma comes back to bite.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 25-07-2020

4 very different women make up the quartet of Danton sisters, still close in their early to mid thirties. Verity, the second sister, a primary school teacher has known and obsessed over fellow teacher, Ned Merton for years. It is not until Ned meets The other Danton sisters, particularly Zoe, that the women’s lives spiral out of control to one degree or another. Ned might be the devil dressed in angel’s clothing, but the varying effects he has on the sisters eventually leads to them confronting their pasts and each other. This exercise brings them closer together and enables them to enter more relaxed mindsets that ultimately change their lives. Another terrific story by Shari Low, brought to life by Cathleen McCarron’s excellent narration.

Love laughter and heartbreak.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 24-07-2020

This book is set on a timeline of just one day but there is a lot of looking back, to more than 20 years before this one special day. The characters are totally loveable, except for one huge exception, and this exception is the cause of much heartache. However, she is also responsible, in a very round about way—and with no effort on her part—for the happily ever after that the reader is hanging out for. This HEA is the culmination of years and years where a secret heartache is carried around by the main character. She lives her life...a life of blissful highs and despondent lows— a life not too dissimilar to a fair proportion of this crazy world’s population. This is a book that makes you ache for two people who had their dream snatched from them by a so called friend, and it makes you want to commit violence against that so called friend. I have never read anything by Shari Low before but I will certainly be reading more. Helen McAlpine’s narration is just perfect, she has a huge range of different voices, male as well as female and she does well with the American accent. I just love her native Scottish accent and though some might find it a little difficult to decipher, I had no problem as I have Scotland in my blood. 😁

Enjoyable

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-07-2020

II think this book will best appeal to mums or mums-to-be and women who want to be mums. Definitely not for women who are not children orientated. Lisa was born to be a mother, a woman who puts her kids needs ahead of everything else. Jamie, her sister is a career woman, who, with the right man in tow, may eventually become a mother but in the meantime is happy to be an aunt. Heather is a mum, and though she loves her daughter but her own needs are not subsumed by those of her daughter. And Missy is a mother who has to sacrifice the thing she loves most in an effort to keep said thing safe and well. An enjoyable, easy read/listen. The narrator was good; she did little girl’s voices particularly well.