Monday, 30 January 2017

Favourite Aussie Romance Reads of 2016

By the Breathless Bloggers

So great to have our favourite reads get the thumbs up from Keith Urban (courtesy of!

It hasn't been easy! With all the wonderful Aussie Romances published last year, the Breathless Bloggers have somehow managed to select just one favourite Romance read from 2016. 

We hope you enjoy our reviews as much as we enjoyed reading these fabulous books.


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With so many great romance authors to choose from, it was a hard decision but my pick for 2016 is Maggi Andersen's The Earl and the Highwayman's Daughter. Maggi has an easy to read style which lends itself so well to novellas.

Eugenia Hawthorne and Brendan, Earl of Trentham are thrown together when he is wounded in an attack by highwaymen on his way home. Eugenia patches him up but when her father returns he and Brendan make a deal and Eugenia ends up as Brendan's unofficial ward. But there is more to this arrangement than meets the eye. There is a mystery, an emerald necklace and plenty of sexual tension to keep you turning the page.


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While not strictly a romance, The Art of Keeping Secrets contains powerful romantic elements. In it, we meet Felicity, Genevive and Emma, three ladies attempting to deal with issues and situations that many women will be able to identify with: life after divorce combined with a life-threatening health problem, a ‘perfect’ marriage that isn’t as perfect as it appears, and a forced reunion with an old flame who happens to be the father of her son (although he doesn’t yet know it!). One of the story-lines in particular had me on tenterhooks till the very last page (no, I’m not telling which one; you need to read it for yourself J).

Flick, Neve and Emma are believable and eminently likeable characters, and the strength of their friendship is something I could easily relate to. I greatly enjoyed spending time with them all. ’Onya, Rachael. Another winner!

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This book is sharp and edgy in its writing; fresh and funny and a total winner. A perfect office romance between the geeky but ohmygosh gorgeous Josh, and the diminutive-in-size-only Lucy. It's told in Lucy's point of view, which gives you just enough information about how she's feeling about Josh - and what she thinks he's thinking and feeling about her - to keep you guessing. For half the book Josh remains somewhat of an enigma, although the paintball work-bonding day was a bit of a heroic giveaway. By the end of the book (and a lot of laughs and a few tears later) I was in love with both of them. Thank you, Sally, for bursting onto the romance scene with such a brilliant debut. Please write more!

Favourite funny quote:
I stumble into the bathroom, leaving the door ajar. I pee, flush, and then realize how unladylike I was. Oh, well. He's seen and heard almost everything now. There's nothing left to do but fake my own death and start a new life. 

There's more about Sally Thorne here: if you want to follow her slavishly (which I now do).

SHARON: THE SUMMER BRIDE by Anne Gracie (Chance Sisters series #4).

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Daisy Chance was raised in a brothel from which she helped two young women escape. Together with the sister of one of the women, they declare themselves sisters of the heart, and vow to support one another through life's challenges.
Daisy is a talented seamstress, determined to have her own shop and make it the best in London. She has no interest in marriage; a husband would get in the way of her ambitions. Patrick Flynn, a self-made man, orphaned in tragic circumstances he has never fully dealt with, is attracted to Daisy, but wishes to marry the finest lady in London. He feels he is good enough for anyone, and needs to show this to the world by marrying a high-born lady.

The well-constructed characters, captivating dialogue, sense of fun and poignant moments that tug at the reader's heartstrings which Anne brings to her writing make this book a must read.

ENISA: SUNSET SHADOWS (Goodabri series #3) by Bronwyn Parry

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In the stark isolation of the Australian bush there’s a madman on the loose. As sinister shadows in the untamed wilderness herald danger, police officers Steve Fraser and Tess Ballard put their careers on the line to save the lives of 50 cult members, and the people they care about. In a race against time, their pasts return bringing heartbreak, and as they wonder if they will survive, a romance slowly blossoms.

Wow! From first page to last, Sunset Shadows had me enthralled. I was there, in the isolated surrounds of the bush amidst the fast-paced action, tension gripping me by the throat as surely as it gripped Steve and Tess as I immersed myself in their rush to catch the madman and bring justice to those threatened. I was there hurting along with Steve and Tess confronting pasts too painful to face, and I was there watching in wonder as romance flickered through their friendship, the flame slowly burning, turning to love. Packed with emotion, edge-of-your-seat suspense and twists you don’t see coming, Sunset Shadows is a brilliant read. Is it any wonder Bronwyn Parry is a must-read author for me?


I am choosing Anna Romer's latest book, Beyond the Orchard, as my favourite romance for 2016 because it is an absorbing read shrouded in suspense and mystery from the very start.
A family saga of love, heartbreak, deceptions and discoveries written in the authors unique voice, it easily transports the reader from the present into the past and back again, while providing such detailed descriptions of the time periods and Australia's beautiful landscape, flora and fauna, that you almost feel it surround you.

An ominous old house full of secret crevices and hidden truths with supernatural elements that hang heavily in the readers mind, igniting fear only limited to one's own imagination. Rich characters with their own demons, sorrows and stories to tell. And a tale of love that keeps you hoping and wondering until the end.


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I've chosen The Farmer's Perfect Match as my favourite romance read of 2016 for so many reasons. The setting, the characters and the plot brilliantly pack the book full of tension and romance. Our own Marilyn Forsyth weaves the story in and around the setting, creating and building tension so beautifully that you think you're there! The characters filled my heart with so much emotion that I ached for them! I wanted Evie and Adam to succeed at their goals but feared that if they did then they would never get together.

This is one of those books that you read from cover to cover and at THE END you want need more. The Farmer's Perfect Match is one powerful read!

Did your favourite romance read from last year make the cut? No? Then please let us know in the comments of any books published in 2016 that you'd recommend. We're always on the lookout for wonderful romances.

We LOVE TO LOVE Aussie Romance Writers.
We LOVE TO LAUGH!Our monthly Writers' Group meetings are always a lot of fun.
We LOVE TO LEARN who each other's favourite Aussie authors are.